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Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll


What makes you feel alive, even if you know it bad for you and maybe shortening your lifespan? Sometimes things that are bad for our physical health are the best things for our spiritual health. There's no rhyme or reason, and I don't believe there's any use in depriving yourself or hiding it from yourself. If you're the sort of person that can work in extremes, excellent. But if you're the sort of person who, like me, likes the occasional indulgence, take the time to really bask in how amazing it feels.

There are so much science to support (and yet so many unknowns) how feeling good  impacts our physical health. While we know bad and unhealthy choices can lead to a shortened lifespan, depriving our soul of things that give us pure joy can do the very same. Only you know the balance and only you know what is worth indulging in for you.

You'll Learn

  • Consider what your “unhealthy indulgences” are

  • Understand why scheduling them in advance will help you appreciate them more and help you make the most of that feeling

  • Discover why balance matters and why spiritual health shouldn't be underestimated


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Episode Transcript


EP #39

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 40, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

I've spent a lot of my years worried about how I've been treating my body and the longevity of my life. I've always loved sweet food, and possibly overindulged More than I should have. And in my younger years, not that I'm that old, but in my 20s, I absolutely loved to go out and drink too much and dance the night away and, yes, there were a few misdemeanours in there as well Which I'm not going to go into, I will just leave that up to your imaginations I'm fairly sure you know what I'm talking about.

I have a really incredibly diverse group of friends. Not only as individual humans, but friends dispersed all over the world. I feel incredibly fortunate, and some of the people i've had in my life, i no longer in my life, and that's something that i find very sad at times, but I can also see why that's the case and I've been learning to accept that that is OK.

Some of my friends are incredibly healthy. I mean incredibly healthy to the point where they barely have a glass of wine, Eat extremely healthy food all the time and really look after themselves let alone putting other substances in their bodies, some take it to the extreme of only using natural products on their skin and in their hair etc. When I compare and contrast myself with friends like that, I begin to feel incredibly guilty over the way I have treated my body and myself and feel like I have flat out abused myself at times. And especially now I'm the mother of a girl, those feelings completely spiral into this guilt, shame spiral web and I can truly make myself feel terrible when I think about the way I've treated myself and both the bodily “abuse” and also the guilt shame spiral that accompanies it, are examples that I really don't want to set as a mum. And also now i am a mum… longevity of life, while it’s been growing in importance as I’ve gotten older, it’s now even more important because I want to be here to see so much more down the track of my kids growing up, and what I'm capable of achieving in my career, the changes the world will experience and the ideals of new generations coming through. I want to see it all, I want to be here.

I really feel as though the longer you live the longer you want to live and so that's been something that's been on my mind for the last few years, especially since becoming a mum.

As we all know in life, there are no promises, but what is in my control I want to control and health is obviously one of those things which is why I get the guilts when I do some strong reflection work about my past, or when something’s put in front of me that while yes, I can say “no” to, I actually don’t want to say no. I want to eat it because yummm. It happened yesterday, a colleague’s birthday and he brought in a the most chocolatiest of chocolate cheese cakes and I ate a piece. It was delicious. I have zero regrets about it, but there’s a niggling “was that a good choice Rhiannon?” going on. Due to my zero regrets, I’ve been thanking that little voice and telling her to buzz off which is working well for me….

But… when I say health I mean nutrition, sleep, fitness. The one that I've left out of that list, is spiritual health. And that's what I'd like to talk about. Because, on the flip side of that friendship coin I’ve just spoken about, of the truly healthy, self-controlled and accountable friends that I have, I also have friends that have loved consistent 3 day benders week after week, and friends who have loved fast food .like KFC or McDonalds multiple days a week.

And friends like this love their lives and have a great time, and let’s be honest, everyone can choose to live the life they want to live. Everybody has every right to do that. My example of this was on it Arnott’s cream assorted biscuits. When I was a child my mum's parents had Arnott’s cream assorted biscuits in a barrel in their cupboard. I can still see the cupboard in the kitchen that had these biscuits. And we would always be given them when we went around to their house. As a child, I got to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and with my mum's parents, my grandma taught me to bake. We would bake cookies, and shortbread, and mini quiches. She's the one that really taught me how to cook. So growing up had just always assumed that those Arnott’s biscuits had been baked by my grandmother.

Low and behold when I first left home and went to university in Sydney, I studied in Manly in this incredibly beautiful seminary on the top of the hill which overlooked all the Northern Beaches. And I went to the Coles in Manly, and I discovered them in the supermarket because the packet has pictures of the biscuits. My initial reaction was “how did they get Grandma and Grandad’s biscuits?”

So much to my delight, and my very nostalgic self, I realised that for a very reasonable price I could purchase the whole packet right there and then, which I did. What i quickly realised after this, was that I shouldn't buy the whole packet, because I had very little self-restraint without my grandparents present and I could eat most of them. To this day, they will always remind me of my grandparents, and i absolutely love those biscuits. And, i don't buy them anymore unless I make a conscious decision ahead of time, because they’re very special, and there’s nothing in them that is good for me. Except the pleasure – which is the point I’m coming to.

Of either side of this friendship spectrum, I was never either extreme ends, but I have had incredible times in my life and felt very connected to friends on both ends of that health spectrum and well in-between. And here is what I’ve learnt and believe to be true.

My partner Damien had a relative who passed away from a really rare form of cancer. She ate whole foods picked straight off a farm, was incredibly active and looked after her health. And she died. Way too young. There are many stories like this, and you'll have your own, where you've watched someone who has treated their body incredibly well and with a lot of respect, and they’ve contracted an incurable disease, or been unable to conceive a child, or have some kind of what feels like injustice when considering how they have looked after their body.

There are also many examples and stories of people who have knowingly abused their body and predictably, have died. Or have abused their bodies and have still been able to conceive or compete or do things others’ having treated their body the same way, couldn’t have. It sucks but there's little correlation between longevity of life and how you treat yourself which makes it super frustrating and confusing. Because if we listened to all the health nuts, every single one of us would make much more of an effort to be extremely healthy if we were guaranteed it was going to keep us disease-free and give us extra years on our life. But we've also seen the repercussions of abusing our body with drugs, alcohol, and processed foods. So what's the answer?

There's an incredible chiropractor here in Launceston. His name is Ken Parker, and i was walking into his clinic once and on the front door was a sign that said “treat a treat like a treat”. I think that's a beautiful motto to live by. I think it sums up that living in a way where you get to have the odd treat, and you get to have the odd indulgence is part of the spice of life. That you’re allowed and it’s ok… and also by doing anything in extremes, may not be sustainable. It’ll work for you if you are the kind of person that can do extremes and self-discipline and control - that suits, but if you are somebody like myself, who gets bad FOMO, is very social, and doesn't want to miss out, then extremes is not going to work.

I went to my cousins wedding recently and my mom said to me, “it looked like you had a great time and it was a really lovely thing to see”. And I just said to her “dancing on a dance floor with loud music and a few drinks is my therapy” and hand on heart that is true for me. I love to have a few social drinks with friends or family or both, enough to get a little bit of a buzz, and then dance, dance, dance.

When I ate that piece of chocolate cake yesterday, I ate it very consciously. What I mean is if I sit down with a bucket of popcorn in front of the television I feel like a robot. I feel like I'm just shoving things in my mouth and chewing and swallowing without stopping long enough to pay attention to how the flavours feel in my mouth, how full my stomach is, or whether I'm even enjoying it or not. So when I was eating this cake, I was taking small amounts on the spoon, I was really tasting the flavour and the sugar and the chocolate, all of the decadence, because hand on heart i couldn't tell you the last time i ate a piece of cheesecake. I've definitely eaten other sweet foods recently, but chocolate cheesecake… I couldn't tell you the last time I had that.

So what I'm trying to get to, is first and foremost you have to work out what's right for you and for the balance you choose to have. It's a beautiful thing to become aware of what you eat every day. To identify your life source. Is your life source vegetables and protein and good fats? Or easy it fried food and alcohol? To observe it consciously and not to judge but just to pay more attention is a good exercise. Keep a food diary and just jot it down. Then if you want to change it, jot what you’re going to eat down ahead of time – it really can be that simple.

I look back on my 20s and loved my nights in the pub during the weak. Whether it was a pint and parma night, or I steak and pie night, or whatever it might be… going to the pub, having a drink, having a feed was awesome. Damien and I talk about it frequently, how much fun we had eating out so much when we lived in a city. It's not something we do now and I don't know whether that's more because we're more conscious of our health, or because we are parents of young kids, or because we are living in a smaller place where eating options aren't as plentiful, and are definitely more expensive.

I think there's a lot that isn't said or understood about quantum physics. About energy vibrations and how things make us feel. I truly believe that if you were to do extreme healthy eating and getting rid of all toxins, unless you truly wanted to embody that way of living and did it because you loved it and it's what made you feel incredible, doing it from a place of guilt and “because I should” will create restrictions and restraint and holding yourself back. If that action in itself generates pride and great feelings for you, then it's a really wonderful choice. But if it's surrounded by negativity, and resentment, it’s not going to help.

If having a treat occasionally makes you feel really good and is something you truly enjoy, those positive vibes and those good feelings that feed into your spiritual health I believe equally, if not more important. So all of my night out drinking too much but on a dance floor having a great time where I felt connected to my friends an I was blowing off stain and I was moving and free, while the drinking was terribly unhealthy, the good vibes were incredibly healthy. And I can honestly say it's hard to know which one outweighed the other. If I had a bad experience in those nights or I didn't have a good time, then the drinking compounded with that negativity is incredibly unhealthy. But good vibes and generating really great feelings, should never be underestimated. Because what that does for your spiritual health matters.

So enjoy yourself occasionally, even if it may not be something that's “good for you”. But, planning ahead of time so you truly take the moment consciously and you love it and you can stretch it out for a long time before feeling the urge to do it again. Bask in the amazingness of it, and do what's right for you while serving your physical health, your mental, your intellectual self, and your spiritual self.

See you next week.

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Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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