Our brains are pretty darn amazing. We take clues from all over the place to engage in conversation and to be able to read each other’s nonverbal cues to come up with appropriate reactions. We read license plates that have just a few letters that really have an intended meaning to the car’s driver or to even the driver’s need to convey a message. My husband and I just got our personalized license plate for a new car that we purchased 9 months ago. Yes, folks, it took 9 months. I wanted a license plate that conveyed my hip hope, but my husband gave me the evil eye on that idea. Too girlie, I guess. So, we settled on a plate that focused on the word, charisma, which included some word play with our last name. But, my next car is going to have a license plate that conveys my yogi hippie ways. My outlook, my yin, my yang, my Zen all wrapped into one.
Maybe something as simple as hpflyogi or hipyhope. You get the message? When we need to fill in the blanks, there are times we may not get the word correct at the first opportunity. We may choose the wrong “letters” based on previous negative experiences or even negative expectations that we set for ourselves. Those blanks could cause us to come up with a word that is less than optimistic. Less than hopeful. I have always tried to fill in the blanks based on setting the expectations for positive outcomes – a growth mindset kind of attitude. So, what are the tools that I think are helpful in filling in those positive letters?
Find people who support your goals and outlook whether it is related to your hips, your career, your expectations or relationships. I have been able to fill in the blanks for my hips with the support of my hip hope supporting peeps from places as diverse as Singapore, Indiana, California, Georgia, India, and New York.
Engage in self-care. For example, today I did a gentle yoga flow with the idea of honoring where my hips were at this morning’s moment - not where they were a month ago or not where they will be in a month or even six, but where they were in the present.
Talk. Sometimes, you need to fill in the blanks for others as to what support you need. Yesterday, I went for a “walk and talk” hike around the local park with a friend. There is no secret that I have had a ton of issues with my hips, but she listened as I shared my recent drama and gave me a high five when I reaffirmed my positivity. We walked over two miles. Coupled with the company and the setting sun, it was heavenly.
Eat balanced foods that give you comfort. Eating healthy foods, in my estimation, always helps me feel good about the holistic approach I take to my health. This morning, I had a chia seed porridge with lots of protein that included baked pears, coconut milk, pecans, pumpkin seeds and nut butter. It helped me fill in the blank of _ood to form a sentence. Good food puts me in a good mood.
Breathe. And what do I mean by this since it sounds like a “duh” kind of suggestion. Don’t we all have to breathe? Of course, we do. My suggestion is to breathe with intention. The kind where you inhale for four counts, hold for four, exhale for four, hold for four. I rest on my mat, one hand on chest and one hand on belly, eyes closed and then focus on the rise and fall of my chest. If you need any help with this, let me know. Would love to hop on a Zoom with you to do a guided meditation or walk you through some breath work.
So, my biggest question when you fill in your blanks, do you see the word warrior or worrier? Do you see the word hope or mope? Strong or wrong? Bold or old? I will just tell you – I will not be an old worrier who likes to mope. My strong hope is that I will be a bold warrior in my life – whatever comes my way.