Monday, February 28, 2011

Between a Rock and a Hard Place⎯Dropping Anger

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
I am not an angry person. I don’t like it and I certainly don’t want it bleeding into the corners of my life. I am learning it is best for me to drop anger, like a hot coal, when I sense any part of it. After a recent appointment with my gastroenterologist, I finally learned what has been going on with my gut over the last 8 months. I seem to have more thickening in my small intestine. Crohn's disease has once again been up to its dirty work. Obviously, this is not a good thing and it makes it difficult for food to ease on down the road. Now what? Do I follow through with conventional protocol or do I trust my own instinct? I feel as if I am between the proverbial rock and a hard place on this one.

Later that day, I caught my reflection peering out at me from my bathroom mirror. At the same time, I noticed an overwhelming heat invade my entire body working up from my feet. By the time it reached my head I burst into a flood of tears and yelled at the mirror, “I-am-angry!” I repeated this exclamation a number of times and proceeded to verbally unload my thoughts. It felt like a volcanic eruption had momentarily invaded my body as I cleansed my self of the hot coals of toxic feelings. So just what was I angry about:
  • The failure of the current protocol, and the fact that what I have been currently doing isn't good enough!
  • Possibly having to head down the rabbit hole with Alice and take this pill and that pill not knowing how it would affect me.
  • Being out of control of the situation and not knowing what is best for me.
  • Not having anyone or anything to throw the hot coals at...
By bringing more awareness of my self and my feelings into my life, I am learning⎯answers will come once I create a positive environment for them. By unloading my anger, I became more open to receive the answers that would provide momentum to move forward.

I could have chosen to hold on to the anger, but to what point? The sooner I move from anger, the sooner I can heal and be well⎯and that is exactly what is right for me. I no longer feel as though I am between a rock and a hard place. I now have a new found excitement looking to the path ahead, and yes, I am already on it...

Can you move-on from the anger you may hold inside?

© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark

Monday, February 21, 2011

Don’t Wait Until You Are Sick!!!

This is the time of year when colds and flu bugs are in the air. In talking to a few people with colds recently, they seemed to be saying the same thing…
  • I’ll just slow down a bit
  • I’ll just get some extra sleep
  • I’ll just take care of myself right now
  • I’ll just lay low
  • I’ll just drink lots of fluids
  • I’ll just pamper myself right now
  • I’ll just fix my favorite chicken soup
  • I’ll just curl up with a blanket and read or watch my favorite movies
Sounds familiar doesn’t it? BUT, why wait until you are sick? When we are on the go all of the time it is difficult for us to slow down. I know--so many things to do, so little time! When coming down with a cold I have often caught myself thinking, "now I can get some rest." I am working at incorporating more of what I need when I need it into my life. It is not always an easy thing to do, but I am trying to be more aware of those needs. Sometimes the other things just don’t matter as much as I think they do. By taking care of myself, I not only catch fewer colds I have more energy to take on whatever life may bring.

When you finally give into a cold or flu, how do you take care of yourself? Is there anything you might be able to start doing today?

© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Share the Love in One Simple Step

February 14th is Valentine's Day and by now you have probably sent the cards, bought the flowers or candy and maybe even have made dinner reservations at some special place. Valentine's Day is a good time to remember your loved ones and let them know how you feel. BUT you forgot someone…YOU! Perhaps today would be a good time to share the love and give your SELF a great big hug. You do a lot for everyone else; so today don’t forget about YOU, and don’t ever disregard how important you are! And hey, tell yourself that fact every once in awhile. You don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to share the love!

To get a historical perspective on Valentine’s Day, there is a great summary and fun facts on Wikipedia.

And to all my Valentine’s out there, thank you for being part of my journey.

© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Staring is Underrated

Summer, Lake Chelan, WA
You know that fixed or vacant expression someone gets when they seem to be staring off into space…I did a lot of that very thing recently. We were on vacation, and the thing I was staring at was a lake. We have been going to Lake Chelan for over twenty-five years at various times of the year and we never seem to tire of staring at that darn lake. Before I know it, I have spent thirty minutes or more just staring at water.

My husband, Dennis, and I even discuss the lake gazing and have decided there is something special about this lake. This is where we come to “do nothing” year after year. After a few minutes of lake gazing, my mind is literally blank, void of any thought whatsoever. The other day I spent over an hour just staring. When I finally surfaced, my face broke into a slow smile. “Ah”⎯what a wonderful thing to be able to do.

We were all told when we were young, “It’s not polite to stare!” Frankly, if someone were staring at me it would make me a bit uncomfortable, especially after an hour! When I was in school I remember a teacher saying, “Earth to Michelle, where are you?” Needless to say, I was embarrassed and accused of daydreaming. As an adult, I understand that it may be rude in some circumstances to stare and not a good idea to daydream if you should be paying attention to something else. But perhaps we all could benefit from a bit of “selective” staring.

Our brains, not to mention our senses, work overtime. Let’s all give ’em a break! Here are a few noteworthy considerations to ponder when staring off into space:
  • I find my breath slows and becomes very shallow⎯the same feeling I experience when I begin waking from a deep sleep.
  • I feel extremely relaxed and peace-filled afterwards.
  • I experience newfound energy and clarity.
Huh, all the things I may experience after meditating⎯interesting thought! Staring may just be seriously underrated. I believe “selective” staring is a self-hypnotic state we all could use a bit more of. It would be like taking a free mini-vacation to do nothing. So let yourself be mesmerized, hypnotized or absorbed⎯ whatever you want to call it.  I don’t think it needs to be a special lake or water of any kind. Find what works for you and be aware of the moment. Don’t just shrug it off, but take advantage of the energy and clarity you may gain and relish it for what it is.  Who knows, maybe the next time someone catches you staring off into space they may just say, “Oh, excuse me, I hope I didn't interrupt anything important.”

© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark
Lake Chelan picture taken at Campbell's Resort