Five months later….

Can you see two teeny tiny brown specs on the grass by the first tree? A pair of sweet little rabbits.

Can you see the teeny tiny brown spec on the grass by the first tree? A pair of sweet little rabbits.

So here it is, the month of July already, five months since my last post where I left you hanging at my review of chapter six of  the book, Clean – Remove, Restore, Rejuvenate by Alejandro Junger, M.D.

Much has happened since the winter. You as well?

At first, I thought I’d write about what happened during my unannounced blogging break, then I decided not to. I realized that I’d be writing about things I don’t necessarily want to remember.

I’ll just say, I’ve had my challenges (physically and financially).

Who was it that said, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”

Since I’m still motoring along, I must be stronger.

Time will be the teller.

Some of you know I have another blog, Miracle Mama, where I inspire uplifted thought through the sharing of  miracle stories, inspirational interviews, products and services.

Over the next several months, I’ll be implementing new ideas to grow and expand the site.

If you know any miracle stories or have experienced something you want to share (maybe something uplifting or helpful to others) please contact me via email. I would love to hear from you!

I hope all is well with everyone. I’ll be around to see what you are up to soon.

Hopefully, you will come to visit me at Miracle Mama for now.  🙂

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Marianne changed her Profile

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Just thought I’d have a Facebook moment and let followers know that I’ve changed my profile script.

Since WordPress doesn’t make the announcement, it seemed like a good idea for a new post, but I could be wrong.

Here’s the new “About me” on my profile pic;

“He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.” These lyrics are some of my all time favorite. When I was growing up, I used song lyrics to describe how I felt about my life. In my early teens, this inclination died and was no more. Many years later, every now and then, it returns…and I smile. The Meaning for My Life (formerly Grandeurvision) is about: Love, Life and Presence. Miracle Mama is about miracle stories to inspire a life free from doubt, fear and limited thinking. I write from my heart when I feel inspired to share something. Welcome, friends of the world.

So what do you think?

Inspired by a comment on my friend, Ken Wert’s blog, Meant to be Happy, the profile update is meant to help bring out the authentic voice that lives inside.

Ken wrote a blog titled, 5 Signs Personal Development Blogs Are Hurting Your Personal Development.

One of the comments mentioned the importance of learning to listen to our authentic voice stating that our authentic voice knows what is best and always speaks the truth.

I whole-heartedly agree and found myself thinking that sometimes the lines are blurred.

For instance, scientists prove that environment conditions an organism. Since we are organisms, this applies to us as well. We are conditioned from birth. (But, don’t believe me. Check out the data for yourself.)

I see from my own personal experience; this is true. Even though, I prided myself of being independent, I see where I took on the beliefs of my environment.

These weren’t my beliefs from my own authentic voice. They belonged to someone else.

Over the years, the authentic voice peeped out on occasion, but I was quite good at silencing it.

So — who is the I that did the silencing?

Ah ha!

I caught you!

I see who you are now.

You are the conditioned self. The persona the world sees. The one who judges, analyzes, compares, calculates, criticizes and protects.

The authentic voice knows truth and doesn’t have to analyze, compare, calculate, criticize or make up beliefs.

It just knows.

Have you ever had a knowing about something, that wasn’t backed up by a data calculation of your mind, and turned out to be true?

I love when this happens!

This is how I want to live every day, every moment.

I want an intimate relationship with my own authentic voice.

What about you: do the lines blur for you too? Do you sometimes silence your authentic voice? 

Non-believers won’t read this

and here’s why;

They don’t believe a problem exists.

If they agree a problem exists; they don’t believe the problem is worthy of attention.

They don’t have time for the so-called “do-gooders”.

This post is for the converted. The believers. It’s for the people who are weary of the status quo.

It’s for the change-agents who aspire to rise above status quo into loftier qualities of compassion, unselfish concern for others, responsibility and decisive action.

Amanda Todd ended her life on October 10, 2012. Amanda was fifteen years old. Amanda could no longer live with the pain of the past three-year’s of cruelty hurled upon her by a blackmailing cyber stalker and her peers.

Amanda Todd could be your daughter or grand-daughter. She could be your niece, cousin, sister, student or class-mate.

Bullying is such a common occurrence that many of us mistakenly believe is normal. Many of us are victims of bullying from our families, relationships, schools and workplaces. Bullying infects every aspect of society.

No one is immune. Some of us project the effects externally onto others; our kids, our spouses, our pets, our relatives, our workmates, the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.

Some of us quietly endure the effects inwardly day after day hoping that others won’t notice our wounded-ness.

Amanda Todd began advocating for victims of bullying in a video she posted in September called, “My Story:Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm.”

Carol Todd, Amanda’s mother said in an interview that she “has launched a trust fund in Amanda’s memory to raise money for anti-bullying awareness education and for support programs for youth with mental health issues.”

Let us continue the advocacy Amanda Todd began with her video because “we should not rest.”
Be a voice or help support a voice. If there is enough of us, eventually the non-believers will follow.
Related article • Amanda Todd is an Angel

Hello my beloved humans! May I have this dance?

I received permission from Occupy Your Heart to Reblog their post Trip The Light as part of my Learning about Love series.

Pump up the volume and enjoy!

Occupy Your Heart

I’ve just had the mixed blessing of a week without Internet service. I hope to be more mindful of the time I spend hopping from site to site for the next information “hit”.

What I missed were some of the inspirational, moving, fun videos such as this one. Thanks to the power of ten to Matt and the team that produced this video.

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I’m All Pooped Out!

While it is true that I’m experiencing more frequent elimination due to the antibiotics the doc prescribed, it wasn’t the instigation for my choice of title. No, that would be rude.

When I say, “I’m all pooped out,” I mean I’m tired. Exhausted. Drained. I think I remember my dad used that expression. I hope he meant he was tired.

It’s tax season here in Canada, eh? And although I wouldn’t call myself a hard-core tax preparer, I have been helping-out (somewhat) more than usual in between RA flare-ups and other health diagnoses.

So, what I’m really trying to say, is that I’ve spent more time away from my computer during the last month and a half and haven’t been able to keep up with the blog-neighbors and Facebook friends, for that matter.

This means, I’m lagging behind on all the news and I’m not sure where to start to get caught up being that tax time is gearing up for the final eight days starting on Monday and I’m still not feeling up to the challenge.

I did, however, take some time to kick-back, read Anita’s Moorjani’s book, Dying to be ME and write a review this weekend. I posted it on my other WordPress blog, Miracle Mama. If you have time, you may want to check it out. It’s sooo inspiring!

In the meanwhile, I hope everyone is well and I look forward to catching up soon.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to catch me up on what I’ve missed.

In the End, Only Love Matters

Life lesson 20,622.

Some of my blog readers know that seven months ago, I experienced a serious health emergency due to rheumatoid arthritis and/or RA drug induced complications (click here to read).

The events that occurred on that day as well as the two months that followed turned into a life altering experience that I haven’t shared much about.

I’m ready to share now.

The story goes like this: In 2009, I realized that while it was true that I was breathing, I wasn’t really living. For years, I wasn’t engaged with Life. On the outside, I went through the motions doing the things I had to do each day. On the inside, life was hard, full of disappointments and burdens. There wasn’t much about life that impressed me.

Something had to change. Being stuck in the drudgery was no longer an option. I had to find a way to live happily engaged to loving Life.

So, I began this blog in 2010, called it “Grandeurvision” with the sub-heading “a woman’s journey to a meaningful life” and set out to change my life.

Throughout 2010, good fortune came my way. I was able to experience coaching by a couple of really great life coaches. I attended some very empowering workshops and met some really awesome positive people (including blog neighbors).

Headed in the right direction, life was changing. I felt enthusiastic about living.

Unbeknown to me, the best was yet to come.

The best was the serious health emergency that occurred seven months ago. That’s when the “full monty”, “the whole nine yards” came to light.

The shock, at first, felt like I ran into a brick wall. My world suddenly stopped. There was nothing to do, except lie in the hospital bed. It was the closest I’d ever come to death.

Funny thing is, I lived most of the years prior not really wanting to live. Now, I had a close to death experience. It called my name to say, “Pay attention here, Marianne, this is really important.”

So—I was lying in my hospital bed in the cardiac ward unable to sleep at 4 a.m. when the man in the bed next to me began talking in his sleep. I listened intently to hear what he was saying, but disappointed to realize it sounded like gibberish. In fact, it sounded totally alien, like he was having a bubbly conversation with a being from another planet. His pitch rose and lowered in a melodious kind of way.

It seemed like his conversation went on for a really long time. Eventually, the night nurse heard him. She went to his bedside, called his name several times while gently nudging him. Still dazed, he mumbled something about the bathroom. He wasn’t able to stand up, so the nurse called other nurses to help sit him on the commode.

The nurses had him half out of his bed when he collapsed into unconsciousness. A code blue alerted hospital staff and within seconds  a team of  8 or 10 health care workers arrived with equipment to resuscitate him. It took an awfully long time to stabilize him. Then, they moved him to the intensive care unit where his needs would be cared for better.

Throughout the entire time, I was in the next bed, shaking and praying to God, “Please don’t let him die.”

This is where the “attention” part came in.

Within a handful of days, two serious life and death situations  presented; one that happened to me (hence the reason I was in the hospital in the cardiac ward) and one that I witnessed (the man in the next bed).

It was as if Life would make sure I wouldn’t miss this lesson. I was afraid that I would die and I was afraid the man in the bed next to me would die. In the grip of the fear of death, a  gift emerged. It was a clear realization that I wanted to Live and I wanted the man next to me to Live.

The experience opened my eyes to view Life differently.

Life is no longer about having stuff, doing stuff or being a “somebody”. Life is about the fact that I’m being Life Itself. I’m not Marianne living Marianne’s little life. I’m Life acting out Life through a physical body experiencing events. I’m experiencing Life living and being Life. It’s the most sacred thing I’ve ever felt.

On a sensation level, the shift in perception is huge. On a thinking, writing or speaking level, the shift can hardly be explained.

It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or what I’m having. It doesn’t matter whether this body is diseased or healthy. All that matters is that I’m living and loving in this moment. That’s all that matters.

By pleading and praying for the man in the bed next to me, I was loving him — a man who was a total stranger. I wanted the same for him that I wanted for myself — Life. I wanted Life for both of us.

Microsoft Images

While we are here, experiencing Life in this body, it is a privilege and an honor to spend time with others, to share, to give, to help.

In the end, when faced with death, all that really matters is how loving and kind we were to ourselves and to others.

Is it really possible to live with the awareness of this truth in each and  every moment?

A day in a life with rheumatoid Arthritis – Part 8: What Do I Do Now?

Holy moly, I give up. Why is it, just when you think things are going good, something happens to burst the bubble?

The blog post I planned to write last week was to say good-bye to “A day in the life with RA” titles. Yes indeed, it felt so great that symptoms were at an all-time low. I decided that I would not focus on RA any longer in blog posts, in fact, I made the declaration to not even think or talk about RA. I would seal my lips and never utter another word on the topic.

But. Those thoughts quickly vanished. It started on Thursday evening when I suddenly realized that my eyes felt very scratchy and bothered by light.

In the morning, I called the optometrist and went to her office right away to get my eyes checked. The exam showed they were extremely dry and the tear glands were somewhat clogged. The optometrist indicated that “dry eye” is one of the symptoms of RA as well as with other autoimmune disease conditions. “Oh joy”, I thought.

I left the office with instructions and lubricating drops.

In addition to the dry eye, my throat was extremely dry and the inflammation level was up significantly in my feet and ankles. Getting around was tougher than normal. I thought back to what I had to eat the previous day. Hmm, that’s the day I decided to try an omelet. It had been about three months since I’ve eaten eggs. Maybe that accounts for the flare-up, I reckoned.

Over the weekend, the inflammation in my feet and ankles seemed to subside a bit, I think. However, who knows why, but Monday brought increased inflammation again.

Today was the kicker though. Today, Miss Hop Along was escorted arm in arm by two of the tenants who live in my building after they saw me inching my way from the parking lot after getting out of my car.

See the squirrel climb the wall.

Hmm, I thought back over my diet of the last few days and wondered if it was the pecans in the gluten, dairy, egg and sugar-free muffins I’ve been eating. Maybe I’m sensitive to nuts. Maybe I am a nut.

Or, maybe the increase in symptoms is due to the fish oil supplement I began taking recently because it’s recommended to reduce inflammation.

I just don’t know. And, quite frankly, this is getting ridiculous.

I’m at the point where I ask myself, “What do I do now?”.

In my last post three weeks ago, I mentioned a much improved situation with test results to back it up (click here to read).

Now, I feel as though in reality, the dietary changes did nothing. Could it be that my body is reacting finally to the gradual decrease in prednisone by becoming more inflammed? Who can really say for sure why my symptoms improved and now seem to show little improvement.

So, do I scrap it all or do I keep going?

I can’t let my rheumatologist hear about this setback. I can see the glimmer in her eye as she says, “So, are you ready to try the new RA drug I recommended to you way back in September? You know, the one that is a IL-6 receptor inhibitor and is given intravenously once a month.”

No, we can’t let her know about this situation. We have to find another answer.

Sometimes I wonder why it seems to be so difficult to get well. Then, I remember.

I have access to a plethora of pharmaceuticals at a cost of $2 per prescription. Some of the RA medications cost upwards of $1,700. per month, but in my case, the government pays the bill. Thank you, government.

But here’s the thing, I view pharmaceuticals as a win-lose scenario, where the patient is the loser. I prefer the notion that the body will heal itself, once it is given the correct environment to do so.

Unfortunately, the medical system I’m under does not adhere to the; body heal thyself notion, nor, will it tolerate freedom of choice. Sure the government will fork over $1,700 per month for pharmaceuticals, but it won’t cough up a nickel for non-pharmaceutical treatment.

The Sun is on the horizon.

I guess, I have to keep going to find the correct environment for my body to heal itself and forget about trying to figure out why this flare-up is happening.

I need to keep focused on the goal: Make the best of each day no matter what seems to be going on in the moment.

You can do it, Marianne!