Marc and Angel Hack Life – Pixie’s thoughts

I was reading an article by Marc and Angel this evening (I get these daily). I adore their articles. These two just know how to lift up a gloomy day and say things how they are. Anyways, this article was about unhappy people and the things they don’t admit to themselves. Have you met the type, they are always negative, and have not a whole lot of positive to say?!

Well, in this article Marc and Angel discussed the things that unhappy people don’t admit to themselves and I admit, we all have bad days. As a matter of fact we’re all allowed bad days, but we don’t have to move into that mindset, always blaming others for our negativity and always being in that bad spot. Life is beautiful and there is so many beautiful things and moments and if we’re always unhappy and miserable we will miss them all.

Holding on to grudges is another thing they discussed in their article. Isn’t it funny, I just discussed this with someone today. I strongly believe grudges are the silliest thing. I get irritable with people and there is a person or two that always tend to rub me the wrong way. But the I remind myself “I choose to see this with Love”. Normally that little mantra is enough to redirect my thinking. Their way of life, their attitude and their behavior is not about me, nor is it my problem. I can react and respond in a very positive and light filled manner. Be the light you wish to see. I promise, this is not an easy task, and there is is, like I said a person or two, that make me struggle with this, but most people don’t make this difficult for me. Be positive and respond in a positive manner to their bad mannerisms and behaviors and I promise you will be much happier for it.

The final point that I want to touch on that was on their list, is that unhappy people avoid themselves. What is meant here is that they are never fully present. They over indulge in social media, TV , shopping, food, booze, tabloids….. the list goes on, but the point is they are never fully present with just themselves. Being alone means truly dealing with our feelings, and unhappy people will distract by any means to not face those at any cost, so they avoid. Have you sat in total solitude recently? Meditated in peace, sat with

IMG_20170114_175603

your journal and simply spend time with you? Why don’t you just notice your emotions without judgement, because life is too short to not enjoy and love yourself and learn from yourself. After all, if you’re not truly in tune with who you are… how will you ever expect to grow?

 

Love, Pixie (Beatrice

Advertisements

Releasing the pent up energy

Love is seriously all there is when the Universe is convinced that everyone of your strengths has to be tested at once. I’ve been tested and tested again in the last year and a half and I keep shaking it off and moving forward because really, that is all we have.

Life is a full of ups and downs and I can’t stop repeating that we all have our moments. We are allowed to have those. We are human, full of emotion. But we also need to have healthy outlets. Certain ways to channel those emotions in a healthy and positive maner.

What are your outlets? What I mean is, how do you wind down? How do you let go of that pent up stress, frustration, energy? I want to talk to you a little about utilizing art for this and using your mind creatively to do so. Everyone is creative in their own way. Just because we were once told we weren’t doesn’t mean we aren’t. We all have an inner artist, we just have to allow that artist to breathe a little. Art isn’t about painting the Mona Lisa or the next Picasso – Art is beauty, passion, and emotion. It doesn’t even have to be on paper or canvas.

I’ve used various forms of art all my life, between music (singing, guitar and simply listing to others perform), painting, drawing, writing, multimedia art, I’ve utilized various forms of artwork as outlets in my day to day life and all have brought me incredible peace. You don’t have to be trained in any form of art to receive its benefits. There are many ways you can express your emotions into creative art:

  • through music – singing, dancing, playing an instrument
  • writing – short stories, journaling, poetry etc.
  • art – drawing, painting, sculptures etc.
  • drama theater groups

There are virtually endless ways you can creatively express anxiety, sadness, loneliness, or anger and transform that emotion into something original and useful. Slap some paint onto a blank canvas,  doodle some lines with markers, use pots and pans for drums (remember we did this as kids?!) . Don’t worry about coloring in the lines or having a rhythm or carrying a tune. Just go for it!

Don’t judge your creative work – just get involved in it! The point is to turn a potentially destructive emotion into a constructive activity by using an activity you enjoy!

Love, Pixie (Beatrice)

 

When I say “I’m fine” & some evening thoughts

Many of us that live with Chronic pain will often answer the same way when asked how we’re doing “We’re fine”. Most of us don’t do it to lie or to hide the truth from those we love and care about, rather many people assume that when you look OK then you must be doing OK. We also hide our pain well and we do this mostly for our  own comfort as much as for yours I imagine. For myself personally, I’ve simply come to move beyond and just putter along my day to day focusing on the tasks needing to be done versus where my physical self is at.

I’ve lost a lot of weight due to my medication (to the tune of 40 + pounds). I am forever complimented at how great I look and how much I’ve changed. The other day I was asked if I have been working out lots. Most people would be thrilled about this, I am not though, I feel drained quite often. On top of the constant and various forms and levels of pain that I deal with on a daily basis, I am often tired and I don’t feel healthy like I used to before all this. I am no longer able to be bouncy and all over the place as I used to be. So when I’m asked how I’m doing instead of giving the constant explanations, I rather answer “I’m fine”. Most of us have our own reasons for doing this, I do it to protect myself emotionally mostly, and also to spare others at the same time. I don’t want people feeling badly for me because each time I tend to be honest they do feel bad, so I’ve simply come to keep the answer short.

Some days I feel better than others and there is nothing I can do about this. All I can do is take it as it is and move forward.

I’ve been doing much better than I was even 5 months ago and I’m so very grateful for that. The medication I am currently taking has stabilized me and given me a little more freedom again, to where my life is mostly back to normal versus where I was basically locked to my couch and unable to do a lot of things without help because I had too many bad days. And yes, I smile through chronic pain. Yes, I laugh through chronic pain. So yes do please ask me how I’m doing, but also know that I may not always be up front with the answer or give you a different one than you may expect.

19961379_1425208140899644_7837327881646711673_nAll of this said though, my VM has made me a happier person as a whole. I am more creative than I was before because I simply am pushed to sit and stay sitting for longer periods. I don’t have much control over my pain but I do have control over how I react to it and how I choose to deal with it as it comes. I can be miserable and moody, or I can take care of myself in those situations and hours as I need to as best as I can. (<—-I’m still learning this.)

The only person that will be able to control or is ever responsible for my happiness will be me, so when I am in pain and as I live with my chronic VM – I will take this one day at a time, one anxiety attack at a time and one VM-attack at a time, because that’s the only way to make it day to day with smiles and giggles. This is my life and it’s perfect as it is. There is no need for things to be different, this too has lessons to be learned. The thing is though….

Not all of them have yet been revealed……

Love,

Pixie (Beatrice)

Dizzy Mommy Morning Thoughts

I have been dizzy every day since March 2016. Some days are more tolerable then others. 20884875_1448663911887400_684975444_nI have VM, there is no cure for it nor is there a real treatment. I’ve gotten to the point to where I have accepted and managed dizzy into my daily routine, but every once in awhile I think how nice it would be to wake up normal. I then start to realize how blessed I am that I do not have a life threatening illness and how many doors my Vestibular disability has opened for me that I never assumed would be there otherwise (I was on a long road of Bartending which I loved). That is when I go back to embracing my world as it is and as I’ve grown to love it.

I learned during the course of the last year and a half that embracing our current situations is the best way to handle life’s curve-balls. These situations, life’s moments and circumstances, will happen whether we dig our heels in and struggle against them or simply breathe and work with the situation. I struggled. When I initially left work and had to come home I struggled a lot, and then I started embracing my situation and let the doors that the Universe laid out for me open up. My art was in front of me to be painted , created and embraced. Now I have amazing people that are letting me share my art with them. I get to tutor art to young children and hopefully soon also to some adults. And I have a job I enjoy when all the while it looked like I truly wouldn’t be working again outside the house and I know many with this conditions similar to this that do not work.

There are days I wish I could sleep properly (like you know those normal 7-8 hours we are told about, it’s like a mythical Unicorn it seems) but then I remember that at least I do get some sleep. I refuse to allow my VM to take over so I suck it up and do what I have to. Some days I am extra quiet and the people around me ask if I am okay. I nod and say yes, but often I am staring at random objects to allow my eyes to focus again when I’ve over-extended and moved too quick (I still do this, even though I know that I have to move certain ways) . Or trying to contain the nausea feeling I have at that moment, which seems to be a constant by product that you do get used to.

The point of this story is that sometimes we are the only ones who can truly understand what we are going through and we either allow our misery to take over and blame the world for our problems or we take charge and make our lives amazing… Our lives are in our hands. Not your spouse, not your friends … your life is yours. So even with an illness there is small ways that you can make your life better. There was months were I couldn’t get too far from my couch. In that time I learned to embrace my Art & myself again.

So don’t fault others for not understanding your situation or circumstances. Their unkind words at your invisible illness or them not reaching out is not always because they don’t care but most often because life is busy for them too or maybe they simply don’t know what to say or how to help.

For those of you that don’t suffer from chronic illnesses though, if you have a loved one that does, when they are struggling, sometimes all we want is just to be hugged and then there is other days where being left alone so we can rest is the best medicine. Simply asking what we need also may help depending on the person.

This is a great article to read but here is an excerpt

The five caregiver commandments:

1. Accept your powerlessness.

Watching a loved one in pain is one of the hardest things in the world. It can feel like being trapped in a nightmare. You want to make them to feel better, but you just can’t.

There are many ways to support your loved one, but you need to understand that you are powerless to make them better. It’s not your job to take away their pain. You need to acknowledge this, and truly accept it, before you will ever be able to make difference for them.

Your love and understanding is the medicine they need.

2. Take time to learn about their illness.

The first step towards understanding is taking the time to learn about their illness. At the very least, learn the basics. What are the symptoms? What are the treatments? It can be helpful to read the experiences of others. 

You won’t be able to make them better, but it’s an empowering step. Having an intellectual understanding goes a long way towards providing effective care. It opens the door to empathy.

Talk to your loved one. Ask them about their experience. Ask them questions if you don’t understand, don’t just guess. It may be hard for them to articulate the answers, but be patient. Really try to understand. Try to put yourself in their shoes.

What might your life look like if the same limitations were suddenly placed on you?

The better you can understand their illness, the better off you’ll be. The love and support you give will be authentic in their eyes.

I also recommend reading “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino at butyoudontlooksick.com. It’s a fantastic article and the most elegant description of what it’s like to live with a chronic illness I have ever come across.

3. Be with them, but give them space when they need it.1

One of the best ways to support someone with a chronic illness is to just simply be with them.

Living with a chronic illness can be incredibly lonely. It’s easy to feel disconnected from the world when you are so severely limited. It can be hard to relate to everyone else.

One of the things your loved one needs from you the most is companionship. Never underestimate the power of spending quality time with someone you care about when they are in pain.

Sometimes, just knowing we are not alone in our moment of pain is enough to carry us through.

But the reverse is also true. There will be times when the best thing you can do is to give your loved one space. Getting enough sleep and rest is a critical part of managing a chronic illness. There will be times when your loved one needs you, but there will also be times when they need to be alone.

If they don’t have the energy to spend time with you, never hold it against them. It’s not a reflection of some hidden resentment they harbor. In fact, it’s not personal at all. No one would rather stay home in bed. But when you have a chronic illness, you’re forced to make hard choices, and it’s so much harder when you feel like you’ve let someone down that you care about.

By giving them space, and not taking it personally, you are supporting them more than you can possibly know.

4. Validate their pain.

At the end of the day, what most people with a chronic illness so desperately seek is to be heard, to be understood, to be accepted, but above all else, to be validated.

Your loved one lives in a reality where almost no one truly understands what they’re going through. When they’re in pain, most people won’t believe them or even care enough to try. But you can be the one who understands. You can be the one who believes. You can’t make them feel better, but you can make them feel heard. Show them you know their pain is real.

By far, this is the most powerful way you can give your love and support. When they feel neglected by the world, a compassionate validation can give them the strength they need to persevere. In that moment, it can change everything for them.

5. Don’t get frustrated.

The worst part of a chronic illness is usually not the illness. Everyone gets sick from time to time. It’s the never ending repetitive nature that makes it so hard. We get sick. Then we get sick again.

At times, it will get frustrating, but it’s so important to remain calm. When your loved one is in pain, they will be at the mercy of forces outside of their control. They may be emotionally needy, distant, angry or sad.

Regardless, it’s safe to say that the interaction may not be as rational as you would expect under normal circumstances. And it’s easy to lose your cool when your good intentions are met with a reaction you didn’t expect. Pain can bring out our worst qualities.

But if you can stay calm and keep a cool head, the tension will always pass. You will be supporting them in a way that will make their pain easier to endure. At the very least, it will give them one less thing to worry about.

It can be difficult to support your loved one in this way, but it’s worth the effort.

Remember Happiness is something we choose. We don’t have to choose to be miserable. So even in the toughest situations, we can choose to be peaceful and happy, it allows us to find solutions and the doors available to us because sometimes life’s doors do close.

Love,

Pixie ~ Beatrice

 

When all the doors have slammed in your face….

20527479_1435103543243437_1244507266_nLife just has a way of showing us how to live doesn’t it? One minute we’re going along as a family of four, and all of a sudden we’re separated and no longer a family of 4 but a family of 3 and Mr. Wonderful is no longer living under the same roof as you and your kids……..

And in all this my writing came to a stand still over the last few months. My once Mr. Wonderful moved out and we separated, on very mutual terms I may add (I won’t bore you with the details though). Now, I’m focused on my Art and writing. I’ve spend countless hours delving into both and focusing on both. My book-edits had fallen so far behind in the last few months that I am ashamed to admit I’d almost given up hope I’d ever finish my final edits, but I’m almost through it now!!!! YAYYYYY!!!! I have gainfully found employment and have started art tutoring some very amazing little ones as well so life as a whole is looking very sunny. When we stop focusing on all the negatives, all those positives start shining through. It turns out that in this whole mess of me getting ill last year in March with my Neurological condition, then having to leave work and financially falling into a severe mess, then getting sicker yet, then finally figuring out this condition, now I’m separated and on being treated but the great news is – My life is turning out amazing! I am happy!!! My VM (Vestibular Migraine) is being treated and I’m having almost no issues at all now (from being in severe pains and unable to be balanced 24/7) and the ones I do have are very manageable throughout the day! I am working and I’m so excitedly focused on life and moving forward and my girls!

The doors that started slamming in my face just over a year ago, that created my personal rock bottom, threw me into a depression, created severe anxiety that I still deal with, also have opened an abundance of new exciting doors for me and my family. I am so very excited about this new and exciting road. The Universe always has our back. Even when we think we’re in the darkest of times, and we feel 100% alone, we’re truly not. When I started focusing again, during my depression in December and started holding on to my faith again, things started turning around for me. I returned to school and took some great classes that helped me find a part of myself I didn’t know was still there and also grew that part to soaring heights. I grew into who I am now and I’m so excited to see where this new life and these new adventures will lead.

Remember – just because doors are closing in our lives, doesn’t mean it’s the end – it simply means that there may be something much better waiting on the other side.

Lots of Love.

Pixie (Beatrice)

Creativity… you don’t have to be an artist

I’ve always been a firm believer that you don’t have to be an “artist” to be creative. We all have a creative streak in us. We have just been brainwashed by society to believe what art is supposed to look like. Do you remember seeing Sally’s drawings in school and people Oooo’ing and Aaah’ing over them and praising her? Or you scolding yourself, even if it was teasingly “I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can’t even draw a stick figure.” Well, I’m here to tell you, QUIT IT. We all do! We all have creativity in us, we just need to learn how to use it.

Creativity comes in many forms and variations. Some are messy, some are clean, some are planned, some are not. Mine are all of the above. It always depends on my mood. Much like my writing, my art varies day to day. Mood by mood. I have art that is clean, precise and planned but I also have art that is messy, moody and just as I go on the spot. My favorite is the later. It is also the ones that usually people are most drawn to. I assume because it is raw and full of emotion (whatever that may be at the time).

Creativity though, exists within us all. We were all born with a natural streak of creativity. Creativity is not a special gift endowed only upon a lucky few. It is for everyone and it is everywhere.  But the key to tapping into this creativity is understanding that our approaches to creativity differ in terms of level and style. This curiosity to create play is very visible especially children, but as we grow it gets washed away by the negative mindset of “I can’t” and “He/She does it better than I” .  Often though no one is actually to blame. Children ask questions, often a lot of them, and often us as adults get exasperated and tell them to sit down and shush. And just like that, we shut down their curiosity, a vital part of their creative process. It can also be suppressed when tired and adults stifle fresh ideas from young ones that may challenge their life long perspectives.

So the key lesson I’m trying to relay today, pick up a marker, a pen or just a crayon that your child left lying around and simply doodle. Even if all you start with, on a piece of paper or in a notebook, is a bunch of dots or circles or lines. Then start coloring them in with another color. Take your time, you’re not on a schedule or timeline for this. If you run out of time for what you what available tuck it aside and come back later. I will often work on projects for days on end. Here are some ideas of simple but yet beautiful little art projects to clear your mind and awaken some creativity in your heart.

3 Ways to Prepare an Art Journal Page + Journal Prompts for PrepareApril page Shari CarrollThis is an example of a drawing that I did while listening to "Florence and the Machine- Dog Days are over" Still a work in progress, thats what makes this technique so great!

 

In many ways it is remarkable that the world does have creative people because life and its many imperfections actually stifle creativity. So I truly hope you can be a little more creative and inspire others around you to be a little more creative and ask them to embrace creativity just a little more.

xo – Pixie

Two weeks and counting

It’s been two weeks and counting that this has let up . I track my Vestibular Migraine so I learn it’s patterns, it’s routines. My neurologist had told me I had quite a severe case. This may seem so, as this has not let up in a year now, at all. It is instead getting worse.

I am always in some form of pain. There is no days off, just like Motherhood! I’ve been in a state of Migraine now though for a solid two weeks & yet I’m still asked to function, because I can’t be under a blanket or hiding in a dark room for 2 weeks. So I have found the things that work for me, and I use the heck out of them and make them work for me so I can at least semi-function.

The thing is, with my migraines, I’m not always just in pain, that’s not all, there is also incessant dizziness, because the constant pain wasn’t enough, we have to add  constant spinning and vertigo. Yes, this morning I may be sounding a little frustrated , bitter maybe?! I’ll talk  you through this, just hang in with me. As I’m typing this, those of you that get migraines are probably thinking, how is she even typing without tipping off her chair, well one, my screen is very dim (YAYY for having a savvy crew that taught me!) and two, I’m leaned close to the wall beside me, so no tipping off my chair !!!

This neurological condition, has been something to say the least. It had thrown me into a bout of depression for a few months, it had taken so many things from my including a job I loved and activities I loved, and now most likely will not be doing again, but I gained so much during this last year. So much. This realization didn’t even dawn on me until a few days ago, but I gained a ton with this as well. I lost an awful lot, and grieved so much over that loss but the amount of beauty and lovely insights I have gained and found is tremendous. The lessons that have come out of this whole mess once I started slowing down and seeing the bigger picture. I am in constant pain with my VM. There is no real off days. Even on my good days I have a, what I call, a nagging headache.  I have returned to my roots. It took me a little while to find this place of my own truth again.

The realization and the loss that I’d felt had made me allow the ego to set up camp in my head, and rule for a few months, and I allowed her rock the boat and let her do her thing there. It is so difficult to be mindful when you’re in a constant state of pain. I assume it was time to up my level of learning and now go to this level, from wherever I was before, so now I am here, practicing mindfulness even as I’m working on this post for you.  Mindfulness brings you back to the present. You observe what’s going on now. This means both inside and outside of you. The waves are still there but you are more calmly riding them. Being in the moment gives you a deeper sense of balance.

As Buddhist teachers like to say: the suffering is in the stories. An effective way to bring your attention out of your stories and into the present moment is to take three conscious in- and out-breaths while turning your attention to the present moment. As you do this, notice what’s available to your senses right now: a sight, a sound, the sensation of your clothes on your skin. Even if it’s not a particularly pleasant moment, at least you’re present for it instead of being lost in regrets about the past or worst-case-scenarios about a future you can’t predict. And, more often than not, being mindful of your present moment experience reveals that there’s something pleasant going on right around you that you just hadn’t noticed. This can be soothing and healing.

If you are struggling today – practice mindfulness, take the time to just focus on each task at hand feel each task, feel the street beneath your feet as you walk to your car, feel the air in your face, the rain in your hair, the wind on your face, the air in your lungs.

Most importantly….

Enjoy today & know you’re not alone

Love,

Pixie xo