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Posts tagged ‘health’

90 meditations in 90 days

Over thanksgiving weekend I went to a retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in upstate NY.   Monday morning as I was walking my dogs I felt amazing! Full of joy and gratitude, and my feelings were tainted by sadness over the weekend so this was a surprise.

After my last visit to KTD monastery for evening meditation in August I swore I would mediate for 30 mins a day.  Snicker.

Now I’m just going to aim for 90 meditations (at least 5 minutes) in 90 days, a la the 12 step advice to make 90 meetings in 90 days when first getting clean. Now it is day 3 and going strong!  I will chronicle that journey here.

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Yay, Nature

Man, are my glutes and thighs sore!   My amigo Atiq and I had been trying to get on a hike for a few months now, but “life” gets in the way, sadly.   Finally, today, it happened.

Yet, as we Easterners know .. it snowed yesterday.   In Brooklyn, there was nary a trace left today, and we saw it was going to be nearly 50.  We had the sterling lake loop picked out from the beginning, as an easy-ish 4.2 mile/2.5 hour hike, but not too pansy, and last week I had thought of upping the ante to a medium hike since I had been biking and swimming more.  Then I got sick, and decided to keep it where it was….yet, mother nature decided I was on to something.  Or, us urbanites, who had long neglected the call of nature, ignored mother’s voice.    We get up to the trail, and, oh yeah!  — It is covered in snow up to our calves.   Fortunately we went in the afternoon so we had other footprints to follow and tread through.   Four hours later, and multiple pleas in the last leg of “this has GOT to be the last hill!” from both of us..we came full circuit.  Unfortunately, by the end of the hike we both had wet socks (of course we had changes – rule number one of hiking!) – but only one of us had a change of shoes – me, the pack rat, of course.  🙂    Next time though I need to bring a change of clothes to prevent the post-exercise sweat shivers, and pant guards.

The hike was quite beautiful but fairly ornery, given the added difficulty of the snow.  It perhaps made up for my lack of exercise this week.  The base terrain was slippery slush and awful for walking on, but the snow was the perfectest snow for snowballs!   The lake was beautiful, of course, with it’s gradients of slush and ice and resting, clear waters.  My favorite part, though, was an opportunity to slip into nudity for maybe 15 minutes, and the universe supported that because nobody came along to that particular spot until we were leaving it.   Getting naked in the nature is one of my all-time favorite things to do!   It wasn’t ridiculously chilly, and really, it was quite refreshing.  It just feels awesome, as awesome as slipping into the softest sheets feels.  My skin felt alive, cleansed, as if my whole body was breathing.   🙂     My other favorite part was the pure silence at times.   My ears aren’t accustomed to quiet, though, and were ringing for portions of that.

I also think about the colors I chose to wear.  Red jacket, orange pants, my yellow backpack, and green hair/underwear.   Straight up the chakras, there!    I am contemplating some more proactive second chakra healing, beyond therapy to deal with the abuse.    The second chakra has to with power, sex, and money….all things I have issues with.   It is so nice to see pictures of myself wearing all these colors, though.  I feel so energetically alive in that regard, and I used to be someone who owned 3 of the same black turtlenecks.   🙂

On the drive back we ran into multiple circles of hell trying to get out of Joisey (why aren’t the turnarounds labeled as such?  Or labeled AT ALL?, and why are there no signs for the Parkway North, only South, on 17S?)   — to the point where the usual heaviness of reaching NYC limits was actually a relief.    Furthermore, every time I updated the google maps directions it had something different to say about where we should go…17S….no 17N….NO 17S!!!     Of course, it had to happen while I was navigating, when usually that is my forte.   Thanks for making me look like a fool, google.

I was grateful for the opportunity to get the hell out of dodge today!

Wow, it’s midnight.  I didn’t think I was going to last that long.  Bedtime.  🙂

What do I do for exercise?

Starting in the Fall of 2012 I started biking and swimming more semi-regularly.   The scale was hovering around 198, and I felt it going up the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment.   I also remember a patient  commenting that I was huffing and puffing on a particularly busy day – and that was without stairs!

In 2013 I am going to do my first 5 borough bike tour, a goal I had a long time ago.  In 2014 I want to do a century.  I am going to need a new bike for that.  My every day bike is a 1970’s Schwinn Continental.   🙂

Between biking and swimming alone, and slight dietary changes, as of Feb 2013 I have lost around 15 pounds, slowly, without too much effort.  Just doing these activities 1-4 times a week, and sometimes not at all.  It still has made a difference!   Like Afib, my routine is regularly irregular.   🙂

Now if only I can find a natural form of exercise to work out my abs, besides sex since there ain’t none of that happening lately.  I would love to integrate more yoga, too, which would could help in the ab department.  I also am taking a swim course, so with better strokes I hear it might help my abs too.

 

Lessons learned about food today

The Ugly:

While reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, I was introduced to the concept of Pink Slime.  Did you know that up to 15% of your ground beef can be comprised of this processed by-product melange, and still be labeled 100% ground beef?   Technically it *is* part of the cow, but it sure ain’t technically meat (muscle).  To kill bacteria it is also kissed by ammonia or citric acid.  Yum!

The Good:

+ Last time I juiced a bag of oranges I sat there and peeled them one by one.  My fingers were sore the next day!  This time, I serendipitously learned by trial that quartering them is a LOT faster.  Next time I will let them warm back up to room temperature before processing.

+ I made a potato-leek soup today based on the Julia Child recipe, adapted by YumSugar, and further adapted because, darnit, I didn’t have enough leeks left.   Added a celery stalk (since I had seen celery used on another recipe), used 2.5 cups of veggie broth (all I had left), 2.5 cups of chicken broth, and 1 cup of water.  Probably didn’t saute the taters and leeks long enough, hated adding salt at the end, but it is necessary-ish, and also added some of TJ’s italian pancetta.  Should have added an onion, but it is a’ight, edible.   Unbalanced.  Not sure what rendition of potato-leek soup I’ve had in the past commercially that made me want to make it at home, but I will keep trying until I find a variation I like (not today).  Perhaps I will also just try again with the proper amount of leeks.  I’ll try a non-dairy vegan version eventually too.  🙂

The Gratitude: 

I’m grateful I felt well enough to start some cooking this afternoon.   I have been feeling ill all week, with a combination of some stomach thing and sinus thing and today and yesterday my liver is annoyed, though, previous liver tests showed nada (biliary colic, perhaps, they say).

I’m grateful I have consciously prepared a homemade juice and/or smoothie every day since the I Can Do It – Ignite! 2013 conference, also inspired by Kris Carr’s urging (of the crowd.  Wish I was hanging out in her kitchen with her. *grin*)  Also serendipitously, my ninja blender broke while making the smoothie the day after, and my friend and I were picking little plastic blender bits out of one of the best smoothies I ever made.   However, I ended up buying a single-serve smoothie blender and that was the best thing!  SOOOO quick and easy to make a smoothie in a rush!    Less stress than making a whole blender full.

I’m grateful I finally used my food processor for the first time today after owning it for nearly a year to make the soup.   I had bought it and not used it because, you know, I wanted to watch the DVD and read the instruction manual, and all that jazz, AND, I had that kickass ninja blender that could shred a thick porkchop for the pups in no time at all.   It was used previously by a roommate to make cakes, and lo-and-behold, it was super easy!  I am much more likely to get around to making cookies now!

I’m grateful I have a soup in my tummy that didn’t come from a can, but was made by my own hands.  🙂

I’m also grateful I just wrote a blog entry.  May I continue to write.

(and OMG, I’m grateful the puppy is napping on the couch and not running around!)

Pending.

SCHOOL: Last week I registered with the department for the differently-abled students at my school … which felt both like an embarrassment and a relief.  I broke down several times last Wednesday, and finally the inside drama matched the outside mood…and now I have support with more time to do my work.   However, apparently my school no longer has a writing center?   Hm.   Finally, this week I started working on my schoolwork again, more peacefully, with some acceptance.  I need to organize my work, though. I have NEVER had a binder in as much chaos as mine is now!   I usually procrastinate with organizing tasks.   I officially withdrew from the history class, and a part of me wants to still withdraw from English but there is no reason. The teacher will work with me, and I have a lot I can grok about me from these readings..

 
HEALTH: Today I weighed 189.4 on the work scale!  First time I’ve seen a number below 190 in at least a year.   Only exercising moderately, and not sure that I’m really eating healthier…but still!   On the way down.   Biking to/fro the train is getting easier, not having to shift gears to handle the hills!  Not getting nearly as out of breath.   Wish I had managed to go swimming last week… I miss the pool when I skip a week!
WORK/TIME: I’m so impatiently waiting to hear back about a transfer I applied for to a psych floor, which would be a 5 day/week job, still ever other weekend, 7a-3pm.  Thought I would hear by today!   I vibed well with the manager, and hope that someone with more seniority doesn’t come along again and get the position like what happened when I was supposed to go to tele once upon a time.  But, I ended up on med-surg days with an awesome group of nurses and became a more serious nurse myself.  So, of course, whatever happens will work out for the best.  BUT I really want a change NOW…and psych is my future.  I want to start that future, not keep psych-ing patients when I should be focusing on the medicine more in an effort to leave on time.   Plus, I think working 5d/week will actually facilitate my having a more balanced life at the moment, and I can learn to schedule my non-work activities better..such as art, school, exercise, recreation, socialization.   Still have not realized my goal of being early to work, hypnosis session on Monday.

CARING: Today I had 2 patients who were slated for hospice, and 1 who perhaps might as well be in it.  The hospice patients are already elderly.  The other is middle aged and would prefer  to remain homeless and independent with her boyfriend than spend her last days-months-years in a nursing home “in a robe playing monopoly.”    Tried to convince her to stick around for a middle ground, to wait and see if they can get some kind of housing together….she is concerned about getting ready for the winter.  If she attempts to spend the winter homeless she will probably die.   I can understand her desire for freedom, and I expressed that.   However,  I had no specific answers for her, just encouragement and an ear.   She is probably closer to death than my two hospice patients at this point.

INSIDES:  Hopeful, nervous about change (“You’re not scared of the new job, you’re scared of change.”  “You’re right!”  “Isn’t it delicous? The adventure?”), Enjoying the company of a few very different lovers and have had some quite interesting exchanges.  Yet My orgasm wasn’t very forthcoming last night.  However, I am gushing and gushing squirts like never before in my life.  Seriously.   I am also enjoying the company of my house guest/mate, who is most definitely not a lover, but whom I am developing a hug relationship with.   Love my animals.   Feeling a decent amount of self-esteem and confidence.   Feeling on edge when I sit still, though, there are still feelings to sort through and let go of.   Missed therapy the last 2 weeks because of my fault first (Remembered the day before, forgot the night before and morning of!), and a scheduling misunderstanding the next.  Wanting stillness, need to make technology-free time.   Right now my legs feel restless, though.  There is an underlying tension in my gut and spine sometimes.

 

…and now, I should probably go to bed now but I felt compelled to write first. Glad I did!

 

 

Dream Log

Whenver I nap I get the most vivid dreams.   Does that happen to other people?  I fell asleep on the couch last night with my boots on, before I could even hear back from my expected boot-y call rasta friend.  Woke up at 9:30 to micturate, and was cold so instead of staying up, I bundled under the blanket again and surprise! fell asleep…with the reward (!?) of a weird violent dream.

It started out that I was in a new (huge) hospital and was completely lost (geographically).  I had been given my assignment, had only seen one of my patients, and I’m not sure how I got lost but I was.  I was looking for, maybe, room 340?  but couldn’t find my block of rooms – found every other surrounding range of rooms!   I also think katie was following me through the hospital.  I know she was in the dream following me at times.   In waking time, I asked her if she remembered being in the dream with me but all she said was “I want cheese.  Give me my cheese!”

I ran into a patient who was already dressed and waiting to be discharged, and she started following me (Nurses, you think *that* part is the nightmare, just wait!) but neither of us could find her room.   I asked for directions from a security guard in a lobby like area and he gave me some directions which I tried to follow fruitlessly.  I even found room # 339 but not my block of rooms.

Next thing, I”m walking outdoors and come upon some teens hanging out watching their friend run (who is apparently a popular runner, and who I thought I might have known as a friend of a friend).   It seemed to be like a farmstand setup, and there was a lazy farmer chilling while allegedly selling his wares.   My patient was still with me, following me.  I really wanted to get back to my patients because I still had only seen like 2 of them!  The farmer couldn’t tell me where the hospital was, nor could the kids.  I tried to convince them that I knew their  running friend but nobody believed me, and the runner didn’t recognize me.   Eventually they got in their pickup truck with a boombox in back and left us behind.   The lazy farmer still couldn’t tell me where the hospital was.    My patient was growing impatient.

Somehow, with some unknown woman (I forget the details now) I end up in a grappling lock and we both have serrated dinner knives, one had the fishy hooks at the end.  Interestingly, in waking time later, that was the first knife I grabbed from the knife magnet bar – I can’t see what i’m grabbing since i have it mounted under a cabinet.   She sticks me first, in my RLQ abdomen, a long stick, pulls the knife upwards.   We exchange several more sticks in slow motion – I would stab her and draw my knife in circles or slits, she would stab me in other places.   There wasn’t as much blood as one would think, and eventually I sliced off her left arm at the shoulder, leaving it partially attached, and placed a towel to quiet the gushing brachial artery.  I remember cutting off a few of her fingertips, too, figuring between the shoulder and the fingers she wouldn’t be able to stab me more, but, she did.  All of this wasn’t in particularly slow motion, but it was in exaggerated slowed regular time.

Eventually either the farmer or my patient listens to me and calls 911.   Medical people arrive, and my adversary gets flown to the hospital and somehow I get left there and end up taking a cab – yet, a few of my loose body parts were carried to the hospital.   The cabbie take me to the wrong intersection, at 16th ave and 4th street instead of 1st ave and 16th street.

Throughout all of this drama, pain and bleeding are minimal despite the severity of multiple wounds (abdomen, ribs, chest, hands), and awareness of blood is more present than pain.   We finally make it to the hospital and I”m yelling at the surgical intake clerk for my surgeons, even the clerk is calm.  Eventually they come get me, and I was in the room while they were prepping for me.   Somehow someone else ends up on the table, and when they start prepping her inguinal area by shaving she freaked out and I was telling them – like, duh, she was just knifed!

…and then I woke up, to the screeching of my friend’s alarm clock on his desk.   For once, I was glad to hear that alarm.

Uhhhh….