Posts Tagged With: Santa Monica

I’M OK

I’ve been reflecting a lot about my Blog post yesterday, “Diagnosis Part 5: MRI”.

It helped so much to write that. I needed to really get that out. I needed to tell the whole world about my experience. It freed me a lot. I felt lighter after I wrote it and I’ve been breathing easier ever since.

And what I’ve become aware of even more today is something so enlightening and positive.

I’M OK.

I, Nahleen Virginia Blake (yes that’s my Middle Name), am OK. Oh my goodness! I’m OK. If you had told me that night of my first MRI that over 10 years from that whole experience I’d say I was OK I’d have pushed you away. I’d have ignored you. I wouldn’t have believed you. I probably would’ve gotten sick to my stomach.

No Way! I was so terrified about my life, about my future, about my body and everything that I had no control over. I “HAD CONTROL” of my life back then…I thought. I was on my path. Full speed ahead! Get out of my way. I’m following my dream. Actually…I’m chasing my dream. It can’t get away. My grip is so tight and I won’t let go. Keep on going and going and going and going. Well, guess what Energizer Bunny? You can’t keep going either no matter what those commercials say. Sorry but you run out of Oomph too!

Throughout these 10 plus years since I have been told by so many people older than me that I am too young to think the way I do. That I am too young to go through what I’ve gone through. That I should be going through all of this illness and crap when I’m older. Well, let me tell you all, I HAVE NO CONTROL AND I NEVER HAVE. I was powerless over what was happening in my body and my mind was bound to change. My life was bound to change! My outlook was bound to change! Change change change! Life is about change!

How could all of that not change?

I couldn’t work 2 jobs anymore. That was crazy to start with. I couldn’t be a Production Assistant for 12 hour days on my precious weekends anymore.  I couldn’t couldn’t with the couldn’ts. Suddenly my life came to a halt.

SORT OF.

I had to rest more.

I’M SORRY. DID I SAY REST?

What is REST? Well, that means I STOP all I’m doing to the best of my ability and sit my butt down. I can lay down on the bed. I get some quiet. I learn how to meditate. If I can’t stop I at least SLOW DOWN. Yes, slower is OK. Really. There are so many ways to rest. Forcing everything to a point of a racing heart is NOT RESTING. Nope. Everything in Fast Forward is not resting.

Actually, my life is usually better than OK but I didn’t know that until 8 years later when I was diagnosed with a second disease of lupus. A…SECOND…DISEASE……..OF…LUPUS….Now THAT ONE KICKED ME OFF MY FEET AND STRAIGHT ONTO MY BUTT and there was no getting up.

No question.

I hit a wall so hard it’s a wonder I even survived and I am NOT EXAGGERATING.

And my choices were simple yet so complicated for someone like me to understand. You see, simple is not simple. It can’t just be that pretty much everything in my life has to STOP AND SLOW DOWN and not just a few things here and there. This affected EVERYTHING.

I HAD TO CHANGE.

MY LIFE HAD TO CHANGE AND FAST.

I FELT I HAD NO CHOICE.

See, I used to say I had no choice. I had to stop working…for now…until further notice…maybe…no really…I still wasn’t feeling up to it months later…symptoms just kept kicking my butt…I needed Tender Loving Care from everyone but especially from ME. I could’ve gone back to work. Right. OK. And run around and been in an environment that was so toxic for me that I would’ve ended up in the hospital the next time. Sounds like a great quality of life.

It was ME. I had to change MY LIFE.

I had to take care of ME.

Why was that so hard? Why IS that so hard?

I know it’s worth it. I know I’m worth it. And it’s a work in progress…It really is about Quality of Life, not Quantity.

But when I focus on TLC and turning the attention of my TLC to me my life gets better. My life looks different, feels different, and even smells different. There are flowers to smell and see everywhere here in LA. There are trees with leaves that blow in the breeze. That is one of the most lovely sounds I have ever heard. There are clouds. Oh I have always loved clouds ever since I was a little kid. Give me a cloud to look at and I am thrilled. Everything else goes away. There is an ocean that keeps me Present when I can see it. Even driving by it changes my mood if I can see it. I am in the moment. Do you know how beautiful the moment is? Have you been able to feel your breath as you look at the vastness and the colors of the ocean as the sky and the light of the sun reflect on the ocean? Have you watched a seagull float along in the sea breeze? Even watching other people in the water puts a smile on my face.

Smiling. I do that so much more than I used to. I used to be told all the time to smile when I was in my 20s before the MS diagnosis. I had no idea I wasn’t smiling. I was so dang busy pushing and pulling and forcing and going that I forgot to smile. I had a frown on my face I was so intense. It’s a wonder I had any friends, family, work colleagues or anyone else who wanted to be in my life.

But somewhere along the way I forgot me. I still do sometimes and I am constantly working on bringing ME back.

And bringing my focus back to me, I see the shining emerald green glimpse of hummingbird. I see the butterfly off in the distance. I find myself sitting in my car listening to my favorite song and not getting out until I’ve finished belting it out to myself. And back to smiling because I find it so powerful. Smiling at others? Smiling at others and watching them smile back. It is so rare now for me not to connect with others with a smile. I have met some of the best people in the grocery store. We are all just people living our lives trying to get by. I have had lovely conversations in hospital building elevators with others about colors and clothing and my Muppet bag/purse.

I have sat next to some wonderful people while sitting in doctor waiting rooms. See doctor waiting rooms are tricky for me. I still can’t stand going to the doctor. In fact, I think in some ways it’s worse now because I have so much chronic illness doctor’s office visit fatigue if that makes any sense. I am sooooo done seeing so many doctors even though the appointments are currently usually further apart. Usually. But those waiting rooms can be so grueling and talking to others helps. If I don’t I feel closed off and not grounded. I find myself more nervous about the appointment than I was before. I find myself noticing that so many people are not feeling well, that they’re older and looking at me wondering why I’m there at whatever Specialist Doctor I happen to be at. It’s rough.

I have gotten to know the office staff at almost every doctor. I now have at least 2 friends at the Pharmacy I go to and I’ve had coffee with one of them. They are people too. Great gals actually. I have learned that it’s really not a problem usually to stand in line at a store. Why not look around? Why not watch a little girl or boy with their Mom and see what they see as they look around? Getting annoyed and irritated is probably going to make me feel worse. Life does not have to be lived so fast.

And what about finding myself through writing? I think I’ve always been a writer. I have written off and on all my life. This Blog has helped me get through what was a huge writer’s block for too many years. I need to write. It is part of my Being. Even if I write the hardest and deepest thoughts and words I still come out of it smiling. I wrote! I expressed myself!

And then there’s meditation, guided imagery, spiritual support groups, coffee groups, texts with friends, Facebook, Twitter, the online community in general, the longer conversations I get to have with people on the phone if I feel up to it (this one is still hard for me because being social is one of my favorite things but it also tires me out very quickly and as I get better I am more able to talk and maybe even visit but it’s still a one day at a time thing), the exploring of neighborhoods as I walk every day (by the way it’s been over 450 days since I started taking a walk every day!) I never know where I’ll end up. I have found the greatest local businesses that way. Some of the best coffee shops are in Santa Monica. I wouldn’t have known that before.

And sitting on my balcony especially at night is one of my favoritest things to do ever. I sit back in my lounge chair and look at the sky, look at my iPad (feel so fortunate and lucky to have such a supportive husband who bought me an iPad even before my lupus diagnosis and it has changed my life–the online world is a much more accessible place because sitting at the computer with the big screen can be hard for me for so many reasons), talk to my plants, and I can even have plants that I love and adore! And let me tell you, they respond so much better when I talk to them and give them love.

I have found faith and hope during these slower times. During these quiet times it has not all been fabulous. As they say every rose has its thorns and that is so true. There is beauty in life everywhere. There is also struggling, and excruciating feelings, and trudging, and crying, and anger, and memories, and reliving traumas, and temper tantrums, and grieving, and missing the old days when I thought my life was something else, and when I was younger before my MS diagnosis, and wanting to punch things and having very very hard times and hard days. I find I’m also having an identity crisis. Who am I? Who is Nahleen with MS and lupus? Will I ever work again? What will I do? Which idea am I going to pursue? Where is my life leading? Is this my life? I can’t live my life as someone who is identified only as my illnesses but it is a major challenge to break away from that when my life is lived in doctor’s offices talking about everything that’s still wrong with me, even talking about those few things that are getting better is still on the subject, just being there reminds me too much about my reality, having to prove my Disability to other entities who are trying to not help me, dealing with insurance issues, reliving the past for new doctors, taking over 4 hours to get going before I feel human in the morning, taking my medications, keeping up with my medications, keeping track of symptoms and the severity of them and watching for patterns, exercising so I can keep functioning and I could go on. Please let my life be more than that.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

I’M OK.

I’m better than I was 10 years ago even before my MS diagnosis. I see the world in front of me more. I see the world. I am in the world. I am not on the outside looking in. I am NOT living the life I want to live on a whole just yet but isn’t that normal? I want to live a life WITHOUT MS and lupus but that is a lot to ask right now and to be honest it pisses me off and I can feel the rage right now even as I write this. But right now I’m in a better wave. I don’t know how long it will last or if it’s the new norm. Life is always happening and it is always in session. I have learned that time and time again. And I don’t know how I’m going to feel the next moment from when I write this sentence but for now I’ll take the feeling that life is a bit easier. How cool is that? I’m a bit more at ease. What a gift.

But it is not a life to be rushed through. Time goes by too fast. I was a tied up ball of knots rushing around plowing my way to the next goal in my mid-20s thinking I would someday rule the world, but it was never good enough. And in the past few days, life is good enough. Sure, I want more money, I want a bigger place to live in, I want that dent out of my car that someone so nicely put in there at a time I wasn’t around to see it happen, I want to be thinner, I want to feel so good that I am frolicking and skipping down the street and I don’t ever want bad things or hard things ever to happen again.

But that’s not real.

And I’M OK.

And the best part is there are parts of my life that are so very happy. I am happy with my husband and my Cleo Kitty. Corey keeps me laughing and on my toes. He is so incredibly supportive and always by my side. We are the best team I know. Cleo Kitty and I are best friends. We have been there for each other during each of our health problems for the past 3 years. She cuddles and plays and needs to eat and she demands her pets.

I also have a roof over my head, wonderful people in my life who don’t let me isolate even for one minute and they are from all parts of my life, 2 cars that run well, air conditioning that usually works, clothes to wear, food to eat, a bed to sleep on even if the mattress is so old there are hills and valleys in it and the list is endless.

I have a full life. A pretty darn good life. It can be very hard. And sometimes it can be easy but those times seem rare. Perhaps that will change. I don’t know. What I do know is that I breathe easier. I’m not nearly as tense. I feel much better than I did last year in July 2012 (and it doesn’t mean I am all better but I will take whatever I can get), I smile and giggle more than I frown and grumble. My bad days aren’t nearly as bad and intense and I recover quicker. And this is all just for today.

That is all I have. That is all WE have.

And that is OK.

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A CLEAN MOUTH OF HEALTH!

OMG!  No WAY!

This is the second time in a row that I have gone to the Dentist and been told that my mouth is doing really well!  HOW COOL IS THAT?!

See with LUPUS and lupus medications, I have had a tendency to have dry mouth syndrome (I know there’s a name for it), swollen gums, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, a sensitive or swollen tongue (TMI I know), cankers and just a whole bunch of IRRITATION!

Well lately I’ve been thinking about my Dentist appointment coming up and have realized that I have not been thinking about my mouth lately.  Now isn’t that a weird sentence for ya!  Funny how that is.  I have been thinking about issues and symptoms in my mouth for years…EVEN BEFORE THE LUPUS DIAGNOSIS IN AUGUST 2010.

SO YEAH.

All is CLEAN AND WELL IN NAHLEEN’S MOUTH!

That may have been more than you needed to know but I’m happy to share it because right now, any good physical health is a huge VICTORY for me these days!

The ONLY REMINDER I got from my Dentist is to be really careful and pay extra attention to my Wisdom teeth (yes I still have ALL 4 OF THEM!  If only I was more WISE from them…) because that’s where all the problems can really start since they’re so hard to get to.  I get that reminder every time so it wasn’t a big concern.

SO HOW COOL IS THAT?!

I NEED MORE APPOINTMENTS LIKE THAT!

I was so up from that good news and appointment that I found myself eating lunch at the Veggie Grill using a gift card given to me by an awesome friend, and having my favorite B-Wing Salad (if you haven’t tried you have got to!), then driving to Santa Monica beach so I could pick up some purple hair dye and stock up at a new store (of which I LOVE and had no idea about–thank you SIRI on my IPhone–you may be creepy but you helped a lot today), ended up purchasing some special muscle soak bath salts that are all natural and stopped by a Jamba Juice to try to get some extra nutritional needs taken care of since I’m going on a special diet prep for a special Hydrogen Breathing Test on Thursday.  Needless to say Wednesday will be weird, hence the dying the hair purple to pep me up for Thursday’s “UN-FUNNESS” of no eating and no meds till after the test that may take over 3 hours (YIPPY SKIPPY), and nurturing the body because lupus and MS can get very irritated from being so OUT OF ROUTINE and depleted of all things to take care of it.

I also found myself driving along the coast and parking very easily at a spot along the street with my Handicapped Placard (best part about having one is parking and not having to pay for meters or worry about time constraints unless they’re Street Sweeping–learned that the hard way years ago) and walking down the stairway (COULD NOT HAVE PLANNED THAT BETTER), only to find myself walking out onto a WALKWAY halfway onto the beach and then straight towards the ocean.  It was a cloudy cool day so hardly anyone was there…THAT IS EXCEPT 2 DIFFERENT PHOTO SHOOTS (one of them may have been a music video–so WISH I knew who those 2 different women in different locations were with their whole entourages) and lots of birds taking advantage of the absence of weird human creatures.

Once that was done I dragged my satisfied self (getting tired by then but so happy to be taking care of myself and things just so wonderfully falling into place) to the grocery store to get some regular groceries and other items to help me get through the strange diet menu I need to have tomorrow to Prep for that Thursday test.

SO ALL IN ALL.  A pretty good day even if I do say so myself and I DO!

Was also nice to see that our Cleo Kitty was doing better since this morning because this morning she got sick I think from eating her food too fast and that always worries us with her health issues.  She seems to still be recovering but is much better I think.  Was probably good for me to get away and leave her alone so she could get some REAL rest but BOY was she HAPPY TO SEE ME AND I TO SEE HER.

I LOVE MY CLEO KITTY!

OK.  Time to unwind…

It’s nice when days fall into place.  They rarely do that with such ease and I’m going to take the time to enjoy that…

AND BREATHE…

RIGHT NOW.  DID YOU BREATHE WITH ME?  YOU SHOULD TRY IT.  MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.

That’s even better.

Hope you all have had a good day too!  We all deserve more of those!  Write to you soon!

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Moments of Peace Part 15

Well it has been quite an intense week.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write this post today because I’m currently sick with some sort of infection that includes laryngitis and since I’ve started antibiotics last night I’ve been feeling better.  To be honest, that is AMAZING!  I’m not exaggerating.  I can’t remember any time I’ve been sick that I’ve taken antibiotics and felt better the morning after starting them the night before.  It was a good thing to catch this really early.  My body can’t afford to get HORRIBLY SICK.  Fortunately, I have doctors who agree and push that on me.  So here’s hoping I can get back on my feet again soon.

On another note before I get on with my Moments of Peace, I’ve been getting inquiries from people reading my Blog asking if they can recommend my Blog to others.  YES PLEASE!  That would be great.  One of my goals is to connect with others.  The more the better.  We can all help each other.

And now for my Moments of Peace:

08/10/12 My view in West LA in the afternoon. It was so dang hot that day. I think the intensity of the sunlight really shows it. Something about how green these tree leaves are struck me. It’s not like we get rain here but it sure is more humid than it used to be.

08/10/12 My view in Culver City, CA in the afternoon. And the heat continued. LOVE the bold color!!! Caught my eye right away.

08/10/12 A lovely view of my Cleo Kitty and I. She loves to cuddle with me on the couch in this position. Love her so much!

08/10/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. The evening skies have really been catching my eye this week no matter where I am. Summer skies are gorgeous!

08/10/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. I’m always in awe of how the sun reflects on the clouds–notice the edges here.

08/11/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Summer sun setting with little white wispy clouds.

08/12/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. All kinds of clouds happening at once up there.

08/13/12 My view from my doctor’s office in Santa Monica, CA today. It was another really hot day with mega intense sun. Everything is so bright. Loving the view on the horizon.

08/13/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. Hello bright sun!

08/13/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. These were a pretty color and so calming. Anyone know what they are?

08/14/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. You can’t really see it here but there were levels of color that were fascinating me. The color right near the horizon was purple.

08/15/12 My view from my balcony as morning arrives. I was breath taken by all the sights in the sky. The sunrises this week have been beautiful.

08/15/12 My view from the sun deck in the afternoon. There was an artist in the sky that day. I could see so many images in those clouds. What can you see? And look at that blue!!!

08/15/12 My view from the sun deck in the afternoon. There’s even more artistry in another part of the same sky. Loved how these clouds fell into place here.

08/15/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. The show just kept going from my balcony. I had to catch these moments.

08/15/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. ‘Twas quite a remarkable sky all day. And thus the pinks started showing up. I couldn’t stop gawking at it.

08/15/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. The pink flames started.

08/15/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. These pictures don’t do this sunset justice but I think you get the idea.

08/16/12 My view from my balcony as morning arrives. Billowy clouds…more pretty.

08/16/12 My view in West LA as day turns to night. So white and so blue. I was walking next door to pick up my antibiotics for my sickies and saw this. Helped me to relax a bit. (And yes, I’m very lucky to have my pharmacy right next door.)

08/16/12 Thought I might’ve heard some grand declaration of music in this one with the way the sun’s rays are declaring themselves through the clouds! Loved it!

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Moments of Peace Part 14

Happy Friday!  I have an appointment with me to go galavanting today so I thought I’d post this now instead of later.  Thank you to each and every one of you for reading my story and letting me share that part of myself with you.

07/27/12 My view in West LA as day turns to night. Grabbed this in the Albertson’s parking lot.

07/28/12 My view in Santa Monica, CA as evening arrives. You can see just a wee bit of ocean just past the palm trees.

07/28/12 My view in Santa Monica, CA as evening arrives. It’s kinda cool to look down on a palm tree too.

07/29/12 My view in Westchester, CA as day turns to night…and…Corey’s head. Gotta love how he walked right into my shot and I’m pretty sure it was on purpose. Isn’t that little piece of hair sticking up such a lovely part of the view?

07/29/12 ANYWAY…my view in Westchester, CA as day turns to night…without Corey’s head.

07/30/12 My view on my walk in Pacifici Palisades, CA. I had just finished (FINALLY) eating after my “fasting” appointment, looked up as I walked outside and this lovely view was looking back at me.

07/30/12 My view on my walk in Pacific Palisades, CA after my “fasting” appointment. This palm tree had lots and lots of berries.

07/31/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Well hello moon!

07/31/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. I love the grey wispies along with the orangey-golden glow.

08/01/12 My view from the sun deck as evening arrives. Fun with all kinds of clouds!

08/01/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. There was a lower layer of clouds. Felt like I could touch them.

08/02/12 My view from the sun deck as evening arrives. The sun was pretty intense.

08/02/12 My view from the sun deck as evening arrives. And the sun declares itself!

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Moments of Peace Part 13

Hi!  As promised on Friday, here is the Moments of Peace post for that day!  And you know what’s really nice?  There were really some nice and peaceful moments to carry me through the week!  Thank goodness.

07/13/12 My view from my balcony as morning arrives. I love it when I can grab great sky moments from my own home!

07/13/12 My view from my balcony as morning arrives. Morning skies are some of my favorites!

07/13/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. The sky kept putting on a show all day!

07/13/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. And the show continued!

07/13/12 My view from my apartment building hallway window a bit later as day turns to night. Wonderful cloud flames!

07/14/12 My view in San Diego, CA as day turns to night. We ended up taking a whirlwind trip to the San Diego Comic-Con that day but that’s for a later Blog post!

07/15/12 My view in Westchester, CA as day turns to night. Love the colors in this rose!

07/15/12 My view in Westchester, CA as day turns to night.

07/16/12 My view on my late morning walk in West LA. There is a magic to the morning.

07/16/12 My view on my late morning walk in West LA. I really like how the trees frame this picture.

07/17/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. This was taken after I had a brain MRI. It was so nice to see sunshine and nature and the big wide world!

07/18/12 My view from my balcony as morning arrives. The sky was quite dramatic last week as you can see. Love this!

07/18/12 My view from my balcony as morning arrives. Thank you sky for being so awesome!

07/18/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. So I’m doing my stretches on the living room floor and I just happen to glance out the window and see a mini rainbow! You can see it on the picture at the bottom center! It only lasted a little bit and then it was gone. So neat!

07/18/12 My view from my balcony as day turns to night. Another view of the mini rainbow this time in the bottom right corner of the picture.

07/18/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. The sky started going a bit crazy and all kinds of different clouds were appearing. Look at that blue sky!

07/18/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Stormy sky and you know what? It did rain a bit. Crazy because I don’t think it’s rained in July in Los Angeles in the 12 and a 1/2 years we’ve been there!!

07/19/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA today. There’s something that really touches me about this picture with how green the leaves are against the very blue sky and the way the sun peaks through the edges of the leaves.

07/19/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. Hello sun! It was very hot that day!

07/20/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Another beautiful sunset!

I was really looking forward to posting this today.  I’m so glad I was able to!

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Moments of Peace Part 7

Happy 3 Day Weekend All!  I hope you can enjoy the Holiday!  It will be a very special day for me on Monday because it’s also my Birthday!  I’m not sure how it’s already that time of year and I’m just gonna go with it.  It’s good to be alive.

Welcome to my new followers this week.  It is really so very cool to share my journey with all of you.  This week has been a very full week of ups and downs and roundabouts and I’m pretty exhausted.  Next week I am on a Rest-cation and I can’t wait!  I need the break badly.

It’s that time of week again where I like to review my Moments of Peace and share them with you:

05/18/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Clear skies and lots of views of planes that night. We are in the flight pattern of 2 different airports and I really enjoy watching the planes fly by.

05/18/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. I really like how the sun’s reflections on the low clouds on the horizon give us the view of extra streaks of light.

05/18/12 Corey and our Cleo Kitty. These 2 are so in love. As you can see, Cleo has her own little playground on the floor with wrapping paper (that she just loves to sit on) and some kitty beds, and toys everywhere. We kinda like her.

05/19/12 My view from my balcony as morning turns to do. Some of the best views of the sky have come from my balcony. It is so nice to be able to see the big sky from our place.

05/19/12 My view from my balcony as morning turns to day. Another really neat view.

05/19/12 My view on a random street corner in West LA as day turns to night. I was running some errands and had to grab the picture before I lost the sun.  Oh and I grabbed it from the car.

05/19/12 My view in West LA as day turns to night. This time I wasn’t Driving While Taking Pictures and was on the sidewalk.

05/19/12 Being able to see Corey perform with improv group The Magic Meathands always gives me peace and lots of laughter. I was so happy to be able to get out and see him on the stage!

05/20/12 We went to Santa Monica, CA to see the solar eclipse on Sunday and it was wonderfully relaxing. The ocean always helps me feel at peace.

05/20/12 My view of the solar eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. The light was getting very dramatic at this point.

05/21/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Gotta love the twinkling LA nights.

05/21/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. I turned to the right from the last picture and this is what I saw. Oh how I love the pinks!

05/22/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to evening. It was kinda hot. Look at that intense sun!

05/22/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to evening. I was trying to be artsy with this but it came out kinda weird. I really like the flatline effect of the sun.

05/23/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. Look at that vibrant purple!

05/23/12 Had my absolutely favorite lunch at The Veggie Grill. They call it Buffalo Chickin’ Salad and it is not chicken. It is their own vegetarian version. It is so good and it tastes like chicken with the consistency too. I love it!

05/23/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. Huge palm tree!

05/24/12 My view on my walk in Beverly Hills, CA. Such pretty simplicity.

05/24/12 My view on my walk in Beverly Hills, CA. Crazy strong sun!

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Motivation: SOLAR ECLIPSE

Yeah I had heard that we’d be able to see the Solar Eclipse on the west coast but I didn’t think too much about it.  Then Sunday morning it occurred to me that it sure would be cool to see it at the beach.  I brought it up to Corey later that morning and he said, “Well let’s go”.  I don’t think either of us expected that I would actually agree to do it…and then that I would ACTUALLY do it.

I LOVE THE BEACH.  I LOVE THE OCEAN.  It is my place to breathe.  It is my spiritual anchor.  It is where I find most peace and calm and feel most present.  I HAVE BEEN AFRAID TO GO TO THE BEACH since I was diagnosed with lupus almost 2 years ago due to all of the sun exposure.  Not to mention that I also have the fear of getting too hot from the sun and my multiple sclerosis acting up.  I have got to really figure out how I can get myself there more this year because I actually gave in (after some hemming and hawing) and let myself go!  I mean for goodness sakes!  It is only 4 miles away from where I live and I am in Santa Monica, CA ALL THE TIME for doctor appointments.  Why not just take a detour and even drive through there and see the ocean on my way through?

Anyway, I had a wonderful time!  It was hard to see the actual Eclipse happening for most of it but it was so refreshing to be one with the ocean again.  To stand in it and be a part of nature was so fulfilling for me.  I just had to share some pictures with you:

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. The glow from the sun was extra strong and so defined. The sun was more defined in this picture than in most I’ve taken.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. I turned away from the sun to see this palm tree and lamp post in the perfect artsy position for a picture as if they were posing. Thought it came out kinda neat.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. I am in my element.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. Love this action shot of me doing my newest ocean dance move?

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. Oh yeah. Look at that wave crashing. The waves were kinda crazy too.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. Yes, I really did stand in the ocean. It was pretty chilly at first but it did get warmer the more I was in it.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. Corey with his sexy blowing hair posing with the sun.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. There I am trying to be deep and pose with the sun. No sexy flowing hair for me. 

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. I sure was proud of myself for catching the lifeguard helicopter in the shot. Simple pleasures…sometimes.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. And then we went back in time and saw this beautiful ship.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. The sun was getting creative and producing these geometric shapes for us. Even the rays are in perfect places.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. Can’t believe how perfectly aligned the ship, the paraglider thingie and the seagull are with each other and then with the sun in the background.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. The light started getting pretty dramatic.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. One of my favorite things to see in nature is the sunlight reflecting on the ocean.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. Behind me were these pretty white fluffy wispy clouds against a VERY blue sky. And of course the palm trees are awesome too.  Wonderful.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. This line of palm trees caught my eye. I had to catch the view. And as you can see, there’s a light misty fog hanging in the air. Couldn’t see the mountains at all this time and the pier got lost too.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Westchester, CA. Alas, we had somewhere we had to be so we had to leave the beach and it was here that we saw a better view of what was actually happening during the Eclipse.

05/20/12 Solar Eclipse in Westchester, CA. I had decided to try to grab one more picture on the spot and it turned out to be the best one in the whole series of the actual Eclipse itself. You can see the Eclipse happening in what appears to be a smile of light just above the building almost to the center. It was really cool!

 

So as you can see I did it and I had a great time!!!!!!  Neither the lupus or MS bothered me at all while I was at the beach in the sun and I think it was because I was in the moment and I wasn’t worrying about it.  Usually I can feel the sun bothering my symptoms right away.  The symptoms didn’t show up until the next day when my body said it was time to live in a cave of darkness for the day (kicking and screaming might I add) and it really did help!

Thank you to the Solar Eclipse for giving me the motivation I needed to get out and get to the beach where I mentally feel my best!!!!!  I desperately needed to do that for my own sanity and today I can admit that it really was worth it.

Categories: Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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