Sleeping the 60 Blog

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A day may come when I get enough sleep and don’t need coffee, but it is not this day.

I used to brag that I slept through the night without ever having to get up to go to the bathroom, and had no trouble falling asleep. I still can fall asleep within minutes (even after checking my iPhone before lights out), but I now wake up once or twice a night for that dreaded potty break.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, your sleep cycle can reveal a lot about your physical and emotional state.  It can even connect us to messages from a higher power. The time at which you go to sleep or wake up could be sending you a warning message not to be ignored.

If you have trouble going to bed between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., it could be a sign of stress.  It’s recommended you practice meditation to be able to relax and get some sleep.

Waking up between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. could mean emotional disappointment.  According to traditional Chinese medicine, this is the time when the gall bladder is active, so practice mantras and try to forgive and accept yourself as you are.

If you wake up between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., it’s because you have built-up anger. This energy is connected to the liver and associated with anger and an excess of yang energy.  Try to drink a glass of cold water and meditate.

Waking up between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. could mean that a higher power is communicating with you.  This time of the morning is related to the lungs and sadness.  If you wake up at this hour, it’s because a higher presence wants to guide you to a bigger purpose.  You can pray and perform breathing exercises to get back to sleep.

If you wake up between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., it’s because you have emotional blocks. At this time, the energy of the intestine is active and means you have many emotional blocks.  Try to stretch your muscles or go to the bathroom.

If you suffer from insomnia, you know it’s more than tossing and turning and more serious than just not being able to fall sleep early.  Nevertheless, in Chinese medicine, all of these conditions are seen as abnormal sleep patterns that should be addressed as the effects can be debilitating over time.  An estimated 32 million people suffer from insomnia in the U.S., and sleep medications have been shown to have risks of detrimental side effects.  True insomnia is defined as poor sleep followed by daytime fatigue. Because sleep needs vary from person to person, the real issue of insomnia is quality of feeling during the day.

It’s fascinating how the body is capable of sending us different signals about our physical, emotional and spiritual state, and it’s important for all of us to learn to listen and understand these signs to improve our lives.

 

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Knowing the 60 Blog

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Awesome life tip:  Take responsibility for your health by connecting with your body.  Start by tuning in and asking what it craves, desires, or needs in this moment.  Rest?  Hydration?  A big salad?  Some sunshine and fresh air?  As you begin to listen to your body, you’ll start to make healthier choices, both in and out of the kitchen.

Every summer since 2001, Leslie and I watch Big Brother.  It’s like our summertime crack.  CBS puts about 15 strangers in a house to live together for up to three months, with cameras and microphones everywhere.  Over the years, we’ve seen our share of idiots, geniuses, people who shouldn’t have passed the mental exam, over-the-top clowns, savvy players, and a large portion of just plain stupid people.

I will talk about the whole Big Brother drama/comedy/saga at another time, but today it reminds me of something one of this year’s contestants said on the show a few weeks ago.

When you watch reality shows and the contestant gives his or her little confessional speech, their name and job appears under their picture.  Didn’t last season of The Bachelor cast a guy whose job was “balloon artist”?  I mean, really.  Anyway, this season of Big Brother features a contestant named Christmas (as if that isn’t fake enough…) whose job is “fitness superstar.”

This woman’s body is amazing, and she does look like she works out hours a day.  She also competes in competitions, which became a discussion point when she broke her foot.

With nothing to do in that house but work out or gossip about other players, Christmas was horsing around and fell in the backyard.  On the soundbite that the show plays over (and over and over), you can definitely hear a cracked bone.  As she later explains, she broke several bones and needed to have major surgery to repair tendons, bones, and other painful things.

After the incident, in her confessional, she stated that she just knew she broke bones and it was something very serious.  It’s because she knows her body so well.  When you’re so body conscious because all you do all day is work your body (remember, her job is “fitness superstar”), you sense when even the slightest thing is out of whack.

I confess.  I know when some things are wrong and what works for me (sometimes) to fix it.  A doctor once told me years ago that her colleague was so in tune with himself that he could tell you what his blood sugar reading would be prior to testing, and was always within one or two points.  It’s like he could hear the sound of his own blood streaming through his body.  And Christmas, the reality contestant, probably counted how many cracks she heard in that split second she fell on the ground.

Are you that in tune?  Have you always been that way?  If you’ve recently become more in tune, I’d like to know how you did it.

 

Freckling the 60 Blog

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Freckles are like seasoning for your face.  They make you spicy.

Have you heard?  Buzz Feed is reporting that tattooing freckles on your face is a trend.  What the what?

I grew up with freckles.  They were more prominent in my teen years when we used to sit in the sun, spray lemon juice in our hair, and slather baby oil on our skin.  We would turn over only when the radio DJ told us it was time to do that, and we all reveled in the progress our tans (or burns, as the case may be) made throughout the summer.

In grade school, I remember one of my teachers, Mrs. Fitzgerald, remarking that I sometimes looked more Irish than she did because of my freckles and light skin.  I was a natural brunette (now, it’s not so natural!) and my freckles really stood out.  I think we were learning nationalities at the time, and I was given the Irish nickname of Corinne.  Oh, the things you remember.

But tattooing freckles?  According to newbeauty.com, the cost is about $250.  And if you look at some of the pictures online, they’re downright scary.  Not pretty.  They even showcase rainbow freckles!  One person commented:  “The rainbow freckles are like you have fruity pebble blackheads.”  Check out the pictures here.  Buzz Feed article re freckles

The Today show says:  “there’s nothing more adorable than a smattering of freckles, but some people may ask why women with naturally freckle-free skin would want to permanently ink them on their faces.”  Many women simply like the cute, fresh aesthetic that freckles can add to your look.  It can bring “a certain youth to the face,” but part of it may also be the “grass-is-greener” mentality.  “People want what they don’t have!”

Tattoo artist Mo Southern shares that, though they look simple, freckle tattoos are tricky to get just right.  The right shade of freckle has to be matched to the skin tone.  Everyone needs a different shade and tone to make it look natural.   “You have to match the right shade of freckle to the skin,” Southern explains.  “Every single person needs a different shade and tone to make it look natural.”

Also, to look real, the freckles can’t just be dots applied in a uniform pattern across the face.  “They have to be a wide array of shapes, sizes, and darkness.”   When first applied, the freckles will look darker and the surrounding skin will be slightly inflamed.  But after they heal, they blend into the skin and look completely natural.

So what do you think?  Some things are just meant to be natural.  Freckles, yes.  Hair color, hell no!