A shitty moment does not define the day.

Today was a 9, although it started flatlined, even negative….  As I reflect, I’m actually surprised I didn’t let it totally derail me. I sit here quite contented that I had a good day, maybe there really has been a wee bit of personal growth over the last few months…
So y’all know about MS, and my recent 6 day fast in an attempt to reset. Well, it didn’t work. One by one my symptoms came back, worse. My best guess is that there might be some sort of food allergy (getting tested next month) or that the stress of the whole ordeal set me off. 

One of my original presenting symptoms was bladder control – at 29 I was mortified. Still am. For the most part it is controlled, only when things get really bad does it come into play. Like last night.

Great way to start the day. Add the second snowless snow day for Dyl, contractors ripping apart my master bath, and a full schedule – I was stressed to the max the second I woke up. 

A little short on patience as baby d dilly dallied his way to breakfast, he responded with “I wish I was at papa’s house.” That was one hell of a dagger. I held it together, or so I thought I did, as I limped downstairs to the kitchen when I started sobbing. Piling on the self blame for everything from MS to leaky showers to the dissolution of my first marriage, I threw my tea mug in the sink – and shattered 3 more glasses that were in there in the process. Tears streaming down my face, I began cleaning it up and getting breakfast ready. 

Contractors arrive, noise ensues. I serve Dylan his breakfast – complete with strawberry smoothie – that he promptly spills all over the table, chair, and into the cat food. 

I literally just finished the great glass massacre cleanup when the strawberry disaster occurs. 

More tears. This time both of us. 

Meanwhile phone is blowing up, banging from above, cat wants food – life is still going on.

Don’t they know I hurt? Don’t they know that everything in this moment totally sucks? 

Or does it. 

I took a deep breath. Refocused. Pulled up my big girl panties and proceeded with the day.

And you know what? It got better. Things got done. Progress was made. Joy was had. 

So much so that this morning was but a distant memory that I was only reminded of just now when I went to climb into bed, and realized I never finished washing the sheets.

Life is what we make of it. It’s not what happens to us, it’s how we respond. My tears and guilt were normal reactions, it’s ok to feel those feelings, process them, and move on. 

When we stay stuck or try to avoid feeling them, we don’t serve ourselves or the universe. We reject the gift that each day is and we let our future be decided for us. That is a life by default.

Mine is a life by design. ūüíĖ 

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To fast or not to fast

The last week of 2017 I chose to begin a water fast. Having watched a documentary (The Science of Fasting) months ago about it, I was intruiged. I continued to research and talked to people who had completed fasts of various lengths – I decided to go for it.

My total fast length was 6 days, 3 minutes. The only thing I ingested during that time was water.

My goals were to reset my body. I have Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed in 2001), and have reached a point where I can’t manage it without meds much longer. I had nothing to lose as far as I was concerned.

Day one: This day was fairly easy. We’ve all gone most of a day without food, so I had scheduled regular work activity for the day and went about my day. I found that I would enter the kitchen to graze whenever I was bored – not necessarily hungry. This habit was strongest whenever I would first enter the house. Seems I would beeline for the kitchen automatically. Interesting to note. I began to get a headache as well – likely caffeine withdrawal.20180104_075013.pngDay two: I can sum this day up in one word – hangry. I was grumpy, hungry,¬†and my patience was at a minimum. My headache continued, and again I had a fully scheduled work day. This was rough. I didn’t want to talk to people, I didn’t feel good. I made it through and was grateful when it was time to go to bed.

Day three: Hell. I woke up at about 3am feeling awful. Temperature¬†regulation was a problem – hot then cold, headache, body pains, heartburn – tossing and turning until I got out of bed a few hours later. It was at this point that I reached out to my circle who had completed a fast previously to help pull me through. I was reading when to quit a fast, and I really wasn’t sure I could do it. That morning I didn’t have the strength to stand up and blow dry my hair, so I sat on the floor to dry it just enough so it wouldn’t freeze. Again, I went to work – however I had a difficult time standing and talking at the same time – it took too much energy. This was by far my most difficult day.20180104_075043.pngDay four: After a good night’s sleep I awoke feeling rested and ready. My headache was gone, my energy was higher, my mind clear. I had broken some of my morning habits already – the primary one being sitting for about an hour each day – fiddling on my phone, drinking coffee. My schedule was light, as I wasn’t sure how the end of the week would play out and I found myself knocking things off my long standing to-do lists. I was also building a sense of accomplishment over the fast and excited to see what would happen next.

Day five: Even better than day 4. More energy, more clarity, it was almost a spiritual experience. Focused and determined, I was able to work on my business and home at a level I hadn’t in a long time. Rashes were clearing up, my skin felt amazing. Pain was gone, I felt almost invincible! I began to plan for breaking my fast, as I didn’t want to go through refeeding syndrome and felt like my body was a temple not to be tainted.

Day six: Another amazing day. I was sad that the fast was coming to an end, and I was pumped for the future. Feeling healthy and strong, clear headed and determined, ready to take on the world. That evening, I broke the fast with bone broth.

I am now 4 days post fast. I have been eating quite clean (following a detox diet – although unable to eat all of what is on the menu daily) and the focus and clarity continues. However, not all is well. I have noticed that I lost muscle during the fast – my strength level is low. My rashes have already returned and my pains are back. This leads me to think that there might be some sort of allergic response to the foods I am eating – although my diet is super clean – perhaps something is not syncing with me. This is something I am going to explore much more in the upcoming months, as I am not a fan of a life of medicines and truly believe that if I am nice to my body, it will be nice to me.

I am eating now using the intermittent fasting method. I have an 8 hour window each day in which I eat (12-8) following the theory that this way my body does not run on sugars alone and it is said to limit inflammation. The jury is out, although personally I’m quite disappointed as I sit here having bounded out of bed this morning only to fall to the floor when my right leg gave out unexpectedly(classic MS symptom for me).

As far as weight – I started at 140.0 (literally Christmas day, so this was a somewhat high spot for me) and ended at 130.2 – for a total loss of 9.8 pounds in 6 days. 4 days of food later and I am back to 134.7.

IMG_20180104_074139.jpgOriginially I was certain that this would be¬†something that I would do again – the clarity and energy while I was in ketosis was addictive. However given my weakness from muscle loss and the return of symptoms so quickly, I don’t think I will put that stress on my body again.

I am forever grateful for completing the fast and for all of the support I had going through it. Wouldn’t change a thing. I am still excited for the internal clarity shifts that occurred and look forward to what this 2mm shift will do to my trajectory. I do feel like a bit of a badass for completing it and added it to my overall life experience bucket.¬†C81A4320

 

Being kind.

I run a kind gang. I turn the other cheek. I give the benefit of the doubt. I firmly believe an eye for an eye and the world goes blind.

I also make mistakes. I get caught up in my emotions. I lose the ability to see the big picture from time to time. I, like most humans, choose to suffer.

I’m learning that having boundaries isn’t mean or unkind. It is, in fact, the kindest thing you can do. It’s wearing your oxygen mask so that you can share your gifts with others.

We are only capable of change within ourselves. We are blessed to be the change we want to see in the world. We can lead others to knowledge, however we cannot make them think.

Being kind does not mean accepting bullshit. It does not mean allowing negativity and poor decisions in your orbit. It means having the integrity to stand up for what you believe in and say goodbye to things that hurt your soul. It’s not mean, it’s not unkind, it is love.

Love for your values and priorities. Love for your spirit and your soul. Love for others – allowing them to be who they are without condoning it or excusing it. Choose the right path – every moment is a choice. Every single second we get to determine which way we are going and what steps we will take to get there. We can choose to lie to pacify or to stand in our truth and hold our head high.

Stand with me. Hold the line. Stay true to the greater good.

We can do this together. And if you’re not ready, that’s OK – the door is always open should you change your mind.

Namaste my friends.

Truth

I’ve started a bazillion blogs lately. And finished exactly zero.

That says a lot.

I process out loud. I share my thoughts as they come to me and this how I walk through them. When I get quiet, that’s when trouble is a brewing. I’m sitting in it. I literally plop down, halt all action, and remain stuck. All the while looking around and wondering why things suck. So I get moving and think I am on the right the path – when in reality I am now attempting to go around it. I will volunteer for a thousand things, I will start a new project, I will change something – anything to avoid the massive elephant in the room.

Some of these are good things, don’t get me wrong. They are also avoidance techniques.

It occurred to me this morning – as I feel anxiety over what to do next (side note, I hardly ever get anxious – I’m more of a buckle down boot strap kinda gal, so the what if’s don’t stress me out) – that it’s time. Time to take a good hard look at me. Time to climb that next personal mountain. Time to feel some feelings I would prefer to avoid.

In the last 5 years I have changed literally everything – husbands, houses, companies, cars, hair, habits – you name it, I’ve adjusted it. Yet I feel stuck. I see that very little forward progress has been made. I’m sitting and spinning – stalled in front of a pile of feelings.

And yet I’m in the middle of another big move.

Maybe it’s not my address, maybe it’s not my relationship, maybe it’s not my marketing, maybe it’s not my addiction to plants vs zombies, maybe it’s not my clothes – maybe it’s me.

I’m the constant.

How’s that for a duh moment?

Maybe y’all figured this out already. Maybe you know the way to save yourself before you go running around keeping busy saving everyone and everything else.

Seems like I need to stop and put my oxygen mask on first. Whatever I’m inhaling right now is not serving me.

So I start small, I make a list of things to do today based on where I want to go and what I want to do. And I stop myself when I go off track. I am finishing what I’ve started – I am focusing on my big why – my babies. To be the absolute best human I can possibly be and provide them with the tools, teachings, experiences, emotions, and attention they deserve to use their gifts and blossom further into the amazing blessings that they are. Lead by example.

How do I do this?

With a focus on integrity, truth, values, and authenticity. With an open mind and spirit. With the energy and guidance of the universe supporting me. With love and forgiveness.

One breath at a time.

 

 

 

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
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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