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A Year of Change – February

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You may remember I chose the word “Change” for my word of the year, and January brought with it quite a few challenges and revelations. February has, in comparison, been fairly quiet. The vertigo and dizziness brought on by the Labyrinthitis has been particularly brutal, and I’ve spent the vast majority of this second month of the year trying to cope. However that has, in itself, brought its own learning and revelations, and so I want to document those in this month’s post.

Continuing Change

First of all I want to note the changes that began in January and continued into this month. I’ve continued with my daily chanting, passing the 40 day mark with the Chiia Kriya (we’ve decided to go for 120 days now!) and adding in Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung after it before tuning out. This is because the latter chant is great for healing (it’s actually the chant that brought me to Kundalini Yoga in the first place, as I began searching for healing mantras back at the beginning of 2016). You can try it out for yourself following the video below. I think it’s really quite beautiful.

I’ve also been continuing to listen to my audiobooks, and have finished all four of The Circle Of Magic* quartet and have moved onto The Circle Opens*. I’ve also been using other Tamora Pierce novels I know well to fall asleep to, and am enjoying relistening to old favourites like The Protector of The Small* quartet.

I’m still watching a fair bit on Amazon and Netflix, as I’m stuck in bed a lot. I’ve watched several series of Doctor Who (watching the last series with Amy and Rory, all of the Clara episodes, and have just met Bill). But I do find it can be a bit heavy going, and so have recently been watching The Lost World, which reminds of my teen years. It is super cheesy, especially the first series, but I do love it. I think it feeds into the nostalgic feeling I mentioned last month.

Starting Reflexology

Image of a reflexology treatment, with the client's feet resting on a rolled up towel and the therapist pressing on certain areas of the sole.

I mentioned last month that I was due to start having some Reflexology, and I have to tell you that I am loving it! I’ll write a proper post about my experience at some point, but for now I want to share how wonderful it has been to find a local therapist who both understands where I’m coming from, and is more than happy to add in Reiki and talk to me about spirituality alongside the treatments. That’s holistic therapy at its best!

The feeling of drifting off, sometimes like I’m floating and detached from my body (but in a pleasant way, not the horrid way that comes with the vertigo and migraines, mind you), is hard to describe. I’m fully aware of what is going on, and can still feel the pressure on my feet, but I’m also somewhere else at the same time. And every so often I get a shivery tingly sensation that shoots up my body right up and over the top of my head. Ooh it is lovely when that happens. And my stomach, well you should hear it rumbling away! That always happens when I relax.

Changes in My Health

I’ve had 4 sessions of Reflexology so far, and already both myself and my therapist can feel a change occurring. Despite still struggling with the vertigo, other things are definitely shifting. I’m sleeping more easily, both in terms of falling asleep and staying asleep. And I feel more rested when I wake. I’m also hungrier and my digestion is coping well with additional food.

Now these two things may well be side effects of the Pizotifen, as tiredness and increased appetite and weight gain are the most common side effects. But I don’t think it is those alone. I’m not overly fatigued upon waking, which usually happens whe tiredness is a side effect of medication. And I expected my digestion to struggle with increased food intake, given how delicate it usually is. So I personally think it’s a combination of the Pizotifen and the Reflexology. Either way, I’m pleased about both of these changes.

Exploring Energy Healing

In addition to the Reflexology, I’ve also been exploring other energy healing modalities this month. I decided to pull out my old Celtic Reiki manuals, and have been practising that on myself on a regular basis. Already I can feel the energy moving through my hands, far more than I ever did when I first trained in it way back in the early 2000s. I’ve also been reading Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine* and doing her daily routine to try and balance out my energies. Because if there’s one thing I feel sure about, it’s that I’ve been out of balance for far too long!

Most recently I’ve been reading about neuroplasticity, as well as the vagus nerve. Neuroplasticity focuses on the brains ability to create new connections, enabling us to heal. And the vagus nerve focuses on connections made throughout the body. The most interesting thing I’ve found in all of this is that I’ve come across the idea of energy crossing the midline (an imaginary line going down the centre of our bodies, from crown of the head through the base of our spine) in three separate places this past month, which to me signals this is something I need to focus on.

The first place I came across it was in Donna Eden‘s daily routine. She explains how energy is supposed to cross over from one side to the other. The second place was in some Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy videos, which focus on things like looking from one side to the other, crossing the midline and helping your brain adapt to the sensation of dizziness it provokes. And the third place was in the vagus nerve exercises*. So right now I’m focusing a lot on crossing these energies over, to try and balance things out a bit more. I’m fed up of feeling like I’m being pulled off to one side!

Changes to The Patch

Another change this month has come in the form of my writing. I’ve written and shared a couple of things that are more aligned with my true self and what I want to share. Walking Between Worlds was a particular landmark post for me, as it is the first time I’ve been that open and honest about my faith journey, without holding anything back. And then I shared the affirmation printables I’d created. I want to continue sharing posts like these as I move forward, focusing more on health and wellbeing, and faith and spirituality.

Because of this, I’ve been working on updating some old posts (whenever the vertigo would allow me to) and adding new pins to Pinterest to try and increase my visibility in these fields. I’m pleased to say Pinterest is showing improvements already, even though I’ve only added a few extra pins. And I’ve got the wonderful Stevie from A Cornish Mum helping me to sort out SEO issues behind the scenes. I’ve got posts on here going back to 2010, with some I originally wrote on Typepad and others integrated from Spirit Kid Network (which was on Squarespace), so there is a lot of tidying up that needs to be done.

Despite blogging since 2006, I’ve never really got on top of my own SEO, as I was several years in before I learnt about it. So it feels good to finally have somebody help me to start tackling it. Because I know that the quality of my writing is high, and that I share things people find useful, but I’m just not getting the visibility I should be doing.

Creative Writing

Talking about writing, my Reflexologist has been encouraging me to write as much as possible, and so recently I’ve picked up my pen and paper again and started writing out new scenes for The Brethren. I really hope to start building upon the framework I already have (I have around 60k words already written), to develop this story further and get it out there. But I’ve been putting it off for far too long. So as the vertigo begins to subside I plan on spending increasingly more time working on this particular project. I know it’s a good story and has great characters, I just need to crack on and start writing again.

Another Loss in the Family

Finally, the biggest change perhaps this month is that my Grandma died unexpectedly. She is the fifth person in my extended family to pass away over the past 3 years. It’s been such a part of our lives that Little Man barely reacted when I told him. I don’t mean he wasn’t sad, because he was. But with so many family members passing away (along with one of his school friends and one of our guinea pigs) he has come to accept death as just part of everyday life. And that makes me very sad for him.

Amanda's family wedding photo including her cousin
It will be 10 years since our wedding in October, and in that time we’ve lost 6 of the 10 family members in this photo (5 in the past 3 years).

Obviously this has been hard on the family, especially my mum and dad who were caring for my uncle just last Autumn as he passed away at home. They have cared for everyone over the past 3 years in one way or another and had thought they had a couple of years grace after my uncle passed away. So this has shaken them quite a lot I think.

It’s hit me a bit too, as I was closer to my Grandma than any of the others we have lost in recent years. And because it happened so suddenly (she went into hospital on the Thursday and passed away overnight Friday/Saturday), it feels somewhat surreal. She would have been 92 in April, so she had a good life. But it still feels very sudden, especially as there have been a few times when she has been really sick and we thought we might lose her through the years but she always pulled through.

Anyway, as I say that is the biggest change this month I guess, as it is a loss and something that will never change back.

Looking Ahead to March

Looking ahead, March is going to be a fairly busy month. I have at least two events or appointments per week, which is a lot for me. So I’m hoping to continue recovering from the labyrinthitis (hopefully quicker than I have done so far), and I’m also hoping to see an improvement in my migraines. I don’t want to miss things like World Book Day at the library with Little Man after he wrote us this beautiful invite and told me he’d love it if I could make it as well as Tim. And I certainly want to be well for my Grandma’s funeral. I’m due to do a reading at that, so I don’t want to be battling symptoms if I can help it.

I have a feeling the month will be very similar to January and February in terms of changes made (that is, I suspect I shall still be focusing on daily chanting and energy work and my healing journey). I doubt I’ll bring in any new changes, but who knows? Only time will tell…

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