Monday, July 26, 2010

Bring the funk

I woke up in a funk today. Just not feeling it. My body is sore from working out this morning. I’m feeling stressed. What will be? Impatience. To-do lists. Crazy busy-ness. Wanting things to be different than what they are. Inspiration? You’ve got to be kidding me.

These days happen. To all of us. They just do.

So, I pulled out my happiness toolbox of tricks before writing this blog and dove in grudgingly: Breath work, meditation, exercise, yoga, inspirational articles that others have written, trying to get in tune with my body and what feelings I may be suppressing.

These are all fantastic tools. But they weren’t working. I was thinking too much. Trying too hard to be happy and Zen. Too in mired by my funk.

And then Lior came upstairs, took one look at me sitting in misery as though the end of the world was already on its way, and he started singing, “Shake, shake, shake…shake, shake, shake your booty.”

He suggested that I sing along and maybe even try dancing around a bit. I watched as he began to literally shake his booty, and although still miserable, resisting the smile that so desperately wanted to purge, I decided to stand up and join him.

“Shake, shake, shake…shake, shake, shake…shake your booty,” he sang, and I danced. And there it was, I did it. I smiled. And there’s no turning back now. The funk had turned into funk.

A fun song. A little bit of dancing. And a whole lot of being silly. Inspired happiness for me this morning.

But really and truly, the music, singing, or dancing isn’t what made me happy. My happiness isn’t dependent upon my husband either. Nor does happiness come from money, a perfect blood sugar reading, or that fancy new house or car I’d like to buy.

Today is a reminder: All of those things come and go; they’re temporary. So why would anyone choose to base their happiness - or even sadness or anger for that matter - on things that will change?

Happiness, as with all of our feelings - sadness, anger, frustration and so on, comes from within. Once we’re aware of those feelings, and accept them, allow them to breathe, our true, authentic nature emanates. And sadness or anger transforms into joy. And then once you allow yourself to feel enjoyment, enthusiasm evolves, and before you know it, you’re inspired.

So my lesson for today is to bring the funk because those moments when I’m down and out remind me how to really live. Because what goes down, must go up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thriving with diabetes

Hello everyone,

I wrote the following post as a guest blogger for Kelly Kunik from Diabetesaliciousness™ which she will post later this week. In addition to blogging, Kelly advocates for diabetics at conferences throughout the year and speaks with children with diabetes about living with the disease. Please visit Kelly's blog this week to show your support.

Thank you, Ophir

I woke up with a 234 blood sugar reading today. I know why. My husband and I went out to dinner last night, a spontaneous date inspired more by laziness than romance. We sat and ordered our meal: For me, gluten-free Singapore rice noodles with chicken and veggies at P.F. Chang’s. I bolused insulin to compensate for the meal. But not a long-acting dual wave bolus, as the little voice inside of me told me to do.

A nice long dual wave filled with lustrous Humalog probably would have done the trick of offsetting the sugars released in a fatty meal. But I didn’t do that. I thought about it. But when the time came, when the opportunity arose, I didn’t hit those extra buttons on my insulin pump.

I have been a Type 1 diabetic for over 35 years, have been to tons of doctors, nurses, and diabetes educators, and I keep up with all of the latest and greatest technologies and studies. And so, a high that results from a “I knew better” can be a bit exacerbating. I do know better. And typically after a “I know better” high blood sugar, I feel guilty.

Not today though, and I’ll tell you why: I’ve chosen to focus on self-growth instead of on what I did or didn’t do. I’m going to figure out why I didn’t set a dual wave when I know I should. What happened in that subconscious instant when I made that choice not to do what’s best for me and my health?

I remember at the time, I was feeling hot, tired, anxious from a long week of work, and I just wanted to let go of all the stress. Drink a glass of wine, eat some yummy noodles, and enjoy being out and about. I wanted to enjoy the moment and be happy.

But is that real happiness? Does having a great time mean not taking care of blood sugars? All I’m really doing is hurting myself. A moment of pleasure followed by hours of blood sugar highs and lows – and emotional ones as well.

I found some enlightenment. While reading Women, Food, and God in which author Geneen Roth talks about the perils of weight loss, going on diets, and never really reaching that state of pure bliss with one’s body. She explains that many of us go through life setting a goal, such as losing 10 or 20 pounds, but not allowing ourselves to ever reach it. Let me say that again: Not allowing ourselves to ever reach it.

Boy, did I ever relate to that. I’ve wanted to lose those 10 or 20 pounds since freshman year in college, and not to give too much away, but that’s been a while. And then she says it, the line that got me: Because without that goal, we’d be lost. Reaching that goal has becomes our identity.

I realized that her statement not only applies to weight loss, but it applies to all goals in life. It can apply to reaching that perfect weight and also that perfect 6.5 A1C or blood sugar reading – or how about projects around the house, creative pursuits, education and career, love, and so on.

And as Roth says, we tell ourselves that once we reach that goal, our lives will be better. We’ll be happy. I’ll be happy.

This seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Because then, when it comes time to really making it happen, that moment of truth, I didn’t set that dual wave bolus so that my sugars will turn out great. I didn’t order the steamed veggie platter. Nor did I exercise for an hour afterward. Because perhaps a part of me thinks that if I reach my goals, well then what will I do with my life? Who will I be? I’ll feel lost, alone, without a purpose. And all I really want is to be happy.

Geneen Roth explains: That person aiming for those goals, the person who will only be happy once reaching them, was never who I really am, who any of us are. The real goal, the way to live life to the fullest and thrive with diabetes, is to live life as our authentic selves through being – where you live each moment as it is - whether you are happy or sad, angry or hurt, or inspired.

According to Roth, many of us try to push away what we are really feeling and sensing because we are so focused on being “happy”. Fixing the problems. Many of us, including myself, suppress our feelings through food. But by being with whatever we are feeling, whether it be good or bad, we can live more fully and more authentically – and in essence, it makes us even happier. Because we are being our true selves.

You can bring those moments of being into as many moments of the day as possible. Feeling, sensing, tasting, smelling, touching, and listening to wherever you are physically and emotionally at every moment of every day.

Last night, I heard that soft, little voice telling me to set a dual wave bolus, but I didn’t act because that voice was drowned by the noise of my ranting thoughts. Trying to think of how I could be happier, instead of just being.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crazy connections

I took some time off last week to relax and simply enjoy summer. I went down to my parents' home at the Jersey shore for a few days, went for walks, read good books, and got together with old and new friends - among whom was my very first fellow d-blogger meeting.

The d-blogger meeting happened kind of by chance. Here's the story: I re-connected with a friend of mine who I haven't seen in ten or fifteen years through Facebook this year. Okay, so far no biggie. All of us Facebookers have re-connected with long lost friends and acquaintances in the past year.

Well, this particular friend just so happens to also be friends with fellow d-blogger and Type 1 diabetic Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness™.

Okay, you may still be staying: Small world, crazy coincidence. Whatever.

But here's the wow factor: It turns out that Kelly and I grew up in the same, small town by the Jersey shore. We didn't know who the other was because we went to different schools.

And as Kelly said so eloquently at our meeting just this past Thursday night: It took a common friend (who by the way grew up in Philadelphia - not even our Jersey shore town) - and d-blogging - for two girls from the same home town to meet.

Kelly and I had a great time talking about diabetes and blogging, but we also talked about our other bond - our hometown. A great connection had been made.

You may still think that this is a coincidence, but I can't help but use this story as unscientific proof that there's a Universal master plan, a Universe that works in ways we'll never fully understand. But sometimes we're given a peak into the higher order of things through unexplainable events and opportunities - perfect timing, synchronicity, inspirations, intuition, and crazy coincidences - that let me know that I'm on the right track. That I'm contributing to my part of the plan. Because I can see the Universal connection clearly.

And most of all, these moments remind me that we're all connected - in more ways than one. We're interdependent on each other. And I'm as connected to my husband, parents, and friends, as I am to people I've never met in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Because we're all on this planet together, each contributing in our part to the Universal ebb and flow. Sometimes we aren't aware of it, or we don't see it, or choose not to believe it. But then when the time is right - and you're aware - you may just meet someone who has been within your radar all along, and you catch a glimpse into the unknown.

Take the time to pay attention to those crazy coincidences and synchronistic events. You never know where they might take you. You'll be thankful you did.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Hey everyone, I am taking the day off on this 5th of July. Please be sure to check back next Monday for a new blog post. I hope you enjoy the day! Ophir