About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Friday, March 18, 2011

Active Listening...It is so important.


When you listen, do you always hear what is being communicated? You can but only if you learn the art of active listening. When it comes to horses, I actively listen to their body language, I look for cues, I try to communicate, and above all, give them everything I can to make them happy and healthy. I treat horses (and all of my other animals, friends, and family) with the utmost respect, with all the care I can muster, and always seek never-ending improvement in all the things I do for or with them. My horses are doing great, happy that spring is on the way, and tomorrow, should be really happy to get their feet trimmed, bodies groomed, and eat some yummy carrots (oh, and of course hang out with me)! Riding will have to wait a bit, the ground is saturated and in many places, looks like a pond...yuck.

So, tell me why, when I am on the right road to better health (and overall doing great-never giving up), knowing that I need to actively listen to my body and not my mind (when it is going in the wrong direction), do I go down the wrong path with it? My mother used to always say that everything in life for me would come and I'd be successful but, I'd more likely than not, take the most difficult road to get there - thus far, she's been right! (Thanks, mom.)

Yesterday afternoon, I posted the following on Cambiati's Facebook page:

"Tomorrow is Day 18 for me. I have a plan (all written down), my pantry and fridge are stocked and everything is prepped, I've written myself little love notes to keep myself motivated and strategically placed them throughout my journal. So, wish me luck! I've never have blended only meal days in my life, and definitely not four in a row! LOL :) I had a mini "in my head" moment this evening about it but, I am okay now, I am ready, and I am excited!"

What I was referring to was the fact that days 18-21 (of the 28-day program) in the detox/cleanse were a challenge and I was meeting the challenge straight on. the reason they are a challenge is that it is 4 days of only blended foods. This portion of the program is to not only allow the body to shed toxins, but to allow the breaking of emotional attachments to food, to teach the mind that food does not have a hold on our bodies, and take habit out of the picture replacing it with conscious thought. When I got home, I reviewed my plan being sure to have everything written down, and even wrote little love notes and notes of accomplishment in my journal that I'd "run into" during the next four days as ways to encourage myself. I shared my strategy with Rick and we talked a lot about all of this (he remarking about how proud he was of me and that he was impressed with all of the time and energy I was putting into working on myself). It felt great to hear that.

All of this said, I need to share (at the prompting of my best-horse friend, Clare), that I had a complete meltdown last night and the consequences were horrific. In sharing this, I hope that I can help one of you remember to be honest with yourself, be open-minded, understand that you are human, realize that being willing to think and do things outside your comfort zone in any aspect of your life is important, and if you make a mistake, own it and move on.

Last night, I was on my way home from work, the plan was to have a healthy version of a St. Patrick's Day meal while Rick indulged on corned beef. I made braised cabbage and carrots (that was lovely), roasted sweet potato, salad, and instead of cooking a piece of chicken (or other learn protein), I purchased a rotisserie chicken, despite the fact that often times, in the past, they made me ill (unless it was prepared from scratch, at home, on my grill by master chicken chef, Rick). I am now convinced that there was stuff on it and perhaps in it (wheat, sugar, salt, and who knows what--you know toxins, allergens, things I need to stay away from and know it). When I was eating it and afterwards, I was not feeling satisfied with my meal and felt hungry despite eating more than my share. I was just not feeling centered at all, anxious, hungry, and upset inside (emotionally and physically). My body was reacting and my mind had ruled the events leading up to these feelings via the choice I made while shopping. (Life is all about choices, sometimes I don't make the best ones even though I know better--why is that anyway? hmmm.)

Then, fast forward to 9:30pm or so, I had detox tea because I was feeling anxious (which helped) but by 10pm I knew that I needed to go to bed "or else". I had been totally on track for the past 17 days. However, I got all caught up in watching CNN, reading job postings, checking out other news online, and talking to Rick. Rick was still making his dinner (corned beef, fries in the oven, salad, etc). I tasted a bite of corned beef when it was done (this was about 11:00pm now, maybe 11:30pm). You know, the "just one bite" taste that won't hurt anything? (yeah right) This "just a taste" flung me into an eating frenzy of way too much corned beef and then lots of fries. I didn't feel sick or anything but knew that the next day was the so-called, "day 18" for me and although I knew I was ready, my hopes were that I didn't undo the last 17 days or work! I contacted my Cambiati coach (and Arbonne consultant) and asked her opinion. I was so utterly upset with myself thinking that I was so stupid, and knew that now I was craving sugar--I had not craved sugar since I started the cleanse. :( (This is what happens when I eat non-Cambiati friendly foods I described and all the feelings that come along with not taking care of myself.)

So anyhow, that brings me to this morning. 6am I get up, let the dogs out, I relieve my bladder, and then sat in my rocker. My intention was to work out before heading out but after going to the bathroom, I had this horrible feeling in my lower abdomen. It was not cramps per se but something was seriously wrong and I knew it, this was not a normal tummy ache. My body was again trying to talk to me and it got my attention this time. It is hard to describe really but just a strange pain that was almost akin to a tension and unease of sorts, something was amiss and going very wrong. It reminded me of the feeling I had when I had gall bladder attacks which were horrible and life-threatening (If you recall, I had a 3.3 cm stone and the doctors removed it and the gall bladder stating that had I another attack, I could have expired). Those attacks were horrific, I had cold sweats, could not breath, felt like I was having a heart attack, would almost pass out, vomiting, diarrhea, crying, uncontrollable shaking, feelings of freezing and being over heated all at the same time, serious amounts of pain and suffering that would last hours and hours and were accompanied by anxiety attacks because I was terrified and thought I was dying. During those attacks, I'd want to call 911 (but never did--you know, didn't want to bother anyone).

Well this morning, I had most of those symptoms except for the heart attack stuff and I could breathe if I'd just stop hyperventilating, I felt like calling 911 but instead tried to call my husband (who was sleeping up on the loft) using my cell phone, that I fortunately grabbed on my way into the bathroom (not sure why, I never do this), and I couldn't even dial the right number. The blood had left my head and I was starting to pass out, kept calling myself, could not think how to dial the home phone or what the number was (and yes, it was in the speed dial), and fortunately, my Great Dane Morgan was there and I managed to call out loud enough for Rick to hear me. It is interesting because he typically is a very sound sleeper but since the gall bladder days, if I am in trouble, he hears me (he does not hear me when he is snoring like a freight train though, lol). Rick rushed downstairs asked what was wrong, and got me a cold washcloth. He stayed up until I was ready to stand again and walk upstairs. I laid down for about an hour (on his prompting) rather than workout, before getting up again to get ready for work. (There is no way I could have worked out.)

The feelings that I had this morning, not only physical but emotional and mental were a true reminder of how important it is for me to live a Cambiati-clean lifestyle (a toxin-free existence--remember toxins can be food, chemicals, medications, environmental, etc). That indulgences on anything that I know don't work for me are simply not worth it 9for so many reasons). As I type this I feel like crying, perhaps out of guilt, fear, and happiness, and many other emotions. I am so much more aware of my body and its needs and I just have to listen to it, all of the time, without hesitation. I finally realized that I had literally poisoned myself and my body was taking care of the toxins but wow, that was just terrifying and enlightening!

Since today is day 18, and I had a plan (all written down), I decided to continue with one alteration in my plan (flexibility is important in our lives, in all aspects). I opted to let my body settle down and not eat until lunch, drinking some detox tea instead (and taking some detox support supplements). It was a wise choice and made me feel more centered and much better physically. I sit here writing to you all, this evening, totally on track and feeling very good again.

I suppose my point is that even though we are great caretakers of other people, our animals, and any other being that crosses our paths, people, and in my viewpoint, particularly women, have tendency to ignore their own needs. If I don't take care of myself, I cannot take care of my horses, my dogs, my kitty, my husband, my friends or other family members, etc. because I won't be here to do so. If I am not here, lost is my horsemanship journey and all of my dreams. Isn't this just another example of principles before goals? I cannot reach my goals if I don't keep my principles in check, period, that is how it works! Therefore, I vow to try my best to continue to take better care of myself and enjoy the journey to physical, mental, and emotional fitness...a horse's dream, to have a human partner with all of those aspects in perfect harmony.

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