An Overwhelming Taste of Samvega

I’ve been doing yoga off and on for many years. I biked alot in my younger years, and this was felt in hips that dislocated and hamstrings that I didn’t stretch out properly, because I used biking as transportation and didn’t consider the consequences of failing to care for my body properly. When I was 15 years old I dabbled in yoga when I was home alone, and tried it more in my 20s. I would give up easily, figuring I was doing something wrong because I couldn’t make myself bend in the same way as I was being shown.  I didn’t think I had the skill. I got frustrated. It took a few years after breaking my knee in my late 20s to pick it up regularly again, and it was the only thing I could do that provided nominal pain relief.

And then things started to change. I read an article one day about what yoga actually was, and what it wasn’t. What I had been doing wasn’t yoga – it was simply stretching. “Doing” yoga was exactly what I was doing wrong. It sounds like a play on words, but there’s the mental aspect as well. When I was “doing” yoga, I didn’t fully understand what it was.

The more I read, the deeper down the rabbit hole I fell, and it’s something I’ll never regret looking into. Once I learned a bit more and wanted to try incorporating yoga into my life as a lifestyle, however, was when my practice truly began. Yoga has extended beyond a yoga mat. It’s hard to know where to start when there is SO much to learn, though, and I was becoming overwhelmed with so much information.

And this is how I found myself longing to take yoga teacher training. I pined over a class in beautiful Bali for a year. I realized, though, that if I wait for the opportunity to go to Bali I may wait longer than I really wanted. I was ready now, but the opportunity to travel to Bali for a month was just not available. I came across a more local yoga studio offering YTT training, so one day I signed up for the course at Prana Yoga Studio in Edmonton despite never even stepping foot in the building. I didn’t ask the husband, nor did I ask forgiveness when I told him that I had just spent a lot more money than we realistically had at the time. This is something I was ready for, and I found a way to make it happen. I didn’t allow excuses. My intuition screamed at me – but it didn’t need to. I wanted to make this happen, and I found every reason to go for it instead of any reason to hold back from it.

WOYOne of the required reading materials prior to starting was “The Wisdom of Yoga” by Stephen Cope. I was keen to start reading it, but had no idea that it would take me into those raw parts of myself I had so recently exposed during my summer. Those parts of me I was new to and wasn’t quite sure what to do with yet. Those sensitive, raw, vulnerable parts that had never been nourished and were soaking up everything they could.

The author described samvega as what yogis refer to as an awakening and involves “at least three clusters of feelings at once“:

the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it’s normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. (p 13)

The first part of the above quote is something I’ve always related with. I fought my teachers in grade school with similar thinking. I fought so hard to be different, to be free, to go against the grain that all I ended up doing was confusing myself and chaining myself into a different cage as my peers. I was so adamant not to become a “sheeple” that all that resulted in was me just wearing a pink suit amongst the flock. I still walked the walk, talked the talk, worked day jobs I hated while bleating a pitiful cry of independence I didn’t really have. I was fighting so hard against not only society – but myself, as well. I wanted things that I thought would make me feel better, and when that failed I tried for something else to fill that gap. I wanted so badly to be different that I wouldn’t even consider embarking on a path that seemed mainstream in fear of becoming a slave to government and corporate slavery.

Something I didn’t stop to consider at the time were the shackles I implemented on myself for putting so many limitations on myself.

What I used to fill those gaps was not what I needed, but I wasn’t ready to face the reality that there was nothing else I needed at all except to just be honest with myself. That’s not an easy task though, so I avoided it by preoccupying my mind with preconceived notions of happiness and tried to do what seemed to be working for everyone else. I tried different jobs, different hobbies, different things that seemed to work for everyone else. It wasn’t working, though, and I just didn’t feel satisfied. (What I didn’t realize at the time was that this doesn’t work for anyone else, either.)

Samvega includes coming to a solid realization that all items are fundamentally void of nourishing one’s life. Those things I thought would fulfill my desires left me wanting more, and it didn’t really give me the happiness I hoped for. No matter what I did, where I went, what I bought – I wasn’t happy with what I had because it wasn’t enough. Rather, it wasn’t the right thing to fit that hole I was trying to fill.

And then – samvega becomes an overwhelming need and desire to break out of that cycle. This is described in yogic texts as a ” ‘wholehearted’ (or ‘vehement’) determination to find a way out of suffering.” This is what I felt during the summer. I was done with old cycles, old thinking, old habits and old ways of being that served no purpose. I was done. Just done, and it showed. Habits have changed significantly, health has improved remarkably, and I no longer have any excuses to hold myself back from myself. It required a lot of honest reflection, which was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but I didn’t want to live that way anymore. I stopped resolving to make changes and finally made the actual effort.

When I read this part of the book I had to stop and put it down. It filled me with overwhelming, inexplainable emotion and I found myself sobbing on the couch. Which drove me even crazier because I had no idea why. My husband, best friend and perfect distraction was alarmed to walk in the room and see the almost-ugly-cry face. He’s been through a lot of things with me, and he knows just what to do when I’m not able to explain what I’m feeling in that moment. Snuggles, smooches and love. And he’s happy to provide, like he did in that moment that made me feel exactly what I needed to feel: loved.

This section about samvega came up on Day 2 of YTT training, and as soon as the instructor opened discussion about it I couldn’t help but start blubbering like I did when I first read it. I STILL didn’t really understand why I was experiencing all of this unknown, raw emotion. I shared with the class, because I was literally melting down and had NO idea what was possibly going on in my head, and I couldn’t stop it even if I wanted to.

The crying I would have preferred to stop, so I could focus more on the emotion. I was ok feeling the emotion so I could try to figure out what it was.

This book had summarized exactly what I experienced so clearly, so why did it make me so upset?

I found it – that EUREKA moment of realization – a few days later. Discussing this with a dear friend, something just clicked into place. It had been meant to be a brief discussion that ended up being more of a novel in my excitement to try to describe how I felt.

(Sorry, D…. (but not really sorry. Thank you for your patience and love in my moments of typed babbles!!))

It all came down to something I had never truly experienced.

I felt validated. Everything I went through last summer was a release. It was freeing. I should be happy! And I was, and still am, but there was also this other feeling I couldn’t put my finger on because I was having a hard time focusing on it. Validation was tied to it, though, and it slowly started to connect.

It’s terror. Sheer, penetrating, debilitating terror. I have known a certain way of being my entire life. I am a product of Western culture, after all. The expectations, the excuses, the “way things are” – these are the things that most people aspire to be because “it is how it is”. This theory has never felt real to me, but I didn’t know what else there was so I hesitantly travelled that same road with everyone else, unhappily onward in a direction that I didn’t feel right going towards.

Suddenly I found myself in a completely different world, with a completely different view, different breaths, different perspectives. It’s all so new, and me and my raw new sense of self and raw vulnerabilities are suddenly faced with great and terrible things:

The unknown. The new. The change.

Validation is not something I would ever have admitted to wanting, but the ego wants what it wants. This isn’t something I’ve ever truly felt I’ve fully received. There was always a string attached to validating moments, whether that attached emotion or stipulation came from myself or another – an expectation, a disappointment, a better way or even outright disapproval for decisions I’ve made. This definition of samvega gave me a sense of validation I never felt I had, and it’s a new feeling. And this new feeling was overwhelming. I’ve never known the calm and stability it could offer. I’ve always been so used to turmoil, so that peace and calm of this new sense of knowing felt more like someone screaming inside my head and wanting out – this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, according to my normally turmoil-filled brainspace. The silence was peaceful, reassuring, soothing – and terrifying. Because it’s new, it’s change, and one of the most terrifying things in the world is change.

I never knew that feeling truly validated would cause such intense emotion, and it definitely took me by surprise. There was a huge emotional upheaval between the freedom and exhilaration of experiencing samvega combined with the panic and shock of what to do next.

When a bird has been raised in a cage all it’s life, all it wants is to fly. When given that opportunity, though, it may be faced with the realization that it has never flown and doesn’t know if it can do it or not, so will decide to stay in that cage where it knows it’s safe.

But, just maybe, that’s what it was born to do and it will find a way to fly regardless of what it has done (or hasn’t done) in the past.

I’ve stepped back into that cage enough times in my life, and this time is different. This time I took that step and allowed myself to free fall. It has sucked the air out of my lungs and the stars out of my eyes, but I’m ready for this. I’ll either fly, or I’ll fall. And if I fall? I’ll get back up again, and keep practising. Fear is just another emotion that doesn’t get to control this flight path – but it’s welcome to join me for a short while as I learn how to live again.

It’s an amazing feeling, and now that I know why I felt so overwhelmed, I’m ready to spread those wings and do those things I know I’m meant to do.

(If this isn’t a Matrix kind of moment, I don’t know what else is.)

I’m perfectly vulnerable in this moment, and I never thought it would feel this amazing.

Always in kindness,




Finding Balance

Have you ever found yourself so motivated and inspired that you want to do everything at once – and you try to – and then find yourself so overwhelmed with all of these amazing ideas that your body is the one to have to actually put a halt to your efforts?

Welcome to my life. This tends to happen – I get excited and jump into projects with both feet with so much enthusiasm that other people have no idea where I’m off to next. I love it! But, alas, my body does not.

This year has started with me running. January is normally a time for me to relax, sort my workspace and computer files and generally figure out what’s next. This year, I was ready for action, though, and I’ve been non stop with the projects since day 1 of the new year.

And also with the courses!

My Aromatherapy case studies are coming to a close, I’ve been making custom orders all month, and I started yoga teacher training last weekend. It’s been a fast moving train of so much YES!

Alas, I’ve also been exposed to many, many germs over the the last couple of months. Most of them I’ve been able to battle off successfully without feeling a sniffle, but I think me catapulting straight out of my comfort zone and into organised chaos may have worn me down a bit more than I had thought. Today I find myself enjoying the comforts of my bed with the friendly comfort of a kleenex box. There is no yoga, no gym, no breakfast. Just me, bed, sleep. I know when I need rest, and this is it. Pushing through illness will only wear me down more and won’t help my body fight off the plague demons trying to take over my lungs.

I have finally learned that lesson, after all of these years.

I used to get EVERY illness that I came across. My immune system was shot (no thanks to an intense antibiotic treatment I needed to fight off a blood infection years ago). Since paying attention and learning more and treating myself properly, however, I find I’m rarely ill these days. The husband comes home will all kinds of nasties, and I make him tea and steam baths and all the things I can do to try to evict them before they decide that I look yummier.

So far, so good.

Until now. I understand why I got sick – while the TYY classes were fantastic, it also ripped me out of my comfort zone so far that I believe my body is trying to tell me that it’s mad at me, and is having a party despite my discomfort. I do not approve of the friends they invited over.

After sleeping in long enough for the dog to mimic her own apparent illness after vomiting over all the things, I managed to get some tea made and am looking forward to the elderberry syrup and kitchari I have currently cooking on the stove. These are the things I look towards when sick. I don’t stifle the coughing and sniffles like so many cough medicines do – I encourage them. I don’t want these things to put unnecessary stress on my lymph system. Who wants all these dead cells floating around their body? Not I – I’d rather evict them the gross, old fashioned way in order to get them – and their friends – OUT of me faster. The faster they’re out, the faster I feel better.

A huge difference I’ve noticed is that when I do get sick (and the husband, for the matter), we recover so much faster than we used to, and so much faster than others around us.

Both the elderberry syrup and kitchari are fantastic at boosting the immune system and breaking up congestion, and I don’t know what I did without either of these in my life before. (Actually – I do. I was miserable!!) It’s easy to change up and make your own, but there’s honestly nothing I usually want to change. It’s great just as it is.

(As for the dog, she gets pumpkin. Just good ‘ol pureed pumpkin to ease her ailing belly aches.)

See one (of many) kitchari recipes here.

Elderberry Syrup

Hari Om.

Just like all things, this will pass, and I’ll be back to getting all of the things done in no time!

Stay well, my friends.

A Day Off

It’s not often that I truly take a day off of everything. A day to sit. Binge watch movies. Eat junk food. Ignore the dishes and any responsibilities on my plate. I can’t actually remember the last time I had a real day off. I’ll say I’m taking a day off, but then just sneak in that one thing. When my husband calls me on it, I just smile sweetly and own it. What I get done today is one thing I don’t have to do tomorrow, right?

That’s a bad excuse to ignore my own needs, and sometimes what I really need is downtime.

The last couple of weeks I was supposed to have off in order to focus on visiting friends and family and get a big dent in my studies, but it didn’t happen that way. Which is typical, but I was ok with it. I saw people, but absolutely no homework got done and all of the visiting and food choices made me tired. I’m a creature of habit, afterall, and I’m completely off my normal schedule and routine and have been eating terribly. Which all tires me even faster.

Yesterday I decided to just nope. I barely moved. I snuggled into a blanket with my sick husband next to me and binged watched movies and napped. I didn’t practice any of my normal healthy habits. I didn’t keep track of my food intake. I didn’t clean or even cook. I took a full, complete day off of all things and responsibilities except to feed the animals. Anything else just wasn’t on my radar.

I’m going to be completely honest with you – and I want you to be honest with yourself as you read.

I had always been the queen of excuses. It’s the way I was raised and it’s just what I knew. I was raised thinking that I needed an excuse for anything I did, any decision I made and everything I may be questioned about. I took a lesson from my parents, who always had a reason for their actions, especially when I knew that the reasons they gave others weren’t the same reasons I knew they had. I couldn’t just be and live. This goes for things I did, as well as those things I didn’t do. Didn’t want to go to the gym that day? I wanted to buy something I couldn’t realistically afford? I wanted to ditch my responsibilities and go play? I failed to meet a deadline or expectation? I had an excuse for everything and I managed to believe they were all good ones. Most of the time I was able to convince others that they were good excuses, too. It all depends on your own conviction, and if you’re convinced that your reasoning is sound then nothing will change your mind on the matter. Nothing – except for you.

I would be blamed or questioned on anything I did, so I was always armed with an answer. It used to be that when I wanted a relaxing, lazy day off, I had to have a good reason for it. But that reason would always be legit – I didn’t actually lie. But that doesn’t mean it was necessarily a good reason for anything – but it was a reason that made me feel better to have. Either I was sick or my leg hurt or something something. I’d find a reason to justify my day of nothing so I wouldn’t feel guilty for not getting anything done. My reason was more for me than for anyone else.

Why would anyone else really care that I achieved nothing in a day? That was an insecurity of my own and a somewhat irrational fear of judgement from others. The reality is that no one else really cares because they have their own things to focus on and their own excuses to make for their own choices. This was an insecurity I came by legitimately, but it’s not one that I needed to keep in my life. I’m happy to finally be able to shrug off some of these insecurities, including that one.

There’s always something to do, always someone to answer to, always something to look into or learn or buy or make or clean or fix or change or move. Sometimes you have to look beyond the reasons you give for something and find a counter argument. One of the things I hear from people the most is how they can’t find time for something important to them – but most of all for themselves.

Can’t? Or won’t? You get to make your priorities, and if you don’t make yourself a priority, who else will?

I don’t have time for me. I have to cook, clean, answer emails, feed the animals, clean the fishtank, renovate the basement, pay the bills, get the kids to school, go get groceries, make bread, paint a portrait, go to my other work, learn kung-fu and save the world. [Insert anything I else probably missed, too.]

I have spoken with many people about this, and am always able to find holes in their argument. And that’s because I had to do it with my own argument, too. I know the excuses, the reasons and the fears. The biggest thing holding any of us back is our own way of thinking and the choices we make in order to keep our excuses legit.

List those things you want to do the most, but don’t feel you have time to do. Then make a list of absolute necessities that need your attention in a day and assign a time frame to each of them. Add up that time and see what you have left. (And if you are surprised at how much time you have left and you don’t know where that time goes, take a look at your phone app history.) If there’s no time left for you to fit in something important to you, maybe it’s a good time to reassess your daily tasks. Your priorities are what you make them to be, and I don’t believe that there is any reason in the world that you can’t make time for yourself, unless you don’t want to.

That’s when the question changes.

Then the question is: What is it about yourself that you dislike so much that you can’t find a reason to spend time with yourself, for the sake of it instead of for the need of it?

That’s a big, sometimes messy answer to find, and a hard truth to face.

But let me tell you. There’s nothing quite like taking a day off just because I want to. I don’t need a reason or excuse beyond that. There’s nothing quite like making choices because it’s just what I want to do, and not because of any excuse I feel I need to make. I didn’t take the day off because I was tired, deserving, sick or entitled.

I just wanted to. And THAT’S power of decision making that I’m glad is finally in my control.

Today is still a day of nothing. I had leftover pizza for breakfast, I’m watching cheesy movies while I type this and a cup of hot chocolate with rum before noon with nibbles from Terry’s Chocolate Orange. These are old habits that I never do anymore, and I just wanted to live them today. Tomorrow I’ll be purging sugar from my system again with healthier food choices, I’ll be up early to practice my yoga poses before making a high protein breakfast for my dear husband and I before heading to the gym together. All good habits are game on again tomorrow, because that’s also what I want to do. I get to make that choice, and despite what others think sounds like a pretty miserable way of being, I actually enjoy living that way. I feel great with my routine and those habits I’ve formed, and I love having the ability to make these choices. But today I’m enjoying a day of blissful, lazy irresponsibility. I have no excuse for it, nor do I need one.

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy every moment of it for whatever reasons you decide to do it for without feeling the need to justify it!

See you next year!

In kindness and loving breath,



The End of Good Things

The end of the year is nearly here, and it’s now that I normally take reflections on the past year to know what I want to do going forward.

But not this time. This time, it’s already been a year of reflecting, and I already know the direction I’m heading in 2018. The goals are solid, achievable and already laid out. It has been an amazing year that I’m happy to bid farewell to, and look forward next year with excitement.

But not without one last, final achievement that I never excepted.

I know I’ve mentioned my knee before – but for those who don’t know the story…. here’s a run down.

(And for those who do know it and just want the big news, scroll down)

In 2009 I badly broke my left knee, requiring surgery and more hardware than a toaster oven and 6 weeks of non-weight bearing before I was able to rest my toe on the ground. I was on crutches for three or four months and wasn’t able to drive. Something wasn’t right with it, though, and there has been constant, debilitating pain ever since. I had the hardware removed in 2010 which helped a little, but there was still something that felt “stuck”. It collapsed randomly, seized daily, hurt always and has been a constant reminder of the active life I used to lead. The pain extended not only physically, but mentally as well, and I’ve experienced many physical and emotional highs and lows.

My doctors would tell me that I was fine and just to lose weight, which was a struggle when any kind of exercise caused more pain, and pain medications weren’t helping. I was stuck, I was frustrated and entirely discouraged. I was waking up every morning crying in agony and not wanting to move – but not moving made everything hurt even more. Because I was favoring one knee, the other knee suffered for it. As well as my hips, my back, my shoulders, and eventually my neck, which led to chronic headaches and occasional migraines. Everything is connected, and everything was trying to tell me that something was wrong.

I couldn’t help but hear my body screaming in pain, but I didn’t know what else to do about it. My family doctors at the time failed me hugely in that regard. I had specifically asked for a referral to an orthopedic specialist but was denied by three separate physicians because in their opinion, I was “fine”. “All” I had to do was lose weight. I tried, but the pain always won. They had no other suggestions or help to offer. No nutritional counselling, no pain reductions recommendations, no referrals to other specialists.

There was no denying that I had gained a lot of weight. The physical and mental burden of that didn’t help, either.

Massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care helped, but the pain has always persisted through everything.

I finally had enough last year. The pain had reached new levels that I just couldn’t tolerate anymore, and it was when I realized that I was taking handfuls of OTC pain meds several times a day that I knew this wasn’t right. No one should bee taking that much pain relieving medication of any kind just to be able to get out of bed in the morning. I was angry at my physicians for have absolutely no suggestions to help me move forward and decided to prove them wrong. It was the determination I needed to make a change.

I started eating better. I started practicing yoga much more. It wasn’t enough, but it was a start. I set my mind on finding a solution. Late last year I visited Natural Health Services and they offered me a prescription. Yes, I have been a daily weed user since then. I’m not ashamed of this – and why would I be? I’m not high everyday, despite what the common belief is. There are options that don’t give any high, and this is what I use most of all. It is because of medical marijuana that I was able to move past the pain and start a regular exercise regime. My spirits lifted, my determination doubled and I started working on the weight I had piled on for the past seven years. There was a learning curve to be sure, but it was the only thing that helped reduce that relentless pain enough for me to move more. I delved into courses regarding nutrition and fitness in order to help me help myself, since no one else seemed willing to point me in the right direction. I bought a Fitbit. I started logging meals, exercise, weight and body measurements. Sure enough, I started losing weight. It was a lot of work to get into new habits and routines, but these habits and routines are simply part of my daily life now.

The pain was still there, though. Reduced, but always present. I ignored it the best I could, accepted it as part of who I was and didn’t allow it be an excuse anymore.

Early in 2017 I had reached out to a new clinic in Leduc, whose post card came to me in the mail. Despite my deep-seated fear that I would be told the same thing (“I was fine, just lose weight”) I went anyways. I knew I needed a GP, but my anxiety towards visiting them had grown ridiculously high. I wasn’t in the appointment for more than five minutes before I was crying from that anxiety. It was embarrassing, but the physician was the kindest I had ever met and understood that I was struggling and was legitimately looking for help. She gave me the referral I was wanting to the Glen Sather Clinic at the University of Alberta.

It took much less time to see a specialist than I had anticipated, and she had looked over my history and x-rays and agreed with the general physicians that everything “looked” fine, but she knew that there’s always more to the story than what can be seen on x-rays. After the assessment, she agreed with me that everything was “not” fine. There was scar tissue and muscle weakness, and she suspected that this was part of what was causing my problems and sent me to the physiotherapy clinic to strengthen and balance those muscles out.

It was relieving to finally get that validation of the problems I had been faced with for so long. There’s not much more discouraging than doctors trying to peg you as a narcotic user and abusing the health care system when you’re trying to reach out for help. The health care system failed me in so many ways. I hoped this was the break I had been looking so hard for, though. (I wasn’t disappointed.)

My life has changed significantly over the last year. I’ve lost 50 pounds (and am still losing), my muscle toning has increased, I eat healthy as a habit instead of going on diets, I still log my daily food and activities. I practice yoga asanas daily and start yoga teacher-training in a few weeks. I am at the gym every weekday for cardio and twice a week for strength training, plus physio every day. My husband and I have taken up martial arts training once a week, which we try to practice at least a few minutes every day. I use CBD oil daily as a preventative, but I find my need for THC for pain relief has greatly reduced. My energy levels are higher than they have ever been. I’m retaining knowledge from my studies better than ever, my productivity and self-esteem have skyrocketed, as well as my confidence in all areas of my life.  I sleep amazingly well, my mood has improved and I can legitimately say that I have never been happier.

And then something happened last week, that has changed my entire world around again.

The Latest Update

After I walk for awhile, or sit or stand for an extended period of time, I normally have to stretch and bend that knee to relax a specific muscle that always feels like needles are digging deeply behind my knee all the way down my calf. That’s been my normal life for the past 8 years. Last week I decided I was going to start some light jogging again. Nothing huge – just a minute a day, and increase by a minute every week. The rest of my cardio was just walking at different speeds and angle increments. After my cardio I’d need to stretch and go on the bike for a few minutes in order to get my knee to bend properly again, since it would seize up.

During one of my yoga poses on Wednesday, something in my knee slid. I can’t describe it any other way. I have done this pose many times, but it was always modified because I have been unable to do the textbook version due to knee limitations. But this time was different. Something gave, and my knee just slid into place where it was supposed to be.

I thought it odd and decided to keep an eye on it without much further thought.

After my cardio at the gym I was doing my normal stretches… except I didn’t need to. The pain wasn’t there. It was just gone. And I cried, and cried some more, because that relief was the most amazing thing that I ever could have felt.

On Friday I wanted to really test this new feeling out. Smart? Maybe not, but I can’t possibly convey how hard it was to not just go running. It felt so good and that’s all I wanted to do. On Friday I kept bumping the speed up more and more until I didn’t think I could run any faster…. and then bumped it up a little more…

I wasn’t just jogging. I was RUNNING. For the first time since I broke my knee, I was running as fast I my legs could pump. And it felt amazing. No pain, no instability, no grinding joints…..

And I pulled a groin muscle in the process. And it was 100% worth it. That muscle is already fine, and I am elated. I can jump. I can bend in ways I couldn’t before. I can do so many more things I wasn’t able to do before, because either my knee just wouldn’t bend enough or it hurt too much to do.

Even if the rest of the year hadn’t already been so amazing, this development would have made it the best year I’ve ever experienced. As it stands, it HAS been an amazing year, and I feel like I’ve won the lottery with this latest gift. If there is anything I ever could have wanted for myself, it would be this – to be pain free. Of course, I didn’t ask for it, because it’s not something anyone could really give me. Nor is it something I ever thought I’d get.

There is still one muscle that gives me pain, and I’m working on that. It’s the lesser of evils, however, and I don’t know that I will ever feel as full of gratitude as I do right now.

I thought my life was already full of amazement, but I was wrong. Something had to give – and it finally did. I have never been in such amazing health before, and that will only improve.

By doing the research and work needed, I was determined not to let myself make excuses anymore. I found every excuse to be successful instead of allow myself to fail. Finding that mindset was hard, and admitting my to my own setbacks and sabotaging was harder…. but worth facing.

I don’t believe there’s any one thing that encouraged this more than any other, but a combination of everything from complementary therapies, strength training, adjustments, mindsets and so much more. This is my shoutout to all of the caregivers that had a hand in making this happen, and I hope I didn’t miss anything or anyone! I am so, so thankful for all of you!

(And don’t worry – I won’t always run so hard that I hurt myself again. I’ll take it easy. I just really wanted to feel what it was like to really RUN again!!)

Vanessa Groshong (Acupuncture)

Amy Phelps (Massage)

Cure MD (Dr Sam O, Dr Lynzie Hawman, and the entire staff)

Pipestone Creek Pain and Health Center (Dr Dave Hewko and entire staff)

Natural Health Services (Dr Ferrari)

Glen Sather Sport Health Center (Dr. Olesia Markevych, Jessie Gill)

All my love, always. Merry Christmas!




Viking Runes: Nauthiz

nauthizNauthiz – Literally translates to: “Need-fire” or “Necessity” –  Constraint or Friction. It is in every way related to necessity, constraint and the inevitability of human suffering.

Key Concepts: Need, resistance, constraint, conflict, drama, effort, necessity, urgency, hard work, need-fire, life lessons, creative friction, distress, force of growth, the consequence of past action, short term pain for long term gain

Nauthiz is symbolized by two sticks rubbing together to create fire. It can also be seen in common practice when people cross their fingers for protection and luck. It is the practice of doing what needs to be done, which can simply be chores or hard work, but can be a much bigger task at hand.

Nauthiz is a resistance that leads to strength. It is a time of innovation, self-reliance, personal development and life lessons, achievement through effort. Not doing the work or struggling with motivation can lead to constraint of freedom, distress, toil, drudgery, laxity, warnings, worry, guilt, moral cowardice, unfulfilled or unrecognized needs. Now is the time to accept the unchangeable. Creative energy is generated for problem solving. Remember to protect and to pay close attention to your own needs.

Without resistance, structure would fall apart. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Needs are more powerful than wishes, but what we need and what we desire are not always the same. In this sense, Nauthiz can protect us from ourselves, but its lessons are often harsh. The force of the past exerts its effect on us in the present. Previous action catches up with us and attempts to restrain and restrict future action. However, armed with humility, we can learn our lessons from not only our own errors, but the mistakes and successes of others.

Actions of Nauthiz are goverened by common sense. Our desires and ideals overlap our true need and perception of real circumstances. Nauthiz empowers you to have the courage and wisdom to recognize what must be done in an otherwise complex situation. Necessity is the mother of invention. No pain, no gain. It is connected with the harshness of reality.

We are afraid of our needs, or the reliance on our needs. This is shown in the symbol of Nauthiz with the sticks rubbing together – it is a balance for our need for fire and warmth, but our fear of the destructive nature of fire.

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to test, treat or diagnose health problems or diseases. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.

Updates incoming!

Booyeah! With the hiatus I took this summer things became clear. Krystal-clear! (Haaa….)

I’m making a few changes, including moving the more personal blog entries from my website to here in orer to free up some space on the website. The website is about to get a pretty big overhaul, too. Slowly. If you’ve ever had a website, you know how much time it can potentially take! There’s SO MUCH I want to do, but can only dedicate so much time to it without sacrificing self care and daily routines. I’m so, so forever grateful for your patience with me as I get everything lined up properly! I hope you enjoy the changes coming up, and the new services being worked on!


The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to test, treat or diagnose health problems or diseases. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.