Monday, February 27, 2012
This past October, I took on the task of coaching a girl’s 7th and 8th grade basketball team with a close friend and fellow former athlete. I was a basketball player and distance runner my entire life until I was diagnosed with a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease (RSD/CRPS), so I expected to enjoy the process of feeling closely connected to sports once again. What I did not expect was to grow as an individual, personally and spiritually develop, learn important life lessons, be touched so deeply by the bonds I formed with the individual girls, and have my life enriched in ways that I could have never imagined. The beauty in the experience had nothing to do with the game of basketball, although that aspect of coaching was thrilling for me, too, and it had everything to do with the lessons learned through the beautiful and unique interpersonal relationships that developed between us as coaches and our players. My girls made such a positive impact on my life in a few short months, and I can say with certainty that I will always remember the feelings of joy and pure bliss that they gave me as I rode the wave of my own health crisis and needed to be uplifted the most. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them.
Below are four life lessons coaching girl’s basketball taught me.
Laughter is the best medicine – This is something that living with constant, burning neurological pain taught me years ago, but my girls really hit this lesson home for me over the last four months. They are hilarious, and getting to know each one and laughing with them individually took me to a divine place of joy at each and every practice, pasta party, and game. To me, laughter is the closest you can get to heaven. I am so immersed in joy and in the present moment when I am laughing that it is impossible to worry about the future or mull over the past when I’m giggling so hard my face starts hurting. Humor is infectious, and when it is shared, it creates bonds and intimacy in relationships. Humor relieves stress, strengthens the immune system, relaxes the body, connects you to others, and relieves pain by releasing endorphins, your body’s feel-good chemicals. Best of all, it’s free!
Winning isn’t everything – Life is about the process and not the end result. Often, we get so caught up in our goals that we miss the sacred moments that can be found in the hard work that is between them. Every situation we encounter in our lives is an assignment that is meant to teach us more about ourselves so that we may continue to grow and personally develop into the divine souls God intended us to be. While we didn’t have a winning season, it was important to articulate to the girls that the scores did not matter. What did matter was the progress that was made and that they felt good about what their efforts produced.
There is a place for everyone – While every girl on the team could not be the star point guard, or the take-charge leader on the floor, or the low post player whose consistent efforts changed the game, each girl had a place on the team, and more importantly a place in my heart. It’s difficult to articulate this point to teenage girls when playing time seems to deem to them whether or not they feel they are important members of the group. Skill levels can always increase with time and effort but understanding that you are an integral part of the whole that makes up any team is an important lesson to learn at an early age. As long as you play your part to the best of your abilities and as if your job is the most important in the world, you will always bring your best self forward and your efforts will be recognized by those around you.
Play with heart and work with passion – Passion is the key ingredient to team and individual successes. Growing up playing sports, I noticed that not everyone had a passion for the sport they were playing. Some played to get physical exercise, some because they enjoyed the sport, some to stay out of trouble, and some because the important people in their lives expected or forced them to play. For any aspect of life, having a passion for what you do and a sense of purpose will dictate how successful you will be and whether or not you will reach your full potential. Passion creates the heart and motivation to get through the difficult times and will allow you to withstand any pressures or stresses that come up in work and play.
I'm off to watch some college basketball.
Hi, healers! Check out my new mindbodygreen post, The Spirituality of Addiction. It is also pasted below.
"With the profoundly sad and untimely death of several high profile celebrities recently flooding the media, addiction has been on the minds of many. I live and work in the world of the social sciences, and my focus is on understanding human behavior. Anyone who knows anything about addiction of any kind (drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shopping, etc.) understands, through current research, that it is an extremely complex, multi-factorial, progressive, and chronic brain disease by marked changes and malfunctions in brain chemistry and triggered and affected by biological and environmental factors. But what if, without discounting the disease model and other scientifically based and supported models of addiction but rather adding to them, we look at addiction through a spiritual lens? What would we see?
Spirituality can be defined in numerous ways but it largely refers to a belief in a power governing the universe that is greater than oneself, the sense of interconnectedness with all living beings, and the quest for self-knowledge, meaning, and purpose in one’s life. When an individual uses his/her substance of choice, the usual outcome is a detachment and disconnection from the present moment, uncomfortable feelings that the individual seeks to avoid through self-medication, and ultimately, the self. Addiction is a disease of isolation, and as the individual sinks deeper and deeper into the disease, he/she becomes more isolated from others and oneself as deeply rooted feelings of inner insufficiency and not being “enough” create the overwhelming need to use.
A lack of connection to authentic self, important others, a higher power, and the larger community can each contribute to feelings of isolation and emptiness, low self-worth, and a pervasive sense of unhappiness that can contribute to and/or perpetuate addictive behaviors. Being of service is a profound way that recovering individuals often give back and regain a sense of self-worth and purpose as they work toward maintaining long-term sobriety. This suggests that aspects of spirituality, including healthy interpersonal relationships and feeling deeply connected to others in profound ways, contribute to overall feelings of health, well-being, and meaning in one’s life.
If we can connect to who we really are and face the dark parts of ourselves that we invest so much energy into repressing, we would have the opportunity to shine a light onto our shadow selves, those dark corners of our minds where we store trauma and mad ideas, and experience them for what they are in the moment without judgment or denial. The disease of addiction is so complex, and long-term, interdisciplinary professional help is most often needed to confront and heal from past traumas and maintain abstinence and sobriety. I have a profound respect and admiration for those individuals who are committed to putting in the daily work that is often required to maintain sobriety, and I have a deep compassion for those individuals who are currently struggling with the disease of addiction.
No amount of wealth, beauty, fame, power, knowledge, achievement or success can replace the satisfaction and fulfillment that exist when we feel connected to something greater than us. A regular spiritual practice allows us to find meaning and purpose in our lives as we travel down the sometimes windy and bumpy road we call “life” and can be a powerful tool in recovery from any condition. Feelings of contentment, peace, joy, and love replace feelings of fear, unhappiness, anxiety, and discontent as one connects deeply with oneself and with others. As the mental chatter begins to cease and one feels centered in and connected to the present moment, however uncomfortable, true healing can begin."
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Hi, healers! For those of you who aren't currently or weren't raised Catholic like I was (I no longer identify with a religious dogma), yesterday was the beginning of Lent, which often includes the giving up of or addition of something to your life for the 40 days before the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I had a wonderful idea inspired by (but not for) the beginning of Lent to challenge myself to 40 days and 40 nights of meditation - meaning the commitment to meditate every morning and every evening for a minimum of 10 minutes each sitting. My meditation practice and I have a love/hate relationship, and I'll leave it at that. I'm just like the rest of you when I say meditation isn't my favorite practice but I feel so much better once I sit my butt down and get it done.
My intuition has been telling me that I need to deepen my meditation practice and make it more consistent, so I'm going to listen. Does anyone want to join me? Support is always helpful!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Hi, healers! The people at mindbodygreen.com were kind enough to post another one of my pieces titled "4 Benefits to Being Imperfect." Check it out here and pasted below:
"4 Benefits to Being Imperfect
I vividly remember being in the first grade, and at the end of the year, I won my first award for accumulating the highest GPA in the class. That was when I took my first hit of perfectionism, and it felt good, almost euphoric. For the next seven years of grammar school, I chased that high and made that little, square, marble trophy my goal. Somewhere along the line, my self-worth became entangled in that useless trinket.
It started with my grades, craving the A because the A wasn’t good enough. Then, it spread to my looks, my athletic abilities, my personality, etc., and I started living in polarities (good vs. bad, fat vs. thin, nice vs. mean, and ugly vs. beautiful). When my environment began mirroring them back to me, I assumed they must be true, and my identity became wrapped up in how “good” I could be at everything. “You’re so smart, sweet, and pretty,” I would hear over and over again, and all I could think was that I wasn’t smart, sweet, or pretty ENOUGH.
The quest for perfection is an endless journey many of us have been on since childhood. We somehow think our mistakes or shortcomings are failures or make us less than rather than viewing them as lessons to be learned unique to us an individuals. I was a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and it originated from a message I received purely from society (in no way did my family make me feel this way) that I interpreted as meaning I was only valuable if I was perfect - pretty, intelligent, sociable, and successful. If I received any grade but an A in school, I considered it an F and beat myself up over my perceived “failure.” Then, I started to develop anxiety around EVERYTHING because the idea of not being up to par shook me to my core. I knew nothing but achievement, but what if one day it stopped? Then, who would I be? I feared failure, but most of all, I feared that I would never be “enough.”
Perfection is really just a way of asserting control over areas of life where we feel we have the power to do so. Often, we equate love with perfection causing us to chase impossibly high standards to feel valued and accepted. It is a diversion to fill an empty void that really originates in the spirit with outside experiences. Perfection becomes tied to self-worth, and a shameful belief of inner inadequacy fuels the perfectionist tendencies. Perfection was my drug, and I self-medicated with it so that I did not have to feel. Now, I find my worth in the fact that I simply am and that worth is not contingent upon my achievements. It is strong and never fluctuates because I am and always will be a divine creation.
Below are four benefits to being imperfect.
1. Less Stress - Ditching the “shoulds” and all-or-nothing thinking will allow you to find more peace and enjoy your daily accomplishments and successes while you learn from your mistakes and less than perfect outcomes.
2. Improved Relationships – When you can accept your limitations and imperfections, you give others the permission to be imperfect, as well. As your expectations and impossible standards for yourself lessen, so do those you held for the people in your life. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world, so when we begin to value ourselves regardless of what we do or achieve in any area, we then begin to value others for who they are and not what they do.
3. Increased Energy – When all of your energy is no longer concentrated on worrying about what you SHOULD be doing and how you SHOULD be doing it, you free yourself up to focus on what really matters.
4. Healthier Self-Image – Accepting and appreciating our imperfections creates room for self-nurturing, compassion, and love. You can begin to appreciate the qualities, characteristics, and experiences that are unique to you without the need to be perfect."
Monday, February 20, 2012
Hi, healers! As you all know, I am lucky enough to be part of the crazysexylife.com team. Kris Carr's new e-book, Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies, came out last week on Valentine's Day, and if you haven't purchased your copy yet, YOU MUST! This is the perfect book for my readers because many of you are just discovering the wonders of juicing and blending and have a plethora of questions that are often asked on my formspring page. This e-book will answer all of your questions PLUS give you 60 uniqiue recipes for the ultimate juicing and blending experience. You will juice and blend your way to good health while adding to your healing and plant-based knowledge with this e-book. Remember, knowledge is power, and juicing and blending alkaline fruits and veggies is nature's advil! I'm drinking a green juice as I type this :-)
If you need proof beyond the raving I do on my blog about the wonders of green drinks, Shorter and I have a picture and testamonial on crazysexyjuice.com where I explain what juicing has done for me and the RSD/CRPS.
Below is a description of the book:
From crazysexyjuice.com - "Here's what's included...
-The science and philosophy behind the Crazy Sexy alkaline lifestyle and all its benefits.
-My (Kris Carr) story and how I’ve used juicing and blending to kick ass!
-How to get started with juicing and blending.
-The difference between juicing and blending and how to decide what works for YOU.
-My answer to your burning question: What juicer and blender should I buy?
-A handy list of helpful kitchen tools that will save you time and frustration.
-The best ratio of veggies to fruits to stay in the alkaline zone and why it’s important.
-Tips for making the most of your grocery shopping to save time and money.
-How to juice and blend while traveling or on the go.
-How to ease green drinks into your diet without gagging.
-My tips for building your own recipes.
-The right way to do a one-day fast and how to minimize detox symptoms.
-How to handle mental and emotional hurdles that come with change.
-Resources for alkaline charts, farmers markets, home delivery and more.
-Plus 60 unique and delish recipes from the Crazy Sexy Community!"
If you have any questions about the e-book, feel free to ask me. And GO BUY THE BOOK!!!! You won't be disappointed!
Happy Healing (and juicing and blending)!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Hi, healers! The people at mindbodygreen.com posted another piece I wrote today titled 'Why Embracing Your Flaws Can Be a Great Thing.' Check it out here and pasted below:
"Why Embracing Your Flaws Can Be a Great Thing
By Maria Mooney
It takes a remarkable mental, emotional, and spiritual maturity to own up to your own faults, a maturity than cannot be bought or sold and does not come with age but rather circumstance. Faults -- we all have them, and I have plenty, including the fact that I have zero patience when it comes to me, I tend to be anxious, and I like to be in control. I have to be particularly mindful of my faults, which are really bad habits that once served a very tangible purpose (no matter how maladaptive), because they tend to exact a great toll on my health and well-being. Every flaw has a purpose. In fact, flaws are the psychic responses to life challenges or traumas. Think about it, one will learn how and aim to control his/her environment when he/she feels, at some point in time, out of control. Unfortunately, we become stuck in maladaptive patterns that have worn out their welcomes and negatively affect our lives.
The ego invests a great deal of energy in inhibiting you from recognizing and correcting your faults, because every time you correct a nasty habit and move closer to enlightenment, a piece of the ego dies. It’s only means for survival are keeping you judging yourself and others, grasping for control, and mulling over the past and/or living in the future. Fear, anxiety, jealousy, anger, judgment, and control are the air the ego breathes, and without them, it is starved of the oxygen that is its life force. It has to be right, and if you admit you need to change some aspect of yourself, you are humbled, and the ego is brought to its knees before your divinity.
There is no shame in admitting you have flaws or that you were wrong in a particular situation. The act actually suggests openness and a healthy self-esteem. In fact, it takes such great courage and strength of character and spirit that any shame or doubt should be replaced with a humbling sense of pride that propels you into the next step of self-correction, change. It used to be very difficult for me to admit when I wrong, as if that admittance somehow made me less than. Now, I cherish those AH-HA! moments because they are the fuel to my self-development fire. They create opportunities for personal growth and development that otherwise would not exist.
Change can be scary, but a little bit of willingness goes a long way. Most people would much rather live in misery making the same mistakes over and over again because it less scary than the unknown that often comes with change. Think of that blank space between the old you and the new you, the before and after, as a quiet space to become more in touch with your authentic self. It is the cocoon that coddles the changing caterpillar as it transforms into all that God intended it to be. View it as warm and inviting instead of frightening because it is the stop between the comforts of home and your final destination. If you are like most humans, you will be visiting that place often because there is no end to personal development. Be a frequent flyer of Air Enlightenment because there is a whole new you waiting at the next destination."
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
**Today is the launch date of Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies E-Book! I received my copy today from Kris and the crazysexylife team, and I cannot wait to review it for you right here. Stay tuned! Or get your own copy here!**
I had an extraordinary and beautiful spiritual experience several days ago, and I have been waiting for the right moment to try to articulate it to you. It can be very difficult to find the right words to explain the spiritual, to put form to the formless. This is my attempt.
I was in Whole Foods (my FARMacy), as I so often am these days, and I was at the checkout counter purchasing something green, I’m sure. A young woman who has worked there for quite some time and who is obviously differently-abled in some way, mentally, emotionally, and/or intellectually, was collecting baskets from underneath the checkout counter. The individual behind me was in her way with his back turned to her, and her handicap (if that’s what you want to call it) made it difficult for her to speak up and use the social cues that you and I would often use if someone was in our way and did not hear us say, “Excuse me, sir.” Perhaps, I would have tapped him on the shoulder, but for whatever reason, this beautiful young woman didn’t.
I let him know someone was behind him, and his response in anger, without moving out of the way, was something to the effect of, “Maybe she should have tapped me. That would have been the proper thing to do.” I said nothing, walked all the way around him, reached down, picked up the baskets, whispered something sweet and delivered them to her. She took them and walked away.
My first reaction was, “How rude! She clearly did not have the ability to do what he deemed as the ‘proper thing.’” I have a special affinity for the vulnerable, oppressed, and disenfranchised populations and an immense amount of patience and love for them. Then, it hit me. I needed to love him JUST AS MUCH IF NOT MORE than I loved the young woman toward which his anger was directed. Happy people filled with unbounded joy and love for life do not act as that man did, and it is he who also needs my patience and love for whatever hardships he has encountered or is currently experiencing in his life. The only times I have ever been miserable to others is when I am miserable myself.
Then I asked myself, “Was this man mirroring for me how I was acting in the moment?” I came to the conclusion that he wasn’t because I wasn’t interacting with anyone. I was a bystander. What he WAS mirroring for me was THAT WHICH I WAS JUDGING in the moment. Before I took a moment to consider why he acted the way he did, I judged his actions as “wrong.” His actions weren’t wrong and he wasn’t less than, he was acting from a place of fear and not from a place of love (and haven’t we all been there?). I took the lesson, and I also took a moment to send him some light and love so that he may find peace throughout his days on this earth.
I hope that made sense.
Monday, February 13, 2012
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony." - Thomas Merton
**Many of you want to know what I was like BEFORE the onset of RSD/CRPS, so I'm trying to give you some glimpses in my writings.**
**Many of you want to know what I was like BEFORE the onset of RSD/CRPS, so I'm trying to give you some glimpses in my writings.**
One of the most beautiful, juiciest, and practical life lessons living with and healing from a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease has taught me is that maintaining balance in all areas of my life is essential to good health and well-being. Before the onset of RSD/CRPS, the word “balance” wasn’t in my vocabulary. In fact, I lived so out of balance that I fancied myself as someone without any limits, which turned out to be that slippery slope between health and disease. Coaches and teachers adored me for my optimism concerning my abilities, which turned out to be my stupidity and ignorance concerning my limitations, drive, and dedication. When I was asked to perform a specific task, I thought, “I can do that, and I’ll raise you a this! Watch me!” I played hard, I worked hard, and I partied even harder.
The typical Type A, over-achiever can only go full throttle for so long in any area of life before productivity begins to decline along with health and wellness. It’s no surprise I ended up with a chronic condition that literally forced me to go within and be the detective that solved the over-achieving mystery. I was attempting to fill a spiritual emptiness, a low self-worth (societal and self created), and a feeling of separation with high achievement. The problem was that my achievements never filled me up or brought me joy but rather left me feeling emptier and asking myself the question, “Why don’t I feel any better?” For years, I answered that question with another goal and subsequent achievement and set the stage for a slow deterioration of mind, body, and spirit. I had to be brought to my knees before I recognized that change was necessary, and that rock bottom was a physical disease.
Now, I know that happiness comes from within not without and no amount of achievements or material possessions will ever fill an emptiness that stems from the soul. What fills me up today is love, specifically being of service to God and others in big and small ways. Balance is essential in a meaningful life, and it will look and feel different for everyone. Good sleep hygiene, exercise, a balanced plant-based diet, maintaining meaningful relationships, having a spiritual practice, being of service to others, and pursuing passions are all areas in life that when given priority can help one maintain the balance that is necessary to live a meaningful and healthy existence. A good rule of thumb I live by is that if I am lacking joy, I am lacking balance.
Friday, February 10, 2012
RSD/CRPS has been my greatest burden but also my greatest gift because of the juicy life lessons I have learned through the daily struggles of living with, treating, and healing from a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease. Life’s most important lessons are often wrapped in the bow of difficult and trying circumstances, but does the universe have to present us with hardships for us to grow and develop? Or can we learn through joy and ease?
My personal opinion is that we can and should learn from joyous experiences just as much and as often as we learn from stress and strife, but we often don’t. Because of this, we are then presented with a painful experience because it is the pain that stretches us and brings us to our knees where the real work can be done. Oprah Winfrey so eloquently said that God speaks to us in whispers first. Believe me, God whispered, then He spoke, then He screamed, and then He hit me over the head with a neurological disease because I was too stubborn and unconscious to recognize that I was personally lacking and spiritually starving.
As I look back, I can remember all the little whispers, some loud and obvious and some more subtly spoken. VERY spiritual individuals were often put into my life. I’m talking so God-loving that it was almost all they spoke about. I now know it was God speaking to me through messengers that would come into my life just as quickly as they left, one after the other. My pain also started as a whisper, a nagging soreness in my shins, before it turned into the disabling symptoms I have today because of my own ignorance. I had PLENTY of moments to turn it around, but I chose not to because I didn’t know any better (or because I wasn’t spiritually mature enough to receive the lessons with grace that God was trying to give me).
Part of my spiritual practice today involves my conscious effort to learn through joy so that my future lessons can come in a much gentler manner. For example, I am soaking in all the lessons that I possibly can as I coach my 7th and 8th grade girl’s basketball team, an extremely joyous and personally rewarding experience. As I continue this practice, I try to let go of any fears that the future will be worse than the present, which is a very real concern when you are diagnosed with a disease that is labeled “progressive and incurable.” What we focus on we create, and I want to create a miraculous future absent of unnecessary pain and disease. I choose to believe that the universe is conspiring in my favor because my heart and mind are finally open to this principal.
Can you look back and recognize God whispering to you? Do you believe you can learn from joy?
Don't forget to check out my post on mindbodygreen.com!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Hi, healers! I am so honored to have one of my pieces on the MindBodyGreen website. Check it out here and below. If you like it, share it on facebook or twitter. Thanks for reading!
"5 Tips to Unlearn & Liberate Yourself
By Maria Mooney
Unlearning is the intentional letting go of what we have learned and the openness to explore our own personal truths and be liberated from our past conditionings. It is the taking of a confident step from the comfortable and known into the ultimately freeing uncomfortable and unknown. The goal is to move away from thoughts and beliefs centered in fear, scarcity, and lack and replace them with love and overflowing abundance. Conditioning is inevitable, but just because it is inevitable doesn’t mean we can’t challenge those belief systems and thought patterns and replace them with what seems more authentic to us as individuals.
Growing up, we are bombarded by messages from our parents, peers, the media, learning institutions, and religious institutions that we take on as our own truths when they are really someone else’s beliefs and not our own. For example, that God is a punishing, fear inducing God or that first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Don’t let someone else dictate where or who you should or shouldn’t be in your life. Challenge your belief systems about yourself and your life, and decide what brings YOU joy and what is best for YOU. Following false truths that do not resonate with who you are, your authentic self, will eventually lead to feelings of emptiness and unhappiness as you continue to live a life that does not resemble your divine nature.
Right now, I live with my family while I continue to heal myself from a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS), with their help, guidance, and support, and I am ok with that. At just turning 27 years old, I’m not married, and I don’t see myself having children anytime soon. Instead, I completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work (MSW) and am holding onto the dream of continuing on for my Ph.D. when I am healthy enough to take on such a challenge.
I go against the grain of society and live an alternative lifestyle. I’m a single woman, a high raw vegan, an animal lover and advocate, a writer, a licensed social worker (LSW), and an intern at crazysexylife.com, a holistic healing and wellness playground founded by Kris Carr. For a 27 year old woman, society would not agree with some of my choices, but I am living out of authenticity, not out of other people’s expectations of me. Shake things up, and be a trailblazer! But most importantly, do what brings you joy.
Below are my five tips for “unlearning.”
1. Recognize the Need – Are you truly happy? Do you stay focused on the present moment or are you chained by the past and/or living in the future? Are your thoughts fear-based or love-based? Do you feel spiritually empty or full? Are you living for yourself or for others expectations of you? Examine all areas of your life and recognize the need for change where it exists. Your willingness to recognize what is not working in your life and your readiness for change will determine your success.
2. Live in the Now – The present moment is not a means to get to the future. If you think of it that way, you will be and remain perpetually unfulfilled. If the past is over and the future doesn’t exist, you are a beautiful blank slate existing in this present moment free of past conditionings, false belief systems, and future fears.
3. Let Go of Your Ego – You know ego—that little voice inside of you that judges (you and others), fears the unknown, is attached to the material world, and desires to control every little detail. The first step to unlearning and relearning is overcoming your ego mind so that you can remain open to change. Become aware of its presence by listening to your thoughts closely as you go through your day. Once you recognize it, you are more likely to let it go.
4. Start Questioning – Question what you’ve been told by your parents, your teachers, your religious leaders, your romantic partners, the media, and your friends. Check in with your intuition and ask yourself, “Does this feel right to me?” If the answer is a blaring, “NO,” take some time to figure out what does resonate with you.
5. Break Old Patterns – Breaking old patterns can be a difficult but rewarding experience because it requires that you strip down naked to the core of who you are free of outside influences. You almost become like an infant learning how to crawl, walk, and run all over again except it is your spirit that is learning how to take its first steps."
Monday, February 6, 2012
When we experience dis-ease, there is a tendency to think in terms of absolutes, curable or incurable, partly due to Western medicine’s Biomedical Model and partly due to modern society’s dualistic nature. Our experiences are lumped into black and white categories (good vs. bad, old vs. young, pretty vs. ugly, etc.) leaving no room for the grey areas where much of life can be found. The words “healing” and “curing” are used interchangeably when their definitions could not be more different. Curing is a restoration of health, an absence of symptoms, and a remedy of disease while healing is a restoration of wholeness, not the level of wholeness before the disease hit, but a restoration of wholeness that is comparatively better than before the onset of disease. Healing is not the removal or cessation of symptoms but rather an integrative process that transcends the physical and includes mental, emotional, and spiritual vitality and wellness.
I don’t intend to cure this disease, I intend to heal from it, which I have been doing for the past seven years. The person I was before the onset of RSD/CRPS pales in comparison to the person I have become. Hopefully, the person I am now will pale in comparison to the person I become seven years from now. Healing tends to be an uncomfortable and lengthy process because it requires changes to a multitude of areas, including what you eat, drink, say, think, and do. It may require that you seek help from professionals as you break old, unhealthy patterns and create new and healthy ones. It is an uncomfortable, sometimes painful, process but it is truly empowering as it sets you up with the tools to go forward and live a healthy, balanced, and whole life.
Don’t get me wrong, curing is wonderful. I would love for modern medicine to have come up with the cure for RSD/CRPS already, a permanent cessation of the symptoms I experience. Where we tend to go wrong is that our Western medical model stops at curing when healing is necessary to address the root causes of many of our ailments. Negative thought patterns, toxic relationships, poor diets, sedentary lifestyles, poor stress management, etc. each are little drops in the raging waterfall that becomes the dis-ease that will drown your life.
Healing brings health, wholeness, and peace. RSD/CRPS is labeled as “incurable,” but I don’t choose to limit myself because of that incurable stamp. I’m not “un-healable,” and I choose to live my life with the notion that I will be healed, which is probably why I am reversing the disease’s progression. All of my symptoms may never go away (anything is possible), but that doesn’t mean that I will never be whole again. Don’t limit yourself to what others predict for your future. Break free and blaze a trail toward wholeness that no one ever expected to see. Take your mind off of the future cure and direct all of your intentions on the healing that can happen now. I have a funny feeling that once healed, we will be also be cured.
Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and get to know me better.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
1. My humor is incredibly biting, heavy on the sarcasm, and doesn’t boarder on inappropriate, it has crossed over into just plain wrong!
2. To piggy back off of #1, I think laughter is the closest you can get to heaven. When I am laughing, I am so immersed in joy and in the present moment. It is impossible to worry about the future or mull over the past when you are giggling so hard your face starts hurting. I'll do anything for a good, long laugh.
3. I have a tendency to doubt myself and lack confidence. It is a hard habit to break, but I work on it every single day.
4. I’m almost always early. I hate rushing. It plays on my anxious nature.
5. I’m very competitive. I like to win (from my days of playing sports).
6. I can’t cook. And I don’t really want to learn how to cook.
7. I’ve never had braces even though I have “perfect” teeth (according to everyone else). I got lucky.
8. I basically failed AP Chemistry in high school, but my teacher stopped grading my exams at a C because I tried so darn hard. I think she was just sick of me coming to her every single day after school for extra help. I was annoying.
9. I took 5 years of Italian.
10. I used to collect trolls. The little dolls with the crazy colored hair.
11. I’m not organized AT ALL.
12. I had a crush on Donatello, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, when I was little because he was “smart.”
13. I love watching The Challenge series on MTV.
14. I eat raw garlic, and I love it.
15. I have three tattoos.
16. I used to LOVE Hanson (they are still on my IPod).
17. I’ve had three surgeries.
18. If you Google “Sagittarius,” it explains me in detail.
19. I LOVE sugar. I used to eat chocolate cake for dinner (before going high raw vegan).
20. Shorter has so many random nicknames. Shoe Shoe, Tutty, Tut Tut, King Tut, Frank, Tuggy, Scooby, Shorty Pants, Big Fat Roommate (my personal favorite)… and he answers to them all.
Also, if you have any questions that you'd like me to answer via vlog, let me know on twitter, formspring, facebook, e-mail, or comment below. I could make this a weekly event if you have enough questions.
Also, if you have any questions that you'd like me to answer via vlog, let me know on twitter, formspring, facebook, e-mail, or comment below. I could make this a weekly event if you have enough questions.