Getting Ready for Change.
Estimated time to read: It’s really long. Two Bohemian Rhapsody units, perhaps?
CliffsNotes and Important Pre-Reading Instructions:
***Please put on a nametag. There’s kombucha and some gluten-free kale crackers and flat olives in the back of the room. Thanks for joining the blog. The Fun Med Doc of Santa Fe Functional Medicine is here in the studio. She’s a self-proclaimed local expert in the treatment of Stress & Trauma Disorders, which she has cleverly nicknamed “STDs.”
***[Pounding chest with fist] “I got nothing but love for you, self-care! Peace out!”
***The punchline is: BE AN ABSOLUTELY AWESOME MOTHER CLUCKER! Laugh-cry emoji.
Where were we? “Oh, dear.” --- Freddie Mercury. The last paragraph of the last blog:
“But, TOMORROW IS UNWRITTEN [which is now technically next week] and perhaps I will top the charts. Let the chips fall where they may, I still choose to dance. Wait, didn’t I say that “tomorrow is unwritten” didn’t apply to me? Oh yeah, that’s right. And Robin Williams is beginning to swirl out of the lamp in three, two, one…”
“Three, two, one”… And then what? Tomorrow really was unwritten (#truth), and now I had writer’s block. I HATE when that happens! Laugh-cry emoji. I even had on my fancy white-framed, rhinestone-bedazzled, “I-choose-to-see-the world-through-rose-tinted-sunglasses” sunglasses. The ones that don’t effectively block the road glare in New Mexico so I have to wear them indoors when I am being “creative.” Nothing happened. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and ultimately I wanted to delete everything and even throw away the blog altogether. I think I will save it and re-post as “out-takes” later. Heeheehee!
But then I thought no, I actually have something to say as a Functional Medicine doctor and how I am treating the collateral damage from my war with stress within myself. A war that is just as important as the 1980’s War on Drugs. And suddenly (and somewhat ironically, I might add), I was reminded in the mist of reaching for my phone to dictate this blog post (that I was presently typing) that I am failing to follow my own rule. The one about putting your own oxygen mask on first.
Because as I opened the “Things” app (highly recommend, BTW, for life organization) with the intent of dictating the blog, my to-do list for Saturday, July 6 popped up instead. And it said in a happy yellow color, “You have 10 new to-dos.” Ten was bolded. Like, not one or two, but BOLDED 10 NEW to-dos. Take that, Kristy. Like you thought you were going to enjoy Saturday. So, I click the “OK” button next to it, like, alright, I accept that. Just beat me into submission, Things app. Which is just weird that I would think that, because me, myself, and I created my own “to-do” list. Laugh-cry emoji...
So I count them up, and now I have 27!!! (super-shocked emoji AND tear-tattoo emoji, laugh-cry emoji, right?) items to complete on a WEEKEND! Luckily, some of them carried over from yesterday, and they were already completed, like “Look for Disney’s Aladdin soundtrack amongst the basement CDs while Kon-Mari-ing a little space for my birthday sauna the hubs bought me.” Some were irrelevant, like “Change the outgoing office phone message to the holiday schedule,” because Independence Day was over.
But the MOST disturbing revelation was the fact that “Self care list” was listed three times and tagged with open circles to the left. WHAT?!?! What does that even MEAN?!?! It means that:
- I didn’t look at my “to-do” list on my phone for the past three days. (Success!)
- I am not sure if I completed the activities that remind me to put my oxygen mask on first. (Pinterest FAIL! Laugh-cry emoji. Oh wait, that joke was in the blog I cut. Sorry. Maybe I’ll include it in the out-takes addendum of the published version.) And, I’m pretty sure that I forgot to do many of the items, because I know I didn’t dance, and I LOVE to dance.
So, I realized that I am still not doing a very good job of taking care of myself. And why? Because change is HARD. You get these neural networks laid down in your brain. Literally, it’s like carving grooves into your buttery-soft brain. Heard the expressions “I’m in a rut” or “you’re in a rut”? Well, there you go. The smart people I admire (including my mentors) also say, “neurons that fire together, wire together.” But what’s really cool is that you can fill in the rut, “re-pave” it, if you will. Then, you can create a new rut, but a happy little rut (like one that Bob Ross would have painted). They call it “neuroplasticity.” It’s science, people. Laugh-cry emoji.
In theory, both the process of change and the idea of self care sound really simple. Like putting your own oxygen mask on first before assisting children or others. We assume it would be a really easy process. But let’s just visualize for a moment, if you’re in an aircraft plummeting at speeds excessive of “x” miles an hour towards the Earth, and the oxygen mask suddenly falls down in front of you, it likely would be flapping around like a chicken that had just been shot at. Don’t ask me why that image is carved into a neural network rut in my brain. I can’t tell you. Laugh-cry emoji.
How hard would it actually BE to grab that sucker and put it on as instructed? Also, you don’t need a degree in mathematics or physics to realize that impending death is eminent. If you’re traveling with your child (or AN adult acting like a child), or in my case, three children, your instinct would ABSOLUTELY be to save your AWESOME children before yourself as a MOTHER. Again, in most neural-network cases. And, I suspect that I would be paralyzed by fear in that situation, and I would be unable to choose. But, you have to grab that CLUCK-ING chicken oxygen mask, fastER than your neural networks can blink, and strap it on to yourself. Hidden message in the all-caps type in this paragraph. Peeing in my pants emoji. I still think that’s funny. I know it’s going to pass editing this afternoon! Bwah-hahahahahaha!!!
So, self-care is hard because of things like instinct. Change is hard because of neural-network ruts. We have a personal preference as humans to avoid these things because we believe we will experience PAIN at times of change. And, who wants to experience pain? Isn’t it one of the lowest possible energy levels? Like fear and stress? Most of our species will avoid pain at all costs. There are exceptions. Like the creators of the “Jacka**” film series. Laugh-cry emoji.
And, I believe that is, ultimately, why we procrastinate. A “Stages of Change” model exists. I believe it was created by Prochaska and DiClemente. If you want to see where you are in the process of creating positive behavior changes, check out this link: https://www.slideshare.net/lehnent/prochaska-and-di-clementes-transtheoretical-model-of-change More science for you.
So, “Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this, Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?” I know those are the lyrics to “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen (we’re gonna start playing “name that tune” in the blog, too), but we’re NOT going to aim for biting the dust. We’re gonna set the bar a little higher and establish some SMART goals in the next blog.
One group SMART goal will be to make a “Permanent Exit” from the Trans-Theoretical Model of Change, which can be found on slide 11 in the link above. I don’t think I can re-post it without permission on my blog, so just follow the link if you are curious. You’re like, wait a minute, Dr. Biggs, I don’t remember signing up for the Permanent Exit, Dirt-Nap Carpool Karaoke 101 class when I started reading the blog. Now is your time to leave the dance room. Laugh-cry emoji.
We’re going to start drinking some magnesium threonate kool-aid pretty soon. It’s like a functional medicine cult. Heeheehee! It’s fun. Come join us, but remember the disclaimer in the first blog post: “the posts on my blog are my own opinions and I am not actually giving you medical advice.” https://santafeveinmedspa.com/2019/06/26/the-first-fun-med-blog-post/
The content on the blog is purely for entertainment purposes only. I mean c’mon, would you really take medical advice from “The Fun Med Doc?” She sounds like she’s absolutely bonkers, according to reader Deb (see footnote  below), an essential character in the plot. You need to sign up for the Santa Fe Functional Medicine program to have access to the more professional and nerdy side of my brain. It’s kind of like putting a quarter in a machine to ride the rides at the Functional Medicine amusement park. Tipping my hat to reader Deb, who hates the laugh-cry emoji, I will not indulge out of respect. But, you know that I’m thinking it! Heeheehee!
I’m getting tears on my new blue-blocking glasses. It’s a thing, people. Don’t just label me as “eccentric.” Laugh-cry emoji. Let’s stress-land this stress plane, shall stressed we, and in the stress process, create more (in a stressed-out fashion) SEO content (Stress Engine Optimization) for my stressed-out website for my stressed-out practice? https://santafeveinmedspa.com/2019/06/30/2007/ You might think that Bohemian Rhapsody is over by now, but it is on eternal auto-repeat in my play list…..
 Reader Deb. A reference to D.S.W., who, according to the Fun Med Doc, is The Fun Med Doc’s best friend and blog censor.
***SHE JUST PROCRASTINATED HER WAY THROUGH THIS ONE.
***SHE PRIMARILY TALKED ABOUT CHANGE AND USED A FANCY, MILLION DOLLAR WORD --- NEUROPLASTICITY.
***ONLY A BRIEF MENTION OF SETTING A GROUP SMART GOAL AND SOMETHING REALLY WEIRD ABOUT STARTING A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CULT DANCE ROOM.
***SHE SAID THE COOL PART IS: THE MORE OFTEN I PERFORM A POSITIVE BEHAVIOR, THE MORE LIKELY IT BECOMES MY SELF-MANIFESTING LIFE. MAYBE I’LL STICK AROUND.