Surrounded by Stones

SOOTHING PEACE OF MIND PICTURES_ August 2015

When I saw the above photograph, it immediately got my attention as I searched for a quote on peace. I looked at it and thought this is how we should operate in the midst of everything that is going on around us. I named each stone as I looked at the picture and said there I am also. Peace in the midst may not be consistent for many of us but, the simple truth that you have it at times lets me know it’s always available.

RA,Quilts & Granny

 

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I’ve discovered I need different types of blankets depending on how I feel. I can’t explain it. I have a thin spread, as my mother would call it on my bed, a chenille blanket for downstairs because it’s always cooler downstairs, a thick fuzzy blanket to go on top of the thin “spread” if it’s not doing it’s job and what I now need is a quilt.
Yesterday I suddenly became ill while visiting my parents. It’s warm here but I was freezing. They turned the air off gave me a blanket and I still couldn’t get warm.
Then my mom brought a quilt my granny made. I fell asleep right away. Now I would like to have a quilt my granny made or when I finish my sewing classes, I’d like to take the ones she had left undone and finish them. It’s the one thing I wish I would have learned to do from her before she passed away or as I say, transformed (from the physical body to the spiritual body). I dreamed she was showing me yesterday evening as I slept. Now, I really believe I can do it. Even if it will be a challenge with my RA.

 

~Nikki

 

Bad Surprises

 

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Energy zap, nausea and shock waves of pain. They come out of nowhere. On their own and when they darn well please.

You’re halfway done grocery shopping or washing dishes and suddenly the lights go out. That’s the feeling of energy zap. It can happen and all you did was get dressed for the day. Surprise!!!!

Nausea shows up anywhere. It doesn’t care if you just sat down for dinner or a date or both. It doesn’t care that you had a decent night of sleep and all you did was sat up on the side of the bed. Nausea can come and go or stay with you and nag you all-day-long. Surprise!!!!

You’re sitting there chatting with a dear friend and out of no where you feel as if you are being electrocuted with a wave of pain. You reach for your arm or leg and press into it. You’re friend asks “Are you okay?” With a look of concern. A few moments past and you say “Yeah. What was I was talking about?” As if that just didn’t just happen. Surprise!!!

These are the bad surprises of chronic illnesses that you never get use to. Well, at least I haven’t. It’s no wonder many of us are mean and crabby but I don’t let my illness determine my weather. Not much. I try to adjust my funky attitude or send myself to my room. I’m in my room now.

 

Mondays Weekends

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Lifeguard station in Panama. Early sunrise.

Mondays are usually my off days. I don’t normally, if can be avoided, schedule any appointments on Mondays. I don’t really want to talk business either or heavy issues. All I want is rest. Peace. Shhhhh. Quiet please. No drama 🎭 Only good vibes. I use it to organize my week from goals to meals to appointments.

You see as a person with RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) and Fibromyalgia this is my day to recoup from any activity/activities over the weekend. I learned this only towards the end of last year. Weekends can zap ⚡ everything out of you. It’s usually then you try to do a little extra or maybe lose your mind and go overboard.
When Monday comes I discover I would miss or cancel more appointments. If I don’t rest on Mondays, I’m setting myself up for a flare. Even though RA or Fibro has a mind of its own and can flare at any given time, I don’t want to set it ablaze! And I’ll conk out midweek usually in fatigue and you guessed it, more pain.

I’m a Mom and I have parents that need my help as much as I need theirs. Any type of illness that has unpredictable symptoms and triggers adds to the unpredictability of life. Bringing in any type of routine and normalcy keeps a lid on the sanity.
I’m committed to my Mondays being light. I look forward to them. I don’t know how long all of this is going to last when I become a well to do author, fashion designer, speaker, paid blogger 😀 but for now, let’s just go with it.
~Nikki

Voice Activate Your Life

 

Dorset Floral Alphabet, Letter V - Polyvore

I’ve got news for you! Did you know technology is behind when it comes to Voice Activation? You’re life has been Voice Activated since… Well, all your life. You think. You speak. You do or You feel. Our words can activate our lives into the life we want or don’t want. What we CONTINUALLY speak can change our thoughts and moods and actions.

Sometimes voice activation in the world we live in is sketchy. The computer doesn’t always understand what we are saying. How annoying is that! (I hear you swearing and I see you hanging up trying to get a human being on the phone!!!)

In this life when you’re trying to live and have the best life possible there will be times you will have to voice activate your moods, dreams, goals. You’ll have to speak it out loud. CONTINUALLY UNTIL IT TAKES ROOT!

In trying times Voice Activation is very powerful:

“I can do this”

“I’m going to be better than okay”

“I’ll get through this”

“This is NOT the end of the world”

“Get it together”

We have to Voice Activate our thoughts sometimes:

“I am enough”

“I am strong”

“I am loved”

“I love myself”

“My BODY deserves healthier food and regular exercise”

We have to Voice Activate our circumstances, relationships and goals:

“I will not be anyone’s doormat”

“There is a better job or career opportunity available for me”

“You’re not going to talk to me like that”

“No. I don’t want to spend $10 a day on lunch. I’m saving.”

“Yes. I do deserve happiness.”

I don’t think Voice Activation works without using your voice. Try it the next time you call to pay a bill over the phone and see if they can read your thoughts!

Your thoughts are powerful but so is your VOICE. You have one. Use it for good. Use it to correct yourself. Use it to activate goodness into your life and wellbeing to your heart mind and soul! Voice activate your life today! Also known as talking to yourself! 😀 (ha!)

I’d like to write a different version of this for those of us living with a chronic illness and chronic pain.

~Nikki

The UNRAVELING of yoU.

Bryan Hehir’s “Seamless Garment” Unravels _ Bryan Hehir Exposed

Uh oh 😞. This can’t be good. You know the outcome of this type of situation because you’ve done it and seen it before. You pull the string and there it goes. You put it in the washer or dryer and when you open the door it it’s no more but shreds of what it use to be. Or what about that fine garment that you can just pull the thread and watch it go from a scarf or skirt to this amazingly long piece of very fine threading. Poof!!! Vanished!!!

Holding it together when everything is falling apart _ an extended ___

Whenever I think of something unraveling I think of nothing salvageable being left. You may as well toss it and get a new one or say your farewell. Maybe both.

I give the years 2010 until 2015 for me the ominous title THE UNRAVELING. I imagine it in big red scary creepy Steven Spielberg letters. You’re afraid to open the book!!! It’s the years I’ve been dealt the most blows, seen the most valleys, cried the most tears, lost quite a bit, and mostly spent in darkness catching glimpses of light. Anguish and hell. It’s the unraveling of everything you once knew and once were. The familiar is gone. It’s a how did I get here, let me count the ways moment. It’s a “Wait. No. I wasn’t ready.” The sudden death of your life as you know it. Yes. The unraveling is fast but seems to go on forever and you can’t stop it. And you know when it gets to the end there will be nothing left that you can make sense out of. You’ll have the memory of what it use to be and the scars to prove it existed.

As I look at the heap of life I once knew, I know it’s gone. So now what do I do? I say to God. Now what? In the natural we replace it if it’s a necessity or we really like it. And it may not be the exact same one but, we learn to love it or like it. Sometimes we say”I’ll purchase a better one this time and make sure I take care of it.” Heck it may even come with an extra pocket or hood or fancier stitch.

So the Universe speaks. Hold it right there. I’ll get you a NEW ONE. I’m sorry your old life got ripped to shreds in the unraveling but it was time. (you frown) Listen says the Universe, I’ve got to make this NEW LIFE for you but I need your input and cooperation. Work with me. Let’s make it the best NEW LIFE ever! Dream it up! Find your new pleasures, scrap the good from the old going forth with lessons learned as the new pattern. We’ll weave it all in. Oh oh I know. You’ll have your moments threading a NEW LIFE but cry your way through. Shout your way through it. Just keep sewing sewing sewing (Universe sings in Dori voice from Finding Nemo) and before you know it you’ll start to smile more. You’ll step back and see things are coming along. It’s going to be fabulous. It’s going to be rich with love and opportunities to improve. To live up to your highest potential.

So as scary as the unraveling is… You will be given NEW LIFE and this time you’ll remember working with the Creator to create it. Hmmm… It’s all coming back to me. Now lets get back to making this pattern…let’s see. Where did I put that lesson on self love…oh here it is! Right in front of me!!!

~Nikki

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The Motion of the Ocean

 

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Pacific Ocean in Panama

I don’t think it has much to do with my zodiac sign Pisces ♓ but more so the peace that the ocean brings. It’s the crashing of the waves onto shore that seems to lull you to sleep at night. It’s the rolling, the motion of the tides that seem to come up to your toes and kiss them and playfully run away. It’s a pleasurable game.

When you attempt to take in its vastness and imagine its depth you are overwhelmed with awe. You start to think of the stories it could yield.

It’s the way it says good morning with sparkles in the water like diamonds floating on top as the sun rises. It’s the way it says goodnight in concert with the sunset.

I don’t know what it is about the smell, the sound, and the motion of the ocean but…I like it.

~Nikki

Managing Pain? Where they do “that” at?

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Pain management? Like, what do you do? Give your pain a schedule? Tell it to stop? I’d like to see that happen!

The truth is I have never been to pain management classes and the truth is there are those of us who suffer from chronic pain that could benefit from it because another truth is…not everyone is good at managing pain.

In the beginning diagnoses of your illness you are learning and sometimes it takes a few years to match a method to the madness. There will never be a perfect method but, it can help tremendously to be armed with the knowledge and tools. Imagine being stranded…wouldn’t it be better to at least have the blanket, the extra water, the cellphone and to have watched a couple of episodes of Survivor (or know some MacGyver tricks…old old old show) or maybe a bottle of Frank’s Hot sauce since they “Put that — on everything!”

macgyver

 

(Yeah that’ll fix your lupus!)

I learned through trial and error, research, listening to my body, intuition and knowledge of my illnesses/dis-ease how to manage it to the best of my ability. It’s about what works for you.

  • It’s about knowing and understanding as much as you can about your illness or dis-ease. I had a difficult time reading about Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis because I am very sensitive and after 5 years I am still accepting it. You need to know what you are dealing with.
  • Be prepared for EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE because most of our symptoms are UNPREDICTABLE and PREDICTABLE based on your body and schedule. I know if I am going to drive to a few places I have my gloves, I do hand exercises to keep my joints loose. I know if I am going to be the passenger to get out and stretch every chance I get! Take your hot/cold water thingy. I take mines everywhere. Especially if I am going to be at family functions, long rides and trips. (Beats dragging a heating pad and these are cute)
  • Have your meds with you. Have extra pain meds until you can get back home. I have to take a Benadryl in my med pack because I never know if I will have a itching flare and that would be so embarrassing to me!  (I’m a fashion diva and you can purchase cute pill boxes. I was never comfortable whipping out bottles or a big strip that may as well came with a neon sign reading SHE’S TAKING HER MEDS!!!!)

 

  • Know your triggers. Is it a certain food? Is it after you exercise? Is it a certain person?Is it after a meeting at work you know is going to be stressful and drama filled? Is is the Wednesday soccer practice, football practice, dinner, get everyone to bed on time?
  • I hear my body saying “Wow! You have how many things to do today?” or “I am tired. Can we go home now? Can we stop now?” and if you must push through be prepared. Get your hot soak ready, your cold pack, your hot pack, your pillows, is everything withing arms reach by your bedside?
  • And say NO! No I can’t do that. No that is too much. No I will not push myself today. No it can wait.

I hope this helps you! ❤ < 3 Much love and less pain

~Nikki

 

 

 

 

Isolation and Chronic Illness

 

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I have had my moments before RA and Fibro where I didn’t want to be bothered but usually, like everyone else, I was going through something or simply moody. You eventually come out of that and get back to life. Well, this isolation that occurs with chronic illness and chronic pain is a different slope. A very slippery one that can have you sliding down a slope into deep dark valleys of depression or becoming a permanent hermit. Whether you know it or not neither one of those scenarios is going to improve your pain in the long run. It’s going to make your suffering worse and often facilitates it.

Yes, we all need time alone and some of us more than others. However, I have learned that if I don’t eventually turn that ship around I am headed into the deep waters. The truth is we need human interaction. Some of us can’t get away because be have a spouse or children or family or all three to take care of. We find ways to isolate ourselves by skipping family outings and gatherings. This is okay but, when it becomes all too often and never getting out what are you really shrinking back from?

We have to address the mental toil our illnesses take on us and not let it get the best of us. I found myself drowning numerous times in isolation because of the pain, because I KNOW no one understands and to avoid certain things I thought “people” thought about me  REAL or PERCEIVED. Alone time and isolation are two different things and I think  you can be isolated even if you have a spouse or family. You can be there but NOT there mentally and emotionally. I urge you to get the help you need by finding a  good therapist to help you cope ,understand or deal with whatever you are going through. Many of us feel the same way. You are not alone.

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Physician, HEAL THY SELF

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Of course I did the research on this proverb that Jesus quoted in the Bible “Physician, heal yourself” but, I want to take a different perspective on this proverb. What if we are all Physicians in this day an era when it comes to HEALING not only our bodies but, our  minds, hearts, and souls? Meaning what if we have the knowledge, the information, the “wherewithal” (just wanted to say wherewithal because I have never used that word! LOL) to heal whatever ails us?

We KNOW making healthy choices and giving up bad habits can help heal our bodies. We know that meditation, a spiritual life and prayer can help heal our souls. We know that talking with a good therapist, wise friend or good leader can help us repair the mental anguish we suffer from. For all we know, all of these things combined can work miracles. We are miracles! Developing a listening ear for you body, your heart, your mind and taking heed…(please take heed) can make us better physicians to heal ourselves. Oh yeah, and a good physician knows that what works for her or him may not work for others.