Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Progress Report

    Hi! I'm back. I've been learning alot the past few weeks. In addition to meditating (trying out a variety of techniques), I decided to start doing Reiki on myself again... which I used to do over 15 years ago. With facebook as one of my lifelines, I found other Reiki practioners... in the UK... in Canada... and reminding myself, that when I used to do Reiki for other people, they felt the difference. I have to lay down often throughout the day to rest my aching body, but each time I do, I say positive affirmations, visualize divine light and healing flowing through my body, followed by thinking about anyone else who needs prayer and healing as well. I've been able to reconnect to God. Just as I know all will be well for them, I know all will be well for me, too.
    I am finding more inspirational facebook pages to 'like' to add to my collection of inspiring thoughts. It takes awhile. For a time, I read them and didn't feel inspired. Over time, I felt the inspiring words begin to grow within me. I've also been trying the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in addition to the meditation. I can't claim for sure that it working, but I DO feel better. My mood has been improving. Perhaps its a combination of everything.
    I found the words 'that which we covet is usually the happiness we imagine it will bring'. I took careful inventoy of what this happiness was that I imagined living somewhere else would bring me... or having more money would bring. The happiness I want includes rewarding, supportive relationships which ruled out a lot of other places I thought I might want to live. I decided to go meet new people, including a new neighbor and another person who lives in an RV like I do. I decided to call some old friends and get in touch with cousins I haven't talked to in years. People I met previously began to spend more time with me.
     Gratitude is a big one. I wrote about it in the final chapter of my book, but I stopped practicing it. I am taking daily inventory of all the things I can be thankful for. As I do this, other people have been talking about their physical challenges and those of their loved ones. I can honestly say thank you to most of my body for being healthy, where before, I only focused on what wasn't. I am grateful for the peaceful neighborhood I live in.
    I also realized that while I was thinking I needed other people to take care of me, that deep down, I needed to be needed by others. I began to take inventory of ways I can be supportive to other people. Reiki and healing prayer while I meditate is the main one. I wanted to stop talking about all the things that were wrong in my life and start listening to others who need someone to talk to and practice compassion. I can feel something shifting inside of me and all around me.
    We are exactly where we are supposed to be in any given moment in time. For years I imagined living in an RV. Then when I finally got one, the novelty wore off within a few months. I desperately wanted a different living situation and felt trapped by my circumstances. Then I managed to shift my mindset. I am visualizing this place being a sanctuary for learning and healing. Repairs and solutions worked themselves out a lot better when I stopped stressing out about them.
    The more I reach out and learn about life, the more I learn about acceptance. I expected life to be easier.

Monday, May 9, 2011

NOTES FROM THE NATIONAL PAIN FOUNDATION (my notes in brackets)

(Personal comments: I modified my diet to what seemed to work for me.. avoiding wheat, dairy, soy & white rice as much as possible. Someone else's ice cream is my occational splurge of white rice/cheese/tortilla. My bowels move faithfully every morning as long as I stick to my 'food list'. I used to avoid exercise so it was a huge hurtle to start with just 5 minutes at a time. I posted the ones I started with. I had to teach myself to fall asleep without a drug. I'm still learning different meditation techniques. I don't have extra $ for the books, CDs, DVD's that are suggested in the articles, so I found the ones that I could get for free. I just started the process of learning how to take care of my emotional health... trying different things like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique.)

NOTES FROM THE NATIONAL PAIN FOUNDATION

Take care of the things you can control:
Part of being an active participant in your care is caring for your body. No one but you can care for your body. Getting adequate rest, eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity are vitally important to maintaining function and health. It may seem like a catch-22 – you're in pain, so you don't want to move or you're finally feeling a little better, but you're afraid to move because your pain might come back. Avoiding exercise can be detrimental to your health – you lose muscle tone and strength, your heart and lungs work less efficiently, and your pain can increase. On the other hand, the benefits of incorporating activity into your lifestyle are immeasurable and include increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved sleep, and stress relief.

Following are some suggestions for increasing your activity level:

•Choose exercises that can be incorporated into your daily routine and that you enjoy.
•Set a schedule. (ugggh! me? a schedule?)
•Set appropriate goals. No goal is too small – visiting friends or walking around the block may be appropriate goals, depending on your pain and physical condition.
In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualization, hypnosis, and biofeedback may help you feel better. Your health care provider can help you decide which techniques may be beneficial for you.

Caring for Your Emotional Health: (Can I really learn not to 'suffer?'... SSRI'S resulted in numerous other medical problems which I was subsequently medicated for like anxiety attacks, hot flashes, even more muscle spasms, & even more muscle weakness than I already had.)
The effect emotions and psychosocial well-being have on pain cannot be ignored as emotions have a direct effect on your health. Pain so often is accompanied by loss – loss of function, loss of employment, loss of money, loss of friends and relationships to name just a few – it's no wonder that people in chronic pain have an increased incidence of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Research has shown that people in chronic pain suffering from depression have poorer outcomes than those who are not depressed. It is natural for people in pain to grieve for what they've lost, and it is important to remember that your family members and friends grieve too. Your emotions may range from fear, anger, denial, disappointment, guilt, and loneliness to hope and optimism. Every person feels different emotions at different times, which can make relationships and pain control difficult.

Avoid isolation and loneliness by joining a support group. There are local support groups that you can attend with people who know what you are experiencing and there are online communities that offer support and understanding. The National Pain Foundation's Community section is a good way to share your story and connect with others online. The American Chronic Pain Association has support groups throughout the country. Contact the ACPA at www.theacpa.org or (800) 533-3231 to find a group near you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

KITCHEN SINK SOUP

Ever hear of this theory?

Have a fight with your partner and instead of focussing on the immediate disagreement, you throw everything else in, too? Everything that ever bothered you about the other person?

I do this with illness. When I get sick, I have a tendancy to make EVERYTHING else in my life, wrong, too. I am looking forward to modifying this behavior pattern.

MESSAGE OF HOPE

I got sick again... detached... accepted SSRI's again which made me sicker... got so weak I could barely stand & get to the bathroom... I live alone... lost all my hope... weeks went by... hopelessness felt more intense... people prayed for me while I felt alone & desolute. I was finally able to reconnect with the group at Temple of Ancient Wisdom (was picked up and driven) where I heard people talk about how a simple reaction of anger or other upsetting situation triggered major illnesses in them. They couldn't recover until they dealt with their issues. My string of issues goes back to childhood... but they had them, too... My physical responses are always the same but I kept saying 'but I have proof' while they had the same symptoms with none of the 'proof''.

Questions were asked: What was going on before it started? What were you thinking? What were you feeling? I was so amazed by what I was hearing! I go through these cycles when I forget everything I learned and fall victim to my reaction to anxiety & stress. Light at the end of the tunnel? Can I really learn to allow life to happen without stressing out over every little thing? I had given up. I forget how far I've come. I have to somehow shift my focus off the diagnosed things, stop reading about them. I removed some of the sites from this blog.

If you are looking for a diagnoses, a doctor will somehow find one to validate you. This was SOOO difficult for me to accept. Dr. May (chiropractor) told me he stopped taking x-rays after seeing people with perfect spines having lots of problems and people with messed up ones have none. It got him thinking.... The people in the support group did not have the same diagnosis as I did to 'validate' how they felt and were forced to deal with their emotional, mental, & spiritual responses. WAKE UP CALL. Here I was getting caught up in trying to fix myself physically when there were so many other layers of everything affecting my health. When I was a child, my anxiety was 'fixed' with bella donna & so many other children are being medicated for the wrong reasons. It breaks my heart.
I need more than prayer. I need more than church. I need a complete life-style adjustment. Can I be transformed? Will serious meditation bring harmony to my physical body? I got myself back to Dr. May last week and despite how horrible I felt, he did his kinesiology tests on me and my glands were strong? Just from meditating? My new teachers tell me that 'diagnosis' just lets you know that something is out of harmony and seek to balance what is emotionally, mentally, & spiritual vs. medicate.......... and my body will no longer tolerate medication......... I get information overload trying to digest so much info.... grasping for anything to help me feel better, feeling discouraged when I see something like drink 48 ou. of fresh juiced organic vegetables a day.... you kidding me? All the info resulted in my obsessing about my body even more than before.....
I wonder what it is like for people who go to India (or other holy place).