Self Care.

For the past seven years I have worked. I put my nose to the pavement and I have just worked and worked and worked. Let me tell you. The grind and the struggle is real. I worked form sun up to sun down. I did anything and everything I could to get my name out there. I gave away free product, I tried this I tried that, and I would go out of my way to make sure everyone was happy. I didn’t stop working for seven years. Yes, there was a few family centered vacations and of course holidays, but at the end of the day I was working as much as I could.

So….Then….Covid…..Hit…..

I was forced to stop working. I was forced to figure out a completely different way how to market myself. I was without an income for almost three months. So, I started to live stream, started an etsy shoppe, created a YouTube channel….I did pretty much everything to make sure people were happy. But, I was slowly just getting burnt out. My body hurt, I was frustrated, and I was starting to resent my jobs (which I love so much).

So….I….Took…The….Tallman’s Advice

I needed a break. I needed a break more than I needed water. So, I took my boyfriend’s (The Tallman, he’s 6’4) advice and I cancelled live streams for a few weeks (maybe a month) and I stopped working. I stopped doing what I was doing packed up my car and The Tallman and I road tripped it down to Florida, Fort Meyer’s Beach to be exact.

First let me stop and say something. Yes, traveling during a pandemic is not the smartest thing. The cases in Fort Meyer, FL (Lee County) is around 2,000 (approximately ) with about 120 deaths and the cases are as of this moment trending downward. So, it is a little bit safer than being in Illinois during the time of Covid-19. *Side Note: one of my boyfriend’s relavtives works for the CDC so we took their suggestion and came to Florida to help build some immunity for the virus*

The trip down to Florida was about a 20 hour drive broken up into two 10 hour days. It was a long few days, but we finally got here.

And….let me say….it was totally worth it.

I have been able to swim everyday. Eat healthy. Go outside without worrying about catching The Corona Virus. And…Most….Of….All I have been able to just relax and not worry about everything.

Yes, I am worried about coming back to Illinois and working due to the nature of my immune system and just how Illinois weather is for my fibromyalgia. But, I will be back in Illinois at the end of June so I can start back up and see people for massage and yoga….I am still trying to figure out the yoga piece.

What can I take away from spending a month away from Illinois. I can take peace knowing that I needed to do this. I needed the month away from regular life. I needed to take the time to relax and just not put my nose to the grind.

AND….it’s been beyond needed and nice to actually be able to practice the self care that I preach.

I’ll see you on the flip side.

Namaste & Blessed Be.

COVID-19 The End Of The World As We Know It.

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

― Chuck Palahniuk

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/68729-fight-club

As of March 16th, 2020 the world as we know it has gone into isolation. People are practicing social distancing, local businesses are forced to close for the foreseeable future, people are finding out ways to work from home, and you can’t get any fucking toilet paper anywhere. It seems that the world has gone dormant with the possibility of returning to, “business as usual,” anytime soon slim to none. It’s like humanity right now is the experiment for the apocalyptic dystopia of the 31st century that will drain our sanity and bank accounts until we start trading for goods via stones and rocks.

But….Hey maybe it’s not all bad? Maybe this time where thousands of people are out of work (including myself) and trying to figure out how to pay bills, survive being at home for 2-3 weeks, and cancelling vacations (which some of us…aka me….really need) could be a time to reconnect with our inner-selves, nature, and the universe. Or maybe we can all just sit in a corner and watch the world crumble, where we need to where hazmat suits when we go out, and we have to wash our hands every five seconds & never touch our faces again. Maybe I can sit down with my nieces and nephews and tell them how the world before the Corona Virus was different and we didn’t have to wear protective gear to go outside and you could actually enjoy the sun on our faces, roll down small grassy hills, and make s’mores around the campfire.

“Only in the shattering can the rebuilding occur.”

― Barbara Marciniak, Family of Light: Pleiadian Tales and Lessons in Living

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/rebuild

I am hoping that during this time people can get back to the simplicity of the life. I feel that people have grown so far away from the idea of minimalism and just now focus on the materialistic things of this world….like to much toilet paper…..really everyone you don’t need 100 rolls of toilet paper…..just saying.

During this pause in the universe, maybe it’s a sign? Maybe it’s a sign to take a moment and calm down and do some soul work. Reconnect with a part of you that has gone to the wayside. Learn how to be your authentic self and cultivate a relationship with one’s self (mind & body connection-relationship-thing). Or, maybe you just learn how to prioritize yourself over anyone else. Sometimes it’s OK to think about yourself more than the person next to you…..we are in a technical pandemic after all.

Corona Virus itself brings on the sense of the world ending, crippling anxiety, and just the fear of death, dying, & despair. Let me give you a list of things to help ease the feeling of death, dying, and despair.

  • All else fails just keep breathing. This will ensure you stay alive for the foreseeable future.
  • Be prepared to not go out for a bit. Knowing you are prepared can help easy the anxiety of running out of essential items like toilet paper.
  • Move your body! Start your own home yoga practice. There are tons of yoga videos on YouTube that you can watch and get your yoga on…..and I will be putting up a few for as well as a donation based video yoga series.
  • Interact with your friends & loved ones in anyway that is apart of social distancing. Face-time, Google Hangouts, Skype, Discord. You name it, find it, and use it. Human connection is very important in this time of isolation and quarantine.
  • Relax and don’t stress out! Stress will kill your immune system quickly and right now we all need help keeping our immune systems high functioning.
  • Last, but not least laugh & smile it will do your mind and body all the good.

Stay safe & Covid-19 free during this time of quarantine. We’ll talk soon!

-Leah

I. AM. PLUS. SIZE

Plus-sized women shouldn’t think of themselves as a size. They should think of themselves as women with rich goals in life. Size doesn’t mean, really, anything. You can carry your size with pride and dress in a way that you like. ”    

Donatella Versace

The secret is out….I am a plus size woman. You see me when I walk into rooms. You hear me when walk. You know that I can not find any clothes in stores that are cute and comfortable. You may pay attention to what I do, how I do it, and why I do anything and everything.

Do I hate being plus size? No, I don’t. Do I enjoy the extra weight on my body? No, I don’t. Am I healthy? Yes, yes I am. Do I have a thyroid? No, I do not. Do I struggle with inflammation due to fibromyalgia? Yes, I do. Do I also have a form of narcolepsy? You fucking know it. And do all of these medical conditions cause weight gain? Oh baby, yes they all do.

You maybe a little intimidated by me, but really I am just someone that would give you a *consensual and platonic* hug. I mean no harm, but I will take no shit. Don’t call me out for my size. Don’t tell me I can’t do something, because I will prove you wrong. Even if that involves having tears in my eyes and sweat coming off my forehead you will be proven wrong.

It’s frustrating that I can’t go into a store and buy cloths like a normal sized human would (I know there are some plus size stores, I am aware). It’s hard to have to think before you do something. Like, will my weight affect this activity or will I break something…A normal human would not have to think about any of that. But, again I was made to be larger than smaller so…..I just roll with what life is throwing at me.

Dating is and has been interesting…..I would have never guessed that so many thin men would like a thick, plus size, and fluffy woman. I don’t know if it is my confidence or my good looks. Is it how I present myself or is it that I am taboo? Behind close doors I am the sexiest thing that ever walked the planet, but out in public I am the ugliest thing to ever walk the planet. I will never know, but then again who really knows what actually dating is anymore?

When it comes to my health…..people think that I am a slob that eats cheeseburgers and deep fried snickers everyday of my life. This is false. I eat healthy. Salads, high protein, coffee (lots of coffee), water…..you know the basic healthy living situations and staples. I work out as much as I can. This is limited due to the chronic pain I am in most days. But, swimming and yoga have been my go too for the past year. Have I seen the weight go down? No. But, do I feel better? Oh fuck yes I do. My goal is to keep at tweaking my health plan until it works for me.

At the end of the day I am a person, a breathing, living, HUMAN BEING. I have feelings, thoughts, and dreams. I aspire for life to be better than it is. I want to be the best version of me possible. I want to find love. I want to have success. I want to be happy.

I want to do this and have people not worry that I. AM. PLUS. SIZE.

Reconnecting With Nature

During transitional and transformational periods of life we (as people) tend to question why, how, and what the hell is happening to me.  Maybe we feel one of these words or statements for than the other, but the feeling is still there and the change that we are oh so dreading is there for an open ended stay….and if you look farther into the idea of change, stability, and the relationship it has within each human, you realize that everything is constantly changing (even if we don’t realize it).  So, we need change to stay stable, well at least minor changes.

The first 10 days in June bitch slapped me so far back it left me it took me days to learn how to stand up again, another few to realize what it was life to function, and a few weeks to to not feel like I was empty and dead on the inside (well, I am still working on that).  So, being Leah the typical thing to do would be drive herself into working all the time, doing things, trying to stay busy, and slap a smile on her face when anyone would ask if something was wrong.  Because eventually one of two things would happen.  I would either forget about what was going on temporarily and then feel the wave of emotion hit afterwards or I would just work myself into the ground and still feel all of the feelings towards the few different situations.  So, I did what all the best people do and I combined both together and decided to work a summer solstice retreat in the woods this saturday.

So, on Saturday I woke up early packed up my chair massage, food for the day, equipment for the day, and found a tad bit of sanity and left for Marengo, IL to celebrate the summer solstice with some wonderful humans.  The drive was about an hour and I got lost a few times, but with multiple cups of coffee in me I finally made it to the campground.  As I walked up to the pavilion where all the classes and workshops were happening I felt a sense of calmness take over.  Granted I knew no one in and around the area (I am kind of a lone duck when it comes to wellness situations, I am the odd one out).  So I walked up to the pavilion and noticed that the group was just starting a ceremony of some sort (again I am not fully knowledgeable with all of the wellness stuff that I encountered on saturday).  So I quietly walked up, sat down, and just enjoyed what was happening.  I couldn’t tell you what was happening, but I enjoyed all of the things that were happening.  I could feel people reconnecting with themselves and the healing energy from this particular event/ceremony.  It was refreshing, uplifting, and lovely to witness.  I also couldn’t help, but think that I had to teach after this!?!?!?  How the hell was I going to compete with the loveliness of this ceremony?  The truth was I wasn’t and I quickly made peace with this.  Once the ceremony was over I quickly and quietly looked over my lesson and realized I hated what I planned and said (to myself), “Fuck it, lets wing this bitch,” and class started.  The class flowed how the universe thought it would and as I ended classes some anxiety fled into my mind, but I quieted back down and ate some lunch and set up for 6 hours of chair massage (yes six hours will little breaks in between).  During this time I had a lot of time to think, while I was working (yes, I am a woman and sometimes I can multi-task, I said sometimes).  And I did come to an interesting conclusion…..

I deserve what I put into my work, my different jobs, my passions, my loves, my personal universe, and the universe in general.  I am deserving of it, of all of it; evening if right at this moment I don’t feel like I am.  I just need to relax, take a step back and realize that I can do this, and I will be able to move forward in my life which or without certain individuals, situations, and be able to get over huge ass obstacles that I thought would just destroy me in the long run.

This is the mindset that I will strive to have going forward through this life journey of crazy things.  Will I fail at keeping this attitude?  Yes, most definitely.  But, at least I know that it will be temporary failure and not a permanent state at being.  Lessons will be learned and life will be lived.  The main thing I need to remember is, I am worth it and I too deserve happiness.

Namaste Everyone, May Your Day Be Short & Your Coffee Be Ever Flowing.

-Leah

A Supermoon, the month of February, & Fibromyalgia walk into a bar…….

If you are looking for an uplifting I am sorry this is not one of them.  As we reached the end of January my emotions go all places that are associated with sadness and anything that could make me happy doesn’t….I just tend to go through the motions and hope for the best.  So, if you have made it this far and want to continue…sit back relax and figure out how the fuck I make it through everyday without killing everything.

On the last day of Jan 2018 the universe decided to have a supermoon/redmoon/bluemoon/lunarEclipse which sent me into the biggest, most intense, most painful flare up of my fibromyalgia I had ever experienced. I didn’t know my body could revolt this much causing myself and my stressed out mother to contemplate going to the ER. For those who know me personally understand that my pain tolerance is high, higher than most due to the chronic pain I have experienced in and through the passed 3-4 years. But, I have always been able to work through it. This was different. It was a constant burning, aching sensation in my back, chest, and shoulders. My hands were numb and it hurt to move. My mother tried to console me to try and not raise my blood pressure more, but nothing would help. It got to the point it hurt to inhale and exhale. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but finally after 5 hours of this, I fell asleep and woke up 75% of the way better…..and as I finish this post I’m right back on track to being 150% better. But, it was scary. I have never and don’t want to be in that position again. I am 26 years old and should be able to take on the world and the reality is I can’t and I have to come to terms with this.

One of the biggest reasons that I despise the month of February is the passing of my older brother. Three years ago on the 21st of February my older brother Johan unexpectedly passed away. For those who don’t know my older brother struggled with depression, anxiety, and addiction for close to 10 years. He was and will forever be my best friend, the nicest man I know, and the best older brother I could have ever asked for. He was gentle, kind, caring, and just a teddy bear. I was beyond lucky to have him for 23 years of my life and I miss him every moment of every day. The pain of loosing someone doesn’t leave, it doesn’t get easier, time allows us to adapt to the grief and learn what the new normal is. He is fantastic in life and in death. And for everyone that asks if I miss him, here is my response: of fucking course I miss him, I’m a human with feelings (damn this is nice to say).

So, now you know during February when you see me just know I’m trying my best. I’m trying my best to keep it together and moving forward and maintaining some sense of sanity (even though mine is not around anymore). I am trying my best. I am trying to survive each day. And I am just trying to be a normal human (this is forever impossible). Just know I’m putting whatever I have into each day to deal with my life.

I am forever grateful for my jobs, for my life, and for who I am as a person. I wouldn’t change anything even though some days seem impossible. Thank you for reading, know that you are a special human, and we are all just trying to make it this existence.

Until next time, stay bendy.

Leah