Today I was at the DMV. I recently moved states, so I have to change my Drivers License. Successfully avoiding it for 11 months was working pretty well, but it looks like I am going to be in Denver for a while so time to make the change. My friend, a psychology major, always told me I have a lot of inertia. That is, it takes a lot to get me to do something. Usually once I get rolling, I am pretty good at striving forward, but as they say somewhere, starting is the hardest part. I explored this a little bit in an earlier post, “Momentum and Inertia.” For some reason I can’t get the link to copy into the body of this draft, so there is another reminder that I need to learn something about websites and HTML. Anyways, I mentioned in the post that I was feeling exhausted but knew that if I just started the post, that I would get rolling. I had the idea, for the hundredth time, to write a post every day. This works well during down times, but in the middle of the last two months of school with a ton of work to do and a job and internship, it proves much harder. The point is, I was able to write the post that night, proving the short term momentum and inertia idea.
This theme is a factor in most parts of my life, case in point, the DMV. I was not motivated to even change my license until a new job required a CO state license. Getting paid is one of the most motivating issues in a Capitalist society, and though grudgingly, I am still a citizen of the Capitalist state (controlled whimsically by finances and ads, seriously its like the digital pockets of my bank account have holes, maybe like socks and underwear, its a gnome problem). Off Tangent on Target, even with this motivation it still took me three visits to get the shit, metaphor, done. Once I was late. Twice and my home address didn’t match my bank address, cuz the online banking version did not switch. Thrice and I made it. Three times as always is a charm. And thricely done never causes any harm.
Still, these problems were easily identified though maybe harder to avoid. Stop being chronically late, look at the printout before you bring it in. As with most things easily avoidable, remembering to avoid them can be easily forgettable. Those subtle mistakes are actually a part of the inertia swirling around in my subconscious and manifesting in my life. The lack of punctuality and unfulfilled requirements are just the tip of the iceberg. And an iceberg, has a lot of inertia.
Motivation is the key. As a learner I always need a reason to learn something. These days my biggest reasons seem to stem from the perspective of health. You only have one life, you also only have one body, thus it is important to take care of it. This motivation has been at the core of a multitude of changes in routine, thoughts, pursuits, and spirit over the past few years.
Take for example, chocolate milk and cereal. What do Chocolate milk and cereal have to do with motivation? Like I said, its all about health. Lots of people have mild allergies to milk, soy, nuts and of course the uber famous gluten. The reactions in the cells manifest in the organism in distinct ways. My issue was mainly with dairy. My grandpa was a dairy farmer and my family had 3 gallons of whole milk delivered daily from the time I was ten years old until I was 19. Three gallons is a of cow juice for a family of five and we often ran out of that. Should I get to the point? Okay.
I loved milk, cereal, chocolate milk. As a competitive swimmer the stuff was indispensable. We often swam 4-6 miles per practice and in summers that total was often doubled when mornings were added. And so we replenished mainly with milk and meat and overly cooked vegetables. Every winter and for part of the spring I would get sinus infections. Pretty much at least one full blown infection per year bordered by many months of stuffiness. This would be compounded with allergies in the spring and summer. I was an epic mouth breather.
Then when I went to college, I was introduced to a new perspective, many new perspectives n fact. I found Neti Pots. This was a revolutionary. I could breathe. My nose would be clear for most of the day and then I could do it again in the evening so that I could sleep. This change greatly reduced the amount of sinus infections inflicted upon me. Better yet, I learned that I had control. Positive choices could lead to change in my life, change for the better. It is here that I mark my journey into health and self-care. For the first time in my life I was not a victim, it gave me power to realize that I could make other changes in improve my situations. I know this seems dramatic, it is.
To be able to breathe was amazing, it improved so many aspects of my life. My allergies improved because I could clear the pollen out of my nose hairs and the mucous stuck there. No more conjunctivitis or infections and pricey antibiotics. I could play more consecutive sets of tennis and run the field much longer in soccer and ultimate frisbee (yes frisbee, hello? college).
Growth, the ability to evolve and dictate the path of life, by making choices. I didn’t have to be a victim anymore. I could decide for myself to make decisions that improved my Quality of Life. This new power didn’t develop immediately “…the courage to change the things I can…” did not develop overnight. Though it did develop and it had a powerful effect on my path in life and allowed me to eventually embrace true freedom.
Health, was a major sector in this new growth. The Neti Pot was awesome. However, a few years later I took another step. I cut out dairy completely for a year. Dairy was the root of many of my mucous problems. The amount of milk I was drinking was damaging my health and though the neti pot was an amazing remedy for the symptoms, the cause was unaffected, until I stopped eating dairy. My digestive health improved rapidly and powerfully. I stoppe getting sinus infections completely. Learned to love almond milk. After cutting out the dairy, I did my first major diet experiment in 2012, long before the 4 month vegan project.
Being Catholic, I know a lot about Lent. I had not Practiced it in years. So In 2012 I decided to try a major diet adventure during this hallowed time. 5 days a week I would be Vegan, then one day I could eat anything I wanted, and the next day I would fast. It was Tues-Sat. Vegan. Sunday anything(usually Pho.) And Monday Fast. This event made it possible for other experiments in lifestyle design. It allowed me to think critically about my health and the choices I was making. Ushering in a new epoch of rapid evolution in my health.
Motivation is the crux, the through line. Motivation is what gets me to start, to try to jump to have the courage to leap without looking, and harder still, to leap after looking. Once these changes start to register, evolution ramps up and my emotional HGH is activated. Emotional Human Growth Hormone.
Starting is still the hardest part, but…
Life is growth, so go grow, go live.
Keep calm and curl on,