rest the medicine it is

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To rest when you need it is not laziness. It is not giving up. It takes real discipline to lie down in the midst of a day, to take a break in the midst of a life.
If we are to be good stewards of these vehicles, these bodies, for this life, then it is our personal responsibility to treat rest like the medicine it is.

~Amy Jirsa quietearthyoga.com~

affirmations

I passionately believe utilizing power over the mind through affirmations can be life changing. I scribble my affirmations in a journal as a reminder of my passion for inspiration. Affirmations gain their power from repetition. The more they are repeated the more they impact and shape realities. Let go of all distractions. Be fully present. Feel the emotions. Find relaxation. Allow inspiration to consume you. Open your heart to the affirmations as wholesome and true.

TO START THE DAY . . .

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CONSIDER THIS . . .

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STRESS . . .
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QUIET TIME . . .

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COURAGE . . .

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my soul feels lighter

It has never been easy for me to just let go and be free. At times it feels impossible, intimidating. A stressful concept for me is being present in the moment.

These hang-ups keep me from pursuing my passions and experiencing the incredible world around me. In truth, these feelings are heavy burdens I carry on my shoulders.

I’ve found freedom in letting go and breaking away from my mental blocks. I allow myself to surrender to the moment and just be.

my internal dialogue

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My inner voice has a lot of power over me whether the words I hear inside are negative, positive or simply thoughts. I had some well rehearsed lines that at one point I convinced myself defined me. These lines ran over into my internal dialogue. I thought that what I told myself internally was my reality. I became my thoughts.

Since commencing acceptance of my illness, my life has never felt more fulfilled. I now tell myself “I can do this” and “I am happy” because what I think becomes me, what I feel follows me and what I believe builds around me.

The day I took a conscious control of my thoughts was the day I declared my freedom and began my certainty of life.

my legacy

Living with a chronic illness is like sitting on a pottery wheel as a soft lump of clay. It doesn’t matter how long I sit there or what shape I am as eventually, I will be reshaped as the hands of my illness continue to touch my life.

Aspiring to build character despite my illness, I am hopeful that at the end of my life my legacy will be, “She fought to live each day with grace while encouraging others to do the same.”

not everyone is meant to be in our lives

Having the support of my family is a pipe dream especially when it comes to my health. When I say “my family” I’m referring to my personal immediate family and all of my family through marriage, divorce and the list goes on and on. I’ve never blogged about how the majority of my family deals with my illness. Quite honestly, it’s not important to me.

Harsh, right?

How do I deal with those family members (less than two) who choose not to try to understand or accept my illness? I have no problem exiling them from my life because their judgement of me even before the diagnosis of my illness was too heavy for me to deal with. Making the decision to pluck someone from my life and give up the relationship is an easy decision for me. Since we never really had a relationship, it feels better than okay to oust them from my life.

This past week I experienced once again what felt like my heart being wrung out like a wet towel making me feel humiliated by insensitive actions and words. That’s when the line was crossed for the last time. I walked away without any desire to look back.

I set myself free

facing the darkness

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Facing the darkness admitting the pain, allowing pain to be pain, is never easy. This is why courage-big-heartedness is the most essential virtue on our spiritual journeys, because if we fail to let pain be pain, then pain will haunt us in nightmarish ways. We will become pain’s victim instead of the healers we should become.

- Matthew Fox

from the inside out

Relentless dwelling of my illness manifested inside of me. I was going nowhere. I needed to find a strategy to overcome this manifestation building inside of me as I was absolutely miserable both physically and mentally. My journey of acceptance thus far has been a bumpy one, but my future goals are hinging on me embracing acceptance.

Acceptance of my pain started on the inside and moved its way out. I tapped into my authenticity and embraced my illness. Do I passionately love my illness? Well, I’m working on it. It’s work in progress. But as Bozoma St. John said, “Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn.”

acceptance

IMG_8958The worst part of battling my body is between what I know and what I feel.

Although it has taken me years, the time has come where I am finally comfortable with my illness. My comfort zone now embraces acceptance of my illness. I took a risk and removed myself from the known. With time, I’ve been able to travel a new route allowing acceptance into my journey.

It’s been a definite battle, but one I’ve found a way to win.

aching for home lives within me

The dusty memories that are tucked away deep within me are always illuminated by the thoughts of my childhood, home.

My absence from home has always made my heart grow fonder. The instant I stand barefoot in my parents’ yard with my dad’s meticulously curated carpet of lush grass, I find pure bliss which triggers a kind of serenity in my mind. The serenity of home. Whenever I return home every single one of my senses come alive with the memories that had all been set against a backdrop of a little town in western Pennsylvania.

Those sensory experiences from my parents’ yard are home. They induce a rush of happiness that makes me ache when I’m away. I welcome this twinge of melancholy because it means I have found my happiness full of love, light and the treasures of my life.

unknown paths

20140731-021628-8188101.jpgThere are so many things that I have yet to learn about myself. Everyday that I am alive is another day I might find something out about myself that I never knew.

As I walk my path, it helps me to see the world in a different light. When I think I have myself on the right path, there’s always an unknown path that appears. You will always find me taking the unknown path.

Regardless of the individual paths we take always remember to respect one another, create peace my friends!

Change Around The World. I am dedicating today’s Blog to my friend Heila in Israel @ heilablog.wordpress.com -

simple living, transforming my mornings

If my body allows me, I spring out of bed in the morning. If I open my eyes and my body is screaming, I tug the covers over my head while punching the snooze button a few more times. As much as I hate to admit it, I definitely fell into the latter category all too often.

I transformed my mornings and set a precedent for how they should be. A bad start is no doubt of my own making. It was all about changing my habits and perspective. I turned things around and now start my mornings off right. It’s really made a difference in my day-to-day life. I’ve made them count, feeling fulfilled and refreshed.

By making the most out of my mornings, I enter them with a positive mindset. Rising early at the same consistent time, allows me to fully embrace the start of each day. It’s become a habit. I always take time first thing each morning to reflect on the past two days and look ahead at the next five days.

I look forward to waking up early as it creates a positive memory that will stay with me and influence my mood and body throughout the day.

isolation

20140727-184956-67796398.jpgChronic pain is a heavy burden that has affected many aspects of my life on a day-to-day basis. Daily, I sense a growing distance between who I am now and who I used to be.

I’ve changed both physically and psychologically – at times unrecognizable to myself. I have lost complete interest in spending time with family and friends and participating in social activities. Socially withdrawing is due to chronic pain and the fact that I am no longer able to do the things I use to be able to do or want to do.

It’s not easy dealing with chronic pain. Doing it alone is even harder. Although I suffer in silence, knowing I am not, may be the first step in breaking the isolation I live in.

intensity

The intensity of living day-to-day with chronic pain makes it hard to breathe, from my lower back to the tips of my toes; numbness, burning, screaming nerves, muscles tied in knots, twisting, turning, from side to side like figure 8s, non stop, rolling up and down my legs. From my neck; burning nerves, muscle spasms and shrieking nerves. Chronic pain has stolen my ability to be on my feet and to walk. It’s pain that makes me want to walk away from my body!

a basic life necessity

20140725-133754-49074161.jpgHygiene is a basic life necessity. Maintaining personal hygiene is a big problem for anyone who struggles with a debilitating illness.

When my life was simple, showering was a place of comfort and rejuvenation. Showers happened whenever I felt like it when I was healthy. Jumping in and out went out the window when chronic pain took over my body.

Chronic pain complicates things when it comes to showering. When my body hurts to move and pain and fatigue leave me barely able to stand, showering changes from a relaxing retreat to an extremely dreaded chore.

I learned quickly the importance of planning my showers for a time when I’m not totally worn down with pain. I schedule my showers for a time when I can decompress from the pain afterward.

Chronic pain doesn’t just complicate things, it complicates everything.

learning to laugh at the little things in life living with chronic pain

20140724-112135-40895927.jpgKnowing everyone likes a good laugh now and then, I’m going to share with you the details of my private personal space . . . my arse!

As I attempted to charge my spinal cord stimulator Sunday evening, I found myself screaming ouch as I touched the battery site implanted subcutaneously in the very upper right portion of my arse. As I looked in the mirror I was horrified at the sight of a rather large amount of burn marks spread across both arse cheeks.

I was convinced it was an electrical burn caused by my implanted spinal cord stimulator. Not!

The burns were caused by me leaving a gallon size Ziplock bag full of crushed ice on my arse for over 2 1/2 hours Sunday afternoon. I use ice daily to numb my nerve pain as it is extremely calming. I simply did not realize that I had used it for over 2 1/2 hours straight. Drum roll please . . . I cannot sit. I cannot lay on my back. It hurts like hell. Ummm, yes, I have frostbite on my arse!

It’s those little things in life that help me keep a sense of humor living in chronic pain. Just because I laugh at myself doesn’t mean I’m not hurting. Don’t mistake my words as a sign that I am getting better. Tomorrow I may not even be able to get out of bed.

Oh the things I will do to give my body a rest from chronic pain! A day in the life of me!

my life day-to-day

Those who know me understand that I don’t discuss my health issues for pity, sympathy or attention. I talk about it because it’s a huge part of my life whether I want it to be or not. I discuss it to help others who are dealing with the same hurdles. To inform. To educate. To be matter-of-fact. To explain. NOT to get pitied, babied or fawned over.

In the blink of an eye my life changed due to chronic pain. Being betrayed by my body was awful. It’s a battle I may never win. And yet, I fight it day after day. It wears me down. Even if I try to ignore it, the energy it takes to do so is exhausting. On my worst days, chronic pain leaves me feeling beaten and trapped. These are the days my strength and resolve are put to the ultimate test.

I have learned to cherish my very existence.

push on

20140714-113638-41798850.jpgOur ideas of what we want our lives to look like tomorrow or years from now are visions. As we aim for the finish line we accomplish things one after the other and suddenly, without warning, we hit a bump. As we fall it sets us back a step. This obstacle is used as fuel to restart the fire. Failure is not an option.

NOTE TO SELF: Find that inspiration, push on!

invisible circle

20140718-231652-83812082.jpgI pretend an invisible circle is surrounding me. It catches little pieces of my life that help me stay pure and they remain there until only I decide it’s time for them to go. Some stay forever. Some for just a moment. As I hold on tight, I realize it is the happy things that are keeping that invisible circle connected.

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