Incurable Inshmurable

Buzz Feed is typically a page on Facebook full of funny and ridiculous videos that distract 9 to 5 workers from doing their jobs efficiently. That’s what they’re there to do. But today, they shared this video, and I think it’s awesome that Buzzfeed is sharing something meaningful like this!

While endometriosis is not my particular diagnosis, I was diagnosed with a condition that I’ll be blogging about soon that is essentially this endometriosis’s sister condition, with many similar and nearly identical symptoms. I can relate to everything that this woman is saying from the physical to the emotional pain and discomfort she feels, though it’s not something I’ve shared very openly with many. I don’t believe in giving negativity life by speaking/”venting” about it more than necessary because I see that all too often, we can begin to dwell when we do that, rather than focusing on the blessings that are in front of us and seeing possible solutions to moving forward. But sometimes our struggles seem to take on a life of their own despite what we do to keep them at bay, and while I cannot say that I’ve ever really allowed people to treat me like dirt because I felt like I had to make up for being broken, I can relate to her feeling of being broken… of feeling like her womanhood had been stripped from her and her worth almost entirely diminished because of it. And truthfully, I think the main reason that I didn’t allow anyone to treat me like dirt during those times is because I didn’t allow anyone to treat me in any sort of way- I kept so many people at what I thought was a “safe” distance because I was afraid they’d see the brokenness within me, and ultimately leave me hurting more than I was to begin with.

But I’m proud to say that that all has been behind me for some time now. I left it there to kick rocks the moment I decided that my body and I are a TEAM, not enemies, and that I needed to begin treating it as so! I began to love myself and my body more than I ever have before and seeing this time as an opportunity for growth, rather than as a time of struggle. I started focusing on vibing positive emotions through my veins at all times (and if I need a boost- MUSIC. ART. NATURE. FRIENDS. FAMILY. Take your pick, my dears, there are options galore available to help you bend those lips!), exercising more with running and yoga, and embarking on a journey to incorporate more organic, fresh, healing plant-based foods into my diet. What I realized was the more I learned, the more blessed I felt to have been motivated by this time of struggle to begin learning in the first place.

Healing myself naturally with an abundance of whole, unprocessed, vitamin-filled, mineral-rich, and enzyme-rich foods that kick pain and disease to the curb and replenish it with all the nourishing goodness our bodies crave has been the best journey I could have ever chosen to embark on, and it was all motivated solely by my refusal to accept that I had to live with limitations within my own body that were “incurable” (I don’t believe in that word. It only exists if you decide that it does). It’s been fun, challenging, strengthening, and has opened up an entirely new world for me that’s brighter, more vibrant, and full of more blessings than I could have ever dreamed, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it all! I so look forward to sharing my progress and victory with the world because while this article and my story are very specific, we all have our own motivation to want to work toward better health, and I hope that my success will serve as a beacon of hope and light for you all to do that!

If you missed the link above, click here to watch the video in reference. It’s brief, and very informative about something that many women struggle with that you may not even know about.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, comments, or would like to share your story with someone who will listen and serve no judgement- only compassion and an open heart waiting for ya! Click the contact link in the “About” section and you’ll be brought to a page with info on how you can connect with me. 🙂

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My Clean House

When something falls or breaks, we see the pieces scattered about and we think of the time and effort it’s going to take to pick it up and put the pieces back together, and we feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and annoyed. Oftentimes we’d rather just leave it there where it is and move on as if we didn’t see it and it didn’t exist to us… sometimes we actually do.

And when we do that, we may feel that we’ve escaped something. That we’ve avoided the responsibility and madness that cleaning a mess involves. Whether it’s a small piece of litter that we’ve allowed ourselves to move past as if we “didn’t realized” we dropped it or a large vase of shattered pieces that would simply be impossible to try cleaning up, let alone fixing, we don’t want any part of it and feel that we’ve lucked out when we’re able to get away with not addressing it. Many of us have actually convinced ourselves to feel like we’ve had a pretty mess-free life in that case, because we haven’t experienced much of the cleaning process, and we might have even forgotten for the time being that many of those messes exist.

But the thing is, they’re still there… and they’ve accumulated.

And despite the successful effort you’ve put into keeping people at a distance from the majority of your household and past paths traveled, you’re likely going to eventually meet someone who you’d like to share your life with, which means all of your possessions, your household, and yes- your past. At that point, you’re going to begin the process of making up for all of the effort in cleaning that you’ve evaded in the past by now having to put that effort into an exhausting and defeating attempt to constantly cover those things up. You’re going to spend so much time making sure that person doesn’t wonder into the wrong hallway and accidentally uncover something you’ve kept hidden and never wanted them to see, that you’re going to miss out on some good, quality time of actually enjoying the time with that person that you’ve been blessed with.

And it will be messy.

Not only will you have to address those past messes that you’ve forgotten, but you’ll be less capable of doing so in a productive way because they’ve lingered, molded, and become sticky over time. And now you’ve brought someone you love into it and forced them to have to be a part of the cleanup crew. They may come to resent you for it and it may not work out, in which case you’re left with past messes and a new one to clean up. Or they may be more than happy and understanding about it, but not without at least some mess coming from the fact that it’s affecting what was meant to be your time to enjoy together, which only adds to the pile to clean up. Either way, the mess is there. It does exist. And it will eventually touch parts of your life that you never wanted or expected it to.

But fortunately you have a choice, and you can avoid a stick situation later.

That’s right! You can slap on those cleaning gloves, grab that broom, get on your hands and knees, and pick up those pieces right then and there when that vase shatters or when that litter drops. Before you move forward, before you forget it even exists, you stop right there when it happens, and you invest the time to address it before it becomes a lost something just waiting to resurface at the worst possible timing. I mean, you don’t want something unrecognizable and sticky showing up right as you’re getting cozy with your guest, and not even having a clue as to what it is or where it came from because you did such a good job of pretending you didn’t see it before and allowing it to linger and brew all this time, do you?

I don’t think anyone wants that. No, that’s gross.

But what you’ll find is that it’s easy to do as you go along. You’ll feel better after picking up that dropped trash… maybe it wouldn’t have been the hugest deal to leave behind, but it certainly felt good to stop and just pick it up to know that there’s one less thing you’ll have to ever worry about later- it’s gone and won’t add to any future mess. And as you sit with your vase with the pieces scattered in front of you, there will be a variety of different emotions and experiences involved, sometimes all at once, and sometimes with different vases. You’ll notice pieces of the vase that you hadn’t noticed before that were either so beautiful or so obviously weak that you’ll realize it was only time before this vase fell apart. You’ll also realize that it may even be worthy and capable of salvaging when you thought it was a lost cause, or maybe when you sat down to fix it you realized it’s not able to be fixed and you actually don’t even care to anymore. In those cases, you’ll either learn to build something new- a mosaic- and appreciate the process, developing a sense of accomplishment and gratification when it’s finished and leaving it on display proudly, rather than attempting to hide it and leaving dangerous pieces laying about for those who dare to walk through your home… or you’ll learn to let it go, to truly let it go. You’ll see that it’s easy, or you’ll find that you need some time to cope and mourn the loss of a vase you loved, appreciated, and expected to always have as a part of your home… but you’ll ultimately be able to move on from it more strongly because you did take that time to clean it up and say goodbye. You may notice it’s absence from time-to-time, but the mess will no longer be there to stare you in the face and hurt you.

I’ve allowed messes to accumulate in my life. I used to be one of those people who felt like ignoring it, quickly sweeping it under the rug, and hiding it was not only easiest, but it was best- for myself and for all else. So I know what it’s like to face an accumulation of messes- it’s not fun, and it’s not easy! But it is inevitable. And I feel blessed to have become aware of this so that I could address them with my full attention and take the time to clean house. It was easy at times and it was difficult at others. There were many times when I would come across one of the stickier of the messes and have that “easy route” mindset once again, and be tempted to move past it with a blind eye. But fortunately, I’ve developed strength over time to be able to muster the motivation each time to force myself to sit, and pick that junk up. And I’m always so glad that I did.

I can now move forward along my path much more genuinely joyfully. There’s a sense of lightness and happiness that comes with knowing that there are no messes to worry about, nothing to hold me back, and that anyone I come across along my path is more than welcomed into my home! There’s more of an excitement for what’s to come than an anxiety or fear. No need to keep anyone I meet shut out for a bit while I try to cover up messes and ensure nothing’s peeking through before they come in. Just easy, joyful, and welcoming. Oh, and those refurbished vases on display? People honestly don’t ask as often as I’d expected, but when they do, I’m proud! And they’re impressed. And it’s not even remotely as embarrassing to have some vases that aren’t bright and shiny new on display as I’d mistakenly thought it would be in the past. In fact, it adds a really beautiful and unexpected character to my home that I appreciate, and so do those who love me.

Are there messes of the past that I come across every now and then? Sure! Yeah, absolutely. I did my best to get them all, but some have been hidden so deep in the cracks that they pop up into view when I least expect it. At those times, I simply take a moment, say hello to my old friend, and then I introduce it to my little friendthe mop. ;) It’s not nearly as overwhelming when it’s one or two at a random time rather than a whole seemingly never ending heap dumping on my joy all at once.I love my home. It’s beautiful. It’s full of character. And it’s me. All are welcomed inside, but not because it’s perfect… ohhhh no, far far from it! My home is nowhere near perfect and despite what those who are arriving after the big initial cleaning spree might think, or who have only seen the “clean” home I showed before and see my clean home now may think, it was not easy to acquire. I was not born a clean or perfect person; I had plenty of messes under my rugs. I simply learned from the heaviness of living with them and chose to do something about it. That, more than anything, is what I’m most proud of about my home… not the way that it looks, but the love and care that is behind why it is the way that it is now.Cleaning is never the most fun. But it can be more fulfilling than we anticipate if we give it a chance! 2015 is just around the corner… maybe we can all take this opportunity to make it the best year yet but setting ourselves up with a truly clean and authentically beautiful home to live it out of!
(…I hope by now we all realize we’re not actually talking about literally cleaning a home. You’re totally most welcome to do that as well, but we’re talking internally here, in the heart. Let’s lift those heavy weights off of it, shall we? :) )Thank you for being the wonderful YOU that you are in this world! You add a unique and beautiful light that is all your own, and for that, I’m grateful. Live in Love, friends! ❤

Simple Math

If my math is on point like it should be, it’s safe to say that vibrant life > not so vibrant life.
Pretty sure that’s right, but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!

I’ve been blessed to know what it is to be in optimum health- in mind, body, and soul. I’ve put in the work to develop each and every one of those areas in the best ways that I knew how and in the ways that I personally felt were important. That definitely doesn’t mean that I’m perfect or that I maintain that optimum health in any/all of those areas at all times, and it doesn’t mean that I’ve got it all completely right- there’s always learning and growing that can be done. I’m also human, I’m imperfect, and I make mistakes and fall off the wagon from time to time just like anyone else does.
But that’s okay!
Because the key is learning from those mistakes, and growing as you develop the strengthand momentum to pick yourself back up. Essentially, the key is forgiveness… not forgetting, but recognizing, learning, and moving forward.

Knowing how it feels to be in optimum health (not only of body, but of mind and soul as well), the blessings that come as the result of the hard work it takes to get there, the energy and productivity that I have in each and every day, and (most importantly, to me) the much more beautiful ways in which it allows me to interact with and inspire my friends, family, and every new person I meet in this world is why I’m able to very easily recognize when I’m not there. I can SEE it, I can FEEL it, and I don’t like it. The difference may not be entirely noticeable to everyone at first glance- I don’t balloon into obesity, I don’t suddenly become a crabby bitter person that hates the world and everything in it, and I don’t just completely fall apart. But I know the differences, I see the ways in which they limit me in many areas of my life, or at the very least, provide much more difficulty in accomplishing and acquiring what I want and need, and it’s not a fun way to live. It may have been acceptable before, but knowing what I could have and HAVE had provides a noticeable contrast when I do veer from progress that makes me want the more, not the less. Fortunately, because I’ve put in the time and effort before to learn what I personally need in order to be at my best, I know what I need to do in those times in order to get back to my prime, and knowing the results motivates me to do it.

Like many people do, I have let the stresses of life get in the way lately and I haven’t been at my best in any of those areas, but I’m motivated and excited to be getting back on track!

It makes me wonder, though…

How many are struggling and don’t even realize it? The lack of energy, lack of motivation, lack of enthusiasm, lack of self esteem, lack of mental clarity, dependence on stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and/or other drugs (legal or illegal) to supplement for those things… it has become so acceptable and so “normal” to live that way, but it doesn’t have to be.

The thing is that I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that many don’t even realize that there could be more- that they could be living SO much better and enjoying this life in such a truly healthy, happy, and vibrant way. They haven’t felt it or experienced it and, therefore, don’t even know that it exists; therefore, they have no reason to feel motivation to do the work (yes, it does require work) to change, and the lack of confidence in the idea that this type of life actually exists, let alone is attainable, only further lessens their interest to even try. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been told and heard that someone doesn’t believe that my happiness and vibrance is real. That it must be fake, because “no one is that happy”… it’s sad to me that people live in a way that they truly believe that to be true. So, they continue to do what’s easy and what’s “normal” and drink the coffee, depend on alcohol to get them through the nights, and rely on over the counter and prescription medications to ease the symptoms of the ailments that inevitably develop over time as a result of living that normal and socially accepted lifestyle, because they’re told that it’s completely “normal” to develop those ailments, as it “comes with aging” or “sometimes these things just happen and we don’t know why”.

Now I’m not judging it at all- I’ve been there and have lived that lifestyle, and as I said before, I lose my footing now and then just like anyone else. But if anything, it makes me sad because I wish everyone could know what it is to be healthy and vibrant, and I wish more a than anything that I could give that gift to every person in the world. I absolutely would if I could! But I can’t do that so easily. All I can do is my own best to live well as an example and to share when and how I am called to share, with hopes that it helps someone in some way.

But I do wonder how many have labeled their feelings of low energy, low motivation, and lack of focus as laziness. How many have labeled their struggles as some sort of ailmentthat requires medication. Or how many have accepted their moodiness, anger, and bitterness that comes as the result of what is ultimately really just chronic pain and discomfort, that they don’t even realize is pain and discomfort because they’ve dealt with it for so long and because it has developed so gradually that they don’t recognize it as something that needs to or can be cured, as their personality… like that’s “just the way that they are”.

I wish for each and every one of those people that they would find that little nugget of desire to change- that little spark of motivation to be better for whatever reason it is, be it in work and/or personal life- and they would hold onto it. That they would reach out for help from whatever resources they can find to begin taking those baby steps to learning, growing, and developing. It takes time and effort, just as anything worth doing does, but the point of it all is that it IS possible and it IS worth doing. If I’m your resource, don’t hesitate to ask me for help! Even if it’s something so little as a friend to talk to for encouragement, or if you need me to link you to my resources. I’m here for you, just as I’ve been blessed to have people be here for me. After all, sharing is caring! ;)

But you know what, although I wish everyone in this world would jump up and find that motivation to be as happy, healthy, and vibrant as possible for themselves, my ultimate wish for you is this: if you take nothing else away from what you’ve just read, I want you to at least walk away knowing how incredibly blessed you are to have another day to live this beautiful life, and however it is that you choose to do it, that you just get out there and enjoy it!!

Live in love! ❤

The Tooty Booty Yogi Bear

That’s right people, I’m sure you’ve guessed it. I’m about to write about farting… tooting, if you will. Yup, the ollllle booty tooty topic that no one ever wants to talk about- including me! But I’ve come across some insight that I think is far more important to share than to hide behind for fear of an… *ahem*… awkward silence………….
………………………..
… so….
Anyways, let’s just rip (no pun intended.. okay, maybe a little ;) ) this bandaid off shall we?
So there I am. Ready to get down on some serious yoga. I’d been stressed out over some pretty serious things that were going on in my life and I desperately needed this yoga practice to unwind, refocus, and recenter. I’m not a fan of feeling like I’m off balance and when I step onto my mat, it’s like I’m grounded right in the place that I’m supposed to be. It’s an incredible feeling really… like the cushion of that rolled out mat has my toe prints and body shape already imprinted on it with invitation, just waiting for me to settle in and enjoy the positive energy rushing through me, squeezing out any negative or distracting thoughts, feelings, or emotions. When I leave yoga, I often times very legitimately feel like I’m on a high, and it carries me through the rest of my day with the utmost mindfulness, love, and clarity; more than I could ever hope to take from a cup of coffee or tea (despite how delicious they may be! I’ll still take my down dog please :) ).
As I approached this practice in particular, I was ready for all of that amazingness and then some to take me over and take me away into bliss. The class was a little bit crowded, but I never mind that because by the time I’ve finished my first sun salutation, I’m the only one in the room, and by the time we finish our shavasana (that final meditation), I know that I’m surrounded by even more positive energy than I would be in a less crowded room because everyone else is feeling as fantabulous as I am. So I gladly slid in between two people in the only spot that I could find room enough for little ole me and I smiled to let them know “I come in peace” and also, “I promise I’ll be careful not to smack you in the face as I swan dive into forward fold… I’ve got you, friend.” They smile in acceptance of my peace offering, and we begin.
The entire time I’m focused on each and every posture, mindful to move with grace and passion, being sure to make the most of each and every twist, bend, fold, and balance. Focused, motivated, and feelin strong… I was READY for this!
We step our feet wide apart from top of the mat to the bottom, ready for a wide-legged fold, which is just one of the many that forces us to reallyyyy get to know our neighbors if we’re close enough and distracted enough to notice. I, for one, was determined to remain focused on my own practice as I slowly bended over, sharing my rump side with my dear new peace-friend girl behind me and accepting the same from my man friend in front of me. We were to stay there for a good 5 breaths and I was loving the recovery offered in this pose. 1, inhale, ex-hale… 2, inhale, ex-hale… 3, inhale, ex- TOOT.
… ummmm, what was that?… WHAT. WAS THAT??
Omg.
He didn’t.
Yep… ohhhh yes… yeah, he definitely did.
The man in front of me, you know- the one with his bum in my face- definitely just tooted.IN MY FACE!!
It took absolutely everything I had in me not to laugh… I actually think that the irony of the fact that I wasn’t “supposed” to laugh (not in yoga class, and especially not at the embarrassing expense of someone else) made it even funnier, if that were even possible. I had to finish the rest of my practice with a cheesy weight-bearing grin on my face that was working overtime to keep the secret of giggles from escaping my lips for another 30 minutes as I moved through my practice, hoping and praying that nothing further “escapes” from my windy neighbor… but also, sort of secretly hoping that it would happen again and provoke the laughter of someone else so that I could finally be relieved of my agony with less guilt.
It was awesome. Why? Because truthfully, it was enlightening. I know, I know, crazy, right?! But it’s true! That fart in yoga class put a new spin on my perspective that I think was much needed.
You see, yoga is meant to provide so much more than simply stretching and muscle toning. There’s so much more to it that can be tapped into if you’re truly interested and open to receiving all of its amazing benefits, and that typically takes a lot of discipline, practice, and focus, especially at first. So it’s important to practice this mindfulness as you work through your sessions in order to develop that sustainable motivation, but you know what? It’s also important to laugh. Laughing is one of the most natural stress relievers one can ever have the pleasure of engaging in, and when we take ourselves and our situations too seriously, we limit our potential to tap into that wonderful, blissful pleasure. And that fart totally broke the serious ice for me. For the rest of that practice, I may have been a little less “focused”, but I was also still fully enjoying each move, only in a more playful way, which was actually just what I needed. When I would stumble and fall in a balance pose, I laughed it off and didn’t even need to practice “forgiving myself”, because there was nothing for me to forgive in my mind- so I fell. It happens. So what. Get em next time, tiger. Andddd moving on.
It was an awesome new twist that I couldn’t have anticipated, nor could I have forced. Sometimes it takes something completely unexpected and something that may even be seen as a “fault” or “mistake” to come into our lives and shed some beautiful light that we hadn’t even considered viewing anything from. I’m grateful for that toot that day. Never thought I’d say anything like thatttt, but hey, the truth is the truth! It’s been said that laughter is one of the best medicines… and while I don’t quite know the logistics of any studies related to that statement (I’d be happy to personally test it out for you all and post results later ;) ), I personally believe that it’s absolutely true, and that Farty Marty in my class fully provided that for me (whether he meant to or not).
So thank you, airy neighbor. I don’t want to practice next to you any longerrrrr, but I appreciate you. So… you know, thanks for that. :)
Find the beauty in everything… it’s there! Live in love ❤