Ideas to Consider when you are Faced With having a Breast Biopsy

So who hates the sound of the dentist’s drill? Well having your boob drilled is equally if not more intoxicating and quite frankly violent in many respects. Yes it’s enough to make me wet myself, wrap my dainty chest in a hundred layers of toilet paper and run for the hills.

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I question whether it is always the best idea that this very invasive procedure is deemed the next immediate step by many factions of the medical community. There are complementary methods and ideas to support breast care that you can start implementing right away that aren’t quite so stressful.

I’m not trying to make light of this serious topic or biopsy procedure. I take breast health very seriously. However, I felt compelled to write this blog after yet another friend asked me, “What’s a thermogram? I’ve never heard of it.”

It’s up to YOU and not your doctor to decide the important next step to take for your breast care.

Did you ever consider that if you have painful, or lumpy boobs (fibrocystic for you medical nerds) as I do, the go-to-doctor is a Breast Surgeon? Yes, a professional cutter/slicer/resector. Not someone trained to advise on how to keep your breasts healthy.

Who can we ask about a breast healthy diet? Broccoli, berries, turmeric, walnuts, fish, flax seed, brightly colored veg. apples, garlic and onion, pomegranates all help with breast health and even cancer prevention.

Iodine taken in the form of kelp or seaweed, a yummy condiment that’s similar to salt, is also good for breast health. Avoiding caffeine is recommended. Also soy foods, plant based progesterone serums, and bioidentical hormone therapy can also help prevent disease.

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Reducing coffee/sugar/wheat/dairy are also good ways to protect your breasts as it can reduce inflammation. I ask you to take the time to research these ideas.

I am NOT a nutritional expert, but I pick up information here and there. Sadly, none of my knowledge came from a conventional medical person.

I tried to discuss my premenopausal dietary supplements and herbs with a breast surgeon at Westchester Medical and I think I saw her eyes cloud over. She didn’t seem in the least bit interested.

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All the professional slicer wanted from me was the permission to squash my boob (using perhaps the equivalent of a 50 pound weight) for a prolonged period of time in a radioactive procedure known as a mammogram.

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I humbly admit to having avoided mammograms thus far and I’m very grateful to have remained safe. There are many pros and cons to having mammograms and some sketchy research. Women’s health doesn’t seem to be a priority, but that’s another story.

I’ll leave you with one eye opening thought:

“Radiation from routine mammograms poses significant cumulative risks of initiating and promoting breast cancer. Premenopausal women who get annual mammograms for ten years are exposed to a total of ten rads (radiation absorbed dose) for each breast. Over a thirty-year time frame (40 years -70 for example), that amounts to a cumulative dosage of 30 rads per breast. By comparison, Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors absorbed an average of 32 rads.” “The Wisdom of Menopause” p.534

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Therefore, I chose to use a non-invasive technique to protect my breasts after reading a chapter on breast health in Dr. Christine Northrup’s menopause bible, “The Wisdom of Menopause”. She strongly advocated the use of thermograms as the “best screening method currently available” 

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It is rare and refreshing to have a conventional medical professional in favor of using alternative tests. She writes:

“Thermography detects the physiologic changes in the breast tissue that have been shown to correlate with cancerous or precancerous states. It is widely acknowledged that cancers, even in their earliest stages, need nutrients to maintain or accelerate their growth. In order to facilitate this process, blood vessels remain open, inactive blood vessels are activated, and new blood vessels are formed…This vascular process causes an increase in surface temperature in the affected regions, which can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras. Additionally, the newly formed or activated blood vessels have a distinct appearance that thermography can detect.” p.533 “The Wisdom of Menopause”

I’ve been having thermograms for years. A lovely lady takes an infrared picture of my bare chest with a specialized camera that identifies the temperature in my breasts.

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The idea being that a growing cancer creates new blood supplies very quickly to feed itself and the new blood increases breast temperatures.

I try to use common sense to make informed indecisions and that seems like a sensible idea. I don’t necessarily trust that each conventional health protocol is the best practice.

I like to be my own judge and keeper of my precious body!

Unfortunately, I had several abnormal readings in recent thermograms, so I decided to have a biopsy against my own instincts after an ultrasound confirmed a growing lump.

I’m in pre menopause, I sometimes eat and drink bad stuff, my hormones are all over the place, I just had a stressful finger injury that required too many conventional drugs and 6 hours of general anesthetic, so my body’s balance was upset. It’s an interesting observation that the biopsied boob lump was on the same side of my body as my injured fingers.

Yet I surmised that the most important thing about getting a biopsy is that it gives me peace of mind that actually causes positive physiological changes in my body. Here is another piece of research to alleviate some of our fears regarding breast cancer from “The Wisdom of Menopause.”

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I can’t change the health system in three easy steps but I can inform you a little and encourage you to research more and try to avoid allowing your body to be hurt because of a medical system that often seems to be based on financial profit rather than the maintenance of health.

I want to help reduce the fear and worry that a breast biopsy creates.  I’m sharing my limited knowledge and ideas that helped me survive a breast lump scare without too many emotional scars.

  1. Meditate on having healthy and happy boobs beforehand. You know I adore Insight Timer – a free meditation ap.
  2. Don’t get bullied into having a biopsy immediately after the ultrasound as this happened to me and I probably would have allowed it, but luckily I had another appointment. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to cope with it immediately. I needed to be accepting of the procedure first. I would have resented it and would have been much more traumatized had I allowed her to drill me immediately.
  3. Get a second opinion if your instincts are screaming “This doesn’t feel right!’ Sadly I often ignore my instincts, but I’m learning to respect my body more and listen to her.
  4. Research the side effects of having a biopsy. Many women worry that the needle will spread cancer into other parts of the breast not affected when it’s being pulled out of the skin. This is apparently not a worry, but heck the entire situation is stressful and these thoughts add to it.
  5. Put an ice pack on your breast for as long as you can tolerate it immediately before the test to dampen the sting of the local anesthetic that they use to numb the skin and internal breast tissue. Yes, I carried an ice pack with me into the clinic in a freezer bag. I was very glad to have done this.
  6. Don’t worry about the pain if you use the icepack it really makes the entire procedure painless.
  7. I firmly believe in taking a little valerian (a herb to help you relax) and Rescue Remedy from Bach (a herbal relaxation mixture that you spray in your mouth) just before you go into the room to help you stay calm and strong.
  8. Be prepared to have your hubby or friend NOT be allowed into the procedure room. I think a teddy bear or cuddly stuffed animal is a soothing prop. Whatever you need to help you through it. I also think taking a picture of your kids and loved ones into the procedure room to stare at reinforces why you are allowing this procedure as you want to ensure you are healthy for your family.
  9. Finally take headphones and have a happy, loving, joyful song ready and set on pause to play instantly because the whole thing is carried out fairly quickly thankfully. I listened to Phillip Phillips ‘Home’. “Know you’re not alone, as I’m going to make this place your home.”
  10. Sing your heart out during the procedure. I sang an ode of love to my booby not in any key, I think I sang flat, but I sang out loud. (Loud singing helps in the dentist chair too.) I sang something along the lines of ‘I love my beautiful booby, and I’m sorry I have to hurt you to check that I am ok.’ The surgeon said it was the funniest biopsy she’s ever done. Well there’s an interesting first to have. Singing certainly soothed me. The surgeon did mention that she sang “Amazing Grace” with another patient.
  11. Keep believing that everything is okay while you wait for the results. Just tell yourself that no matter what you will be well, healthy, strong and live a long, fabulously sexy life. My doctor got the results back to me by the next morning. She left a message saying, “Hi singing Lady. I’ve got good news for you, everything is fine.”

I’d like to challenge you to honor your breasts at least once a month in a scented bath with a sacred ceremony of protection.

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Having a deeper more appreciative relationship with your boobs is NEVER a bad thing. Dr Northrup encourages a method developed by Dana Wyrick, a lymphedema therapist in a clinic in San Diego. Gently stroking any part of our body helps remove impurities back into the lymph nodes, where they will be made harmless.

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I believe that healing takes place when we work to understand, accept and embrace the difficult emotions that may crop up and if we keep distress to a minimum during stressful procedures or in times of worry.

My hope is that you find some of my experience helpful and ignore the parts that don’t resonant with you. I also hope that I can help you smile a little when you lie in your steamy tub and talk lovingly to your best assets and think of me! Just kidding! It’s important to laugh when we can. Life is precious and very fleeting.

To find a thermography practitioner in your area (it’s about $150 and isn’t covered by insurance sadly) visit www.breastthermography.com or www.thermologyonline.org

Full Circle on Mamaroneck Avenue has an independent company called Image of Health that comes every few months and I’ve been very happy with their screening process and care.

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Be well my beautifully breasted readers, both male and female. Breast cancer affects both sexes.

May your amazing mammary glands life long and prosper!

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How to Tame Disappointment

I’ve been disappointed recently by the size of my butt and belly, no matter how much chocolate I don’t eat they keep growing:

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My preteen and teen kids’ attitudes have been very taxing at times, and I’m upset that summer is coming to an end for another year. Also I was emotionally distrurbed when a Central Park squirrel ate my ice cream sandwich, (this seriously happened).

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I also can’t seem to make time for my writing and planning for a long-term, paid career gig!

So what can we do to make disappointment less damaging?

Beat up a piñata? Eat three tubs of choc. chip ice-cream? Watch five episodes of ‘Glee’? Sadly I’ve tried all these activities and it just made me feel bloated and brain dead with little or no relief.

Fact #1: I can’t change or control anyone except myself – this is a tough reality that I keep burying alongside my dog Biscuit’s half-chewed bones!

If I focus on the negative aspects of a relationship I sense a growing presence of damage, irritation, and deep resentment, as I armor up my boundaries. Sometimes my walls are so high I can’t see the sky for the imaginary bricks.

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I sometimes ask myself what is this person’s behavior telling me about our situation? What stories am I creating in my head about their behavior? Do they respect me, or care about me, or value or see me? What is the very worst thing about their behavior that brings out my fear? Do I feel safe with them physically or emotionally?

Having the intention to let go of toxicity is so important. I can’t change the person who is hurting me. However, if I can forgive the person, I’m giving myself a precious gift of peace. Having gratitude is important too.

Shifting my attention to the positive sides of a relationship may take effort when I’m in pain. So I give myself a time out. Hey, I’m still a joyful kid ok!!!! I eat that chocolate bar hidden under my bed, next to the sexy undies I haven’t dared to wear yet. I run that warm soapy bath, or read that juicy novel, listen to hippy new age music etc. until I have the space and strength to consider forgiving.

Best to keep my mouth firmly shut until I get to this stage. I don’t want to poke the proverbial bear! Up until quite recently I’ve been known to bite them in the ass or threaten to shove stuff into places that I should never consider going anywhere near!!!

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Perhaps while I’m shaving my bits in the bath, I can start to admit to having an active part in the dysfunction. I often act like an ass, and I’m not always RIGHT! I’m human. I grow a little then I regress a lot. Hell, no. I’m right all the time. Yes sir. I’m a good gal!

I own that I often escalate a toxic situation because I ignore the other person’s pain because I  judge quickly and harshly.

I can only change my dysfunction!

So instead of beating myself up, I am beginning to treat my vulnerability and my ability to mess up with Loving Kindness. At the same time, I realize that oth

er peeps aren’t perfect and they deserve understanding when they fail too. 

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Fact #2: I am learning to stop expecting other people to behave the way I think they should behave, as it’s counterproductive, and this limiting belief just causes more hurt.

It yells that I am better than they are and that I’m a smart ass!

So Flush expectations down the toilet NOW! It’s an active choice I have to make over and over again. Being aware of having to take that choice is turning onto the road to recovery.

The truth is everyone comes from a place of #pain one way or another and to really appreciate that helps you empathize with that person. If their behavior has limitations in my perspective, and I can’t get this judgy opinion out of my head, then I try to understand that they are giving all they can give.

FullSizeRender.jpgI either release them or I accept them. Sometimes they need to be released as a gentle nudge to say it’s time to make changes.

People will always come and go. Nothing is permanent.

I can’t expect that anyone will put me first, everyone is human and has needs that rise beyond me.

The only person who is responsible for my needs is ME! I own that! I often don’t action it. But I’m trying!

There’s a fun observation I read in #Oprah Magazine. “Take the spotlight off yourself by learning the 20-40-60 rule…At age 20, you’re sure everyone’s thinking about you. By the time you’re 40, you’re starting to care less that people are thinking about you. And when you hit 60, you realize the truth. No one was ever thinking about you. People are generally too busy being their own worst enemy that they don’t even notice your flaws.” (This folk wisdom isn’t always correct, a very small number of people delight in hurting others sadly, but I’ll leave that for another blog.)

 

Fact#3: Be conscious of being judgmental and try and face the truth! Yikes!

That nasty ol’ judge in me loves to raise her know-it-all-head and smirk at the world. Admitting that my critical mind is real and present is a fabulous first step to taking responsibility for my actions. If I stop dwelling on other people’s failings I lean a little more towards the light and keep my head firmly away from a bucket of dark stinky water.

OWNING THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY GROWTH IS TOUGH – BUT WORTHWHILE!

I have a maddening tendency to fling blame around. He did this cos he’s a jerk and she did that cos she sucks etc. Where do I exist in all this projection of my pain? I see my faults mirrored in the recipient’s behavior, now that’s kinda scary.

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Yet it’s okay for me to face the darker side of myself in a loving and accepting fashion. I do it with my therapist, who is a loving kindness expert! I am learning to embrace my shameful side.

Excessive judgments make my heart feel heavy and I’m shameful of my cruelty, leaving me with a very unsettling and negative energy field. It is exhausting to carry the burden of so many judgments of right and wrong.

As soon as I can silence her with a gentle nudge, I lay her down to sleep again; somewhere dark, cosy and far away. I tend to boss her around and scold her, but perhaps by being conscious of my NORMAL negative response, I might be able to slow that down.

It’s humbling being a “work-in-progress” but it’s also a fine state of being.

I still don’t always recognize the moment when my judgmental voice pops out to say her piece, but it’s getting easier to sense her. The moment that I recognize her, I say ”Hi, and bugger off or ‘please leave’ 9for you ladies out there)” before she can rear her nasty, fiery dragon-breathing head anymore. (Yes, I love Game of Thrones.) I might have to run away from her, which is kind of difficult, but there are ways.

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It’s a life process to forgive and the most important person to forgive is YOU!

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Well if I can find that place of tranquility, perhaps I can face the truth of WHO I AM, warts, purple veins, scabs and all?

I deeply regret having hurt others with my anger, neglect, selfishness and my rejection of my strong sense of invisibility. (I could go on a while here but you get the idea).

I DO feel better when I confess my sins in my journal and then write “I forgive myself again” in upper case letters, MASSIVE letters that take up an entire page. Just to underline their importance!!!!!

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I have managed to accept over time that maybe the person I’m disappointed with is doing his/her utmost best shot at whatever it is and I should honor and be thankful for their efforts.

However, when people are rude and don’t listen and talk over me, I have a problem with that. It raises my hackles. But I’m learning to tell them to “Cut it out. It’s rude and I’m not tolerating it.” I say this a little too vehemently sometimes, so I shake myself off, releasing their negativity like a duck shaking his tail feathers in a stormy pond. LITERALLY I SHAKE LIKE A DUCK AND MAKE A BURRING NOISE. This calms me to the extent that I can send the person blessings and love. It might take a few shakes and a few blessings, but it works with patience.

Boy is that judgy mind of mine a hard thing to control. Yikes, so much effort, but it’s so worthwhile for the peace inside my head!

I’m not afraid of good honest, hard work!

And yes I most always get it wrong but I’m beginning to change to old patterns.

 

Fact#4: Pain often brings growth if you are open to receive wisdom.

Embrace the pain, it’s a gift. It sounds like I’m having a love affair with my pain. Learn to self-sooth! What the heck does that mean? Then make a conscious decision to start to do better.

I’m now recognizing the wisdom of my body and how she can support me in my search for the truth. I slowly scan my body from head to toe and notice if there is tension.

If someone is hurting me, I acknowledge the tingle or flutter often near my heart or I sometimes feel a lump in my chest and an inability to breathe freely when I’m stressed.

If something is wrong with a situation and I’m in danger, my body often warns me! Thank you Glorious Wise Body!

However, I don’t always listen. I am a slow processor of information! That’s me! The truth!

Sometimes I totally misread a situation when the other person’s frustration is triggered. There’s a mean spirit in me that enhances the dysfunction of the moment by responding to the other person’s negative behavior with my own naughty behavior. Yip I love to tease. Then both our anger arrives as a defense mechanism = TOXICITY! DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

A useful strategy is to run and hide under a bush until I soothe yourself.

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In a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed, (the toilet is sacred to me) I reflect on the other person’s behavior. Perhaps whisper, “I see and feel the pain you caused me and I want to forgive you, to set my heart and spirit free from anger.”

I try and have an intention to forgive. Come on, I can bear down and face that forgiveness Monster! Sometimes this process may take days or weeks.

If I try to feel the pain I caused someone else, (I name them in my mind if I want to) and I internally ask for their forgiveness. This private attempt at compassion might make a teeny, weeny little shift in my own consciousness or awareness.

Could a simple hand gesture help?

Perhaps, if I allow the anger and frustration to surface, and bring it to my emotional center, by gently placing my hand over my heart, this may redirect or change the negative feelings.

By offering love and support to my heart, I honor my love center and all my goodness. Yes, it sounds weird but just try it once or twice. In fact let’s start a Hand-on-Heart-Movement.  I’m enjoying learning to have a closer relationship with my beautiful heart.

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If I need extra support I imagine a loving person that is or was in my life and who could be there to give me a shoulder to lean on.

Even better, I try to find a supportive friend to talk over some of my feelings in a strengthening act of self-love. When I offer a glass of wine, or tea and biscuits, a friend is even more understanding and stays longer. I reached out on Facebook recently and I had a beautiful pocket of support, so I used social media to my advantage.

Remember in a difficult situation where I feel hurt or attacked, I am trying to learn to say “Cut it out. I won’t tolerate that.”

Support your position and stay strong. If their behavior doesn’t change then I need to leave the hostile environment. Fight or flight to self-love my Darlings.

Perhaps take a walk, play a sport, or pick flowers or take a yoga class outside.  (If I can’t plug my own yoga class in my blog when else can I? Sorry self-promotion is so crass!)

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“Spending time in nature synchronizes our natural rhythms to the universal heartbeat. It supports our own natural timing to be in the right place at the right time. It revives our energy level and renews our spirit.” Diane Ingram

To block out traffic noise or other peeps blabbing in your ear, listen to a guided mediation or healing music as you walk.

I love this loving, mediative prayer to my body and mind. It’s long and repetitive as all good mediation songs should be. It soothes my heart. ry it.

“Thank You” by Carrie Grossman https://youtu.be/_TWmaGWY0Eg

We are NOT POWERLESS! Yet coming to a sense of the NOTHINGNESS in meditation has soooooo many health benefits I won’t even start.

Self-care is imperative to me.

By soothing my heart with self-love I am more capable of giving love to others. I want to be ‘full of myself’ as Oprah says.

Remember that the most important person to LOVE is YOU!

Let me know how you deal with disappointment in general. I hope this post makes you feel a little better and NOT SO ALONE.

We ebb and flow through life’s continual changes.

I regress, regrow, relearn, reflect, release and renew!

Love to chat as you know. I hope the end of summer is a safe and happy time.

 

What To Do When You Are Too Attached To Something Or Someone

So who doesn’t love pizza? When that warm, melted cheese coats your tongue and the smooth, orange grease oozes from the sides of your lips. Ok, I’m getting a bit carried away, but yes I used to be attached to pizza in a massive way. These gluten free days not so much, and I feel lighter (sadly not really lighter but hey) and I do enjoy a chewier slice here and there of bastardized gluten free so-called pizza.

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In this case I had to let go of my weekly obsession and ‘must have’ feelings regarding this snack food because it filled my guts with excessive wind, and that’s never a good thing and we won’t go into any of the other details. Let’s just say the world is a quieter and more peaceful place because I gave up pizza.

But there are other obsessions that I am still grabbing too tightly to. My hubby for example is a yummy individual but I find as soon as I try to smother him in attention or crazy love, he runs for the hills. He can’t breathe and I don’t blame him. Co-dependency is not a sexy phenomenon. I have tried super gluing myself to his butt but it didn’t work. So I guess I gotta stand on my own two feet.

I guess I wasn’t that secure growing up and you know that’s okay now because I’m still in the maturation process and it’s kinda exciting to feel less unstable and to feel like I’m making steady progress. Knowing you need to work on a problem is the first step to fixing it.

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On reflection, I’ve added a few ingredients to limit my life a little, two kids, two guinea pigs, a dog and …. But strangely I’ve found that the more challenges I welcome the freer and more motivated I am to get things right. Be warned, if you don’t stop holding onto my kids like they’re going to leave home or something and abandon you, oh no, then they’ll be out the door so quickly you won’t see your son for computer driven sparks coming from his tushi region.

So all I’m saying is be aware and cautious of attachment to peeps and things.

However, a healthy ice-cream addiction is a fun, healthy summer-only habit. I’m joking. Yet hubby and I enjoyed the finest Long Island ice-cream recently from the Ice-cream Cabin. It’s a no frills kinda place with more ice-cream flavors than any sane person could ever come up with. I tried their vanilla as I find that’s the way to know if a product is to my liking. It fitted the bill except that it had a little bit too much sugar for my personal taste.

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So watch out if you find yourself attaching onto someone and something yummy, too often and too tightly. You don’t want to squeeze the life out of the thing and you don’t want your taste buds to get too familiar with the taste of vanilla ice cream. God forbid if you lost your liking for it. If you ate ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week or so – you’d be craving live, nutritio

us food instead. Maybe that’s a new diet plan I might try?!

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Stand up to that small part of you that holds onto stuff with your fingers clasped shut and claws inserted. PAUSE. Say a few strong, yet gentle words to yourself and try to understand where that insecurity comes from, use your CALM, WISE MIND to ask yourself “WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY?” It’s vital to not allow our Inner Judge to criticize and belittle our feelings. It’s ok to feel wobbly without your teddy to cuddle in bed every night. Forgive yourself for feeling insecure because we’re all supposed to be so strong all the time. BLA!

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To be honest, I really don’t feel comfortable in the “I’m the bad girl in this situation” spot but it’s ok. My stroppy teenager self occasionally messes up and I own that. I try to INCREASE my AWARENESS of the problem and behave with a little more CONSIDERATION OF OTHER’S FEELINGS, and WHY NOT THROW IN A LITTLE RESPECT and a sprinkle of KINDNESS the next time around, instead of grabbing on so tightly and turning your object of desire blue.

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Indeed, PERFECTION is BORING give me a solid, emotional wreck to talk to at a party any day. As long as they’re honest about what’s going on, and have the motivation to do better. If a friend is struggling, I try to offer a safe place for them to confess their “attachment sins” so that they can ultimately forgive themselves. I don’t always get it right. In fact, I have been aware of taking over a conversation and delivering a monologue on my problems and concerns. Yikes! Ok, I’m trying. Very trying!!!

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And of course I’ll forgive a friend too, if I’m involved in the attachment issue. It does snub my nose out of joint if someone tries to steal my ice-cream cone, okay.

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However, I know full well that I make bad judgment calls all the time. I tend to be a tad cynical and God forbid harsh in my judgments at times. There, I’ve confessed a weakness to the Universe and I feel better for it.

As a wise yogi said, “Our yoga practice has to be a lot smarter than our old, harmful habits.”

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It makes me a richer person when I offer support and love to a friend, especially one who is growing and is courageous enough to try and make a shift in their old patterns of behavior.

Screw it, we ALL have WEAKNESSES and we all DESERVE COMPASSION and a lot of LOVE, and REMEMBER in the end WE are the best person to SOOTHE OURSELVES. I have FAITH in you. Keep taking those little STEPS TOWARDS THE LIGHT, keep whispering, “I’m Awesome and I know it” and with the power of TRUTH and love we will prevail. Yikes I’m turning into Winston Churchill!

To read all my posts and to see them as they are published visit www.egotasticearthmom.wordpress.com and subscribe to support my journey.

I’m trying to write shorter blog posts more often. I hope you like this one. Let me know. Kisses to all.

The Honesty Exchange (Revisited)

This may start a little strange but the advice is solid!

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I wrote a post many moons ago about this concept, but it was through the lens of two back-to-back relationships ending. The concept behind it was sound and something I continue to practice in my daily life, but the examples I used to present it back then were, in my opinion, too personal and not the most effective ones to get the message across. This is my attempt to do it better.


In the world of kink and BDSM, we talk about the “power exchange.” I love to focus on the word “exchange,” not as a “one gives and one takes,” but as a mutual give and take between the people involved. It looks a little bit like the symbol for recycling – not a one-for-one exchange, but symbiotic exchange running on a continuous loop.

This particular post isn’t so much about the exchange of power in BDSM, but about…

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Stick With It

A lady close to my own heart. Always trying to grow and nurture her better selves to come to the fore!

Cynthia Harrison

Rewrote the end of the manuscript I’ve been working on for a few years now. The first and last chapters always need the most revision. But I think this time I’ve got it. The photo is of the finally finished product. I say finished by that’s just the story I’ve told. Now I need to edit, add chapter headings, and construct a timeline. These are things I’d rather not do, but do them I must. Only then, when I feel the narrative is as tight and the writing as polished as I want it to be, can I send it to my editor.

I have a lot of experience sticking to my writing projects. In other areas of life, I’m not so great. I’ve gained and lost weight for 25 years, never able to stay for long on the slim end of the scale. I’ve also started and abandoned every…

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Transformation and Productivity

Maybe some of you fine folks noticed that I haven’t blogged in a few months. I missed keeping you informed of how I laughed all the way to the sanitarium. Well life has been very rich to say the least. I have two new fingers, well kinda new. I attacked my old ones accidently, when I lost all connection between my head and body, and in particular my heart. I lost my temper and stabbed down on a cutting board while cutting carrots and severed my pinky and ring finger tendons because my birthday celebration didn’t go as planned. It took a millisecond to do so much damage, the cuts looked insignificant yet my two fingers were instantly paralyzed.

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The truth was I hadn’t really made a plan for my birthday, I’d expected poor hubby to conjure up the perfect experience alone. In the end, we had a sick kid to deal with and that took priority. Yet my inner three-year-old self felt neglected and had a tantrum because she didn’t get her way. I had forgotten to nurture her as the adult.

Oh boy this confession idea is tricky. So my writing production declined severely as I got my finger tendons reconnected and learnt to reuse them.

I am very fortunate in comparison to people dealing with major health altering events. A plastic hand surgeon repaired my pinky for five hours. Just imagine how tiny the inner workings of a pinky are and his patience and commitment. I’m very grateful for his expertise, skill and due diligence. I had promised myself that I would never have plastic surgery, well look where that got me. At least my hand was being held for the entire time, I couldn’t have asked for better service. The adorable surgeon was meticulous and said “Despite your best efforts you haven’t ruined all my hard work.” I didn’t really follow the post- operative protocol as shopping bags are heavy and can’t be ignored.

I’ve also been under the care of an amazing occupational therapist, who has given me every finger stretching torture device you could imagine and my fingers can move again. I hope to regain at least 95.5% of my fingers’ former abilities and for that I am very grateful.

My hand accident has been a tremendous gift to me. Throughout this premenopausal period, I’ve focused on healing a lot of old hurts, a divine time to do this kind of work. Childhood traumas take a tremendous amount of work to accept. But I’m even more determined to come closer to that illustrious inner peace thingy-me-bob. Closure is impossible but a calm mind is something that I can aim for.

I’ve had a lot of time to think and I realized that I need to be more independent and enjoy having more space in general. Most importantly I want to create some personal finances. Staying-at-home reduced my self-esteem so I need to take steps to improve this. Yikes!

 

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My hubby is very supportive but I know it’s time to take baby steps in the right direction. I dream of being a successful writer one day and of making a decent salary but I need multiple income sources to feel secure.

I’ve managed to finish my first steps by certifying as a Yoga Instructor. I completed the beginner’s 200 hour course despite my hand injury and soul searching. I’ve taught one garden class so far and loved it. It’s more frightening than standing in front of 30 teenagers teaching in a classroom setting. Who knew!

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Although I still spend an inordinate amount of time bending and torturing my fingers and thinking I should be doing something more, I can type again. So I’m back to editing and reworking my novel’s chapters. Sometimes I feel stuck and other days I fly through chores, exercise, dog-walks and start editing before lunch. Those days are too few right now, I’m plagued by a lack of focus. It’s frustrating.

Therefore I decided to research specific personality traits in order to make sense of my dawdling and anger impulses. There are many different character types and I resonated towards the three below:

  1. Securely centered adults tend to have positive views of themselves, their partners and their attachments. They feel comfortable with intimacy and independence, and balance them fairly easily. I am occasionally in this category.
  2. Stressed out – Overthinking adults seek a lot of intimacy, approval and responsiveness from partners, often being needy. They tend to be less trusting, have less positive views about themselves and their loved ones, and may show high levels of emotional expressiveness, stress and impulsiveness in their relationships. Oh dear this is more like it and sadly I can put my hand up to much of this description. Sigh. Deep breath, where’s my chamomile tea?
  3. Fearful-avoidant adults have mixed feelings about close relationships, both desiring and feeling uncomfortable with emotional closeness. They do not trust their partners and view themselves as unworthy. This sounds self-absorbed and I guess I am because I write about myself a lot, yet it pains me to accept that a part of me is a fearful avoidant adult.

In an attempt to be truthful in my blog I admit that I veer towards the last two behaviors. I’m a fearful, angry person at times and that’s a very hard statement for me to accept. I’ve been very independent most of my life until I met my hubby and I’ve grown a bit frazzled and complacent looking after kids for 14 years. So as they grow up and need me less I can focus on being more purposeful and less stressed with more time for ME.

Therefore, I’m facing the second part of my life and bringing the idea of transformation  to center stage. I have new, slightly stiff fingers, a saggy belly and greying hair. I’ve decided to embrace this aging process so I’m going to let my hair dye grow out.

Dr. Mercola recently claimed that 90% of toxic chemicals are absorbed into the body via the mouth or skin. Toxins shrivel up my precious brain cells. I need to protect my brain when I can. Perhaps I’ll still have my pink streaks from time to time as they make me smile. I’m not going completely natural just yet.

I’m also trying to be more grateful to everyone and kinder. I have a mean angry streak and I don’t like it but I can focus on the better parts of the rest of me.

So I’m offering myself more self-love, pats on the back and self-massage on Mother earth (spiraling and circling on my back does wonders for anxiety).

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I am learning to recognize and have little chats with my inner angry three-year-old and my hormonal grumpy teen-self. They both need adult validation, support and love.

Here are some of the tools I use to reduce stress:

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tap on your head, face and chest midline meridians and say the mantra “Despite the fact I’m a grumpy bear sometimes, I deeply love and accept myself.” If you say if enough times you begin to believe it. Check it out on U tube for a more detailed description.

MIRROR WORK – I say “I love you” in the mirror when I remember. It makes me smile.

THERAPY – I see my therapist weekly and love her because she tells me I’m charming.

YOGA – learning more about the yoga world and having a regular practice is one the best changes I’ve ever made. I’ve only touched the surface but it’s transformed my breathing, standing, posture and mood. Never mind, helping firm the saggy parts.

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MEDITATION – I have been listening to the Insight Timer Ap’s inspiring guided meditations on a regular basis, sometimes while walking the dog or brushing my teeth.

ANIMAL CARE – I’m trying to be more compassionate to our pup, who represents a frightened younger part of myself. It took me 20 minutes to persuade him to take a walk last night. But I took the time even though it was 10p.m. and I was exhausted. When he’s hiding under his bush and refusing to come out I may have called him “little fucker” but hey I’m human.

READING – I believe in reading self-help books. Two recommendations are Calm Cure by Sandy Newbigging and The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron.

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This was a tricky blog to write. Procrastination and admitting my weaknesses aren’t easy yet Perfection is so boring! 

I claim my right to be a permanent work in progress.

I hope it inspires you to think about your needs, and what you want to work on next.

Please let me know what reduces your stress and helps you overcome procrastination.

Keep smiling it transfers positive energy – there’s a shortage!

 

 

 

A Rush of Productivity – or Not?

This grand title for my latest post seems mighty ironic sitting where I am right now. Since returning from London at Christmas, I’ve been knocked back by several viruses and have felt lousy. So the productive fairy hasn’t arrived yet.

On reflection, I’m not sure that she’s welcome any way. Sure I have 14 things on my to-do list, which doesn’t include finishing my novel, oops. I feel more secure about these day-to-day projects as I’ve given them a legitimate home on a reminder list. But are these the true priorities that I want to focus on?

My daughter had a run of bad luck too. She fractured her ankle and without a single tear just got on with it . The medical boot was heavy and awkward, but she wore it for a month and didn’t complain. She got the same stomach virus I did and puked all night and never moaned, or cried. I can tell you I did.

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My daughter also told me recently that I hadn’t been spending enough time on her and I didn’t know what was happening in her school life. She was right of course. Her grades had been fine so I’d taken her off my concern radar, but she wanted me to be connected and I hadn’t been. It didn’t take much to plug back in, a couple of science project clean-ups in the kitchen, where she distilled clean water. Who knew that water distillation could be done with a pot, a bowl and some ice? Very useful if our clean water supply runs out.

I’ve got spontaneous hugs from my daughter, now that I’m paying closer attention to her. That never happened before.

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My son and I have a strong, steady relationship, I let him sneak in an extra bit of screen time and forget to mention this to Dad and he’s happy.

He also had the stomach virus and didn’t even wake us up!

His grades and homework, well, like me, he could be a bit more productive. But he’s a happy bunny rabbit most of the time. He tells hubby and me when we misbehave and encourages group hugs when we’re mad at each other.

So I’m not embarrassed to admit that my kids are my new role models and mentors.

My New Year promises to myself may not have materialized yet, but I’m strangely happier as a result. I’ve managed to keep a clear pathway from the living room to the kitchen and clean clothes on everyone’s back. My hubby’s on a detox plan so I’ve cooked less too. I’ve sat and cuddled him more recently, and it feels warm, cozy and loving.

It’s been a great basic start to 2017.

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I’m not promoting a bout of sickness, NO!

However, I can see the spaces between the myriad of leaves on the forest floor.

There simply isn’t a right and wrong, there’s only I’m doing the best I can with the knowledge and past experience that I have.

So don’t beat yourself up about a grand 2017 scheme of greatness.

Stop, tickle your kids’, or your dog’s or hubby’s belly.

Time outs help us regroup and summon up the energy to keep on going. Life doesn’t really get easier, we just need to be kinder to ourselves and smarter. Priorities – well you have to figure out those for yourself. But my expectations of self are lower and I’m trying to make my judgments more lenient. I fail consistently!

I’ll end on a note of gratitude. I’ve learned a new way to fold my laundry. It’s based on the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo (Author)

Maybe I’ll post a short video with the technique, but the fabulous thing about the method is, Ms. Kondo asks us to thank each item of clothing for its service to our family and ourselves as we fold it. This fills me with gratitude and it makes my drawers look lovely when everything is so thin and lined up. My kids’ drawers look splendid for a day or two at least. I hate folding normally but this is cathartic.

I truly believe that my body believes every word I say and think. So it’s great to find new opportunities to spark joy and positive thoughts. So I gotta watch my tongue and get back to healing, growing stronger and taking baby steps with my to-do list. I’ve got a bit of a temper too, so maybe I need to look into that and let go of that sucker and all it’s disappointments. Oh I’ve boundary issues too and I fart a lot and …..

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Happy Folding and Positive whispers only!

Amazon link to Marie Kondo’s best-selling book:

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing-ebook/dp/B00KK0PICK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485280783&sr=1-1&keywords=kondo+method

 

My Fabulous Yoga Teacher, Patty Holmes, at Yoga Garden  in White Plains shared these fabulous links with me and I’m passing them to you. Love “The Things I Wish someone Had told me.”

Insight Timer top free meditation app. may spark a daily practice. Give it a try!

Sarah Blondin Podcast: Live Awake – two great meditations – Make                           it Sacred and Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Special Gift:  Long Time Sun a special song to give to ourselves, the ones we love.

Thank you Patty!