Fuel Our Lives

Be strong. Be yourself. Be wise.

Let’s face it, our bodies and lives don’t work the same, though we are all made to feel like it’s a one size fits all kind of situation.

Fuel My Wellness is all about opening the conversation to different ways we fuel our lives.

Check out FMW and follow my journey to getting healthier for a better outcome. – Ashley

🧠 Surgery #letsdothis

My Latest Posts


  • Eating After Surgery

    Well, I stepped on the scale and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen this weight since before I got married.

    After my surgery, the Dietician wanted me to go back to eating a bit more on the calorie count and not to restrict my diet so much. Protein was my friend, and to heal, I needed to rest, but move enough and eat more.

    Well, I was hungry. No nausea or dizziness and I had permission to eat more. Duh! I was happy to oblige 😇

    Now, I feel the need to get back on the health train. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been eating like crap, but I didn’t watch my intake as carefully.

    Slowly, I’ve been incorporating my Ketones and intermittent fasting. It has been a slow process as I can’t go without food as long as I used to, but I’m getting there.

    I have follow-ups with my doctors and will talk more about what I need at this point to continue to heal properly, but I’m still pulling in the protein and staying hydrated. I’m watching my activity to make sure I’m not overdoing it, but that’s been the hardest thing as I want to do so much.

    I have to be careful with that. I’ve pushed my limits too far too fast for the sake of others, so I’m trying to take a step back. Rest. I have to rest when I know I need it.

    I don’t know why I was compelled to do a modified fasting yesterday. I ate very little, but enough to keep my body from getting angry at me. Today, I feel compelled to fast as well. I don’t want to hinder myself, but eating a bit more carefully does wonders for me. Now, I tried this early in my recovery and it was definitely not the right time.

    It was good to test the waters though. Now to keep working on my health and see how much it’s improved. I have a vision for my health. I know all of this has been preparing me for better and an appreciation for my body; it’s capabilities, it’s strength, it’s drive, it’s abilities.

    I know how hard it is to see from the rough side of things. I know how hard it is to deal with the distractions while trying to be better.

    But…

    Maybe the sun is just coming up and the brightness is still to come.

    The best is yet to come.

    And it only gets better from here.

    We just have to think that way.

  • Anger and Hatred

    I’m so tired of feeling anger and hatred for people. It’s just exhausting. People have hurt me and I’ve held onto so much for so long, I just can’t do it anymore.

    My current predictment should only emphasis how I shouldn’t let people into my life, and if I’ve ever learned anything, this is the time to hold onto grudges.

    Nope.

    Not my cup of tea anymore.

    It’s not worth it.

    If people choose to hurt me, they are only hurting themselves. I’m a pretty awesome person. I’m flawed, not perfect, but progressive, and so much of what was wrong was solved with my surgery, but I’m also not going to be walked on.

    I’ve realized, if people don’t want what I have to offer, they don’t have to stick around and I’m done forcing myself onto people who choose to walk away.

    Now, if you choose to be in my world, I’m all in. Just to prepare you 🙂

    But seriously, today is 7 weeks out of my surgery. I’m still healing in many ways, but I know I just can’t hate people anymore. With that, I can’t have hatey core people. Life can be pretty eh, especially if you don’t have a strong core around you.

    I watched this past week’s sermon from Pastor Mike and emphasised what I was already feeling. I need to relieve toxic people from my world, and surround myself with people who love me, who have a great outlook on life, and need…want me in their lives.

    https://youtu.be/7ZML41phFZE

    I’ve taken some time with the thought that I need to have a place in the lives of people who have a place for me, but this thought ventured into a more indepth train ride. I have to make sure that place is for me and that the place they have for me isn’t just some extra open place.

    I think we all forget that there is such a thing as just allowing people in our lives because we have the space. Well, you can have a lot of the wrong people in that space.

    Your core should never be people that just fit there. They have to make you better for yourself and for themselves. You can’t sharpen an ax with wood. They can’t all be on your boat.

    Sometimes we feed our lives with people for a temporary fix, assuming they were exactly what we needed. It may have felt great for a time, but then we realized we let go of people we wish we hadn’t and can’t find a way to rid the extra spacers.

    I finally figured out what was going on with me and I know that I can do better for others. I also realize that everyone can make a mistake and regret is a giant butt.

    Life wasn’t greener on the other side.

    I have regretted so much in my life. I have done things and hurt people. Like I said, I’m not perfect, but I know when someone needs my forgiveness as I’ve always hoped for forgiveness from others.

    I guess you won’t know until you ask.

    Ask. Ask for forgiveness from those you’ve wronged.

    Let go. Let go of the hate and anger that can only hold you back.

    Forgive. Forgive those who ask for it.

    We can live a lighter life if we just take a minute and concentrate on the good stuff, the things that matter, and work the rest around us to make a better life.

    BUT… Always a BUT…

    Support your core. Support those that need you. Ask for support. Ask for help.

    Sometimes we need to be a little stronger to hold others up. It only solidifies your relationship when you can help each other when it’s needed.

    Just ask…

    Man, what a year it has been. How differently I see the world and feel about things today is surreal. It's only getting better.
  • Wake Up

    I finished the first season of Julie and the Phantoms and I couldn’t wait for a post to share this.

    https://youtu.be/bv3Kh4-NSDI

  • Where Is My Mind?

    https://youtu.be/WFfGf1-y1Bs

    I heard this song many times over the years, the original being by the Pixies. So often, this song is used during deeper moments on shows or movies like Fight Club. When I heard the cover by Tkay Maidza, something clicked differently. Maybe because I loathed that movie – At the time I first watched Fight Club, I didn’t quite understand that movie. Now, I understand it a little too well and it makes the original song jumble up my insides.

    For a long time, I didn’t understand where my mind had gone and recently, I wondered what was real and what wasn’t. I know many of us feel the same, sometimes all the time.

    There isn’t much that helped me in those times. I suppose I didn’t have the tools to manage it. Expecting anyone else to understand or expecting anyone to help pull me out of it could have been part of the reason I stayed inside the wonderland so long.

    I realized I was leaning on people too much and funny thing, I have to lean on people more now than I ever had before given my lovely situation. Having the right people around you can make all the difference.

    But it hasn’t been easy to accept help. That pride thing can be a giant butthole. My mind didn’t see it as a pride thing, it saw it as a burden thing. When you’re treated as a burden, you tend to feel like it.

    Negative people who only look at what you can’t do, negative people who only see the dark and not in the dark, this can make a difference to our well being.

    Should we want the negative people around? Should we want them to leave? Should we hope for them to be strong enough? Is it really about strength?

    My mind has been working on overdrive even as I’ve been trying to rest. Not only did I have surgery, but my whole world took a major shift when people left during my worse time, but in that worse time people showed up. God showed me more when I thought it was too much to handle, but we are never given anything we can’t handle when we have who we’re supposed to have by our side.

    I was lost in my sickness and as much as I’ve wondered about my mind not having my back anymore, I have never seen so clearly.

    It’s in the worst times, people show their colors, the world shows us what it has for us, and we realize who and what we really need.

    We don’t know how we’re getting there, but let’s start looking at the good things, the good people. We have to start somewhere. We have to start seeing the good to know what is good.

    It’s funny, I keep hearing Where Is My Mind? but I keep wanting to sing the lyrics from the song FIX YOU by Coldplay over the Pixies’ sound. Maybe someone has already worked this out.

    Or maybe someone should.

    https://youtu.be/aK3TROzVRiE

    https://youtu.be/49FB9hhoO6c

  • What We Give Power

    What we give power has power.

    THE GOOD WITCH

  • Release What’s In Your Hands

    You’re holding stuff that is too heavy for your heart.

    Pastor Mike Todd

    Pastor Mike has had some amazing sermons. I was so impressed by his ANCHORED series, I continued to dive into the Transformation Church a bit more.

    I found another amazing series called RELEASE. This may not be your cup of tea, but I hope you get something out of it like I have.

    Pastor Mike Todd with Transformation Church (Part 4 of Release)

    Here’s the full video on their YouTube channel.

    https://youtu.be/g0-BZNhsTqQ

    We all have a past, but is your past still present?

    Pastor Michael Todd
  • Crazyer Faith // Transformation Church Series

    Transformation Church with Pastor Michael begins a new series called CrazyER Faith. The first episode of this series began September 19, 2021 titled The Command Has No Cap // God Wants to Take Us Beyond Belief.

    https://youtu.be/uDU9242aMU8

    It might not make sense, but it’s about to make a miracle.

    Pastor Michael Todd

    Can I just tell you, this pastor has been pretty amazing, catching me where I am. Anchored, Relationship Goals, and now Crazyer Faith – I am so astonished by this church and all they are doing.

    Week Two

    September 26, 2021: Unlocking an Anointed Imagination // What Are You Imagining // Crayzer Faith // Michael Todd

    https://youtu.be/v3c0UIHRnmE

    Imagination is the engine of your faith. Faith is the vehicle to your future. Hope is the fuel for your faith.

    Pastor Mike Todd

    Week Three

    October 3, 2021: Faith vs. Fantasy // Is it truly from God? // Crayzer Faith // Michael Todd

    https://youtu.be/D9ggNwVxSJY

    Make the frame bigger.

    Pastor Mike Todd
  • When Signs Come, Who’s Speaking?

    If you haven’t seen THE STARLING on Netflix, you really should.

    I haven’t had the amazing chance to have a child of my own, but I have lost my little ones during pregnancy. Many don’t understand the lost because of that whole mess of a conversation people often fight about.

    Well, I lost my babies. I never got to meet them in person, but there was an amazing connection I had with each one. My first lost, it put a drive in me to want more. I was thinking out of pain, and anger, and no real understanding of what was going on. It was that time that I hadn’t really let go of, it often plagues me.

    In the last few weeks, things have really come full circle for me, or an amazingly winding road has brought me here. Either way, I’m here.

    I watched the first part of this move and had to stop it. I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready for the ball of emotions that I started cycling through. I’ve been working on healing from surgery, among other things, and it’s been a realization to say the least.

    I watched the series KIPO and the WONDERBEASTS, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. Give it a chance. You’ll see the surrealness of a child’s ability to do the things not even us grown folk know how to do.

    But my heart opened up and I gave THE STARLING another try.

    https://youtu.be/fJFyTLZb7HU

    This scene opened my mind a bit about what hurt we are all masking. Everyone has believed they are fighting a losing battle at some time or another. I’m sure we’ve wanted to give up during the worst of times, but crazy moment here, maybe we were fighting the wrong battle.

    At some point, we look at a situation and we say we’re fine. We try to heal the part we think that needs it, but it’s not what needs worked on. When I had my first lost, I realized how much I wanted children. I didn’t know how things were going to work or what kind of mother I’d be, but I wanted to be a mother so badly.

    A little secret about me, I didn’t want kids when I was younger. I wanted to break through the stereotype of a woman and having kids didn’t seem to fit me. I was too tomboyish, or I was too aggressive for a woman. I guess that’s what I allowed others to say to me and what’s held onto my spirit.

    Loss after loss hid what I really needed healed. Even as my body felt like it wasn’t good enough to have children of my own, I still wanted a family, but I didn’t want to pass down my crappy issues.

    But why was I really trying to talk myself out of having a family?

    Look for the clouds to part, even for just a second.

    There is hope.

    There is hope where there is Faith.

    Ashley E.

    I’ve been reminding myself HEALED MIND, HEALED BODY, HEALED HEART. I’ve admitted many things to myself and others in recent weeks. I let go of a lot of things and let out a lot of burdens I’ve held onto for many years.

    THE STARLING has so many nuggets I needed to hear; so many things I could relate to and it eased my mind, made me cry, made me laugh, and made my brain admit a few things I hadn’t realized I still needed to admit.

    Even in my time of soul searching where I thought I was getting somewhere, I’ve found that the things I buried, the things I’ve tried to heal, needed a more indepth look. What was on the surface wasn’t exactly what or all that needed to be worked on.

    Oh how much deeper my wellness goes and the kind of fuel I need. It’s crazy. I didn’t think life had so many layers. There is so much more to this fuel and wellness thing that even I didn’t see when I started FUEL MY WELLNESS.

    It makes a bit more sense now…

    You have to see to see.

    Okay, now on to FATHERHOOD. “People have other people.”

    Flowers and Goldfish. We’ll talk about that next time.

  • When Thinking You’re Wrong May Not Mean You’re Wrong

    I had a lot of doubt today and then I voiced a dream I had to my Grandparents about always wanting their home to stay in the family. If I ever had the means, I would expand the home the way they wanted. It has been my dream for many years.

    For a moment, someone detered me from that dream, but being with my family reminded me how many dreams I have let go over the years; trying to find something that fit in the life someone else wanted.

    The Lord works in mysterious ways.

    After expressing my dream, I felt amazing inside. I never want them to leave this world, but I needed them to know how much their efforts were seen. They have worked so hard for others and they have always wanted to manage their home with the Lord ahead of the household allowing for their amazing hearts to shine bright.

    I came into my space and something kept telling me to watch the new Cinderella on Prime Video. I’ve always had a broken view of relationships, so much of that view was because of the world’s perception of relationships. I’ve been hurt many times over and even when I felt so sure about someone, I was hurt again.

    Today, I had a few things weighing on me and my avoidance of this movie came to an end. My assumptions that another Cinderella was going to be taken by a Prince and they were going to live happily ever.

    And then Rhythm Nation started.

    And then You Gotta Be went on.

    More held me to this movie and surprised me.

    In a small but significant moment, the next scene played.

    https://youtu.be/4cE9qDanYP0

    Am I wrong for thinkin’ out the box from where I stay?

    Am I wrong for sayin’ that I choose another way?

    I ain’t tryin’ to do what everybody else doin’

    Just ’cause everybody doin’ what they all do

    If one thing I know, I’ll fall, but I’ll grow

    I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home.

    Am I Wrong?

    There was a feeling I couldn’t shake. There was something about this scene and then I couldn’t get how they interpreted this song out of my head.

    Am I trippin’, am I, for having a vision?

    My prediction, I’ma be on top of the world

    Don’t look back, always do what you decide

    Don’t let them control your life

    That’s just how I feel ooh

    Fight for yours and don’t let go

    Don’t let them compare you, no

    Don’t worry, you’re not alone

    That’s just how I feel (That’s just how I feel)

    That’s just how I feel

    Original Artist – Ninco & Vinz

    I took to the song and then the lyrics and while I love the original verison of this song and the messiness of the original movie, I found the audio and it took on a whole new meaning.

    https://youtu.be/dWnAEu6KVW8

    And as I continue to watch this movie, each scene hits differently.

    https://youtu.be/ia9OykdstWA

    Let’s get loud, let’s get loud

    Turn the music up to hear that sound

    Let’s get loud, let’s get loud

    Ain’t nobody gotta tell ya what you gotta do

    Like dah da dah

    Original Artist – Jennifer Lopez

    In high school, it was the first time I changed my dream to be a writer. I loved the music class I was in and the assignments that let us create a new sound to the scene in the movie we were given. I loved editing and creating my own movies and putting songs to them. I even used those skills for an assignment in English class. We were given a book and our final project was up to us. I created a soundtrack, page by page, for the book. Two of my loves melted into one.

    I never realized I could do something with it. I told someone one day what I wanted to do and they said I had to study being a music producer to get into that kind of life or don’t bother.

    And if you can't sing like someone like you...you really have to work on that...

    Man, people are harsh.

    I started looking for something more practical like working on cars. Of course, women aren’t in that field. More harsh people at every turn, and I let them beat down all my dreams.

    I tried to find things in other people’s dreams or judgement. And then I realized…it’s my dream. I’m willing to sacrifice. I’ve shown that over the years, but I’m ready to do me and I’m open and ready.

    And I can see her now and then
    The one I know that I could be, yeah
    I see her laughin’, ’cause she knew all along in her head
    So when the light is hard to see
    She’s telling me

    If it’s a million to one
    I’m gonna be that one and
    If it’s a shot in the dark
    I’m gonna be the sun
    And I just can’t afford to be wrong
    Even when I’m afraid
    You’re gonna know my name

    Million to One by Camilia Cabello

    https://youtu.be/HxnFRmW98MQ

    Is this today’s message for me? For others? Is this what I needed to ease my mind and the things naggy at me? Is this what you needed to hear today?

    Remember, not every one can be on your boat.
  • An Amazing View From Here

    The sirens ring out
    The violence pours down
    Heat rises and blood falls
    Eyes blinded, hope seems gone
    But we’ll make it out alive

    Tommee Profitt ft. Sam Tinnesz

    https://youtu.be/vwUiCWGzwDg

    We’re caught in the fire
    And it burns right through the bones
    We’re down to the wire
    No it won’t leave us alone
    Oh it haunts our days
    And the fear won’t fade
    Feeling swallowed by the smoke
    We’re caught in the fire
    But we’ll make it out alive

    Caught In The Fire

    I have been sitting in my space and something pretty hard hit me as I was walking through the moment of anger I was holding onto. This song came just as that moment of realization was pouring over me.

    I’m supposed to be resting. So much of my soul and the words that played around in my heart have been telling me to rest. I realized, I needed a rest of many types and as I’ve begun to see what all needed a big rest I can feel the change in my whole spirit.

    I’ve been shown so much in such what now seems like a short amount of time. Crazy Faith has taken me to a new place, CrazyER Faith is opening me up for the amazing things I already have and the wonderful things still to come.

    They’ve rattled, our hearts
    But survival is ours
    We’ll make it out alive

    Caught In the Fire by Tommie Profitt ft. Sam Tinnesz

    As I finish this post, this amazing man is shown to me. I went out of my way to skip his performance and the other finalist’s from AGT this year. I wasn’t ready to hear the message they had at the time.

    https://youtu.be/ZnwLld8gYeo

    Now, I don’t know if I would have missed what they were trying to say had I heard it before, but today it’s sitting with me in a new way.

    I don't think this message was just for me. I feel like this message was meant for more than just me.
  • Making the Move with Baptism

    Have you been baptised?

    Do you want to take that step like I did?

    Flood Sunday comes when you need it.

    https://youtu.be/N6lNr_h8x2k

  • On Top Of The World

    When you start seeing all the work your anchor has been doing for you and what they are doing for you now, faith takes the lead in your life.

    https://youtu.be/zn_v1DSdiuY

    I coulda gave up then
    but then again I couldn’t have
    ’cause I’ve traveled all this way for something

    Imagine Dragons

    https://youtu.be/w5tWYmIOWGk

  • Are You Experiencing A Storm?

    Welcome to the Deep

    https://youtu.be/I-yW-nrSSJg

  • Never Give Up

    https://youtu.be/RWzZeA2GMsk

    “This is a song that’s about never giving up and continuing despite any obstacles that may stand in your way.”

    Bishop Briggs to Consequence of Sound in a track-by-track interview.

    https://youtu.be/XtlPQgzVZa0

  • Mental Health Check: Sometimes It’s Dark In the Daylight

    https://youtu.be/bFYz4jms-Q0

  • Working On A Dream

    I did something I didn’t ever think I’d ever do…I recorded my voice and sent it to someone.

    No words were said, but I realized I was singing for the wrong person. I didn’t let the silence take from a dream of reaching for something that was for me.

    I decided to put myself out there and recorded a song I used to sing in church. It was a song my aunt made her own that we learned from another amazing church that would visit. It was a song I wanted to sing to the best of my ability. Back then, I didn’t realize what I was singing about, but something grabbed at my heart and this song hit me in a whole new way.

    https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRfHfwGm/

    I still doubt my ability. This year really messed with my self-esteem, but I have to start somewhere. I have to fuel my wellness with what keeps me trucking along in the best way.

    Here We Go

  • Be Strong! Be Yourself! Be Wise!
    Elephant Love!
    Wolfie Joy!
  • Mental Health Check: Suicide Awareness Month

    It’s interesting that Chiari Malformation Month and Suicide Awareness Month go hand and hand.

    People see Chiari Malformation as a common thing with an easy fix. People see suicide as the easy way out.

    There is nothing easy about either and one can cause the other, but even worse, both can destroy more than the person dealing with it.

    In many cases, there is a lot of selfishness surrounding these two things, but it isn’t selfishness from the person struggling through the symptoms of Chiari or the person who wants to end their existence.

    While there is so much understanding and patience required of the people on the outside, some can make the situations all about them instead of the person who needs help.

    Whether the person who is drowning in their own empty well is you or someone you love, don’t give up.

    You matter.

    They matter.

    If you can’t find the support you need in your own tribe or are feeling overwhelmed, there is support out there.

    Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) if you or someone you know is in crisis.

    If you want or need additional information, please visit the NIMH website.

    For those who are trying to help, but don’t know where to start.
  • Always Remember

    It was the exact moment I looked at the TV and saw the news report as I was getting ready to go into school. I hadn’t been feeling well and was heading in for half-a-day. It hadn’t clicked what was happening as my father received a phone call from his friend about what was happening.

    When I arrived at school, the hallways were quiet. As I passed each doorway, the TVs were on and the lights were out. Each classroom had been watching the news of this unbelievable day.

    It still wasn’t clicking with me what this all meant, but I knew how off I felt from the moment I woke up and asked to stay home. I had separated my feelings from the reality and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t upsetting me like the rest of the teachers and other students. I just felt off in the oddest way. I couldn’t explain it and no one else seemed to be feeling the same way.

    It slowly sunk in what was brought to our doorstep. The thing that happened in another town, another state, it wasn’t so far away anymore.

    Today, it’s been 20 years and yet it feels like I was just walking into a quiet school as the people in my little world began feeling the shift in the air of the world outside.

    The darkness on that day made two kinds of people bringing out the true nature of so many, good and ugly. Tragedy can do that. Tragedy can make you see the true colors of others and ourselves.

    It’s not always black and white.

    Sometimes what we are seeing is based on how we feel and how it’s awaken our own true colors. Honesty is important in these situations; honesty with ourselves and others. Are we looking through a dark pair of lenses full of hate and anger? Or are we seeing things for what they are?

    I had to keep my mind leveled in this kind of situation. I had to remember how differently people are raised, how people are taught in a way I wasn’t.

    People weren’t a fan of that kind of thought process.

    I have found myself back in that mindset. I can’t allow hate in my heart. I can’t allow others to tell me how I’m supposed to feel right now. I can’t allow myself to hold onto the darkness.

    I’m not going to let myself drown in quicksand. I’m done thrashing to get out.

    Allowing shitty people to consume our lives can darken all corners and take away our existence.

    Remember the good of others and the sacrifices people made. Remember the supportive people and the compassion. Remember those who didn’t have a chance to be more than that day.

    Always remember the good that came out of that day. Always remember that we still have a chance to be more. Always remember to be better than those who choose to be shitty…choose to be the worse.

    Be better than our worse day. Be a better human being. Be better to ourselves. Be better to each other.

    Ashley E.

    Always Remember

  • First Surgery Follow Up
    September 7, 2021

    I’m no sure why the glow from outside is so…rounding on me, but there is a smile on this face under that mask!!

    Windows down and a beautiful sunny day without sunglasses has me feeling all the wonderful feels as I wait to see the doctor that got all the right balls rolling for me!

    The doctor was impressed with my incision and how great I was looking overall.

    Next appointment is with the surgeon.

    Almost two weeks out of the surgery and the realization that I’m miles ahead of where doctors thought I’d be already has me wanting to do cartwheels!!🤸🏽‍♀️🤸🏽‍♀️🤸🏽‍♀️

    “I am becoming the best version of myself and I overcome all obstacles.”

    Daily Affirmation by @fitsara
  • For Inquiring Minds: I’m On TikTok
    Check Out My TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRyBXRnn/
  • Chiari Malformation Awareness

    September is the Chiarians month to shine! Become aware today! If not for you, for the person you love that is suffering with this.

    https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRyhuhJ2/

    Too many doctors dismiss this. Too many people don’t understand this. The medical community is still learning about how this thing ticks.

    Don’t be dismissive. Do your research! A DEEP look at Chiari Malformation will give us all a better understanding. Be compassionate and if you really care for the person you love, you’ll be supportive.

    Advocate for yourself if no one else will. I know the darkness. It’s hard to escape, but please keep fighting!

  • Emily’s Story: Chiari Malformation-Two Years Later

    https://youtu.be/nCmGwNeP0JI

  • Queen’s Story: 10 Days Post-Op Chiari Malformation Surgery

    https://youtu.be/IIFZU9C6UPA

  • The World Looks Different

    I was in surgery on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. I didn’t realize how different and dark life was before. It all just looks different. With no effort, I had an amazing day yesterday. I enjoyed the people in my life and the most I had to worry about was being in pain and worn out.

    I’m feeling the aftermath of yesterday’s great day, but I’m okay. I’m happy overall and able to get out of bed. One week ago, my life changed.

    Today, I’m dealing with the heartbreak of a lost relationship. I’m not sure why it’s hit me so hard in this moment, but it’s hurting. Physical pain doesn’t compete.

    Maybe it’s because I’m doing so well, I want to share it with everyone that’s ever known me, and still, my progress is not enough for people to love me again, but that goes back to worrying about what other people think.

    This brings me full circle to enjoying my win. I’m doing so well. I can’t believe how blessed I am with such an amazing group around me, supporting me, cheering for me.

    Currently, my pain and comfort are the biggest pitfalls of daily life. I want to do everything and go everywhere, but the big bright world wants me to heal. I don’t like taking the heavy meds. I’ve managed to cut the use down to half of what the doctors thought I should be at in a day.

    I know, brain surgery and trying to not use pain meds sounds like a glutton for punishment, but I really don’t like the way they make me feel.

    The dizziness of my life before has eased, making it easier to walk without holding onto anything. The clarity of my world is coming back to me and I can manage a sunny day without sunglasses. I am capable of writing a sentence again. My speech is back to normal and the words are coming more freely.

    My health is getting overall better following brain surgery. I’m healing with the amazement of my family who could see how I was before and love where I’m heading now.

    To get through the emotional turmoil inside, I’m doing my best to find the joy in every day. Surreal how easy it’s become. I can’t even believe what happened over the last few years and how I responded.

    While I’ve continued to reflect on my life, I realized how truly blessed I am and every day is just getting better. People are better. Life is better. My world is better. I pray it continues to grow and make me smile.

    I pray for love, compassion, peace, strength, life, and joy!

  • And I’m Home From Surgery

    💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

  • Watch “Medical Marijuana Its Promise Its Challenge by David Knowlton” on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/xbFrcxDBxFU

    2019 ASAP Conference: Medical Marijuana for Pain Management

    https://youtu.be/yEXRWqf9hT8

  • Watch “Pregnancy with Chiari by Cormac Maher, MD” on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/1BBFvki1bck

  • Watch “Neuroinflammation: The Gut-Brain Axis by Dr. John Oró, MD” on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/h29VidZIkn8

  • Watch “Uncommon & Rare Presentations of the Chiari I Malformation by John Oro, MD” on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/IfrIZxtTuHo

  • Watch “How Does Chiari Affect The Quality Of Your Life? by Gerald Grant, MD, FACS” on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/9rGDitgYjPo

  • Chiari Malformation: Amy’s Story

    Chiari what??? 15 years ago I got that phone call from my doctor and I was so confused as to what he was saying. I couldn’t even pronounce it! Now it’s common lingo in my house, but for those of you that don’t know how to pronounce it, it’s key-r-e.

    So what is chiari? Chiari malformation (kee-AH-ree mal-for-MAY-shun) is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.

    Chiari malformation type I develops as the skull and brain are growing. As a result, signs and symptoms may not occur until late childhood or adulthood. The pediatric forms, Chiari malformation type II and type III, are present at birth (congenital).

    I have chiari type I. Mine didn’t present until I was 30 years old. It was the scariest time of my life and I was certain I was going to die.

    My symptoms started in the summer of ’05 and I went downhill very fast. I had numbness in my hands, legs and face. I couldn’t lift my children who were 4 and 2, let alone a gallon of milk. I would collapse because my legs would be so numb. In fact my husband and I had to teach our son to call 911 in case I passed out or collapsed while he was at work. I also remember my son holding my hair while I vomited in the toilet, the pain in my head was so severe. I spent lots of time in the bathroom. I was so sad for him. I should have been taking care of him, not him taking care of me. I had severe insomnia and slept less than 2 hours a night. I was on several intense drugs and would often be in a zombie state from them, but I needed them for pain.

    […]

    Chiari Malformation

  • Watch “‘Miracle’ med student survives 6 brain surgeries to graduate” on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/yia_KOFZ7-8

  • 7 Days

    I was told to slow down on posting so people could catch up on my blog 😁😇

    I guess I have dropped a lot into the universe in a short time.

    This week I had to stop all medications and supplements for my surgery next week 😬🤕🤢

    I was super specific with my inner crowd. This week has to be about a positive mindset. I know what’s triggering me and to get through the week without pain management is going to be enough for this girl.

    I have been careful with the food I eat, more mindful of my body and it’s needs. I’ve created a modify workout regimen to keep my body active, but considerate of the limitations.

    I apologized in advance for what’s to come and I’ve been working on my communication skills to better share my needs.

    I can’t be afraid to tell someone to back off. I can’t be worried I’ll anger someone because I’m not running on their time table.

    This is where I remind all of us that we must advocate for ourselves when we don’t feel our best interest is in play.

    I can feel a difference in my body the last few days and I know I need to keep my head on straight for next week. I’m doing this to avoid letting this big surgery wiggle its way into doubt land.

    Praying. Mediation. Yoga. And comedy!

    Keep fighting for what you need! Keep trying. Keep moving. Keep your mind in the light!

  • 9 Days

    😬😬😬😬

  • The Things I Will Do

    After I started thinking about Life after surgery, I realized there was so much I wanted to do now more than ever.

    I’m making plans for my second chance and I can’t wait to start living outside of this!

    To my always expanding list:

    • Get on a plane
    • Go to the beach
    • See a movie in a theater
    • Go to the drive-in
    • Learn to sing
    • Sing in public
    • Publish my novels
    • Have successful pregnancies; a baby…or 2…or 3
    • Go to a concert
    • Wear a bikini
    • Have a book signing
    • Dance
    • Smile
    • Laugh
    • Make friends
    • Go overseas
    • Swim in the ocean
    • Watch the sun set in a new place
    • Watch a sunrise in a new place
    • Eat at my favorite restaurants
    • Build and own my forever home
    • Own my dream car
    • Run
    • Love
    • Be loved
    • Buy a motorcycle
    • Ride for the scenery
    • Ride for the music
    • Carpool Karaoke

  • Hello, Fertility Type

    Where have you been all my life? Why aren’t we taught this when we’re younger?

    The TYPES

    DRY:

    Any gender & any age can be Dry Types, though it is particularly common during perimenopause. In women, it’s often the result of low or inconsistent estrogen levels that result in a thinner uterine lining & less cervical fluid. In men, it can lead to premature ejaculation, low semen volumes, & frequent but inconsistent erections. In everyone, it can present as dry skin, thinning hair, restless sleep, hot flashes, night sweats, sweaty palms, anxiousness, or constipation.

    https://www.yinovacenter.com/the-dry-type/

    PALE:

    People who are Pale Types frequently have pale complexions. They are often malnourished, either because they don’t eat enough healthy food or because their digestive system cannot extract nutrients from their food. In some women, it is caused by heavy periods that result in too much blood loss. Lack of nourishment can cause amenorrhea, long cycles, short or light periods, or a thin uterine lining. In men, it can also lead to soft erections, low sperm counts, or low semen volume. In everyone, it is common for Pale Types to suffer from anemia, fatigue, hair loss, blurry vision, or difficulty getting to sleep.

    https://www.yinovacenter.com/the-pale-type/

    STUCK:

    People who are Stuck Types often feel stressed. They can be a bit like a pressure cooker in that energy builds up & can be released unexpectedly, resulting in symptoms such as headaches, irritability, angry outbursts, or flank pain. People with a “nervous” digestive system are often the Stuck Type. It often causes estrogen dominance in women in relation to progesterone, leading to PMS, fibrocystic breasts & painful clotted menses. Over time this can result in anovulation, irregular cycles, periods that stop & start, or even endometriosis, uterine fibroids & polyps, or functional ovarian cysts. In men, it can lead to erectile disfunction or testicular pain, testicular varicoceles, or poor semen morphology. In everyone, it creates muscular tension, which often causes inflammation.

    https://www.yinovacenter.com/the-stuck-type/

    TIRED:

    Tired Types run cold & are often metabolically sluggish. They feel sleepy, are often groggy in the morning & feel cold at night. It’s common for Tired Types to experience weight gain, achy muscles, frequent urination & sensitivity to sugar. Some people with a diagnosis of hypothyroid are also the Tired Type. In women, this Type can experience heavy periods, insulin resistance & low progesterone levels, all of which can affect fertility. In men, this Type can experience weak erections, low sperm counts, or poor sperm motility.

    https://www.yinovacenter.com/the-tired-type/

    WATERLOGGED:

    Many people with PCOS are the Waterlogged Type, though it can affect other people too. The main symptoms in women are irregular or no periods, ovarian cysts (particularly those that look like a string of pearls on a sonogram),and insulin resistance. Waterlogged Types often lack the energy to process fluids leading to swelling, mucus, and poor hormonal transitions. In women, this can lead to excessive vaginal discharge and elevated androgens, which in turn cause abnormal hair growth or skin breakouts. In men, poor fluid metabolism can lower the sperm count or cause poor sperm motility. In everyone, this Type can experience a greasy tongue coat, sinus problems, weight gain,  loose stools, painful joints, or aching limbs.

    https://www.yinovacenter.com/the-waterlogged-type/

    So what type are you?

    Information provided by: https://www.yinovacenter.com/fertilitytypes/

  • Still Need the Daily Reminder
    August 13, 2015
  • love.

    everyone defines

    love

    a bit differently

    but what is love

    really?

    a warm feeling

    in your chest

    the urge

    to be with someone

    for the rest of your life

    putting someone first

    before all else

    even yourself

    is that what love is?

    i believe

    our society

    has twisted the word

    to make it into something […]

    love.

    👆🏽THIS👆🏽

    YES👏🏾YES👏🏾YES👏🏾YES

  • Last Big Hurdle

    I would like to say my last big hurdle was getting insurance to approve the surgery, but I find my heart and mind are my biggest hurdle before I’m ready for the surgery.

    I have worked hard on myself for quite some time now. June, I could really see myself waking up from the beaten mindset.

    Today, I find that I’ve got less to put my focus on since I got everything I need to get for the doctors except those pesky COVID tests they require before I go into the hospital.

    Now, it’s the little things; heating pad for recovery, a bag packed for the stay in the hospital, the supplies needed will I’m there, etc.

    Outside of those things, I have to work on my heart. I’ve found myself praying more and more every day. I like to pray. I’m still getting a grasp on praying again since it’s been so long, but it’s giving me a place to still help others while I’m working on myself.

    I know I have to have a strong mindset when I go into surgery. I know myself too well. I can really step in the invisible dog poop if I’m not careful.

    I think we all live with fear, even as strong as we may seem. Some things are just so much bigger than us, we can’t see past it.

    It’s not a weakness, and it’s not concentrating on the negative, but it is something that can mess up a surgery in no time flat.

    I know this surgery is going improve my life more than I even realize. I know I can handle the recovery because I have not only myself, but amazing people around me cheering me on. AND I know that I have something far bigger than any of us keeping me going.

    And yet today, fear of what’s to come has take over my head.

    But is it fear?

    Or is it anticipation?

    Someone told me that I can start living again after this surgery, and I can get my mind right, and soar.

    I’m working on that mindset as I have for some time now, I told them.

    We have to get our mind right first. We have to go in to a scary ass situation with a strong hope, a strong belief, a positive attitude, and a supportive tribe.

    Today, I let the line blur between fear and anticipation.

    But I’m not going to let that stop me.

    And you shouldn’t either.

    Don’t ever let one misstep stop you!

  • Today and Tomorrow
    Social Media Post: August 11, 2018

    Life has thrown me some curveballs this past year, even more the last few months: the most difficult within the last two weeks.

    If life has dealt you a messy hand, remember it’s only one hand.

    #thebiggerpicture

    #leostrength

    August 11, 2018
  • A Moment of Reflection
    August 10, 2021

    I gave myself a moment outside.

    Storms welcomed me into this day and as I sat on this bench, the clouds began to part.

    Today, I am another year older.

    I didn’t expect to be sitting here, in this place today.

    It’s only fitting that I find myself watching the quiet cemetery as I reflect on my life since my last birthday.

    So much has changed.

    I have changed.

    In the last few months, I have changed the most.

    And I’m not finished yet!

    Today, the breeze and the parting clouds comfort me. The breeze carries away my worries and the parting clouds show me that there is light coming my way.

    I can feel the calm fighting to overrun the tension and ache I’ve been feeling deep inside.

    It’s going to be okay.

    It’s all going to be okay!

  • Another Day Older

    And getting mentally back to where I was before the derailment!

    If you need a little positivity in your day…

    https://youtu.be/IzCpyiabtME

    DON’T GIVE UP

    DON’T GIVE UP

    DON’T GIVE UP

    I GOT STAMINA!

  • 16 Days

    https://youtu.be/sQTnREEtuNk

  • No Time To Die

    https://youtu.be/s-ltmarIBP8

    #hakunamatata

    August 8, 2018
  • Trust Your Inner Strength
    August 5, 2018

    This popped up on my memories feed. I was going through a miscarriage at the time, so soon after we told our families.

    I have not had the pleasure of welcoming a little one into this world made of my own flesh.

    For many years, I said I didn’t want to have a child.

    And then love happened.

    And then heartbreak.

    I lost every pregnancy I’ve ever experienced.

    Without the support I needed, I reeled after the last lost. I questioned my own body and wondered if I was woman enough to carry one of my own.

    For a large chunk of my childhood, I fit in with the boys. I played football. I threw shot put and discos for track. I was referred to as a tomboy hating everything about dresses and makeup.

    Tomboys don’t have kids…right?

    I got clearance for my surgery this week!! We reviewed my tests and everything looked good. My bloodwork was significantly different in some areas, but it was a good thing.

    Losing weight and looking like I’ve lost weight has been a huge boost in my confidence that I’m doing something right when so often I’m told I’m not.

    Being in an environment without judgement has been amazing for my spirit. I’m not babied or ignored, I’m supported and the strength of these amazing people have made me more excited for the future.

    There is an understanding that the person I’ve been isn’t the person I was or want to be. They understand my struggle because they want to understand. They help where they can and allow me to rest when I need it. They know I can only do what I can and pushing too hard has proven to not only aggravate my condition, but cause a significant decline.

    My tribe is so determined for me and their positivity that my situation will get so much better after surgery has created a new strength in me.

    It’s surreal to see how different people handle my situation. I feel accepted and the heavy feeling of being a burden on anyone is lifting slowly.

    The right people in your corner can make all the difference in the world for someone who can’t trust their own body, but that trust is coming back. My body has handled loss and function and it’s still holding on.

    If I’ve learned anything in recent months, it’s the amount of strength I truly have inside of me. I brought myself out of a hole and still pushing through the new stress that threatens to ruin my #betteroutcome mentality.

    My views and desires are no longer suppressed. The kind of life I want to live is attainable.

    More now than ever, I feel like I’m becoming the woman I’ve wanted to be; That woman that could guide little lives in this world.

    Family has always been so important to me, but I was made to feel like I couldn’t be a good mom.

    Fuck that!

    I’m getting a second chance at life and I’m not going to waste it. Being a mom has come to the forefront and it’s holding my heart with both hands.

    A new sense of compassion and understanding has blossomed from this. I have so much love to give, I’m ready for someone to accept it and me with the same focus for a better future, a better outcome.

    We can’t hide or run from the things that are meant to make us stronger. We can’t just ignore the hard stuff because we don’t feel like dealing. We can’t crawl into another’s bed to escape the world.

    Fight for the better outcome with self discovery. Find yourself, work on yourself, and be ready when your whole world lights up.

    Listen to your soul as you search for your strength. It will open not only doors and windows, but the whole world to you.

    Hear it and keep moving towards that life you want!

    Fuel Your Wellness with some soul searching!

  • Medical Clearance for Chiari Decompression Surgery

    WOOT WOOT!

    I have been cleared for my surgery!

    AND…

    In just two short weeks, I have lost 6 pounds. I was told I am noticeably slimmer!

    The doctor is so hopeful for my surgery. I am too!

    I haven’t felt so much hope in my bones before.

    As my symptoms worsen into a burning and sensitive type pain, I’m finding myself needing more and more rest.

    More than ever, I am learning to listen to my body and what it needs.

    And the good ‘ole doc said to use this time to not overdo it and rest when I need to, but make sure I move to avoid the added aches and pains.

    So much weight lifted off my shoulders when the doctor was issuing the clearance. To know I only have one more hurdle to jump through before the surgery…It’s all surreal.

    Having supportive people in my corner, cheering for me at every turn, has made a huge difference in my mindset for this surgery.

    There is a bigger plan in the works for me. I can't see it, but there is hope around every corner!
  • Something to Think About

    I let myself overdo it yesterday and today I’m feeling it more. I wanted to outdo myself. I wanted to show myself I was still making progress.

    It’s amazing how much I got done and by late afternoon, I was struggling physically which put a damper on my my mental and emotional health.

    Time and time again, I’m reminded that my effort was measured by someone else’s expectations. I figured if I could push myself hard enough, I could be the person I’m expected to be.

    Nevermind that mind fuck.

    Today, I’ve been reflecting on my accomplishments in recent weeks. I keep reminding myself that I am enough and all I can do is as much as I can do.

    An amazingly kind woman gifted a book of quotes she handwrote for someone I know. It was given to me to help me through my battles. I found certain quotes stood out to me more than others in this moment of reflection.

    Here’s just a few of those quotes:

    Stop hating yourself for everything you aren't. Start loving yourself for everything you are!

    In life, it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong.

    Some people come in your life as blessings, others come in your life as lessons.

    Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.

    The only way to win with a toxic person is to not play. Leave their playground.

    You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.

    Don’t let anyone treat you like free salsa. You are cheese dip, baby! You are cheese dip!

    It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.

    A person becomes ten times attractive not by their looks, but by their acts of kindness, love, respect, honesty, and the loyalty they show.

    It’s never about the size of your circle, it’s about the loyalty that’s in it.

    Without rain nothing grows. Learn to embrace the storms.

    Little by little, day by day, what is meant for you will find its way.

    We can't always choose the music life plays us, but we can choose how we dance to it.
  • Finding Peace

    I tried vestibular therapy several months ago.

    I found myself feeling worse and less hopeful

    My health quickly declined after that.

    And then my life changed.

    I searched for something to help me, anything. I used fear as my drive and still what I feared happened.

    And it’s happening.

    Harshly.

    Viciously and almost out of spite.

    People change…or do they become more like themselves when faced with hardship?

    But…

    Seeing the strength that comes from the right people only makes us want to be stronger.

    Stress worsens any condition.

    Learning the true colors of those around us can take hold of us as individuals. We forget all the good.

    I’ve even wondered if there is a hope in people that I don’t make it. And while that may seem like the most negative thing a person can say, it feels closer to the truth than anything else I’ve tried to see.

    Trying to find peace before my surgery hasn’t been easy.

    If you’ve ever dealt with an illness or condition of any kind, you may have experienced people leaving at the worse possible times.

    You can understand the feeling of trying to give the benefit of the doubt and then they show you their ass and you can’t help but wonder.

    I’m trying to find peace before my surgery.

    I’m trying to find my hope again.

    I’m trying to rewrite my plans for an amazing future after a successful surgery.

    In my defeated moments, I have realized there are still people in my corner. There are still people fighting next to me and with me.

    My faith has been squashed and squished in many ways over the years. It is faith that has brought me the very strong women to my corner.

    Healed Mind

    Healed Body

    Healed Heart

    These are the words I found myself repeating yesterday and it’s been circling me today. In repeat, I’ve found these words to be comforting and pulling me into a better mindset.

    Prayer in the right form can be life altering. The love in these prayers from the amazing women in my life has been a different kind of healing.

    So much strength all around me has only made me stronger. The right support makes all the difference!

    I will not be defeated.
  • My Chiari and How Life Works
    Example

    The Facts

    I have a 11mm herniation of my tonsils.

    Those little buggers wrap around my brain stem and spine and squeeze. This is called lateral medullary compression.

    My CS flow looks normal to the naked eye. My surgeon noted part of my brain pushing against the skull and that stops the flow in a higher area than most.

    Based on my symptoms being debilitating, worsening over the months without relief from various attempts to do so, decompression surgery was recommended.

    Those suffering from a similar situation, I understand you more than you know.

    Please remember, you are not alone. There are people who can help. I found myself feeling less alone by browsing the Reddit subs and searching on sites like YouTube.

    It seems so cut and dry to people who aren’t experiencing our pain. They think it’s common and straightforward.

    It’s not their fault. It’s a condition so many are still unfamiliar with including doctors.

    But remember to give anyone props for trying to learn more about your situation.

    And keep those who support you close. We have to find strength wherever we can.

    Find strength in yourself and keep fighting for relief.

  • They Stop Clapping For the Wins

    I’ve been told I concentrate on the negative too much.

    But in the next breath, I’m measured by everything I’m not doing.

    Digging myself out of a dark hole and making progress on my mental and physical health isn’t how they’ll tell my story.

    It’s how much I couldn’t do that people lingered on.

    It’s how much I wasn’t doing that matters most to other people.

    Jesus, take the wheel.

    I don’t know what world I’m walking through anymore.

    If we continue to concentrate on all the things we aren’t doing, we will never see all that good coming our way.

    Ashley Parker

    In recent days, I’ve found myself blaming my condition for all it’s done to me and my family.

    How often we let ourselves down by not seeing all that we’ve accomplished.

    How dare anyone see only flaws and ignore all the beauty coming from our situation.

    Know your worth, people. We are strong individuals. Don’t let someone put a label on you that you don’t want.

    That’s their business.

    I’m still fighting for my health, damn it.

    Anyone who can’t see progress is missing out.

    Let them live in their negativity.

    Keep striving. Keep fighting. Keep those who lift us up close and let go of those who want to tear us down.

  • The Testing Begins
    I swear, I do not have gray hair 🤣

    Today started the preliminary testing for my decompressiom surgery as required by my surgeon.

    I’m already cycling through my bloodwork because the diagnostic center in my area is awesome and already posted it.

    Waiting for more results from the other tests. I’m trying to be patient.

    The doctor has to review everything and let me know what’s what.

    Come on good vibes!!

  • I Didn’t Want to Have the Surgery

    I told the doctor I’d let her know.

    I really didn’t want to think about brain surgery.

    The fear was strong, but saying it outloud meant I was concentrating on the negative 🙄 which only made it harder to have an open discussion with myself and others.

    Even as I’ve been working towards a healthier weight, I almost hoped it would solve all my problems and the surgery could be axed.

    Because obviously everything can be solved by eating better and losing weight 🤨 I’m still waiting on the improvement of my dizziness and vertigo.

    Obviously, I’m still struggling. Stress and broken hearts will make things worse.

    But I reluctantly scheduled the surgery feeling as though I had no choice. Fear taking over. I feared loss over brain surgery.

    I became hopeful in my work towards a healthier me. I have a support team – the doctor told me that having a support system in place would help in the recovery.

    I’ve really questioned having the surgery in the last week.

    When you’re going through the ringer, you wonder if you’re stable enough to make it through the surgery.

    I’m still wondering if I should have the surgery.

    The reasons I scheduled the surgery are gone.

    Finding new reasons isn’t the hard part.

    Accepting that the reasons before are gone is the hard part.

    That beautiful life you expected after surgery isn’t there anymore.

    Even worse, you can’t see past the surgery now.

    I didn’t want to have the surgery.

    23 days.

    Here’s to seeing past the surgery.

  • When They Say They Don’t Care

    You should believe them.

    There is a shit feeling when you hear the words. It doesn’t matter who said it, just that they said it.

    They don’t care about you.

    They don’t care that you gave up.

    They don’t care about what you’re going through.

    They don’t care to lift you up.

    You can see the signs before the words are said.

    They don’t read about your condition.

    They don’t bother trying to understand what you need.

    They push you to do more not caring that you can’t.

    They see your struggle and still expect you to be as capable as them.

    It’s a life-threatening loss when you hear those words from people you love.

    You find yourself circling a drain and wonder if they are counting on you to lose the battle.

    You question your existence and wonder if all that you’ve done came down to money.

    Where do we go from here?

    How do we move past hearing that someone doesn’t care?

    How do we move past knowing they didn’t see your fight – They chose to only see your struggle?

    Is it as easy as giving up on them as they have on us?

  • Can Anyone Relate?
  • End Each Day With Forgiveness

    Sometimes we forget to end the day with forgiveness.

    We hold onto far too many things.

    Our sleep can suffer, our morning can suffer, or one day it all pours down on us.

    Happiness cannot be put on the back burner for another day.

    – begins and ends with your heart –

    #choosehappiness #forgiveoften #forgivenessisforyourstateofmine

    Original Post August 1, 2018

    Ashley Parker
  • Self Betrayal Can Go Fly A Kite

    If every person was born with a seed planted deeply in their heart, how many people would tend to that seed, nurture it, and let it bloom? What if the seed began growing into a palm tree but the person saw that everyone else was developing pine trees? Would they hide the palm tree to fit in? Would they go so far as to kill it?

    Psychology Today

    Psychology Today Goes On to State

    That’s what self-betrayal is all about. In its worst form, it’s a kind of suicide. People generally fear the disapproval of others—society, family, a first crush, bullies, or just plain fear being different and alone, so they squash their heart’s seed (aka, one’s first instinct, dream, intuition, God’s whisper, soul).

    But the seed is not so easy to silence, so multiple forms of escapisms often take hold in order to squelch it—working harder to acquire money and possessions, sex, love, food, alcohol, drugs, constant relocating and starting over, and/or isolating.

    Abraham Maslow describes it as the same phenomenon from his hierarchy of needs pyramid model. He purports that people will respond to life based on where they are in the hierarchy.

    The bottom of the pyramid includes basic human needs—food, water, shelter, clothing. One step up is safety. Then comes love, community, and a sense of belonging. Above that is self-esteem. The top of the pyramid represents self-actualization — that creative awe state where you are most congruent with your inner “true” self. You really don’t care what other people think. The seed from the heart is in full bloom.

    Interestingly, Maslow describes that some people live out of a deficiency of needs while others live fully from a complete inner being. It’s almost as if the lack of attention to living one’s heart truth forces one to get stuck at the bottom of the pyramid and over-focus on base-level needs. Think about what makes up conspicuous consumption—fancier base-level needs. (These aren’t necessarily bad—only if they’re at the expense of true inner self-growth).

    Living from a deficiency of needs (or self-betrayal) results in over-compensating in the material base level needs and spurs additional bad habits and addictions.

    Treating the bad habit or addiction is just treating the symptom. The real work is on eliminating the first major self-betrayal and cultivating one’s heart seed.

    To assess if you might be living out of any deficiency needs, try asking yourself the following questions:

    Deficiency Myth #1: I must make X amount of money in order to be a success.

    Question to ask yourself: Did you give up on a very different inner dream in order to prove that you’re not a failure or lower class in the eyes of your peers?

    Deficiency Myth #2: I must look like XYZ image in order for people to like, love and/or be attracted to me.

    Question to ask yourself: Do you like your inner self or are you secretly ashamed and trying to hide the inner you?

    Deficiency Myth #3: I try to be objective and rationale about every decision, so I ignore my feelings and instincts.

    Question to ask yourself: Do your instincts still reveal themselves when you are making a decision or are have you completely shut them off?

    Introspection works because it allows you to get in touch with your heart truth and live from your inner being, which means your heart seed gets watered, nourished, and is allowed into the sunlight of day so it can fully bloom.

    If a self-betrayal has resulted in stunted growth, people don’t usually don’t realize it without a severe wake-up call—like a brush with death, loss of career and reputation, extreme difficulties with their children, and/or addiction. So, while these wake-up calls may appear as disastrous, they can actually represent the biggest life-saving blessing.

    If any of this resonates with you, try giving yourself at least 10 minutes every day to write whatever comes to your heart (even if it sounds like rubbish and is incoherent). Start paying attention to how many times you do or say things based on what someone else might think of you. Pay extra attention if you catch yourself being so hyper-aware that you are constantly anticipating what others will say or do.

    Then practice, practice, practice giving voice to your heart’s truth. Most important, love whatever blooms. Don’t abandon it. It’s you.

    Psychology Today

    Check out the article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/counseling-keys/201505/break-the-self-betrayal-habit

    A Little Visual Break Down From The Holistic Psychologist

    Check out: http://yourholisticpsychologist.com/ for more.

  • Be Unapologetic For Being You

    As long you’re being yourself.

    Be the unexpected.
  • When You Can’t Work

    Holy poopsicle. This year seems like a big fat dream.

    I haven’t been able to work for nearly a year.

    I can’t drive, so I sold my car to cover expenses. There isn’t much I can’t do without a little extra help right now.

    Mentally, I miss being able to work. Even through all the pain, I miss being able to function.

    I was a general manager. I could fix heavy machinery and if I physically couldn’t do it, I could tell you how.

    At some point, I used my health as my job. Concentrating on getting a little healthier before the surgery to have a better outcome gave me drive.

    I hoped my progress could be seen. Especially being so broken for so long, I wanted to show off the strength I had mustered up.

    I had pride in the work I was doing. I was controlling what I ate, I was feeling a little better mentally even through the struggle of pain and exhaustion.

    I started building stamina and that wrapped into doing more around the house.

    It was coming back in pieces. My strength, my mental health, my ability to put more of myself into my work was coming along.

    Not having work has been a battle. I know more often we complain about work. I did. Every day. I was unhappy with how much I didn’t feel good. And every day I wanted to skip out.

    It didn’t help that all the effort and passion that went into my job was met with people thinking it wasn’t an important job.

    All the sacrifices we make for work and then to feel like we’ve been putting effort into the wrong thing for too long can be a gut punch.

    I suppose this year has taught me another lesson, Love What You Do.

    Working should be easier. With all the talents we have as individuals, we can surround our work with a better attitude if we were doing what we loved.

    It’s not always perfect. It can be messy sometimes.

    I have no doubt someone will try to burst our bubble no matter what effort we’ve put into our work.

    Honestly, anything I’ve wanted to do or tried to do hasn’t always been met with enthusiasm.

    I suppose that’s what gives us an excuse not to keep moving forward.

    Then the realization comes that we’re looking to the wrong people to lift us up.

    So work – let’s dance. Let’s see what we can do with our talents and work towards a better atmosphere in whatever we do. Make peace with the jobs we have or find the work that makes us happy.

    Either way, find the happiness in what we do, so we can do what we love.

  • Lifting Ourselves Up
    Tantalizing!

    The struggle is real every day for anyone who feels down.

    But even as we feel better, we have to keep lifting ourselves up.

    Never stop working on your happiness, even when you think you’re fine.

    That shit catches up to you if you aren’t keeping yourself lifted.

FuelMyWellness