Self Care Fridays: 12 Steps to Self Care

Peace Soulstars,

I hope everyone had a great week! Despite perceived obstacles always remember that you have a choice to manifest your reality and whatever that reality is it’s a work in progress.  Every day is a chance to move closer to that reality.  Start with self care.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you are doing not only yourself but others around you a disservice.  These steps are only a guide.  Use them at your own discretion and tweek where necessary.  It’s for inspiration purposes.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve been participating in a twelve day yoga challenge.  This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year!  It has motivated me to keep that appointment with myself everyday.

I’m not only improving my total wellbeing (yoga is perfect for mind, body,soul alignment) but the wellbeing of my family as well.  When I’m out of alignment, they have to deal with it.  I prefer being aligned not only for me but for them. If we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, nothing will improve.  It’s in our own hands.

What we do and how we react not only affects us but those we come into contact with; especially those we care about the most.  If everyone took the time to practice more self care the world would be a much better place but we cannot control what everyone else does.  We can only control what we do.

Love and light,

 

 

Cyst Update: I had surgery…

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Peace Soulstars,

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I wanted to give you a quick update on my cyst situation by sharing my experience with the surgery.  I had a minor surgery to drain the cyst because I didn’t have the patience to continue to deal with the inflammation.  Besides, It had gotten extremely painful, irritating, and just became a nuisance to have this thing on my back not to mention how nasty it looked.   When I went for my doctor visit Thursday to follow up on how the antibiotics were working to shrink the cyst, I decided to just let him do the surgery.  It really wasn’t getting better even with antibiotics for a week.  After the doctor explained that the healing process was not going to be overnight and that surgical removal was the best thing to do I agreed to go through with the surgery.

My doctor and his assistant were very reassuring as they made me feel comfortable.  I was worried about the numbing medication via needle because I don’t like needles (who does?) but I can deal with them. My doctor told me that if I can handle getting my blood drawn than I should be able to handle this needle because the  needle he was going to use was smaller than the standard needle used when blood is drawn.  I perked up then! haha!  Getting my blood drawn is a piece of cake.  He even showed me the type of needle he would be using.   I appreciated him being patient with me and trying to make me feel comfortable.  I liked him so much that I wish he could be my primary physician but he’s a surgeon.  I don’t want to have to see him after this is all over…lol.  I just have a few more follow ups to track healing.

In addition to the fact that he had a great sense of humor and professionalism,  I trusted that my doctor knew what he was doing.   I felt that he cared about making me feel comfortable and getting the job done.  This helped me let go of a lot of my anxiety.  I do have general anxiety by the way but I keep it under control (most of the time) using deep breathing techniques, and meditation.  I’m currently exploring other calming practices including the use of crystals and healing stones in my meditation.

During the procedure , I remember talking a lot…lol…That’s what I do when I am comfortable around people (and when I’m nervous).  They were very easy to talk to.  I felt confident that this was not going to be as bad as I thought.   In the end, I only felt pressure in areas that were inflamed but I mostly used my deep breathing to keep me calm.  Thankfully, it worked because I felt very calm despite going under the “knife”.

I share all of this with you because I know many can relate to having anxiety.  You may have even experienced a cyst or something similar.  This experience taught me a few things:  One, don’t put off for tomorrow what could be done today.  I waited too long (until the cyst got inflamed) to address this issue.  It didn’t have to come to the point of surgery but you live and you learn.  Two,  shit happens.  Yes, my waiting too long to address this skin issue caused a cyst to develop but it could have been worse.  I can heal from this and life will continue to be great.  This does not mean that I did something wrong or that my health is in jeopardy.  It’s a warning from my body that I need to just pay attention to it more.

Lastly, I learned that deep breathing is a super power many of us aren’t aware of and/or just don’t use for various reasons.  I know for a fact that it helps in many circumstances not just during surgery but during typical every day situations.  I once used deep breathing to relieve pressure from my bladder after waiting too long to use the bathroom.  It worked because it kept me from peeing on myself and relieved my irritability.  You know the feeling.  How do you manage anxiety?  Everyone has it to an extent.  I would love to know if you meditate, use crystals, prayer, whatever the practice is.  This is a non-discriminatory zone.  We can all use different practices based on different beliefs without feeling like we are being judged for thinking differently from the other.  Next up, I’ll be sharing my experience with salt and epsom salt baths to detoxify, cleanse negative energy, and to relax.

Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

 

Cysts, ayurveda and antibiotics…In that order

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Peace Soulstars,

As promised, I wanted to share my horrific experience with an epidermoid cyst which has developed on my back.  I’ve been dealing with this thing for quite a while (several months)  but it wasn’t causing me any problems until now.  I now truly regret waiting so long to address this.  Now, it’s extremely painful.  Currently, I’m on antibiotics while also using a natural antibiotic, turmeric.  I’ve also found that drinking a tea of apple cider vinegar (with “the mother“), raw honey, and lemon to be helpful in making me feel more comfortable at least.  Apple Cider Vinegar is antibacterial, anti-inflamatory, anti-fungal, antiviral among many others.  It’s anti everything that will prevent your body from being alkaline and it strengthens the immune system.  If you don’t know, now you know that disease cannot live in an alkaline body.  😉  My goal is to be as alkaline as possible.  Here’s how this cyst began.

The cyst developed about a year ago (approximately).  I know it sounds bad but just let me explain.  I used to exercise 3-4x a week at a Pure Barre Studio.  I was wearing sports bras and getting sweaty almost everyday.  Of course I took a shower after I was done but for some reason I can’t help but wonder if that contributed to the cyst developing.  Prior to that I had no issues with my skin.  About 6 or so months after doing Pure Barre consistently for the same amount of time every week I began to notice this small lump on my back where my bra usually rests.   The next few sentences may be a little too graphic for you so you’re welcome to skip down to the middle of the next paragraph at “I tried tea tree oil”…The bump had a tiny opening at the tip.  I could see what looked to be some cheesy like material ready to be excreted or drained from the tip.

At first I could drain it.  This is not really the best thing to do because it can contribute to inflammation if not done properly hence the whole reason I’m dealing with this situation.  So, I would just squeeze it and the yellowish cheesy material would come out.  I would do this until nothing else came out.  Well several months later I would do my regular routine of taking a shower and trying to drain this bump because the steam from the shower softens and opens up your pores.  It would only keep reappearing every few days as the sebum oils etc would build up.  I tried tea tree oil (diluted of course), a raw honey and cinnamon mask, apple cider vinegar (acv), bentonite clay pastes and other natural remedies to dry it up.  They helped to an extent but by the time I really started doing this it had gotten to the point of no return to its natural state.  As the opening became blocked and unable to drain, the problem turned to disaster. The cyst got bigger and more annoying.  That’s when I started the epsom salt baths which helped but I ended up stopping because we were in transition (moving) and we were staying at my mom’s temporarily.   Salt baths and baths with epsom salts, baking soda, and lavender oil (sometimes tea tree) were not only relaxing but helped start the process of shrinking the cyst naturally.

There was so much going on that I didn’t feel as though I had the time or energy to tend to this “situation”.  My mom tried to help by putting some type of tea tree oil on it (more of a synthetic form).   I just about tried so many natural remedies but one day I woke up and it was sore (inflamed, warm to the touch).   As soon as we got moved into our home I found a doctor who prescribed an antibiotic for me to take which he said should shrink it.  I’ve been on the antibiotic since Wednesday.   I experienced itching  and soreness at first.  The itching was so disrespectful!  It was better than pain but it literally itched all day and night.  Then, the pain returned.  So between the itching and pain I guess it’s safe to say that the antibiotic must be doing its thing aka “knocking this inflammation out”!

Right now (Saturday) as I am typing I feel more comfortable as I’ve taken my two daily doses of antibiotics, had my turmeric smoothie this am, and drank my acv tea this evening! *deep sigh*  To be honest, after drinking the acv tea I always seem to feel better instantly.   I’m willing to do whatever it takes! I just might jump in the tub with epsom salts tonight too! LOL…I am convinced that I must be more consistent with my healthy lifestyle.  Those salt baths are everything! If you have not tried a salt bath either with sea salt or epsom salts (which are obviously two different things but both effective for detoxing) you have got to try them.

I plan to use a more integrative approach to healing my body. Therefore, I’m incorporating the use of an antibiotic in addition to ayurveda by using epsom salt baths, turmeric internally in the form of smoothies and teas along with drinking my acv tea.  We shall see how this turns out! I have a doctor’s appointment coming up on Thursday! So, I’ll keep y’all posted!  I hope everyone found some sense of peace during this long weekend.   We had family over for the weekend and had lots of laughs which was good for me.  It took my mind off of my pain and discomfort.   Peace to everyone for a great short week ahead!

Love and Light,

9k=-1

It’s the “little” things!

 

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Peace Soulstars,

The picture above is from our trip to Scarborough, Maine over a week ago and the views were just breathtaking.  The beach we visited was just as beautiful and clean with air so crisp it was surreal.  The above picture is from a historical site Fort Williams Park where we took in the scenery as we later discovered more landmarks including the Old Goddard Mansion, a nearby lighthouse, and cliff walk.  Life is much more beautiful than we sometimes think if we just take the time to enjoy the “little things” right before us.

I made sure to walk on the beach, look around at the water, the sea gulls, the sky, people surfing etc.  I have been embarking on this journey of self discovery as I get to know myself while getting more connected to God and nature.  I have to get outside everyday.  Rain or shine.  No exceptions.  The weather is warming up and that is enough of a reason to get outside.  Amongst the craziness of that which can be life with the everyday hustle and bustle among other things we must stop and just BE.  Be aware of yourself, your surroundings, breathing, the here and now.  You owe it to yourself to do this regularly.  Everyday in fact.  You don’t have to be in Maine to do so either.  There is beauty all around us if we just stop and take the time to pay attention.   We aren’t on this earth in this form for long so don’t take it for granted.  Here are more pics from our trip:

 

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Love and Light,

9k=-1

 

 

Distractions, vices, and silent killers

Peace Soulstars,

Often times we ignore our issues, suppress them and try to cope by distracting ourselves with vices which can be anything from tv, social media, food, sex ,drugs; the list goes on. This does more harm than good. We tend to realize this after damage has already been done like when we have several failed relationships, fall victim to drug addiction or develop a physical disorder.  Yes, psychological disorders can be converted to physical disorders when you don’t address unresolved issues.  There does come a time when we have to face our issues by duking it out with our fears and anxieties. If we don’t, we continue to perpetuate the cycle and eventually end up stuck in the same place where we started. Sometimes we don’t even realize this because we are that caught up in the distractions.

What do you think about late at night while everyone else is sleeping?  What are those thoughts in your mind which run in circles keeping you up all to return every single night?  Those are the things that you need to address because at some point you will have to face them whether you want to or not.  You can continue to distract yourself but you will never really be free until you just let go.  Depending on the problem you may need to seek professional help.  Does it mean you are crazy? Nope.  It just means you need to seek perspective.  You may need a little push through guidance of someone who can help you remove the veil.  The veil being those things which you “hide” behind to cover up what is inside.  Is this going to be easy? Nope.  Well, sometimes it may be easier than you think but it really depends on what the issues are and how long you’ve been holding onto them.

You will be doing yourself a disservice if you continue to use the veil and add on distraction after distraction after distraction.   You’ll know you need guidance from a professional when your problems affect your functioning.  For example, you cannot complete your tasks at work or at home like you usually could before this problem or if a child, they have recurring conflict with classmates/teachers and their grades fall.  Some other signs for adults and young adults include rapid weight loss or gain, appetite changes (increase or decrease), inability to experience pleasure or joy (anhedonia), and of course a huge sign is thoughts of harming yourself (suicidal ideation) or thoughts of harming others (homicidal ideation).  These are a few and be mindful that they are very subjective.

You must consider the role of all factors that affect your wellbeing.  That is why it is important to have a biopsychosocial assessment done by a professional because they know what areas to look into.  You may not even realize the extent to which biological, psychological, and environmental factors are affecting you.  In other cases,  you may not even need professional help.  You may just need to ask yourself “What do I want and how do I get it?”  Then, you take the necessary steps to do what you need to do.  Make sure that what you want is reasonable.   Depending on the circumstances what you want may just not be obtainable or  try this perspective: What you want may not be what you need.  I mean if it is a man or woman you “want” but they are married, involved or just not interested but you want to work on getting them anyway you may want to reconsider seeking professional help.  Just saying…

Just like we need to see a doctor or naturopath to keep track of our physical health we need to seek professional help for mental health.  They are all interconnected.  If you have a mental illness it can affect you physically and vice versa.  On average, when you have a tooth ache don’t you at some point go to the dentist to have them check it out?  If you have pain anywhere on or inside your body that won’t go away don’t you make an appointment to see your primary care physician?  It should be the same if you find yourself having emotional issues which can bring on anxiety, depression and other ailments.

As stated previously, some physical disorders can trigger psychological disorders.  There are cases where physicians treating  patients with chronic physical illnesses can and do overlook psychological disorders such as depression.  Most physicians are more concerned with the physical disorder because that’s the reason for the visit.  Many do not ask about what is going on with you mentally or emotionally.  Untreated mental illness can affect you differently than physical illness but both have a tremendous affect on your well being.  Simply put you end up treating the symptoms and not the problems.  Either way, if you keep sweeping the issues under the rug will come to surface anyway because all you’re doing is letting issues build up and build up.  You will be left with physical and/or emotional issues in the long haul.  You may shrug your shoulders and say “Well, nothing is happening yet so I’m good.”   Not necessarily.  Ever heard of the silent killer diseases?  They aren’t called “silent killers” for nothing.

Ready to seek help from a mental health professional but don’t know where to begin?  Make an appointment to see your pcp and ask them to refer you to a mental health professional or check with your insurance company.  You have to check with your insurance company anyway to be sure that your services will be covered.  Hope this was helpful!

Love and Light,

9k=-1