Author: ManifestMe

Food for Fun – Day #10

Food for Fun – Day #10

Durham BullsToday I woke up more clear-headed than I have in centuries! The ebb and flow of anxiety and depression has become less severe. I feel fatigued at times if I try to do too much, or don’t keep my food intake up. While all is not perfect, I am feeling better and better each day. In fact, I felt so much better last night I had an overwhelming desire to go to Tutti Fruiti’s for a big cup of frozen yogurt to celebrate! How else does one celebrate….anything!

Food as a form of celebration, fun, reward, and relaxation is deeply ingrained in my body, mind and spirit. My husband and I always plan where we will eat whenever we do anything for enjoyment. It’s part of the outing.

He loves to cook and loves to eat and his favorite pastime is planning our meals, in or out. Whether it’s a picnic on a trip or going out to a nice restaurant, it’s a central focus. Fortunately, we eat fairly well most of the time and our finances have never allowed us to indulge in dining out on a regular basis, but a change in perspective will have to be made for me to hold fast to this new lifestyle.

Finding ways to enjoy time together, without food as a significant part of the experience, will be a challenge. Every year we go to opening night at the Durham Bull’s. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks, and while the game and ambiance is always enjoyable, ballpark food is part of the fun. It’s something we only do once or twice a year. Much of it I could do with out, and usually do, but there are a few items….well, I’m just going to miss. I do not want to slip into deprivation mode on such occasions, especially if my husband chooses to indulge.

Scott has been cooking up a storm for me and helping in every way he can. Still, I know he is struggling with deprivation. He wants to support me, but he wants his pasta! I keep telling him to cook and eat what he wants, and I will take care of me, but I think he’s trying to eat healthier, and for the moment is sticking with it .  It’s made cooking more challenging for him,  allowing for fewer opportunities for creative expression.

These are all things to sort out and it will take time to do so.  Change is never easy. Even if it’s entirely worth it!

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

Day #8 & #9 – A Word About Trauma

Day #10 – Food for Fun

We All Need Support

Holistic Detoxification Process

Along the Path of Healing

A Word About Trauma – Day #8 & #9

A Word About Trauma – Day #8 & #9

lotus light

Three years ago, I was involved in a car accident that changed my life  forever. Driving 65 mph on a heavily traveled highway,  pelted by the torrential rain of a tropical storm that was moving up the northeast coast,  a pickup truck pulling a trailer entered the highway from a rest stop on the opposite side of the highway from where we were traveling. Driving at excessive speeds, he lost control, crossed the highway, and after one near miss ultimately  landed a perfect strike with his trailer, hitting us broadside and drop kicking us six ways to Sunday.  We rolled four times, my side hitting first and absorbing the force of the initial impact.

I did not see it coming. I had not been paying attention as my husband was driving. In those seconds that we tumbled violently and relentlessly,  I thought I was dreaming. I was confused. Just as fast as those thought flew through my mind, the realization that it was real and not a dream followed quickly, though still deeply enmeshed in feelings of unreality. Disoriented.

Our external injuries were minor, thanks to the many safety features cars have these days. The side air bag deployed, and the structure of the car folded like an accordion. Besides the shattered glass enmeshed in our arms, faces and heads, and a severe laceration that later required surgery to my hand, we were “okay”.  My husband was able to get out of the car. I was removed with the jaws of life and we were both transported by ambulance to a trauma center nearby, where I spent several days.

What was never addressed, either by the hospital, or subsequently, by the medical professionals who oversaw my healing and rehabilitation process, was the TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) I received and the PTSD I have lived with ever since. I received no treatment of any kind for either from the medical community, nor was my insurance company willing to acknowledge or compensate me adequately for same, a subject warranting attention at a later time.

This life circumstance has led me on a three-year journey in search of my health, both mental and physical, and a means of reestablishing some sense of security in the world. Largely a hit and miss endeavor,  that depended on my health and mental clarity at any given time, I found my way, step by step, bit by bit, to a growing understanding of what had happened to me and the nature of trauma and the healing process.

I learned from professionals of all kinds, both face to face and through books, lectures and research. Each in their own way has helped me add a piece to the puzzle and to carve out a path of healing that involves the healing of all of me. If one’s body is healed, but an inability to enjoy and embrace life remains, healing is not complete.

A decade or more ago, PTSD was viewed as a “soldier’s ailment”, and not something the average person might experience.  Trauma, however, comes in many forms and guises. The war veteran carries one type of wound, the woman who has experienced a violent rape another, and an individual who has been the victim of verbal abuse over an extended period of time another.  What all hold in common is a deep, abiding sense that life is not safe, that what they have experienced does not make sense. There is no rest. There is no life without fear.  

Scientists of all types have made enormous strides in the study of trauma and its treatment, in part because of the war in Mid-East, aided by the technical advances that have fostered the dissemination of information and research results in recent years. This research, while incredibly valuable for the future treatment of PTSD and trauma, has not yet filtered down to the average person or the majority of healing practices.

The program that I began ten days ago with Crystal, is a necessary piece of my healing puzzle. I have made enormous strides, but in many ways the trauma of the accident, layered on top of previous life traumas, has become locked in at the cellular level and has not been an easy thing to overcome. I may never completely regain the view of life I had prior to the accident, and in some ways I hope I do not.  It was a gift, insofar as it forced me to take stock of myself and my life at a very deep level. I might never have done so otherwise. What I do hope is that I will learn to live without chronic fear, and with the ability to face of whatever life has to hand me with resiliency.

I owe a deep debt of gratitude to a whole band of professionals that have supported, educated and inspired me throughout this journey.

D. Sander 2014 copyright

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection – Day #7

The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection – Day #7

Artist Pino
Mother and Daughter
by Pino

Our modern culture has, in my opinion, a tendency to pull things apart into quantifiable pieces.  Our society has become so complex and diverse that our drive to understand and manage it, has led to habits of thought that compartmentalize.  We judge from a distance what we do not know or understand personally. Science, medicine and business view the individual through the lens of this type of judgment. Our natural state of connectivity and free communication between is disrupted.

We are not just our minds and what we can achieve with them. We are not just our bodies and what we can do or attract with them. We are not just our spirit that can thrive independently from the body that holds it, or the mind that directs it and connects it to the world. We are all three at once, perpetually interacting,  supporting,  and balancing. If we mistreat one, we mistreat the other. If we care for one, we are care for the other.

When women objectify their bodies, manipulate, control, abuse and defy their physical needs, they lose touch with their spirit, their guide, their life force in a way that can be profound. They use their minds to support this endeavor and in the process, taking it away from more important, valuable and creative pursuits.

I was reminded of this today when Crystal led me on a guided imagery meditation. Over the last week I have been so focused on what my body was, and wasn’t doing, on the new food regimen and making sure I was doing all of the right things, including keeping my food journal and taking the right supplements at the right time, that I did not give enough attention to my spiritual/emotional needs. I did not address the issues that were arising. Through the guided imagery I was able to call back my spirit and to find balance once again, which will only enhance the process of healing.

A healing and wellness regimen, to be effective, takes into consideration all aspects of who we are, and listens to the voice of each. Each has unique wounds to heal. Each has unique wisdom to offer in the support of the other.

STATUS

Body: As I mentioned yesterday, I was reeeaally wound up, mentally and physically, while at times feeling extremely weak and anxious. Crystal suggested that this was likely something to do with my body cranking up to start working right again. (I’m hoping she will join me here to give the more educated version of these things, but in the meantime….) She told me to add an apple with almond butter for my afternoon snack (Yippeee!!!) and humus, nut crackers and dark chocolate for my before bed snack. The former I had in the house and savored every little bite of it and within twenty felt considerably better. I did the same for my night-time snack. The thought of eating chocolate also scared me to death. I was afraid if a bite in my mouth I might eat the entire bar.

Mind: Clarity. Haze lifting. Wow! I can think again.

Spirit: I am learning to feel safe again…slowly. Striving to see my fears as the illusions they are, to nurture, care for and embrace the sad and lonely child within me, and to tend and care for the hurting, broken woman who would rather curl up and die than hurt another minute.

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go – Days 5 & 6

Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go – Days 5 & 6

too much coffeeI’m completely blown away by how much energy I have in such a short amount of time. At times I don’t think my body knows what to do with it, as I often feel keyed up (for lack of better expression) or HOT! I think I’m past the hot flash stage, but maybe I woke my hormones up.  That might not be all bad!

Yesterday,  the keyed up thing did not feel good unless I was doing something; felt more like one might feel when you drink too much coffee. I couldn’t stop talking, or thinking, or writing, or doing…and I just wanted to chill! Poor Scott wanted to put a sock in my mouth — and to think I used to be quiet! My massage therapist told me on Saturday that she could feel so much energy coming from my head that it was clear my brain was working overtime! We didn’t stop talking through the whole thing, so the massage was no help in that regard.

It occurred to me that the last three years I have been largely shut down. The first year after the accident I pretty much just sat in a chair. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything besides a little writing and such. I almost never left the house except for rehab or doctor’s appointments. The second year was only slightly better. I did go more places, albeit reluctantly, and move my body some. The third year I have been on a roller coaster of feeling good and crashing. I walked almost every day, unless I was in the valley. So perhaps, and I’m waiting for Crystal’s input, I’m firing up the engines and need to move! 🙂

I’ve accomplished more in the past week than I’ve accomplished in the last month. My brain is clearer, my focus is better and believe it or not, I’m doing better with the limited food choices.

I’m going to end this and go put up some info on what I’m doing. I’ve appreciated all the support I’ve been receiving.  I wasn’t even looking for it when I began this blog. I just needed to help process the whole thing as I went and to help me find perspective. It has been such a bonus to talk to all of you and to exchange thoughts and experiences. Thank you! You’ve made it easier. DS

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6

Day #7 – The Body Mind Spirit Connection

 

Coming Full Circle – Day #4

Coming Full Circle – Day #4

Wisdom
The Storyteller – A Wise Old Sage by Holly Sierra
Click on Image for More Info

My family moved from a quaint little town not far from Erie, PA, to a small paper mill town on the Androscoggin River in Maine. My father, an electrical engineer,  was perhaps, taking a step up the corporate ladder. Just shy of my third birthday, my mother, my two older sisters and I traveled by sleeper car to our new home. The change was a shock for most of my family, which at that time included five children and my grandfather in addition to my parents and various pets.

I was the youngest and it was my innocent good fortune that I did not carry any preconceived ideas into this beautiful, untarnished part of our country. Indeed, it was magical to me. I loved the snow, the crisp, fresh air, the people, the endless woods and giant rocks. Nature was my refuge, a means to escape into a world that I understood and that fed my soul. I was mostly invisible in my family and in the house,  and so I found a freedom of expression in the great outdoors, where I could connect deeply with my life force.

Raised in the Episcopal Church, we attended weekly services at the local parish. Many of my friends were Catholic, and while my immediate family paid little attention to Lent in a practical  sense, it became a tradition/ritual that I took on each year with heartfelt commitment.  During Lent of my third year, I decided to give up sucking my thumb, and as a symbolic gesture of that commitment, I gave my favorite blanket to my “younger” cousin. The first night, as I drifted off, I was aware of the absence of my usual comforts, but I held fast to my decision.

To my dismay I awoke the next morning with my thumb in my mouth. I had faltered, let myself down…and it was in my sleep! Oh, no!  In spite of my disappointment, I continued on.  I made it through my very first Lent  without any further mishap.

I bring this story up for a reason. I remembered yesterday that it is Lent. As you probably know, Lent is a forty day period of time during which many Christians prepare themselves for the celebration of Easter. It is a time of fasting, prayer, repentance, moderation and the focused practice of a spiritual discipline.  While I long ago gave up following the Christian Liturgical calendar, it strikes me that my life has come full circle, that there is some sort of serendipity involved in my recent dietary undertaking at precisely this time of year.

Spirituality has been a central focus throughout my life, though I shoved it aside during my thirties and forties. At mid-life, and particularly over the last several years since the accident,  I find I turn more and more to spiritual teachers, to prayer and meditation, to the larger spiritual force that lives both within and without; I turn there for strength, guidance and understanding.

I no longer live within the structure of the Christian tradition. I find it too limiting, too often off-center, but I will always be drawn to, and see the value in many of the religious traditions, practices and theologies. They have deep, symbolic meaning in a world that has lost sight of its existence and power.

A period of fasting is a century old practice in most religions, and my experiences over the past week have reminded me of its value. Food is a life-giving substance, without which we could not survive. In our world of abundance, we have lost touch with this, both in a very real sense and a symbolical one. It is a gift of the earth that nurtures, restores and fills us, something for which we should be grateful.  When we take it for granted, become numb or indifferent to its connection to our life force,  we run the risk of forgetting that we are mere mortals. In the process we not only overlook the gift of abundance, we disrespect and overlook another very important gift – our body, and all of the abundant blessings it provides.

We are not just our mind, or our heart, or  our soul, just as we are not only our body. We are all of those things, and as we strive to respect and care for each, we  care for the other.

Lent is a reminder. Fasting is a reminder.  Each helps one gain a new perspective or awaken an old one we may have forgotten. Taking a step back from, or outside of, our day-to-day viewpoint  offers us an opportunity to get things back in balance. We need those opportunities. We need to provide them for ourselves when we can.

Dorothy  3/15/2014 copyright

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

There are No Words – Day #3

There are No Words – Day #3

Caroline Myss QuoteI’m rarely at a loss for words, at least in written form, for today I find myself on a plateau of some sort. Yesterday, from about 3 o’clock on was torture, in some sort of nebulous, nondescript  way . I was hungry but I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want anymore of what was on the okay list, and I really didn’t want what was on the not okay list. I woke up this morning thinking maybe I just should not eat at all today, but I’m putting one foot in front of the other, one sip or mouthful at a time and moving on.

~~~~~~~

Life after all is all about change and moving on. Nothing eve remains the same. If it does, I don’t know about you, but  I get really antsy or depressed. It seems we were designed to change and grow. From the midlife point on, I feel as though I’ve done a life time of growing – emotionally and spiritually.  Things I wanted so desperately to understand and incorporate into my  life at a very young age, are now seeming to make sense and fall in place.

I sometimes feel lately as if I was handed a gift when I was born, but didn’t have a clue what to do with it, or what it meant;  a beautiful, warm and sunny orb in the palm of my hand, that I tossed hither and yon like a hot potato, and too often put in a box out of sight. It lives and breathes with me a little more every day. I carry it with me close to my heart and often stand in awe of it.  I know if I allow it to be…if I let it warm and guide me…it will lead me where I need to go.

I believe we are all born with such a gift. Our task in life is simply to bring it out into the open and share its warmth with others.

I hope you will allow your golden orb to shine light and warmth into your world today.

Dorothy

“The journey of becoming conscious is not the capacity to get an angel to show up on your doorstep. The journey is to live the mystery and do it with spiritual elegance. To live the mystery and make choices while in the mystery that reflect that you have faith in a divine hand operating behind this all the time.”  Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection