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You Are ...

Hi, there! Glad to have you back (and if you're a first-time reader, Welcome!) On some level, I'm always looking for something new to learn and then, to share with you. This week, I was out for a walk. Movement always seems to fire up my brain cells a little more and the phrase, "You are what you eat" came into my head. This isn't a new idea. The first time I heard it was a long time ago. It kept bouncing around in my thoughts and after a bit I started wondering, "What else are we? What would be some other ways to finish the statement, You are ...?" A flood of ideas came rushing in and I knew I wanted to share them with you.

(Please note: I realize there is currently a documentary on Netflix called "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment". That is not what I am referencing in this essay.)

I think we've all heard or read that if we don't nourish ourselves, if we choose to eat poorly, we'll feel like crap. The idea of putting good, quality food into our bodies will support us. However, food is only one of many things that we take in. Since that's related to taste, let's look at the other senses.

Think about what you hear on a daily basis. Do you live in a busy, city environment or are you out in the country? I spend at least a couple of months every year on farms in southern Oregon. I love how peaceful it is. Even hearing cows moo and birds chirp is soothing. Everytime I return to Boston or spend time in NYC, I'm aware how loud and jarring it is. After awhile, I get "used to it", although I'm not sure that's a good thing. I love both those east coast cities and I'm very grateful that I get to spend time getting "grounded", literally, in a rural part of the country part of the year. What we hear also includes both the things people say to us and what we say to others. Self-talk needs to be kind and reassuring. If someone constantly criticizes us, it's a good idea to find ways to avoid them.

When I think about what we see I immediately think of television and specifically watching the news. I tend to avoid it and recently I was at someone's home and it was on a big screen tv. It struck me that even the broadcaster felt a need to warn that the upcoming report might be distressing and hard to watch. Imagine if we keep taking in those disturbing images on a daily basis. Studies have shown that people who watch or listen to the news every morning are more stressed. Sensational or disaster reporting can trigger anxiety and affect sleep, especially if you watch the news before going to bed. 

Aromatherapy is a buzz word and even hospitals are using it in some situations. A pleasant scent, like lavender, can have a beneficial effect. Some get relief from ailments like headaches. We can all relate to the displeasure of catching a whiff of something gross. It can even cause a viceral reaction, making us gag. Having fresh flowers in our homes or using pure, essential oils can help us feel calmer and more peaceful. 

Finally, what role does the sense of touch play in our lives? I think about the clothes I choose to wear. I like wearing soft, comfortable, looser items. I feel restricted in tight, stiff clothes. Or, think about the sheets and blankets on your bed. Does it feel good to slip under the covers? Does your pillow make you feel comfortable? What other things in your life "touch" you?

Not only are we what we eat/taste, we are what we hear, see, smell, and touch. Doesn't it make sense to respect all our senses? We are whatever it takes to be care-full. 

Happy Healthy Hump Day,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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