Category Archives: Resilient Heart

Giving up was not an option

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I am writing this to remind myself…

There was a point in my health journey where I had not only lost my health but also my savings and my livelihood. It was about 8 months in that my savings was gone, my successful career was gone and all of my credit cards were maxed out from basic living and medical bills. This was probably the most stressful time in my life.

But something kept pulling me forward. The pull was my purpose. My purpose this lifetime has always been to create art that had a positive, transformational impact. Writing, which is part of that purpose came later. I write from the same place as I paint.

This is to say that when I was at my lowest lows, I still could paint and I still could write and those two things pulled me through. I could also see there would be a time when I could fully live my purpose again. That what I was going through had meaning in this purpose and I wasn’t intended to die from it.

And so I painted…and I wrote…32 paintings focused on the heart and several other paintings. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book. I wrote Resilient Heart a book all about heart health and my journey. I wrote Resilient Heart Art, the healing power of art. I built an Etsy site and two new websites for my art and writing. I created a festival for artists and writers to combine my to loves. All while I was sick. Those things pulled me through my illness and kept me focused on my purpose.

I was grateful for each positive step forward no matter how small.

So now getting 4 shows for my art in 3 days tells me my focus paid off. Getting the feed back from curators that they are touched by my art means a lot. It shows me I have built momentum. I am in a place of joy because my physical crisis is finally over and I am in the flow of the vision I held for the past 3 years.

I am sharing this not to brag but to give someone, somewhere hope. No matter what happens hold on to your dream. Let it lift you up and maybe out of where you are right now.

Today I thank myself for not giving up.

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Filed under health and wellness, heart Health, Personal development, Resilient Heart

Third Anniversary of Heart Attack

 

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Three years ago today, on the Equinox, I had the first of three heart attacks, that resulted in my having open heart surgery.  This first heart attack lead me on an amazing journey home to my heart. I painted this painting to celebrate the anniversary and my healthy ❤️

Early in the morning, three years ago, I had a dream that was a sacred ceremony in which the six pointed star was placed in my heart and the Vesica Pisces was placed in my womb. Both of these are symbols of balancing the Masculine and Feminine energies. So is the Equinox. I woke up knowing something powerful had just happened. That evening I had the heart attack.

I was blindsided. Soul contracts are like that!

That began a 2 1/2 year journey of self discovery, where I found out what I was capable of doing under extreme pressure. It showed me what I was truly made of and that I could endure the worst and become my best. It showed me my mortality and highlighted my desire to live❤️

This journey brought me back to my heart, which is the source of my wisdom. I know what my heart desires and what it doesn’t. It brought me back to my purpose, which is to share my love and deep wisdom through my art and I am committed and dedicated to that purpose now more than ever. No more distractions.

My heart is open. It is tender, sensitive and knowing as well as strong, wise and healthy. I am at home in my heart.

Thank you for witnessing my process, loving me through it, shoring me up when I needed it and showing me the importance of surrounding yourself with a community of care.

Sharing this journey was the most vulnerable thing I have done and not easy, but it felt important.

That chapter is done and I am onto a new chapter.

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Filed under A wakening consciousness, Awakening The Inner Physician, heart Health, Resilient Heart, Uncategorized

Healing is a process many don’t understand.

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Changing your story isn’t easy,especially if it is one that turned your world upside down and inside out. It takes courage, tenacity, desire and will to move from the known to the unknown and trust that you will find something better on the other side.

There is an ‘after’ after a life threatening illness, but from the outside looking in, most don’t understand what it takes. I am speaking as someone who has been inside of a healing process, which included financial troubles.  I didn’t understand what it would take either until I went through it.

People on the outside don’t understand what it takes. I had people ask why I didn’t go out and get a job after having open heart surgery. Why did I need to have a fundraiser to help me through this healing process? Why was I so destitute? I had people say you look good so you should be good to go. I see you going for walks so why are you getting a job. Why do you have to ask for help. I have also heard that I created this illness with my thoughts so why can’t I heal by changing my thoughts. Other people I know recovering from life threatening illness have had similar experiences.

This made me think about what is really involved in healing and recovering and creating a new life story.

Healing is a process and many of the steps repeat over and over before they resolve. Recovery by itself takes desire, strength, trust and vision of something better. Those things take mastery of focus when you are in a “reality “ where you don’t feel well.

Here is a list of processes you go through when healing.

1-Life threatening illness

2-Shock

3-Fear

4-Grief   (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) Most people cycle in and out of these. Some get stuck in a stage.

5-PTSD (Anxiety, Depression, Fear, terror ) this is common when you have a life threatening illness. You wonder if/when it will happen again

6-Financial Difficulties( Fear, Worry, Increased body pain, Raise in Stess Hormones, Hopelessness, Self-Doubt, Feeling like a failure)

7-The healing Process itself (extreme illness, determining what it is, finding the right treatment, finding the right doctors, feeling better and sometimes setbacks)

8- Acceptance, the stage where you can start thinking about how to create a life that is better.

9-Distancing yourself from current reality, which can include pain and disability and side effects of the illness , so you can even think about something better.

10-Writing a new story for your life

11-Learning how to adjust and navigate the new story

12- Integrate it so it becomes part of your life.

As you can see, there are many things involved in the healing and recovery process. Each step takes time. You might look good on the outside but all of this is going on, on the inside.

I had three heart attacks, every four months over ten months. I didn’t have enough time between heart attacks to physically heal before I had another one. Each one took me back to the beginning of the healing process. By the time I had open heart  surgery, I was still healing from three heart attacks which made healing even more difficult.

The healing process is challenged further by the fact that you will probably face financial difficulties as a result.  53% of Americans with health insurance have difficulty paying their medical bills. More than a third of seriously ill use all of their savings to pay for care. 21% had trouble paying for basic necessities.  This should not be the consequences of getting sick in America.

So add this immense stress to the healing process and it is even more difficult recovering.

l say this to remind you that if you haven’t gone through a serious illness, please be a compassionate witness to someone who is. Understand they are doing the best they can under the circumstances and that if they had a choice this wouldn’t be happening. Don’t make assumptions.  Understand that recovery and getting their life back doesn’t happen over night. Even if they look good on the outside it doesn’t me they feel better. And if they have to ask their community for help, know that is uncomfortable, embarrassing and humiliating.

What a person in recovery needs the most is loving kindness.

 

 

 

 

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Heart Disease is an Epidemic

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#Healthyhearttip

Few people alive today are old enough to remember the beginning of the coronary heart disease (CHD) epidemic in the 1920s and 1930s, when physicians in the U.S. and U.K. began sounding alarm bells that an uncommon disease was rapidly becoming the leading cause of death. By the 1950s, their predictions had come true. A decade later, a new generation of physicians replaced their predecessors and began to doubt that heart attacks had ever been uncommon. Gradually, the idea that the disease was once uncommon faded from the public consciousness, and heart attacks were seen as an eternal plague of humankind, avoided only by dying of something else first.

According to U.S. National Vital Statistics records beginning in 1900, CHD was rarely given as the cause of death by physicians until after 1930. It used to be uncommon and now it is such a common occurrence that it’s an epidemic. It happens so often it’s like the common cold.

Did you know that 80% of heart attacks and stroke can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. Here we are almost 90 years later and the medical interventions still being used are pharmaceuticals, stents and bypass surgery.

Doctors aren’t taught about natural supplements and nutrition as an option. It was natural supplements that save my life as far as I am concerned. What is considered a heart healthy diet is far from heart healthy.

When I was in the hospital after one of the heart attacks, they brought me a menu and I order the things that would fit with the Paleo diet I had been on. Lots of veggies and a hamburger without a bun, no wheat and no dairy. Soon after my food arrived a nurse ran into my room and grabbed my tray and told me I couldn’t eat that and that my food needed to come from the Heart Healthy Menu.

She arrived a few minutes later with a large plate of spaghetti, covered in sauce with meatballs! I was stunned! If this was what was being fed to heart patients as heart healthy, it would appear they were trying to kill people off! This wasn’t the exception. All of the heart healthy food was like that. If it was low sodium and low fat you could eat it. Nothing else was taken into consideration.

I wrote my book to address what wasn’t being address. Things you can do to prevent heart disease in the first place .Mystick Creek Publishing 

#Resilientheart

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My Statin Nightmare 2

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#healthyhearttip

I must warn you up front that I have a strong opinion about statins because of the havoc it caused in my body in 3 short weeks of talking it. This is one of the longest chapters in the book because of how important I felt this information was. I suggest after reading this you do your own research. There are many natural alternatives to help regulate cholesterol levels.

From my book, Resilient Heart Chapter “My Statin Nightmare”

“I wasn’t thinking when I agreed to take Statins after the first heart attack. I was a vulnerable patient at that time, with little knowledge about the drug. After you have a heart attack the doctor doesn’t come in and talk to you about medication, the nursing staff just brings it to you as part of the routine. You are sent home with a bag of pills and are too sick to ask questions…

There is a lot of exaggeration and deception about the effectiveness of statins. Statins came on the scene with FDA approval in 1987 and are now the most widely-prescribe and most profitable medicine on the market. Lipitor, which I was on, was the world’s best-selling drug until its patent expired recently.

Most of the clinical trials done to prove that statins are effective in preventing cardiac events and death were done by companies with a vested interest in positive outcomes. This is where the deception comes in. For example, if 100 people were in a trail and 3 percent were taking a placebo and had a heart attack compared to 2 percent having a heart attack on a Statin, one person would have benefited from taking a Statin. One person having benefits doesn’t sound that great. To compensate for that the numbers were manipulated to read 33% of people benefited from the Statin. This is a highly quoted study about the benefits of Statins. 33% sounds a lot better than one out of 100. Drug companies are using relative risk reduction rather than absolute risk reduction to make it look like a drug is working better than it really is. “

Did you know that one in four Americans aged 45 and over are taking cholesterol-lowering Statin drugs, despite the fact that the risks are very high.

Did you know that Statins were developed for middle aged white males and don’t even work for women?

Did you know that doctors are required to prescribe Statins because it is standard protocol for heart attacks and heart disease. If they don’t follow protocol, which is set up by insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, they could get into trouble.

I go into more depth about what I found, in my book, Resilient Heart: A Holistic Approach to a Healthy Heart for Women. Available on Amazon or from me at Mystickcreekpublishing

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