Today I meditate by the pool on a lawn chair topless! Oh my! I happen to live on a big lot that has podocarpus bushes lining the fence lines so there is lots of privacy. One of the essentials to healthy living in Natural Hygiene is to make you you get sunlight on the body. Even the parts that never see the sun. The best times of the day are mornings and late afternoons to avoid the peak sun times. Our bodies are beautiful and natural and I'm not into body shaming no matter what our bodies look like. We are blessed with these bodies and we need to love them. It felt so good to let the sun light warm my body and listen to the sounds of the Sand Hill Cranes as they fly by. I can feel a gentle wind as I sip my water, lean back and go into my blissful meditation.
As soon as I close my eyes, I see a bright fuchsia red aura. It's the color red similar to the one in the image but not so much black and more red with light behind it. After my meditation I try to look up these aura images and I'm shocked at how it is difficult to find an image that matches the color and the shapes of the aura I see. I am honestly inspired to paint them but not just yet as I have other projects first. It's just an idea that comes up. I'm starting to think there's no accident to these ideas. These images don't exist, only I can see them. We learn all about these aura field's in my yoga teacher training and while maybe I noticed they were there in the past, I didn't pay any attention to them. Now when I see aura's they are vivid, strong and beautiful.
After the red, purple comes in from the bottom followed by a flickering white light. I think about what my yoga teacher Shelly tells me, "change the white light to gold", so I do. The brightest yellow rays appear melting into brown in the upper right corners. I can't hold the yellow. It's gone some green appears in the center followed by a bright light blue which now covers the aura. I think about how blue is nurturing like water and how I'm next to the pool so I'm right where I need to be. I feel my heart bursting into the sky I feel so much bliss from the warm sun. It's as if the sun is reaching down and holding my heart softly. Cradling it. Healing it. I feel a re-birth of myself happening. It feels like I am taking my old skin off and coming back into a newer stronger version of my original self.
I was working with a client the other day who knows me well and my crazy roller coaster ride life that I've been on the past couple years. He met my mother and was really impressed with her. She has her PHD and 5 kids by the time she was 29. After that she owned her own real estate brokerage while whe was a full time high school special ed teacher. She is an amazingly motivated woman who has been very successful in life. She is wickedly smart and a very interesting woman. She has spent the past 8 or 9 years sailing around the world on world cruises until my father was too ill to travel anymore. She has been very fortunate to have an amazing teacher pension that pays her 80% of her salary for the rest of her life. She really gets to live that life of leisure where nothing is needed to be done everyday. Everyday, she gets to choose how she wants to live. After meeting my mother, my client says to me, "your mom comes into town" and he shakes his fist into the sky and says "to remind you who you are". I nearly fell over when he says this to me.
Yes I forgot who I was. I forgot my self worth. In the process of trying to make a relationship work, I found myself compromising myself. I compromised it so much to the point that I needed someone to remind me. I needed my mother. She has been slowly helping me re-build my life. She moved in with me because my dad is too sick and has to be in a home because he needs 24 hour care for stage 3 Alzheimer's disease. She is also sick and needs help and while I can't help my dad mostly because I can't be at home 24 hours a day, I can help my mom. And in return my mom has been helping me. She does little things like grocery shop, wash the laundry, help make school lunches and help raise my children so I can leave for an hour here and there. I drive her all over the place, to doctors appointments, to The Villages, FL where she sold her house and to Tampa to visit my dad and brother. It has been the most healing relationship that I have ever mended and I'm so glad I did.
I was very angry with her for a long time but in the process of being angry with her, I was hurting because I love her so much and I missed her. I had to let my anger go and allow her to love me once again. And the funny thing is, I needed it. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I felt her love and support lifting me back up like a crippled up angel who's will is so strong that she can push me toward the light despite her frailing body and my fear. It's amazing what mother's do for their children. It has been very humbling and healing to forgive. As she comes closer to the end of her life, it really doesn't matter what we were fighting about. All that matter's is now. I'm so inspired by her strength, her will and her determination. I find my strength from my mother. It is her special gift to me and all those lives who are touched by her.
We find incredible joy during this time as we go watch my daughter's singing concert, holding hands and fighting back proud tears as we listen to her yodle. Or watch in sheer amazement as my son masters Halo video games at age 4. The joy the children bring heals both of us. I think the red aura is my mother's wild passion to see the best in me and to have me thrive while the purple is my connection to the divine bringing us back together again through forgiveness. It is a time for girl time. I always wanted to be best friends with my mom. I used to be very proud of her when I was younger. I lost that and found it once again. I am so damn lucky. I love you mom, more than you can ever imagine. My work comes out of my deep love for you. Many blessings. It's time to be re-born again and remember who I am. I am Amy Lynn Hendricks, my maiden name. Time to go back.
The best way to be consistent with your exercise is to find an activity that you enjoy. If you have joy and play when you exercise then it will be easy to sustain. I used to be in a professional dance company in my teens and I used to dance everyday at school instead of gym. I discovered yoga and I love trying new yoga postures. If I fall then I laugh at myself and try again. This simply means that I am learning something new and that I am growing. I don’t take it too seriously but I am committed to it as I have been committed to some form of exercise for a large chunk of my adult life. I like that there is an endless amount to learn in yoga. You never actually get “there” because there is always more. This keeps my exercise interesting as there is always growth.
I can’t stress the importance of consistency with exercise. Strength is built over time a little by a little. You don’t have to work out for hours and hours everyday but I do recommend being smart and consistent with your workouts. If you are new to exercise then start slowly to prevent injuries and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts over time. I used to work out for over two hours a day before I made dietary changes but I was still a little chubby despite my hard work. I made the changes in my diet to a high raw, low fat whole food plant based diet and I saw that I had more energy for better workouts and faster recovery.
I used to run everyday and I was bad about stretching. Over time I developed severe plantar fasciitis. I would get severe pain in my feet especially in the morning. I could barely walk, ouch! I switch to yoga, yin yoga and TRX and healed my plantar’s feet. Yoga has progressions and can get very hard fast. I used to discard it because I was a workout snob and I didn’t think that I could burn as many calories as I could running. My yoga workouts are very intense and overall the number of calories from one sport to the other are comparable. For me I saw that I could have a longer sustaining athletic career as a yogi especially as I age verses a runner with better overall conditioning of my whole body. Now, if you are an avid runner, I’m not saying stop by any means. If you love it then keep doing it. Maybe you would like to add yoga into your routine to prevent injury and for muscle length. It really helped me tremendously. The thing that I like most about yoga is that it is exercise that is therapeutic for your body. It is designed to heal the body through yoga postures to stretch the fascia tissue in the body, to strengthen the muscles and to create healthy joints. I do yoga or TRX approximately 5 to 6 days a week.
Over the course of my exercise career I have done step aerobics, cardio-kick boxing, weights, cycling, running and calisthenics. I used to play volleyball, softball, snowboarding, golf, surfing and I was an avid dancer in my youth. I received an incredible benefit from all of these activities and I really love moving. It takes time to get in shape but it is not so hard to maintain it. The joy that I feel from being able to move my body pain free is wonderful and something that I hope to share with you all. I am 43 and I can move and push myself when I used to think that as you aged that your body somehow gives out on you. Age might slow you down but you will be surprised by what the body can do even in your older years.
I personally dedicate about 45-75 minutes a day exercising. Yes life gets busy and I will miss a day here and there but if I can get my exercise in then I will. I have made this commitment to myself. I feel very strongly that my daily exercise along with eating healthy is like putting money into my health bank. It is my natural anti-depressant and mood lifter. I like to ride my edge when I exercise so I can grow. I don’t push myself too far to avoid getting injured and if I do then I know to back off and slow down. The longevity of your exercise career is what matters most. If you don’t exercise already then start. It is a critical component to your overall health and it will be one of the best investments you ever made. I wish you much joy and happiness as you move your body!
When my ex-husband got sick with Lyme Disease about 6 years ago, his weight dropped down to 150 lbs at 6’3”. We were successfully running a dog training business in Chicago, I had a 9 month old baby and he had severe arthritis in his joints that seemed to move around his body without an injury. He also was extremely lethargic and often slept in his car between appointments. He would even be parked in the driveway, sleeping on the wheel because he was too tired to walk inside. It was clear that he needed a break from training dogs because his health was failing him. It was at the height of his business that we worked so hard to grow that we decided to sell. He is an extremely talented dog trainer and his body was inflamed and in pain. I thought it was possible that if we didn’t make serious changes that he would die. The month that we sold the business we were making $30,000 a month and it was on the verge of doubling. We sold everything that we owned and moved to Vilcabamba Ecuador with a baby, 2 dogs and nothing but a suitcase. Vilcabamba is known as the city of longevity or centurions and the fertile valley because of its moderate 70 degree year round climate. I also knew there was a strong vegan and vegetarian expat community there as I was watching many of them on youtube. I watched hours of youtube videos on Vilcabamba. I saw there were families living there working on permaculture farms, plus it was super cheap. I knew we had to go to this magical healing place in the middle of nowhere deep in the Andes Mountains.
My ex-husband needed time off to rest and take care of his health. When we were there we found a small Ecuadorian house that was about 2 or 3 blocks away from our new friends Nic from Germany and Serena from Italy. These are two of the most beautiful souls that I ever met. I was on the raw food track but I didn’t know much about Natural Hygiene. They were there taking a course from a man named Robert Sniadach at the Transformation Institute. We became friends and they learned that my ex-husband was very sick. They proceeded to tell me about Natural Hygiene and how following this lifestyle would help him boost his immune system and recover his health. They told me that if they every got really sick that they would immediately do a water only fast followed up by a Natural Hygienic diet which consists of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds. The bulk of the calories coming from fruits. We were already vegetarian at this point for a few years because of my wedding juicer but we were still eating eggs and dairy. When we heard how a high fruit low fat raw based diet could improve his health, we tried it. He already tried antibiotics and it wasn’t working so we had nothing to lose. The key is to stick with Natural Hygiene over time. Reversing and cleansing the body takes time, it is not a quick fix. It can take over a year to really heal the body with a clean diet and fasting can help speed up the healing.
I ended up becoming friends with Robert Sniadach and took his Natural Hygiene course. When I started reading it, I was shocked at how detailed and involved the 2000 page course would be. I felt like a doctor reading about the body, the systems, how things worked and how to make the body thrive. As far as I was concerned, Natural Hygiene was the greatest thing that ever learned. It follows nature and as far as I’m concerned, mother nature didn’t mess things up. If we follow this simple guideline to follow nature and go back to our roots as a species then all of us can have thriving health. My ex-husband ended up making a fully recovery after 2 years of being debilitatingly sick. My eczema and sinus issues disappear. Our health was starting to thrive as we took some much needed time off to heal our bodies. My life was forever changed after our move to Vilcabamba. You can’t unlearn something. Once you learn about it, there is a truth to it because it follows the laws of nature and the results speak. Natural Hygiene makes logical sense. When you try this lifestyle for a period of time, you will feel your health flourish as did mine.
The hardest part about making the lifestyle switch was trying to fit in socially. The world doesn’t want you to be healthy and will not support it. It is more socially acceptable to go out and get a double bacon cheese burger with fries and a beer or a coke than it is to eat a mango monomeal or a salad. I was excited to teach everyone back home all about it because I saw many people suffering with illnesses or trauma’s and I wanted to help. Most importantly I wanted to heal my mother’s Crohn’s disease, edema, kidney stones and Parkinson’s and my father’s Alzheimer’s. I was really crushed that so many people, including my own parents, didn’t want to hear about it.
I didn’t realize what a landmine talking about food was. People have serious emotional addictions to food. They emotionally medicate themselves through the pleasure of foods that taste good but are not good for you. My peers didn’t care about Natural Hygiene. I could barely talk about the extensive topic without triggering someone. From my experience people weren’t interested in doing their own research on their own healthcare. They would only take advice from a doctor which can be a mistake because so many of them are not trained on the health benefits of a plant based diet.
As much as I would like to believe that everyone who graduates medical school is going to be a good doctor, it just isn’t true. An example is that my old roommate from college was in medical school and one of her close friends hated medicine but she already started medical school and started accumulating a tremendous amount of loans. The only way she could pay them off was to finish medical school and become a doctor. Of course she didn’t realize she wasn’t going to like medicine when she started but it happened and I’m sure it happens to a lot of medical students. Some people just want the intellectual prestige of being a doctor but not really have a true passion for medicine or the well-fare of their patients. I advise people to really invest in your relationship with your doctor to make sure you find one that knows something about the health benefits of a plant based diet and new research or at least be open minded to learn from you.
For me, if I see an unhealthy doctor, then I am skeptical of their advice. If they can’t take good care of their own health then how can they possibly advise me on mine. Now, I say this with caution because at the same time we need doctors for medical testing, check-ups and emergencies. The combination of a well-informed doctor and the knowledge of Natural Hygiene can be a powerful force in the world of healthcare and medicine. It’s just sad that the biggest benefactors to medical schools are big pharmaceutical companies, big food corporations, big charities who are in bed with the lobbyist, big time meat and diary industries and big time anyone who can make a profit by manipulating the government to modify the food pyramid just a little so they can sell more of their products. These lobbyist impact the quality of the education that is taught in medical schools. The topic that is the biggest taboo to talk about and is hardly even taught in medical schools is nutrition. It takes a special doctor who discovers the truth about health and nutrition to be willing to stick their necks out against the grain of social conditioning to offer people truth and real quality healthcare. The sad part about it is that there is more money to be made in what Natural Hygentists call the Disease Care system instead of the Health Care system. If you can stay chronically ill but not die then everyone makes money at your expense. Does this upset you? It really pisses me off. People I love are dying and it could have been prevented if there wasn’t such a gigantic cluster fuck of contradicting nutritional information forcing people to have to sift through the shit to find the truth.
It's time for me to start writing this book that I want to write and I am procrastinating! I worked a Thai session last night and then taught class. After I take my kids to Food Truck Night so my kids can jump on the bouncy house and climb the rock wall. They have a blast at Food Truck. River had so much fun and was jumping a lot. I'm happy because he is a little introvert guy and I was worried he'd get hurt or be too shy but he was ok. He just laughed and jumped and laughed and jumped. He had so much fun that he wouldn't tell me that he had to go to the bathroom and wet himself, ugh!
My sweet little 6 year old girl loves climbing the rock wall at Food Truck as she is a little ninja. I watch her effortlessly climb and can't help but to giggle at her outfit. She is such a girly girl. She wore a flowery skirt shorts with a sparkle top and iridescent pink glittery kiddie high heels. I told her to take the shoes off but she insisted on wearing them. Ok I say. As she climbs, she has to climb with duck feet because of her heels. It doesn't matter, she easily scales the wall just the same as she easily scaled her crib when she was 15 months old. I couldn't believe it that a 15 month old baby could easily climb out of her crib.
After food truck, I go home and their daddy takes the kids and I had 2 hours to write and what to I do...I eat one of my mom's weed brownies with her! The brownie knocks us both on our butts. She doesn't like how high she is and it really affects her footing. She has to shuffle across the room. I start to laugh like major giggles. Then I have to tell her to just go to bed so she can settle down. I can't write, I feel crazy. She asks me how long until she stops feeling weird. I tell her to just sleep it off. She says this was dumb because now she feels awake but she wants to sleep. What is the point of getting high and going to sleep she asks? Good question. I pass out. I wake up mad at myself for procrastinating. I need to stay away from my mom's brownies if I'm going to get anything done.
I meditate in the morning to clean my mind and to witness what is coming up. I struggle because my foot falls asleep and my lower back hurts. I sat cross legged but I prefer sitting up in a chair when I meditate. I just think about how I need to just get started. Today will be the day that I make the start. First I'm going to yoga and then I'll work the rest of the day with one meeting from my lawyer friend to go over legal matters regarding my parent's death planning. It stinks to do this or think about it but it is also calming to have to opportunity to talk to my mom and work this out together. Reconnecting with my mom has re-grounded me. I feel empowered and healed. Now it's time to stop procrastinating! And Focus!
Life has gotten crazy lately because of my parents illness. I am suddenly finding myself driving everywhere. I drive to Tampa to see my dad in his assisted care home. I drive to the villages to help my mom move out of her house and sell. I drive to the ER and doctors appointments for my mother, myself and kids. I also drive to work to teach yoga and do my Assisted Thai Yoga private sessions. And I drive 2 kids back and forth to school and activities. At the same time I've been trying to sell my house, deal with squirrels in my attic, a satellite roof leak issue and pine bark beatles killing 5 trees on my property. I'm taking a 300 Hr Yoga Teacher Training program. I'm in the middle of an online Natural Hygiene course and a book writing course. Aaaaahhhhhh! I found myself panicking and a deep fear started to sink in with me. I realized that I have been completely overwhelmed. I stopped meditating, I stopped all my self study on spirituality, I stopped going out for fun and I even distanced myself from my partner. I have been in complete panic of my parents dying. I have been trying to deal with all of their death planning and also trying to spend quality time with them. Reconciling with my mother has single handedly been the most healing thing that I have done. I needed to re-prioritize. I realized that I can't do everything. I found myself crying randomly all the time, when driving in the car listening to a song, when reading, when working. I've been on a high, running on stress, fear, racing against time to maximize all that I can in every minute of the day. The clock is ticking with my parents death and I can't stand it.
Last year I found myself in The Dark Knight of the Soul. What is The Dark Knight of the Soul? It's when you find that what you've been doing in your life isn't working for you but you also don't know which way to turn. Something has to change but what? For starters, I found that I needed to revert back to some of my spiritual teachings and simply stop. There is no race, everything will get done as it should and I needed to relax. I'm so glad that I had a meditation practice because I needed it. I stopped and I sat and I was quiet so I could listen. I was listening to all that was coming up inside of me. It's easy to race through life without an awareness of what is going on inside. What is going on inside is the foundation of your life and it will help hold you up when life takes a beating on you. It is important to nurture your inner being. I realized that I needed to cut back on my yoga teaching hours. I needed to take my house off the market. I needed to cut back on my activities and I needed to meditate. I needed to breath. I needed to cry and let out all of the crazy emotions that I'm feeling out. I need it to be ok that I feel all these crazy things so that I can deal with them. In the past I would have drank, smoked weed, get distracted in my relationships or eat poorly. I haven't done any of these things. I stopped my addictions. I'm finding that what I need is quiet. I need calm. I need time alone for myself. I turned on youtube and listened to one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Carolyn Myss, Spiritual Direction: Pebbles in the Well - Learning to Listen to Your Soul. Suddenly I calmed down and went back to my meditation practice and I listened. Life needed to change.
Last year when my life fell apart after my divorce, the end of another relationship, my son getting injured and I was a single mother of 2 with no real career. I focused all my energy on my husband's career, the family business and when my marriage fell apart, I was lost. I was in The Dark Knight of the Soul. In Carolyn Myss's book, Anatomy of the Spirit, she quotes in chapter 7, "The absence of meaning, the loss of self-identity, and the need for devotion are the three strongest symptoms indicating a person has entered into the "dark knight"." " Yet when their root is spiritual, the person lacks the motivation to blame other people for causing the crisis. Rather, he or she realizes that the cause of the crisis is within." I do realize that my life is where it is at because of things that I have done. I have no-one to blame for focusing on my husband's career and not my own but myself. I'm doing my best to point my life in a higher direction. I have so much to offer. Somehow I stopped following my passions because I didn't believe in myself. I needed spiritual healing to find the confidence to follow my passion. My passion is healing through healthy eating, yoga and spiritual self study. Now it's time to deliver. They say you can't be a good healer without feeling a tremendous amount of pain. I think I earned my badge and I'm ready to serve.
So many things have changed for the better this year. I've healed by repairing relationships with my brothers, my parents, my friends and cleaning up my act as far as unhealthy habits go. Most importantly, I've learned how to take REALLY good care of myself both my physical body through healthy eating and exercise and spiritually. I would be insane if I didn't do this work. I worked really hard at learning the best nutrition, exercise, spirituality and healing relationships. A healthy person needs all of these facets in life. I found my meaning in life, my self-identity and my need for devotion, I simply forgot when life got busy. I knew I needed help and sought out mentors. I have many amazing mentors who have really guided me when I was weak. Even though I did all this work, life can catch up with you and you can forget and slip. When you slip, it's important to get back on track with self study and self care. You cannot serve on an empty vessel.
I have become a servant in my life, not because I stepped up to the plate and volunteered. I actually did a lot to run away from responsibilities in my life. I am a servant in my life because I was available to do the job and I knew how to do it. I did so much self work that I'm in the best position to help. I am a servant because I love so deeply and I can help, I want to help. I can be strong for those that need me. I have that inner strength. I worked hard for it but I am human and for a moment I slipped. My mind slipped into panic and fear of my parents death and stopping, meditating and listening helped me. As I come out of the dark knight of the soul, which has been horrendous experience, I find comfort in my faith, prayer and my mentors. I have so much gratitude and I want to pay it forward. This is my mission in life as I really feel like I have something of value to offer that can really help people. Things that aren't taught in school. Mental, physical and emotional skills that people need.
My Natural Hygiene and Spiritual mentor Robert Sniadach checks up on me through email every now and then. I met him when I was in Vilcabamba Ecuador and he has been like a treasure for my soul as he patiently guides me through life. He runs the 2000 page Natural Hygiene course that I'm taking on transformationinstitute.org. I tell him I have this desire to be alone and he replies: "the most intense psychological and spiritual inner work happens when one is alone. Relationships are certainly crucibles for big-time challenge and positive change. But, all relationships require some degree of compromise of one's natural state. In other words, you gotta compromise your "deep, true self" to some degree in order to interact and get along with others, even significant others. That's why the most intense inner work usually happens alone."
I still have a lot to go through because the inevitable death of my parents is near. We work on power of attorney's, liquidating, consolidating and most importantly spending time together loving. From my heart to yours. Please share if you've had an experience with The Dark Knight of the Soul and what helped you. Much love, light and happiness.
OMG you guys!!! My mom got high on marijuana brownies!!! My mother is the squeakiest, cleanest, goodie goodie that you ever met and at 70 years old I got her high for the first time and I can't stop laughing. Honestly, the combination of her bravery with all the health issues that both her and my father are going through and her innocence with never trying marijuana before is so endearing for me. When I was young, I would have gotten my ass kicked for doing weed so I kept it all secret. Finally, I started being open and honest with her because I see her in an incredible amount of pain and I want an authentic relationship with my mom, no matter what for the first time ever. Here's how I convinced my super conservative mother to try a weed brownie and she liked it:)
My mother recently moved in with me because both her and my father's health is declining rapidly. We had to put my father in an assisted care facility because his Alzheimer's disease was too much for us to take care of alone. I can help when I'm home but I have 2 children and often have to leave to drive them places and work. The problem is that he needs 24 hours care. He's having incontinence and he is defecating himself. He'll also leave the house and get lost on walks if you are watching him. I'm not available 24 hours a day. Yes we could get a nurse but a nurse may only help 8 hours and I need someone all the time with him. It's unfortunate because I love my dad so much and I want to do everything that I can for him.
On the other hand, my dad being in a home has been the best thing for my mother. She has been caring for him and it's an incredible job for a healthy person. My mother has Edema, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease and regular kidney stones. Her kidney stones are so bad that it has caused bleeding like her period. She has taken medicine for it but she still suffers greatly. She has been on a cruise with my dad for the past 3 months and cruising in lieu of a nursing home until they were medically evacuated off the ship in Hawaii in December. She has been in so much pain and had been the person to help clean my dad when he has accidents and takes care of him. It's really difficult and with all the pain that she has been in, I don't know how she did it.
Her being at my house is the first time that she has had any rest. She walks with a gait because her right side of her body is going paralyzed. She has tremors and strange twitching because of the Parkinson's. I went to Lucky's with her and I saw her limping through the store quickly while she clenches her stomach and breaths heavy. She couldn't wait to leave and take her medicine. She is on heavy pharmaceuticals for Parkinson's, antibiotics for a diagnosed UTI and pain medicine. All of these medicines are super hard on her kidney's. I believe they are a contributing cause to her kidney stones but also a catch 22 because she needs them because her pain is so bad. I think she is on the verge of Chronic Renal Failure but she hasn't been diagnosed with that yet. We see doctors all next week.
The other benefit of her staying at my house is that I eat a high raw whole food plant based diet. My mom is not a healthy eater and now she has no food in the house except healthy foods. She loves her soda pop and I won't let her have it in the house. Soda is terrible for you especially when you have kidney problems. She is eating lots of fruits and vegetables now and claims that she's starving. I know she is just being dramatic as making changes in diet takes time and getting over cravings can be challenging. She watches meat eating cooking shows all day which I can't watch. I teach her about youtube on the smart tv to have her watch plant based cooking shows. I honestly feel like healthy eating will help ease her pain as well. She is still going to die, I know, but if it gives me more time with her or if it increases the quality of her life then I want to help.
The other night I see my mom laying in bed and she is wincing in pain. She curls tight in a fetal position and then arches her back and twists her head side to side. I can hardly stand watching her suffer. I think she is near the end of her life but you never know. I txt everyone I know who might have edibles because I know my mom won't smoke weed. I have a dear friend who had some brownies made for me and brought them by. They were made with an Indica strand which is the more sleepy kind. Usually my mom has been waking up at 3am every morning and can't sleep. My friend talked with her and explained to her why it will help her pain and she listened. My mom never listens to me. I'm so happy she did now.
My mom is in my vegan house and the only sweet thing that is not vegan are those fresh chocolate brownies. I bag them all up separately and leave a bag in the microwave for her so that my kids don't get it. I hide the others away. She ate a half a brownie that night and for the first time in a long time slept all the way through the night until 6 or 7am. She said she took the brownie and was out like a light. She needed it. I noticed that she ate another one today and I'm literally giddy inside. My goodie two shoes mom is getting high and she liked it. I'm glad that she tried them and was open minded. She was brave to try something new because for her this was scary. I'm happy with the results and yes absolutely I am a proponent of medical marijuana! I don't know why it was ever illegal. I'd take medical marijuana any day over taking pharmaceuticals. If anyone judged this situation then maybe you never watched anyone suffer in excruciating pain. I think we are all smart enough to learn about the pros and cons of medical marijuana and we can make the call to take it or not for ourselves. The government can stay out of this aspect of our private lives as far as I'm concerned. We all should have a right to have access to medical marijuana if we need it. This is a plant medicine and from what I see has offered much needed relief.
Thank you to my dear friend. It has put a huge smile on my face.
Two nights ago I had one of the most profound healing talks with my mom ever. Honestly, I spent the past year plus being angry with her to the point where I stopped talking to her. My son cracked his skull from a fall I took him to the ER. They gave him a cat scan and an iv but were not able to do anything other than monitor him. He did have some bleeding on the brain but it was small and there was no midline shift. My mother was worried about him and she wanted me to take him to the ER again. I was there and I saw the x-rays and talked with the doctors. I disagreed and felt he was better at home without the chaos of the hospital. He cried a lot at the hospital with the IV and they couldn't find his veins on 3 limbs and he wailed in the cat scan. I really am into self healing unless absolutely necessary. I saw the x-rays and made a call based on the doctors responses and I also have a Natural Hygiene doctor who I asked for advice. I decided he would best recover resting at home with peace and quiet.
I nursed him at home and at the hospital they didn't want me to nurse him just in case he needed surgery. The nursing really calmed him down. He would stop crying and rest. Every time I had to hand him over for some inspection he started crying a lot. I don't see how all that crying is helpful for a baby with a head injury. Crying causes stress and in my opinion, he needed to stay calm. Nursing calmed him like some kind of magical drug. Holding him close to me calmed him. He would stay latched on extra long and cling to me. I was thanking god that I was still nursing him at 2 because I had a gift that I could give my injured baby. Nursing for me was very difficult because I had a breast reduction when I was 26 before I got into Natural Hygiene or understood the benefits of breast feeding. I'm so glad that I worked through nursing my children despite my reduction.
At the hospital, I had this wild protective side of me that would ask the doctors everything they were doing. I took photos and elected out of some things that I didn't feel was necessary. After his overnight stay, I took him home as soon as I could so he could rest in peace and quiet which I honestly felt was the best thing for him. He wanted to move around and not lay only in a supine position at the hospital. This was difficult for him to do with all the tubes attached to him. He was uncomfortable. My mother was worried and called the police and DCFS on me for not taking him back to the hospital again approximately 2 days after the incident. I had follow up appointments with a neurologist and his pediatrician so I felt the ER wasn't necessary. I was beside myself with hurt, anger, betrayal and fear that the government would take my children away. Most importantly I was doing what I thought was necessary to protect my sons health. Was it possible that I was wrong, yes? But it was also possible that the doctors at the hospital could have made a mistake too. It happens all the time and I can't help but feel like our American medical system is a business. They are going to try to sell surgeries or prescriptions all while following their "policies" to protect their business. I'm skeptical that their policies are in the best interest of my son's health.
I'm very careful about surgeries unless they are absolutely necessary because my mother had a bad surgery when I was 17 and it was the beginning of the decline of her health. I watched her suffer for 26 years because of a botched hysterectomy which lead to one problem after another. When they took out her uterus they accidentally cut her colon. They didn't give her an enema before surgery so the doctors were literally trying to keep the feces from getting into her blood stream while they stapled her shut. She was in surgery extra long and she looked terrible afterwards. She was pooping green after the surgery and never really recovered from that surgery. It was an optional surgery to remove a benign cyst that could have dissolved on it's own with healthy eating.
My mother's experience was a huge influence on me and I wasn't going to do a brain surgery on my son unless it was absolutely necessary. I stayed home and I kept the house quiet. I nursed him. I slept next to him and watched him very closely. He was able to keep the breast milk down which I felt was positive. Luckily he had a full recovery. I'm so blessed that he fully recovered and I'm honestly proud of myself for really studying his situation by researching on my own, taking photos of the x-rays and making the call to keep him at home. It was very difficult for me. This all happened right after I got a divorce. I was living at my house alone and was watching my dad with Alzheimer's when it happened. At that moment I knew that I had to resolve things with my ex-husband because the babies need their daddy. I needed his help too so I could start working again and I felt like the kids were best off with their parents.
I'm in the middle of a yoga teacher training and we are talking about our chakras and all of our unhealed wounds. One thing that I set out to do was to heal the wounds that I had with people that hurt me but I still really loved them. My mom is one of those people. My brother Keith told me how sick she is. She sold her house to liquidate her estate and needed a place to live and move her furniture or have an estate sale. Either way she needed help because she was too sick to do it alone. I happened to be in a position to offer my home to her.
While she stays with me we start to talk. Two nights ago I couldn't sleep and was reading. I go into my mother's room and see that she is also reading. It's 4am and she says, start the coffee, which I do. We sit on the couch and we finally had the talk about this situation. I told her how hurt I was. I was a single mom and it was the time in my life when I really could have used a mom and I felt like she was against me. She said she was scared and listened to advice from others and she was sorry. She said she wished she never did it and she loved me. I told her I was sorry too. I told her how scared that both her and my father are sick. I was super mad but underneath all this anger and disfunction is an incredible amount of love. We had many many fun happy times growing up. This incident is really trivial when you look at the big picture of my whole life with her. She has done way more good than bad and I had to find a way to forgive her because it was hurting me to stay angry because I love her so much and she is dying. My father is dying too. I needed a resolution and I'm so happy that I did while she is still alive. She held me like how I hold my son in her arms and it was the first time that I felt nurtured in a really long time. She held me like a baby while I cried so much. I couldn't stop crying actually. I went through a box of tissues and we both cried and talked. I feel so much lighter after talking to her like a heavy weight that I've been carrying around with me has been lifted. Making up with my mother has been one of the most important decisions of my life. So much healing is happening between us and everyone else in my family. My older brother Keith really needed help with both of my parents and we are both in Florida where my other 3 brothers are in Chicago. I needed to step up for Keith, for my parents, for myself and for my other brothers.
My mom asked me why I decided to make up with her and I told her about my yoga teacher training and how I was mending my old wounds with people that I love. My mom also asked why I took so long to talk to her and I told her that my ex-husband thought it was a bad idea and I had to stick up for myself and not listen to his advice. It was a fight and I do feel like he shamed me from talking to her saying that she is a narcissist and you have to go no contact with a narcissist like what they say on youtube. He would also say that she is just trying to bribe me with her money. I know he was trying to protect me but mostly I think he wanted her out of his life. She is difficult, I won't lie, but if you really get to know her then you get to see all the beauty that is around her and what makes her difficult is her unhealed wounds. I would have regretted abandoning her when she really needed help.
I'm just so glad to have listened to my heart. Forgiveness is a powerful thing. You can listen to all kinds of advice but in the end you are the only one who will have to live with your choices. Are they choices that will help you heal or are they choices that will hold onto your anger or fear? Listen to your heart very closely, it is guiding you. Choose love every time and face your fears. The synchronicities of events that have lined up in order to put this healing in place for me seem well orchestrated. God has a plan and all I have to do is listen to my heart and surrender. If you have someone that you need to make amends with then please do it. For me forgiving my mother has been the most profound thing I have ever done. I do believe. Thank you God. Much love and light to you all.
My mother wanted to be with her husband on her birthday so she drives 1.5 hours to Tampa to go and get him out of his assisted care living home and bring him back to Clermont. I worry about her driving because she is weak but she makes it back Friday evening. I'm teaching yoga and watching children. When I get home from work I bought her birthday flowers that my amazing Florist made for me, Kim Jemison with Kim E's Flowers in Groveland. My mom really loves getting flowers, especially red roses. I tell Kim this and she puts some gorgeous red roses in for me. My mom thinks they are my flowers and not for her. She reads the card and sees they are hers and she tears up. When I was younger, my mother bought me flowers for all my dance performances, graduations, birthdays, weddings, any major event. I'm excited to shower her with pretty flowers and return the gift. She is going through so much. She is terribly sick and my father is sick with Alzheimer's. She slept in the same bed as my mom almost every night since they were 17 when they met. They fell in love in college and have been together ever since. Now that he is in an assisted care facility they are separated for the first time in 47 years of marriage. She is lonely, sad for him and hurting with her own illnesses.
I see my dad as he walks in the house. I help him get ready for bed by changing his cloths, diapers and help him in bed. I go to sleep and sleep all night. It's been emotionally draining, moving my parents house and dealing with their illness. I wake up and find out my mom didn't sleep much because my dad defecated himself at night and she had to help clean him up. This is why he needs to be in a home or a full time nurse. She is exhausted. My dad walks around the house and sees his furniture at my house and says it looks pretty nice. He walks around the house and gets confused walking in and out of the closets. At one point he walked out of the house and was out by the main road. When I found out he left my mom raced in the car to get him. He doesn't stop moving the whole time he's at my house. Up and down and moving things. It's exhausting because he has to be watched the whole time. He is calm and happy when he walks and so am I because I know he his ok.
We eat breakfast and my dad sits in the lazy boy chair. I give him my 4 year old son River to hold and he does. He hugs him, kisses him on the forehead and calls him a good boy. My son lets my father hold him as he enjoys his cuddles. The kids and I make cupcakes for my mom but we do something wrong and they don't turn out right. Either way the kids had a blast working on the project. I take my dad and the kids to the park to give my mom some time to sleep. At the park we walk down the pier and the kids race back and forth past us. He is happy to be outside and walking around. The kids climb all the ropes at the park and my father pushes my son on the swing. I tickle River's legs as he swings by me and he giggles. This makes my father smile. River does have the best laugh. Pepper, my 6 year old girl, is super athletic. She excels at the bars in gymnastics and she swings across the monkey bars effortlessly, back and forth and back and forth.
We go back home. I see my dad defecated himself again. I don't say a word because I don't want him to feel bad. He is very sensitive and cries with embarrassment easy. I take him straight to the bathroom and I have to strip him down and help him in the shower. My mom helps to wash him while I throw away the diaper and wash his jeans in the sink before putting them in the washing machine. I tell him don't worry, it's ok. We get him dressed again and he's all better. I feel bad because it's my mom's birthday and it has been a lot of work taking care of my dad and we messed up the cupcakes. I'm happy he's home but I also worry because my mom is run down. I have to help him go to the bathroom every time. He forgets so I ask him, do you have to go to the bathroom? I help him get ready for bed and we all go to bed early exhausted.
I used to walk with my dad when I was younger, around my neighborhood, on vacations, to work, etc. The next morning around 6am I take my dad for a walk around my neighborhood. We often bonded a lot on these walks. My dad was a lonely guy and he suffered from depression. He had a very rough childhood. His mother was a heavy smoker and when he was in 6th grade he found her dead in the shower. His father never recovered from her death and was an alcoholic. When my dad was 26 his father died. When my dad was 16 he accidentally killed a 13 year old girl. She was playing chicken in the road. He saw her and swerved to get out of the way and the girl ran in the same way that he ran. The next year he was in college and he met my mother. He said he knew he had to be with her. He was super poor and he would steal steaks at the grocery store to make her dinner. He often ate at a pizza place by waiting for people to finish their meal and then if they didn't finish all their pizza then he would eat their left overs. His grandma used to send him care packages of food and he said she seemed to be the only one who really gave him love. His father was too wrapped up in his own grief and alcohol. My grandfather didn't work for a long time and was living off the rent in a 6 flat that he owned. Before my grandfather stopped working he used to be a plumber. My mother was motivated and a real go getter. My father found this attractive. He used to tell me all these stories of his youth on our walks. He was a prankster in college. He would tease the weight lifting guy in his dorm and cemented his weights onto the floor in the basement. I laugh as I think of his humor during his hard times. My dad was always a very funny guy. When we walk now, he is quiet. I talk a lot and tell him about the neighborhood and about his grandchildren. I ask him if he wants a long walk or a short one. He wants a long walk so we walk around the small lake in the neighboring subdivision and my subdivision. We are headed home and at the end of the walk about 3 blocks from home and he is falling asleep. I'm afraid he will fall over asleep and hurt himself. I call my mom and she comes to pick him up in a flash. I am learning how much my father can do now and it's a lot less. Next time we go on a shorter walk. When we get back to the house they pack up and she has a driver take her and my father back to the home in Tampa and I get ready to go to work. I have 8 hours of Thai work to do. My mom said that when they got back to Tampa my dad slept the whole time but was soaked. He wouldn't go to the bathroom before but needed to. I'm happy that I got to walk with my father again. He trusts me and I can feel the peace when I'm with him. I don't care if I have to help change him. He can't help it, he is sick and I'm just happy to be spending time with him. I really love him so much and I'm grateful for this time. I forgot how special our walks are. I hope to continue walking with my dad as much as we can. These are special times.
I was recently working with someone who has an iron deficiency. She eats salads and the greens have iron in them. She has made improvements in her diet to eat more whole foods so what could be happening as I know many people have this same issue.
Iron deficiency causes anemia. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is a red, iron-rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's muscles and organs. These cells also remove carbon dioxide from cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled. Anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells. Individuals who are anemic may experience fatigue because the heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen to the muscles and organs. Anemia is a common blood disorder, affecting an estimated 3.4 million people in the US. Other symptoms may include pale skin, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, cognitive problems, headache and numb or cold sensations in the extremities.
Things that can cause an iron deficiency are:
What plant based foods are high in iron?
What might you be eating that is acidic therefore hindering iron absorption?
Any acidic drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, alcohol, dairy can reduce iron absorption by 50-90% because iron is an alkaline mineral. When the blood ph gets too acidic then the body dissolves alkaline minerals to keep the ph at approximately a 7. Alkaline minerals in a human body are calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese. When these minerals are dissolved in the blood stream then the kidneys and liver have to clean the blood. Often times the reformulation of these minerals cause kidney stones. Other areas in the body that these minerals deposit is in the joints and tops of feet. Dairy is acidic and it's best to avoid it before and after you consume iron rich foods. Better yet, eliminate them. They cause more havoc than not. Another thing to consider is to avoid oxalates. Spinach is high in iron but it is also high in oxalic acid which can hinder iron absorption. I recommend eating other tender baby greens and the wide variety of other lettuces available.
On the contrary, consuming iron-rich foods with a source of Vitamin C helps iron absorption. This includes citrus. You may think citrus acid would block the absorption of iron because it is acidic but it does not. Fruits including citrus are high in alkaline minerals therefore having an alkaline affect on the body. Vitamin C also decreases the ability of phytic acid to block iron absorption.
Why does sunlight help iron absorption?
Iron and Vitamin D are synergistic increasing one often increases the other. Low levels of one associated with low levels of the other. Yes you can take iron supplements and the iron will get into your blood stream but the sunlight affects all your hormones such as hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pineal body, ovaries, testes. Sunlight increases your vitamin D naturally therefore balancing your hormones and increasing your mineral absorption. I recommend getting out in the sun during non-harmful hours of the day, either morning or late afternoon for 15 minutes at minimum.
Another thing to consider is that the body can only absorb organic minerals. The chemical structure of the molecule is different. An example is that there is a lot of iron in rock dust which is used to feed plants. Plants get the iron from the rock dust and change the molecular structure . Humans can then get iron from the plants because the plants worked their magic on the iron to make it readily available to humans. But eating rock dust would be no different than eating a rock ground up and our bodies can't easily assimilate it.
Is an iron supplement and organic mineral or an inorganic mineral? I don't know for sure but I'm skeptical and if it was me I would skip the supplement and simply eat plant based iron rich foods, reduce acidic foods and get in the sun.
If someone is iron-deficient right now, I'd suggest to juice a variety of greens and drink it up. That way you know you are getting plenty of nutrients across the board, including iron. Make the juicing of greens a daily or every-other-day habit. Drink it first thing in the morning, before any other food, for max absorption and assimilation. Eventually your iron will catch up and you can switch to a fruit smoothie with some greens.
One thing to play around with is buying pH strips that you can pee on or spit. This will give you an idea of where your blood ph is at during any moment in time. Your blood ph changes with everything you eat so keep in mind that it is only a snapshot at that point in time. When your ph is closer to a 7 then your body will be able to absorb your alkaline minerals such as iron.
I hope this blog post helps people with an iron deficiency. This is advice based on my knowledge and experience. I encourage you to continue to learn about how to take excellent care of your body and become your own best doctor. You all are very capable to improve your health significantly and no-one is going to care about your health more than you. If you have any specific questions about other health related issues then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to help answer them. I am constantly learning so feel free to comment.
A part of my healing journey has been to repair broken relationships. Two relationships that I have been repairing are with both of my parents. About a year ago, my parents and I got into an argument. I felt violated and like my parental boundaries as a parent for my own children weren't being respected and I stopped talking to my parents. The details don't really matter. All that matters is that something happened, boundaries were crossed and communication ended. This greatly hurt me as despite everything that happened, I still love my parents, very much. There are two sides to every story and through the mess and my own hurt feelings, I try to see how I could have done things differently. I only have control over myself and my own actions.
My parents have been on a cruise for the past 3 months in lieu of a nursing home. They are able to get 1/2 off cruises and despite it sounding extravagant, it's actually a very smart way to celebrate the end of your life. My parents are able to get a 4 month cruise for $10,000. My father has Alzheimer's disease and his Assisted Memory Care is approximately $6,000 a month. As you can tell, they were able to save money and be in a much more pleasant environment. About 3 weeks ago, my parents were medically evacuated from the cruise ship because my father started to develop incontinence and he was defecating himself due to his disease. My mother proceeded to make the challenging trip home from Hawaii where they had to leave the ship. She stopped in Chicago to see my brothers and while downtown, my father boarded the EL Train and ended up an hour away in Bensenville, IL. My mother had to file a missing persons report to try to find him. Eventually she made it back to her home in Florida and had to put him into a home in Tampa near my older brother while she was selling her house in The Villages. She also has Parkinson's, Crohn's disease, Edema and failing kidney's with bad kidney stones. She needed to move her belongings. My brother was having an addition put on his house for her except he wasn't expecting her for 4 more months and the room is still under construction. His house had no room and my house had lots of room as I was preparing to move and was downsizing. I had to make the decision, do I want to help my mother, the person who I was mad at for the past year.
After hearing about their failing health, I felt scared that they would pass and we wouldn't have mended our relationship. Yes we had a big fight that was terrible but throughout their life there were so many good memories too. My partner didn't want me to mend things because of the turbulence and he was trying to protect me. I had to make the decision to call my mother and tell her that I would help.
I tell her to drive to my house from Tampa and that I will help her with the move. She stays with me for about a week and we talk and we cry and we hug and we apologize and we heal. I feel like this is my spiritual work to step up and help my parents, forgive them and in the process I get to forgive myself. If I expect Grace in my own life then I better be prepared to give it. We prepare my house for all of her furniture. We move everything here and my older brother will come in a few months to pick up the things from my parents house that he would like to keep when the construction is done. In the process, I help my brother, my mother, my children get to know their grandmother and all of a sudden my anger is released. I thank god for not taking them from me before we had a time to makeup.
In the process of moving their belongings, the movers said they never saw so much customized furniture. My father was the president of the Woodshop in The Villages and he customized everything. Track lighting under the bed, storage shelves on wheels for under the bed, special boards to cover a nice oak table to protect it, and wood caricature dolls that hang off the string of the ceiling light , etc. I remember how creative my dad is and I have flashbacks of him saying that he's a happening dude. I laugh as I move his stuff. I see his inner child, his beauty. I find his artwork, his incredibly organized tool bench with jars of screws all in different glass jars. I love all his stuff. My mother helps with with the whole move despite her painful kidneys. The first day that she visits me, I have to take her to the ER for bleeding kidneys all night.
After a week of working all day and night moving, we are able to visit my father. My father loves to walk and I know he hasn't been out of his home since he went in. I think to myself, how can I move him home. I am also in the middle of a move so this makes everything tricky! I take my dad to the park with my mom and my kids. My mom watches the kids play at the playground and I go for a walk with my dad. I wrap my arm under his, he isn't as sturdy as he used to be. He's afraid to leave my mother and she has to tell him it's ok. And we walk through the woods. As my arm is wrapped under his, I reach for his hand and I hold him tight. Even though he is losing some function with his brain, there is a bond between us. The fight was between my mother and me and he was caught in the middle. As we walk, I tell him that I'm sorry. I hold back my tears because I want to be strong for him and I don't want him to see how scared that I am. My dad is calm and he is happy walking with me. All of a sudden our time together is precious and I want more of it.
Back at my house I continue to unpack my mother's belongings and we begin to go through things. Last night she held my son as he sleeps in her arms at night and this morning she reads to my daughter about fairy princesses and I'm content. God gave me precious time to make amends and I can't think of a more profound decision that I've had to make in my life. I know that out of my four brothers and I, I will have to find the strength that I have in my yoga practice to the strength that I'm about to need having to take care of my sick parents and two small children.
I think of the lyrics to Sara Bareilles song Hercules:
This is not the end though
'Cause I have sent for a warrior
From on my knees, make me a Hercules
I was meant to be a warrior please
Make me a Hercules
This is my darkest hour
A long road has lead me out here
But I only need turn around to face the light
And decide to flight or fight
'Cause I have sent for a warrior
From on my knees, make me a Hercules
I was meant to be a warrior please
Make me a Hercules
I also think of Dr Wayne Dyer's advice, "You Have a Choice". "Rely on yourself, and be true to who you are. What's unique about you is what will take you far. Don't look to others to say you're okay. You know it - so believe it! - show your own self the way. Don't blame others for the things you say or do. Every choice that you make is all up to you."
I am my father's child. I am my mother's daughter. Somehow I am stronger than I think I am and as I look forward I have a confidence in myself that I never had before and I think to myself, "I got this". Thank you god for giving me the opportunity to make amends. My heavy heart has been lifted and repairing my relationships with my parents has been so worth it. If there is someone in your life that you are mad at but you still love them anyway. I invite you to try to resolve things. I invite you to find forgiveness in your heart. I invite you to surrender because it's hard to fight when one side surrenders. This whole experience has completely taken me to my knees. As my teacher Shelly would say...if god brings you down to your knees, stay there. I have nothing but love in my heart for my parents and I am doing everything that I can to help them. Peace, Grace, Forgiveness, Love! Many blessings to you all as I have been blessed.