Category Archives: Healing

Natural Gifts: Do You Know What Yours Are? What Would You Like To Be Doing?

My thriftiness was the inspiration that got me started making jewelry 13 years ago.  I was too cheap to pay $10 bucks for a bead change on my belly ring (Nope, I don’t have one anymore) at the tattoo place, when I could get a whole package for less than half that.  The only dilemma was what was I going to do with the rest of the beads?

I like to learn new things and since they string beads at kids’ summer camp, I figured making jewelry wasn’t beyond me.  So, I bought my first pair of pliers, some crimps, wire and catches and off I went.  First, I made an anklet, then earrings, then a necklace and bracelet.  I was hooked.  I learned how to bend wire (LOOOOVE bending wire and banging it into designs.) Very quickly, I outgrew the jewelry aisle at the craft store and began going to bead shops, mail order companies, metal companies and lapidaries for semi-precious stones and silver.  I made gifts for friends and eventually starting selling my one-of-a-kind pieces in 2006 under the name Chickyrhumba (a nickname my mom had for me when I was little.)

I closed the business in 2012 but I still enjoy making jewelry and I am proud of the work that I did.  The funny part is I am not sure I would have ever pursued it directly if it hadn’t been for my now defunct belly ring.  Honestly, I am just like that.  Life tends to have to inspire me to try new things indirectly or I need to ease into them somehow…slowly, sometimes VERY slowly.  I practiced yoga for several months on my own before I ever went to a class, just so I wouldn’t feel like a complete spaz doing it in public for the first time.

I suspect I am not alone when it comes to being a bit fearful about trying new things, even things I suspect I would enjoy.  Many of us are probably a bit nervous about looking foolish or fear that we may not be good at the chosen activity we admire or maybe, we don’t even know why we don’t make the effort.   Perhaps, there has just been an underlying current of subliminal messages in our minds telling us things like, “I don’t come from artistic people,” or “I have never been good at any sports.”  So, we stay stuck in our little safe box.

The cool thing is that if you manage to reach beyond your comfort zone, you just might amaze yourself with what you accomplish.  There are so many quotes about going beyond your comfort zone, it’s hard to know which came first.  I like Robert Allen’s “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”  (It just sounds so promising!)  More importantly, it’s a good way to take care of yourself.  You may find a new vocation that makes you successful beyond your wildest dreams or you may just find something you really enjoy doing.  Either way, it’s time well spent!

So, what have you always wanted to learn how to do that you have been putting off?  I would love to hear from you.

Love and Blessings to All,

Cynthia

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justdragonfly

A Year after Super Storm Sandy: Challenges, Tumbles and Surviving It All with Gratitude!

A year ago when all the hubbub started about Hurricane Sandy, like so many people in the area where I lived on the water in Amity Harbor, I didn’t take it very seriously.  Although, I lived on a canal, the warnings that were being issued seemed extreme. I had stayed home through Hurricane Irene the year before without the water even coming up my back steps.  So, in my mind, Sandy would probably only be slightly worse.

Chauncy and I hunkered down on October 29, 2012 with every intention of waiting it out.  And for most of the day, it appeared I had taken the right course.  Then around 7pm, things changed radically.  I waded through knee high water to move my car to higher ground.  Forty minutes later when I finally left with my dog and one bag that same water was up to my thighs and had begun pouring into my home from every conceivable point of entry including the sinks and toilet.

I was oddly pretty calm for someone driving around in the midst of a hurricane.  I picked up a stranded driver who was soaked to bone.  He warned me not to go west on Merrick Road because that was where his truck got stranded.  I deposited him at the pizza place where the emergency workers were staying.  I couldn’t stay there with Chauncy.  So, I had to move on.  (There are very few safe public places during catastrophes on Long Island for people with dogs.)

Chauncy was freaking out as we weaved around fallen trees on Sunrise Highway.  He kept trying to crawl inside me practically.  So, I eventually threw an entire bag of treats on the passenger seat to distract him.  First, we tried going west to my folks, and made it about 10 miles before the road was blocked off.  So, I turned around drove further East than where I started and ended up at a friend’s house in Bayshore.  Thankfully, her family was willing to take us both in.

The next day I went to my folks’ house and have been here since.  I thought by now I would be in my new apartment with Hurricane Sandy fading into an increasingly distant memory but a short five months later, I experienced an event that made Super Storm Sandy feel like a mere inconvenience.  On March 2nd, the day after I launched this blog, I fell down the stairs at the Madison Square Garden Entrance to Penn Station. I broke my upper jaw, lost a front tooth, damaged seven more top front teeth, ripped my upper lip completely through, sprained my wrist and broke my nose.

Given the opportunity to take that moment back and hold the handrail, I most certainly would take the mulligan.  I won’t have anything close to my smile back before 2015 (…and we are talking closer to 2016.)  However, several people have told me I would find the blessings in these events and they were right.  When something like this happens, at first you just want to crawl into a hole and disappear.  You wonder what you might have done to deserve such a shitty, fucking thing to happen to you … and in my case two shitty things in row.  You wonder, “is this going to be what breaks me?”  Then a little voice deep inside answers very confidently, “no, it’s going to make you stronger than you have ever been.”  Then you pick your head up and start noticing all the things you have to be grateful for like your family, your friends, your dog, the perfect strangers (who turned out to be paramedics) who stopped to help when you fell, all the flowers, cards, prayers, well wishes and good, competent doctors to help put you back together.  There is so much I have to be grateful for, I couldn’t possibly fit it all into this one blog post.  That is how fortunate I am!

There is one other thing I want to share with you and then I’ll wrap it up!  That is the lesson.  The most profound shift I have experienced since all of this happened is what I thought mattered before… most of it… doesn’t matter at all.  I used to sweat everything: my boss yelling at me, getting a ticket, a friend being distant, paying bills… any little negative thing could tip my mood.  The worse thing on my mind before I fell was that my car had a leaky head gasket.  It seems so silly now ruminating about how I was going to find a new apartment, furnish it and get a new car at the same time.  I thought THAT was something to feel sorry for myself about.  Now, I am looking at a $30K-$40K dental reconstruction.  It’s okay though because getting my smile back to me is priceless!

Love and blessings to all.

Cynthia

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justdragonfly

Letting Go: Sorting Through My STUFF

I just watched the last piece of my Nana’s cherry wood set get hauled away.  I dragged that set with me from home to home for the last fourteen years and today, I let it go to an appreciative young man who was probably furnishing his first apartment.

I moved out of my parents’ house over 19 years ago.  Hurricane Sandy brought me back here temporarily.  My dental reconstruction is keeping me here a while longer.  Deciding it was better to have funds available to pay my various dentists than for storage fees, I cleared out my POD this weekend.

I am a fiercely independent person.  I do not enjoy asking for help.  However, this situation has required that I learn how to accept it and I am definitely grateful for the help that has been extended to me by friends and family.  I’d be lying if I said I was excited about the idea of sorting through all my crap and deciding what stays and what goes.  It’s a perfect beach weekend and that is where I would rather be.

Rather than dwell on the loss of my independence (and a good beach weekend) though; I’ve decided to view this as an opportunity to let go of what I don’t need and welcome a fresh start.  While I was looking through one box, I found a baseball card album filled with Steve Sax cards.  My boyfriend in college gave it to me as a birthday present one year.  I had remarked that Steve Sax had a cute tush and he thought it would be funny to give me all his cards.  It was funny but not funny enough to keep toting around decades after we broke up; especially when I never really wanted it in the first place.

The baseball card album was one of his better gifts too.  One year he gave me a toolbox filled with tools.  I didn’t want that either.  The nicest things one of my friends at the time said about it was “tell him next year, you want a jewelry box and to fill that up too.”  The rising chorus from my friends was “dump him” and eventually I did.  So, why do I still have this little album all these years later?  Who the fuck knows… I am a sentimental person but I think this is a good time to reevaluate what I want to keep in my life and what NEEDS to go.

I also have this sense that letting go of unnecessary stuff will make room for new and better things, opportunities and experiences in my life.  I think I will do a mental overhaul while I am at it and let go of accumulated fears, pains, frustrations and insecurities… I’m sure I have a book on that in one of these damn boxes…

What do you need to let go of?  Have you had a positive experience after letting go of items you no longer needed?  I would love to hear from you!

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

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Being (a) Patient: The Long and Bumpy Road

When you have an injury or illness that requires a long plan of treatment, you’re probably going to hit the wall more than once.  At least that’s been my experience thus far.

I have been having one of those weeks where I was starting to feel like the 10 steps I went forward in May to get my smile back…well, I fell back seven.  When you have 4 doctors (or in my case dentists: a periodontist, a prosthodontist, an orthodontist and an oral surgeon,) they aren’t always going to agree on everything.  I also found out it would be a miracle if I don’t end up with any pink porcelain (which is used to simulate gum tissue when there has been bone and/or gum tissue loss.)  And some of the people who are closest to me are sick of hearing about my teeth after four plus months and think I should stop seeking out the holy grail of treatment plans and just get on with the fuckin’ work already.

Can’t really blame ‘em there.  I am sick of it too.  I would love to just get on with the treatment already but I am also terrified.  I have felt like I have been putting a puzzle together in the dark since I fell.  Whenever I think I have all the pieces together, a light flashes on just long enough to reveal that something isn’t quite right yet.

I have made progress for sure.  I managed to avoid the plates and screws that the residents at the hospital wanted to put in my jaw.  I found a great oral surgeon who set my jaw and saved the other three teeth; they wanted to pull in the hospital.  I nixed the treatment plan that would have left me an 8 tooth bridge from upper premolar to premolar, as well as, the douche-bag perio who said it was my only option.  Thankfully, I’ve found a skilled team who can deliver on keeping me in all separate teeth.

So, what’s the problem then, right?  Four millimeters is the problem… four fuckin’ millimeters of vertical bone loss above my missing central incisor (or right front tooth to you and me.)  Between my body growing it and the bone graft(s), I need to gain 4mm (and have plenty of gum tissue) in order to avoid pink porcelain.  Is pink porcelain that big a deal?  Well, when you have a high smile line or a somewhat gummy smile like I do, it’s going to show.  I keep flashing on an image of a youngish Wayne Gretzky with his pink-topped crowns.  I couldn’t figure out why his upper gum looked like it had a squiggly dark line running through it at the time.  Now, I know it was pink porcelain.

My prosthodontist is an artist and I am sure even if pink porcelain is required that I won’t look like an ice hockey-player by the time he is done but, you know, I also will do everything in my power to make sure I gain those four fucking millimeters!

What experiences have you had as a patient?  How did you overcome them?  Is there anything you wish you had done differently looking back now?

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

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justdragonfly

Keeping the Faith: Going home to the Sea

Jones Beach has always been one of my favorite places.  Yet I had been avoiding the water, since Hurricane Sandy caused the bay to invade my little home last October, until yesterday.  I was in a great mood after two doctors’ appointments: 1) the first confirmed that I have enough bone in my upper jaw for successful grafting and tooth implantation. 2) the second cleared me for all normal activity.

I was driving home from the second appointment when the beach started calling me home.  I bypassed the parkway and kept heading south on instinct.  When I got there, I bounded out of the car and hit the boardwalk with a feeling of absolute elation.  It was like being welcomed with open arms to where I belong.  The feelings of peace and healing I have always felt near the water were there just as they always have been my whole life.  Any of the previous fear and disappointment I felt after the hurricane just evaporated.

I imagined if the ocean could talk, it would say, “It was nothing personal Cynthia.  I am here to heal you.  The storm had its’ way with all of us but we are both still here.  So, is the love and it is infinite!”

It reminds me of a quote I came across a few years ago:

“The willow knows what the storm does not: that the power to endure harm outlives the power to inflict it.”

Blood of the Martyr

My life has been a series of storms over the last seven months (punctuated by moments of happiness and the utmost gratefulness.)  When you are getting hit with one challenge after another, you finally learn that you cannot control everything.  The awareness that you cannot always know what is happening next and how to plan for it is overwhelming and frightening.  I realized though that when nothing is logical anymore, and the challenges that are thrown my way seem so daunting and unfair, that it comes down to faith.

I recognized this week that when I have done everything I can do but I am afraid because I still don’t know what is going to happen, that I have to have faith that somehow it will all work out.  When I look back over my life, I realize that it always has one way or the other.  It’s hard to remember that when you are focused on your current problem or challenges.  When you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s hard to remember what it looks like.

While I was walking the boardwalk yesterday, I kept peeking sideways to glance out over the ocean.  I noticed while I was walking that in some places the dunes were too high to see the water.  Although, I could not see it, I knew it was there and was still comforted by it.  I knew shortly it would appear again.  It occurred to me that faith is a lot like that.  You don’t always get to see a clear path right away in finding a solution but somehow you find a way to get where you need to go.  Challenges are how we grow and learn.  Faith (and favorite places) is how we get through the scary parts.

Love and Blessings to all,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/naturallyhealthyhappy

Being (a) Patient: Holding Out for a Hero

Anyone who knows me well, knows I have never been shy about saying that western allopathic medicine is good for putting people back together when they are broken, and for acute care when someone’s life is in danger, but when it comes to treating chronic conditions and disease…not so much.  I believe that if you are looking for someone to take care of your health, start by looking in a mirror.

I know that I am responsible for my own health.  I have studied nutrition, yoga and various wellness practices.  I walk regularly.  I meditate.  I eat a vegetarian whole foods diet.  Yada yada yada…When it comes to health and wellness, I was on it… and then I got broken.

After this accident, I was completely overwhelmed by how my mouth was going to be put back together.  I knew in my bones that the plan the hospital had come up with, wasn’t the way to go.  So, when I found the doctor who fixed my upper jaw without screws or plates, I was elated and tried to dump the responsibility for the rest of my care on him.  I asked him to put together a team for me to do my dental reconstruction.

Like most doctors would, he complied by finding specialists who he liked and were located in my geographic area.  The only problem was they weren’t right for my particular case.  The periodontist he referred me to had the chair-side manner of an icy, wet blanket.  (I suspect he was part reptile…)  He gave me only one option for a course of treatment that was totally unacceptable to me.  Shortly, before I left his office, he looked at the photos of my smile before the fall and coldly said, “You’re never going to look like that again.”

I left his office enraged and called the doctor who had referred me to this monster.  I won’t bore you with the dialogue but it boiled down to what the Hell was he thinking sending me to this douche bag? (of course, only in more polite terminology.)  After some back and forth, he said “You have to get a consensus.  You’re going to need to go do consults with several different specialists until you find a doctor you like and then pick the plan you like the best.”

He was right.  The punch in the gut I got that afternoon turned into a kick in the ass.  I realized I was being a baby.  I never really had dental work before or orthodontics ever.  My teeth were always straight and healthy.   Aside from a few fillings when I was a teen and getting my wisdom teeth pulled, I only went to the dentist for cleanings.  I let my fear and ignorance turn me into a helpless victim.  I wanted someone else to fix this problem and I just wanted to show up to wherever it was being performed.  I just wanted to wake up when it was all done with a beautiful smile again.  Reality called and reminded me that I am responsible for my own care.

So, I started doing my own research on NY periodontists and prosthodontists.  Then I began the expensive time-consuming process of being examined and doing initial consults with these fellows.  I have learned a lot about my condition in the past few weeks and the various ways to treat it.  I haven’t picked one yet but I have it narrowed down to three perios.  I still have to hear the third plan.  So far, I am happy to report that, they are much more acceptable than the initial prognosis that I was given in that first reptilian consult.  Also, the specialists I am considering working with now, all have experience working with people who were injured in accidents, as well as a good deal more compassion for what I have been through.  They actually all like the fact that I have been consulting with other people and have been becoming educated about the various processes to reconstruct my gum and fix my teeth.

The bottom line is we are all responsible for our own bodies, regardless of what our condition is and how much help we need to fix it.  Take your time, find the right people and the right course of action for you.  Learn as much as you can and be an active participant in your own treatment plan.  Don’t just be a patient, be your own hero!

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

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My Plant-based Life: Part Three (So long Cheese!)

My Plant-based Life: Part Three (So long Cheese!)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome reared its’ ugly head again in December of 2009 when I was exposed to mold after moving into an apartment on the top floor of a building, that was about 20 years overdue for a new roof.  I got really sick for the first time since going veg.  After the acute stage passed, I was left with a chronic cough that I couldn’t shake.

I got out of there before the end of 2010 but my move coincided with a colossal bunch of events including my business being in its death throes, starting a new full-time job with long hours and a long commute, as well as, a professional project I had begun working on that went sour and took down several friendships with it.  I was dog tired and sad for several months.  I began getting random pains in my joints.  I was also suffering from severe insomnia at times. (As I mentioned in a previous post Yoga Nidra was very helpful in treating my insomnia.)

I got some temporary relief in the summer of 2011 by taking SAM-e.  S-adenosylmethionine is a dietary supplement that has been shown to be effective in treating arthritis, depression, fibromyalgia, MS and chronic pain.  My other big helper was adopting a four-year-old, hairy Havanese named Chauncy.  Chauncy is the kind of dog twho makes every day, a good day.

CandCcropped

I was still tired and my little cough persisted though.  I was hacking up great big gobs of phlegm several times a day.  I was also bloated again.  I looked like I had a bowling ball in my belly which was hard to hide with clothes.  Things got to a pivotal point in February of 2012 after I put on a seminar at work, I went home and slept for almost 15 hours straight.

I decided to take stock of my lifestyle.  I noticed my diet had gone down the crapper for several reasons: 1) I got caught up in couponing to save money and was only buying things that were on sale.  My diet mostly consisted of the only dairy I was still eating: cheap yogurt and hunks of sale-priced cheddar.  I had stopped cooking.  My dinners, after getting home late at night, were usually a hunk of cheddar, a glass of wine and bag tortilla chips with salsa. 2) My yoga practice was non-existent.  If it wasn’t for walking Chauncy twice a day, I would have gotten no exercise at all.  I knew I needed to make big changes again.

I hit Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and bought every beautiful whole food that called out to me, regardless of price.  I felt better just looking at all that colorful fresh produce in the cart.  (I also went to the Farmer’s Market every week to get local, fresh produce all summer long.) I began studying nutrition again too.  I wanted to see if there was a natural way to deal with how I was feeling.  The library was calling every day with books and DVDs, I had reserved on the topic. One thing that kept coming up over and over was adding in more raw food.  Raw food, especially greens, cleanse the body and provide micronutrients.  I now try to eat over 65% raw fruits and veggies in my diet. (A particularly moving documentary on the power of raw food is Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.)

The most profound change I made was giving up dairy completely.  I had long suspected that it was contributing to my upper respiratory issues but I LOVED cheese.  I used to joke that I was a cheese addict.  Then I saw Dr. Neal Barnard’s lecture on the addictive properties of chocolate, cheese, meat and sugar… turns out I actually was.  Cheese, according to Barnard, contains concentrated amounts of casein, “a protein that breaks apart during digestion to release a whole host of opiates called casomorphins.”

Giving up cheese was no joke.  I was a hardcore, daily user.  Brie, cheddar, Havarti, Fontina, raw, goat cheese…oh, it didn’t matter what kind, I dug all of it.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but I actually got weepy at the thought of never having it again.  I even went through withdrawal-type symptoms.  I was cranky, jittery and got headaches.  Then this amazing thing happened a few weeks after I stopped eating it; I started to feel great.  My sinuses cleared up.  I also stopped hacking up phlegm all the time and I was no longer bloated.  The mental haze and fatigue lifted.

So, there you have it.  I have been completely plant-based since March of 2012.  Am I vegan though?  Read my blog next week and find out.

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  My handle is @cynthialenz.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/naturallyhealthyhappy

My Plant-based Life: Part One

The most controversial word I have ever encountered is VEGAN.  Holy cow, if you want to see people get whipped up into a frenzy, just utter the word vegan in a mixed crowd and see what happens.  Militant meat-eaters will throw out phrases like “grazers” or make assumptions like, “you only eat rabbit food” or get ethical and say “vegans act like they are better than everyone else because they don’t eat animals.”  Militant vegans have thrown paint on people for wearing fur coats; accuse people of being murderers just for eating the way they have their whole life.   In short, it can get really ugly.

You and me, we’re not militant, right?  So, let’s avoid all that today, shall we?  I am going to tell you my story and what I have learned over the last 10 and a half years of being a vegetarian and living a mostly plant-based lifestyle.

I remember very distinctly the first time I considered becoming a vegetarian at seven years-old.  We were at my grandparents’ house for a barbecue and I suddenly became aware that the cheeseburger I was enjoying used to be a living, breathing animal.  I told my family that I didn’t want to eat animals anymore.  Mom informed me that I would be a vegetarian then.  “Yes, I will be a vegetarian!” I decided.

Grandpa said, “Why draw the line there?  You have to kill plants to be a vegetarian.  Why is it okay to murder plants?”  I said, “Grandpa! Plants don’t get hurt the way animals do!”  He insisted that they did.  He went onto say that whenever he mowed the lawn that he could hear the grass screaming.  Everyone (except me) had a big laugh over this and it was clear that my vegetarian goal was not going to be supported.  So, I released the idea into the summer night and didn’t think about it again for over 20 years.

All through my life, I was plagued by digestive issues ranging from gas, severe bloating, bad bouts of diarrhea, nausea and cramping.  It always seemed like something was going on but no doctor could get to the bottom of it.  Almost always I was told to use antacids or given a script for whatever new drug was out that year and sent on my way.  Complicating my digestive discomfort, I have suffered with bouts of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) on and off since I had a severe case of mononucleosis my freshmen year of college.  I also struggled with nasal allergies and chronic sinus infections.   It seemed like something was always wrong with me and it sucked because none of the traditional treatments ever seemed to work.

When I was 29, I went through the worst bout of CFS I had ever had, and was sick and tired of being sick and tired, all the time.  And for the first time in my life, I had gained a lot of weight from the lethargy induced by my illness.  Nothing I had been given by western medical practitioners had worked.  I knew that if I wanted a different result I would have to find a new way of doing things.  The two areas I had yet to delve into were diet and exercise.

To be continued…

Please check back next week for Part Two of My Plant-based Story…

Love and many blessings,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  My handle is @cynthialenz.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/naturallyhealthyhappy

Happiness: What else do you need?

Happiness is something I find endlessly fascinating.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about it; trying to get it; chasing after it and most recently trying to master it.

When it comes right down to it, once the basic necessities of life: food, water shelter, good health and sleep are all met; what else do we really want except to be happy?  Why does it seem so complicated sometimes?

Happiness is the subject of endless pontification.  Books, articles and poems have been written about it.  Documentaries have been made about it.  Studies have been done on it to determine who the happiest people on earth are, where and how do they live.  We are surrounded by so many platitudes on happiness that they become almost like wallpaper, no matter how wise they are:

  • Happiness can’t be bought
  • Follow your bliss
  • Count your blessings
  • Accentuate the positive

We know how important happiness is; so why does it seem so fleeting for so many people?  Why do we get so distracted by the circumstances of life that pull us down?

I came across a new happiness quote on Facebook (new to me anyway) that may shed some light on the situation:

 “Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble because that reason can be taken from you.”

Deepak Chopra

Hmmmm… interesting, right?  That Deepak Chopra is a pretty smart guy.  He makes a lot of sense.  Usually, we get happy because we have gotten something we’ve wanted: a car, a relationship, a job but then something happens and that initial elation begins to diminish and we begin looking for something new to regain that wonderful euphoric feeling.  The funny part is that as nice as it is to have the thing, what we really want is the feeling.

So, then the question is how do you get happy if you don’t feel happy right now and how do you stay happy?  That’s the rub isn’t it?  If happiness isn’t about getting what you want then how do you go about getting the feeling?  I’m hardly an expert on this but I have learned a few things that I will share with you now:

Be mindful:  When I get into my worst funks, it’s usually because something unpleasant has happened and I get caught up in it.  Before I know it, I let it sweep me into a place of self-pity where I convince myself I am a loser and things will never get better.  Sounds pretty grave; doesn’t it?  The easiest way to get out of a spiral like this is to realize that you are in it.  Check in with yourself: How are you feeling?  If you feel good, be grateful.  If you feel bad, identify it and then do something to nourish yourself and take the power away from your negative feelings and then refocus that energy into something positive.

Be Grateful:  Being grateful feels good and attracts more things to be grateful about.  Just try it.

Breathe:  Most of us in the west really don’t breathe very deeply at all. Taking a few deep breaths is like an act of personal power for me.  It is something you can do anytime, anywhere. You don’t need anyone else’s permission.  In my experience, it always makes me feel better.  One of the reasons for this is that breathing deeply encourages the parasympathetic nervous system to trigger a relaxation response rather than the “fight or flight” response which may be induced by a stressful situation.

Invite a better feeling:  Sometimes, we just feel crappy and overwhelmed.  Shit happens.  We get sick, hurt or heart-broken.  Forgive yourself if you are having trouble keeping a stiff upper lip through the pain but always stay open to feeling better.  One way to do that is through affirmations.  Acknowledge that things may be crappy right now but invite something better.  One of my favorite affirmations is from Louise Hay, “All is well.  Everything I need comes to me at the perfect moment.”  And it usually does.  That doesn’t mean I get everything when I want it always but by and large things always work out.

Last one!  This one may seem like being happy for a reason but it is one you have control over.

Do something you enjoy: One of the best ways to get your mind off your troubles and get happy is to do something you love.  Since my accident, I am very grateful to have this blog to write every week.  It gives me a continued sense of purpose while I am healing.   (Not to mention, it is also a way to communicate while my jaw is wired shut.)

What makes you happy for no reason?  I would love to hear your suggestions for boosting your mood.

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  My handle is @cynthialenz.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/naturallyhealthyhappy

ChauncyonGrass

Chauncy Boo Boo Puppy Pants Lenz

“All animals except man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it”

-Samuel Butler

 

 

 

 

Healing: Turning Why into What on the Road to Wellness

Almost always, after a personal trauma or crisis, the big question is, “Why did this happen to me?” … Why now… why me?  I experienced a double whammy of this after I fell on March 2nd.

Falling down a flight of stairs and being injured like I was seemed so unfair; I had just begun to feel like I was getting my act together after Hurricane Sandy and now this… why?  I realized though I already knew why.  It’s pretty simple.  It happened because I was careless and there are no mulligans in situations like this one.  What I really wanted to know was how to turn back time and get to do it again but hold the handrail this time.  Not gonna happen, Cynthia.

The better question is “What can I learn from this?”  Another is “how do I become better for having had this experience?”

One of the best ways I have discovered since Hurricane Sandy to stop feeling sorry for myself is to start counting blessings.  What are my blessings?  1. I am alive.  Several people have shared stories with me of people who had an accident similar to mine but didn’t fare nearly as well. 2.  I am grateful for what is working well: my brain, internal organs and spine are fine.  I can walk and breathe.  3.  I am thankful for the support that I have:  My parents have been helping me in so many different ways since this happened: food, shelter, care, making phone calls, talking me for me, scheduling and driving me to doctor appointments.  My friends and relatives have been texting me to check in because they know my jaw is wired shut and I can’t talk.  My dog Chauncy has only really left my side to eat (and to tussle with my folks’ bichon Lucy)  since I have been home from the hospital. 4.  I found a good doctor who has begun putting my mouth back together.  5. Percocet (I normally avoid pharmaceuticals but this situation has proven exceptional.)   6.  The bruises are fading.  7.  The swelling is going down.  I am fortunate in that I can go on and on.

Since I have begun this shift from self-pity to gratitude, I have noticed that I feel better.  I have a road ahead of me to recover from this accident but starting out on the right foot seems to make a really big difference.  If whatever, you focus on tends to expand then I choose to focus on being positive and believing in my body’s innate ability to heal.

Another opportunity I have here is to learn how to help my body heal itself.  Did you know that sea veggies and foods containing pectin are effective at helping the body rid itself of radiation?  Apples do extra duty in my case because they are also rich in malic acid, a natural pain reliever.  I know I will learn even more about how proper nutrition will aid my recovery.

Lastly, I don’t have the chance for a do-over or un-fall but I can recognize that I need to be more mindful and be present in each moment.  Before this happened, I remember feeling like I never quite had enough time to do everything I needed or wanted to do.  When Hurricane Sandy hit, I realized that present moment is all we have.  This fall has reminded me of that in a way I can never forget.

Love and Blessings to all,

Cynthia

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