Thursday, April 07, 2011

Resistance and the Power of Intention

J~'s royal Sunday breakfast: A castle built of buckwheat pancakes, tahini, plain organic yogurt, sliced banana, and raspberries, surrounded by a moat of maple syrup.

My more humble fare: green apple, celery, radicchio, and ground flax. Nothing more. Just right.
(Not that I don't like pancakes.)

When it comes to energy these days, I am on a budget. It used to be that a night's sleep was all it took to restore the bottomless well. I never had to parcel it out, never counted out the coins, reckoning, If I do this, I won't have energy for that. It's been a big adjustment and not always a graceful one.

The worst is when fear takes over and, though I've got energy to burn, even a thrifty walk around the block seems extravagant, perhaps outside my means.

I love how David Allen puts it: "Whatever has your attention needs your intention engaged." Lately my attention has been snagged on my own procrastination and the resulting sense of frustration and overwhelm.

I am happy to report that engaging intention works. As promised in my last post, I spent ten minutes before bed in management mode, nailing down my priorities for the coming day. Though the priorities shifted dramatically when I remembered a more pressing deadline, the self-manager perspective remained, and the day went well.

J~, a friend and admired fellow-swimmer urges me to pace myself, not to push push push. She has Multiple Sclerosis and credits the disease for this lesson, relearned again and again. But don't you ever have to push yourself to get to the pool? I asked.

Sometimes I resist for healthy reasons, I just don't have enough fuel in the tank. Other times the resistance is based on fear or some such dampening emotion. Often I can't tell the difference.

In asking, it occurred to me that perhaps there is a gentler way. Perhaps I can get to know my resistance, befriend it, diffuse it, address its concerns rather than barrel through. I'll have to think about this some more.

What do you think?


Shafeenaaz said...

Me think you should DHL some of the lovely food you and your family makes to me! And fast! :)

Chill Amy. Enjoy the food, the gardening, Millie and just let your body decide on what it wants next.

Best to you

Anonymous said...

It feels odd to me to post this here, but I wanted to pass on some information. The nutritionist at the Gray Cancer Center told me that flax seed can result in plant estrogen when digested. I was taking flax seed oil at the time. Although she said I could continue to take one capsule a day, she suggested I switch to whole flax seed rather than the milled or oil because it's harder for your body to break down. I didn't do any research to confirm the information. I stopped taking the oil.


Amy said...

I don't often comment back to comments on my blog (I do appreciate the comments I get so much, maybe I should more often? I actually had tears in my eyes, Shafeenaaz, when I read your invitation yesterday!) but I didn't want to let the flax comment go by without offering a perspective. I, too, have heard about the issue of plant estrogens in flax (and soy, for that matter).

My naturopath did advise me against soy isolates, but said whole flax is fine (or whole ground flax, as in this case - I grind mine in a coffee grinder) because the fiber in the flax actually helps us excrete much more excess estrogens than we take in with the flax in the first place.

Also, the jury is still out on plant estrogens as a problem for hormone-stimulated cancers, as they are considered "weaker" estrogens and may help by competing with the stronger estrogens in our bodies.

My hunch is that the estrogen-mimics in plastics and the hormone stimulants fed to dairy cows are far more likely to turn out to be culprits once more is known.

In any case, Susan, I thank you for sharing your experience. There's certainly a good argument to be made for better safe than sorry, and I appreciate you reaching out.

Kerri said...

The soy/phytoestrogen issue is so frustrating to me. I wish there were more real research on it. My cancer is ER+ so I am also avoiding soy isolates but still eating fermented whole soy products like miso and tempeh. My gut tells me that flax and whole soy are okay, but who the heck knows? I thought my diet was healthy all these years (vegetarian, soy almost every day, cruciferous vegetables coming out my ears), but I still got cancer. I've made some adjustments to my diet since my diagnosis, but I find food decisions confusing, frustrating and scary now. I'm interested to read other people's thought process on it, so thanks for sharing.

Delaney's Duds said...

i know Shafeenaaz!!! I can't read your blog hungry. I want to eat everything in sight, but nothing looks as good as what you have posted. yum!
I also agree with S's comment. let your body decide what to do next. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing are what you are supposed to be doing at that moment. I know (from some of your posts) that you feel a sense of preciousness or urgency with your time. I know that the times I don't have a list made out and schedules to keep, i am more joyful and peaceful. Not snapping at my kids that we need to be somewhere. I know that this comment is coming from a person that does not have cancer, but we all have a limited time here on earth. Just enjoy each breath/step of it. I find when I relax about what "needs to be done", the stuff I love doing and the stuff I need to do both find a way of happening.

Sam said...

You should read "Spoon Theory." It's a short essay meant to explain the rationing of energy with lupus. It makes sense in other cases (like my fibromyalgia) and currently your lack of energy due to cancer/chemo. I think it will give you another (and helpful) way to look at how much your body can or should do right now.

Shafeenaaz said...

Amy, the invite stands :)

I am a bit lost in all the healthy eating you and the others are doing!

I am eating whatever my tastebuds are tolerating, except maybe a bit conservatively.

I agree food is a major player in this game, but really, if I want my meat, I'll eat it!

Post some more videos. You are very photogenic and I must say I enjoy hearing your voice.

Since leaving the US, my english is now limited to a creolized or frenchy English. Your lilting American Eng is a pleasure to hear :)