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Self Care is Health Care

Hiking in Southern Ohio

The fall colors have been gorgeous, and driving to the Great Seal State Park, just north of Chilicothe, you can really get a sense of the topography and wealth of trees we have in Ohio.  Last Sunday a friend and I hiked about 9 miles, and realigned ourselves with the Earth and her magnetic poles.  Being surrounded by concrete, and walls that limit our vision is not as expansive as I want to be.  I want to see the sky, and the land stretch out befor me.  We are mirrors of our environment. Spending time outside is good medicine for me.  I build strength and enjoy the effort, as I go up and down hills. I regain confidence as I succeed at the simple task of placing one foot in front of the other, again and again.  Repititious movement is enjoyable and the visual color field feeds my eyes and soul.  My heart rate increases, and so do my endorphins and enkaphelins, the two substances naturally occuring in the body.  These molecular chemicals mimic the exact same action as anti-depressant medications, except with no side effects, and great benefits!

Eleven years ago, I started on my journey to stregthen my physical body, before that, I hardly noticed that part of myself.  WIth the Trager Approach training, and year of practice in letting go, I realized my body, was too hard and armored, and I needed to learn to be soft...about 4 years into it, I felt like I was collapsing in on myself, and for the first time in my life fell in love with getting stronger-in proper alignment.  An internal voice prompted this change, so I listened.  I began camping, hiking, and backpacking.  Swimming came later as I realized I needed a winter infoor activity. Cross country skiing, biking and winter camping....what's next?  I have met so many wonderful friends that have the same urges, and now I can honestly say I am happier and healthier than I was 10 years ago.  I have more energy and more love and concern for my health~without effort.

You may have noticed by my calendar, that is is pretty full these days. And even though I enjoy returning to the nursing field, as a staff nurse as well as a nurse educator, I do not have the luxury of being outdoors as I did before, just offering Trager sessions all week.  My laundry waits for the weekend, or I hang it on lines in the basement.  My garden was put to bed early, on a weekend, so that is complete.  I walk and swim less, and sometimes after a 12 hour shift, I need to come home and stop moving! 

I am adjusting.  I feel the need to go outside, and I respond when I can.  I sit outside with my jacket on for lunch at the Care Center.  I take walks in the moonlight now, I make plans ahead with friends, so it is worked into the schedule...I get up earlier and swim or stand on the front porch for a moment, and breathe deeply.

I am going apple and pear picking this weekend...are you getting enough R and R?  Are you getting enough Earth Time?

InspirationJudith Fasone