How Could Seven Minutes Save My Life?
Pain, Pain, Pain.
I couldn't eat....I couldn't sleep. For months. My back, my legs, my head -everything was racked with pain. ALL THE TIME.
I had no energy. When I would get out of bed to walk 25 feet to my bathroom, I had to stop after 10 feet to sit on the couch and get enough energy to go the rest of the way.
My mind was in a fog. My husband -recently married, poor guy - was going nuts. I couldn't work. I couldn't do housework. To make dinner, I would start in the morning...as soon as I got up I would get a pot out of the cupboard and put it on the stove. Little by little, through the day, I would manage enough steps to get some food cooked for my husband's dinner after he got home from work.
I had been having some health problems here and there. And I've always had struggles with my tummy and digestion. But I was mostly an active, outdoors person, full of motion, eagerness, and curiosity.
Then everything eroded quickly. There was no trigger event that I can pinpoint; my health just collapsed like a landslide. I couldn't keep food down. I had chronic migraines. I went to Dr's and specialists, Naturopaths, all kinds of professionals. Sometimes they would suggest some pills to "try these and see if they help." They said possibly IBS, stress colitis, GERD...maybe it's wheat, maybe it's dairy. I tried elimination diets; I was tested for Celiac, I had biopsy. And more. More of everything, except answers. More of everything, except feeling better for even one day. And more pain, more pain, and more fear.
Every time I looked in the mirror I could see how the pain marked my face and aged me so quickly. My eyes looked back at me, like a soul lost beyond human hope... so alone, so small, and so afraid.
The Moment of Change
Finally one day I looked to the sky and cried out: "What do I have, besides pain? I have no joy, no love, no work to support me, no food to nourish me, no sleep to heal me, no one to help me. WHAT DO I HAVE THAT ISN'T PAIN???
All went still around me...
and then a soft thought, like a quiet voice, came into my head:
"You have a mind, and you can think your own thoughts."
I grabbed at that thought like a drowning girl grabs a life ring.
"YES! To my dying day, I can and I will think my own thoughts.
I will CHOOSE my thoughts!"
Then the second thought followed:
"I have a heart, and I can feel grateful...grateful for my mind and my thoughts."
Hope and Courage
Through the pain, I began to exercise my mind and practice gratitude. I would recite the botanical names of the plants from my horiticultural work. I practiced the multiplication tables. I worked on my memory, recalling the very first thing I could remember in my life, and working up from there. Pain would only allow a few minutes of concentration, so I began to challenge the pain: "For Seven Minutes I will do this crossword, pain or no pain. Pain won't stop me."
I looked for things to be grateful for. "For Seven Minutes I will be grateful for my 5 senses, my eyes that see, my ears that hear, my nose, my mouth, my skin. Pain or no pain, I will be grateful. Pain won't stop me from feeling and speaking my gratitude."
This Seven Minute practive of gratitude, performed several times daily, became my lifeline, and built a new foundation that grounded me and allowed me to become the self-healer that I needed to be, on my long journey of recovering my life. In my next post I include a recording of the actual Gratitude Practice, as my gift to you. Aloha, Linda
The Bare Foot Facts!
My Stockings Wore Out Fast
When I was a little girl I loved being barefoot. My Mom would laugh when I came inside the house: "Linda Marie, you always kick your shoes off first thing when you come in. You wear your stockings out so fast!" So true...before I even shut the door, my boots seemed to fly off my feet and land in the corner. My stockingfeet pattered through every room and hallway. in the Summertime Mom had to take me out looking for my sandals--I kicked them off all the time!
Yes, barefoot was my thing...and it still is.
Now I work in a shop that sells sandals and water shoes. In Hawai'i we call them "slippahs" or slippers. Until I worked here, I never realized how much foot pain and discomfort is running around in the world.
Fortunately it's easy to give our feet a treat, and help them stay healthy. I'll tell you about one of my favorites here, and you can find many more on my list of Treats for Your Feet.
My favorite Feet Treat? Going barefoot on the Earth. Why?
I could just say "because it feels so good. Try it, when you feel it you'll know what I mean!"
...and really, that answer is good enough.
You could just stop here, go out the door, kick your shoes off and start enjoying your
Seven Minutes Barefoot!
But maybe you're a curious-minded of person who likes to find out WHY.
I AM! Sometimes, anyway.
So I did some asking and reading, and here's how I understand it:
You probably remember from your science class in school that the Earth is surrounded by a huge electromagnetic field...and that we are each surrounded by our own electromagnetic field -almost as if we were each little planets of our own! So our personal fields exist within this bigger, greater field that surrounds the Earth.
I remembered that much from school...
(now if I could just remember the multiplication tables that well)...
...but here's what I didn't know...
The Earth's field has a resonance, an electrical frequency, that is the SAME FREQUENCY as our brain, when our brain is healthy!
Now, we get exposed to and affected by many different and persistant electrical fields in our modern world. They don't emit the same resonance that our brains work on. Those persistant fields can make us jittery, restless, tired. Difficult to focus and concentrate.
When I consulted the Wellness Center's Medition Teachers, they called it "computer energy." At first I thought they meant I should especially avoid computers!
But they explained it's not just computers. It's just that, since the 1980's, our daily, hours-long personal computer use has hugely upped the amount of persistant energy we get exposed to. And so many of us work on computers in an office setting, in buildings surrounded by electrical fields above, below, and on all sides. Our environments have become layered and layered with persistant electrical fields.
Sometimes we need to re-tune back to our original healthy frequency.
Our shoes insulate us from the harm and discomfort. They also isolate us from the Earth's great field. When we kick our shoes off and step out onto the ground we join with this greater field, this resonance that is as big as the whole world! The Earth enfolds us in that healthy, healing frequency, and gets us back into tune.
How Could Seven Minutes Save My Life? -- Part II
Challenging the Pain
Through the pain, I began to exercise my mind and choose my thoughts. Pain would only allow a few minutes of concentration, so I began to challenge the pain: "For Seven Minutes I will do this crossword, pain or no pain. Pain won't stop me."
"For Seven Minutes, I will write out the multiplication tables up to 20x20, then back down to 0x0. Pain won't stop me."
But the truth is, sometimes pain did stop me - especially at first. Sometimes I could barely make it through 3 minutes. Sometimes I couldn't even make one minute.
I began to look at the pain as if I were an Army General, determined to win myself back from an invading force. In a war there are many battles, and sometimes I could only capture a small portion of my territory: that is, my few minutes of chosen thought. So I would celebrate every bit that I moved forward, even if it was only 30 seconds. All victories are worth celebrating. All victories build and lead to the next victory.
Celebration and Gratitude: The Seven Minute Practice
Several times each day I stood in front of my mirror and looked into my eyes, to find and honor aloud my warrior spirit within. To find and honor aloud my spirit of wisdom within. To find and bulwark the foundation of my life, my inner spark, my inner spirit.
Most of all I looked for the spirit that is me and only me, unique on this Earth, uncopied anywhere in Creation. To speak with my SELF, to promise myself with words of love that I am always there, that I'm never alone, that my own arms are always here to hug me, my own spirit always here to hold me.
Even in the aloneness of pain and fear, I forever and always have ME.
Next, I spoke with love and gratitude to the senses that bring my life to me: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin.
Sometimes it was a brief practice, and sometimes longer. The important thing was, my spirit began to shift to hopefulness through the pain. My thoughts became more lucid, and able to focus longer, and to continue a train of thought -even after being interrupted by bouts of pain.
Slowly I discovered answers and workarounds that helped me gain ground toward wellness. I still had many battles ahead...and the gratitude practice inspired me, comforted me, reminded me, propelled me forward.
From being so unwell that I couldn't walk across a room, I'm now working, swimming, playing ukulele and singing!
I sleep well, I dream well, I wake up well.
I'm so happy and grateful for my life. . .
. . . and, with gratitude, I look forward to even more and better!
This Seven Minute gratitude, performed several times daily, became my lifeline, and built a new foundation that grounded me and allowed me to become the self-healer that I needed to be, on my long journey of recovering my life. This Seven Minute Gratitude Practice, is my gift to you. Aloha, Linda
I've had so many dreams in my life! But I always got frustrated with the BIG BLOCKS OF TIME that it took to build them all. So many I put aside, or abandoned, because I didn't seem to have time for ALL of them.
Then some violent and drastic events changed my life. Health, career, relationships all crumbled. I scrambled -- first to survive, then to build and maintain a sustainable lifestyle, and fought to stay out of depression and darkness. Long, dark days turned into long dark years.
How Did I Work my way out of it? Leverage! I learned that I could use small increments of time and energy to gain a little leverage over the events, first to keep up, and eventually to get ahead. That learning became my Seven Minute Self. Small blocks of time--first they saved my life! Then they built my personal and career achievements, and financial and personal successes.
Today I'm SO GRATEFUL to have a wonderful life! To look at the sky, breath the air, hear the wind and the waves. I'm so grateful to have use of my mind and spirit and limbs and SELF!
Now I live in beautiful Kona, Hawai'i and I practice my Seven Minute Self for my ongoing joy, personal growth, and the sheer delight of living! And for the joy of sharing it with you, too.