Displaying 1 - 5 of 644 entries.

Move that Body

  • Posted on August 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Question for August 27:  When is the last time you worked out?

There was a time in my life when a workout was a 60 minute high impact aerobic routine that included warm-ups, aerobic exercise at target heart rate, strength and endurance, flexibility work and cool downs followed by a 5 k run. I also played tennis, hiked for miles with one kid strapped to my back, ran around playing games with the kids, tried to learn teh steps of belly dancing lol and other things I called working out.  Now a work out for me is walking from my bed to the kitchen on some days ( well the humid ones anyway).   Let us then  consider working out in the most favorable of ways lol.

When is the last time you worked out?  We are not talking Olympic training or extreme boot camp material…just moving the body consistently in a beneficial way for 20-30 minutes.  Now that is not bad, is it?  We can all do something in that area. When did you walk the dog last; do 20 minutes of yoga in the morning;  get on a treadmill for a half hour while you watched a sit come on TV ( but you do have to turn the treadmill on for it to count),  swim a few laps; go dancing; or take a zumba class for beginners?  If it was in the last 24 hours give yourself a big pat on the back. Every time you move your body you are doing something good for you.  I, of course, hope that once you get in a routine of treating the body so well…you slowly increase your physical challenge until you feel a zip of energy every time you even think about working out.  (I miss that feeling :))

I have been very limited this week…no yoga, no walks but as the humidity decreases I find myself getting more and more energy back. I have always pushed myself to move as much as I can and sometimes a little beyond that!  I love to exercise or at least move the body!  Even in heart disease, activity is strongly recommended.  In my case it is great for my little valve issue because it increases forward flow and therefore cardiac output; it strengthens the myocardium and improves contractility which can be an issue in coronary vasospasm. and though it doesn’t bring it up as much as it should, exercise increases my heart rate.  I have learned  to be careful though and to listen to my body but I will go to my death bed, I am sure, attempting to exercise a bit everyday. Many times I hear myself saying out loud, “When I finally get this nonsense taken care of I am going to do whatever I can to get back into the shape I was in before it began.”  Which I know is a little unrealistic being that was about 20 years ago lol.  I need to focus on the now and with the exception of the last few days…I do exercise daily.

I usually begin my mornings with a yoga workout ( used to do 60-90 minute workouts  but now I do a ten minute one. If I am having problems it becomes a five minute one  and on bad days I don’t even do that).   Then, if I am up for it, I will go with D. into the woods with the dogs.  My old dog and I will walk about a KM in while he and his three continue on.  Sometimes it is less than that depending on how I am feeling. I wear a fit bit and my goal is to get at least 5000 steps in throughout the day.  I don’t always succeed but when I do I feel so much better about me.  The last time I walked or did yoga was last Sunday I believe? What about you?

All is well in my world.

 

The Best Part

  • Posted on August 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm

It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.

Eckhart Tolle

August 26: What is the best part about your life right now?

As I look at that question I am consumed by a perception of “suffering.”  Why?

  • I have been averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night for the last week; battling chest pain nonstop in the last three days because of the darn humidity.  The bottle of nitro I hold in my hand, but hesitate to use until the pain is completely unbearable, is now seered to the flesh of my palm.  I am finding it hard to breathe, to walk more than a few steps, to eat  and most of all think today.
  • D. is sick.  My poor man who set off to save us from the financial ruin we are headed towards because of circumstance over which we have no control has left retirement for paying work.  On the fifth day of his new job (yesterday)  he spikes  a temp that leaves me believing I could fry an egg on his back and I pretty well have to force him to call in.  His expectorant is green, his chest is full and I know by the way he is thinking he is hypoxic again. Pneumonia ? I feel so guilty  because I don’t feel well enough to look after him.  He is going through so much. His house burns down in July, he loses everything and because of slow progressing investigations he cannot even get expenses.  I am selfishly  thinking: “We now have two mortgages to pay. With what?”
  • It never fails…the more physically debilitated I feel…the more I notice how many things need to be done.  My house is filthy and falling to pieces around us.  I can’t clean it.  That brings shame and guilt.  (Hey…didn’t I write a poem about that during my 6 week poetry challenge? lol)
  • There are 4 dogs and three cats in my household.  How many people have that and don’t at times find it a tad stressful? We are all extreme animal lovers here ( too bad the SPCA didn’t offer airmiles… I’d be in Tahiti and not complaining on this blog :) ) but that is a lot!! The dogs which are  a lovely addition to my life are both contributing to the chaos and  suffering  from it  because  neither of us have the energy to take them outside the way we should ( well in the last few days anyway).
  • I am stressed over my return to work situation questioning if I can physically even do 8 hours a week, and knowing at the same time I have no choice.  I go back and forth between decisions and trusted advisers who have conflicting opinions.  I make some decision, any decision, just to say I made one while I know that all this “sucking it up ” I have been doing is eventually going to suck me up.  I have to crack eventually.
  • I have no idea how I am going to pay my bills, keep my house as we have decided to do….
  • I am worried about my children seeing me like this…so incapacitated by the darn humidity and so stressed and irritable because of the circumstances.  I feel like a rotten mom because I haven’t got the energy to pretend all is well right now.  I am so bloody tired.
  • I miss my father.
  • And I still have to deal with medical impressions and opinions that judgmentally imply, in the most subtlest of ways,  my symptoms are not real. It just brings me back to the struggle I have been having getting  medical validation.  That seemed to be the cracking point for me.    It is like “What?…Do you think…for a second… that anyone would want to feel this way or say they feel this way …and go through all this …for the lovely secondary gains I am getting …like your attention??? If a patient says they are symptomatically brady when there is obvious bradycardia…they are symptomatically brady.  I teach documentation in health care and I find myself increasingly aware of the need for complete objectivity on records. By applying unnecessary and potentially damaging superlatives on a medical document such as a Holter report,  one is steered in the direction of the interpreters obvious subjective judgment about the patient’s complaints and away from the objectivity of data presented.  I will write  a big spiel about that in another entry.

 

I know I am complaining but I am making a point.  So bear with me. My life seems a bit on the crappy side right now, wouldn’t you say?  But I am taking the time to come here…when I feel so absolutely yucky… to answer this question.  Why?  Because I think it is a great question that deserves a great answer for my sake as well as yours.

My life situation is not my life!  My life situation may seem like a rerun of world’s suckiest soap opera but my life…my life which lies beneath my life situation… is wonderful and so is yours. All I have to do when it gets to be too much…is to sit in stillness and quiet, close my eyes and bring myself to the life that exists in teh evry moment.  There are no problems there.  No need to get things done.  No illness.  No fear…there is just peace and joy and love.

We need to remember on days like today a few  things Tolle writes about in The Power of Now :

  • Our life situations…those things that seem to be happening around us or to us are not our lives.  Our lives exist quietly, peacefully and joyfully beneath the happenings of the world that we mistakenly call living
  • Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be
  • The only life we have occurs in this present moment, in the Now
  • We find epace not by rearranging the situations of our lives, my fixing the circumstances but by realizing who we are at the deepest level
  • whatever the present moment offers…we need to accept it like we have chosen it
  • And to support today’s question: If we want our life situation to improve to  we need to recognize all teh good things we already have in our lives and there is always plenty.

So what is the best part about your life right now?  The best part about my life right now is that I am learning all this glorious and wonderful stuff about truly living and I get to do the most fantastic thing with that learning…to write and share it with others.   Coming here takes me about from my life situation and into my life purpose.  I am learning that I cannot wait “to get my life back”…for others to validate and contribute to me getting it back…becasue my life never left.  It is still here under all this crap (lol) that is not my life.

All is well.

 

Tolle, E. (2004) The Power of Now.  New world Library

 

PS…know I made oodle sof typos etc.  I will come back to clean it up when I am feeling a little better.

The Greatest Gift

  • Posted on August 25, 2016 at 1:10 pm

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person:He believed in me.

Jim Valvano

It is a challenging page I open up to on August 25, for I miss my father a great deal today.  My father, even in the height of his dementia, had this uncanny ability to make even the most challenging things seem bearable.  I remember on those days I was caring for him when I myself felt unwell or “stressed to the max” like I have been feeling these days. I would be sitting beside him  trying to re- orientate him a little or assist this proud and independent man with his care, and suddenly he would turn to me and look deep into my face and ask, “What is going on with you dear?”   He may not have known what day it was or what he just ate for lunch or why the heck I was standing in front of him with a tooth brush in my hand, but he knew that I was troubled.  He could almost sense when any of his many children needed something no matter how we hid our own issues behind a smiling face.  He knew.   He would persist with the questioning until I shared a few of the minor details, knowing there was so much more I left unsaid.  He would then say in the wisest and clearest of voices, “Things have been tough for you.  I know that. I also know that you can handle this.  You are a smart girl and a strong one.  You will handle it and it will all work out.  Just go to Mass and pray.”  I may not have went to Mass but I did pray and I prayed  in gratitude for having him as my father.  I really miss my dad.  How I wish I could hear him tell me everything was going to be alright now. :)

Today’s question is:  What would you like to tell your father?

Some of us may feel we  have had hard lives because of our fathers; some of us may feel we have had great lives.  And many of us may know we had the lives we were meant to have with this man who held our hand ( or didn’t) when we were growing up.  Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your paternal parentage, I want you to think long and hard about that question before you answer.  Vent, confront and express if you must but please be sure not to walk away without saying one very important thing: Thank You Dad.  Find something to thank him for…for your sake as well as his.

That, fortunately is easy for me.  The thing I am most thankful for is that my father believed in me.  And I wish I could put my arms around him now to utter these very sincere  words: Thank you.

All is well.

Dad&pup 004

The Recipe for Creativity

  • Posted on August 24, 2016 at 9:39 am

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Eric Fromm  (Brainy Quote)

Challenge for August 24, 2016: Write your recipe for creativity.

I chose this particular quote to begin our challenge today for two reasons; 1) It is short!  (I am still as lazy as sin these days…hope I snap out of this chesty/brady funk soon) and 2) I see myself in it. Fromm professes in order to be creative we have to let go of things we feel certain of.  That requires courage.  He does not say wisdom is an ingredient in this recipe lol… just  courage.

Creativity, I truly believe, takes us beyond the mind-stuff we have “stupidly” invested all our trust in.  It takes us beneath the world of form with all the things we can see, touch, hear and smell in it, to an invisible place we have yet to understand…but a place that is so familiar even if it isn’t “certain” for most of us. Creativity comes from the only place of true creation.  Some people call that place the inner being, others the soul or Spirit, the universal energy…some call it Truth.  To be truly creative you tap into a certain Truth that all can relate to because it has the ability to connect all beyond the level of their minds.  So whether you are painting a landscape with acrylics, writing poetry, making a clay pot, baking a cake or just using that wonderful ability to problem solve….we are much more effective when we have the courage to step beyond the smoke screen of the “obvious world” we are using as our medium to the reality beneath.

Creations that truly express this ability will  be “felt” by other people.  Critics and others may analyze the finished project to death…using their minds and their words to describe it…that’s irrelevant.  If it comes from that place of creation it will be “felt.”  So if you really want to know if you are being creative…get someone to look at your painting, read your words, listen to you explain how you are going to solve something…and ask them…”How does it make you “feel”?  Are there tears or the crinkles of laughter around their eyes?   And if they turn to you with this look of awe or even of disgust on their faces…know that whatever you gave them made them feel.  It made them tap into something very real within themselves.

How do they answer that question with words and can they?  “I don’t know what to say; I can’t explain it but….; I couldn’t put it down…; It gave me chills or even I hated it!!!”  Don’t take any of it personally.  It is not “your work” they love or they hate.  You are simply  reminding them of where you have been and where they belong. For most people that is like going home after a long, long absence.  For others there is resistance because they realize how far away from home they have been.  If your creation makes another feel something, you have expressed what it means to let go of certainty.

More importantly: How do you feel when you are creating?  Does time no longer have any meaning?  Are all thoughts of past and future wiped from your conscious awareness?  Are you feeling passionate and absorbed…and at the same time joyful and excited while you are creating?  If you are…then you have let go of certainty and entered into the mystical, magical world of uncertainty, from which creativity comes.

We are all creative.  Every single one of us has this gift…We all have this amazing place within us where we can  go to pull things out of.  It is like Mr. Dress- Up’s Tickle Trunk…a trunk with no bottom, a place with infinite imagination and possibility.  But opening up requires courage.  You have to, at least momentarily, give up the certainty of the outside world to go within to a place others may have told you does not exist.  That is a scary prospect. But while you are in there…it is going to feel like home.  Relax there, rest there. When it is time to leave, you will take a piece of that home out with you and offer it to a world that is desperately missing home, even when they do not know it.  Oh…but they will feel that home when they witness creation and it will be as comforting as a country kitchen with fresh baked apple pies cooling under yellow gingham curtains.  That is what creativity is to me.

My recipe for one large serving of creativity:

  1. one-half cup of willingness
  2. one cup of silence
  3. one cup of solitude
  4. 2 tsps of intelligence
  5. heaping cup of sifted passion
  6.  timelessness
  7. a tablespoon of enthusiasm, joy and love for what you are doing
  8. a cup of courage

 

In a large bottomless bowl add all the ingredients, beginning with the cup of courage. Whisk together gently, set aside and wait for the magic to bubble.  Serve immediately!

What is your recipe?

All is well.

Back up Plan

  • Posted on August 23, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Yes or no: everyone should have a back up plan.

 

Sorry guys.  I am not feeling well and as a result I do not have too much energy to invest into this little challenge.  But I am sure you do.  :)  Do you feel you need a back up plan for things you approach in life?

I wish I had one last night.  I do not do well in doctor’s offices…never did.  I may go in with a clear plan of what I want and confident of my body’s need to be heard…but I usually walk away with my tail between my legs and my forehead sweeping the floor…even when I have a test result in my hand with objective information on it that explains the legitimacy of my symptoms.  If anyone outside of me makes an “Impression” based on some assumption that I am just plain crazier than a bag of hammers and  the bradycardia that shows up so obviously…cannot be the cause of my symptoms…swish…down I go. It wasn’t my GP who made the literal impression…he is kind and 100 % supportive when I am there. It is the internal med who read it, someone I have never met and who doesn’t know me from a hole in the ground who determined that a pulse in the 40’s for 22 hours does not explain my symptoms.  Of course I also supplied the BP’s I was dropping into and the fact that I was trying to exercise when the symptoms she reports  that I reported while in NSR occurred. Those two facts never got included in her impression. Do I sound angry?  I am sorry.  I spent a sleepless night with chest pain and the like and I am as cranky as all get out now.  I am using this challenge to vent.  My bad! :)

Anyway, in the spirit of this blog I want to offer the individual I am attacking in my mind the peace of mind I cried for last night ( and received btw).  I am sure her professional life is busy and chaotic and reading Holters must be an absolute pain in the butt.  She probably needs a little peace.  And I offer her forgiveness for her judgment as innocent and impersonal as it may have been. People around her may imply things about the people whose report she reads.  Assumptions are easily made in a small town hospital.  Her professional opinion of me and even her personal opinion,  if she made one, does not change who I am or change the truth of my situation.

I am responsible for how I respond. There is no need to attach a Swifter sweeper cloth above my eyebrows when I leave a doctor’s office so the visit feels like at least I accomplished something.  I have a right to be there.  I have a right to ask for the help I have yet to receive in a way that will give my life back to me. I do not need to dust floors while I am dropping my head and my insides are whirling around in one unnecessary shame spiral after another.  That’s yucky stuff I have control over. Other opinion and whether or not I get the outside help I need…is something I do not have control over.  I have to accept that.

It is all good.  Anyway…I got off track.