Forgetfulness and GroundDogs Be Gone!

Are you the type of person who knows and adores someone for years, you meet regularly at book club or at school events, you hug, avidly find out each other’s latest excitements and for the life of you YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THEIR NAME?!

This is the brain that was given to me.

When I was teaching, in my thirties my brain functioned at a higher resolution and I managed to fuddle my way around two to three hundred girls’ names each year. Well to be honest the teenage girl is a terrifying creature so I was very motivated to try my hardest to remember.

Where did I leave my keys today? In the dish in the hallway where they’re suppose to retire every evening, I fear not. Then again, I need my purse before I can find my keys because I can’t go anywhere without money. Luckily a purse is a object with some substance and color. Keys are tricky as they are small little creatures and tend to hide in nooks and crannies. They don’t say much either. I’d appreciate a whispered “I’m over here, you silly Dim-bat.” However, that’s a fantasy and instead I’ll just go and lift up the sofa to see if anything useful is under there.

I do try and be consistent with where I leave my keys, well most of the time. So hubby got me a phone app. called Tile that has a little tile attached to my keys and via the magic of bluetooth it can find them and make the tile beep so that I can hear my keys calling to me. It’s a pretty darn helpful device.

I didn’t want to look into Alzheimer’s because I’m scared of it as any sensible human should be, but Oprah’s The Magazine’s June 2017 forced me to share its information.

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Alzheimer’s is the most common presentation of dementia, which is a decline in our mental cognition, memory, reasoning, and often our personality. When I was a nurse years back, I remember the anger and confusion in many Alzheimer’s patients and the enormous amount of stress involved in caring for them.

It’s a terribly tragic disease for victims and family.

Alzheimer’s patients have two proteins found in their brain in autopsy. Beta-amyloid which forms plaques and tua which creates tangles in the brain.

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Maria Shriver’s father Sargent was diagnosed with Alzheimer in 2003, she described him as a brilliant man. As a result of her father’s diagnosis, Shriver recently teamed up with Equinox Sports Clubs to encourage its members to value their brains as much as their bodies in a Move for Minds crowdfunding event (moveforminds.org). She writes:

“I want women to realize that they spend all this time and money on their lips, their thighs, and their eyes, but none of that will matter if you don’t have your mind.”

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Well I blame my dysfunctional estrogen levels for my scattiness, but who knows.

Worryingly, every 66 seconds another brain develops this tragic disease and two-thirds of the brains are female.

The National Institutes for health spend billions researching cancer, HIV and heart disease and much less on Alzheimer’s.

“Women suffer disproportionately in terms of pure numbers, and we need to understand how sex biology contributes” says Dena Dubal, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.

There hasn’t been enough gender-focused research done. I’m grateful that Shriver  founded the nonprofit Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) to raise funds to improve this.

Experts think there are direct links to depression, stress and inflammation that can be addressed in our 30s, 40s and 50s to ward off Alzheimer’s.

Other Connections that may Affect Alzheimer’s are:

  1. Untreated high blood pressure. Changing diet and regular exercise are vital.
  2. Certain reactions to medication
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Perimenipause
  5. Inadequate amounts of sleep
  6. Hormone imbalances – can affect mood and energy levels.
  7. High bad cholesterols may cause plaque in vessels that may restrict the blood flow to particular parts of the brain.
  8. Take care with sugar intake as Diabetes is linked to damaged walls in the circulatory system.
  9. High levels of blood sugar causes insulin resistance which is linked to Alzheimer’s
  10. Smoking – everyone knows that’s awful for so many reasons
  11. Generalized inflammation caused by unhealthy diets and lack of exercise, deficiency of Vitamin D and many other things

Scientists are now realizing that a healthier lifestyle can possibly decrease the presence of Alzheimer’s by about 30 per cent.

Preventative and Supportive Steps we can all take:

Regularly exercise in any way you enjoy reduces the plaque build-up in our brains says Richard Isaacson MD, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

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Physical exercise may improve the health of our hippocampus, one of our memory centers. It also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and thus increases the nourishment to our brains. Working out boosts our levels of growth hormones and therefore most likely creates an overall healthier environment in our brains.

One study in Australian suggested that high intensity strength training two or three times a week for six months improves the general workings of our brain.

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Dr. Mercola suggests that even simple squats and arm raises for a few minutes at a time carried out two or three times a day can improve our overall health, including our brain. Now that is a doable idea.

Set an alarm on your phone to motivate you to leave your desk and do single leg balances, squats and leg raises just for a few minutes. This helps to eradicate the problems with sitting for long periods.

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Yoga, my friends is a fabulous stress buster and may help the brain in a few ways, says Helen Lavretsky, MD, professor in residence in the psychiatry department at UCLA. Stress hormones suppress the hippocampus volume and function, that affects our memory, and stress induced inflammation is linked to neuronal damage.

In a study by Lavretsky adults aged 55 plus, who attended an hour long yoga class per week and meditated 12 minutes per day for 12 weeks had less stress and their verbal memory increased. This Lavretsky says would help old and young people alike.

You can stretch out anywhere, walls, chairs and mantlepieces all make useful props for balancing too.

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A healthy brain diet is an important first step to prevent the onset of this disease. Apparently our cranium desires and needs plants. Eating a Mediterranean style diet and munching on heart- improving vegetables and nuts in between meals for snacks is great. Cut down on animal products, sugar and bad fats. Healthy grass fed meats and grass-fed dairy are much better for us as the animals are fed their natural food source.

Leafy greens come out as the top food source to eat 6 servings a week are recommended and any vegetable at least one serving per day.

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Nuts are encouraged 5 times per week and berries at least twice a week.

Fish once a week and chicken twice, are healthy choices. Omega 3s like DHA found in seafood help increase the brain’s cells’ communication with other neuronal cells.

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Can’t beat a yummy smoked salmon brunch

A vitamin B complex and especially vitamin B12 found in chicken and fish is linked to better memory (if you’re a vegetarian take a food based supplement).

Cut out sugar as much as possible to have a healthy brain.

Remember that fruits have a lot of sugar. Perhaps have treats at the weekend, or after a hard day and be good the rest of the time. We are flawed humans after all.

One of my favorite pieces of advice is to indulge in a glass of red wine every day. Yay see life is fabulous!

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The second amazing suggestion is drink green tea. Honor Whiteman writes in Medical News Today “the beverage can enhance our brain’s cognitive functions, particularly the working memory.” Green tea has so many health benefits it’s really worth the time getting to love, love, love that hot, comforting beverage.

Latest Research on How to Remember Stuff Better

Birthdays and anniversaries are an embarrassing problem in my life-bubble. Guess what? I forget them. Strangely enough I don’t forget my own birthday. Even my kids’ dates of birth are a struggle and my son was born on my sister’s birthday. I never feel completely confident that I’ve got my daughter’s date right and I was there that day. However, I was a tad overstretched in more areas than I’d like to divulge. What does that say about my mothering skills? Luckily my hubby is very organized and even puts his latest bowel movements on the schedule. Okay, I’m kidding, but you get the point.

Perhaps if there are direct consequences to me forgetting something then it might improve my memory. I try to keep times and dates in my head and not always look at the schedule and if I remember them I can have a cuppa green tea with a buddy as a reward.

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Instead of letting my week flow quickly by with routine activities, I am beginning to schedule excursions to a local bakery and chat about pastry consistency or visit the library or local privately-owned book store and discuss creepy characters and fabulous life stories with the owner.

It’s been found that if I break my routine and do something a little special or different than normal with a friend I create a new memory. Thus I will use my mind and be social at the same time.

I need to work on being more social and avoid hiding under the bed for days at a time. I believe that being kind and helpful to others brings joy and a better working mind also.

Having a support network helps in so many ways. If friends encourage me to read more, or challenge me to memorize a poem or their cell numbers, these little non-stressful tasks can make me feel amazingly smart. I’m constantly challenged by the amazing women around me.

I’m so grateful for you!

As a busy modern peeps, I feel compelled to multi-task, however if I savor the present moment by stopping and staring into my beautiful child’s eyes and seeing their wonder,  I’m guessing I’ll feel more alert and alive. That’s gonna clean out the cobwebs in anyone’s dusty hippocampus and probably freak out my kid. But hey they’ll know I care and that I’m listening. It means my kids are important to me.

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I have a new, clear intention to put brain health in the forefront of my mind, to start improving my memories and prevent anymore from slipping away.

Live well and lead productive, happy lives!

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!

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!

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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!

 

Author Confessions Round 9

I’m a panster when I write.  I don’t outline, don’t use storyboards, and don’t formula write. I have a sense of where I want to start and I know what direction I’m goi…

Source: Author Confessions Round 9