#DoMagick – Just another Migraine Monday, the hellish remix (Days 24 & 25)

24 April – Gym day was cancelled. The weather is presenting that particular pressure front that stalls, and my migraine intensified to the point where driving was out of the question. It was another early-to-bed night with a focus on breathing through the pain spikes.

25 April – After a poor night’s sleep, I was able to go to work — mainly because I got the schedule wrong and though it was an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ day. I got through the day with rest stops, and more than a few moments of sitting with my hand over one eye until the light stopped stabbing my brain. The kids handled it well — I straight up told them that my head felt like it was going to explode — and we had a decent day.

Right now, I’m in the woozy ‘hang-over’ stage and concentration is scattered. I am cluing into my body telling me that I just need rest. Journalling can wait, and I can play more with breathing.

#DoMagick – Just another Migraine Monday (Day23)

After posting the update for Sunday’s work, I had every good intention of doing some cleansing/healing work, coupled with breathing exercises. Monday was, well, excruciatingly exhausting at work, and it caught up with me. A pressure system parked over us in anticipation of today’s rain didn’t help the mix, and I found myself hitting a wall.

I don’t often have, “Oh my god! Please shoot me,” days at work — most of them are tolerable with breathing and taking breaks, but yesterday was a bona fide migraine inducer.

I listened to myself after asking, “What do you need?” Hot food, a quiet room, and rest. That’s what I needed. I ate (La Molisana Fusilli Corti Bucati with white clam sauce – a got to comfort food) and went to bed. I experimented with breathing techniques, paying very close attention to which ones helped alleviate the headache and which ones didn’t really do much. I found the continuous breathing without pauses or rests between inhalation and exhalation worked the best. Breathing with pauses did not help at all. Continuous breathing also helped me slip into a trance-like state, allowing me to relax enough to slip into sleep without needing to take a heavy duty pain-killer. I’ll be remembering that for the next migraine.

#DoMagick – Check-in (Day22)

It was a check-in day for me, and that means some stats. Ten successful workouts have been accomplished. I am feeling better health and energy-wise, and my clothes are fitting much better. Some, happily, will be retired because they are too big.

So — measurement day.

Date: 31 March, 2018
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 286 lbs
Arms: 20 in
Chest: 46 in
Navel 1: 48 in
Navel 2: 50 in
Hips: 53 in
Thighs: 25 in
Date: 22 April, 2018
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 275 lbs
Arms: 17 in
Chest: 45.5 in
Navel 1: 44 in
Navel 2: 49 in
Hips: 50 in
Thighs: 24 in

This is the last measuring check-in for this challenge, but I will be keeping it going until I reach my goal weight and fitness level.

And, I’m keeping this close to me so I can look at the numbers in black-and-white when I feel like I’m ‘not doing enough magic’ this challenge. Self-transformation is occurring! It is slow and steady… and magical.

#DoMagick – the familiar unfamiliar (Days 20 & 21)

20 April – Much better day, overall, even though there were some serious rapids to be navigated in the morning at work. One individual is being ugly and nearly drove a co-worker to resign on the spot, and it was a struggle to stay focused enough to respond instead of react. Later that morning when I saw the individual in question, I was glad to be able to state what I needed to say (about being otherwise occupied [and not able to make them the centre of attention]) and pointing them to someone who was there specifically to help at this field trip.

Who is this flower above me? And what is the work of this god? I would know myself in all my parts.

I hold onto the mantra and breathe now. I know that it is okay to tell people that I can not currently give them my time or energy — I do not owe it to them nor are they entitled to it.

After the day was over, it was a gym day. I felt really good going into my sets, and the whole thing flowed much better than Wednesday night. I’m finding that I am starting to get cranky if I don’t move my body regularly now — and I enjoy the movement, even if it is a small thing like dancing for five minutes. Our society does need to dance more. We’d all be happier.

21 April – Instead of journalling (which I will pick up on some more today), I gave the inner work over to creative meditative exercises. I listened to music and followed the grooves down into how it really made me feel. How did what I felt when listening to the music want to be expressed through drawing, or dance, or written words. If I moved my body, how did I feel afterward? Was the feeling something that I’d want to access again, and where? It was an interesting experience, and one that I will be returning to again over the course of the year.

#DoMagick – Kicking puppies (Days 16, 17, 18 & 19

This week — this week is evil. It is our state’s mandatory testing time. Asking children with significant intellectual, and/or emotional maturity delays to take these tests is tantamount to torture — or kicking puppies.

I am having a rough time of it as a result. I am mentally drained, emotionally drained, and my diet has been blown out of the water from the mental stress of proxying these f*ckin things.

April 16 – I came home and cried. My only inner reflections centered on why we were making children with disabilities try to score well on benchmark tests that we already know are leagues ahead of them. Might as well ask a guppy to scale Mt Everest. Oh, wait, the state does ask that…

Breakfast and lunch followed the whole food eating plan. Dinner was Singapore Chow Mai Fun and an eggroll, washed down with two glasses of wine. Troubled dreams this night, mainly due to knowing I had to repeat the day again.

April 17 – Gym was skipped. Mental exhaustion trickled into physical exhaustion. Tears of frustration came freely again. Was able to stick to healthy eating, but did too much of it. Inner reflection spilled out into researching how other (more advanced) countries educate children with special needs. The answer is parallel education (at least in Finland), and seems much more humane than ‘inclusion’ where they are so obviously out of their depths. Again, I felt like I was kicking puppies.

April 18 – Went to the gym after another day of testing. My heart wasn’t in it, and I felt miserable. I felt like the sad souls I had seen there previously. Came home and sat in quiet contemplation, begging the powers that be to help me get through the last day of testing with compassion intact, and without the feeling that I was being paid to mentally torture children.

April 19 – The day was spent repeating “Who is this flower above me? And what is the work of this god?” as I moved through my professional day. Eating was much better, and I did advance prep work for our Special Olympics field trip tomorrow. I still feel emotionally drained from this week, and wonder what (if any) good has been accomplished from this week.

This is me at my lowest. This is the me that will indulge in self-destructive behaviours to escape the pain, because trying to sit in contemplation was almost impossible. This is me realising once more just how f*cked up our educational system is, and thanking the powers that be that my children are already out of it. This is me wishing my gym had a punching bag, because beating the stuffing out of something might have helped me process this pent up energy in a healthier manner. I feel like I’ve retreated and lost ground, but will pick myself up again tomorrow and go back into the fray.

#DoMagick – The treadmill of the gods grinds finely (Days 13 , 14, & 15)

April, Friday the 13th (Day 13) – the wider ripples of this day remain to be seen, although I have made it quite clear to the Powers-That-Be that I’m going to be quite vexed if the Orange Cheeto breaks the planet. I’m overly fond of it and many of its inhabitants.

In #DoMagick news, it was a gym day. I needed the chance to release a lot of pent up frustration — half days are super hard on children who thrive on rigid routines. They just do not cope well with the schedule change, and no matter how regular we try to keep their schedule, it’s a battle to stay calm and (re)reassure them as they need it (which can be as often as once every 5 minutes).

14 April – It was a gorgeous day, the kind that makes you feel itchy in the skin if you are staying indoors. I seized the chance to take the dog for a nice long walk and just breathe in the contentment of living before journalling and doing my breathing exercises. It’s a steady exercise, building the belly fire, and I feel like the creative inner flame is growing and being sustained.

In more subtle realms, I am feeling some shifts in how my days are unfolding. They seem to be easier to stay connect to inner calm, and unreasonable (irrational) worries aren’t rising up to taunt me.

15 April – Today is a gym day. I need it to get comfy in my new trainers. The back heel is higher than my old pair and it is blister city. Thank the good gods for gel-skin blister bandages and Orajel, which works very well on numbing blister pain as much as teething/tooth issues. I remember thinking ‘this is either going to be a really good idea or a really bad idea’ yesterday when I put it on the blisters. Living dangerously, that’s me. ~grin~

#DoMagick – I bloated me for science (Days 11 & 12)

Wednesday, 11 April – I did my journalling, 30 minutes at the page, and still felt a general discontent. I felt like I hit a plateau — and we all can admit how grinding it can be to traverse those — and wasn’t quite sure how to remedy the situation. I also didn’t quite know how to shake the feeling that I sould be doing ‘more’ in this challenge, even though I logically know that self-transformation (in my case) is involving a lot of inward, reflective work.

Wawa1 came to the rescue. It is Wawa day (the anniversary of their first store opening) and any size coffee is gratis today. It was while I was browsing for something to get for breakfast that it dawned on me that while I had tons of data on my dietary habits since 01 April, I really didn’t have any dat from before the challenge. Any comparisions were going to be incomplete.

I decided that today would remedy that.

Thursday, 12 April – Okay, that may have been a regretful decision. I shopped consciously and got the most healthy choices of food that I would have gotten before I started the challenge. I also got a salad for lunch — again, thinking of what I would have bought on a normal day in March. I recorded all the nutritional values in MyFitnesssPal — and blanched. My healthy choices weren’t looking so good in black and white (or the computer screen, as it were). It was also shrimp popper day, and well, pre-challenge me wouldn’t have passed that up, because, “hey! it’s a P.E. day and I have a salad.”

MyFitnessPal nearly had a heart attack when I entered that day and kept yelling at me each time I put the food in. I almost cried, too, because pre-challenge me would have thought that these choices weren’t all that terrible. It’s school lunch, it’s nutritious, right? Oh my friends… lobby your politicos. This is the only meal some children get, and it is not doing them any favours. An hour after lunch, it hit. I felt bloated and lethargic. All I wanted to do was sleep. I really felt bad.

Five and half hours later, I feel a bit better, but still feel like I gained back all the weight I’ve worked off. The only reason I feel better is because I sat and did deep breathing exercises before sitting quietly in my centre for 10 minutes just being mindful of my breath.

Tonight’s dinner choice is going to be more in-line with my challenge diet because it is quick and convenient, as I am set to go off to errands after I post.

I dread weighing myself tomorrow, but in the interest of full, complete data, that’s what I’ll be doing.

P.S. Yes, I am totally singing She Blinded me with Science in my head typing this.

1. Wawa is an American chain of convenience stores and gas stations located along the East Coast of the United States.

#DoMagick – Sweatin’ with the oldies (Day 10)

A sad (troubling?) observation I made last night at the gym was how old — perhaps time-worn would be more appropriate — people were there plodding along on the dreadmill. People around my age, or not too much older, and they all looked grey and joyless.

Their motions were very mechanical; a plodding walk on the machine which reminded me of thoughts a plough horse might have, “One more day, one more row, hoof in fromt of the other until it’s time for oats.” Contrasted to me, who was bopping along to Cruxshadows, Xymox, Florence & the Machine, Voltaire…

It struck home to me how much I need exercise to play, because they all looked miserable stuck in their “I should be (have to be/need to be) doing this” prisons. That’s one of the biggest reasons I stopped running a few years ago — as soon as I feel it’s an obligation/duty/chore I’m ready to wriggle out of it and do other things. Generally involving play.

I give all adults permission to play!!

So, yes, I dance-walked for 30 minutes (5 min warm-up and cool-down on either side) and clocked in a nice 2 miles. The dance-walking is a reverse of Irish dancing. My legs keep walking, but I shoulder and arm dance. Or play air drums… and sing silently. Hey, it’s a no judgement zone. Exercise like nobody’s watching.

Weigh-in news for today – I am now, officially (from my doctor’s office scale) 276 lbs. That’s a sweet 10 lb burning up of fat since starting. I’m well pleased.

#DoMagick – Breathe in, breathe out (Day 9)

Time to get the fire burning back in my belly.

First, I bought a yoga class from the Daily Om and will be starting to go at my own pace this Wednesday. It will be a wonderful compliment to the strength training I am doing at the gym.

Second, I began to get the energy moving within now that the system has been flushed of toxins and build-up. I sat and did the Cleansing Life Force exercise found in Chapter 2 of Kissing the Limitless. I found my still centre and began to breathe, feeling life energy in every breath taken. Then I began to circulate this energy through myself, feeling it begin to unbind and loosen energetic blocks within me.

Gathering the life energy into my hands, I sent it down into a glass of water until the water was luminous with this life power. When the water was fully charged, I drank it, feeling the healing energy washing through me, going were it was most needed. When I finished, I breathed up a prayer for healing to my God Soul.

#DoMagick – Do you want the truth, or something beautiful (Days 5, 6, 7 & 8)

05 April – It was a inner work day. I sat and did a mindfulness meditation. I haven’t for a small bit, and I just wanted the calm quietness after a day of examining my thought/feeling patterns at work.

06 April – Gym day. And TGIF. It felt good to break some mini-goals after the working week. It was also another day of consciously choosing how to respond to external stimuli and not just shift into familiar reaction patterns.

I also wrote the prayer “Who is this flower above me? And what is the work of this God? I would know myself in all my parts.”1 in mt planner so that I would see it on a daily basis.

07 April – I spent some time trying to reconnect with the creative spark within. It has, in the past, been a roaring bonfire, and now feels like a smouldering ember. I have hope that it is still there, because I spent at least 15 minutes sitting and looking at a painting I made this year. I can pull up the feelings of euphoria I felt at just creating in the moment, knowing that there were no mistakes that could not be remedied with another brush stroke.

I also sat with an emotional entanglement and looked at it from my perspective, divorcing myself from thinking about how a decision would make others feel. How they feel is their business, and I cannot keep those considerations from allowing me to move forward into a new life for myself.  Oddly enough, my journal pages were filled with doodles of hand mirrors. I’m taking the message.

08 April – Research day! I am ending my 2 week Keto cycle. I’m feeling good — and accomplished! I also am excited because keeping your daily carb limit to 20g is hard. Cutting out all processed junk foods helps tremendously, but it is still something I am educating myself about. I’ll be moving into a 3 week cycle of moderate carbs (50g max) and then doing another 2 week keto cycle. I did weigh myself (early) and have burned up 8 lbs of body fat.

The gym is on hold because my allergies are whooping my butt — it must be spring, the trees are trying to kill me again — but I am doing body weight exercises at home, and using my 8lb medicine ball to do arm toning exercises.

Feri traditional prayer

Post title taken from Paloma Faith’s debut album. Excellent listening, and very good question to ponder.