Someday My Yogi Will Come

>> Saturday, May 19, 2012

I have a dream of a good man, a man I look up to, a man who is confident and can intelligently stand his ground. I dream of a man who has an open mind and an open heart. He’s playful, caring and protective. He reads, he recycles, he sometimes gets irrationally angry about the government, humanity’s impact on the plant and inhumane treatment of animals and people. I dream of a man who doesn’t agree with everything I say or do, but respects me anyway. He’s a vegetarian. He is the best of caretakers when I am sick. He has strong arms. He loves my pet rats. I dream of a man who can take care of himself. He’s smart, but isn’t afraid to admit when there’s something he doesn’t know much about. He introduces me to new things. He drinks herbal tea. I dream of a man who is a yogi.

 Is this an impossible dream? Where do you find such a man in a world of video games, cable television, processed food, steaks, the media’s portrayal of women, loud clubs, drugs, alcohol and competition? I wonder. I wonder if my standards are too high. I always leave room for men to be men and for me to be a woman. It would certainly be more interesting if I was a lesbian, or even bi, but the truth is I like men. Therefore, I accept that they are going to act, speak, think and react like men.

Today I ended a friends-with-benefits relationship. The friendship remains, but the benefits have been put to a stop. I always played by the rules and never let me feelings get too involved. That said, this deal was made when both me and the friend were in vulnerable places and he knew I liked him. But I was willing to put the feelings aside for a little comfort. That, of course, didn’t last, especially when we started becoming more than just friends with benefits. Once I felt those feelings for him crop up I asked him to either commit to me or I was putting an end to it. He was getting way more than just benefits from me and all for free. When he said he didn’t want any sort of romantic involvement with me, I disentangled myself.

So here I am, a free woman. I’m looking forward to this. I can keep my focus more on myself and my life. I’ve always enjoyed being single and, really, I’ve been single this whole time. But with the amount of emotion, time, effort, and money I was putting into my ‘relationship’, I might as well have been someone’s girlfriend. Now I am taking care of myself instead of putting my efforts into something with no reciprocation. I am fully engaged in living my life. And what a beautiful life it is.


Yoga Festivals

>> Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eleven months ago I received my third liver transplant (I have a rare liver disease called PSC. See I’ve recovered fairly well and while I did all the doctor prescribed physical therapy like a good patient, I also included as much yoga as I could. I knew that yoga would better help my recovery on more levels than riding a stationary bike in a gym full of injured people while a therapist wrote down my progress in a file. For years I had been doing yoga in my home using DVDs and books for instruction. Around two months ago I decided that I was in good enough shape to try attending classes. It was a scary decision because I had only been to a handful of yoga classes and few private ones in my nearly ten years of doing yoga off and on. Would I be able to keep up? Would I get caught up in yoga bliss and accidentally overwork myself? Could I afford it? Would the teacher be knowledgeable and kind? Would the other students be friendly to even though I wasn’t skinny and didn’t have very good health? Would the studio be a positive, uplifting place? Long story short, I found my studio and my teacher. I keep up with classes and my mind, body and spirit respond with greater health and serenity. I’ve achieved a dream I thought impossible for years and found it to be so much more attainable and accommodating than I’d expected. Why hadn’t I done this sooner? Now I want to continue expanding my practice by trying new and more frequent classes. Also, it’s almost summer and that means yoga festivals. I’ve always wanted to go to a yoga festival. I always dreamed of going, even looking at the schedule and picking out the classes I would take, what hotel I would stay at and what vendors I give my business. It was a nice fantasy, but it never became a reality. I was always too sick or else I was on the transplant list and couldn’t leave the area. For most of my life it has been dangerous for me to travel alone unless it’s to the Mayo Clinic. Medical emergencies could happen in the blink of an eye or I could wake up one morning unable to get out of bed and have to stay there for anywhere from two hours to two months. This is still the case, even post-transplant. I almost always need to have someone with me who can lend a helping hand when needed. So you can see my dilemma. My heart yearns to go but my body is full of fear. Too much sun, heat or allergens and I could spend the whole time with a migraine. Being too far away from my hotel room could spell disaster if I’m hit with sudden, severe symptoms. What if I end up missing all the fun? And what if all those beautiful yogis look down on me because I’m sick? I know that part of this is useless fear but I also know that part is justified from experience. Out of town renaissance festivals and camp meetings have almost always guaranteed me some medical mishap. Just the amount of fatigue and pain I deal with on a daily basis make these things a challenge. If I knew people who were going to be at these festivals who knew what they were doing and were willing to help me then maybe this dream could come true. Maybe after years of hoping and dreaming I could actually attend a yoga festival. The pros are that the yoga would help me to keep my health in check or at least help me deal with any symptoms. Most likely the food would be acceptable to my body (by which I mean gentle, healing and vegetarian) and the soul-nourishing activities would help calm my fears. I guess I’ll never know until I try! So here’s my request: if you have any advice or other help you would be willing to share with me I ask that you please do so. I live in Nebraska but my dad lives near Denver so any of those awesome sounding festivals in Colorado are what I usually drool over.


Introversion. Also, boys.

>> Monday, November 28, 2011

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I hope they’re wrong, for my own sake. But that’s all I’ll say on that.
After a season of turning outward, of doing things externally, being more extroverted, the other end of the teeter totter is slowly dropping. My life of extremes is a balance, just over time. Perhaps it’s the colder weather heralding a time of hibernation. All I know is that my desires turn more than ever towards self-reflection, imagination, quiet activities and solitude. I must keep from getting too lazy, though. Physical therapy seems to be getting harder and I weaker, so I will do my best not to neglect my physical training completely in the face of a growing pile to to-be-read books, drawers of creative projects, vocal music, my guitar, meditation, Asian food, and a full queue on Netflix.
I’ve completely busted NaNoWriMo this year (again), but I have written more this month than usual, so that’s something. Though no excuse, the boy-drama in my life this past month has been very stressful. Not used to having to deal with the male race except on a professional (medical) level, re-entering the dating world was an exciting and shocking experience, and still is. Normal girls grow up with male friends near their own age and at some point down the line a few show interest in her as more than a friend. She might date a few guys and she learns through the years something of what to expect or at least a more specific view of what she wants. I didn’t have that, I had books, rats, an empty house and multiple diseases. So here I am, having learned innumerable lessons about life but few about love. But I’m learning and better late than never, I suppose.


Break Please?

>> Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No sleep tonight (again). When do I get a break? When will my body regulate its temperature, have less pain and discomfort, look healthier? When will I get free enough from the fatigue to have a somewhat normal day? When will I wake up without nausea swirling, threatening in my stomach? If God bestows these gifts to most people, why not me? Will this pass or will I, despite all efforts, live and die like this? I feel death in me, waiting, watching for me to lower my defenses and for a physical opportunity. I thought the transplant would mean years more of life, most of it reasonable healthy. Now I’m not so sure. I’m determined to keep my will to live strong and to enjoy the beauty in life. Yet still, in the background, I prepare myself for death. Few will understand this.


Liver Talk

>> Wednesday, July 27, 2011

For some background/proof on how organ recipients learn about their donors through cellular memory.

July 27th, 2011
I’ve been beginning to get to know my liver a lot better lately. I’ve been doing more visualization, Reiki and dialogue with my body so I’m sure that’s widened the channels a bit.
The energy of my liver is definitely female, but then I already knew it was from a female donor. She’s got a lot of sadness and a bit of fear after these first rough experiences in my body. But she, like I, has lots of motivation to just go for it and live. She also tells me that we may not be out of the dark yet, but to not be afraid because things will work out. Not sure if “work out” was meant in a broad, universal sense or specific and personal.
Monday night every time I visualized my liver it seemed to shrink in fear and pain. Nothing I did seemed to help so I meditated and did Reiki on it which felt loving and warm. A few hours ago (Tuesday night) I got a lot of flashes of the donor and her life and suffering. It was like my liver was purging some of its painful past. For the first time I really, truly started to realize that a beautiful person had died and here I was with a physical gift, a sign that they were, in fact gone, yet alive in me. I feel her distinct personality melding with mine in such a way that empowers us both. It’s a very difficult thing to explain, though. It’s not like I have some other person talking to me inside me head.
I’ll try to explain one aspect of it. Sometimes people will talk about parts of their body like they are separate entities. Like, “I’ve been telling my head to stop hurting but it just won’t listen.” If you can delve to the base of the relationship with that area of your body then you will have a small glimmer of the relationship between a person and their new organ, especially if they are expanding that relationship through meditation, visualization, dialogue with the body and other healing methods.
Anybody can have a deeper relationship with their body, but the one between a new organ and the recipient is very special and complex. You have adopted from outside the family and now become mediator so that everyone gets along, is happy and does their jobs. You are the mediator in everything you do for your body from good nutrition to anti-rejection drugs.
I love my new liver and am more grateful for it that can be expressed. Soon I should write to the donor family.



>> Saturday, July 23, 2011

It’s back to checking glucose levels, giving myself insulin shots and worrying over food choices. The Solumedrol (super Prednisone) infusion yesterday really hit me hard. I’ve been feeling icky ever since. Lots of pain, nausea, tiredness but also restlessness from the higher blood pressure and glucose levels.
I got a little bit of exercise today. Mum and I spent an hour or so at Hobby Lobby looking for some art project materials to distract us. I got some watercolor and drawing supplies. I hope Mom makes use of them, too.
That’s about as much as I did for exercise besides a bit of yoga in the morning. My legs have been giving me some bad pain all last night and today and I’ve got a headache. Otherwise I would have spent some time in the exercise room here at the transplant house.
Reading about how Treya handles her diabetes in “Grace and Grit” I am feeling more inspired about managing all this until things go back to normal (blood sugar goes down).
It’s hard because all I want to eat are desserts, onigiri and Spirutein shakes. The shakes are okay, the onigiri in moderation, but, oh, the desserts! I’ve never really liked desserts but steroids have changed all that. It’s been very hard to ignore all my cravings but I want to do everything I can to make myself as healthy as possible.


Summer Shorts

>> Thursday, July 21, 2011

I’m so glad I’m reading “Grace and Grit” by Ken Wilber and that it came into my life when it did. Treya’s journey in many places mirrors mine or teaches me a lesson that I was trying to figure out.
Today I put on one of the new pairs of shorts I bought. They are around three sizes bigger than what I was wearing last summer and yet they were still too small. My stomach has been more distended the past couple of weeks and then there’s the general swelling and, of course, the Prednisone. I’ve gotten fatter all over, though not heavier on the scale. For the first time in years I have arm flab. Part of me is glad about this after all the time spent worrying about being too skinny and now eating enough. The other part of me gets scared of staying this size or getting fatter. Yes, I’m at a healthy weight and my stomach will be swollen for awhile yet and I’m on Prednisone. I don’t like how I look at this size and as for how others think of my looks…well, I just want people to see me at what I judge to be my best. Or at least acceptable. Really, I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. I also want to present myself as someone who practices what they preach (i.e. a healthy lifestyle for mind, body and spirit). I want to overcome this fear and leas a healthy lifestyle out of honesty, not fear.


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