Frustrated. 

This is a repost from my Facebook page. That’s where I seem to pour it all out…

I’m frustrated. This is going to be one of those long, full of too much truth for some, posts.

I started flaring in the spring. Always a possibility, I pretty much know how to handle them to keep them from stopping me. This one was a doozie. Wound up in the hospital in early June. Turned to medication to help, bounced around between different doctors to determine just what was the cause. In my head, it doesn’t matter – it’s all the same. Auto-immune. I have a list of diagnoses, in addition to MS that y’all know about, and I tend to lump them all together because the bottom line is the same – my body is attacking my body. 

It’s a helpless feeling knowing I am doing this to myself. Meditating, searching my body for the cause, the triggers that sent me down this path again. I eat better, read more, listen to the cues my body sends and drink more water, juice daily, buy flats, alter my household to accommodate my abilities, etc. Sometimes I cry for hours, other times I get really angry and determined. 

The “cure” for this one was the same as always – massive steroids. I despise this route. My bones are already showing major signs of osteoporosis from years of treatment. Is the cure worse than the cause? I was desperate though, so off we went. After about two weeks I was pain free, my body seemed to be healing. 

Religious with physical therapy, amping up my nutrition, I was on the way out….and then it happened.

I was changing into my pj’s on Friday and felt the all too familiar pain shoot through my leg. F*CK! I froze, afraid to move a muscle, fearful of the future, wishing I could just pretend it never happened.

Except that it did.

One by one my symptoms started to creep back. The steroids were wearing off, and my body was determined to “win” by returning to it’s self destructive mode.

On Monday I was released from Physical Therapy and joined the gym again. On Wednesday my doctor told me I was released “until next time”. We talked about my options going forward, as I’ve had my lifetime supply of NSAIDs, and am likely over the steroid limit too. It’s time to go back to experimental drugs he said, regular infusions, for life. There is ZERO I like about this. My doc knows how I feel and urged me to at least research and set up the needed appointments so I could roll when and if it was needed. I agreed. Thursday night I couldn’t lay on my side anymore, the pain was too much. This morning I felt beat down, scared, frustrated, and angry. I am jealous of every single person that can move freely. I want to scream for them to get off the couch while they can – to go do the things they want to do – simply because they are possible.

Because when that option is removed, regret is a beast. 

I struggle this morning with keeping a positive attitude, with loving myself as my body rebels. I have plans dammit, I don’t want to be stopped, or even slowed down. I want to play with my kids, go to work, take care of myself and my home. I want to be pain free and mobile. 

Yet, I am forced again, to accept. 

My relatively pain free month was simply amazing and all too short. It took about 2 weeks for me to mentally wake up and stop being scared of moving, scared of the pain. I realized I was conditioned to not do things even when they didn’t hurt any more. 

Just as I was breaking free, it’s back.

There has to be something bigger causing this BS. We, as a society, must look at the poisons we have readily available and feed our children with. Fast food is awful, we know this, yet we use pizza and ice cream as a treat. Exercise is good, yet the average adult spends 5 hours a day in front of the television. We are always looking to do what is easy, not what is right. I stoutly believe that the rise in autoimmune issues is a direct cause/effect from our lifestyles. While not intentional, you cannot deny the numbers.

Why isn’t salad cool? Why are Frosties 50 cents and a cold pressed juice 10 dollars? Why do people talk about binging on a TV series more than upping their exercise routines? The general vibe is one of instant gratification with no thought to the long term outcomes. 

It’s tough to fight this on a daily basis. I know my tribe is out there – people who eat well, move their muscles, feed their minds and bodies positive things. I don’t want to be in the minority any more.

I started a massive facebook friend delete campaign through this last flare. And it is freeing. If we don’t vibe, it doesn’t make it in my circle any more. I don’t have the extra energy to fight the bullshit, I don’t need help making poor choices. 

Not sure where I’m going with this, other than to simply release these thoughts from my mind and share with y’all a little piece of what has been going on in my world.

I know that I am not alone, so I am raising  my hand. 

Who wants to join my #levelup #kindgang? Where we push ourselves to be better, not blitzed – where we support instead of compete with one another – where salad is cool.

One thing I have learned over the years – that still holds super true today – if we are nice to our bodies, they will be nice to us. This applies to everything – food, movement, books, music, mindfulness. Have your actions in alignment with your goals. Hell, have goals. Be purposeful with a plan. Save your pennies, feed your mind and body, hug your babies, and love your people.

Everything else is just noise. 

xo

Cape wearing 101

I like to think of myself as a superhero – capable of anything I set my mind to, limitless – because of this, I get to experience so many amazing things! Every once in a while though, I encounter kryptonite. At these times I have to listen to my body and do what’s best for the long haul, think big picture. Pain has been creeping in lately and I’ve largely ignored it. Last night my body said “basta!” I tried every trick in the book and it wasn’t working and I was left with a decision: take traditional medicine and be wiped out for the better part of a day or continue to endure and likely end up worse losing more time as I push beyond my breaking point.
 
Now y’all know I shun modern medicine, not wanting to get caught in the doctor trap where side effect after side effect add up and you don’t even know what the original problem was. I am pretty adamant about letting my body heal itself by taking better care of it – treating it like the miracle that it is….at the same time I am totally grateful for having access to amazing health care and the people who dedicate their lives to the cause.
 
So at around midnight last night I had a sit down with myself and decided that the best course of action was to take medicine to allow my body to chill the f*ck out and get to work healing. I knew it would knock me out for at least 12 hours – however I am no good to anyone if I can’t stop crying or lose mobility completely. So I emailed my morning appointments to let them know I might not be available and swallowed a pill and a little pride at the same time.
 
T tried to wake me up in the morning. Poor guy only wanted me to feel better and was completely helpless – he left a cookie and a cup of tea on my nightstand, turned the ringer up on my phone so he could check on me and kissed my forehead on his way out.
 
I woke up around 11am. Pain level dropped significantly and my body was full of gratitude for the rest. It took me about an hour to fully wake up – and during that time my amazing team had my back. I decided full disclosure was best rather than hiding my weakness and we shared with all who tried to connect with me what really happened.
 
Sometimes when you have the label of a chronic disease you want to hide it, thinking it’s a weakness, when in reality it is just another piece of who you are. I truly believe if we all shared our realities – that everyone has their “thing” – and we’d find strength in coming together – solutions based on our experiences – and in the end be stronger together.
 
I look at the pictures from last night and I can see the pain in my eyes, my posture looks awkward as I navigated all movements while doing my best to avoid causing my nerves to jump, stab, and burn each time. I get a little sad when I can see my suffering. I know I am not alone though, and I know there is a blessing in everything if we just look for it.
 
I’m not 100% today, I am a lot better than yesterday. My mind is clearer and my body is no longer screaming. I know I did the right thing at the time.
So today I want to shout out praise for the medical community, give strength and high fives to all who walk through life carrying an invisible cross, and continue on my path with heart and eyes wide open.
 
Now it’s time to dust off my cape, straighten my tiara, and get back to life. ❤
 
Much love kids, thank you for being a part of my journey. xo
9efc9246dd7963dd431bb028735ecdfa.jpg

Being a mama is a wild wild ride

My eyes are overflowing as I look at my Facebook “on this day” and hear my baby boy’s voice….

There are times as a mama that I am certain that I am f*cking everything up. That I could be better, read more, teach more, have more patience, be present more often, hug more, laugh more, live more….Was I too hard on the oldest? Am I too lenient with the youngest? Not present enough with the middle? Should I have stayed married to their dad? Fed them more veggies? Brought them that extra glass of water at bedtime?

Hell, tears are literally streaming down my face as I flash back over the last two decades of parenting….I’ve been a mama longer than I haven’t at this point in my life and my youngest is only in Kindergarten…my parenting road is long and never-ending. It’s full of gifts I couldn’t even have imagined. It’s the hardest damn job I’ve ever had and the best at the same exact time. Having children means exposing your heart to the world, watching them grow, setting the best example possible, and holding your breath as you witness their learning in progress.

Could I have done better?  I ask myself this frequently. Am I being the best human  I can possibly be in this very moment to set a positive example for my babies? Yes. Though some times I don’t have much available at that nanosecond in time.

I was just a baby myself when  I got pregnant. 21, single, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up – or more often – what to wear on a Friday night…. My first instinct was that having a baby was NOT a good idea. I didn’t tell their dad, instead I told my BFF and made my clinic appointment. I walked in that day and changed my life forever. I walked out scared, elated, determined and for the first time in my short life – thinking not about what I wanted to do – instead I had a new priority – my child. That was it – from that very moment on – I have not been guided by my wants/needs but those of my children. Every decision, from work to grocery shopping to schools to trips, is made with them in mind. How will this impact their wiring, their future, the world?

And then I hear Andrew’s song, or see Jace play with Dyl and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I did something right. I always wanted to make the world a better place, and lookie there – I did – through them.

Shine on baby boys – mama loves you more than you know. Thank you for, everything. ❤

 

Black Friday 

So the average shopper spent around $403 on Black Friday in 2015 – I’m assuming it’s a similar amount for last year.  

I spent $526 on this famed day and didn’t wait in any lines overnight, get trampled, or wind up with an outdated electronic 6 months later.

I wound up here instead:

I’m on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, Terceira, surrounded by some of the most amazing sights I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve met some fabulous people, learned a wee bit of Portuguese, repelled down a canyon, hiked a lava tube, fell off a bike, took selfies with cows, watched the sun rise and set, and made a humongous deposit of life points in my memory bank. 

Travel isn’t expensive, it isn’t prohibitive,  it’s a choice. 

This entire trip will cost me about $1200 when all is said and done – to me, it’s priceless. 

The new friends who are so close in such a short period of time they shoot right to framily status, the culture, and the week long view into another way of life will mold my future far beyond a new phone, gift, or outfit ever could. 

Go ahead, skip the latest and greatest and go old school….making photographs your priceless keepsakes and raising your lid, expanding your horizons, while living your life with passion and meaning. 

To save 1200 in 4 months is a mere 300/month. Cancel your cable and skip the trade in of your car/phone/whatever and you can find yourself here too….

Filled with awe, wonder, and love. 

What are you waiting for? Go make some memories. Expand your horizons. Lift your lid – live the life of your dreams. 

XO

When you live your life outloud…

I speak my mind. I share my thoughts, dreams, successes, challenges. My struggles are pretty transparent because I fully believe we can all relate to them and I’m not alone.

Some judge me for this. They think I shouldn’t share so much. Some applaud me for this. They can relate and stop feeling alone. 

What happens when it’s your significant other that takes offense? 

I took down a recent Facebook post of a quote that resonated with me because he didn’t like it. He got a text from a friend who asked him if everything was ok after reading it. He got upset that people would think it was about him. It was more weight on the relationship that was teetering off balance to begin with. 

We’ve been struggling lately. I think it would be safe to say both of our love tanks are on E. Because of this, everything hurts. There is no communication. There is no intimacy.  There are walls, negative patterns, and hurt. It really does blow massive chunks.

I think of my fav book of all time: Fierce Conversations. “The conversation is the relationship.” What if there is no conversation?

I’m supposed to fly to Portugal today – girls trip – purchased back in November. 

Do you go when things suck so bad at home? Would the relationship be better with a break or will it be damaged further? Does it matter at all?

We come from two completely different worlds. What is status quo in his seems foreign to me. What I assume to be normal adult behaviour is something that he’s never experienced.  What draws us together? I used to say it was that we were wired the same…growth minded, high achievers. I guess that is still true. The coming together on day to day is nearly impossible though. 

I’ve felt lonely and taken for granted for ages now. I’m tired of having the same conversations. I’ve begun to withdraw.

The conversation is the relationship. 

Doesn’t work when there is no communication beyond a few words each day. 

Where do I go from here?

I am….


Affirmations are key – they say that what you tell yourself throughout the day is what you believe and how you literally wire your brain. So if you say “I’m broke” all day – guess what, you are. It’s kinda like the whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.

So I was going to write a blog with the title “I am not a baby mama”. There’s a long winded story – or meadow report as Tony Robbins would say – about why I was going to do this.  However, once I typed the subject line, I remembered hearing our minds don’t really recognize the “not” part – and it’s really not all that positive and inspiring for myself or others.

So I changed it.

Just like that. A simple decision will lead me to type different words and change the lens through which I see the current situation.

I am a woman. A strong, beautiful, vibrant, predictably unpredictable woman. I am a mama. I am a business owner. I am full of love and light. I live to taste every last drop that life has to offer. I see something I want to do or be and I take action. I am the creator of my destiny.

This is a world that I created through years of reading, writing, meditating, learning, growing, and more. Each one of my decisions have shaped this very second right now. Me, sitting in my office, playing theme songs of my friends, next to my assistant – shaking the nervous energy out of my leg, wishing I had the lemon water that I left in the car, wondering if I have time for lunch before my 3pm call with the mediator. Nervous about that call, it’s about my baby and his future. It’s about what’s best for him. I stop for a second to ask for wisdom and guidance to be able to see a clear picture and know, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I am making the right decisions.

Wow, didn’t expect that to come out. I’m going to pour more energy in that direction. It vibrates a heck of lot higher than a rant about limiting beliefs and stories held so strongly by others.

After a deep breath….

I am a mama.

I am love.

I am light.

I am open to change.

I am stardust.

I am strong.

I love.

I give.

I thrive.

I am grateful. Very, very grateful.

xo

 

Taking things personally

We’re all guilty of it. It is a natural human reaction. It’s also poison to a relationship and a sign to look inward.

I recently posted something on Facebook that was classic “vaguebooking”. I was taken aback by something that happened in my life that seemed so out of whack with what I would have expected and I was stunned. I asked for help accepting it and moving beyond my feelings without saying what the cause was. 

I got exactly what I needed and was able to process the event and get past my emotions. 

Aside from great advice about checking my own expectations  (where the pain really came from) and zooming out to look at the big picture only to realize it wasn’t out of culture at all for the source (we tend to only see what we want to see), I learned another valuable lesson. 

People tend to see themselves and their own insecurities and perceived flaws when they’re not happy on their own path. 

I heard of quite a few people who, instead of reading the status and either moving along or providing insight on the question at hand, took it as a personal attack on them. 

What the what?

Yep. Multiple people got their panties in a bunch over it and reached out to those in my circles to express their displeasure in my talking shit about them.

Seriously, WTF?

It was really pretty sad if you think about it. 

Giving absolutely no clues as to what bothered me, only asking for help in dealing with the situation, I created a shit storm. 

This disruption rippled through my various circles, without my immediate knowledge, and left me once again pondering about life.

When we are uncomfortable with a situation and don’t know how to handle it, we tend to avoid it. This leaves us looking only through our own lens, creating alternative facts, and we end up “building on shit” – a term I use for not having a solid foundation in any relationship – personal or business.

It sits in our subconscious, toxic and negative, until something pokes it.

My status update did just that. I unknowingly and unintentionally poked the bear. 

Always looking inwardly when something happens, I realize that I, too, am guilty of some pretty rocky foundations. Situations that I moved on from, without cleaning them up and putting them away first. It’s like shoving something in a closet, everything looks pretty – until someone opens the door.

As a teen I spent many years in recovery programs and went through the 12 steps. I didn’t really understand step 4 – make amends – until I was older, much older. Step 4 is akin to cleaning out those closets and getting your house in order to build a bigger life with a strong support system in place. So you don’t build on shit and have it all come crashing down when you take something too personally.

This spring, when the birds start chirping and the urge to open the windows and deep clean your kitchen hits…I urge you to open one of your emotional closets and see what’s in there. Take everything out, sort it, and only out back what gives you joy. The rest needs to be sold, thrown away, or donated. Now I don’t mean literally – there’s no market on ebay, that I know of anyway, for your 10 year old grudge against your bff for not inviting you to her bridal shower; you do this by zooming out, looking at it through a different lens, writing it all down, calling them up and clearing the air, or simply meditating on it and letting it go. 

I have been working on this for a while now, it’s definitely not a one and done sort of thing. It’s life, it’s a journey, it’s a constant process of never-ending improvement and growth.

It is also a game changer. 

Life is short. Do you want to spend it struggling or thriving? The choice is yours.

Someone hand me the windex please, I have some cleaning to do.

XO