Friday, July 31, 2015

The Reminder: Do Not Be Afraid

The Universe via Unsubscribe

3:46 AM (3 hours ago)
to me

Don't be afraid. You needn't slay the beast or scale the entire mountain. That's not how it's done. You only need to move through today, Julie.

Think of the distance you've already covered. Focus on your strengths. Let each new step remind you of your freedom. Let your every breath remind you of your power. Seek out friends and guides; they're anxious to help.

You're not alone. You're understood. This road has been walked before. Dance life's dance, just a few steps at a time, and in the wink of an eye you will wonder to yourself, "What beast, what mountain? Was I having a dream?"

Love you,
    The Universe

As I drove back from UMass yesterday after spending a wonderful overnight with Ashley before she leaves for Amsterdam for a year's study abroad, I had so many different thoughts.  I am excited for her new opportunities, will miss the bonding that we've had over the summer, and began to review the week's highlights as well.  I not only have my fingers in lots of pots, so to speak, but I have these occasional moments of wondering "how", "can I", "what's the next step".  What is most interesting is that I have been led this week and let me explain a little more on this.

I have started to take steps toward my overarching vision, mission, dream, goal - you get the idea.  And during this past few weeks, I signed on with a skincare company whose mission is akin to my mine - clean products, education about chemical toxicity and illness - and I had my first focus group to discuss opening a center here in Marblehead - one that will offer relaxation, clean food and skincare, education and support, along with the rich activities that this town has to offer.

During our dinner meeting - of course I made dinner! - we tossed around clinic, spa and came upon retreat, as how I will define this entity.  I felt the acceptance and excitement of the folks who came, as well as those who could not attend but want to be part of this development.  At the same time, I am aware that before I can even propose the idea to the town or financiers, I need numbers - how much it will cost to do this.  Of course, I feel stopped and intimidated by this task.  There was some tossing and turning with vivid thinking ongoing during my less than refreshing sleep.

On my way back from the bank the next day, I drove by the travel agency and felt drawn to stop in.  I left my card for the owner and wouldn't you know, he emailed me with interest in meeting!  A little ways down the road, I decided to stop into the cafe where I had some great conversations a few months ago with the manager, but the timing was not right for her.  She was happy to see me and suggested I go upstairs to see the owner. Now for months, I could not get in touch with any of the "powers that be" in this complex, but it jut so happened that the owner is in town from Florida.  We talked on the phone later that day and will meet next week.

What is most interesting about all of this is that while fear will still come and go, I am able to listen to the quiet messages that are either deep inside or right in front of me.  Hallelujah!

While on the crest of these exciting moments, I received part of my "report card" - remember that part of life that had dominated much of last year - labs and more labs.

Well, for now, since I have been stable, my labs are spread out to about every 3 months and given my combination of results last quarter, I began an intensive supplement regimen and also met with an intuitive.  What I heard from the intuitive is that I still need rest and more self-compassion - giving to myself without guilt.  Well, this pill is probably the hardest one to swallow!

I have been more tired lately, experiencing more migraines and yet, I also am so grateful to look back at last year and see how much I have improved!  I was awaiting the results with hopeful optimism and yet, was let down partially.  The cancer markers (only partial results) look good, but my white counts are back down.  White blood cells are all about immunity, muscle, strength.

As I reflect on my white cells, I realize that indeed, I continue to require more rest and I must increase my protein even more - into a therapeutic level that even I resist!  The message that came loud and clear to me was "physician heal thyself" - and while I had a blip of feeling sad, fearful and angry - I had already ordered the protein formula, somehow knowing that this was next.

While the numbers confirmed things, my intuitive self was already directing the show.  The moral of this story is to take time for yourself - to reflect, to listen and to heal.  You can heal your body - it's all a process!

With love,

Friday, July 24, 2015

Buffered But Not Beat

How often do you make a call on the phone only to receive a recorded message, a voicemail or no option to find and talk to a live person!

Well, as I reminisced about "the old days" - wow, now I really am dating myself - the landline, attached to the wall, was the only way to make a phone call.  And if it was difficult to reach someone, the operator was always there to be of assistance.  I began to think of my Dad and how challenged he is with modern technology and also began to think about how many hours I have spent on the phone over these many months regarding health insurance issues for my daughter and myself.

Life has become so "advanced" or shall we say, removed, that talking to a human being is now foreign.  I felt a pang of sadness, not only for me, but for humanity - how we've become buffered from one another, enslaved to systems that often are broken, such as the healthcare system in our country.

While I could talk about many facets of the system, I will focus on the element of follow through and taking personal responsibility within one's domain.  It is just a year ago this month when I was in the hospital and preparing for surgery on July 25 and our health insurance had been eroneously cancelled when Lindsay turned 26.  I had been with my insurance for many years and know both sides of the insurance - as patient and provider.  I had thoughtfully chosen my insurance based on our unique needs as a family, and as my being sole provider and self-employed.

What a fiasco!  I was navigating insurance while in a hospital bed and when I came home to convalesce, I spent hours on the phone, often in tears because no-one could/would help me!  I finally contacted my state representative, who in turn, starting the ball rolling.  It did take an additional 7 months to fix the situation and as a result, I chose to use the Health Connector this year.

While I have had caring and kind customer service representatives, our insurance once again, was cancelled, I was double-billed and have spent hours on the phone only to drain my battery from being on hold for so long!  One day while Ashley was home helping me to do the Spring cleaning - another task that really dates me! - I was on the phone between departments for five hours.  I was in tears, unable to stay connected to my meditation mentor's advice that this is not reality, because it sure felt real!

What I have learned in this process and hear in other situations across the board is that one computer system does not talk to another.  Also one department or entity does not have the authority to talk to another.  In the end, we are powerless on both sides - the consumer side and the service side.

It seems to me that this buffering has created disempowerment - a lack of being able to "own" our work, to be invested in our work and to feel that we indeed, make a difference.  Technology is amazing and provides tools for enhancing the world we live in, but what is just as important is the importance of the human connection.  A computer cannot listen to one's story, cannot feel empathy, cannot completely solve the troubles of our society.  Let's take a step back and integrate the best of both worlds!

In balance,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What A Difference A Year Makes!

Continuing along with the Oh Heavenly Day vein, I have been swept away with such wonderful life gifts this week.

Last blog focused on the upcoming surprise for my daughter, Ashley, and that went off beautifully, filled with loving family and friends.  The next morning while preparing for the day, Lindsay called and Ashley called me to the phone.  Of course, a mother's intuition immediately set in.  Yes, it was true - she and Scott got engaged!  He planned such a romantic and thoughtful way to request her hand in marriage - the Public Garden in Boston, on the bridge, with a young person playing the violin and another video taping the event.  Well, I've played this video over and over again, grinning from ear to ear.

As the week ensued, I visited beautiful properties to consider building my "dream wellness clinic" here in Marblehead, forgetting the "how to's", "can I's" and all that "stuff" that gets in the way of manifestation.  I'm on fire right now, especially since I am regaining my health on multiple levels - physically the cancer is gone while the immune system continues to reboot and rebuild; spiritually I am connected to God/Source/Energy, continuing to think of Jesus as my role model, while appreciating the other great role models as well; emotionally, I am so much less fearful about life and the path of the unknown.  How much more can one want for?

On Friday, family and friends gathered to go and hear a favorite band led by one of my best friends - Jamie Walker and The Swinging Steaks.  I met Jamie about 20 years ago in the church school where some of us gathered to begin playing in our parish folk group.  Immediately, we felt a kindred spirit and have sung and played together over the years - a true "high" for me!  Well, I have not been out to rock it for at least a few years - nightlife went away with illness.

I was back in my element - dancing all night, sweating from the movement and the laughter.  I was ecstatic - another reminder of being well, having fun and bringing dear family and friends together.  I've learned some very interesting aspects of my personality - a recent astrological/psychological reading done revealed  that part of my "life purpose" is to support and bridge people, bringing them together to feel good.  This so resonates with my core mission in life - and while I had a few major detours in life - health crisis, financial crisis, emotional/spiritual crisis - my soul has been unwavering.

Moral of the story is to take the time to reflect, listening to the quiet messages of the spirit - your spirit!

With love and gratitude,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Oh Heavenly Day

As I walked this morning with Tammie, listening to my tunes, I heard Oh Heavenly Day by Patti Griffin.  I heard this while at a weekend retreat with my older daughter, Lindsay - one of our many "enlightenment" meetings, this time at Kripalu Yoga Center.  I immediately was drawn to spiritual meaning of the song, much like Over The Rainbow.

I thought back of a few years ago when I hosted a concert to raise money for our mental health services in Wellesley.  We experienced a rash of suicides over a 5 year period and I felt compelled to assist our community in ways that bring talent together to sing - music has a way of uplifting the soul!  I learned this song and broke out of my usual "church singer" role, enjoying being a "hipster"!

I felt chills all over - the day is just beautiful, sunny and I am living where I have always wanted to be - overlooking the ocean, with historic quaint homes, all with a story of community and courage - Marblehead has the oldest and original Navy, defending our families.

Today is a day filled with much excitement and gratitude.  First, I am pulling off a surprise party for Ashley who will study abroad for a year in Europe to learn how they ban GMO's and harmful chemicals in foods and other daily use products.  She has always somehow found out about her surprises but this is coming along without a hitch!

It is also one year ago when I was admitted to Newton Wellesley and I could not help but review this entire year, filled with such amazing gratitude for how much I've learned, how much resilience my body has and how much my spirit has stretched even to limits that I did not know even existed.  And the learning and wonder continue day by day.

It's time to chop the veggies for the festivities - please enjoy this "heavenly day" and check out Patti's youtube version.

Musically yours,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Reaction, Experience and Perception - Or Is It The Other Way Around?

For me, it is both, depending on which end we are experiencing.  This came alive for me along the morning bike ride this week - something that I was able to do given weather and desire to be outside for my exercise.

When I used to visit Marblehead years ago to bike ride around the town, it was fairly easy to navigate the streets, but today, with increased traffic congestion and much bigger cars and vans, being in the street is not so safe, hence part of the ride on the sidewalks.

I am a careful rider, never having been a dare-devil - and this works well with sharing the sidewalk with pedestrians.  Or so I thought!  As I pulled out onto Atlantic Ave, a couple was walking along.  I slowed down, pulled over far to the right and as I approached them, the gentleman glared at me and said multiple times over, "ride on the street, ride on the street."

I just kept riding, said nothing and was on my way.  A little later on, while on Ocean Ave, I was on the street and a speed walker was approaching.  I made eye contact and this person just did not move to the sidewalk.  The traffic here can be challenging and pulling out further into the road just does not make much sense here.  We passed one another rather closely, but I felt that territorial bristle as I rode by.

I was off and running with my analysis, also being vigilent of not jumping to judgement or condemnation of the other.  I was aware of my body's response, however - increased heart rate, churning stomach, a little feeling of territoriality myself, from a self-safety place.

I did not judge this, but chose to observe and then began on my quest to understand what I experienced - glares, angry comments, no recognition of sharing space.  What does this mean?  As a unique individual, we all have collective experiences that make up part of our personality.  I am careful not to say "who we are", because this is where we can get into trouble.

We are all part of the same energy and existence - we share this common thread called life with all other beings, but what is different for us is that as humans we also interpret, perceive and act based on these perceptions.  How I see life is unique and not how anyone else does.  And how someone responds or reacts is part of the collective experiences and perceptions from that person.

Ahha - how knows what this many has experienced before when faced with a cyclist.  He may have been hit and is not just claiming the space of the sidewalk.  It may not be rudeness, but fear.  I will never know and for me, I chose to let the judgement go.  I will remain safe on my travels and will choose to breathe through these events rather than allow the stress response to take over.

Message for the day - just breathe!

Part Three of Humor in the Humanness: Brain Fog

This week has been filled with interesting client desires to not be taking any synthetic meds - a strong and demanding desire that I, too, have had for so many years, while also relying on as I call it and now embrace it, "the best of both worlds."

I now intuitive thoughts that arise as questions or thinking of someone and needing to reach out - we all have this gift, but as I take more time in this place of contemplation, it is showing up more often and with nice gifts!

I've mentioned before how there often seems to be a "theme of the week", and this was true to form. Clients were asking how they might not be on meds or how to cut down on meds and I had a few thoughts of needing to check my 3 month renewal of long-term estrogen, as this is something I must put into the calendar months ahead to stay on course.  I have such faith in my endocrinologist who, has stayed on top of my whole health - something not easily found in this day of specialized medicine.

Since I have a condition known as pituitary insufficiency, my precursors for hormones do not work ideally, thus I have needed support for my thyroid, for pregnancy and for the last number of years, for hormone replacement - something I was dead set against years ago.

Having been poked, prodded, surgically looked at as a 15 year old and many times after that, I had a "hate affair" with hormone replacement of any type.  I lost weight, gained weight, turned mad in a matter of minutes and just felt like I did not belong to my body or my brain!

I now have come full circle to embrace that modern medicine along with ancient wisdom and medicine, offers me an opportunity to live as balanced as I am able, and for that I am thankful!

As I approached this week, wondering about this medicine, I was also feeling forgetful, having more brain fog and increased heart palpitations.  Voila, the time was right - my body knew what I needed - and for me, embracing the "best of both worlds", allows me to live my life more fully.

Listen to your inner wisdom.