The art of listening

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It really is an art. It wasn't until very recently that I started to truly listen to my body and my own intuition, and it's made a world of difference for my health, wellness, and personal balance.

Almost 4 years ago, I really started to pay attention to the food and drinks that I consumed, as I realized they had a potent effect on my mental, emotional, and physical health. I've developed a way of eating and drinking that works well for me (i.e. gluten free, mostly dairy free, no refined sugar), and I'm passionate about helping others find what works for them. If you've been reading my blog posts, you know that I have chronic pain issues (from a car accident). I've been off work for a few months now, and it's been during this time that I've started to listen to what my mind and body are "telling" me.

Growing up, I was really connected to things like art, music, cooking, baking, books, design, travel, and photography - they literally made my brain feel more "alive". During my university years, however, my time spent on these things fell to the wayside, as I was extremely busy with exams, studying, work, etc. I didn't think too much of this, as I still felt I was leading a balanced life, and was generally pretty happy. 

Being off work, I've had to get creative about how I spend my time (when I'm not going to doctor's appointments, chiropractic appointments, or dealing with paperwork related to this lovely car accident, that is) - I could easily sit at home each day, watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself. But I choose not to. As a result of this effort to stay busy and positive, I've re-discovered my creative side, and have found that I'm passionate about food photography, outdoor photography, blogging, recipe creation, and home decor. Of course, I still have to work around my injuries with all of these things (i.e. no heavy lifting, can't be on my feet for too long), but the point is that I will now make more of an effort to incorporate them into my life on a regular basis, especially when I'm able to work again.

I've also really been paying attention to things that trigger or worsen my pain, or just don't make me feel good (i.e. stress, certain foods, specific activities). Obviously, some of these things are harder to control than others (i.e. it's personally much easier for me to make a healthy breakfast than it is to be stress free about driving), but the point is that we do have control over a lot of things in our lives. Balance is so important to have, and each day I strive to achieve an equilibrium for my body and mind.

I hope this post inspires you to pursue whatever you're passionate about; whatever makes your brain and body feel most "alive" (I'm only suggesting legal things here, folks), and to listen to what your mind and body are telling you. Life is short, and I believe that we should do everything within our power to experience and enjoy all it has to offer. 

Thanks for reading! xo

Zakiya