CONNECTING TO OURSELVES, AND CONNECTING OURSELVES TO NATURE

PART II of the Pandem(ic)onium Series

So, last blog we covered the beginning of the shutdown and what that looked like. Somehow I completely forgot that I had shingles when we first shut down. So in the beginning of March I had a sh*tshow of an experience at the doctor, they didn’t believe me, asked if I wasn’t “used to pain” when I cried from frustration (the tattoed person who spoke to them about a recent shoulder dislocation, torn labrum, a/c separation and fractured collar bone… clearly that person can’t handle pain. A-holes.) Anywhoo, that sucked as well and added on to why the following events were important in my life. Let’s begin, lol:

YO-ga: As in YOooooo have you ever tried this?! Cuz, “oh my GA(h)” it’s amazing and has changed everything!  I started doing yoga in the morning because I knew that it was good for mental space and could help ‘stretch’ tight things. HOLY MOLY, did I underestimate what it could actually do, like help you address areas you can’t feel and build proprioception, and flush out nerves, and so on… One morning after I was done and Adrian finally woke up (finally meaning he slept in until 8am lol,) I asked if he would want to do it with me because I noticed a difference already. He said “sure, I’ll try it.” I was effing stoked and said we could do another video right then. Control. (see Pt 1.) Adrian said “no,” but agreed to start the next day and give it a go, no pressure, but what’s the worst that could happen? (Spoiler: we fixed issues that had plagued us for years and still consistently do it.)

We did a 30-day program called “Home” by Yoga with Adriene (check it out,) and consistently added that into our days. It was probably about two sessions before both of us had a b*tchslap of reality and realized how many areas of our bodies weren’t doing what they could be (as in, I couldn’t feel my right outer foot on the ground at all. Probably a bad idea to load something you can’t feel, but what do I know?) Yoga is now a thing for us, and it’s changed both of our lives for the better. We use it for mental stress and anxiety, as well as physical stresses that occur. Judge all you want, because it also allowed our brains to chill out and destress so we don’t care if you roll your eyes. This also led to me researching the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems more, because I want to know WHY anything does what it does. I learned a ton of new cool things about these nervous systems that I am able to not only practice myself, but help my clients with it as well. What a great time to learn how to de-stress the body, amiright?

Patio and Yard: I built a little patio outside in our yard so we could sit outside in the morning and read with our coffee. Adult AF if you ask me, but back to the patio. I had to remove some super stubborn plants/weeds with a pick axe and shovel (thank you, rotational strength.) I did my best at leveling the ground and put down little concrete pavers, surrounded the area with rocks, added mulch to the planters, and set up our patio set in our cute little yard. The dogs love walking under the chairs as we read, and they often sit under us and keep watch, barking at all who dare walk in front of our yard. I’m still super proud of it even though the demon plants have tried coming back… I will take any opportunity to use a pick axe for something I need to do.

The spiders in the yard also took a liking to it, but that was another cool thing that happened this year: we got to experience nature more. Spiders no longer bother us, and we legitimately could tell a difference in how many tiny bugs were out. I’ve always been a fan of relocating spiders (under a certain size… Giant house spiders and I haven’t come to an agreement yet, the best method is avoidance in this case.)

Nature: Along with our spiders, we got to experience more birds since the West Seattle Bridge got shut down, and we normally would have heard the traffic. (That was another #just2020things… our main commute was taken away, and our current route is more than double the mileage. A mild annoyance, but back to the positives!) When we stepped outside onto our porch, we got to see hundreds of birds in the giant trees across the road try to make more birds, if you know what I mean. There was one bird dude in particular that we named “Bill.” Bill wasn’t winning big with any of the other lady birds, but dammit if he wasn’t trying.

He’d flutter his wings and laterally hop on a branch towards a potential mate. No luck. Then, he ruffled himself up to seem poofy and flutter, hop, shake, nothing. Again, and again. We saw Bill try over and over, and never saw him be successful. I understand that in nature only the strong survive and get to carry on their genes, but I never knew I would admire a bird for effort. I never knew I would have such a first-hand experience for the whole process living in a city.

We’re not sure if Bill ever got to carry on his legacy, but we got to hear lots of tiny chicks chirping, and see busy parents swooping in and taking off again to feed their hungry chicks. When they got a little bit older, we got to see them practicing their flying skills in groups. It was seriously so cool to see 10 of them fly up super high and dive bomb before pulling up and getting back in line. Then the next squadron would practice, and so on. They would ‘train’ their new skills for about 20 minutes before taking off towards the water. This all took place during hours that Adrian and I would normally be working, but this year we didn’t miss it!

While everyone was watching some stupid show that their streaming service pushed (that may or may not have been about tigers, and yes there is judgement,) Adrian and I got to see a whole generation of birds from creation, to adolescence and training, and finally to them leaving us. We’re “empty nesters” now, if you will.

Connecting to our bodies more, and connecting to nature more really helped us get into a flow state. We’d wake up, have coffee and read our books (next blog will be about the books we read!) Then we’d take the dogs on a walk before having breakfast. I’d do a little work and see what else I could do that I normally didn’t have time to focus on. Adrian learned a lot about the Vietnam War, mastered so many video games, and always made sure I ate something (since I forget to when I focus.) After “work” we would go on tour on RockBand, practice our yoga, and watch some Family Matters (since I somehow missed out on that! It was definitely a nice, positive addition to our routine.) I loved spending so much time with our little family, and it gave me hope for retirement when that happens one day. I couldn’t see myself retiring because I still have so much I want to accomplish, but now we’ve both developed a better appreciation for having balance in our lives. I’m not ready for it yet obviously, but now I can picture it a little, and am going to O.W.N. it for sure: Adrian, fur babies, lots of books, lots of nature, and so much more that will develop between now and then! It gave me hope for the future we’ll make.

I hope you all have enjoyed my little recap so far, or at the very least find parts entertaining. How did you O.W.N.  your at home experiences? Comment or email me at shea@ownfitnesspnw.com, I’d love to hear about it!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong!

(Jack really enjoys the restorative yoga days!)

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