Browsing Tag

Faith

A Day in the MS Life Just Because

We’re breaking up.

June 9, 2015

Perception is everything. And our perception of reality has been forever changed…for the simpler.

So, we’re taken this living thing to the next level. But first, we’re breaking up with conventional norms. At 35, we’re downsizing. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We are intentionally promoting the things we value most and the removing everything that distracts us from it.

We are putting the house on the market soon and looking for a smaller, more intimate, and more cost-effective home. The reaction by most people when I tell them our plans is comical. The majority of the folks I know are constantly seeking bigger, better, faster, etc. I was one of those folks. I get it.

“Well, what about your mother?”, “Well, you don’t plan on having any more kids do you?”, “Well you can’t live further from the city. How will you get to work?”, “Well, what about the school system?”, “Well, I can’t imagine you living there…Are you sure?”

Well-intentioned and equally hilarious.

But we are not stopping there. We are going to blow minds a little more and chase down dreams that we’ve always had and been too scared to chance. My husband is throwing all caution to the wind and starting a new business that will stretch his creative spirit. I am going to continue to do some internal house cleaning until it hits me. I don’t know precisely what’s next yet, but it’s definitely not golden handcuffs.

My son doesn’t understand now, but I like to think that someday he will. Someday, he will know about the decision his parents made to be true to themselves and honor their authentic selves. And I hope he sees that as a shining example of bravery and an invitation to do the same*.

We only live once. Live it like you mean it and don’t believe the hype.

They tried to bury us. They didn't know were were seeds.

*Or he will blame us for not keeping up with the Jones’. But a mom can dream, right?

Just Because

Where will you place the talent you’re given?

May 21, 2015

This past week has been AWEsome. Stars have seem to align, signs are landing square in my lap and I have been feeling full of life. But nothing prepared me for Sunday.

After all my introspection of late, I was floored when this was in our church bulletin as words for meditation. 

Where will you place the talent you have been given?… Where will you focus the potential for creative action that is yours? Those are the questions before the man and woman of our time. I think we do not improve on the answer given by Isaiah twenty-five hundred years ago, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” – Dwight Judy

Prior to my diagnosis, I always asked myself this question. During some periods of my life I desperately clawed for the answer, others I wandered aimlessly in search of it, sometimes I simply ignored the burning question and most recently I am deeply aware of it but experiencing commitment issues and quite frankly, looking for the answer in the wrong places.

Then my angels doubled down to be sure I was paying attention and our call to worship read, 

God wants our lives – not Sunday morning shiny, but all the fragments of our failures, the shards of our struggles and the sins that we’ve gathered and hidden away…our pains become gifts to be used for others. Our weakness becomes the dwelling place for the Spirit’s strength. Our broken-open lives become bearer’s of God’s grace.

And in that moment I really began to let go of the shame of all the messy, crazy, unpretty stuff of the past and present and clear some space to allow me to receive. I got really, really still. Silence in a room full of people. And for the first time, I understood what this advice from my dear friend, Amy D, really meant. (Thank you, Amy.)

But, just to drive the message home, our unison prayer went in part like this, 

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to see both of these as blessings.

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to be grateful for both of these blessings

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to gratefully acknowledge gifts given and blessings received.

Amen.

There I sat. In awe of the words being spoken to me. I am not any closer to knowing where I will place the talent I have been given, but I know exactly where to place my trust. And that’s all I need to know. The rest will be shown to me when it should and I’ll be ready to receive it.

So, where will you place the talent you’ve been given? If you’re not sure what that talent is, maybe you just need to make some space in your heart for it. Who knows? It’s at least worth a try.

Be well.

Just Because

My yo-yo spirtituality

May 12, 2015

I hit a wall these last fews weeks and fell victim to some old self-defeating ways also know as my “overachiever” complex. I took some time and listened to the wise, sage advice of my dear friend, Amy and “got quiet” for a bit.

Then tonight I received a gentle reminder from Molly Hamill to get back on track and accept the little step backward as a fresh opportunity to start anew. It struck a chord. I hope it does for you too!

Check it out: Break the cycle of yo-yo spirituality with these 3 steps

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Just Because Simply Wholly Living

I wish you enough

April 26, 2015
I wish you enough...

I wish you enough…

This was originally posted by Kindspring in 2007  but it is timeless and too true not to share.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Good-bye.”

I wish you enough too…

Simply Wholly Living

Connecting with others and healing yourself

April 12, 2015

The Power of Healing through Connection

As part of my journey to whole health, my primary focus is getting my soul, mind, spirit, chi – whatever you want to call it – “right”. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of the mind/body connection. My diagnosis was the slap in the face that I needed to take a long hard look at how the choices I was willingly, or unknowingly, making were sending my health into a death spiral.

My healing process requires me to reopen some of the closed connections and emotional walls/blocks that I unconsciously or consciously built to protect myself from feeling whatever it was that I didn’t want to feel: fear, jealously, insecurity, abandonment, etc. This has led me to some awesome and entirely unplanned chance meetings with some really inspiring people.

Last Monday, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting through Jury Duty and luckily avoiding impanelment on a Grand Jury.

Healing through Connection

Cathy, India and I

While reading, my attention kept being pulled away. I was overhearing bits and pieces of a very brave conversation unfolding right in front of me. Two perfect strangers started to chat it up and share intimate and private details about their lives with each other. Some of the things they were talking about deeply resonated with me.

At lunch break I could not resist the chance to introduce myself and tell one of the women, Cathy, how awesome I thought it was that they were sharing so honestly.

10 minutes later, Cathy, India and I were in my car and off to lunch together! In a matter of an hour we were sharing our stories, listening without judgment and offering each other empathetic hearts.

Empathy is our innate ability to “feel” what another person is feeling and truly sense what they are feeling. Empathy often oversimplified and described as a cognitive ability. But true empathy and the connection gained through an empathic experience goes much deeper than that. When we experience real empathy the separateness that exists between you and the other person you are sharing the experience with seemingly disappears. And it is deeply, deeply healing.

On the outside onlookers may have seen three women laughing it up. We definitely were. Unseen to the eye, was a transfer of energy to and from each of us. A loving, healthy, energy pulsing from one to another and cleaning up some of the little potholes, cracks and fissures in our hearts enabling our bodies to heal.

I left court that day a different, better, healthier person and I believe that they did too. And I know this to be true: We are the vessels through which the Holy Spirit spreads its grace.

Make the best of the week! Share and connect! You never know the positive impact you can have on another.

 

 

Simply Wholly Living

Soul Work

April 4, 2015

I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks focusing on the topic of nutrition on this blog. The problem with that is that I am not offering you a true depiction of the real work that I do every day.

I know how powerful the right nutrition can be. I am a living example of that. No MS symptoms, replenished levels of energy, 10+ lbs lost, glowing skin, healthier nails, and healing scalp. The list goes on and on.

But the real work is happening in my soul – my spirit. And that story has been really scary for me to tell because my drama-queen, sensationalist, never content, worst enemy that lives in my head has been spewing a whole lot of nonsense and I’ve been listening even though I know better. Sharing like this, being vulnerable, honest, well…it’s fucking hard. Plain and simple.

I’ve started 5 blog posts this Easter week and finished 1 of them. This one. I knew every time what I wanted to share but would sit here and stare blankly. So, I took a break and dialed back in to me with some meditation (which I am absolutely awful at) and prayer. Then I grabbed yet another great book, asked my guides for a little help and WHAM! Right there smack before my eyes, were the words I needed to see/hear. And I think they are the words you need to see too.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

What a week this has been. Both personally and professionally, but more than that, it is a week of such deep significance for my faith and Easter Sunday wraps it up.  Stated in the most simply terms ever, actually oversimplified, Easter Sunday is a day of rebirth and redemption.

It symbolizes so much. But more than anything else, I feel like it’s an open invitation to start over. To put my past behaviors (my cross) and self-defeating ways where they belong – in the past – and truly trust in the higher good that is meant for me – and every one for that matter. How freaking amazing is that. I feel energized just typing those words.

It’s a new season. Literally. It’s Spring. And life is going to start to pop up everywhere and all the beautiful things are going to start to grow. We are some of those beautiful things. And I am not going to miss this this opportunity to grow by listening to that freaking crazy in my head. I am a going to honor my spirit that keeps telling my to be brave and share. Just share. Connect and listen.

During this weekend, I hope you can find a chance to relate to the story of Easter in your own personal way and tell that crazy voice to go fly a kite.

Happy Easter! xo

 

 

Simply Wholly Living

Making time for me

February 20, 2015

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. I needed some time breathe deeply, read freely, and be contemplative.

In that time we have had more than 7ft of snow (and the Pats won the Superbowl!) Recording breaking, historic amounts of snow and cold. Two blizzards this winter! It has been tough to say the least, but I have been able to find some solace in the quiet and bright soothing white. It is the perfect setting for mindfulness and visualization – which I practice daily.

My husband doesn’t necessarily have the same feelings about it. But, my son seems to be enjoying it!

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2015-01-28 14.13.13

I also had my first session with Molly Hammil. It was eye opening, reaffirming and healing. Since our session I have put into practice a number of the recommended techniques. Stress is a trigger for symptoms that I would rather not have. But stress is not going to go away, however it can be managed. I am making more time for yoga and I have started Barre classes as well.

I have also really been good about finding time for healing visualizations. I do them on the train, in the shower, laying in bed at night. Really any time I can get 30 seconds to just me. I envision ribbons of violet running over my brain down my spine and out to each extremity and bursting into bright while light. At the very least, it is a peaceful time for me. But at the very best, this technique along with my strict attention to nutrition and exercise, has contributed to the cessation of the tingling in my right hand and arm.

I also started reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brene Brown. So far, so good.
[Update: I finished reading this book. Go.Get.The.Book. That is all.]

I realize that my resistance to starting drugs may not be popular, but there are many people that have successfully controlled the progression of their disease this way. I believe in the power of my body and mind. And my faith in the reality of miracles is all I need – for now.

Second opinion on Monday. We’ll see what this Doc has to say.

Simply Wholly Living

Hot Potato!

February 15, 2015

The initial shock of the diagnosis sent me into full-blown “I must plan every thing ever right now” mode. This is me in typical crisis-mode. Did I mention that I didn’t cry when I got my diagnosis? It wasn’t until days later when I finally allowed the truth to sink in.

Not the medical truth that the Doctors were saying, but the truth that I had no control over it whatsoever.

The irony of my entire life is that I have spent every waking hour trying to control as many variables as possible. Whether it was for myself (often not) or for others (more often than not), I subconsciously assumed the role of caretaker for the world.

And you know what? That worked for a very long time. I carved a nice place for me in this world, while seriously strengthening my ability to detach emotionally and get shit done. Whether it is a huge program at work, caring for my mother that has late stage melanoma, helping other friends or family members, offering to help strangers that I’ve met on the subway write their resume (yes, I’ve done this), producing my church’s web site, I was convinced that I could do it all.

And I truly believed I was being good and right. That I was doing what God wanted me to do. I am not perfect. I am a mess most the time, but I committed to always work on being the best person I could be. (Maybe it was the constant Irish Catholic guilt that I am still recovering from!)

There were a few key flaws to my approach.

  1. God has a job. I have a job. My job is not God’s job.
  2. Helping others is great! Helping others while putting myself, my marriage and my family on the back-burner is bad.
  3. God needs me to need him. He didn’t create me to do it alone. (See #1)

To me, the simple truth is this. I have taken a lot for granted for a long time. I viewed my strength as my ability to go it alone. And now I am faced with the very diagnosis that threatens to strip me of the ability to do just that.

The first step to ensuring that I never relapse is not nutrition or exercise (although I will do that anyway because I do not believe in coincidences), it’s to surrender to God and pray for his guidance through all of this. To assume that I have or can find all the answers would be making the same mistake again. I need to get my spirit back in order and reconnect with the universe and all the energy around me. What an awesome chance at a fresh start!

Who knows where this transformation will take me? I don’t have a clue. I’m giving it to God. Hot potato! Hot potato!

A Day in the MS Life Simply Wholly Living

Where the hell are my rose-colored glasses?

February 3, 2015

Staying present and being positive is HARD WORK. And it can be so draining. Today is one of those days when I misplaced my rose-colored glasses and I have to face the harsh cold winter blues. And I mean that in a total literal sense as well. We got more than 30″ of snow in the blizzard last week and another 12+” over the last day. It’s been brutal.

These “blues” probably happens to me more often than I like to admit but as William Faulkner says, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself”. So, here I am.

Since this diagnosis life has been pretty wild.

There is at least one point of every day that goes something like this: Looking for solutions and trying to map out longterm plans. Then stopping bc I realize I can’t control any of this. Then go into my room to meditate and get some balance. And if that doesn’t work, then YOGA! Yes, yoga. But what about Reiki? ShouId I just learn Reiki and do it myself? And then maybe I can help others (Whoops! There I go deflecting from my need to help myself as usual). Okay so maybe I won’t become a Reiki Master any time soon but perhaps I can look into essential oils. Shit, we just need to sell the house and downsize. I really need a different career. What about Mom’s Doctors appointments? We need to stay close to the city. Do I really need a car? I mean I could really reduce my carbon foot print if I just start taking the bus. Wait! I get bus sick. Ughhhh. Shit, I need to get back to work. I need a coffee.

Then it hits me that I just need to chill out, have a little convo with God about all this nonsense and be open to letting the plan unfold the way it will. Relinquish control. God knows. (Like he really knows I need help with that.)

It’s okay to be scared. I am learning to trust myself and God and allow all the emotions that show up to hangout and get comfortable. They all deserve their own place at the table. But like all house guests, there always comes a time to leave. And if they aren’t leaving, it’s totally okay to give them a little nudge.

This post is my attempt at a nudge.

Right now I am going to focus on the present facts.

  1. I am blessed. God loves me. Full stop.
  2. If you ever met my husband, you would have to agree with #1. He’s great. He loves and supports me completely. I am so grateful for him. (Did I mention he does the laundry AND food shopping?)
  3. I have a great family. My mom, sister, niece and nephew, Mom and Dad in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, Uncles, Aunts. Yeah, we are far from perfect (like very very far) and drive each other mental on a regular basis like any other family but we LOVE each other.
  4. I live in area with a world-renowned medical community. People travel here from all over the world to see these Doctors and they’re in my backyard.
  5. I’m healthy.
  6. My son. Just amazing. Every day, I just can’t believe it.
  7. My friends. They get me. And love me because of all the things. Not in spite of them. That’s friendship.
  8. My job. My co-workers. Extremely smart, equally compassionate, and entirely flexible. In 2 years I have been able to go to every single appointment for my mother, for myself and for my son.

Well that’s a relief! Have you ever tried that before? Jotting down all your blessings until you feel better? I’ve done that in my head. But this was a first actually putting fingers to keyboard. And it is way more effective.

Lesson learned (for the moment!). Faith, family, friends. It’s all that matters.

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