The Hemp Connection + women's health

Channeling your creative energy into positive change

If you've ever heard me speak about PCOS, you know I make a big point about a very positive thing I've noticed about women who have the diagnosis…they're all very creative.

I don't have PCOS, but I am a creative type, and I often see much of myself in the women my work has brought into my life.

I have a small business, and the thought processes and anxieties I see cysters experience and share, feel very similar to what my personal endeavor brings into my own head.

**I don't have any guarantee that I have a paycheck. It can be very easy to focus on the outcome--sales and event registrations--to the point where it's challenging to take action in ways that can make that happen.

**When I need to focus on an important task, my brain has a way of wanting to embrace anything, anything at all…but the thing I need to do.

**I have a short attention span, I'm a better"ideas" person than I am a person who can follow through on those ideas.

I have to work hard, some days, extremely hard, at not letting those tendencies get in the way of my own success! Mindfulness exercises are one of the most important things I do to quiet my mind and channel all of my energy in the direction it needs to go.

One of the problems I see with a lot of mindfulness writing with regard to health, is that it tends to focus on mindfulness surrounding food. It ignores the fact that people who have trouble with food-based mindfulness, have trouble with mindfulness in all aspects of their lives. And so if you jump into working on mindfulness, and you try to attack the most difficult place to be mindful, in the presence of food…chances are you're not going to succeed with it. And then, you're at risk of jumping to the conclusion that you're a failure with food.

I thought I'd share one of my favorite personal mindfulness exercises. I do this when I catch myself doing any of the above. I challenge you to try it. It might help you to understand the struggles you're having with food and exercise choices, are about the way your brain processes ALL information, not just the PCOS stuff. If you can step outside of that very narrow food/exercise world and start to understand that this is just how you think, you may be less likely to negatively judge yourself, maybe even laugh at yourself, and start to attack the problem from some completely different angles.

What I do, is grab my camera and go for a walk. On that walk, I give myself a photography assignment. My favorite one, is to pick a letter of the alphabet and see how many examples of that letter I see in the world around me. Today I worked on the letter A.

Here are some of the things my brain did while I was trying to do this assignment. Does any of it sound familiar in your own thinking?: )

1. In the beginning of the exercise, my A's were very concrete and obvious. I was very rigid and structured with how I proceeded. They became a little more abstract as the walk went along.

2. I was looking for A's in everything! And I couldn't find them. Eventually I got bored with that, stopped paying attention to the exercise, and suddenly A's were coming at me from everywhere.

3. I saw a great M, and a really cool S, and my right (that is, obsessive) brain wanted me to take the photos and save them for future M and S days. My left brain took over and only allowed me to take photos of A's, I reminded myself that this exercise was about reducing destractibility, and there would be plenty of M's and S's on the days I did that exercise.

4. I became more relaxed as I focused my brain on something new and different, and allowed the other pervasive thoughts about my business to fade into the background. And in the process, as I came to the end of my walk, I had a bunch of great photos, some new business ideas that somehow just appeared, and better insight into barriers my thinking style creates for me. I was reminded, once again, that just because I'm not consciously obsessing about a problem, doesn't mean my brain isn't working on it. In fact, it tends to work more creatively when I don't try to force it to do its job.

If you're working on New Year's resolutions, consider your own thinking style. Consider how it works against you, and in what circumstances it works with the best of focus. It could be the creative in you, that's bringing out both. Work to enhance the one, and decrease the influence of the other. In doing so, successful change may be closer and more real than you perceive.

Enjoy the A's!

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Channeling your creative energy into positive change + women's health