Monday, October 8, 2018

Surrendering Grace

Grace. Defined as "a giver of Devine blessings"

When we were pregnant with our 3rd daughter, we easily decided on naming her Grace once we knew she was a girl. It was when I was halfway complete with her pregnancy that we found out our Grace passed away in utero. It felt, and still feels like our "grace" was stolen, like an Indian gift taken away suddenly that left our family shattered, unable to glue or tape the pieces back whole.

I thought the topic of death of our unborn child was too personal to blog about, however I realize now it's imperative that I write about it. At first, I was worried I would wouldn't be able to honor her death because the experience was too painful for appropriate words. I was also worried about making people sad, as I desire to be an uplifter. Now I feel that by not writing about it, I alienated myself from the emotions and the experiences that others are also feeling or have felt.  I see that being able to write about it, is part of no longer hiding under a rock of grief, as though I am alone in it.

And so for all those people who have lost someone, I write this for you. I write because when I do, I no longer feel alienated by my pain. It is my intent that you no longer have to think you are in pain without others wanting to hold you up. These intense, gripping emotions associated with loss are part of life, they are part of the human experience, that I believe we all came here for. We owe it to ourselves to honor that by communicating about it, because talking about it is what connects us. Connection is what takes the oxygen away from the burning fire.

Here's a brief description of my loss and the months that followed.

Physical Aspect
I expected, after my daughter passed away, that grieving would be something I could complete within a couple of months. I expected that the pain would be gone over a short period of time. Instead, I have noticed on a physical level that instead of the gut-wrenching immediate pain that feels like a stab to the gut, over time that pain transforms. The initial shock transmutes into an empty feeling in the body, a feeling of having nothing after it was something. After that, over time the grief moved up my body into my chest/heart space. Instead of a stabbing, pain in my gut, now it feels more like a tight, compressed sensation burning in my chest. Oh the loss.

During the last 3 months, my whole world flipped upside down. I worried people would ask me about the pregnancy and I would just break down crying. I quit coaching Crossfit and I avoided casual people who had known I was pregnant by moving to a new city. Thus, I disconnected from others as much as I could. This gave me space to be invisible with new neighbors, grocery stores, and schools and wa-la, a new life.

The room that was going to be my daughter's baby room with a crib and sweet smelling blankets and soft things instead became a guest room in our new home. Before we knew we lost her, we shopped for a bigger house to accommodate our new family member; we were well prepared. Now, I imagine what her room would have looked like, how the furniture would be arranged perfectly for our perfect baby. And then my heart goes dark and it hurts to breath and feel. It hurts physically but that can be escaped from, that pain is nothing compared to the emotional side.

The Emotions
Emotionally, I feel terrible and never-ending sadness. Even though I never got to meet my 3rd born, I was passionately attached to her and the outcome of her arrival.  I was attached to the idea of holding her in her first moments of life and of bringing her home from the hospital. I was attached to the idea of being a family of five and teaching her the loving touch of my hands. I was deeply attached to the soft, gentle experiences of motherhood that were abruptly taken. I realize it would have been worse to have met her, have her born and then loose her. But I wish I could have known her none the less.

Her loss has brought sadness that with reflection turns into anger, feeling like I got ripped off. It feels like I was taken for a ride by the Universe that promised joy and delivered trauma. I have since questioned my spirituality and questioned everything. When my family leaves the house, I debate letting them drive away, in fear that I won't see them come home again. It has made me see nothing in life (anything/anyone) as permanent. These thoughts and emotions are the parts that I don't know how to handle.

The Surrender
On the learning side of things, I have found out that emotions only last 90 seconds if they are not fed with more painful thoughts. So rather than adding fuel to the fire, if we just feel the emotion as it comes in and we don't allow ourselves to numb the pain, we can release it. Numbing can be anything individual to you. Numbing can be watching TV, scrolling on your phone, working, watching sports, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking cigarettes, overeating. Numbing is anything that pulls you away from feeling and literally takes your consciousness away from your body. So I encourage you to feel your pain, sit down with it. Know that when it comes, it will hurt but it won't last and it just needs you to breathe it.

On the opposite end of our ability to sit with our emotions, we have holding onto them. If we don't feel our emotions, our body will begin to crystalize them within our cells. That means you aren't feeling them consciously but you are definitely still living with them in your physical body. This is where we make ourselves physically sick over our emotions. Everyone knows that stress can give you a cold, and they physical/emotional experience is way more vast than that. Lots of prior posts on this topic, but let's just go out on a ledge to put this into perspective - Long term resentments can cause cancer. 

The Grace
For help with grieving, I offer you something that I found to be very helpful. It's online therapy without the therapist that you can do at your own pace. They send you some topics to write about and some information to sit with. Highly recommended. This has begun my healing process.
DailyOM Course, Becoming Whole Again

Some words from the course "This course was designed to facilitate your personal recovery at your pace. Your healing journey is sacred to you. Your story is unique. You, and only you, know how you feel and more importantly, how you want to feel. These lessons are an aid to your transformation. Trauma may have infiltrated every part of your life but you can change what it has done to you. That time was not lost or wasted. It can be processed with a new perspective."

Inspirational Words for your Healing Journey:

Running from pain doesn't heal us
Chasing pain doesn't heal us, either
How do we heal?
We swim in it when it's waves crash over us;
We listen to it, 
Learn from it,
Weep through it,
flow freely with it
And when it subsides-
as it WILL,
if we give it room to breathe-
We claim our birthright:
Incandescent happiness.

Stand in your feelings-
fellow feelers.
Dance them in,
then dance them out,
and then walk tall. 

- Jai-Jagdeesh

-My most sincere love and best wishes on your journey, thank you for reading!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Depressed? Feeling Meh? Immediate Fixes To Bliss

Ever notice that when you're down mentally, that things that excite you just don't anymore? That you find ways to find negatives in things that you shouldn't be able to? That's because, your state, your mental state, changes your perception.

It goes the opposite way too. So when you're feeling on cloud 9, all those problems seem to lighten (what problems you say?!) Well, that's your answer. Find. A. Way. To. Lighten. Every. Subject. And Ta-Da, here's a less known trick: It doesn't happen directly, it doesn't happen with dedicated focus on what's wrong. Instead,  joy happens with distraction from what's pulling you down.That is why flow yoga and Crossfit and racquetball are so good for me, it keeps me moving and breathing instead of thinking. And the further I get from thinking, the better I feel. One exception to that; if I'm getting a massage or I'm 10 minutes into a run and thinking- Thinking during those times takes me to a happy bubble.
Our job is not to gather the best circumstances in order to have a good life. If that was the case then Helen Keller would not have been who she was. Instead, it's your job to be exactly where you are and find the best possible aspects of it. And if you can't find something good about where you are, you back away from the subject or you distract yourself. Problems should be approached just like you would if you saw 'Ol Mr black Bear in the woods. Back away!
When you find a way to be positive, then the world around you changes. People change. Things that were holding you down, can lift. You can breathe again. You feel excited about your day instead of dreading it. That's your power! You CAN change your thoughts to shift your energy. So don't wake up and start thinking of the big problems in your life. Instead, wake up and start appreciating the little things, or give yourself praise for something, or think of something hilarious that made you belly laugh. These are all tricks that change your state. When your mental state is changed, your world changes. 

Want to know more? Here, my inner musings...about depression and our moods
  1. YOU are not depressed. You might have been labeled as such, but that's just what Doctors do to stuff you into a pretty little vanilla file so they can move onto another patient. If you are depressed and someone came up to you and said, "here's $10 Million dollars" or if someone needed help finding something, you would in that moment forget about your depressing thoughts. Remember this: Depression is like a cloud that floats along in the sky. You are not the cloud, you are the whole sky, my love.  Don't get stuck in labels. They will always keep you down longer than you need to.
  2. The more you think, the worse it feels. Mental chatter does not make for a bliss experience. You have to turn off the thinking body, (what Ekhart Tolle calls, The Pain Body) OR as Abraham Hicks explains, thoughtlessness raises your vibration. Then you have to realize you are innately happy. Happiness is your birthright, just stop overthinking so you can feel it.
  3. Anxiety is experienced both physically and mentally. Anxiety is also caused by focusing on what you DON'T want. Instead of focusing on what you don't want, start to come up with fantasies of what could happen. It's called the "what if" game. It goes like this- What if the people I just met end up being my best friends? What if I end up loving the body I'm in? What if this is the best thing for me in the long haul? What if I practice bravery and help others do it too...
  4. NOTHING is more important than how you feel. And if that means you are a homeless man on the street and you find joy in placing your hands over a burning trash can because it's warm - then you're off to a good start. Don't seek out the conditions to be happy about, instead be happy in the right now moment. Once you begin to find the things to be happy about, you'll begin to experience more happiness. Happiness is not something that comes to you, it's something you seek out and something that builds up momentum.
  5. Depression is caused by thoughts of the past, Anxiety is caused by thoughts of the future and both are caused by the inability to be fully be in the present moment. How can you live in the current moment? You find something to cherish, something to be in awe of that's happening where you are right now. It could be two people hugging, it could be geese flying overhead, it could be the fact that you are reading my awesome blog. Find something small and let the momentum carry you.
  6. Realize the pain you are experiencing is because you are inflicting a monumental shift in your beliefs. What you used to make you happy in the past no longer applies because you are learning to find joy without perfect conditions. example: Can I be happy if my health is not perfect? Can I see this as an opportunity instead of as a punishment? Can I know that behavior of another makes me angry but refrain from anger?
  7. Your point of focus (what you are giving your attention to with thoughts and actions) is spurring these emotions. Drop any topic that doesn't feel good. Move onto something totally random and let the problems sort themselves out shortly there after. The other day I was down in the dumps mentally and I started to watch a video on how to braid hair- boom. felt better.  Distractions unrelated to your problems end up solving your problems. It's like when you feel crappy and then you hear about someone else being in a really bad spot and your problem "mountain" turns into a molehill.
  8. Don't talk about those subjects that don't feel good unless it's with someone who'e extremely optimistic (rare gems.) Anything that you want to be true, or anything you want more of, talk about. Anything you don't want to be true, just generalize it! You generalize it by saying things like, "I'm sure other people have been in this same situation and made it through." Or say, "its always worse from this point of view." Don't let your need to be accurate outweigh your desire to feel good. If you talk to people and tell them how awful your life has been in order for them to understand why you've put on ten pounds, then you're only holding yourself back from change. Plus complaining lowers the energy of the conversation you have. Instead, find a subject that makes you feel good when you discuss it.
  9. Recognize when you feel a certain way, it's a jumping off point to dive into something else entirely. If you feel uncomfortable with a certain group of friends, don't judge yourself harshly like there's something wrong with you. Just acknowledge it's there with a light heart, so you can move on. If you judge it you'll only muddy of the waters of transformation.
  10. Anxiety and stress cause shallow breathing. Shallow breathing tells your body that something is wrong. When that happens your mind will begin to seek out what's wrong and the momentum will carry you into a really bad place. Breath deeply my friends, we're all in this together.
  11. Imagine your preferences. Where do you want to be instead? What do you want to be doing instead? Who do you want to be with? What do you want to be different? Asking yourself empowering questions will bring you up out of the depths of despair. Instead of hanging out in victimization, flip it into what your preference is instead. Just write it out or daydream it. Your mood will lift just from thinking about what you want.
  12. It's always darkest before the dawn. Your worst day will prepare you for the best day. 
Hope this helps. Much love to you all!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Our Livers, and How To Fix Congested Ones

One awesome piece of advise I am implementing in 2018 is Your Mess is Your Message (thank you Tracy!) What that means is, the health issues that come up for me physically can be something I can learn about and use to help others. So for personal health reasons, I'm diving again into the messy topic of the good 'ol liver. For my prior blog, go here. 

My Mess: At my last functional doctor appointment I was told I have a congested liver.

How did this happen?
If you're  picturing my red, rubbery liver coughing and blowing it's nose into a tissue, then you're at least laughing a little. Actually, a congested liver can be caused from stress (yes) overeating (guilty) fatty foods (kinda guilty, blaming almond butter all the way!) and too many toxins - even mold or heavy metals (toxins are everywhere actually! And I'm not much of a drinker so it's not alcohol!) A congested liver can also be caused from food allergies (most common ones are eggs, sugar, gluten, dairy and nuts) and really yucky thoughts that keep cycling back through your mind, stressing you out. Although, one might say that the liver can cause the yucky thoughts to cycle through the body. In other words, was it the chicken (liver) or the egg (negative thoughts)? Also, parasites could be the cause of liver burdens, but that word travels right to my gag reflex so... let's stop there.

On a physical level our liver is your detox organ that  helps clot your blood, breaks down old blood cells, breaks down fats using it's own bile (bile is stored in the gallbladder but created by Mr Amazing liver) Among other things the very busy liver does is to shed fat, remove toxins from the body (including dirty arss pharmaceuticals) and produce cholesterol. PS, Don't go hating on cholesterol, we need it to make hormones, we just don't need too much of it AND it doesn't all come from dietary things like eggs people, read some new research. AND did I mention, people with liver problems tend toward anger?

Tangent over, back to the liver; the organ actually has over 500 jobs in the body that shames your multitasking claim.  Your liver is amazin'!  So is mine, but we're not here to talk about me. Actually, we are going to talk about my liver, though. So there.

My Message: 
Liver problems in Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life, (AKA my Bible) are listed as chronic complaining, feeling bad, justifying fault finding. The affirmation to help it is: My mind is cleansed and free, I leave the past and move into the new, All is well.
That's on the spiritual/emotional end of things, take it or leave it, lovies.  

In Chinese medicine, liver qi stagnation is associated with liver problems, where headaches, a flushed face, a short temper and a sore neck/trap area are involved. It also looks like cellulite (a word dirtier than parasite) and hair loss.  AND now things are getting ugly. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, any blockage of energy (chi) will inhibit liver function and cause physical symptoms like nail and eye issues including burning, itching or dry eyes. It also means you are not going to be able to process your emotions and since your liver disperses energy, then you can get stuck in emotions like depression, frustration, irritability, and anger. 
So what does my liver congestion look like to outsiders, like my family? I still look like me (though {dramatic sigh}heavier than 2 years ago) plus I'm an irrational, irritated and angry Mom that tries to maintain her cool but loses it for meaningless reasons. As in, "who didn't clear their plate, and why are there footprints on the floor I just cleaned, or why are you wearing your shoes in the house" ( red faced and "short Mom" yells)
And then 10 minutes later, after rapid, non-speaking, angry house tidying up, I'm back to being good (saintly) Mom again. Or, if you're my husband, you know I can go for a whole day giving the almost-silent treatment, where we talk only on a need to know basis. That's what others see, but its only part of my experience.

Inside my body, it feels like a storm is brewing. Loving peace feels like a rarity inside my mind- only after exercise, during a massage or when I'm in my PJ's and the family is settled for the night. The other times of the day, I feel complete elation and excitement, cycled with crying and irrational thoughts/actions. In other words, I'm a moody bitch which is one of my worst fears come true.

So there's my story up until present. Last night, my sweet daughter, Juliet and I had a talk. She hit me with this conversation when I was tucking her into her bunk bed, "So, let's talk Mom"
"OK, what about?"
"Well, why have you been so angry lately? Your anger comes in a pattern, one minute your fine and the next you're mad."
Our conclusion was to watch less TV, eat less sugar, gluten and fats (like delicious almond butter) and to relax more. My sweet daughter  really wanted to help and even offered to do her own laundry! It was important to me, that I explain to her, the anger is not who I am, I am still her loving mother who's expressing the emotion of anger. Anger itself is not bad, anger needs to come out so it doesn't harm the body. In fact, anger feels better than depression and is a few steps up on the emotional scale. (see picture!)
Now, on for other solutions-

1. Eat without distractions. Consuming food is sacred and should be done in peace. No TV, no phones, no standing up while eating. When multi-tasking while eating, blood will travel more to your brain than to your stomach for digestion. It's important that the eyes be relaxed (which are linked to the liver meridian) when eating so that nutrients are properly assimilated. And overeating is less likely to happen taking away the time suckers like TV and phones, also.
2. Kundalini states to cool off the liver (which is what is needed for congested livers) by making a straw with your tongue sticking out (if you can't curl your tongue then just stick out tongue instead) and breath in through your mouth slowly. Then close your mouth and breath out through your nose only. Repeat ten of these a day for intense liver love!
For more Kundalini liver tips, go here.

3. For me, there's also some detox medicine that I will take for the next 5 months to help detox my liver. Guaranteed to work. How do I know it will work? My doctor muscle tested me for it with kinesiology. (Side note - applied kinesiology is the most incredible medical aid in my life right now!) My body told me, via muscle testing, when to take the medicine (at night) and for how long (5 months). Hopefully I'll be a new woman by June 2018, joyful and full of energy with less bad Mom moments to mention. My kinesiologist here. 
My detox dinner pills

Liver 3 acupuncture point, hold here
4. In acupuncture, you know they work with energy systems rather than Western diagnosis. If there's an energy block, then you can get stuck in emotions and toxins. (as written above)You can get a quick fix by getting an acupuncture treatment (get community acupuncture for 1/3 of the cost of a private session) or you can hold this point (liver 3, in picture) on your foot for a quickie. Hold LV 3 or massage it for 1-2 minutes, several times a day. It's always tender for me, so that let's me know it needs some extra loving.
Community Acupuncture, hell ya!

And to close let me just say - I hope this helps you. Just remember, life ebbs and flows, and there is nothing linear about our health. Having good health is not an award you win that you hang on your wall. You win sometimes and you learn sometimes, and it all has it's own benefit, even if you can't see it yet. 

Blessings to all for your journey, thanks for reading. Much love to you. (I'm in good Mom mode, can you tell?)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Paleo + Vegan Thanksgiving.... YEP, we're Doing Pegan! Recipes to Inspire!

I am grateful for...
  • All the amazing cooks who have teetered and perfected these recipes 
  • Food pictures to inspire me and for the internet to share the love and connect us
  • My ability to smell and taste and cook these foods
  • My warm, safe, comfortable home to welcome family
  • My kitchen which is fully stocked and designed perfectly for cooking
  • The grocery stores which supply me with food to try all these new recipes
    (and to Amazon 2-day shipping when they can't)
  • Having loving people in my life who want to spend time with me on this special day!

For the first time ever, we're going sans-turkey on thanksgiving. And I'm tickled pink because no meat means more veggies. I am so thrilled in fact, that I decided to host. This means, I can have people over for yummy food and I don't have to properly cook, prepare, cut and serve a giant hunk of poultry. BOOM. Can't life get any better than that.

Here are some of the recipes that we will be using for the feast. Feel free to become hypnotized by the recipes below, as I was...

Tortilla Soup

Cranberry Orange Muffins
(sub the flour for Gluten Free flour and the sugar sub with coconut sugar)

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Ice Cream Sandwiches - Egg free, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free

Pumpkin Pie
Winter Salad

Friday, November 10, 2017

From Unhappy To Bliss, The Bliss Game

Feeling unhappy with your current condition feels like you're terminally drowning in your own personal yuck, coming up for air every once in a while only to be shoved back down without notice. I know what it feels like. I know the pit. I know the misery. I know the cycle of misery. I know its coming on feircly so it can get your attention.

I also KNOW it is darkest before the dawn. I know for as much misery as you suffer, there is that much light coming your way. I know that we are beautiful, loving people who don't deserve to feel anything less than happy. I know that when we experience emotional pain, it means we are asking more from life. AND I know from the depth of my soul, that we will get everything we ask for. I also know things can change on a dime, so don't settle in just yet. The energy of the world moves very quickly now, so don't let yourself get stuck thinking anything is permanent.

Negative thoughts can originate one of two ways:
1. Warranted (such as, "my life is a shit-show, no wonder I'm messed up mentally") OR
2. Completely unjustified (such as "I have everything I ever wanted - so why can't I just be happy?" or "this feeling just came from out of the blue") But notice they come from a place of expectation. They come from thoughts of, "I have (blank), so I should feel (blank). Or I don't have (blank), therefore I'm suppose to feel this way."  That's the problem with expectations! It also pulls you away from the ability to feel satisfied with what is. You might even think your happiness is not deserved as you are right now. You might think you are broken. But you are not, I promise. You are just needing to be understood and to change some thought patterns. This is actually very easy,  and I am here to help!

Your Negative Thoughts are just a place you've traveled to- It's NOT who You are!

 If a thought hurts your feelings, it's just not true. So first, you must recognize the untruth and then you back away from it. How do you release negative thought patterns? Just like you do if you are hiking in the wilderness and you encounter a huge bear eating berries. You back away very slowly. What does it look like mentally?
Generalize your thoughts about the subject you can't seem to find joy about. That's it. You see the bear (the negative thoughts) and you back away (go general) from it. You make general statements like, "I'm doing my best", "Oh that is just not true" or "It felt right at the time" or "I'm sure others have done the same thing and came out just fine. " Or "it's not forever." This way, instead of digging into a topic, you release it. Boom.

You see, the more you focus on a subject, the more real and heavier it becomes. Have you ever had a mild headache and told someone about it? Then all of a sudden, your headache intensifies 10X and you can think of nothing else but your throbbing migraine. Have you ever told someone that you gained weight? Then, after that, your sugar monster became unstoppable and you're eat more and more of what fattens you. It's as though you released the beast and now your conscious wants to make you right. Is it more important to be right or to be happy?

Don't do that to yourself. Instead, try to talk more about what you want and stop talking (and thinking) about what you don't want. 

You aren't going to tackle negative thoughts into the ground by analyzing them over and over AND over. Just like you aren't going to tackle the grizzly bear. But you can quietly sneak away and enter  safety. Want to know more? Want my tried and true methods? I'm so glad you asked.

To ease negative self-depreciating thoughts, I play The Bliss Game with my daughter. It requires no equipment. It requires only a desire to shift out of the uncomfortable mental place you are in.

Players: You can play with one person or many (not everyone even has to know they are playing!)
Rules: Player #1- (me) Says something they like out loud, then it's player #2's turn
Player #2 (super optimistic 4 year old) says what she likes, or copies what player #1 says to reinforce  Then its player #1's turn again. It goes over and over. It starts out rusty sometimes but then it gets really fun and juicy!
There are no other rules, the sky's the limit, have fun.

Example...Here are some of mine to offer inspiration, but definitely do your own, too!
I like warm baths
I like driving with no traffic
I like partially cloudy days
I like having a lot of money
I like having my hair look pretty
I like watching people hug
I like nice people
I like flowing yoga poses
I like having a clean house
I like having my PJ's on
I like laughing really hard
I like laying on my bed
I like super moons
I like braiding my daughters hair
I like eating food I don't feel guilty about
I like writing with blue pens
I like petting soft dogs
Boom. If you go down a positive rampage like that, there's no way you can go wrong.

What thoughts bliss you out? Post below!

Getting from Feeling Bad to Feeling Bliss in 3 Steps

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Becoming Opaque: Our Transparency

The energy of the world is changing. Hold ONTO your boot straps people!

The World is Becoming Transparent, Along With Everything In It! The transparency of the world is known through all the truths coming out. Our political system is a giant fraud, it has been for decades and now we can fully see the joke of the matter. Celebrities are pointing fingers, accusing Weinstein and others of things priests were known for. Volks Wagen has produced a fraudulent product for years in front of our own noses and now the truth is out. 

People can no longer fool you, companies can no longer swindle the masses, you can no longer hide behind a mask. So if you're someone (like me) who has always felt "not good enough" and has put that belief into every cell of your body, then we've got some serious soothing to do. No longer can one hate one's body and still try to convince it to look pretty. Our bodies were made from love, therefore our bodies respond to loving words and actions. Our bodies do not respond to "I hate you, now change!" 

We can't hide behind a pretty front anymore. And we definitely can't hide from our thoughts, as our bodies will no longer play in the deception. In essence, we've lost our compliant wing man to truth serum.  So the new rule is that NO ONE escapes the rule of truth, including our own consciousness. This is great news for a truth seeker, like myself!

What Does It Mean To ME?
What does this mean? It means self-loathing will no longer get you the results you want. It means transparency is letting us see what we really have been telling ourselves. It means we are seeing others for what they are. It also means systems will all crash. The religious system, the scientific system, the medical system (including big Pharma! - hallelujah!), the banking system. They are all getting wake up calls, their truth is coming to light.
It means it's time to pick your tribe. It's time to pay attention to how people make you feel, rather than keeping them around for the sake of it. It means we get to accept what we are and how we got here instead of running from it. 

What's Next?
It means change is here. It means things come up to the surface and then they are dealt with and then something new and better is created. Hang in there. We're in for a wild ride!