I had my eczema flare up this week in a way I haven’t seen in years. And while I could say that its excess inflammation and high high internal heat – that’s would be a cop out. The fact of the matter is that lately I have lacked discipline. I have been lazy.
Some say that “Beauty is pain” — but its not. Beauty, in my opinion, is discipline. To truly resonate with beauty we must be constantly monitoring what we eat, when we sleep, how we move ,and if this is in harmony with the environment surrounding us. Only when we nourish ourselves properly, maintain good circulation and regularly eliminate waste can we keep our skin and bodies youthful, healthy and vibrant. And there is discipline in calming down. And while it sounds easy, I’d rather someone strap me to a wooden wheel and spin me right round baby than meditate these days.
Stress disrupts our digestion and promotes dehydration – but its one addiction I personally can’t kick. Sure, I whine about being stressed out and overworked, but the truth of the matter is that I invite it. “You can’t help yourself,” Ben says “You have a rare free weekend, and then decide its the perfect time to throw a dinner party?!”
I know so many young professional women who are the same. They come into the spa tired, frustrated and broken out. “I can’t say No,” one of my clients said to me recently “I try to do everything – and look at my skin!”. Chantel Simmons blogged about the same thing writing “I can never say no. I say yes to everything. And then I end up feeling overworked and overwhelmed and underappreciated and resentful and wishing that I would’ve said no”. Ditto sista friend I almost said to my monitor when I read that (insert finger snap).
But after some thought I realized its not only about not saying no – its the insistence I have for saying Yes. I’m addicted to biting off more than I can chew. I get drunk on opportunity, and the rush of new challenges, extra courses or social projects has me all woozy. Its a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach. I pile on work like an extra ladle of mash potatoes at a breakfast buffet, then moan when I end up bloated with a gut full of discomfort. Of course I also can’t help but let everyone know about my discomfort (wink).
But I noticed my undisciplined behavior especially this week as Ben’s parents came to visit us – and how I insist on weaving stress into my everyday life.
In comparison to this calm couple from a small village in England, I radiated high strung. They got up leisurely, they ate their meals in tiny bites – chewing contemplatively, they even walked slowly…just between you and me, it drove me a little bit crazy. I, on the other hand was up with my trainer at 6:30am proceeding by jumping through my morning and brushing my teeth in the shower. I shoveled food down my gob while sifting through my blackberry, and I found myself walking five paces in front of them (probably driving them a little bit crazy). Watching them humming their way through their days, I began to wonder if it mattered that I eat well, exercise regularly and practice many Ayurvedic treatments, if I cannot learn to commit myself to the act of settling the mind?
One of my favorite books is the Road less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. This beautifully written self-help book, ahem, I mean self-actualization book, says that discipline is a cornerstone of emotional health. We require discipline to solve problems, commit to reality and continue to understand ourselves. I think it is the same for beauty, if we are not disciplined to find out the real root of our skin imbalances, be open to change or let ourselves rest, we cannot regenerate or rejuvenate. But understanding this is very uncomfortable. Who wants to admit that they are their own cause of their problems, stressors and chaos? Who wants to say they are not disciplined enough to put themselves before their tasks – and its making their tissues depleted, eye bags heavy and eczema inflamed? Its a blow to the ego, and downright painful. Hmmm…Perhaps beauty is pain after all.