Limits, Limitations and Being Limitless

Let me start off with a teeny apology. I totally forgot to add last weeks yogaia sessions to the end of the blog post as I usually do. I guess I had a bit of a brain fart so I went and added it today so you can see what I’ve been up to. Some more variety in there! I even got some of my colleagues at work interested in yogaia and we’ve tried some office stretching together. All the dudes disappeared though. Why don’t guys like stretching?

This week has been completely random and I realised that I’ve been living a week at a time and living for the weekend. “I can’t wait till the week is over. I can’t wait for the weekend”. How sad is that? We rush through life just trying to get from one weekend to the next. If life has taught me anything, it’s that any day could be your last. I want to try to enjoy every stinking moment of my life rather than living for the weekend. It reminds me of the song by Loverboy, Working for the weekend.

Anxiety has controlled so much of my life. I’ve usually just tried to survive each day and each week. I want to get to the point where I wake up and say “Hell yeah mo fo! It’s a new frickin’ day!” I’ve been trying to bring more joy into my life. After all, we’re all more than those we’re connected to. I think it’s easy to limit ones self to being wife and mother for instance. You don’t do the things you want to because you have “responsibilities”. How many decide not to take up painting or sky diving because they have to take care of “responsibilities”. Don’t get me wrong, kids need love and so does your significant other but I think many of us forget to nurture ourselves. Do we lose some of our identity when we become parents or part of a couple? It seems to me that we limit ourselves by what we think is expected of us by society.

I want to strive to be limitless and do all the things I enjoy (within reason of course). That’s one of the reasons I took up electric bass lessons. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages but just never did it. I’m also looking into finding a band to play in again. I really enjoy those things so why shouldn’t I do them? The kids have hobbies so why can’t I? So where are my limits? I’ve been defined by limits for so long! There were times where I couldn’t even go out to eat with friends because I’d have anxiety issues! I was always limited to the familiar. I couldn’t go to the movies or do fun things without feeling sick. That’s no way to live. I can tell you from experience. It’s been getting better day by day. The past couple of weeks have been so crazy that I’ve been pretty close to my stress threshold ¬†a time or two but I’ve, so far, been able to dial it back. This past Friday, I did more than I ever thought I could. I had a full day of work complete with meetings and chaos, a goodbye lunch for a colleague, long work day, then straight to bass lessons and from there out to dinner with friends. I was home at 11pm. A year ago, that would have been completely impossible.¬†In Yoga Nidra, we’re supposed to think of a San Culpa or affirmation. For the past couple of weeks my San Culpa has been “I’m a limitless being that manifests all I desire on this physical plane”. I haven’t really been thinking about my limits until just recently.

I guess it’s time to reassess my limits or lack thereof. This, peeps, is a good thing. I think I can call this progress. I should have a counter…you know….’x’ number of days since my last panic attack. I think my last one was in December some time.

  • Sunday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate with James Huxley
  • Monday: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Tuesday: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Wednesday: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Thursday: Take a guess ūüėČ
  • Friday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate. with James Huxley
  • Saturday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate with James Huxley and Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris.

I’m not sure how I feel about Craig Norris these days. I think I’ve had Craig Norris overload. I really like yoga Nidra but it’s so rare that anyone other than Craig teaches the course. Do I dare try to have a Craig Norris free week? That would be a heck of a challenge as I really enjoy Yoga Nidra. I’m not making plans at this point. I’m just going with the flow and doing what my body and mind ask of me. I find it’s easier not to fight it.

c565681e2fb72c0e61f6a49690e54320On a random tangent, I’d really love to explore Reiki. Reiki is defined as, “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.”

I’m not sure what it’s all about or how it works but it sounds really cool and I’d like to learn more. Who wants to take Reiki lessons with me?

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Mama’s Little Helper(s)

No deep thoughts this week. Been too busy with taking care of business but I do want to share something that’s really helped me. 7As ¬†the doctor and psychologist think my attitude is too good to give me anti-anxiety meds (not bitter…), I’ve been looking around for alternative treatments. Of course the main one has been meditation and yoga but I have been looking for other options as well. There are two that I feel pretty good recommending.

Avena Sativa is an extract from oatmeal and it’s supposed to help one relax. It didn’t really work for me as a stress reducer per se but it does make you sleepy. If you have trouble falling asleep this might do the trick. Fifteen drops of this stuff in some water and I start feeling sleepy after about 15 minutes or so but the effect doesn’t last. It doesn’t really remove the stress reaction but it does help one fall asleep.

My champion in the fight against stress is Roseroot. Seriously…I’d put a cape on this life_ruusujuuri_40_uusistuff if I could. Feel free to google it. This stuff is supposed to help with depression and a whole host of other things, but more importantly, it helps with stress. It’s supposed to act as a balancer of hormones and doesn’t seem to have any bad side effects. At least I’ve never had any. Remember, I’m no doctor nor do I play one on TV. If I take it before a full blown panic attack hits, it brings me great calm without making me feel tired. A lot of benefits have been documented and the stuff and was supposedly even used by the vikings! Roseroot isn’t made from roses though, just so you know. It’s made from the root of a flower that grows in Scandinavia. The roots smell a bit of roses. If you’d like to read more about roseroot have a look:¬†http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-rhodiola.html. Keep in mind that you’re not supposed to take this stuff if you’re on prescription medication for anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety, stress or whatever, check these out. I get mine from natural remedy stores. I don’t usually put much stock in natural remedies but I’ve been taking roseroot when I’ve needed it for at least a couple of years and I can’t fault it. It’s not a cure all and I have had panic attacks despite taking it, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve prevented a few panic attacks by taking it.

The weeks yogaia sessions:

  • Sunday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate. with James Huxley
  • Monday: Still Moments with Hermione Amitage
  • Tuesday: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Wednesday:¬†Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Thursday: Venyttely (stretching) with Jutta Jokinen and¬†Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Friday: Relaxing Yoga with Emily Eaton
  • Saturday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate. with James Huxley

Is it All in my Head?

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I started bass lessons this week.

This week was another very busy week. If you had seen my calendar, you would have run in fear. Almost each day during the week…I was home after 7pm. It continued on the weekend with karate camp for the kids, stomach flu and remodelling. It’s Sunday and I’m pleased to announce that I’m alive. I survived the week from hell. On a positive note, I started Electric bass lessons. I’m really excited about my new lessons. I’ve wanted to learn properly for years. They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. It’s funny because that’s what happened! My teacher was just about dropped in my lap. I totally believe in universal energy and manifestation. That brings me to the core of this entire post. Is it all in my head?

I wasn’t sure I’d survive this week without a panic attack. Honestly, this week was brutal. It seems that my daily yogaia sessions are doing me some good, or are they? How much of this is in my head? Does it work because I believe it does, or is meditation/yoga really working for me? I suppose it doesn’t matter. It’s working, thats the main thing.

Don’t be mad at me. I did Yoga Nidra for basically the whole week. I can justify it somewhat as I’ve been doing some work on the house that’s very physical. For example, I worked about 16 hours over the weekend on remodelling our house. Add to that cooking dinner and taking care of a sick throwing up child, I really didn’t feel like working myself into downward dog. One of the main problems I have with yoga Nidra is that I tend to fall asleep at the same place each time and wake up again at the time place. It’s weird. I dunno if that’s a good thing. Maybe I’m so relaxed that my thoughts are just gone and that registers as sleep. Who knows?

  • Sunday: Year of You: Mindful Meditation with James Huxley
  • Monday: Yoga Nidra with Rishin Paonaskar
  • Tuesday: Yoga Nidra with Rishin¬†Paonaskar
  • Wednesday: Yoga Nidra with Rishin¬†Paonaskar
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra with Rishin¬†Paonaskar
  • Friday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate with James Huxley
  • Saturday: Yoga Nidra with Rishin¬†Paonaskar

I will try to do something different this coming week. Hopefully this week will be easier…please lord let it be easier. I start the week with a trip the dentist so I’m starting out strong! Lol.

It’s All Taboo

Before I had to deal with stress or anxiety etc, I really knew nothing about it. You ever notice that people don’t usually talk about it? The more I talked to people and opened up about anxiety and stress, the more I heard other people’s stories. I realised that I was in very good company.

This brings me to¬†an interesting conversation I had this last week about the taboo of stress and why people don’t want to talk about it. As a theory, my friend suggested that perhaps people don’t talk about stress because they might lose their job. Could this really be the case? Could someone lose their job if they talk about their having stress? I, myself, feel that I function well in the work place. I get my work done and I do it well. Could my talking about my stress, for example in this blog, lose me my job or make me¬†unemployable? That’s a horrifying thought.

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People that suffer from stress think they can do anything but they can’t. -Skeptic

Then came a crux in our conversation. My friend then suggested that people that suffer from stress think they can do everything when they can’t. To add insult to injury, they suggested that I don’t cope well with life. This made me cross. I mean come on! I’m a parent, I work a pretty crazy full time job. I make sure the kids have what they need, run them to their hobbies, cook, and try to keep house. I think every parent does the best they can. The idea that I’m not cutting it, pissed me off. Who CAN do everything? Seriously? I never thought I could do everything. I don’t think there’s anyone more painfully aware of their limits than someone that’s been diagnosed with stress. That being said…Is my house spotless? Goodness no! Are my kids fed, loved, and clothed? ¬†You betcha.

I think my friend was trying to compartmentalise stress and anxiety in a way that someone that’s never had a panic attack do. I think that’s what most people do but I don’t believe there’s a one size fits all model. I think my friend belongs to the category of people that think that we’d be cured of our anxiety if we just relaxed and chilled out. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard that? Anyone with stress and anxiety knows that this statement is completely ludicrous. My belief (I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV) is that the body that goes through stress for a long while, get’s rewired to respond to it. It’s not a matter of just chilling out but basically rewiring your body.

My stress started out many many many years ago before I had any inkling of what stress did to the body. Here are some of the things that have led to me where I am today:

  • I went through a pretty stressful¬†relationship that ended in divorce (that’s a whole other story right there)
  • Friends that screwed me over
  • Lost my job…and then after that….
  • Had jobs that didn’t pay me salary (lots of promises but no cash)
  • Didn’t know where my next job would come from or how long the “then” current job would last.
  • Almost lost our house to the bank because of unemployment
  • Babies that wouldn’t let me sleep…..EVER

That’s some of it anyway. You get the idea. Don’t get me wrong, my life has lots of awesome stuff in it too but these big things that make your life very unpredictable are no good for ones health. Now that my life is stable and happy, my body is still suffering from the effects of past stress. Stress builds up like a battery charge. In effect, I’m having to

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Meditation works well for me.

teach my body how to deal with everyday stress again and that small changes in my day are not the end of the world. I once knew a lady that was so anxiety ridden that she couldn’t go to any other grocery store but the one she was familiar with. The change was too much for her. I remember thinking she was so flakey. I’m so sorry for ever thinking that way. You know what? She was also a fully functioning full time employee and mother! Some get help from medications, others from yoga, mediation or natural remedies. The long and the short of it, there’s no one size fits all solution.

I was a bit more adventurous this week with my practices. Just a little bit.

  • Sunday, Christmas 18: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris (was feeling Christmassy)
  • Monday, Morning Meditation with Rishin Paonaskar
  • Tuesday, Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris (I know…I know…more Nidra)
  • Wednesday, Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Thursday, Yoga Nidra with Rishin Paonaskar
  • Friday, Charity Vinyasa Flow with Rosemarie St Louis
  • Saturday, Pause. Breathe. Meditate with James Huxley and Yoga Nidra with Rishin Paonaskar

You see?! I didn’t do Nidra all week….almost all week but not quite. There are two sessions that stick out from the week. The first one is Morning Meditation. The session that I listened to was recorded on Friday the 27th of January. When I used to meditate, I would try to find the quietest room in the house and meditate there. I was really bothered by distractions but, if you’re a mom of children or fur babies, you know that there is no such thing as uninterrupted quiet time. They hunt you down. This meditation class brought about an ah-ha moment for me! Rishin, the instructor, said to focus on the noises around you. Concentrating on the noises around you will take keep your brain from being noisy because it’s focusing on something. This was a good thing because my kids decided to both bring their electric tooth brushes in the room while I meditated. After they brushed their teeth, they both sat down on either side of me, staring at me, until I was done. I actually found peace and calm! Try it! Seriously. With this new found knowledge, I can now meditate anywhere!

The second class that stuck out this week was Vinyasa Flow. My goodness. Where do I

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Vinyasa Flow did not go as beautifully as I had planned

begin? I had done quite a lot of vinyasa flow in months past but I’ve had a really really really long break from it. My attitude before starting, “How hard can it be? I got this!”. My attitude after the class, “I’m dying. How am I this out of shape?”. All the things that had been fairly easy several months ago were now difficult and painful. There was some falling and come cursing and a whole lot of laughing at myself. There’s nothing for it but to keep going. The next day and day after my arms have been really really sore. I now know that I am not a level 2 in yogaia. I’m a level 1 and perfect happy about it. Everyone has to start somewhere right?