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Navigating the Wellness Journey

Today is the Summer Solstice, Wellness Wednesday, and International Yoga Day. I wanted to connect since I have been focused elsewhere for a while. I want to share what's been going on, how I have been navigating, and some insight, hoping it may inspire or awaken something in someone. Those who connect with me regularly by attending yoga or pranayama already know the bulk of this story, but there's always a benefit from a big-picture point of view and review. Here goes:

My family was exposed to mold a couple of years ago. It took time to figure out, and that was at the expense of our health. My mom and son were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and my blood work has been a bit wonky and continues to change; more on that again. We remediated our house and sold it. The good news is we are on the wellness road and navigating the journey.

This blog is about navigating the journey. My son has had a few flare-ups (as they are called) since the primary mold exposure. This last flare-up started in March, and thankfully, he has finally turned the corner. Ulcerative colitis is a tricky illness with little deep understanding and medical insight. It is an auto-immune illness, and once the fire, so to speak, gets started, it's a challenge to get ahead of it. This most recent fire began with the pressure of seasonal change and allergies, then coupled with a virus (104 fever) and a puberty growth spurt. These everyday 18-year-old occurrences that we often don't give a second thought to are extra pressure on the immune system, and as I mentioned, once the fire gets going, it can be a challenge to get ahead of it.

It becomes a scary touch-and-go time without much medical guidance other than to use stronger medication for maintenance and start prednisone. I revert to what I know to do: support the person and focus on individual needs, with the critical component of staying positive by trusting the body and process. Dropping into trust is essential for both patient and the caretaker. There aren't too many situations that take hold of me, like when my son is suffering. It's a lot to feel, which becomes a key component; I feel it, move it, and allow it. At this point, I can only speak of my process since while I observed my son's process, it is not my direct experience.

For the caretaker, when I started to "Feel it," I knew it was time to give myself a breath. It is so helpful to carve out time to start the day in silence and stillness and allow the body/mind to have a few minutes to process. Processing is just a matter of allowing and observing without interacting with the thoughts and finding a little more physical body relaxation and release. Next, "move it" with your breath. Pranayama is a powerful tool, and it is something you need to do with your full attention. There is no time or space for mind stuff when you practice the type of pranayama I am writing about and write about in my book, Awakening the Body of Wellness. Fascia yoga is another powerful way to "move it." The final stage is allowing. Allow whatever is there in awareness and allow awareness to distill; it is what it means to let your practice end. Allowing is transformative and can be a means on its own, but if you can't get to allowing directly, the process I described can get you there; you will know once you try. It has and continues to support me as I tend to my wellness needs while being a caretaker.

I want to wrap this up with some insight. Something has to give when you have too many balls in the air. If you have several balls you are trying to juggle, you might find it helpful to prioritize. I prioritize keeping my body/mind feeling well and functioning optimally. I organize my week around my teaching and nutritional client schedule, and at the top of the priority list is our food which includes scheduled shopping days. Food needs to be in place and planned if your focus is wellness; there is no way around it. Bedtime is a priority over tv and social media. I even limited reading to a few pages before bed and sacrificed my blog. I love to share and offer whatever insight I can, but some things had to give. I also gave up coffee since I needed to be sure all sources of stress and anxiety were minimal. My inside chatter of trying to figure out the next best wellness move for my son was enough. I now drink green tea in the morning, and it feels good. I enjoy coffee, but I really want the steady stressless energy that green tea offers over coffee. I had coffee over the weekend and returned to my green tea on Monday. One last thing I want to highlight is that even though it wasn't exactly easy to get to, our monthly offering of sacred sounds was the perfect right brain fuel that raised my vibrational frequency and filled my heart far beyond the effort and planning it took me to get there, and the effects lasted. This month we will gather on Friday, June 30th, at 6:30 pm.

It's a new season. It's summertime, and that's very exciting. It's a great time for new beginnings, with the new moon recently occurring and now the summer solstice. We moved down to the shore, and we are loving it. Being here has inspired me to return to walking a few times a week. I can feel the benefits already, and it's only been a couple of weeks. It's a special time to set your intentions and to see them through. What do you want, and how will you contribute to having it? Feel free to share what inspires you.

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