Is February over yet?

Has February been as challenging for you as it has for me?  After being sidelined with a sinus infection (the teeth hurting, ice pick stabbing you in the eye, dry coughing, mouth breathing kind of sinus situation), there came a point I was definitely on my way to clear breathing.  I was thinking how wonderful it was to be on the other side of  all that and started coughing.  Suddenly, my knees buckled and pain seared through my lumbar.  My low back, my “Achilles’s Heal”, felt like someone pulled the plug out.  It even hurt to breathe.  Fearing I’d herniated something, a trip to an emergency care center hooked me up with some pharmaceutical grade pain relief and a sense of relief that I’d (only) probably severely strained the muscles.  It’s 10 days now since that happened and I’m relieved to see that this will resolve.  Perhaps not as quickly as I would like yet it will resolve.

February has been an immensely humbling experience.  My personal preference is to allow the body to use its innate healing wisdom to take care of health challenges and help where possible.  With the sinus infection I’d used nasal strips for congestion as well as herbal steams, saline spray, elderberry syrup, manuka honey, goldenseal tincture and rested.  My body had in fact taken care of the infection in 10 days.   While it was hugely inconvenient and financially stressful, I used the time to catch up on webinars and reading.  Keep your eye out for some very helpful information about cold and flu interventions to be posted here.

The back pain was something else.  I was really concerned about the intensity and more than that, the incredible limitation of movement.  I even needed help getting in and out of the car and putting my socks on!    On the affirmative side, it gave me new insight into the experience of pain as well as the effects of pain on the body and mind.  It is difficult for those who haven’t experienced intense, debilitating, continuing pain to recognize the effect on one’s state of mind.    Between the cold, grey days of February, to be out for the count with the sinus infection and then to be disabled by a cough, there were times when I felt myself starting to drift to darker state of mind.  At some point, a snippet of wisdom from recent readings led me to the acknowledgment that regardless of my state of mind, the situation was going to be what it was and that I could be in that situation in one of two ways – disheartened or find ways to uplift my state of mind by investing in that which enriches my heart and mind.  This has certainly been a practice in conscious choices and has made the month thus far more palatable.

Looking forward to March!

 

 

 

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Something to think about – mindfulness practices.

I’ve spent the past few days doing a lot of reading,… from assorted papers on my desk to articles squirreled away in files to several books, one of which deals with my favorite subject:  the brain.   I find it fascinating that this 3 pound wonder orchestrates the 3 sacred aspects of beingbody (movement), mind (intelligence) and spirit (emotions and behavior).

The unfathomable brain interprets data entered in microseconds and responds to that data by releasing a surge of neurochemicals.  The  result of this:  actions/responses which may or may not be consistent with an intention.   In the case of unintended actions,  this may be attributed to a lack of consciousness about the data input.  You know,… when you say something and then with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach think “What did I just do?”.  I call this “being *ssified”.  It is only recently (in an effort to become more conscious of my choice of response) that  I literally have a discussion with myself to modify the  data presented to my  brain for interpretation and response.

The more I learn about the brain and its functions, the more excited I become while pondering:   how can one become more conscious about the data chosen to be entered?

Mindfulness!  We’re hearing this word a lot thanks to writers like Jon Kabat-Zinn as well as by an increase in yoga studios and meditation offerings.  Mindfulness is the act of bringing awareness to the present moment, observing it and allowing it to be the teacher revealing our subterranean dreams and fears.  This is no small task given many of us can’t sit still for long enough to complete a full exhalation however, the alternative is to be subject to destructive, impulsive acts of self-expression resulting in internal dis-satisfaction.

Studies show that mindfulness practices (like meditation and yoga) reduce depression, anxiety and stress while increasing working memory, creativity and focus  (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx).  You should know incense or a yoga mat aren’t necessarily a requirement,… mindfulness can be practiced  just about anytime and anywhere.  Gardening, walking, and even brushing the cat can become times for inner reflection and self-awareness.

WARNING:  By extracting time from your day to experience mindfulness, there will be an amplification in your sense of inner peace.

“Your perception of me is a reflection of you.  My reaction to you is an awareness in me.”  Author unknown

 

Cracking the Code

On my wish list of things to accomplish was “start a blog”.  This wish kept moving to the back of the list because there never seemed to be enough time to sit and decipher the logistics of doing  so.  That was until this past week when a head cold sidelined me.

During this downtime, I began to catch up on my reading.  It was this that actually got me motivated to pull out my decoding ring and crack the cyber-mystery of blogging.  I really wanted to share fascinating information I was finding, and blogging seemed a great way to do it.  With a little patience, the mystery turned out not to be so mysterious.

I hope what is shared here will help to crack the mysteries that you come upon!