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How I keep from feeling overwhelmed – The Morning Pages

11 Apr


“Be willing to be a beginner.  Good things will happen.” – Julia Cameron

New Project 1

People often say to me, “You’re so laid back,  you’re so easy-going,” to which I nod my head and smile. But the truth is – I’m not.  Well let me rephrase that.  I am those things. But the real truth is, I have to work at it.  I have had days and weeks where I become overwhelmed with the things I have to do or think about, have trouble sleeping and become irritable and grumpy and I shut down. Projects I want to do, things I HAVE to do and all of the steps that go in hand with those projects can make me anxious.  The mind is a crazy thing that will just run rampant with anything you feed it!  I usually try to organize myself very well so I don’t get overwhelmed and that’s been a huge help.  But last year, I discovered a tool from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way to really work with anxious thoughts.  That tool is the Morning pages which I talk about in the video below.  The morning pages is a daily exercise that allows you to get all of those thoughts out of your head and into paper so they no longer bog down your brain and you are free to STOP THINKING ABOUT THEM.  I found for myself that doing this exercise daily (for weeks!) lent me relief and I actually had better days because of it.

How do you begin doing the morning pages yourself?  The steps are:

1 – Get a notebook or looseleaf paper.

2 – Write 3 pages every day, in long hand (print is fine).  3 pages = front of a page, back of the same page and front of one other page.

3 – Don’t think.  Just write.  Anything that comes to mind.  No really.  Anything.

This is not Shakespeare, this is not a writing sample for your job search, this isn’t even Dear Diary.  It’s a literal brain dump.  Complain.  Curse.  Be disgruntled and ugly and as mean as you want to be.  If you can’t think of anything write, “I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write” until something comes to mind.  You may be surprised at what you want to gripe about!

This is a tool that I am so glad to have in my bag because when I use it, my day literally has more time in it and I feel clear-headed.  Watch the video to learn more about how it helped me learn how to deal with – well, myself!  Maybe it will be a help to you too.

Thanks for watching and talk to you soon!

-Patricia

“There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages.” – Julia Cameron

New Project 2

Me laughing at while looking back at an illegible, manic-looking entry.

A sneak peek at my weekly eats

24 Feb

Stocked up for salads, green juice, and veggie patties. Yum!

20130224-221546.jpg

World’s worst patient tries magic, sinus draining tea!

9 Feb

Yes, that’s me.  The world’s worst patient.  But I have a reason for it.  Are you ready for this one?

Photo on 2-9-13 at 11.38 AM

World’s worst patient reporting!

I just hate being sick!

I truly do.  I have so many ideas to get on paper and options to explore and things going on (not to mention the responsibilities of my 9-5 job), that being sick does not do me any good.  It sets me back, it makes me stop and hey – I don’t want to stop!  There is NO TIME to STOP!

So disappointed was I on Thursday afternoon when I announced my impending illness at my 9-5.  I left the office and made it to Rite Aide to pick up my Rx before coming home to my bed.  I slipped under the covers and….began working.  “Well since I’m in bed I can catch up on some of my health reading and catch up with my studies at Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  And I can watch that vlog on how to build your business…”  I think I fell asleep at 12:30 that night, my body limp with sinused fatigue.  The next day I woke up, writhing in fevered agony and quoting Sally J. Friedman, “I’m not LONGED for in this world…”  But since I could still open my eyes, I pulled my computer into my bed and picked up where I left off.  As I shivered under the covers, I watched and read and grew more and more tired.

"Resting"

“Resting”

Finally at 2:30 pm…I gave up.  I pushed off the covers and ceremoniously dumped my computer on my desk in the other room.  I put the books away, drew the blinds and went to sleep.  I rested.  I snoozed with relief, knowing that this was the right thing for me to do and sneezily happy that I finally gave in to what was best for me.  I did what I should have done at the beginning of the week when I knew I was getting sick.

Does this story sound familiar?

Even during this season of sick, when many people are catching bad colds, sinus infections and flus, we are still not letting ourself accept that sometimes, our bodies will get sick.  We think resting is unacceptable and somehow puts us in a category of “weak.”  We “feel bad” (figuratively) that we can’t continue as if all is well.  As if it’s more socially acceptable to run ourselves into the ground until we are knocked out and of no use to anybody.  As if going into work settings and public places to infect the masses is the “strong” thing to do.

So please.  If this is the direction you tend to lean in try this:  let yourself off the hook!  Be nicer to yourself!  I can tell you now, you are not a weakling to stop and take care of yourself.  If you think you are, you are most likely the only one who thinks so.  You are simply one of many people who’s bodies are needing time to heal. Listen to your body.  It’s ability to keep breathing, blinking, pumping blood through our veins, and performing mitosis without us doing a thing lets us know that it is waaaaaay smarter and efficient than we give it credit for.  So give it what it asks for, when it asks for it.  It is trying to do you a favor.

The good news?  During my reluctant illness I discovered an awesome tea, courtesy of Institute of Integrative Nutrition, that will assist to relieve the symptoms of your cold.  Specifically, it will relieve sinus pressure and warm you up through your chills.  Take care, take rest and drink up!

The magic ingredients.

The magic ingredients.

  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • dash of cayenne pepper.

Grate the ginger root and deposit the shavings at the bottom of your cup.  Boil water and pour into the waiting cup.  Add apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, raw honey and cayenne pepper.  Drink liberally!  And feel better soon!

Xo,

Patricia

Deodorant Alternative: Lemon Slices

3 Sep

Happy Labor Day everyone!

I’m back with more options for you and your lemons! In this 5 minute video I talk a little bit about how my search for a good anti-perpirant brought me to a previously discarded idea of using lemon-slices.  I like this option because it allows me to A) use the most natural option I know of to keep myself feeling clean.  B) keeps the armpit dry in a way that the store brand deodorants don’t do and C) it not an antiperspirant so your body is still able to sweat as needed – very important! I’ve found that the moisture and chemicals from a store brand deodorant can get the armpit too um damp, causing inflammation, itchiness and redness.  Not cute.  Watch the video, try the option and let me know how it works for you by leaving comments below!  Thanks!