Healthy, Whole Women (on Wheels)
“The body gives up what it no longer needs.”
Hello again ☺ I’ve spent the last two weeks essentially sorting out my living situation and clearing my schedule enough so that I can focus solely on my HEALTH this semester (yes, the whole semester). This is something that I absolutely need to do for myself, at this point in my life. As much as I enjoyed the rollercoaster that was 2012, I realised in early January that my body was still carrying a lot of tension and toxic emotions from the previous year (and years), which I still needed to release. I deserve no less than a healthy foundation for everything that comes next.
The task of releasing all that accumulated tension is one that requires my full, present attention. Consequently, the only thing I have planned at the moment is participation in an Arts Festival, a playwright development program, and some freelancing. The rest of my time will be devoted to taking good care of my body, through pretty structured days of cooking & eating very healthy food, an exercise regiment, and “detoxing” my bathroom.
What does that mean? In essence, I am gradually, as much as possible, replacing my toiletries with brands from my suburban health food store that do not contain dangerous chemicals (I’ll write about these chemicals in a future post). I have also started making my own simple hair care products, with unprecedented results. I learned about these recipes over the summer when looking for more natural products for my Afro curls, and through sharing tips and advice with other Sistas, I discovered ways to care for my health, feel pretty and save heaps of money simultaneously ☺
CHANGE IS GOOD.
All these changes feel really good, at this point of my life – part of a gradual progression towards a more conscious way of living, I suppose. I’m doing this because I want too – not because I feel a need to. And I’m leaning into the changes, rather than trying to instigate too many things at once, to ensure that the changes are sustainable. It’s a good idea not to get bogged down in rule making – I found that when I stopped berating myself for my former addiction to cheese, I stopped craving cheese. I’m now pretty much a soy girl, I have a few vegetarian days per week, but nothing is out of bounds – I just tend to not want the so-called “bad” stuff anymore. I respect my body enough to give it the “good” stuff. Taking into account how self-abusive I have been in the past, this change is amazing.
THE BODY IS A TEMPLE – AND MINE NEEDS EXTRA CARE.
Too often I try to simply ignore the fact that I am disabled. The problem with that is that I don’t give myself the extra care I realistically need in order to ensure the smooth functioning of my body, and even energy levels. My spinal cord injuries are pretty complex and affect my entire spinal cord. But, simply put, I have C4 very, very incomplete quadriplegia and T10 incomplete paraplegia, as well as scoliosis (related to the C4 injury), which I also had surgery to stop/correct in my teens. On a day-to-day physical level, this medical history alerts me to its existence through heinous amounts of PAIN. I choose not to take any medication for this. Instead, I meditate, and get regular massage & therapies from a trusted and extremely competent local practitioner I have been a client of for about six years. I’ve developed a tolerance for the pain, but the strain on my body is significant on a good day.
This is just one of the reasons why it is so important for me now to devote quality time to loving my body, as a whole – to make that my priority. And to fully integrate some new healthy lifestyle practices that will sustain me for the rest of my life. Spinal cord injuries also affect digestion, and bladder and bowel functioning. Thankfully, I do not have major issues in those areas, but I do not want that to change. Yet another reason why I need to bring my focus back to the body right now.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to get all my other annual check-ups out of the way, too. I already had my annual eye test, and will be picking up my new prescription glasses and sunglasses, with new frames, this week. Can’t wait to get them so I can actually see things!!! I picked new frames to console myself about having to get a new prescription. Fingers crossed that my prescription will not change for many years to come.
ROLLING ON: ‘PUSH GIRLS’, & GETTING ON WITH LIFE.
Speaking of healthy disabled Women (kind of), someone told me about a reality TV Show (yes, one of those and yes, I have no beef with them) that I might want to check out – Push Girls, which aired its first season last year, follows the lives of four young women who have been paralysed, and displays the day-to-day challenges and triumphs they encounter. It’s reality TV, so goddam it for the sake of marketing they have been given “type” labels: Angela, the model; Tiphany, the blonde bombshell; Mia, the athlete; and Auti, the dancer.
Some of the promotional slogans are cringe-worthy (“I don’t stand up, I stand out.” Oy vey). And the promotional shots are super slick. But I prefer this photo of the ladies just being real – and I suspect much of the show features just that, the ladies just living their lives the best way they can:
I’m hoping that, rather than a cliché ridden piece of television laden with shallow self-help mantras, it is a fascinating show about four ladies who have been through some goddawful shit, but are getting on with the business of living. Occasionally in front of the cameras.
The possibility that it will be the latter makes me want to watch it. So, I’mma check it out when I get some free time 🙂 And report back here about it later.