Category: Health

Age is just a number

This used to be so easy.

What happened?

Oh, that thing that is called age – darn – that is why it is so difficult to do this now.

But age is just a number … is my mantra – while sweating and cursing (yes, the latter is less ladylike, but damn it helps) …

So with my million excuses for not working out, it was mind over matter today.

My age, my invisible illness, my aches/pains, and all the other excuses for not working out, will have to shut up right now.

It is time to get stronger – no matter what!  And it starts from from the inside out.

The mind is a powerful thing … it can ruin you or lift you up.  So please try to tell your own mind to do what is best for you in every situation.  I know, it is easier said than done.

But please, keep on fighting for your inner strength my dear friends!

Moving your body will help like no other medicine!

Today I am managing to have total focus on my mind – body – soul – connection!  I will try my best to not let it slip away from me …

Join in – please let me know what you are doing to get stronger both inside and out.

“Movement is vital.”

~My Doc.

 

May came and the fog rolled in

 

My inner being is just like the fog that just rolled in outside.

The fog covers both the ocean and the mountains.  It is dense, just like the fog inside of me and it is hanging over both my heart and soul.  Ready to lift.  Ready to shift.

Outside in nature, the fog burns off over the ocean in the afternoon.  I need to do a similar thing with my own inner fog, my fog that diminishes my clarity over life.

My inner core is one big fog of emotions.

Some feelings are welcome.  These feelings I embrace full on.

Other emotions that exist inside of me are unwanted.  The unwanted ones, I just try to push away.  I do not want to feel, think, or even experience them.

So what do I do when my unwanted feelings start to rise inside of me?  They arise like a hot burning volcano ready to burst.  I cannot let all that anger, frustration and sadness come out.

Not now.  Not yet.

So I move … just like the fog outdoors is constantly drifting, so am I.  I need to be in motion … so I run, walk, lift weights and do yoga.  Sometimes I even dance by myself.  To let the body feel the rhythm in my veins, and let the lyrics both soothe and strengthen my soul.

I need to heal.  I need to be strong.  Inside and out.

We all have been in situations that we wished never happened, and I was just recently in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I cannot change what happened.  The only thing today that I can change and that I have power over, is how I deal with the aftermath.  The aftermath of the situation that I was involuntary in and could not avoid for my life.

I never had a chance to say no.  I was never asked, and I never had a chance to run away.

Now when I am safe, I cannot sit and feel these unwanted feelings.  Me, who always have said: “Do not avoid your emotions, sit with them and accept them.”  I am the one who now is running away from them.  Or am I perhaps running with them?  Maybe what I am doing is a healthy outlet to be able to process the unwanted situation over time.  Maybe.

Because if I sit with the memory and the feelings that come with reliving  the event, I think that I will fall apart.

I do not want the unwanted situation to have that power over me.  I want to have power over myself.

So by moving my body I more and more believe that I am having a healthy outlet for all my emotions.  I am actually not avoiding my feelings.  They are with me every step of the way.

There is nothing wrong with shifting focus on your emotions and experiencing different feeelings.  It is what we do with them that matters.

By moving my body more, I am giving myself a gift.  My brain gets more oxygen, my blood shifts to all my organs and flows easier through my veins.

With every step that I take, I can feel that the fog is slightly lifting from my heart.

One day I know I will have run out out from the fog inside of me.

One day, rays of sunshine from acceptance and love will burn my inner fog away.

One day I will see clearly again, the day that the dense fog has burned off all of its heaviness.

Once the fog has moved away from me, I will not feel lost anymore.

Until then, I will continue to do what I can in this moment.

To put one foot in front of the other and move forward.

I could not run then, but I can now.

So I will.

Run, run – run,

faster into the sun.

 

Spring Forward!

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Spring is here, and with that a new promise. A promise of longer and brighter days. The energy in the air will hopefully also spill over to our inner world. Life feels a little easier when we can get some rays of sunshine into our souls, and there is a little more bounce in our steps,

I have spent the last month juggling responsibilities with trying to stay healthy. I have had too many items on my to-do-list. I easily forgot myself. I know I am not alone in this. We sit at the computer to just answer one more e-mail or to take one more phone call. In a blink of an eye the day is gone. I maybe accomplished a lot of tasks but I missed a really essential part. I missed putting me on that list. After a hectic February, I realize that I actually need to schedule appointments with myself. To catch a breath, to exercise, to eat right and sometimes to take time-out to relax, either relaxing with a cup of tea and a book, or spending time in the company of family and close friends.

I have not been completely out of touch with the importance of trying to stay healthy and feeding my inner self,  but I could have done better. It is now mid-March and we have switched over to summertime here in the US. They call it Spring Forward, and that is what March has done so far. The last couple of days it even skipped spring and became summer. We have had record warm weather and today I finally took that well needed break from duties and responsibilities. With the warm sun lingering longer over the horizon, I took the season’s first dip in the pool. I needed to cool my body and head several times throughout this hot day. Refreshed inside and out, I now am doing what I am supposed to do. I am writing … It is not something that I have to do, but need to do. Why? Because it feeds my inner self with pure joy and I am connecting with You. I missed that this last month, and I need to learn how to prioritize me-time. Time management is what it is called in the business world. In my world it is just pure self-care. Please do not forget yourself in the buzz of responsibilities. Put yourself in your calendar and spend some time doing or being who you are at the core. What is it that brings fire to your soul? Go out and do that, or sit with it if that is the case. Soon I will watch the last rays of sun dip over the horizon and my heart beats calmly. I was able to just be me today. Hope you had a chance to be You as well.

 

Awareness

 

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I #TiedOneOn is a campaign to bring awareness to a rare disease called Dysautonomia.  October is known for breast cancer month, but less known is that it’s also Dysautonomia awareness month.  It means that we are trying to bring awareness to the medical field.  Yes, you read correctly, many doctors and nurses are not educated in diagnosing and treating the many forms of  Dysautonomia.  We need to change that.

Of course it’s also important to bring awareness to the public as well, as it’s called the “invisible disease”.  People affected with Dysautonomia often look fine on the outside but are really ill on the inside.  To hear people say:  “but you look fine”, is common.  For the person struggling it can be hurtful to hear, and it can feel like they are not being taken seriously.

So what is Dysautonomia? It is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the body.  The ANS controls your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, excretion, body temperature, and other involuntary bodily functions.  In other words; ANS controls everything we take for granted, everything within the body that should function without us thinking about it.  All its functions should be automatic, and it’s nothing we can control. There lies the hardest part.

We want to be in control of our own body. When the ANS fails to function it differs from person to person which symptoms are most profound. It can range in severity from mild to fatal.

So yesterday I #TiedOneOn for my son Christopher, our friends Claire & Bella, myself and everyone else who is fighting any form of  Dysautonomia.

My son is proof to that there is hope.  After three years of being critically ill, he was able to fully recover due to excellent treatment, support and time.  He is a true miracle!

I believe there are more people who will recover sooner with awareness and education. This illness will take many different forms and is played out differently for every person. A few things are the same though: it is real, it is difficult, and it is a battle.  For some it will last a couple of years, and for others it can last a lifetime.

There needs to be more research done, and more awareness among the medical community.  That is what this month’s campaign is about.  But the fight doesn’t end with the last of October.  It is a fight 24/7, and you must fight for a better tomorrow!  Never ever give up fighting the battle!!

I’m trying my best in fighting this illness.  To try your best is all you can do.

Please join me!

www.dysautonomiafoundation.org

 

The Old New Me

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I was in a funk this morning.  Nothing felt right.

I am still experiencing jet lag and my sleep was restless, or was it because of the Super Moon and its pull?  I had a family issue to handle that was making my heart ache.  My own health issues were as present as ever.  I also longed for a loved one with every cell in my body.

After a workout that I thought would fix it all, I only felt like my body was made out of lead.  The list of my so-called burdens started to get longer in my head, but I cut myself off to continue to add more to my “pity list”.

What do I really have to complain about?  Absolutely nothing was my conclusion.  My misery was pale compared to a lot of other people and their more serious problems.  With that answer I knew I needed to do something different from the day before.  Something that would make my heart sing.

I felt that my world was upside down, so I turned myself upside down into a handstand.  For many years that was something that I did on most days.  Gymnastic was a big part of my childhood, and it also brought me the most joy for many years.

I admit that I was a little rusty today after some thirty years since my last handstand.  My form could have been better, but my body had at least some muscle memory.  I could still do it.  I wasn’t searching for perfection, I was after something more important.

Like my muscles remembered how to do a handstand, my heart remembered how it felt to be upside down.  My heart was beating with pure joy, and that was the important part.

Sometimes the smallest shift in behavior can have the biggest impact.  For the rest of the day my world turned around for the better just by being upside down for a while.  Why?  Because I did something that used to bring me joy, and I found out that it still does.  That joy spilled over to all other areas in my life.

So take five minutes and do something that used to bring you joy but that you have not done for a long time.  It can be singing, dancing, painting, meditating, or simply anything.  It doesn’t matter what you do as long as your heart starts to soar.

You are worth those five minutes, and the after-effect will last a lot longer than those minutes.

By turning my body upside down today, my life fell in to place.  At least for now.  I might have to do another handstand tomorrow, who knows.  But I won’t mind.

One pound at a time

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My mantra “movement is vital”, took a different form the other day.  Normally I choose a walk on the beach or on the trail up on the mountain, mixed with gentle yoga at home.  The last couple of weeks have been a challenge health wise, and I continue having to push myself to get stronger.

I started lifting weights again after over two years of not doing it.  So I really needed to start with some cute baby weights.  They were of course pink, and then the next weight up was purple.  It was my kind of weights.  Light and with happy colors.  This week it was time to get serious.  It was time to step it up and use real iron.  After slowly adding a pound every now and then, I was able to gently  transmission to my goal.  I don’t need to lift heavier than this, all I want is some muscles but I am also lifting weights for bone health.  A very important part that many people (especially women) forget about as we get older.  To stay strong is not only for your muscles, it also builds stronger bones when you do weight training.  Then the benefit for your emotional and mental health is a whole other chapter.  A very important chapter.

I only had one problem during this last work out.  My little work out room felt too enclosed and I opened the door to the porch.  Feeling the fresh air sweep into the stuffy room, I let the room air out while I stepped outside.  Why not lift weights towards the mountains?   The smooth breeze cooled my skin, while the sun warmed my whole body made for a perfect work out.  I wasn’t on one of my traditional walks, but I was on a different road to get my upper body stronger.  Still surrounded by nature and breathing in the fresh air, I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal place to work towards health.  One pound at a time.

Washing my worries away

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Yesterday I had a lot on my mind, and I was worrying over a particular situation.  Intellectually I know that worrying doesn’t solve anything, but sometimes I’m a real expert in doing it anyway. That said, one thing that takes all the worrying in the world away for me is to be  engulfed by water.  So that is what I made possible yesterday.

As soon as my body was embraced by the cool water, all the worries were literally washed away.  I was in the now, and my mind was clear.  With every stroke I emptied myself of all worrisome thoughts.  My heart opened up, and I felt free.  Free from unwanted thoughts and feelings.  I was free to breathe with ease again.  The water is my healing source for both mind, body and soul.  What is yours?