Self Care Sunday – May 20, 2018

Self care sunday

It’s been a Self Care weekend. While I am feeling somewhat better and more energized, I am still not feeling 100%. I had a super busy week in work. I did manage to take off Friday afternoon but that was mostly to do four loads of laundry that I haven’t had any time to get to. Not exactly self care. Self Care kicked in on Saturday. I woke up early to watch the Royal Wedding and was back in bed by 10:00am. I stayed home all day in pajamas moving back and forth between napping and watching Netflix on the sofa. That’s about all I did. I even tried to stay off my phone and tablet too. I needed a total down day😴 I was tired 😴

Self Care Sunday started with my foot finally feeling good enough to get a good moderately paced three mile walk on a somewhat sunny but humid Sunday. There are a few reasons I enjoy walking in nature instead of on a treadmill. First, I believe angels and spirits connect with me while I am walking in nature. More often that not I find butterflies, feathers, coin and other signs along my walks. It gives me a feeling of protection and comfort. Second, I enjoy walking outside because in recent years treadmills can sometimes make me a little dizzy when I step off and that can trigger a headache. It doesn’t happen every time but it’s happened enough that it causes some anxiety. Lastly, I like to walk a good distance at a moderate pace outside because it helps me organize my thoughts. I can often think through work problems or challenges and find potential solutions while walking in nature.

Today’s walk was helpful in that it gave some time and space to think through a work challenge. The project I am working on is incredibly complicated. The further I get into it the bigger it is getting. Thankfully, my leadership set me up for success and is supportive. They’ve offered me direct access support at every level of leadership. When I was feeling a bit frustrated early this week, I was able to talk it out with folks and it was helpful. I’ve learned I can’t be so focused on one particular outcome and may have to measure success differently than I was originally thinking. I also was a little nervous when I was called the Director’s office on Thursday but I found out quickly it was only so she could give me my Program’s signed Charter 🙂 I walked back to my cubicle smiling ear to ear 🙂 I am meeting with my Sponsor on Wednesday in DC. Funny, I used to dread giving briefings. Since I started this assignment, I give a briefing just about once a week and now it no longer bothers me. I am much more relaxed. While I am in DC this week, I am visiting a University in DC with strong research capabilities on Thursday morning. We are hoping to identify potential research requirements we can partner in pursuing. And, I managed to get a hotel two blocks from work with is unusual. That was a big score. Lol 🙂

While I am only 3.5 months into a year assignment, I would like to stay in this Organization. The structure is more supportive and, overall, there much more opportunity for someone with my blend of skills. The slower pace is also better for me holistically. It gives me breathing room and space to manage my responsibilities according to my body’s needs without pressure or expectation. In my old group, I could not take a Monday or Friday off without a lot of coordination. It wasn’t even worth it. Now, I’ve settled into every other Friday off and working longer days when I feel good and shorter days when I need to rest. It’s working well for me. I’ve also learned to make my career moves based upon selecting the path with most opportunities for my future and growth rather than based upon loyalties to people. At the end of the day, people move around and will do what’s best for themselves first before thinking about my career or happiness. No judgment; just a fact of life that I’ve accepted. I have ten years to go before retirement is an option. I need to position myself to find the best growth opportunities even if my favorite managers and buddies move on.

As far as the rest of my life, I was half tempted to sign up for another course. I put myself on the waiting list for a hormone course starting in September. Until my Dad got a message through to me through a friend who is a professional Medium. I’ve known her a long time because she is also a Yoga Teacher. I saw her last week and she started laughing when she said to me, “I love your Dad. He makes me laugh. He asked me to tell you that he wants you to have an adventure and you need to have more fun. He’s concerned you are all business and no fun. You need to live and play instead of learn for a while. He said he wants you to spend the money on a trip to Europe instead of a hormone course; he’ll help you get there!” 😂😂 Seriously, that’s what she said to me! I then told her his grand mother was born in Spain but moved to Mexico and eventually San Antonio. I’ve been told that my Dad and I both favor her. I would be interested in going to Spain. I would also be interested in going to England again since it’s been 25 years since I was there. While I am good with short flights, I am not sure about longer flights so I will need to mentally prepare myself for that. So a trip to Spain and/or England in 2019 may be in my future. I just need to think if I want to do a trip solo or with friends or with a group. My friend then said, “this is about you connecting with and discovering Linda. If you do go with someone, make sure you choose wisely. The trip may be a fun adventure but it is also a bit spiritual for you too. Almost like you are on a mission with your Dad. Whoever you go with must understand that.” So, my Dad apparently wants me to have more fun and adventure for him. Made me laugh because he always liked having a good time.

Physically, I am getting stronger and have been going to gym but I’ve had elbow tendinitis for six weeks. I’ve been doing the exercises and icing it. I may have to give in and get a cortisone shot😏 Let me say – Menopause is no joke! I mean no joke! The craziest things happen in the body. My Integrative Doc told me aches and pains in muscles and joints is can also be because I have no Estrogen. I haven’t made a decision about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement yet. However, I have noticed the night sweats and hot flashes stopped two weeks ago. I am back to sleeping deep and dreaming again. I am not sure what happened to stop the night sweats and hot flashes. They were Brutal and could return. The Rosacea flare up is also calming down. Menopause makes skin more sensitive so I needed to change skin care products, routine and makeup. As I said, Menopause is no joke 😂

Lastly, I am feeling like I need to do a detox diet. I may do a Vegan Challenge for a few weeks. I was thinking of using The Purple Carrot, A Vegan Meal Delivery service. It would be helpful so I wouldn’t have to do so much cooking. If anyone has used Purple Carrot, please send me reviews.
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Blue Love Haiku #4

Blue Love Haiku #4
By: Linda A Long

The kiss of your eyes
Branded me yours, crystal blue
The mark of Blue Love
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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This is the fourth Blue Love Haiku. #5 is already written. I will post it on Sunday.

What a beautiful day in South Jersey. What a beautiful day in my soul. Today took on a self care Sunday flavor. It’s about 5:00pm Friday afternoon and I feel more relaxed than I have in over six months.

I had a massage yesterday that was a combo of Himalayan Salt, Lomi Lomi and Deep Tissue. It was exactly what I needed to get some muscle tension out.

I went to see my Integrative doctor, Dr. Oswari, at the Chung Institute this morning. I am so glad I made the trip. Since I am in Menopause, I initially wanted to see him about Bio-identical Hormone Replacement (BHRT). He also did some Autonomic Response Testing on some supplements for me. He compared my blood work this year to last year and then looked at me and said, “wow, good job! You may not feel as good as your blood work looks yet but honestly it is amazing how much it improved and you reversed Sjogren’s and the Inflammation markers! It’s really amazing!” 🙂 He truly believes the Gastro and muscle/joint issues I am experiencing are more related to Menopause and stress taking a physical toll on my body rather than me being in an Autoimmune flare. He said my Nervous System seems to be under attack. We need to support it, calm it and build it up rather than adding medications or introducing more stress. We decided to try a new mix of supplements. Increasing dose of Maca for Menopause Symptoms and Iodine for Thyroid support and Adrenal Fatigue(nervous system support) and, of course, Vitamin D as well as a Homeopathic treatment for a few weeks to see what happens. All other supplements including the Multi-Vitamin are being discontinued and I am going to focus getting everything from food. We are doing this for one month. He also gave me two books to read before I go back next month. He wants me to read them before beginning BHRT. He told me to read the books, educated myself on Menopause and BHRT totally. If after I read the books I want to do BHRT, he will send a script to a compounding pharmacy. So, I left with homework. Lol 🙂 I go back in four weeks to check how the new protocol is working and to give my decision about BHRT.

First, everything my GYN told me to do for Menopause (Black Cohosh, Vitamin E) did not work. She also wanted to put me a low dose anti-depressant for the hot flashes but my GP said NO NO NO. Second, my GP completely supported me going to an Integrative Doctor and even told me she only had eight weeks of Nutritional Education in school. She thought it would be good for go to someone who looks at the body more holistically. Since I am Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, the Chung Institute is a perfect fit for me. If I would have relied on my traditional doctors to figure out what’s going on in my body, I would have been screwed. If you would like to approach your health in a different way, I highly suggest seeking out an Intregrative Doctor. If you live in the South Jersey area, the Chung Institute is in Moorestown.

After my doctor’s appointment, I hit the gym for strength training. I walked a couple miles on the Ocean City Boardwalk on this beautiful afternoon and ended my afternoon sitting on the beach outside of my condo in Atlantic City. It was a really nice day.

Are you taking care of yourself? Did you play hooky today? Are you ready for summer?

Ageless Suzanne Somers

Self Care Sunday – May 6, 2018

I Open, AmenI Open, Amen
By: Linda A. Long

I open
To possibility
That love
Can heal
The wounds
That line
My heart
And bruise my soul
I open, Amen

I trust that love
Will mend the edges
That heartache
Split apart
I open, Amen

I offer my
Mind, body and spirit
To the healing
Powers of love
Deep within
My own soul
Cultivating love
For myself
Before all others
I find
The promise
Of renewed
Hope within
I open, Amen

Loving myself
To let go
And trust
The journey
God chose for me
I don’t understand
I only know
Pain has been
My teacher
I open, Amen

I let go
And so it is
I open
And surrender
To love
I open

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

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NOTE: Self Care Sunday today started with me thinking a lot about what I’ve learned in the last two months since I broke a small bone in my foot and I’ve been forced to slow down.

The interesting thing is everywhere I turn the message I am given is “slow down”. My doctor said it to me, my physical therapist said it to me, my mother said it to me and my friends have said it to me. But the question I asked myself is why was I so resistant to slow down. What was I running from? What didn’t I want to see? Was there a truth in my life I didn’t want to accept so I kept myself in constant motion so I didn’t have to confront it?

The answer to all of those questions is yes! YES! It’s only since I’ve been forced to stay in one place and spend a good portion of time alone that I’ve been able to see the truth. My truth is I am always very hard on myself. I am better friend to others than I am to myself. Perhaps that boils down to not loving myself. Maybe that says more about how I think about myself and my body. I am not sure. But it is the truth.

Breaking my foot taught me a few things about my body too. My body is muscularly weak. It’s time for strengthen myself so my bones, joints and muscles are stronger as I age and go through Menopause. I joined a small gym that is geared more towards folk over 50. I like it because there aren’t alot of people there and I am not there to socialize. It’s also owned by a physical therpaist and offer yoga and pilates too. My first workout with the trainer is tomorrow. I also bought a few personal training sessions for the first month to give me some structure. I am not looking to bulk up or get into the best shape of my life. I am looking to strengthen myself and maybe knock off the 20lbs I put on in the last five years. Although I’ve maintained a 40 pound weight loss for six years. I did put back on 20 in the last few years. I’d like to lose that.

My foot showed me I am actually exhausted on a few levels. Physically, I’ve been sleeping more, resting more and relaxing more. And, it’s all ok. Mentally I am tired too. This summer I will not be going to school or working towards any intellectual achievements. My brain needs a break. Spiritually, I’ve been feeling detached and have been more or less going through the motions. I wish folks would stop trying to recruit me into their churches. I am not interested in attending church services. It’s not my thing. I am, however, working to get back in touch with my spirituality. I am currently taking a 21 Days of Prayer course on I love it. Each day we learn a new way to pray. It’s been very rewarding and I am building a Prayer Tool box. I also downloaded a couple of meditation apps to help calm my mind down. I LOVE the Stop, Breathe and Think app for iPhone. The meditations are all under 10 minutes and it has a daily check-in feature.

One of the nice things that has happened is I am writing a lot lately. Poetry, Haikus and blogs are flowing. It’s great outlet for me. I’ve reconnected with a few friends as a result of my best friend passing away a few weeks ago. A few people have reached out and we’ve been able to reconnect. I am even closer to my family than I was before. I talk to them more than before. My sister and I are closer than ever.

As far as my health goes, I am having a few challenges. I have a chronic gastritis flare up that is not calming down quickly so it looks like I need a scope in the coming weeks. It can be painful at times. My foot is slowly healing. Physical Therapy is working but I am not ready for power walking just yet. I have an appointment this coming Friday to see my Integrative Doctor at the Chung Institute in Moorestown, NJ. Since I am in Menopause we are going to start looking at bio-identical hormone replacement to help with some of symptoms. I love that my GP is so open to alternative treatments. She even told me the bio-identical hormones were my best bet and was happy I was going to the Chung Institute. Bio-identical hormone creams are made from your own saliva and are exact match to your own body’s chemistry. That means there are less side affects.

As far as work goes, it’s going extremely well. I did ask to work a reduced schedule through out May to give myself some space to heal. They approved it. They told me I was doing a great job and would support whatever I need. Even though today is Sunday I worked for a couple of hours this morning. I am briefing the Asst. Administrator on Tuesday and need to turn in my presentation by tomorrow for review. I think it’s interesting that I am doing the best work of my career while I am also experiencing so many challenges in my personal life.

I had a conversation with my therapist the other day. I mentioned about doing this all alone. She asked me to consider that perhaps I was meant to figure out this part of my life on my own. This is the time for me rest, heal, reconnect with friends and spirit, excel in work and just enjoy life rather than push. Maybe this time was just about me and no one else. Perhaps these challenges and how I am handling them is defining me and growing me for some other purpose. Who knows???

What I do know is, I did the dreaded swimsuit shopping and was pleasantly surprised to find two that look nice on me. Memorial Day to Labor Day you will find me by the pool or on the beach in my free time. This summer my focus is going to be just “being” instead of “doing”. The only things on my schedule will be work, self care(gym, etc), prayer, family and friends…That’s it.

What does Selfcare Sunday look like for you today?