Dear Chronic Workaholics...

Let’s face it- life can be really demanding of our time. It seems like there is never enough time to get everything done that we want to. Whether it is at work or in our our personal life- demands creep up and we tend to give over our control to the outside pressures. Do you ever find yourself like me rushing from one task to the next and not taking the time to stop and smell the roses?

Over this past week I have been forced to take a hard look at my current lifestyle. Over the past year I have been suffering from a weak voice. As most of you know I am a singer and a professional speaker and I use my voice a lot during the day. It has become a very common occurrence that at the end of a singing or speaking event, I will lose my voice for an extended period of time (that can sometimes last up to a week). It is as if I am in a constant state of laryngitis. I have been to several doctors to try and get to the bottom of this issue and finally this week I was diagnosed with a condition known as acid reflux. Many of you may be aware of this condition or perhaps have it yourself. For those of you that are not aware of this common condition, also known as heartburn, it is when the acid in your stomach comes up into your throat and in my case irritates and burns your vocal chords. There are other symptoms as well from this condition. It can be brought on by a combination of stress and diets with higher acidic food content. It also can come on from rushing through meals and not chewing your food properly. When I was first told that this was what was stopping me from having my singing voice in full form, I was a little bit skeptical. I have a very alkaline diet and I don’t really feel that stressed out on the surface. It really made me have a look at what could have brought this on. Over the past few days I have been trying to watch my behaviour during the day and I have been blown away by how many unconscious decisions that I make that may be contributing to this condition. For example, this morning I went to brush my teeth and as I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth I noticed myself needing to walk around my house- which is what I normally do every day. I noticed that it is really hard for me to sit still and just be in the moment of what I am doing (in this case, simply brushing my teeth). Another unconscious behaviour I noticed that may be triggering tension and hence acid reflux was the subtle pattern of always needing to be doing multiple things at once. I have created some habits that include; checking my email while eating breakfast and lunch, rushing through a meal without even tasting it so I can get back to my work, thinking about everything other then this moment I am in and checking my txt messages while walking down the street or waiting in line at the store. The list goes on but I have discovered with a little bit more awareness that there is an under current happening in my life that is bringing on anxiety through my unconscious behaviour of rushing and trying to get ahead. I notice that the feeling in my body when I am multi-tasking at a rapid pace is a feeling of anxiety, shortness of breath and a tightening in my stomach and chest. 

If I look even deeper at my behaviour patterns that are triggering acid reflux, this might even root back to foundational fears I have that there won’t be enough and that I need to stay busy so I am worthy of approval. I am writing all this to bring awareness to this issue for both you and I. It has been a mindful and mind blowing few days of self exploration, becoming aware of the unconscious patterns that have been running under the surface in my life and ultimately affecting my health in a negative way. I have been reminded once again about how important it is to listen to our body when it speaks to us. Whether it is acid reflex condition or the drooping of your eyes after a long day at work- I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to pay attention and act on the body’s wisdom. I think that if we don’t pay attention over time the body will eventually catch up and make the message clear in one way or another- pay attention, your life is now and there is nowhere else to be but here in this now, perfect moment….RELAX!

Over the past few days of practicing being completely attentive to one moment at a time, eating mindfully and slowly (tasting my food) and relaxing my mind and body every few hours as needed, I can already feel my voice coming back- at least it feels that way. I will keep you posted on the progress and until then I encourage you to slow down, pay attention to the patterns that are running in your life (Especially the not- so healthy ones) and reverse them consciously so that you can be in full health and alignment. May good health and wellness be upon you.  

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