For March, my two intentions were:
- Fill up the love tank
- Read the 5 Languages of Love by Gary CHAPMAN
- Identify my husband’s and my own love language
- Invest the month nurturing our relationship
2. Reduce Chronic Pain
- Hydrate – Drink at least 32 oz of water daily
- Try daily meditation
- Keep moving with daily exercise
Although biased, I feel as though I really hit the mark with Intention #1. I read the book at the onset of the month and gained a lot of insight into my own love languages and what matters to me most in terms of receiving loving action from my spouse.
I was however surprised to struggle in identifying my spouse’s love language.I thought that after reading the book I’d be able to pick it out without difficulty, but even after reading the book and working through the 5 Love Languages quiz, I was at a bit of a loss as to what my husband’s love language was. I successfully eliminated one of the languages with sufficient confidence, but was left waffling over the other four.
As it turns out, my husband, like myself, scored in a high cluster for three of the five love languages, which certainly made it clear why I was struggling to pick just one primary language. Both of our scores highlighted the importance of being selective with how we spend our time together, making sure to hit on the key love languages that we both have. Fortunately we are quite similar in our preference of love languages, which makes it easier for both of us to communicate in “that” language.
My husband’s top language turned out to be quality time, and I really focussed on devoting my attention solely to him for a good chunk of time at least once a day, largely through the conversation we have. I made sure to ask him how his day was each and every day, but not only that, to actually listen to what he was telling me after I asked, and then engage in conversation about it so he knew I was really present and in tune with what he was saying.
Physical Touch and Acts of Service are his other top love languages, so making sure to connect and make time to give him a massage, or a kiss, or just a quick grasp of his hand as I passed by him in the kitchen, as well as to try and take care of little things around the house that I knew he didn’t have the energy or desire to do were all impactful.
I closed the month of March feeling even closer than ever to my husband, and feeling like I had a much better understanding of his needs in our relationship, as well as my own. Hopefully he would agree with me!
I would highly recommend Gary Chapman’s book to anyone looking for a better understanding of how to communicate love to their partner. Whether you are experiencing problems in your relationship, looking for ways to improve an already solid relationship, or your single and looking to gain a better understanding of your own relationship needs, this book has something to offer each reader.
For Intention #2, I had some success and some failures.
Increasing my H2O consumption was small goal, but one I felt was key in reducing my chronic pain. I have read many articles and studies about how to reduce chronic pain, and I know that being dehydrated can derail what are often viewed as larger and much more significant actions to minimize and manage pain (alternate therapies etc).
As I mentioned in post #20, I went out and invested in a S’well bottle. I love this water bottle! Not only is it esthetically appealing, it keeps the content cold for hours, and fits in the typical car size cup holder without issue, and it never leaks in my purse/backpack/gymbag!
I found just by regularly using it at home, I was consistently drinking more water daily. By pairing taking a drink between each set of my workouts, I was easily doubling my typical daily consumption by the time I was finished my morning workout.
I also enjoyed my daily workouts. Continuing to move and exercise was easy when I had the motivation of knowing that it would likely increase my chances of an “easier” labour, and also have the added benefit of bringing on labour sooner (maybe).
Not surprisingly, but I suppose maybe a little bit, from these two small actions, I did see improvement in my pain management. The relief from my alternate therapies lasted longer, I didn’t experience headaches to the same severity, and my muscle tension throughout my neck and back was noticeably reduced. Overall, not a bad trade off for such a small investment of time/money.
So success for H2O and daily exercise, now on to the failure portion. Meditation. Man did I struggle with this action. But, after my last post (#22), I did start to see some improvement. I won’t sit here and tell you that I have meditated daily since that post, I haven’t. But I have meditated four times, and I enjoyed it each time.
For me, the key to actually doing it definitely came down to scheduling it in. My reservations for engaging in mediation made it was to easy to procrastinate ever doing it, EXCEPT on the days when I made a specific plan for when I would do it. On those days, I sat on my physio ball at the scheduled time, and it was no problem.
My husband even surprised me with a first time session in a sensory deprivation tank. Very interesting experience. It was 90 minutes, and while I certainly let my mind wander for a good portion of that time, I did spend the first 15-20 minutes of the session focussing on my breath and my thoughts. It was a little unnerving to be inside the tank (I’m a bit claustrophobic) but once I got settled in, it was quite relaxing. I don’t know if I will make a regular habit of going, but I did enjoy the overall experience. Knowing that for 90 minutes I could just rest with my own thoughts and no distractions also felt like a nice indulgence and de-stressor.
I’m going to continue to schedule in meditation, and work on making it a daily habit. I am definitely convinced that there are significant benefits to the practice, but know that it will take some dedication and consistency to experience those benefits personally.
Next up: April’s Intentions!
PS: Yes – I’m still pregnant………