Breathe Easy

take a deep breath

I don’t know if it’s the steriods I’m on that’s making me feel like this, but I can’t stop thinking about all I have to do. Life, in general right now, is busy. Work’s picking up, I have personal obligations that I need to complete, I’m trying to take my first online class on Coursera, there are trips I need to research and schedule (which is fun but takes a lot of time!), I want to read this, write that, schedule this, plan that, prepare for this or that. All of a sudden there seems like a pile of tasks to check off the list. So today, this motivational Monday is just as much as it is for me as it is for all of you. I need to remember to breathe. The tasks will slowly come off the list– and if some have to get postponed, that’s okay. Today, I need to remember to BREATHE. To inhale all the good that’s in my life, take a big beautiful breath of positive energy, close my eyes and see the light and exhale any negative thoughts or feelings that don’t serve me well.

There are so many benefits to deep breathing — beyond just helping to calm your mind, but physical benefits that can truly make a difference in your daily health.

Make sure you’re doing it correctly, however, to gain the best benefits. First inhale through your nose, expanding your belly and filling your chest. Count to 5. Hold and count to 3– feel all your cells filled with golden, healing, balancing Sun light & energy. Exhale fully from a slightly parted mouth and feel all your cells releasing waste and emptying old energy.

So trust in the fact that you’re where you need to be today, everything that is meant to happen is happening. Breath the certainty in and any worry out that you may have. Today is a good day.

Lots of love & light,

Jessy

For more information on the benefits of taking time to do some deep breathing, here’s a list of 18 physical benefits from the One Powerful Blog:

1. Breathing Detoxifies and Releases Toxins
Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.

2. Breathing Releases Tension
Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs.

3. Breathing Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity
Oxygenation of the brain reducing excessive anxiety levels. Paying attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well.

4. Breathing Relieves Emotional Problems
Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body.

5. Breathing Relieves Pain.
You may not realize its connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath. Yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.

6. Breathing Massages Your Organs
The movements of the diaphragm during the deep breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you, massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.

7. Breathing Increases Muscle
Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body.

8. Breathing Strengthens the Immune System
Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to haemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolise nutrients and vitamins.

9. Breathing Improves Posture
Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result of incorrect breathing so this is such an important process by getting your posture right from early on you will see great benefits.

10. Breathing Improves Quality of the Blood
Deep breathing removes all the carbon-dioxide and increases oxygen in the blood and thus increases blood quality.

11. Breathing Increases Digestion and Assimilation of food
The digestive organs such as the stomach receive more oxygen, and hence operates more efficiently. The digestion is further enhanced by the fact that the food is oxygenated more.

12. Breathing Improves the Nervous System
The brain, spinal cord and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. This improves the health of the whole body, since the nervous system communicates to all parts of the body.

13. Breathing Strengthen the Lungs
As you breathe deeply the lung become healthy and powerful, a good insurance against respiratory problems.

14. Proper Breathing makes the Heart Stronger.
Breathing exercises reduce the workload on the heart in two ways. Firstly, deep breathing leads to more efficient lungs, which means more oxygen, is brought into contact with blood sent to the lungs by the heart. So, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues. Secondly, deep breathing leads to a greater pressure differential in the lungs, which leads to an increase in the circulation, thus resting the heart a little.

15. Proper Breathing assists in Weight Control.

If you are overweight, the extra oxygen burns up the excess fat more efficiently. If you are underweight, the extra oxygen feeds the starving tissues and glands.
16. Breathing Boosts Energy levels and Improves Stamina

17. Breathing Improves Cellular Regeneration

18. Breathing Elevates Moods
Breathing increase pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain – See more at: http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010/10/18-benefits-of-deep-breathing-and-how.html#sthash.yKZxzcMv.dpuf

Put Aside the Pride

In the past (almost) six months, my pride has overwhelmed me many times during my days at work. Being demoted is mentally one of the toughest things I’ve dealt with during the past year as I felt so hurt and so disrespected to have been brought back as something I had once been promoted from. But thinking negatively about it, I’ve realized, does no good. It doesn’t help me get my old position back and it certainly doesn’t make the days any easier. This week, however, I was able to meet with my “big” boss and I mustered up the courage to tell him how disappointed I was about the demotion, and honestly what a struggle it’s been for me to deal with that since being back. What’s more important, is that instead of just complaining about how I don’t love my current position, I spoke of multiple ways I think I can be better utilized and gave specific examples of things I’d like to work on and feel I can really contribute to. This made me feel tremendously better as I felt like A. I got what I wanted to say off my chest and B. I was being proactive about what I think my career path at the company should be. Things won’t magically get better overnight but it’s a step in the right direction, and that’s all I can ask for, right? 
All weekend, I was stressed about this meeting on Monday. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and was totally focused on how I could make it a productive and positive conversation. I was amping myself up, telling myself how great I am at my job. How I deserve this job. How I worked SO hard for the position I once had. How I have proven myself time and time again. How I deserved to have that position back. But this weekend, as I sat in the sand at a beach in NH, thinking about how I was going to get what I wanted out of this meeting, how I was going to “sell myself and my talents”, I ironically began reading about the Buddhist philosophy on “pride.” Buddhist teachings say that being “proud” is not a virtue and something that we should work to eliminate within ourselves. It reminds us that everything we have is because of other people, literally everything. That our very being is because our parents created us. That someone taught us how to walk and talk and read. That someone helped feed us when we were growing and put a roof over our head. That someone gave us our first job, and our second and our third. That when we make money, it’s because someone else is giving it to us. Whether it’s an employer or we own our a company and its a client or we have employees working to make us money, someone else is helping us. 
The whole thought is so extremely humbling. Exactly the opposite of how I had been acting in my head — “I deserve this, I deserve that” type of attitude. 
The whole notion though is honestly a really weird thought to me. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’m a hard worker, that I’ve earned everything I’ve gotten in life. I wanted to be a gymnast so I worked for it. Well, I had coaches that taught me and parents that paid for the lessons. I wanted to become a better public speaker so I enrolled myself in an oratorical contest. Well, I had a teacher that worked with me and let me practice for hours in front of her. I worked as a babysitter and house cleaner to save up on my own for my first car. Well, someone gave me that job and let me into their home so I could make that money. I went to college and worked my ass off for a degree. Well, I was able to work so hard because my parents financially and emotionally supported me and professors mentored me. I got my current job because I was successful at my first “real world” job. Well, yes that’s the case but I also had a friend’s dad pass along my resume in HR which absolutely helped my chances. All the things in life that i’ve accomplished, someone, in some capacity has helped me me it happen. 
This is such a different way to think about life and it’s hard because I think as individuals we like to pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves what a good job we’re doing or why we deserve whatever life is giving us. There’s a lot of value in that, because I truly believe that you have to be your number one fan. You have to believe in yourself and your contributions to the world before anyone else can. But, what I can take away from this teaching is to truly remember that I didn’t do this alone. Not even close. So it’s important to remember and respect all those that gave you a chance, gave you an opportunity to make something of your life. In its simplest form, it’s remembering to have gratitude. Gratitude for everything and everyone in your life.
So say thank you to someone who’s helped you along the way. It’ll feel good for the soul. 
I’ll start…. 
to the most humble person I know, my Auntie Mary: thank you for teaching me what it means to be selfless and exemplifying what a strong and smart woman looks like. thank you for taking me to so many disney on ice’s, being at every birthday, and acting like a third grandmother in my life, I am truly lucky. thank you for being the kind, caring and gentle person that you are. i am so honored to have you in my life. 
XOXO,

Jessy 

Good Days Making the Bad Days Harder

It’s the night before another hospital appointment and most likely a five day stay to begin the next round of chemo. As I had mentioned in my last post, I’ve had a great few days. A great week, in fact. My energy, and spirit, has been high and I’ve genuinely just felt happy. I’ve done a good job at putting tomorrow “off” in my mind and just enjoying the time away from the hospital and off the chemo. But as tomorrow nears closer, I know I can’t put it off any longer and I’ll be in that hospital room before I know it. I’m anxious for multiple reasons…I have another bone marrow biopsy tomorrow, one that was not planned. So I’m nervous about the physicality of the procedure as I know how uncomfortable it is. I’m also anxious about the results of the biopsy as my doctor is doing it to double check that nothing has come back due to a something he saw in my labs last week. He’s “almost confident” it’s nothing but obviously wants to be sure. And “almost confident” makes me nervous. Really nervous. I’m anxious about how I’ll respond to the next round of chemo as with each new type of treatment I get there’s always the possibility that there could be complications. I’m anxious about simply being in the hospital for five days— the bed’s not comfortable, I can’t stand the food and the little beeps and noises all night drive me crazy. So basically, I’m just anxious for it to be one week from tonight. 

 
Last week when I thought I was going in for the five days I wasn’t nearly as bummed out as I feel right now. Since I hadn’t felt “good” in over a month, it made me have a little bit of a “who cares” attitude. But tonight I feel much different than that, I’m bumming hard over having to go back tomorrow. I feel this way because I know that starting back up with the chemo means that my body will be knocked down again. While I logically know that this is what my body needs and that it just means one step closer to being cancer free, emotionally it’s been so freeing and exhilarating to feel like myself this past week. And I just really, really don’t want that feeling to be taken away from me. I don’t want to feel sick, or nauseous, or tired, or have another month-long headache. I think since I felt a sense of normalcy the past week, it makes it that much harder to say “bye” to it tomorrow. Correction: it’s not goodbye but just “see ya later” for a little bit. One day all these crappy days are going to add up to one healthy, happy life. And that makes it all worth it. 
 
For now, I’m enjoying a bowl of ice cream (addicted), watching The Voice and enjoying my last night at home for a few nights. Thinking some good thoughts for some good outcomes tomorrow. 
 
XOXO,
Jessy