Self Care Friday: We become what we do…

Peace Soulstars,

Let’s talk about something that has changed my life since 2013 and taught me the importance of self care…Yoga.  My first official yoga class was in 2013.  It was bikram yoga also known as “hot yoga”.  The name in and of itself is a bit intimidating when you haven’t experienced hot yoga before.  I was having a rough day and a friend of mine texted me about going to hot yoga class with her.

A part of me didn’t feel like it because I was in a horrible mood.  The other part had been curious about taking an actual yoga class with other people of all levels. I had done yoga at home for years but never took a class.  It was more about convenience I guess.

When my friend asked me to come to class with her, I had just taken my social work licensure exam and failed it.  I felt terrible but didn’t need to.  It was only a test.  All I know is that I told my husband about my invite to yoga and he encouraged me to go despite how I felt.  So, I went.  It was one of the best decisions I made for myself.

I remember at the beginning of the class while we were in child’s pose focusing on the breath I thought to myself “This is awesome.”…Just from breathing alone.  The instructor said the words which were music to my soul “Let go of all of the shit from this week”.  I needed to hear that and I did.  I began to learn the art of letting go that day and it felt amazing.

I had done yoga before but there was something different about this time.  I did yoga for “fitness” before but this time I had a reason beyond getting the poses right.  I got on the mat not for physical exercise but for my spirit. Later, I learned that it’s called yoga flow for a reason.  It starts with awareness, the breath, spirit, mind and the body follows.

My spirits were low and needed uplifting.  My peace of mind was shook by an external conditions and I allowed that to happen.  I learned that my peace of mind is not contingent upon passing a test or how others perceive me or any other extenuating circumstances.  I cannot control what goes on outside of myself but I can control what goes on within me.

I proceeded to fall in love with yoga and kept it up for almost a year two to three times a week.  Once I discovered pure barre I alternated between yoga and barre.  Nothing ever felt like yoga though. Nothing ever compared.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve been practicing yoga at home about three or more days a week.  Recently I participated in a challenge (twelve days of yoga) which motivated me to practice daily even if only for ten minutes.  The benefits are endless and the little improvements you notice as days progress are profound.  Sometimes I do yoga twice a day(morning and evening) depending.

Over the years,  I always kept yoga in my routine along with other forms of body work (exercise).  So, I would do yoga once or twice a week at home along with pure barre which I had done for a few years (2013-2015).  It was great.  I love pure barre too but nothing was like yoga.  Yoga is soul work when you fully embrace it.

Prior to starting yoga, I thought it was about fitness but had a mindful component to it.  It’s actually the other way around and more.  Yoga means “union”.   We could get into sanskrit terms but for now I’ll keep it simple.  Mind, body, and spirit become aligned when you become yoga.  They unite.

When you break down the many aspects of mind, body, spirit there are many other components within.  We don’t “do” yoga, we become yoga.  When we become it, our soul is illuminated.  Everything else falls into place.  You may not be into yoga which is fine but I am.

Books like The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran (although there are many translations available) and Osho’s Mind, Body, Balancing as well as others have all increased my interest in yoga. I’ve begun diving deeper beyond the surface of how yoga is presented in western culture.  Oh, India how I would love to come experience you full circle….One day.

Just be mindful that movement is necessary.  Stagnant energy that doesn’t get released finds places to hide within.  If that stagnant energy doesn’t get shaken up regularly, it can eventually develop into physical ailments and conditions making you sick.  We become what we do, so choose wisely.

Love and light,

 

 

 

Cyst Update: I had surgery…

healing

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

Naturalantibiotics

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

What I’ve been up to…

 

WhatIBeenUpto

Peace Soulstars,

Is it really September and I let a whole month go by without blogging?  Shame on me!  The nerve!  In my attempt to scold myself for being M.I.A. for a while I want you all to know there’s a legitimate excuse that keeps me from being too hard on myself.   There’s a reason that  August was pretty much non existent on the blog and the one year anniversary (August 15th) of Amanisoul.com got completely overlooked!  *deep sigh* That is a huge accomplishment by the way which deserves its own post (Coming Soon!).

Lots of transitions have been taking over my life as of late including a move back to my hometown, the DMV!  I wanted to just briefly take the time to explain that the lack of posts for the past month have been due  to my shift of focus solely being on packing and moving in a nutshell.  It’s been quite the experience because it was our third move in three years.  Yes, every Labor Day weekend for the last three years we have moved.  We moved to Boston in 2014, moved to another apartment (same complex) in 2015 and this year we moved to the DMV!  This will be the last move for a LONG time! I’m speaking it into existence!! *hands up to the universe*

Speaking of the universe, I almost lost my mind just a little bit (haha) but I discovered how beneficial mindfulness meditation is in maintaining my sanity.  Right now as we speak the house is still filled with boxes and I’m okay with that for someone who despises disorder.  If ever you’re faced with so many things going on at one time some of which are beyond your control make it mandatory to take time out for yourself to enjoy life.  Appreciate the “little things”.

Treat yourself to some ice cream (or a smoothie for my health conscious folks), go for a walk, get outside…Do whatever you like to do that represents life and forces you to slow down!   Focus on that one thing and take every second and minute to enjoy every morsel of “life”.  That is mindfulness.  Then you can go back to dealing with the chaos with a cool head.   We all need balance.  We need the stress to learn how to deal with challenges when they arise because there’s no escaping stress.  We can minimize it but not totally omit it.  At the end of the day, regardless of the craziness life still goes on.  Remind yourself that this is only temporary.

Well, we’re all moved in now but still lots of organizing and unpacking to do among a plethora of other things that have tested my ability to remain calm like dealing with the MVA.  In other news, in case some of you didn’t know I do have an instagram where I post more frequently with shorter more straight to the point inspirational posts.  I share my experiences in getting closer to my higher self, the mistakes lessons (because I’m human) in this journey called life, and my fascination in rediscovering the use of crystals.  Manifestation at its best!  You can find me on insta at amanisoul_.  I’m also on snapchat as missangiebee.   So many blessings and new beginnings have my level of gratitude on high!  Not only am I thankful for this next chapter.  I am also thankful that I still have my loyal audience which is you who hasn’t quit on me during the time of my absence.  Life happens and  I know y’all understand that.  So, thank you!

The break stops here though.   I needed to take time to focus on packing, preparing for the move etc.  If you’ve been there done that than you know what it all entails.  I honestly could not focus on blog posts so I would post here and there to instagram because it was just easier with the way my lifestyle was at the time of transitioning.  Transitioning is still in effect as we get used to new surroundings, people, and everything else thrown our way but we are taking it one day at a time.  Been working on new posts which I plan to start sharing soon including one about an epidermoid cyst that  has developed on my back.  I’ll discuss how I plan to use an integrative approach to healing myself because I’ll be using an antibiotic (per Doctor’s orders) in addition to natural remedies for the inflammation.  Until next time,  I hope you all have a peaceful weekend!

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