Tag Archives: care for yourself

If I could do anything?

Admist everything else that has been my life of late, that question has been on my mind. Yet I need to take care of myself at every opportunity to make up for my painful lapse. So, I have thought and thought, and now I write while balanced on my foam roller.

At first blush, 2 weeks on a warm sunny beach with no one would be awesome. No questions, no comments, no concerns, no inquisitive ramblings, no need to do this, or have to be there, no role to play, no person to be for someone. Just me, sand, sun, ocean view, and tasty cold beverages.

Except then I acknowledge how seemingly impossible that would be. Either I’d have to run away and have guilt over that, or hire a babysitter and home health. Neither of which is desirable and the latter is out of my budget, I can barely afford the two middle-schoolers that watch Ian and Katherine on the rare occasion we have to resort to that. Fortunately, they are homeschool kids so even during the school year we can call on them if needed, but it is always a last resort.

So I told my friend the office manager I was sitting on that beach in my mind as often as possible, and then she made sure that I had as much time as I wanted to myself yesterday. I am grateful for that. I struck the balance between to-do-list and running away and gave myself a couple solid hours of quiet me time.

Anyway, so there’s that question. I have thought immensley on.

The short answer is: what I’m doing now, just a little less of it, a couple hours a week less should be enough, but with proper external care- so adequate trades too.

The long answer started when I thought about the offered office admin position at the clinic. I can do it, I’m not a 30 year seasoned vet, but I get the complexities and processes. Yet, I find myself holding my breath often, and I really have to focus because it isn’t second nature for me. Between dyslexia compensation mechanisms, and easily distracted, I find I have to spend most of the day making myself focus. It’s just like when I was Activities Director. It’s not a bad job and the job itself isn’t that stressful, but me doing the job is.

Then I thought about things I like and things I don’t like. It was a long list of both. Ultimately, the important likes were making pretty/adding beauty to the world and helping people. Those two give me big feel good warm fuzzies. Yet, I am beginning to see that the former is a result of the latter, and also that the way I help people can be a much wider array of ways. So in a way my current role is a good reflection of that.

I also acknowledged that there are other jobs that could accomplish the same things, but most of them would require more education, and that is out of reach at this point in time. Others, I’m not sure they would be any kind of pay raise or reduction in labor, so there’s no hurry to switch.

I also felt that I have had many people over time acknowledge my talent in a variety of ways: being called a healer, being told I’m compassionate, being told I’m gifted, and thousands of “best massage in my life”.

It’s just in me and I’m okay with that.

It’s so much there, that massage is the one thing I’m so profeccient at, that I don’t really have to think about it. My mind can be on a million things and people never notice unless I say something about it. I can carry on conversations while working my magic. I don’t have to give it one thought.

Yet I do, I still spend vast amounts of time focused on what my hands are doing, pressure, sensations, and billions of repetitions of healing phrases and and Reiki statements. I think about how beautiful some of my clients are, and how kind, caring, strong, and generous other are. I think about all their good qualities to help them reach themselves and heal.

I don’t do it because I have to.

I do it because I want to.

I want to help and make beautiful, and doing what I do, does that for them. I want to be my best self so I’m always striving for more focused, more attentive, more helpful, easier. And to do all of that I focus on what I’m doing even more.

So even though my job is easy enough for me to mentally check out, I remain as present as the client’s conversation allows, most of the time.

Things that bring enjoyment and joy are those that you can focus on fully and completely.

The more attention you give to your now moment the better it feels. And for me, massage and art, are both neck and neck for that place. Those two things have brought me the peace of the moment, more than anything else in my life. When I was in highschool music was a tied third. As an adult I have no time for music, and I’d have to start over being so rusty.  I genuinely love all 3, and currently I’m working in 2 of them successfully.

Anyway, at the long end of my contemplation, I have decided I need to back off slightly and somehow figure out good trades bi-weekly. I’m not giving up on what I love because of injuries, I just need to make certain they don’t happen again. There is a balance and I will find it in time.

For now I’d still love that vacation. I’ll leave the door open that the universe finds a way to make it happen.

May you see you role in this world and love yourself for it. May you have all of the joy inspiring focus you need and may you never have to focus on something you’d rather not. May your skills match the job perfectly and make everything easy for you. May you breathe deep always knowing that you got this, and you’re doing exactly as was intended for you. May you find your way to make the world a more beautiful place and in turn help everyone the same as a drop of water in the ocean. May you always know that you are loved and supported in all that you do, and you have that and more from the divine always.

Om Shanti

Furthermore (after publishing thought):

I am able to focus on massage and art, even when life melts down. I am able to focus on them even when I’m in pain or distress. I am able to focus on them in the midst of everything. I choose to do them because I enjoy them and they help me too. I choose to make the time for them, because they serve me well always, and bonus they help me pay my bills too. They are my gateways to my inner being no matter what else is going on in the world.

I wish that for everyone. May you all find that thing or the things that are gateways to your inner being no matter what is happening in your world. Those are your gifts. Cherish them always.

Om Shanti

Nursing to goals.

I strained my arm again; too many hours of overuse and not nearly enough self care to make up for it. Yet, after lots of work on my own, and even some more with help from Nathan and all the staff at the clinic, it’s on the upswing. Like my shoulder it may take a short bit to clear the hurdle, but I know I will.

It’s funny how logically I have known for 15 years that it is possible to injure oneself with repetitive actions, but apparently I didn’t have a full understanding in terms of my work and my self care routine. The work continued and I was getting my massages, but my self care in the evenings disappeared with familial adjustments these last few months. I didn’t keep track of time elapsed well because I have been functioning day to day, moment to moment. Yet my arm hit a wall, and simply gave up, which I’m now going to have to nurse for a while to repair damage done.

So, I now sit waiting for my daughter to come out of her new job, and saw a man struggling to load groceries onto a bike for a cold ride home this very fall evening. I realized he was not prepared for such an endeavor. His bike had no baskets and it seemed he struggled to find a balance between the two sides of the handle bars, and this isn’t weather anyone riding for fun would typically choose. It was clear that his lack of understanding was partially his upbringing, education and awareness, and partially the aspect of having to do something he’d probably rather not. It was an unpleasant combo.

I’m glad I’m able to avoid that scenario. I’m grateful I’m able to choose when, where, and what weather I ride a bicycle in. I’m also grateful that I have a vehicle to handle cold and wet, fall and winter weather, safely and comfortably. I have choices in this matter and it feels good to know that.

Yet, I immediately thought of English and Irish peoples who still to this day ride bicycles miles upon miles for all sorts of needs. They ride rain or shine, from town to town to run their errands and go to work. It just is the way they were raised. It’s part of their culture. The same is true for people from Portland or even like my brother on the east coast. Some people just know that it is a safe environmentally friendly choice of transportation, which if you are prepared and have proper equipment can also be quite enjoyable.

I missed that as a kid, and realized that as I contemplated my upbringing.

I was aware that bicycles could be ridden long distances because my brother would disappear for what seemed as hours on end to ride his bicycle. But I was a tiny baby and then toddler when he was riding. I had no real concept of time or distance. By the time I was old enough to figure that out I was left with family that thought bicycles were more for occasional recreation, rather than exercise or any other kind of daily routine. There was no incentive to invest on that vehicle, it was slower and could not carry lots of weight or passengers, it didn’t make the cut, so a plain and basic bike was my tool to learn the experience of bicycling. It was far from a full experience of all that word can mean. I now have a greater awareness, but at this point I lack the endurance to to use it as transportation for any distance. I’m willing to change that, but it isn’t something I can do overnight.

I am contemplating getting a bike I found on Amazon, maybe by next spring. I’ll put a pic below. It is an electric optional bike, where I can pedal as normal or start the motor and let it do the work. I think it would be helpful in building my endurance and beginning to commute to work by pedal power. See I haven’t been on a bicycle at all in maybe 4 years, and the last time I did ride regularly it was on relatively flat terrain. We would ride with Ian in the pull-along bubble, but we were on bike paths around Riverside and it was very flat and very smooth. Even then my distance was limited. So contemplating my 8.5 mile commute which has several very big hills is a bit daunting. I want to, and I want to get good at biking, but the process seems a bit much to handle. The electric bike would take the daunting out, as long as I stayed motivated to do as much as I could on a given day. I don’t know, maybe it’s just another variation on pushing myself too hard. But, it seems like it would solve both a transportation issue we are having with only one reliable vehicle, and also solve part of my self care puzzle by reintroducing exercise to my daily routine post dialysis interventions. It’s at least worth the attempt and a good bike is never a bad thing.

I guess what I’m saying is that my shoulder, and the biking picture, both are an analogy of the whole picture of life. We only know or understand something fully from the experiences we’ve had, and can only guess at what something is like until we have first hand knowledge. Sometimes we take risks because of that limited knowledge, and sometimes those risks end up hurting us or someone we are close to. It’s not something we should beat ourselves up over, but it is a learning lesson that can help future decisions.

I have now painfully learned that injury can happen whether it’s a singular intense incident or a chain reaction of several minimal ones. And I’m describing it to you with the best my words hold, knowing that you don’t fully comprehend the weight of that, with the core of your being, until it has happened to you. We can never judge another’s experience because we were not in their shoes, but likewise we need to estimate our own limits better knowing that we don’t really know. It leaves less risk, less hurt, but keeps us safer in general.

We can never know the fullness of anything until we have experienced it, but knowing what we do know and knowing that our perspective is limited, can sometimes help us avoid pitfalls of life. Be kind to yourself and others when estimations fail, because we’ve all been there and done that in some way, shape, or form. Healing is possible, and sometimes it requires asking for help. For me right now, I’m past the worst of the arm injury and slowly recuperating, but I still know it is a symptom of a bigger picture needing addressed. I spoke with my friend the office manager about schedule adjustments to attempt to enable self care at work. Beyond that I am still grasping at straws, and don’t know who to ask for what yet. I know I need help, but I just don’t know what to ask for, or who can provide it once I figure that out. Maybe a few more days will bring clarity. For now I continue, moment to moment, day by day, because it’s how I’ve gotten through all of this.

May you understand your needs and what to ask for. May you see where your knowledge is limited and safely estimate you own personal limits. May you have adequate time and space to care for yourself so that you can continue to care for others. May you know that you have everything you need and it’s a simple question away. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

The bike I’m working towards:

Figured it out: 2

So, I found myself reevaluating my SG/SJ (or is it JS?) Online duo from aeons ago. I realized that at this point, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out at least one half of the duo, I don’t need confirmation anymore. Not only that, I have come to a comfortable place of not wanting or needing them to do anything. I realized that even if they did come forward with honesty, that at this point I would probably be wary of a continuation of that dishonesty and all their half-truths, and it would be rather pointless. I also realized that I would have difficulty trusting much of anything, and that isn’t what a solid relationship is built upon. Additionally, I realized that anyone willing to do what was done, and not seek forgiveness sooner, has bigger psychological problems needing addressed that I’d rather avoid. Especially in a been there, done that, sort-of way. I know that I personally deserve better because I did already deal with that, and in several instances in my lifetime. I won and now it’s time for rewards.

That then stirred thinking.

Between relearning how to play Magic the Gathering, and relearning to separate singular from plural “they”  by using “they are” vs “they are all”, and several other similar relearnings, I know am doing better and better everyday.

The biggest factor is because I am learning to play the new game of life, with the new rules, and I’m doing quite well with it.

We are all in that boat, and some of us are doing better than others. Those that are unable to learn the new ways will eventually perish. I’d like to believe that I am doing better than enough to survive, but only time will tell. For that reason I’m grateful to every person that helps me learn an aspect of the new ways. Yet I’m not perfect and still make my own mistakes. So, I am also grateful when I figure something out enough to help my children or those around me, but I’m also grateful when those around me have patience with my moments of failure where I’m still playing catch up.

I think it’s time we all start cooperating and working together to navigate this new world we are living in. I think it’s time to acknowledge limitations so that we can work together to compensate for those limitations and find better solutions. I believe it is time to let go of forcing ourselves or anyone else to do, act, behave, or be certain ways. There are more options than that, if we let them in, and frankly I would love to let all of the good in.

For me personally I am doing my best. I am doing my best to be a kinder, gentler mom, and show my children how to navigate this world one step at a time. I am doing my best to be a good friend to those I care about, and show them I do care, by thinking of them and then following through with those moments of thought. I’m doing my best to take care of my husband and help him.

But beyond all of that I am doing my best to acknowledge my own limitations and give myself a break. I would love to do more for more people, hell I would love to do more for those I already care about. Sometimes I feel bad because I want to do more and can’t, and I’m doing my best to come to terms with the fact that I am only one human, and I do have limits of both time and resources. You can only fit so much into a day or week, and you can only help so many before it takes a toll on self, and that is where I’m at. It has started taking a toll and I must care for myself or I will break again.

So, today I have focused on positive self-talk and the things that I need. I have focused on moments that I have provided for others and asked: “How I can let those same moments in for myself?” I have focused on movements and what my body is telling me: what is tight, where are the restrictions and why. I have focused on giving my body space to breathe and for energy to flow. I have chased down blocks for both clients and myself, even if there are many more to go. I did a little art work on my big commissions, and bought a bouquet of flowers for a friend who’s under-the-weather from chemo. I have flowed the Reiki for myself and my clients. And, I have written this to congratulate myself, because if no one else does, then I must honor and respect myself. I am doing my best, and all things considered it’s not half bad, so I deserve to have kudos in any form it takes.

There are solutions and I am intent on finding them. I wish for everyone around me to heal, and the best way to enable that is to figure out this new life and the new rules, and make it work well enough for myself to show others it is possible. We all deserve better and I will continue to do my best to pave a way for that.

I am doing better and better, and I wish that for everyone, and I deserve to see it begin to manifest. My body is healing, slowly, but surely, and I wish that for everyone. Let’s make this plandemic fail and let all the chips fall. We can do it if we all work together and acknowledge that because of said event, the world and human experience, has changed in many ways. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube there is no going back. We must all do our best to move forward and find new ways of living, but most of all find new ways to work together for actual solutions. Humanity will evolve, or our species will quickly become extinct. For me personally, I have new dietary needs and reactions, and healing damage to organs can take a long while. I will continue to do my best to support my body as fully as I am able.

I am doing my best to let go of the past, the old ways, the old rules, the old language structure, the old habbits of being. Because, only in letting go can I allow the new ways to be absorbed/learned. I deserve to allow as much as I am humanly able, and I deserve to experience patience from those around me. Everything takes time, everything in due time.

I am worthy and I deserve to be free and healthy.

You do too!

May you see your way to allowing better for yourself and others. May you have patience with others still learning the things you’ve mastered first. May you see there are many ways to accomplish the same goals, and that everyone deserves access to all of them, not just a singular one to be forced. May you see that health is more than avoiding disease, and that often the human experience is learning how to overcome any obstacle you face. May you see that how well you navigate all obstacles is a major factor in your health. May you understand that feelings felt are the indicator of how accurate your thought was, and really have no bearing on the topic thought about. May you see a way to find the best feeling thought regardless of how tough the topic at hand is. May we all survive this shift and find a way to thrive in this new version of human experience. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti