GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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The Battle of Brain and Stomach

I can tell myself I’m excited about my trip and looking forward to meeting up with new & old friends, but my stomach isn’t buying it.

Now I can down count the days until take off on one hand.  I’m waking up in the mornings nauseated. I have a huge box of chewable Pepto.  After I start my day my stomach calms down, only to knot itself up again as I’m getting ready for bed in the evening.

I’m exhausted from battling with myself!   When my mind goes into future or past events, I do my “present moment” meditation.  I think to myself “Right this very moment I am….  sitting in my chair, typing on my laptop, hearing the cat meow”      If I am in a tense situation in the present moment (like driving on slick roads as has been the case recently) I remind myself this is only a small portion of the 24 hours of my day.    The 30 minute drive is only .02% of the 1440 minutes of my day.

These little games work with my brain, but not so much with my stomach.  I’m at a loss on how to convince my stomach to relax and enjoy the adventure.

Namaste.


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Travel Excitement

I have a few drafts of travel adventures when I was young but work has gotten crazy busy.   I  may post them in future or scrap them all together.  Even if I’m not writing, I have been thinking that the enjoyment I’ve had in travelling outweighs the few problems and snags that have occurred.

I am excited now about my upcoming work trip.  I’m in single digits countdown and while it would be unrealistic to think I won’t have a few short moments of  sudden panic, I am genuinely excited.

I contacted a geocacher in the area and have made plans one evening after training to pick up some easier caches.  No bushwhacking, tree climbing or playing tunnel rat (like I’d ever go into a tunnel anyway!).   Just some simple skirts and I’ve solved a few puzzles to sign as well.

Then today scrolling through IG, I realized an art friend lives in the area.  She’s always hiking and posting photos so it should have clicked sooner.   I messaged her and yep, her AND another art friend lives there.  I’ve known them through social media for years so we’re planning on meeting another evening.

I’m kind of bummed I’m going to have to spend the day doing work stuff before I can hang out with friends.

Namaste.


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Travel Memory – Visiting my dad

When I was around 12, I would visit my dad and stepmom in Washington state.  I travelled alone, flying to Denver and switching planes, continuing on to Sea-Tac.  

I don’t remember having anxiety about travelling alone to my dad’s.  Being a minor, airport staff would help me making flight transitions and I never worried what would happen if I missed a flight.   This was well before 9-11 and the TSA checks so flying back then was a lot simpler.

I would stay with my dad during the summer, and fly back home to get ready to back to school. I had my 13th birthday there, with a huge Filipino feast.  No matter how much I try, I can’t make pancit like my stepmom.

I enjoyed these trips and visiting my family in the Pacific Northwest.  Nothing bad or stressful happened, other than the fact as I was heading home meant the summer was over.

Namaste


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Replacing Anxiety with Excitment

Sorry about my absence… I’ve been getting over a head cold and spent much of the last week resting.

In a few weeks I’ll be traveling for work.  My mom and I never traveled much when I was a kid so I never developed wanderlust or excitement to discover new places.  I joined Geocaching nearly 7 years ago, hoping that would inspire me to travel more and purposely travel. It really hasn’t.  All of my geocache finds have been in one state.

But, to help reframe my anxiety for my upcoming business trip, I thought I would blog about past travel experiences.  I’ll stay focused on the good, while acknowledging the bad experiences that have happened were not detrimental to me in any way.

I’m trying to recollect what my first travel memory was.  I can’t think of really any travelling until I was in my pre-teens.   My first airplane trip was to visit my mom’s friend in Independence Missouri.  We must have flown into Kansas City and I don’t remember changing planes. Maybe we had a short layover.  What I remember the most is my mom telling me to be quiet. I don’t recall being scared, but I must have been nervous. As a child, I was a chatterbox when I was nervous.

Our visit was short.  Just the weekend and I don’t remember the flight back home.   My mom and her friend caught up while me and her friend’s children, both older than me, played board games in the typical late 70’s basement rec room.   I also discovered Cup-a- Soup and thought it was one of the best tasting things I’d ever experienced.

Over all, I guess this trip was rather uneventful and unmemorable, even if it was out of the ordinary for my family.     My next trip by plane memory, I’ll be travelling alone.

Namaste.


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Lessons from the Mat

We’re approaching the end of the month and the last few days of Dedicate – Yoga with Adriene.   I’ve experienced some good days and more challenging days on the mat, but on “Drop” I couldn’t finish the video.

I have retrocalcaneal bone spurs that have caused bursitis.  A large one my right heel and a smaller one developing on my left.  Then 1 ½ years ago I broke my right foot. 6 weeks in a walking boot cast cause my left knee to get a bit weird.  And I have a bit of arthritis. I’ve never felt my age as much as I do with my ankles and knee.

Drop had a lot of standing and balancing positions.  I can do them for a bit, but one-legged downward dog, with my weight on my right foot wasn’t not going to happen no matter how much I peddled through my heel.

I stopped the video, frustrated with myself for being in pain, and cried on my yoga mat.  

The theme of the day was Drop something that doesn’t serve you.  I wasn’t dropping anything but holding on to it as my identity. The girl with the bone spurs, the girl who walks with a limp until I stretch out or my body no longer registers the sensation of pain.

I skipped the next day “Power” because I decided I needed to embrace self-care and give my ankles a rest day.   I returned this morning with “Dedicate”, luckily no downward dogs or balancing poses. I feel back on track again.  I guess I wasn’t technically off track, just pulled into a depot for a few days for repairs.

I don’t expect this to be the only lesson I learn on the mat.  Just the first of many.

 

Namaste.


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Everyday Mindlessness

The other day my husband asked if I’d stop by the store to get some butter, so he could finish preparing the meal he was cooking.   No big deal, I was near Target so I’d stop and pick up a few things.

3 things total, to be exact.   The butter needed to finish cooking, some vitamins as I was running low on my current bottle and some stroopwafels, because Target is the only place I can find them in Oklahoma City and they’re usually on sale.

I scanned the items with my Cartwheel app and discovered discounts for the butter and vitamins.

I go to the self check out and make my purchase, grab my receipt and bag, and start heading back home.

As I’m driving, I realised I had no idea how much my purchase was.  I didn’t pay attention at all when I finished my transaction.  I honestly had no idea how much these 3 items cost me.

How many times do we go through our lives without paying attention?   Have you driven some place and couldn’t remember anything about the drive?  Eating potato chips and realize you finished the whole bag.

Guess this is why it’s called Practicing Mindfulness and not Perfecting Mindfulness. 

There’s always an opportunity to practice.

Namaste.


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My First Diet

 

I went on my first official diet when I was around 13 years old.  Until this time, I wasn’t worried about what I ate or how I looked.   But my mom had other ideas. “Boys don’t chase after the chubby girls.” she told me and I was signed up for Weight Watchers.   

If I am remembering correctly, they didn’t normally take children my age.  I believe 16 years old was the youngest they would accept but my mom was a lifetime member. An exception was made.

I don’t remember much about the meetings.  A group of ladies in a shop in the City of Moore Shopping Center back in the early 80s.  I remember the large sliding weight scale like that was in the doctor’s office. I remember the books what how much and what to eat.  Cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, canned unsweetened peaches. The typical diner “diet plate”.  I remember hating it.

I didn’t really want to lose weight but I had learned to eat to avoid facing a situation that, as a preteen, frightened and confused me.   I had experienced sexual abuse, and was told that I had misunderstood the situation. “That’s probably not what was meant…” my mom told me.  I had been mistaken. That’s not REALLY want had happened.   

Stuffing my feelings with food along with being prepubescent girl, did cause me to get a little thick in the middle.  I started riding my bike regularly and I grew about 6” over the next few years so my body redistributed the weight to my hips and bust.   By the time I graduated high school, I was a healthy weight.   

That was a long time ago and I still eat my feelings.  I’ve learned to recognize when I am eating out of boredom, frustration or celebration.   I’m looking for other ways to express myself and not keep emotions and feelings stuffed down because no one wants to hear them.  Or they tell me my experience was wrong.

I can’t control how other people respond (or react) to me, but I can determine how I will handle experiences.  With food, with words, with yoga or meditation.

I choose self-care and love.

 

Namaste.