Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year's Day, Reboot Style

So, we rebooted the New Year.

I wasn't happy with the way 2015 was going --just more of the same blurg (technical term) of 2014. A lot of cleaning. A lot of illness. Very little joy. Just...drudgery.  I tried to do the 10-Day Detox again and just threw my hands up after day four --and you KNOW I love a good detox. My FULF is really acting up.  All gray, cold weather, but no snow.  I don't know, I just WASN'T FEELING IT.

We needed some sort of exorcism, because I am NOT doing another year like 2014. And because, as Sri Dharma Mittra says, "How you begin a thing is of great importance." (On the actual New Year's Eve, the City of Austin canceled all the fireworks and other activities due to a threat of inclement weather.  It ended up just raining a little.  I went to bed at 10:00. That's a pretty "meh" beginning to a year right there.)

My family...gosh I just love my kids.  I said, "We are having a do-over for New Year's."  And they said, "Okay.  Sounds good." No drama.  No, "Oh, Moootherrrrrr."

So, I cleaned the house, and then we made a nice dinner and all sat down and discussed our dreams and hopes for the New Year.  We talked about what we liked best from the last year.
Coop's cousin is visiting from Cuba. She may indeed have thought I was crazy, but she played right along and got to light her first sparklers.

Then we went outside and lit sparklers and shouted, "Happy New Year!"

Monday, January 12, the official first day of 2015 (Reprise) was such a fun day!  Yes, it was school and work, but everyone had such a good day! The girls were bubbling over with funny stories from school, Coop took his cousin to watch a Cyclocross competition, and I taught two inspired yoga classes and did no laundry.  (My friend Cheryl says that her grandmother had a superstition that if you do laundry on New Year's Day, you wash away your prosperity for the New Year.  I am SO down with that.)

And now, instead of implementing sweeping changes and rebooting my entire life, I am making tiny, consistent efforts on a number of fronts. More about that in my next post.

Happy New Year, whenever you celebrate!

(Some people asked if I haven't done this before and yes, it's true, I have a history of just making up my own timeline of events. July, 2006 seemed like prime time for a reboot and May, 2011 seemed like a good time to celebrate the New Year. I believe in starting over when you need to, symbolically or otherwise.)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy New Year-Ish

So far, 2015 limped in and then bit me hard in the tush.

So, I am rejecting it. Sorry, New Year 2015, I am OVER you.

Announcing, New Year 2015, Version 2.


On Sunday night, January 11, I'll be celebrating New Year's Eve (Reprise) --although I'll be ringing in the New Year at about 9:00 because it's a school/work night-- and then on Monday, January 12, I'm starting my New Year all over again. 

Basically I'm taking a do over for the start of the New Year. So far, 2015 has been full of "meh. whatever." I don't know if it is because I was so tired from all of the work of the holidays, but I just haven't been motivated or organized or full of my normal joy at a good clean slate. 

I don't do resolutions, but my intentions for the New Year (the Sequel) are: 

  1. Do something that scares me every day
  2. Treat myself like someone I love
  3. Live out loud
  4. Seek joy
I might think of a few more things before Monday morning --and I have some smaller intentions involving my spiritual practice --but I'm looking forward to a good clean slate and starting the New Year rested and resolute.

If your New Year hasn't measured up so far, please join me! Let's do this!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Thirty Days Hath Newvember

Well, wow, THANK YOU.  This blog is still alive and well-- thanks to its amazing, and loyal, and thoughtful, and encouraging, WONDERFUL readers. You humble me.

So, November is National Novel Writing Month. I always attempt it, even though I know that I won't "win" it because I just don't write that fast.  So, I think I'm going to do my own version of that. I don't know if I mentioned that I have begun my book about my journey through chronic pain. It's been fermenting for a long time now and one day, I read this post by artist Jennie de Groot (BLOG READER) and when I read this: "I just did it. Because every time I painted a totally crap painting, it was still 100% better than not painting at all," I decided to just, well, start writing. Because any writing was better than NO writing. I'd been fighting with myself over the shape of the book and whether it was interesting enough and was it too narcissistic and... and then I started writing and the shape appeared. Anyway, I've been trying, with various degrees of success, to write a little bit every day. My November goal will be to write 200 words per day.  I have this theory that it's like yoga -- if I tell myself to go get on my mat for five minutes, it inevitably turns into at least 30. But it's the constancy that I'm looking for, because as Sri Dharma Mittra says, "It takes constant practice."

November is a particularly joyful month for me.  It holds my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) and it marks the anniversary of my first yoga class on my journey back to health. (November 3.) If you wanted to join me by setting one small daily goal for yourself, I bet by the end of the month, we'd have created enough positive, disciplined energy to change the world for the better, just a little bit.

Who's in?

And excerpt from the book in progress:
Here’s the thing: I believe our natural state is one of radiant health.  We are DESIGNED for radiant health.

 I have a story.  It’s a story of disassociation from my body, a long chronic pain episode, and then finding my way out of that, and back to radiant health. It is a story of triumph and valiance, and also despair and depression.  But mostly the former. It is my biggest hope that telling my story might spur you to write your own story, with an ending that you get to choose.  I remember the despair of chronic excruciating pain.  I remember thinking that I couldn’t seem to explain it to the people around me; that no one could possibly understand how bad it was. I remember thinking that I should just either kill myself or shut up already.

 I remember. You are not alone.




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ten Years of Blogging

I know I haven't been updating the blog very much recently, and I probably only have about three readers left, but today is my ten year blogging anniversary.

I've been thinking about my blog a lot recently because one of my favorite bloggers, Mrs. G, is shuttering her long-time blog, Derfwad Manor, and I needed to do a little soul searching about my own blog and the usefulness of it.

I haven't had much time for writing lately, and there have been a lot of tender things that I haven't felt I could write about, which makes me feel vaguely dishonest.  But not all stories are mine to tell, and this blog has always been more about the highlights (and sometimes lowlights!) of my personal journey.  I started blogging in earnest after my foot surgery in 2007, and that has been a wild, twisty path. I am so grateful to be where I am, and interested in what's next.

In the end, I decided I'm not willing or ready to give it up.  For one thing, I've met some amazing people through this blog, people I call my friends now. And I'm about to hit a milestone birthday in February when I turn 50, and I'm sure I will have a lot to say about that. But mostly, I feel like I haven't said all that I'm supposed to about living with chronic pain, and finding one's way out of it.

So, thanks for your patience with me over the past few years, and thanks for sticking around.

Some of us have changed more than others in the last ten years.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life


We've truly reached the dog days of summer here in Austin.  The temperature hovers right around 99 degrees, sometimes a few degrees hotter, but never less, it seems. (Yes, this is a mild summer for us.) The plants I planted in containers on my patio have all but given up and I'm starting to wonder if I should just let them die, rather than prolonging their agony. 

But just now, I went out to check on some plants we planted in the ground before our trip to Europe and I found THIS.  Two of them. Sego palms, grown from the seeds we removed from a very large Sego when we trimmed it up, and then planted, with absolutely no hope that they would take root and grow. 

Sometimes life happens in the most inhospitable of circumstances. I'm so grateful.  It seems like a message from the Universe that we can grow and thrive here, too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Detox: The Reality and Aftermath

I've finished the 10-Day Detox.

I'm not going to lie.  Some of it was really hard.

I just had no idea I was so addicted to sugar. I'm vegan, I eat really healthy, my BMI is healthy, I'm a good weight. (I mean, I want to lose ten pounds, but after all my body has been through, I'm not focused on THAT.) I'm active, my blood work is phenomenal, I feel pretty good most of the time.

But see, that's the kicker: I feel PRETTY GOOD.

I know what it's like to feel FANTASTIC, though --to experience radiant health --and that's what I'm looking for. When I went through my yoga teacher training in 2013, I lived on raw vegan cold-pressed juices and the occasional side of roasted sweet potatoes for ten straight days.  During those ten days, we did an average of six hours of physical yoga practice per day (some days more) and about ten hours of spiritual practice and I was never hungry, never out of energy and I felt...y'all, I felt like I could FLY.  I've never felt so well.

So, anyway, I embarked on this detox with the goal of finding my way back to radiant health. I won't say I met that goal, but I made some significant movement toward it.

This particular detox plan isn't exactly the plan for me. I think it's harder because I'm vegan, so a lot of the lean, accessible protein isn't an option for me. I ate a lot of tofu, and I don't really LIKE tofu! And my body doesn't really like soy. But also?  It was hard because I was addicted to high-glycemic carbs. And breaking that addiction took discipline and determination. The first 2.5 days were really tough.  I almost gave up. By the end of the third day, I'd started to come back to life. By day four, I started feeling pretty dang good.

Once the detox was over, I ate some high-glycemic food and immediately felt TERRIBLE.  So, I think going back is not an option.  What I'm trying to figure out now is how to move forward, incorporating all of the new information I've learned into the way I eat going forward. I've been researching the effects of sugar in its various forms (from the worst of all--high fructose corn syrup --to the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and veggies) on the body.

I'll keep you posted if you are interested.  I'm thinking about starting a health blog, because I'm looking to collect stories of people battling their ways back to health for my next book. Would you be interested in something like that? I always find reading other people's stories of triumph so inspirational.

Let me know.  I've tentatively reserved this spot for a new blog: Teetotaling, Gluten Free Vegan. I hope it'll be funny and compelling once I figure it out.

XOXOX
Barb

Friday, July 25, 2014

Detox Just to Retox*

*Little Fallout Boy reference because I am THAT hip.

I have so much to write about, but this will be a quick post because I'm hoping you'll decide to join me in a 10-Day Detox effort.

WAIT, don't go yet!  Seriously, I think this has the potential to be life changing.

If you've followed my story at all, you'll remember that after my chronic pain years ended, I made a lot of changes in my diet and they had a profound effect on my quality of life. 

Then I watched this, and it was like everything I'd accidentally stumbled on came together.  There is SCIENCE behind it!

So, then we went on vacation for two weeks (more on that in another blog post.) I had some down time on the trip and I read Dr. Mark Hyman's book The Blood Sugar Solution 10 Day Detox Diet. I decided to do the 10-day detox when I get back from vacation to give myself a little jumpstart--I've gotten to be a really lazy vegan and I've gained ten (12) pounds in the last year. Like Dr. Hyman says, "Diet coke and chips are a vegan diet."  I want to get back to smart eating, curbing the cravings for things that my body reacts against, and finding my way back to radiant health. When I was there, I couldn't even believe how great I felt. I want that feeling back!

If you'd like to join me on the detox, I'd LOVE the company. I set up a Facebook group, but I'm planning on documenting what I'm doing on the blog here, too. I think we can all start when we're ready and just post updates.  I'll probably start on Sunday, July 27.

If you decide to join me, you'll need some time to prepare--read the book (it's $15 on the Kindle or maybe you can find it in your library) and then assemble the supplements if you're doing that. (He makes an excellent case for them.) I'm doing a vegan version of the detox, but you should do what feels right to you. 

Let me know if you're in and when you think you can start. I'm pretty excited about this, so in the event that you DON'T want to join me, you might want to block me for the next couple of weeks!

XOXOX Barb