Where Have I Been?

Missing In Action

I've been missing in action for 4 1/2 months and I apologize. As many of you know, I had Shingles (Herpes Zoster virus) in February. But unlike most people, when the Shingles were gone, things did NOT return to normal. I was afflicted with the dreaded Postherpetic Neuralgia.

"Postherpetic neuralgia is a debilitating complication of Herpes Zoster...It is not uncommon for the pain of PHN to interfere with sleep and recreational activities and to be associated with clinical depression."

This has been a very difficult time for me. I have had a lot of medical issues in the past year but I always knew they would resolve. The problem with this one is the chronic pain and the fact that there's no real effective treatment nor can anyone say how long it will last - "it lasts six months to years" is what I've been told. If I knew it was going to be six months, I could make it through better. Thinking this might go on for years is a devastating thought. I've had multiple treatments and the only one that seems to be helping is Gabapentin and I'm having to take very high doses (with attendant side effects) to even begin to help.

People don't understand the degree of pain. There's no blood pouring out or broken bones and they just don't know why I haven't gotten over it. That's very hard to accept. That people think I'm a wimp. Maybe I am but.....

So, my days have consisted of simply getting up, going to work, trying to make it through work and coming home and crashing. I have not posted here because I haven't been able to concentrate on anything other than trying to mitigate the pain. I also feel that I should be able to conquer this since I believe so strongly in the power of the  mind. I know my body and my emotions are trying to tell me something. I just have not been able to figure out what that is. And I do not want to be a hypocrite and post here until I can better practice what I preach.

I have started a blog called Living With PostHerpetic Neuralgia which is where I am chronicling this journey. I am trying not to make it whiny.

I will attempt to post here again and get back into some form of routine again.

Thanks for being patient.


Do You Talk To Yourself?

This really is a rhetorical question, of course. Everyone talks to themselves even if they aren't totally aware of it (I think most people are aware though).

The major difference comes in HOW you talk to yourself. This can make or break you. The way in which you talk to yourself shapes your day and how you think about yourself as well as about your surrounding environment (and the people in it).

When we talk about the power of words, most people think of those words that are said out loud. They are very important, of course. But,  more important are those words and phrases we utter to ourselves and especially about ourselves. Often our talk to ourselves occupies the majority of our time - when we're driving, working, at night, running, swimming, doing other workouts, meditating etc. Even when we're supposed to be paying attention to others. Frequently our mind wanders back to thoughts like "how do I look?", "is my hair ok?" "do I have anything horrible stuck in my teeth like you see in those ads?", "why did I bother to come here? I don't fit in? No one likes me?" etc.

Even when you think (or say) something abstract like "that was really stupid", your subconscious thinks you're talking to it and telling it that you are stupid. Have you ever said something like "I can't believe I did that! What an idiot I am?" I know I've thought those things. And I have to work rapidly (assuming I'm attentive enough to notice it) to counter that with "that is not my truth".

What about when we're plagued by worry? What thoughts go through your mind when you engage in the worrisome thoughts? Be careful there - if you don't catch yourself, you'll continue to say the same things over and over again. You know what that leads to - yep - a belief - remember that a belief is just a thought you keep thinking over and over again. You slam it into your subconscious enough times that your brain begins to think it's true.

Try this for a week: Monitor everything you say to yourself. I don't want you to feel you have free will to say anything to others but your job for the next seven days is to really pay attention to those words, phrases, thoughts that swirl around inside your head. Write down the common ones but when you recognize something that is giving you the wrong message, immediately say "That is NOT my truth".

In a week tell me how clear you think your mind is? Is it more clear and happier than today? What changes have happened if any - these may not be external changes (although that is possible too) but there should be some internal changes that you can recognize.

Let us know - put your responses in the comment box below and tell us any changes or even any challenges you're come across. Did you recognize any patterns? Talk about them with your family and friends and share them here!




How’s That Working For You?

I'm a bit late checking in with you but what do they say? "Better late than never".

I'm wondering how your "resolutions" are going. I don't know about you but that word has negative programming in my brain. I hear the "resolution" and I feel "resolve" and almost a drudgery type sensation. I don't really know where that interpretation and emotional response came from but what it tells me is that I need to avoid using that word. Why use something that you know has negative connotations and will create a negative emotion in me? That sounds counter intuitive don't you think?

I think that's why I went to such lengths to come up with your plan of action for scripting your new year. I wanted you to be able to visualize what you are expecting and wanting to happen this coming year. It's like your own version of the "Bucket List" movie. But right now you're doing it for just a year.

Take a few minutes and answer honestly as to whether you're still following your resolutions or not. Have you "modified" them, perhaps? What's going on with them? How's it working for you? I love that expression because it implies that maybe you could revisit what you're doing and come up with something different or more workable for you. If it's working well, keep on doing it. But if it's NOT working well, then you should take a different approach. No sense repeating the same things over and over again hoping that at some point there will be a different result. That's just not going to happen.

If you made resolutions and didn't script out where you want to be by the end of 2016, take a few minutes now and write out how you're doing. If you're continuing on and have had positive results with your resolutions, then keep going on that track.

If, however, your resolutions have gone by the wayside, then try scripting what you want your year to look like. Write it out as if you're creating a Hollywood movie and it's going to have your favorite stars in it. Live it, dream it, create it!

Do it now, though! Here's a link to  New Beginnings, Not Resolutions.

Think about this and take some action now.


Momentum Monday

momentum-monday1"Momentum really is the most important aspect of deliberate creation that you could consciously contemplate. Because what momentum says is: Once you get going in that direction, it is more likely that you will continue in that direction." ~Abraham  Excerpted from: Orlando, FL on January 11, 2014

This Abraham quote follows quit nicely with yesterday's post. Remember how I mentioned that the more you worry, the more pain you'll experience as well as the more worried you'll become. This is all about  momentum. When you are at the top of a hill and push and push against a boulder, it's hard to get that thing moving. But once you get it going down the hill, the momentum keeps it going down the hill and it's nearly impossible to stop it due to the force it accumulates. The same goes with worry. Once that worry has started down the hill it keeps gaining more and more momentum. You worry more and more and as a result, the Universe brings you what you're focusing on - more worry (or pain or whatever thing you've given momentum to).

See if, instead, you can get the momentum started in a positive way. Declare things good. Just know that they will be good - they will eventually demonstrate that they were the right things to happen in your life.

The minute you start to think something is bad or not so good, stop pushing that boulder, stand back and think how you can turn your thoughts and feelings around!

Have a great week!


How Do You Respond?

How do you respond to thoughts that creep into your brain and fill you with worry?  Especially when you don't really know what's going on? The Unknown is horrible place - kind of like a black hole - that dread and fear. It always seems as if it's not so "black" once we enter into it and find out what's actually going on, even if it's not great news.

We have the hardest time dealing with something that we can't deal with - the Unknown. Perhaps that's because we are made for action and planning and analysis, none of which we can do when we don't know what we're up against. Once we know what's happening, then we can put our skills to work and come up with the appropriate strategy, gather the proper support system, figure out what resources are needed and where to get them, etc. This is one of the reasons terrorism is so much worse for the psyche than flat out war (this is not a political statement - I'm just trying to show the similarity). With war - we know who the enemy is and generally have gathered enough intelligence to know how they operate so we can prepare our counterattack. However, with terrorism, everything is hidden until the terrorist act is perpetrated. And their method of attack is spontaneous and can even be different every time. This uncertainty and the Unknown is what leads to the "terror" in terrorism.

When we are faced with the Unknown we often feel terror.

Here are some famous quotes about fear which I think might help when we find ourselves consumed by fear:

  • The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

    ~H. P. Lovecraft

  • I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

    ~Rosa Parks

  • There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.

    ~Andre Gide

  • “I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
    ~Mark Twain

How can you respond better when you are besieged by fear? The way you respond will pave the way for more of what's coming your way. For example, if you are experiencing pain and begin to worry about whether you'll have this forever or what might be causing it, your pain will be magnified the more you worry. Soon, not only will you become paralyzed and you won't be able to do anything at all but sit and worry more but your pain will intensify proportionately to the amount of worrying you're doing. This is actually a great example of the law of Attraction in action - you get more of what you focus on - in this case you're focusing on your pain so it's a given that you'll get more pain.

Try to find some other way to deal with your fear. Say affirmations over and over again even if you don't believe them. Remember that a belief is a thought you keep thinking over and over again. Keep saying the affirmations and they will begin to be embedded in your mind. Try these favorites of mine:

  • "Everything always works out for me"
  • "Nothing and nobody can interfere with my xxxx (fill in what you want - such as "my health and well being"), not even myself". It's important to add the "not even myself" in this one because we are usually the ones that will mess things up or get in our own way.

I also recommend EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). This is a phenomenal technique that allows you to work with the meridians in the body and essentially apply energy medicine to your own body. This definitely works to reduce the anxiety surrounding your issue and if it's pain, EFT will often remove the pain as well. It's easy and free and you have nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time - and you have plenty to gain!

It also helps to have a support system that you can talk to when you need to express your fears. It's beneficial to express them and get them off your chest, so to speak. But make sure your support system will listen but not allow you to wallow for long. Explain to them that you're just looking for someone to listen and then to help them divert their attention.

Examine how you respond when you start to worry about something. Then investigate how you can change your patterns.  Try to be as positive as you possibly can. This is not that easy I know but it will definitely be beneficial if you can figure out a way to change your responses.