Archive | Health RSS feed for this section
Quote

I HAVE COMPASSION

17 Mar

Our farm is growing and our baby chickens are not so little any more. In the spirit of keeping it real, and always be telling the truth (ABTTT) I am not a huge fan of the chickens, I love their eggs, but they are kinda stinky little things. My sweet Blaise doesn’t think they stink, in fact he loves them as if they were his babies, that’s what he calls them, “My pretty babies.” He has compassion and caring actions for all creatures, even gross bugs.

Compassion has been on my mind a ton lately. I can’t stop thinking about compassion, finding it, keeping it, and putting it in to practice. In my mini workshop last week I told the women there to find compassion for themselves. I asked them, “Would you turn to your best friend and tell her that she is fat or ugly?” Of course we wouldn’t, but we find it completely ok to say those things to ourselves. I think this is where I am not congruent in my life, not lately. I am compassionate, I do have compassion for all others in my life, but struggle to put that practice to use on myself.

My family and I have a truly magical relationship. They are  always there to inspire me, but also there to always call me on my shit. More times than I can remember they have told me, “I am always looking for a reason to make myself feel bad.” Sadly, it’s true. I am  tired of this, I have outgrown this conversation.

I found myself today thinking of all the reasons why my yoga studio is growing slowly. I started thinking of the countless laundry list of things that were “wrong” with me. I am done with all of this, it means nothing and does nothing to improve any situation. I think if it doesn’t inspire, support or better the situation I will not speak those thoughts out loud. It all boils down to the fear of what will people find out about me? What is it that I am afraid people will see if I truly reveal myself? This is a heavy load to carry around all day, every day.

I have decided that I am going to practice loving compassion in every single morsel of my life. I am going to work on connecting the mind-body connection in my life. I am going to heal my body by healing my spirit and working on connecting the bridge between the two.

I have decided to work on completely “greening” my diet and clean out my insides. Finding balance with my inner workings and creating clarity in my spirit. I am going to practice compassion and ease into this as a life long change. I am truly excited to see what unfolds for me when I find peace with my physical and spirit self.

I am re-reading my “Eastern Body Western Mind” book. I am digging back down into my own personal chakra healing. Starting from the bottom and working up. I am ready to tear down some serious walls and dirt. I think of it like annual spring cleaning.

Advertisements
Quote

It Finds You

4 Mar

Blaise woke up promptly at 7am, “I am hungry mom, I need an apple.” Today is our day to sleep in, I was hoping for just 20 more minutes, well nope, not today. I got up and BAM. Holy, you know what, migraine city. I don’t typically get headaches, let alone migraines, up until recently. I think to myself, “I am fine. I have medicine for this, I will rest before work, this shall pass.” Six hours later, 2 pills later, a nap later, and I still think my brains are ready to come out of every possible crevice in my head. Oh did I mention today I decided to start my juice cleanse/fast/feast.

juice fast

Probably not smart because I am going out-of-town on Friday and well, let’s just say it’s about that time of the month. I went forth with reckless abandon, thinking I made it four days last time, I can definitely do four days this time. Ha! At just around 1:30 I was ready to eat my left arm for lunch. I started thinking. Listen to your body, what is it telling you, it’s telling you to eat. I had some nuts. Headache still here.

Rewind:

7am in my house:

Rachel: “Blaise you need to get on the scale it’s been a while.”

Blaise: “Okay Mommy”

Rachel: “Oh my god you gained 4 lbs. What the heck. I did everything the doctor said. How could this be?

hate the scale

My husband senses a major meltdown and hides under the covers. My heart starts beating. Oh my god. I hate PWS. I hate scales. I hate food. I hadn’t planned on getting on myself, having gorged on some serious Italian last night, and the night before, but of course I did anyway. I stepped on. OH MY GOD I am up another 10 lbs. Panic sets in, sweat beads are forming on my forehead, my voice deepens, every living thing in my path should run for cover. I deal with panic, I ask for help from good friends and move on with my day. Experience and release, I hope.

WHAT YOU SEEK IN LIFE WILL FIND YOU

I am sleeping in my bed when my phone goes off. It is 1:45 headache is still raging, it’s Blaise’s teacher. Shit, do I answer? Is it important? Oh god, I want to sleep. I answer. Conversation goes as follows. “Blaise had an accident, a big one, he wet his pants big time. Oh and there are no clothes here that fit him, they are all too small, oh and by the way he needs bigger pants his butt keeps showing.” Well, after that mouth full I am fully awake. I rub my eyes, put my shoes on and head out the door. I start the car, oh I need to bring clothes, my child is naked in his class. I get to school and he is wrapped in a blanket, naked from the waist down. Conversation from phone continues: “Blaise needs BIGGER pants, his butt crack shows, he is too big for his clothes.” Yes, I get it.

Universe said to me: You wanted to deal with this today. You asked for it. You put it out there. I didn’t say how I would give it to you, but I did. So the universe presented me with this horrible and ugly situation with my son. For the non PWS  parent let me explain why such situation is ugly and horrible. Our kids gaining weight is the ultimate enemy, (the bigger PWS kids that is). After leaving the doctor in January and her saying no more weight gain, another four pounds feels like I have an elephant sitting on my chest.

elephant-on-the-chest

I pulled up my boot straps and drove his little hiney down to the store and got new pants. Situation handled, NOT.

Said voice in my head(in one long breath): You are failing as a PWS mom, this is too much to bare. I have to monitor everything he eats, make sure he gets exercise and therapy, I have to practice reading, writing, and math at home, dole out countless medications everyday, make sure his GI tract is functioning, make sure he is breathing at night, keep him safe from food, help him dress, brush his teeth, use the bathroom properly, give his GH shot every night, drive to Atlanta and Florida for countless doctor appointments, and there is too much more to list. OH AND SHIT HE GAINED 4 LBS, like I need one more thing.

This is the voice inside my head. Sometimes I wonder how I get the courage to wake up in the morning and face another day of battles and victories, or joy and hurt. All I know to do is keep moving forward, connecting with my support system, and write.

My mom was here for 2 months when I got sick, she is an angel from heaven. Just knowing I had somebody to turn to at any point in the day was heavenly. I still have that, via phone, but I have it. PWS can make you feel so alone. I don’t feel alone today, but in the spirit of ABTTT(always be telling the truth) I am admitting that today I am overwhelmed and exhausted. If it was weight issues I wanted this morning I sure got them.

Sometimes I can do all the right things and the outcome still doesn’t fit my plan. This is that such case. I did everything the doctors told me and it still backfired. Time for plan B. I will always turn to plan b, and then c. I will do whatever it takes to get it right for Blaise. I want him to live a happy life, I want him to be healthy and fit, and move with ease. I will tackle this latest monster. I am tired and don’t know if I have the energy for monster slaying, but there is a job to do and so I go forth, with reckless abandon, because I love my son.

monster slayer

Quote

Connections, Connecting, Connector

23 Feb

It feels like a Sunday morning, it’s not, it’s Saturday. Typical Saturdays at our house are so hectic, I should be out the door for karate now, not sitting and watching tv and drinking coffee. I was meant to be here, on my big plush green microfiber sofa. I was meant to sit and sip my coffee out of my new coffee mug, the one my mom bought me that reads, “Life is Good.”

I love Oprah. I really love Oprah. I cried when her show ended. I was elated to find her having her own network, The OWN network. I love it to the umpteenth degree. I have a new favorite show called, “The Trouble Next Door.” Here is the premise. A family in the neighborhood is in some type of crisis, desperate and running low on options. They call a neighborhood meeting and the family, who most don’t know, ask all of the neighborhood for help. Tons of neighbors show up to the meeting to meet this family in peril, they show up and take it on all the way.

This episode is serendipitous. This single mother has 5 children, one who is severely autistic, and one with major behavioral issues. Oh my heart beats for her. I feel like our hearts are connected. I don’t know her, she most certainly doesn’t know me, but I wish we could. Hey, this family is from just here in the Atlanta area, it could happen.

This mother is drained, she is sad, she is desperate, all emotions I have felt often. As the episode moves forward you see these connections building. They start out small, maybe like a flimsy wood suspension bridge, but then they build. Now they are the Golden Gate bridge. Miracles happen everyday, you have to ask for them. My heart is pounding as I see the courage it took for this mother to reach out to these stranger and just ask for HELP.

What changes will take place in her life? Has the course of her life been altered forever because she chose to connect, get connected, be a connector. It is powerful.

When Blaise was first diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome I was defeated. I was lost, angry, and hopeless. That never stopped me before in my life, why would I go there now. I got on the phone and started making connections. In 24 hours I was on the phone with two PWS families.That was nothing compared to meeting the Georgia chapter of PWS USA. I was so nervous that day. My stomach was way down by my feet. I felt the earth giving in underneath me with each step. I just kept telling myself, “put one foot in front of the other, keep walking, keep breathing.” I was completely unprepared for what was to follow. It was family, it was connection instantly, it was a group of people who genuinely looked in my eyes and let me know, “we are connected, you are one of us now, we have your back.”

I look back on that day over 3 years ago. Life changing and eye-opening. It was a day full of promise for me, a day filled with opportunity and hope that my boy would be part of something in his life.

My writing has brought me connections that would other wise never have appeared. I feel a sense of utter calm when I am in a room full of connected souls. That is what we all want. We want to feel connected. We want connections. We want to know:

WE ARE NOT ALONE, YOU AREN’T!

making-connections

Connections provide that safety net, that harness that holds you up in a ropes course. When I was 20 years old I did such a ropes course. I had to climb to the top of a tree, I don’t know it was like 80 feet high, probably not but it was really high. I had to then climb on a disc placed at the top of such tree, and jump. Oh, I had to jump and catch a trapeze. When I got to the top of the tree I could make it on the disc. My stomach was churning. I am getting nervous just thinking of that day, that moment in time. I remember yelling down, “I am going to throw up on all of you.” A voice came from down below, it was a friend I had made named Eliza. I could barely make out her words at first, she kept repeating them. “We are here for you, you can do this, we are all doing this together, keep going.” I don’t know but I just gave one big push and up I went. I said, “shit Rachel, I can’t believe this.” and then I jumped. I screamed as I leapt through the air, but I knew the 20 folks on the ground were there for me.

leap

In your dark night of the soul, or your brightest day of light sending, find your connections. Be a connector. I have this feeling crawling up inside of me. It is creeping up through my restless legs at night, it is finding a home in my belly, it is finding its way up to my heart. This is what i want to do. I want to make connections, keep connecting, and be a CONNECTOR.

Have you connected your soul to another yet? I say go out and make connections. Facebook connections are great, but make those real face to face connections. Get out there. Make plans with your friends even when your tired. Call up your friends on the phone, instead of texting. Make genuine and authentic connections, and then sit back and watch what unfolds for you.

hands2

 

You could reach down in your soul and find more than enough things to connect with. I look at my own life and realize I am full of connections waiting to happen.

I am connected to Special Needs Families

I am connected to recovering addicts

I am connected to the Jewish community

I am connected to people from Philadelphia

I am connected to people who love the Bay area in California

I am connected to people who lost their parents too young

I am connected to those who love yoga.

I could go on forever. Sometimes I pick and choose which connection I want that day. Sometimes it is more than one. All the time I know that they are there and waiting to bust out.

Are you a connector or are you searching for connections? Share below

 

Quote

Find Me Now

21 Feb

Life is full of surfacey things. Chock full of material things to fill out time. Jobs, cars, iPad, and gym memberships, all things to keep us busy and paint a pretty picture of who we ARE.

I can stay busy all day writing in my blog or reading a book. I can play with my secret diary on my iPad or paint my nails. I can cook elaborate and beautiful meals for my family without any planning at all. I can do so many things. Is that who I am? I can make a list of all the things I think I am:

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Friend, Yoga Teacher, Aspiring Chef, Aspiring artist, Aspiring author, blog owner and so on.

Is that who I am?

i_am

I am a questioner and lover of the grandiose picture of life, the big picture. I want to know, when do we find out who we really are, what our real I AM-NESS truly is.

Do we find it during the happy and joyful times. Maybe we find that we are blissful and loving and a lover when we get married, maybe that is who we are. Maybe we give birth to a beautiful baby and see those tiny eyes and think, I am a dedicated soul for this little human, okay I get it, this is who I am. Maybe you get the career of your dreams and travel the world while getting paid buckets of money to do exactly what you love, you sit back and say. HOLY SHIT THIS IS WHO I AM, AND I LOVE IT.

Or is that not it at all. Is it found when you are in the dark places. The hollow and shallow place where no light can come in. The cave where you are all alone and can only hear the echo of your own raspy and tired voice. Is this where you find yourself? Is it when the call comes in that your child has an incurable condition, one that you can’t fix, is this where you find out you are warrior, that you have strength you never knew lived inside. Maybe you find out that your baby is going to die and you will have to spend two years watching his body slow down until it is no more. Is it then that you find you are filled with words and compassion and thousands of people will be changed by your words put to pen and paper. Maybe after years of anger and rage you finally reach the point to which your soul can take no more, you can finally rise up and stand again on your own two feet. Is this the moment?

I can’t answer any of the questions. I have a secret to share. I keep waiting for somebody to answer that question for me. I keep waiting for somebody to come and share with me the wisdom of this world. Where is this mythical creature who will show me the path, shine the light, and get me to my destination safely. My savior.

I can’t be the only one, in fact of course I am not. I think we all have a small desire in us to have somebody else help us along the way. I think the harsh reality is this, nobody is going to come and share their wisdom with me. It will be their wisdom and not mine anyway.

Where will you find yourself? Will it be in the lightness or the darkness? If has already happened, is it earth shattering?

earth-shattering

Please share and help shine your light for others.

 

Quote

Tiny Beautiful Things

18 Feb

It was so cold today. The sun was shining but the wind  and the air were bitter. My fatigue had set in deeply. My bones felt weak and the cold air felt as if my body was thrust into an ice bath. The burning that comes before your body parts eventually go numb. I drove home from teaching tonight with my seat warmer on and the heat on full blast. I had no need for music as I drove home. I was craving complete silence. I could only hear the wind as it rushed past my windows on the outside of my car.

My thoughts are heavy tonight, shackles weighing me down. I keep thinking I love what I do. I love teaching yoga. I love being a mom. I love writing my blog. I love so many things, but… I feel like I haven’t found my dharma yet. Is there some magical feeling that takes over when you know you have found your dharma? Is there a true physical feeling that comes over your body when you know you are doing the right thing in your life?

dharma-572

I couldn’t stop thinking I am 35 and I still haven’t found my calling, I don’t think. Is it supposed to look a certain way? Oh I wish for the answers. I had this conversation running around inside my head driving home t through the black cold night.

I needed to clear my head so I picked up one of my new favorite books. “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed. An amazing book, written in question and answer. The questions are written to Dear Sugar( she is sort of like Dear Abby, but more fascinating). A truly brilliant read. I opened up a page and couldn’t believe what I was reading. A 26-year-old girl, a writer, had written her Dear Sugar letter about exactly what I am going through. A feeling of despair, a feeling of why hasn’t this happened yet,  a feeling of did I make the right choices in my life? There are no accidents, I opened this book up right when I meant to. I opened the book up right to that page. It was clearly calling me.

Tiny_Beautiful_Things_book_cover

Sugar responded to this young and despondent 26-year-old writer with beautiful prose. My soul understood exactly what she was saying, even though she wasn’t saying it to me. Sugar writes, although she herself had grandiose plans  that hadn’t come to fruition at a young age. Sugar writes, it took a plethora of things to take place before her first major piece of work. Things had to happen before it was to come out of her soul. She had a life to live, relationships to have, sentences to write that would go absolutely now where, and so on and so on.

Is this where I am now? Working on sentences that are going nowhere. Am I working on relationships that are just the building blocks for what is to be my grandiose final calling in life?

At the yoga retreat in Boston my sister asked a question to the room  full of 35 people. She asked, “what is possible for you?” I was assisting that weekend so I chose not to partake in the excercise. Now I want to answer.

It is possible for me to stay consistent. It is possible for me start something and  finish it. It is possible for me to find my calling and know it  in my soul.

WhatIsPossible

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the lives around you. The lives of your friends, your family, your neighbors. They can easily seem to have so much, to have  a sense of love and contentment in their lives, something that you easily feel is missing. It is much harder to just send those people love and turn that attention on your own soul.

I want to find my dharma and sit with it. I want my dharma to feel like a bean bag chair. I want to sit in that bean bag chair with the feeling that you can’t or don’t want to get up.

Quote

Hide and Seek

13 Feb

The boat ride leaving the yoga retreat in Mexico lasted a lifetime. I watched as the palapa’s in the mountain became smaller and more difficult to make out. The tops of the mountains began to disappear into the clouds. I felt the wind whipping across my face and into my eyes as they grew heavy with sadness. It was a life changing experience for me. It felt like my own tiny piece of heaven, I wasn’t ready to come back down to earth yet. I left with two temporary tattoos on my arm, one of them read: COURAGE.

My sticky note from Mexico reads:

420044_10150539538003668_1782014809_n

I came back home and that tattoo stayed on my inner arm for almost a week. When the letters started to fade, when they started to peel off my skin, I felt a sense of loss. What was the next thing I needed to do? What could I do to get them back? The only obvious choice for me was to get the real thing done. I called up my tattoo artist and said I am coming back in, I just been in a few months earlier for a large piece on my shoulder. I had a beautiful cherry blossom and the jewish symbol CHAI placed on my right shoulder. Symbolizing for me new beginnings and embracing all the best that my life has to offer.  I wanted the word COURAGE tattooed on my right wrist. I wanted it facing me. I want to see those words blaring at me when ever I use my hand. I want a constant reminder of what is possible for me. Oh and by the way put a heart and a dove with it. Let’ s add some love and hope with that courage.

429093_10150570497903668_1684582280_n

A year has passed since that tattoo needle pierced my skin and forever imprinted my courage. I found my courage in a myriad of places in the past 365 days. I found most times when I never even thought it was there. A year has passed, another long year. Another year full of opportunity to rise up with my courage.

Time makes things dwindle. Too much time can suck the inspiration out of you. With each day passing your courage can get eaten by its evil twins fear and doubt. At times I am playing hide and seek with my courage. It’s mine,  I am frustrated that I can’t find it. Where did you go? Why do you allude me, why when I need you most?

Here is a quote from Brene Brown. When I read her words it hit me like the slap in my face from my mother when I was 15. I had pushed her to the limit, there was anywhere left for her to go. It was eye-opening and life altering. I had to make a shift. I had to weave my courage into every thing that I was.

The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has actually changed, and today, courage is synonymous with being heroic or performing brave deeds

I have fallen of course just slightly. I had temporarily lost my courage. It takes practice for me to keep it so close to my heart. I struggle with consistency like that. My courage is calling me. I believe in the motto ‘Fake it till you make it’ but, I don’t want to fake it anymore. I desire the freedom that comes with speaking ones mind and telling ones heart. I long for that full and total expression of joy that comes with owning up to who you are and what you stand for.

I am peeking over the edge now. Lately I have noticed hints of that courage popping up in my life. I want to turn those hints into full-blown courage attacks.

Attacks of massive courage that take complete control over my soul.

Are you ready for your courage attack?

578558_10151078609893668_909382612_n

Quote

The Animal Planet

24 Oct

Have you lost your wonder?

I sit and watch my 3-year-old watch his favorite television show. It is a show all about nature on the Animal Planet network. He is in such wonder at all the information he sees. He listens with such intent at every morsel of science and nature coming his way. Tomorrow as we go about our day he will recall all the material he learned a day earlier. He is a little sponge.

I watch my son and think to myself, “Have I lost my wonder?” If so, when did I lose it? I would like to think that I am still in wonder of the many amazing things that surround me, there is always room to have more.

Be Awe. Be Wonder  – Jennifer Pastiloff

This past weekend I spent 48 hours in Ojai Valley, California. I was there assisting my sister on her Manifestation Yoga retreat. It was amazing! I was definitely in wonder of my surroundings, the people, and the energy.

(the view of the pool and valley at Casa Barranca in Ojai Valley, California)

Then real life happens.

Upon returning home yesterday I found that I had lost my steam. I felt deflated. I was missing my wonder. As I put my head down for sleep last night I asked myself a question. “How can I be in wonder in real life? How can I be in wonder when I am doing laundry or washing the dishes? Wonder is one of the beautiful things that look different for all of us. It is not quantifiable or measurable, it just is.

I feel wonder when I stop focusing on myself.

 I spent the morning today surrounded by 3 year olds at my youngest son’s preschool. We sang, danced, painted, and played. It is hard not to feel wonder in the presence of smiling and laughing children. I truly had so much fun. They are so full of pride and joy. They experience wonder at least a dozen times an hour.

I am in wonder of the body that moves me.

I am in wonder of my children.

I am in wonder of the amazing weather today.

I am in wonder of the delicious food on my table.

I am in wonder of the curiosity of my dogs.

I am in wonder of the love of new friends.

What is your wonder today?

 

%d bloggers like this: