“If you don’t have a clear passion, and somebody blithely tells you to go follow your passion, I think you have the right to give that person the middle finger. Because that’s like somebody telling you that all you need in order to lose weight is to be thin, or all you need in order to have a great sex life is to be multiorgasmic: That doesn’t help!” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
Well, being multiorgasmic COULD help, but I’m not here to write about that, soooo …
“Go follow your passion” is something so many of us have said or heard. I’ve said it to myself and had it said to me a whole bunch of times. I knew what my passion was in a general sense, but not enough to just quit what I was doing and go follow it. Now, as some of you know, I did actually quit what I was doing a little over a year ago. I just knew I couldn’t continue doing the passionLESS job and life I’d been doing, so I went in search of new adventures. At that point, my passion still had no legs to stand on. All I knew was that I wanted to do something in holistic wellness and something creative. Well, I suppose that’s something of a start, but there are literally thousands of things to do in either of those career genres.
I struggled for months to figure out what my passion looked like through researching jobs and different types of holistic wellness options and through drawing and hand-lettering. Nothing screamed PASSION to me until I discovered IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) on the handy-dandy Facebook. This was the second time we’d crossed paths on FB. The first time I saw it, I was slightly intrigued, then kept swiping to capture photos of other people’s children and where someone I don’t remember from high school is now eating dinner with their friend I never knew. But, hey, that first time, I wasn’t in the right place to realize that IIN would lead me to half of my passion.
This second time struck something. Once again, there was intrigue, yet stronger this go around. In lieu of scrolling down FB any further, I went right to IIN‘s website; sent a request for more information; got a call shortly after from Pablo (I still remember his name, which has to mean something!) who described the program fully and eloquently, and I could feel my excitement growing at every word (maybe I am writing about being multiorgasmic); found out that my amazing Life Coach graduated from this program; and I signed up a week later. It felt right. I was being pulled to do it. I had finally found something solid that I was passionate about. And I was so fucking ready for it!
This happened almost a year ago. I started the program middle of January 2016, and I will be graduating in less than 2 months. Wow, Time, where have you gone?!? Throughout these past 10 months, it has become more and more apparent that health coaching is exactly where I should be. I am so excited to guide others on their own journey to health and happiness (I know, cliche, right?). My focus is working with women, in their 20s-40s, who are unhappy in their careers and struggling with managing all levels of stress, in order to help them find and live their truth and passion every day.
There’s that word passion again …
The word Elizabeth Gilbert prefers is curiosity. Try anything and everything you may be slightly or largely (and everything in between) curious about and see where it leads you. I have been curious about millions of things since entering this world and this curiosity has taken me on many adventures. Being curious about IIN led me to finding my passion. One passion at a time though, as I’m still working on the something creative part. I’ll let my creative curiosity run wild and see where that leads me ;) stay tuned …
If you’re curious to try a 60-minute complimentary health consultation, let your curiosity lead you to my inbox … firstname.lastname@example.org
Adventures await :)
On Sunday, I picked up (as in held, not picked up in a car) my nieces and it felt so good. Ignore the fact that that sounds creepy. But, as y’all know, I couldn’t really play with my nieces or pick them up or throw them around (in a fun safe way, of course) with my shoulder pain. I avoided lifting pretty much everything for at least 4 weeks. In that time, I went on vacation and made my friends lift my luggage in and out of cars (love you guys!), I stopped going to the gym, I couldn’t vacuum at work … well, let’s be honest here, I couldn’t even lift my arm itself let alone heavy objects. So, obviously, small humans were not an option. While I was on vacation, my shoulder started to feel unbelievably better and has been feeling so ever since. It just needed a vacation! See how your body can heal when you escape for a bit?! The pain is pretty much gone, and I can move it and lift things again. There is some soreness in the area that’s been bothering me for all these years, and I am also working on getting full range of motion back. I feel positive that I will free this stuckness and be able to move my arm even better than before the frozen shoulder! Hopefully, I can make that happen by throwing my 2.5 year old niece in the air and doing cartwheels with my 7 year old niece…should be fine, right?
I’m so grateful for everyone’s support while I was temporarily dysfunctional. My work team was extremely helpful and understanding. My mom did passive assist arm movements for me since it hurt too much to engage my own muscles. My chiropractor adjusted, lasered and massaged me to decrease the pain and start putting parts back where they belong. My dad gave me money to help with my chiropractor appointments as I didn’t have health insurance at the time. My family and friends checked in to see how I was feeling. My cat snuggled with me. And even I felt more supportive of myself through taking time to rest and breathe. Allow myself to … support myself.
No matter your age, make sure to squeeze some play into your day. It helps to have kids around for sure! I don’t play much myself (so I need to take my own advice) until my nieces are around. And there is no better play than that :)
Every move I make, no matter how slight, comes with excruciating pain (like moving my arm 1/4″ to get to the letter u on my iPad keyboard to type the word excruciating. And no, I’m not exaggerating.). My right shoulder. Ouch doesn’t quite cut it. If I actually allowed myself this, I would be emitting a heart-wrenching scream at every move. Instead, I squish my face up tight, then remember to stand up straight, release the tension in my face and breathe breathe BREATHE. Breathe into the pain in order to be able to move my arm a teeny tiny bit. Then take another deep breath and move it a tiny bit more. This is how it goes to pull up my underwear and shorts after going to the bathroom. Talk about being mindful. I’ve never spent that much time in the bathroom…ok, fine, but my focus was on something very different. Sometimes, I watch myself in the mirror because it gives me more strength, and sometimes I cry from the intense pain and from literally facing myself as I work through it.
So, now for the background story. My right shoulder has had limited mobility for give or take 10 years now. That was a long time ago, plus I don’t remember much from a long time ago, so I’m not sure if anything obvious caused this initial discomfort in my shoulder. I lifted weights a lot back then, and I ignored a lot back then. So any pain I may have caused myself (physical and/or emotional) that landed itself in my right shoulder, I ignored. For give or take 8 of those years, I continued to lift weights hard, practice yoga, throw my niece in the air, do anything I needed to do, regardless of the fact that these things often irritated and inflamed my shoulder. But dealing with whatever was going on in there seemed far too daunting. A couple of years ago, I did a year of acupuncture for emotional healing and a couple of times, I had my acupuncturist work on that shoulder, because it was extra irritated for whatever reason at that moment. This was when I started to make more of a mind-body connection to this long time issue of mine. I hate using the word issue in my vocabulary these days, but I’m going to roll with it here as that’s what it was to me 2 years ago.
Life went on, I continued to do all of those things that irritated my shoulder, once again, seemingly ignoring it. Although with a small tinge of something else telling me there is more to this. In the past 2 months is when a bright ass lightbulb popped out of my head along with a thought bubble saying it’s time to deal with this shit you’ve been storing in your shoulder for 10ish years!!!! (Using “-ish” somehow takes away from the strength of this statement.) I was participating in the Deepak Chopra/Oprah 21-day meditation on “Getting Unstuck,” which is when I made the connection to the various areas of stuckness in my physical body. Ohhhh, so those stuck areas are holding me back from moving forward in life too?!?!? It’s not just the more obvious emotional and mental areas?!?!? Hmmmm. And if I shift this stuckness in my physical body that could totally aid in shifting some stuckness in my emotional as well!!! Epiphany, say whaaaa! Or as us spiritual peeps call it…intuition.
I decided I’d start seeing someone for Reiki on a weekly basis to shift this negative painful energy and be free of it once and for all. I knew this wouldn’t be quite as easy as that sentence made it seem, but I was ready to go there. A week ago, I found out that the yoga studio I frequent (well not right now, obviously) has Reiki practitioners I can work with. Perfect. Then, I got busy with work and life (i.e. excuses) and put off making an appointment for a few more days. Not. A. Good. Idea. Friday, I woke up unable to move my right arm unless of course, I wanted to feel sharp stabbing pain throughout my shoulder. Apparently, I waited one day too long and my body said fuck you, enough already. I’ll show you, Dawn. If you don’t take care of me, I’m going to stop working for you. Oddly, my arm felt like it was just hanging there, like it wasn’t even a part of me anymore. My friend Lauren and I joked that it was trying to run away. Shit, I would too.
Well, I listened. I had no choice. I booked a massage for that day and emailed the yoga studio to book a Reiki session for early in the week. As I was wincing to get dressed for my massage, I was thinking this is such a waste of painful energy to get dressed, then have to get undressed and dressed again afterward. But driving naked is apparently frowned upon, and I don’t own a bathrobe or a trench coat. Looking back on this now, why the hell did I put a sports bra (or any bra!) on to drive to my massage? The pain did overpower some of my brain cells. For reals. I haven’t been thinking clearly or quickly for the past few days. My mind is very much focused on healing my pain and not so much on the everyday routine I call life.
I have been forced to slooooooow down. Every movement I make is mindful and precious. I took for granted needing my limbs to dress myself or wash my hair or pour a glass of water or drive my car [safely] or type this blog post. I am having to utilize my left arm to help with all those things … well, and everything pretty much. Ambidextrousness (and yes, this is actually a word), here I come! I still can’t move the top half of my arm so I just have the bottom half to use and even that is awkward cause it’s kind of connected to the top half. When I am healed of this, I’m going to give gratitude every day for having 2 working arms by high-fiving everyone I see!!! You just wait.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
This is my daily shot of tumeric (1 tsp in a little almond milk). It started as an attempt to heal an abscess I’ve had for way more years than I’d like to admit to. Now, if you don’t know what an abscess is, feel free to look that up on the world wide web in lieu of me explaining its infectious abilities. So, I am happy to report that the tumeric has been working and the abscess has significantly been reduced in size and discomfort. Which is totally bad ass!
Tumeric is highly anti-inflammatory and can be used to heal or at least assist in healing a number of different concerns/diseases. Check out this article for a number of them. I have also noticed a significant difference in my menstrual cramps … as in they no longer exist. So ladies, drink up!
I admit that straight-up tumeric like this may not appeal to very many people’s taste buds. I have drank a lot of weird shit, so I really don’t mind it and I believe that once you get over the initial weird-factor, you’ll get used to it and it’ll be fine … I promise!? Of course, you can also add it to your food, but I just find this to be easier and quicker and there is no thought involved!
It’s truly fascinating to me to be able to heal myself by purely natural means. And we can all do this!!! Listen to your body and be your own doctor :)