Friday, February 22, 2019

Feel Something


Feel Something – the new song by Adam Lambert resonates with me.  I encourage you to listen to it – it’s all about being in a place where you feel nothing… It is a dark and lonely place to be.   I think the song will resonate with many people as it did with me.  This is not an uncommon issue … it’s just not talked about.  It should be though, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of and there is hope! 

Why do people get in this space?  Where we don’t feel anything and frankly don’t care?  I think the answer is varied.  For some it’s past trauma.  For some it’s a genetic disposition.  For some it’s stress… For other people it’s a chemical imbalance in the body that causes emotional swings up and down.  And there can be a host of other causes...

I have good news though – we don’t have to live like this!  We don’t have to feel nothing… we don’t have be in the pit alone and uncaring.  We don’t have to be scared to feel again.   We don’t have to live with the highs and lows.  This doesn’t have to be the way it is.   It simply doesn’t have to be…

I want to get personal for a moment and tell you a bit of my story.    For most of my life I have been on a see-saw of highs and lows.  One day I’m energized, goal oriented, conquering the world.  I want to go see people, do all the things, I am unstoppable.  The next day (and sometimes it can be the next hour) I could care less, goals don’t matter.  Who cares about that degree or that job?  Who cares about money or people?  I am perfectly happy to sit in my chair, feel nothing and see no one – ever!     I lived like this – I was blessed that I was functional and had the sheer will power to push through – some people are much worse than I was and simply can’t.  Even at my level there were times I called in sick to work because I just couldn’t deal – I just couldn’t get out of bed – but many people are so much worse than I have ever been, and I feel for them.

What caused this shift in me?  This up and down I experienced?    I can see things in my past that may be triggers, or maybe it just runs in my family as I can see some genetics involved as well.   Maybe it’s because of the food I consumed.  Maybe it’s the toxins I’ve been exposed to all my life (hello household cleaners and the like).  Maybe, it is just a chemical imbalance in my brain.  Maybe it was an attack from the enemy trying to steal my witness.  Maybe, it’s none of those things – maybe it just was.

But do you know what?  No matter the cause it exists and I’m here to tell you today you don’t have to live with it!  What is the answer to escape this prison of nothingness?  It’s not a one answer fits all situation.  For most several things need to be tackled for healing to begin.   Below are the things that I’m doing to get off the roller coaster!   I’m still healing, but I’m so much better than I can ever remember being.

  1. I checked my relationship with God.  I realized I had distanced myself from him emotionally and was trying to do things on my own.  We were made for our life to be in constant communion with the creator of the Universe.  We were made to be reliant on God in our life and to be in fellowship with him.   If my relationship with God was not right, nothing else would ever be.   I’m still learning and striving to get closer to him every day – he is constantly working on me and refining me and I’m loving the journey!   If you have no idea who God is, if you haven’t accepted the sacrifice of his Son as your only saving grace I’d encourage dig in and find him.  I’m always glad to help you and to try and answer your questions.

  2. I was eating garbage.  We had changed our diet about 6 years ago and were eating better than we had in my teens, but I was still eating a ton of processed carbs and sugar.   My diet had things in it such as sweet tea, coke, candy, Doritos, bread, pasta, sugar laden sauces, etc...   It still has some of this, but we have made great strides to limit these items to be the exception vs. the rule.   The book 21 Day Sugar Detox really opened my eyes to what I was doing to my body by consistently eating these foods (or poison depending on your perspective).   To summarize – they affect every system in your body which can lead to inflammation throughout our body which leads to aches and pains. Sugar leads to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, acne, cancer, depression, energy loss, fatty liver and a whole host of other issues.

  3. I do an essential oil regiment every day to help with my emotional balance and healing.  I really didn’t want to go on an anti-depressant, so I looked for a more natural method.  Please hear my heart on this – prescriptions are necessary for a lot of people so I’m not saying dump your pills!   There is no shame or anything wrong with needing a prescription.  I just didn’t want them for me – I had been on them in the past and the side effects were just too much for me.  

  4. The oils have been amazing for me and my husband.  We do a combination of oils from Young Living called the Feelings Kit twice a day and I have seen a drastic improvement.   I also keep a set of oils on me to help with anxiety issues and times of melancholy.  Instead of turning to a prescription with chemicals I turn to an all-natural oil instead.        What I love about the oils is that I don’t have the side effects I did with prescriptions in the past – they come along my body to help it what it needs to do naturally vs. a brute force solution that forces my body into compliance and doesn’t care what damage it’s causing. 

  5. Physical Exercise – I hate working out.   It is just not my jam and I doubt it ever will be, but our bodies were not made to be sedentary.  So, I’m working out a minimum of 30 minutes 6 days a week.   I feel better for it, despite not loving the action itself.
Those are the things I have done to get off of the emotional roller coaster of ups and downs.   Again, there is no one magic solution for all and some people need more than I did to pull themselves out.  They will need to talk to someone, a professional.  They may need a prescription medication.  They may need more and there is NOTHING wrong with that!   If you feel the need to reach out to someone please do!  Below are some resources that may help you:

Journey Community Church Office: 706-364-1454

Hotlines:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Georgia Crisis Line: 800-715-4225
Text CONNECT to 741741

Additional Resources for Military:
Substance Use Disorder Clinic: 706-787-5392
Behavioral Health: 706-787-8650
Veterans' Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 #1
Military One Source: 800-342-9647
Emergency Department: 706-787-5222

I also want to say one more thing.   Between God, Oils and diet changes I’m better emotionally than I have ever been.   I still have room to grow though and I am getting better every day.   I’m healing and I’m grateful for it.    However, I’ll never be the “emotional” person.   I am not in the emotional high or the low of the valley right now – I am steady somewhere in the middle and that is where I believe I should be when healthy.  I feel, I have happy moments, I have sad moments I get frustrated, I am ok … I’m striving for more.  I hunger for personal connection, but don’t have to go and be all the time, I can rest.   I see goals and have dreams and am ok to seek them with an even pace, striving to follow God’s lead in all things.   

But I’m not one that cry’s or gets choked up when speaking about God or emotional things.  I don’t feel deeply in that manner.  I am very practical, and empathy is something I pray for God to assist me with – it’s not natural for me.  However, what I’m beginning to understand is that emotions are fickle and not what we should live our life based on.  I had a bad experience as a teenager living a life based on emotions vs. fact and it damaged my relationship with God for several years – I was depending on the emotion, not God.   So, yes feeling things is important and if you feel nothing as this song mentions or as I’ve described above that is not healthy!   But just because you don’t feel (or perceive you feel) as much as the person next to you doesn’t mean something is wrong with you either…Follow truth not emotions!   Emotions are fleeting and fickle.  

Do sometimes I wish I felt more “emotions”?  Do I pray God helps me to feel more – to be more empathic, to feel his love in a tangible manner?  Sure, and if he chooses to grant that prayer, I’ll be grateful.  But if he chooses to leave me with the emotions I have, then I’m ok with that as well.  God created me to be me and he doesn’t design junk!

I summarize all this to say – if you don’t feel you are in a good place emotionally then you probably aren’t!    But, just because you don’t “feel” as much as your neighbor doesn’t mean something is wrong with you either.    You know – you don’t need to judge yourself on other’s people’s standards - you know if you aren’t in a good place.   And if you are not in a good place then please know you don’t have to stay there!  There is hope – there is a God waiting to help you – there are tangible steps you can take – there is hope.  If you feel lost as to what that next step is there are people surrounding who love you and who want to help!   Just take that first step and ask – we are here, and we love you!  More importantly God loves you!

I’m here – I’m praying for you – I love you!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Southern Vibe Conference - Savannah - Day 2


1/26/2019

One thing I can say for oil junkies - they start early!   They had yoga this am from 6 -7, needless to say I didn't make that.  I didn't even try!   We did make it over in time for breakfast from 7-7:45.   The breakfast was good, and it was super healthy.  I had a couple of mini egg quiches (crustless), plenty of fruit and coffee.  Jack tried the Acai... I'm not sure what that is or if it's good for you, but he liked it, so I guess I need to do some research.

After breakfast the conference really began.  Today's speakers that spoke were divided into two areas business/self-motivation and product education.   I found most of the speakers engaging and took copious notes.   Some I'll implement, some I’ll research further and some I'll file away for something to be reflected on at another time,maybe.     

The supplement class Lyndsey Elmore taught was amazing - I didn't really get a full grasp of which supplements I need, but I got a better idea of ones to research for several issues including Liver Health, Hormone Health and Sexual Health.  Plus she is just amazing to hear speak.    

I also really enjoyed hearing Lindsay Moreno speak.  She is a no-nonsense woman who is breaking ceilings and refusing norms.   I think she brings a lot to the table I can benefit from, some is a little too brazen for me, but that's ok - take what I can apply and leave the rest for someone else.   That's the beauty of learning and self-help, what works for me won't work for everyone and vice versa.  I found her talk motivational and hilarious, her husband also spoke, and they are a dynamite team.     He spoke really on finding your why and really digging deep as to what it is vs. just taking the surface answer.  I think I may need to do some work here.

Lunch was catered in and the conference was over around 2:30. They had a silent disco party at the end, but that was a little too far out of mine and Jack's wheelhouse, so we headed back to the hotel room.   At which point I had an emotional moment or two.  I think I expected too much of this conference and that is on me.  I expected to be able to develop connections and that it would be easier to meet people - to dive deeper.   

Looking back that expectation was unrealistic, and the disappointment is on me and no one else.   I tend to expect things to happen when in reality life doesn't work that way and relationship building doesn't work that way.  In fact, I'm not sure how it works - I've had so little experience with it.   But this year will be different.   I know that digging deeper is something I need to do, and I will.   Maybe we should have stayed for the disco - I just don't see us fitting in that scene so, it is what it is.   I had my moment and Jack really did try to help.   Emotional women, men don't understand them.  He did try to help though - he just isn't wired like me.  He wouldn't mind having deeper connections with a circle of people, but it isn't a deep desire for him like it is me.   I know that only God can really fill this desire, if I continue to focus on him, if I continue to ask him for it, if I continue to realize that even without it, I am enough.  I am loved - I am a child of God - I am likeable - I am enough! Then in time he will allow me to have a circle that is deep and strong.   He will meet my needs – I just can’t put the circle before him or even the desire to have one before him.   He has to be first… family has to be second and everything else will work itself out including my amazing circle.  The circle I’m praying for, the circle I’m building one moment at a time, the circle that is to be and is already forming!   I have the beginning of one… I have ladies I love and that love me back.  He has my circle in his hand and he will bless me with it when I’m ready for it.  I am enough and God gets me more than I even get myself!

So, I had my emotional moment, I wallowed for a minute, then I rolled some oils on me and decided to take a reset nap which Jack was totally ok with it.   After I woke up, I felt better, more analytical and less emotional.   I was able to rethink and know where my emotions came from.   That in itself is movement in the right direction.  It shows I still have healing to do, but it's a move in the right direction.  

So, I took a little nap and we went about enjoying the rest of our evening.  We walked back down to the river front to eat at Cotton Exchange Seafood and Tavern.     I got the crab legs and shrimp which was was amazing!  I love crab legs - I don't get them often due to the cost and the work involved in eating them, but they are one of my favorite meals.   We chatted while we ate, joked with the waitress over portions and enjoyed our time.   We talked about the conference, business things we want to do, things we want to research for our own use, we just talked.   We had moments of silence and moments of conversation - we just were, and you know what - sometimes that is the best!  Just being...

After dinner we walked back to the hotel - it’s good mile walk and in the crisp air it was so enjoyable.  Tonight, was a tiny bit chilly toward the end, but there is something about walking to and from restaurants and around town that just make it better.  It becomes an event vs. just dinner... It is more and I love it!  I wish we had the ability to do more commutes via walking where we live.   Maybe when they open the Wild Wings, we will walk to dinner... 

Well anyway that was my day. Lots of learning, emotional moments and an amazing husband that helps when he can and lets me be quiet and alone when I need that too.  Tomorrow we will pack up and head home, but not before I find an amazing breakfast restaurant.  It isn't compliant, but I love cinnamon rolls and I am determined to try them in every city so I may just have to cheat tomorrow... 

And you know what?  That's ok too!  

Love you blogland - sleep well!


Friday, January 25, 2019

Southern Vibe Conference - Savannah Visit - Day 1

1/25/19

So, I like to keep a travel journal, it helps me remember things because my memory sucks and I enjoy sharing with you all.   So even though this isn't a typical "trip" and instead it's a conference to learn all about oils, I figured I'd still keep a journal.  That ok with you guys?   It is!  Awesome, I'm so glad you agree.

With that let’s get started!  Jack took the day off and came to the conference with me.  He did this A) because it was in Savannah and we could make a nice get away out of it and B) he's into oils as much (sometimes more) as I am.  So, we got up this morning, bright and early to begin our adventure.

First things first we had to do our workout - we have started a new 6 day a week plan and I didn't want to lose momentum.  Can I just say working out before coffee or well before noon in general is just wrong!  I don't know how people do it - I used to walk with Mama in the mornings before the heat of the day (and I will again once it gets warm).  I thought that was hard to do – this was a whole new level!  I am so not a morning person!  BUT We pushed through and got it done so yay!

After the workout, Jack drove down the street and secured us some chicken mini's from Chick Fil A.   This is the one thing I really craved during our detox and while I won't eat them every day or even every week due to the bread and processed carbs, I was so glad for them today and yes, they tasted AMAZING!  I mean like sing hallelujah jump up and down good!

After eating we packed up, including all of our oils (because I can never decide what to leave) and headed down to Savannah.   The purpose of this trip is different.   I want to learn more about the oils that have made such a huge impact on my life.  I want to empower myself to use them more effectively.  I want to empower myself to share them with others.  I want to help see lives changed and chains broken.  I want to launch the business side of things in a successful manner.   I believe on so many levels that the oils came into my life at this time because God ordained it.  I believe they have a huge part in my future story and I'm stepping out on the ledge in faith that God will not let me fall.   I may falter and stumble as I walk this path that is unfamiliar and scary, but God has me and he is leading me, he will not let me fall.   

That being said I also believe that God, when he sets us on a path expects us to learn and to take concrete steps to be successful.  He doesn’t promise our path will be easy – he doesn’t say it won’t be work!  In fact, I believe sometimes the path God has for us is scarier, harder and requires more work than the one we may choose for ourselves.   He loves us too much to leave us where we are – he wants us to grow, to live and to flourish!   He also wants us to realize we can’t do it without him!  He is our provider, he is our reason and only with him surrounding us will we ever truly succeed.  He expects us to put in the work – take the harder path – take the scary path, relying on him to guide and protect you.  

So, part of this weekend is me taking steps to learn as much as I can about the oils so I can effectively share them with others.   To get better resources in my hands to share with.  I'm also here to network with people who have been using oils longer than me, who have been doing the business longer than me and who are just amazing people that I can learn from.  Maybe I can offer them a fresh perspective and help them as well - who knows.  I'm certainly willing to try.   

There is another piece as well - community.   I've mentioned before that this year is all about doing life with intention.  That includes relationships.   When I signed up for Young Living, little did I know the community of people I was getting to go with it.  I've learned through social media that I am now part of a group that is diverse, loving and well just plain awesome and I want to really engage with them.  I want to get to know them off the screen - I want to dig a bit deeper.  Maybe friendships will be made, maybe not, but I admire many of the people I've met in the social media groups for different reasons and I'd love to broaden my personal circle to include them.   

So, with that explained a big part of this weekend is me stepping out of where I'm comfortable and meeting new people.  Typically, in conferences or large gatherings of people you find me on the peripheral.   I don't engage in the chit chat ... I stand next to the wall and watch.  I've actually been on teams that facilitated this type of gathering before – my year as President of our local NAIW chapter happened to fall during the same year we were responsible for the state convention.   I was involved in so much of that conference, but even then - being as integral to it as I was - I was often on the sides looking in.  I did the work but didn't engage – only talking with the few people I knew.   I can stand in front of 100 people and teach, heck I've even spoke in front of 300 - no sweat but introducing myself to a handful of people and chit chatting.   That's seriously SCARY yall!   I mean like DEEP SCARY.  I don't know how to chit chat not really.  My family complains about it often... BUT this time I'm determined it will be different and I'm trying.   

So now that I've taken you down this emotional history lesson of who I am what is actually happening on the trip?     Well, first of all we drove down.  It was a pretty uneventful drive though we did end up driving 30 minutes out of the way in Statesboro hunting for me an unsweetened tea.  We told the GPS to take us to the nearest Chick Fil A - what we didn't realize was that it was inside the college and therefore not one we could access ... that was a bit annoying.  We then went to McDonalds for said tea and got behind the slowest person ordering in history... By this time emotions were bubbling a little bit - you know it goes.  Especially when you are under a self-imposed timeline, that really you should let go of and just relax.   So, we said a prayer, rolled on some Release and Just Chill to help us with the emotions that were bubbling and continued on our way.  

Once in Savannah we checked into our hotel and then walked to the Crystal Beer Parlor for lunch.   This place had really good Yelp reviews and they were well earned.   I had a burger (no bun) with homemade chips and both were really good.  We brought our own ketchup, so I really ate a completely sugar free compliant meal on the road, which was awesome.   Love the fact with just a little prep you can eat out healthy!   Plus, the restaurant gave us a Veterans discount which was appreciated.

And then we headed to the conference.   So, if you know me very well at all you know that crowds FREAK me out - I mean like - freeze - can’t move - panic attack - freak out levels.     So, I'm already coming to this conference with the mentality that I'm going to step out of my zone and meet new people.  I'm going to engage!   So, I walk in and the room where the vendors are and it is so tight - you could not move for bumping into people.  You could not see the tables without waiting in line, you could not breathe.     But you know what?  You know what was amazing?   I was ok!  Jack was with me so - I had him.   God was with me always!  And I was ok.  I had some apprehension and was a little uncomfortable, but no panic attack. No uncontrollable desire to just get out!   God is using this to grow me, he's using the oils to heal me and my emotional stuff, he's showing up and showing out guys and it's amazing!     Does this mean I'll never have a panic attack again - no - it just means God is working in me and I'm grateful for it!  

So, we made our way around the room.  I bought several brochures that I want to read and see what is going to be best for my team and my oily family as they join.   I bought some reference materials so I could help answer questions in a more educated manner and I dealt!  I sat there and compared prices on my phone with people buzzing around me.  I dealt!   I picked out an oily T Shirt and was nice to the person who sold it to me despite my anxiety level being a little spiked.  I smiled at the vendor who sold me books and made it a point to say thank you.   You are thinking, so what, those are normal.  And yes, they are normal.  They are normal for me on a regular day, but me in a crowd - I get anxious and my inner demon comes out or I freeze and can't function.  So, this is huge guys!  I mean huge.

You know what else I did?  I walked to the back and introduced myself to one of our team leads.  I didn't chat with her long and I won't say a meaningful connection was made, but I said hi.  I pushed beyond my normal and introduced myself.

After all this emotional stuff... Jack and I walked back to our hotel. We are staying about a 10-minute walk down the street (free with points - bonus) and dropped off all the stuff I bought, which was a lot.   We freshened up - rearranged our bags and headed back for the conference to begin.   When we got back Bill had saved our seats (thank goodness) and we settled in with some nice ladies from Atlanta.   I introduced myself to them but didn't engage too much as it was a little hard to hear and my inner walls were up a little bit.

We then listened to the speakers which were engaging.  Tonight, was about emotions and learning different ways to use the oils for emotional healing and mental clarity.   So, it was not necessarily "education" where you take notes, but more of an experience where you learned how to use oils in your daily life to help you with emotional barriers and to meditate.   I won't say I got the most of the experience this evening, but I did learn the principals of how to do it and will work on it in my home, in the solitude, during my quiet time.   So, it was beneficial. 

The conference let out a bit early for which I was grateful, but before we left, I did another big thing for me.   I marched right up to the front, through the crowd, against the flow of traffic.  I marched right up to a where a few of the ladies in our tribe were seated and said hi.  I introduced myself to one of them and made sure the others saw and recognized me.   We couldn't really talk as it was crowded and they were engaged with others, but I pushed beyond my own comfort area and said hi.  I'll try tomorrow to connect more, but it was a start and I'm grateful God gave me the power to do it!  I'm grateful for the growth and I'm honored he loves me enough to not leave me where I was or even where I am.

Jack and I then left and decided to walk down to the river walk to eat at Hueys on the River.  Our hotel is only 20-minute walk from the river walk and the weather is nice.  It has a nip to the air, but it's not super cold so the stroll was enjoyable.  We talked all the way down about our dream house, our dream location, the fact we loved being able to walk in town... we just talked.   Jack and I communicate, and I love him with everything I have.   However, times where we just "talk" are not frequent.   It's ok with both of us - it's how we roll - but tonight was nice.  It was ... it was needed.

We get to the restaurant and upon entering there is a sign that ask you to wait to be seated... I didn't see a hostess and then this lady sitting down said hi to us.   She didn't feel well, it was obvious, and I immediately offered her one of my roller bottles.  Guys can I tell you how out of the box that is for me?  To talk to a complete stranger and say here I have something that will help you?   It’s just not me!  So anyway, she rolls the sinus roller on and then I realize she is the hostess, so we chat for a minute or two and she seats us.  

We have an exceptional waiter who made us feel welcome and not rushed.   It was amazing.   The food was also great.  I could only eat 1/2 my food, but aah so good!  I had a salad (with my homemade dressing), crab cakes, a cup of jumbo and some green beans.   A lot of food - but I only ate until I was satisfied which unfortunately did waste a bit, but better than making myself sick by overeating.   The point was the experience and it was awesome!  I love seafood and save it for special nights out - this did not disappoint.

After dinner we headed out of the restaurant and I checked on our hostess friend.  She was feeling a bit better but had a headache.   So, I let her use my headache roller and we exchanged information so I could send her some information about Young Living.   As we were chatting some other customers came in and I discovered they use another brand of oils and are not seeing results, so I talk to them as well - and gave them a card!   At this point I'm shocked at my behavior, but hey, when things happen you just roll with it...

We then left the restaurant and walked the mile back to our hotel, chatting and stopping at a souvenir shop along the way.   Today has been hard, it's been uncomfortable, and it's been amazing!  

Here is to a better tomorrow!  May God continue to grow and stretch me.   May he use me as he sees fit and may I before ever malleable to his will.   

And with that emotional dump combo travel log I'll let you go for the evening.  Sleep well blogland, may God's blessings be upon you.

Feel Something

Feel Something  – the new song by Adam Lambert resonates with me.   I encourage you to listen to it – it’s all about being in a place wher...