Demystifying Yoga and Why You Need to Try it.

I remember the first moment I walked into a class known as “hot yoga”.  Yes, it was hotter than hell or so I imagined.  The class was heated to around 102 degrees with about 40% humidity.  I managed to last, but honestly wondered how many people passed out, threw up or went to the bathroom and never came back.

I pondered all of those things in the space of 5 minutes.  The people were all slim, seriously.  There was a mirror on the wall in front of me and I wondered why, whyyyy, would they do that to people wearing next to nothing.  And to top it off, a man walked in wearing what seriously was the smallest erm covering ever and put his mat in front of me (More on that later if you want to click the link).

Here’s the thing.  I was brand new and it wasn’t about any of these things, but if this was my first experience, I had nothing else to compare it to.  So, for those of you who are either nodding your heads, or wondering what happened next, I will help clear some things up.

This particular studio caters to the college students.  I didn’t realize that when I signed up as it was close to me and I wanted to see what all the “fuss” was about.  The people were very serious in this class and very much unforgiving that particular day.  It is not like this everywhere and just to be clear, it is not like this in every class there.  The phrase that I later discovered “your vibe attracts your tribe” is also true for yoga studios. 

Since I was a beginner, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  I tried it again years later at this studio and found that it still seemed not quite the right fit for me personally.  I wanted to connect with my body and my breath and I personally couldn’t do that while staring at a mirror.  It was way too distracting in this class.

I didn’t want the mirror to be my focus and I found the students body language as well as the instructors seemed to imply that if I didn’t do the pose a certain way, that I was less than somehow and the mirror was just confirmation.

The next place I tried offered Restorative Yoga Well, the few times I went I really enjoyed it…until I took a friend who couldn’t sit still at all, but that’s another story that I linked here.  You have to understand that I was mentally and physically in pain at the time, but I had come to the conclusion that it absolutely couldn’t get any worse (which was actually half right) and that to do nothing was insane (which was 100% correct).  So, the art of restoring my body back to the original factory settings appealed to me highly. 

We got to use bolsters, which are like pillows, blankets, blocks, straps and pretty much anything we had available to us at the time.  I felt very good about the process.  After a while of finding my place in this class, I finally decided to take what would become my greatest passion.

The Vinyasa “flow” Class.  What fresh hell was this my body whispered?  Why are we doing this?  My wrists said to me.  My brain said “Aww F-this.  No.  Noooo.”  But I sat on the mat with no mirror in front of me and listened as the teacher centered us.  I began to move and thought that if I needed a rest surely yoga was the place to find it, right?  Well, again.  Not all classes are created the same and they shouldn’t be.  So, in this flow, it was exactly that.  We literally flowed from pose to pose to pose, and I felt like we never stopped.

Again, my body was in the greatest pain it had ever been in at this time anyway, so I felt as if I had nothing to lose and everything to gain…if I could last.  It was literally like being on Survivor I thought.  I had to pace my thoughts so that I could make it 60 minutes.  Could I do this?

The first few weeks, were hard.  Down Dog was not my favorite.  I actually secretly despised it.  Planking.  WHY was that ever created in the first place when you could plop down on the damn mat.  Why did I want to actually hold myself up?  Why?  Anyway, all this moaning was only in my head.  At least for the most part.  I might have told my husband I wasn’t cut out for it.

Then the day happened when my wrists didn’t hurt quite as much, and in a moment of weakness I said yes to signing up for Yoga Teacher Training.  So, the truth is, I get it.  I really do.

I am not slim…I am curvy, but prefer not to put that label on my style of teaching as that’s just ridiculous.  I want to teach yoga that is truly available to every body.  Every size, shape, color or anything else you think is holding you back.  Are you in pain?  I understand.  Do you think you are too big busted?  I got you covered with modifications and ways to move those girls out-of-the-way.  Don’t want to wear yoga pants?  Fine, then wear what makes you happy…and ermm covered.

After 200 hours, and days I almost cried from the pain, I graduated from my yoga teacher training.  I couldn’t hold myself up at first.  Seriously, and had to modify by coming to my knees in down dog, one of the most used poses there seemed to be ever.  I had such poor wrists that I couldn’t side plank.  And I tried for a year to hold myself up in a pose called crow.  I want you to believe me when I say “trust the process”.  I additionally became certified in teaching yoga for arthritis and pain.  I am now a mindful coach who specializes in getting through this minute to the next, and the next and the next and learning to let go of the things that are holding you back.

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I would love to be able to help you with getting control of your thoughts, practicing visualization techniques, and creating affirmations that can help you move ahead with your life.

Available to you here >> Head|Heart|Health Club <<

The Balanced Empath…7 Tools You Need Today!

The Balanced Empath...7 Tools You Need Today!As I scan my feed for just a second, something comes into my line of sight that potentially has energy attached to it that could disrupt my mood.  There are posts about pain, hurting people, animal cruelty and more, but whichever post gets my attention, I know that I have the power to choose how I am going to stay balanced.  It wasn’t always this way though.

I know that I can pick up on the vibrations, moods, auras, energy or however you want to explain it of other people.  What I didn’t realize long ago was that those energies can also be projected through social media and other forms of communication.  Prior to social media being the big thing, I think people had an easier time staying balanced.  However, let’s face it, we have to learn to adjust to the changing times.

Being an empath is hard enough as it is, but becoming one that stays in balance, well, at one time that seemed like a far off dream.  I would fluctuate between happiness, sadness, anger, peace, and calm all in one hour it would seem.  Maybe it was a little bit longer than that, but I know that three years ago, moods came on me like a heavy blanket trying to smother a raging fire.  What I was doing was being swept away in the blaze, and the little bit of control I had seemed non-existent.

I was suffering from anxiety, depression, pain and illness, and 2013 was the catalyst to me letting everything get out of control.  The final straw was in November of that year and by 2014, I had vowed to change everything I was doing.  I was the only one capable of changing things.

The 7 tools I used to create balance in my life:

  1. I started with my mental body (thoughts), and learned how to recognize what was not really mine.  I did this through a variety of ways, but the first thing I tried was meditation.  I wasn’t all that great in the beginning, but I kept at it and even found a local woman who would later become one of my dearest friends who taught guided meditation in a group.  I am so thankful for her guidance during that time.
  2. I learned more about how to stay in the present moment with mindfulnessIt sounds like a buzz word.  I know.  But I started to realize how much time I was spending in moments that would never change.  Time lost to sadness over things I could never possibly go back and fix.  National tragedies, curing cancer, animal cruelty, all those things, well, I could only start with the present moment and love the ones I had now, fix the ones I can, and help those who let me.  << Who let me.  I could not stay in the moment of unbearable sadness and mourn the loss of friends or family who passed too soon.  It was robbing me of this present moment.  Hell, even looking out the window at my daughter’s playhouse was robbing me of the present moment as I was getting sad thinking of times long gone.  So I started to change the way I was thinking and thank those moments and move into the present.  The playhouse disappeared with my blessing (as well as my daughters) and is becoming a new yoga shed.
  3. The mental body was in need of repair.  The pain and suffering of my illnesses had taken a toll on my physical body.  I decided to start restorative yoga, and then gradually move to Vinyasa yoga.  I still wasn’t convinced that it was going to be my thing, but then the decision was made for me and I became a yoga teacher after 200 hours of hard-core training.  I kicked in and gave it all I had, and spent many nights soaking in a tub with new pains, of my own making this time, and the weirdest thing happened.  The pains from the past 5 years started lessening.  I then became certified in yoga for arthritis and pain…and started teaching others that there was a new way to live.
  4. I learned how to ground and stay centered…which was something no one tells you about.  I connected to the breath, the earth and my center.  Centering is literally connecting to your core.  To your essence and really getting focused on your body.  So many times I had felt “floaty” or only half here.  I started using wonderful affirmations, visualization techniques and core rooting that really helped guide me through difficult times.
  5. I learned how to let go of energy that was not mine.  This was a freaking HARD lesson and it was a huge one baby.  You know that angry driver that cuts you off, the office worker who always lies, the boss who tells you what you want to hear?  Poof.  That’s theirs.  The things in the news feed that are evil, angry, and just plain not true?  I started learning how to rise above that kind of mentality and what it meant to truly call upon my own energy and release all the other stuff.  I was in control of what I allowed in.  << Huge lesson.
  6. I gave myself plenty of time to be human…and to forgive.  I was going to occasionally drop my newly created boundaries at times, and things were going to slip.  But I knew that within was a greater power to start back up again…kind of like that tire analogy.  Do you know the one?  Where they say if you have one flat tire, you aren’t going to get angry and slash the other four, right?  Right.  You start back over fixing the one that’s flat.  So I would do energy check-ins and see what had worn me down that day…or week.  Where did I have a leak and what did I need to fix?  What was working in my life?  What wasn’t working?  Same concepts I teach in my Club.
  7. I journaled about nearly everything I could and didn’t stop.  I learned how to dig deeper than I ever thought, how to rephrase the mind, how to shield and protect my energy, and best of all, how to let go of things.  I worked on my emotional well-being with this newly created form of journal therapy.  I worked on the inside and really concentrated on understanding my gifts.  If you are in need of some journal therapy and this post resonated with you, here is something you will love >>> Journaling for Empaths <<<

Highly Sensitive people really have to make an effort every day to realign to the present moment, so I hope these tips help you.  I really expand on them in the Journal for Empaths, and I know that it will be of great benefit to you personally.  Thank you again friends.  ~Aimee

5 Signs You Are Over Thinking (And what to do about it)!

You have a choice to make.  A decision.  You listen to the chatter in your head for hours, days maybe and still can’t decide what to do.  Your heart knows the right answer.  But you keep listening to the chatter.  Did you know 73% of 25-35 year-olds identified as over thinkers?  More women (57%) find themselves over thinking than men (43%).

If you find yourself obsessing, over thinking, and not being able to stop, you need to change the thoughts immediately!!   

5 Signs You Are Over Thinking:

  1. You change clothes quite a few times before finally deciding on what to wear.  Solution:  Pick out your clothes the night before.  Everything, down to the accessories, and try it all on.  No matter what, stick with it.
  2. You are so busy running in a negative state of mind, that you can’t see past the situation.  The here and now.  Solution:  Get outside.  Change what you are doing right now.  Drop that thought and everything that comes with it.  Go on a bike ride, a walk, take a yoga class.  Move forward into the present.
  3. You don’t take time for yourself because you are too busy thinking about things that could go wrong.  You say no to new opportunities, new friends, and possibly new yoga classes because you might do something wrong.  Solution: Say yes.  Really, as soon as someone asks you to something that your body immediately thinks YES to, just say it without over thinking what could go wrong.  Your gut instinct and your heart are telling you to listen.  It’s your brain that is over thinking.  You have to change the pattern of the old ways by listening to your heart and gut feelings.  Here is what I like to do to get away:  Get outside and preserve my spirit. 
  4. You stay up all night thinking about the thing that happened.  The worst case scenario of that thing.  Maybe that pain was cancer?  You go from fine to spontaneously combusting in your head.  Solution:  Journaling all your thoughts out before you go to bed.  All the negatives in your head.  Then you write everything as you wish it will happen like in my manifesting journal article.  You write how it will go in the positive and believe it.
  5. The cycle of over thinking creates anger, jealousy, fear, betrayal, doubt, indecision and more in your real life.  Solution:  You have to take a step back and look at the process of letting go.  Get out of your head and let it all go.  Let go of the feeling that distract you from your higher purpose.  You can’t live your life in your head.  Start to come back to the body, the breath and this moment.  Slow down.  Be present and be real.  This is the only way to stop this process.  For me, it’s getting into my flow.  As you know that’s writing, yoga and reading a good book.  Gardening, hiking and more also fall on this list.  Time stops.  The world comes to a halt when I am in my flow.  Find that activity that makes your heart sing and stop the chatter.

Negative people

Ease Depression with these 5 Steps

This article is not medical advice, but it is intended to help you on your journey.  While I don’t know if anything can actually prevent you from becoming depressed, I believe that my diligence helped me come out of it.  The signs that I personally experienced were from my own combination of invisible diseases.  I was diagnosed with “secondary depression” stemming from pain.

Symptoms you might experience:

  1. Loss of energy or fatigue even after sleeping.
  2. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt that you are to blame.
  3. Weight loss or gain…in my case it was gain.
  4. Thoughts of suicide or just nothingness…as in what would happen if you didn’t exist?
  5. Restlessness, insomnia, or wanting to sleep all day long.
  6. No pleasure in any or all activities, and/or no joy or happiness in other things that used to bring you joy.
  7. “Hermit” behavior and not speaking to anyone.

While there are certainly more symptoms, these are just a few that are warning signs your body is trying to tell you something.  What do you think your body is trying to tell you?  There could be many underlying health problems mimicking depression that can be corrected and/or helped once noted.

5 steps to take if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms:

  1. Have your thyroid checked, your vitamin levels and possibly even your adrenal glands.  If you open the link on thyroid, in the fine print of the article, it says this:  A 2005 study found that subjects with Hashimoto’s disease displayed high frequencies of lifetime Depressive Episodes, Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobia, and Primary Sleep Disorders.  What had I been trying to tell my doctor for over a year?  That there was a link.  When he refused, seriously, to listen to me I went to a functional medical doctor instead.  The body gives us these warning signs as a way of letting us know that we really are not in balance.  I could see that I was not, and definitely knew something brought it on because never in my life had I felt so empty.
  2. Get more Vitamin D.  I take this one right here, but have your levels checked first.  I started looking into the most pure form of phytotherapy, or plant-based nutrition supplements, and was personally sold by the methods of how this company preserved the nutrients in the most readily available form.  I read that Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression.  So I also decided to take a gluten-free multivitamin.
  3. Check and see if you suffer from food intolerance as it a real thing. Like most people, I used to think that food intolerance caused unpleasant reactions like diarrhea, swelling of lips or tongue, etc. I would not have associated my food with what was happening in my brain and gut until I studied the effects of what I was eating.  I journal the questionable items which might have sugar or gluten to see if that is what triggers my response or mood shift now.  When I am away from foods I need to eat, and make do with foods that I should NOT eat, there is a consequence in my body.  My body warns me almost immediately now.
  4. This one is hard, but drink less caffeine.  Anxiety often happens along with depression, and too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious.  There is no clear link; however, it is well known that cutting out sodas and sugary drinks that spike your energy and then leave you in a slump and replacing with water will leave your blood sugar levels at a more normal balance, which will, in fact, help you in the long run.  Plus you might just sleep better this breaking the cycle.
  5. Exercise in some way shape or form daily.  People get mad at me for pointing this one out usually, but it brings us back to the endorphins. I wrote about this a while back, but it is true that endorphins help us.   In my own way, I always have dark chocolate here, so I hope you opened my old post up there as it has a funny clip, plus I do yoga and walk, get outside, etc.  Truly is life saving to get exercise.

While these things might seem insignificant to others who do not know what it’s like to be trapped in a world of nothingness, these tips really could help save a friend’s life.  Keep the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on a card as well.

Articles I have written on autoimmune can also help you in your research on gluten intolerance, leaky gut and more.

  • The great puzzle takes you back to my allergy tests.
  • Fog speaks on what it’s like to have brain fog.
  • War on me talks about my inside battle.
  • Motivational Monday on this day talked about tips I used to get by daily in pain.
  • The Thief is one of my faves and talks about old age being a bitch.

sadness

3 Tips For Opening Your Heart Chakra.

Chakras.  What the heck does that word mean anyway and is it fake?  Well, a chakra is actually an energy center and more and more we are learning that there is proof to this whole “theory”.  So opening up your heart chakra is actually a good thing and honestly can’t hurt you.

An unhealthy or blocked heart chakra sometimes lends itself to behaviors such as being defensive, critical, controlling, suspicious, withdrawn, possessive and afraid to let go and release what is not good for you.  Sometimes elf-esteem issues or relationship problems lead to a weaker heart chakra connection.  What can we do to open it or strengthen it then?

3 Tips for Opening Your Heart Chakra:

  1. Visualize your heart opening up with a strong, clear green light filling your center.  Repeat “I am love.” and allow yourself to be at peace with this feeling.  Practice giving and accepting love unconditionally today.
  2. Stop clinging to the past hurt and allow yourself to forgive and step into the present moment.  Whatever happened, accept it and move on.  Say to yourself “I release this blockage of hurt.” and visualize it releasing from your body.  Breathe deeply and repeat your mantra of “I am love.”
  3. Practice a yoga pose to open your heart. Try camel pose. A blocked heart chakra often means a blocked throat chakra, too, and camel pose balances them both. Focus on elongating your lower back while focusing on the stretch and opening your upper back. If you click on the above link, you can watch Esther demonstrate and she doubles the mat for bad knees or use a towel.

Additionally for the heart chakra, wear green and visualize love and compassion surrounding you.  The green ties us to all living things around us so you can also sit outside and meditate on a nice day and take in the air to clear your body.  Remember, the heart chakra is only opened by your choice.  Choose to show yourself some love and forgiveness today.

Heart

5 Simple Ways to Ground Yourself

Sometimes, we can live in such a state of overwhelm that we no longer can find our center.  It is times like these, when we have lost our way, that we need to remember how to find balance in our lives.  If you happen to have the traits of an empath, you might walk into a situation and not be aware that you are in fact picking up energy like a lint roller to your soul.

When we ground ourselves, we become fully present as well as calm which usually helps us step back from the feelings and become aware of what is ours and what we have inadvertently attracted to us.  Grounding can help a highly sensitive person separate and discern instead of feeling and reacting.

5 Simple Ways to Ground Yourself:

  1. Use aromatherapy such as frankincense oil.  Frankincense is said to be very balancing and it’s believed that the oil transmits messages to the limbic system of the brain, which is known to influence the nervous system.  As long as it’s 100% naturally derived, any oil or incense can provide grounding.
  2. Listen to this water sound as you work.  Water can really help you focus and stay grounded in your work flow.

3.  Use this stone to “rub the worry” away and feel connected.  Hematite is the ultimate grounding gemstone for the body. It holds a very powerful grounding energy that literally feels like you are being sucked down into the Earth.

4.  Meditate and reflect with my favorite thing…journaling.  This journal is pretty amazing and looks like it has survived the test of time.

After you sit quietly for a space of time and talk to God, the universe, or just repeat a mantra on finding balance, think about what you are trying to get clear on.  Let’s say the feeling is anger.  Think of the last 3 people who you were around and see if any of their anger could have come through.  Which feelings are yours and which do you think did not come from you at all?  Is it possible to let go of the feelings and release the ones that you know were not yours?  Write about what it feels like to release those feelings and move forward.

5.  Get outside.  Take your shoes off if possible.  And walk literally on the ground.  Spread your toes and feel the earth.  The texture.  The grass.  Lie down and deeply.  Close your eyes and focus on the point between your eyebrows.  If you need a focus thought, I actually have this tiny book called Everyday Positive Thinking, and sometimes I will close my eyes, take a deep breath, and randomly open to a page.  Reflect on that thought and get clear on what it is you want to feel like for the day.

I hope these 5 tips helped you today and be sure to look at the top posts on the side of the blog! 

grounded

5 Tips on How to Find Yourself

Throughout the last 5 years, I have read lots of book trying to point me in the right direction of some “head clarity”.  I have shared what I learned with friends hoping to help them too.  But in the end, I realized, it doesn’t matter what I share with them because the quest to “find yourself” is a deeply spiritual trip that only you can make.

Maybe you have lost your job, or illness got in the way somehow and changed your entire future…but think about it as the BIG picture, it never really changed your future.  This IS your future.  What you are living right now.  So how do we come to terms with that and find a way to move forward?

5 Tips on How to Find Yourself

  1. Who were you before this perfect version of what your life was supposed to be entered your head?  Is it possible that this person is still under there and if so, how do we let her free?  Take out your journal…because by now you know I am going to say that with some of my exercises.  Write your name in a circle in the center of your journal page.  Write all the words you would use to describe yourself…before you think you got lost.  Everything you write must be something you like.  I know, shocking, but you can do this.  I believe in you.  Take a few seconds to ground yourself by breathing in and out and really concentrating on your name.  Bring up that vision of you.  What is the first word that comes to mind?  Write it and go from there.
  2. Did you remember your dreams?  On the next page, think about what you wanted to do before you felt lost.  Are you doing it?  Again, if this is hard, close your eyes.  Breathe.  Center. Now write what comes to you as you think about what your soul desires.  What steps are you making to get there?  What small steps could you make to start going that way?
  3. Are you accepting what comes to you?  If we drop everyone’s expectation for a minute…have you turned down something that came to you because of what others might think?  There might be a lesson that you missed because of what others would think or an opportunity you walked away from that you wished you hadn’t.  Don’t look back.  Open new doors. Continue on.  Write one thing that if it came to you, you would be open to accepting it right now!  Breathe.  Center.  Write.
  4. How often do you practice stillness?  Go back to your list of words that you wrote to describe yourself.  Pick a word that you really, really like.  I’ll start.  “I am _____.”  I am going to insert the word strong.  So in my moments of stillness, I am going to think and affirm to myself that I am strong.  No other thoughts are going to come into my head as I think about this.  Similarly, you can use “I am healthy.” This puts you in control of your thoughts, not the other way around.  They are thoughts.  YOUR thoughts.  Control them with this practice and remember who you are.  Practice these Gratitude Mantras if you are stuck.
  5. Have you gotten out of your comfort zone, or are you digging in and making it a permanent residence?  Interesting and fabulous things can happen when you get out of the comfort zone.  This crazy yoga pose I had convinced myself I was not strong enough to do, well I got mad, hahaha, anyway, and then I tried it.  I laugh because use your emotions for a higher purpose.  Don’t let them take you down a level.  So, use your fear of being uncomfortable just for a minute.  Think about worst case scenario.  For me, it was falling over and getting hurt.  But I was safe because hubby, who might have made me mad, I don’t know, was my spotter.  So he wasn’t going to let me fall..and when I realized that I could do it, well I said a cuss word really loud because I do that in my head, and sometimes they just come out of my mouth too.  But I did the pose.  How long could I have been practicing that if I hadn’t been afraid of failure because I was once not strong enough?  I was my own worst enemy.  So are you…but chances are, you know that.

Need more help?  Check this out.

Find YourselfLike this post?  There is more of this kind of thing in my new program 4 Weeks to Wellness. Or Head|Heart|Health tab at the top of the blog.

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5 tips to boost your mind.

Brain based research has been around a very long time.  I remember the first time it came around when I was teaching…how can I use this information to better my teaching?  To engage students more?  I used techniques that were thought to be ahead of the times…each and everyday in my class.  I never thought that as I got older I would be applying that same idea to my research in depression and what causes us to become depressed.  I found so many links to neurotransmitters in the gut I was astonished.  I was finally getting somewhere and like each and every time I have found something important, I get this tingle.  I knew that I was on the right path to helping others like me.  Here are a few things I learned to boost my head:

  1. The dreaded word exercise.  You know the whole a body in motion tends to stay in motion theory?  Same for a body at rest. A 2010 study on primates published in Neurosciencei also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain, but also helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys, a benefit the researchers believe would hold true for people as well.”  I just wanted to throw that in because sometimes I read scientific research for fun.  But let’s suppose you have brain fog like I do…it comes from things like fibromyalgia as well as my hemochromatosis.  Sometimes, I can’t remember things, so on days that I do yoga, I feel amazing and notice I have less brain fog.  I know this is the day I can read up on new things and process better.  So if you have a hard time learning new things, exercise before.
  2. The good fat…coconut oil.  Sooooo.  My family has a track record of some pretty ermmm crappy genes.  I have inherited a few, but the thing I am concerned about it that at such a young age, I started showing signs of the above brain fog I mentioned.  The brain needs glucose and it actually manufactures it’s own insulin to convert glucose in your bloodstream into it’s food…if it is starving, think Alzheimer’s patients.  What I would like to know, is where was this research about 17 years ago that I am about to share?  Maybe it was known…maybe not.  BUT, I wish I could have slipped my grandpa some bulletproof coffee.  What am I talking about?  This!  According to research by Dr. Mary Newport, just over two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 35 ml or 7 level teaspoons) would supply you with the equivalent of 20 grams of MCT, which is indicated as either a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an already established case.”  P.S. That link is to one neat coffee recipe I found.
  3. Fix your gut…but seriously.  I will never forget the day I started my second brain research.  It was amazing to me what my doctors had missed when they had put me on proton pump inhibitors, and I started telling everyone who would listen to get off them.  For those wondering, that’s acid blockers like omeprazole.  Anyway, my gut was a mess, my acid reflux was a mess, but the pills actually were making everything worse.  I got off them, and learned what gut health meant.  It could actually be it’s own post…and oh, it was.  Up there I linked it.  But seriously…your gut bacteria is actually closely linked to food.  That is why I counsel all my clients, ALL my clients, to tell me how they are eating.  We really get into it and I start to get them to see a pattern.  Because let’s face it, when you tell people your food is actually making you crazy, they get a little mad at you.  Even if they know they need to eat better and get off processed foods, and white sugar.  Probiotics are your friend.
  4. Vitamin D.  This one is quite easy, but often overlooked.  I went for years before anyone even thought to check my levels..and here I am not supposed to go out of the house without SPF 50.  But let’s not check her levels.  Hmmm.  Moving on.  IF appropriate sun exposure is not an option, cough porphyria, not an option, then get on readily available vitamin d.  Basically it’s liquid form.  Just get checked.  Don’t skip this.
  5. Meditate.  You knew it was coming probably.  Since I completed my 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher study…I know that I need quiet time.  Okay, well, I kind of have a problem with noise now that I didn’t have before fibromyalgia anyway, but seriously, meditation is superb.  After only 20 minutes, we start to show a decrease in beta waves, which is basically like we are learning how to halt the processing part.  I know that I have probably put this in here at some point, but one such interesting brain researcher who I love is Jill Bolte Taylor.  Her understanding of the brain after her stroke is outstanding and I cry every single I watch it.  I can’t explain why…it’s just wonderful.  Okay, maybe I can explain a little.  I think about the part where she talks about not having to process and how she can just float…and everything seems to be a beautiful experience and that my friends, that is what meditation at the highest form would be like for me.  If I was there.  Which is why I keep practicing.  Because sadly, I have a hard time.  Imagine that.  This point is technical, but it’s really interesting. The more we meditate, the less anxiety we have, and it turns out this is because we’re actually loosening the connections of particular neural pathways. This sounds bad, but apparently it’s not.

I created my own way of healing and invite you to join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club to learn more.

Quiet the mind

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Tiny continuous improvements.

Happy_lady

How can I find more time in my life?

Today, your task is to start new habits.  When you come from a place of pain, whether it’s fibromyalgia or other illnesses, as soon as you wake up, do not think about how hard the day is going to be.  Do not think of your to-do list.  Do not think of the tasks ahead which are so difficult to get through you dread them.  No.  Take a dry-erase pen, and write some daily affirmations on your bathroom mirror.  Make that the first thing you see.  I am healing.  I am getting better.  Whatever it is to get you moving in a good way.  Repeat every morning until you believe them…so basically, as long as it takes.

Why do I need to make small improvements?

If you do the same thing every single day, consider something new to get you moving and thinking; don’t give me that eyeball.  It’s time to start doing something different.  I was reading an article called Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?  This struck me as something I needed to do…”a Japanese technique called kaizen, which calls for tiny, continuous improvements.”  M. J. Ryan, author of the 2006 book “This Year I Will…” states that “Whenever we initiate change, even a positive one, we activate fear in our emotional brain,” Ms. Ryan notes in her book. “If the fear is big enough, the fight-or-flight response will go off and we’ll run from what we’re trying to do. The small steps in kaizen don’t set off fight or flight, but rather keep us in the thinking brain, where we have access to our creativity and playfulness.”

  1. Have your calendar where you can see your schedule.
  2. Set your alarm for a minute earlier for the next 30 days…60 days…then 90 days.  Wow!  Look at that extra time.
  3. Identify ways in which you waste time…not fun, I know.  Because believe me, I work on social media so I can easily lose track of time.  That’s why I need to do number 2^^^.
  4. Have you ever reviewed your to-do list?  I keep lists on the counter.  Sometimes I get down to just a few things…that are still on there from erm 2 months ago.  But when I finally mark them off, whew.  I feel like I did something.
  5. Make a list of things you think you have to do like social obligations.  If there is something you are doing that is taking up your time and you can honestly say you get no joy from it, cut it out.  I have done this.

So it’s time to initiate change.  A positive one.  Create a habit of excellence with tiny, continuous improvements.  In other words, baby steps to a new you.

habit

Fappiness…

What is fake happy?

I feel like  I need to give you permission to be honest with yourself.  So there it is.  You have my permission (like you needed it, but anyway, you have it).  If you were to be really honest with yourself, truly honest, what would you say to yourself?  I know what I would say because I couldn’t sleep last night.  That’s always an indicator that I need to write about the truth.  How I truly feel.  Without the pretty stuff.  So here it is.

I don’t feel thankful right now.  I don’t.  I just imagined a collective gasp from like 20,000 people.  In reality, you might just merely be thinking ok, why?  Or maybe you are thinking you have lots to be thankful for, why are you not thankful???  I demand it.  If you thought the first thing, you get me.  If you thought the second, I want to explain.  It’s not that I’m NOT thankful…I am.  I am just having a hard time feeling that way some days.  I know I have so much in my life to be thankful for.  I do.  I know this.  But unfortunately, there is something inside me that hasn’t been getting filled up lately and I don’t know how to fix that.

As I talked to my husband about it last night, I think he began to understand.  I didn’t want to talk about it because I felt like I was ungrateful.  I felt like the “Inspirational Page Owners Police” were going to come and take away my license to operate a motivational page.  But then he said why can’t you write about the truth?  And that seemed easier.

Two years ago when I realized that something else was happening to my body yet again, I made the decision to stop teaching.  I went to my husband and I calmly said that I couldn’t explain it, but teaching was making me more sick.  I just knew it.  The last year that I taught I was out many days until finally, I was out for 3 solid weeks.  That year started off with a breast cancer scare, and I don’t know if I really recovered fully after that.  I was on edge.  Something was coming, but I couldn’t explain what it was.

I would sing my happy songs, smile at the beautiful children, and fake smile at everyone else.  I had previously been known as Mrs. Happy.  In my head, I was now Mrs. Fappy.  Fake-happy.  The pain in my body had already been building up for years and I flinched when anyone touched me.  If the children were sick, I put them to the back of the carpet, because yes dear parents, a few of you sent your darlings to school on Tylenol hoping I wouldn’t notice, but I always did.  They had fevers and were burning up after they had already hugged me and loved on me because that’s just how I am.  I am not going to let them be sick in my room without them knowing I still love them and want to take care of them.  I did, however, have them go to the nurse.  Sometimes you came and picked them up, other times, not so much.  You were busy and had no other options…I get it, but it made things difficult.

Unfortunately, I am immune compromised and my immune system isn’t what it used to be 17 years ago.  So I knew that I couldn’t operate this way anymore because I worked in a school where some parents didn’t have the means to take care of their children and really, truly,  were doing the best they could at that moment.  It was just difficult on me.  Emotionally, it had taken a toll long before now.

I could tell you the series of ridiculous things that happened to me up to this point in my life, but it doesn’t really matter right now.  All that matters is right now, I am trying to find the thankfulness in life.  Not just go through the motions.  I also know that money does not solve problems, I get that, I do, but sometimes I wish we had some wiggle room.  I feel responsible for my decision to stop teaching full-time because there is no longer any wiggle room…if there truly ever was.  I have to weigh decisions carefully on what we spend money on, and when I make a poor decision, I beat myself up.  Even going to the doctors cost me money I can ill afford to pay when they want to see me back in 6 weeks…at $35 a trip because it’s a specialist.  All I freaking see are specialists.  With 4.5 diseases that most people have never heard of I was told by one doctor, “It’s like building a house.  You wouldn’t expect the plumber to know about carpentry, right?”  Meh.  I see your analogy and I raise it a “I am trying to be seen in one place so this doesn’t cost me ridiculous amounts of money all the time!!!” stare.  Because sometimes, I just can’t respond to people.  The words that would come out are not nice.

So, the point to this entire erm rant?  I get you Wayne Brady and your breakdown.  I love you man.  I really do.  I love you Robin Williams and I miss you.  But I get you too.  But let’s start talking about “Fappiness” more and how it’s okay to feel this way at times.  Let’s talk about this and bring this out in the open.  Stop trying to fix it.  Just let it be.  And talk about it, until it’s okay to be fappy…

Fappy