Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Exploring Gratitude and Amazement in our Daily Lives

One of the more effective life hacks I've learned that works well for me from a mental and physical perspective is expressing morning gratitude and amazement.
Verbalizing Gratitude and Amazement Helps Me Heal

This started with the sounds my mechanical aortic valve makes every time my heart beats.  My aortic heart valve is obnoxiously loud much of the time.   I can usually hear the clicking and clacking noises the St. Jude medical device at most anytime of the day.

Hearing each heart beat has its advantages, for instance, I never need a metronome.  With my exercise regime and medications the pulse stays between fifty and sixty beats per minute.  Right on time.

Having an ever-present click-clock may be similar to Pan's Croc, you can hear me coming.  I also never need a blood pressure unit to take my pulse.  I know what my pulse is just listening to how far apart the clickity beats sound.

The audio can be extremely annoying too, even frightening when I am in PTSD mode.  Lying awake in the stillness of the night not only do the beats sound terrifyingly loud but they also make me realize just how fragile life is.  One heart beat away from no clicks.

Having a quiet human aortic valve may shield us from the sounds of hearts beating because 'out of sight, out of mind' is such a true premise.  Maybe that is why I never pondered about my heart beat before the aortic dissection event.

Fortunately I wake each morning and those clicks are still ringing strong, and so I am surprised and grateful.  From the rise of these morning spontaneous emotions I've put in place a purposeful approach of expressing amazement and gratitude.

Now amazement and gratitude are especially present in my mornings, and I am working on expressing these emotions throughout the rest of the day.

Verbalizing words or phrases such as; 'wow', 'I woke up to another day' and 'thank you!' help me habituate the appreciative approach.

Today I'm saying, 'thank you lungs', 'thank you eyes', thank you heart' and 'thank you universe'!  Along with the gratitude come words of amazement.  Exclaiming 'yes, another day!' and 'I'm alive!' or 'wow, the morning is so beautiful' and 'warm sunshine feels so good on my skin' keeps me in a marveling groove.

There are many articles about the benefits of gratitude and amazement.

Finally, I've found lots of fun in exclaiming at any given moment. 'Wow!  This is amazing!'  Amazement and gratitude make me happy and assist in keeping depression at bay.

Fundamentally I'm a realist.  I do not deny the chronic health challenges each of us face moment by moment.  I truly believe it is ok to express all range of emotions, positive and negative.

However, like a well-timed morning coffee break or walk in nature, exclaiming aloud with gratitude and amazement helps me along my metamorphosis out of stale chronic life into wherever my journey leads.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Healing Journey, A Metamorphosis

Welcome to my healing blog.  I'm sharing here the life and personal health management hacks that helped me move from serious chronic health issues to a happy and fulfilling life.
Walking has been key to my daily metamorphosis journey from #Chronic life to #Health.  Today I'm hiking Johnson Beach sand dunes.

Baby steps, fresh air and fresh local food were key to my health metamorphosis.

I'll try and post daily and we all know how intentions go, but I will try.

To start here is a glimpse of my daily distractions, self-medications, healing modalities or anything we wish to call what works.  I've found more healing tips from others who've shared the chronic illness path than from all my doctors combined (not discounting all the good my doctors have done for me too).

First, just really briefly, I'm not supposed to be alive.  My ex-cardiothoracic surgeon reminded me of this on a recent visit.  I ignored her for the most part.  Anyway I've survived a massive aortic dissection and subsequent heart infection.  Bionic body parts are embedded inside.  My leg bears the large scar of melanoma surgery and my stomach is rift with incision marks from my colon removal.  I know PTSD and depression.  I know fatigue.

But there is something better out there and good life does not have to be a result of hard work outs from the gym.

I've enjoyed my journey of health metamorphosis.  Life is a journey for sure, ever changing.

So stick around and even subscribe!  I'll be sharing those health hacks that work for me and even those hacks that don't work as effectively.

Here are some of my enjoyable happenings from today.
#Art #Therapy has been an important part of my chronic illness recovery.  This particular piece is torch over pallet wood with oil pigment - a homeless vet whose caregiver is jumping the train, leaving, from caregiver burnout

I dropped off an art piece at a local gallery about a wheelchair bound disabled vet whose caregiver friend is jumping the train to leave (caregiver burnout is hard 'not-lol').  The art is torch over pallet wood glued together with oil pigment and the piece was juried into the show!  Yaaaay.  I'm always uplifted mood-wise when an art piece is juried into a show.

Later I hiked the Johnson Beach sand dunes boardwalk.  Walking has been the number one low impact health management tool I rely on.  After my second open-heart surgery I started off with three or four steps, adding a couple steps a day.  It all adds up.
Fresh salad from our homegrown veggies - Eating healthy, local, organic foods has really had a positive impact on my health

Roasted garden veggies for #cardiovascular & #gallbladder health

#Heart healthy backyard pear tree fruit sautéed in ghee - yummy desert!

Slow, local food is another amazing metamorphosis tool we've discovered.  Most of our summer meals come from our front and side yard gardens.  Here is a fresh salad Judy made, and grilled veggies too.

So stick around. There is lots more to share about leaving the realm of chronic illness darkness and journey back into a happy, fulfilled life.

Cheers!  Kevin.