Mon. Oct. 14, 2019: When Stress Manifests Physically #Upbeat Authors

image courtesy of johnhain via

Monday, October 14, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Have you ever noticed that when you’re under a great deal of stress, it manifests physically? Your resistance is lower, you’re more likely to catch whatever’s going around. Or you suddenly get a pain in a particular area of the body.

It’s important to listen to pain. Chronic pain is a different arena, and that needs specialized treatment, which it too often doesn’t get. I’m talking about unusual pain that crops up when something is wrong.

If you look at the word “disease” and break it down it is “dis” and “ease.”

The ease has been removed.

Take the time to do some self-assessment. Where is the pain located? How is it manifesting?

What is going on in your life? What worries you? What fears have cropped up lately?

Different astrological signs are connected to different parts of the body. I’m a Pisces. That sign is connected to feet. When I’m tired or stressed, it often affects my feet. I have to make sure I have comfortable shoes (outside the house; I don’t wear them inside), and warm, dry socks in winter. I do not do well in cold, wet socks.

I get migraines. I hold tension in my neck and shoulders. Lately, from all the sitting I’ve been doing, I’ve had problems in my lower back. To the point where the lower back and the hip sometimes “freeze.”

That tension in the lower back and hip joint, for me, indicate feeling stuck — and I’m going through a “stuck” period, where I know I need to make changes, but I’m not sure of the details. The days when I’m confident about what I’m doing and the direction I’m taking — no lower back pain.

Earlier in my life, when I was in a toxic situation, I suffered stomach problems constantly. Once I was out of the situation, no more stomach issues.

Listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Too often, we don’t seek help for our health needs. Sometimes it’s an insurance issue. We can’t afford to get help, unless we give up something else, like food or paying the electric bill. The entire health industry in this country needs to be ripped apart and rebuilt from scratch, but that’s a different conversation. Sometimes, it’s because we’re not listened to when we ask for help.

“It’s all in your mind,” says the doctor.

“Yes,” you say, “and now it’s manifesting in my body. So please help me find the root cause so we can treat this holistically.”

For me, acupuncture is the best for pain management. Daily yoga and meditation practices help keep energy flowing, and help me discover causes and possible solutions.

It’s different for everyone. The human body is amazing, as is the human mind. We take both for granted. The more you learn to trust yourself, the better you are at self-advocating.

Because the industry itself is about how much money it can get out of YOU, and how little money insurance can get away with paying. It has nothing to do with actual health. Know that.

Know, also, that there are ways you can make the system better by making the time to argue for your rights. When you dispute an unfair decision by your insurance, copy your Senator, your Rep, your State Attorney General on the correspondence. Go to the top executives in the company. Don’t use the excuse that you “don’t have time” for that. It takes a few minutes to type a letter, run off copies, put a stamp on them and mail them to those who can do something. And yes, do it in writing. They want you to talk on the phone because their “notes” of the conversation have little to do with your rights or what you actually discussed. DO EVERYTHNG IN WRITING.

When your elected officials have town halls, make the time to go. Ask them what they’re doing to make things better. Make an appointment at the local office and discuss your situation with one of the aides. A good aide is dedicated to listening to constituents and weighing in on policy. MAKE the time.

And vote. Vote for candidates who want to rebuild the health care system so that it’s actually about health care and not about personal or corporate profits.

You do have power. If you choose not to use it, it’s on you.

It’s tough to do that when you’re not feeling well. Being sick takes a lot of energy. But you can’t expect “others” to do it. Your activism, based on your direct experience, will change things.

Remember that figuring out the cause of the stress doesn’t mean an instant fix. You might be facing a major life change. It won’t happen all at once. Try to find one small thing you can change that will help you mentally and release some of the physical pain. Integrate it into your life.

Then try the next small thing.

Small changes add up to big changes. Our individual rhythms are unique. We’re often pushed into situations at a rate that ‘s unhealthy for our individual rhythms. We need to be kind to ourselves, give ourselves time to adjust, and decide how to regain control and make the next change when WE want it.

It’s a lot of moving parts at any given time.

But the more you learn to listen to that inner voice, to trust YOUR instincts, the more your decisions will help make you a whole, healthy person.

Published in: on October 14, 2019 at 6:56 am  Comments (2)  
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I am back home, thank goodness! Tuesday afternoon, I had to drive down to CT, take care of some things, and drive back on Wednesday morning. Thank goodness for laptops and wifi, so I could handle my class during all that.

The drive down wasn’t bad, even through Providence, for once, although New Haven was hateful. Got to stop at the Book Barn in Niantic, though, which was pretty darn good. I picked up only a few things — the first Dresden files book by Jim Butcher, a Paris memoir, and a couple of books about New York that I need for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and some other books.

Decided to stop in Niantic again on the way back yesterday morning, to pick up a book I knew I needed, but hadn’t bought the day before, and I found another book I’ve been trying to get my hands on for about two years.

I was gone about 24 hours, and so much bloomed! I am going to have a boatload of pumpkins (yay). The zucchini and strawberries are getting blossoms, both types of tomatoes have come up, as have the green peppers. I will be able to put stuff i the ground this weekend, after all.

I’ve started to sit more than just in my morning meditation. I’m sitting at night, before bedtime, and, the last few days, in the afternoons as well. Not for long, just 20-30 minutes. But it makes a difference.

Oh, and I finally have health insurance. Gotta love Mass & their universal healthcare. It took a lot of paperwork, and there are more papers to fill out, but I’ve been “accepted” into the system, which means next time I get sick, I can actually see a doctor without getting into insurmountable debt. Of course, I’ve still got to get set up with a doctor (which takes six weeks or so here), but if something happens in the interim, since I’m in the system, I’m still covered. Thank you, Mitt Romney, for universal heath care in this state!

Read the Paris memoir — A TOWN LIKE PARIS by Bryce Corbett. It’s hilarious. Very witty and engaging. One can see how he could get hired for a job about which he knows very little, because he’s smart and funny.

Planning to mow the meadow later this morning, deadhead the rhododendrons, trim a few edges, prune the lilac, and then dig up some of the sand in the vegetable bed (now that I have buckets) and put in garden soil in preparation for planting this weekend. I’ve also got to figure out how to get to Martha’s Vineyard next week — which ferry to take, what the schedules and costs are, where I can leave the car, etc.

Back to the page for awhile, and then to the class, and then to the rest of it. Right now, it looks like it wants to rain, which would put a crimp in my garden plans. I’m happy with the progress on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. It’s not as fast as I’d like, but the quality is pretty good, so I don’t mind slowing down if what’s getting on the page is worth it.

Made some other decisions. Will ease out of a set of responsibilities when I meet my commitments at the end of the year with one organization, because the ratio of money to time just isn’t balancing out. I’ve tried several different ways to reconfigure it, and it’s not working, so I will extract myself as gracefully as possible. I’ll still be working for them in other areas, but they need someone else for this particular portion of it.

Costume Imp is coming back up in about three weeks for a week — and wants to throw a party! Guess I should start coming up with a guest list . . .


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and COLD!

Busy morning yesterday. First load to the dump was the single bag of household garbage, and the rest of the car was filled with recycling. We just don’t generate that much garbage. That one 30-gallon trash bag was from nearly a month’s living. The rest of the car was filled to bursting with cardboard boxes, tins, glass, plastic, etc. for recycling.

The guys who work at the dump are so nice. They explained how everything was set up, the protocols, etc. It’s extremely well-organized. I walked the whole space to get a sense of it (‘We’re really not as fun as the amusement park,” one of them said drily, as he watched me take in the sights), but I wanted to figure out where everything was BEFORE I started carting stuff out of the car.

Trips 2-4 were leaves. I got 21 of the leaf bags emptied out, and have 10 more left in the garage. I can get 7 bags (30 gallons each) per carload, and, since the dump is only about a mile away, I just kept making round trips. The leaf piles are huge — I should take my camera next time, they’re really, really cool-looking.

Yeah, I’m new, and I even find the dump fascinating! 😉

Ran some errands, had lunch, decided it was too cold for yard work (procrastinator). We spent the afternoon unpacking the most of the rest of the kitchen boxes. We’ve got two left. But everything’s unpacked, and most of it is put away — the island has too much stacked on it, but I have to figure out a few things.

Of course, I still have 60 boxes of kitchen stuff stacked the garage, but I’ll go through that a little at a time — or a lot, as we get closer to the party.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1, got it off, did the invoice (forgot I had the holiday paper still in the printer, oh well). It’s a FESTIVE invoice.

Violet is OVER all the unpacking, and Iris simply hides. I think we have mischievious pixies around, because things are vanishing and turning up in different spots in the house. Violet is very non-chalent about it all, but there are times when Iris enters a room, her eyes get huge staring at something I can’t see, and the she shoots out of the room like her tail’s on fire. Don’t get me wrong, the house has a great vibe — there’s just a sense of mischief around lately, and sometimes it’s okay, but when I’m tired and hunting for something — not so much.

Found the candles I put aside for the holiday, so I could put them into the candelabras (candelabrae?) on the mantel.

Wrote domestic cards A-D last night (about 20 cards) and packed 5 more of the gifts to ship. So, it’s off to the post office this morning again — I also have to buy some more packing supplies. I have about 8 more gifts to pack and ship this week.

Taking another carload of leaves this morning, helping my mom with some stuff for her prescriptions. I’ve already had to rip her former doctor’s office a new one and the insurance company a new one. They think because my mother is 86 and a nice person, they can take advantage of her and make things rough on her. Then, they get to deal with ME, who is not 86 and not a nice person. Sort of an immediate karmic return for them. Sometimes I think I do better as I am without insurance, although as a MA resident, I’m now required to get health insurance. Won’t the companies love it when I interview them — because guess what? It’s my money, I’m doing the interviewing. The health care industry in this country needs to be completely gutted and dismantled, and rebuilt from the ground up without profit to the corporate executives. It needs to go back to being what it was originally — non-profit.

Car gets fixed at 2 PM, so there goes the afternoon.

The Hounds of the Baskervilles went above and beyond in their arias yesterday afternoon. I think it’s hilarious — hey, it beats leaf blowers, right?

I’d like to work on the yard a bit today, in spite of the cold, but it’s also really windy, so I don’t know if it’s counterproductive.

Hitting the page for a few hours this morning first, though. I’m behind on everything, and I overslept again this morning. I didn’t want to get out of my cozy bed!

Watched the special Christmas episodes of both EUREKA and WAREHOUSE 13, and laughed my head off, especially during the former. Both were very clever and absolutely hilarious.


Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 8:34 am  Comments (3)  
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Washington, DC

I left at 4:30 AM for DC to participate in the Health Care Rally.

I hope they have coffee carts!

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 6:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and mild

We dodged the flood bullet yesterday, but it doesn’t look as though we’ll be that lucky tomorrow. The brook held at the top of its banks, more a river than a brook, rushing, gray-green, filled with sludge, but not turning the neighborhood into a river — yet. However, we’re supposed to get rain again all night tonight and all day tomorrow.

I managed to get three loads of laundry done in the brand new laundry room before it began to get water-logged. I boiled and bottled about six gallons of water. We’ve got plenty of food and batteries. I moved the car around noon, when the brook rose four feet in an hour and a half — and it was still low tide. I’ll move the car back to the lot for the day, because it’s supposed to be dry-ish, and then move it up the hill for the weekend.

Yesterday was mostly about flood preparation. Finished up a couple of client projects, ran a few errands. I got some business correspondence done. UHaul got another Middle Finger award — this one as tall as the Chrysler Building, but I hope there’s a solution on the horizon. I’ve got more business correspondence to do today, and then, hopefully, all I have to concentrate on this weekend is the weather.

Lunch was great — slices of smoked salmon on ciabatta, using the rest of the homemade tartar sauce. For dinner, I made a turkey bolognese, using a recipe recommended by someone I met via Twitter. It was excellent. There are two versions of the sauce — one with white wine and cream, and one with red wine. I made the white wine version, and will make the red wine version next week.

I’m reading PRAGUE: A CULTURAL HISTORY. Wow. I basically knew NOTHING about Prague. We have a lot to pack in during eight days! It’s fascinating. It’s extraordinary how much of its history was shaped by writers, artists, etc., which I think is quite wonderful.

I got a bit of writing done this morning on the Matty book. I hope I can get more writing-focused this weekend. I have a feeling not much will get done over the next 2-3 weeks because of outside pressures, but then, although the entire summer is very booked and very busy, the writing will open up. Until a few things that are hanging over me are resolved, the writing’s not going to be what it needs to be. I’d like to resolve them in less than 3 weeks, but not all of it is in my control, and I’m not going to roll over and allow myself to be taken advantage of simply to get things moving faster.

Whenever I turn on the PC to pull stuff off the floppies and back them up, the McAfee tries to hijack the computer, demanding that I renew the McAfee software. Now, I don’t plug the old computer in to the internet. And there is no way IN HELL I would give McAfee another penny after the crap they pulled the last few months. I’d uninstall the program, but it won’t let me. Well, in a few months, I can just dump the whole unit and not worry about it anymore. But the gruntwork of the transfer is time consuming and annoying. Oh, well, gotta do it when you can’t pay someone else for the aggravation, right?

I’m glad I live on the third floor of this building. Saves me from having to build an ark.

Chad, I believe that one of the reasons groups are fighting change is that corporate profits are put ahead of lives. As a teenager, I temped in several insurance companies. At one in particular, the representatives were instructed to refuse EVERY claim without reading it the first time. If the person filing the claim challenged the refusal, then they were supposed to actually review the claim; but, since 75% of people who get a refusal never bother to dispute it, the company saved hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by not paying legitimate claims. And people who were too frightened or believed that they had no other recourse or were just overwhelmed by the paperwork had to pay out of pocket for care that was supposed to be covered.

Companies count on consumers being “too busy” to dispute/fight bad service, and every time a consumer allows something to go undsiputed, be it poor service in a store or a refusal of a legitimate claim, the consumer condones the company’s action and hurts all other consumers.

Back to work.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Raining. Again.

Well, the sun didn’t last long enough yesterday for me to get out and enjoy it. Boo. 😦

I’m back, as Jenny, talking about writing without a contract in place, on Diane Parkin’s blog.

Pretty productive day, though. Got my assignment polished and out to Confidential Job #1. Took care of some business correspondence. Finished off a client project. Went to Trader Joe’s to restock the cat food supply.

I printed out CRAVE THE HUNT and had it stacked on the desk, waiting to go into a binder. And Iris had a temper tantrum and scattered the pages all over the living room. Sigh. Fortunately, they’re numbered.

I found that, if I use Safari, I can override the 1and1 server error. I can’t get into my sites to work on them, but at least I can access my email. Not perfect, but a stopgap until I can move things.

Trying to get back on track with the serial and CRAVE THE HUNT. There are some things looming in the near future that take a lot of energy and focus right now, and it’s negatively affecting the writing. Hopefully, once that’s sorted, I can get back in the groove.

I’m making preparations for the DC trip next week — so far I am not impressed with the organization, or lack thereof, and I’m setting a bunch of appointments on my own. I’m not going to stand around doing nothing, and it wouldn’t be right if I slipped away to a museum! So I’ll do my bit at the rally,and then I’ve got appointments with people who can actually create some positive change. I need affordable health care. This week is a good example — I don’t have insurance, and I can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars for a five minute doctor visit out of pocket (which is what it is here) unless I REALLY need it. I’m feeling off, not awful; I’ll deal. I had DECADES of pouring money into health insurance, and hardly ever needed to see a doctor. All of that should be credited, and I should be able to draw on it now Instead, I threw out money for years BECAUSE I WAS HEALTHY. How twisted is that? Plus, I’m sick and tired of the way they glance at you and order a plethora of tests, almost all unnecessary, because they can’t be bothered to spend the time to get to know you and your individual health issues. Assembly-line medicine doesn’t work. I do much better with my acupuncturist, and I’m calling her today to see if she can fit me in before she leaves for Saratoga. Whenever I leave a doctor’s office, I feel completely dehumanized. When I leave my acupunturist’s, I feel I can take on the world. The insurance companies in this country need to be gutted, and the health care industry needs to be rebuilt from the ground up so that doctors can provide individualized care and patients are treated like people, not like the plastic dummies one practices on in First Aid training sessions.

Next week is going to be a long day! 😉

I’m also prepping for the NHL Draft, which starts the day after the rally in DC. And, in a few weeks, I’m going to head up to Maine for a couple of days, to see my great uncle, and maybe visit some farms where they spin and die the yarn they shear from their sheep.

Hopefully the laundry room renovations are done. Six weeks ago, they told us it would take “about ten days”. Right. My friend’s out of town, so I can’t pop over to do laundry there, and the laundry bag’s about to burst at the seams. Fingers crossed.

I’ve got a fiction deadline coming up for a short story. I’ve got it percolating, and I’ve also got a couple of other short pieces percolating. Maybe, with everything going on these next couple of weeks, it makes more sense to focus on shorter pieces, pieces I can actually get done.

Now that I’ve visited The Mount in Lenox, it really makes Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton biography come even more to life. It’s also making me itch to back to GOOD NAMES.

Back to business. There’s a lot to do. Maybe if I keep focused on work, I won’t notice that it’s raining. AGAIN. There are flood warnings, so I’ll be jumping up and down to check the brook every few hours, and see if I have to move the car. And I’m boiling and bottling water, just in case. Maybe today’s NOT a good day to do laundry!

Prepared fried cod cakes last night with home-made tartar sauce (wonderful) and roasted potato wedges (with oregano, cumin, and olive oil) dipped in lime-cilantro mayonnaise. Yum.

Back to work.