transformation

Walking Women: Karla Deal!

Today’s Walking Women Interview is with Karla Deal of Nashville, Tennessee.

Q. Karla, what inspired you to start walking?

A. Mostly, my dog. He requires daily exercise, like myself. ☺ But due to my chronic pelvic pain, I was unable to walk him for years. We had to default to dog parks, where he could run and I could watch from the sidelines. Not the life I wanted but had to learn new skills to find ways to exercise with the pain. Since that has become more manageable, my walking has taken on a whole new meaning.

And my feet taking me to new places that I can photograph. Photography is a huge passion for me and I see so many photo ops while out walking.

Q. How long have you been walking?

A. More consistently, about 2 years now.

Q. What changes (body, mind, spirit) have resulted from walking?

A. My body is much more mobile, my mind is a lot less cluttered and my spirit feels much more connected, especially to nature. I love nature and it fills my soul to be out in it. My level of gratitude has also increased since my body is allowing me to get out and walk. Walking was something I completely took for granted, until I was unable to do it for 15 years. Now I get out and walk as much as I can because…….I can. In my case, it’s a privilege that I absolutely no longer take for granted.

Q. What happens if you don’t walk?

A. I think I start feeling depressed and sluggish. You know what they say—”A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion, stays in motion”! My body craves the movement.

Q. What does walking mean to you?

A. FREEDOM!! Just for the fact that I can now incorporate it into my life. And it is a part of all I do on a daily basis to bring my Body/Mind/Spirit into alignment. Walking is now an integral part of my overall healing and it is very healing for me to walk. And it’s my way of being able to connect with nature in an uncomplicated way. No reservations are required. No walking partner is required. Just pick a place and Maverick and I are off and walking. In addition to all of the mentioned benefits, it allows Maverick and I an opportunity to bond even more.

Q. What are your biggest walking challenges/obstacles?

A. Finding trails that allow Maverick to walk with me. I prefer ground trails to asphalt, as I like feeling the connection of my feet to the earth. The heat and humidity here in the South can also be challenging. My body has apparently never adjusted to this heat and humidity, even though I have lived here my entire life.

Q. What advice would you give to women who know they should be walking but aren’t—yet?

A. Walking is healing. Nature is healing. And both create alignment for your Body/Mind/Spirit. Give yourself the gift of healing and connection and start walking. You will discover new things about yourself and the world you live in.

Karla, we must be Soul Sisters! Thank you so much for sharing your walking story with 1MWW!

Karla Deal is a Copper Artisan and owner of Copper is My Canvas, where she creates gorgeous custom copper for both residential and commercial clients. She is also a student of Buddhism and a lover of life. Most importantly, Karla is Mother to Maverick, her 7 yr. old rescued Standard Poodle, who lives the good life! “My BFF,” says Karla.

Karla is a lover of all animals, nature, photography, sunrises and sunsets, walking, hiking, exploring, traveling, art, waterfalls, theater and volunteering with rescued horses. Her Self-Care practices include daily meditation, walking, hiking, Pilates, swimming, restorative yoga, silent meditation retreats, breath work and dharma talks. Karla is also a member of 1MWW.

Karla’s passion is working with copper and surrounding herself with people and teachers she can learn from.

Her 2019 Word: Curiosity.

“Peace and Metta”~ Karla Deal

What I Hate

HATE is a strong word. An uncomfortable word, a word many of us have big feelings around. We’re not supposed to hate are we? The negative energy of hate can be phenomenally damaging if we become addicted to it and let it guide our thinking and behavior.

But that’s not the kind of hate I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a HATE that gets me fired up, that focuses my deep purpose, that reminds me why I do what I do and keeps me at it with passion and clarity. A strangely sacred, powerful hate . . .

HERE’S WHAT I HATE:

I hate when you hate yourself. And I especially hate the forces that took you to that awful, despairing, damaging place.

I hate your self-hatred and I hate what took you there and I’m sick of what took you there. I’m absolutely sick of it. I’m sick of you feeling bad about yourself, your choices, what you did and didn’t do. I’m sick of you not KNOWING your own value and worth and intelligence and applying them to your health and well-being. I’m sick of you looking in the mirror and shaming yourself for what you’re not. I’m sick of you looking to the next fad diet or supplement or “it” workout to fix you when in truth you aren’t broken. Dammit. What’s broken (and ugly and damaging) are the health “solutions” that start by telling you how you’re wrong and broken and what you’re supposed to look like and feel like when you’re right (aka buying their product/service.) This is hypocritical fear-mongering and manipulation at best.

I believe our health and the ways we're supposed to get healthy are defined by a lot of shoulda/woulda/coulda expectations that are deliberately disempowering vs empowering. That the message, the subtext of much of what we consume around health is at the core shaming vs healthy. Negative vs positive. And creates dependence vs independence. All of this from an industry that is supposedly dedicated to your health and well-being. How can health and well-being start with shaming and self-loathing? How can you love yourself when you’re given a starting point of focusing on everything that’s wrong with you? It doesn’t make sense and I hate it.

I have a completely different belief about you, your health, yourSelf and your life! I believe you hold the power to create true health for yourSelf (body/mind/spirit) in ways that are authentic to you and your life.

That power comes from knowing yourself, caring for yourself, valuing yourself by discovering your unique formula. You have a unique very personal individual "formula" that's right for your body, mind, and spirit. That formula--a combination of what you think, what you do for exercise, what you consume for fuel and fun, how much or how little sleep you get to renew and heal-- is for you to discover for yourself!

Health, wellness and self-love simply don’t come in a “one-size-fits-all” package. Just because keto/green coffee bean extract/hot yoga Pilates barre/intermittent fasting works for your BFF does not mean it’s going to work for you.

The real problem is that if it doesn’t work for you, instead of thinking, “Huh, that didn’t work for me—that’s not my formula, I’ll try something else,” you think “Oh my god there is SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME! This is working for her so clearly I’m doing it wrong or I’m not trying hard enough or I’m not focused enough or committed enough or I’m not enough.”

The self-shaming, self-blaming, self-loathing talk starts up and pretty soon you hate yourself. Keto/green coffee bean extract/hot yoga Pilates barre/intermittent fasting just took your power away from you and I hate that.

Fortunately your power is innate, it’s your birthright, and even though it was taken from you, you can reclaim it. This power is yours right now today.

If you’re in a pattern of self-hatred, you can’t just STOP and automatically START loving yourself. That’s a transformational journey that will take time, support, compassion, humor, and growth. It’s a journey of change and change is challenging. Change is rigorous work but it’s doable work!

To begin and ultimately succeed in the transformational journey of changing from where you are right now to loving yourself you need to:

  • Know why you want to change.

  • Ignore the gimmicks, the instant gratification, the body ideals, the “experts”, the latest diet/pill/fad.

  • Get back to basics: move more, walk, eat “live” food, drink water. All steps you can take today without any extra/outside influence.

  • Allow the basics to create your solid foundation of health and self-care.

  • Have a community with strong connections that support you in changing.

  • Give your changes time to take hold and take effect.

  • Ask for help and ask questions—don’t go it alone!

  • Celebrate your successes and forgive your fails.

  • Turn your fails into successes by learning from them.

These are the steps of the transformational journey. The steps that lead you from self-hatred to self-acceptance to self-care to self-love. The steps that will change you and your life for the better. And I hate anything less for you or anything that attempts to lessen you.

You are the only YOU we’ve got on this small spinning planet. We need you at your best—your brightest and fullest and most powerful—to bring your unique gifts into this world. No one else but you can do YOU so please take care of you. Truly love YOU on a daily basis with your unique formula—your secret elixir that’s yours and yours alone. There’s real power in knowing and living your formula on a daily basis. The one ingredient you’ll never find is self-hatred. It’s just not in the mix.

(Wondering about the photo on this post? I thought you’d never ask. That’s my soapbox. I throw it down and jump up when I’m good and passionate and ready to let fly with some truth, like I did just now. If you’d like even more truth, get your copy of my free e-book, The Truth About Women Walking to get started on your transformational journey today.)