Motivational Monday…for the UNbroken

Hey friends…you know how last week on the Facebook fan page for my blog, I asked you a question?  I asked you to tell me what kind of “invisible disease” you had.  Many times, we feel so alone with these diseases, because they are in fact, not visible to people looking in at our lives.  But this statistic came from the link I posted: 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible. 

I don’t really think we are alone.  So let’s say you didn’t get your disability and you have 5, maybe 6 illnesses on that list.  Guess what?  It happens.  I decided it meant something different.  I decided it meant that I was supposed to find a flexible job working from home and helping others.  Don’t be discouraged.  You have a few options.  You can continue the fight without a lawyer.  I have been told that’s why I never got anywhere.  You can get a lawyer.  Or you can move on.  Moving on is not giving up.  I just want to give you permission in case you needed to hear that.  I know all the excuses in your head.  I know all the what ifs.  But do not stay in that place of despair.  Make a plan.  Work on it.  Move on.

So now I am in yoga teacher training, and it’s hard.  Very, very hard emotionally and physically.  I doubt my path at times.  I do.  But as my friend said yesterday, okay really paraphrasing, if we didn’t have emotions or feelings we’d be like Data from Star Trek.  He was an android who was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human responses.  We don’t want to live like that.  So acknowledge the feelings you are having, and work the plan.  Whatever the plan is.  If you don’t have plan, write something down.  Just a few things.  It can be as simple as get out of bed, and get dressed.  Get to the store today.  Fibro friends, this is an important plan.  You know this.  Get out of your pajamas…says the blogger still in pajamas.  But you know what I’m talking about!!!  You do.

Next on your list, make a new friend.  Okay, this one is hard.  Why is this hard?  It is hard for people who feel alone, because opening ourselves up and getting vulnerable with new people is like going to a new doctor for us.  We hate having to start at the beginning and tell our story.  I know this.  You know this.  Stop ignoring this one.  So here’s how you can go about doing this.  Re-evaluate who is in your life right now.  Who checks in on you…who checked out on you.  Those people who checked out of your life during your hardest times, they have left you space for new people.  I know it sucks, believe me I do.  But it’s time to be honest.  Those people didn’t understand anyway.

So start a new practice.  Get your list out.  What did you like to do before all the bumps?  For me, I already liked yoga, so I looked into restorative, which was low-key.  I researched other types of exercises for fibromyalgia, and decided I didn’t feel like going to water aerobics, but if you like that, put that down.  if you liked gardening put it down.  Don’t think about the pain, I know you automatically went to “I can’t get down there and bend.” Stop.  So here’s a neat idea, look up community free classes or workshops in your area.  You can also container garden and not have to bend.  See how I did that?  Put it at eye level.  Flower arranging?  Do it.  Whatever it is that old you did, write it down.

So guess what’s going to happen during this process of thinking about other things that you now have room for in your life…you are going to make new friends.  You are going to feel better, and you are going to feel less alone.  Anytime you have a negative thought, push it away and back to the things you are doing that are positive.  That are a step in the right direction.  So when you get that letter in the mail from social security…don’t be afraid to open it.  Make a plan.

broken

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Being terribly real…

RealOn the journey to motherhood, I didn’t pause to consider what it was going to be like after I had my daughters.  I never thought for a second about play dates, getting out of the house with two babies, or how I would live in pajamas…for a long time.  The only things I thought of were the sweet baby smell, and the adorable girl clothes all ready to put on my first baby.  It was easy for a while.  I know that sounds crazy, but it was.  She was a good baby after I got over the initial “How the heck do you breast feed right?” phase.  I was constantly tired, but it was a good tired.  One I could live with.  Until the day I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2.  The first one was only 9 months old.  Wow.  Was not expecting that.  Ha.

So fast forward to having 2 baby girls.  The struggle was real as they say.  I came up with the idea of play dates to get out of the house.  With moms I had never met before in my life.  It was wonderful, and I could reflect on that bonding experience for a long time, but what I want to get across is this point.  When we finally got past the pleasantries and being “real” with each other, it was a much better experience.  If you look past the cleaning like a mad woman before anyone came over for a play date (dumb thinking).  Making sure I had the right snacks out, and everything was prepped and ready so it appeared things were effortless.  Again, how dumb was that?  Not being embarrassed when my girls wanted to just sit and eat snacks instead of playing.  Like you can control your kids.  Hahaha.  When they are toddlers (new mom thinking is warped).

So as I have gotten older, and I visit my friends with kids, guess what y’all??  We don’t clean before anyone comes over.  We don’t.  It’s liberating.  I might be in something nice-ish, or I might be in yoga pants.  We don’t pretend that our lives are perfect.  And that the snacks float out to the table magically.  Although that would be pretty cool.  Heck, we don’t even know what we’re having for dinner half the time.  Or if there really is food in the house.  Some nights, it’s every human for themselves.  But why did it take so long to learn this?

When you meet someone, I know it takes a long time to get “real”.  Unless you quickly peel back the layers and say, “Oh there you are.  I like this you.  The real you.”  So if you are hurting and in pain because you think no one understands you, I want to ask you this, have you given them a chance yet?  Are you still the clean house, perfect food, immaculate outfits, and everything is nice and shiny, because believe me sister, life isn’t always nice and shiny.  Find the friends who are going to be there with you in the trenches and scream “Go for cover!” when the next life crisis is thrown at you.  Those are the ones who matter the most.  The ones who lift you up when life gets real.

 

Motivational Monday…

I had a different blog post planned until I read several things on my social media page.  I am sad about most of what I see and my mom thinks I need to stay off of it…I do try, but it’s difficult when you run a few pages…so here is my post for today.

I have an amazing friend.  She is super smart, funny, talented and has a wonderful story to go along with it all.  I do so love a wonderful story, but it’s hers to tell.  She is inspiring in so many ways, mostly due to her public battle with cancer.  She is not afraid to put herself out there, and her help with homeless and recovering addicts inspires me as well.  If you have a moment to put her in your thoughts or prayers, please do so as this was part of her message today “about 10 or so my heart stopped for 11 minutes and 18 seconds”.  When I read that, I didn’t know what to say…except she was in a happy place during that time with her grandparents, and I understand that feeling of wanting to stay.  But she has work yet to do here, so God sent her back.

I want you to think about what you have left here on this earth to do.  I want you to think about all the people who inspire you and all the people you inspire without maybe even knowing it.  Seriously.  Journal about it if you would like.  Write down the qualities of these people and then turn it inward.  Are there things you can be doing to help others?  Are there ways you might like to be more like them?  Can you turn your negative thoughts into positives?  For example, I wish I had more money.  I think that in my head.  I know I do.  I am working on changing it to, I am glad I had enough money for that unexpected bill.  I will work on saving more.  Or how about this one, I need to lose weight and I don’t eat right.  Turn it into, I am losing weight by eating better.  I am doing great.  It takes time.

The thing about this friend is that if she has had a bad day or a bad experience, she always turns it into a positive one for her support team.  She knows we worry, are afraid, might be depressed, and suffer the same kind of negative thoughts as everyone else, but she self-talks us into feeling better.  And it works.  Self-talk is great.  At the end of her posts, if she has had a hard day, I still believe she is happy and knows she is loved.  That is the number one thing to turning your mood around.  Come from a place of love and seek your joy.  In all things, you can find your joy.  I love you friend if you are reading this.  I know you can do the hard things.

Joy

Motivational Monday…

Hey y’all!  Guess what?  People seem to like me!!  I have friends:)  So this weekend was a certain erm birthday.  My husband isn’t known for planning things.  That isn’t his fault necessarily…it’s just the way things are.  However, in my family, birthdays have always been a big deal.  So my mom planned to take me shopping…and everyone came along.  The kids, my dad and good ole’ hubby.

We went to the outlets…but it was like they were giving away free puppies or something.  So it wasn’t really a good idea.  I did enjoy myself in one store, but after that, I was like, oh yeah, this is why I do not shop.  I don’t.  I can’t stand the commercialization of things.  Lines out the door just to get $5 off or whatever.  Maybe you all like it, but meh.  I don’t.

So anyway, it was all they could do to keep me out to a certain time.  But when we finished dinner, I told them I was coming home to put on my special comfy jammies…I bought myself for my birthday.  Shh.  I did.  I bought erm these like snuggie, zip up long john things.  Hahahaha.  But seriously.  I did.

MeProof.

But surprise!!  People were coming over to my house…and some were already in my house.  And it was wonderful because they had food and things.  Ok, they had wine.  But the food was gluten-free and that was oh so thoughtful that they went to that kind of trouble for little ole me.  But I had to stay in real clothes…but that was ok.  We had a fire pit and we talked.  I miss talking to people.  I did pick up my phone to snap a few photos, but really almost forgot to do that.  So I appreciate the party because it was about being real again.  Talking and being in the moment.  The one that is right now.  Now tomorrow, or a few days from now, or I have to do x,y,z because x, y, z will be there.  Please connect in the here and now with your peeps.  They will be ever so thankful and appreciative…and grateful.

Friends

And they will be really HAPPY.

Restorative Yoga…finding my place

I was afraid my body was not ready for this class.  In fact, after taking the beginner yoga class, I waited weeks before coming back in to give it another go.  You see, the ego whispers to me “That was too hard, you must give up now.”  It is coming from a place of pain.  Pain I have lived with for the last 5 years since developing the symptoms and ultimately the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  But last night on my mat, as I held the pose for a little bit longer, my mind tried to scream at me again to register and focus on my pain.  I then shushed it, and focused on my breathing instead.  And guess what happened?  It worked.

Three weeks ago as I was getting ready to take the first class, an acquaintance called me, but I said I had to go get ready for yoga.  She asked if she could go; however, she is not known for her patience, so I explained this was not like traditional yoga.  She said she was fine with it…haha.  We arrived and were told to get bolsters, a blanket, a block and a belt.  She kept asking me questions about what we were going to do.  I did mention I had not taken this class before.  Throughout class, she fidgeted.  She whispered.  She twitched.  She complained under her breath.  I was NOT happy.  Yoga is MY place for peace.  If you invite yourself to come with me, you need to respect that this is already hard for me, and I like to relax.

At the end, oh the end, I was mortified.  Tea was served, and I dearly love hot tea.  As it was being passed out, fidgety gal loudly says WHAT IS IT?  I stared at her.  It’s tea.  Well, what kind??  I need to know.  No you don’t.  Be quiet and drink the tea before I lose my calm on you and go off all Scorpio style in this nice place.  She then got out her PHONE.  Yes, her phone, and proceeds to play on it.  NUMBER one rule of yoga is there are NO cell phones in yoga.  Everyone knows this.  Everyone.  Except her.

Unfortunately, I left this class more tense than I should have.  I allowed another person’s behavior and energy to seep into my space.  I don’t have time for that in my life.  I just don’t.  So I went blessedly alone the next week.  And again last night.  What I learned was that each week, Lauren works on a different part of the body in the poses.  If I had given up because of my mind, body, or embarrassment of the above, I would not have known that.  I am working hard on shifting my focus.  There are things we can’t control, but when you get to your mat, control what you can.  Slow down you mind, focus on the breath, drop the chatter in your head, and let the others melt away.  It is your journey and yours alone.  No one can do this for you.

I truly appreciate this class as it feels like it goes at your own pace.  Some of us use more bolsters, blankets, or props to get in the pose and get the best benefits.  It does not matter.  This is truly a class to teach you to slow down.  Namaste.

 

 

Heart

Motivational Monday…

SO last week, someone tried to steal my joy.  I like that saying only because my old Principal would look at me and say “No one is going to steal the “J” from my JOY.”  She said no matter what was going on, when I passed her in the hall, I would make eye contact and say hello.  If I passed her 5 times, I’d say hello 5 times.  Or how you doing?  She would always be walking with intent to get somewhere, but I knew she had lots going on, so I would make sure I said hello.

Life is like that.  Sometimes, we forget that other people have lots going on too.  We want to think we are the only ones mired down in this life.  We lose sight of the bigger picture.  We lose sight of humanity.  Our focus goes from global to microscopic.  We start to doubt that there is a place for us in this world at times.  The demons of negativity come out.  She hates me.  She isn’t here for me because she didn’t say hello this week.  Well, I’ll show her.  I’ll delete her.  Chances are, she has no idea why you are doing that, but go ahead.  If it makes you feel better about yourself, go ahead.

Then there are the huge declarations on your social sites…in one week, I am deleting my account!!!  Waits for people to beg them to stay to see if anyone cares.  Or my favorite, no, not at ALL.  The FML status.  They wait for people to say “Ohhhh girl, what’s wrong?”, but sometimes, sometimes, people forget that others are doing the best they can at that moment too, so your grand display on social media might not be noticed.  However, I bet if you called someone or even private messaged someone and said, hey, I really need someone to talk to.  I am not feeling the love over here.  Then, just maybe then, you would get the response you wanted.

The problem is, no one wants to OWN their story.  That’s right.  If this were fixed, my life would be so much better.  If I didn’t have blah, blah-blah, I’d be great.  If such and such liked me, I would be fine.  But the real deal is, once it’s fixed, something else is going to break.  If you didn’t have one thing, you’d have another.  And if that person did like you, you might still have problems.  So start with yourself.  Focus on loving yourself.  Believing in yourself.  Trusting yourself. And saying HELL YES, I can do this.  This might be a hard thing, but I can do this.  Smile at people.  Say hi 5 times.  Even if they ignore you or look away.  Don’t let anyone steal your joy.  Not even you.  NOT EVEN YOU. 

_own

A tribe…

Sometimes I have to mentally prepare myself for things.  As I mentioned, I was going back to yoga.  I looked up the benefits of yoga for fibromyalgia and decided the benefits far outweighed any residual pain I might feel.  I know that my body doesn’t cooperate like others, and I know I have to take it easy.

It felt good to pull out my old yoga pants…you know, the ones that most of us wear as “comfy” pants.  Well, I bought mine years ago for hot yoga, and haven’t worn them since November.  Anyway, I arrived a bit early to check out the scene.  I was apprehensive at first, because at my old studio, it was very quiet.  I walked in and saw some little tomatoes on the check-in desk.  The girl behind the counter said she didn’t know where they came from, but I could help myself.  Another woman arrived and took one and said hi to me.  She asked if I was new, and I said yes.  It felt welcoming.  No one said a word to me at the other place when they walked in.  It was almost like we couldn’t talk.

Anyway, I was given a little tour, told where things were, and I met the instructor.  It was a “HE” and not a she.  Side note…I looked him up before the class because I was almost thinking I couldn’t go to a “MAN” class.  hahaha.  Seriously.  I did.  I liked the look of him and what he said on the page, so off I went anyway.  How dumb is that?  It’s not.  It made perfect sense in my head.  Man class=harder to pretend that I can hold all the poses.  Not so.  Man class=no judgement.  Bingo!!

Where was I?  Oh the class.  The lady was already in there putting her mat down and a guy.  Wait a guy?  It’s ok.  We are not being judged.  There is no judgement.  Ohmmmm.  I started talking to the lady and somehow my business came up.  I mentioned I had fibromyalgia, did not open the bag of crazy to the other things, just the one, and said I was treating myself with all-natural supplements and heard yoga helped.  In reality, I am grateful my friend reached out to me.  She owns the studio and actually invited me to come in.  Anyway, the guy was there and somehow we brought him into our conversation.  It was nice.

When he mentioned he just had a cancerous tumor removed from his ummm brain, I was in shock.  We can ALL do the hard things as Glennon would say and I was glad he was there.  He looked a bit young, but I know cancer does NOT discriminate.  Old, young, whatever.  I felt less alone and more like I was definitely meant to be there.  I mentioned my research into all-natural supplements and he said his doctor didn’t say anything to him about that…yet.  I am adding the yet.  I mentioned my favorite thing, the greens, and at the end of the class three people asked me about it.

I am fortunate my friend reached out to me.  I felt connected to these people, her tribe, already.  She and her husband had a vision.  They called it Tribal Yoga.  A year has gone by since her husband passed in a small plane accident, and she is running a business, a full-time job, and being a mom to their beautiful baby boy.  She wears many hats just as we all do.  We have to make time for ourselves and come back to what’s important to us.  We have to be here for each other.

Tribe