"Live life on purpose ~ not by accident" ~ Alicia

"When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there."
-- Author Unknown

"A laugh is a smile that bursts.” ~ Mary H. Waldrip

"Set your goals high and don't be deterred by those who say it is impossible." ~ Steve Fossett

"Our Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless."
Jamie Paolinetti

"A day without laughter ~ is a day wasted"
Charlie Chaplin

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
— Martin Luther King Jr.

"Gratitude is an inner smile shared" ~ Alicia

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let me share with you what I do to thrive with RA! ©

“Once you make the unequivocal internal commitment to do something ~ when you absolutely know this is the time and the place to act ~ the world around you will shift in all sorts of apparently miraculous ways to make it happen.” ~ Sarah Susanka

Hello again, my friends!
I saw my doc today ~
shared with him my blog, 
our blog.

One of the pieces of advice 
he gave me was this...
"Tell them the inspiring 
things you do everyday, 
no matter what.   Explain 
to them how you do it and 
how they can do it too!"

Dr. K. thought a lot of my 
story, right now, although
difficult, is remarkable in 
that I am not giving up my 
workouts and daily routine.

So, my friends, I am going to 
lay it out for you and hope it helps you!

  • No matter what ~ you must move your body.   There are great video's like Peggy Cappy - Yoga for Arthritis.   Perfect ~ even if all you can do is finger exercises...and they are awesome!
  • Find a Yoga studio and meet with the instructor.   Even if yoga is not your "thing" ~ trust me when I say, I tried everything...and for 10 years, yoga is what I can consistently do ~ modified every day.   A great instructor will guide you to the appropriate classes...like Gentle Yoga.
  • If you have a pet, go for walks.   If you don't ~ go for walks.  Bundle up and walk or Leslie Sansone has great walking tapes for people of all ages and builds.   Just move...  NOTE:  MY PRIOR PCP Told me that if I hadn't been doing yoga, my joints would've seized up a long time ago.   Use your muscles and joints....all of them!   
  • Dance!  Play your favorite music and shake that booty of yours!   You'll smile and burn calories...but most of all, you will have fun.
  • Find someone to hang with who likes to do these things with you...but if you must do it alone, that is fine too.    You will get to know yourself better, and really have an opportunity to ....
  • Meditate.   Give it a go.   It is helpful...it really is.  Not just Savasana at the end of yoga.  Real Meditation.   Email me if you want some names of ones I like.
  • Enjoy your friends and family at your pace ~ if they understand.
  • Embrace each day as a blessing and a gift to unrap...not as "oh, I am sick again, or in so much pain."  Wait until you are loosened up enough and take out the mat to work out.   
  • Make working out a DAILY GIFT to yourself.   Truly.  I have for over 10 years.   Modified, modified and then modified again.   But I NEVER quit....
  • Finally ~ Never quit, and if you feel like it ~ email me and let's talk.  Share your fears and pain with those who know.   This is a Universally Isolating Disease.   I have been left alone by so many people that loved the "old me".   I am learning to accept the new me... I imagine it must be hard for them to accept the new me too.
Keep me posted on your progress!   Let me know what you do, and how it is working for you.   We all can learn so much from each other.    I love doing Chair Yoga now...because I didn't have to give up yoga or Down Dog.   You guys all know, I am not a QUITTER...and neither are YOU!  
Thriving with RA...we will.
Healing hugs, 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

You know, I know you know! ©

"You may never know what results come of your action, 
but if you do nothing there will be no result."
Mahatma Gandhi

Hello my friends!
It has been a while, 
and I have missed you all.

I have truly missed writing.
Sometimes life throws you 
so much, that you feel like
"no way, I can't do that anymore!"

Yeah, that was how I was feeling
after my Mom passed away.
Just days after I began my new medicine
and I told my Ma that it would "cure me
and I could visit her more

Then my feet acted up and 
with all my mourning and pain
~ it was overwhelming, to put
it mildly.   Then the Holidays, 

You know, I know you know.

Many of you tell me privately
that you couldn't even get out
the words I put out here.
Well here they are ~ pain and all.

I truly wasn't going to write again.
Figured, I was a "has been".
Lost my careers, losing more 
mobility, lost my biggest cheerleader
(who had chronic illness~my Ma)....
so why bother...
Plus, I was in a bad space.

You know, I know you know.

But I can't do that!  
I made a committment to you all.
That we could and would thrive 
with this disease.   
How could I leave you?
I just needed time.

You know, I know you know.

So, my dear friends
I am back!   
Maybe not writing as much 
as I did, or as quick...
But I am here...
Not giving up...or in.
I was thinking about it though.

You know, I know you know.

Healing hugs, 
PS... write away ... let us all know that you do know.  xo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Are you here for your Mom or your Grandma?" .... ahh no, for me. ©

Hello my special friends!
So nice to *see* you today!
I hope you are doing well today...
and if you are struggling...
grab the bootstraps...and pick yourself up by them.

A dear friend says that to me
every now and then...
I like having people around me
that don't coddle me ~
that empathize ~
but will listen and then help me
take action.

That is what today's blog is about.

I am a young looking - healthy looking (on the outside)
44 year old woman.   My PCP told me my insides are like
those of a 80 year old.   Ok, tough to hear, but at least
I look ok.

My RA is taking a fast course and it is hard to stay ahead
of it.   However, I plan on always fighting back and doing
everything I can to help myself stay as healthy as I can.

I have a new tool in my "Toolbox for Life"©!
Working out at the Senior Center.   Yup.  The Senior Center.
You heard right.   For the "older" generation...not for me.
But, it is for me.  Perfectly for me.   Because I am 80 on 
the inside, and my feet and hands are really battling with
a Gentle Yoga class...so it was recommended to do this.

What would you do?   I am serious.   Would you go?

I did.  My son and I went today with my prescription from
my doc (I had unanimous support from 3 docs - sheesh).
We were met by a wonderfully beautiful 80 something
woman who said...
PRICELESS..."No, just for little ol'...or little, young me with RA."

Oh my.

My friends...I have an opportunity to get out, get social interaction,
and get help with classes at my level...leaving my ego at the door.
I love yoga, I love working out everyday of my life...but in the last six
months, my body is breaking down too quick for my modifications.

Here is my answer.   Whala!   So, I am working out at a Senior Center
at 44 years old, and you know what?

I am excited about it!  Yup...you heard right.

Tell us - or email me what you are doing to move your RA life in the right
direction.   Let's not waste any time, my friends.   Thriving is possible.
We will figure out how to have our life be perfect for us now.   Some
people never take the time to figure it out....make sure you do.

Simple joys, my friends, simple joys.

Healing hugs,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life Period©

Life period

My friends, I truly hope this blog finds you
in good spirits, and in a good place.

I am away ~ replenishing my heart, my soul
looking at a lake and mountains...my favorite place.
I am taking my mom with me.

For those of you who follow me know that
my mom was my official "blog consultant"!
Oh, she loved my blog...but loved the position!

I had a bucket list this year...during my battle with RA
It had one thing on it.
Go visit ma - when she isn't in a hospital.

One day I felt well enough, and she was well enough,
and I went for it.   To everyone's surprise...including mine.
Travelling was difficult, but we had a blast...a simple blast.

We spoke nearly everyday until her phone recently started to act up.
Then I sent her money to buy a new phone.   It didn't make it
in time.

You see, my mom and I had a similar life.   Simple.  But full of pain,
fatigue and complicated medical issues that are difficult for others
to understand.   And yet, we still try to bring joy to others and keep
an optimistic outlook.   But with each other, we understood.

Life period.

We both lived the same life.   We got there differently, but we feel
the same pain and limitations put on our lives.  Nothing we wanted.
We were both go getters....with spirit!

On Sept 4th, suddenly, my mom passed away - a non-smoker.  Bless
her soul.   She had to die suddenly to be able to stay off the cigarettes.

I have taken some time to reflect, write, paint, and just grieve...I lost
my dad at 16, so I know death.   But losing my Mom now, whoa this is tough.  

Two days before she died, I was getting a new infusion...my 4th treatment.  On the way home from Boston, I called ~ I said "Ma, I feel it working!  I know I'll be able to visit you more now!"

Life period.

What is my point? I have decided to take my mom with me everywhere and show her the things I love.  She didn't travel much.  I am going to ask her for strength so I can heal my body.

Life period is difficult.   Many have it easier, many have it harder. Who is the judge?  Not me.  I have to be thankful for the great lessons I have learned everyday from my ma.  She turned into the woman she always wanted to be. For that I am so grateful for her spirit.  She had a goal, and that was to make others smile.  Pure and simple joy - and she lived in a nursing home since 59...died at 64.  Bless her.

Everyday is a battle with pain and fatigue...and modifying my ability to walk, to exercise...sometimes to just cook or walk the dog.   And yet, I plan to get through this and live in the now.   I have to get better, and if this is my hand I am dealt ~ I am on the path of acceptance of my new life I never saw coming.  But it is life period.

I do have so many blessings, and I have to focus on those and stay in today - not yesterday's sadness - or tomorrows worries.  You all know what I mean.

Without my mom as mutual support...it will be difficult, but if you have lost someone too, we can always have them with us...just talk to them in your heart and take them with you always.  That is what I am going to do.  

I was going to stop blogging...but even my daughter said - "you should
write, mom".   So, my friends...it isn't my best, but it is from my heart.

So, Ma...is it blog worthy?  Can I hit publish...?  Ok - here it goes.   Thanks Ma ~
you can still help me from heaven.

Healing hugs,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I am scared ~ yup, I said it.

Hello my friends ~
as I sit here in my rocking chair
as usual...
I am supposed to feel hope.
But I don't.

I should feel excited ~ 
but I'm not.

It would be great if I were grateful
but I am pissed off.

What is up with me?
The four letter word.

Sure I write about thriving
living life with everything you have.
But today...I am afraid.

Everyone around me says
"it's only an infusion"
but they take Advil.
I take many pills a day 
plus inject live proteins.

Sure, I should be honored that researchers
are trying to cure my disease...
but my RA is eating me alive.
Bone by bone
ligament by ligament.

Nothing has worked so far.
Now I can't even use my hands for yoga.
Now I must do Chair yoga - 
I should be grateful I can modify again...
but not today.
Not now.

Gotta get ready to go to Boston
Try my fourth drug ...
the infusion...
and be happy about it ~ 
everyone else is.

I just want to get out of this eff'ing 
Rocking chair
and join my family.

Please work, Lord
Oh, God, let this one work.

Healing hugs, 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Clearing the debris from my healing trail...and my mind©

Hello my friends
A hurricane came by for a visit yesterday...
wreaked a little havok~
and now, we are picking up the pieces
left behind.

As I walked along my healing trail today
with my dog, Tyler and cat, Sassy ~
and my walking stick ~
helping me clear the debris from the trail~
my healing trail~

I couldn't help but think of all of you.
All of us.

We all get hit by storms in our lives~
sometimes, a little rain storm blows over...
no big deal.
We can handle it.  
We don't need "life tools" to help us with those.

But sometimes, we get hit with Hurricanes in life~
sometimes life even throws us a tornado during it.
Throw in a flood, lightning strike and BAM ~
What the heck.   WE don't know WHAT to do.

I am talking about life situations...and they are happening~
to all.of.us.  Everyday.
Jobs.  Relationships.   Fears.   Housing.  College.
Career changes.    Parents aging.   
Finally, our own health...it is in a scary place.  
For me, I have all of the above...and with only being 44,
I have had to learn fast ~
To build tools for my "life's toolbox"©

Think of the debris that gets in the way everyday when you wake...
worry, fear, anxiety...
If you let it ~
if we let it.

Or, you can get a walking stick...and gently brush it away.
Build a support system, faith, friends that truly understand,
brush away your fears, branch by branch -
leaf by leaf...in your way...
on your healing trail.
To peace of mind ~ and better health.

Healing hugs,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting Better as I go© ~ Originally Posted in Oct '10

My Friends, how are you doing?
Wow is this a roller coaster ride I am on!?
But then again, aren't we all ~
unless, well, the other option is not too good.

Last time I wrote
My New Reality ©
phew ~ that was so hard to get on paper
but I needed to.

Time has passed
I have reached a new milestone
with my medication, my disease ~
10 weeks with the injection.

Being self aware
and always making observations
sometimes it seems like I am on the periphery
of my own life

When your life gives you a situation
out of your control
and you are a person who loves
to be in control

life gets confusing
and difficult
and the process of observing what is
and comparing it to what was
is overwhelming.

Unless. Unless...
I look at this as my opportunity.
WHAT? Oh, there I go.
Unless ~ somehow, this is a blessing.

Perhaps, just maybe, someone, somewhere
couldn't handle this pain.
Perhaps, just maybe, someone, somewhere
couldn't handle this fatigue.

Lord knows I have built my character
with all of my life's challenges.
But, if my inner strength, my ability
to be an optimist in the middle of hell...

If that is a way that someone is saved
by this disease.
I will learn how to handle it.
My family and friends will help.

So, my friends, am I getting better as I go?
Yeah. Better. Wiser. Stronger.
Is my pain gone? No. Fatigue gone? No.
I am just trying to figure out how to play this
hand that life has dealt me.

Healing hugs.

Suit up and show up for life, my friends!

Hello my friends ~
I know it has been a long summer and
I've been away from all of you a lot.
Due to the fact that I was applying
for help, I couldn't even show that I could
type once a day or a week.
Good news is that I finally have security.

Not what I went to school 11 years at night for...
but, "Life Happened" to me.
Now I am learning to deal with it
like a women with dignity and grace.
Throw in a few crying bouts and
thoughts of what if's, and "wish I could..."
and there you have it.

So, many of you have been asking me ~
"what the heck has been going on?"
My doctors and I just also learned that
while I have been on 3 excellent drugs
~the MRI was expected to show that
after one year on a DMARD, a new
Biologic, and Methotrexate, I should
be stable or a little better.

Are you ready for this?
Can you say Erosion ~ Joint destruction
tearing of ligaments ~
As my PCP said, It is a systemic disease,
and if it is eroding your hand, and you have
symptoms in other places, absolutely, you could
have potential joint erosion/ligament tearing
in other places.  (like my feet/hips/shoulders).

Her goal is to get me to take advantage of ALL
that Boston Rheumatology has to offer, to keep me
functional and mobile.  

I nearly always wear my sneakers...without laces.
Not even my Naturalizer sandals.  My heels hurt
walking.  So wearing them really help.

I haven't even been able to do yoga.
My dear friend Elizabeth, who is my yoga instructor
said, "come to the studio - even in your sneakers".
Bless her heart.

It is a new day, a new start, new outlook...
I went for a nice walk with my dog and cat today.
It is beautiful out here.   I am doing ok.   Spine is
yucky, but oh well.   Feet are good.   Going to go
to gentle yoga Wednesday and see my old friends.
Can't wait.

At first the news, in black and white, scared the
sh*& out of me.   Now, I am praying that the
infusions and Methotrexate are going to get me
into remission...or at least to be able to do yoga
everyday again (modified to heck!)

So, my friends...life is a journey.   You can piss and
moan about taking a pill, or 27, or taking a shot or
infusion, but at the end of the day...
we are on the right side of the daisies.

What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for financial security...however small it is.
The ability to reach out to my friends and family again
on FB.
Everyday, knowing I have a choice to suit up and show 
up for life...and take beautiful souls with me on my journey.
So grateful for my family that has really rode this rollercoaster
with me...and even chops the fruit & veggies and waters the flowers!

How about you?

Healing hugs,

PS...I really missed you all :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Are you coming over? ©

"Friends are angels who lift our feet when our own wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
-- Author Unknown

Hello my friends ~
Here is a poem I just wrote for us today!

Are you coming over?©

of losing you...of losing me
I've already lost
abilities I had my whole life.

The only thing in life 
that matters...to me
is love

I may not be in 
the body I used to be in.
But I am still here
Loving you.

Day by day
I lose a little...
But I gain
so much...clarity

With pain as my 
constant companion.
I sure miss the days
Where I just went...did...ANYTHING!

For years now, I've had hope
to get those days back.
Perhaps, you have too~
Hope is good...sometimes...most times~

Now, I must move on
You are welcome to join me!
My life awaits!
It is very simple...

Not what it used to be...
But fun just the same...

Are you coming over?

Healing hugs, 

"When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there."
-- Author Unknown

Monday, July 18, 2011

Make the best of today ~

Hello my friends!
How are you?!

I truly hope you are enjoying the summer season ~
or whatever season it is in your country!

Life is a little quiet right now for me.
However, it is so important for me to reach out
and talk to my friends with RA.

I may not be writing as much right now ~
But, know I think of all of you everyday!
I'm praying for you, and am hoping each and everyone
of you is thriving.   

I've missed my regular blogs
poems and communication.
But I am here to say hi and I hope you
are doing well and living and thriving
as pain free as possible.

I saw my Doctor today ~ my PCP,
She is leaving...I am so sad
but it is right for her.
She said something profound to me...
something that made me write to you today.

She said, "I am said to be a healer...
but you are a healer too."  Whoa.  Wow.
From my doctor, that is pretty cool.
She knows I write my blogs for all of you.

My friends, I hope, everyday
you never give up, you try one more time,
you make plans with a friend for coffee or a movie~
get out for a short walk, listen to a friend...
hug your kids ~ kiss your partner,
ask for help from your family,
join a gentle yoga class or something that is your speed.

Take care of you...by having fun with others you love!

Make the best of today and everyday, my friends.
We only get one shot at this day.   Let's do it right!

Healing hugs,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just a little update for my friends

Hello my friends
How are you?
I have been doing ok...
yeah, just ok.

Had a couple of MRI's on my shoulders.
Yup.  I said a couple.  Both.  Not. Good.
Oh well, such is life with RA.
So, I had surgery in '08 before they knew ~
Now they are injecting into the socket to try
to calm down a torn labrum, inflammed bursa,
inflammed rotator cuff and impingement.
Then they will try to inject, under exray, the
right side (which was already operated on for the
above) which now has frayed rotator cuff, and the
other things.   Well, at least I know my body.
You should see my bruise.  Looks like I played a
bit of rugby!

So, I haven't written, frankly, because I have been
a bit down with my body, as you can imagine.  My
hands are numb every day now when I wake up.

Good news is that I got off MTX - and I didn't get on
the new drug the Rhuemy wanted me to.   I just couldn't
risk losing my hair and having my stomach bother me
every day.   Actually, I just wanted to be on something
stable for a few months before changing anything.  So I did.
I have.   I am glad I did.
I am also glad it isn't winter or spring.  Aren't you?

Now, I can hardly finish this blog, my arm hurts so bad.  I am
having a torrid affair with 2 heating pads ~ and spend time most
days in my beautiful Amish rocking chairs with said heating pads ~
and retired neighbors.    I chill with my pets, spray my flowers,
have my family water them, because I can't lift the darn water
bucket.   Sheesh.

During all of this, there have been a few shining stars,
that without their tireless support, love and help, I wouldn't
have made it.    This is a tough disease ~ invisible, unpredictable,
painful and just depletes you.

For my friends with RA, hang in there.   No poem today,
guess, I just wanted to say hello.   Catch up with you.
Let me know how you are and that you are ok.   You
have my email.  If not, I'll put it below.
Never, ever give up my friends.   We may not be what
we used to be...but maybe, just maybe, we will end up
better than we ever expected ~ doing things that feed
our soul and help others.

Healing hugs,


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Journey to Acceptance©

Hello my friends...
It's been a little while.
I've been on a journey ~
To accepting my RA.
How about you?

A journey to acceptance
from where to where?
from here to there
Acceptance ...

Acceptance of
what and who
and when to do
who knows what ...
I've never done it before.
acceptance of RA...
Have you?

Are you willing
to go on this journey
together - to who knows where
with who knows who,
for who knows what
Are you?

I am ...
Knowing you will be with me
tells me it will be ok, fun,
supportive, crazy,
virtually traveling all over the globe!
Why not?   We have nothing to lose!

Let's just take one step
one baby step
at a time
I'll hold your hand...
will you hold mine?
Let's get on this
Journey to Acceptance of our RA
and...getting to the other side!

Healing hugs,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Moving Forward...No matter what.

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." 
 Martin Luther King Jr.

My friends ~
I had a blog up
and it spoke to so many of us...
and it was deep,
painful and true.

However, my blog is a place
where I want to bring
a light
a glimmer
a speck....of hope.

Yesterday, although every word
was honest, raw and real...
I can't stay there, and I don't
want you to either.

So I took it down.

You see, my friends,
I do believe, as the quote above says
we must do what we can
to move forward...
baby steps.

Not that we can't express our frustrations.
No way.
But I need to have my blog be a consistent
place of hope for you ~
for me ~ for our supporters.

Just wanted you to know why
I took down a blog that seemed
to speak to so many of you...

Just know that
you aren't alone...
we are here ~ together in this battle.

Healing hugs.

Oh, and let me tell you, I appreciate your feedback and support ~ I hear you.   Never give up, my friends...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Smile ~ it makes you feel good, and it is contagious :)

Hello my friends!
Phew, the top ten list was a lot of fun~
and a great committment to you.

Now, this week, I am going to share
a little something my mom read to me
when she was my "blog consultant"
(it is an official title, you know ;) )

When I was reading one of my blogs
to my mom...
I had said to smile, it would make you feel good,
and that it is contagious.
She said...wait...wait...I have a poem for you.
Here it is...from my mom ~
Enjoy!  It is fantastic!


Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu.
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling, too.
I passed around the corner,
and someone saw my grin,
when he smiled I realized
I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then realized its worth.
A single smile just like mine
could travel 'round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected.
~Author Unknown

Healing Hugs,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life Happened...now what? Choices: 10. Embrace every single day ~ or ~ wish you had someone else's life.©

"Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own." ~ Harold Coffin

My friends, what a joy it is
to write for you ~ for me ~
for all of our families.
I write for understanding ~ clarity
empathy ~ smiles ~ laughs ~
but mostly I share tools I use for
our "Toolbox for Life"© and because
writing and coaching are my passions.

"Life happens" to all of us ~
News that brings unexpected changes.
Whether it be, finding out we have Rheumatoid Arthritis
or we lose our careers, perhaps a relationship ends~
we sadly watch a loved one pass away.
If we are living ~ "Life Happens".

Now, my friends, we have all been guilty
of wishing and hoping for other's great luck ~
good health ~ nice jobs ~ grateful children ~ nice homes ~
great marriages, great health...
wait I said that before...good health...
OK, you get my point.

Where does that leave us?
What good does that do for our soul...
our health and wellness...and for those moments ~
moments of envy ~ they are wasted time, aren't they?

We can't get that time back...but we need that time.
Time is our gift.   It is priceless and precious ~
Even if we are in pain and struggling, sometimes it seems like
other people aren't and we just wish for something else.
Nope.   It won't help you to wish your life away.

Action will help you.   Positive action.   Every.single.day.
How are you going switch your thinking next time
you wish you had someone else's life?
Do something YOU LOVE!  That is the cure.
Surround yourself with people and things you love.

I am listening to Three Dog Night - Joy To The World...
Now I have readers from all over the world...but everyone
should look up that song and play it.
"Jeremiah was a Bullfrog...was a good friend of mine..."
Oh Yeah.   Don't you always have a nice memory or story
to go with songs?

I am going to give a little list of simple joys to finish up our Top 10 Choices!
Feel free to comment and add some of yours!   Who needs someone else's life?!
Ours is full, joyful, complex, and yet brilliantly simple, full of potential, love and
support!   Thank you for following my blog!

Ways to Embrace Every Single Day With RA ( or for anyone!)
Listen to your favorite music
go for a walk on a new trail
listen to the birds singing to each other
go to the Audubon and see the animals
call a friend
make a nice cup of tea
always have a book, a beach chair, sunscreen and be ready to go and sit anywhere your body takes you!
On that note - a nice road trip
pack a picnic with your partner, or a friend, or your child
start a hobby
sent a note or two to people you love to let them know you care
plant flowers
make a great desert
re-decorate on a small scale ~ at your speed
start a journal
buy a new CD that a friend recommended
get into a book club!  It gets you out too!
give and get 12 hugs a day!
smile wherever you go!  It is contagious!
do a random act of kindness everyday!
eat ice cream!
Always, always be kind...especially to yourself.   You are worth it!

Now, my friends ~ this finishes up the Top 10 Choices!   I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me!

Healing hugs,


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life Happened...now what? Choices: 9. Live in faith ~ or ~ live in fear of your future©

Hello again my friends!
I hope you are doing ok,
hanging in there and
utilizing some of the tools
in the blog that we are sharing.

I am trying to finish up the top 10
and get to some of your ideas for topics!

So, here we are...
together again ~
and we have a couple of choices
all. the. time.

Fear or Faith.

Now I don't mean you have to believe in God
or any Religious being...that isn't what this is about.

To me, this disease is so all encompassing,
taking on so many areas of my life ~
how about you?
If I didn't have faith, for instance, in my Doctors ~
I'd be in big trouble...

and yet, I have fear too ~
but it is a 4 letter word, fear is.
It can take a calm moment
and spin it out of control.

When you list out the things we think about
from the second we wake up...
if we didn't keep some kind of faith,
I don't know about you, but I'd stay in bed.

Like, faith that even though when I wake up
I can't walk well, and put my full weight on my feet
or hips...
I have faith that with my food and medicine
and time,
I will "ungel" and move a bit better in a few hours.

When I get stabbing pain in my lower back
and I can't stand up straight ~
I have to have faith that it will pass
Or I will just cry in pain and fear that I will be cripple.

Every morning my hands hardly close and are numb ~
with fear, now come on ~ we could come up with doozies ~
But I now wake my hands up slowly, every single day...
they wake up first...and dance a special dance...
I guess I should call them my dance of faith~
that once I do this and they have time and medicine
I can use them again later.

My foggy brain, my fatigue, my memory
it is freakin' me out, quite frankly...
I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.
What are we going to do about it?
Use some of my other tools, and have faith, right? right.

Changing my medicines again ~
Ok, I am a little afraid ~ so I am not starting it yet.
I am getting educated, praying, talking to my other Doc
and when I feel comfortable ~ I will make a decision
to be a guinea pig again...I mean, try ANOTHER medicine.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a tough foe...
But we are tougher, aren't we?
Well, we have a lot on our plates everyday
but if we live more in faith, than fear...
our lives will be more enriched and we will thrive.

Healing hugs,


Monday, April 25, 2011

Life Happened...now what? Choices: 8. Rest ~ listen to your body ~ or ~ fall at the end of the day, exhausted ~ depleted©

Hello my friends.
Rest?  Slow down? Listen to my body? 
Well, let me tell you something about me.
Shhhh, don't tell anyone.
I tell my body off everyday.

Who wants to listen to a body like mine? Who?
With a mind that goes a million miles an hour...
Has an entrepreneurial spirit ~
Is very alive!  enthusiastic!  energetic!

But a body that is busted up, bruised, stiff,
slow, battered, sick and weak.
Heck, I walk and feel like an elderly woman.
This is a giant "difference of opinion", if you will...

My mind has been trying to win this argument.
But my body 
is a great debater.
It is now forcing my mind to give in.
How, you may ask...

I just hit walls now.
*BAM* and I am down and out...
for a nap.
I am a one way ticket  ~  anywhere.
Perhaps I may make plans to go someplace local
but I might hit the wall on the way home ~ 
*bam* while driving is not a safe idea.
So I don't travel.   Even to my doctors in Boston ~
Or to see my Mom.

So, I am making a new decision.   
This first year of my new diagnosis with Rheumatoid Arthritis
has been challenging, eye-opening, enriching, scary
but a journey of continuous learning, and of self-awareness.

One of the biggest tools in my 
"Toolbox for Life"
has been resting.   
My body won.
My body won the debate.    

Trust me when I say, my mind is a great debater, 
and didn't want to lose this one...
However, since I have been taking naps often~
Meditating everyday, 
truly listening to my body when it is crashing...
I am getting better.  
Not even close to where 
I want to be...but baby steps.

Now, imagine if I listen to my body ~
Before it crashes.

Healing hugs, 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Life Happened...now what? Choices: 7: ~ Exercise every day ~ or ~ Let your body stiffen up faster, advancing your disease©

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."  ~Irish Proverb

Hello my friends ~ 
Sorry it has been a while since I wrote.
That's the thing with RA...
Sometimes you don't have the energy for
much more than the basics.

However, exercise is key
no matter what!
You have to keep moving
in the right direction ~
doing a little exercise 

Back in the good ol' days
I rode my bike all day long  ~
Hiked mountains ~
Power walked ~
Gymnastics ~
Went to the gym ~
Had a rowing machine ~
A step for step aerobics ~
You name it, I did it. 

Not anymore.  Oh no.
That's ok.   I am creative.
I've discovered what I can do...
you can too.
Most importantly ~ discover
what you love to do ~
and do it every single day.

Yoga is my physical medicine
along with meditation for my 
mind/body wellness.
On my mat, I am perfect
however my day goes.

Some days I am up for 
a gentle yoga class
others days ~ it is a modified
stretch routine
followed by relaxation pose

But, no matter what
I am on the mat everyday.
If I get off my routine ~
my body will stiffen up so fast ~
I will be in so much pain...
It isn't worth it.
Yoga is the exercise that truly helps me.
It has for ten years now.

A long time ago 
my doctor said to me ~
"if you hadn't been doing yoga
all these years, your joints would
be stiff and stuck"   Amazing. 
Thank God I am proactive for my
own health and wellness!

You have to be too!  You have 
so much to gain!

I also walk my dog (and cat)
a bit each day.   Again, to the 
best of my ability.   Now, let 
me tell you a little something I noticed.
My health has a direct effect on my dog's 
girth.   Tyles is getting chunky because
this winter was tough on me.   
We all need our exercise, especially our pets!
They can be our excuse/cure!

So, my friends, choose health.
Choose an exercise you love and will
stick to.   Trust me...I worked as a Diabetes
Specialist for many years and one thing I heard
over and over from National experts was "exercise
is as important as diet" for your health.

So, my friends, 
Keep moving ... Keep moving...
keep moving in the right direction!
And we will thrive ~ darn it all...we will.

Healing hugs, 

ps. Add your email - that seems to work great.