Jazz Living: Finding Your Body Rhythm

The Art of Jazz Living with Leah Skurdal

How do you celebrate the holiday season? Maybe you\’re like me and celebrate holiday cheer with traditional favorite foods. I eat more sugar, salt, fat, dairy, meat, and processed food during the last six weeks of the year than the entire rest of the year combined. By New Year\’s Day, I\’m ready to push the reset button and get back in my body rhythm. How about you?

This year, I especially noticed that my body was not happy with my holiday food choices. My hands and feet hurt. My muscles ached. My sinuses clogged up, which created dark circles under my eyes. Time to recover from all the holiday cheer!

I enjoyed the holiday butter cookies, lefsa with butter, mashed potatoes with gravy, coffee mocha with whipping cream, and then, that’s enough. Time to counter-balance with leafy green salad, curried cauliflower, green beans with pesto, black bean salsa, apple slices cooked with cinnamon. Enjoying moderation.

Do you fall into excessive behaviors?

I used to be an excessive junk food queen and sugar addict. In college I lived on a beer, cheese, and chocolate diet. I usually ha low energy and felt achy and constipated. I had no idea that I would actually feel better if I ate nutrient-rich, higher vibration foods; they’re close to nature without all the processing and additives.

Do you bless your food?

Blessing food before eating also raises its vibration and improves digestion. Your body adopts the vibration of the food you eat.

When I figured out the better I ate, the better I felt, my pendulum swung to excessive, health fanatic. I felt fantastic, had high energy, clear thinking, and was in the best physical condition ever. But I also felt deprived, my fanaticism wasn\’t sustainable.

Since I’ve been eating healthily for many years, I now gracefully drop back into my body rhythm and a more sustainable 80/20, 80% mostly healthy vegetarian and 20% a little meat, whole grains, occasional sugar, and dairy. The rhythm feels right for me, and I don\’t wobble much. My pendulum doesn\’t swing too far in one direction.

Rediscovering my body energy

Now in January, when I\’m back in my rhythm of drinking more water, eating more vegetables, backing off sugar and dairy, I notice my body aches are gone, I feel more energized and less sluggish. Cheers!

Making intellectual New Year\’s resolutions that I will break in a month doesn\’t motivate me. Noticing that my joints quit hurting when I back off sugar, wheat, and dairy, motivates me. I enjoy re-finding my body rhythm before I step too far off track.

Your body rhythm

What do you notice about your unique body rhythm? How do you know your body is happy or unhappy with your food choices? How does your individual body rhythm feel? How do you feel physically and emotionally when you eat meat? A vegetarian meal? A fresh salad? A donut? A couple more donuts? Caffeine in the evening? A bag of chips?

In a jazz band, if the improvisation goes too far and everything falls apart into a cacophony of sound, the players refocus on rhythm. Who’s got the beat? Pick up a steady beat, start fresh and try something new.

What if you went off sugar, wheat, and dairy for three weeks and focused on eating 80% fruits and vegetables for three weeks? Maybe it will take eight or nine weeks of consistency for your body to register an upgrade. Maybe you will notice a qualitative energy boost in three weeks. Are you open to the experiment?

In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the middle of winter where hearty soups and bread with thick butter feels nourishing and good in your bones until they don’t. Soon we will turn toward spring and eat more lightly. Coming into the spring equinox is a good time for detoxing the sludge.

Go back to the basics. Find the steady beat.

  • Drink water
  • Eat a variety of colors (not M&M’s)
  • Move
  • Rest
  • Notice your breath
  • Be present in the moment

How about the rhythm of your life?

Today, I disregarded my intuitive niggle to confirm a snow-tubing and cross-country ski party. I arrived at the appointed time to find I hadn’t been notified of the cancellation. Ruminating about what to do without my friends while dressed for outdoor activities, I lost my rhythm. Pausing to breathe, ground, and tune inward, I got my rhythm back. I had a marvelous time skiing by myself. I watched the sunset and appreciated the colors on the snow.

When have you lost your rhythm and
gotten it back gracefully through focused awareness?
You’re practicing the Art of Jazz Living.

5 Principles of The Art of Jazz Living

  • Drop into your rhythm
  • Reconnect to your inner well-being
  • Listen for the groove
  • Share your individual voice
  • Step back and collaborate

For the next month, I invite you to practice finding your rhythm when you lose it (and you will). How do you recognize your rhythm? What do you do to get it back? Notice what works for you.

Look for an announcement on the Art of Jazz Living course and community practice group in next month’s Jazz Living blog post.

Find your Inner Rhythm - The Art of Jazz Living

Coming Soon! The Art of Jazz Living program and community practice group.

Connect with Leah Skurdal on The Wellness Universe and walk away feeling better!

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