November 2020 Weekly Wellness Recap

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"Thinking about what you can't control only wastes energy, and creates its own enemy."

- Worf (Michael Dorn), Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek's Worf doesn't always have a lot to say. But when he does, it's usually pure gold. And yep, I needed this reminder this week.

Thinking about all the things I can't control wastes a tremendous amount of energy. When I'm fixating, arguing, and ruminating... I'm not taking positive action. I'm drained, strained, and stressed by the enemy of misplaced focus.

This year is requiring Klingon-level strength to keep that enemy at bay. To not focus on what I can't do, but on what I can do.

Starting conversations and actually listening. Being selective and intentional with the media I consume. Relaxing and restoring. Walking the walk. Making mindful purchases. Volunteering. Donating. Supporting others in meaningful ways. Finding opportunities for personal growth and education. Taking steps forward.

"Life is like loading twice your cargo weight onto your spacecraft. If it's canaries and you keep half of them flying all the time, you're alright."

- Thadiun Okona (Billy Campbell), Star Trek: The Next Generation

In the last few weeks, nearly every client has come in with unusually high stress tension. Go figure. Most are even asking to prioritize the tension over specific pain.

"My knee is still bothering me, but today... can you just help me relieve the headache?"

"The back's really sore, but these tension headaches... can you work on that?"

"My heel is not doing great, but my jaw clenching has been terrible."

We're all feeling it. For different reasons, in different ways, but we're all loaded at twice our cargo weight. I picked this quote for this week because I'm feeling it too. And often the best we can do to combat difficult heaviness is to encourage silly levity.

We're collectively in that Act II. Transitions are hard. Unknowns are even harder. It's so easy to get distracted by dramatic headlines, emotional ramp ups, arguments, worries, and frustrations.

But we can't loose ourselves in the those weeds. We need to find the path forward. Find the humor, the absurdity. Find the light, the hidden gems.

Keep half those canaries in flight.

"It seems that some creatures [like horses] have the capacity to fill spaces you never knew were empty." - Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Star Trek: The Next Generation

For the last two weeks I've been taking big intentional breaks from most media.

The media I did take in had to be either inspiring excellent books (Brene Brown's Gift of Perfection and Philip Reeve's Fever Crumb), or something fun, yet heartwarming (The Great British Baking Show and the entire Fast & Furious series).

I've also did more walking, playing and just chilling with my dog [my horse].

It's been a really good step away. A reevaluation. A recharge. And as Picard said, it filled spaces I didn't know were empty. Spaces that were quietly longing to be given priority, to share their deep value, admits the chaos.

"Klingons do not express feeling the way you do." "Perhaps you should." "We would not know how." "Yesterday I did not know how to eat gagh." - Klag (Brian Thompson) and Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Star Trek: The Next Generation

In one of my fav Trek episodes, Riker partakes in an "officer exchange program" and serves aboard Klingon ship to learn and share. Among many things, his shipmates instruct him on how to properly eat gagh: served live, cold and wiggly.

Fortunately gagh served in any variety, won't be on my plate this week. But food for thought will be. In that episode there's an emotional dialogue exchange which peaks with the quote above. It often leaves me thinking: what did I not know how to do yesterday, that I do today? A feeling. A concept. An experience. A lesson.

What might I not know today, and may learn tomorrow?

So long as I'm open to the exchange.

"If there is nothing to lose, no sacrifice, then there is nothing to gain." - Worf (Michael Dorn), Star Trek: The Next Generation

This has been a year of loss and sacrifice. Of security, life, income, health, and community. Of social circles, businesses, plans, and celebrations. We all have something to lose. We've all been asked and called to sacrifice this year.

But we also all have something to gain. Two sides to the same coin.

Nothing to lose, nothing to gain. Something to lose, something to gain.

We don't all have the same amount of coins to toss. And they are not always balanced coins - the flip side isn't always equal, expected, or ideal compared to the alternative.

* * *

1min watch 💨 Just breathe. Because no one right now wouldn't benefit from some deep breathing... and sometimes you need a cute pufferfish and a visual sliding bar to help you out. The video is only one minute, but definitely repeat if you need more. watch video:

1.5hr watch 🐙 A man and an octopus made me teary. I stumbled across the documentary My Octopus Teacher this weekend thinking it would be good "background noise" while I did some work. But I was entranced by every moment. And warmed by its beautiful story. watch on netflix:

6hr read 📖 Cracked open a new one. The 10th anniversary edition of Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection is on my nightstand: "Cruelty is cheap, easy, and rampant. It's also chicken-shit. Especially when you attack and criticize anonymously." find on amazon:

30min listen

😌 Beneficial body scan.

This video is quite a bit longer than I normally include in the weekly wellness email. But it's worth it. Find a quiet place and try out this guided whole body scan. Reboot.

listen to video:

10min read

❄️ Winter reading, huh?

It was a beautiful weather weekend in Michigan, but bittersweet as colder temps are nearly here. This article made me rethink some of my assumptions about spending (much needed) time outside even in the cold.

read article:

20min read

🎄 In a Holidaze?

The end of year holiday season is right around the corner. I'm not ready for the additional stress. But I'm getting there, and trying to prepare. I wrote an eBook to help. Use 2020HOLIDAYS to get it FREE.

download eBook:

6hr read

🔥 Soul-searching struggles.

I'm about half way through Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection. So. Good. "Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, gratitude, and joy into our lives."

find on amazon:

8min watch

🌓 One day at a time.

This video is about taking things one day at a time. Something we're all being forced to contend with through this pandemic."We're often hugely ambitious about our plans for happiness, picturing the years of joy we want to set in motion. However, at points, we should realize the greater wisdom of learning to enjoy the day already in hand, and drawing satisfaction from that most precious and most neglected of units of time; the present moment."

watch video:

10min listen

🎠 It's just a ride.

Amanda Palmer's The Ride gave my heart a good long squeeze this week. "The climb to the crest is less frightening with someone to clutch you, but isn't it nice when we're all afraid at the same time?"

listen on youtube:

20min to-do's

📲 Smartphones call for smart habits.

I recently went through the entire Data Detox Kit - it's FULL of awesome. But I wanted to highlight and share this one article on several tangible things we should consider about our smartphones.

read article:

16min watch

🙃 For happy bellies.

We hold a lot of tension and feels in our abdomen. And because it is a place of vulnerability and self-consciousness, we understandably don't often feel comfortable with having that area receive massage therapy. But great news - it's an area we can simply and easily massage ourselves. Check out this video presented by one of my all time fav massage therapists and feel the benefits of a happy belly.

watch video:

5min read

💡 Timely tips.

This year's election is over, but the need for conversation is definitely not. This article has eight helpful reminders / tips on how to manage conversations when you disagree politically.

read article:

6hr read

📚 Half sofa.

Phillip Reeves sucked me into his wild, witty world again with prequels to the Mortal Engines saga. My fav line from the first novel: "the ladies in their vast skirts looked like mythical creatures, half woman, half sofa."

find on amazon:


🔥 It's yule log video season.

Four hours of a Boston terrier puppy in front a calming fire. Mhm.

watch video:

1hr read

🏷️ A book I'm gifting this year.

Goodbye Phone, Hello World by Paul Greenberg is precise, concise, and profound: "The CEOs of the largest attention economy companies have amassed fortunes comparable to those of the pharaohs of Egypt ... built out of the bricks of our consciousness." find on amazon:

Feeling inspired by don't know where to start?

Check out these eBooks for more self-care ideas.

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Hey there! My name's Raechel. I'm the author of The Bodies We Live In blog. I'm also a licensed massage therapist and owner of Massage Sci in Holland, Michigan.


In my free time, I enjoy writing about wellness; researching pain science; trying to grow things in my garden; being far too fond of semi-colons; and avid sci-fi nerding.