Tag Archives: wellbeing

Should I Switch from Coffee to Wine

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess: I have the best chiropractor in the world, but her ergonomic roller chair bothers me. The oversized spongy rubber ball positioned on three legs with matching polymer casters is not only ribbed but also purple. Dr. M insists that it aids in back support, but I see other sinister utilities, some of a sexual nature. Should I switch from coffee to wine?
A.B.

In this instance, a potion stronger than wine is required to make peace with the purple, ribbed bulbous sponge. If you can obtain your own ergonomic roller chair, we encourage you to put it through several unconventional uses until you no longer fear the chair and instead embrace it for all its wondrous possibilities. You may then return to coffee.
Goddess keep you,
AINE

Aine's playground

How Do You Watch Your Children Make Mistakes

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess: When your children are fledgling adults and make choices you can see are clearly stupid, how do you find the balance between fear and anxiety over their choices and letting them make their own mistakes?
M.M.

I am the Goddess of death and rebirth, of destruction and transformation.
You stand here today, a product of your greatest mistakes and your biggest triumphs. You overcame adversity and surmounted obstacles placed in your path. You are stronger because of your experiences. You have gained wisdom and insight. You have lived and you have learned. You would not be the person you are today had you not struggled and fell. Trust that you have guided your children well, that throughout the turmoil, they will know they can turn to you. Be there, stand by their side, but let them falter. They will grow and become stronger because of it. The watching will not get easier, but hold fast to your faith that all will work itself out—that one day, despite your worries, they will forge their own paths and make you proud.

Goddess keep you,
BADB

Badb's presence

I Feel Like Life is Pulling Me Apart

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess, I feel like life is pulling me apart from a couple people I once thought of as very close friends. My attempts to reconnect feel futile and I still feel like a third wheel. Do I let it go and realize sometimes people only come into your life for a season, or continue to try?

J.R.

I am the Mother. I give and sustain. Life is about compromise, but we were never meant to compromise ourselves. You’ve given your heart, and no one can fault your efforts, but there comes a time when getting burned no longer feels good. Sometimes it takes us a while to realize it, but negativity in any form is an obstacle to our creative and expressive life force. It’s time to let go. Others will come into your life and bring with them the love and respect you’ve been seeking and deserve.

Goddess keep you,

DANU

Danu's landscape

 

Conversations with the Goddess

Conversations with the Goddess

In my debut historical novel, the Goddess plays an important role in Avelynn’s faith. But who are these mystical beings? Not only am I going to introduce you to the Goddess and her four distinct personalities, but I’m going to start blogging from their unique perspectives. Have a question for the Goddess? Wondering about love? Need strength and encouragement to apply for that new job? Let the Goddess help.

All comments and posts are for fun and entertainment purposes only. They are not meant to replace advice or guidance from a doctor or therapist.

If you’re ready to play, sit back and enjoy a conversation with the Goddess.

Aine

Aine's playground

Is the creative, bubbly sprite. A Maiden, she is young at heart and playful, yet she embodies wisdom. She governs over magic and music, poetry and art. She is the gateway to enlightenment and higher planes of consciousness.

Symbols: North, Swan, Winter, Mental, Air, Moon and Stars

 

Macha

Gateway to Macha

Is the Queen. She is the embodiment of feminism and femininity, empowerment and independence. She is the most passionate of the four sisters, governing over love and desire. Sultry and strong, she is like a kick-ass Venus.

Symbols: East, Horse, Spring, Spiritual, Fire, Sun and Sky

 

Danu

Danu's landscape

Is the Mother. She is the nurturer, the giver, and the sustainer. She governs over the home and hearth, over marriage and motherhood. She is judge, weighing and guiding morals, virtues and vices. She is warm and approachable, kind, and nonjudgmental.

Symbols: South, Cattle/Boar, Summer, Physical, Earth, Hills and Plains

 

Badb

Badb's presence

Is the Crone. No old hag, Badb shape shifts and lures men to her bidding. She is dangerous and powerful. She can grant you strength and courage, but can just as easily strike you down with death and destruction. She promises rebirth. Like the phoenix, you will come through adversity transformed. She is sassy and calculating, alluring and captivating.

Symbols: West, Wolf/Raven, Autumn, Emotion, Water, Oceans and Rivers

 

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

 

Embrace a New Mindset

Embrace a new mindset.

In my book LIFE: Living in Fulfillment Every Day, Grace encourages Eve to embrace the main goal, the big plan … and that is to always follow what feels good! Embrace your passions; enflame your desires; do the things you enjoy, the things that invigorate you, that make you come alive!

While we don’t speak about this directly in the book, sex could be one of the things that you might want to experience more of on this wondrous physical journey. As women, sex is a multifaceted quandary. It is psychological as well as physical. When we were young, we may have been bursting with sexual curiosity, but in expressing that part of ourselves, we would have opened ourselves to society’s censure and risked incurring the wrath of derogatory labels—think the Scarlett Letter. Or perhaps we embraced the opposite philosophy and practiced abstinence and still experienced social and peer pressure to change. As we get older, we may find ourselves in a committed relationship, and we might be so caught up in our careers or parenting that sex is relegated to the ‘to-do list.’ Stress is great at depleting desire. Or, as is too often the case, our body image and self-judgement might dampen our fervour, at any age.

A friend of mine was very self-critical about herself and her body. She was married to a wonderful man who absolutely adored her, and accepted her for who she was … but she would not accept herself. Because she erected a concrete wall of self-consciousness between them, their sex life dwindled, in fact it was teetering on life support. She desperately craved intimacy, but she resisted having sex, because she didn’t like her body and felt self-conscious in bed with her husband. He didn’t understand her torment and tried to reassure her, but she couldn’t get past her negative beliefs.

Our ego with its negative self-talk can ruin a perfectly good evening—or morning depending on your preferences. It’s hard to get ‘into the mood’ when our mood is wallowing in self-inflicted cruelty and criticism. There have been a lot of negative comments about plus-sized models lately. These women do not view themselves as ‘plus sized,’ but rather believe we need to take stock and embrace a healthier model of beauty. There will always be detractors in life, and standing in your own strength takes courage and perseverance. A Scarlett Letter can only hurt if you allow people to stick pins in you, otherwise the label just slides off.

Beauty comes from the inside. If you are a kind, loving, joyful soul, that beauty shines through and people naturally want to be around you. We all come in different shapes and sizes, like my co-author Annemarie and I say in the Life, we are all a magnificent collection of unique and colourful containers but inside we are filled with the same essence … a loving, beautiful soul. It’s often hard to appreciate that when society focuses on the container rather than the substance.

If my friend had left her ego at the door and invited her soul into the bedroom instead, I suspect she would have had a very different experience—one grounded in mutual respect, adoration, and love. I suspect, she would have rather enjoyed herself and the sensuous time spent with her husband because her head wouldn’t have been there sabotaging everything she truly wanted—a beautiful, honest, intimate connection with her partner.

Whether we doubt ourselves because of what society might think, or because of the limitations we impose on ourselves due to our negative self-criticism, it’s critical to honour what feels good to us!

While we were growing up, we tried to navigate a world that revolved around the ego. In other words, we were very concerned with what image we presented to the world around us— to the people around us. Should we be wild and adventurous, or conservative and practical? Our decisions determined how we presented ourselves on a daily basis. And we presented these images, these ‘holograms’ of ourselves to fit in, to be accepted. But at some point in our lives we want to take the bold step and turn off the hologram; embrace who we really are and what we really want, irrespective of other people’s opinions, judgments, and expectations!

This is the path to fulfillment—to truly finding a life of happiness and delight. Let go of the need to ‘fit in,’ to ‘be perfect,’ to ‘be who everyone else wants you to be,’ and simply be yourself!

Try a little experiment. The next time you are feeling a little frisky and the mind tries to interject its opinions. Kindly, but firmly tell it to butt out. Leave the ego outside the bedroom door, with all its negativity and doubts. Imagine for a moment, that you are born anew, without any expectations, or judgments.  Embrace a new mindset. Just for one night, see yourself for who you really are— a lusciously yummy, beautifully sexy, wondrous, and passionate woman. Then, see if you can embrace that idea of yourself from this moment on!

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

My Alzheimer's Prevention Plan

Algid: chill, cold, freezing, frozen, frigid

Algidity. Algidness.

Today starts a new enterprise, a journey to increase the size of my hippocampi.

A recent Prevention Magazine  article: How to Beat Alzheimer’s at Its Own Game by Mike Zimmerman, spoke to the ways one can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Among good advice like eating well, exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep, it suggested memorization might help us grow our brain—specifically the hippocampus, which is in charge of short-term memory (among other things).

There are two hippocampi that make up the structure called the hippocampus, and each section is roughly the size of your thumb. Unfortunately, with age, this little structure shrinks over time. The number they quoted in the article was 0.5% a year—every year starting around fifty years of age! That is a staggering decline. The article then went on to reveal that it doesn’t have to be a one-way, slippery slope into dementia, we can actually grow our hippocampi, make up the deficit, and gain back years of mental focus and clarity. We do this by challenging our wilting and lagging memory function. In other words, if you want bigger biceps, you have to lift weight heavy enough to force the muscle to rebuild and repair. If you want a bigger hippocampus, you need to challenge your short-term memory regularly in order to build new brain cells, make new connections, and establish new neural pathways.

This, I’ve decided, is where my good friend Webster comes in.

untitled

I’ve had this wonderful dictionary forever. It’s my go to, for obscure words, or when I swear a word exists, but I can’t find it in my lighter, much more portable, pocket version. I recommend everyone get their hands on a real, thick tome of a dictionary. There’s so much to learn in these beauties!

So, back to Alzheimer’s and Webster. Every day, I will be looking up a word in the dictionary and committing it to memory. I will use the three ‘Rs’ of reading to help me make connections. These rules of learning so rigorously delivered by all three of my children’s English teachers in elementary school are: retell, reflect, and relate. I’m hoping with this approach, the elusive new word will actually stick to my shrinking recall and help me flex my atrophying memory muscles.

I just finished reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova for my book club, and the entire time I was reading it, I was left wondering, am I going to get Alzheimer’s? My grandmother suffered terribly from the disease, and unlike Lisa Genova’s more uplifting authorial vision of the infliction for Alice, my grandmother lived in a very scary place. Wherever or whenever her memory took her, it was full of fear and suffering. She would often cry out and scream for the safety of her children, or for her husband. It was terrifying, and I was just watching it. She was living it, day in and day out.

My father-in-law is currently in the grips of his own battle with the illness. He too suffered from the negative effects of Alzheimer’s, with the disease bringing out episodes of violence and aggression, until it became dangerous for my mother-in-law to care for him.

It is a frightening disease, and for those of us passing from our twenties to thirties to forties and beyond, and for any one of us with children, or jobs, or multiple responsibilities, a lack of sleep, or stress, we may find our short-term memory sinking to dangerously tapped-out levels. When we read a book like Still Alice, we begin to seriously freak out that this could be happening to us. Right now. Even if we’re not aware of, or are we? That book messed with my head. But I wasn’t the only one. Several other moms in my book club also feared for the wellbeing of their intermittent memory recall. The book raised the spectre of fear, which dug its little hooks into my brain, but I’m determined to shake them free.

So … algid. Let’s see how I’m doing with the three ‘Rs’. I’ve retold the findings represented in Prevention Magazine, and I’ve reflected on my own reasons for starting this journey, including my grandmother, and the book Still Alice. Now, it’s time for me to relate the word to something so I can keep algid alive and well and fill up some good hippocampi space.

I have very low iron. In fact, I live with chronic iron deficiency every day of my life. It’s exhausting. I’m not anemic, but don’t bother telling my body that. I have algid hands and feet, and I’m stuck in a state of perpetual algidness. In the algid air of a winter’s morn, I’m bundled in twenty layers, and I’m still shivering. As I look out my window upon the algid landscape, fresh green grass and spring daffodils lay buried under a layer of ice and snow. I pine for warmer weather and the return of summer’s heat and glorious sunshine. Oh, if I could only break free from this algidity!

A fireplace and a dog. Perfect :)

Until then, Razz and I will huddle in front of the fireplace and wait, ever so impatiently for the algid temperatures to final rise and stay above zero!

 

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

 

Kicking Anxiety to the Curb

Kicking Anxiety to the Curb
Reading an excerpt from AVELYNN

You may not know this, but for almost a decade, I suffered from debilitating panic attacks. I didn’t know what they were at the time and every few months, I would find myself in a doctor’s office or emergency department with a plethora of reports to my name: blood work, CAT scans, MRI’s, ultrasounds, x-rays, EEGs, and EKGs. No one could figure out what was wrong, and never for one minute did I think my mind could be making me so violently ill.

It took a great deal of investigating and personal research about my symptoms to begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together. After seven years of suffering and fearing the next attack, I finally knew what was going on. I was experiencing repetitive panic attacks. Wave after wave after wave of attacks that would last two weeks at a time, keeping me bed ridden with nausea, dizziness, pain, migraines, and even a low grade fever. My mind had taken over my body and was controlling it like a helpless marionette. But knowledge is power. Once I learned what was happening, I was determined to make it stop, determined to get my life and my body back under conscious control.

One of those interventions involved recognizing panic and anxiety the moment it started. I gave my anxiety a name: Bob. I got very good at sensing the warning signs, the little indications that Bob was going to pay me a visit, and when that happened, I would dance.

My heart would race, my hands would turn clammy, and the surging wave of panic would start to build, but instead of letting it take over, I seized the reins and turned on my stereo. I cranked up the bass and danced and jumped, turned and twirled until Bob slunk back to his hiding place.

Bob doesn’t come around much anymore. But there are occasions where I still feel anxious. Speaking in front of groups is one of them.

Last night I had to get up in front of a lovely supportive group of writers and read an excerpt from my new novel Avelynn. I’m getting better at calming the nerves, but each time I get up behind a podium, I’m reminded how much I need to keep practicing. It’s like building a muscle at the gym. The more I use it, the stronger it gets.

I talk all the time in my yoga classes. I’ll ramble on about life, wellbeing, the chakras, philosophy, or even regale the class with amusing antidotes and jokes to lighten the mood during a tough set of poses. I don’t get nervous, and I can talk for hours.

Years ago I was involved in local theatre, once even delivering a monologue twenty-six, single-spaced, typed pages long. It was a feat of memorization and iron clad balls. But I did it, in front of a room full of strangers and discriminating judges. I preformed on stage in several plays, never once feeling nervous or worried about missing a line. But then out of nowhere something changed. I blame hormones.

I had just given birth to my third beautiful son when I started having terrifying dreams of getting up on stage and forgetting my lines. Despite the fact this had never before happened, the fear seeped into my consciousness, and I had to quit the theatre. Flash forward several years, and too many panic attacks to count, and getting up to talk in front of even one or two people became challenging.

I was determined to get my anxiety under control and enrolled in Toastmasters, a wonderfully supportive group that encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and lasso fear for good. I learned a lot during my time in the group. The most important? Practice makes perfect and reading out loud, in front of others, over and over again slowly desensitizes you to the fear.

I still get nervous reading, but no one else seems to notice. My hands still tremor a little, my knees still quake, but my voice is strong and confident. My relationship with public speaking is now healthy. It won’t be long before I can step back onto that stage as if it’s just another day in the yoga studio. 🙂 xo

In gratitude,

Marissa