It flared up all of the sudden. I opened my mouth to yawn and my jaw seemed like a creaky, old door, the muscles stiff, the joint popping. I iced it all evening and took pain pills. It was possible to still speak, but annoying to do so. I had almost forgotten what TMJ felt like.
Earlier yesterday, and I mean 4:40 AM early, there was an earthquake in nearby Pacoima. I felt it. I jumped out of bed. The day started stressful and somehow, despite my mental stress being allayed, it seemed that stress had landed into my vulnerable jaw.
I’ve had TMJ most of my life. It’s not a new thing. What’s new, though, is my understanding that it flares up during stress. Though yesterday was hectic by any account, I was reminded that mind and body are one. They communicate and interface. My body was telling me that though I had rationalized my stress away (seemingly) it still hadn’t been thoroughly dealt with.
I wake up today with pain that’s less intense. That’s a good thing. Time to slow down, face fears gently and baby that jaw some more. Pain and suffering are not the same thing, though we often connect and interchange them in daily discourse. If we listen to our pain and get curious about it and attentive to it, we can heal ourselves more deeply and thoroughly.
Today, I am thankful for my jaw pain, because pain can be my teacher if I choose this.
Tess Holliday clapped back this week against those she called, “concern trolls“, declaring that ther health is no one’s business. I agree with Tess. Her health is nobody’s concern but her’s but it did cause me to look at my own health and define what I consider to be a “healthy” version of me.
Is the healthiest version of me thin? Not necessarily. Is the healthiest version of me a certain set of measurements. Nope. What is health then, in a world that fat shames, peddles diet pills, counts calories and reduces women’s value to measurements?
The healthiest version of me is doesn’t cry in fitting room because I’m not squeezing into a specific, idealized size. The healthiest version of me does not look in a mirror and automatically think, “You’re so fat.” The healthiest version of me does not reach for the control top shape wear every time I have to go out of the house for the most mundane errand. The healthiest version of me doesn’t care about what the advertisers say or the celebrity gossip rags say about what parts of my body I should feel insecure about. The healthiest version of me is the version of me that doesn’t mind the jiggles or the cellulite so much.
The healthiest version of me is the happiest version of me. The healthiest version of me is the version of me that’s compassionate to the woman I am today, all my layers. The healthiest version of me is the version of me that knows that I am worthy just because of who I am. The healthiest version of me is the embodiment of self esteem, no matter what the scale says.
Health is whole body, whole mind, whole spirit experience. It’s not set of measurements or how you look in a photo. Embrace your whole self and whole health this week.
Do you have plans to do something nice for yourself today? Self care is an important part of well being so be sure to take some me time . So often we lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle and daily routine that we can’t hear that small inner voice that keeps us fresh, creative and ready . To be your best you, you must honor that voice!
Self Care Ideas:
- Explore a new neighborhood in your city.
- Give yourself 10 min away from the computer, turn your phone off, light some incense and just listen.
- Give yourself a facial or pedicure.
- Float in a pool. Just float.
- Buy yourself some flowers.
- Color! There’s so many age-appropriate (aka adult) coloring books now!
- Grab some bubbles and blow bubbles.
- Dance to your favorite music, without or without friends.
- If you have a pet, cuddle with them!
- Try yoga nidra. (You’ll thank me!)
Remember, there’s only ONE you. You are irreplaceable.
Take care yourself today & every day!
This broadcast was illuminating. So often, we overthink and it gets us nowhere. Dr. Colleen Mullen and Miriam Goldstein were fascinating guests with real, actionable suggestions for calming that monkey mind down.