I recently had the opportunity to attend a yoga for pelvic health retreat which was absolutely amazing! (They have another one planned for October near Boston…you should check it out!) The women I met there made such an impact on me that I want to introduce all of them to you. Maybe I will eventually be able to convince them to share their own unique stories on this blog. In the meantime I would like to introduce them through the most impactful feminine characteristic they embodied during my time with them. Continue reading
For the past few years I have celebrated New Year’s Eve by deciding on a theme word or phrase for the next year. Aside from that first year of new beginnings which was more of a prayer after such a difficult 2013, I have felt God direct me to what word He has for me. 2015 was a year of gratitude—learning about a state of being rather than doing. And 2016 was a year of transformation—a word that sounded exciting until I realized how difficult the process of transformation is. So when I felt God giving me the impression that 2017 should be a year of joy I was pretty ecstatic. How can you go wrong with joy?
The definition of joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires…a state of happiness.”* That sounds great, right? We could all use a little more joy in our lives. But what I’m learning is that a little more joy begins with a little less of everything else. In order to possess what you desire, you have to first let go of what you don’t desire. Continue reading
You may recall me sharing about my theme word for last year of transformation. Looking back at the beginning of 2016 to now, I honestly can’t say I see much evidence of change. I didn’t accomplish many of the goals I set out for and I haven’t even changed much in my habits. From an outside view my life looks pretty similar to what it did a year ago. Instead, the process of transformation has been taking place on the inside—in my thoughts and perspectives. I am starting to see things in a new light, considering new ideas, and realizing that my old ways may not be best. And isn’t that where change needs to start—in our hearts and minds? In this world of instant gratification that we live in, we forget that real change takes time.
I feel like last year served more as a preparation for what is to come. It makes me think of the story of a seed. Continue reading
I had the amazing blessing of taking a week vacation earlier this month. I was definitely overdo for taking a break to really disconnect from work and all my other “doing.” Although I still have a long way to go towards gratitude and that state of being rather than doing, I feel like I truly was able to soak in a restful state of mind and just be. And, I have to say that I really do wish you were here. Continue reading
Transformation—that is a powerful word. It’s an exciting word, full of discovery and opportunity. When I first felt God giving me that as my theme word for this year, I was focused on all the positive connotations. I desire transformation, or at least what is on the other side of it. You see, when I first heard that word I was thinking about the results of transformation, not the process of transformation. The first inkling that there might be something other than pure positive in the idea of transformation came when I shared with my sister about my word for the year. Without hesitation her response to me was, “that sounds scary.” I hadn’t thought about it until then, but yes, transformation does sound a little scary. And now that I have walked through some of the process I will tell you that it’s a lot more than scary—it is uncomfortable and downright difficult. Continue reading
I started this blog anonymously two years ago and have been very careful to avoid sharing personal information about who I am. I set up separate email and social media accounts. I didn’t create an “About Me” page or share any photos of myself. I could say it was due paranoia about the internet, but really it was because I wasn’t ready to be honest with the world. In truth I have been living two lives; hiding my pain issue from most people who know me. I put as much effort into trying to appear normal as I do in actually preventing my pelvic pain.
But sharing on this blog has helped me heal—not so much in the physical sense, but rather healing from the psychological and emotional damage that painful sex has caused me. Slowly I’ve started sharing my pain story with more friends. It was difficult at first, awkward and uncomfortable, but it got easier with each new person I told. No one I shared with ever reacted negatively. In fact, my being so open with them seemed to deepen our relationship. Often as I shared something so intimate with them, they would open up to me about something personal they had faced (sometimes even a similar pain issue). And it was great to have them “in the know” about my pain. I didn’t have to hide it or feel self-conscious about needing to stand or bringing my seat cushion. Over time I found it sort of liberating to share this other part of me. I started feeling like I was becoming more of who I am. Continue reading
I love that we have a day set aside just for gratitude—for thanksgiving. It’s a great time of year to consider how far you’ve come and how full your life is. Sadly, we tend to view Thanksgiving more as the first day of the busy holiday season. Stores now open on Thanksgiving Day to start the Black Friday shopping rush. And what a consumer driven world we live in. Be honest with yourself for a moment. How much time do you spend thinking about what you do not have—what you want or maybe what someone else has? And how much time do you spend actually being grateful for what you do have? I’ve seen many articles about how gratitude is good for your health. It is sad to think that we do it so infrequently that we need to be reminded that it’s a healthy habit (like eating your vegetables or exercising). Gratitude should be more like breathing or laughing. It should be part of our everyday, part of our perspective in how we view the world around us, part of who we are. We are human beings after all, and we have so much to be grateful for.
Maybe try gratitude, at least for a day. Think about all of the people that you are thankful for—maybe even tell them that you are grateful to have them in your life. You might be surprised at how it makes you feel—like a deep breath of fresh air. Even if you’re in pain—especially if you’re in pain—take some time for gratitude. It might take you longer to push past the negative thoughts. But clear away those dark clouds and you will find a bright sun shining down on you. What are you thankful for? Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin in the air. Maybe it’s the changing leaves on the trees or the chill of a fall night. Maybe it’s your favorite blanket or an excuse to listen to Christmas carols. Or, maybe it’s the sense of pride and accomplishment of another year well-lived, the thought of new friendships formed and new dreams envisioned. Whatever it is that you are thankful for, show some gratitude. Most of all, show yourself some gratitude—you are more than worth it!
I am thankful for you—close friends who support me in reading this blog and far away friends whom I haven’t yet met. Perhaps you stumbled upon this blog looking for hope. You are who I write this for. You are part of my year well-lived and my new dreams envisioned. I am grateful for you!
See, that wasn’t so bad (it’s much easier than getting in your 10,000 steps). Now it’s your turn to practice being grateful. I would love to hear some of the things you are grateful for. Please post a comment (and you can use an alias if you prefer to remain anonymous). May you have a blessed and gratitude-ful Thanksgiving!