Day 44: Vata Whata?

My 500 Words

I took an Ayurveda quiz on the internet recently and found the results to be true…maybe? Or, maybe those quizzes are BS? Or, maybe Ayurveda is BS…Hard to say, hard to know. So, don’t take my word for it. Anyway, it basically says I am Vata in my mind and mostly Vata in my body. I know so little about this, though, that I am not sure if I am writing it grammatically correct in a sentence or if it should be capitalized. So, I beg your forgiveness in that regard.

So, from what I understand, a Dosha is an energy, and everyone is composed of a Dosha or a combination of Doshas. There are 3: Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha, and Kapha Dosha. Your type can be determined by many things including preferences. Vata types, for example, prefer warmer temperatures to colder temperatures.

This is what Mindbodygreen.com has to say on the Vata:

Vata Predominant Types: Creative; Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget, Slender; Tall and a fast-walker; Tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates; Excitable, lively, fun personality; Changeable moods; Irregular daily routine; High energy in short bursts; Tendency to tire easily and to overexert; Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance; Responds to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance; Tendency to act on impulse; Often have racing, disjointed thoughts; Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don’t perspire much.

So, some of these feel kind of random to me. But, I would say that this is a fairly accurate, albeit general, description of me. From there, they recommend that you should base your nutrition and such on the recommendations associated with this type. I don’t know. Maybe I should try that? I am a vegetarian and have been for 11 years. That seems to work pretty well for me. I am moderately healthy and try to keep slim and nutritious. I like to work out but am not fanatical. I suppose a lot of this is related to my Vata Dosha…maybe.

In any case….Vata or whatta….positive is the path. The path for me is positive. My path is positive. I’m positive about my path. I’m positively positive about my path. My mom and I had a chat in the car tonight about weightloss and feelings surrounding our bodies. We talked about how nothing positive comes from negative thoughts. Positivity breeds positive results. So, pertaining to all things in life, I am going to be positive, annoyingly positive.

70 more words! Why does it feel like 700 more! I am trying to find a way to talk with my mom about things while I finish this post. Today has been crazy. I am so tired. I will persist. Joy joy joy. Be positive. Never sacrifice your joy. My new problem is how to bring as much joy to my own life and the lives of those I love. That is my goal!

Day 40: Juuuuust Breatheeeeee

My 500 Words

Today I was introduced to the term “resonant breathing” because I joined a yoga challenge. The yoga challenge sent an email reminding us that it is the first day of the challenge and included an advertisement for a breathing app and a blurb about resonant breathing. It was cool to learn about resonant breathing, and give it a name. I have always just referred to it as “deep breathing,” but I like that it has a name and a clear definition.

Resonant breathing is the slowing of breath to 3-7 breaths per minute and effectively changing and regulating the autonomic nervous system, along with other systems of the body. People who do this regularly are opening themselves up to a host of potential benefits, from the brain to the heart to the lungs. As I read the article this morning, I took a few resonant breaths and felt really good afterwards. It was a brilliant start to the day and even helped me to move my tired tush out of bed.

Today, I completed by first day of a 21-day yoga challenge with Wanderlust. I found an issue cropping up that I noticed during a recent meditation. My jaw was just aching…so much so that I found much of the flow hard to follow. How could I focus on breathing while also tending to the crazy stiff and sore feeling in my jaw?!

Now, I am no stranger to jaw pain. I had TMJ as a child that was so bad I wouldn’t be able to open my mouth to chew or speak. I would slide crackers in at lunch in 8th grade and let them dissolve. It was bizarre. Then, I made the big girl move at 18 years young to bite the bullet and get jaw surgery… a surgery where they would break my jaw, re-align it, and then tack it back on with some hardware. The pain during that procedure, the procedure that included a cute little wiring up of my BRACES. That is right. I elected to get braces as an 18 year old to put my jaw issues behind me.

Naturally, when my jaw hurts, I get slightly panicked and worry that I am going to have to replay my old experiences or something somehow worse. The memories of slurping pediasure through a straw while crying are enough to last a lifetime. So, I took to the web and found what was clearly the culprit and thank god! I have been lifting weight regularly for the past 2 weeks and working out. This includes a lot of strain on my neck, something I internally complain about frequently throughout my workout. Bless. My neck is just tight. This is a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, but PHEW! I can stretch and love my neck back to health and (hopefully) eliminate my jaw pain. STAY TUNED for updates on this super sexy and super interesting part of my life. Perhaps this yoga challenge will help get me started on a more holistic stretching/yogic routine. Namaste.

Day 32: A new day and a new challenge

My 500 Words, Professional

It is day 32, which means that I have accomplished my initial goal of writing 500 words a day for 31 days. I did it! It also means that I cultivated a habit during those 30 days and am now continuing to write. I have extended the goal from 31 days to 50 days. So, the journey continues. I have debated throughout this process whether I should try to focus my messaging to a certain idea or topic throughout, but I like this free form style due to the fact that I have to write every day. In order to stay engaged, I need freedom to switch it up and just write about what feels interesting or good. So, that is what I am going to continue to do.

This weekend has been tough on my body. I am not sure if I am drinking more than normal or just fighting off sickness, but I am so tired! I feel like I need some R&R for the next week or so, and I am so excited for it. The older I get, the less alcohol and me mix. We are slowly going our separate ways. Also, I am staying at someone else’s house with the dog in our bedroom. It is not sitting well with my soul.

In any case, tomorrow will be a new day, and I have high hopes to get back to my healthy, normal self after some sleep and better eating and drinking habits. Balance! Such a struggle to strike it!

On to more pressing matters, like my career. I have been thinking a lot about moving in a more creative direction and trying my hand in a new space. I am interested by light, color, and how it makes you feel or think about a thing. I am just in an exploratory mode when it comes to this, so we will see! But, I would love to have more creativity in my professional life and to work on projects that excite me a bit more than I am currently. But, I also love health and the promotion of wellness. If I could combine these, which I think I can, that would be a cool next step.

I wonder how I could manifest the next step in a way that was meaningful and cool. It isn’t a blue duck, so it is hard to say. I guess I would love to turn this blog into a health and design blog, just to promote those ideas and designs. This could mean anything. It wouldn’t be limited to design in spaces but open to clothing, accessories, art, digital arts, film and more. Am I making any sense?

Basically, I want to explore more about how design can make our lives better, like actually better. Also, maybe it doesn’t. It could be the exploration of this as well. Well, I am just kind of musing for now on what could be. Maybe my next blog will be about the interaction of these two things. Maybe it will not, and I will move on yet again!

Until tomorrow, we shall not know. Tootles amigos!

Day 9: Skin Nightmares

My 500 Words, Skin Care

Over the past few years, I have become DEVOTED to my skin care regimen. I had a case of 24-years-old, drink too much, never sleep right, or wash my face acne. I thought I needed antibiotics and that was that. I was used to the dermatology grind, as a child of a skin-cancer ridden family. I believed what they told me, took the drugs recommended, etc…all by this person who barely took 5 minutes to look at me. I don’t doubt their ability to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer or serious skin ailments, but they should just be honest when  it comes to cosmetic issues. They should have told me to start washing my face twice a day and starting up a preventive regimen. But, that is not what happened.

About a year after starting a low-grade antibiotic, which I still have skeptical thoughts about the safety of, I wanted to go on a birth control. The birth control pill I wanted and the drug I was on didn’t really work well together. I told my OB what I wanted, and I told my dermatologist what I wanted. They didn’t chat or really provide much insight, in case you were wondering. Meanwhile, I learned whatever I could from google, and I came to terms with the reality that most of us make healthcare decisions with pretty minimal information or understanding. My dermatologist thought it was silly and my OB didn’t offer any opinions. After a year of no acne medication and using the pill, I had found some skin care bloggers (*ahem* Caroline Hirons) that changed my life and perspective. These bloggers helped to place the control back into my own hands. My skin could be good or terrible based on my own efforts, thank god.

I started with a serum, a moisturizer, face wash, and most importantly a routine. This went well, and as I grew confident, I experimented. Around the time I found these bloggers and started experimenting with cosmetic products, rather than antibiotics, I noticed some side effects from the birth control, that if I was honest had been going on since I started it. I was having ocular migraines multiple times a month and spent most afternoons wrapped in a blanket of tears and unexplainable sadness. I had some life changes that could account for some fluctuation in emotional state, but NOTHING to explain what I was experiencing. I decided to go rogue…no birth control and no skin care antibiotics. Give me whatcha got acne!

To my surprise, and probably due to my keeping up with a skin care regimen, my acne remained status quo, which was primarily non-existent. Skin issues surfaced from time to time, but they always had. I had found my way to control. Nowadays, my process has changed and is heavily dependent on AHAs, serums, and of course washing and moisturizing, morning and night. It has become one of my favorite self-care activities and am always excited to try a new product I hear about or to treat myself to something lovely. It has become something of a passion for me, so despite my annoyance at the process to get here, I am passionate about helping others find a better way to take care of themselves, especially young girls or women who have NO idea that a few small things can change their relationship with their skin and their face.