Sunday, April 1, 2012

So long to the blog but not to the writer

It’s time for me to stop writing The Conscious Diabetic.

I’m sure you guessed....Full-time job, infant twins, type 1 diabetes, keeping up with the’s all a bit too much for me. But it’s more than just that.

Something changed for me in 2009 even before I started blogging. I had always grappled and struggled with my creative side. I wanted to be an author, an artist, a photographer, an interior and graphic designer, a travel writer, a poet....I wanted it all. But couldn’t quite seem to make any of it actually happen.

I dreamt of the different books I would write. There’s one about a fantasy world I’ve imagined with pixies, magical dolphins, and imaginary places. And there’s another, a kids’ book that teaches life lessons with animals and stuff but is really an artist's tool kit.

And then there’s THE book. The big idea for a book that I’ve thought about for almost a decade. It’s a love story set in a bomb-shaken Middle East. I kind of think of it as a chick lit version of a New York Times article on Israel and the Arab world.

As time has passed, and I’ve pondered this book more and more, I realized that the goal of the book is to go beyond what people see on the news, make the Middle East relatable. And even more so, underneath the bombs and love story is a story that inspires people to find themselves, to live life more fully, and to find the real love that matters most – self-love.

And my ultimate goal for this book is to set off a spark of compassion in a really turbulent part of the world.

I thought about the book for almost four years before I could get it started. I was stuck. And then, I read a book that changed my life: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Something sparked in me and after reading it, I signed up for a book writing class and started doing yoga on a regular basis.

I started writing my chick lit version of the Middle East that summer. I have 80 pages written.

I was on such an artist’s high. I had overcome some fears at last! And that’s when I started thinking about blogging. I wasn’t working on Mondays anymore, and I had a whole day to play. I had no excuses anymore. I had the time. The ideas. And the ability. I was going to be a book writer, a blogger, and maybe even write a few articles here and there.

I started blogging The Conscious Diabetic on November 2, 2009 with a goal in mind. I wanted to become a writer, but not just any kind of writer. I wanted to be a writer with purpose, passion, and compassion. And I wanted lots of readers.

I grappled over whether to write about diabetes or not. I didn’t want to complain about living with diabetes. I wanted to be held accountable for taking the challenges of living with diabetes and learning from them on living a better life. A more accepting of what is kind of life. And I have kept true to that with every single entry.

I created a routine to get myself in the right frame of mind before writing. Yoga, meditation, and tea. But most importantly, I had to let go of my ego.

Time passed. Life’s challenges gave me things to write about. I learned that I have celiac and started living a gluten-free life. It wasn’t easy. I decided to finally get past my fear of pregnancy, and well, now I have 10 month old twins. And there was the whole son with temporary special needs thing. He’s doing great by the way, and we still feel the needs are temporary.

And I’ve shared much of it with you. This blog has definitely held me accountable. Not only to write on a regular basis. But also to be an accepting of life as it is kind of person. To reflect. To learn. To keep myself inspired. And I’m honestly not always that person, but the blog reminds me to be. And I am so thankful for that. You have no idea.

This blog has seen over 5,300 visitors and 102 entries in the three and a half years I’ve been writing it. This blog has connected me with like-minded friends as well. I know that people are more open and sharing with me because I am more open and sharing with you. This blog has helped me with my career. This blog has helped me become a better writer. And a better person.

But there’s been one thing missing, one thing stuck in my mind. I wasn’t writing the Middle East love story. And I must write it. And in the four years that I’ve found myself as a writer, I have found that I don’t have the personal bandwidth to do both.

So I must pursue a dream. I’m going to make space in my life to write my dream novel by giving up this blog that has meant so much to me. I may come back, but I can’t promise. I have no plans. I may start a new blog, and I’ll let you know about it when I do.

But for now, I hope you will all stay in touch with me. I really value the friendships and connections I have made through this blog. It’s been priceless. Thank you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Four reiki sessions later...

My son and I started going to a reiki master in December to help us overcome some health issues. And four sessions later, I'm trying to figure out whether to continue with this positively amazing practice, or whether to try something else. Why? Because although I find reiki to be enormously beneficial - in so many intangible ways - I haven't seen a change in my physical health.

I lost range of motion in my right hip after giving birth to my twins in May. Is there a connection? Don't know, but the timing is there. I also developed carpal tunnel in my right hand along with trigger finger in my pinky after they were born, which is common for new moms to experience.

As for my son, who was born very small, we had hoped that the reiki would help him with his catch up growth, GI issues (namely severe reflux), and feeding issues. He had a few more issues, and lots of questions, when he started, and since, much has been sorted out.

I don't know if it's just coincidence or a matter of time or the reiki clearing the energetic way, but I have found that he has been making slow and steady progress. Answers have been found to perplexing questions, and doctors appointments have become easier to handle.

I, on the other hand, have seen no change in my hip, finger, or hand. No answers. And not much time to even deal with it. I have though made some really nice progress with career. I have become more self-assured. I have gotten rid of a lot of negative energy in my life. And when the negativity creeps back in, I get reiki done. And it magically disappears.

What is reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique that helps reduce stress and promote healing, and is based on a theory that a life force energy exists within us all. When this life force is out of balance, whether through too much negative or positive energy, it affects body, mind, and spirit. If our life force is low, we are more likely to be stressed and sick, and if it is high, we are more likely to have energy and be happy.

The reiki master I have been seeing, Gail Smith of Wonderful Reiki by Gail, would lay her hands above me and my son (at different sessions) and send life force energy throughout our bodies. Gail truly has a gift for reiki healing, and after going through it, I can tell you wholeheartedly - without a doubt in my mind - that there is something to this.

I kid you not, I could actually feel the good energy go in, and the bad energy being pulled out of me. After my son's last session, he had this "what just happened" look on his face for about an hour. I'm certain he felt it too.

How would I ever find a good job in this economy, in my field, close to home, where I could still take care of my kids when need be, and help support our family?

That's not the reason I started going to a reiki master, although it was definitely on my mind. And yet after my first session, a really great job opportunity practically fell in my lap. I didn't even search for it. The job came to me. I am serious. I paid attention to my intuition and perhaps followed through on leads that I wouldn't have in the past. And I had to work hard during the interviewing process. But I was so attuned to the whole process that I felt I just sailed right through.

I received a second reiki session before my third interview (three total, plus a two part homework assignment). And I received the job offer on the train ride home.

I believe it went so well because I was authentically me during the whole process, and they responded to that with commendation. The reiki unleashed my self-confidence, clearing away negative self-perceptions. And that was what I needed to do well.

I received the third session the day before my first day at the new job, and I received the fourth session a week ago. And it's going well. Better than I had imagined actually.

Four reiki sessions later, my son is over the hump. He still has reflux and feeding issues. But he's on the growth chart. And he's happy and developing nicely at his own pace. He's on the road to recovery and has made great strides. Without going into details, we have seen his reflux improve, and as it gets better and better, the feeding will too.

So why stop reiki at four sessions? If it's so life changing? Not sure. Not sure I will stop. Time will tell.

What I do know for sure is that we do have a life force energy within us, and it's our responsibility to be attentive to it. Reiki has also reinforced my belief in living a balanced body, mind, and spirit approach to life. Reiki would say that we need to get over the mental hump before we can heal our physical ailments.

I've decided not to plan my reiki practice. I'm going to wait and see what happens.