Sunday, December 24, 2017

Joy in the Senses

One morning last month, I woke up feeling a bit blue. It sure would have been nice to know what I had been dreaming about to give me a clue. But then a thought popped into my head--to use my senses--see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. First I just lay there and visualized a number of things in each category. Then as I thought of more, I got the paper out to write them down.

What have I seen that brought me joy?

Rainbows. The day everything turns green in Spring. The sight of green rolling hills when I am driving. Adorable animals like kittens playing, monkeys frolicking, and squirrels jumping from one tree to the next. Beautiful dances. Photos and videos of my precious granddaughter and my friends' children. Great movies. Exquisite art. The joy on a person's face after I've published their first book. Seeing beautiful images emerge from photos I've taken.

What have I smelled that brought me joy?

Essential oils like Citrus Bliss. The air just after it has rained. Something yummy cooking. The scent of flowers and Rosemary bushes.

What have I heard that brought me joy?

The sound of children's laughter. The voice of my loved ones when they call. Meows from kittens.  Compliments on work I've done. Amazing music. Inspirational/motivational speeches.

What have I tasted that brought me joy?

Delicious food! Dark chocolate, ginger tea, honey, black-strap molasses and chopped pecans on top of Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Chocolate Chip Cookies. Anything with Sea Salt on it.

What have I touched that brought me joy?

A soft kitten or puppy. Soft blankets.

In addition to the 5 senses, I added another one:

What have I felt that brought me joy?

Warm showers. Satisfaction of accomplishing and completing sometimes challenging projects. Raising money for a local TNR Non-Profit from the Earrings I made. The sensation of being on a boat that is being rocked by the waves. Knowing I have the skills to efficiently complete tasks others can't do on their own. The completion of a writing project. The excitement when I get a newly published book in the mail. Reading someone else's amazing book. Receiving unexpected gifts. Knowing that my past experiences have given me the wisdom to help another up when they fall--that I can make a difference. Deep meaningful connections and conversations. The increase in confidence I've been acquiring. Pride for the amazing son I raised who is now an amazing father. Synchronicity. Gratitude.

It didn't take me very long to lift up my mood that morning. I then created the above official list to include in my first-aid kit in case I fall into a blue mood again, which happens every so often.

I highly recommend that you make a similar list for yourself. Hopefully, you will remember where you put it! I originally wrote out a list on the piece of paper I mentioned in the beginning of the post, but I couldn't find it to write this blog post so I had to recreate it.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holiday Stress

It's that special time of year when many celebrations are taking place internationally across many cultures. Here are some of them:
  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Kwanzaa (African American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)
It is also that time of year when many people are depressed and lonely. I used to be one of these people so I know. While all the happy celebrations were going on around me with family gatherings and parties, I withdrew. People could tell I was withdrawn so I wasn't invited to very many events. At least I didn't have the obligations of cooking for a family or hosting a gathering where I'd have to choose between acting happy or expressing how I was really feeling.

For those who have lost one or more loved ones, a pet, a job, suffering financial hardship or homelessness, a relationship breakup, it is indeed a time of loneliness. Their loved one(s) and/or their safety net is no longer there. I feel for all the loss from recent hurricane devastation as well as close friends who have lost a husband, a grandchild, a mother, a pet.

For some, it is obvious just by looking at them. You can see the emptiness in their eyes and in their physical demeanor even if they smile. For others, they've become really good actors--something they don't give themselves credit for.

One of many definitions of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

The stress response can be felt whether you are experiencing excitement or its opposite.

Perhaps you are one of the people who feel you must perform your duties as a wife, mother, father, brother, sister, friend, or business owner even if it overrides your need to say no. You never do give yourself permission to say no or to ask for help so you burn yourself out.

Excitement can burn you out as well. Too much can strain your Adrenals and the result is Adrenal Fatigue which has numerous consequences.

In your efforts to prepare, decorate, cook, plan, and visit, sometimes partying until the wee hours of the morning, many are sleep deprived. The consequences of sleep deprivation are vast.

Add to the above all the sugar that you eat because somehow traditions of all kinds include a LOT of sugar! Sugar puts a strain on your immune system in addition to all of the above.

Memory doesn't work well when you are under stress which is why in an emergency you can't remember what to do. Some call this brain fog or a senior moment.

While you all are celebrating family and religious traditions, remember to smile at all the lonely people and offer them a gift of time and perhaps a long warm hug.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Adrenaline Connection

Many years ago, while dealing with the aftermath of mono, systemic candida which I developed from numerous doses of antibiotics, and food sensitivities, my adrenals wouldn't function properly. But because they hadn't completely failed, there was nothing the endocrinologist I went to could do.

I remember the day I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a cyclist who dashed out in front of my car. I was at the stop light which had turned green, but the young cyclist hoped to make it across before I began to accelerate. The adrenaline rush that came on didn't stop like it was supposed to—I began to feel warm, then hot, then sweaty, then disoriented—a very strange sensation.

Fast forward to the last few years. I joined Toastmasters to develop self-confidence and speaking skills. Each time I went up there to speak, I had the adrenaline rushes. After a while, they stopped being so bad, but I experienced some strange after effects.

One time after I sat down, I felt fireworks of sharp stabbing pains all through my body. I took some slow deep breaths while I waited it out, telling myself I was OK. But in the back of my mind, I was very concerned. I didn’t collapse from a heart attack and the pains subsided. What on earth happened?

Another time after I sat down, I experienced an immediate lower back spasm. I wondered if all the back spasms I had experienced over my lifetime—and all the Fibromyalgia pain—was due to adrenaline issues—a symptom of a chaotic life where I was more often than not reacting to daily circumstances in fight or flight mode.

Then one day about a month ago, after a Toastmasters meeting, a career military man in my club sat down across from me while he waited for his wife who was mentoring a new member. I can't remember how the conversation began, but it led to the subject of adrenaline. He promptly told me about adrenaline rush letdown, a term I had never heard of before but common among those who serve in the military.

The symptoms I described to this man, which included the fireworks of sharp pains and the back spasms were only two common symptoms. There are others, like feelings of depression. The adrenaline junkies—skydivers, bungee jumpers, race car drivers, motorcycle riders, and more deal with them on a regular basis.

Fast forward again to the end of November when I finally had an appointment with Bri Linney, who practices BioEnergetic Nutrition. I’ve done lots of research, reading, and listening to health summits and brought in several pages of notes which included summaries of my current health challenges and my hypothesis about them. I even brought in all the supplements I am in possession of. She asked me how I think she could help me. I replied something of the line of hoping she can pinpoint what my body is asking for nutritionally.

This was definitely a visit I wish I recorded!!!!

You get a whole hour for your first visit. Bri provided a wealth of education on how my system operates in terms I could understand, including the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. She is skilled in knowing what the body wants just by touching it. I only remember three main points which are related to the adrenal issues.

1) Bri paused her exam as she touched my lower abdomen and asked apologetically if I had been sexually molested or assaulted. I am no longer reactive to the memories and answered yes. Afterall, other healers could pick up on this too when they touched my abdomen. She had explained to me different categories of health issues which included virus people. Most virus people have been sexually molested and or assaulted. The first occurrence was when I was 17. I came down with mono when I was 18 (or just before) and dealt with viral issues ever since—as well as repeated instances of sexual molestation and assault, which Bri also said is common. Another mystery solved. I was aware that most people who have Fibromyalgia were abused as children; I was not aware of this other connection. As I’ve done self-improvement on emotional trauma, my overall health has improved. This can explain why I haven’t been sick as much as I used to be even though the ‘energies’ are still lingering in my body.

2) After touching every organ and gland and parts of my brain, Bri explained to me that when you get a concussion, which I did when I was 21, your pituitary gland which seats at the center of the brain gets knocked around—and if I am repeating the facts accurately, the pituitary gland controls everything, including the hypothalamus. She concluded the reason for the chronic sore throats and difficulty swallowing is due to the right parathyroid and thyroid being inflamed which is all controlled by the hypothalamus. The adrenals are, too. This is another reason why I love energy medicine. This stuff doesn’t show up in blood tests.

3) I wanted to wean off Mirtazapine, the generic to Remeron. I’ve tried twice unsuccessfully and hoped she could assist me with it. Bri explained to me that it is helping the part of my brain that is not functioning like it should be and advised me to stay on it until I can get that part to improve.

I walked away with two homeopathic remedies for both hypothalamus and inflammation. I have complete faith in homeopathic remedies from years ago when I got one for my son who had severe cat allergies. Each day we visited my Mom who had a cat, his eyes would swell shut. When I discovered the BioAllers drops and gave it to him, it not only helped after the onset of a reaction but over time his immune system adjusted and he no longer had these reactions. I vaguely remember using another formula for an allergy I was dealing with as well.

Bri had also tested all the supplements I brought with me and determined how many of what I should take over the next month. I felt validated that I was on the right track—she suggested increasing the CBD Oil and Copaiba Oil, decreasing many of the other supplements, and increasing Vitamin C Complex (including putting it on topically with citrus oils). I return in one month.

Layer by layer, as years go by, I uncover additional mysteries to healing my miraculous human body. Our bodies truly are miraculous you know—born with innate intelligence—and the more you learn about it and the more you really get this, you increase your ability to recover from whatever you have been dealing with.

I acknowledge and appreciate everything my body does from digestion to excretion to circulation to moving. Have you tried this?

As for moving, even on a bad day, I do my series of exercises and marvel that I am still able to do them, focusing on each body part as they move through each exercise. Yes, there are parts that aren’t functioning efficiently, but have you tried focusing on all the parts that do?

To get an appointment with Bri Linney and learn more about what she does go to: