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Surgery Date!

It is TIME!

I finally have a surgery date! Next Tuesday, I am so ready to feel better! I am still struggling with my pain and feel the slightest improvement but remember it’s only the medication as the pain starts to come back. In a month from now I will be healed. I will be able to walk and sit, and participate in physical therapy. I have big dreams and plans coming ahead. I like the idea of being completely free and taking care of my body as whole. I am ready to start my journey and live. It’s hard for me to think about the Holiday season when all I can think about are my limitations and if I will be making the situation worse. No more worries because the end to all my pain is here. 

I just finished my Fall class and will start the Winter Term 2 Jan. So I will be occupying my brain as well as practicing Kundalini Yoga. I will be exercising my zero waste lifestyle and starting photography when I am able to walk for long distances. In 2019 I want to find my calling and exercise my true wants. Live in a world of  I am instead of I wish. Sometimes you never really know why you live so long on putting yourself and what you truly want off. This year is for new beginnings. 

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Know Who You Are

I am no therapist but I have gone through therapy. I only know what would be good for my soul and in turn could help others like me. At this time I am coming from a place of need. I need to know more about who I am, what I want, and love every part of me. I am a daydreamer and everyday I dream of a life that I want but feel that it is unattainable. The funny thing is I never know why I can’t obtain the life I want to live. I can just feel this void inside and I am now realizing that it is my authentic self. Knowing who you are is more than just knowing what you like or don’t like. It is about living and being that person! It’s time to start that journey of being true to self.

Doing the activity below will kick off this journey.

  • List the Qualities, Characteristics, ect. of the person/life you want and strive to be. 
  • List what changes are needed to be done within yourself to allow you to have those qualities/life. 

What is Ayurveda

Ayurveda

Is rooted in ancient Vedic text and Hindu philosophies. It is a sacred science used to discover your elemental structure and how to find balance within the Universe.

Ayurveda teaches the importance of the 5 Elements. How the elements relate to you, and how we can live amongst them peacefully. As all Life was created through an un-manifested state of consciousness, they began to manifest as a unified state of consciousness. The subtle vibrations of the consciousness created the sound AUM. From the vibrations, space was created as the Ether element appeared. The ether element started to move and create Air. Air started to create friction and light. Fire was made. The smoke began to dissolve and turn into a liquid. Water was created. As the water solidified it began to make the earth. From the Earth all life came to be.

5 Elements

  1. Ether
  2. Air
  3. Fire
  4. Water
  5. Earth

The 5 elements hold qualities that effect more than just the physical realm. They can alter our mental and emotional bodies as well. Everything is made up of energy and vibrations. Our energetic bodies hold a great importance to our health. It can help heal and transform the physical body. When we heal from the deep layers of our being we can truly evolve to our highest good.

The 7 layers of the Body

  1. Annamaya Kosha: Gross Physical Body
  2. Pranamaya Kosha: Vital Air breath and subtle body
  3. Manomaya Kosha: Mental, Psychoemotional subtle body
  4. Vijnyanamaya Kosha: Intellect and wise subtle body
  5. Anadamayan Kosha: Blissful body, the you before conditioning (Casual body)
  6. Cittamaya: Body of Consciousness
  7. Atmamaya: Body of Soul

The elements are constantly around us and are fed to us by our senses. What we eat, smell, taste, hear, and see. It is up to us to control our mind, intellect, and emotions to serve us to our highest good. By being aware of our environments, internal and external. We can observe and see how we are aiding to our health or demise.

Become Aware

As you become aware of what you give to your body. You start to naturally go into a cleanse. You maximize what is good for you while discarding what makes you feel drained, depleted or exhausted.

The five elements are grouped into 3 Doshas. Doshas in Sanskrit means bad. It infers that when an element or quality is in excess, it can be the cause of disease. It is up to ourselves to know how to properly care and give balance to our bodies. It is our duty for loving and cherishing our own being.

Pitta. Vata, & Kapha

Knowing the elements and doshas will help you understand your own unique constitution. Know that you can be made up of 7 combinations

  1. Pitta
  2. Vatta
  3. Kapha
  4. Pitta/Vata
  5. Pitta/Kapha
  6. Kapha/Vata
  7. Vata/Pitta/Kapha

One is not better than the other, they are uniquely created to uphold the balance of the universe. We are the Microcosm of the universe.

You can take a Dosha quiz to help you learn more about your energetic constitution. Once you know your energy, you can become more in touch with your body, mind, and spirit. Knowing your energy is important to your health. You are able to identify how your playing an active role in your healing.

Ayurveda allows you to step into your power and gives you the tools to help you over come the stress in life.

What we say Matters

  1. Everything is going to be okay: When “Everything is going to be okay” is repeated by multiple people, life feels like it’s falling apart, it feels like what they’re saying is a lie. I believe that everything will not be okay, until we warrant a plan of action that will have a positive outcome. Hoping and wishing for everything to be okay does not make me feel better. If I stayed doing the same things and not changing, I would have never found comfort. Just constantly affirming a false belief. Do not be blinded by the illusion of others because they are afraid of what is happening too. Stand strong, stay grounded, learn the new you. 
  2. Sorry: I’m tired of everyone giving me “SORRIES” it feels condescending at times because they just glaze over your pain and go back to their reality. I’ve gotten used to it but I’ve learned who to share with and not. I know they don’t know what to do, or say, and it is the social norm. I would rather someone life my spirits with encouraging self care, love, and connection. I have changed the way I talk to people about my injury and illness so they don’t treat me as a sorry pitiful being. 
  3. Way to walk slow!: Someone yelled, as I was struggling to cross the street. I still struggle with social situations. PEOPLE TREAT YOU DIFFERENTLY if you have a wheelchair or not. If they can SEE your disability or NOT! I HATE IT!!!!! but It helps me see people and things more clearly. People are a lot nicer to you when you have a wheelchair. If you look as if you can’t walk they get mad and impatient.
  4. Can I request mental health services?: I asked the VA if I could get mental health services, since the lapse of insurance and losing my abilities was starting to take a toll.  My appointments and some type of wellness plan/support was taking too long. I kept feeling like I was getting worse, and was perpetuating constant flare cycles because I didn’t understand my body and how my subtle actions affect it. 
  5. Have you thought about getting a wheelchair?: The disability office at my College was the first to help me identify that I needed a wheelchair. I couldn’t walk the campus anymore. I kept getting burnt out. I could walk 10ft increments constantly looking for a place to sit, if there was no chair I sat on the floor. Lots of stares but who cares, I am not in physical pain. Just the crushing emotional pain of losing my abilities with no proper support. I remember breaking down a few times. 😿
  6. You need to have a wheelchair to use this benefit: I asked the VA if I could use the ride service they have for service connected disabled veterans. I needed up going to my many appointments to help my chronic pain. I am not able to sit for a long time which includes driving, the nearest VA was 1hr away. My social worker said I needed to have a wheelchair to use that benefit. I told her I think I need one and it requires me to get to my appointments, to get one. It was only a matter of time where It was hard to walk around the VA. My mental health therapist was able to get me a ride. The hardest part of dealing with change and chronic pain was fighting to get my needs met and trying to FEEL SEEN AND HEARD!!!
  7. Push through the pain: Some things people and doctors suggested. It DID NOT WORK FOR ME. I get so good at pushing through the pain, I don’t feel pain anymore, I just start to get motor dysfunction. It feels like I can’t lift my feet anymore and open my legs to take a step. Afterwards it takes me over a Month to get through the flare. I NEED REST. It was hard for people to encourage rest. So it was hard for me to break all the limiting beliefs that others and myself have put on me. . 
  8. You look fine today: Wow, how is it one day I can walk, get the rest I need, then be able to walk, again? When people see that, it’s a miracle, your fine! No! This is a pattern and I don’t understand why! I know you don’t understand and believe I am ok, or you may think I am faking it. #spoonie
  9. Hot Wheels!!:  Y’all this one irritates me the most. Please do not identify me as my wheelchair. I have a name, I am a person. Look at me, not the person pushing the chair, or the chair itself. Something about losing your abilities and people treating you in a condescending way makes me realize how much dignity is lost and why do we accept it. Let’s change the norm.
  10. What do you do for a living?: I used to struggle with this when I couldn’t keep up in the workforce anymore. I realized that most of the time it is an ego question. I just tell people All the things I like to do, I am a painter, singer, healer, graphic designer, ect. My job is to heal and come back to myself. 
  11. Move away from this lady she is disabled: Chronic pain, being a disabled veteran, and having a wheelchair in public scares people. When I go out to make some human connection some people run away. I understand people don’t know what to say or do, it doesn’t help with loneliness felt having to cope with my disability.
  12. The only elevator is out: The challenges faced when you have a wheelchair and understanding how society is here to help. It’s a cold world 🌎 but there are people here to help, they can be rare to find but don’t stop looking for them. KEEP FIGHTING!
  13. That’s Neurologies problem I can’t help you with that: When you have chronic pain you have to see a lot of different specialists. It is easy for them to keep passing you off to each other. I keep trying so hard to rally my medical team. I have only been successful with Ayurvedic Medicine and actually creating a Wellness plan that really manages my pain. The VA has felt toxic at times, full of stress and more questions, no actual relief guidance on pain management (unless I want lots of Medications).
  14. Disabled veteran: having the title is a double edge sword. Yes, you get the benefits but you’ve lost an ability. It’s about finding and creating a new life with where you are In the present moment. Even though I may have suffered a loss, I am feeling I have a lot more freedom than I used to. 

No matter what anyone says to me, I need to stay grounded and keep protecting my energy. Our words are powerful and our actions are valuable. Learning to respond and not react to my environment has been the key to detach from any toxic situations or people. It is important to keep loving and understanding yourself everyday. 

Chronic Pain & Ayurveda

Ayurveda Helps me Manage Chronic Pain

Chronic back pain changes you. Your body, nervous systems, and emotions are no longer what they once were.

I have been searching, for relief to my suffering. I just don’t want to be in or as much pain. I want to create a life that supports my well being and health.

I was introduced to Ayurveda self care practices in April 2021. I have learned that life and health is about proper management.

Managing my body and mind to give my spirit energy.

Ayurveda teaches me to put myself and care first.

Yoga, meditation, and pranayama ease my body & mind, of stress and depression. By reframing my contribution of negative self talk or emotions. I’ve been able to help channel my thoughts and feelings in a more progressive way. The revelations of self discovery is such a beatiful and gentle process.

Eating healthy, rest, and using herbal supplements help me manage pain. I am able to discern what is serving me and contributing to my demise. It starts by refining what is put into the body, and given to the senses.

It is not easy to put your health first, it takes practice. Enjoy the journey of learning to love yourself again.

Ayurveda Fall Seasonal Eating Guide: Fall

Ayurveda is about eating seasonally. As there is a universal shift, we too must adapt to the changes that happen in our environment. The change in the days, temperature, weather, and types of crops that grow, affect our bodies.

Our eating habits come from many factors. Shaped by our parents when we are young, molded by society and our environment as we grow. We then create unconscious habits that effect our health.

We lose touch with what is actually healthy! What is actually Real!

Ayurveda brings us back to our nature, with the seasons. Eating based off our own unique energetic constitution, and working with the natural cycles. We are able to live in the graces of life.

Fall = Vata Season

Fall is cold, light, airy, dry, and rough. We must bring opposing qualities to our bodies to help balance the increase in these elements. Foods manipulate our internal environment. By adding more warm, grounding, and moist foods we can help stabilize any imbalances. Shedding things that do not serve you and being commited to healthy self care routines are importnat, at this time.

Full Harvest Moon

Full Harvest Moon

Tonight is the Full Harvest Moon. It is last of the growing season. It was tradition that farmers used the light of the moon to gather the rest of their harvest into the night.

This week is a powerful week.

Not only do we celebrate the harvest moon, we celebrate the coming of the Fall Equinox. The universal shift where day and night will be of equal time. Then the sun slowly starts to retreat, for the Northern hemisphere is lulled into a dark winter.

With the universal energies happening around us we can be affected in many ways. Things you can do to connect with the moon today are:

  • Meditate: Water, visual, Root or Crown types of meditations
  • Purification and Cleansing Rituals
  • Do a reading and Listen to your intuition
  • Reflect on the end of negative cycles and relationships
  • Let go of Doubt & build confidence


Celebrate the Harvest of your Spring Intentions!

Allowed

Allowed is about expressing yourself. We may bottle or hide our emotions at the expense of others. They may not be capable of our feelings. Though, that is no reason to hide them.

It’s easy to forget that we are entitled to our own pain, feelings, thoughts, and actions.

Allowing them to be expressed in a healthy and assertive way brings healing.

You are allowed to feel and you are allowed to heal!

Just because others want to shut you down doesn’t mean you have to shut down.

Stand strong in your healing process.

Soft Glass

Acrylic Painting Soft Glass

Soft Glass is about 2 dreams I had. The one thing that they had in common, was decapitation.

! Warning ! My Dream may be graphic!

First Dream

The first dream I had, was somewhat of a crazy purge gameshow. I was in the audience watching a group of people in a maze. They all had Samurai Swords and were excited to use them. Once the host started the game, they all started running at one another. Hacking, slicing, and decapitating each other. They only aimed for legs or arms. There was no blood, only clean cuts. people would fall down, and get back up.

I felt shocked but couldn’t look away. As everyone started to lose more and more limbs, they started to look around. They showed a look of disgust and horror. They all stopped, dropped their swords, and hobbled away.

The game show host looked regretful. She shouted, ”Wait, we still have to sew you back together!” I couldn’t help to feel sick afterwards and thinking, why did I watch this?

Second Dream

My second dream was located in a big house with many rooms. It was a house party, and I was leaving. I was going around saying goodbye. I came across this dark hallway, I saw a room with the light on. It was a dingy room with green tile. It reminded me of something from the movie SAW.

There was a man on the floor with no arms. I asked if he was okay. He said, ”Yes, but could you help me sit up, and put my arms in that container over there?”

Looking around, I saw his arms were muscular and were contained in these medical, plastic bags. The container he wanted me to put them in was a big plastic blue barrel. I was happy to help him. I sat him up and he thanked me. I made sure he was okay before I left. I walked away from that room, and woke up.

What Does it Mean?

The first dream haunted me for days A few weeks later, I had the second dream. I think the second dream, I felt better, because I could help instead of just watch.

I can’t help to think that these dreams reflect on my fears of being paralyzed, or not being able to use my arms or legs.

There are so many deep layers that I could reflect on. I feel expressing my fears through painting, will help get in touch with those deeper layers. My past, present, and future, all coming up in an acrylic dream. It feels so fragile, like soft glass.

ELectromyography (EMG) Test

EMG

Since I have herniated disc in my lower back and neck. I experience weakness and fatigue during movement. My disability fluctuates in severity everyday. My whole body from my head, hands, arms, neck, lower back, hips, legs, and feet are effected.. 2 major systems experience neurological symptoms.

The one thing, all of my doctors recommend is a conservative lifestyle.

So, I’ve chosen an Ayurvedic lifestyle. I know nothing is perfect and everyday is different. The more I rest and restore my body the more it can heal.

I use Ayurveda to help me in my daily life, and go to my doctors for test and labs. Understanding how each system can help, allows me to leverage the care that I need.

Since my condition calls for a lot of rest, I have to focus on keeping up with my strength and flexibility. I am limited in the things I can do, but I need to make sure that I am exercising everyday to combat atrophy. Finding the balance between rest and burnout is challenging.

I’ve experienced flare ups from Physical Therapy. It was frustrating because it took a whole month to heal. I took it upon myself to get my own certification in Yoga, so I can find my own ways to move and manage pain.

Nerve Conduction & EMG Test

EMG’s & Nerve conduction studies are recommended, for me, on an annual basis. Both arms and legs are to be tested, since the severity of my disc herniations.

My appointment contains 2 test.

Nerve Conduction Test

  1. “Shock” portion. Electrical signals are sent between 2 nerve points and are measured. This test looks for the health of the nerves. Making sure they are firing when stimulated.
    • This portion provoked a lot of numbness for me. Be sure to breathe with the pain.

EMG

2. ”Poke” portion. Needles with tiny microphones are inserted into muscle groups. The sound waves are measured and shows the strength of muscles.

  • This test is painful as they poke a tiny needle into your muscle, and you then have to flex/stimulate the muscle. The pain is sharp/dull and feels like pressure.

What helped me during both of these test was, deep breathing with the pain.

Keep being Brave! I believe in You!

Jenny C.