I tend to be suspicious of the bandwagon. Perhaps unfairly, I interpret trends to be, by definition, fleeting, and then make the jump from fleeting to ineffective/misleading/a waste of time and/or money. So, for example, when the trend of essential oils became all the rage, I equated essential oils with the proverbial snake oil, and immediately dismissed it. In truth, if it’s something you would buy at a friend’s “fill in the blank” party at their house on a weekday evening, I’ll pass (unless it’s wine. I’ll always show up for wine).
So, I was surprised when, after suffering through another round of horrible, life-halting PMS, I gave the DoTerra’s Clary Calm roll-on a try, and felt instantly more peaceful and, frankly, human. This became my gateway to the world of essential oils, which I use everyday. In the mornings, I dab DoTerra’s Elevation mix behind my ears and sometimes on my temples, and in the evenings I put drops of lavender on my feet. Recently a friend bought me an essential oil necklace (which looks like a beautiful locket but instead of a picture, holds a piece of felt that absorbs the essential oil and emits the glorious scent all day long), and I have been feeling more focused and at peace every. single. day.
The need for calm also led me to adult coloring books. Now, because I have a pre-k age child, I can sit and color on the regular. But what makes adult coloring books different are beautiful, intricate designs. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something about curling up with Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden, a set of colored pencils, and a cup of hot tea that makes life seem more beautiful–her images and your color combine to make it all–the image and your life–seem more vibrant.
And finally I turn to the trend that I was most resistant toward: kettle bell exercise. A friend of mine had lost weight and gained lean muscle with only 20 minutes or so of kettle bell exercise a day, but I couldn’t get over the how ridiculous it looked. Again, I thought, “This is trendy it in it’s most absurd form. People will look back on this in 10, 20, 30 years, and laugh at it. Hell, I’m laughing at it now!” So go ahead and cut a nice, big slice of humble pie, as I did in fact try kettle bell exercise as nothing else in the 20-30 minutes of exercise options had worked. And behold: after one session with a kettle bell and the Workout Trainer app for my iPhone, I was hooked. Kettle bell exercise gets my heart rate up almost immediately, challenges me, and leaves me feeling energized rather than bored or painfully exhausted. And, my pants fit better, and that’s really all the positive feedback I need to keep going.
(And yes, I do look ridiculous doing the workouts, and will only do them in the comfort and privacy of my own home. One time I got up enough courage to use the set at the YMCA, and out of pure stubbornness stuck with it until the end my normal cycle of exercises, but knew, beyond a doubt, that my midwestern, introverted nature would never allow such carefree fitness for public viewing again).
So, I now happily engage with three popular trends, and, perhaps more importantly, I bite my tongue before I haughtily judge new ones. I am still cautious (again, suspicious) of anything that seems too good to be true, but I am also working on being open-minded enough to see the potential good in new products and practices. If you are looking for greater calm, I highly recommend using lavender or a blend of essential oils. If you are looking for a form of meditation that doesn’t involve sitting in the floor and focusing on your breathing, and you like pretty pictures (who doesn’t?), I highly recommend adult coloring books. If you are looking for a fast and effective exercise regimen that you can easily do in the comfort (and privacy) of your new home, buy a light kettle bell and give it a whirl. As I’ve learned from stepping out of judgment and into possibility, you never know what simple practice or product might work for you.