Recovering from a Concussion or Minor Brain Damage

Last week, I slipped on some ice, fell backwards and smacked the back of my head on my driveway. The doctor determined that I have a level one concussion, which is the least serious kind. He gave me a list of symptoms to look out for. Some of them are signs that I will need a CT scan and others are indications that I need to go to the ER right away. Other than that, he said not to run 10 miles or lift weights and to be careful of dizziness when bending over. It seemed so strange to me that with as far as we have come in the medical field, they don’t do anything for concussions.

I thought for sure there could be something to help speed up recovery. When I searched online, I found that the medical recommendation is basically to do nothing when you have a concussion. Sit in a dark quiet room and wait for your brain to heal. While I do believe in the incredible healing capabilities of the body, that seems to me like really outdated information. After a surgery, doctors used to advise patients to stay in bed and heal for a long time. But now, many times, patients are up and moving the same day of the surgery. It was discovered that the healing process progresses much faster that way. So why are we still stuck in the dark ages (literally laying in a dark room) when it comes to the brain?

I decided to search for homeopathic remedies for a concussion. I found that fish oil should be consumed and essential oils such as frankincense and sandalwood can be applied to the body or used in aromatherapy to help heal the brain. I also found different acupressure points to stimulate to help with a concussion. I read that one of the most important things you can do is eat as soon as you can after the incident. Foods with healthy fats are important and you should make sure you consume enough protein and antioxidant rich foods, as well as water. Our brains are made up of a lot of fat and water and we need to regrow our brain cells. We also need plenty of energy for this repair. In this case, our food can definitely be our medicine.

In addition to these recommendations, I have been using brainwave entertainment meditations with subliminal messages on healing. While I couldn’t find anything online saying whether listening to these meditations with a concussion is helpful or harmful, I know that they work by making new connections in the brain. So if they are encouraging brain growth, couldn’t they possibly help speed up the healing process? I have personally found them to help me. Keep in mind, my concussion was very minor, so I have no idea how they would impact someone with a more serious concussion. But I think the real issue is everyone is too afraid to experiment when it comes to the brain. Not that I can blame them for being cautious. But my thoughts are if at any point I feel like something is not right, I will stop what I am doing. Could any of these things really do that much harm?

I have also used EFT a lot to help with the pain and the recovery. When I first hit my head, the pain was pretty excruciating. I sat on my couch and “tapped” on the pain and the experience of falling and hitting my head until the pain went from maybe an 8 to around a 2. The 2 was much more manageable. I also tapped on the part of me that blamed my husband for not doing a better job shoveling our driveway and the part that blamed me for not being more careful. It is important to let go of any blame we feel around an accident, whether it is directed at ourselves or someone else. Holding onto that negativity can slow down healing because we want to punish them/us for their/our part in our injury, so we don’t want to let the injury or pain go.

I did read that one doctor is just starting to experiment with using an exercise routine to help stimulate healing in people with concussions, but not until around 3 weeks after the incident. This is a major step up from not allowing exercise until all symptoms have dissipated, which is the standard recommendation I saw online. This doctor is finding a lot of promise, with no lasting harm from unintentionally pushing too hard for short periods of time.

I hope to one day see a true melding of medical practices and homeopathic remedies in the Western culture. Maybe then we will begin to see breakthroughs in healing things like brain damage, where our doctors are currently at a loss, when it comes to a cure. I think we are coming closer with the wide acceptance of chiropractors and acupuncturists, but are not moving anywhere near fast enough.


Sometimes it is Hard to See Things Because They are Right in Front of Your Face

There is a running joke in my house that if something I am looking for is right in front of my face, I will never find it. Sometimes we are so busy searching every hiding place for something that we don’t even think to look right out in the open. The same thing can apply to ideas and answers. Sometimes the answers to our questions are so obvious that we just cannot see them.

There is a statistic out there that we spend 95% of our time thinking about the past and future and only 5% of our time in the present. I don’t know what parameters they used to determine that or if it is entirely true, but I think we can all agree that we definitely spend more time focused on the past and future than right now. I have been trying to change that about myself and focus more on the present and being in the moment. Obviously, we all have to plan for the future and thus spend time thinking about it, but it is the amount of time that is the problem. Especially, when you have any fears or anxieties about what is to come.

About 6 months ago, I walked out my door to find a giant spider web blocking the way to my car. In it was a rather large hairy spider that was eating a much larger praying mantis. I didn’t want to walk under the web for fear of the spider getting in my hair, so I walked around the side of my house to go through the bushes and found another really large web and spider. Thankfully, this one was parallel to my house and I was able to walk sideways like a crab to get by it and cut through my bushes. Phew, what a way to start a Friday morning!

As soon as I saw the spider eating the praying mantis, the word abundance popped into my head. If you’ve read my post on Animal Totems, then you know I believe that sometimes animals (or bugs and spiders) cross our paths to give us a message. I was convinced that I was receiving a premonition that abundance was coming into my life. I had been waiting for a promotion and raise at work, so I thought for sure this was a good sign that it was coming soon. According to psychics, time doesn’t really apply to the spirit world, so when we get a message from the other side that something is going to happen soon, “soon” can mean up to two years from now.

I have been waiting patiently the last 6 months to see the abundance my premonition was referring to. But today I was thinking about the spider and how I still haven’t gotten that promotion and raise and I had an epiphany. The message wasn’t a premonition of the future, it was a message about the present. The truth is that currently (and at the time), my husband and I are doing pretty well financially as DINKs (Dual Income No Kids) and making more than we need, so we have been able to add some to our savings. I guess you could say we have an abundance of money right now. So why couldn’t I see that at the time?

A part of me was still stuck in the past. While my husband has had a steady full-time job for over a year now, he was pretty much out of work for 3 years before that. I was used to the idea that money was tight and even though at the time, he had been working for over 6 months, I was still stuck in an old mindset. Especially, since we were doing updates to things around the house that we had put off when he was out of work, so we did not have enough money at the end of the month to put into savings. So it was hard to see that we weren’t really living paycheck to paycheck anymore. But his being out of work had helped our current situation, because we had developed a bunch of money saving habits during those 3 years, many of which we still utilize today. So we managed to optimize our income.

Another part of me was worrying about the future. My husband and I want to start a family and I can’t help but be concerned about paying for diapers, day care, college, etc… All of those inevitable expenses when you have a child. And to do all of this while still managing to save for retirement. And worrying if we will ever have enough saved to fully retire. I know all of these anxieties are pretty commonplace. But how could I possibly feel that I had an abundance of money when I couldn’t fathom how I would be able to afford these imperative things in my future?

The fact is that I don’t know what my future will hold. The universe has always been able to provide for me up to this point. So why should I fear not having enough in the future? Yes, all of these large expenses will come. Some sooner than others. And if I find myself in a situation where I can’t afford the necessities in life, that would be the time for concern. But not now. I have everything I need right now in the present moment. And I could very well have everything I need in the future as those events unfold. There is absolutely no point in worrying about it. When opportunities to grow my finances present themselves, I will take them. I will keep in mind the need to save for my kids’ college education and my husband’s and my retirement, but I will stay focused on the present. Right now is all we have. There is no guarantee of tomorrow.

It seems so obvious now. The spider had an abundance of food at that time. It was not something that could be squirrelled away for years to ensure there would always be enough. Something like that praying mantis could never last. But that spider wasn’t worrying about some day. It was just happily enjoying what it had today. It may have taken me 6 months, but I think I finally learned what that spider was trying to teach me. I will enjoy every minute of this abundance while it lasts (without going overboard) and not worry about the possibility of it ending. Because I have no proof that it will. There is always the possibility of another praying mantis around the corner.

When it Comes to Happiness, How Often is Often Enough?

How long do you truly stay happy for after you achieve a goal or something great happens to you? A few days; a few months? Then what happens? Probably routine sets back in, you become bored and set new goals. And this continues and is the cycle of life. The truth is we wouldn’t really know we were happy if we were never unhappy, so happiness cannot actually last forever or it would cease to exist. But the true opposite of happiness is not complacency or striving, it is sadness. And sadness is not something we can avoid. People are always going to be coming in and out of our lives and parting tends to brings sadness (especially when it is through death). So shouldn’t we be able to be happy at any point we are not sad? Except maybe for people currently experiencing depression, that would be a lot of happiness! So why aren’t we happy that often?

Is part of you afraid to be too happy? I think many of us believe that we need to be unhappy in order to grow and pursue our goals. That we wouldn’t have any drive if we weren’t striving for happiness. What if those are limiting beliefs and you don’t need an unending amount of will power to pursue growth while you are happy? I’m not talking about head over heals just fallen in love happiness, but a deep contentment and comfort with who you are and where you are in your life.

I believe that when we are truly happy with our life right now, it is actually easier to make our goals a reality. When we are content with things as they are, we let go of our fears and anxieties about the future. We will simply enjoy our lives, as is, even if nothing ever changes. We accept where we are with gratitude and still have dreams for the future. When we are in this calm, relaxed state, we attract positive things to ourselves because we have stopped getting in our own way. We can see the opportunities that present themselves to us because we are focused on the present instead of the future.

The truth is we don’t need to accomplish everything we have ever wanted to be happy now. We all have something in our lives that makes us happy, even if it is only briefly. It could be hugging or kissing a family member, or even petting a pet. Or perhaps just enjoying a glass of wine while you watch your favorite TV show. Sure, we all have frustrating moments and I am not advising that you fight against these negative emotions when they arise, but simply acknowledge them, determine if they are there to teach you something and let them go. As soon as the event is over, it is in the past, and our goal is focusing on the present. True happiness can never be achieved by living in the past, even if you were happy then. Because if you are not feeling happy now, it is just a reminder of how unpleasant you find your current situation. When we focus on happiness we had in the past, we are harping on something we have lost and have trouble moving forward.

Experiencing happiness in the present could even be a tool for weight loss. If you can find a way to be happy with your body the way it is (which EFT can help with), you will love your body and work with it instead of trying to punish it for being overweight. If we can accept our body now, we will start to listen to its needs and discover a weight loss technique that works for us. Think about it. The reason there are so many different diets and exercise routines out there is that everyone’s body is different. So how do we know which one is right for us? We have to learn to listen to our body; but it is very difficult to listen to someone you don’t respect.

Your body gives you messages every day of hunger or exhaustion. Are you truly listening without judgment? Even when your body tells you it wants carbs, while you are on a low-carb diet? Probably not, because we are told we need to learn to ignore our cravings in order to lose weight. So we stop trusting our body and start ignoring it all the time. But it just might be possible that the diet is wrong for us, instead of our body’s craving. As long as you practice moderation when fulfilling that craving. Imagine how much happier you would feel overall if you were happier with your body.

How amazing would it be to be happy 90% of the time; or even 50% of the time? So what’s stopping you? Wishing you love and light and happiness.

Does Paying Bills Make You Angry?

This morning, I paid my credit card bill and realized that I was sorta angry about it. It was higher than I anticipated and I experienced a kind of knee jerk reaction of negative emotion. Shortly afterward, I got an email from my husband that he made reservations at a really nice restaurant over the weekend, like I had asked him to. And the first thing that went through my head was “Oh great; that will be another high bill.” Now, I had already made the choice to go to this restaurant. We have been there before and while it is rather pricey, the food is really good, and it’s very nice as a once in a while treat. Not to mention, we also have a gift card, which will definitely help with the cost. When I tried to figure out why I reacted this way to my husband’s email, I realized it was because of my negative state of mind from paying that credit card bill.

Do you ever get unreasonably annoyed when you have to pay your monthly credit card and/or utility bills? Sometimes, does just thinking about it seem to get your blood pressure rising? I think we have all felt this way from time to time, at the very least. But why do you think that is? Paying our bills is simply exchanging value for goods and services that we already agreed to purchase. For our credit card bill, we evaluated each item, agreed to the purchase price and signed off on it. For our utility bills, we signed up for the services and agreed to pay the assigned amount. Unless something out of the ordinary happened, none of these things should really be a surprise. So it’s interesting that we would feel so negatively about it.

I think part of the issue is our perceived value of things. This perceived value could be based on past experience, word of mouth from other people or possibly even something completely arbitrary. We all know how unpleasant it is to find that something we purchase all of the time has increased in price. We know that inflation exists and that as the price of commodities goes up, everything else has to follow. But it still kinda feels like a betrayal when it happens. We have assigned a certain value to that item or service and now we are being asked to pay more. In our minds, we are now being ripped off. That thing isn’t worth its current price tag. It’s only really worth what I used to pay. Even if we have received several cost of living increases before the price went up, we cannot emotionally connect the dots.

This is an extreme case, but most of us have probably heard something along the lines of “In my day, sandwiches only cost a nickel!” Not only is this statement saying that it is no longer “your day” because the world has changed around you and you were unable to accept that change, but it is also saying that you assigned this perceived value of a nickel to a sandwich and think that all sandwiches are now rip offs. Forgetting the fact that salaries have gone up exponentially since that time. People have a hard time with any kind of change and it can be even harder when it comes to something we connect to our own survival, like money. Since this is the type of thinking we were exposed to when we were young and impressionable, there’s no doubt it had some kind of effect of our perceptions around value.

In those situations, we at least agree to pay more than our perceived value at the time or purchase or not. There are no surprises. But what about this situation? Let’s say you were to buy a couch. Your expectations are that it will last you and your family for years. You happily pay the bill because it is definitely worth the money over time. But within 6 months, the springs are going and the material is starting to wear. Now, you have definitely been ripped off! What you paid for that couch was worth way more than the 6 months you ended up getting out of it. Now this brings the fear of the unknown into every purchase. You had no idea you were paying too much for the couch when you bought it. You didn’t find out until much later. That means that at any time, you could discover you were ripped off months ago. Something like that could definitely add to the anxiety and uncertainty around paying your bills.

This anxiety is only exacerbated by marketing and competition. We are bombarded with sales and coupons and reasons why one company is better than another, which makes it very hard to determine the actual value of anything. It gets to the point where we are certain someone out there is getting more value for less money and when our bills come, our fear of being ripped off turns to a reality in our minds and this makes us angry.

To make it even more confused, sometimes our perceived value of things can be completely arbitrary. An experiment was done, where people had to pull a ping pong ball out of a box with a number on it. They then were showed a bottle of champagne and asked what they thought it was worth and what they would be willing to pay for it. The higher the number on the random ping pong ball they chose, the higher the participants valued the champagne at and the higher they were willing to pay for it. For certain things, it’s possible we may not even have a rational reason behind our perceived value.

Sometimes arbitrary perceived value can be set by others, as well. Some people will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for “antiques” or “collectors items” that many people would consider garbage. Or take something like designer handbags as an example. Most items are priced based on a combination of the raw materials and the labor to put them together. But you can spend $100 on a handbag made with similar time and materials as a $2,500 handbag made by a famous designer. The perceived value is solely based on who designed it and how it was designed. And there are people lining up to purchase these designer handbags.

On top of all this, most of us have probably been seriously ripped off at some point in our past. When I was attempting to break through in the acting scene, I signed on with a new talent agent and paid hundreds of dollars for new headshots that he said I needed. The pictures turned out to be unusable because the lighting was not at all done professionally. When I tried to get my money back, I found that the talent agent had picked up and moved, without a trace. A scar like this, where you were undeniably ripped off, intensifies the fear and anxiety we already have about being ripped off and makes things even worse.

Then on the flip side, many of us feel that we are underpaid and undervalued at work. We are certain that there are other people in our position (maybe many other people) who make much more than we do, without working anywhere near as hard. That’s just another way we are certain we are being ripped off all of the time. And it adds to the fear we have when we receive our monthly bills. What if this trend continues of us being paid less than we are worth and having to pay more for everything we purchase than it is worth? Eventually, we will be unable to pay our bills and might lose our house or even starve. I know this is dramatic and probably thrown out of proportion, but I am not talking about your rational conscious mind. I am taking about your emotions. Your secret fears and anxieties, which sometimes cannot be reached with rational thought. How many people are terrified of spiders versus the amount of people who have been hurt or killed by them? Sometimes our fears just cannot be rationalized. And that is where EFT (tapping) comes in. I will definitely be tapping on all of this tonight. Except the spider thing. Fortunately, I’ve never really been afraid of them. I actually find them kind of fascinating… when they are outside… and not in my hair!

Do You Boss Yourself Around?

Do you have a habit of telling yourself what to do? Are you loving and encouraging or bossy and curt? I think most people tend to be the latter, when it comes to ourselves. But let me ask you something. How does it feel when other people try to boss you around? I’d imagine that your defenses go up and you don’t want to do what they are telling you to do. Not necessarily that you are against doing what they are asking, but you want them to treat you with love and respect and ask you politely. So why do we expect our subconscious mind and body to be any different? When your conscious mind tries to order them around, can you blame them for not wanting to listen?

So why is it so much easier to be patient and compassionate when asking something of other people than it is with ourselves? I think the answer comes down to guilt and a desire for control. We know that when we are not doing something we are supposed to, there is no one else to blame but ourselves. This results in a feeling of guilt, which causes us to get angry with ourselves and then we lash out. We are mean to ourselves and say derogatory things, which distances our subconscious and body from our conscious mind even more. Then the control freak in us comes out. Especially when the world is so chaotic and you can’t seem to get other people to listen to you, you know the one person you can control is yourself. And you’re also the one person you don’t have to be nice to, so you are ruthless. You let out all of that suppressed rage you have from feeling so out of control all of the time and take it out on yourself. To make it worse, when our subconscious mind and body don’t listen to us, our negative emotions snowball.

This is probably another reason why most diets fail. You blame your body for forcing you to go on a diet. Questioning what’s wrong with it, when plenty of people can eat whatever they want without gaining a pound. You feel disgust and anger when you have to turn down something you want to eat and then think derogatory things about yourself. You yell at your body to shed those pounds so you can go back to living a normal life. And then, you wonder why your body doesn’t listen. Do you normally want to do things for people who put you down and treat you with disdain? Why would your subconscious mind and body be any different?

I think that is why so many people swear by positive affirmations. They train you to give yourself loving encouragement, instead of angry orders. They create an environment where you support your mind, body and soul, as a whole. I think the idea that the only thing we can control in this world is our self is a limiting belief. While it might be easier to force ourselves to do something than someone else, are we being as successful as we think we are? If we were, then procrastination probably wouldn’t exist. Instead of trying to control ourselves (which doesn’t always work), we should treat ourselves as we would any other loved one. Be polite to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Don’t assume that whatever order you bark at yourself will automatically be followed. Make yourself want to listen to you, out of love and respect.

It’s funny. As I was writing this post, I couldn’t think of the word procrastination. The more I demanded myself to remember the word, the harder it was to focus. So I took a walk, sang a song in my head and told myself I was confident it would come to me. It only took a minute or two before it popped into my head. I know we have all experienced this without knowing why. I think we put so much pressure on our mind to remember the word that it panics and stops working. I think we all have been put on the spot with something and our mind goes blank. Perhaps when someone asks us a simple math question, when we are not expecting it and all of a sudden, your mind just goes blank. We are also capable of doing this to ourselves. And the more annoyed we get about it, the harder it is to perform. That’s why when we stop, relax, and let it go, our memory starts working properly again. We are so conditioned to boss ourselves around, that I was doing it, even as I wrote this post!

It seems like this is how I end every post recently, but I see more “tapping” (EFT) in my future. It’s exhausting carrying around all of this emotional baggage all of the time!

Could Your Relationship to Money Be Holding You Back?

I went shopping on my lunch break today to pick up a couple of odds and ends. I went to 2 stores and both times when I checked out, I felt a little angry and maybe even guilty about spending the money. What made it worse is that everything was full price, I had no coupons and ended up spending $50 on fish food and a bottle of rum. I couldn’t believe how much I spent in under half an hour on just a couple of things.

Then, I stopped myself. This money was spent out of love. The rum is for when my best friend comes over and the food is for my pets. And while the fish might not like me very much (they actually bite me), deep down, I know I love them. And believe me, I may not be rich, but I can afford the $50. I won’t even notice it’s gone, especially since I just got paid today. So, why did I have such a negative knee-jerk reaction to spending it?

I was brought up in an environment where you couldn’t buy anything without it being on sale AND having a coupon. I was raised with the idea that spending money was a bad thing and saving money was a good thing. My Dad was an electrician and many of his friends would spend a couple of years out of work every now and then, so my Mom was a big saver to make sure we would have enough to get through a similar situation. She did what she had to do and she did it well. And it is thanks to her that I have such good financial habits. I always make sure to have savings and never spend anything I cannot pay for at that moment. But what did this do to my relationship with money?

Money is meaningless if you don’t spend it. My great uncle was so cheap that he even turned off the gas to his oven because he didn’t use it. When he passed away, he had over a million dollars in the bank because he barely spent anything during his life. Since he had no children, he left the money to the church. While the church may have benefited, what good did that money ever do my uncle? Money that isn’t spent is just a number on a computer screen. Nothing more.

I’m sure that my relationship with money would have gotten even worse if I had ever gotten to the point where I thought I would lose my house or didn’t know how we were going to eat that night. I’ve been very fortunate to never experience anything like that. But how do we expect to attract money into our lives when we have all of these negative emotions around spending it? When we can afford our purchase and we are buying it out of love, we should feel joy. We are transforming that number in the bank into something useful. Something that will make someone happy. That is the sole purpose of having the money to begin with.

I suppose that makes my limiting belief something like “Money should be saved, not spent”. I will definitely be “tapping” (using EFT) on this issue tonight!

Could Stress be Behind Your Weight Loss Failures?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I can do everything right, eat healthy, portion control, go to the gym three times a week, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I have been interval training several times a week for over a year now and I have only lost six pounds. I eat a lot of fish, vegetables and whole grains, try to limit my carbs and never indulge in seconds, but none of it seems to matter. How can this be?

I went to the gym today to do my interval training and decided I was going to take it a little easier just to be on the safe side. I recently had the flu, which I think is usually a sign from your body that you need to slow down. Yesterday, I woke up with a lot of neck and back pain, which had improved today, but was far from gone. And I happened to read my horoscope for the day which said to be careful not to hurt yourself from too much physical activity. I took these things as a sign and let my body dictate how fast it wanted to go during the intense periods of the interval training.

When I was done, I realized how good I felt when I didn’t push my body to the breaking point. Then I realized how stressed I must normally be when I am forcing myself to keep going at the max speed possible. How my body yells at me that it is sore and tired and needs to stop and I tell it to keep going. If just activating the stress chemicals in our body can stimulate the fight or flight response of running from a predator, how much worse it must be when you are actually RUNNING and not allowing yourself to stop! It probably convinces your body you are in immediate danger and not just wary of a possible threat.

When we exercise because we want to get healthy or want to lose weight and are not just doing it out of sheer love and desire, it can be rather stressful. But we are told that we must force ourselves to do it and persevere. So when our body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, we remind ourselves that it is “mind over matter”, but what we really mean is “mind over body” and we want to prove that our brain is in charge and we have enough will power to push our body to continue.

Meanwhile, I wonder how with all of this exercise, my belly fat just will not go down. Probably because of all of the cortisol resulting from the stress of the exercise itself! I’m not saying that the answer is to stop going to the gym. But maybe if I allow my body to dictate how fast is fast enough, instead of just pushing it as far as it will go, time after time, I just might start seeing a better result.

With all that stress from simply exercising, image how much more stress dieting must cause. We all know that panicky feeling when our stomach starts growling and we don’t have immediate access to food. Our survival instincts kick in. Which obviously, is no way to live. But even if you are not on a starvation diet and don’t experience that constantly, it’s stressful if you do not allow yourself to eat what you want. You resist that donut at work and then stress so much about not eating it, that you might as well have just eaten it. Because all of that cortisol has now flooded your body and is at work creating more body fat.

I think EFT can be helpful for these things, as well. When I was reflecting on how much stress I was putting on my body all of the time with the interval training, I had a memory flash from my childhood. I pictured how awful it was when I had to run in a race on “field day” each year. Forget about always being last, but it took all of my strength even just to finish. My side would feel like someone was stabbing me and my legs wouldn’t want to move anymore, but the teachers would make me go the whole distance. There was nothing I hated more than running. And now I am voluntarily running on an elliptical, pushing myself to the limit. No wonder my stress is high and I can’t seem to rid myself of my belly fat. I will definitely have to do some “tapping” on those childhood experiences.