Symptoms: How To Deal With Not Feeling Great

I wake up. My eyes feel tired, but I am restless and can’t go back to sleep again. Am I missing some nutrients? My heart is pounding stronger than usual, did I eat wrong last night? Now that I’m paying attention, I think my skin is a little dry, I bet there’s something wrong with my diet. I let go. I accept all of it and start my day.

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Symptoms. The bane of my existence. Every time I think something is handled, something new comes up. Have I ever written about that bicycle I once had? It was working alright generally but there was always one or two things wrong with it and every time I fixed something, something else came up. I fixed the lights, the front break fell out. I fixed the break, the chain broke. I fixed the chain, the tire flattened more rapidly. Life is like that. I’ve used this metaphor numerous times because it illustrates a very important point: You can try fixing everything about yourself but if you have this repairing-mindset, that’s all you’ll ever do. Fixing. You will be the supplements guy, the positive thinking girl or the I really need to meditate right now and find my inner spirit animal weirdo. That’s a dead-end. We can all be better than that. Steven Pressfield calls is resistance. I love his book and you might have noticed that I’ve used his intro in a previous post. He states that a professional does not have the luxury to wait for the stars to align, the weather to turn and the lights to come on. The professional has a job to do and he has to do it every day come whatever may.

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I’ve been to a meditation session with a teacher coming from a large mindfulness-type organization and basically what we were shown was techniques to alter our mood. She even suggested to smile during the meditation. It works well by the way, you can laugh and hyperventilate for 20 minutes, but where are you after two hours? You go back to your previous state. You see, emotions are like the flat and rippled sand under the sea water: You can stirr it, hate it, fight it, change its shape, move it somewhere else or just grab it and throw it away. The result after a few hours? It’s flat again with some ripples. No change. I’ve fallen for the myth of being awesome every day multiple times, I would think it’s some supplements I’m missing, dark chocolate seems to help, how about some coffee? L-theanine is awesome, I will need that for ever now. Less sugar and more stevia, that’s what’s been missing. That new breathing method will do the trick. It does not work, you will always go back to zero. That’s just life. So, keep in mind:

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1. You will not feel great every day. You will be tired, sensitive to your environment, and unhealthy – every other day. There are things you can control, like mindset and how you choose to look at something. Also, there are things you can’t control, like your physical state on one specific day. Accept it and you will start to build your ideal life around that.

If you think about it: Trying to be healthy is a zero sum game. It makes you passive because you will be fighting symptoms all day, every day. You are using the wrong premise: Not how to be healthy but how to be healthy enough to follow my heart’s desire. Now that is the right mindset. To go back to the sand metaphor: What difference does it make how the sand is shaped when all you want is use to walk on top of it? Sure, I’m not saying don’t heal yourself at all but as in the serenity prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

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This is very important to always keep in mind. I always consider this when I start my day. I do my morning exercise, my Tantra practise and read about my goals every day. Occasionally I take supplements, but I try to be less dependent on them, I like to do the Wim Hof breathing a few times per week and I enjoy taking cold-only showers every morning (more in the summer than in the winter). I watch what I eat and respect that my body will give feedback according to how I treat it. What I don’t do: Taking raw chocolate powder, coffee or a large dose of MCT oil whenever I feel tired. Taking L-theanine, L-taurine or L-ornithine whenever I feel stressed. Taking a hot shower when I feel tired or sad. Grabbing all the minerals and supplements I have whenever I feel unmotivated. I accept it and deal with it. Finding out what the things are that you can fix is an ongoing process of self-discovery. You will learn this over a lifetime.

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2. Your daily little problems will never be solved on a daily basis. They will be solved by accepting what you are experiencing right now and making long-term decisions on how to change that. When you mask them with supplements, energizers or mood enhancers, you will act from a place of fear and tell the universe that you are not ready. The universe does not care what you say or think, it looks at how you act. The question is this: If you were perfectly healthy, what would you do with it? And: …could you do it anyway?

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What are your major goals in life? I will make a post on goal setting some time this week and provide some material to make it easy for you guys to just fill it out. Is it ok to be tired for your goal? Can you fulfill your hearts desire with a broken arm? What are the bare essentials necessary? If there’s an armless painter, a NBA player with Tourette, an armless and legless life coach and a one-handed baseball player, what more do you need to see? You can struggle for health all your life just to turn on the television in old age and see a guy there who is just like you were. He even has one arm missing and cancer. You look at him and he is doing what you never thought possible, having the time of his life. The universe is like that. Don’t provoke it.

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