The End is Near

I am nearing the end of a 4 week elimination diet.  And for the most part, I have done not too badly with it.  I had one day where I ate just about every carbohydrate I could find – luckily I had a total of 1/4 cup of rice and a can of kidney beans at home, and about $5 dollars in my pocket which was enough to buy a latte and a croissant at the cafe down the street.  And other than going out for dinner one time in the last 4 weeks, and had 3 bites of a very chocolatey dessert which resulted in the most wicked headache ever, I have pretty much toed the line when it comes to this diet (holy long sentence – and breathe!). And I can now pronounce that sugar is evil.

I feel FANTASTIC.  Here is the list of changes that have happened:

  • My anxiety has been greatly reduced
  • I have loads of energy
  • My jeans fit better
  • I have lost an entire shoe size (figure that one out – because I cant)
  • The only real noticeable weight that I have lost is in my chest, because I no longer have any bras that fit (figures I would lose there first). But yay for shopping days!
  • My hair is healthier, and doesn’t fall out nearly as much
  • My skin is much less dry – and dare I say, almost glowy
  • I feel terrible when I sneak in a carbohydrate
  • Berries now taste like mold.  They don’t have mold – I checked, its my taste buds that are wrecked.
  • I am managing to save a few extra $$$ a month – probably because I have to stay home now.
  • I am happier.  Like way happier.  Like super happy.

And this is what I look like after almost an entire month on this diet.

IMG_E2002

For those of you who don’t remember what I looked like when I started this journey – I looked like this 4 weeks ago.

IMG_0381

 

Go ahead and tell me I look much better now – I love hearing that. Check out the fact that I no longer have humongous black circles under my eyes. I can only speculate of course, but I think they may be gone for good.

And here is the best news – because Im feeling so much better (the lack of anxiety especially), I am going to continue on this journey – with a slightly altered diet. I simply must have oranges. And tomatoes on second thought I don’t need tomatoes.. But chilies – my chamomile tea really misses those things. I’ll try it out, anyway.

 

 

 

The Psychic

I went to see a psychic today this week. And it was wonderful.

Before this experience, I was more skeptic than believer. I felt that if you were having a bad time of it, a $50-100 session with a psychic might be a better investment than a weekly session with a therapist, if all you were looking for was to know that everything would all work out. But other than that, I have never really had much use for knowing what is coming up – as change is constant.

Today changed all of that.

I walked into the storefront feeling good.  Feeling like change is coming into my life. A lot of change. Good change. Necessary change. I have been feeling like life has gotten a bit too small lately, and I want to move on to new challenges, other places, find different people. I have been feeling like I want to add more of me into the world, and that is certainly a new feeling.

And here is what came up in the reading:

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before we even started the spread, the card at the bottom of the deck (and apparently this is important) was the Wheel of Fortune. Didn’t I tell you that change was coming into my life. This is the card that makes things happen.  Change!  And then she (lets call her H) started laying cards down, and making really encouraging sounds.  And when she finished dealing (that’s what you call it, right?) she said – “this is really exciting”.  Cue the goosebumps!  I love it when people are excited!  Before I tell you about the cards – let me just say, that I felt like someone was standing behind me yelling “yes!” while pumping their fist into the air.  This is how positive that morning was for me.

First card “H” pulls is The Empress (thats me)- she is in reverse.  Which means there is some dissatisfaction. And that is the truth. I am ready to move to more creative pursuits.  I have dreams of opening my own shop – and I am scared. But the next card is the Knight of Wands – a man who knows what he wants, and he gets it.  A man who is dynamic, and is smart, and is driven, and who is going to take that journey with me.  I know this man – and he is a great influence in my life.  All of this is true.

Moving on, she flips over the Fool. The only card in the entire deck that worries me.  It worries me, because I don’t understand it. Before this week – I thought it was a reflection of who I am, someone that can’t be taken seriously.  A joke.  A flake of some sort. But its not true. The fool represents unlimited potential. It multiplies the effects of everything else by 10.  I was told that this is the card of blind faith. Of trust. To go with my gut – and believe in what I am doing. And now that I have had a few days to think about it, this may be the most powerful card of all, for me. Because what I have never done is trust in anyone, let alone myself. The time is now.

The Fool was paired with the six of pentacles. Which could mean that the creative endeavour could mean less money, especially in the getting started years.  But that less money does not mean less happiness. This is already a lesson I have learned in my life, it does not worry me. If the Knight decides to stick around – then I have nothing to worry about.

Next comes the Emperor – in this position, he is seen as a mentor. An older male – someone who believes in structure.  I have a mentor, he believes more in flexibility than structure – but he has his moments. He deserves a phone call about everything that has been going on (including this reading).  The card paired with it, is the 8 of wands.  This means travel.  And a relocation.  For work, for love, for life. Knight of Wands are you listening?

Which transitions into the next two cards, the two of wands- meaning travel, enthusiasm, inspiration; and the three of pentacles – entering into an agreement with someone, a partnership.  This tells us that the possibility for an overseas relocation could very well go hand in hand with a new job.  A more creative job. Less structure, more creation.  Maybe this will let me be the fully realized artist that I desperately want to become (and by fully realized, I just mean full time).

So far so good, its pretty much everything I want to happen. And then Hailey moves onto the last two cards.  The nine of cups – the wish fulfillment card. All of my dreams are coming true. The happily ever after that I have dreamed of my entire life is possible.  And so what is the final card – the only card that could come after a card like that. The Lovers.  Apparently the happily ever after comes with the Knight of Wands.

The really interesting thing that happened was after the major reading. She chose 4 additional cards – you can see them in the photos (they are the small cards), and two of the cards she chose had already appeared in the reading, the wheel of fortune, and the two of wands. Basically solidifying the fact that change is indeed coming – and there are faraway places to visit in my future.

So there you have it folks, my future. It looks to be a great one.

 

The Renaissance – Part Deux

 

5423401760_3c0b34eb67_z

 

It’s good to shut up sometimes ~ Marcel Marceau

This is not a time to be quiet. In fact the opposite is true. It appears that it is  our time to speak, yell, take action. To do anything but stay quiet. People who have endured abuse are coming forward to tell their stories. Stories of which we should not be ashamed of. There are so many, these stories are bringing down powerful people, and people who just abuse what little power they have. But people of both genders have come together to say #metoo – and from what I am reading, its working, people are taking their power back.

I have not been shy of talking about my experiences with abuse. It’s not easy to talk about – and my history with it is complicated.  But I don’t want to talk about sexual abuse, or my relationship with it. Rather a type of abuse that is not so easily defined, by me. Emotional abuse is something I am still struggling with- and for a long time I didn’t view it as abuse at all. I thought of this person as someone who knew more than I did, and who shared his rules of conduct passionately, eventually that passion became a bit constricting, and then over time became threatening.  This is where I am now. But lets be honest, it was emotional abuse right from the start.

I use social media mainly as a way to connect to people, to friends that I have had for a long time, or with people that I share common interests with.  I am completely authentic online, as I am in the “real world”. I find no reason to pretend to be someone else. So if I am sharing that I had a breakthrough, it really happened – and if I am sharing that I am having a really bad day, you can believe that I am really struggling.  So I don’t find it terribly productive, when someone I used to know sends me incredibly toxic and threatening emails, calling me “pathetic” or a “sick fuck” or referring to the fact that I am mentally ill, and that I am hurting people by being honest about who I am, because he is unhappy with my online presence. We aren’t connected on any of these platforms- he is seeking out my content, without my permission.  If I was really worried about what people thought about me, then I would just post videos of puppies being puppies.  But I am not a puppy, I am a person. A person who has passions and interests, and emotions. I have good days and bad days. I have people who care about me, and people that I care about. I don’t have time for someone who sends me threatening and hateful emails, just because he is too cowardly to post his comments publicly. This is not an invite to post nasty comments, I truly have no interest in reading anything negative towards me or the people I care about.

In the weeks that have gone by since I last heard from this individual, I have gone through some stuff. Most of that stuff is fear. Then fear led to growth, which has developed into some strength. I can handle things now. But during the time I was experiencing fear, I wasn’t afraid for my personal safety – it was something a lot more personal than that. The fear paralyzed my creativity. I lost the ability to express myself. And this is unforgivable. I have a business where my imagination is my most important tool. If I am unable to create, tell a story, come up with new ideas, then I don’t have a business to speak of.  Fear took that ability away from me.  These are some of the things I experienced, and what I did to get my creative self back. Continue reading

What’s Behind Door Number 1

6229972218_c0ce361575_z

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with doors. Behind doors lay magical worlds. Talking creatures that were not human lived just on the other side, colours not found in our world existed there, grand adventures were to be had, but most of all behind special doors there was a place where anxiety couldn’t survive.

In the house I grew up in, closets were a special fascination. My house had huge closets.  Walk-in closets, closets that could be used as clubhouses, and hiding places. Closets that could be used to escape from the noise. These were places where I could escape from myself.

These closets were big enough to drag in cushions, and mattresses, and pillows, and piles of blankets.  I could bring in a stack of books, a flashlight, and mugs of iced tea, and I would be happy there for days. Sometimes I skipped sleeping in my own bed just so I could stay in that world a little longer.

Today the start of (what I call) the PTSD season snuck up on me.  It does so every year. I don’t ever realize its approaching until its here – and I have a panic attack so bad that I don’t think I can survive – in case you are wondering, I did survive.  But I am now aware that for the next 6-10 weeks, life is about to get a bit more challenging.

And right now, the only thing I want, is a closet big enough to drag in an air mattress, and take a flashlight, some books, and a big mug of iced tea, and move to a land (albeit temporarily) where anxiety doesn’t exist.

*Photo Source- Stewart Chambers via flickr

An Easter Visit

IMG_1392

For Easter, I went to a cemetery. For no reason other than to lay flowers on graves of people that I have never met. This is not something I would normally do on Easter, or really on any other day. With the exception of burial services, I have never had a reason to visit someone’s grave. For the people I have lost in my life, I think about them all the time, and I have never felt the need to visit them graveside. But its Easter, and a friend of mine suggested we go. Since she is visiting from Toronto, I decided it would be something interesting for us to do together. There is a great deal of history after all – and just by looking at the types of headstones, you can learn a lot about the styles of the day – and the kind of person that they were.

But we hit a couple of snags. First, we couldn’t find flowers. You’d think that there would be plenty of flowers to be had on Easter, but we couldn’t find any. So we settled on mandarin oranges. There are cultures that put oranges and other kinds of food to wish good fortune, to show respect towards the dead, or to offer it to the evil spirits – so they will not eat the souls of the departed. But we chose this because I have a friend who does this for someone who loved oranges, and I thought it was a really special offering.

Second, we didn’t actually know anyone who was buried in the cemetery, so we walked around for awhile, until we connected with a headstone. We would talk to it, or just stand quietly and meditate on their lives a bit. And for ones we connected with, we placed an orange on the stone, as a sign to let them know we were there and thinking about them.

The last orange I offered, was to a woman named Ethel, who died in 1935 at 28 years and 11 months. Her family chose not to use her last name. I found the bolster gravestone an interesting one – and the design of the cylinder balanced on a slab of granite, made me feel like perhaps she was a bit undecided in life – or maybe even just a little chaotic.

RIP Ethel.

Photo by Sisi – Taken at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC

My Dreams Cause Sleeplessness

65655253_917cac3d59_z

I am currently in a system of insomnia. This time its caused by my dreams. Funny how that works. I am able to sleep for a couple of hours (before midnight), but then something happens in my dream, and I wake up – and my brain refuses to go back to sleep.  Sometimes its because something frightening has happened, or sometimes like tonight its just confused.

Lately, I have woken up after I have been beheaded- and I am dancing around like a no-headed chicken. Sometimes my head pops off like a piece of lego, and sometimes its bloodier. But the result is the same. Dancing around without a head. I don’t need to look up an interpretation of this to tell me that I am stressed, and I should probably do something about it.

Tonight’s dream though, had to do with the fact that I don’t eat organic oranges. Feel free to interpret that one. I don’t think I have earned my sleeplessness tonight.

*Photo by Kema Keur via Flickr