Have you ever watched a pair of dancers do the cha-cha? Oh it’s a pretty dance. When done in a practiced manner, it’s smooth, it’s elegant and it’s a pleasure to glide back and forth effortlessly, in unison.
If you look closely, the cha-cha is not about big moves and doesn’t really propel dancers all around the dance floor. It’s a little like a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ kind of movement. But if you give yourself up to the rhythm, and allow those teeny tiny steps to take their course, it’s gorgeous and fulfilling and full of zest.
Kind of like life.
2017 was quite a year. With bumpy, erratic rhythms. So many of my clients, friends and family members experienced profound changes – as did I – that it felt at times like getting traction to move forward was an impossible mountain to climb.
Over and over, they confided in me that despite the very best of intentions and most fervent desires, it was a massive struggle to eat more nutritiously, more mindfully, get more sleep and carve out even a sliver of time for self-care. In between car-pools and the long hours commuting, and taking care of elderly parents, the juggling of renovations or real estate transactions, the loss of love, loss of a job and health scares, real and imagined – somehow, they lost their way in 2017.
Truth be told, I struggled too – searching for equilibrium throughout some big life changes that included a major move out of the city I called home for the last 28 years and with it all the friends and connections I enjoyed, the death of a dear family member and a long-time friend, a nagging injury that kept me in pain and inactive for the better part of the year and a major case of ‘what the hell happened to the life I loved?’
Yup. 2017 – you were a sh#tshow and now skedaddle!
Even though I know better, the emotional upheaval took its toll and I was not exactly a poster child for good health habits. Nope, not proud of deviating onto a path that resulted in hormonal disruptions, weight gain, cravings and an emotional rollercoaster that veered from sad to mad to glad to bad and back again. But, it happens. Being a nutritionist and health coach does not inoculate me from being an imperfect human and having the human responses to life’s little curve balls.
If you feel like you are in the same boat, please don’t jump on the punishing ‘just eat less-move more’ bandwagon that is so prevalent at this time of year. If that truly worked – would everyone have to do it over and over and over again? Ummm… no.
It’s time to lean in to the dance, with compassion and recognition that the cha-cha-cha of life is not about always moving forward. It is sometimes about moving sideways, sometimes backwards and sometimes completely out of rhythm with your partner, your intentions and your pathway.
But little steps count. In cha-cha and in life. And it’s these small movements that keep you advancing. Not all at once. But get into the rhythm and it’s a thing of beauty. And one I am looking forward to adopting and enjoying in 2018.
For the next few weeks – I’m going to be writing about the little steps I’m taking to return to the rhythm of healthy eating, cooking, sleeping, moving, de-stressing and progressing toward a happy, comfortable space in this old world.
Maybe you’ll find what I share to be of help to you too as you cha-cha-cha through the next year. Hope so.
Healthfully yours –