Back in the Saddle

CowgirlBack in the Saddle — at Last

Time has floated right on by me. I thought I would be back in the saddle about six-weeks post-op with rest and rehabilitation. I can’t believe that it has been six months since my neck surgery. Life did indeed throw me a curve ball when surgery was the way to take care of the flare-ups and pain I was experiencing from the October 2015 car accident. When we get out of our way, it can be pretty amazing what can take place.

Surgery went smoothly, and so has my recovery. My surgeon is pleased with the results. My whole healthcare team is in full agreement that I am doing well. Flexibility and mobility are improving daily. Physical therapy can bring up discomfort as the muscle groups figure out new ways of engagement and movement. Doing my energy work before and after PT and my home exercises allow my body to do more with less reaction. So that is helping the healing process. I’m also discovering how doing Jin Shin Jyutsu and physical therapy can bring back a voice. (Yep — lost my voice for a while.)

Learn more about the procedure: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and also here.

The Big Surprise

What took me by surprise was how long it took me to regain clarity and focus. I had full belief and expectation that by the sixth week after surgery I would be getting to my extensive list of writing projects, office clean up and organizing projects. Well, dream on! At this point, I’m still in the space of “getting it together.” Clarity is back, but I’m finding that my body is asking for more rest and downtime. At first, I thought I was experiencing a loss of motivation which was freaking me out! I realized that I need to look at my calendar and avoid teaching multiple classes and presentations in a row. I’m listening to the messages from my body. I’m not packing as much into my days. Go figure! I’m spending lots of time each day doing my energy work, along with physical therapy and voice exercises.

Autumn is Upon Us

This is one of the hardest realizations I had over the last few months: I couldn’t do all my gardening and yard work that I typically pack into spring, summer, and fall.  Thank goodness I have had great help, but for those of us who love getting dirty in our gardens, it’s not quite the same. I’m harvesting my basil and tomatoes and enjoying the dahlias.  And, of course, I love these autumn days that are pleasantly warm and have gentle cooling breezes.

What’s Next

I’ve learned so much about healing from major surgery, being patient, and respecting my body’s timeline. Stay tuned for my insights as I share my journey of recovery.

basil-Fall-2017 Tomatoes-Autumn-2017 Nasturiums-Fall-2017 pink-flower-fall-2017 red-dahila-falll-2017 sunset-dahlia-Fall-2017

Share this :

The Perils of Being Unconsciousness

deer silhouetteBe Here Now

Have you caught yourself being un-conscious, that is not aware of where you are at a specific moment or not being aware of HOW to be where you are?

Bambi Alert

I’ll give you an example from my life! In the past few weeks I’ve been unlucky enough to have deer jumping the fence and getting into my garden. Now that is a bummer! I’ve lost tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, flowers and who knows what else. I know they’re hungry and searching for food and water, but in MY garden? I have a really tall fence all around the garden, but I think they’re jumping onto the deck and then over the railing into the garden itself. Now, those deer are truly persistent.

One of the first mornings I discovered three deer (a doe and two little ones) meandering around and chomping away, I rushed down without thinking about what was on my feet. Big mistake. I should’ve been wearing tennis shoes, not sandals. In the process of herding them through an open gate, I stubbed my toe and really hurt it.

My Wake-up Moment

I know that accidents happen. But I truly was not being in a state of conscious awareness of where I was putting my feet and how I was moving. Well, those deer are still getting in, but I’m not going into “frantic mode”. It is what it is and I’ve decided to move more slowly and deliberately as I meander my way into the garden and herd those “sweet looking beings” out the gate.

The Lesson of My Story

BE in a conscious state of awareness by allowing every part of you to fully feel your body, where you are in time and space, and how you are experiencing your surroundings and emotions. One way to get yourself there easily is to “do” a daily practice of mindfulness. Maybe it’s doing the Daily Clean Your House Flow, maybe it’s meditating, maybe it’s a practice you’re already putting into your day. Whatever it is, allow you and your body to feel the breath and feel the movement of energy.

A Quick Energy Tip for Mindfulness

A real quick energy tip to bring in breath and bring you and your body to full awareness is to:

  1. Right hand — cup sternum directly below the clavicle
  2. Left hand — hold fingers in a vertical pattern on your tummy

This simple energy movement will remind your body to breath and to go to that place of centered and grounded. THAT is where you will experience “conscious awareness” and truly be present.

I’ll give you more next time — both the story and the energy tips.

Enjoy being in the moment!

Share this :

Breath Makes the World Go Round – Including Baseball!

Baseball PitcherI’m a happy girl! Baseball is back! And I love it that it comes at the same time as gardening. Several years ago I was lucky enough to get a Mother’s Day gift of a radio for the outside deck and outside speakers. So when I’m out in the garden, my true oasis, I can also listen to the Giants game. Who could ask for a better way to experience life? My neighbors are even okay with it — they get to listen to the game in stereo. So until I’m told differently, that’s what happens when I’m in the garden. But I do have to admit that my television is set to record every Giants baseball game and many a night is spent watching them — no matter how they’re doing. I just love baseball.

I love watching the players and seeing if they’re in tune with the messages their bodies are giving them. Even if you’re not into baseball, I want to invite you to watch at least one inning of a game and really look at the players and how they “work in” their bodies. Watch them breathe. And think about what YOU are doing during your daily activities. Consider using the baseball game as a lesson in how to be connected to your breath and body movement.

Watch the pitcher and notice whether the diaphragm is open or whether it’s constricted. When the diaphragm is open, the torso easily stretches and the pitching arm seemingly flows through a specifically planned and orchestrated movement. If the breath is “caught up high” you will notice that the torso and arm don’t move as easily together. The dance isn’t there. Do you notice times when YOUR body and breath aren’t moving in an easy, effortless dance? To open up your breath, consider holding your upper arms.

Now notice a batter and how the time at the plate is all about being in breath. Notice the placement of the bat while waiting for the pitch, the flex in the knees, the lumbar curve, the uplifted torso, and even the relaxed jaw. All of these pieces allow the batter to be in good alignment, allow the breath to be fully present, and create readiness to connect with the ball that is coming over the plate. When you see all of these body areas working together you will easily recognize when it isn’t happening. If the alignment and breath are not present you have a batter who is in distress. Do you want your body to be able to always step up to the plate and do what you want it to do? Sit on your hands! That simple “hold” connects with vitality and creates lumbar curve. Then cup the sternum with one hand and with the other, hold your tummy. That opens up breath by relaxing the diaphragm and releases tension throughout the torso.

I love watching the catcher. He’s all about proper body placement. If he wasn’t, we would see him being stuck and not able to stretch and reach for the ball. His position is one I’m often in when I’m in the garden. And if I didn’t have my breath and body ready for that squat and reaching movement, I would probably be a hurting girl. To make sure that I won’t go into reaction when I’m going spend time in a squat, I do these simple energy steps. First I hold by sit bones and then I hold the inside of my knees.

So, folks, learn from the baseball players! No matter what you’re choosing to do for your spring and summer activities, help YOUR body discover alignment and easy movement AND help it be in breath. Prepare your body for what you’re going to ask it to do.  At least one time a day I do the Daily Clean Your House Flow. Off and on throughout the day, you might see me do the first step of the Daily Flow – holding my upper arms by folding my arms across the chest.  THAT opens up breath.  And when I’m in the garden, I’m doing the third and fourth steps — sitting on my left hand with my right hand on the left shoulder and then switching. THAT is helping my body be ready for the lifting and digging and weeding and planting.

Have fun with all you do in your world!

Share this :



Get your copy of the six-minute Daily Clean Your House Flow animated video.

It’s my gift to you!! Click here..