Awakening to Your Sleep Reality

spiritual sleep

image from Pinterestlink HERE

A great percentage of your life is spent sleeping. This feels like a waste of precious time to some people. To others it is a escape  from an otherwise unbearable existence. 

We try to find ways to avoid sleep, in order to get things done that we deem more important. Or we self medicate ourselves by sleeping, and think of it as an escape from being in reality. But sleep is a reality all its own, that it intertwined with our waking reality.

 The sleep states are a natural part of our existence. There are different stages of sleep that each serve important functions.

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sleeping woman.

image from Pinterest – link HERE

The subconscious awakens and exists in a different way during sleep, than it does when you are awake. The processes that the subconscious parts of the brain need to do, are an important part of your maintaining your emotional, mental, and spiritual balance.

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Sleep deprivation will cause deterioration in your mental state, your emotional state, memory, and cognitive functions. It effects your ability to have a clear continuity from one day to the next. Over time, sleep deprivation can cause a breakdown of your mental state, resulting in mental illness.

image from pinterest – HERE

Sleep can be affected by various things. If you are unable to sleep straight through for 8 or 9 hours, then it is critical to your mental health that you make up the missing sleep hours at another time of the day.

This is not laziness. You are not being unproductive when you are sleeping. Lack of proper sleep will cause decreased productivity and poor efficiency. You will have memory problems, especially related to spatial and time memory.

The sleep states are a part of our reality. Your subconscious brain exists just as much as your conscious brain does.

Your core beliefs, your memories, your perceptions of reality, and your emotions are all functions of your subconscious brain.

Your conscious awake state cannot exist separately from your subconscious reality.

Sleep is critical to make sure all these realities, and the different parts of your brain are working both together…and independently… in a way that best supports you.

awaken

image from Pinterest – link HERE

Spirituality… higher consciousness …and your perceptions about the nature of your reality…are all intertwined with what happens in the brain while you sleep.

Your mental and emotional health are dependent upon your getting proper sleep.  This is also true about  your immune system and your physical health.

Your spiritual health has to do with believing in, and perceiving something beyond the reality of the five senses.

Spirituality gives you a greater perspective about your existence.

Being able to perceive your higher consciousness… and spiritual realities… is also intertwined with your brain being able to experience the sleep states. Your spiritual health is dependent upon letting your conscious brain  rest, so the other senses can awaken.

You are not wasting time by sleeping. You are allowing an important part of your reality to exist. You are increasing your brain’s ability to function well during your waking hours.

We are more than drones or robots. We need more to our existence than just survival. …something more to living than just paying the bills.

Treat your body’s need to sleep with thoughtfulness.  The sleep states are the interconnecting path between realities and levels of consciousness.

What happens when you are awake affects your dreams, and what happens in your dreams affects your consciousness.   🌷

Sleep well tonight,

Annie 💕

 

 

Believe in Yourself

believe

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Physical Pain Should be Paid Attention To

Headaches, muscle aches, numbness, chest tightness, fatigue and weakness….

Insomnia, nervousness, trouble focusing your mind, trouble resting and relaxing….

Trouble eating, weight gain, extreme weight loss, chronic bowel problems, chronic pain….

People struggle through each day, dragging themselves out of bed. Dreading waking up in the morning, to endure another day of trying to keep other people from complaining.

Our reptilian brain ( triunal brain theory) is designed to protect us. The main function of this part of your brain is to protect you from danger. It is primal and the over-riding primal drive is for survival.

Anything the reptilian brain sees as a threat gets sent to the “fight or flight” system. This is where the amygdala activates the process of chemicals being sent throughout your body.

These chemicals include adrenaline and cortisol. The fight or flight mode was never designed for constant or continuos activation.

Stress filled lifestyle and anxiety disorders cause too much cortisol to be sent into the body , too often. This has detrimental affects on nearly every system in your body.

As you are reading this, you are thinking of your life and how a typical day goes for you. But that is the problem. ….

Society is so brainwashed that the phrase “how a typical day goes for you” makes sense and seems like a normal thing to say.

We should be able to compose our days, like a musical composer creates a symphony. We should have more freedom and more power to make our days the way we want them to be.

You should be spending your time thinking of new ideas, new concepts, new methods and original techniques to do things.

There is too much emphasis on “the way things have always been done.”

There are too many restrictions on our individuality, and our ability to try new ways to do things.

The “original thinkers”  are considered weird, non-compliant and “difficult,” even when their ideas are ingenious.

We are pressured to follow the ways of those who came before us, and the ways dictated by the  “powers that be.”

All of this ….forcing people into routines… and making us run on automatic pilot, has consequences.

….stress, anxiety disorders, depression, pain in both the body and the mind.

The body is what your spirit inhabits. Your soul has been assigned to live within this body .  But your body is not all of who you are, nor is it detached  from who you are.

Have you ever driven someplace, only to come to consciousness while you are driving, and not know where you are for a few seconds? Have you ever passed the turn to your destination because you had gone into a trance-like state while you were driving?

We were not designed to live in “automatic pilot”  mode …existing merely to repeat the same dull, or painful routines every day.

Even animals vary their routines. They adapt with their environment and respond to the needs of their bodies.

Your aches, pains and chronic fatigue are telling you that something is wrong. These are like emotions of the body.

Our emotions and our pains are speaking to us. If we cannot listen, and make changes….alter our patterns of living, then we will eventually develop illness and didease.

Listen to your pain and to your physical discomfort. Your body is trying to integrate with your mind, emotions and your soul. It is letting you know that the parts of your being are fractured.

Psychological problems manifest in the body. Physical illness and disease will cause psychological and mental pain. Our emotions tie everything together.

Be kind and compassionate with yourselves, and to others. There is no meaningless pain. It is all significant.

 

Blessings,

Annie

gentlekindnesscoachimg.com

 

My Daughter and I Took These Cloud Photos

cloudsclouds 3

clouds 5

clouds 2<

My 12 year old daughter loves to take pictures with my cell phone. Any time she sees anything that looks like it would make a good photo, we stop and take pictures. She has gotten very good at keeping an eye out for beautiful nature.  

Every now and then I have to find a place to pull the car over, especially if it is a rainbow or a sunset that is limited by time. Otherwise if we are almost to where we are going, then we get the pictures when we get to the place and park the car.

These were taken last week from a parking lot of a doctor’s office. We got them when we came out from the appointment before we got into the car to drive home. 

Don’t Have What It Takes ? Improvise !

improvise

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Osteoarthritis in the Morning , Chronic Pain , Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and Yoga

Osteoarthritis in the morning.

I saw this search term in my stats page. I decided to write a post about this, because there are other people seeking some validation that they are not the only ones who go through this.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that attacks the joints in the body. It creates inflammation,  which is extremely painful. From my personal experience, the pain is most disabling in the morning. 

When i wake up in the morning, I am afraid to  move.   There is extreme pain upon starting to move my body in the morning. Pain screams from my cervical spine, my lower back, and my shoulders. 

Slowly, I turn myself to the side. I very slowly draw my legs out of the bed and over the edge. Sitting up is difficult, due to the severe stiffness in the body that does not want to  move.

I have to sit for a minute first and I try to do some very slow movements with my neck. I slowly lower my chin towards my chest. I very  very slowly roll my head to the right side and then back to the front again. Then to the left side and back to the front again.

The neck has to move in order to reduce the stiffness and the searing pain coming from my herniated discs. After a few of these, I do complete neck rolls, very slowly all the way around. One way and then the other.

By this time, my bladder is calling to me, so I have to find a way to stand up, in spite of the pain. I have to reach for furniture to hold onto

 I recently got a cane and that was a very good idea. It helps for me to make it ti the bathroom in the morning, without falling.

There have been many times, when I stood onto my feet in the morning, that I actually collapsed into the wall or other furniture, because it was so painful to stand and put pressure on the joints. 

All of the muscles are stiff and reacting to the inflammation in the bones. The bones make creaking noises as they move, The knees sound like rice crispies when you straighten and bend them.

The pain sears in  my foot, with has arthritis and PTTD, which is a kind of tendonitis that deforms and alters the way the foot can stand and hole weight.

I grab my cane for dear life as I make my way to the bathroom. My bathroom is in a dangerous place for me, as far as mornings go. It is right at the top of a huge flight of stairs. As I approach the stairs, from the hallway that leads to them, I feel the fear of falling down them.

It would be easy to lose my balance and fall. I lean into the wall as far as it goes, until there is no more wall there to lean on.

Then I balance myself on my cane and get  to the door of the bathroom. I grab the door knob for balance and open the door. Every morning I make it to the bathroom, I am thankful for not falling down the stairs today.

Then I have to make my way back, with pain searing through my back, my knees , my hips and the balance being very difficult with my bad foot.

 I make my way back to the bedroom. I struggle to get pain med bottles out of the cabinet and open one. I consider what combination might work today

 I take two or three different types of pills, One for inflammation,  Maybe a half of one of the nerve pain meds.  Sometimes a muscle relaxer, but I like to  wait to take that one, because it can make me sleepy.

I lay in the bed and wait for the meds to kick in. After an hour , I asses if they are working well enough and whether or not I need to take another anti-inflammatory pill or if I need the muscle relaxer.

I try to take the minimum that will work, because I need to be able to function to take care of my kids.

I cannot go anywhere for hours, as far as leaving the house. The times that I had to leave within the first hour, were stories of extreme difficulty and probably unsafe driving, due to the pain level.

After the meds kick in a little, I have to walk around slowly and try to do some yoga stretches. I will tell you that yoga stretches can do wonders, once you can move at all.

Here are the Yoga Stretches I Do

1. Mountain pose – standing upright

2. Slowly reach down towards my toes – I repeat this several times. Each time I can get down a little farther

3. squat with feet between hands

4. Cobra – lay flat on stomach on the floor. Press hands to the floor and push with your hands to stretch up the head and upper back, while leaving the hip bones on the floor

5. repeat the cobra as many times as i can, very slowly

6. Twists  of the  hips –  lay on back, Bring knees up to chest. Take the knees to the right and your head and chest to the left. The bring the knees up to the chest and bring the knees to the left while the head and neck go to the right. This twist helps a lot for the lower back and the hips, where i have a lot of pain.

7. Warrior poses –  warrior pose 1 and warrior pose 2. I used to be able to do warrior pose 3, but it is too difficult for the morning. I cannot balance it.

These stretches help. You must do the slowly and with attention being paid to your body, in order to respect any limitation, which can vary from one day to the next.

Once i do the yoga, I sit in the bed and blog for a while, hoping for the pain meds to kick in more. On bad days I have to take more gabapentin (neurontin for nerve pain) or I have to take extra aleve, which I try to keep to a reasonable amount because it can cause other problems. 

Sometimes I have to take the muscle relaxer but I try the yoga first because the tizanidine can make me sleepy or sluggish.

I may make a video of my routine, although I am no expert on yoga. But I do know what helps me.

You can try ice on very painful areas. Ice helps to numb pain and reduce inflammation.

You can try heat, like a heating pad, or a rice bag in the microwave for 2 minutes. You can out regular dry rice into a sock. No more that 2 minutes in the microwave and better to do 1 minute and then 30 second increments.

Wishing you less pain,

Annie

* please note that I have a Go Fund me account. If you are able to donate a small amount, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. You can connect to the Go Fund me account  HERE.

If you cannot donate, you can help by reposting THIS blog post. Thank you 🙂 ❤

Starting to Feel Better Now

Thank you for your care and support. I am feeling better tonight. As many of you know, I was in the ER the night before last. I was having pain that I thought was a urinary tract infection. The doctor ran cultures and blood work. He said that it was the beginning of a relapse of the intestinal infection that I had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks ago.

I have been taking the antibiotics as instructed and hopefully this will work. The hospital probably released me too soon. They want the bed for the next person and the ones with no health insurance get sent out as soon as possible. It is all about the money, as you know.

The day before I was released, there were still quite a bit of white blood cells, when they did the blood work. The next morning the white blood cells had gone down and they released me. It had not been enough time to make a good assessment as to whether the infection had really cleared up.

Also, they had been running 2 kinds of antibiotics through the IV lines for the 3 days I was in the hospital. It was this combination of antibiotics that was working to clear the infection.

When they sent me home, they only gave me a prescription for one of the two antibiotics. I do not know why. I was wondering at the time, but that is what the dr gave me.

The doctor in the ER the other night said that I needed both of the antibiotics to clear this. he did not come right out and say they the hospital doctor made a mistake in sending me home with only one antibiotic. He did not come out and say that they sent me home too soon, upon the white blood cells going down. But I think it was apparent that he disagreed with the decisions that the hospital doctor made.

The ER doctor was very nice. He was much nicer and more communicative than the hospital doctor. He answered all of my questions fully and even let me see on his computer screen the results of all tests. he explained everything to me in a way I could understand it. This is something the hospital doctor was far from doing.

So, he sent me with Levoflaxin. He made the dosage twice the mg that the other doctor had given me. I was sent home from the hospital with 250 mg but this new doctor gave me 500 mg. Could this have been another mistake by the hospital dr? I think that he probably gave me too low of a dosage when I left the hospital.

So, I have the 500 mg of the levoflaxin and he also gave me flagil which is 3 times a day. He said he thought this cocktail should work. He also gave me anti nausea meds because of all the antibiotics, so that I would not feel to sick and stop eating.

Thank you for all of your kind words and thoughts. I cannot afford to go into the hospital again. I already missed a few days. The next paycheck is going to be low. I do not even know how I will make it through the next few weeks.

I appreciate all of your prayers and thoughts,

Annie

New Blog – Guitar With Annie

Guitar with Annie Blog

https://guitarwithannie.wordpress.com/

I have started a new blog. It is Guitar with Annie Blog. This is a blog for people who play guitar or want to learn to play guitar. I will write about topics related to the guitar, learning guitar and guitar styles and music.

The blog is to promote self esteem and confidence in guitar students. I have many years of experience teaching guitar lessons. I have seen the benefits of learning guitar in many of my students.

I have seen teenagers get better self esteem, which carried over into their school work and social interactions.I have worked with adult students who learned guitar because they always wanted to, but never had the chance. The enjoyed being able to play the songs they love and found practicing and learning to be mentally beneficial and an emotional outlet.

Learning guitar can be beneficial for people suffering from mental illness. I always individualize my teaching style, to the individual student

. I go at the pace that is comfortable for the student. How the person feels about what they are doing, is the most important thing. Everyone has their own pace and their own reasons for learning guitar.

I have taught children and adults with special needs. I even one student with Alzhiemer’s disease.

I have taught very gifted musical teenagers that went on to be music major’s in college. I have taught people that were very serious about their music careers and also people that were just learning for enjoyment.

Guitar can be healing for people with mental illness. There are ways to use guitar as a meditative tool, in order to reduce anxiety and help with depression. This is a specialty and most guitar teachers do not know about this aspect of teaching the guitar.

Teaching is about a connection with the student and creating a safe space for them to learn in. I enjoy creating just the right learning, encouraging and healing atmosphere for my students.

Here is the link to the blog. It is new, so there are only a few posts so far.

Free Guitar Lesson Offer

I am looking for a few people to give free guitar lessons to on Skype, so that I can practice teaching over the internet. I have taught hundreds of lessons in people’s homes and in a music store, but I have not taught online before.

If anyone is interested in doing a couple of free trials, while I learn the Skype, please leave me a note in the comments below. I need a few people that already have a guitar and also have Skype access.

I can only accept about 3 people, for 1-3 free lessons a piece, so if you are interested please let me know.

Blessings to all,

Annie

https://guitarwithannie.wordpress.com/

What are We Going to do About Getting up Those Steps?

my arthritis

Arthritis is a terribly painful condition. It is basically an inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage, that is supposed to protect the bones from grinding together, to break down.

I have osteoarthritis and I feel like the bones just grind together in my knees and my hips. Going up the steps feels like something is stabbing into my right hip and both of my knees. It is so painful to walk up and down the steps that I lean against the wall and stop every couple of steps to allow the pain to stop for a few seconds.

“Osteoarthritis the cartilage in a joint to become stiff and lose its elasticity, making it more susceptible to damage. Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, greatly decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. If the condition worsens, the bones could rub against each other.”  Web MD

You can read more about Osteoarthritis here

My arthritis is about 20 years beyond my age, according to the doctors. The reasons for this are something we could speculate about , but some of it is because of the overuse injuries, I constantly sustained at the nursing I worked at, a few years ago.

They forced us to do heavy lifting by ourselves and even violated the law, and the OSHA regulations about lifting. This is typical for nursing homes and many people I know were injured. I saw many back and shoulder injuries.

I also had shoulder injuries and constant microtears to the muscles. I have a herniated disc in my neck which I do not think was cause by the job, but was probably exasperated by the lifting of heavy patients on a regular basis.

There are two huge flights of steps to get up to the top floor where I live, in the house I am renting the space from. It is a huge undertaking for me, everytime I have to take down the trash, take down and bring up the laundry and take up the grocery bags.

Each step is pain and I feel like I cannot survive living with these steps any longer. The next place I live must have a main entrance that I can bring groceries into and do laundry all on that floor.

The other main type of arthritis is Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis has the same pain and stiffness as Osteoarthritis. In Rheumatoid, there is an inflammation of  the synovial membrane that protects and lubricates joints. You can see pictures of these two main types of arthritis  here

“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic (long-term) disease. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can come and go, and each person with RA is affected differently. Some people have long periods of remission.” Web MD

You can read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis here

Both main types of arthritis are equally painful. Osteoarthritis eventually begins to wear down the bones, which is where I am at now, with certain joints.

There can also be bending of the bones, basically deforming the shape, like I have in my right foot. It is beginning to bend inwards at the top, which causes balance problems in addition to the PTTD (posterior tibial tendon dysfunction – flat foot and ankle collapse) that is continuing to get worse in my right foot. It is very hard to balance, especially on uneven ground.

There are other types of arthritis but they are not as common as the two main types I discussed here. Arthritis is painful and the best treatment I have found is putting heat on the area.

You can use a heating pad or a rice bag, warmed in the microwave.  Here are some pinterest links for making your own rice bag . Links here

You can use ice to reduce inflammation. Limit heavy lifting, which is easier said than done at the job I work at now. I am working on making a change to having my own business, so I will have to lift and cause more injury to the joints.

I also have degenerative disc disease, which can begin with arthritis and mine probably did. They do not really know what comes first. I asked the spine doctor if I had arthritis in the cervical spine first that caused the degenerating discs or if the degenerative disc disease caused the arthritis . He said they often are seen together and there is no way to know which occurred first.

Herniated discs are a typical result of degenerating discs in combination with heavy lifting, which was unfortunately exactly my situation when I was doing the heavy lifting at the nursing home.

The best thing to do is to take care of your spine. If you do yoga and spinal stretches every day, you will reduce your risk for spinal stiffness. You need to keep your spine flexible, the way it was meant to be. It is harder to get mobility back, than it is to maintain it.

You cannot be fully well , unless your spine is in good shape.

Here are some yoga postures that you can do, to help keep your spine supple. If you are already having spinal problems, these exercises can help. Always do yoga postures slowly and carefully. Make sure you are practicing yoga at your level. If unsure , please consult a doctor.  Yoga Postures

Good bones are for happy bodies 🙂

Being Mindful About Self Esteem Can Increase Our Mental Wellness

self esteem

Kindness boosts self esteem. That is what the self esteem bunnies say  !

Everyone needs to have good self esteem. It is critical to our mental health. Low self esteem = poor mental wellness.

When we boost another person’s self esteem, we find that they are more efficient at completing tasks and more receptive to working with us.

If you want to work with someone, you need for them to want to work with you. Find out what their self esteem is based on, and then you will have the key to generating a more collaborative situation.

When someone says something that makes your self esteem go down, you will not be as receptive to working with them or helping them. There will be a resentment of their treatment of you and you will feel less worthy and competent.

Once you feel less competent or less worthy, your confidence on your ability to function becomes lower. There may be a feeling of subservience or shame. These feelings are harmful to your mental well being.

In order to become mentally healthier, we need to find ways to boost our self esteem. This involves our activities and also who we surround ourselves with. It is best to surround yourself with people that boost your self esteem, rather than crush it down.

Sometimes it is obvious when someone is being critical of you and other times you cannot even tell that they are using tactics to lower your self esteem.

The way to tell if someone is covertly attacking your self esteem is that you will feel a sense of being confused. If you have a clarity of mind when you are interacting with someone then they are boosting your self esteem. If you have a sense of becoming more confused, then they are doing something to lower your self esteem.

Becoming more aware of ways to raise your self esteem will help you to be more mindful and to increase your mental wellness.

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