Saturday, January 28, 2012

Follow Your Passion--or Else!

Metabolic Healing, Part III

I don't know why I persist in posting these painful personal experiences from my fight to heal my metabolism via the Schwarzbein Program. Especially the photographs! I see those on my blog now and say to myself, Gosh, Lianne, did you have to put those out there? But something in my Violet life color, Chinese Earth rhythm, Aquarian self presses me to share, just in case it might help someone else.

This past week I have felt "terribly terrible," as I kept saying to Joseph. NOTHING would relieve some deep underlying stress and sensation that everything was confused and wrong in my life and I was lost. Nope, not even my attunement with my Cosmic Mentors, which would normally do the trick. Which means that something was indeed terribly terribly wrong.

But I couldn’t find time to write in my journal—my absolutely, tried-and-true, positively, one hundred percent successful method for curing this sort of problem. I couldn’t even manage to get the journal in my hand, let alone scribble in it.

And I just couldn’t get to bed before midnight. 11:50 p.m., to be exact. No matter what I tried, same bedtime to the minute. It was so consistent, it was like a curse. I desperately needed eight hours of sleep, preferably nine, as it’s wintertime and long nights require long sleep for year-round health. Truly!* I was two hours late for my inner-world appointment every night, that out-of-body, free-to-travel-the-higher-worlds, essential healing time we all grant ourselves. And every morning, my eyes would still pop open at the first spark of daylight and remain that way until the alarm went off. I was deeply troubled—but about what?

If you've been reading along in prior posts, Why I’m Getting Fat--On Purpose and Why I Got Fat on Purpose, Part II, you may recall that I said our challenge now in this five-part program was to alleviate stress. I said we were trying some tactics to get more sleep, which would help the hormonal balance needed to heal our adrenal glands, thus curing our damaged metabolism. That metabolic damage is what can cause early aging, possibly diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and, in our case, definitely weight gain, even when eating a normal, balanced diet. It’s been a year, and we’re still on a healing track, but it’s danged slow, to be frank, so we still haven’t lost the initial 25-pound weight gain.

And now—I knew my terribly terrible week was putting me FAR off that track! I could feel the cortisol percolating through my veins, straining all the hormonal systems in my body, further damaging my adrenal glands. All stress-relief efforts were failing. Joseph even used some advanced Energy Medicine methods to quell my hormone swings, spinning magnets over my liver and spleen acupuncture meridians. That gave me instant relief from some of the symptoms, but it didn’t last long.

We gave up our decaffeinated Starbucks habit**  the week before, thankfully. We’d both noticed a wonderful ease and balance in our moods when we didn’t drink it. But if we did, say on a Saturday, sip some decaf cappuccinos, the rest of our days suffered. It’s a very subtle difference, but after a while on this balancing program, you notice that sort of thing; it’s not so subtle anymore. We came to the conclusion separately, and when Joseph finally mentioned it, it was no trouble to skip the decaf for the week. Did that contribute to my problem? I doubt it—it’s a short addiction cycle and my “terribly terrible” was longer-lasting. (Not to be confused with the “terrible awful,” if you’ve read The Help. If you haven’t, don’t miss it.)

So was it because my best-friend-since-kindergarten’s father died in Michigan and she needed comfort and so did I, because I also grew up with him? Or because another close friend in a far city had just had a heart attack and neglected to tell us until last week? He’d spent the prior week in the hospital overcoming the pneumonia that led up to it and gave orders that friends not be notified.

Or was it the fact that, after I took the plunge and decided to try coloring my hair just after Christmas, my eyes looked in the mirror and told my body I was ten years younger (as the stylist promised, although I’m not sure I don’t just look like an older woman with colored hair). But it must’ve fooled my body, because it decided to cancel menopause. A few days later I was ovulating, and fourteen days later I was having another period. Nothing too serious, more like a faint echo of times past, but definite. So was it PMS? But this terribly terrible feeling was much deeper than that.

So was it just that I had a series of challenging appointments, deadlines, classes, and lunch dates on my calendar last week, so many that I couldn’t even go looking for my journal because I was too busy? I had time enough for the simple household chores and basic maintenance, and checking email and Facebook (yes, those are also basic maintenance), but that was all. Just brief flirtations with my desk and computer.

By Wednesday, I had a dull, vague headache that wound up lasting three days, coming back every time the pills wore off. My meals weren’t happy inside me, and I could feel my immune system teetering. One more little push and I’d be over the edge, and I remembered all too well what happened to Joseph when he trashed his immune system last fall!

Finally, last night at midnight (I’d given in to the time frame; at least I knew I wouldn’t be awakened by an alarm clock this morning), I snuck in my office, grabbed my journal, and keeping the lights dark in the house so I wouldn’t wake Joseph, I stood up in a candlelit bathroom and started scribbling.

Sure enough, five minutes did the trick. The answer appeared on the page like magic:
It wasn’t the stress of what I did do, or even funerals and thoughts of death. It was what I hadn’t done.

It’s really strange. If Joseph doesn’t have enough time to play, he gets stressed. But if I don’t have time to write or work on publishing projects or do other things related to my writing work, I simply can’t cope. This is my true vocation, my deep inner calling. I’m so fortunate to finally understand that after fifty-odd years of questing, and to have a man who is supporting my career so that I am able to make it my entire working life!

My work is my passion. Time disappears and I am filled with joyous satisfaction and happiness. And all week long, other obligations had been keeping me from it. Some little flower inside me was dying and the petals were falling off until I was like a dry little stalk.

I said that to Joseph this morning, and he mumbled that it was a very generous  and kind metaphor. “What do you mean?” I asked innocently.

“You were all cranky and nasty!” he blurted.

That’s one of the things I love about Joseph. He has this nice Mars in Sagittarius element in his personality. He blurts things like that now and then when he’s not in super control of his mouth. I love this sort of honesty. But the extra special nice thing about him is that it was the first time he’d mentioned it all week!

What he did the rest of the time was to patiently listen, endlessly test and balance my energy meridians, and do his best to cheer me up by insisting that we watch movies every night we weren’t dancing. That, of course, is the perfect cure for anything ailing him, a lot of laughter and “fun.” For a normal person, these would be wonderful ways to “relax and relieve stress.”

Unfortunately, that was the worst choice for me—but neither of us knew it until I thought I’d suffocate if I had to watch another movie! By Thursday, I was complaining about wanting to do more with my life than watch movies every night, and couldn’t we do other “fun” things beside staring at a television?! !!! ***

Apparently, even my much-beloved tango class midweek was too much “fun” and relaxation for me; what I really needed was work!
Who knew? I’d even tried lunch with husband followed by shopping yesterday. I spent enough to cure just about anybody, but UGH! I felt worse! Because it kept me away from my office.

Well, I should have known. And if I’d picked up that journal, I would have. It would have told me in no uncertain terms, just as it did last night.

I’d felt so wretched last evening, as Joseph likes to describe it, that he’d told me I should stay home and “rest,” while he did the week’s grocery shopping, even though it’s our treasured Saturday when we’d normally get to spend every second together. (Yes, we like that a lot. I know. Not all couples do.)

Once my journal solved the mystery, I slept like a baby all night, and woke up after nine hours feeling great. When I told Joseph what had been troubling me, he insisted on unplugging the phone before he left so I could write undisturbed.

But instead of finishing up work on my new short story (The Golden Ones, a new Coffee-Break Tale™ coming very soon), or putting the final touches on our new Cosmic Cooking blog so we can launch it this week, I wrote this blog post. I wrote it for me. So next time I will remember:

If you’re lucky enough to know your
true vocation, never let it slide.
Follow your passion—or pay the price!

And by the way, I still feel terrific! Just three little letters from terrible, but what a difference! J
*Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. The author is controversial on the subject of hormone replacement therapy, but she’s compiled very helpful facts about light and humans in this book, which first set me on a course for good sleeping many years ago. I don’t do hormone replacement. My one timid experiment with it was disastrous. But never say never.
** Our “habit” consisted of drinking decaf Via or cappuccinos about twice a week, a Schwarzbein recommendation to combat the feelings of depression we might experience while our adrenal glands rested and healed. Great excuse! Because we love the social aspect of sipping the stuff, or so it seemed. But apparently the small amount of caffeine we ingested still gave us that high/low syndrome, as sugar does, making you feel more tired and yucky the next day. Not drinking it at all is far better, a nice cruise through life. But my terribly terrible feeling was not depression, so either way, caffeine wouldn’t have mattered.
* * * Our “relaxation movies,” mostly via Netflix streaming: Dolphin Tale, Never Say Never, Walk on Water, Catherine Cookson’s The Moth, Bridesmaids, and Anchorman. I would very much recommend the first five, but Anchorman is enough to make any woman with something better to do quit watching movies! Although it was set in San Diego, made me laugh, and reminded me of a TV newsroom I once worked in. J I probably would’ve liked it if it weren’t for the terribly terrible nagging at me. Why so many movies? Two reasons: Joseph traded in his old BluRay player for a new one that does new things, and he’s a Violet/Yellow life color. If he doesn’t have enough play time, he’ll be like I was last week. It pays to learn about Life Colors.

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