suck it up nancy

I was laying on the floor crying. I had decided that I was a floor person now and this was my new life. I was ready to give up. The husband hovered and the hospital inquiry was hanging in the air. Absolutely not, I told him.. this was not my first rodeo.

Days before, my back muscles were painful along the two sides of my spine from my bra strap to my waist. I felt it both internally and in the muscles when I loved. Then the skin became sore to the touch and felt swollen.. nothing visual, the husband checked. I worried.. kidneys? lungs? another flare plus some added new bonuses? Sometimes it can be hard to judge when you have fibro.. the tendency is to automatically assume it’s that but you can just never be sure until it becomes a regular occurrence. i decided to wait it out.

I had forgotten my meds the day before and had woken with more pain that morning of. My body was very shaky and I was feeling loopy.. this is not unusual if I miss. I still went to work. By the time I started cooking dinner my back was screaming, so I decided to lay in the floor.. which usually helps the pain. Once I rolled to get up however, my torso felt like it was exploding. This was when the crying and the husband hovering ensued. I get so tired of the constant pain.

It was right there when I had the thought, “suck it up Nancy, we are not going out this way” – negative Nancy and I argue a lot. So I got my sad little shaky arms under me and, trying not to vomit, I managed to get up all by myself.

I didn’t forget my meds that night and I didn’t forget my vitamins. I even had an extra elderberry gummi in a gesture of defiance.. and four mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I figure I earned them.. super powers and all.

In all that fuss of feeling sorry for myself, I had missed my moon ritual. The next morning, I lit a candle and shuffled my moon deck. I pulled the card of dreams. What do I dream of? Well, currently I dream of not getting stuck in the floor like an ancient. I must take better care of my vessel.

some things never change

If I had to say that I had one vice (other than wine, and chocolate, and plants, and wanting to bring home every visible stray cat..), it would have to be skincare. I am a hoardy, splurgy, product obsessive skank.. which is amusing because I also find it hard to stick to a routine. These are things I long to change as they bring me much stress.. both in self care and in cost of living. I am working towards better.

Recently(ish), I started slowly switching over to cleaner ingredients in the products I use most often and simplifying my routine to a manageable level. Your skin is your biggest organ yadda yadda, and since I am trying to do better with what I put in my body.. I figured it couldn’t hurt to devote some time to what I put on my body. It’s a controversial subject, and there are varying degrees of what is considered clean but I think such things do have an impact on health and choose to err on the side of smart choices as best I can.. so I’ve been slowly switching over.

As a bonus, because skincare often gets pushed to the side as well, my usual everyday routine consists of two products (of which you can get at all price points, I just wanted to treat myself in hopes the siren song of the pretty vanity would lure me into regular use).. coconut oil and my PAI cloth. Okay three – I do have some Thayers rose petal toner for the really lazy/flare times.. where I just swipe and go.

Most days, I honestly can get away with just coconut oil. I massage a tiny bit in my skin in the morning and evening and take off with a warm washcloth.. usually this is enough for my skin to stay soft. I use a bit more in evening to take off makeup on the rare occasion I wear it these days and any excess of grunge.

On my dry days, I do supplement with Acure’s rosehip oil that I sometimes put on my body during an eczema flare. I always have it on hand because I get terrible eczema on my feet of all things. I am also currently trying out the Detox Box in hopes to find some other workable things (skin care hoarder – some things never change), but generally I stick to those three things most days.

I also make my own oil when I am feeling frisky (recipe below, play with it- it’s all about what works for you personally). It’s quick, and even on my most tired days I enjoy the few seconds it takes to feel a bit pampered.. amazing how relaxing a warm washcloth and coconut oil can be.

Patchouli Argan Facial Oil:

fill a 2 oz bottle 2/3 of the way with argan or jojoba oil (or a mix/one tailored to your skin needs. Add three to five drops of carrot seed oil (opt). Put in 1-2 small drops of Patchouli essential oil (you can also use lavender, sometimes I mix.. or none at all, or you can use what makes your skin happy so long as you research and pick a skin friendly one). Top off with rosehip seed oil and shake before use.

what I have learned from the fat cat

My voluptuous polar bear sized beautiful baby boy has taught me so much these past few months. He is the most chill cat that I have ever had and even though he has been sick for over nine months with no clear diagnosis, he really gives no ducks.

He still enjoys his day to day.. belly rubbing, sofa scratching, water sports in the kitchen floor, and of course most of all – sleeping. He doesn’t over tax himself and when he feels like I am not appreciating the moment (or him) enough, he gives me a sharp bite in the soft meat between my toes and brings me back to center.. total kitty zen.

sacred sun

A few new moons ago had me pulling “worth” from the moon deck – teaching your inner negative Nancy to be more supportive, and freeing yourself from critical thoughts towards body and worth. I honestly felt that I didn’t need that work. However, as I took the time to pay more attention to how I saw and spoke of myself, I realized that I did – the deflecting, the pulling away from affection, the joking self deprecation, and even my lack of caring for myself on most days.

I was having trouble making peace with my new form. My body and self worth had indeed changed. In this new I cannot be as spry, my sleepless habits can be read in the lines on my face, and I am quite a bit rounder than I have ever been. Yes, I had been quietly shaming myself for longer than I cared to admit.

Over the next few weeks, I started the process of organizing most of that which makes up my day to day in order to simplify and take back my worth inside and out. I started in the closet (because we all know it’s the clothes fault I feel hideous and unkempt).. bonus points for less laundry. Also, the boss made the comment to me that “we all know you don’t care about your appearance” – ouch!

This may be somewhat true as I do have an hour commute that is incredibly hard on my body after waking up in fibro pain.. so at 5 am in the morning I am not always concerned about my makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I care.. and I love my eyeshadow but honestly we are quite lucky I manage to put on pants most days (i.e. suck it, when your entire body feels constantly beaten then you can complain about my lack of lipstick). I tried not to let it get to me and told him that I was glad my self esteem didn’t rely on his opinions.

I am slowly moving to making better food choices and have been doing my yoga every morning. I am keeping up with my meditations. I spend as much free time as I can in the garden teeny. I have also incorporated some simple ritual into my morning quiet daily because my spiritual is very important to me.

A habit I have gotten into in order to deal with Miss Nancy is to carry around a small notebook in which to write what she says to me. I find this an excellent way to address why she is being such a see-you-next-Tuesday and deep dive into what is causing her to be so mean. Once I realize she is mumbling something hideous, I immediately say “STOP!” , open the notebook, and jot down her commentary.

Later, I will take time to read it back and ask myself how it makes me feel. I explore what reasoning this has, what triggered it, and try to remember a time when this may have occurred before. What is my earliest memory where something happened to make me feel this way.? When did this become a part of how I identified my self worth? How could this have happened differently in a manner that was more supportive? What did I need in that moment?

Often, I will then write the statement to reflect a more positive look at it, what challenge this brings me, and even how I thought things should have been. I do this as often as necessary until Miss Nancy understands that I refuse to accept her mean girl mentality and that I choose to offer love in its place.

I also begin my day with a small sun ritual to bring in some light and warmth. I find it sets the tone before I start my meditation and helps me to focus on a brighter start.

Sun Ritual

In the quiet place before my ancestors, I settle comfortably on my cushion. I have a candle, usually something seasonal to honor nature’s cycles, sitting in front of me. I spray myself with my meditation spray, breathe deeply, and speak to greet the day – “in flame, in fire, light that warms my soul, sacred sun”. I then light the candle. In the flame’s warmth, I take up my Mala beads, close my eyes, and move into meditation.

universal mirror

Someone once said to me that I was a mirror.. that sometimes people see in me things of themselves they aren’t prepared for reflected back. This, I believe, may have been them eluding to the fact that I tend to ask the uncomfortable questions.. or I used to.

These days I am still doing my best to keep to keep my doors locked and my trap shut. I have lost many a friend with honest advice and so now I just don’t let so many people in. I write here as an outlet, a journal of sorts.. and this seems to keep me in the quiet for the most part.

Recently something similar floated over to me during a class – the universe as a mirror reflecting back to us our hidden bits. These are those things about ourselves that we don’t own up to, need to work on, or just don’t like.. and often we judge others on those same things. We may not even realize it.

I picked three trigger words to work on. These are words that if I turn them onto myself really bring forth a negative emotional response and/or are things I find myself judging people on (and so by said theory are things related to my shadow in some form) – self-centered, manipulative, and insignificant.

I have spent quite a bit of time this week living with those words and what it was in essence that originally makes them triggering for me. I am working through taking away their power as we speak and replacing them with kinder ones.. a practice to carry with me.

crystals are the bones of the earth

”Where we believe what is given to us by the earth is all we really need to live happy and healthy lives” – Tamed Wild

Years ago I wrote on feeling the draw towards working with crystals after years of being a rock/shell/feather dedicant. I had been picking up one here and there, but with so many clouds around sourcing I never fully immersed. We do What we can to care for Mother Earth, and for every person that can’t be everything.. just the best one can. I release this.

Recently I revisited, the idea that crystals are the bones of the earth floating about. I have a couple of local (ish) people/places of trust and when asked for a simpler start I was directed to Tamed Wild. I couldn’t find sourcing information, but I very much like that they are partnered with the American Forests fund. Why not let the universe decide what’s needed?

My first was amethyst, an amethyst moon ring and some rough emerald. Amethyst, a favorite of my Pisces soul, is said to be a sleep helper – soothing the mind and the nervous system. I have also found it to be good for dreamwork. Emerald is aligned with the heart chakra and said to be a stone that amplifies love and friendship. I put both of these beside my bed.. it seemed fitting.

the garden sacred

My garden has always been a sacred space to me.. I find it to be a very liminal place and you will most days find me puttering about talking to the plantlings. I often meditate or do ritual here.. leaving offerings frequently for the garden spirits. Probably most sacred to me are the evenings spent having dinner and conversation, sometimes with friends but most likely just the husband plus kittahs. It is my most important ritual.

Being an animist, I am very involved with everything that blesses my garden.. we are all connected and often my garden is a reflection of that. I promise you, if I am a mess, you will see it in the sprawling unkempt just as you will see the order of when all things are well. It protects and nourishes not only the body but my soul as well.. I am certain any gardener will tell you such.

My main task for this year was to learn how to grow some of my own food. There’s a certain feeling of accomplishment in eating something you’ve grown yourself. As I am just learning, and haphazardly at best, that shows quite glaringly in the overgrown mishmash of plants I can barely move around.. plenty of time to sort this later I think. Right now is the time to put my feet up, pour a glass of wine, and watch the cats swat at everything.

the little ritual of letting go

One thing I am learning is that I have to pay better attention to what my body is telling me. I also need to learn to let go a bit and better embrace saying no, which often makes me feel guilty. Even now, learning my new normal, I tend to overdo things. I spread myself thin and then when I can’t do I feel lesser.. or worse, resentful. This spills over most often in my relationships.

These days I have stepped back quite a bit. I spend most of my time at home in the garden, which had become a little more familiar a routine lately due to quarantine. I reach out less often but I am trying not to feel bad about that. Frankly, most days I am still trying to figure this out. Yes, I have lost contact and most have dropped away but I have found a strange peace in that amongst the quiet of my plants.. I am doing what is needed to heal.

I spend my good days with those I love and the not so taking care as best I can so that I can have more good days. When I find myself troubled, I have a little ritual of letting go.

the little ritual of letting go

light a candle, preferably one that grounds or soothes.. breathe in it’s scent. Take a few cleansing breaths and write those troubles on a piece of paper (or a bay leaf from the kitchen- very cleansing). Holding this to your heart with the issue in mind, with a simple spoken “I choose to no longer hold space for this”, light the paper on fire. Drop this into a heat proof dish.

when ready, return the ashes to the earth – I often do this in the garden letting the wind carry it away at its own discretion. If it ever sneaks back into thought, acknowledge it and set it aside. Having already been released, there is no point in dwelling or bringing it back. One can only do their best and personally, I choose to make space for better things.

full moon revisit

Since I have been fine tuning and timing my manifestation work to the moon’s cycles, I spent some time in the quiet of the last full moon mulling over the (almost) completion of my last  work, which has been very productive – calling in supportive, healthy relationships.

The universe continues to throw me some challenges on this but so far I have been really strong at keeping myself in alignment with what I want to cultivate in this area of my life and weeding out relationships that no longer serve.. be they codependent, drama laden, or simply no longer a fit. None of this was easy but it was necessary to clear the path for positive movement.. so this moon I worked to release any negative emotions I still had lingering around that.

To me manifesting is more than just clarifying and the energetically positive around what you seek, but also about clearing space to make room for those things. Listing baby steps that can be accomplished in the now or close to, things to clear away that do not align, and really anything small that fits with what you’re trying to call in is a good practice. Then putting together a plan to consistently work on these steps.. and of course doing the work.