autobiography, storytelling

curating ripples…

IMG_1349Everything we do has an effect on the world.

When we set limits for ourselves with negative self-talk, we inadvertently set limits for others.  What may seem like a small comment becomes a larger issue. Self-deprecating comments have a ripple effect, and the negativity lives longer than we care to believe.

There is more to being healthy than eating well and getting exercise. Just as we eat food to fuel our bodies, we must feed our minds.  If the mind is being fed negative thoughts there will be suffering. To find an internal balance we must curate our minds with constructive thoughts.

It’s imperative that we begin to normalize the practice of being kind to ourselves. Counteract the negative thought or comment with a positive one; gift ourselves with time to breathe and clear our minds, so that we may better handle the stresses that come our way.  These aren’t easy to do at first.  But neither was the initial attempt at riding a bike: we had to practice.

An internal kindness filter is worth ruminating on. We can contemplate what we are about to share with the world by asking:

  • Is the comment I’m about to offer rooted in kindness?
  • Is the way I’m about to speak going to help the situation, or serve my ego alone?
  • Is the comment or thought worth it? Is it necessary? Does it serve a purpose? (Big ones for me)

If the answer is no to any of them, stop.  Give it some time. You do not have to live according to your ego’s time-frame alone.

It comes down to ownership, an idea many reject, particularly when a negative interaction occurs.  It feels safer for us to blame others rather than own our contribution to a situation.  But what if we tried focusing on giving ourselves permission to own the positive things we bring to the table?  Just like accepting a compliment, what if we practiced accepting the fact that we contribute great things to the world by being us? I think it would make for a great starting point.

When we begin to celebrate ourselves, we begin the process of building a belief system without limits.  Those are the kinds of ripples we can openly welcome.

MLC

alternative medicine, autobiography

the ear, the back and an osteopath…

I started seeing an osteopath last year.  I’ve struggled with back problems since a kid (a severe accident in my mid-twenties added to those issues) and had been going the chiropractic route off and on to help when things got fired up.  Last year I found the length of time in between these acute sessions of pain starting to become shorter and shorter, and as my husband and mom can attest to, my ability to function mentally and physically was declining. (Read: I was being a bitch.)

So I started researching books on healing and came across Dr. Andrew Weil’s book “Spontaneous Healing.”  I’m sure for some the title sounds hokey, and for what it’s worth, I found it a little off putting, as it eludes to healing as being so simple.  There was nothing simple about what I was dealing with.  But again, I would have tried anything.

Dr. Weil made mention of osteopathic treatment and of his initial skepticism, which was quickly put aside once he himself was treated by an osteopath.  I decided right then that if a Harvard-educated doctor could get over his prejudices towards an “alternative” treatment,  I could surely do the same.

Quick google search later and I found The Body Logic Clinic in Victoria, BC.   Tony helped my out of depressed state by realigning my pelvis and showing me exercises I could do everyday to keep me on the right track physically.   The whole appointment was incredible because the guy is so insightful and interesting. I was in a daze when I left because of everything I learned.  It was a treatment combined with a free seminar with a world-renowned and requested speaker on osteopathic medicine.  I felt and still feel so grateful to be his patient.  He helped me see things in a way that doesn’t allow for that feeling of hopelessness to come back anymore. And he’s really funny.  🙂

Osteopathic treatment is not just for the back and spine.  Three months ago I was diagnosed with a block eustachian tube by a local GP, and was told there was nothing I could do about it.   I was pretty annoyed because I felt in my gut there had to be something I could do.  I don’t have much patience for GPs and their inclination to consistently give such limiting diagnoses and treatment options.  I saw Tony last week and mentioned it to him. After taking a look in my ear (lot’s of fluid and close to a full-blown infection) he offered a treatment that can be done at home.

The treatment he offered is for Otitis Media.  I high recommend you refer to his website to learn more.   You can read about the research and studies he has done as well.  He treats children regularly as an alternative to having ventilation tubes put in their ears to drain them.

The actual treatment can be found here.  This is something your partner can do for you or a parent can do for a young child.  I’m not going to mention much else about it because I’m not the subject matter expert.  All I will say is after three months of ringing in my ear, irritation and sporadic episodes of pain,  I am now healed.  And it was free:)

As you can tell I’m pro-osteopath.  It has changed my life in many positive ways and I recommend it for anyone who has gone the same route for many years with results that lack longevity.  If you have any questions about my experience with osteopathic treatment please reach out via the comments section.  🙂

Here’s to feeling healthy, happy and not “acting like a nutter.”  (Tony’s description of how I might have been acting before I got better:))

 

MLC

 

 

autobiography, Stress Management

anxiety & e-newsletters…

Anxiety is like an unwanted, thrice-daily newsletter that lands in your inbox. You didn’t sign up for it and it’s circa 2010 so there’s no unsubscribe option. To manage the settings you have to dig deep: block sender, do some research in order to find the sender so you can unsubscribe manually, or perhaps take drastic measures: change your email address. A combination of measures might be necessary, but you have to do something to change the outcome.

Mistakes are part and parcel to this anxiety. I don’t like making them; they haunt me like a bad horror movie on repeat. Growing up I believed the mistakes I made tarnished my ability to be worthy of anything good. It was assumed that females and mistakes are one in the same, and that conclusion reappeared throughout my professional career.  Oftentimes I would wake-up at 2 am with this feeling of horror, thinking I screwed up a client’s invoice, or realizing I may have explained something less than gracefully to a co-worker and it traumatized me. It was such an intense feeling: my ego voraciously rejected being wrong, which makes sense given that my worth was so intimately connected to the mistakes I made.

I no longer believe my ego is who I am; I believe my ego is a part of me that I can control. I practice living from an ego-free space daily, calling myself out when I need to, and have become much more content since I began doing so. I’ve found a lot of peace in the space outside the ego.  From a practical standpoint, business can be handled better and tough decisions can be made a lot easier when logic isn’t obscured by ego-driven ideals.  Another huge ego-driven need is the desire for stuff.  Releasing the need for stuff and releasing the belief that stuff equals happiness can free up a ton of space in your brain and give you the space (mentally and physically:)) to contemplate what you really do require in order to become a better version of you.

Removing the patriarchal link between mistakes and worthiness is imperative for us to begin living in alignment with our core selves.  Right now I’m working diligently on shedding the layers of belief systems that were handed down to me that I no longer wish to subscribe to. I suppose you could say I’m opening a new email account circa 2016, instead of using the address I was given as a kid, which was never truly mine, and never suited me anyway. 🙂

 

autobiography, storytelling

support & fear…

IMG_1184

Why do you think we offer support to those who are openly struggling, yet turn our noses to those we assume aren’t? (Note the word assumption:  we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.)

Oftentimes we fear success and those who experience it because we choose to believe it is unattainable. That fear comes out in the form of jealousy and resentment. Here’s the template:

Why is <insert name> so happy and I’m miserable?

I work harder than <insert name>.

<insert name> hasn’t struggled like I have and doesn’t deserve that <insert item here>.

Why do we fear success? Perhaps because we can’t envision a higher level of it for ourselves. Maybe we are carrying the belief system of our elders, which is based on the assumption that success has limitations. Or maybe we don’t feel worthy of abundance.

I wonder how things would change if we stopped focusing on fear and its co-dependent partner, jealousy? I wonder how our lives would change if we met fear head-on when it showed its fangs, felt it for what it was, and then allowed love and all its related emotions into the vacated space? Perhaps we’d find the courage to reach out to that person who is flourishing and say, “Hey, congratulations on your success. How’d you do it?”

autobiography, storytelling

fear and temporary confidence…

As a kid I was in a constant state of fear, which came in many forms: crippling fear, which caused me to freeze up; and daily trauma, where my body and hands would visibly shake. My view of the world was that it was an unsafe place, and you never knew who was going to come along and ruin your life. I cannot attest to handling anything well. I was quite miserable, negative and angry. Not many people wanted to be around me. I recall adults getting mad at me a lot for being negative. Even my parents.

I never felt safe at home. It’s not because I was physically abused all the time, it was because of the energy. I’m an empath and I didn’t know what that meant as a kid.  All I knew was that I felt things so intensely that even the slightest mood change in someone else would cause major emotional turmoil for me, especially when things would be going well, then turn bad quite quickly.  That happened a lot in my house. No one in my family knew how to love themselves. I had no role model in that department. The only thing that was reliable was fear, which, layered with a sprinkling of intensity, gave way to anger.  Hence began the hunt for ways to feel good.

The only thing that took me out of my fear was alcohol. There were no other options available to me at the time, at least none that I knew of. The first time I had it, I loved it. I heard recently that if you fall hard for a substance instantly, you should run. I didn’t. It was the only thing that made me feel OK about myself. It numbed the fear. I felt safe, fearless and invincible. Powerful too because I felt secure with who I was, which I know sounds crazy given the volatile state of a drunk, but in comparison to my day to day feelings, after drinking I felt superb. Temporary confidence. And I was too early on in my life’s journey to know that this was not a good thing.

Who you surround yourself with is who you become. Sadly, as children we have no choice as to who we surround ourselves with, and I most definitely took on the characteristics of the most dominant personality in my home. Aggressive, angry, resentful, anxiety-laden, bitter, jealous beyond comprehension, ungrateful…the list goes on. But the list could be summed up with one statement: I did not know how to love.

What do you do as a kid when your parent was never taught how to love? It’s sad, because there really is no hope in hell,  at least not in the foreseeable future. I remember wondering who was going to love me. Would I always be alone? How will anyone want me? Unworthy was the theme of my inner dialogue that came through in so many terrible forms. I feel so sad for that kid. How can you not?

When a parent doesn’t know how to love, you can choose to be angry at them for many years (did it and it sucks) or you can choose to look at it differently. They loved within the capacity that they were able to love. They loved based on the model they had as children. In my case, I know that the experiences my dominant parent had as a child were awful. This parent was taught that the only thing reliable in life was fear. Fear was the only thing that was ever concrete. Can you imagine living your entire life that way? When I looked at it this way, I found it easier to have compassion instead of anger. I also found it easier to motivate myself to change.

Determination is a character trait I am proud of in my dominant parent, and I’ve definitely inherited it. So I choose to run with that, and my goal in life now is to become what I was always meant to be:  a woman capable of loving herself; one who models love and compassion to all she comes into contact with. It’s a tall order: definitely a challenge. But I’m up for it. Can you imagine if you took all of the energy inside you that is negative, and instead transferred it to efforts focused on making positive contributions to your life, and inevitably others? Because when you choose to see the good in every scenario,  it shows. And it inspires.

mustlovecrows

autobiography

The time is now…

Now is as good a time as any to change. Not because it’s January 1st, 2016, but because it’s now.

Same goes for every other day or time of the year. Don’t avoid the fear of change. Go through it, and take some bold steps…

Here’s the hard part: not everyone is going to like it. But if you are in a place you are unhappy with right now, I’d be so bold as to say you don’t like you all that much.

I don’t want to say “be selfish” because that statement makes it seem like you doing what is right for you is a negative and that is absolutely not the case. The trick is to do what’s right for your soul, not your ego. Let’s try the statement “soul-serving.” Feels good.

So what do we do? How do we change? Question: have you done the same thing over and over for some time garnering the same results, of which you detest? Ok good, I’ve been there. We have both gotten sick of being sick. And I mean spiritually sick, with depression, anxiety, and a general feeling of dread layered on thick, with a sprinkling of bad decisions because your mind was in such a fog due to the things you used to cope. Maybe your situation wasn’t like mine, but our feelings were the same. That is where we are more similar than different:)

How did I start?  I chose to switch out mindless entertainment news for inspirational programs and books. I enjoyed anything that made my brain think beyond it’s desire to only serve my ego and very quickly, my mind shifted. I read Louise Haye books, Wayne Dyer, Oprah. (Library is a fabulous option…you don’t have to pay to read) I took from these people and the messages they shared what resonated with me.   I used new ways to start putting my ego back in line, and felt that when I watched or read inspiring things, my ego took a serious back seat. It’s like it couldn’t survive when my soul was so happy.

I believe strongly in small steps, and the idea that “what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” (Gretchen Rubin). That being said, think of things you can change in your day-to-day that will make you feel better. One of my everyday goals is to walk in nature for 10 minutes a day. That might not seem like much, but if it’s a busy day and I accomplish that I feel great. If I walk longer then I feel even better because I surpassed my goal. I’m setting myself up for success rather than failure.

To summarize: change starts with small steps. Switch out something that is bringing you negative results for a positive. Knowledge is power. And repeat after me: I am safe. I am strong. I am love.

mustlovecrows

new beginnings, share your story

It’s all happening…

It’s the eve of 2016: what better time to take the plunge and write my first post.  Truth be told, I have no idea what will come of this blog, where it may take me and where I will be next year on the eve of 2017.  I choose to believe I will be in a great place mentally, which is far more important to me than being at any specific physical location.

Which is why I am here now.

This blog is my way of getting back to my roots. At my core I am a writer and I always have been.  I got sidetracked many years ago, when I chose to accept the belief systems of others as my truth.  Now in the second half of 2015 I have come to find that my truth, my belief system,  is vastly different than many I have surrounded myself with in the past.  What was true to me once is now false.  And so I have begun to build myself up again, brick by brick, thought by thought, so that I may feel complete again.  Deep?  Yes.  Laughable to some?  Sure.  But do the opinions of others matter, when I know in my heart I’m doing what is right for me?  No.

This is my truth-seeking, soul-freeing, story-sharing, ever-evolving manifesto.  I hope you’ll join me and share your stories as well.

MLC