Self Care Sunday – Live In The Now

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Self Care can take on many different flavors depending on where we are in life and the circumstances we find ourselves in at the present moment.

As for right now, I am trying to embrace a spiritual approach to things while still having my feet firmly planted in practically and realism. Often new age spirituality of love, light and positivity can be odds with our true emotions. The key seems to be to acknowledge the heavy emotions, feel what you feel, while not letting yourself get pulled too far under. This is typically where I struggle. I often seem to either go full steam ahead and completely ignore any heavy feelings until I have some type of physical or emotion crash or I go so far down into my emotions that I struggle to pull myself out.

I suppose all of this is a reflection of how I live life – I am ALL OR NOTHING kind of girl. I am all in or I am all out. There is no grey to me. Grey to me isn’t authentic. Grey is keeping your options open. Grey is skimming the surface but not really feeling anything deep. From my perspective, grey is a half-hearted way to live. It’s non-committal and form of settling. Grey has no clarity to me. Typically I struggle when things are grey or lack clarity. I value clarity and authenticity in my life, in my relationships, in my career and in my body.

My recent health issues have had me squarely planted in the grey world of having no idea what’s happening in my body or how to fix it. In the early weeks of the Gastro symptoms, I was changing my diet, increasing medications, living on Gaviscon and getting relief. I tried stretching out in case it was muscular. I bought new bras in case the bands were putting pressure on the area. I was so busy trying to fix it that I was just wasn’t accepting it and loving this part of my body that was in pain. In reality, I was creating anxiety and stress for myself by trying so hard to fix it.

It wasn’t until this past week that I started to think differently about things. I had a few key conversations that helped me seeing from a different perspective. Most importantly, it was a conversation with a Nurse Practitioner at my Cardiologist office that gave me the most to contemplate.

My Cardiologist retired in June. This is the second Cardiologist that I’ve had in five years that retired. I decided to switch to the younger Cardiologist who is joining the practice September. Perhaps we will grow old together 🙂 Because I have congenital arrhythmia and have a cardiac history, I needed Cardiac Clearance to get Conscious Sedation during an Upper Endoscopy. The Nurse Practitioner was able to see me to do the assessment. The appointment went well. She did tell me they will give me clearance for Conscious Sedation which is used Endoscopies and Colonoscopies but she said I would need a Echo and Stress Test by my new Cardiologist for General Anesthesia. She also told me if I ever need General Anesthesia, a Cardiologist should be on standby. She advised me to add Cardiac Conditioning to my work outs. She thinks I am getting dizzy on the treadmill because I am losing Cardiac Conditioning. I need to start doing interval training with the incline while leaving the speed at 3.0. For example, I start walking for 2 minutes, then raise the incline to 7 for two minutes then lower the incline to zero for two minutes and repeat this cycle for 20 minutes working up to 30 minutes twice a week. This is in addition to strength training and power walking.

The technical part of the Cardiologist appointment was successful and went smoothly. However, we got into a conversation about my history and my arrhythmia. Here’s some background info…The arrhythmia wasn’t detected until I was 24 year old. I was in great physical shape. I was a runner and a gym rat in my mid-20s. A doctor heard a murmur during an exam and sent me to a Cardiologist for an EKG. It was on the EKG they saw Inverted T-Waves and Premature Ventricular contractions (PVCs). This can often indicate Ischemia or a heart attack. Some folks call PVCs skipped beats. In PVCs, the beat actually comes prematurely and there is a delay before the next beat. The Cardiologist did an Echocardiogram and a treadmill stress test. I passed both as he said “with flying colors” and it appeared my heartbeat regulated itself during exercise or when my heart rate goes up. That means it was functional and innocent. However, he cautioned me it would need to be monitored for the rest of my life because as I age it may cause me problems.

I told the Nurse Practitioner that I quit smoking and drinking, I lost 60 pounds, changed my lifestyle and diet. I then said my heart has been more stable since doing all of that but I have had a lot of tummy issues. As we were talking about Cardiac risk, she told me other than my congenital arrhythmia and family history, I didn’t have any risk. I am not diabetic. I don’t smoke or drink. My weight is ok and I am active. It was then she hesitated. She looked me in the eyes and said, “In your situation, a congenital issues and genetic issue, what’s wrong can’t be fixed. It can only be managed. You are doing everything you can do to help yourself. Other than adding Cardiac Conditioning, I don’t see anything more you could be doing. You know sometimes you can do everything right but a congenital or genetics issue still can get the best of you. I am not telling you this to scare you. I am saying this because I think you may be trying so so hard to do everything right that you are stressing yourself out, causing yourself anxiety and quiet possibly making yourself sick with worry.” My eyes welled up as she said it. I am trying very hard at everything. She then said, “You poor thing. I really feel for you. I want to make sure you know YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT! I think you need to cut yourself some slack and accept that there are some aspects of this you have no control over. It’s in God’s hands. Go Live life. Go out and live. Enjoy every moment and try to work toward acceptance that there are some things you have no control over.”

I’ve been thinking A LOT about that conversation. I’ve been thinking so much about it because she was 100% right. I just couldn’t see it. I have been stressing myself out trying to control things I can’t control; not just with my heart and stomach problems but in other aspects of my life too. I also been keeping myself busy so I couldn’t grieve for the loss of my best friend and also trying to fight the feeling that I may be losing BlueLove too. Nothing negative has happened between us. Seems like everything is fine. I just haven’t been able to see those beautiful eyes much. I’ve been keeping a distance because I can’t get a sense if I am wanted and welcomed. I worry about us but I know it’s best not to push with him. I will put it in God’s hands. If we are meant to deepen our connection, it will happen without me worrying about. I truly love him. That is my authentic truth.

Self Care often requires us to accept things as they are and live in present. To live in the present, we must not live in our past memories or plan the future so much that we don’t enjoy the now. I would liken it to folks who go to concerts and spend the whole concert recording it on their cell phone. They see the whole concert through the small screen of their cell phone to upload to Social Media and miss the 3D live experience of the now. Don’t view your life through the small screen of the past or future. I am working toward acceptance that some things are out of my control and to be present and live in the NOW. That is good self care.

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Buddha quote

Erotic Token – Blue Love Poetry

Below is a repost from May 2016. I wrote it in May 2016 when I called him MBE, Mr. Blue Eyes, instead of Blue Love. 💙💙 He’s been on my mind lately. I remembered this poem today because I thinking I haven’t written a good erotic poem in a long time. Most of the stuff I’ve been writing lately have been heavy and emotional. I wanted to post something light, easy and sexy. I wanted to remember how I felt when I wrote delicious poetry that dripped of sex and flirtatiousness for him. I wanted to remember how I felt when I wrote poetry for him because that’s when I felt the most free 💙💙 I wanted to remember what it felt like to feel alive, healthy and free.


Erotic Token ~ Love, Sex and Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Somewhere
Between the softness
Of my thighs
Is a place
That rises
In response
To your masculine
Dominant energy
Yet
Bows in submission
As you wet my lips
In erotic surrender
It’s with your strong assertive
Voice my legs
Quiver
In anticipation
Of your forceful
Entry into my
Obedient lips
Willfully parting
To your bossy inclinations
My eyes beg you
In earnest
To press me against
The wall
Bury your face
Into my cleavage
And take
Everything you want
In this instant
In this place
At this time
Right here
Pulling me down
On to the floor
Eye to eye with you
Breathlessly
Breaking me into
Surrender
As I whisper
I love you
Yielding willfully
To your direction
To worship
Your erection
And pay proper
Respect to the
Light of my erotic fire
I submit
To your erotic authority
And humble
Offer my naked body
To you
As a token
Of my devotion
Yours always
In adulation
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Note: MBE was so so cute and just the right amount of bossy to get my erotic mojo going💋🔥 Maybe he would like to see me naked in stilettos in front of him with handcuffs around my ankles pouting until he spanks me🙏💋❤️🔥😈 The power of suggestion is fierce✌️❌⭕️

Self Care Sunday – Emotional Self Care

Self care sunday

This Self Care Sunday is complicated because I haven’t been feeling well. It’s taking a toll me is physically and emotionally. Here’s a recap of the current situation with my health before I get into how it is affecting me emotionally and what I’ve been doing to take care of myself through this crisis.

I have pain in the upper left quadrant of the my abdomen and flank area. It more of gnawing pain that it is sharp. The intensity varies day to day. My stomach is distended and I feel pressure; almost like the bloating is pushing everything out of place. I have Celiac Disease and have had flare-ups of Gastritis since late 2010. I’ve had this pain before and it went away by me increasing my stomach meds and watching what I ate. So when this started again about two weeks ago I assumed it was just a flare up. The problem is nothing I am doing is working. It’s getting worse instead of better and it’s wearing me out.

I went to the Gastroenterologist on Thursday. I am grateful to have found a good Gastro doc in the local area. He told me to double my dose on the medications but also said he wanted to do a CT Scan with Contrast before doing anything else. He will make a decision about any other tests after he gets those results. He doesn’t want to do a scope if he can see on the CT Scan what’s wrong.

I had the CT Scan yesterday. In the past, I’ve had that test with no negative after affects but yesterday I suffered all day. The barium and injection burned the hell out of my stomach under my left breast and in my left flank area. And I spent most of morning and early afternoon running to the bathroom followed my constant pain and bloating throughout the rest of the day. The funny thing was I am growing accustomed to being in pain and I wasn’t stressed out by it. I just went and sat by the pool all day and tried to keep myself calm until it settled down. It was feeling a little better by the time I went to bed.

As I was laying in bed this morning, I decided it may be time for me to give my belly a rest from digestion. I am sticking to Clear and Full liquids today including shakes, soups, jello, etc. I may actually do this for a few days to see if it helps. I should have the test results by Monday or Tuesday. I am hoping an answer is in there or everything just calms down on its own with increase meds and lighter diet.

These recent stomach issues are taking a toll on me emotionally. Mostly because I feel like I’ve done everything I can do to be well and I still am not well. Since 2010 my body has been under attack by itself. I stopped drinking alcohol, quit smoking, lost 65 pounds, completely changed my diet, changed my lifestyle, switched to organic everything, eliminated products with toxic chemicals and eliminated toxic relationships from my life.

Spiritually I am the best I’ve ever been. All of the changes I may led to increased personal power and confidence, better knowledge of self and a deeper love of myself and others. This struggle also opened my eyes to how folks with autoimmune diseases struggle everyday. It made me more compassionate and empathetic towards people with illnesses. It made me less afraid to be around people who are sick. It’s also made me less afraid to die. If it happens, I will know I went out swinging and lived my life to my highest good.

How am I dealing with this emotionally? Well, I’ve had the same therapist for five years which means she knows me well. She has also been through five years of constant health problems with me. I saw her on Thursday night. It was helpful talking to her. I don’t see her to vent. I see her for help getting clarity when I feel things are ambiguous. I told her if I was ever diagnosed with Cancer, I would decline treatment. I told her that I am tapped out after the last eight years of fighting. She said, “It really has been too much. I get why you are saying that; I understand why you are tired. For now, let’s focus on how we get you through this event. How do we refocus you on what’s good in your life? How do we celebrate your successes? How do we help you see even though your body has been breaking down you have been rising growing into a beautiful strong confident compassionate loving woman. You may be struggling to keep your head above water but you are also succeeding in life. You are the best I ever seen you Linda. I mean that.”💙🦋

My therapist and I talked about relationships. She giggled when I told her two men from my past came back into my life in the same week. She said God was testing me. He was asking me if I learned those lessons. She was happy to hear I declined both, moved on and nailed those fucking doors shut for good😂

I reflected on that conversation about relationships and I learned something about myself. I am not lonely. I am not desperate for a companionship. I am also not willing to give my energy to anyone or anything that isn’t good for me. Companionship and sex aren’t worth compromising my spiritual energy. I won’t be in a relationship with anyone that lacks authenticity. If I am with a man and having sex with him, it will be because I love, respect him and feel good emotional when I am with him. As far as other relationships, I have family who loves me. I have close friends who care about me and will always be there for me. I have a small, close, tight circle and that is all I need. It’s all I need because those relationships are authentic and meaningful. It’s all I need because the people I surround myself with are good for me; I feel good with them. While I may spend too much time alone, I am not lonely. I am authentic and that is more important to me than having people around me all the time.

I guess all I can say is I am taking things one day at time. I am keeping my head above water by not over thinking things. I am focusing on what is good in my life. I am honoring my progress instead of focusing on my struggle. I am using coping skills I learned through Cognitive Therapy. For me self care includes regular visits with a licensed therapist. If you are struggling, please consider finding a licensed therapist to help you gain clarity. I should mention that I met with four different therapist before I found one that I clicked with. I’ve been seeing my current therapist for five years.

Finding the right therapist can take time but it’s obviously been very beneficial for me. Your Family Doctor or Insurance company should be able to refer you to licensed therapist in your area. If you do not have insurance, many therapist work on sliding scales and offer pro bono services. If you are considering suicide, consider visiting a the below website for assistance.

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Suicide prevention

Butterfly

Showing Up Anyway

Glenn Doyle Melton

One of my biggest issues about Facebook and Instagram is that everything on Social Media is an illusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You only see what the person posting wants you to see. For example, I had a conversation with a coworker a while ago. From what she told me in person, there is a A LOT of drama in her life and her family life is challenging. However, on Facebook, it’s all big smiles, family photos, beautiful pictures of happy times and long posts about her wonderful life and vacations. Her Social Media image does not match what I saw in person. My coworker isn’t the only person guilty of this. Almost everyone does it on Social Media. I bought into at first too. Folks take 35 crappy selfies and only post the one that turned out good. They use filters on their sunset photos so it looks extra beautiful and make sure you only see what’s good. Social Media robbed us of authenticity and reality.

I disengaged from a Facebook a few months ago. I have no regrets. I am still on it because my family is on it and they post photos of the kids there. I also find out where my nieces softball games are so I can go watch. I enjoy that. I don’t post. As I scroll through posts, I can’t help but wondering how did we all get conditioned to think we always have to be positive, have a beautiful back yard or live in a big home? Why is it everyone thinks your life is wonderful if you are eating dinner with 20 other people or checking into four bars every night? When did we give up our right to have a messy complicated life? Why can’t we ever be pissy, have a bad day, be sad, admit our holidays sucked and God forbid post a bad picture of ourselves on Facebook?

This post isn’t a rant about Social Media. It is about a complete lack of authencity. No one wants to own the messy parts of themselves that aren’t camera ready. No one wants to admit they have depressing thoughts sometimes. No one wants you to see their darkness anymore. I am writing this post because the truth is I am messy and complicated lately. My thoughts are sad and depressing. I am worried and scared. My tummy is bloated. I am in pain and I just am fucking over it. Why should I continue to lie and pretend I am positive and happy when I am not. I am just not…

Don’t get me wrong… There are positive things in my life. I like where I live. I am enjoying my job. My career is going great. My family loves me. Yesterday I got to watch my great niece pitch over 50mph at FastPitch Summer Nationals via North Myrtle Beach Park’s field webcam. Tomorrow is her first elimination game. Her team, Philadelphia Spirit (Fast Pitch Softball), is in seed one in her division. They are undefeated in the tournament so far. I hope I can catch part of the game. My nephew is a good dad and good coach. That makes me proud and happy because I’ve been keeping him straight since I was 10 years old. We fight like brother and sister BUT he listens to me. I get through to him and I know I played a role in making him the man he is today. That makes me happy and proud especially when I see him with his kids.

I have an appt with my Gastro doc tomorrow morning. I am hoping for answers but I don’t expect to get any tomorrow since I will need a scope and probably a cat scan. The pain is all around the left breast which is where the stomach but it is also where the heart is. My BP and Heart Rate have been stable and beautiful. Hopefully that means my heart is not the problem. Either way, I need to figure out what this is because it’s wearing me out.

I just decided it was time to be honest and show authenticity on this blog. Sometimes life sucks. These health issues are taking a toll on my stamina and wearing me down. That is nothing but the truth. Why should I act strong when I am not? Why shouldn’t I allow you to see me? Perhaps I allow folks to see me this raw, others will feel liberated and will drop their masks too. Perhaps someone reading this will see I am sad and know it is ok for them to be sad too. Maybe someone will see it’s ok to be messy and afraid. Show up anyway… Show up in life anyway… The below poem is messy and afraid Linda writing authentically about how she’s been feeling lately. Please open your mind and heart a little before reading this. Allow your compassion and empathy to feel what I am feeling rather than judging me. Then you will understand authentically how I feel.

In gratitude,
Linda

Showing Up, Anyway
By: Linda A Long

I can pretend…For your benefit…That I am well
That my…Mind, body and spirit…Are harmoniously unified
I can pretend…That I am…Determined to…Remain strong and optimistic
That I have…Control of my emotions
That I am…Filled with…Inspiration to rise up…And fight, fight
The adversary within…My own body
Undermining every…Step forward…Pulling me back…After every victory…Weighing me down
With worry, anxiety…And ceaseless attacks…On my body
Weakening my mind…And slowly…Breaking my spirit
I only fought…This long…Because I didn’t…Want you to…Think I was weak
I only fought…This long…Because I believed…I could still…Win
I believed…I could still…Live a full life
I thought…I would still have love
And be able to…Share my heart…With another
Joyfully living my life…In a state of gratitude
But…It is very hard
To be grateful…While feeling…Constantly defeated…By a body that…Attacks itself
It is hard…To be optimistic…When every day…Presents a new physical challenge
With little answers…And even less support
Everyone wants to hear…“I’m great”
No one wants…To know the truth
Or even really…Look in my eyes to see my truth
No one wants to…Stop looking at…Their phone for five minutes to have a simple Conversation
And actually mean it…When they ask…“How are you?”
I’ll just go on…Pretending…“I’m great”
And you all…Just go on…Doing whatever makes you feel good
With your heads…Buried in your phones…Too preoccupied for human compassion
Being too wrapped up…In your own life…To really care…About mine
I go on pretending…To make it easier…For everyone…Who says…“I am here for you”
But really…Just want to be here…When I am great…And not when
Life is heavy and complicated…
I’ll pretend…You care…While you feel…Good about yourself
I know the truth….But
I will keep pretending…For your benefit
If it helps you…Get through the day
Broadcasting fake friendship…On Facebook…While phone calls and texts…Go unanswered
I know who…I can really count on…I know who…Really cares about me
But…I will pretend…For your benefit
Everything is fine…Even while I silently…Want to let go
Because I am tired…
From fighting so hard…To be well…It is exhausting me
Fighting alone…Is disheartening
I am just not sure…I know my reason…Anymore
I don’t know my…Reason to fight…For this life…Anymore
And I am not sure…What difference…It makes
I am sorry…If my true thoughts
Scare you or hurt you…
It just scares me… That I don’t know what my reason…To live is anymore
The next time…You ask…“How are you?”
I’ll smile and say…“I’m great!”
Simply because…It’s what you want to hear
Not because…It’s how I feel
Know this…When I ask you…“How are you?”
I want to hear…The full truth…Even if it is…Messy, complicated and sad
Let me hear your heartache…Let me share your burden…Let me lighten your heart
I want you to know… You are loved…And have a reason… To live
Even if I can’t…Find my own reason anymore

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Self Care Isn’t Always Pretty

Self Care Sunday

It’s Self Care Sunday. I hesitated in writing this post. I usually like to write positive posts that are reflections of how to take care of your body, mind and spirit for holistic wellness. However, today I feel like a failure. I am just not sure what is the best way to take care of myself.

After thinking about it, I decided to write this post in complete honesty and share what is actually happening to me today. Hoping to show that self care isn’t always fun or pretty. Make choices about self care can be stressful. Just because I went to school to be an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach doesn’t mean I have all the answers. Nor does it mean that I am perfect and always make the right choices. So here’s what’s happening…

I have a congenital heart arrhythmia that has been stabilized for seven years because I quit smoking, lost 65lbs, started exercising and stopped drinking alcohol. My EKG is UGLY. It looks like I’ve had heart attacks on my EKG. However, it hasn’t changed since 2011 which means it is stable. I am proud of myself for making hard choices and changes to make my heart stronger. I tell you this background information about my heart because it is related to what has been happening to me lately.

I’ve had gastrointestinal problems my entire life. I had Liver damage after a bad bout of Mono when I was 21 years old. I didn’t drink alcohol for six months just after turning 21 because of the Liver issues. I had my Gallbladder removed when I was 30. I flat lined under anesthesia during that surgery; I was brought back. I ended up in the hospital for four days when I was supposed to only be there for only six hours. Since that event I need Cardiac Clearance for any procedure that requires that sedation. This is playing into my current issue.

After having continued gastrointestinal issues, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2012. At that time I had substantial damage to my stomach and Liver again. My Liver completely healed and is healthy. However, I now have a chronic form of Gastritis. It flares up when I do not watch my diet, when I am exposed to Gluten or when I am extremely stressed out. The Gastritis was stabilized for three years. I had only minor flare-ups that lasted only 3 or four days. I was able to get them under control quickly. Unfortunately, in April of this past year my best friend died while I was stuck in boot with a broken foot. This also happened while I was only two months into a new job and getting ready to graduate from school. The stress got the best of me. I also know for a fact I ate Gluten by accident. Anyways, I had a pretty severe Gastritis flare-up from the end of April through mid-May. My doctor told me we could hold off on the scope but I would need to have the Upper Endoscopy if it flared-up again.

I was feeling pretty good for a few weeks. Until early last week when the gnawing pain returned. I also had to go on a road trip to Hampton, VA for work. Although I had stomach pain, I went on the trip anyway since I knew it was probably just a Gastritis flare-up. I probably could have gotten out of the trip but I went anyway. The trip was good. It was very successful. My travel companions were really nice. Work-wise it was great experience. I am glad I pushed through it and went. My team is planning on going back in late September. I am pretty sure I am skipping that road trip. The faculty of the school we visited will be at the same conference I am attending in DC in mid-September. I can meet with them independently there. There is no reason for me to go back to Hampton for the technical interchanges. I’ll leave that to my PhD coworkers.

So, here I am doing everything I know to do to get this flare under control and it is not getting any better. It seems to be getting worse. I called my doctor on Thursday morning before leaving for Hampton. He told me I needed the scope and I needed new Cardiac Clearance before he did it. I called my Cardiologist office and found out my Cardiologist retired in June 😱 I technically do not have a Cardiologist and none of his colleagues will give me clearance for the scope without a full Cardiac workup. Actually, I am not upset about that. It’s safer for me that way. Since the pain and Gastritis is centered around my left breast, we need to be 100% sure it isn’t heart related. I really do not believe it is Cardiac related. My symptoms are pretty typical of a Gastritis flare-up. I am not really even drinking coffee. Now, you now my tummy is bothering me if I can’t drink more than 8oz of coffee. The full Cardiac workup just delays the Upper Endoscopy by two or three weeks because the new Cardiologist couldn’t fit me in until July 20th!

So, here I am very symptomatic, in pain, and I am supposed to take a small plane to DC for a 45 minute meeting tomorrow with my Sponsor at 3pm in the afternoon. I WANT to go! I was looking forward to going to this meeting! I am enjoying this job and this new role. I like the work I am doing. I am learning from my Program’s Sponsor. I like her. I want to go on the one day trip. However, I am not sure my body is 100% up to it. Do I push through the pain, get on the plane and hope for the best? Or do I give in – call and tell them I am not feeling well, I don’t feel comfortable flying and request to call into the meeting instead? I asked my Mom this question morning. She said, “I can’t answer that for you honey but I can say you already know what is the best thing for you to do. You just don’t want to surrender to it because you always push yourself though stuff.” She’s right. I don’t want to surrender to my fucking body again. Give up something I want to do because my body isn’t up to it – again. It’s so fucking frustrating. I try so hard to be well.

My new Group Manager is already aware of my health issues and offered to accommodate me however needed. He said I am doing such a great job even with my health issues that I should not worry about asking for accommodations. I am pretty sure my Sponsor would understand that I am not feeling well and can’t fly. Especially considering I always say “YES” to every other request and opportunity. The pressure I am feeling is coming from within myself because I am so fucking frustrated with my body and these health issues. Every time I take a step forward, it pulls me back. It’s really disheartening. Honestly, I would never take my own life but I am very weary of having to fight this hard for wellness. I just don’t even care anymore. I really don’t and I am not even sure why I am fighting so hard for this life anymore.

So there you have it. A Self Care Sunday post that is depressing and filled with stress and frustration. I am admitting that everything I am doing to take care of myself isn’t working right now while I am sitting here trying to make a decision about tomorrow. Another Sunday ruined by my traitor body. I am letting myself be sad today. I will mostly likely be sending an email as soon as I wake up tomorrow stating that I could not get on the plane. As I told you, Self Care isn’t always fun or pretty; sometimes it is down right frustrating.

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Blue Love Haiku #13

Blue Love Haiku #13

Blue Love Haiku #13 – http://www.writingholistically.com

Blue Love Haiku #13
By: Linda A Long
I rest in your thoughts
Riding the wave of your breathes
Filling you with love

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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NOTE
This is a mid-week poetry and a little bit of a self care post.

I am enjoying writing the Blue Love Haikus. They give me a quick creative outlet without saying too much. As far as the future of this blog, I am focusing on writing a Self Care Sunday post each week and writing one mid-week poetry post for now. Any additional posts will be ad-hoc as the spirit moves me.

I haven’t written about my Holistic Health Coaching business lately. That is mostly because I wanted to take the summer off. It is also because I changed full time jobs. I now have a job that I find fulfilling so I’ve been focusing on growing into that position and taking advantage of opportunities related to my full time career. I realized in recent weeks that I can’t build a Personal coaching business while also investing myself in building a new program in my full time job. I thought I would be able to manage two clients at a time in my coaching business while working full time and still have a enough time for self care. It’s not quite working out that way. After giving it a lot of thought, my intuition is telling me my energy needs to stay with my full time career. I also need to ensure I have time proper self care. Therefore, I will not be looking to grow a coaching business at this time. I contacted a local homeless shelter. We are working on an agreement for me to provide three to four hours per month of pro bono Life Coaching services to their residents/clients. This means I will still be able to work as a Life Coach but won’t have my own clients to manage. I will also have some freedom on how and when I schedule the appointments. Most importantly, I will be able to offer Life Coaching services to folks who normally would not be able to afford them. That feels good to me. We haven’t officially kicked anything off yet but I hope to have this all in place by the fall. I also decided I want my Life Coaching practice to focus on Self Care practices. While I can do Life Coaching under my Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching Certificate, I would not mind getting an official Life Coach credential as well. That’s a personal goal for my future.

It’s 4th of July. I am taking a short break to rest and write this blog. I walked four miles this morning. Afterwards I came home to clean and pack. Two coworkers and I are jumping in a car tomorrow for an overnight trip to southern Virginia (not far from Virginia Beach). We are  going to kickoff a “Get Well Plan” with a school that has a grant that is at risk. It’s a great learning opportunity for me. It’s also an opportunity for me to facilitate between the faculty and my coworkers. I’m a little nervous about traveling in a car for five hours with two people I really don’t know. We are also taking the Ferry and Cheasepeak Bay Bridge Tunnel. We are scheduled for 5:15 ferry home Friday night. I am hoping for good weather and calm seas. lol 🙂 I probably won’t be home until close to 8pm on Friday. A weekend of fun in the sun and in DC for the day on Monday.

This is the time of the year that beach town residents life myeslf get to practice our Defensive Driving Skills 😂 Oh my goodness. People and bikes darting out in front of cars. It’s scary. 😱😂 I try to walk as much as possible. Parking in my neighborhood has been insane this year. Not sure what happened. I have off-street parking but folks still come into our lot and take our spots. Guess what? Several have already been towed 🙂 I almost had someone towed on Friday night but fortunately our maintenance guy found them and told them to leave. I didn’t want to go to any barbeques off-shore today because I wanted to make sure my car is safely in my parking spot before folks starting coming into town for the fireworks later. Fireworks aren’t over until close to 10:30ish. That’s too late for me to come home from offshore on a work night. It’s now about 2:00pm and I am getting ready to head down to the beach for a couple hours.

Lastly, The below quote spoke to me 🙂 I definitely speak Butterfly 🦋 I believe in transformations, breaking free and metamorphosis. I hope to continue to surround myself with folks who are good for me. I hope I also encourage folks to transform and break free from their cocoons. My question to you is:

Do you speak Butterfly or Catterpillar?

Quote

Look for my next blog post on Sunday. It will be about ways to practice Self Care and I’ll tell you all about my road trip to Virginia in that post. To see my daily posts, follow me on:

IG: @highestgoodcoach
Twitter: @highestgoodhhc

Self Care Sunday – Looking Out For Yourself And Others

Art

It’s Self Care Sunday. How have you taken care of yourself this week? Have you moved your body physically and made it stronger? Have you enforced and maintained boundaries in your relationships? Have you protected your spiritual alignment by choosing to be with folks who are good for you? Have you taken advantage of opportunities in your career to set yourself up for future? Or did you slow down and allow yourself a day to rest your body and mind? I did all of these things this week.

God proved to me this morning he puts you exactly where you need to be. It’s up to us to be awareness and alignment so we can see when he is asking us to take action. I was walking early this morning. I walked a different route than I normally do today when a frantic elderly Indian woman came up to me. She was sweating, panicked, holding an umbrella and her purse. She handed me her cell phone and phone book. I couldn’t understand much of what she was saying but I could tell she wanted me to talk to someone on the phone. After hesitating for a moment, I took the phone and said hello. The guy on the other end told me she got lost because she got of the Jitney bus at the wrong street. He asked me to point her in the direction of his home which was about three blocks from where we were. She was panicked. It’s really hot today and I was bit worried about her. After I hung up, I decided to turn around and walk her to her at least to the street her Son lived on. When she saw his house, she must have said thank you to me over a hundred times. Honestly, I couldn’t understand anything else she was saying to me. She hugged me and was smiling ear to ear. The amount of relief, happiness and peace I could see in her face made it totally worth me turning around and escorting her so she didn’t get lost again. I am sharing this story just to encourage folks to look out for each other. Use your instincts and intuition. You don’t always need to understand someone’s words to know when they are in distress. After doing a quick assessment of the situation, I trusted my intuition and knew God was asking me to her. I said, “YES”!

I had my last PT appointment on my SI Joint, IT Band and foot earlier this week. The therapist and I agreed it is not healed yet. I am not ready for yoga yet. However, my work schedule and travel schedule has my calendar screwed up. My therapist worked my leg pretty hard and gave me the home exercises to do in the gym. I am trying this for a month to see if I can strengthen it on my own. With that said, I don’t usually go to the gym on Sundays. Since I was down for the count Friday night and Saturday with a migraine, I went to the gym today and walked three miles today to get back on schedule. I am committed to getting back to yoga and making my body stronger. On another note, I wore my highest high heels for the first time since rolling my ankle & breaking my foot. It was time to get back on the horse and wear high heels again😊I wore high platform sandals. I will say I was a little nervous & extremely careful 😂 I was ok👍

In recent weeks, two men from my past have been in my experience. One has been trying to re-establish contact and I ran into the other one at the grocery store; I completely ignored him. I am writing about this here just in case either one of them (older or younger guy) is reading my blog. I want to make things crystal clear without having any direct contact with either one of them. There is nothing here for either one of them. NOTHING! I am not interested in reengaging with either one of them and I have no feelings for either one of them. Let’s just leave things in the past where they belong. Those relationships were not good for me back then and I am not interested in revisiting them now. I wish both men well. I have no hard feelings. The point of me writing this is to say I actually have no feelings – at all – for either one. Again, I am only putting this on my blog in this post just in case one of them, younger or older guy) is reading my blog. The Blue Love poetry collection is not written for either one of them. Neither one of them is the inspiration for my poetry. It’s really that simple. Blue Love is a man who is good for me. My connection with him is healthy. He’s taught me how a man should treat a woman. While he desires me, he also respects me. Whatever happens in our future, he helped me grow. He helped me see I deserve better than what I accepted in the past. So, I am enforcing boundaries and not allowing men from my past who were not good for me to return into my life. Once again, I am thankful to Blue Love for looking at me with the beautiful blue eyes of love and helping me to know I deserve better. Thank You Blue Love.

I woke up at 2:00am on Friday morning with a migraine. When I get migraines, they usually start in the middle of night. I have medication. I usually get up, take the meds and go back to bed for a couple of hours. Usually by the time I wake up, it’s gone. This one wasn’t. While I was functional on Friday, I was still in pain. I came home around 4pm and gave into the headache. I knew it was going to take a few cycles of meds for it to go away. I pulled the shades, curled up in bed, watched tv and slept most of Saturday. The headache was gone when I woke up this morning. I think the headaches are prompted by jaw tightness and TMJ. My jaw was popping a lot last week and I was eating chewy stuff more than I should. Instead of pushing through it, I surrendered yesterday and rested. I allowed my mind and body to slow down. I took care of myself.

Sometimes self care is more tactical; it’s about actually physically taking care of yourself. Other times it’s more about enforcing boundaries. For me, it’s also been about learning I deserve better than I what I accepted and expected in the past. I am happy where I am now. I am happy with how I have grown and woman I have become in recent years. Folks who knew me seven, ten or fifteen years ago, really don’t know me at all anymore.  I am also eagerly looking forward to more – so much more in the future. I am looking forward to surrounding myself with people who are good for me like Blue Love. I am thankful and grateful for all of my blessings. I am happy for the love in my heart and good the people kind souls who are in my life.  I am happy and grateful.
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

ICYMI My last post was Blue Love Haiku #12

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