Before we get into this I'd love to introduce this passionate woman, Megan. I met Megan when we were just wee tots at Laurel Ridge Church Camp. She has blossomed into such an amazing woman and I am so thankful we reconnected. She's in school for Human Services, runs her family farm and is a mom to a precious three year old. I hope you'll enjoy what she has to offer not the Lifestyle Blog.
Most of my life I have seen my Dad in bad health. You couldn’t really look at him and tell he was sick, but, we knew how fragile his health was. In 2014 He was implanted with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) to pump his blood for his heart due to being in end stage heart failure from Cardio Myopathy. He was placed on the transplant list, and the wait began. Eight months later his heart had grown so weak that his defibrillator kept shocking him and his LVAD was not going to help him much longer. He was moved up the transplant list as a priority patient. On November 13th, 2014 he received the gift of life from a young man from Florida. After a few complications and a 40 day stay in the hospital, he came home about a week before Christmas.
During this entire process I found out my husband and I were expecting our first baby. By the time of the transplant I was 7 months pregnant and struggling with high blood pressure. I kept telling myself if I could just get through this pregnancy and have a healthy baby, I would try to be as healthy as I could be and keep my family as healthy as possible.
So here we are 3 years post-transplant and my Dad has a wild three-year-old granddaughter that keeps him on his toes. After seeing everything my dad went through, I wanted to be gentle on my body. In my opinion being gentle on my body means making sure I am fueling my body with the highest quality foods possible, moving my body but also knowing its limits and not pushing it too far, and making sure I am taking time for myself to meditate and stay grounded. My lifestyle has recently changed from a high stress job where I was working too many hours and spending too little time with my family. Now I have taken a step back and work on our family farm and start to pursue my dream of writing as I finish my degree. Taking away stressors in my everyday life has allowed me to live much more gently.
We have a farm where we raise grass finished beef, pastured pork, and free-range eggs. My Dad’s health and new heart has led to us being more so much more aware of what we are putting in our bodies. There are countless documentaries you can watch to see what kind of treatment and living facilities animals are raised in so much of the time. Food INC. is an excellent one that sheds light on the treatment of animals. In chicken houses that we find here in Surry County NC you cannot even enter the “houses” without wearing a biohazard suit. And guess what, that is the chicken that you are buying in the grocery store. So along with being gentle on myself, I also strive to choose foods that are best for my body, at the same time as being gentle on the animals. This is what inspired me to start my blog, Gently Living, to inspire others by showing aspects of my life where I have made these changes.
So how can you start being gentler on yourself? These are my top 5 changes you can make today that will help you live gently.
- Wake up 10 minutes earlier than your usual alarm time to stretch and meditate. You don’t have to know what your doing, simply stretch your body out and sit in silence and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at how this boosts your energy every morning.
- Put your phone down at night and pick up a book. Staring at our screens before we go to bed makes us have restless sleep. Open a book and read before you go to sleep instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.
- Pay attention to the foods you are putting into your body. Start reading the labels and try to avoid added sugars. Pay more attention to the ingredients lists instead of the nutritional facts.
- MOVE YOUR BODY. Even if it is just for 10-15 minutes per day. Take a walk, ride a bike, or just turn your music up and dance!
- Learn to say “no” more. Stop overbooking yourself and keeping your schedule jam packed. If you do not have time for yourself or you are giving all of yourself to what others need you to do, then you will be left very weary.
If you only take one thing away from this blog post, let it be this…Love yourself by slowing down and taking time to listen to what your body and spirit needs.