It’s been ages since I’ve sat here to blog on any kind of basis much less a regular one. There are many reasons why which I’ll dive into in a moment. Reasons I’ve discussed with my kick-ass therapist and my spiritual advisor. They, of course, provided excellent feedback and suggestions. However, the truth of why and what I need to do about it are inside me. They always are, aren’t they? I needed to be still long enough to allow some truths and solutions to catch up with my conscious mind.
Truth #1, starting with New Year’s last year, my life lacked prolonged, purposeful moments of stillness. I began with a yoga manifestation retreat in Ojai, came home and fell into a 31-day yoga challenge with my home studio, Bright Yoga. I facilitated an online A-Z Mindful Living group on Facebook for the month of February. I began fundraising in earnest for Yoga Teacher Training shortly thereafter. That included a whirlwind of cooking chili with cornbread dinners, organizing garage sales (two), working overtime at my job and a little baking here and there. Yoga teacher training started in mid-July and went until the very end of October. Add to that, my community commitments to be a secretary of a weekly Sunday morning 12-step meeting in a local park, being a Board Member and Events Coordinator for another community organization that involved monthly board meetings and planned activities for the organization every other month. Then there was the Big Island Writers Workshops in Los Angeles every six to eight weeks and monthly trips to Pasadena to see my grandkids and family up there. Plus my twice weekly personal 12-step meeting attendance and appointments with my kick-ass therapist every other week. All the while writing THREE blog posts a week. Oh, and lest we forget, my best friend, Dawny and I also cleaned houses on the side for extra money!
Shit, that brings us to Truth#2. It’s no wonder my body started reacting to all the activity, stress and emotion. Boy did it ever! My menstrual cycle, which was already prolonged and heavy went full rogue, lasting up to three weeks at a time. Near the end of the Presidential Election cycle and my Yoga Teacher Training in late October, I started to break out in rashes all over my body. This was definitely something unpleasant, unfamiliar and extremely disruptive. The rashes were itchy, inflamed and painful to the touch. I broke out badly on two separate occasions from my ears, my face, neck, arms, upper torso, lower back, to my lower legs. Nothing I tried worked. For the first time since I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Lupus six years earlier, I was seeing multiple doctors, undergoing tests and multiple procedures. I had appointments with my Primary Physician, an Ob/Gyn, a Dermatologist and my regular Rheumatologist who oversees my Lupus. I submitted to blood work and other lab tests, I had a sonogram, a hystero-sonogram, an endometrial biopsy and finally an outpatient surgical procedure. The Dermatologist was extremely unhelpful after having to wait six weeks for an appointment. By then the rashes were almost gone. He couldn’t tell me what the rashes were but prescribed an ointment with a strong antihistamine that thins out my skin after prolonged use. A little tidbit I found out from the pharmacist, who tried to hide her surprise and mild alarm that the Dermatologist had not informed me of that side effect, nor had he told me when to stop using it. Needless to say, I never used the ointment. Finally, somewhere in there I damaged my sciatic nerve, severely. In a way, I’d never done before because this was more than just some pain that shot down my leg from the back of my ass. This was being unable to sit comfortably or walk comfortably without excruciating pain. Especially when I drove over bumps or potholes in cars or just riding in my work elevator when it came to a stop on each floor.
I was truly a walking misery by this point and work started making more changes that piled on the stress. My boss informed me in early November that my absences, the unplanned ones were too high and suggested I get intermittent FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) approval from my doctor to protect my job. So there was all of that bureaucracy to deal with. For the first time in my long work history, I had to do this. There was Human Resources, Cigna Leave Solutions and my Rheumatologist to coordinate to accomplish this. But I accomplish it I did!
The solutions to my medical problems were self-evident. The solutions to everything else came eventually with the start of one question from my spiritual advisor almost two months ago. “I wonder where your spirituality is in all of this”? Solution#1, getting back to regular prayer, meditation and daily 12-step readings in the morning. It did start to help almost immediately, just enough to take the edge off at work. So much so that Solution#2 flowed right from the easing of the edge. I applied for my old job in a different department at my company. I had to talk to some managers and supervisors, then jump through some hoops, but I got the job! It’s a position that carries less stress and less multi-tasking. It will give me breathing room and free up the much-needed energy to focus on slowly building up my eventual yoga business. Which brought me to Solution#3, giving myself permission to take a fucking break! Seriously, I was stressed out about still not completing all my practicum and financial requirements for my yoga teacher certification. I was stressed out because I wasn’t writing my blog again now that I’d completed the training portion of YTT. I was stressed out because part of my original “master plan” was to be fully certified and teaching yoga enough to leave my current job.
That third and final solution, final for my current situation anyway, was huge and the biggest key. Giving myself permission to take a well-earned and deserved break allowed me to really get still and reevaluate where I was and reconcile where I was headed. It seems that my pesky little EGO didn’t feel I was entitled to that. There were several other things I had planned for myself that I shifted around and postponed. I am now in a stronger, more fluid, and accepting mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state. Looking back and forward, I’m truly fortunate to come through all of this without falling apart or falling down. I’ll take it and keep moving, ever inward as He Calls. It seems I’ve stumbled into falling up.