Stress is not just bad for MS, it is just bad for health in journal. Let me clarify a bit. I don't think that all stress is bad. Sometimes there is also good stress; the kind that comes with trying to juggle the things you love. Stress can also be a great motivator.
Stress sure motivated me this morning when I saw my pay stub. I was motivated to reduce several payments, cancel some stuff, and ask my roommate to help out a bit more on the bills. Nevertheless, I can hardly call all that motivation good stress. Note to self, do not wake up and check your bank balance while still in bed. It immediately eliminates the restoration from a good night of sleep, and it also immediately elevates ones stress.
I felt good when I woke up, but I single-handedly changed that by creating my own stress worrying about money. I'm on vacation from teaching school for two weeks and I promised myself to use this time to rest, recuperate and take care of the little stuff I never seem to have time and energy for. In the meantime, I have managed to clutter my head with financial worries. Bills, shmills. If I don't pay them, maybe the cats will (Lol).
Seriously, who knew that health insurance was going to gobble up over an eight of my paycheck. Here I am, one of those spoiled rotten teachers always complaining about my enormous salary and free, excellent benefits. Not so much... After taxes, retirement and insurance, my check was only about $1,200.00. And some folks think teachers are over-paid... Sure, I cut back to half time, but I never expected this hard a hit.
I became a part-time teacher so I could enjoy the happiness associated with being a bohemian. Health and happiness are so much more important than money, but now that I have none, I realize that money is rather helpful at times.
Anyway, the day is only half over and I have lowered my bills by about $300.00 a month (not bad for a morning of phone calls). I bought a ton of groceries to top off my morning of running around with my head cut off, and now I am safely home and much relieved to have finished the "stressful" part of my day.
My heart rate is back to normal, headache and nausea are gone, and all I had to do was reduce my stress. Amazing how that works.
Today I was surprised and delighted to receive an email from healthline proclaiming my blog was selected one of the top 20 for 2012.
Below I have pasted their writeup about this blog.
"Nadja Yse Stringer is one inspirational, sassy lady! This perky, positive blogger shows readers what it really means to be Living! With MS. Her passion for fashion, yoga, and life in general leads readers on a playful but honest journey toward self-discovery, spirited living, and wellbeing with MS.
Find out how Nadja creates a fantastic world both in her personal life and on her blog by following her clever posts and artsy updates. Enjoy the experience as she breathes life into your own efforts at building happiness and health despite MS." BTW, I am Tizer, not Stringer but I know who I am:)
I was also pleased to see that my friends Lisa Emrich and Joan also have blogs on the list. I am also pleased to know the author of another amazing blog on the list.
Many things about this summer were/are great, but there have also been challenges. Sometimes it is hard not to get mired in the challenges, so I thought I should take a moment to look back and to remember both the good and the bad.
This summer I spent a lot of time feeling ill but that is my summer norm. Things are rough when it is hot and things are also tough when I am as busy as I have been. Despite, the physical challenges, I find that today I am probably in the most top physical shape I have been in since before MS. In fact, in some ways I am even healthier and stronger now.
This summer I also made some big life changes. I went to the Dominican Republic, fell in love with the country, and met a wonderful man. Before I came home I had already resolved to quit my job and to start making steps toward moving to the DR. When I got home I quit my job, took a new half time teaching job to keep my benefits and launched my own business full speed. To top off all the change, I quit my anti-depressant.
Not everything has been perfect or easy. I have had to keep going, showing up to teach and perform all over the city, even while sick. I dragged myself to my day job many a time when I was not feeling well. Quitting the anti-depressant was physically much harder then anticipated. For about a month my body ached, and I experienced a lot of nausea. Now the clouds are lifting but now I remember what it is like to feel, really feel life. All this feeling is harder than I remembered it was.
I have had some trouble with a few of my jobs lately. First, via email my yoga boss told me she was giving one of my regular classes away to another teacher. Then, also via email, my aerial boss gave one of my aerial shifts to another teacher. On the bright side, neither change was made because they had problems with my teaching. The changes were made to benefit others but I am stressed about the income lost and a bit insulted because I have bent over backwards to promote both studios and to fill in when they were desperate for coverage. Apparently some folks have little compassion or loyalty.
On the flip side of all this, I have to remember just how far I have come in a few short months. After less than three months, I have regular shifts using my business name, an after school cirque yoga gig, and two upcoming workshops scheduled. I also have had the chance to perform 3 times this summer and I have two shows booked for the fall. My new business page already has 35 likes and they keep coming in. I even notice that people are using the info on my business cards to stay in touch. I realize that for an aerialist with a year of experience, things are really taking off.
Sometimes I have to take a moment to look back in order to look forward.
I never understood all the fuss about partner yoga until I tried Acro Yoga. This practice fuses everything I love about acrobatics with everything I love about yoga. In acro yoga there is the joy of flight, akin to my experiences with aerial yoga and dance, but entirely unique in apparatus (your apparatus being another human being). So while you fly in this practice, you never fly alone.
Acro Yoga is a beautiful practice requiring, focus, strength, empathy and trust between partners. Even then, the practice is much more expansive than two people. I think a meaningful practice requires a willingness to develop a rapport with multiple partners and spotters. Often only two people execute a sequence of poses while physically connected, but even in practice, this again requires more than two people. We practice with spotters. We also practice things that require multiple people. For me, this practice exemplifies what yoga is all about. The word yoga means union, and there is no acro yoga without union.
Want to try it? click here to find a teacher in your area.