Posted in Ankylosing Spondylitis, Crohn's Disease, Crohns, Hope & Inspiration, IBD, Living with Pain, Meditation, Reiki

The lesson in Freezing your Fanny off

A year ago for the first time, I participated in a local fundraiser for our ambulance service called “Freeze Your Fanny.” It’s a four mile route that can be walked, or you can join the runners racing each other. I seriously thought my friend Trudy was crazy when she suggested we do it. Seriously – 4 miles?? When it’s 20 degrees out there? What did we do? We signed up and we walked it!

This time last year I hadn’t really begun my exercise program yet, and didn’t believe I had it in me to accomplish something like this.  However, encouraging each other, we decided to give it a go. Not only did we live to tell the tale – we then signed up for our first half marathon – the Mickelson Trail Marathon in Deadwood, SD. It was 13.1 miles (at least it was warmer because it was in June) and you can read my experience about it in my post Putting One Foot In Front of the Other.

Well, it’s one year later and today was our second time in the “Freeze Your Fanny” event. Last year we got a purple sweatshirt. When I wear this year’s sweatshirt, I have no fear of being lost anywhere….IMG_6468

When we had the opportunity, we ran. Yes….”She who has Ankylosing Spondylitis” ran!! It was six below zero, my legs were cold and I definitely froze my fanny off somewhere in the first mile (I really should go back and look for it but I’m happy to have lost a little of that junk in my trunk!)

What really surprised me about this experience? It was fun! I had fun – walking, running….it was all fun! Seriously, in my entire life, I never would have thought running out in -6 weather would qualify in my category of “Fun stuff to do in my life”….now I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Last year, getting through those four miles was a struggle – simply because walking four miles was so new to me…and everything hurt while I did it, and when I was done! I was exhausted at the end of it, and pretty useless for the rest of the day….but I did it, and that was enough to give me courage to keep going.

I began an exercise regime, changed my diet a bit by paying better attention to what I ate. I added supplements to help with staying healthy which can be a challenge with Crohn’s Disease and only one kidney.  I continued with my daily meditation practice and resumed my Reiki treatments; for myself and others as much as possible.

In one year, my life has changed radically. Changes like what I’ve experienced don’t happen overnight, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year already in fact!

Patience, dedication, and a belief deep down in your core – that’s what can help you achieve what you think is impossible. What is particularly exciting for me about accomplishing the walk/run today is that we got out there in spite of it being -6F….yes, that’s SIX BELOW ZERO…it was so cold my ponytails got frost on them from my breath!!  Rather than being upset about it – we laughed!

FYFO

Go ahead and choose to go out there for a walk or run and Freeze Your Fanny off!! Have fun with it and try to do just one thing you always thought impossible – you might just surprise yourself!

If I did it….you can too!

Posted in Meditation, Photography

The beauty in Smudging

SmudgingThis morning while smudging my writing room, I suddenly saw the smoke in a new way. I grabbed my camera and captured the swirls of smoke. The backdrop of my inspirational notes and cards on the wall, offset by the swirling smoke rising from the abalone is mesmerizing.

After taking a brief hiatus from writing, I’m ready to dive back in. I really wanted to “clear the air,” never thinking twice about what it looks like…until this morning.

I hope you enjoy it!

Namaste

Posted in Book Writing, Buddhism, Hope & Inspiration, Meditation, Writing

I Am Breathing…thanks for the reminder

As usual, what I lovingly refer to as my “Spiritual ADD” was in full effect this morning as I picked up another book to look through, looking for inspiration as I write my own book. (I have at least six books in front of me at the moment).  Picking up one of my go-to books when I’m lost, Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn, I got to page 13 and just started giggling away.

The title of this chapter, “Who is Breathing” starts with…

Of course you are breathing.
But let’s face it. If it were really up to you to keep the breath going, you would have died long ago. You would have gotten distracted by this or that, sooner or later…and whoops, dead.

I love it….”whoops, dead.”  It was a great conk on the head this morning that my focus has been off lately. I’ve allowed too many distractions to affect me, finding one excuse after another. I’ve even forgotten to breathe intentionally. Just stop and breathe.

A focus in my life is helping others to feel better; be it spiritually, emotionally and/or physically. I teach that it all starts with the breath. It seems the teacher needed some refresher instruction. The answer arrived perfectly.

I love how divinely answers arrive, just when we need them. The key is being open to seeing and hearing them when they do arrive. So thank you Master Kabat-Zinn, your message got through to me today, and I Am Breathing.