5 Accomplishments This Past Week

You did many awesome things this past week! The thing is, it’s so much easier to forget the “good” moments because when your aligned and in-sync, it feels great, and it’s easily lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. It’s good practice to take the time out and remember at least five moments each week which makes you proud of yourself!

My five accomplishments for the week of 1/28/18-2/3/18:

1. I stuck up for myself, and did not give in to a “people pleasing” situation.

At work we have meetings where I normally am the note-taker. Lately, the meetings have been more focused on hiring a new Director, which does not require note-taking. So for a meeting that was 20-minutes of note-taking, and 3 hours of interviews, I asked my boss if I could sit out.

At first my boss was worried about who would take the notes, I then offered her my voice recorder, and she agreed. However, the next day, she still tried to get me to go, by saying, “Oh we can walk over together.” I just replied, “Another person offered to take the paperwork for me, so it’s not necessary.”

It worked out perfectly and my boss was happy with the way the meeting went, even without me there. Had it been me five years ago, I would have totally said, “okay” and attended a meeting I didn’t have to, just to please her.

2. I was able to set and keep my boundaries when it came to the amount of time/money I was going to spend when my family came to visit.

The me before would spend every day with my family when they were in town, at times to the detriment of my health and responsibilities. Although it’s all in fun, I am no longer able to give that much of myself, even for family. Before they came, I communicated with them that I could only spend time with them a couple of days during their stay. When normally they would give me the “guilt trip,” they were totally understanding!

3. I handled an anxiety episode much better than I would have before.

My relatives came into town last week, and the original plan was to have dinner, just the four of us. But at the last-minute the relative invited two more people! I immediately began to freak out, but started to take a deep breath, and “talk my self out of it.”

I was able to make it through most of the dinner okay, there were a couple of times I felt myself start to get anxious, but I just excused myself and went to the bathroom to recuperate, and came back to the table. Overall, it did not go exactly the way I would have hoped, but that’s okay!

And that’s the bonus, that I was able to tell myself, and accept the fact that although it did not go exactly the way I planned, it’s okay, and I was okay with that!

4. I had a huge fight with my husband, but I was able to appreciate it, instead of wallow and not forgive.

We haven’t had an intense fight like this in ages. You know the kind where you slam the door, and yell at the top of your lungs? Yup, that’s the kind of fight I had this past week.

However, the difference between this fight and the previous intense fights we previously had, was that I was able to disregard my husband’s a$$-itis, by pausing and remembering the stresses he was going through in his life — his Dad’s recovery from a heart attack, new jobs, and even school.

I was able to give him the benefit of the doubt, that he wasn’t always nasty, just going through a hard time himself, and that I could let whatever hurtful things he said go. (Well not immediately, but pretty much faster than the many times before). Plus, I got the benefits of him trying to make up for it for at least a week afterwards. (Score!)

5. I finally heard my psychologist when he said for the millionth time, to “just accept myself exactly the way I am.”

As I mentioned before, I have had a chronic medical condition for about three years and I’ve tried everything to get better, but it’s still apart of my life. Many people, including my doctor have said to just accept it, and it has been a life challenge to say the least.

Through tears, it wasn’t until the appointment Tuesday, that I finally got the message, that I will probably keep having this ailment, until I fully accept it and myself with it, and then it will go away. My doctor pointed out that, “I’ve already done all this work, did the different types of treatment, yet I still have it.” The only thing that’s been constant is my nonacceptance of it.

So this past week, no matter how much I tried to push it away, I finally understood that I must accept it, and myself, exactly the way I am. And if I have mishaps, or steps back, it’s okay, as long as I still keep taking the step forward in realizing, “I am just as important as everyone else, and I am indifferent to good or bad opinions.”

The best way to be indifferent? Be mindful and present, sense everything, and everything else will just fade away…

What is your five accomplishments?

Mahalo and Aloha!

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My husband’s the best…

I’ve been having a hard week. After the “missile scare” a few weeks ago, I’ll admit it’s just a “first world problem,” but I live in a “first world” so it’s hard to shake. Thoughts just keep coming up, over and over again, bombarding me and I can’t shut them out. I watch movies, I eat everything in sight, I pace, I try to distract myself in every single way, I even randomly just shout, “F&#$!,” to shock my brain to stop, but once it gets quiet, it just starts all over again. It sometimes feels as if I’m a war criminal, and I’m being tortured, but it’s only mentally, and worse, I’m doing it to myself…

Until I got this text, from my husband out-of-the-blue.

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It reminded me that I’m loved, and I am worth something, more specifically, worth someones’ unconditional love.

I started writing this blog because I needed to be reminded of something good, like my husband’s text. And I’ll admit it helped so much I began to cry. It just so happened my husband walked by, saw my tears, walked to my chair, and motioned me with his hands to stand up. As soon as I stood facing him, with no words, he gave me a big huge hug, and kept saying, “It’s okay babe, it’s okay.” I cried more as he reassured me, that “You have nothing to worry about babe, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll always be here, I love you.”

I thank God/the Universe everyday for him, I don’t know what I did to deserve him. He knows me so well, and is so supportive, and knows exactly what I need without even saying anything. Falling in love is wonderful, but being in love, where you communicate beyond words, where you know each other inside and out, and can solve any problems with just a hug, that’s something that is beyond words…

I always hoped I’d fall in love with someone like him, I’m so happy I did. I hope you fall in love…too.

 

ACUPUNCTURE AND MASSAGE: TOOLS TO OVERCOME ANXIETY

Aloha, no it is not a typo, yes you are correct, it does say “acupuncture and massage are tools to overcome anxiety.” I will admit it is unconventional, but from my experience there are other avenues one can take to be anxiety-free, and it has helped not me just physically, but mentally and spiritually. In the beginning I was really skeptical about trying these out, I have had years of therapy treatments with several different doctors, but I was barely making any improvements. I really only learned how to share my feelings and thoughts aloud to people, versus just holding it in.

My “Western” Treatments

On one occasion while I was telling my old psychiatrist I was going to try a different psychologist, as a last resort to keep me, he suggested that I try a new prescription that was making a miraculous difference in his patients. As you know, I am trying to do this on my own, (no disrespect intended to others that do take prescriptions), but my new doctor believed cognitive behavioral therapy, among other treatments, would improve the quality of my life with GAD, without medication.

Thankfully, treatments with my current psychologist have been very beneficial, by helping me to view my anxiety thoughts in different perspectives. He gives me tools and worksheets, examples, and goals I can use until my next appointment, and to track when I reach an accomplishment. Being a forever student, I often find myself taking notes on my cellphone and then e-mailing them to my husband and myself for future use. After starting with him, my confidence increased and I am able to push through my anxiety when I could not previously. For a few years, treatments were going wonderfully, until it got closer to my wedding day…

My Underlying Sadness

I began to feel anxious and sad even after my appointments with my doctor, and it wasn’t really anything in particular that I could pinpoint. My relationship with my fiance was great, I mean we had the typical wedding arguments about the amount of guests, the budget, but I knew it was not him, nor my crazy family and friends, or any other typical wedding drama. It was something different, I woke up with the sadness and went to bed with the sadness, and I would constantly feel like crying throughout the day, always at the brink of tears. It was extremely weird, I wasn’t particularly sad or depressed about anything in general, no suicidal thoughts, nothing I could give as the reason, just constant sadness. Appointments with my doctor wasn’t helping the sadness subside, and I knew I needed to find another way to heal myself, but I was uneasy about some suggestions as they were not the type of treatments I was accustomed to as cures for anxiety.

My Hawaii Roots Gave Me an Open Mind

Through a family referral it was suggested that I try a spiritual healer. Now I’m not one that immediately believes in that kind of stuff, but I feel growing up in Hawaii may have made me open to things outside the “typical.” My great-grandfather was the first in my family to come to Hawaii, and being the fourth-generation, my parents and grandparents have taught me to respect the island, the different cultures, as well as their practices and beliefs. For example, everyone takes their shoes off when they enter someones home, or whenever someone throws a party, you know it’s not going to just be chips and dip or cheese and crackers, there’s going to be pupus (appetizers), snacks, entrees, desserts, and all with a side of rice, which is a staple in Hawaii.

The people of Hawaii are also taught to respect the Hawaiian culture, especially its spiritual beliefs and Gods. The most powerful and well known is Madame Pele, the Goddess of Fire, who created the islands of Hawaii through her volcanos. Everyone in Hawaii knows that you must respect her land, and must never take a lava rock or sand from the Big Island of Hawaii as it belongs to her, or you will face years of bad luck until it is rightfully returned. Failed marriages, medical conditions, unemployment, loss of finances, are just some of the misfortunes that have happened. I know you’re having doubts this is true but, there is even a website dedicated to help tourists who are unaware of Madame Pele’s curse, and request assistance in the respectful return of her lava rocks and sand to the Big Island of Hawaii. If you are interested in Madame Pele, I’ll post links to a video and the website at the end of this post for more information. I digressed, but hopefully you have a better idea of why I was open to the alternative treatments, as we are taught from young to be open to others beliefs in general.

My First Massage Experience

Even before my sadness prior to my wedding, a few years before, a family friend who was a masseuse offered to massage me at an awesome price. I was at first trepidatious about someone touching my back as I have eczema (due in part to my GAD), but she was a family friend and I felt comfortable enough with her. The first massage was terrific and I became hooked! She was able to get knots out of places I didn’t even know I had, and I began to feel more relaxed after each session. I started to schedule a massage at least once a month, but it wasn’t until maybe the 5th treatment or so that I realized how powerful a massage could be not just physically, but spiritually.

It was a typical day and I had my normal massage like all the previous other massages. However, when the massage was done and my husband came to pick me up, I felt terrific, but started to feel a lump forming in my throat. For some reason she told me that this session was on her, and I didn’t have to pay. Now I’m known to be a sensitive and emotional person naturally, and at first I thought I was just touched by her kind gesture, but tears just began to roll down my cheeks for no reason at all and I knew it couldn’t be just because I had gotten a free session.

She kindly told me that urge to cry happens sometimes and that crying after the massage was “normal.” She explained that people will store sadness or stress in parts of their bodies that can’t be released because it is somehow stuck, but after a massage people are able to let go of all the tensions known and unknown that they were holding in. I hugged her and went home with my husband and continued to cry “like a baby” for a good half an hour after the session. It was an incredibly weird, but awesome experience. It was the first time ever that I cried for no reason at all, I wasn’t extremely happy or sad, or stressed, but the tears just kept coming.

And I don’t know how to describe how I felt afterwards, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t even know I had been carrying. I felt calm and at peace, and GAD was the last thing on my mind.

My First Acupuncture Experience

As I mentioned earlier, right before my wedding I was feeling a constant sadness and it was recommended that I see a spiritual healer. Through a referral I was given an acupuncturist’s number, and although skeptical I scheduled an appointment anyway. I found out later, that there are acupuncturists that will just stick the needles in you and leave you for a few minutes, and there are others that will stay with you and help you move your energies to assist in healing yourself. Both work, but for me I’ve found the latter to be tremendous in my self healing. It is not advertised for obvious reasons, but after my massage experience, I was ready to get rid of the sadness that was plaguing me for months in any way shape or form.

I met with her and explained my history and my current plague of sadness. Everything was going fine and at some points the needle hurt at first and then began to subside. But once she put the needles in my arms which are called my “heart protector” points, I felt my eyes begin to water, then a tear, another tear, and then a flood of tears began to pour out of me! To the point were I began to sob so much I was starting to hyperventilate from all the crying! And again, I was not sad about anything in general, but as I began to cry a thought popped into my head: “my dad will not be at my wedding.”

I told my acupuncturist about the thought of my father during the treatment, and she mentioned that, that must of been the reason among others, for my sadness as it occurred as the tears where flowing. I mentioned in a previous post my history and how I have not spoken to my dad in years, so even with the wedding, I thought I was fine, that I had accepted it, but apparently my body, spirit, or heart did not agree with my mind.

Like the massage experience, my first acupuncture experience left me feeling exhausted, but refreshed and peaceful. It made the wedding planning with all its stressors a happy affair, and I had the most awesome wedding in the world to my best friend. I just felt a strong feeling of gratitude to my family and friends, and some came up to us after the wedding and said it was the best wedding they ever went to! I don’t think it would have been possible if I didn’t take a chance and to try the acupuncture and massages in addition to my therapy sessions.

Give It A Try

I know that everyones experiences are different, and that acupunture and massage may not work for you the way it has worked for me, but you never know until you try. I’m not able to continue the massages as frequently as I would like, but I continue to get acupuncture treatments once a week and I have found that I am able to speak up more during office meetings, am less anxious meeting new people, and am more willing to take chances and make changes than I have had in the past. I continue to see my psychologist when needed, but I’ve found having many tools, is always better than just having one.

If you ever do decide to try these suggestions, I’d love to hear how they worked for you and your journey with GAD. Please leave me a comment, because it’s always nice to know that I’m not the only one. 🙂

Mahalo!

P.S. Like I promised, if you’re interested in learning more about Madame Pele, here are a few links from the Travel Channel and the Return Lava Rock to Hawaii website:

http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/legends-of/video/pele-the-fire-goddess

***A few years ago I had another blog that only lasted a few months, and solely focused on my generalized anxiety disorder. Since then I’ve learned that my anxiety is actually related to my spiritual journey, which is the focus of this blog. Although I no longer write in the other blog, I felt this particular post on alternative anxiety treatments may be helpful to others. Love and light to you!

It’s okay to say “No”

I’m a “people-pleaser.” Correction, I’m a former “people-pleaser” (I’m speaking it into existence). Ever since I was young, I have always tried to make others happy, to appease their needs or wants, and to not make “waves.” Unfortunately, my body and emotions could no longer keep up with my mind, and about three years ago, it started to affect my health. Nothing too serious or life threatening, but serious enough to where my condition contributed to me losing three jobs in a span of a year. (That’s a story for another day…)

In Denial for Years

As I got older I found no matter how much I tried to please others, in some way, shape or form, I would just self-sabotage myself, and people just ended up thinking I was a “pain in the a$$, anyway.”

For example, I would volunteer for overtime because I was the one without any kids, and I wanted to look good in my bosses eyes. However, because I was so overworked I ended up having a meltdown in front of my boss, which in turn made me exactly the opposite of what I intended.

With friends, even if I was feeling ill, I would put their feelings first by “sucking it up” or “trying to think positive” that I was healthy, and would go to their special events or gatherings. However, because I felt so lousy, I just ended up being bad company and could have potential ruined their whole night, instead of just a small part of it. All because I wanted to “show them I cared.”

With family, even though I was overworked and lacked sleep, I would drop everything for family obligations, to show them they were important, and I was a good daughter and granddaughter. After working overtime on a weekday, I would drive through rush hour traffic for an hour an a half to the country, just to have dinner with my family for a few hours, and drive back to town every week. If family was in town everyday. Mind you, I live in town, literally just five minutes away from my job, and could have easily ate dinner, cleaned up, bathed, and be in my pajamas by the time I came home from the country. In turn, I was so exhausted that I ended up freaking out over something trivial, and lashed out at my sister right before she was leaving to the mainland. That damaged my relationship with her for years, and it is only now starting to get a little better, five years later…

There were numerous instances where I would ignore my inner voice, and do things to please others, but these examples were just some of the main experiences that still make me cringe a little to this day. I think I would have kept living this way, if it wasn’t for something that forced me to “pause and think.”

The Wake-Up Call

It wasn’t until after I turned 30 did my body start making me say, “no” to all the things I said “yes” to for fear of rejection, ridicule, or banishment (I know too much, but sometimes that’s how deep I thought the consequences would be if I did not give in to what people wanted.)

I started to have chronic health issues, like I said before, nothing life-threatening, but enough to stay home from work consistently, start seeing five different doctors, and turn into a “hermit” for a good three years now…

It was as if my body said, “That’s it! If you are not going to take a break for yourself, we are going to MAKE YOU take a break for yourself, and give you a good reason to say “NO” to all those you could not say “NO” to before!”

I call it my “compassion” lesson, because it is definitely helping me to have compassion for myself, as well as others, especially when they don’t understand my health conditions and what I am going through.

Finding “No,” then Finding “Me”

At first, it was incredibly hard to say, “no” even if I had a health reason. I would feel bad and think of all things I missed out on, or how hurt people would be, or how I would look to them, as being a “bad” wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, friend, employee, etc. the list could go on.

But then something happened, by not giving in to others, and spending more time alone, I began to figure out what I enjoyed again, and how I am more than a “label” to myself or others.

I started meditating, doing kung fu, reading more books, hiking, going to the beach, writing this blog, finding the things in my life that made my heart smile. And even better, I started doing these things all by myself. A concept since being married, and having a huge extended family, I had not done in several years. I kid you not, if someone asked me what my hobbies and interests were before my “compassion” lesson, it would have been “sleep,” because saying, “yes” to so many things left little room for anything else, especially time to recharge my batteries.

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White-Rumped Shama, Manoa Vallley, O’ahu, Hawaii, December 25, 2017

Saying “no” gave me my life back, well most of it, and time for my “real” self to emerge, where it wasn’t defined by outside activities or other people, but by what I truly loved, and what made me, me.

Finding a Balance, and Saying “Yes” Again

Now I don’t want you to do what I did, after I started feeling better, I kept the freedom of saying, “no” going, even if I could say “yes.” As someone who also has a general anxiety disorder, it was so easy to just stay in my “shell” and continue to not see the world.

Life is a balance, and I had to work on myself again, this time not on saying “no,” because I had conquered that, it was now on starting to say “yes” again. However, this time, not to everything, but to things I felt in my condition I could handle, or I felt it was important to go to and be apart of.

For example, if it’s an indoor celebration or and event where there will be a lot of people, I politely decline the invitation, and my husband goes as our “representative” for the festivities. Some of my family and friends understand, some don’t, and at times it’s difficult, but I try to put my “big girl panties on,” and tell myself, “this too shall pass.” It’s not forever, and there are other ways I can spend time and interact my loved ones.

I’ve become an avid card writer. In this day in age with the internet and email, there are hardly any cards or postcards being sent out, except during the holidays. I try to mail letters to my loved ones on the lesser-card-giving holidays like Easter or Thanksgiving. Actually, the best time to send a card? Is when you have no reason at all, and it’s “just because.” I’ve found that my relatives and friends feel even more special when they receive a “just because” letter. Give it a try, you’ll definitely get a text or call back of appreciation as soon as they receive it.

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Found these at Target, 8 pack for only $1.00!

My friends and family also know that if it’s an outdoor activity, where it’s easy to get fresh air, I’m more than willing to hang out, and spend some quality time. My best friend and I just took a walk around Diamond Head last week to catch up on life and it was a perfect outing!

Diamond Head, O’ahu, Hawaii

My doctor reminds me that it’s not “all or nothing,” and to make compromises with myself. So even if I’m not feeling good, sometimes I’ll go to a family gathering, but instead of staying all day or all night to help clean afterwards, I will go for just an hour or two, and leave early. That way my family still knows I’m alive, that I care, and that they are still important to me.

It’s Still a Process

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have it all figured out, I have good days and bad, but when I feel down or sorry for myself I try to imagine a situation, and how I would have handled it four years ago, and then I compare it to how I would handle it now. And the difference makes me proud to be a wearer of “big girl panties,” because I know there won’t be unnecessary emotions exploding from my mouth, or justifications of why I can’t attend a gathering. If I am somewhere and I am not feeling well, I speak up for myself, set healthy boundaries, or tell my husband that I will wait outside. I am now able to just simply make a statement for myself, and go on with my life (well most of the time, and that’s good enough for me).

I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be a soap opera, or a tragedy, you just have to listen to yourself, be indifferent to misguided opinions and emotions (even if they’re your own), and remember that “its okay to say, No.”

 

Mahalo and Aloha to my husband for always being understanding in the roller coaster of our life, for teaching me how to speak up for myself, and for still being understanding even when I do, and it’s against what you want at the time. Mahalo for loving me for who I am and for helping me see the “other sides” to life, and that there is always more than one way to get to “Ala Moana.” I love you.

Pause and Think

“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

This is what I woke up to around 8:10 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018, as my Pixel cell phone yelled at me with its emergency alert, breaking my sound sleep. Oddly, my husband who has a Samsung did not receive the alert. We immediately jumped out of bed and began searching for more information.

We then heard car alarms blaring as we guessed our neighbors also received the alert, and were fleeing the area.

As we did not have cable, we immediately called our brother-in-law to check if he received it, he did not, but had turned his notifications from civil defense off on his phone. As a person who normally stays calm in most situations, he said it was probably a false alarm.

My husband and I didn’t want to take his word for it so we immediately began calling our friends. My husband confirmed with his friend that she didn’t receive it, but was at work, and her coworkers did, and it was on the news. At the same time, in my group text I have with my friends, they all confirmed that they received it.

One friend who was at a hospital said they were told it was a false alarm. Another friend who had a client who was a general, said it “can neither be confirmed or denied, and that we should stay in doors away from windows.” Too many varying reports, “which is correct?!”

We then turned to the news on our cells, and it was there that we learned around 8:20 a.m. Representative Tulsi Gabbard finally confirmed that “there is no threat.” However, it wasn’t until around 8:45 a.m. that we finally received the “official” cancellation of the alert from civil defense:

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So, in the amount of time we were trying to figure out if this was “real” or “fake” we would’ve been dead, if it was real…thank God it was not.

Thankfully, if there was a missile, my husband and I live in a concrete building, a studio, with barely any windows, so we were as safe as we could be, and there would really be no sense for us to venture out into Honolulu.

After the powers that be confirmed the missile threat was just a “mistake,” stories began to poor in on how this alert really affected Hawaii. Some ran to stores and it was chaos trying to buy basic things such as water and toilet paper. Some were having “road rage” and speeding on the freeways in panic, endangering others. Some were in their tubs, praying for the best, holding their children, and trying to stop their tears…

My husband and I were in our pajamas in bed. Looking back on it, if it was going to be the time for us to go, at least we were at home, and at least we were together.

But this whole ordeal definitely made us pause and think, we were not ready if anything like this were to happen. My husband likes bug-out bags, but stopped making it once our lives got too hectic last year. So we didn’t have the supplies we needed like food or water. We didn’t have a safety or evacuation plan, or a place we would go to shelter us from any type of disaster, missile attack, hurricane, or otherwise.

It made my family, all of Hawaii, more aware of the potential disasters we may face. It forced us to all talk about what we would all do if this situation ever did arise.

Most of Hawaii is upset with the individual who “pushed the wrong button,” but I’m grateful. This threat made me stop and reassess my life. It made me pause and be thankful for all the blessings that I have – my family, my friends, my experiences, being able to even live in paradise with the love of my life.

As I hugged my husband this morning, I remembered it could have been a lot worse, and that’s something I will always try to remember.

Mahalo and Aloha January 13, 2018, you will always be a memory I reflect fondly on, as you were a reminder of what truly is important, and how blessed I am to still be able to appreciate all of it.

 

Just Breathe…

I recently started seeing a Quantum Touch healer, who introduced a simple breathing exercise – all you do is inhale from your lower part of your lungs/ribs to the point where your tummy expands for four counts, and then exhale for four counts, and watch as your tummy deflates.

The reason? Because, I catch myself holding my breath every single day. Not because I’m swimming, or taking a bath, or walking by a garbage truck to avoid the stink, but because I am simply overly focused on what ever I’m doing at the moment. More often times than not it’s because I am in one of my ruminating episodes and I just forget. I know how can one forget to breathe, but it happens to me all the time. To the point where I have to take labored breathes for at least a couple of minutes afterwards to feel “normal” again.

The breathing exercise sounds easy, and even like common sense, but I can’t tell you how many times throughout the day I forget to do this. My psychologist says it’s because I have anxiety and people who have anxiety tend to take shorter breathes. I’ve tried buying breathing machines that beep to remind you by taking your pulse and body temperature, but I essentially just get lazy and it ends up in my “donation” pile.

So to help me conquer this new years’ resolution, in a more affordable way, I added an alarm on my calendar at work for three times a day to remind myself to breathe. I even wrote affirmations on the same on my mirrors at home. I also tapped this meme right smack dab in the middle of my monitor so there would be no excuses:

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And I posted these serene photos throughout my home and work to inspire me to meditate throughout the day, or when I have a break.

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Manoa Valley, Oahu, Hawaii, December 25, 2017
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Manoa Falls, Oahu, Hawaii, December 25, 2017

I hope this inspires you to do the same, because when you do it right, you get chicken-skin (the good kind), and you feel calm, light, and at peace. It also guides you to be present, and to stop worrying about what ever happened in the past, or what ever you’re affraid may happen in the future. It prompts you to really focus on the here and now and appreciate how lucky you are to even be alive.

So, Mahalo and Aloha to my healer for reminding me to be present and breathe fully, to funny memes, my calendar, and beautiful photos that all help me to remember to inhale and exhale deeply, and to just be, and just breathe…

What do I love?

“What do I love?” It’s a simple question, but one that not many think about on a regular basis. It came to me today while I was meditating and praying right before writing this blog, and I feel it was a reminder from God/Universe to reflect on what brings me joy in my life.

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  1. I love being married to the most wonderful, caring man in the world, who sends me memes of encouragement throughout the day. Like the image above, one of the “gems” I randomly received from my wise hubby.
  2. I love writing this blog, connecting with other people who can relate to what I am going through, and vice versa.
  3. I love the smell of rain, and the calm rustling noises it makes when it lands on earth.
  4. I love being able to feel others joy, happiness, and love, it’s a wonderful “high” that I feel so blessed to share with whoever I receive it from.
  5. I love freshly baked homemade chocolate-chip macadamia nut cookies made by my mom, and how the aroma fills my house with its yummy-goodness!
  6. I love meditating and doing kung-fu because every time I am able to feel peace, calm, and grounding, so much so I feel chicken-skin all over my body.
  7. I love learning new things, especially if it’s a new healing technique that will help me move forward. (Right now it is Quantum Touch, which I will talk about more in another blog.)
  8.  I love watching “Love Actually” every Christmas, or whenever I feel like it, its nostalgic, and reminds me of what’s important – family and friends.
  9. I love how my husband and I have “smoosh-hugs” where we basically climb on top of each other and give the biggest hugs every single day.
  10. I love how my sister, although miles away, we still have a connection, a synchronicity, where we lead the other to something new and exciting for our highest good.
  11. I love the sound of the ocean waves, as they have the power to calm and relax me no matter how I am feeling or how my day went.
  12. I love how when puppies listen to you talk, they lift their ears up and tilt their head, gets me every time.
  13. I love it when you find a connection to someone you just met, and it feels like you have known them all along, and you receive signs that it was meant to be.
  14. I love synchronicities, and how they bring people or experiences into your life that you were thinking about.
  15. I love that I now have a stronger connection with God/the Universe, and now trust that He is there for me, and that everything is working out for my highest good.

Mahalo and Aloha for taking he time to read this blog. It helped me to appreciate the little things in my life and completely changed my mood. What do you love?

Lucky I live in Hawai’i, Lucky to be Me

I was blessed to be born on the island of Hawai’i. Although I now live on the more populated island of O’ahu, there are still so many things to be grateful for when being born in paradise — sunshine pretty much all year round, the ability to see rainbows after morning showers frequently, to the scent of luscious greenery and beautiful flowers only indigenous to Hawai’i!

The best, is being able to go to the beach in winter and get a tan! I did just that on New Years’ Day! This is a picture of Makaha Beach and all the awesome surfers who rung in the New Year with catching some waves.

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Makaha Beach on O’ahu, Hawai’i, January 1, 2018

As I stated in my earlier post, I had a rough first few days of the New Year, feeling “sorry for myself” and in a “funk,” and at the time could not really fathom how lucky I am to live in Hawai’i, to come to the beach whenever I feel like it, to listen to the soothing sound of the ocean, and appreciate its beauty.

From a young age I loved the beach. I unfortunately do not know how to surf (yes, not all Hawaii-people know how). I tried once in Waikiki and ended up running over two people, one of which was a Japanese tourist who cursed at me in Japanese (I’m not too sure, but his swinging fist and furrowed brow seemed to say it all). So, since then, I just enjoy laying on the sand or waddling in the waves.

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Makaha Beach on O’ahu, Hawai’i, January 1, 2018

It wasn’t until recently that I was taught by one of my spiritual healers that the ocean is very healing and cleansing. It was not something I inherently thought or spoke about with my friends or family in-depth, we just knew that after partying and drinking way too much, taking our hung-over butts to the beach the next day to soak in the ocean would always make us feel “normal” again.

And that’s what I did on New Years’ Day. My husband and I drove to one of the furthest parts of the island, Waianae, because it’s not as crowded as the beaches in “town,” and as soon as we got there I soaked, floated and swam in the crisp, blue, refreshing water, with the intention of starting fresh and having a great year.

When you are soaking in the ocean, you can actually feel the misguided energies leave you. There is a peaceful calm that comes over your whole body. You then feel light as a feather, with the warm sun beaming on your face, the rumbling of the ocean in your ears, and the smooth sad on the bottom of your feet.

The ocean helped me immensely, and I had a lovely peaceful evening that night, before returning to work the next day.

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Makaha Beach, O’ahu, Hawaii, January 1, 2018

 

However, like everything in life, there is a balance, some beaches may not be cleansing and beneficial in your spiritual healing. I learned this the hard way when I went to a beach, and ended up feeling worse than before I went into the water. Knowing what is right for yourself, and trusting your intuition is important. At the time I ignored my inner voice that said, “I should not be here,” and stayed because I thought “all oceans were cleansing.” Thankfully, most of the time this is not the case, and I have learned to be present and ask myself first, “is this okay,” before swimming, before doing anything in life (well, most of the time, it’s a resolution of mine).

To be honest, although the ocean for the most part is very healing, it can only do so much, and it is not a sure way to cure everything in ones’ life. Essentially, it is up to the individual, which is why in my case, I was still “out-of-sorts” for the first few days of the New Year, even after my “cleanse” at the beach.

I know I must change my mind-set, because it won’t matter where I live, who I am with, the help that I receive, or the resources that are easily available to me, if I keep thinking the worse, and dwell in “pitty-me” land.

So, here’s to a new year, a new positive-mind set, and gratefulness in all aspects of my life!

Mahalo and Aloha to my hubby for driving over an hour, and for taking me to my “beach day,” to Makaha Beach for helping me to start my New Year off peacefully, to my car for allowing us to go places, to the sun for being shiny and bright, to the makai (ocean) and the mauka (mountains) for letting me appreciate your majestic beauty all while sitting on the sand, and to you for reading this blog and sharing this realization with me.

Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou!

 

Belated New Years

Am I the only one that had a difficult time this new years? Everyone was hopeful, happy, energetic, ready to shed 2017, and move on to 2018. I on the other hand, wanted to be all these things, but the heaviness and sadness seemed to weigh me down, and make it difficult to be “bubbly” and “excited” like the rest of the world.

The sadness did have a purpose though. I was able to receive immense healing sessions through the Full Moon this past week. It brought up some old emotions and memories I previously could not remember, but was able to finally release and let go. But overall, I felt, tired, defeated, sad and listless…

I tried to put on a happy face for my husband, who was so eager and positive with the growth and potential of this new year, but something just seemed to hold me back.

To be honest, if it wasn’t for my husband, everyone including my husband and my psychologist believe I would be fully depressed. Right now, my doctor just diagnoses me with the “blues,” which I guess is a milder form of depression, but it has been chronic and intense at times. Thank goodness for my husband, because he is one of the few people in my life that reminds me how blessed and loved I am on a regular basis. Hence, why most of my blogs are about him. Writing about my husband immediately makes me feel better and gets me “out of my head.”

Although initally it was challenging just to get our of bed in the morning, now that a few days have passed from the new year, I can finallys say, “2018 I am ready for you and all the awesomeness that you will bring!”

Besides my husband, what really inspires me to move forward is a “Morning Meditation” I listen to everyday by Louise Hay:

If I am ever in a “funk,” or wake up feeling ill, I automatically grab my phone and play this audio. Louise Hay recommends that you lay in bed and listen to the audio, but I’ve found because it’s so soothing, I just end of falling right back asleep.

Instead, I turn the “Morning Meditation” on, hug my husband, and crawl out of bed. I then listen to this audio as I continue to get ready. Louise Hay guides the listener through being grateful for everything from the air you breathe, to your appliances, to your home, to airplanes, to the clothes you wear – everything!

It reminds me that although it does not feel like it, I do have a lot to be thankful for, even the plumbing system! As Louise Hay points out in the audio, even “kings and queens” did not have this luxury that we have right now! (We’re pretty special ;)!)

So, mahalo and aloha 2017 for all you did for me, the ups and downs, the neutrals, and 2018 for giving me a “fresh start,” even if it was belated. Mahalo and aloha hubby for being the reason I get out of bed each day, and Louise Hay for helping me to see the “awesomeness” in everything in my life.

To all: Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou – 2018 is our year!

 

Happy Memories

“Remember your happy moments.” In a previous post I mentioned how my “homework” from my session with my psychologist was to focus on my joyful experiences, versus my anxiety ones, and that I should practice this daily.

I also mentioned that my doctor advised that my husband seemed to be very healthy because he always reminiscences about his past. And 99% of the time of his delightful experiences.

For example, every time we pass a river that leads to the ocean, my husband will bring up a fond memory of his mom taking him to catch crabs with a net when he was a child. Or, whenever we drive by the beach where we had our first date, he always brings up how awkward he was, that he remembers what I was wearing, and how we sat near the ocean and talked for hours about life, and who we were.

I told him of the compliment my doctor gave him, and how I wished I was able to reflect on my “happy memories” as easily as he does.

The next day we were cleaning at home, discussing our day, and he randomly started a new topic by asking, “What did you like to do when you were 5-years-old?” I responded that I wasn’t really an “outside” kind of girl. If my mom asked me to go outside, I would grab my markers and coloring books, and color outside on the picnic table. That was what I considered “playing outside.”

That changed as I got older and my neighbors Rachel and Ian moved in next door. They had a huge house with a tire swing and trees to climb, and that’s when I would stay out all day running around, picking flowers, and playing tag. It was wonderful.

My husband then proceeded to ask me about what I liked to do when I was 10-years-old. I first mentioned at that age, it was difficult because that’s when my father became more abusive. My husband gave me a reassuring squeeze, and then had me focus on what made me smile when I was that age.

I replied, “When I was 10 I loved to read John Grisham books.” As a child I lived in the mountains of Oahu, Hawaii in a tiny cottage, with a tin roof, which was surrounded by ti-leaves. It would rain a lot and I loved it. I would lay on my bunk bed, which would put me right in front of my bedroom window, open up my favorite book, while listening to the light rustling of the rain as it hit the tin roof and ti-leaves outside my window. To this day, that sound always reminds me of my home in the mountains, and it calms me instantly.

My husband then asked me about my other favorite memories in 5 year increments, from when I was 15, 20, 25, and then 30-years-old. I continued to relay my favorite childhood and young adult moments to my husband as we scrubbed, folded and mopped all afternoon. I admitted that my favorite “happy memory” was when I was 30-years-old because that’s when I married him. He smiled.

He then asked me what will make me happy when I turn 35. I replied that I will have healed my “compassion” lesson by then, and that I plan to be an awesome healer, by helping others reach their highest good. And hopefully by then, we will be proud parents to our healthy first child.

Next, he turned to me, and had me ask him about his life in the 5 year increments. My husband shared his favorite memories in detail as we finished cleaning the house. The conversation distracted me, in a good way, as it did not feel as if we were cleaning all day, but just for a couple of hours.

It wasn’t until I was alone washing the dishes, did I realize what my husband was doing  — He was helping me with my “homework,” by asking me about my childhood!

Initially I just thought we were having a nice conversation while cleaning the house, but in actuality, he was guiding my healing! And in the best way, without me even knowing what he was doing!

I turned the water off, dried my hands, and went to my husband in the bedroom. He looked up from his phone as I began to ask him, “Honey were you helping…” I started to cry, and told him I knew he was helping me remember my “happy memories.” And by having me talk about the positive memories, it diminished my difficult past and my anxiety. He smiled, hugged me, and said, “I love you honey. You did really good,” which then made me begin to cry more.

You see, early in our relationship I never really appreciated my husband, because I would be so preoccupied with my “worries” and “what-ifs,” I would miss all the wonderful subtle things he would do for me. The anxiety would be so intense I could not breathe, and would literally scream aloud to distract myself from the repetitive anxiety thoughts. However, nowadays I’m blessed with being able to be more present, to where I can appreciate his kindness and patience, and recognize how much he does to help me be the “best me” I can be.

In the process, he created another “happy memory” for me, and another moment that reminds me that “I have a pretty awesome hubby.”

This week will be the first week in months where we have one entire day to ourselves: no work, no family obligations, just the two of us. I’m going to enjoy my husband, from his goofy walk, to his love of 80’s and 90’s theme songs, to his annoying obsession with conspiracy theories, even to the sneaky way he still tries to dig his nose, all of him.

Mahalo and Aloha hubby for being an awesome teacher, a great man, a wonderful soul, and the best partner in this life, and all our other lives. Love you.