Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Day 3 - emotional

Today I shed a few tears both from being emotional and from laughing so much.

30 seconds after I posted yesterday's blog a guest came to the lounge and was bleeding.  She has experienced a window falling in her cabin and by accident it hit her nose.  She was in a lot of pain so the team got her ice and me and another guest took her to the hospital as we thought her nose might be broken.  We arrived at 10:00pm and they shared it would be a 3 hour wait.  We are happy to say that our friend received some great care and we all arrived back just after 2:00am.  The old me would have set her alarm to ensure she didn't miss the 7:00am yoga but the new me knew to not set an alarm and to get the rest needed.

I woke up at 8:30, took a shower, didn't eat breakfast as I wasn't hungry and made it to first practice for 9:30.  For some reason during our first practice my eyes watered the whole time.  I wasn't sad just tired I think and a tad overwhelmed.  Happily, my practice was amazing.  We did something called "noticing" and we were asked to label our thoughts as seeing, hearing, or feeling.  It was powerful to focus on those senses the whole time.  I stayed in total practice right up to the bell.  Liz shared some great analogies again and continues to push our thinking about the amount of energy we put into unhealthy thoughts, the past, and things we can't control. We then did "walking meditation".  Liz got us to walk very slowly (intentionally) to feel our feet hit the ground and pay attention to our balance. I found it hard as our eyes were open and I couldn't help but look outside at the beautiful day and flower gardens. But, it was great to move and then to think that I could use the practice back in my job when I am completing my daily classroom walkthrus.

Lunch was so good.  Broccoli soup, hummus stuffed cucumbers, and blueberry kale salad.  It was amazing.  We had a big chunk of time before the PM session so we sat in the sun on the porch and laughed at our lives.

After lunch we attended our second practice where we spent a great deal of time talking about stress. We identified how it manifest itself in our bodies and wrote about 25 different things that we all experience socially, emotionally, physically, and importantly, behaviorally.  We then had the opportunity to hear from some participants and were able to provide some suggestions for them to think about when they return home. Liz gave another great analogy about watching a scary movie and how we know it is not real but we still get scared.  We need to step away, notice how we feel, and label it as not our reality.  Powerful stuff.

The important lessons today came when Liz provided us some "distorted thinking" strategies and we went around the room reading all the identified ones and people sharing a person example.  I got very teary for my turn as the strategy I had to read was a very relevant one that I use often.  I linked it to the fact that I am constantly worried about getting cancer again and that Crohns disease sucks.  I talked about how I am trying very hard to not have highs and lows and to remain neutral all the time so that the manic part of me is more under control. But, remaining emotionally in control and not feeling highs so that I don't go too low means I sometimes miss out on feeling proud, happy, and excited.  It was the most powerful part so far and some great discussions and hand outs provide us with so much knowledge.

Before dinner we all relaxed, read, played cards, chatted and laughed our lives once again. I think I might have fallen asleep on the couch for a couple of minutes.

Dinner was make your own rice bowl with a ton of grilled veggies and tofu.  Not a big fan of the tofu but Kurt made an amazing gravy to go over the whole thing which was pretty good.  For dessert he made pineapple upside down cake with whip topping.  The topping (believe it or not) was delicious and was made of .....chick pea juice.  You would never know as it tasted like cool whip.  These chefs know what they are doing.

Second best part of the day was after dinner several of us sat around in the dining room telling funny stories and playing "what's your favourite".  It got a tad naughty but allowed for everyone to laugh off the afternoon and I really hadn't laughed that hard for years.  I really love all the people here.  I did have a sad moment today when I was kind of missing my Fitness Ridge friends and experience as today was very similar to the types of fun and moments that I have had in Utah.  This is so similar but different.  This is truly shaping my thinking as Fitness Ridge shaped my physical self. Ironically, I have lost over 5 pounds but I think a lot of it is emotional baggage that I have dropped.

The best part of the day was that Heather (Liz's yoga friend) returned at 7:00pm and held a NIA class.  I was so excited to go because I heard she was awesome and I hadn't done the morning yoga session so wanted to do something physical today. Almost everyone went but we had not idea what NIA was but it was soooo much fun.  NIA is " a mind/body physical conditioning program that initially stood for Non Impact Aerobics.  Nia combines martial arts, dance and yoga in a workout to music.

It was hilarious as I don't think any of us are dancers but we all wished we were.  Heather chose great music and taught us all the moves.  Some dance, Tai Chi, martial arts kicks and yoga. We laughed and sweated a lot for an hour. We were happy to hear she is back tomorrow to do the 7:00am yoga class. 

After the class some people chatted, took showers or sat around the camp fire. Beautiful night outside - tons of stars. 

Today was good as I think we all felt a lot and moved forward too.