Health, Spirituality, Uncategorized

An Anniversary Post

The end of this month marks my 17th anniversary of being free of the the pain and medications associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis. At this point 17 years ago, I was still on a daily regimen of anti-inflammatories (Lodine, Naproxen, Prednisone, and Methotrexate…while often still resorting to Advil to help with the pain), but something had changed. I was “treating my symptoms” while actively working on healing from within. You see, up until July of 2000, I had been struggling as a victim to a disease that I had coped with since I was 3 years old. Years of medications, a couple of short-lived remissions, and a resignation to this being the pattern of my life had taken my health out of my hands. That July, I reluctantly (and doubtfully) went to see an energy worker for the first time. I felt a change. I felt an ease and a calm that I hadn’t felt…ever. It was after that visit, that I thought, I need to do something different. I am ready to do something different. I couldn’t afford to keep going to this person while still paying out of pocket for all my doctor visits, so I thought, I need to learn how to do this for myself. By September, I had read some books (the first of which was Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life), I had taken some classes to learn how to give myself energy, I began to meditate (or attempt to), and I had found a group of others that were learning to do the same. This was the start of my journey and I slowly was feeling an improvement in my health, but I had some solid challenges to face that had nothing to do with the pain or swelling. What I found was that I had two primary challenges that I had to consistently work on overcoming. Others looking in told me that it should be smooth sailing  once I got over the physical symptoms that I had been dealing with. What they didn’t understand was that the emotional aspect was actually the most difficult piece to shift and release. Nobody wants to be in pain. Getting the body to physically cooperate was actually easier than getting my mind on board.

First, as much as this seems contrary to what I would want for myself, JRA had become a very real part of my identity. I was 3 when I was diagnosed. That means that for (at the time) 22 out of 25 years of my life, I struggled with and I identified with a person that had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was a very real and tangible part of my identity. It was as much a part of how I defined myself as being from Ohio or coming from a Greek family. It was woven into the fabric of my identity and removing those threads of “who I was” was…work. A constant awareness and work.

Second, and I’m going to get very vulnerable and honest here, probably equally as challenging as having to shift the way I viewed myself, was having to become aware of and then finding the courage and motivation to get rid of my victim mentality. For so many years, I was a victim to my disease. It defined who I was, what I was able to do, how others viewed me, and how I viewed myself. It put limits on my physical ability, but then again, so did I. It pains me to say that I often used it as an excuse to not face challenges, to get out of doing things that were hard, and I willingly accepted any sympathy that others offered me due to my disease. Taking my power back was HARD. Taking ownership of my “limitations” and of my limiting beliefs was HARD…but it was worth it. I mean, it was REALLY worth it.

This week, while I am not quite at the anniversary point of where I had finally weaned myself off of all of my medications, I am grateful. During this rainy, humid, wet week, I don’t feel a thing and for that I am beyond feeling mere gratitude. It is a sign of the immense healing that I have had the honor of experiencing, but it is also a sign of my strength. Today, I am celebrating my growth, challenges, and healing.

Writing with gratitude and love–Maria

new-think

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Health, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Body Maintenance…keeping your engine running at its optimal level

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A common theme in our house this past week has been one of “taking care of your body”. I believe society as a whole can agree that food fuels your body. After all, the old saying “you are what you eat” definitely derived from a known truth. However, what many still don’t realize is that your body is also an energetic vessel. One that requires similar attention and maintenance as say, a car. Go with me here. Just as we use gas to fill up our car and keep it running at its peak level, we use energy to keep our bodies and organs running at their peak level. Yoga, acupuncture, energy work (such as reiki) keep your body from blockages and build up. They keep the gas moving through the engine, so that your vehicle can continue to run at its optimal level. But what happens when you have run yourself ragged and have not found ways to “refuel”? We all know that no matter how hard we try, we cannot keep going if that gas light is on for too long. Eventually, your car will stop…hopefully near a gas station. But here’s another thing. I’m not a mechanic, but I have heard that if you drive your car and don’t keep up with maintainance–running out of gas on a regular basis, not changing the oil, rotating tires, etc–then you will most certainly have some bigger, more expensive, problems on your hands. At the very least, the life of your car will be greatly diminished. Do you see the parallel here? If you don’t do things to regularly maintain this “vehicle” that we’ve been given, then you yourself are responsible for diminishing the life of this vehicle! That’s a big responsibility. But the truth is, it’s not that hard to maintain. Feed it well…every now and again, fill it with a higher octane. Rest. Get to know your own body. Listen to it. When your body gives you signs that you need a break, take it! After all, you don’t go from full to empty that quickly. Pay attention. Learn to recognize when your body is giving you signs. For example, last night my son said, “I feel weird. I feel almost…empty.” I complimented him on recognizing that feeling and asked if he would like an energy treatment. He said yes because, if nothing else, my kids recognize the value of refilling when they are feeling low. When I was giving him energy, I saw that he was completely in balance (that will have to be a future post), but that he was very depleted throughout. In other words, his gas tank was on empty. I filled him back up and this morning he came downstairs feeling back to normal/full.

So you might ask, what if I don’t know someone who can give me energy? My answer? Well, it’s kind of mixed. I do believe that you can do things to fill yourself back up. Rest, spend time out in nature, find time to do the things that you love…that fill your heart, meditate (or deep, focused prayer), listen to your favorite music, have a good meal that has plenty of “live foods” (this is fruits and vegetables…things that grow from the earth). Slowly, these things will help fill you back up. If you are already full, then these are the things that will keep you full! These are your natural ways to maintain your vehicle. If you feel so low that you don’t feel much relief from trying the above, then seek out someone who can give you energy. Get a massage, acupuncture, yoga…do something to get things unblocked and moving again. There are many avenues and methods to attain your optimal level. Try some out and then go with what feels best and works for you personally.

And remember, if energy work interests you, but you don’t know where to start, you can always come back here and set up a distance appointment with me (if you aren’t local). I would love to help!

As for me, tonight I am trying something new. I just signed up for a Sound Healing Meditation class and I am excited to experience something that I haven’t done before. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Spirituality, Uncategorized

Happy 2016!

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Honoring the self. Nurturing the self. This is that time of the year when we begin looking at what we are dissatisfied with–parts of our lives and our bodies–and begin making “resolutions” that are intended to change the things that we don’t like.
What if we were to shift our thinking ever so slightly, and instead make a promise to nurture the parts of us that we do like but that often go neglected because of other priorities or obligations.
If you enjoy running, promise yourself to make more time to run. If you enjoy meditating, carve out 10 minutes (something doable but fulfilling) a day to focus on meditation. If you love art, promise yourself to take a class…do better,  seek it out and book it!
I was recently given the message, “action is required”. Show that you are willing to take the steps and open the doors to all the possibilities!
Happy 2016 to all of you!

Health, Spirituality

The Elusive Art of Meditation

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing an energy session with a new client when meditating came up. I meant to post about it at the time, but summer life and our family “staycation” gave me the excuses that I needed to just be lazy. However today during a session, the same topic came up again! Funny how that happens.So here’s the thing. I am finding that many people are too afraid to begin meditating because of the fear of doing it “wrong”. What we discovered during that last session was that this particular client (not unlike my own mother) loved to work in her garden. This was her meditation! Her goal for that week was to just sit and be in her garden. To close her eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on her head and to visualize this warmth going down and through her entire body. This could last 30 seconds or 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter. That’s the beauty of meditation. There is no right or wrong way to do it really. There is just what works for you. Finding those moments during your day when you can sit and breathe and feel that sense of peace throughout your body. It’s less about how long you meditate and more about just learning to carve out moments throughout your days/weeks for you to reconnect and find that peace. 

How do you integrate meditation into your daily life? What does it look like for you?

Health, Spirituality

Ask and You Shall Receive…

Okay, so that’s just funny. I just typed the title of this post into Google Images, and this was one of the pictures that came up 🙂 Not quite where I was about to go with this post, but okay. Pretty funny.

Now that I’ve got your attention, time to get down to what I really wanted to post about. The stomach bug (sorry Bradley Cooper). That thing has been going through our schools and unfortunately, over the last week, through our children with a vengeance. Today, my friend/neighbor/carpool buddy called to tell me that one of her sons woke up this morning looking grey and saying that his stomach was hurting. Uh-oh. Naturally, I offered to give him an energy treatment to see if we could keep this thing from really sinking in over in  her house. Two kids at our house was bad enough, I can only imagine the war zone it would be if it took hold of her four…I would have to crochet some Lysol holsters for her to strap on…but I digress.

So as I was giving her son energy, I noticed that he was very depleted. I would fill, check and see that he was getting better, but still depleted. I started thinking about how when we are depleted, we are more susceptible to picking up all the yuckies that are floating around us and hanging out on doorknobs, etc and started wondering. Yes, I have this knowledge and yes, I have the ability to keep us all “filled”, but do I really have the time to devote to giving my entire family (and my friends and their families) energy treatments every morning? The answer is no. I really don’t. I would love to, but I can’t. So how do we protect our families from unnecessary illnesses? It was at that point that I asked God to fill all of his energy points. No sooner were the “thought words” out, than I heard, “okay, done.” Really?!?! Ahh, yes. Really. Ask and you shall receive, right? And quickly. I checked him again, and sure enough. Completely full and in balance. Just. Like. That.

I called my friend about 15 minutes later to tell her about what had happened and she said that her son had– the moment before the phone rang–just come down and said he was hungry. Amazing.

I think that sometimes we forget. We forget that we are not in this thing all alone. We forget that it’s not actually all in our control, and thank goodness, not all in our hands. That would be a lot to hold!

So instead of taking a few hours every morning to do energy work on all my family and friends, how about asking for God to take care of them? Keep them healthy and safe and know and trust that it is not such a huge task when I just ask.

Health, Spirituality

Healing with Flowers?

Healing with Flowers?

Disease is solely and purely corrective; it is neither vindictive nor cruel, but it is the means adopted by our own souls to point out to us our faults, to prevent our making greater errors, to hinder us from doing more harm, and to bring us back to the path of Truth and Light from which we should never have strayed.

-Edward Back in his Collected Writings

Recently I have begun to dive into the world of Bach Flower Remedies with a passion. If I could buy all 38 of them and try them out on my own at different times (or with volunteers), I would. Wait, I suppose I could do that but don’t currently have the extra money falling out of my pockets…some day.

Anyway, after reading Vinton McCabe’s The Healing Bouquet: Exploring Bach Flower Remedies, I identified a few remedies that I myself might benefit from taking. Here’s the thing about healing your life (whether from disease or old thought patterns, whatever), it can be really hard! I will be the first to admit that it’s ridiculously difficult to look at yourself and focus on your shortcomings or character “flaws”, but over the last several years I have also become very aware that if you want to move forward with health and joy, this is exactly what you need to do! Uhg to exploring and dissecting yourself. So much easier to do with others 😉

So there’s a part in this book–I will paraphrase as I have no idea where to find it off the top of my head–where it talks about how difficult it can be to see these negative characteristics in ourselves. He says that our answers often lie in our biggest pet peeves. Nooooooo!!!! Yes. So what drives me crazy? When people that I love don’t see themselves for the amazing, beautiful, capable beings that they are. When they lack self-confidence in everyday life and especially regarding things that I (and probably everyone else around them) can see that they are amazing at doing. It really bothers me. Hmmmm.

larch

Sooooo…that being said, I started taking Larch (pictured above–follow the link to see other beautiful photos of flowers and pottery creations). Dr. Bach says that this remedy is “for those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel that they will never be a success, and so do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed.”

Eek. Could that be me? Yes. Sadly, it could. I will spare you the uneventful, very simple reason that I have had self-confidence issues all my life and just admit it. This is true. This is me. This book helped me realize it and about the same time that I was reading this book, I was looking online one day and found some really great energy workers who were offering meditation classes, etc. As I looked at the bio page, I saw that they had been doing this for 3 years. 3 years! And already they started a website offering energy and meditation workshops, etc. And it hit me. I have been doing energy and meditating for nearly 13 years and have been off medicines for my RA and have had no problems with it since…never once did it occur to me that I was capable or qualified to teach. Crazy right?!

I started taking the Larch about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have offered and hosted/taught my first beginning meditation class out of my house. It was only a handful of people that I feel comfortable with, but it went really well! Surprisingly well I would say. And the best part about it is that they asked for more. So we are continuing this class every other week and I look forward to watching as each of my friends begins to find more peace in their everyday lives. More quiet to reflect. And hopefully the calm to begin to hear that inner voice, that whisper, that we so often miss.

Healing with flowers Dr. Bach? I’m starting to think he might have been onto something…

Health, Spirituality

How I Really Look

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Soooo, I saw this on facebook yesterday and just couldn’t help myself (for several reasons)! So funny! But really, does anyone else ever feel like this? What’s really funny is that just after re-sharing this on FB, I turned to wordpress to read and be inspired and what do I find? This little beauty http://goss-coaching.com/2012/12/06/love-your-body-to-get-the-body-you-love/

So, this morning I am going to put my ET feelings aside and reread (probably several times) the post by Goss Coaching and do a little soul-searching. Cheers!