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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Confessions not to worry about

I feel bad that I'm writing and posting this blog a day late.

I am constantly fretting over how much there is to do - 9 month old twins, one with temporary special needs, a new full time job, the house, the diabetes...And I'm fretting about how much isn't getting done.

I worry about my son's health. How long will this last? Will we ever figure out what's going on with him?

And then I worry that I'm not showing him enough fun attention and that I'm not showing Aria, my daughter, enough attention.

I worry about my health. I have let some things go. I still check my blood sugars, and I still bolus insulin with my pump before meals and to correct high sugars. And I still exercise four to five times a week. But I haven't made a few doctors appointments. I've been procrastinating. And I haven't done some basal testing that is long overdue. And I have been eating lots of junk food and drinking Diet Coke again, which I had given up two years ago. My eyesight has gotten fuzzy (which may be allergies). And I haven't been attending to my hip and hands.

I worry about money. But I'm not going to get into that here.

I definitely worry that I'm doing things wrong. Not good enough syndrome. But I guess you surmised that after reading the above.

And then I worry that I worry so much....

And all of this worrying has eaten up a lot of time. And it's kept me from enjoying life more. And it probably is the biggest part of the problem. Because I bet you that everything in my life is just fine. Actually everything is great.

So why worry? I'm not sure why.

I was fretting over what to write about yesterday, surfing the web looking for answers, and I found Martha Beck's March 2012 column in Oprah magazine on 10 Things You Can Officially Stop Worrying About. The article spoke to me loud and clear. My favorite line when she spoke about how you can stop worrying about your children: "Worry teaches worry" and "People blossom when you bring love to them."

The same is true for us. Worry creates more worrisome energy. But feelings of love, abundance, and gratitude bring more love, abundance, and gratitude.

I have seen this materialize in my own life time and time again. Next time I start to worry, I'm going to do my best to remember the simple lesson of love.

Bring love to everything you do, and the worry goes away....

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to deal with those really challenging moments

It's 4:50 am, and my son is spitting up bloody mucus. All over the crib, himself, and probably on me too. He's crying hysterically, turning bright red, gagging, and clearly in lots of pain. He stares at me, tears rolling down his face, with that look of, "Please save me," but I have to grab cloths and a decompression tube to clean out his tummy from all the toxins in his body. That's what helps him feel better the fastest.

And I'm tired. Fatigued. Exhausted. Especially because I myself was up vomiting the night before and had a fever all night long. One of those stomach flus that's been going around. On top of all this, I also started a new job two weeks ago. So I've been going through the typical mommy guilt and anxiety around leaving my kids in someone else's care. All day long. With not much of an idea of what's going on, and not much time in the day to check in.

And trying to keep up with it all. Making sure the kids are doing well. Making sure I'm doing well. Making sure work is going well. Making sure the house doesn't fall apart in the meantime. Oh yeah, and I'm married too, by the way. Fun, you ask, rest? Ha! What's that? The blog - once every two weeks - my therapy.

And I'm trying so hard to focus on helping my son at now 4:55 am. And I'm wondering, well, actually, I'm crying, "How are we going to get through this?"

And then I look behind me to see how Aria is doing. And she is staring at Ethan and me through her crib as she usually does when he has a bad episode, pacifier in mouth, and smiles from ear to ear when she sees me looking at her. I smile and give the moment a motherly, "shhh, go back to sleep, sweetie". And then I look back at Ethan, and he's kicking and smiling.

All better. The moment has passed. Time for me to clean up and try to get a few more minutes of sleep before getting up to get ready for work. I crawl back into bed - not really sleeping - until the alarm goes off.

I decide to e-mail my friend, a very spiritual and insightful person, in the early AM, and after a recap, I ask her: "How am I supposed to not go crazy from all of this?"

She must have written her reply while I was getting my breakfast together, "I think this is a lesson in stripping ego. Approach each moment with love."

I sit down with my yogurt and fruit. I also sprinkle in some flax seed and gluten-free granola. And I'm thinking, "How am I supposed to approach a 4:50 am nasty vomit session with love?"

So I respond to my friend, truly seeking her perpetual wisdom, and she says, "Honestly, I have to be authentic with you. I have no idea. I'd be annoyed."

Our situation has even stumped my friend who is one step away from enlightenment, and I go about my morning routine feeling miserable. Finish breakfast, brush my teeth, and go up to get the kids ready for the day.

And yes, I'll admit: I'm grunting, and I'm complaining - on the inside - about everything.

And then I see my kids. And yes, I'm sure you already predicted: They're smiling. Playing in their cribs. Happy to see me. And I can't help it. I just can't help it. Despite my misery, I smile back. And yes, actually, start singing songs. And chatting with them about whatever it is I chat with them about. Usually I give a running commentary on what we're doing. But sometimes I talk about how the cow goes "moo" and the train goes "choo choo", which is my son's personal favorite. And sometimes I sing sappy tunes for Aria, because they make her eyes sparkle.

I take them downstairs and start their breakfast until our nanny (who is great, by the way) shows up. And I'm sure you are thinking: I'm not going to feel bad for a person with a nanny. And I'm not asking you to. We need her. And where there's a will, there's a way.

Our nanny, a deeply spiritual and religious woman, rings the bell and after taking one look at me, asks if I can take the day off to rest. I can't. New job and all, I tell her.

And then she tells me that she's going to pray for us. She is going to pray for me. She is even going to have Aria bless me.

And then she says, "Do you want to know what makes me so successful at what I do? Why I have such a gift with kids?"

I'm listening.

"I approach each moment with love." There she said it. Exactly the same message my friend told me an hour or two before.

My heart got so warm and full of love in that moment. Is a message being sent to me from a Greater source? Could be. I know so. The coincidence was too real, too soon, too exact, and felt too good to hear - to not think it was a special message sent to us from Above.

The message: Even those seriously crappy moments, that seem to have no redeeming quality at all, can be approached with love. Must be approached with love. Are to be approached with love. Not sure why. Not sure how. And not so sure I'm supposed to be able to analyze it. Cause that's just what it is. And I knew I had to share it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Genetics and accepting what is and what we don't know yet

When Ethan was born prematurely, and actually stopped growing when I was 26 weeks pregnant, the doctors at the NICU (newborn intensive care unit) thought that it was quite possible that diabetes is not what caused my son to stop growing in utero - but maybe, just maybe, he has a genetic disorder.

And the saga began...and still continues...of searching for a possible genetic link to my son's issues with eating and slower than expected growth.

A geneticist was given our case at the NICU, early on when Ethan was still struggling to stay alive. And to be totally honest, I was so focused on other things, like my son's survival and him coming home and also taking care of my daughter who was newly born and adjusting to being a new mom, that I didn't pay much attention to the geneticist.

And to be honest, I didn't want to.

She examined him. Her perceptions: He's small. Uh yeah, thanks. We know that. And she decided to run some tests. The results came back with weird results that left the doctors scratching their heads.

And that's when the excruciatingly, long story of my son's possible genetic disorder began. And that's also when we were made aware of what she was suspecting.

They thought he may have some form of dwarfism.

We were shocked. We do have genetic diseases that run in our family - diabetes being the first that comes to mind and celiac being the second. My husband's family has a ton of lactose intolerance and milk allergies. But I've never known anyone in either of our families to have dwarfism.

My intuition told me - and everyone in my world - that they were totally off on their genetic research quest. And forgetting a mother's intuition for a moment, we were actually told - by a number of other doctors and specialists - that the tests that were run aren't real. Why? Science hasn't thought to measure a "normal" range for growth hormone in babies - let alone premature babies - or other related tests (like IGF-1). So if they're not real, then why run them? Because that's what doctors do and many times, it helps. In our case though, it just left everyone stumped. The reason: Ethan's growth hormone was considered high, not low like in the majority of dwarfism cases, and he was small.

I felt and still feel that the lab results were off because he was born so small and fighting hard to survive. So his chemistry was a bit out of whack. I'm not a doctor, nor are my theories scientific or published in journals, but it's just a feeling I had. The other prevailing theory for his GI issues and slower than expected growth - and which totally makes complete sense to me - is that because he was born small, his digestive system was also very small when he was born. He developed really bad reflux. And reflux is KNOWN for being linked to feeding issues. Take the pain of reflux coupled with his premature size, and boom - feeding issues.

And for all of you diabetics out there considering pregnancy: I think he was also born small, and stopped growing in utero at 26 weeks, because I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 35 years, and my body just couldn't handle twins, pregnancy, and all that was involved. I had a tough first trimester, a great second, and a shortened and difficult third. But please, knowing what I know and being what I've been through, I wouldn't change it for the world. I have two beautiful babies that I love with all my heart. All children, and people, are handed a set of challenges in life - whether they are born to diabetics or not, premature or not - and the best we can do is face them, accept what life hands us, and learn.

Going back to Ethan and the story of genetics: I spoke with many specialists, cried to my close family and a few friends, read up on the internet, and paced the halls of our home at 3 am for months. The pain of not knowing, the fear of what may or may not be, was overwhelming to me. I was worried. I was soul searching. And I was praying for the best outcome possible.

I was crying to my husband, who so eloquently said: "Whether he has a genetic disorder or not, he is still the same Ethan."

He was right. Ethan, no matter what, is still the same lovable boy. And that's when it hit me. His words had helped me come to a place of acceptance.

I had made a pledge, set an intention, when I was pregnant that I would support both of our children's individual journeys. That I would be there for them and be present with them and who they are, listen to them, smile with them, and teach them to be grateful every day.

Ethan was re-tested and measured and x-rayed and scanned. And all of those wacky tests that made no sense to me the first time, when I was in a place of resistance, came back negative.

The geneticist wanted to do her due diligence though. She was convinced that something was wrong, that Ethan has a genetic disorder, and she was scared that if there is something, that she might not find it. She wanted to run more tests, an in depth look at his entire genetic make-up. The test - called a Chromosome Micro-array - costs around $100,000, and is performed RARELY.

That test also came back with inconclusive results. Nothing was missing, and there was nothing extra. A few homozygous chains, which every human being on the planet has. (What are Homozygous chromosomes? It's when you have identical pairs of genes for any given pair of hereditary characteristics. For example, if you had a double dose of brown hair in your DNA.)

Guess what? That is what makes us unique and different. No one has a perfect genetic make-up.

She is still searching, and wants us to run more tests. In the meanwhile, we've decided to see another geneticist for a second opinion. We are going to run the tests, mainly because I'm a mom and if there is something to be found, I want to be sure we know about it. So that we can manage it.

My gut still tells me that he was simply born small, and as he grows, the reflux, feeding issues, and all that is related to that, will work itself out. BUT, you never know. And as parents, we want to be sure to give our child the best we can. We want to support him and Aria through whatever they need.

And what Ethan has given me, through this whole experience, is a real lesson in acceptance - even when you don't know what you are accepting. I don't know if I'm accepting a genetic disorder or not. What I do know is that resisting it won't help him, me, or anyone else.

Life coach and Oprah magazine columnist Martha Beck wrote a great article once that has stayed with me, A New Leash on Life. She was pregnant with her second child when late in the pregnancy, an amniocentesis showed that her son has Down's syndrome.

Beck had the difficult decision of whether to abort or not. And after much soul searching, she felt strongly that she wanted to continue with the pregnancy despite many people telling her not to. Telling her what a difficult task it is to raise a child with special needs.

And he wound up being the greatest gift.

She spoke of all the lessons she learned, that I am learning as well, about not being a victim of your thoughts. I do tend to conjure up images and stories that are usually based on fear of what may or may not be. And we really don't know what will be. So the best thing we can do is accept what is, and get out of our heads.

Martha Beck learned lessons that opened up her world. She credits her success, abundance, and love of life to the lessons she learned from raising her son with Down's Syndrome.

I feel the same way. I have changed as a person so much since this experience began, and I bet there's more in store. I have learned to savor special moments and to stay in the moment during challenging times. I have listened and trusted my intuition more than I ever have in my life, and I actually feel much more self-confident. And I am also finding myself - just as Martha Beck did - becoming more successful, more abundant, and loving life more and more. I have everything I could ever want and need, and I KNOW that it's from the lessons I've learned through this whole experience. I have Ethan and Aria to thank for opening up my world to so much.

Hey there, geneticists, what you got for me now?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Healthy sleep, healthy body, happy family, happy mom

Boy did we have a rough night last night. We're not sure if Aria is teething, had painful gas, or all of the above. My husband and I spent an hour and a half trying to calm her, then of course we had to calm her brother because she woke him up (and probably the whole neighborhood), and then each other so that we could get back to sleep.

She survived. And after a night of being awakened four or five more times (who knows how many really), I woke up exhausted. And in physical pain, once again.

This may sound like hell, and it kind of is. But the good news is that Aria really is typically a great sleeper. That's how we know that the crazy waking up must be something like teething. And it also gives me a chance to re-visit the importance of sleep for a healthy body - and for a happy me.

This is not new news from the mom of the infant twins world. I don't think I'm saying anything new when I tell you that sleep is important to your health; it's a chance for your body to restore physically, emotionally, and mentally.

All that saying, I have to write about this topic. Because I'm just so tired and that's what's on my mind. And because I feel a real difference in my health when I sleep and when I don't sleep.

Here's a brief example: I woke up two days ago with pain in my left hip. Mind you, that's the hip that has healed. I took a nap at around 4 pm. I woke up, and the pain went away!

I desperately wrote our pediatrician an e-mail asking for advice a few months back when the kids were waking up every two hours. I knew I wouldn't make it if we kept going like this.

What I didn't know it at the time, and now do, is that I was taking on a new family project: Get us all to sleep well. She recommended that I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, which I call 'the sleepy book' for short.

The sleepy book tells us tired, exhausted parents all the reasons why lack of sleep is so detrimental to the health of infants AND adults. Sleep is important for mental alertness, and lack of sleep has been shown to cause fussiness, excited-ness, and an upset baby. It has been linked to attention deficit disorder in older children.

And an Australian sleep study done on adults shows that lack of sleep causes an increase in cortisol – the body’s stress hormone. Cortisol is a hormone that we diabetics are familiar with as it has also been linked to rising morning blood sugars (known as dawn phenomenon) and weight gain. Please check for more information or the links provided in this paragraph.

The sleepy book recommends creating an environment for healthy sleep, which includes: a regular sleep schedule, sleep consolidation - meaning lots of it undisturbed, naps (for children), and sleep duration night and day. His strategies work unless a baby is teething, sick, just received immunizations, or is hungry.

So first there's the schedule: We did this by logging when our kids' natural sleepy times and feedings are and then building a schedule around them. And then sticking to it. The schedule is key. We treat naps as sacred, and we don't keep them awake to play with visitors. Ever.

Undisturbed sleep is also important. Never wake a sleeping baby. Of course this is hard when you are also sticking to a schedule - with twins - but it somehow works itself out on most days. We do wake them up if we need to - mostly because of their feeding schedule, and the sleeping schedule falls into place around it naturally.

Longer night and day sleep results from putting kids to bed when they first appear drowsy. Not stretching them. So when we see Aria starting to slow down or Ethan staring into space, we know it's time for bed. If they're yawning, rubbing their eyes, or getting fussy, it means they're already overtired.

This works for us most of the time. The sleepy book does say that babies start to sleep through the night at around nine months after their due date. So we have some time to go. And I'll tell you, it's not an easy journey. And as everyone told me when this whole thing started, it does get better.

One thing I can say is that I have never been so aware of sleep before. I used to just do it. Now I pray for it and appreciate it when it does happen. I do believe that once the sleeping gets back on track that I'll feel better physically. Healthier and happier. We all need healthy sleep so that we can be healthy and happy. And I hope I will never take sleep for granted ever again...

P.S. I wrote this blog yesterday, Sunday morning, and last night both babies slept the whole night!!! And I slept for nine and a half undisturbed hours!!! I feel better already. My hands feel much better, and my hips do too.

P.P.S. I cannot possibly relay the wealth of information found in the sleepy book. Check out the sleepy book for all of the tips and tricks!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Healing messages: A break from the stress

My body has been breaking down since having our two amazing kids, who are going to be eight months old in two days. And I have been trying to figure out what’s going on and how to heal and mend my aching body.

Let me start by telling you what’s wrong: I’m pretty sure I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand, trigger finger in my right pinky, and loss of range of motion in my right hip.

I am not the type of person who gets a headache and just takes an aspirin. I see a headache as a symptom of something deeper – emotionally and spiritually. It’s the body’s way of shouting out a message for spiritual and emotional healing. And if you don’t listen, the body continues to break down until you finally listen and do something about it.

Because I know that our bodies speak to us and enlighten us to a deeper understanding of our true selves, I started my quest for healing alternative style. I did make an appointment with a rheumatologist because I want to be thorough and do whatever I can to help my body heal, but I’m also going gung-ho on the alternative approach as well, as I am certain that my body is trying to tell me something.

I started by asking the Universe (or God, whatever you call it): How can I heal my right hip?

And my intuition told me very clearly that yoga and meditation would help. I also heard reiki, and did start seeing a reiki master. It’s an AMAZING experience, which I’ll save for its own blog post once I’ve come to some clarity on what to say.

On yoga and meditation: I returned to my yoga practice as soon as I could after my c-section, and I have been doing a lot of hip opener sequences. I have been meditating as well, listening to the different areas of my body – especially during yoga – and also visualizing myself, with the flexibility of a yogi, doing lotus poses with ease.

I also saw myself having a conversation with my son Ethan while meditating. Ethan was born very small and in the NICU for three and a half months. We went on a really scary and rough road with him. But he’s doing really, really well. I had to process everything that had happened, and I apologized to him during the meditation. I felt guilty for what he went through, since I feel responsible for it. I also purposefully re-lived some of the trauma of the pregnancy, birth, and aftermath. I would love to be able to find the words to describe to you how important it was to meditate on the experience, and I am going to continue until I feel at complete peace with everything that happened. But I can tell you that today, I feel so much stronger and calmer than I ever have in my life.

My intuition told me very clearly that my right hip was storing a lot of stress and mind chatter around the whole experience of what happened with my son. And looking back on it, actually, my right hip lost its flexibility a few weeks after the c-section. So my intuition made a lot of sense.

I came to another realization a week ago: All of the aches and pains are on the right side of my body. It seems so obvious now, but it took me a while to figure that out. There’s meaning behind that.

Looking at it from a Western medicine perspective, the right side of the body is controlled by the left brain. It’s the side that controls language, rational and logical thought, the side that categorizes things, and writes to-do lists. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s the masculine side – the more aggressive side; while the left side of the body is the feminine – the passive side. The right brain is creative, abstract, and emotional and controls the left side of the body. And whenever those two sides of our inner selves are out of balance – the body gets out of balance as well.

My spiritual diagnosis is clear:

1) I still haven’t fully come to terms with what happened with Ethan. And I’m not afraid to say it out loud to all of you. I haven’t let it all go yet, although I thought I had.

2) On top of that, I’ve been in “doing” overload since the babies were born. No more resting on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I wake up early and change diapers and feed babies – happily, mind you, but it’s tiring. The stress of not sleeping. The stress of not having time to unwind, be more creative, meditate more consistently. I’m stuck in what seems to be an endless stream of to-do lists. I am doing too much. Not resting enough. And quite frankly, it’s really hard to find time to rest when you’re juggling taking care of twins (one of whom has some temporary special needs), keeping up with the house, going to doctors’ appointments with two other little people to think about, and managing my diabetes and health. Oh yeah, that.

My body is screaming that I need a break, a chance to rest and restore. And also a chance to process and let go of everything that happened.

So I put it out there: How is a mom of twins with diabetes supposed to find the time to rest and restore AND take care of things at the same time? How are we all supposed to find the balance between doing and getting things done AND taking care of our health and wellness?

Here’s what I heard: Let go of the mind chatter and go with the flow. And savor the moments when you do have peace and calm. The more you savor them, the more you create the energy of peace and calm in your life.