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The secret to longevity is…don’t vacuum

This was inspired from the blog post: Take my Advice, I’m not Using it written by Mark from TheGadAboutTown.com who is always an inspiration and an encouragement.

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On the Sunday before the wedding, I suggested to my mom that she might want to spend as much of the day as possible resting before such a stressful week, doing so much for everyone. “You are crazy! I can’t rest a full week before the wedding. What good is that going to do me?!” she laughed at me. And I laughed with her.

The differing perspectives reminded me of the quote, “The secret to longevity is getting a chronic disease and taking care of it.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes (who lived to be 93 at a time when men died at 40). At what point do we shift from our bodies listening us, to listening to our bodies?

Yesterday I shared that I was breaking up with my body; that’s actually a feeling I’ve had for a while now. It doesn’t mean I’m not listening to her, it DOES mean she isn’t allowed to bully my spirit any longer. I used to bully her though. I used to push her past her breaking point all the time. Both before and especially after CRPS/RSD set in.

I can be relentless when I am focused on something. Whether it’s a person, my career, a passion, a dream, or a goal, I will drive all of my energy into it or them. In my past life, B.P. (before pain), while at work one day, I was set on vacuuming the floor. Simple. The vacuum belt needed changing first, but the belt I special ordered for the vintage model was just a smidge too small. Too bad. This floor was getting vacuumed today. I put both feet on the vacuum and pulled the rubber belt with all of my strength to make it fit! POP!!!! The metal vacuum brush cylinder sling-shotted me right in my face! The pointed end hit me hard enough to knock me out momentarily, and missed my left eye by a hair. I got 11 stitches, a black swollen eye for a couple weeks, and a cool scar across my eyebrow…from a vacuum attack. (Everyone wore a metaphorical I’m with stupid t-shirt while it healed.)

What does that worthless vacuum have to say? There are limits. We can force it, but there are consequences. This wedding coming up (in 4 days) could set me back with my health for a while. But it’s once in a lifetime, it’s one day, and this is most definitely worth it. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the consequences and risks, and sometimes, it’s just a little extra dust on the floor and it isn’t really worth a scar on your face.

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Please share a moment you pushed it too far and life or your body reacted harshly. I’d love to hear from you!

A Positive Message for your Lying Brain

Original art by Jezabel Rodrigo Yusta: "Negative self talk and making room for your true beauty" article #spoonie #depression #inspiration

Original art by Jezabel Rodrigo Yusta

“You are going to feel this way forever,” “you are only going to get worse,” ” you will never be able to do that,” “you are a burden.”
Who would say such horrible things to you? I’m guessing you do.

They begin as whispers in the back of our minds and they fester and shout for so long, we begin to accept them as our self-truths. But they are NOT truths, they are only our fears and our doubts. ONLY? Yes, they are not reality.

Depression, chronic pain, chronic illness, trauma, long periods of high stress: Leech out the positive chemicals from your brain and body. Those chemicals are responsible for the good thoughts and feelings which help balance our problems and our negative thoughts. Remember feeling like you used to be such a positive, upbeat person? It isn’t your fault that your mind is different. Your body chemistry and brain wiring is altered by your changing health. Your brain is no longer combating destructive whispers and banishing horrible images of yourself. It means you are filled with LIES. Your brain is sneaky lying liar who deceives you more than ever…so don’t believe her sales pitches!

After a while, the whispers turn to shouts and we begin to believe these negative messages like: No one cares, I am weak, I’m not good enough, etc. You would never say these things to a suffering loved one in pain, so why do you replay these messages over and over to yourself? It becomes habit. These lies take on a life of their own and before we know it, they make us feel powerless, hopeless, ashamed, guilty, and alone.

But we are not powerless! We can take control over our thoughts and change the tape that has been endlessly running. You can help restore balance to the stream of lies that have been on blast.

Replace the negative messages with positive mantras that are TRUE! No one deserves to be bullied constantly. Why not try showing yourself the same compassion you show others?  You could really use it right about now…

Become self-aware. Scout out the lies. Take them down!

When you realize you are tossing yourself a negative message, say “STOP” like snapping a rubber band on your wrist. Replace those lies with something positive and true, such as: “My life is a gift,” “I will do my best today,” “I am thankful for the love in my life.” 

Just as you now believe the negative self–talk which were once only tiny whispers, new positives can become your reality instead. Sometimes people say, “I choose happiness.” But it isn’t actually that easy. Seeking out gratitude is possible, however. And gratitude ushers more and more joy into our lives

My mantra for today: “I am a child of the Creator. Forgiven all things by His son. I am perfectly and wonderfully made, and there is no room in here for my negative noise while the Holy Spirit is trying to speak!”

Please share your positive mantras in comments. Blessings on your journey.

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“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson 

Original art by Jezabel Rodrigo Yusta: "Negative self talk and making room for your true beauty" article #spoonie #depression #inspiration

Inspirational artwork by Jezabel Rodrigo Yusta. See more original images of the artist’s here.

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