Times They Are a-Changin’

A lotus flower begins growing at the bottom of a muddy, murky pool, and slowly emerges toward the surface, bursting out of the water into a beautiful blossom. During the night the lotus closes and sinks under the water, and emerges again with the sunlight of a new day.As the lotus flower emerges from the mud, and up toward the surface it is completely unstained.

Bob Dylan was right. The times are continually changing whether small or major. Change is a part of life. However, change, whether good or bad, brings a certain amount of stress, and that stress can bring on a flair for those of us with chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia.

Since November of last year, it’s felt like one pretty big change after another in my family: changes in health, changes in jobs, changes in homes. My first reaction tends to be a pulling back, in my mind and body. I stiffen, literally, as if to strengthen or to push back on the change. This can lead then to tension in my shoulders and chest which triggers in me a sense of anxiousness.

What I’m purposefully working on is leaning in. Leaning into the change like a trust fall. Breathing and being present in this moment, reminding myself that I’m safe, secure, and supported. That my family, we are in this together, and we’ll all be all right as long as we stick together. This means that we share at a deep level, knowing that we can make it through anything.

This is bringing a new perspective to change. Change that at first seems like a disaster, turns out to be just the kick in the butt that was needed to move to the next level in our lives. It ends up being a major blessing. The prospect of change is now exciting and full of potential, making me open up my imagination for what I can create out of this next part of my life.



As the daughter of a mom with bipolar/schizophrenia, I heard again and again that just as things were going good, it would turn and storms would come. She would tell me that if things get really good, then prepare for them to get equal parts horrible. At that tender age, I took that as a life lesson that has kept me on my toes, waiting for the anvil to fall at any moment. However, now I realize that this was her reality, one which she really didn’t understand. She’d fly high for a time and then crash. It was what she understood to be the way of life. I’m just now realizing that I had this underlying belief coloring my entire life.

This last week, I went on a vacation that I was hesitant to take. It was coming at a time of major change for my children, and I felt that I needed to be around to help them through. I didn’t think I could enjoy the time away. Right up to the night before we left, I was tensing up, bracing for the worst. I only went because my husband really felt we needed to go (and we’d already committed to the condo with my brother and sister-in-law).

After the November 2016 fire ripped through
Gatlinburg and Anakeesta Theme Park,
the community came together to rebuild
this favoritetourist attraction.
When we visited the fall of 2019, we could still
see scars of the fire but they didn’t compare
to the new beauty that was present.

The time away was so good. We went to a place we’d never been to- Gatlinburg, TN. My brother-in-law chose our destination. It’s not a place that Kelley and I would normally visit. But, I think, it was just what I needed to let go, getting a bit wild and silly. My sister-in-law is one of the most caring, real, and hilarious people I know. We did things that neither of us would have normally, but with the four of us, we did. Tonya conquered her fear of heights by walking among the tops of the mountains over a glass, swaying bridge. I tried moonshine-nearly all 13! To conclude our week, she and I each got a symbolic tattoo. It is Tonya’s first. She remembered her mom, gone 15 years now, with a Rose-of-Sharon and her mom’s signature copied exactly from the note her mom had written to her 40 years ago.

I got a lotus on my inner left arm. It’s something I will see often reminding me that I am strong and have come out again and again to show my beauty. I’m reborn daily. Daily I am changing.


This last week, I didn’t take any pain medication. I was able to get up in the morning and be alert and active all day (with a bit of a rest in the afternoon between activities). My symptoms from the Fibro are there but much more in the background. I’m feeling like I can be recreated, just like the lotus, each day is a brand new start. Times of change are times of celebration, growth, potential to recreate my self. I’m choosing to lean in and enjoy!

4/10/20 Update: Due to COVID-19, Akaneesta Park is closed until the #stayhome #staysafe orders have lifted. They working on even more additions and improvements this year. To say that our world is facing enormous change from this pandemic is an understatement. But, I have faith, that we will come out the better and stronger. Mother Earth has given us the kick in the butt we need to make substantial changes to how we treat both her and each other.

Are you open to change? Do you balk at it? What have you learned from the changes in your life?

Thank you for visiting my blog today.
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow throughas planned.
Thank you for your understanding.


Click link Subscribe to Pain FULLY Living Weekly Posts by Email

New Year Resolution: Planning to Live PurposeFULLY

I have always felt that I handled change pretty well. During my teaching career, I often would be the person who would dive into changes (as long as I believed in them) and help others make the jump. This year, after getting to the point where I feel I can make plans and follow through with goals, etc., I’m now also dealing with the transition from work-life to my retirement-life. I’m far from being bored. As I’ve said, I feel like a kid in a candy store. I really want to try almost everything (not skydiving, though).

I’m excited, but also overwhelmed. Partly, my ADD leads me to scamper from one project to the next. That was a good skill in past years; as a teacher and mom, I could multi-task with the best.

However, now this scatteredness is causing me stress. For example, I’ll start dishes but then realize that (as the water-fills up the sink) I can go throw in a load of laundry. From there, I see the cat food needs filling. Realizing the water in the sink might overflow momentarily, I head back to the kitchen, still holding the bag of cat food which I sit on the counter so I see it when I go back into the laundry room. With the water just turned off in nick of time, I wash a cup which makes me realize that I haven’t drunk any water yet this morning, so I get the teapot to fill with water…

Time Slips Away

This type of scatteredness ends up with me fatigued and a bit frazzled on my bed, the untouched tea still on the counter in the kitchen, a few clean dishes drying as the hot wash water is cooling still half-full of dishes, washing machine beeping it’s done, and the cat who has now knocked his food bag onto the floor, eating the bits that have spilled out. Eventually, I get all the started things done, generally that same day, but time seems to slip away without me truly focusing on what I want to be doing in this new place in my life.

On this online program that I purchased yearly for $12,
I could duplicate items,
add in links to documents, videos, etc,
put in specific notes that would remind me of what I needed,
and I could share it with others.


As a teacher, my time was very scheduled and orderly. Each day I knew, for the most part, what I would be able to accomplish. I would make my list on sticky notes or in my on-line lesson planner to keep me focused during my “free times”. If I didn’t get something done, I’d move it to the next day without too much of a struggle. Albeit, the stress to always do and get things done did end in my leaving teaching due to developing Fibromyalgia, so I’m not suggesting this is a good way to live.

Focusing on the PurposeFULL

What I am needing is a direction. Each day can be eaten up by things that call at the moment but don’t add up to anything meaningful.

This past year, I focused on my health, working towards lessening the symptoms of fibromyalgia which had brought me to halt. While I still need to do this daily, this coming year, I want to grow, learn, contribute in a purposeful way. For me, I know that to do this, I have to be purposeful in my moment to moment choices.

Last week, after feeling overwhelmed with what I want to do vs what I have to do vs what I think others expect of me, I decided to put it all down. I ended up first prioritizing my areas of focus.

I color-coded my five priorities:
Get/Be Well
Nurture Family
Connect w/Friends
Pursuing Passions
Making Money
I searched for an online program like the one I used for my lesson-planning; however, most that I found focused on business and productivity. I did find one program (weekplan.net) that suited the individual that had a good structure for developing purposeful, daily scheduling. They focused on the roles you play in your life: friend, spouse, parent, etc. I think I could make my 5 Goals fit that. Unfortunately, the cost was $156 per year-way to steep for me.
This is the first time I’ve won something since 1976 (6th grade)!
Thank you Zebrapit.com!
Last month, I won a Warrior Life Planner created by Mckenna Harwell, a 28-year-old spoonie, dealing with chronic endometriosis. I have the complete version of the 2020 planner. This has a wealth of ways to keep yourself on track while dealing with a chronic illness: medication lists w/check-off, doctor info with visit dates and note space, insurance info, and year goals, just to name a few. For a review of last year’s model, read Michelle Curtis’s interview with Harwell at this link:Mckenna Harwell & the Warrior Life Planner, January’s ZP Hero. The version I have is a paper/pencil journal, and because of this, I know I won’t really use it. I’ve decided to give it to a woman, who hates using technology and is dealing with chronic illness and all it has to encompass, and I know she will put it to good use. On the Warrior Life Planner Website does have an ultra-lite version you can get as a digital download to create your own planner binder.

So that brings me back to what I currently use for organizing: Google Calendar for events and reminders, Google Keep for lists such as my current meds, doctors’ info, camping supplies, and blog post ideas, and a paper monthly calendar I share with my husband. These things help me stay on top of things fairly well and are at my fingertips pretty much where ever I am; however, they have only been for putting down actual appointments I’ve made, not focused on what I’m actually spending my time on and surely not helping me focus on my priorities.

I’ve come up with a plan for Google Calendar:
Because this is a holiday week, I have a lot of Nurture Family time allotted
and not much Money Making!
  • When I make an event, I am color-coding for how it fits into my 5 goals.
  • I can repeat an event very easily.
  • I can delete or change the date or time for any event without a problem. This is important that I can be flexible when I never know when a day or more is going to be a wash due to a fibro flare.
  • In the event creation screen, I can add details, documents, or links to help me remember information. This is especially helpful for doctor’s appointments. If I don’t write it down, I often forget to bring up a question or concern.
Note that I have a question for my next check-up
to askabout ruling outSjogren’s Syndrome.
I had never heard of it before until it was mentioned in
Facebook Group FIBRO CONNECT. I have many of the symptoms.
I’ve added a link that was shared that talks about what it is
so that I can share it with my doctor.
  • I can add the address for the place of the event which allows me to click it to bring up Google Maps. I tend to get lost easily (not a symptom of fibro; I’ve always been directionally challenged).
  • I can invite family/friends to an event that helps them to remember we have it scheduled or to know if I will need help.
  • I can add as many reminders as I want. I generally have one email of one day ahead and then a message one hour before. I can’t tell you how much this has saved me since I’ve been using it.
  • I am now adding in not just officially scheduled events like doctors’ appointments or hair cuts, but putting in my own daily things like yoga, family, writing, etc times.
I’m feeling pretty good about this new system. If I had programming knowledge, I do think it would be great to create a wellness warrior’s online life planner, but this new way of scheduling in Google Calendar (with the addition of lists in Google Keep) looks to be promising. It’s really ridiculous how I love organizing. I think it makes me feel like I’m actually in control. Ha! Ha!

PS-I’ve also fixed up my GoogleKeep notes, color-coding for the 5 Goals and putting the goal label on them so that I can search say “health” and on the screen comes up all my notes for doctors, medications, history, etc. for ease of reviewing, sharing, and updating. (Oh, and I can add reminders to the notes if needed or put a link to the note in my Google Calendar.)


What do you do to help you live your life purposefully? I’d love to learn from you. What are your strategies?


Thank you for visiting my blog today.

I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays. However, as you know,

my new normal means that some times I have to listen to my body and am
not able to follow through as planned. Thank you for your understanding.

Click link Subscribe to Pain FULLY Living Weekly Posts by Email


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It’s Harder Alone; We Need Community to Thrive

As you probably have guessed, I am not a trained medical health professional. What I am is a mom, a mimi, a retired teacher, a lover of nature and of music, as well as, someone living with chronic illnesses. I share my journey to provide some insight and hopefully ideas that may be helpful to others dealing with similar issues. Always, consult with your doctor before trying anything new.

Belonging to a community has been a driving part of my entire life. As a child, I went to nearly every summer church program (partially because my mom couldn’t afford daycare) because I just loved that week of being a part of a special group: knowing the special song’s words and hand motions, sharing stories, munching on little sugar cookies and red punch around a small table with this temporary community.

Working as a camp counselor, not only did I find a temporary community to live with, but I met my best friend and my future husband. In college, I connected to a small group of friends (most I still have today) and sought out others from my classes that shared similar goals. I studied to become a teacher; my schools had been major sources of community for me growing up, and I longed to continue to be a part of it. When my husband and I chose the home we’d live in for our retirement years, I fell in love with a new development that was built on a former site of a summer camp, creating a built-in community of people to connect with.

Emma Seppala Ph.D. explains in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY Connect to Thrive, 2012, “Social connection strengthens our immune system…, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life.” On an emotional level, “People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression.”

People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression. “Too many of us pull in and away when we aren’t feeling well,” Seppala goes on to explain that a study conducted in 2006 showed that social connectedness is rapidly declining in the lives of those living in the United States. The report states that in 1985 Americans had on average three people they felt connected to on a deep level and in 2004 that number dropped to only one, with 25% of respondents saying they have no one to confide in.

Nearly, one year ago to the day, I was yanked from my school community, after 32-years, very unceremoniously. That’s the way I felt when I went onto long-term leave and then into retirement last June; my whole life as an educator just ended. It was really difficult knowing I wouldn’t be an integral part of my teaching community anymore. I still am having dreams a few times a month where I go into school, knowing I no longer work there, trying to give my input on the things I know are going on, then realizing that my ideas aren’t needed any longer.

Not only did I abruptly stop being a part of my teaching community, but I also began to really pull away from everyone. Mostly, because I felt so horrible, I just didn’t have anything to give to my family and friends. A new trend began, me canceling plans to go out, to getting together, to calling, to responding, even to posting and responding on Facebook. And within my solitude, I felt invisible and increasingly sad.

The night before Thanksgiving last year, I was invited to a Breathwork workshop at a yoga studio in a town about 20 minutes away from my home. I felt like @#$%, but the task was to get there and then lay down, bolstered by support pillows and wrapped in blankets like a cocoon. I didn’t have it in me to drive, so my husband drove and visited with our daughter who lives in that town.

Upon walking in the yoga studio, the sweet smells from the essential oil mixture and the brewing tea greeted me, calming me. Inside the entry, I was welcomed by several smiling, chattering people scattered throughout the India-infused, boho space. I felt like I was walking into someone’s home.


Breath Work Session with Panacea Breath led by Candence and Ross Zigenthaler.

At the end of the three-hour session, I felt more energetic and positive than I had in a while. I vowed to start coming to this place and be a part of this community. Even though it took me a while to get consistent in attending, I began to feel the support and positive energy from the people through this place. The owner of the studio purposefully sets up a place that would keep people there after class to share in the community through talk and tea.

Slowly, my husband and I are making new connections in communities that we are interested in being a part of now that we are retired. We’ve met other couples interested in getting out-of-doors: hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, etc. Also, as the development that we live in has more homeowners living here, we are beginning to get to know them through organized activities that generally involve food. Recently, I’ve connected with a few other writers who have shared some nuts and bolts of the process of writing, helping me to feel like writing is something not only do I want to do but am able to do.

Through my blogging, I’ve become connected to others in the Fibromyalgia and chronic mental and physical illness communities. I find that communication through online forums is very important for me. At times, I’m learning something new; other times, I contribute something to a discussion that helps someone else. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve even gotten some much-appreciated kudos from others in the community for my writing, which really helped to get me back at the keyboard.

When we are in pain or not feeling well, often our first reaction is to pull away from all our communities. I know it takes great energy that you just don’t have. However, as I have learned both from my therapy and from my experiences, the more I pull away the darker I get. The more I push in, doing only what I can at that time, the better I begin to feel. The light from others is contagious.

At this time of the holidays, when things can get really overwhelming, I suggest that we connect with those communities that build us up, and we keep this going throughout the year.

How Can I Connect With Community When I’m Not Feeling Well?

  • Online communities in areas of your interest or experiences can be really good. For me, I work to only participate in ones that are uplifting. I want to share the real, but I don’t want to dwell on the negatives all the time. Due to this there were a few groups I joined initially but then dropped. I recommend : The Mighty (mental wellness group), FIBRO CONNECT on Facebook, North Country Trail Community on Facebook.
  • Pen-pal or phone-pal arrangement can reconnect with those you can’t see regularly. For me, writing back and forth (generally online) with a friend is really fulfilling. Recently, I connected back with my friend by setting up a weekly call date. Being she works at home, we generally connect in the morning for about an hour. I can’t say how wonderful that sharing time is. Talking using video (whatever tool you chose to use) brings you loving faces along with your conversation.
  • Ask around about smaller groups in your area that do things you are interested in. I’ve found wonderful groups of people who love to get outside, paint, play the ukelele, eat vegan, etc. (Many share rides, etc. if you aren’t up to or able to drive.)
  • Stick close to your closest family and friends. They totally get it if you’re not feeling well. My family has always done impromptu get-togethers where we either meet at a restaurant or go to someone’s home with each of us bringing something to eat. Very low-key and low-stress.
  • Go to businesses that create community: yoga studios, some gyms (especially if you go to the same classes at the same times), even some restaurants (early breakfast groups), and some shops (art studio, knitting & quilting stores, bookstores, etc.) that allow you to hang out and learn from one another.
  • Volunteer (this can be done on a regular or more flexible schedule which I like) for places that build community: hiking trail care groups, homes for senior citizens, schools, libraries, etc.

My wish for you (and for me) as we are beginning this time of winter hibernation is that we stay connected. Through our communities, we are revived, strengthened, honed, and loved.

What are ways you connect? What are your obstacles? What are the benefits you get by being connected with others?

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I am committing to posting once a week by Friday.  However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes I have to listen to my body, and I cannot follow through as planned. Thank you for your understanding.

Continue Reading:

Fibromyalgia and the Highly Sensitive Person
Guest Post by Jade Bald Jade and I connected via Linkedin when …
Favorite “Alternative” Treatments for Fibromyalgia
u get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, it can be so confusing as …
teal line drawn waterlily with teal lettering of the title and motto

 

Waves of Lake Superior at sunset with peach purple sky and Title text centered in white

Lessons Learned in Mother Nature: Managing my Fibro Symptoms

As you probably have guessed, I am not a trained medical health professional. What I am is a mom, a mimi, a retired teacher, a lover of nature and of music, as well as, someone living with chronic illnesses. I share my journey to provide some insight and hopefully ideas that may be helpful to others dealing with similar issues. Always, consult with your doctor before trying anything new.

This photo was taken at Pictured Rocks at
Lower Hurricane Campground.
 

My husband and I agreed to be volunteer chaperons for a week of rustic camping at Pictured Rocks sometime last year. I really had thought I’d have this Fibromyalgia beat by then-Ha! Ha! My daughter ran a program called Parks in Focus that gets 14 teens into the wilderness through the use of photography. My husband and I have always been outdoorsy, so a free trip to the UP of Michigan sounded like a great deal.

The weekend before the trip had been a really rough one. I was still dealing with what was to be the last throws of Cymbalta withdrawal: a weird headache and nausea, besides the pain being more intense, insomnia, and at times a deep sadness. My resolve to stay off of Cymbalta for at least two months past withdrawal was waning fast. The night before, Kelley said that he could go and I could stay home, but I just didn’t want to be left behind. So, I got up, really out of it, and plopped my bum in the car ready for the six-hour drive to Pictured Rocks National Shoreline, thinking that I wasn’t going to be much help and worrying that I would actually be a burden.

 
The wonder of nature
brought us all together.
 

The energy of 14 teens from 11-14 years of age (5 boys and 9 girls) was palpable. When we stopped for lunch in Mackinaw City, I was beginning to get my legs under me. One of the campers, an alumni of 14 and lead-camper, remembered me from a trip we did with his group to Ludington State park a couple of years before. He came up and hugged me and called me Abuela. He named my husband Abuelo. Our role as adopted grandparents was formed.

We arrived just before the thunderstorm that night. That meant we had to all hustle to get out tents up and the camp secured. Dinner had to wait. As I lay in our tent, on our new Coleman Queen-sized camping cot, I felt tentative that I could enjoy this week and be of help to the group.

After dinner, that first night, my husband and I took a short walk from our campsite to Lake Superior. It felt good to listen to the waves slap the sandy shore and the rush of Hurricane River as it flows into the lake. There were no real other sounds. The air was fresh and the lighting of the sun through the dissipating clouds soft. It was then that I took some much-needed deep breaths and did a few half-sun salutations and yoga stretches. I could feel my mind, my body, and my soul lets down.

I should have tried for a better shot,
but trust me, I was feeling great here:)

The next four days were crammed with meal prep and cleanup, amazing outdoor adventures, beautiful sites, and happy faces. At Seney National Wildlife Preserve, while the kids were doing a pond study session, lead by park rangers, Kelley and I went for a stroll through the ponds. Then, at lunchtime, I pulled off to the side of the pavilion on the grass and did some yoga, meditation, and stretches. I felt so much better than I had the past several weeks since completely going off of Cymbalta. Even more amazing was the fact that I was using very little in the way of an over-the-counter pain reliever for the first time in several months.

The loons were calling and
Monarchs flitting around.


That night, however, I didn’t feel the greatest. I’d been having times of pain that aren’t exactly pain. It’s a deep electric-type aching, much like getting your funny bone hit. It’s mainly been on my left side from under my left arm, up into the armpit, into the shoulder, down the arm to the fingers, and up into the neck, causing a nausea-filled headache. I did take two Zzzquil that night and ended up sleeping fairly well. (I did have to get up to go pee. However, with me having Interstitial Cystitis for many years now, we came prepared with our own travel potty: Reliance Fold-and-Go.) The new camping cot really was a perfect bed away from home.

The next day was to be the big hike. We drove to the Chapel Rock parking area in two vans. The campers all had their cameras and were ready for a 6-mile hike. The weather was threatening to rain in the afternoon, so we knew we had to get going early that morning. After the ranger’s presentation about human interaction in nature, we began.

Kelley and I both used a walking stick. He actually was in more pain than I was because of doing a major brick path laying project at home for the past couple of weeks. The kids were kind and let us both walk at our own pace. At about the three-mile mark, I was really feeling good, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Abuelo and Abuela-
taken by one of our “grandcampers”.

At lunchtime, I did get hit with a wave of that weird-electric-nausea headache. I laid down on the ground and did some stretches and ate a peanut butter and jam tortilla roll-up and drank some water. (One note: we drank a lot of just water on this trip. More than I normally do at home.) I revived just in time to head back. I also took the lead of the line. My daughter had irritated her ankle and was needing to take a slower pace, so Kelley stayed with her. As the threatening thunderclaps were heard off in the distance, the kids and I began a quick hike back with no stops for photos or nature ogling. I have to admit I felt strong when a camper said, “Abuela, you are faster than the rest of us!” That night, I felt energetic and clear-minded. I went into a sound sleep without aches and pains.

Chapel Rock- a metaphor for living
FULLY no matter the obstacles.

The next day, while the kids went on a canoe trip across Beaver Lake with the ranger, Kelley and I hiked the groups’ lunches to the beach at which we’d meet them later on. That morning, I had woken up with my usual stiff-sore legs and arms, but I was able to get the rust out through the early walk. Kelley and I got separated after I realized that I had left my walking stick at our resting spot from a while back.

He went on because we were worried that we’d be late meeting the group for lunch. Our communication for where to meet up was a bit off, leading me to add an additional mile to my overall walk. Towards the end of that 5-mile walk, I could feel that I was hitting the end of my energy level. I focused on consciously noticing what I saw around me, the smells of pine and the lake, the sounds of waves rolling in and tweets of the birds, and the taste of the wintergreen leaf I chewed. I also focused on slowly breathing in and out. That is what I have learned to be present, which helps to calm down my nervous system. In addition, it helps me to really appreciate and FULLY take in these precious moments.

A few of the campers taking photos of the sunset on Lake Superior.
 

Luckily, we were all ready to go home and take a nap. Sleeping in the open air really is refreshing. By dinner time, I was back up and rejuvenated. That night, sitting on the beach of Lake Superior, watching the sunset, I really felt like there was hope that I could live my life, on my terms, without the help of pharmaceuticals.

Related Reading:

 
5 days, no shower or bath,
yet really feeling good.

A Change of Path

On the drive home, I found an article about Rewiring the Brain (brain plasticity). Dr. Norman Doidge, the author of The Brain’s Way of Healing and The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, talks about how walking, specifically, can help to rewire the brain and fix what is broken.

Through the 10-week Chronic Pain Program at Mary Free Bed, I had already bought into the idea that I was dealing with a broken brain that is overprotective in sending out pain messages. I certainly have made progress through their guidance. However, going off of Cymbalta definitely challenged my coping skills.

I feel that walking (especially in nature) is a healing thing for me. I could feel the change. I am now going to do further research in this area. All I know is a certain joy fills me when I’m out in nature; I feel nourished instead of depleted. I feel grateful and content. Those are all things that counter the effects that Fibromyalgia causes, and if what Dr. Doidge has found is correct, I’m also calming down my nervous system by doing what I love.

Recommended Resources:

A teal and gray blue background of illustrated mountains with darker teal text.

What brings you peace? What brings you joy? What renews your body and soul?

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I am committing to posting once a week by Friday.  However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes I have to listen to my body, and I cannot follow through as planned. Thank you for your understanding.

Continue Reading:

Fibromyalgia and the Highly Sensitive Person
Guest Post by Jade Bald Jade and I connected via Linkedin when …
Favorite “Alternative” Treatments for Fibromyalgia
u get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, it can be so confusing as …
teal line drawn waterlily with teal lettering of the title and motto

Whatever Makes You Hopeful and Lightens Your Heart Just a Little…


This is one important part of my yoga space

My long-time friend, Mindy, sent me this card a while back. I framed it because I think it’s beautiful and fits in with my candle and vase. The saying in the circle is “Whatever makes you hopeful and lightens your heart just a little…” After finally feeling well enough to get up, take a shower, and attempt yoga at home, this was a great reminder for this day and every day.


Today, I did a slow Yin yoga (a routine that popped up yesterday in my Facebook feed) from Yoga Journal. I added in a few other poses and used my yogi blankets, bolster, and Coregeous ball liberally.











I did each of the poses to the station I’ve made on Pandora: My Yoga
With Deva Primal

with Krishna Das


with Eva Cassidy


with Carla Bruni




After an hour of practice, it has made me hopeful and has lightened my heart. I’m ready to face the day.

*My Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms are lessened this morning. Not FULLy myself, yet, but I feel myself immerging.
What are some of the things that bring you joy and lighten your burden?



Thank you for visiting my blog today.
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through
as planned.
Thank you for your understanding.