Self Care Sunday ~ Dream Big

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I’ve I spent some time this week reconnecting with my dreams and taking action to realign with what authentically makes me happy.

Yoga makes me happy. I’ve practiced yoga for a long time. Being on the mat brings me peace. My favorite style of yoga is Yin Yoga or Gentle Flow Yoga. I like slow meditative practices like Yin because it’s includes seated postures, longer holds, breath work and meditation. Yoga isn’t about burning calories for me. It’s not exercise for me. It’s a spiritual practice. It’s how I calm myself down and find peace. That’s why I prefer to practice at the end of the day. It helps me let go of the stress of the day.

I was not practicing yoga a lot in last year because I’ve had a few injuries and illnesses in that made a regular practice challenging. Last Sunday I engaged my inner yogi and started practicing Yin or Slow Yoga for 30 minutes a day using YouTube videos in my living room on my own eco-friendly recycled rubber mat from Jade Yoga.  Guess what?  I haven’t needed Xanax this week 😄I would like to say I will practice every day for 21 to 30 days but this is where I usually get myself into trouble. I over do it. So, I’m going to take a clue from my body and after practicing yoga for seven days straight, I will most likely take Self Care Sunday as a rest day. I might walk but no yoga. Going forward I will shoot to practice yoga 3 to 5 days a week for 30 minutes while I build up stamina again. I started with Yin videos and added in a Beginners flow class too. I am an advanced yogi but I wanted to revisit some basic beginner poses as a foundation for my new practice. I’m tight. I need to take it slow so I don’t injure myself.

I am 52 years old now. My yoga needs to be different now than it was when I was 35 years old. I’ve always been super flexible thanks to being double jointed. Yoga has always come easy and effortless to me but now I am older. My body is stiffer and some days my old injuries make me feel like Tinman from restriction in the body. I am learning to make accommodations and adjustment for injuries. I stopped judging myself. Just because I don’t look perfect in a pose anymore doesn’t mean I should stop doing yoga. It means that I allow my body to work to its limit without pushing or forcing. Naturally, over time, body will open up and give me space to move. This has been a lesson about self acceptance and letting go of who I used to be on the mat for who I am now. I am older and wiser. My body is still beautiful no matter how awkward I feel moving in and out of poses. This is also why I am practicing at home without a mirror for now instead of going to a studio. Watching myself in a mirror as I practice will only lead to me judging on myself and feeling sad about how my body has changed.

yoga tinmanOver the last week, I’ve been thinking about my friend Karen who passed away in April 2018 from Peritoneal Cancer. Karen was the best friend I’ve had – the absolute best friend I’ve ever had. I definitely feel the void of her loss in my life every day. Karen hated Yoga. Karen was a gym rat. She was usually in the gym by 4:30am getting a hard core workout in before she went to work. She hated the slowness of yoga. Back in 2013 I was considering enrolling in Yoga Teacher Training and I wanted to go to a Yoga Conference in New York City to get information. Surprisingly, she offered to take the day off from work and go with me. Karen hated yoga but she loved me. She spent all day in the yoga expo talking to yogis, reading literature and doing sample classes with me. While on the train on the way home she said, “I still hate yoga but I had a lot of fun with you today!” The point of this story is… Karen was willing to do something she didn’t enjoy all day just to hang out with me and support me. I ended up not enrolling in teacher training because the schedule would have been hard to manage while also working full time. My body just doesn’t have that stamina. I still haven’t enrolled in teacher training for the same reason. I can’t do that while working full time

I’ve talked on this blog that I was going to start reintroducing one glass of red wine back into diet.  I only stopped drinking wine because my tummy didn’t always enjoy it as much as my taste buds did.  I promised Karen  before she died when I had my first glass of wine, it would be with her.  So I bought an expense bottle of Argentina Malbec and poured two glasses. I toasted Karen and took a sip… Well, it didn’t go very well 🤣After four sips, my face became red, hot and itchy and my nose was stuffy.  It seemed like an allergic reaction. I know folks may say their face turns red with wine too but this wasn’t normal. I was starting to not feel well. So, I poured it all down the drain, threw out the bottle after four sips and took a Pepcid AC to settle the reaction down.  I am glad I conducted this experiment at home and not out in public 🍷So that’s that. I will not be drinking wine – period!  Maybe I’ll try a Guinness Stout next 🤣 Or maybe I’ll just continue being a non-drinker and be ok with it instead of trying to recreate something from my past.  It’s called self acceptance. Maybe I will work on that instead of experimenting with alcohol✌️

As I indulge myself in the fantasy of escaping my current reality and living a more authentic life, I open myself up to the possibility that my dream may come true one day. One day I may hit the lottery or save up enough money to totally immerse myself into building my Holistic Health Practitioner business. Or maybe it waits until I officially retire. Either way, I would first take a few months off to decompress. I would then enroll in Yin Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training. I have a friend who did her teacher training at 62 years old after she retired from teaching high school full time👍

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I think I will start working on a draft of business plan for my Holistic Health Practice. My target market is folks over 50 years old.  Yin Yoga and Meditation Instruction as well as personal training would fit into my services perfectly. I am also a Reiki Master. I would could start teaching Reiki and practicing Reiki. Other services I would provide include: guidance on supplements, educating folks on food labels. I would go food shopping with them and show them how to work the store to spend less money and make better food choices.  Here’ a tip:  stay out of the middle isles (if possible).  All of processed junk is in the middle.

I would love to own or be a partner in an eco-friendly Organic Coffee & Tea Shop where I could offer my holistic health Practitioner services including, Yoga Classes, Reiki, Food label reading classes, Nutritional Supplement classes, etc..💫

Some times you just have to give your dreams room to breathe…What’s your dream? Are there any small steps you can take today to reconnect to it?

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(C) 2020 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday ~ Use the pain

C61EE275-EE53-40A4-A257-9F61D81713B7_1_201_a.jpegThe focus of my self care this week has been centered mostly on relationships and physical self care.

I’ve taken opportunity to socialize a bit more this week than I normally do and I am glad I did it. I went to Christmas Chinese Auction party with 22 women. It was fun. The women in this crowd are a good bit older than I am and most of them were the first friends I made when I moved down here 25 years ago. I’ve always been most comfortable with folks older than I am, “Boomers” as they are now called.

The best thing that came out of that night was that I reconnected with one of the women who I fell out with a few years ago. It got pretty ugly between us a few years ago. Mostly because she likes to control things and I don’t like to be controlled ☺️🤣 I am an equal. I am not a child. I am not a follower. I make my own decisions…Well, our friendship became a constant tug of war and eventually it broke under the pressure. I accept my responsibility in the breakdown of the friendship. I could have talked to her instead of shutting her down but “shutting down” to folks who hurt me is my trauma response. It was how I protected myself since I was young. Until recently, I didn’t know any better. Her husband died around the time some of this was going on. I think she was just trying to control things because she felt out of control but she could have backed off, stopped trying to control me and been more sensitive to my feelings. Anyway, we were both wounded.

I guess since I’ve been focused on healing this year she’s been on my mind a lot in recent months. I miss her friendship.  Her best friend is dying from Pancreatic Cancer and she, herself, recovered from Breast Cancer. It just felt like it was time to say how I felt to her; no more shutting down to people. Also, there aren’t very many people in my life other than my sister who make me laugh as hard as she does. I mean seriously, snorting, soda out of my nose, full belly laughs when I am around her. We’ve always clicked. Even this passed Sunday she was cracking me up. For some reason I seem to get along very well with Geminis♊️  I must be drawn to the duality of the twins; it intrigues me 💞 But that dark twin can be straight up gangsta sometimes! That’s one I fight with 🤣 Anyway, I pulled her aside, hugged her and told her I loved and missed her. She said the same thing. We aren’t going to revisit the past. We are going to leave it in the past. We are just going to start from today building a new friendship from who we are today. It is a fresh start for our friendship. Do you shut down to people like I do? Are you willing to open up to someone who loves you?

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Physically I’ve been trying to manage a flare-up of arthritis in my left jaw this week. It hurts…The damp weather the last few days has been rough not to mention the low barometric pressure gave me a migraine. This is the worst time of year for my jaw issues and migraines. I also found a small external growth near my jaw earlier this week. I have an appointment with the Dermatologist to have it looked at and hopefully removed this week. Since I am allergic to NSAIDS and Aspirin, my pain relief choices are limited. I am going to try CBD Oil & found a reputable local CBD (Hemp) Oil Representative through a medical professional referral. I ordered the Pure 500 CBD Oil (Cinnamon Flavor) Tincture and my friend gave me a sample of the cream which I put lightly on my jaw today. It seemed to help but I will try it again. HempWorx. A friend told me it’s really helped her arthritis a lot. It should arrive this coming week. It was not cheap but I am hoping it helps not only my joint and muscles issues but it also is supposed to help migraines and sleep issues. I will let you know how that goes. Lastly, Accuweather has health forecast page for allergies, migraines and arthritis. Once you enter your location, it will show the health forecast options.  It was 100% on the money this week. Migraine started late Thursday. I started meds in enough time to prevent the full migraine and arthritis in the jaw flared up on Saturday too. Check out the site.

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I am working on changing my diet around lately. I tend to have a sweet tooth ☺️I have to work hard to keep it in check. It’s a slippery slope. Once I have sugar coffee, I want sugar all day every day🤣That’s why I typically don’t use sugar in the morning. I switched to oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve been adding a low sugar free protein powder from Bowmar Nutrition to it to bump up the nutrition too. The Hot Chocolate and French Toast Protein Powders from Bowmar are good. They use Monk Fruit to sweeten which is extremely low sugar but sweet.  As for dinner, I’ve been making bowls with cooked veggies and protein source each night. Since my belly feels best eating only cooked instead of raw vegetables, I am buying assorted cooked veggies every few days at a local prepared food store called (Done.) This week’s bowls have had a bed of Baby Spinach at the bottom with roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Marinated Mushrooms with Barbecue Tofu & a little Crispy Pork Belly topped with Blue Cheese crumbles & a Balsamic Blue Cheese dressing I mix at home.  You could also mix and match from the image to make bowl combos. Just select a protein (4-6oz for women; 6-8oz for men) and a carb (1/4 cup) with as many as you like from the veggie list.  I need to eat cooked veggies because of my digestive issues but raw would be good too 🙂

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The only thing I am going to say about work this week is to encourage folks to accept the opportunity to learn and grow when it’s presented. Leadership approached me a while ago and asked me to get a Grants Management Certificate. The Certificate program is a series of seven courses and they are all available virtually. Work agreed to pay $7000 for all of the courses as long as I took virtual courses and I was allowed to take them all during work hours from home. They only thing I couldn’t do is travel for any of the courses. I completed three courses so far. This past week I teleworked three days and was only in the office Thursday and Friday. However, on Friday I was able to use knowledge from the course while working on strategy for the Call for Proposals.  I am finding the classes beneficial. It’s filling in a big knowledge gap for me and I am grateful my leaders were willing to invest in me. I should finish my certificate in March.

Lastly, I can’t wait until current occupant of the White House is Impeached! I hope the Senate is courageousness enough to remove him. I am want to go back to having a President I respected. Honestly, I cringe every time I hear POTUS’s voice. Believe me I would be at every protest if I wasn’t afraid of getting arrested on being seen on camera 🤣✊ This is best red hat EVER…
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(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday ~ Fresh Start

fresh start

I have a fresh start on Monday. I start a new job. I finally close the door on one chapter of my life and move on to the next. While I’ve enjoyed my time working on my current team, it is beyond time for me to move on.

The new job has possibilities. I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. Yes, it is a promotion. More than the money, I am excited about the possibilities of where it could take me and the growth opportunities it will offer me. It’s a fresh start.  Am I nervous? Heck yes. Anything new can be scary. It’s definitely going to stretch me and require a different version of Linda than I’ve been in recent months. I am good with that.

I am in an active flare-up of some chronic tummy issues. Most of the bloating and gas have passed and right now I am having some trouble getting the acid reflux symptoms to calm down. It’s going to take a few more days. It’s a flare. Flares come and then fade away. This one will fade away. But it has been a good reminder for me as I go into this new job that self care comes first; I must create and enforce proper boundaries for self care. Let the chips fall where they may. I am not really worried about continued career advancement as the next step would be management. I am not really interested in being a manager. Too much responsibility; dealing with other peoples problems all day and getting caught up in office politics really isn’t my thing. I am not interested in taking that on in my 50s. But, I do want to be the best Lead for my team that I can be. I want to practice good self care and also encourage the folks around me to do the same. This will affect positive change.

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It’s interesting. Whenever my tummy trouble flares up, I always retreat. Heck, I am introvert. I retreat most weekend but when I am sick I retreat into my bed. I withdrawal from interaction. I go within. I withdrew from my social life for a month to recharge and heal my body. It’s eight years later and I still haven’t completely reengaged 🤣

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Some of the greatest opportunities of growth I’ve experienced have come during or after a flare up of health issues. This time I spend quiet and alone gives me space to process and think through new ideas around growth and spirituality. I also know how to take care of myself when a flare hits now…Up the medicine. Lite exercise to move things along in my bowel. Restrict the diet. Look through my food diary for triggers. Pray and mediate to keep myself calm and peaceful while I ride out the worst parts of it. Focus my attention on good things like writing this blog and reading inspiration posts on Instagram. Lol 🙂 Flares are temporary. As my best friend used to say to me whenever she had a bad day during her battle with Cancer, “this too shall pass”.

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Unfortunately, I canceled dinner with friends this week because I didn’t feel well. I can’t wait to reschedule it. They normally let me pick since I have the food issues. We always end up at Steve & Cookies which is a local upscale restaurant. I also like upscale steakhouses or any place I can get Salmon. My belly likes expensive restaurants and frowns on bar food. 🙂 I also cancelled a massage this week. It’s never good to get a massage when you are already sick. Massages can trigger a detox. I didn’t need to add any more population or toxic waste into my body 🙂

Today is Sunday. I woke up to a second mass shooting in less than 24 hours. Putting politics aside, I offer the Metta Prayer to all beings in the Universe. I hope the dark psychic force that has taken hold in the United States is over powered by love and peace.

Metta Prayer

ICYMI – I’ve been posting every day this week since I haven’t been working; scroll down to see all of my posts from this week. I am not sure I will have time to write the next few days so have a safe Sunday and great week.

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Irritating

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 10.07.33 AMToday I am sharing some information about living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). While it may be too much information for some, I am really just sharing in case anyone needs the information and for awareness.

I’ve had the symptoms of IBS most of my adult life I just didn’t know that what it was. My flare symptoms include gas, bloating, stomach pain in the left flank area, burping, hiccups, acid reflux, alternating constipation and diarrhea, sweating, fatigue, stuffy nose, nausea and etc. It can really make me miserable and that’s why I try to very hard to keep it under control.

While I’ve had the symptoms most of my life, I was only diagnosed about six or seven years ago. At the time, I had IBS-C which means I had constipation on a regular basis. In recent years, my flare-ups can swing either way IBS-C or IBS-D (diarrhea). I was even put a medication when I was first diagnosed to help relax my bowel and reduce bloating. The medication was unsuccessful. I have had more success with controlling my diet and getting regular exercise.

IBS can be triggered by food, mediations, emotions, stress, environmental issues and weight changes. My biggest personal triggers are dietary, lack of physical exercise and stress. I force myself to get at least 30 minutes of lite exercise even if I don’t feel well because it helps move things along in my gut.

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I started seeing a Gastro specialist at Jeff in Philly. He diagnosed me with Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency which he believes is underlying cause of the IBS. In other words, I don’t have enough Pancreatic Enzymes to digest food properly which means they rot in my gut if I am not properly elimination which triggers the symptoms. He prescribed a prescription strength Digest Enzymes to take with meals. It can have an explosive effect so I don’t use it every meal. He also diagnosed me is Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO happens when bacteria from undigested food in the lower gut comes up into the upper gut. It is triggered by not properly digesting food. SIBO is the Trojan horse of IBS and requires a course of antibiotics to settle the gut bacteria down.

I am current on an antibiotic. The doctor prescribe one that would get my sinuses and my gut bacteria. In some ways, I feel better. In other ways, I am still in thick of it. Once a flare-up is triggered, it takes some time to settle down. It slowly fades away. I get the most relief for extended periods of time when I follow the Low FODMAP diet. This diet only limits carbs that are fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols.  While the diet is restrictive, it has been a Godsend. I learned I can eat food that normally trigger me. It about the portion size but there are still foods I can NOT tolerate. As of last week, I am back on a highly restrictive version of Low FODMAP to help settle things down. Spiritually I always trust my gut but physical – I agree that my gut is bastard!

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As I look back on my food diary, I can see where I slipped up. I expanded my diet too far. I was eating beans. BEANS! WTF Linda? I don’t really tolerate beans well. Especially Chickpeas and Black Beans. I can eat Chili occasionally as long as it is cooked a long time. I was eating Cherries and Blueberries – both are high FODMAP. That combo alone could have trigged a flare up. I was eating raw veggies. While I can tolerate a salad when I am feeling good and take a digest enzyme, I can’t really tolerate a lot of raw veggies. Cooked veggies are usually ok. Apples. OMG. The Green Apple almost killed me. I felt my belly immediately swell up. Did I not learn anything from Adam and Eve about Apples🍏

If you’d like more information on IBS, Dr. Axe and Dr. Mark Hyman are great Functional doctors with good tips:  Here are a couple of links to get you to their sites.

https://draxe.com/health/gut-health/ibs-diet-food-cures/

https://drhyman.com/blog/2015/04/17/powerful-strategies-to-eliminate-ibs-other-gut-issues/

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So here I am. Still bloating. Still with upper left flank discomfort. Still alternating between IBS-C and IBS-D. Just getting through every day waiting for the flare up to fade away but the reality is it’s going to be a few more days. Yes, I will going back to work not feeling a 100% but it’s ok. I am a remote employee. They even told me I can telework more often if needed. I worked for my new GM last year. We’ve become friendly. She recruited me knowing my issues. She knows my belly issues won’t hold me back in work.

If you are having any symptoms that could be IBS, I suggest you make an appointment with Gastro specialist. You will need your Pancreatic Enzyme levels checks. You will need breathe tests for SIBO and other gut absorption issues. You will need an Upper GI with biopsy and maybe a Colonoscopy. I’ve had it all.

ICYMI – I’ve been posting every day this week since I haven’t been working; scroll down to see all of my posts from this week. I will post my regular Self Care Sunday blog tomorrow morning instead of later tonight.  After tomorrow’s post, I will be taking a break from writing for a few days.

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Strength

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.18.59 AMIt’s strange. I went to the Chiropractor yesterday. He told me he already had five patients this week with Upper Trap tightness with tummy issues and fatigue. He was wondering if a virus is going around. Honestly, that would be good. Viruses leave as quick as they come when they are done.

It definitely feels like my body is trying to clear something. I have other muscle pains too and I am runned down. It’s frustrating. I felt good for a while and last couple of weeks really are knocking the crap out of me. I can’t find a comfortable way to sleep. It’s frustrating because I start a new job on Monday and I would like to be 100%. I have nothing planned for the next four days and will be focusing on taking care of myself. I have to find a balance because my body doesn’t like too much rest. I need to move a little too. I also wondering if Menopause is playing a role in this and it probably is an Autoimmune Flare up. UGH….All I can do is relax, take care of myself and ride the wave. Work will be fine. It’s a new job but with folks who know me and even though I haven’t started the job officially yet I have been participating in meetings even this week from home.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my hair lately mostly because I am happy my hair is healthy again. Having healthy hair is not vanity it also speaks to self confidence and self image.  I’ve always believed it doesn’t matter how you feel as long as you look good.  That means if I am sick, I don’t want to look sick.  Many don’t realize I cut my hair short a few years ago because I had Alopecia and it was falling out. I have autoimmune system issues. I really never know how it will manifest. The hairstylist told me my bald spots would be less noticeable if my hair was shorter. It took a long time for my scalp to heal. I started growing my hair out because it started coming in curly and thicker. It’s finally at a length I can pull it back a bit. While I am still not sure what length I want to keep it long term, I am keeping it red. Here are some photos of my hair over the years. I think the best length for me is somewhere between the chin and shoulder. Check out the below photos and let me know what length you like 😄

The below photo is from Atlantic City’s St. Patrick’s Day 2010💚OMG, what a fun day! My hair was longer, thick, curly and healthy! I was drinking Jameson and Miller Lite all day.  I was in good form most of the day.  My best friend’s husband cut us both off around 9pm  🤣

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This photo was taken in April 4, 2015. One day before I cut it short.
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This photo was taken on April 6, 2015.  The day I cut it short.

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This photo was taken in 2017 on my 50th birthday.

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This photo was taken in June 2019 after I dyed my hair red.

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(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Staycation Starts Today ~ July 30th

staycation

The past week or so has been a challenging self care week. Mostly because I was resisting and pushing my body when it just needed me to slow down.

I start a new job on Monday, August 5th. I went into work yesterday (Monday) morning and realized I had nothing to do all week. All of my work was already transitioned to other people. I was chatting with my coworker who sits next to me. She said, “If I were you, I would be taking the opportunity to take a few days off to rest and relax before jumping into the new job next week!” It took me less than a minute to realize she was right. I reached out to current and new managers for approval to take off the rest of the week; all approved. I am off from work until when I start my new job on Monday, August 5th.

Yes, I am on a staycation of sorts but I also need to use this time to rest, heal and take care of myself. I am still healing an Upper Trapezius muscle injury. After having a migraine this weekend and having a small fever, I realized I have a sinus issue. I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. So, yes. I am off from work this week focusing on rest, beach, pool, sleep and decompressing before jumping into a fire next week.

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I’d like to remind folks, that good stress is still stress. Accepting a new job (good stress) is very exciting but it has also been stressful navigating the process. The process took three months – three months. The body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress. It just knows it’s stressed. Sustained stress takes a toll on the body. Eventually the body will react. My body reacted to good stress with muscle tension which set me up for a pull Upper Trap Muscle. My body reacted to good stress with a migraine. I was putting pressure on myself to ramp up in the new job while also transitioning out of the old job. It was too much. I was doing more than anyone expected of me. This is an accurate depiction of my spirit guides rolling their eyes as I repeat that same lesson over and over again without learning it🤣

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One other thing that has been causing me some stress is the exterior work being done on my building. One of the units on the corner is mine. The bad news is they are doing the work to fix a water leak issue in my unit. The smell of mold and mildew when they started the work was intense and nauseating. I bought a product to help with it and that contributed to the headache. I threw it out and have air purifiers running 24 hours a day now. The good news is the worst is over. They removed all of the affected materials and the smell is gone. Once the exterior work is done, the interior dry wall has to be pulled down and my carpet has to be cleaned or removed. I will probably stay in a hotel during that week or hopefully be in DC for work. The other good news is once all of this done the air quality in my unit will be healthier. I actually looked at a couple of condos for sale in another high rise on the bay last week. I would have to take a loan from my 401K to buy it. Not sure how I feel about that. So, I haven’t done anything yet.

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Today’s plan is to do NOTHING – until I go to doctor’s this afternoon. I hope to write more this week but I have no idea what I will be doing every day. I suspect I will be sitting by the pool a lot. My immediate goal is only to get rid of the headache and fever right now.
(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

What Is Love?

Truth ~ Blue Love Poetry
Tell me your truth
Show me
Who you really are
Take off
The mask with me
You are safe
You are free
You are free
To be
Your authentic
Beautiful self
When you are
With me
(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

NOTE

I’ve been thinking a lot about what is love. What does it mean to love someone; really love someone. People often think about romance when it comes to love. They think doing for others is the expression of love. In other words, love is active. Meaning you have to do something to express it and show it.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about demonstrating love in a passive sense – by not doing. In other words, perhaps the greatest proof you love someone is being strong enough to give them room and space to find their life. Perhaps when you really love someone, you can step back and let them find their happiness knowing you may not be part of it. Perhaps the greatest act of love is simply encouraging someone to find their truth and follow their truth wherever it takes them.

For me, love is truth. Living in truth is an expression of self love.  Are you loving yourself today?

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Self Care Sunday – April 29, 2018

Midnight Red - C.M. Cooper

Midnight Red – C.M. Cooper

I am pusher. I push forward. I work sick. I don’t use a lot of vacation or sick time. I am a giver and a care taker. I take care of others. I’ve made a habit of showing up for others before showing up for myself. Quite frankly, I put loving others ahead of loving myself.

A foot injury a few weeks back triggered back problems and an autoimmune flare up. Then my best friend died at the same time. I am feeling the affects emotionally, physically and spiritually of the collective stress.

My foot and back and elbow tendinitis are healing. They are slowly improving. I was able to walk two miles yesterday and today with only a small amount of discomfort. Physical Therapy has been helpful.

I have Celiac Disease, an Autoimmune Disease. Celiac Disease destroys the digestive system and can lead to stomach Cancer. By the time I was diagnosed in my 40s, there was already substantial damage to my stomach, liver and gut. My Gallbladder was already removed in 1997. At the time I was diagnosed in 2011, I had Gastritis and Liver Damage. I was in the hospital for a week. I actually could not eat solid food for ten days. I immediately stopped drinking alcohol and changed to Gluten Free diet. I have seen substantial improvements in my health and in my gut. My Liver is completely healed. There is no sign of any Liver damage in any of my current blood work. However, my stomach will never be completely healed. I have what they call “chronic autoimmune gastritis”. My stomach will always be super sensitive and predisposed to gastritis flare ups when I get sick or stressed. It’s just a part of my life.

At this time, a gastritis flare up is my biggest challenge and it’s taking some time to get it settled down. I know for a fact I ate Gluten by accident last week. I also was drinking a lot of diet soda and taking fish oil for the inflammation in my foot. In retrospect, my tummy held out pretty good but this week it hit the brakes pretty hard on me. I am really tired, bloated, nauseous and in fair amount of belly pain. I also have TMJ which is stress related. I suspect grief, stress, worry, poor food choices and not taking care of myself properly caught up to me.

I’ve been praying and reflecting on how I got this far into a flare up and depression. Obviously, I am grieving for the loss of my best friend and the last few weeks have been very stressful. But, this is more about me not loving myself enough to take care of myself properly. Almost as if I was thinking that my broken body was not worthy of love; not by me or anyone else. I actually haven’t been dating the last few years because I haven’t wanted to explain to men all of my health issues. I haven’t wanted to explain that sometimes it flares up and I am tired. I can’t do what other folks can do. I didn’t want anyone to see it; not my friends, family or any man who may care about me. I’ve been asked on dates, I refused. I supposed it’s why I’ve always been attracted to “safe” men who I could love at distance. Now, don’t get me wrong. I do truly love Blue Love. I truly love him and I would feel safe letting him in and allowing him to see the real me, all of me – that’s if he was available to me. But, this is deeper than just having a man love me and my body. This is about ME loving and honoring MY body. This is about me being a friend to myself and my body.

Deep stuff, right? Well, you can’t heal something you refuse to see. So, I decided to bring it from the darkness to the light to be healed. As this time of my life, self care is about honoring where I am today and surrendering to what my mind, body and spirit needs to return to holistic wellness. I affirm I deserve to be loved. I affirm my body deserved to be loved and cared for. I will give myself the space I need to heal the right way this time.

As far as calming the gastritis down, I was going to do a Whole 30 diet to help settle my tummy down but I remembered Whole 30 is compromised mostly of meat and vegetables. Neither are really great for settling down Gastritis. Instead I am going to focus on bland easy to digest foods in smaller quantities for few weeks.

The bigger issue I have is work. I decided I need to go into work and talk to my new boss. I need to explain I am enjoying the job and don’t want to lose or walk away from the opportunity but I need to give myself some space to heal. I know my employer believes in reasonable accommodations so I am going to ask to work a reduced schedule for the month of May(maybe half days or three days a week) with no travel. I am hoping I’ve built up enough creditability that they will work with me. Also, my doctor told me she will write a note to cover whatever I need when I see her on Wednesday night. My boss and I can reassess my status at the end of the month. Hopefully, I am back to 100% by June and things work out. If they don’t, I’ve made my peace with that too. I’ve let go of attachment to any outcomes. My focus needs to be doing what’s best for my body and my life first. Even if this job doesn’t work out, I have a good job to return to. I have faith everything will work out for my highest good.

Self care for me today is about acceptance of my limitations. It’s also about bringing the dark parts of my soul to the light for healing and speaking my truth with authenticity by asking for what I need. Lastly, it’s about letting go and trusting that God will provide for me. I affirm – Everything always works out for my highest good.

I did buy myself a little happy this week. I’ve been wanting a comfy chair to rest in, watching TV in and for nights I have trouble sleeping. So, I ordered a leather recliner. It will be delivered in two weeks. It will look great in my condo which is decorated in red, brown (Mahogany) and off white. The photo is below.

What does self care look like for you today? What have you done recently to take care of yourself?

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

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Art Credit: Midnight Red by C.M. Cooper

Lane Tucker Leather Recliner

Holistic Health And Self Care Sunday – March 25, 2018

Self Care Self Love

Self Care looks a little different for me this weekend that most weekends. Usually I move my body on weekends and do food prep for the week. This weekend I am truly slowing down to take care of my physical body.

I stepped in a pot hole on Tuesday night. I rolled my right foot over onto the side and sprain my Ankle. I knew immediately I injured it. I iced and elevated it as soon as I got home. Luckily, the snow storm gave me a day off and I also took off Thursday to at least rest it for the first 48 hours.

While I was home resting on Thursday, I started sneezing. I must have sneezed over 30 times over the course of the day. I knew a head cold was coming too. My head cold started on Thursday afternoon. It’s pretty much gone by Sunday afternoon. That suggests my Immune System is pretty strong and I took good care of myself appropriately when the cold started. The worst of it is over. Here’s what I did as soon the I felt the head cold coming on:

  • Ear drops: Equal parts 70% Rubbing Alcohol and White table vinegar. Three drops each ear twice a day. The ENT gave me this recipe 🙂 See photo at bottom.
  • OTC: Mucinex and Tylenol. I only took one Decongestant
  • Gargle: With warm salt water
  • Saline Rinse: Rinse my nose out with Saline from CVS
  • Take my usual vitamins: Multi-vitamin, Vitamin D & E, Magnesium at bedtime. I also added Coconut Walter for Potassium
  • Green Juice: I drink 16oz of Green Juice each day: Kale, Apple, Ginger, Lemon, Parsley, Celery and Cucumber. I sometimes I blend it at home. This week I bought at a local produce store that makes it for only $4.00 a bottle.
  • Omega 3s: I drink Hemp Milk and took Salmon Oil pills for a couple of days
  • Rest and sleep: I left work on Friday at noon. I came home and stayed in bed until Saturday.

Holistic Ear Drops

As for my Ankle, I ended up going to Urgent Care yesterday because it’s looks pretty bad. I didn’t think it was broken but wanted to be sure so I didn’t continue to do more damage. The X-ray showed I have a contusion of the soft tissue around the 5th Metatarsals. I’ve been doing everything right. He didn’t give me any drugs. He told me to stay off of it as much as possible for the next few days. It could take five to ten additional days to heal depending upon how much I am on it. It’s making me walk weird which is bothering the rest of my leg and my hip. I have been resting it. I will still go to work tomorrow. I will wear comfy shoes and won’t be walking my normal 10K steps. The doctor told me I did everything right so far. Again, good self care prevented my injury from being worse than just a contusion.

Sprained Ankle Meme

Sometimes my self care is pretty and is about pampering at a spa. Other times my self care is about moving my body in yoga and walking 10K steps a day or other times my self care is about mediating and slowing my mind down. This week self care has been about actually taking care of physical body to ensure a quick and full recovery from illness and injury.

Before attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and becoming a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I really didn’t know how to take care of myself. A year ago I would have pushed through both the cold and the injury and would have made both worse. What a difference a year has made.

IIN Primary Foods

Making the decision to attend to IIN was the best decision I made a very a long time in my life. The last year hasn’t been easy. Going to school while working full time, starting a new job, juggling various other aspects of life hasn’t been easy. I’ve been over my head at times but I hung in there. On Friday I learned that I have already accumulated the minimum graduation requirements. I still have one test, two Coaching Circles and four weeks of lectures to go until graduation but even I I missed all of them, I will still graduate. It really takes the pressure off and I am looking forward to slowing down and entering the next phase of life.

So, what’s next after I am done school? Well, I am looking forward to enjoying this summer. I am looking forward to having a social life again. While part of me is very interested in continuing my education with another class, that needs to go on hold for a while. First, it’s expensive. Second, I need to slow down a bit and enjoy life without any pressure other than my full time job for a while.

Work will also require more of my focused attention this summer as the Implementation phase of my Outreach plan will start in the May/June timeframe. Therefore, I will be traveling to DC more as well as visiting a few colleges through the rest of year. I am looking forward to that. If you need help developing an Outreach Plan, I can help. Here’s the basic flow.

Outreach Plan Flow

As for my Health Coaching business, I plan to step back and really think how I want to position it and what I hope to achieve. My classmates are very focused on getting clients and making money. I sometimes get caught up in my that. Being stuck at home with just myself most of this week, I’ve had time to think stuff over. I am seeing things differently. With having a decent full time job and income, I am not pressured to take a lot of clients. I can be selective. I can also offer services at discount rates, even pro-bono to those folks who really need it. I also plan to volunteer my services at the local Rescue Mission after I have my official Graduation Certificate.

I need to do some business planning and think over my business model a bit. During the next few months, I will be working on building a website and branding. I know I want my website to be free resource for people to access important guidance about how to care for their holistic health. I also know I want my Health Coaching business to be a platform to affect change about how people approach self care. I have the knowledge, skills and ability to design and build my own website. I am going to do that this summer as my hobby 🙂 Come on, Y’all know I can’t just sit in a beach chair all summer only working on a tan. Lol 🙂 This photo was taken at sunset on the beach out front of my apartment 🙂

Atlantic City, NJ Sunset

How are you taking care of yourself? What does your body, mind or soul need from you today?

🙌

I am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I help clients find strategies to achieve a balance of body, mind and spirit so they can find their highest good in all aspects of their life.

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

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