Posted in Healing, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Self-Care, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: Going Vegan!

 

One of my besties asked me not too long ago to watch my god son in the afternoon because her mom who does it normally was not available. Since I am currently in between gigs, I happily agreed. As I spent time with him playing with spinning tops and watching Coco, such an AWESOME MOVIE, we started to talk about food and specifically being vegan. I am not sure how we landed on the subject but low and behold we were there. I also like to make this disclaimer that my god son is TEN!

My god son truly loves a variety of videos on YouTube and happened to show me the one referenced in this post. 7 Day Vegan Challenge Baby: Solves all yo Problems! The video is made by The Odd 1’s Out. He makes a series of videos about a plethora of subject matter with his own comedic spin. To add to the spin, he depicts himself as a doodled cartoon character. As I watched the video and chuckled learning his take of going vegan for a week, my god son turned to me and said, “You should do the challenge Cindy and I am going to call you and check on you.” I looked into my god son’s warm eyes and soft face and agreed. I said, “for you Love, ANYTHING!”

After I agreed to do this challenge, I text a fellow Buddhist member that I practice with that I am going to go Vegan for 7 days. He messaged me back and basically told me he did not believe me! Oh the NERVE! (insert my audible sigh!) The reason he did not believe me is because we had a conversation prior that he was on his way to going vegan however I was quite vocal about my trepidation on doing the same. I was very concerned mostly about getting enough protein. Since I had a duodenal switch procedure in 2014 which is the most invasive gastric bypass surgery, my doctor and his staff were very poignant about me consuming enough protein everyday. That was the main reason I was very hesitant about going the route of a vegan but I had to admit the idea of embracing this lifestyle had much appeal to me.

I started my challenge on June 25, 2018. Little by little, I purchased foods to support this lifestyle (i.e. Whole Foods and Mariano’s) and trucked on through. The first day was not too bad. I ate what I allowed myself, drank tea, and even attended my Monday night yoga class. As the days went on, I was starting to feel tired. I found myself sleeping in later than usual and I did not know why. I voiced this concern to my yoga instructor and she told me more than likely my body was starting to rid itself of toxins. I also guessed that I should find more ways to increase my protein.

The fore mentioned Buddhist member told me about super foods called Spirulina and Chlorella. My yoga instructor also corroborated the benefits of these super foods. Spirulina is an algae that is dried and prepared as a food or food additive, which is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals. It also has a very high concentration of protein that comes with a vast number of health benefits. Spirulina can found in tablet, powder or capsule form. Like Spirulina,  chlorella is another algae that spouts a number of nutrients that also support and strengthen the immune system.

Image result for spirulinaImage result for chlorella

Although these super foods are both algae based, they are different. One difference is starting with their looks. Chlorella is a green algae, whereas spirulina is blue-green in color. Chlorella’s green hue demonstrates that it’s richer in chlorophyll than spirulina. I have included a few links that give a break down of both super foods attached at the end of my post.

Now back to my experience on this challenge. After day 4, I started to feel a bit more of normalcy. Also by that time, I decided to make a plant based diet a way of life. I started feeling better in my body and I felt that I was more aware of my surroundings. One really big benefit that I was very happy about is that I was able to complete a couple of races and I did not DIE! Yayyyyy Vegan!

As time went on, I also discovered that I actually lost weight. Since going vegan at the end of June, I actually lost 16 pounds without effort! I just noticed when I woke up one morning I looked different. I decided to weigh myself and low and behold my scale confirmed what I was feeling. I started this challenge at a weight of 226 pounds. I now weigh a total of 210 pounds! What in the entire WHAT?????!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I even shocked myself that I don’t crave certain foods. I would walk by different eateries I frequented in the past and was not phased. One day, my sister asked me to take her to a fast food place not too far from our house. She was staying with a girlfriend of hers that eats very healthy. After consuming 5 days straight kale and other twigs (her words not mine) my sister really wanted something greasy and decided upon chicken wings. When we got to the window to get her food, the smell of the wings hit me like a ton of bricks! I literally felt myself getting sick! I shoved the wings over to her very quickly and turned my head in the opposite direction. I was so busy with my new head position that I did not notice a pedestrian walking in front of my truck. I am glad he called out because he is alive and I do not have higher insurance premiums!

Another thing I began to do with much vigor is cooking. Now since I live my mom and 2 sisters, they would normally cook a majority of the meals in the house. We would all contribute to the groceries, but I would let them handle the food prep because they are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy better than I! I realized with a quickness that I better bust out my chef’s hat because although my mom and sisters are great cooks, I knew they were not so quick to acquiesce to my new diet.

There are also many great vegan restaurants in my city, but I do not have money to constantly spend on eating out. I started looking up recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. I even prepared a vegan meal for another friend and fellow Buddhist member this past Sunday and I am happy to report he is still alive! 😉

IMG_20180717_141749_577.jpg

Organic Chilli with sauteed onions and mushrooms.

So being mostly vegan is now a way of life. I say mostly vegan  because I still eat honey. Technically since it is manufactured by an animal, it is not considered vegan. I still eat it because one it is a super food and two it’s DELICIOUS! I just do it sparingly. I also like the way I feel eating this way. I remember back in 2014 how my body started making physical changes because I changed the way I approached food. I feel this time around my body is transitioning again for the better.

If you want to do something good for your body, try going vegan for at least 7 days.  Note some of the changes that you experience. See how your body responds and metamorphose. It maybe a change you consider doing from time to time to give your body a reset. Like me, you may decide to say, “Ah screw it! I’M GOING VEGAN!” Either way, do something good for you. Your body will thank you for it!

  • C A M M

More information about Spirulina and Chlorella:

https://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/blogs/learn/what-exactly-is-spirulina

https://draxe.com/7-proven-chlorella-benefits-side-effects/

https://greenblender.com/smoothies/2397/whats-the-difference-between-spirulina-and-chlorella

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Posted in Achievement, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Women's Health

Fitting Forty : Medal Chaser

On June 26, 2018, I did a 5 minute talk at an event called Ignite Chicago. It is like TED Talks but less pretentious! I did my five minute talk about my journey through weight loss and my ridiculous addiction to finisher medals! Here is my story…

Posted in Healing, Healthy Living, Mindfulness, New Thoughts, Self-Care, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: Spring Cleaning – Rejections

I work a 9-5 office job and like my fellow office dwellers, I often find online content to pass time in-between manipulating spreadsheets and creating contracts. Online content can range from listening to cable news (often too endowed with what Trump tweeted today), music steaming sites, watching the latest Dog vs Cat videos, or listening to podcasts. My favorite podcast is hosted by two friends (Nicolia and Jessica) called Become SHE.

BecomeSHE

-IG/FB @BecomeSHE

Website: http://www.becomeshe.com/

This Podcast is funny, insightful, and very candid. I can truly say that every episode these ladies have posted (available on stitcher, soundcloud and iheartradio) have made me do some introspective work and I know I have become better for it. One of their latest episodes, SHE saves NO ONE, one of the hosts, Jessica, gave the audience a homework assignment to spring clean our rejections. This post is answering that call and doing my homework.

I recently dissolved a relationship that had a second go round. Leading up to the dissolve, things just were not right and I could feel it. There was definitely a disconnect and I just did not know why. Day and night, I would pray/chant about our relationship because I really wanted it to work. Time was spent together and I love you’s were exchanged. He was also the first man that made me feel safe and stable and I did not want to throw it away. Unfortunately, I could feel the distance more and more between him and I and it was extremely unsettling.

About two weeks prior, I received a string of waistbeads I ordered in the mail from Alaiyo Waistbeads . I was educated about waistbeads from my friend and yoga instructor (Sabrina) along with the proprietor of Alaiyo Waistbeads. Waistbeads can have massive benefits for those who wear them.  To know more about waistbeads, check out the previous post on 3-19-2018 called Fitting Forty: “I Do” written by guest blogger and my yoga teacher Sabrina Ewell. Waistbeads actually help you reconnect to your center and rediscover your own endless reservoir of beauty, power, balance, and being. After I did my own ceremony and spoke my intentions over them, I went to yoga class and had Sabrina (the fore mentioned yoga instructor) tie my beads on.  My main intention over my beads was to make a commitment to myself to be truthful with me, no matter how painful the truth was.

I do.jpgIG/FB: @alaiyowaistbeads

Website: https://www.alaiyo.net/

The week that followed the tie, my beads felt tighter than before. I also felt a bit sluggish and more sullen. At the time, I did not realize how this relationship was affecting me. One day during my evening prayers, I was in silent meditation. During that time, I could hear a clear voice speak to me saying,“Let go”. I could feel my spirit resonate with the voice. I decided to be in agreement with whatever letting go entailed. I then closed my prayer time and went to sleep.

The next day, I woke up and started to get ready for work. As I was brushing my teeth, I looked down and saw that my beads fell. At first, I thought I broke them during the night time, but they were still tied to me. In actuality, they loosened. I pulled on them a couple of times just to make sure. When I saw they actually loosened, I knew it was a confirmation that I was letting go like I was told to do.

Not too long after that encounter, the relationship ended. It was painful to do but it needed to happen. It was a physical manifestation of what already transpired spiritually. The nail that sealed the coffin was a guidance that I read by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. He wrote:

“In a relationship, it is demeaning to constantly seek your partner’s approval. Such relationships are bereft of real caring, depth or even love. For those of you who find yourselves in relationships where you are not treated the way your heart says you should be, I hope you will have the courage and dignity to decide that you are better off risking the scorn of your partner than enduring unhappiness with him or her.”

So my prayers are answered and I am letting go right? Well, it was the beginning of letting go. In the process, I realized that one of the reasons why I willingly re-entered the relationship is that I was carrying around rejections from childhood and I was using this as a cover to mask my very old wounds. These rejections that I carried affected my self esteem and relationships I had with men and I did not even realize it. The Universe wasn’t just telling me to let go of just the relationship, I was being told to let go of the rejections that held me hostage for the majority of my life.

As you can imagine, there was a lot to unpack. I had to do some major soul searching. My prayers then changed that the dark places of my rejections be uncovered and asking for strength to start the healing process. Looking at the rejections were painful and at times heart wrenching, but necessary. Doing the work made me see clearer, made me look at myself with loving eyes, and caused me to start walking in freedom.

Have you ever looked at your life and wonder what’s holding you back? What is causing you not to move forward? What is arresting you in your very soul? Could it be you are holding on to rejections from your past? If you are, I promise it is affecting your present. If you do not illuminate you rejections, you are also negatively impacting your future.

With Spring now upon us, I invite you do some cleaning inwardly. Look into the very depths of yourself you are afraid to sojourn to. Identify every hurt, every wound, and every rejection. Think of as wound washing and using spiritual saline. Invite light and love to heal you so you can walk into a more prosperous future. If you got to pray, chant, meditate, do therapy, or all the above to start the healing process; DO IT! Life is too short to live unhappy and unfulfilled. Beloved, it is time to let go and heal. It is time to live your best life. Be happy. Be free.

  • CAMM

 

Posted in friends, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Mindfulness, New Thoughts, Self-Care, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: “I Do”

Hi there guys!

I have not posted in a while because I am finishing up my book concerning my weight loss journey. Thank you for being patient. I will have a new post coming out this week so be on the look out!

This post is actually a dear friend and sister of mine named Sabrina. She is my yoga instructor here in Chicago and a very wise human! I am super grateful to be considered part of her village! She recently informed me about waistbeads. In my next blog post, I will be giving a personal experience concerning my waistbeads but I want to share her words first. Please enjoy!

“I Do” – Incorporating Ritual and Ceremony with Waistbeads by Sabrina Ewell

It is tradition in many cultures around the world to celebrate rites of passages through ceremonies and rituals. Ceremonies are the designated occasions where observances and procedures are performed, while rituals are the symbolic actions performed (which often include gestures, words, and objects) during such ceremonies. Ceremonies can be religious, spiritual, contractual, or symbolic, and are the public ways to show reverence, gratitude, support/encouragement, love, connection to loved ones and/or Source, to mark time, and to make commitments. Simply put, ceremonies and rituals are the ways in which we hold sacred space for our beliefs, our loved ones, and ourselves.

Waistbeads are more than mere adornments for midriffs. Waistbeads become a sacred ritual object when chosen as a tool for mindfulness. When we set intentions upon a strand of waistbeads, the beads become ways to love, support, and commit to ourselves. The waistbeads then serve as a tangible symbol and gentle reminder of those commitments that we made. Not only do the beads cultivate mindfulness and intention through being seen and felt by us, but when we listen closely, the beads will speak our souls’ wants.

How can we incorporate ritual and ceremony with our waistbeads in an effort to create a sacred healing space for ourselves? Waistbeads are a very personal choice, and are chosen for a myriad of reasons. Thus, waistbead ceremonies will also be very personal and diverse. There is no one “correct” way to celebrate choosing to love yourself more deeply. However, there are some things that should be considered when creating a waistbead ceremony. It is suggested that four basic rituals be observed: grounding oneself, energetically cleansing the beads, speaking intentions into strands, and tying the beads on.

First, ground yourself at the onset of the ceremony. Grounding yourself means becoming present in the moment and clearing your mind, body, and spirit of any clutter that would interfere with your connection to the beads. Grounding can take the forms of mindful breathing, chanting, meditation, yoga, singing, dancing, etc. Next, energetically cleanse your beads using a cleansing method of your choice. Choosing to use the smoke from burned sage, palo santo, frankincense, etc. during the ceremony is a great way to not only clear away any unwanted energies that may have become attached to your beads, but it also is a beautiful ritual to witness that fills your sacred space with aromatherapy. Hold the beads in your hands, either one strand at a time or all at once, and pass them through the wafting smoke as many times as you want. Feel free to move the beads through the smoke 1-3 minutes. You can opt out of using smoke during the ceremony by cleansing your beads beforehand using sunlight, moonlight, earth, or crystals. These methods involve several hours of placing your beads in sunlight or moonlight, burying them in the ground, or placing them on cleansing crystals like quartz, obsidian, etc.

Then, speak your intentions into your beads. Your intentions are the thoughts, feelings, and actions you want to manifest in your life. You must be very clear on what you want to invite into your life and/or release from your life. (As the creator of your own destiny, it is important that you take time prior to the ceremony to reflect on your needs and desires.) At this point in the ceremony, it is time to give your waistbeads your intentions. Cradle your beads in your your hands, bring your cupped hands close to your mouth, and whisper your intentions to your beads. (You can choose to send your intentions to your beads in any mindful way. Find what resonates with you. Perhaps holding your beads in hand and meditating on your intentions works better for you.) Ask for exactly what you deserve; be open and ready to receive. If you have chosen multiple strands of beads to address different intentions, feel free to infuse the different intentions into the strands individually or group them together and infuse them simultaneously. Finally, tie your beads on, which permanently commits you to your new journey.

Another thing to consider when creating your waistbead ceremony is crafting a sacred space that suits you. Where will you have your ceremony? Indoors? Brightly or dimly lit? Outdoors? Daytime or nighttime? Will you play soothing music or let mother nature’s orchestra be your sound therapy? Perhaps silence feels best? What visuals will your incorporate in the ceremony? Crystals? Statues? Images of Source or ancestors? An alter? Special tapestries or cloths? A favorite color? A meaningful article of clothing? Be creative and be true to what brings you to your true essence.

Your ceremony can last 5 minutes or 50 minutes. You can celebrate alone, or in the company of others. You can celebrate your ceremony once, as it happens; or devote a day of re-connection every year on the anniversary of your ceremony. The key is to make your ceremony unique to you. Be as loving, gentle, grounded, focused, and open as you can to yourself and the process. Make your ceremony not only an expression of self-love, but a commitment of saying “I do” to all that the universe has awaiting you.

Please make sure you follow Sabrina on Facebook and Instagram: FB/IG: @sereneradianceyoga

Also checkout her website: https://sereneradianceyoga.com/

Sabrina's Hand Stand

Posted in Achievement, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Mindfulness, New Thoughts, Self-Care, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: Re-Born!

Happy first post of the year! This post was done this date accidentally on purpose. Accidentally because I almost forgot I self proclaimed today January 29th was my reborn date and on purpose because it makes sense for my first post is on my self-proclaimed my reborn date.

Why do I call today my reborn date? I am so glad you asked! Four years ago today, I took my life into my own hands.  I was 467 pounds. I was recently released from the hospital because I was having heart palpitations. I thought I was having a heart attack because of the severity of my symptoms. The doctors decided to keep me overnight so they can run more tests. It turned out that it was just my blood pressure elevated that caused the palpitations. The doctor prescribed me another medication to take along with the ones I was taking at the time. After they handed me the prescription, they told me if I did not do something about my weight, it could be worse.

I had to get serious about my health or I was not going to survive long. After much mulling and reflection, January 29th, 2014 was the day I joined the gym at my workplace and made appointments with doctors at the University of Chicago to get my health together.  I got on a nutrition plan, checked in with a doctor for 6 months, and lost 75 pounds by October of 2014. I then had surgery to help me lose the remaining weight and I have not looked back since.

I often get questions about my weight lose as in what did you eat, what exercises did you do, who helped you etc. I answer all of them truthfully including having weight loss surgery. I talk more extensively about my weight loss journey in a book that I wrote called “Fightings and Fears” which will be release later on this year. The question that I get the most is how did you start? I answer that question as well but it is not the way people expect me to answer. I tell them that I changed my mind.

If you look up the definition of being reborn, you will see a rebirth or rejuvenation. Other definitions are in the sense of a more religious experience often time depicted in Christianity as accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. My favorite definition is actually to become alive again after death. See, when I say I changed my mind, I am actually saying that I decided to live. My first mindset was of death. It was of death because I was destroying myself with my bad habits and not taking care of myself. When I decided to live, I become alive again. I decided to treat my body better. I decided to eat better, I decided to get help. I chose life. I became reborn.

I have been living this reborn life for 4 years. My physical abilities have grown tremendously but that is not the surprising part of this journey. The most profound part of this journey is I think differently. My mind has no limits. I actually believe I can do anything I put my mind to. I believe that because I chose life. When you choose life, you choose to be the best you YOU can be! It may be a simple concept, but I have found that most humans are more comfortable with holding on to complex issues rather than cleaving to simple wisdom. Choosing life isn’t difficult but it can be uncomfortable especially when you have done things certain ways for so long. What say you Beloved? You ready to choose? Are you ready to be reborn?

  • Camm
Posted in Achievement, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Mindfulness, New Thoughts, Self-Care, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: Blow Your Trumpet!

 

In case you did not know, 2017 is coming to a close. Shocker! With the close of a year; one may start to look at how they are closing the year, making New Year’s resolutions (behold the new gym memberships), reflecting how the closing year went for them, or all the above!

2017 was rough for a lot of people. I know this because I see this in almost every other social media status I read from January 2, 2017! I guess January 1st wasn’t as bad.

All bad joking aside, 2017 was rough. For me, I know that I lost dear friends that transitioned, dear friends have lost parents, and I found myself reflecting on my own Father’s death because New Year’s Day 2012 was the day he died. I would find myself getting extremely depressed. That ebb was coming to me but I was reminded, and I quote, “We owe people, so we pay by continuing on”. With that being said,  I close my eyes and I think of my accomplishments and I can hear dad saying, “You did good kid”.

It felt a little funny affirming myself at times because it was like I was bragging or I was being high minded.  I recently read an article on Forbes.com entitled “5 ways ‘Humility’ is keeping Women Stuck and Afraid” by Kathy Caprino. One of the things she said was, “Women are being trained by society to be modest, unassuming, to avoid being seen as haughty, proud or assertive. Despite how far we’ve come in supporting the equality of both men and women, we haven’t yet challenged this concept well enough, that in order for women to be considered feminine, appealing, or acceptable, they have to be unassertive, submissive, agreeable and pleasing at all times. And men are not receiving this same cultural message”.

I do not disagree with this quote but I would argue that the “training of modesty or humility” by society is not just an epidemic placed on women alone. I also feel this is training that is pushed even more so on people of color especially black women. I could go on and on about that but I will save my thoughts for another blog post. In the meantime, look up the hashtag #blackwomenatwork to prepare.

Here is the thing. There is absolutely, positively, vehemently, NOTHING WRONG WITH BOASTING IN YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! NOTHING AT ALL! YOU SHOULD DO IT EVERYDAY! EVERY HOUR! HELL, EVERY MOMENT YOU CAN SPARE! There isn’t anything wrong with telling yourself that you are awesome, wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, or one of my favorite words…DOPE!

I personally achieved milestones in 2017 that I never thought I would be able to reach. I got a new position in the company I was working for which caused an increase in salary. I participated in 10 5k’s this year adding up to over 35 miles ran and raised money for the various causes the 5k’s were for. I participated in singing background for 6 amazing artists in Chicago that ended up in a web video series and singing on stages in front of hundreds of people. I danced on stage with Jody Watley (google her millennials!)  I maintained a healthier lifestyle and managed to keep very little fluctuations in my weight. I added more strength training to my workouts so I got stronger and developed more muscles. I began adopting more self-care practices. I started writing more which resulted in this blog and a book I plan on releasing in 2018. I hosted a comic con in a different state that attracted fans from all over the United States. I hosted a podcast with the creator of the Motor City Black Age of Comics and Urban Style Comics that has a solid following of thousands. I traveled, A LOT! I also managed to record a song that ended up on International Radio that stayed in rotation for the better part of December! Mind you, I screamed when I heard the song playing because it blew my mind that was happening!

Despite the roughness, 2017 also was pretty good to me. If I would to garner anything from this year, it would be to walk forward and hold my walk in sustaining energy and power! I don’t walk in this forward motion for kicks and giggles. I walk forward because my gifts and talents are also a source of inspiration for myself and others. I hear that on the regular that I am an inspiration. Do you think that does not make me feel good? Of course it does! But it isn’t just so somebody else to tell me things to make me feel good. It’s so I can look at myself in the mirror and say YOU DID THAT!

Confidence and being proud is not wrong nor is it a lost art only bestowed on a few. It is there for anyone who sees it and runs with it. We forget to toot the proverbial horn that we own at times. I will do my best not to forget any longer. So if you ask me, “Are you humble?” My answer would be an emphatic “HELL NO”! I am DOPE! Not only am I dope, I continually look for ways for my dopeness to increase and spread to others! I am fearfully and wonderfully made so why would I be humble?

I know I lost a few of you there but stay with me. The definition of humility is: A modest or low view of one’s own importance. I do not have a low view of my importance because to say I am not important is a lie. To have a low view of myself is an insult to the one who created me! Again, if I am fearfully and wonderfully made, why would I be humble? To put both views in the same statement would be an oxymoron resulting in an untruth. Does this viewpoint mean I think I am better than others? No it does not. It means that I recognize the greatness in myself (my potential) and I en-devour to sharpen my greatness every chance I get.

Do yourself a favor. Before this year is up and you start singing “Auld Land Syne” (A song that NOBODY knows all the words to especially after consuming one too many adult beverages), look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are awesome! Better yet when you tell yourself that, believe it. If you don’t believe you are awesome and start making it a habit to tell yourself you are awesome, you will start to believe you are AWESOME! Carry that belief into 2018 and beyond!

Like Dad would say, “You did good kid!”

 

Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes on Google Android 8.1

Have a Happy New Year!

-C A M M

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Mindfulness, New Thoughts, Self-Care, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: Know Your Worth

I remember well the night my Father died. It was a Sunday and first day of the new year in 2012. He was very quiet that day, as he had been since his illness progressed. I would look in on him from time to time. My mom went in a few times as well to make sure he was doing okay. Later that night, I was getting ready for bed. My mom came downstairs where I was and looked very strange. I returned her gaze with fear for the worst and asked what’s wrong. She replied, “Cindy, I think your Father past away”.

I remember leaping out of bed which was an amazing feet for me since I was over 460 pounds at the time. I ran upstairs into my Dad’s room and yelled at him. “Wake up!” I screamed, but I did not get a response. I started to shake him violently screaming at him to wake up, but I again no response. I then realized that the day I was preparing for, but not really prepared for finally came. My Father died.

I immediately fell to the ground. Screaming, wailing, and beating the floor were my actions. Inconsolable was my place I resided and for a moment it seemed I was not coming back. I then remembered I had work to do. I had to get up and start contacting the different parties on my “In case Dad dies” list. I had to call the hospice nurse to confirm he was dead. Once she came over and confirmed his death, I had to call the cremation society to have his body removed. In tandem, my mom and I started to call family members to also tell them the news and to let them know what the future arrangements were.

The night my Father died, I died too. It was some years later that I realized that I did in fact die. The reason why is because the person I was then versus now is very different. I was a person that was very reliant on my parents. I second guessed everything I did. I was also constantly seeking the approval of others. When my Dad got sick, I had to grow up fast. I became everything to him. I was the caregiver, the chauffeur, the cook, the accountant, the decision maker, everything. In a way, we switched roles and I was the parent whether I wanted to be or not. When he died, and ever since, I could not stay in a sadden state no matter what. I had and continue to take action.

I noticed now that I am a person that is constantly doing. Even after I get news that does not sit well with me, I make myself keep going and I make my circle hold me accountable to keep going.  I tell you no lies, it is hard to do. I am human. I feel, I hurt, I get sad, I get low, and I sometimes want to quit, but I can’t and I won’t. I have to, I must, go on.

When the services and the burial of my Father was finally over. I realized that I was still grieving. I decided to get therapy. In those sessions, the therapist allowed me to get my feelings out whether I had to cry or cuss. She also taught me that in the mean time, my Father would had wanted me to go on and live my life. From that point, I started learning ways to give myself care. I had to re-learn prayer, to meditate, to journal and other vehicles to take myself to a place of wholeness.

In the process of becoming a whole person (which I still am learning to do), I learned my worth. I tell myself you are good, you are wonderful, you are amazing, and you are loved. You are passionate and you can do anything you set your mind to do. This is not being haughty. This is staying in the practice of loving myself. These are tools I use to continue.

Life is difficult at times. It can be stressful and overwhelmingly cruel but it is worth living. In the most difficult times, its important to care for yourself, affirm yourself and love yourself. I heard someone say that no one has to care. They don’t have to care about your accomplishments, your well-being, nothing. But here is the thing, even if no one has to care, YOU should! You should care enough for the entire world because when you do, others cannot help but to see the light in you. Keep going. Don’t stop. Practice the principle of specificity (Specific adaptations to impose demands). You will make it to your destiny.

  • CAM