The Other Quadrants of the Wheel of Health

Tucson Botanical GardensBesides the quadrant of physical well-being, which was addressed in a previous blog, I would like to discuss the mental, emotional, and spiritual quadrants of the wheel of health. Sometimes we can forget that these three areas greatly influence our physical wellness and we don’t give them the attention they deserve. Are you aware of the thoughts passing through your mind and the stress they can create? Do you have conversations with yourself, create scenarios and replay certain events over and over? It doesn’t feel good, does it? And it doesn’t really achieve anything beyond creating more stress and anxiety. So, we react emotionally to the quality of our thoughts, and regaining balance requires awareness. In my experience, the best way is to observe the thoughts and then to let them go. If they are not fueled, they drift away. I then replace them with positive thoughts, I think of pleasant things and feel gratitude. If you are familiar with mantras and affirmations, I recommend them, and they work beautifully as well.

We need all four quadrants to live a balanced life. Sometimes one is more dominant than the others, and it is ok. Don’t fight it; just don’t stay in this unbalanced state too long. The longer you stay there, the more your physical wellness will be affected.

Also, we are all wired differently and for some of us becoming balanced may be more difficult than for others. Moreover, we can change during our life journey. Some events might bring the emotional side more into the foreground, then we might overthink certain problems and the mental and emotional flow into each other and finding harmony will become more complex.

For me, the best solution for problematic and difficult times was always the spiritual approach. I look for feelings of gratitude and appreciation. I like to meditate, to listen to music or to read a good book. An uplifting time with friends and loved ones is always a blessing, and a walk in nature brings me peace. These are just a few of the activities that can bring balance and harmony and get you back on track. Find your way, find your safe place. We all need a haven, a sacred place to go to when the storm rages. It is in this private space where the four quadrants can align and we can rejuvenate. For most of us it is not possible to avoid the storms, the important question is: how do we weather them?

I like to touch all four quadrants on a daily basis. I make sure my physical has the attention it requires, I stimulate my mental, and I allow my emotional side to be active so I can feel deeply. I complete this daily journey by nurturing my spiritual side and giving it the quiet time it needs and visiting my sacred place. It makes life’s journey more pleasant and it is easier to navigate the rough waters and to enjoy and appreciate life more deeply.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
author and founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

Wellness and Well-being

Sabino Canyon National Recreation AreaConsciously or subconsciously we all strive for wellness and the feeling of well-being. It is a deep-seated desire and we try to reach this harmonious state allowing us to enjoy life to the fullest. Part of wellness is physical health, which allows us to function and do the things we like. Without a healthy body, full enjoyment may be curtailed.

For a life and wellness coach, the four quadrants of the wheel of health are very important. In this blog I will mainly address the physical aspect to well-being, and I will talk more about the other 3 quadrants (mental, emotional and spiritual) in future blogs and postings. For now, let’s focus on the physical part of well-being.

We have to nourish and nurture our physical body to keep it healthy and functioning properly. When ailing, we take care of it by either traditional or alternative medicine, or both. What do we do for nurturing? Here are some tools: exercise, sufficient sleep, stress reduction, massages and any other activity you enjoy. The key word is “enjoy”. Nutrition and supplements are important to keep the body nourished so it can perform well and serve us for a long time. Stopping detrimental habits like smoking, for example, can only improve the physical well-being.

We are all different and live different life styles. Wellness and well-being are terms meaning something different to everyone. I have traveled diverse routes including being a vegetarian for many years and fasting at regular intervals. Sometimes certain approaches are required to address specific issues. You should always listen to your body. It will let you know its needs and discomfort and along with an open mind and open heart will guide you into the right direction. Also remember, nothing is static and things change, meaning what you enjoy today might not be the same tomorrow.

How can you address the issue of good daily nutrition without becoming a fanatic? I believe when eating at home, organic and fresh foods, free of additives and as unprocessed as possible, are always a good choice. The middle aisles in the grocery story should not be your target when shopping. Staying in the outer aisles where the dairy, produce, meats, fish, baked goods etc. are found, is a healthier choice. The Mediterranean Diet, which is better for our physical health and provides clinically proven, long-lasting positive results, mainly because of its anti-inflammatory nature, is another healthy choice. My general approach is to buy the best food available . However, when I am invited, I enjoy the meal and the company and don’t worry about it. When going out, I make the best choices available at the time.  When my body is ailing, I use traditional as well as alternative therapies. This balanced approach has served me well. As noted before, we are all different, and we have to find our own best ways. I invite you to discover your own state of wellness and well-being. It is worth the effort and you will reap great benefits.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
author and founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

Headline or Sideline?

Tucson Botanical GardensWhat do I call a headline or sideline? I make a big difference between the two, since it directly affects the quality of my life.

Treating something as a headline means just that – it is an all-consuming event or thought. I make sure that it is something I want to give that kind of energy to since it will affect me deeply. When I chose to make a headline out of an event or a feeling, I am as careful as the newspaper editor with the available space in the paper, and I chose wisely. If possible, my headlines are enjoyable, a happy event allowing me happy thoughts and uplifted spirits. Of course, there are sad events in our lives, which will become headlines, but we have to be attentive that they don’t remain too long in that spot since there is always the risk of becoming toxic. I am sure you have met people who constantly talk about the same headline issue. They are stuck, and when one suggests alternatives or a different approach, they don’t want to hear it. They are focused on their headlines, and want to keep them on the front page. Even just pointing out that there might be a solution, a light at the end of tunnel, is often resented.

A sideline for me is important as well, but I don’t put it on the front page, so to speak. I enjoy them, dwell on them as much as I want to, and give them the required attention, if necessary. But they are not all consuming and do not take all my energy and awareness, as a headline does, leaving space for new experiences. Looking at it this way, I feel I am in better control of my emotions and thoughts and leave space to grow.

A good exercise is to evaluate what you need to treat as headlines and sidelines. This can bring more clarity and less stress, but it also makes space to enjoy life and appreciate all our blessings. I like to use this metaphor, but you may prefer to replace it with your own. When life becomes very stressful and we feel drawn into many directions, this exercise will help to bring balance back and to put the control back where it belongs – You!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of www.NotJustCooking.com

 

Monsoon in the Desert

monsoon

Another First Experience for Me

There are so many “firsts” in our life and when we look back, we see more and more firsts which have formed our present, and when we look at our present and the future we have planned, there are a lot of firsts waiting for us. It feels like we are little babes discovering the world and every day is a first experience. And that is how it should be. When we stop seeing “firsts” and are too scared or too tired to tackle them, then the joy is gone. Let’s look for the “firsts”, let’s welcome them with open arms, and let’s not shy away. You remember how enthusiastic our little ones are? They know no fear and charge willingly into the unknown. Let’s become more like them and life will be more colorful and exciting.

When we came to Tucson in 2002, everything seemed to be a first experience for me. The desert – I have seen the Sahara and the Mohave, but the desert here was so different. In the Sahara there is no growth, just sand as far as you can see, beautiful and very intimidating. Here, in our Arizona desert, there is growth, life, and one gets a very different feeling. It is beautiful and awe inspiring.

Then came my first monsoon. Monsoon, I asked myself. Everyone talked about it and I couldn’t imagine a monsoon in Tucson. I know the monsoon in Africa, I experienced sheets of water coming down, but monsoon in the desert? Well, another first. It was an experience with the thunderstorms, fireworks in the skies, the rain coming down. The earth seemed to take a breath after the heat in June, a virtual sigh of relief.

I love the monsoon. It is a blessed time for me to appreciate yet another spectacular display of nature: Multiple thunderstorms at the same time with incredible fireworks in the sky producing heavy wind and rain. But before you know it, it is all over. It is so different from the normal weather here in Tucson with comfortable temperatures most of the year, and then extreme dry heat during the summer months. Animals and vegetation thrive and I am sure that people love to get a reprieve from the heat and enjoy the rains and the cooling of temperatures. And now I understood the signs “Do Not Enter When Flooded” “Flash Flood Warning” ….. near dry river beds. Yes, the monsoon is a special time of the year, and every year I appreciate the joy it brings to experience it.

Isn’t nature fabulous and exciting? I didn’t know that I would find such diversity when I moved to Tucson, and am grateful to have been blessed with these extremes of nature. I am grateful that I was granted my Arizona experience. I still enjoy it tremendously.

What were your latest “firsts”? Want to share? Join us in The Forum or comment on the blog.

Silvia Coggin
Life & Wellness Coach
Connect with Sivlia on Google+.

 

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