Disabilities, Mental Health, wellness

Meditation and Chakras

My final project is on Fibromyalgia. I am not officially diagnosed yet, but I know from years of suffering that I have this chronic illness. I also know a few others who have it as well which is how I am able to know what vitamins, herbs, and techniques can soothe the symptoms of Fibro. I also suffer from severe anxiety and learning disabilities along with this illness. For this discussion, I have chosen the topic of meditation because it is a very big thing in my life. While I do admit that recently I have been unable to find time or ability to concentrate I find that meditation along with incense as a focusing mechanism helps with my mental and physical issues.

I initially began meditation and unlocking the seven chakras, (root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, crown,) as a spiritual tool and a way to connect myself to the universe and the past lives that I have lived, but I also realized that when I was ill and cleared my chakras my sickness seemed to alleviate or go away completely. I remember at one time I was sick and, after clearing out my root chakra, I was healthy again. While meditation, in general, is good for the mind and spirit, delving deep and unlocking and clearing the chakras can offer even more health benefits in the ways of wellness.

Chakra-Energy-Body-Graphic

The chakras need to remain balanced in order to keep certain things in balance in your body to prevent health issues. I will now go over how each chakra’s unbalancing can affect the body and mind physically.

Root Chakra: If the root chakra is overactive, it can cause someone to be fearful, nervous, insecure, or ungrounded causing them to be materialistic, greedy, and resistant to change. IF it was underactive, there would be a lacking in the sense of feeling secure causing them to be codependent along with fears of abandonment. Physically, they are associated with as the adrenal glands, spine, blood, and reproductive organs. Symptoms of an unbalance can mean the inability to sit still, restlessness, unhealthy weight (either obesity or eating disorder), constipation, cramps, fatigue or sluggishness.

Sacral Chakra: If this chakra is overactive it can cause someone to be overemotional and very quick to attack or invest in others. They will be attracted to drama, moody, and lack personal boundaries. However, if it was underactive, they will become stiff and unemotional, closing themselves off to others with a lack of self-esteem or self-worth. They could possibly find themselves in an abusive relationship. They are also associated with the kidneys and reproductive organs. Symptoms can include lower-back pain or stiffness, urinary issues, kidney pain or infection, and infertility or impotence.

Navel (solar plexus): When overactive, this chakra causes the person to become domineering, aggressive, angry, and perfectionistic or overly critical of oneself or of others. When underactive, they can cause the person to be passive, indecisive, timid, and lack self-control. They are associated with the central nervous system, digestive system, liver, pancreas, and the metabolic system. With an unbalance, physical symptoms can result in various digestive problems, eating disorders, asthma or other respiratory ailments, nerve pain or fibromyalgia, infection in the liver or kidneys, and various other organ problems.

Heart Chakra: As with the idea of the heart, if this is overactive, someone can become extremely loving in a clingy and suffocating sort of way. They can lack the sense of self in a relationship and say yes to everything. Boundaries are lacking and they let everyone in. With it underactive, they can become cold, distant, lonely, and unable or unwilling to open up to others while often becoming grudgeful. The heart chakra is associated with the Thymus gland and immune system, lungs, breasts, arms, and hands. An unbalance can cause heart and circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and a heart attack. It can cause poor circulation or numbness, asthma or other respiratory ailments, breast cancer, stiff joints or joint problems in the hands.

Throat Chakra: With a throat chakra overactive, someone can become overly talkative but unable to listen while being highly critical, verbally abusive and condescending towards others. When it is underactive, a person can be introverted, shy, and have difficulty speaking the truth or express their needs. The throat chakra is associated with the thyroid, neck, throat, shoulders, ears, and mouth. An unbalance can cause stiffness or soreness in the neck or shoulders, sore throat, hoarseness or laryngitis, earaches or infection, dental issues or TMJ, and thyroid issues.

Third Eye Chakra: An overactive third eye chakra means that one is out of touch with reality causing someone to lack good judgment, have the inability to focus, and prone to hallucinations. When it is underactive, their thinking can be rigid while closing off new ideas. They can become too reliant on authority, and distrust their inner voice. They can be anxious or cling to the past while being fearful of the future. The third eye is associated with the pituitary, eyes, brow, base of the skull, and biorhythms. An unbalance can cause vision problems, headaches or migraines, insomnia or sleep disorders, seizures, and nightmares. Nightmares are not a physical symptom, but it is a common occurrence in many people.

Crown Chakra: When the crown is overactive, someone can become addicted to spirituality causing them to become heedless of bodily needs and have difficulty controlling their emotions. When it is underactive, they are not open to spirituality and are unable to maintain goals while lacking direction in their life. The crown chakra is associated with the pituitary and pineal glands, brain, hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, and central nervous system. Physical symptoms of an unbalance can cause dizziness, confusion, mental fog, neurological disorders, nerve pain, schizophrenia or other mental disorders.

All of these chakras are associated with different parts of the Endocrine glands and organs.

(Berman, December 26, 2017, paras 19-46)

Since wellness is about prevention and maintenance of good health, meditation can have a very big impact on every aspect of wellness. Spiritually it can help to unlock a higher self and an awareness of everyone and everything around you. Emotionally, keeping the chakras balanced can keep your emotions in check along with mental wellness. Physically, keeping these chakras clear and balanced can minimize issues that can stem from blockages or when the chakras are unbalanced. If everyone in society were able to meditate, I believe that various health issues could be avoided and everyone would be able to live a healthier life.

The article in the references explains all this in more detail along with giving some exercises that can help one get started. I would also like to suggest a book that helped me a lot. It’s called “The Path of Energy” by Dr. Synthia Andrews, ND. I highly, highly recommend this book. I also suggest going onto YouTube and looking up guided meditations. However, if you are like me and cannot focus with a voice guiding you, try to find some instrumental music that appeals to your focus. Binaural beats are also a good choice and can help guide your brain into the focus you need to balance your chakras. For Binaural beats, it is highly suggested to use headphones or earbuds to ensure that you have the highest frequency.

 

Some YouTube links:

Bi-neural beats for chakra balance

Guided meditation for chakra balancing and healing

 

Amazon listing for “The Path of Energy.”

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References

Berman, L., Ph. D. (2017, December 26). Balancing Your Energy Body: A Complete Guide to Chakra Healing. Retrieved from https://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/chakra-healing-energy-body-balancing/

 

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Disabilities, Mental Health, wellness

Beginning a Wellness Class

I wanted to start by saying that I have been a bit stressed the past few weeks which is why I am posting so late. I try to post.

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Wellness class: Week 1

After starting at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in June, I was happy to find out that I was able to take a class about Wellness. Since this blog is based on that aspect of life and trying to find natural ways to help with our everyday lives, I decided that while I was taking this class, I would make my weekly posts as a reflection of the previous week of class.

This week it was an obvious introduction and we were asked what the difference between health and wellness was. I am going to say again what I posted and elaborate a bit more.

I think a complete definition of health would be the state of someone’s body. Like, if they are free from illness if they have ongoing chronic pain, etcetera. Wellness I believe is the way you take care of your body to either keep yourself healthy or aid in the management of an illness you already have. Such things would be your state of mind as well as physical things such as taking vitamins as well as doing Yoga and meditation. I think the main difference between health and wellness is that health is just that. Health, which is the state of how your body is while wellness is the way you take care of your body whether it is in good condition or not.

With wellness, especially with learning natural ways to stay healthy or maintain health, there are so many ways to do it. Even the simple idea of positivity is a perfect start to a wellness plan. I think that this class will be a great asset to learning more about this topic and being able to help others who want to know more about how to use wellness.

Disabilities, Mental Health, Uncategorized

“Family Doesn’t End (or Start) in Blood”

A family is always supposed to be there for you no matter what the cost. You do everything for them and you expect to have the same respect and kindness in return. Sometimes, however, when you find your “true” self spiritually, emotionally, and physically certain family members can make life difficult. They may have good intentions, but if they do not open their minds and realize that nothing can make you change to the way they want you to be. Sometimes, no matter how much you try to please them nothing works. They become rude and refuse to hear things that you want to say.

This is something I have to live with. Technically, it is called “emotional” or “mental” abuse. I don’t believe my abuser realizes what they are doing. They are stuck in their ways and do not believe that anything should change. Men are men. Women are women. To them, gender identities do not exist. Men do male jobs, women to women jobs. By 30, you should have a job (even if you hate it). They believe that you should be able to do “any job” even though your primary doctor agrees with you that you have a chronic illness like Fibromyalgia.

In my situation, I am forced to live with my parents. They are respectful towards me… at least my mother is… However, because I am currently unemployed and working on school and part-time freelancing, while at the same time sending application after application out into the world and receiving nothing back from potential employees. Those from the “baby boomer” generation continuously find ways to nitpick everything I do. The only spec of comfort that I have is when I am able to find my way into my bedroom just to escape. My room is my only solace where I have my computer and phone. Music, videos, writing, and video games help me to forget the insecurities that my so-called “family” members have put inside of my head.

I place “family” in quotes because, at this point in my life, I have realized that my close friends are more family to me than my own blood. I have chosen siblings that care for me and a wonderful girlfriend that I thank the gods every day that I have. She has been the first partner I have found that does not negate my anxiety but helps to calm me. Despite the thoughts that she might leave me too one day, she reminds me that she never will.

One of the best lines in current Television comes from the show Supernatural. “Family doesn’t end in blood.” Bobby Singer says that to the boys and it sticks with them. He is like a father to the boys just like how my friends are like siblings. Dean goes on to say “…it doesn’t start there either.” That in itself is the meaning of this post. Once I am finally able to move out, I have decided that I will live the way I want. Decorate the way I wish, practice my spirituality the way I wish, and live the life I am meant to live. If family members disagree and continue to try and change me, I will not associate myself with them anymore even if that means never going to family functions any longer. As long as I have her and all my chosen siblings my life will be complete.

Mental Health

Know Your Limits

Living an adult life with a known and/or unknown learning disabilities is hard. Most of the time it is extremely difficult to obtain or hold a full-time job. Once you get into retail it seems impossible to get out. Most of the companies out there want people with education, but if you have the education they usually want an equal amount of experience. It seems like an endless cycle.

When I was 22 years old I was diagnosed with Anxiety, ADHD Inattentive-type, “slight” dyslexia, and dyscalculia. They told my parents I should have no problems getting into the workforce. They were wrong. For years I’ve struggled with finding a decent paying job. I wanted to become independent for so long but it seems as if the world’s view of learning disabilities is clouded.

I feel as if the moment you mention “anxiety” or “disability” in an interview or application lots of people politely refuse a position or do not see me at all. It’s a stigma that I think the American companies need to look past. What is the point of a law against discrimination of disability if it’s still there? They may not go out and say it but let’s face it; if there is one person interviewing with a mental disability and another who is “perfect,” who are they going to choose for employment?

To top it all off, I am always in pain because of some unknown disability in my back that doctors have previously seen as “faking it” or “slight scoliosis” or “being too inactive.” It wasn’t until I saw a rheumatologist this year that someone finally saw past all of that and realized something was actually wrong. However, even he was wrong. My primary doctor saw my symptoms and finally agreed with me that I was suffering from Fibromyalgia. I am finally on medication and vitamins that help aid with my issues.

This brings me to why I am sitting here writing this. Despite everything I have gone through, I refuse to give up. I have decided to go back to school for writing. The one thing that had stayed with me since I was in grade school was my love for writing. Looking back, I really do wish I would have forced myself to read the material in the English classes better to show that I really loved writing and English. Sometimes I wish I could time travel back in time and tell my old self to push through my frustrations with reading, and prove to the teachers and everyone that I was good enough. If I did that, I wonder if I would be in a very different situation right now.

In College the first time around, I had very little direction in what I had to do to get a decent job after I graduated. This is probably partially why I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. When I graduated high school I was forced to go to college full time just because it helped me stay on my parent’s insurance. By the time Obamacare was passed, allowing me to stay on their insurance without worrying about school it was too late. I already had so many credits I felt as if I had to finish with an associates’ degree in something. I graduated with only an Associates in General Studies.

After years of bouncing from job to job and months at a time being unemployed with little or no health insurance, I finally landed a job that worked with my physical and mental limitations. The main problem was that I would never be able to be financially independent. I was only qualified to work part time and they gave me less than 20 hours a week starting at minimum wage. Less than a year into this job they raised the wages to 9/hour but it still was not enough. When my medical bills rose and rose I finally had enough and applied for Medicaid and SNAP. It lifted my financial burden slightly for the time being. The only reason I settled with this job is because it did not leave me physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day like the others. I know that most people are physically and mentally exhausted after working a full day of any kind of work, but the point was that I was exhausted to the point that I did not want to do anything but eat and sleep. I was always in so much pain and my room became a disaster area because of my lack of energy.

With this job, I had the energy to do things again. I did my chores and kept my room as tidy as I could. I even walked to and from work when I worked shifts in the morning or afternoon. With this job I was not limited as much for anything. The only downside is the fact that I had no idea how many hours I would get the next week and if I would get enough to pay the little amount of bills I had. This is when I decided I wanted to try working two jobs to see how I could handle it.

I had never in my life been a waitress and I wanted to see how I was at it. Not only was I physically drained, but mentally drained as well by the end of the trial period of a week. I enjoyed the free Japanese food and the people’s company but the three anxiety attacks were not worth it.

The second job I applied for was a seasonal job watering plants. For the first few weeks it was ok because the weather was nice and warm. It was not until after the weather began getting cold again that I realized I could not handle the job physically. Not to mention when I had this revelation I had the fifth anxiety attack I had from the moment I started working. I wished I could stay there because the pay rate made me feel so much better about myself. However, I knew my physical and mental health were worth more than a paycheck.

The main point of me saying all this is not to wallow in everything that’s happened. I want to express that I did these things because I wanted to gauge what I could and could not do. I am not going to give up. I am going to try a temp agency to gain experience in an office while also working on freelance writing through Upwork and other places where I can find work for a writer trying to begin work. Working for offices should help me gain experience for internships and eventually a real career that I want to do. For everyone who reads this post, I want to let you know that it is not impossible to land the career you want or even just something as simple as keeping a job. If you can, think of everything you can and cannot do. Do not dwell on what you cannot do. Focus on what you can do, and what you love to do. Eventually you will know what path your life will take.

Disabilities, Mental Health

Finding Jobs That Might Accommodate for Disabilities

Even though it is not exactly ideal, I have had my fair share of retail jobs. Many were hard to obtain or keep because of my learning, mental, and sometimes physical limitations. I found that despite the law that employers are not allowed to discriminate against disabilities, many “politely decline” me employment suspiciously after I mention anything about my disabilities. True, they may have simply found a better fit for the job, however, I only notice that I receive this reaction when I mention my lack of ability to do something like the cash register.

I never wavered when I continuously looked for a job. I started to realize that certain things I said either made or broke my chances. The methods I developed may not work for everyone’s situation but I am going to share a few that may help someone one day.

  • Search for jobs at stores, factories, and offices that have multiple positions available. There is always a higher chance to be able to do at least one of these positions without accommodation. If I am confident that I will be able to obtain at least one of these positions, I will not have to worry about disclosing any information about my disabilities during the interview.
  • Apply to at least two or three jobs a day. This way, I usually have a higher chance of obtaining at least an interview. Once I accept a position somewhere, I can freely take or decline any other offers during other interviews depending on how I feel about the position I was given such as compensation, hours, and the atmosphere.
  • Try not to take too many days off until at least three to six months into a new job. I know there are a lot of things that happen in life, but when I first get a job I only request off if I have an already planned vacation, doctor’s appointment, or something else like that. I try my best to make it in when I am not feeling well but if it is bad enough that I cannot function, such as when my vertigo acts up, I call out. Even if I am running a few minutes late, I always make sure to call just in case. I also try to take extra shifts whenever they ask me to take if I am available to take them. These things help my employer know that I am reliable and give good references for school or other jobs.

If there is a store opening, and/or they are hiring for a seasonal position, apply! I have gotten a job with two companies that were opening stores and got the job since I applied early enough. I also stayed at three jobs that I applied to that were originally seasonal positions because they liked me. I used the previous three techniques which helped me keep those jobs.

These are only a handful of techniques that I use. I found that they really helped me and I believe they can help others like myself. I hope whoever reads this succeeds in finding a job and possibly a career.