It takes motivation to step on my mat every morning and do my practice. Often, it’s thinking about how I’ll feel afterwards that entices me. Then on the mat, it’s the sequence of postures and practices that keep me engaged. There are things I find challenging in my practice and things I avoid, but in general it’s how I feel during and after that keeps me coming back.
Motivation for my diabetes management is a whole other kettle of fish. There are many times during the day that I’d prefer to forget about diabetes. I get frustrated, feeling like all the effort I put in is futile. Especially how after a week of really good numbers, I’m back in the ditch trying to shovel my way out. Diabetes being…diabetes.
It’s in the midst of the difficult times with diabetes that I use my experience with yoga to help me stay motivated. Like sticking to simple daily practices in my diabetes management routine. Things I do no matter what.
- Getting up at 5 am so I can prepare my breakfast before taking my basal shot
- Practicing yoga before eating, knowing that my blood sugar is more likely to stay level
- Pre-bolusing while I am finishing my practice so I’m in range when I start my breakfast
- Checking my blood sugar at 11 am and having a snack, knowing that’s my prime hypo time
- Waiting an hour after lunch to do the dishes to flatten out a blood sugar spike
- Walking most days around 5 pm, just after my bolus wears off knowing my basal dose is also tapering off (I split my basal dose)
- Checking in with my blood sugars around 7 pm knowing that’s when I tend to drop lower
- Having extra high fat food onboard (like avocado or nuts) as I head into the night to keep my blood sugars more stable while I sleep
Making a commitment to myself to implement these practices keeps me on track when I get challenged and frustrated. Daily practices also give me the stability to be able to handle the unexpected pressures of everyday life beyond diabetes. If I implement even one or two of these routines in a day it makes a difference to my overall management.
So, on the days where I think, I can’t do diabetes, don’t make me diabetes I remember, even the smallest of practices is enough.
With great respect…
P.s Want to practice with me? Join me on Sundaram Online Ashram for virtual and live classes
I was diagnosed three days before I had to leave for India to teach a yoga teacher training. My endo told me to get a glucometer and test my levels and to try and keep them around 4 mmol. I remember testing and seeing a 4.6 and thinking I was too high. I was diagnosed before CGM technology became readily available and when many doctors didn’t really understand LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) as well as they do now.
Not really knowing what I was in for and not having the kind of medical support I needed, I made up my own ideas about what in and out of range numbers should be. This mindset caused all kinds of errant behaviours which not only damaged my body but set up habits I’ve had to work hard to undo.
Back then I’d beat myself up when I wasn’t flatlining. I thought that restricting my diet down to seven foods was the only way to maintain a tight range coupled with the idea that taking too much insulin would be unsafe and detrimental.
Thank goodness the medical establishment and their ideas have evolved! When I sit down with my HCP we talk about my TIR ( Time in Range) and I’ve learned that as long as its over a certain percentage I’m good to go.
I don’t need to obsess over my HbA1c or the daily highs and lows. With my Freestyle libre I can easily take a snapshot of the previous two weeks and see where I’m at. Then, I can make decisions. Do I need to adjust my basal or my insulin to carb ratios? Or maybe I need to chill a bit more and let things be.
Reflecting on my personal journey with my own TIR and coming to a place of being okay with seeing spikes and dips, I find myself less and less interested in seeing other people’s numbers. I’ve realised that depending on one’s mindset, TIR is different for different people and what I might call high might be in range for someone else. There is no fixed address for diabetes management. Believe me I’ve tried to make it so.
If you are looking at someone else and thinking their management is ideal and yours sucks, think again. You can bet there is always room for improvement even if it’s in a different area of their life.
It is absolutely impossible to be perfect while living with diabetes! What we can do is accept our diabetes and experiment enough to find what works for us. And to me thats ideal.
With great respect…
P.S. Want to do something to shift your mindset about your diabetes? Try this beautiful five minute meditation with my partner John Weddepohl from our Sundaram Online Ashram program.
Yesterday I wrote this poem about diabetes. I find writing to be many things, its a way for me to express how I see the world without having to verbally express. My thoughts can get jumbled and I like to use words on the page to iron them out. Poetry is even easier to write than prose. the words don’t have to make sense. They can just be an expression of an inner landscape. A brushstroke, a paint splash. Incomplete feelings that suspend in the air. For me living with diabetes has many shades. There’s the part where I control things to make living with it easier. There’s the part where things feel really out of control. And then there is just getting on with life. Remembering that who I was before my diagnosis is still me.
Peace, such a simple word with huge ramifications. Asked to describe peace what would you say? Being still? Feeling content? As sense of safety and security? Unending happiness, bliss and trust?
Whatever words describe peace, peace is something we know intrinsically. Why? Because we experience it every night in deep sleep. Peace is the very nature of who we are. Which is why we look for it in the world. We can’t bear situations that are not peaceful.
You can’t ever reach for something you don’t know. It’s impossible. Like striving to climb Mt. Everest when you’ve never heard of the mountain and have no knowledge of climbing is pointless. First, you are taught how to climb, then you hear about Mt. Everest. Then you set your goal.
It’s the same with peace. The word peace describes a feeling, an inherently familiar state of being. But, before you learn about peace, you already are the living, breathing peace itself. Everyone and everything in the creation is peace. Just like everything is love, stillness and happiness.
The confusion sets in when I see peace as something separate to me. Something to gain or fight for. And certainly, as events are unfolding right now on the planet we are in shock to discover how tenuous peace is.
When one person can affect the stability and peace of millions in an instant. That’s insane! The question I am asking right now is where does peace go in war? Does the peace disappear? Do we need to reclaim peace, or can we remember that peace isn’t outside of us nor inside of us? It is the very nature of humanity.
A few years back John and I were in an unexpected earthquake. One minute we were sunbathing on the beach, the next the ground was shaking. I freaked and ran for the car yelling at John to drop everything because a tidal wave was coming.
John, way calmer, grabbed essentials like computers and clothes while telling me to relax. As much as he knew we needed to drive off the coast he reminded me that creation was just fine. Looking around at the birds, the bees and trees, nothing had changed. The ground shook for a minute, but I was the one shaking and going crazy and freaking out. The peace had never left me or creation. I had left the peace.
In this very stressful time, with ongoing challenges and uncertainty. The crisis may not be on your personal doorstep, i.e. you might not be in a war zone, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t challenged and affected by the suffering of others. Asking what I can do right now for others and getting practical might be one way to be part of the solution, but also simply remembering yourself in a few quiet moments, being still, being peace is a potent tool.
The meditation below is something I shared as part of our intention setting practice on Sundaram Online Ashram. It’s a group heart meditation. A gentle and positive way to align yourself with all those praying and sharing themselves as the remembrance of peace right now.
with great respect…
P.S we are still in the middle of our Sundaram Online Ashram intake, the perfect way to study with me in a deeper format. If you’d like to join us for the next few months on the Ashram, but not sure if its right for you or have any questions lets chat! I am happy to jump on a zoom call and take you inside the ashram for a guided tour.
For those of us on the Ashram these teachings are transformational and supportive in navigating what’s happening in the world right now.