Tag: inspiration

FOCUS – my guiding word for managing chronic pain in 2016

my wordI recently finished facilitating an online course called “Choose Your Guiding Word for for people with chronic pain or illness”. I participated in the course along with everyone else. The month before the course, I had already been thinking about what my guiding word for 2016 might be. A variety of words had floated through my mind…SURRENDER, DO, NOURISH, and DISCIPLINE. I wanted to stay open though, so when the course started I completed the exercises with no expectations and I was surprised to find FOCUS was the word that came loud and strong to me. At first I was averse to the word FOCUS as it felt so “harsh” and “boring” compared to the “softer” words I usually choose. Past words of mine have included PEACE and BE.

I reflected on this and realized that my past words were gentle and calming as that is what I needed at the time. Those words led me to establish a committed daily meditation practice and incorporate mindfulness into all aspects of my day. My priority at the time was to create practices to help me handle the setbacks that my pain causes me on a regular basis.  With this solid calm base, I am now ready to FOCUS.

Overall, I recognize that this year, I need to FOCUS my time on activities that are best for my health and wellness. This means less time scrolling Facebook and Instagram and instead focusing on what my body and soul need. This year I am going to:

FOCUS on things that fill me with peace and joy – nature, time with my nephews, and photography.
FOCUS on purpose – offer more e-courses and other projects.
FOCUS on gratitude – return to writing in my gratitude journal on a daily basis and continue to turn lacking thoughts to grateful ones.
FOCUS on nourishing practices – journal by candlelight, listen to classical music, have long bubble baths and make lots of vision/belief boards and collages.
FOCUS on self-care – including flossing (yes, flossing!)
FOCUS on a strong meditation practice – record more personalized guided meditations, meditate in the morning as well as the evening.

I have discovered that my word is not just for setting goals but can also be used as a tool during pain flares. Yesterday, I had my first major pain flare of the year and as I lay on my back I repeated…FOCUS on breathing…FOCUS on calm…FOCUS on only this moment. My guiding word kept me completely grounded and present during this tense period of time.

For a word that I was so hesitant about, I am now more excited than I have ever been about any of my guiding words. I feel like FOCUS can apply to every aspect of my life and the many situations I will likely be faced with in 2016.

I am going to FOCUS on making it a year full of purpose and practices that improve my health and wellness. May your word provide you with the same enthusiasm and inspiration!

PS – Just realized my word always plays into my love of photography…now I KNOW it was meant to be!

One Lovely Blog Award – 7 Random Facts About Me

lovely blog award

I am honoured and thankful to Nicole, at Born a Lemon, for nominating me for a “One Lovely Blog” award! I still have a long way to go with my blog but this award encourages me to work harder at it. As per the award guidelines here are…

7 Random Facts about Me:

I own a glittery ten-pin bowling ball with my old bowling name “Princess” engraved on it.

I once took a Speedreading course so I am a super fast reader.

My most proud accomplishment was raising money for a young woman’s kidney transplant in Kenya. We are still very close friends and hope to meet each other one day.

I can’t watch or hear anyone brush their teeth. I get goosebumps all over and freak right out!

My middle name is “Gesine”. I am named after my aunt and grandmother who live in Germany. If I would have had a daughter I would have passed the name on to her.

I have numerous “tickle trunks” and love to dress up in wigs and costumes.

The most rewarding job I ever had was working for the John Howard Society, helping male prisoners prepare for their release from prison.

042_edited-1My nominations for a “Lovely Blog Award”:

Life in Slow Motion – the words on this blog so accurately capture what it is like to live with chronic pain.

Para Las Fridas – a fellow Frida lover and super talented woman who is a disability and human rights activist as well as visual artist. Her blog, too, shares what life is like with chronic illness and pain.

Chronic Fatigue Warrior  -the following isn’t a blog but she has my favourite Facebook group about chronic illness/pain. I love her artistic soul and she shares some great stuff!

Enduring Pain with Patience – this is a blog I just started following…the title says it all!

A Bowl of Cherries – Grace’s blog has already been nominated but I can’t help give a shout out to her and her blog…both of which are beautiful! She is a courageous woman with a big heart whose blog is a combination of her lovely photography and thoughts on life.

The Late Bloomer Revolution – Michelle’s lovely designed blog offers “complimentary seeds of inspiration, humor and mildly irreverent advice on how to awaken your inner bloom.

Sweet Sunflowers – A fellow photographer and life coach whose “helps her clients to visualize their dreams and take first gentle steps”.

Lolalina – Laura Gaskill’s serenely beautiful blog offers so much – inspiring “interiors, decor, food styling, flowers, art, and craft”.

B’s Bytes – a wonderful artist, writer and photography who shares a lovely sampling of each on her blog.

I know I was supposed to list 15 blogs but I only read a few at this point. I like to think of this as quality over quantity!

Guidelines for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award;
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post, your blog or both;
  • Share 7 facts about yourself;
  • Nominate 15 bloggers who you admire and consider “lovely.” Let the nominees know they have been nominated by commenting on their blogs.