The End of F3’s and the Beginning of a new Frozen/Hot Lesson!

Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.” Sonny from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

This past Friday was my last Fabulous Furlough Friday (F3).  Just when we were getting used to 8 hour days and 4 day weeks, our 11 furlough days were reduced to only 6. I’m not complaining. I am incredibly grateful for the lesson I was gifted in all of this – walking through my personal fears associated with debt, identifying where that fear came from, and finally healing the wounds that have caused me to recreate large amounts of debt over and over again.

I began this year with a financial goal of paying off three credit cards and wasn’t sure what would happen once my budget took the hits from moving out of the loft and weekly furloughs. But even with those initial expenses and payday reductions, it looks like I will  accomplish my goal after all! The worse case scenario is I might have to pay off one of the debts in January, and I’m okay with that.

One of the most important take-aways from this process was the realization that I was spending a lot of thought, time, and energy on monthly payments, rather then eliminating the debt I’ve piled up. This is a huge distinction as I always knew I would make my monthly payment but paying the debt off was just too overwhelming to even envision. However, even with furlough, I’ve watched the debt reduce and now I have a clear view of elimination and a plan to take myself there. I’m not going to let the current threat of more furloughs and possible Reduction-In-Force (RIF) or offers of early retirement drive me back to fear. I have complete trust in myself and my abilities and I know & trust that everything will be all right in the end!

So on Friday I indulged in more training for Spa de la Paz and received certification in Kundalini-Reiki. The training was given by Rev Mary Perry at her home in Sparrows Point. I love visiting Mary and enjoying her fantastic view: IMG_1176The Kundalini Reiki was very different from Usui Reiki and I’m looking forward to offering it to clients. There are some Reiki purest who don’t care for the different types of Reiki that are offered now but I remain open to what’s out there and take or leave whatever resonates or doesn’t resonate with me – that’s just how a SpiritualGadabout rolls! One part of the training I really enjoyed was using a pendulum.

Dowsing is a term most people know from TV shows where either a quack or a Spiritual person hunts for underground water using a divining rod – often a specifically shaped branch of some sort. I find this to be a good video on water-dowsing if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about. I only mention it because I believe it’s the most commonly accepted form of dowsing; using a tool, one’s body, and one’s intuition to find something – in this case, to find water. There are also lots of YouTube videos on using pendulums if you are interested in more information about that.

I have two pendulums, one made of sodalite and one made of rose quartz. I haven’t used them much lately but during training I felt an enhanced connection with the pendulums and with the process of communicating with my body through the use of a pendulum. Since I’ve started cooking again, I decided to use the pendulum to determine what might be the best foods for me to eat/avoid. I held the rose quartz above different food items and asked, “Is this food good for me to eat?” Most of the items in my kitchen were good for me (including a nice dark chocolate with sea salt bar!) IMG_1185 A few items that were not good for me was a mango, white potatoes, and an Ayurvedic supplement from Lifespa that I sometimes take, Warm Digest. When I asked if the B-12 I’ve been taking is good for me I received a yes. When I asked if I should continue taking it every day, I received a no. And when I asked if I should take it once a week, I received another yes. For me, this process is fun and gets me in tune with what I’m thinking about putting into my body. In other words, it facilitates mindful eating, which is one of the primary shifts I hoped to make this summer. But how does using a pendulum to determine what food I should eat, fit in with Ayurvedic principles?

I’ve mentioned before that I am on a Kapha-reducing plan. I’ve learned the qualities of what foods I should eat/avoid and most Ayurvedic cookbooks have lists to make it easy and not require much thinking. IMG_1189 I started off this summer hoping to have my foods identified for me; tired of looking at books and lists. What I’ve realized is, if I follow a list of foods to eat and avoid, I’m really doing just another diet – I’m not learning anything about the food I eat – it’s qualities or my need for one specific food over another – my food remains just fuel or comfort and I don’t have the added benefit of understanding food as medicine. Using food as medicine is so much better than using doctors and pharmaceuticals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going straight to the doctor with a broken bone. But I strongly strongly believe that if I pay attention to the food I put in my body and use my food as medicine, my trips to the doctor will be few and far between – and really, they are!

It’s taken me awhile to state this out loud but the truth is, my left shoulder is freezing up. At first I was in denial and frankly, angry about it (remember this as you continue to read). I couldn’t believe that I was going to go through that again! If you’ve never heard of Frozen Shoulder, Google it. It is really quite fascinating!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it’s called “50 year old shoulder.” And it appears to happen for “no reason” in people over 50; more so in women than men. In December 2010 my right shoulder began to hurt and by February, I could barely move my arm without extreme pain. I was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder and scheduled for several months of physical therapy. It took about 2 years to completely heal and I’m happy to share that my right arm moves freely and effortlessly now. That said, I’ve begun to feel pain in my left shoulder and it’s getting worse. It’s reminiscent of the pain I experienced in my right shoulder and I now accept it’s trying to freeze. I was thinking that I could just exercise it to stop it from progressing, but now I’m not so sure. So I’m taking several courses of action…

Energy work. If you do any type of energy work/Reiki, here is a picture of my left shoulder and I appreciate any long-distance healing you might send my way: IMG_1181I’m also feeding myself anti-inflammatory supplements such as Pain Free and Turmeric Plus (made with black pepper which enhances the qualities of Turmeric). IMG_1182 It may be safe to say that most Americans have an abundance of candida growth in their gut. There’s a great marketing scam that encourages people to eat sugary yogurts to get their probiotics to ward off candida overgrowth, which of course only proliferates the candida. I know that I definitely have an overgrowth and know that also leads to inflammation. I’ve already shared the probiotics I take.  I also supplement my diet with Pau d’ Arco, specifically to reduce candida. And a few times a day I’m massaging that shoulder/arm with Young Living’s Ortho Ease. All of this is helpful. However I also want to bring more anti-inflammatory foods into my diet.

First off, of course, is eliminating processed foods and I eat very little of that now. I know that spinach and sweet potatoes are great for reducing inflammation in the body so I picked some up this weekend. Now according to Ayurveda, sweet potatoes are not Kapha reducing but white potatoes are. But I believe that reducing inflammation will also reduce Kapha, so this morning I used the pendulum and asked if the white and sweet potatoes were good for me. The answer was sweet potatoes – yes, white potato – no. I made a large pot of Kitchari (Indian stew IMG_1188 made with mung-beans) and included spinach & sweet potatoes.

Finally, and not at all in the least, I’ve considered the emotional implications of a frozen shoulder. According to an article sent by my friend Ginger, “From a metaphorical perspective, a repressed emotion, such as anger, is frozen in the shoulder, which often can be uncovered by asking about significant emotional upheavals that occurred just before the onset.” With that information I was offered food for thought…

The pain in my left shoulder started roughly 3-4 weeks ago and I don’t remember being specifically angry at one thing but – big BUT – that is about the same time that my co-worker screamed at me. I was dealing with some buried anger issues that I hadn’t addressed (the heat of which, that confrontation brought the anger to my awareness and attention).  And I believe it’s possible that the Kundalini Reiki attunements I received last week, also brought the anger back to the surface, offering me the opportunity to clear it once and for all.

It’s easy for me to get stuck in analysis paralysis. Even my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (INFP) has a mantra of, “I Analyze!” But I’ve also learned that not everything must be analyzed; which isn’t to say I should deny or resist issues when they come up, but rather I don’t have to follow every single issue back to a specific stage of childhood to heal the wound – some will argue that point. To address the issue, I made a plan to sit down and make a list of all the things I’m angry about and then journal about those things. However, I never got to creating the list. I still think it’s a good exercise. I also believe there is still some anger lurking around my psyche and as I continue to do my exercises, take supplements, eat appropriate foods, and massage the area, I’m also keenly aware of how I’m feeling and open to the process of journaling (and any other healthy outlets) that will allow me to release the anger and thaw out those feelings – and my shoulder!

I’ve got so much more to share but you have indulged me enough today. As I stated yesterday, I have recommitted to blogging every day. I’ve got a very exciting two weeks coming up and I’m already looking forward to sharing that with you tomorrow. Until then, namaste my fellow Gadabouts and Seekers of Truth!

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