Attacking Anxiety without Artificial Agents

Anxiety is real.  It consumes.  It darkens.  It hardens.

We all get worried at times.  But what happens when it’s so strong that it affects every other aspect of your life?  Anxiety happens.

You can’t breathe.  You can’t move.  You can’t be happy.  You want to close your eyes until it goes away.  But you have to go to work, you have to take care of your family, you have to take care of yourself.  The world doesn’t stop because you suffer from anxiety.  This makes the very problem snowball.  Where is the damn freeze button?!

I was prescribed Xanax for PMS.  It worked.  Then I noticed I started taking it more frequently.  Sometimes, just having the bottle in my purse calmed me down, which made me think how much do I really need it.  I didn’t want to depend on a pill.

I started reading self help books.  I started spending time with people who also wanted to focus on bettering themselves, physically and mentally.  I started doing things that made my body feel GOOD.  I changed what I was eating.  I started working out more.  Yoga became my best friend.  I started spending more time outside.  There is nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.

If you suffer from anxiety, there is not one solution.  There are many.  Do what works for you, as long as you are not harming yourself or anyone else.  Talk about it.  It’s therapeutic.  Like anything else in life, start with one change.  Breathe.  And I don’t mean a normal breath.  Deep inhales and exhales.  Count to ten.  They work.  A morning mantra like “today will be a good day” will get you farther than you think.

Today, let’s all smile in the mirror and make a promise to ourselves that we will make our damnedest attempt to have a worry free day!

Is Being Honest that Bad?

I’ve always believed the cliche “honesty is the best policy.”  I mean, why sugar coat shit?  I love people who are the same with me.  It means there’s no gray area, no need to wonder what someone is feeling or thinking.

Then there’s the issue of respect.  Is it respectful to be completely honest?  Well, sure, why not?  We are not all put on this planet to have the same ideals.

Should I not be honest because you are “an elder?”  I just don’t think so.  Respect does not equal losing your voice.  Experience and age does give a person a lot to talk about.  I will listen to your stories all day and be genuinely interested.  Hey, I may even learn a thing or two and incorporate them into my life.  But, please, for the love of anything, don’t think your way is the ONLY WAY!

When my daughter is a teenager I may regret saying this, but I hope to hell she grows up being able to respectfully disagree with me.  I hope she learns that she can always speak what she is feeling, even if it’s not something I understand or agree with.

After all, if we can’t lead a life by OUR choices and beliefs, what’s the damn point?

I pondered writing a blog about just yoga, just mommy stuff, just being green, just yummy recipes.  But I was like heck no!  My mind is constantly on the go in a zillion different directions.  Why narrow it down?

I always joke that I have adult attention deficit disorder…or maybe I’m just constantly in need of learning.  I love new things.  I love old things.  I love memories.  I love the possibility of memories.

In third grade, we used to have periodic sit-downs with our principal to review our report cards.  I, apparently, hated school at that point because he reminded me of that through the eighth grade.  Looking back on that, I’m not so sure that I hated school.  Perhaps, I hated the structure of it.  I wanted to be learning things that interested me.  Or perhaps I hated having to sit in a seat and be confined in a sense.

Fast forward to college, I could never figure out what the hell I wanted to major in.  I started with Spanish, to potentially be a Spanish teacher.  Boom.  Loved Spanish, but realized I didn’t want to necessarily teach it.  Next up: Criminal Justice.  I love watching crime shows and the research fascinates me.  But, memorizing every bone for forensic science class was tough and my empathetic nature couldn’t handle the tough reality of being in that field.  Being involved with the dregs of society would have made me miserable.  I finally went with Geography: Tourism because I love culture.  Language, travel, other countries….all fascinate the shit outta me!  Downside is it’s not a high-paying field and I didn’t realize that until after.  Good thing for me though, I am not all about the benjamins.  I’d rather be satisfied in my job emotionally than financially.

Yoga became a passion of mine in 2003, when my best friend Jean introduced it to me while we were studying in Spain.  In our tiny bedroom that we shared she rolled out her mat and I was curious.  The rest is history.  I love the physicality of it, but also the spirituality.  It has been a great meditative medium for me.

My love for new places wound up making me more aware of our environment.  If humanity continues to treat it like a garbage dump, there won’t be new places to see.  Doing just one green thing a day is a huge help!  It doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Recycle plastic bags, recycle cans, compost your food scraps, change your cleaning and beauty products to ones that don’t contain the chemicals that will hurt the environment when they go down the drain,  try to use less plastics.  Do one, do all, just do something!

Eating fresh fruits and veggies make you feel good!  Instead of munching on chips, munch on green grapes and blueberries.  Instead of eating processed food, get a recipe book with quick recipes that include fresh ingredients.  Trust me, I know this can be difficult with the lack of time that comes with working a lot of hours and/or raising a family.  Start one meal or snack at a time.  Change is tough in anything, but if there’s a will there’s a way.

Thanks for reading.  🙂

Hope you’ll come back.  You never know what you’ll find!

A Quick Afternoon Snack

Ingredients:

1 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1 tsp chia seeds

1/2 cup peanut butter granola

1 tbs cacao powder

1 cup almond/coconut milk

water to liking

Mix all in a blender and enjoy!

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Don’t forget to compost your fruit scraps?  Peep my stainless steel compost container 😉

Pasta with Peas, Kale, and Tomatoes

Ingredients (organic when possible):

1 pkg. whole wheat penne

2 cups frozen or fresh peas

1 lb. ground turkey

1 handful kale

1 handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fennel seeds

Crushed red pepper to taste

salt to taste

2 tbs olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Cook turkey in pan with garlic powder, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, and salt.  Put to the side until pasta is done.

When pasta is done, add turkey, peas, kale, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil.  Mix well and add Parmesan cheese when serving.  Can be eaten warm or cold.

Enjoy!

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Mommyhood…

I never wanted kids.  I mean, never.  I loved kids, but the thought of having to wake up for someone else, to not be able to do what I want, to be in charge of another human, to potentially have to do everything in the absence of a man who actually acted like a dad….nothing attracted me to mommy hood!

I am currently sitting here while my baby girl, Phoenix 1.5 months, sleeps on my chest.  She has been the best thing that I never wanted.  It’s all about how you perceive things.  My perception was a bit one sided.  Then it changed.

I met a man who completely shook my world.  He is compassionate.  He is kind.  He is present.  He is Phoenix’s daddy.

My pregnancy was pretty damn good.  Don’t believe everyone when they say it’s a shit show.  I had only two days of nausea.  I did prenatal yoga every week.  I ate lots of fruits and veggies and good shit.  I got a few pregnancy massages toward the end of my pregnancy.  I basically was able to treat my body the way it should be treated when it’s growing another human and my man helped with that.

Basically, pregnancy looked well on this chick who wanted nothing to do with it.  I almost feel somedays that my aversion to it for such a long time was a sign to DO IT.  It’s been nothing short of amazing.

I vowed and still vow to always follow my own passions but include her in them.  I still do yoga.  I am getting more comfortable taking her out without daddy’s help (that alone is a workout in itself!)  We have dance parties in our living room and she chills in her seat while I make breakfast or take a shower.  We take neighborhood walks and she enjoys seeing and hearing nature.

I’ve always been an advocate of having an open mind, yet I was closed to the aspect of mommy hood.  This goes to show you to truly keep an OPEN mind.  The exact thing that you are opposed to may be the one thing that changes your life completely for the better.

Phoenix, you are my muffin!  And I want to eat you up every day!  Thanks for coming to this world through me.  When you are old enough I will be open about your journey to my life.

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