So, 3 years after diagnosis, I’ve figured out how to nearly squash the fibromyalgia pain – Wim Hof is fabulous, as is eating/drinking intensely healthy, and exercising through the pain takes years and can truly… More
UPDATE: I wrote what I thought was all of How I Lost All My F-cks in early 2016; but it’s been a really crazy time, a lot has changed in the 3.5 years since. Actually, everything has changed, transforming the memoir bit of my book (part 1’s “fuckfull to fuckless tale”) into much more than the brief tale I told nearly 4 years ago.
Life is funny.
Please stay tuned, and here’s a preview:
How I Lost All My F-cks is a one-month experience designed to have you losing all yours. I reveal my personal fuckfull to fuckless tale in all of its gory detail: shitfaced teen shenanigans, lessons from jail time, serendipitous magic, and very personal revelations – then I hand it over to you!
You’ll be learning several meditation styles via a 30-day meditation challenge, teaching you to use your mind in a more beneficial way whilst making it a more enjoyable headspace. You’ll also be accomplishing a series of Fuckless Adventures, which are just as fun as they sound. (And it all can be done in 20 minutes a day, longer if you get creative with it!)
How I Lost All My F-cks aims to be a cathartic emotional rollercoaster after which you will never be the same. Kind of like doing hallucinogens or having sex for the first time, but no one’s going to talk about how weird skin looks at great lengths, nor get an STD. Stay tuned for info on the release of How I Lost All My F-cks…
I love this quote. After going through a difficult time, any semi-reflective person is likely to do some thinking on their weaknesses and faults; because how else does one avoid making the same mistakes?
But it’s easy to overdo ‘er. It’s common to not only own one’s errs, but to define ourselves by them, if only unconsciously. When you decide that you’ll never be good enough, things improving seems impossible. And the mental place of “why bother?” is no breeding ground for resilience.
Compassion for ourselves helps us get to a place of seeing ourselves as stronger and wiser for our mistakes, which makes trying again seem worth the effort and potential risks.
And compassion for others is how we become able to look at the world, and the people in it, as potentially trustworthy. This enables us to put ourselves “out there” again, one of many daunting-but-essential parts of getting to a place of resilience.
Becoming resilient is generally a prize that must be hard won, but the goods are mighty good indeed.
Nothing, inherently. It’s nice to want to get along and it’s normal to prefer being adored over disliked, of course.
The problem is when you start giving fucks in order to get someone to like you: Agreeing when you actually don’t, censoring yourself beyond politeness, doing things you’d really rather not, allowing attitudes towards you that are less than respectful, and all kinds of other ways we diminish ourselves when we make our objective: be liked.
Because when that’s your MO, there’s no choice than to be less of yourself. Giving fucks makes a dull wash out of the glory that you are; the you when you’re behaving with more inner-direction, when you’re really being yourself.
This realization terrified me when I first had it. I thought of myself as being a good friend, well-liked, caring, friendly, fun – I was only considering myself in relation to others. This led to trouble when I was alone. Over analyzing my relationships. Overconsidering others’ perspectives on things like my art, or even what kind of music I was listening to, i.e. “I’d be so embarrassed if so-in-so knew how much I love this.”
It was like I was never alone, not really, despite larger-than-normal amounts of time spent alone. Who was I even living my life for?
It was such an important realization: My life should be about me.
It was like I was spending all of my energy on being the best co-star in everyone else’s movie. Not that I didn’t pursue my own passions and whatnot – but “they” (those I’d prefer like me) were intrinsically involved in my decisions, even ones that had nothing to do with them. It was just little blips of thought that seemed like nothing, but as a mindfulness-obsessed sort, I quickly realized that they added up to living on the periphery of my own life.
Watch your mind and see if you do this. (You do. We all do.) And try to drop it. This will help loads in the next step: staying inner-directed when you’re with others. This involves fighting the urge to blend in and saying what you think, what you really think. (Don’t be a dick or anything… Or maybe do, I don’t know what’s best for you.)
Start paying attention to your feels when you’re around others, and right afterward. It’s important to feel good.
I feel like that’s almost a controversial thing to say, I can hear the cries of, “but selfish!” It’s not selfish to ensure your well-being, not at all. In fact, making sure you’re feeling centered is responsible. Being where you want to be and doing the things you want to do is responsible. The world needs you at your best! Your people need you at your best!
You’ll probably find that even when you’re acting from a truly inner-directed place you’re still a positive force in others’ lives. Perhaps not in the same ways. And perhaps with a totally different flavor: martyrdom vs weeeeeeee.
And the funny thing is that when you get really good at this inner-direction thing, most folks will indeed like you. It’s nice to be around people who are at peace with who they are, comforting even. They lack neediness and emanate confidence. They offer unique perspectives and speak their truth.
But others will still totally think you suck. C’est la vie.
An editor had me switch formats so the following poem will not be published anywheres. But, I couldn’t just delete it! It’s a love letter to cannabis, inspired by my transition to needing it medicinally. I think my fellow herb lovers will get it… So, here:
My dearest Cannabis,
I know my love’s grown temperamental since our relationship has taken on this medicinal tone, and I’m so sorry. Now I lean on you like Snoop taught me, and that’s everyday. I’ve started to look to your faults, pointing out where you make me lose track of thoughts—and overlooking how you make my imagination ace, helping to form a thought worth capturing in the first place.
I take you for granted, it’s not enough that you melt the pain in my aching body; I just want you to rid me of more, and I want you to keep it away forever. You distract my mind from pain via whimsical and varied trains of thought, but I get frustrated when the same locomotives hamper my ability to express them.
I love how you give even boring food pizzaz, but bellyache that you’re to blame when I munch too much. You ease my worried mind, you coax anxiety out the door—and yet still, I ask for more.
I judge you by your appearance, and even take a sniff to see if you’re up to par. I reserve photos for when you look your best, sharing only your gorgeous purple tones and crystals; and resort to name-calling when your game is off—I call you schwag that smells of hay, and you don’t deserve that, not even on your worst day.
But, my dear marijuana; my pakalolo, my herb, my sensi—the truth is that I love you, that you truly are a kind bud indeed. Since our last vote you’re always there when I need you. (Though, I’ll admit, the price increase totally blew.) Whether we meet via vape pen or pipe, or by rip or a toke, if you grew up indoors or out; you’re always someone on whom I can count.
So I vow to appreciate you, my beloved ganja, to see you for all of your goodness; and there is so much to see—for you even make smelling skunky a good thing! I love you so much, I’d even declare it with a ring.
The summer before I nearly died of congenital B12 deficiency, starting me down a path of an extreme health makeover, I went a workshop for entrepreneurs in hopes of starting my still-someday-goal of owning a community-oriented cafe. Here’s the article they wrote about it, and the video they created:
This word was to help people re-member their true place in the Universe. Literally translated it means: “Thank you for taking your power”
Isn’t that fierce? I love how it calls one to service as well as being wildly empowering, like – thank you for standing up, being brave, and doing your fucking thing. Thank you for remembering that you are a piece of ‘God.’ Thank you for knowing you belong here and you’ve got shit to do.
GET IT, GET IT, FRIENDS. 🔥
I just came across a Twitter post by Alex Grey that included a pic of one of his gorgeous paintings. It shows a man being enslaved by self-hatred—something only possible when ruled by ego. Its caption says, “Hey Ego, your fears and limits are really getting in the way of my higher calling…” Some guy commented, “that’s certainly rich for someone so active on social media.”
It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about ego. It’s a highly misunderstood concept; people are always talking about smashing it, killing it, generally making it go away—which not only inadvisable, but totally impossible.
What would someone with absolutely no ego look like? They would only have awareness of connection with others, and with the world around them. They would be fully embraced in the truth of our Oneness. They would see no separation between themselves and others, they would truly always see themselves in Other.
Sounds beautiful, eh? Now ask them their name. Where they live. How they pay rent. What they like to do with their time. Etc.
We need ego! Ego serves us in this life, it defines our separateness, and separateness is what we came here to experience.
An unbalanced ego is the troublemaker.
An overgrown ego tells you that you are better than others. It constantly fuels the mind with reasons why others are inferior, why they aren’t as good as you. An overgrown ego is highly defensive, and ignites easily (though not always verbally). It is constantly threatened that someone will remove this sense of superiority, as it is “who I am.”
A diminished ego tells you that you are shit. You aren’t as good as anyone else. You don’t deserve the things that you want. You don’t matter. It is an Eeyore, but it’s not so cute in human form. It is a victim mindset. It will not stand up for itself when hurt, because being hurt has become “who I am.”
A healthy ego is a strong sense of who you are. You like you! (You might even promote your work on social media like Alex!) You see the beauty in others, and appreciate them for just being them. You see when you fuck up, you try to see the humor in it, and do your darnedest to correct it.
You understand that “bad” behavior doesn’t make you less than others, and that “good” behavior doesn’t make you superior to others. There aren’t even really ways to behave “good” or “bad”—there are only actions that are serving to yourself and others, and those that aren’t. You get to choose, and sometimes it’s hard to know which is which.
A healthy ego never feels imperiled because it is aware of “I AM”—it is centered and connected whilst maintaining an awareness of the current perspective and its separations.
There’s all kinds of middleground, of course, we rarely hang out in extremes. There will even be days where your ego shrinks and expands in reaction to who and what you encounter! It’s a versatile lil’ bugger, and not one to attempt to squash.
Certainly to keep yer eye on it though! Watch your reactions, that’s where ego really shines. Notice feelings of superiority and of unworthiness, that’s unbalanced ego showing off. Notice these things without judging yourself, and just jump off that there thought train! Eventually, the tracks themselves will change—your mental constructs will adjust.
Get it get it, friends!
There are many paths to spirituality, but I think books might be my very favorite. Here are the books that have touched my heart and helped me find my center:
The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: An epic spiritual adventure! Lots about energy, very fun read.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman: Follows one man’s spiritual awakening, and a bromance to last the ages.
Energy Speaks, by Lee Harris: Shares the energetic components of life, and brilliant ways to use them to our advantage.
The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle: Great advice about staying present, such a crucial aspect of this process. All his books are brilliant!
The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz: Focuses on common sense wisdom that is immediately applicable.
Ishmeal, by Daniel Quinn: Centered on our relationship and evolution with the rest of our planet.
Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, by Doreen Virtue: Helps sensitives shine by showing us why we stopped.
The Law of Attraction, by Esther and Jerry Hicks: The OG law of attraction, this is where The Secret came from and puts those ideas more in context.
Flatland-A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott: Explores life in 2-D, making 3-D seem realer whilst also making you wonder about what’s next.
Monkey, by Wu Ch’eng En: A 16th century text that follows monkey’s shenanigans on the way to enlightenment.
Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu: The basis of Taoism, feel the flow!
The Tao of Peace, by Diane Dreher: A brilliant analysis of the Tao that provides grounded ways of applying the concepts to life.
Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins: Tom Robbins mixes the sacred and the profane so very delightfully. His writing feels like Pan meets Jesus. (Which happens in Another Roadside Attraction…)
Conversations with God Series, by Neale Donald Walsh: Translates spiritual concepts through a western Christian’s perspective.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story about a bird who knows that there’s more to living than meets the eye, he follows his heart even though the other sheep-birds think he’s bonkers.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford: This book is the reason I find myself engaging in shadow work daily, she makes befriending and balancing our difficult aspects somehow kinda fun. Genius.
The Valkyries, by Paulo Cohelo: A darker look at personal transformation, occult focused. (Loved The Alchemist as well, so many more of his to read!)
Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert: A woman’s quest for inner peace via traveling the globe; to indulge, intensely meditate, and to learn ancient wisdom from a medicine man.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury: A dystopian society, a seeker, and an enlightening young woman.
Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander: A neurosurgeon and skeptic falls into a coma and an experience of life after death.
Asshoolios. We all know ’em. Sometimes we even behave like ’em, don’t we? Most of us eventually see our err; and try to make good, hurt as it may. But there’s some that can never ever seem to see their own wrong doings…and these are the true asshoolios.
These guys don’t mean to be mean, it’s usually just their own unhealed wounds at the wheel, but they still hurt people and fuck up lives nonetheless. They need to be taught that this behavior isn’t effective, and, as a society, we really teach them the exact opposite.
When someone’s a dick (even to someone else, even while “joking,” even if they’re the boss) it’s tempting to shrink, to make yourself less noticeable so that heat’s not tempted to burn your way – but then they fucking win, man.
They dominate the exchange, and the heat’s rarely thrown back in their stupid faces; which is the whole point of their debacles, to deflect negative attention from their insecure asses.
Assholes often appear fuckless, but it’s a faux-fucklessness. It might scream “I do what I want!!,” but it’s actually just a precious security blankie, one they have no idea they’re clinging to. A warped mirror offered to the world instead of their authentic soul.
And that authentic soul would be cool AF someday, if only given the chance to play. To grow on purpose, to not only acknowledge their errs, but to make light of them, as they used to do at others’ expense.
They could make growth a shtick, or a company culture, industry standard, or cultural norm – because these fuckheads run this world. And it’s got to stop.
To this end, I vow to call these peeps on their shit more often, and to continuing to offer “yeahHhhhh!!’s” if someone braver starts first. And, more importantly, I vow to always be my weirdass self, even though she tends to take more of this ‘heat,’ it’s just worth it.
So, you with me?
I’m so sorry to hear you’re a fellow fibro fighter. It’s not easy to be diagnosed with any disease, but learning that you have one doctors cannot help you with can be profoundly defeating. I understand that you’re probably discouraged, but you’re definitely not alone – even if it feels that way sometimes, and I know it must.
A few tips:
- Exercise will make you flare. Exercise will heal you. These things are both true, and it sucks: baby steps are key. I started out trying like hell just to get like 30 minutes a week in, done in like 90 second increments (I was bedridden though, hopefully you’re not as far gone). It really does add up, I promise.
- Many fibro fighters have a mutation called MTHFR (which looks like another, apt, word 🤣). If you have it, you’ll want to cut out gluten and dairy and bulk up on methylated vitamins (especially methylcobalamin).
- Cannabis help WORLDS! Fibromyalgia may be caused due to endocannabinoid deficiency, so the (exo-)cannabinoids in cannabis essentially act as a supplement.
- Fibromyalgia has a very high correlation with physical and emotional trauma, which are also known to negatively impact the endocannabinod system; therapy and personal development can help ease your nervous system’s ridiculously painful reactions.
- If you Insta, there’s a community of chronic illness fighters called spoonies that are wonderfully inspirational and informational.
- Cymbalta doesn’t help most people and is HELL to go off of. I would never have done it if I knew how horrendous quitting was going to be. If you choose to try it, absolutely do not go off of it cold turkey and have emotional support ready. (Lyrica also did me no good, but Amitriptyline does help me sleep; though not as well as canna capsules.)
- I discovered the Wim Hof method a couple months ago, which has been proved to release endocannabinoids (which you’re deficient in) and is also said to reset your immune and autonomic nervous systems. Some claim this has healed their fibro. I just do this video followed by a cold shower everyday (no bone pain from the cold, I swear!) and it seems to be helping in a few different ways!
I hope that you’ve got understanding people around you, and in case you don’t: this is not in your head, you are not crazy, and you are not lazy.
And, most of all – YOU GOT THIS. ❤
I’m someone who’s very into what is commonly known as ‘new age’ spirituality, ‘woo-woo,’ or, more recently (and delightfully), ‘witchy stuff.’ This is something that I kept to myself for most of my life, having now openly written about it at starting seven years ago, at 30 years old; after having been raised with aligned beliefs, studying philosophy extensively in college, and a lot more afterwards.
But mostly I secretly mused to myself back then, unwittingly in sort of a thought conversation via what I now think of as everyday intuition; but 20 years ago it just felt like magic – especially when I started learning about the ideas in a class on eastern philosophy after they arose in my own mind.
And it’s not not magic. It’s not exactly the show ‘Charmed’ either, but it’s still really cool, and I’m going to tell you about it. It may seem too different or ‘out there’ to consider, but please try. By the end, you’ll probably be surprised at how grounded and helpful this whole thing actually can be – especially when objectively compared to traditional philosophies on the matter…
‘God’ is Kinda Like ‘The Force’
What if there was a force of consciousness, most succinctly described as love, that replicated itself, then divided that reflection into infinity? What if it were a creative energy that exists simply to experience life in all its forms? You can call it ‘God,’ if you want to, but I call this energy names like ‘juju,’ divine presence, the universe, etc., to avoid confusion with religion. It emanates through everything, through all of energy itself, including (the illusion) of space and time.
Therefore, I am ‘God.’ And you are God. And so is this keyboard. And my turmeric tea here, definitely God. (This has been called animism throughout history and is a belief of many ancient religions and philosophies, as are many other of the ideas presented by spirituality.)
This force doesn’t judge, and there is no heaven or hell, really; just planes of existence closer and further from source energy (another great moniker for ‘God’). After we die, we go back to somewhere much closer to source energy, it’s like a love puddle where we’re all connected. It’s often referred to in spiritual circles as home. Hell isn’t a thing in spirituality, but we can sure create something like it here on earth, and many are living it.
Spiritual awakening is all about creating heaven on earth by ascending into Christ consciousness. This is semi-aligned with Christianity, but with spiritual folk feeling that ‘the return of Christ’ is not an incarnation of a human; but a rise in mass consciousness due increasingly lighter energy, as well as thousands of old souls incarnating to teach. (Many, if not most, religious concepts neatly fold into spiritual ideas, as if religions were started in the exact same way – from humans accessing divine guidance from within, on their own.)
Earth’s Kinda Like a School
So, as humans, we’re not meant to be super-focused with what happens after we die (we were just there before birth, it’s lovely, but be here now); we’re here to learn through this bonkers experience of being human. From living on a planet that’s got a destructive cyclic history – one that this rise in consciousness will eventually cease, ushering in a new age of enlightenment. (This is where the ‘new age’ label originates, but, again, these ideas are ancient.)
Our souls have specific plans when we incarnate, choosing our whole birth situations – the body, the parents, the personality struggles, the whole shebang. Yup, we picked the whole setup! Everything’s our own faults. And we volunteered to be alive too, due to our soul’s desire to create and grow.
I’ve dealt with dangerous depression, and knowing that I chose this life has been a big part of what’s kept me alive on this mindfuck of a planet – if I leave I know I’ll just choose to reincarnate all over again. Then I’d have to relearn how to walk, talk, do the whole school and puberty thing all over again. And I’d just choose similar challenges for the repeater lifetime, because, karma.
Plus, even though life, and especially the people and popular paradigms within it, can be truly maddening – the beauty, light, humor, and magic-feeling serendipity make it all worth it. And that part gets really loud whenever I’ve gotten too close. (So, world, looks like you’re stuck with me.)
‘The Secret’ is Kinda Real.
As for the rest of life’s challenges, well they’re all our fault too. Our souls (ourselves, we’re multidimensional beings!), sort of drive us like in a video game; except that we can ignore these instructions – received as inspiration, intuition, conscience, and the like – and do whatever we want.
Most of the time. Sort of.
We can certainly wander off our chosen path; but some occurrences in our lives just will be, they are unavoidable, they are fated. Other happenings are karmically magnetized, but I don’t mean the ‘life’s a bitch’ punitive idea; but our soul noting the lessons we haven’t learned yet, and us being attracted to situations and people that will present opportunities to learn them properly. (However, these are often unpleasant experiences, increasingly contrasted with repetition, since we’re not getting it; leading to karma’s bad rep.)
But there’s more. It’s not all about lessons, life should also be fun! Remember The Secret? That book/movie/phenomenon was an idea commonly referred to as the Law of Attraction (LOA). That book was about how to use it to create one’s dreams; but there’s a lot more to LOA than presented there, so I don’t recommend it for anything more than tips and inspo after gaining knowledge from more comprehensive sources.
The most important thing to know about LOA is that we’ll create the things we focus on – so choose to spend your time looking at your dreams, not your worries. We create everything in our lives using this force (via feelings –> thoughts –> actions), our karmic plan + newly created karma; as well as the needs of our egos, bodily urges, and personalities.
Alignment, Intuition, and How to Meditate
Being ‘in alignment’ is to be in tune with the desires of your soul, rather than just the wants of your human mind. Being in alignment often happens to us even when we’re not trying, you’ve definitely experienced it. It happens when you’re in an emotional space that feels light, feeling present without even trying, when things feel graceful and easy, and your thoughts are contemplative and wise – if only for that enlightened-feeling moment. (Tom Robbins once aptly described these beautiful and often fleeting experiences of understanding as, ‘slippery fish.’)
Walking a spiritual path means consistently making choices aligned with your soul’s desires, which you’ll suss out by using your intuitive guidance. To do this, you’ll need to learn how to meditate, which I’ll teach you in this paragraph: Get comfy, but not so comfy you’ll fall asleep, close your eyes, and try to calm your mind while focusing on the sensations of your breath. When a thought interrupts you, note it, without judgement, and let it go. Or, as the teacher Mooji says, ‘Let every thought come and hug you, but you don’t hug anything. Then, gradually, the noise will start to back off.’
Once you start getting some mental peace, you’ll create room in your mental space for intuitive inspiration to rise from within. This will often come as vague feelings, hunches, and ideas that you have to sort out to make sense of; something that I’ve come to think of as translating energy. (Many call receiving the info an ‘energetic download.’) Intuition will also arise as thoughts that feel light but also completely neutral in tone, even if the news is very exciting or very upsetting. Other times it will just be sudden knowings – abrupt clarity on life choices or formerly foggy ideas (often spiritual concepts).
It’s freakin’ awesome. Okay. That’ll do for now. ❤