How to Find Your Groove Again…and Release Funk!

I can’t help but think of George Clinton and “We’ve Got the Funk” when I started thinking about my title for this post.  After I listened to that song, it was hard to concentrate as I like music and I started to wiggle…but that made it even better.

So back to the word “funk” and what that means to me.  I know that I have many things to be happy about, but occasionally, it takes just one little thing to bring my mood down.  I know that I do not want to function at such a low vibrational frequency, but at times, I just have to go with it.  If it appears I need to bring myself out of it, because it has lasted longer than necessary, I will work to snap myself out of it.

Why don’t you want to stay in a “funk” or a low-frequency?

I know that many people worry about money, so I am going to start there.  When you worry about money, bills, and feel like you have scarcity in your life, you actually start attracting more of it.  I know some people think this sounds crazy, but it’s true.  On the other hand, when you start acting as if your needs will be met, through prayer, meditation, or journaling, and release it after the prayer, things start to shift.  I have seen this happen in my life and I firmly believe it to be true.

I would like you to apply the “acting as if” rule to your thoughts anytime you start to feel like things are slipping out of control.  One of the hardest times to do this for me personally was when I was very ill.  When you are ill, you are not at your best.  It lowers you so much that it seems you can’t get out of the hole.  Start visualizing yourself well.  Again, write on it, pray over it, meditate on a healthy vision of you.  Embrace it.  When people ask you how you are doing, say “I am healing.”  Do not, in any way shape or form, list what is wrong with you.  Don’t air it out on Facebook, don’t talk about it with a friend, don’t put it in writing anywhere.

The exception to this thought process is if you put it out there in a positive way.  I know that sounds crazy, but a friend of mine does this to let her friends know how her journey is going and it is never written in a low way.  It is always written in a way that says how blessed she is, and I believe it helps her healing process.  She has continued to beat enormous odds!

How can we find our groove again?

  1. Do a body scan like I say at the beginning and end of my yoga classes.  Breathe deeply, start your thoughts at your head and release tension you might be holding in your jaw, and face.  Work your way down and feel the tension slipping from your shoulders.  If you notice any tight spots, send healing thoughts there to open the muscles up like a flower budding, releasing the tension held therein.  Continue working your way down and take inventory of your stomach.  This part is a little bit different.  Think about what you are eating.  Are you feeding yourself good foods?  Does your stomach not seem to digest foods?  Are you processing foods normally?  <<< Yes, I know people think this is TMI, but it helps.  Lastly, scan all the way through your body and notice where you are holding tension.  Release the tension by tensing the muscle and releasing it.
  2. From your body scan or inventory above, think to yourself what needs to improve.  Are your self-care routines in place?  Are you taking care to keep moving and exercise?  Have you given up doing something you love and thus feel tight and tense all the time?  What really needs to change?  Embrace the truth with yourself.  Don’t cover it up.  Write about what things you know need to be different in order for you to “release the funk.”
  3. Are you sleeping?  Full disclosure on this one.  Several years ago I started doing research, more research, into all-natural supplements because I was diagnosed with so many things.  I read that people with fibromyalgia don’t sleep, and I put myself on this supplement and never looked back.  Except when I run out of it and can’t sleep again for 2 days until the order comes in.  So I became a customer first as I got a discount from ordering something that honestly, helped me find sleep at last.  You are more than welcome to do your own research, but for me, the change was drastic.  I needed sleep to function.
  4. The stomach was the root of several of my moodiness issues.  If you read my post I linked up there to the word stomach…it really changed my life when I realized that caused me so many hours of “funk” when it was not in balance.  I did put myself on my own probiotics after hours of research into the different types.  Why?  My gut was causing me so much pain and dysfunction that I couldn’t have a normal life.  Period.  <<< that link above is my really super amazing research I wrote for a magazine:)  Yes I am proud of it because I didn’t give up on my quest to find my groove again.
  5. Treat yourself and others with kindness.  Have faith that this will pass.  Be gentle to yourself, but firm that you can’t stay in this place forever. I know you can move forward and find that inner fire again!

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The open gate…

While I have been thinking about this post for a few days, I have not written it.  There are many reasons it needs to be written…I think someone else wants to know that I understand.  The products I use to “close the gate” are listed at the end.

Imagine if you will, that you have to get up and go to the store.  Maybe you don’t like going to the store, but you have your list, you get dressed, and you go.  Imagine a fibro friend has to go to the store.  You haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep so when you wake up you are groggy.  You ache in places you didn’t know could ache, but it’s normal, so you try not to let it interfere as you know you have things to do.  You hold tightly onto the handrail as you slowly creak downstairs.  I say creak, because in your head, you are imagining that you are 85 years old.  But of course, you are barely 40.

When you get to the kitchen, you look at the list, because without it, there is no way you will even know why you are going to the store.  Memory-schmemory.  You read the list 3 times because you know, you just know, you will forget something.  You get the keys, you say to yourself, I can do this.  You don’t even sit down after getting up.  Why?  Because you know you won’t go.  Again.  To the damn store.  You realize you have to go to not one but two stores because of the special items on your list.  You tell yourself you can rest after this.  You look for your keys.  Wait, you have them.  Ok.  You leave the house.  Task one is complete and it just felt like you ran a marathon.

When you get to the store, you see an elderly woman walking slowly in.  You quicken your pace even though you ache all over.  If she can do this, so can I.  You actually make it into the store.  You check your list, again.  As you go down the aisles you begin to get tired.  You tell yourself to push on.  You get what’s needed, after checking the list multiple times.  And then you check out only to realize it wasn’t that bad.  But you have to go to another store.  You realize you are exhausted, but you can do this.  Task two is complete, and the marathon has now turned into an ultra-marathon.

The next store.  You sit in the parking lot telling yourself that this is it.  You only have a few things left.  You go into the store.  You don’t think.  You can’t dwell.  Get in and out.  Do not abort the mission or your dachshunds will have no food.  That would be bad.  You get the items you need, plus some gluten-free things they have here, and on that particular aisle, it’s almost like they know.  They just know, you needed a song.  So “Roar” starts playing.  Sweet.  Now even Katy Perry is cheering for me to finish this trip.  And my damn eyeballs are teary because it’s the part, you know the part, “Get ready cause I’ve had enough…I see it all, I see it now.  I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, cuz I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.”  Sooo, I’m like, let’s go store.  I got this.  So now it’s like a decathlon or something.  I don’t know, because I was a ballet dancer and soccer player…and now I do yoga, but it’s like I ran a freaking marathon.  If one liked that sort of thing.  Which I don’t really.  Task 3, done.

And that my friends, was just the trip to the store.  Not the putting away of groceries.  Not the actual making of things with these groceries that you stare at and hope perform tricks after all of that, and jump into something nice like a soup or a 3 course meal.  That was just the trip.  The TRIP.

To further explain, I want to share this research on a pain analogy:

Old house
Pain is affected by how much we attend to the pain sensation. You can think of pain intensity being like the experience of trying to go to sleep in an old house. If you listen quietly, an old house will often creak and groan at night. If these sounds are familiar because they happen all the time, you assume they are just normal creaks and groans, do not pay much attention to them, and drift off to sleep. But, if someone had broken into the house recently, then you’d be on high alert. You’d pay close attention to every creak or groan, wonder if it meant that someone was trying to break into the house again, and stay awake for hours. Similarly, if you don’t attend to your pain you may find you don’t have too much difficulty doing what you want to do. But, if you think a lot about what all your pain might mean, or attend to how much the pain is bothering you, you will find that the pain interferes more with your life (S. Tupper, personal communication, 2012).
So, I kind of like this except for the fact that I wasn’t trying to “attend to my pain”; however, I have been to my Applied Health Doctor this week and worked on things we don’t usually work on.  So those pain receptors were stuck open.  Like an open gate.  Bingo.  That works.  So read this:
Railroad crossing gate
The gate control theory is a very popular theory, originated in the early 1960’s by Melzack and Wall. This theory posits that there is a virtual gate that controls the magnitude of the pain signal that reaches the brain (Melzack & Wall, 1965). It can be effective to describe the path to families as an actual gate. You can think about pain signals being like trains passing through a railroad crossing gate. When the  gate is all the way open, trains pass right through. Similarly, when the gate to your brain is open, pain signals have free access to your brain. Medication might close the gate partway, but for many people, medications do not close the gate completely. Other interventions such as learning cognitive behavioral therapy skills, distraction, engaging in acupuncture, and increasing activity can all be effective ways to close the gate and help to keep it closed.
 So for the trip to the store I described above, all the while, the pain receptors mess with my concentration, my ability to think about anything but pain at times, and my desire to do things in the cold because the cold magnifies the pain I feel.  However, that being said, when the gate is at least partway closed, I function better.  That being said.  I am not on any other medicine other than what Dr. Marion and I talk about.  Many traditional medicine doctors have tried to put me on other things.  I looked up all the side effects.  It went from bad to worse.  That being said, if it is working for you, that’s great.  No one should have to be in pain.  I hope it is working for you.  I am stubborn, hard-headed and afraid of the horrible side effects since I already have other conditions.
Here is what I do when I am trying to close the gate.  If I have eaten something that causes a Hashi’s flare, which can flare fibro pain, I use a wrap One theory that we have come up with is that my lymph nodes are not exactly taking out the trash so to speak.  When I wrap, I feel better.  The bloating goes down, the flare is shorter, it just works.  Ha.  Get it.  And yes, this is a company that both my doc and myself are in.  I actually met her at one of the meetings.
Okay, so the next thing I do is to take some Relief.  I have done extensive research in the last 3 years on anti-inflammatory foods.  Guess what’s in here?  Well, the cool thing is that we don’t hide any ingredients and they are all-natural.  So turmeric, which is one of my favorite things to use, is there, plus yucca root.  Did you know that An international research team reviewed data from previous studies on the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Yucca schidigera, a type of yucca native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They noted strong evidence that yucca’s active components, including steroidal saponins, resveratrol and yuccaols, all seem to exert anti-inflammatory effects that may explain their historic use by folk medicine practitioners to treat arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Researchers recommended further research to try to pinpoint more accurately the mechanisms through which yucca prevents and/or treats arthritis. They published their findings in a 2006 issue of “Journal of Inflammation.”  So when people tell me they don’t need this because they are already on a glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate formula, like maybe my husband, I say try this.  And after generic versus mine, his pain was improved within one week of taking this.
So, I met a new lady this weekend and after doing an event where we set up our booths, something told me to speak to her about my fibro.  She said she was undiagnosed for years but was always in pain.  She described her pain as continuous, not being able to be touched and having the pressure points.  I immediately told her about my products and since she looked exhausted, I asked her if she was going to have to rest the entire next day after the event.  Her eyes welled with tears and she said “How did you know?”  I lightly touched her arm and said I just know.  I then told her about something that helps me sleep and recover.  New You.  It is again, phytotherapy, meaning plant-based.  Years ago, when I was first doing research on natural therapy remedies, I heard about MSM.  Plant based, and anti-inflammatory.  Did not know how to find it back then.  I had never heard of my company, It Works Global, and if I had, I wouldn’t have known about their leading phytotherapy research because people only associated them with “getting skinny”.  I know, because the book of Face polices the website link.  Anyway, New You helps to stimulate natural production and release of HGH (human growth hormone), while it aids in building lean muscle mass for those of us over ummmm 35.  It enhances exercise endurance, AND helps improve sleep quality and memory.  So for those of you not aware, fibromyalgia causes us not to get fully into REM sleep thus not feeling like we slept.  This one supplement is a life-saver for me.  Gate closed at night!!!!!  Yes.
So why did I put all this in here?  Because I am actually a tiny treasure trove of hopeful knowledge for people who think they can’t get help.  I don’t advertise my other business page a lot, but I should.  The tab on this blog says Vitalize You, and I invite my clients to ask me questions so we can get their body up and running again.  Believe me, I do understand.
Author’s note: Since this post was written, I have done more for my clients than advise them on my all-natural supplements, which yes, to this day I take New You every night to sleep naturally and help me feel great.  However, after completing over 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga and getting additionally certified in yoga for arthritis and pain, I created this program for you called 4 Weeks to Wellness.  I put everything I had in it to create simple daily tasks that someone coming from this place of pain could manage.  I have optional chair yoga pdfs, workbooks, journal therapy and more!!!  It is a wonderful resource.

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The Pensieve…

A recurring theme in my blog is lack of sleep.  Tonight I started thinking about that cool contraption from the mind of J.K. Rowling.  I would like to have a Pensieve in my room in order to store my memories and review them at a later time.  There are many reasons why I find this device practical, but for tonight, it is merely to get the thoughts out of my head and into the basin so to speak.  I passed a terrible accident this morning on the way to work and have not been able to get it out of my head.  It was one of those days when you start thinking about things you would change or do differently if you had the chance.  The problem with this line of thinking is that it spirals into all kinds of other corners that are better left alone in the dark recesses of your mind.  If just one event is changed, it could alter your future.

I stand firm in my belief that things happen for a reason.  Even terrible things that I would like to change.  I am thinking of some footage I saw tonight on another wave of terrible storms and tornadoes.  People might be asking why is this happening to them, but I think the better question is what do we do next?  I am sure that this is a hard concept to grasp for people who have lost everything, but I feel like it gives you a purpose.  The same can be said for my friends fighting cancer.  This one has always been near to my heart, and if you have been following my blog, you know why.  I replace the pain I felt over losing friends and family members with hope.  So many people are beating this disease everyday…and one day soon, a cure will be found.

I might regret some things I have done or said in my lifetime, but one thing is for certain, I was meant to do that at that particular time.  I can’t see the whole picture, and I wouldn’t want to.  Think of all the good you have brought someone and then think if you had never met that person.  What if you didn’t take that chance to say hello, or try to make the effort to remain friends?  How different your life would be.  One of my friends was talking about how life runs in cycles.  It is important to remember that even if you feel this is a bad time in your life, soon enough, this cycle will turn into another.  Take a risk every once in a while.  Put some things in the Pensieve if it helps you sleep.  But do not regret…learn from it instead.

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”

~Win Borden

Rage against the dying of the light…

It’s 1:50 a.m. and I can’t sleep, so here I am.  Something is nagging at me and I have to get this out.  I do not blame anyone at all in the universe for what has happened to me.  That’s right.  Sure genetics play a factor in everything, but the minute you are created there is a path laid out for you.  I believe this and I am not asking you to change whatever it is you believe in, but it’s there.  I don’t blame God as some people do when things happen.  I am not pissed off at Him for this series of unfortunate events that life has thrown my way.  I might not always feel this way, but right this moment, I am okay with it.  I read where the Japanese people have taken everything in stride that has happened to them. Editor’s note, this is me reading over this a few years later and it was after the meltdown at Fukushima. The people began to pick up the pieces of their lives and carry on.

Would we all want bad things to happen to us if we had a choice?  No, but then what if something worse was the choice?  I used this quote over a year ago to comfort a friend who was dying.  “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, pushing all the pain aside, I decided to work through it.  I went on a brisk 4.5 mile walk/jog with my girls today.  We stopped when we needed to and admired the scenery.  All the while my little one was saying how cool the woods looked and how much fun she was having.  I love being outside with nature.  So I wear sunscreen now, and didn’t have to before.  No big deal.  Maybe that is saving me from something else.  So I don’t spend a great deal of time in direct sunlight, again, the woods has always been my favorite place anyway and it’s shady in there.  I am on new medicine to counteract the pain I am feeling in my bones/back area.  I decided to take Yoga since I tried it once before and didn’t stick to it.  Maybe I was meant to teach Yoga and meditation later in life.  Who knows?  I will leave you with a closing quote that has been on my mind for a few days.  I think of this quote often and for many reasons, but it applies to life in general for me.

“Do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rage at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light.”  ~Dylan Thomas