Finding My Way To Mindfulness

“Say it straight, simple and with a smile.”

As I previously promised, you are going to hear more about my pain. I won’t be whining, or complaining, or trying to make you feel bad for me. What you’ll read today, is what I chose to do about my pain. For 3 years now, I have had scattered unexplained pain such as neck pain, migraines, face pain, burning legs and arms, sore muscles everywhere. When I say pain, I don’t mean dull, achy pain…I mean sharp, jagged, electrical jolts of pain. There are days when it feels as if someone has jabbed a metal rod through the back of my head and it is shooting out through my eyeball…

No doctor has been able to explain my pain, some don’t even believe that I am in pain. I have had to fight and advocate for myself to get the answers needed. I have seen every specialist imaginable, have had multiple MRI’s, CT scans, X-rays, blood tests, etc. I have paid doctor’s large amounts of money to get to the bottom of what is causing my pain. Due to the extreme amount of pain I was in during the first year, I became unable to do many things. I quit my job and was clawing my way through my first year of College. I felt like Mufasa from the Lion King as he was clinging for his life hanging on a cliff. There were days I didn’t want to live, and days I thought I was certainly dying. Maybe it was a tumor, maybe it was lyme disease, maybe it was an unknown disease. I saw specialists who diagnosed me with things like Fibromyalgia, and Occipital Neuralgia, and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). One specialist discovered an array of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and I have since kept up with taking daily vitamins. The doctor’s finally started believing I was in pain, but a cause (nor cure) was not to be found. I have since seen at least 10 different doctors and every single one of them have all said it must just be stress. “That’s impossible,” I thought to myself…there was no way stress could possibly cause this much pain. I followed up with doctor after doctor after doctor, each one eventually telling me there was nothing they can do for me.

I started looking to different alternatives. I saw a massage therapist who specialized in treating TMJ, who referred me to a physical therapist who turned out to be an angel in disguise. I had seen physical therapists before, and none of them seemed to believe I was in the pain I said I was in, as there were no injuries and no explanations. But this woman was different, she sat down and listened to my story, she truly believed I was in the pain I said I was in. She wasn’t sure what was causing this, but she assured me we were going to work together and we were going to fix it, she assured me I wasn’t as broken as I thought I was. I spent weeks with her in agony, but slowly things started getting better. We talked about life, she told me her story as I told her mine. I had good days and I had bad days. On my good days, she’d push me to push myself further. On my bad days, she’d let me go in a dark room to cry. She peaked my interest in yoga’s healing abilities and in mindfulness meditation.

It was around this time that I met a woman, a psychologist, yoga instructor, and a transformational therapist. Her focus is on mindfulness, and the body’s ability to heal itself. I was drawn to her immediately, another angel in disguise. I have been working with her for well over a year now and she has helped me uncover deep fears within myself energy blockages within, things I was born with, pre-programmed to feel and to act. We are now working rather intensely together to sort of “re-route” my body’s pre-programmed mindset. I have worked with her in group sessions such as: “The Four Gifts of Anxiety”; “Choosing Love”; and soon to be a mantra workshop. I also do private therapy sessions with her where we get down to core causes, and uplifting energy. I have learned so much about myself since working with her, as well as the ability to heal my body.

I’m finally starting to believe all of these doctor’s who said it was “just stress.” Here’s the thing folks, stress can kill you. My body’s way of dealing with stress was to put everything into fast-forward…to stay busy all the time, and just go, go, go. Whenever anything would try to interfere, my mind would say to me “you have no time for this, keep going, keep moving forward…Survive! Survive! Survive!” Due to what I now know is PTSD, I was in a fight-or-flight mode, a dangerous place to be. It allowed my pain levels to soar, while also giving me the ability to get by day to day.

So what am I doing to change things? Every day I have to focus on two main things: uplifting my energy, and being present in the moment. Uplifting my energy has been the easier of the two tasks, it is as simple as exercising, or doing some light yoga. Being present in the moment is where I was stumped. My mind was set on auto-pilot, and I didn’t know how to switch to manual. My therapist has taught me ways to do that, and it is simpler than I ever imagined. It is as simple as waking up in the morning and taking 5 minutes to stretch and breathe (another thing I have difficulty with), stopping and literally smelling the roses (or the trees, the wind, the grass), listening to the birds chirping, admiring the beauty of everything around me. I forgot how to do all of that, my inner-child was lost, so lost. Some people might not understand how a person can be so unaware of their surroundings, but until you’ve been there, it is quite hard to understand. I was there, and I didn’t even understand.

Here’s how my day has gone so far…I made the decision to dedicate at least half of the day to nuture myself. I got my daughter off to school, boyfriend left for work, laundry in the dryer, and now it is me time. I like to take detox baths with epsom salts and baking soda, it helps to pull some of the toxins out of your body. I turned on some heart chakra meditations, and plugged in the diffuser with medicinal grade thyme and lavender essential oils, and I just relaxed. Afterwards, I did some light yoga stretching to get all of my nerves alert and active. Now, I am writing this blog, and drinking a Sweet Tangerine, Positive Energy tea. I have found almost instantly, that writing is my choice of therapy. Some people enjoy drawing, or creating music…I enjoy writing.  As for the rest of the day, I might take a walk, or maybe stay in and read a book. Whatever I do, I will be present in the moment and enjoy all the beauty there is around me.

*For any information on any of the therapists or doctor’s mentioned above, please email me at bpackard416@gmail.com … or if you know me personally, just ask 🙂

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