5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life!

Well, we did it.  We made it to the first day of spring, but for many of us, it doesn’t quite feel like that outside yet.  In fact, there might have been sightings of snow yesterday or it might still be on the ground.  Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather has been a bit interesting.

For many of us though, no matter where you live or what the weather is, we can all use a little light cleaning, or perhaps some deep cleaning, of our lives.  It’s time to re-evaluate who and what you want to keep in your life so let’s get started.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life:

  1. I have no closet space!  Okay, so guess what this means?  It’s time to take out as much as possible, try it on, and part with it if it doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to wear it again, or you haven’t worn it in 3 years.  Yup.  Now make those piles, and include your shoes.  If you don’t love it, and it doesn’t work for you, it goes.
  2. Check the expiration dates…in your fridge.  It’s time to get some fresh food in there, you know?  Start with some nice leafy greens, more fruits and veggies and less processed stuff.  You will start to feel better.  More smoothies, and more prepping the snacks ahead of time.  Go ahead and add some fruit water while you are at it.  You will feel much better.
  3. And cue the Rocky music in your head.  It’s time to add a bit more exercise to your day.  I know, I know.  You have been avoiding it.  Well, guess what?  93 days until summer starts.  Let’s make the best of it right now!  Try some exercises at home if you don’t want to get out or even jump-start the next 4 Weeks of your Life with my baby-step plan.
  4. Clean the friend lists and streamline social media.  If you don’t really speak to acquaintances who send you requests because you might know each other from something long ago…or even better, have never met and they don’t speak to you, start thinking about clearing some space.  Especially if they are politically charged and you don’t have the energy for that in your face all the time.  Your energy is important…and keeping it clean is valuable.
  5. Mirror, mirror on the wall…I need sleep before I fall.  How’s your sleep schedule?  Try knocking off from technology an hour earlier.  No matter what.  Tell people as well.  Look friends, I really like you, but at 9p.m., I shut my phone off  There.  It’s done.  Now relax with a new routine.  Read a book, soak in the tub, and get some sleep.  Start a gratitude journal practice.  But try something new that helps get you into better sleep habits.

Start being more mindful today of what you allow into your home, your car, your work area, and of course, your life.  As you work to spring clean your life,  things will start to fall into place.

 

 

Save

5 Signs You are Shifting Unsettled Thoughts.

The waves of energy from you guys, my readers on the fan page for the blog, have been almost knocking me over.  This leaves me feeling some energy that I would like to calm right now.  It is a feeling of general “unsettledness”…which might not really be a word, but basically it is a feeling of unease.

What the heck is going on??

I can tell you.  It is a new year and with that comes the desire that is so strong to change ourselves and leave this old nonsense behind.  We are done.  DONE with blocks to our future.  We are DONE with this past nonsense that tries to come back to haunt us like Jacob Marley.  Not Bob, that would be okay.  We are DONE trying to make sense of what is happening in the future. And the truth is, all of this is okay.  We need to learn to be content with where we are.

Old wounds do, from time to time, split open.  THAT my friends, is the place where growth happens.  It’s messy and sticky and uncomfortable.  We want to put the band-aid back on our souls, my God we do.  But what if it is bleeding so much we can’t use a band-aid right now?  What if we need to clean it up a little, find the source of the pain, and then start to heal?  <<< that is where we are right now.  And I feel it so close to the surface for so many people right now I am about to burst wide open myself.  But guess what?  It’s exciting!

We are shifting into our purpose, so get ready.

AS we shift, that energy is messy.  It makes us feel unsettled and we might bounce from idea to idea or topic to topic until the right one clicks into place.  It’s like we are breaking into our soul vault and we don’t know the combination.  That is why we are feeling this way.  We are getting closer to the correct combination.  Heck, maybe we only are one number away.  But we have to be willing to stick this out my friends.

5 signs you are making the shift:

  1. Your past is trying to haunt you.  Jacob and his chains are all over.  I know that they make a lot of noise, but in reality, they can’t hurt you.  They are merely trying to get your attention that it is time to move on from that.
  2. Signs keep coming up that show help is near.  The perfect article on what you are feeling is right there.  The friend you have been thinking about calls.  The feather in your path might signify heavenly help is near.  Rainbows appear.  The numbers change to 11:11 or 3:33.  11 is a powerful number of dreams, intuitive illumination, and connection with Spirit.
  3. You are a bit moody.  Look out!  You might feel weepy, angry, unworthy and just plain over it right now.  It is normal, but let’s help this part pass.  In my Head|Heart|Health Club, we are working on really shifting into the feeling we want, and getting clear on what makes us happy.  I want you to practice that too.  So when you are in a mood, get clear on the exact emotional trigger that caused it.  Use a thesaurus if you need to and write down the opposite of that word and then write out what makes you feel supported and ________.  <<< the opposite of how you feel now.
  4. You are ready to pick a fight with anyone who will listen…including yourself.  This is the build up of energy and it needs a place to go.  Have you gone on a walk, gotten out of the house, taken a nice epsom salt bath or re-charged with your favorite things lately?  What are you doing for you??  Seriously.  Use the search button on side here and read more about self-care or explore my online catalog if you’d like to try your hand at my Gratitude E-book Self-guided Journal.  Find ways to shift this energy into thankfulness for the good in your life.
  5. Your about to make a big break-through and then your heater goes out and money is due here, here and here.  We have to let go of this feeling of lack.  This happened because we needed to shift into the thinking that everything is going to truly be okay and everything we need will be provided for us.  Sure, not everyone feels this way.  This leads to scarcity feelings and it leads us to panic.  It is normal.  Totally normal to have a flip out just as you thought your life was coming together and something bizarre happens.  <<< I have had so many of these things happen it is not funny.  I should make you a list to make you feel better…you probably wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff that happens to me like this.  BUT, I am not going to dwell on it right now.  I had to write out a big check the other day, and I just said with gratitude that I was happy to be giving this man my money to fix my heat.

Trust me on this, you are not alone.  If you have been reading my blog for a while you know there are years that take from me, and years that give.  We have to accept a few truths.  We can’t go back.  We are not always going to feel the same way and there are times none of this makes a bit of sense to us.  Trust me on this, but in the end, the pieces are really going to fit together and you will be surprised at the whole picture.  The dust will settle and the outlook will really be much better.  Let’s work on shifting into a comfortable flow this year.  The work on the inside will lead you to greater results on the outside.

Speak to you soon.  ~Aimee

How to Detach from Someone With Love

Love.  It can be a great and powerful thing, but when you get your heart broken, it can seem as if you don’t recognize yourself anymore.  Sometimes, we lose ourselves in a relationship and that my friends, is not a good thing.

However, sometimes we can also detach and realize we don’t need to be with that person 24/7 and declare our undying love and faith to this person every single day on social media.  Moreover, we can actually do things that are different and freely be able to let go with love and trust in your heart…and know that they are going to come back.  Both of these situations are different, yet they require the same kind of actions.

This line has always spoken to me:  “Let there be spaces in your togetherness,” said Khalil Gibran. “And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

How to detach emotionally from someone:

  1. Do a serious mental check and see if you have your own source of happiness.  << link to the formula  I love the meme of the little guy carrying the jar of happiness.  When his friend asks him where he got that with wide eyes, he says “I made it myself.”  BOOM!  This is such truth in this tiny cartoon.  jar of happinessNote:  I do not know who drew this and have looked everywhere or it would be a link to you.  Mystery artist.
  2. Take a huge breath!  Yes, just breathe.  <<< link to creating that space you need.  Listen to your inner guide.  How long have you been thinking that you are clingy, losing yourself, or jealous?  Have you thought those things?  Do you instinctively know that you need a “break” from someone, but are afraid of the alternative.  Really start to trust your inner guide in this situation.  You can press the pause button and still be okay.  It happens in relationships.  It helps you get through the rough times when you see that there are mistakes being made, and you can actually own those mistakes.  It shows that you can admit when you are wrong.
  3. You have absolutely zero, that’s right, zero control over someone else.  No matter what you would like to believe, you are not the man behind the curtain.  In fact, you are more likely to be the Wicked Witch if you think you can control a relationship.  Free your mind…and the rest will follow.  Wait, that’s a song.  I want you to listen to that.  Seriously.  Listen to En Vogue a minute.  Now back to this.  Sometimes people wear clothes that you might not approve of, speak their mind, or do other things that make YOU think a certain way.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that was their intention.  Ask them.
  4. Pain is temporary, but being in a relationship that isn’t working can last a long time and really cause more harm than good.  You are not defined by their actions and it can be really hard to understand that you didn’t do anything wrong.  Focus on loving them enough to let them go if it’s not working and work on healing for you and you alone.  Start creating that jar of happiness and keep on adding to it.  Surround yourself with supportive people as you make this move to detach.

Detachment with love, instead of pain, regret, hate and malice is so much better for our higher good and spiritual healing.  Raising your vibration to love helps you heal faster and shows you the way to go for yourself.  You are not doing this for anyone else, remember that.  YOU control your happiness.  You.

Strength

 

Save

How To Release Yourself from Your Past: 7 Tested Ways

Guest post by: Zane Baker

How To Release Yourself from Your Past: 7 Tested Ways

Who doesn’t have a past?

That’s the million dollar question!

Each one of us has a past. Most likely you have experienced your fair share of wonderful memories and very exciting moments that you are bound to keep with you for eternity.

However, you’ve also likely been through situations that were not only challenging, but also full of pain and heartache.

In this regard, there are some aspects of your past that were particularly difficult, which is very common.

You may, therefore, find yourself feeling guilty about some of the things you have said, done or failed to do.

If you want to move on, away from such painful memories, then you have to put the past behind you.

To succeed, you must put lots of effort and hard work.  This is important because it is impossible to have any healthy or effective relationship with yourself or with others if you are living in the past.

You must, therefore, make some concerted effort to not only focus on the now and here, but also on the future that you are keen on creating.  You do that by immediately making the decision to leave your past behind and take the necessary steps and start living in the present.

In doing so, you will, without a doubt, notice that your confidence will soar and you will also experience healthier and happier relationships which will not only bring great rewards to your life but also to your loved ones and those that you closely associate with.

To help you succeed in this important endeavor, here are some important tips on how to release yourself from your past: 7 tested ways.

Lets begin:

1. Don’t deny your past

The first and the most important step you should take is to accept your past. You must be able to face up to the past and acknowledge whatever happened. It is unwise to pretend that nothing happened or hope that you shall after some time forget whatever transpired. This though should not be mistaken to mean that you have to dwell constantly on it, to the contrary, you should not continuously blame yourself over it. You should make sure though that you take your lessons from that particular experience and view it as a learning experience.

2. Don’t underestimate your achievements

Always keep in mind that whenever you spend an inordinate amount of time regretting your past, you are continuously diminishing and ignoring all the positive achievements that you have made or attained during the same period and in the present. This is mainly because you are giving recognition and credit only to your past mistakes. You should ensure that you constantly and consistently focus on your achievements and not solely on your mistakes. Focusing on your mistakes not only makes them bigger but also gives them the power to control your life as well as your actions. To assist you in this task, you can make a point of writing down your achievements on a piece of paper or notebook, and when you are feeling low or overwhelmed, you can quickly go through them and get some encouragement.

3. Don’t miss or forget the lessons learned from your past mistakes

Unfortunately, for many of us, our mistakes are how we constantly tend to define ourselves. In this regard, it is vital that we keep on reminding ourselves that our mistakes aren’t who we are. However, it is important to pick the lessons you have learned from past experiences. However, positive or negative the experience may be. You should be fully aware that life generally tests us first and then teaches us the requisite lessons later. Your mistakes are part of the learning process in life and should be considered as such. Make sure you use the messages in your past to construct a future that’s not only happy and rich but also successful. As one writer aptly puts it, “A man’s mistakes are his portals of discovery.”

4. Avoid negative thoughts or cynicism

When something goes wrong, we always tend to take a more catastrophic way of thinking, often feeling or thinking that a single bad experience implies that our whole life is in shambles and completely ruined. However, nothing could be further from the truth. No matter what goes wrong, always keep in mind that you have the innate strength and ability to rebuild your life and get back on the right track. Even though it is true that you cannot be devoid of negative thoughts, always make a point of challenging any negative thoughts that pop up.

5. Learn to forgive so that you can move forward

Many times, we tend to hold ourselves hostage by failing to not only forgive ourselves for past indiscretions. These indiscretions may have been caused by us or brought upon us by other people. To move forward, you must let go of the pain and hurt that’s been holding you back. By learning to forgive, you will be able to move freely ahead without any hindrances whatsoever as your mind will be free of the baggage that such negative feelings tend to bring about. As a matter of fact, forgiving any past transgressions does you more good than anyone else. Learn to let go so that you can live freely and be able to channel your positive energy and thoughts to some other important aspects of your life.

6. Seek support whenever necessary

No man or a woman is an island. We all need support from time to time; this is especially so if you are facing a difficult past. The support you seek may come in different forms; you can get support from close friends and family members or seek professional help to assist you in working through your past and releasing the negative thoughts and feelings. Always keep in mind that seeking support and help is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, this is a sign of great strength since it shows that you appreciate and know that you need to reach out to others for some assistance.

7. Use your past mistakes to assist others

All of us have things in our past that make us feel low and ashamed from time to time. Don’t let these feelings keep you from forging a new future. As many people will acknowledge, one of the best ways or methods of getting over an issue or a problem is to share your experience with others. You should use your past experiences to assist others who find themselves in similar situations. Using what you are ashamed of to help others is without doubt one of the most effective ways of not helping others tackle the problem at hand but also strengthening your resolve to be a better person in the future.

In conclusion, by applying the tips mentioned above, it is possible to let go of your past successfully.

It does though demand some effort and focus on your part, but it can be done since you have the innate power inside you to embrace a new beginning and start your life afresh.

I hope you enjoyed this article! Please share the knowledge and help a fellow friend or family member benefit from this article.

Till we meet again, have a fabulous day!

With Love,
Zane

Zane Baker is a Master Success Coach & Inspirational Speaker.  He’s also the Co-Founder of The Valhalla Mind Institute & The My Daily Zen Transformational Programs.  Zane serves over 150 thousand subscribers & followers with his free newsletter & personal growth advice on his Facebook page.  His top rated meditation track is available here “The Vision Quest”.  And you can visit his blog at www.ValhallaMind.com

5 Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator

Sometime back, I decided I needed to take better measures to protect myself from what I sensed were emotional manipulators.  I did things people thought I would never do.  I MOVED ON.  Seriously.  I got my journal, my yoga, my meditation ladies, my new circle of friends who lifted everyone up and then moved the hell away from the nasty black hole feelings I got from other people.  I became “different” apparently.  Or not.  If my spidey sense was fully open and I used my sense motive check on the person and found their motives to be dishonest, I moved on.  I could physically no longer take it anymore.  So how did I spot some of the people I needed to get away from?

5 Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator

  1. Whatever is wrong in your life…their life is ten times worse, so they turn it back to them.  If you are going through something, they are going through something far worse and make it a point to let you know that.  Over and over and over again.  Now your stuff could actually be life-threatening…but their mental drama is far worse.  It’s difficult to talk to them about anything seriously hard in your life, because whatever it is, you know they will turn it back to what they are going through.  How bad their “shit” is.
  2. It is never their fault.  Ever.  After months of listening to them turn every conversation around back to their stuff, they seem to have the same problem over and over again.  Naturally, it is everyone around them and not them.  They never start anything…it’s the world.  They tell you this story to get you to feel sorry for them and they do a great job at it.  But when you offer practical solutions to this “problem” they can’t be bothered to actually try anything to move forward.  Thus repeating the cycle.
  3. They use ridiculous phrases that make no sense, yet somehow they weave guilt into the words.  Whatever you do or say is never enough.  You have no idea how to help anymore because you have tried everything yet they still say phrases like “you just don’t know how this feels.”  Here is the KICKER.  They repeatedly ask you for help, but not in so many words and when you finally try to help them, they say they didn’t ask for your help.  WHAT the actual F Bomb.  So then, because of this great and enormous problem they have created in order for you to feel sorry for them in this continual loop, for thinking you might should help them because they seem to want that support from you over and over…when you do try to help, it wasn’t what they wanted.
  4. They lower your vibration repeatedly.  This one can be felt as soon as you walk into a room with one of these people.  You immediately put your guard up…but you feel it.  You feel like you have to raise their emotional state because you are thrown off-balance.  The same story they cling to has now become part of their very fabric.  It reaches out to pull you down to that level.  Each and every time.  This co-dependent cloak they wear will rob you of your ability to realize you are not them or their problems.  You actually can leave this situation.
  5. They shrink back when you shine.  You find them not happy for what is going on in your life…and you have no idea why.  So overtime, as things in your life improve, the life they are leading takes a turn for the worse as a last desperate measure to keep you there with them.  This might be where they start to tell others more lies…as you have gotten this feeling all along, but know that if the feeling keeps getting worse, the end is near.  It takes a strong person to see these things for what they are…and the knowledge that there was nothing you could have done differently because they created a world where they wanted to be saved repeatedly, but not really get out of victim mentality.

Continue to focus on the positive things going on in your life and don’t feel guilty for moving forward.  Always do what is best for you so that you can continue becoming who you were really meant to be.

walk awayWould love to have you in the closed group so that you can work more on your boundaries.  Check out the tab at the top called Head|Heart|Health Club.  Don’t be afraid to shine!!

Save

3 Reasons You Don’t Trust.

 “Every time I’ve trusted people in the past I’ve been let down, so now it’s easier and less painful to just rely on myself.”  as this thought floats across your subconscious, you begin to feel lonely again, and then angry.  It shouldn’t have to be this hard in relationships, any relationship which includes friendship, to let your guard down without getting hurt.  Sadly, it is a work in progress and you’re about to give up.

hope_despair

Why is it difficult to trust?

Sometimes, we hold onto anger like a hot coal.  Yes, I got that from Buddha, but he goes on to say that you are the one who gets burned.  You.  Think about it.  You are mad at your spouse.  You have been mad at your spouse for years.  He/she probably doesn’t even know why you are angry anymore.  All you do is constantly talk about it with your friends.  You have not left the spouse yet, instead you stay behind your wall of resentment letting it spill out into all others areas of your life.  Work.  Friendships.  Children.  And finally, your mind.  It’s all-consuming to the point that no matter what anyone does to help you, you cling to that grievance and bitterness until you look up one day and you are all alone.

You have to decide how to get your life back and ask yourself some hard questions.

  1. Is the past holding you back?  I know that people in pain lash out.  But sometimes, enough is enough.  Are you trapped in a victim mentality?  Do you lash out at others and operate on low self-esteem all the time?  Your past experience with broken trust might stem as far back as childhood and you are dragging it around daily.  It is weighing you down.  You have become almost unrecognizable to your friends and they are desperately trying to lighten the load you carry, but you won’t let them.  You are the victim here and unfortunately, your past hurts are now dictating your present and maybe even your future.  Only you can control what is happening within you.  No one else.
  2. Are you harboring unrealistic expectations?  Here’s an interesting thought…do you have unclear expectations and perhaps have not ever voiced them?  Unspoken expectations in any relationship will likely not be heard.  Hmmm.  Think about that.  Trust is huge in a relationship whether or not you realize it and it has to be addressed openly and calmly.  However, oftentimes people don’t try to address it until it is way too late.  For example, I would have rather have had an awkward conversation than be at the front desk checking in when someone said “Sorry I missed your party last night.  We couldn’t make it over.”  And yet my friend had told me she was going to bed when I asked her what she was doing that night as I was trying to make plans with her.  I felt shame wash over me in that moment…my face actually got hot.  She was standing right beside me and lied to me.  I was not worthy of the truth?  That hurts.
  3. Are you defensive instead of honest?  Do you still harbor some resentment from childhood that makes you feel you have to come up with elaborate stories?  Look back at your role models, the people around you, your beliefs…were you lied to as a norm and so have come to accept that you can’t trust people?  If you constantly think you can’t trust people, anyone actually, and are always holding part of you back for fear of getting hurt, you will not experience fulfillment in any of your relationships.  They will feel slightly empty and the only thing to do about it is to finally trust someone with your biggest fears no matter how scary they are.  We can only love someone we trust and trust is actually one of the building blocks to any relationship.  All your interactions with people in life use trust as a foundation.  Think about your performance at work.  If you don’t trust your boss and you think he’s got dirty unethical business practices, are you more likely to work harder?  No you’re not.  You are going to leave work every chance you get.

The people who cannot trust are architects of their own misery.  They begin to see fault where there is none…even if they know you are an honest person.  Part of that is because they don’t know how to be truly honest with themselves.  It is very difficult, but not impossible, to rebuild a relationship after trust is broken; however, one thing is clear.  It takes both parties and you cannot continue to go down the same path.  You have to reign in your old actions, your old ways, your old responses that might be vague.  You have to be clear and have honest expectations.  You have to build your friendship or relationship up, and use good energy because trust me when I say this, the other person knows when you are lying or hiding something from them and it starts to wear down any good relationship.  For more help, see the tab Head|Heart|Health Club for a supportive group.

Escape PlanLike this post?  Feel free to tell me how you have handled a similar experience in a positive way.  ~Aimee

Save

Save

Suffering is optional.

There comes a time in every yoga teacher’s journey when the teachings of Patanjali and the Buddha are read and discussed at length with other like minds.  As I read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, several things crossed my mind.  One, this guy is confusing.  Two, I am reading the same thing over and over again.  Three, I see the word suffering more often than I should.  Hmm.  I wondered if it was trying to tell me something.

To understand that suffering is optional, first you have to look at what suffering really is.  Suffering is “the state of undergoing pain, distress or hardship.” and it varies from person to person.  There is no hierarchy of suffering people.  No one person’s suffering or difficulty is any less legitimate than another persons or any less deserving of empathy.

None of us can change our past difficulties, loss, heartbreak or sickness, but with effort, you can change your reactions and your responses when life takes a detour.  Your brain goes to why me?  Blame.  Regret.  Anger.  The finger pointing…has that helped your suffering?  No.  These responses add to it.  Suffering is actually universal.  It is not unique to you.

Here is an example…my friend has a hard life.  She didn’t ask for it…but neither did any of our friends who are living with the cards that were dealt to them.  She is smiling, moving forward and preparing to meet yet another cancer battle all while moving, raising 3 little girls and being a mom.  I am sure the initial “why me” kicked in, but she didn’t stay there in that place as it is not going to help her.  She moved into “kicking cancer’s ass again” momentum.

Suffering is universal, but each experience is unique to that person and it is not a contest.  Why would you need to compare yourself and bring out unnecessary suffering by thinking that you have it harder than everyone else on this planet?  What if you use your suffering as an opportunity for growth?  I know that sounds cliché, but if you know anything at all about me, you know that I would not write about something unless I have been through it or believed it could be done.

While pain might be inevitable, the suffering that comes from the pain is not. Suffering is not a state of life, it is a state of mind. Suffering is your response to an event. Whether you suffer or not depends entirely on your reaction to that situation. ~Paramahamsa Nithyananda (Swamiji)

 

Things I have learned about suffering:

  1. Move through your pain.  The first step might be grief.  You are likely not going to be in the same place as you were before.  If you ignore your grief, (1) Denial 2) Anger 3) Bargaining 4) Depression 5) Acceptance) you will likely find yourself caught in one of the stages of grief and not able to move forward.  I was stuck at depression…and there is no shame in that, but you must get to number 5 to be able to release it.
  2. Healing through closure.  If this is by talking to others who you feel have caused you pain, here is where you do it.  If it is beyond that, then you must learn forgiveness of the situation…notice I didn’t say you had to forgive them although that would be nice too.  If you were born into a situation that was never of your making, it is time to relinquish the past.  The past is not real, as it is now only a vivid recollection of how things were.  And even then we might have added in extra details.  You have to let it go and surrender to the present moment in order to move forward.
  3. Progress comes in the end when you decide you are ready to move forward from this place. You must make a conscious decision to move forward and only you can do that.  If you stay in the place of pain and bitterness then they won.  Your pain won, your hate won, etc.  You must constantly make that conscious decision to yoke yourself to the present moment.  I do it through yoga and meditation.  I already lost enough time to this thing called suffering.  It doesn’t deserve to have more.

suffering

 

 

 

Save

Motivational Monday…say no to stress

Today is my husband’s name day.  Day of birth as you might call it.  Years ago, I met a shy poet who told me the only thing he wanted for his birthday, was me.  He is, quite frankly, the love of my life.  Then why am I so stressed out all the time?  Ha.  I don’t know.

This was an interesting article on Stress Symptoms and the warning signs.  The health problems that are exacerbated by stress include some of my own.  So I started thinking about why people with autoimmune diseases would tend to be more stressed out than others.  I thought about the article I read when researching my topic on neurotransmitters and the stomach.  The blog post New Year, New Brain?

When am I most irritable?  When do I start getting mad or not being able to let something go?  When I have had a bad flare up??  When I have eaten something that makes me hurt and be in pain?  Yes.  I focus most on what is wrong when I am in pain.  Why do I do that?  Some sort of pathway that was there for a while.  Okay, next step.  Recognize the signs.

So, after I realize what I am doing, my next step is to focus on doing things I like.  Things that make me happy.  Reading.  Holding my dogs.  Writing.  Snuggling with my kids.  Hugging my husband.  One tight hug to let me know it’s okay.  Him getting me to focus on the fact that it will be okay, even if it’s not okay at this moment.

I have used my “hibernate and ignore” tactic in order not to let things upset me.  Stress is very bad for my health in more ways than one.  So I say to anyone out there with stress, ummm, well let’s just say everyone reading this, as difficult as it is, focus on the positive.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.  What do we do?  We swimmm.  Oops.  You are still here.  Ahem.

Swim

 

 

Save

Safe…

This month, I opened up about some of my teaching experiences.  Those stories are just some of the many I have had over the years.  There’s the year I helped two families find new homes with my friend’s help at school.  That was a really good year because the students were resilient and felt safe.  They were clothed, fed, and warm.  They had loving parents who had, through a series of events, lost their homes for one reason or another.  The years that were the hardest were when I didn’t know if I would ever see a particular student again.  Would he or she be safe?  Would they graduate?  Go to college?  That was not for me to determine.

Throughout the years, I have always told my students the same thing.  You are safe here.  That changed the day of the Sandy Hook school shooting.  I briefly wrote about it back then, and I will only briefly touch on it here.  I could not even begin to process the information that night.  I cried for so long my soul hurt.  I thought about things that I don’t want to think about again.  When we got back to work, we did not feel safe.  We had meetings and were told to lock our doors.  We had more drills called lock downs and we didn’t smile for months.  I got worse off because of stress and felt paranoid at being so far away from my children’s schools should someone need me.  I was, quite literally, a nervous wreck.

When you lose the feeling of safety, it’s like something has shattered.  A writer/blogger/page owner friend of mine wrote a post the other night that really resonated with me.  She doesn’t know I am going to share, but I am.  Here is her post called Living with the Stress of the World.  I knew she was right.  For many years, I felt the same way after Columbine, 9/11 and Boston.  I began to feel less safe.  For me, there were lots of prayers in the months to follow these events.  There were hugs, and nods of understanding to other teachers after every single shooting we heard about.  And we prayed it would not happen to us.  We began to feel a spark of hope.  As each year fades into the next, we gain some bit of safety back until we feel whole again.  Let’s move from the old to the new, as one community.  Let’s learn to trust each other a little bit more and heal our old wounds.

Safe

P.S.  To this day, I do not watch the news…I read about the events when necessary.

Motivational Monday…

I sat eating the sandwich I made today for lunch and don’t remember even tasting it.  I knew it was there, and pondered why I had even made a sandwich, but I knew I had to eat at some point in the day.  I was glad I had prearranged an outing, especially when I got the text that asked if we were still on for today.  We had plans I thought?  Sure, um yes.  I had just finished reading the young girl’s obituary, and was crying again.

You don’t have to know who or what or why, but just know that every time someone close to me goes through something, I put myself in their place.  Every. Single. Time.  When I have gone through that process, I begin to feel better.  It is just part of who I am.  I couldn’t change it if I wanted to, and believe me, there are times I want to.  Some of you are wondering how this fits in with motivation, but others, oh others are nodding their heads.

Whatever your cycle is for grief, complete it and be done.  Move forward as soon as you are able because time is precious.

Life-is-short