Close to being done…

I am beyond sad and frustrated today. I had the worst Thanksgiving of my life. I wasn’t even hungry; I had to force myself to eat all day. Dinner was Progresso Chicken Rice Soup. I did manage to get out and walk on the beach for 30 minutes even though it was cold. It felt good to move. Looking at Facebook and seeing everyone’s photos just made me cry all day. It still makes me cry. I need to see a light at the end of this tunnel because I’ve been having some desperate thoughts and it’s worrying me.

Tomorrow, November 25th, will be six years since the day I quit drinking and smoking. I had been sick for a long time. I quit because it was killing me. I quit so I would be healthy. I quit because I was told I would be dead by 50 if I kept living the way I was.

I am 50 now. 2017 has been the worse year for health in my life since six years ago. It makes me wonder why I gave up booze and cigarettes in the first place. Why didn’t I just go out partying and having a good time? Why did I sacrifice so much and work so hard to only be here now – I am still sick. I’ve been sick for month. It all started with jaw pain which I now know is TMJ. I am allergic to NSAIDS. It’s gotten out of control because I can’t manage the inflammation and the steroids didn’t work.

I was thinking back to what I was eating and doing before this flare up started. I was eating a lot of Gluten Free Granola and I liked Gluten Free tender Jerky as a snack. Both of are very crunchy and required a lot of chewing and jaw work. I was also eating steak once a week which also requires a lot of chewing. Well, I didn’t know I had TMJ so I didn’t know I shouldn’t be eating all of that constantly and should be resting my jaw more. Eating them once in a while is ok. I also didn’t know to ice my jaw most nights. I didn’t know I was chewing mostly on one side which was creating an imbalance. I didn’t know I was clenching my jaw when stressed and frustrated. I didn’t know my jaw is misaligned and pulling to the left. I didn’t know.

This same exact thing happened back in April except that time they told me it was a Salivary Gland Infection and I most likely had Sjogren’s Syndrome. Since all of the Autoimmune tests are now negative and we know my jaw has inflammation in it and pulls to left we know it’s TMJ with arthritis in the jaw. It’s doesn’t appear to be Rheumatoid Arthritis. Just the type you get in joints from overuse and previous injuries. Since I am a baby and I wanted my MRI done in a sit up machine where you watch TV instead of going in the tube, I rescheduled my MRI to next Friday at a local place with a sit up machine. I go back to Penn TMJ Center the first week of December. I also have a script for an MRI of facial obits to check the Salivary Glands but I am holding on to it for now until after I follow up at Penn. We think the swelling in the joint is somehow blocking the Salivary Gland.

The other thing is I am sweating like crazy, having hot flashes and night sweats. My doctor was asking about menopause the other day. Are my hormones just fucked up and causing chaos? I am two weeks overdue for period and I am not pregnant. The last time I was this late all kinds of crazy chaos was going in my body like my body was trying to have a period but just couldn’t. Is this just hormonal imbalance and crazy hormones flowing in my body with no where to go causing this chaos in my body? I am praying every day for a period to end the madness 😂 Let’s get my TMJ under control before I have to deal with Menopause? K? Menopause can cause a flare up of TMJ and other joint issues.

I also learned TMJ joint inflammation can also be caused by food allergies which brings me to my unsuccessful reintroduction of Diary this week. Well, I should have waited until I felt 100% to experiment with Dairy. I have been eating Dairy a little bit a time once in a while but not every day or in every meal. This week I decided to relax a bit with Chocolate Cake, Greek Yogurt and Cheese. OMG! The bloating, nausea and IBS was insane. I also had a stuffy nose. I knew I felt better without Diary in my life. I also learned if I want to eat it, I need to only eat small amounts on a rotation basis (once a week). Honestly, I can live without it. I’ve lived without that and Chocolate cake since June and have been just fine. I am not sure if it was the sugar and dairy or just the dairy because I’ve been low sugar too.

The scale is clearly showing the affects of cleaning up my diet. I lost 70lbs when I was sick six years ago because I was too sick to eat a lot. I gained back 20lbs two years ago when I was feeling better. Mostly it was sugar snacks and coffee that tasted like candy that did that. I’ve took off 20lbs in the last year. I am now losing more because I am just not that hungry. Honestly, eating a highly restricted diet doesn’t bother me all that much. If I feel good doing it, then it is worth it. It’s just now that I know I have TMJ I have to rethink the whole thing to include soft foods/snacks that won’t stress out my jaw. That is taking some thinking and planning.

I need a fucking break and I need to see some light at the end of this fucking tunnel. I need a reason to believe. I need something to look forward to…Because I am close to being done with it all…

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in healing, Health, Journal Entry, TMJ | Tagged ,

Tuesday Notes

This hasn’t been an easy few weeks for me but I feel like I’ve made progress in the last two days.

I took take care of myself by teleworking. I wasn’t up to going into the office. There is a big difference between rolling into the living room in my slippers at 5:45am to start work at 6am and getting up at 4:30am, showering, putting make up on, getting dressed and driving and being available in the office all day. It was nice working here in the my apartment with the oceanview all by myself in the peace and quiet. I am done work for the week. My body still needs some TLC so I am off for the next five days to slow down.

I had a doctor’s appointment today since I was sick last week and seen in the ER. She put her fingers in my jaws when I opened my mouth and said, “yep, the left TMJ definitely has inflammation in it!” I could feel the bump when my jaw is opened. So how do you get inflammation out of a jaw when you are allergic to NSAIDS? The steroids were supposed to do it but they didn’t. She told me when I go back to Penn’s TMJ Center, they will probably want to give me Cortisone shot but she suggested I asked for a Botox series instead. It’s been shown to be very effective in TMJ. It lasts longer and sometimes goes away for good. My doctor also said, “Linda, you are tired. You look tired. Sleep, rest, clear your schedule. You need sleep and rest.” Yep, I know that and if you saw my dark circles, you would know it too. My body hit the wall pretty hard this time. Stress and steroids caught up to me.

I’ve known since last week that I definitely have TMJ. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos. I learned a lot. First, I learned a few exercises that I am doing every day and they seem to help. I also learned one very important thing… I primarily chew on the left side of my jaw. The left side is the side with the inflammation. When you favor one side, it creates a imbalance in the Masseter muscles and in jaw strength on both sides. The P/T for TMJ videos I watched suggested folks who do this focus on chewing on the weaker side along with doing the stretches, strengthening exercises. As there is inflammation, I need to use ice only for 10 or 15 minutes a few times a day. No heat as heat will make it swell more. And, stay with soft foods to give the jaw a break. I actually was glad to have found these videos. It gave great information and I feel like it also gave me back some control in the healing process. This is the kind of stuff they are going to do in P/T anyway. I might as well start now.

Thanksgiving… Well, my plans for Turkey Day are going to be a Game Day Decision. I just don’t feel like driving up to Philly for the day or driving up to Philly and staying over. I am not up to it. I really need to slow down and let my body rest. Driving all day isn’t good. My drama queen mother, is of course, starting her normal drama so I don’t want to get caught up in that either. I am perfect content staying home, cooking myself dinner and taking care of Linda. Like I said, it’s a Game Day Decision. Something may change between now and 8am on Thursday but I am pretty sure I am staying home. Right, I still have pain in my jaw. I am still exhausted and don’t need any stress. That’s why staying home is feeling the right choice for me.

I had a long conversation with my IIN Accountability Partner. We really have become great friends. She gave a lot of great ideas. I love chatting with her about stuff because she knows the right questions to ask me about nutrition and primary food areas(career, relationship, exercise and spiritual). She easily pulls stuff out of me by asking the right questions. Not many people can do that. She suggested that lift all of dietary restrictions with exception to Shellfish and Gluten and just eat for enjoyment for a while. She thinks I worry too much about food that I stress myself out over it. Her point was well taken. Considering I may not have Sjogren’s Syndrome, I don’t really need to eat the Autoimmune Protocol diet anymore. As long as I eat softer foods, should be ok. We also chatted about work and relationships. I have my fingers crossed I get the temporary assignment as the Grants Coordinator and I also know I miss Bluelove very much. He’s been on my mind a lot lately 💙I want him in my life💙<

I am hoping some poetry starts flowing here soon. Journal writing is boring me. I will say that it has been good to use this as a way to document everything that’s happening at this time in my life. I made the art on this post with my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 🙌💙✌️😊💁

That’s it for today.

(C) 2017 Linda A Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in health coaching, Journal Entry | Tagged ,

Sunday Update

I am not going to lie…the cascade of events that happened the last few weeks have been rough. It all started with jaw pain that got progressively worse. My body is still trying to calm itself down from medications, emotional and physical exhaustion and stress overload. While I can’t commit to saying I feeling better, I have noticed some improvements. I think I am headed in the right direction.

I had Acupuncture on my jaw, SCM and Trap muscle on Thursday night. I had the best night sleep in weeks without any medication. My jaw pain was actually worse the day after Acupuncture but we expected that could happen. Today my jaw pain is around a 2 on a scale of 9 or 10 which is an improvement. We also figured out my SCM muscle and Trap muscle are contributing to my problem. This is the second time I injured this area. I injured it back in April. The question is…what am I doing to cause this problem? Could be posture? Yes. Could it the way I sleep? I don’t think so. My Pillow is very supportive and super conscious to make sure I am not rolling my shoulders forward or tucking my chin(trying to keep good posture when sleeping). At this rate, I am going to be in Physical Therapy forever.

One thing did come up for consideration… My 38DDDs boobs 😊Are they pulling down my shoulders? Are my bras cutting into my shoulder and cutting off muscle and nerves? Possibly. As a side note, I’ve been checking in with my sister once a day for the last week. We were talking yesterday about my boobs being too big, breast reductions, bras and wearing bras when sleeping. I told her I already went to a Plastic Surgeon for a consultation. He actually told me he would not recommend I have a reduction surgery as he said my body is actually proportional according to his measurements and calculations. I told my sister that the Plastic Surgeon said because I am in proportion, if I make my boobs smaller my hips and butt will look bigger 🙄Well, that was enough for my sister to go a 10 minute tangent about having a big booty, wanting JLo’s booty, certain men like big bootys and then she totally cracked me up when she said, “I don’t have a booty. You could be my booty double for photos!” Her booty double? 😂😂After I got done laughing, we agreed I need to wear a bra when I sleep now. I am going to order a “sleeping bra” today. We also agreed I need make an appointment at the local bra shop to get good supportive pretty bras. They will be expensive but if they help solve my problem, they will be worth it. She was disappointment because she really wanted me to be her booty double. 😂😂

I have two sisters. Diane is very serious and doesn’t mess around. She will lay you out in a split second. We are afraid of her 😂😂 My sister Terri is the silly one. We really crack each other up. Can’t even tell you how nights we stayed up drinking all night talking about crazy shit and laughing until we cried. Both of my sisters are my closest friends. Both of them have been very supportive through this health crisis and both wished I lived closer so they could “take care of me”.

Another thing happened yesterday, I found the below video online. OMG. It sounded so much like what was happening to me. He suggested that jaw, SCM, trapezius knots and problems could actually stem from tight AC Joint in the shoulder with shortening of the chest muscles. So, I checked out my AC Joint. OMG, it is so sore. I didn’t even notice it until I touched them. So, I started doing the AC Joint massage yesterday. You only do it for 15 seconds each day. I am doing it on both shoulders. I will talk to my physical therapist about it too. But, it doesn’t make me happy that it is another joint related issue. I will let you know if this helps.

The other thing that was acting up is that I got diarrhea and lot of Gastro issues starting last weekend. I ended up going to my doctor on Friday. She couldn’t tell if it was the stomach virus that is going around or if my gut flora got screwed up from the steroids. She also said I was dehydrated. Which is probably from sweating and diarrhea. No health crisis happens for me without being sent to the hospital for fluids 😂😂 I went on Friday afternoon. They pumped me up with fluids, gave me something to stop the nausea and told me take Probiotics once a day for 14 days. They also did some blood work which confirmed I didn’t have any infection but my Sodium, Calcium and B12 levels were a little low. I was dehydrated. On the way home, I stopped at the local health store and picked a high quality multi-strained probiotic. I started it on Friday night. Lots of folks with digestive issues take them every day. I will probably do that but at a lower dose. The diarrhea stopped immediately. I am still sweating like crazy. It’s not infection. I suspect my body is still trying to clear something out. And, my condo is on the 7th floor. With my oceanfront window blinds open, my living room to go up to 80 degrees without heat. My bedroom gets to around 75 without heat during full sun days. I closed the blinds, have the windows cracked and fans going but it’s hot in here. So I am wearing a skimpy negligee to stay cool 💋 The sweating is causing dehydration too. So, I have to try and watch that too. It’s been exhausting.

In some ways, I am starting to feel better but definitely not well. I did reschedule my MRI that was supposed to be done today. Nothing in the MRI is urgent. They will probably just send me to PT anyway. It’s more important I stay home rest and work to get my body in balance with good food and solid nutrition.

This brings me to my next dilemma. I am supposed to go back to work tomorrow. I am not sure I am physically up to a whole day. I am still sweating and a little dizzy. While I am starting to feel better, I am not sure I am that better yet. I do have all of my stuff home and could easily work form home. I sent my boss a text asking to work from home on Monday. I have everything I need here. If that doesn’t work for him, then I’ll have to call out sick. I think it will be ok. As I said, I think I am headed in the right the direction just not there yet.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Health, Journal Entry | Tagged ,

Chin Up Princess

It happened yesterday as I was talking to my sister. I stopped and saw what I didn’t want to see. Some how I got myself spun into some type of breakdown of sorts. It is mostly physical but there is a emotional component to it. As we talked, I started listing everything that had me stressed in the last two months. The list was pretty long but what really pushed me over the edge was chronic pain in my left jaw area and being on two rounds of steroids in four weeks to reduce inflammation.

I am not very good at surrendering. I am a pusher, a fighter. I woke up at 4am after a night of broken sleep. I couldn’t get comfortable. I was trying to decide if I was working today or taking off sick. Since my work laptop is home with me, I decided to work half of a day and sign off around noon. I logged on at 6am and sent my boss a status update of how I am doing. I then texted him to be sure he knew I was teleworking. It was his reply that surprised me. He said he knew that stress in my personal life as well as the craziness at work finally took a hard toll on me. He told me to rest until I am ready to return. He was right. I replied that I would be taking leave today but was available for emergencies because my laptop is home with me.

After that I started moving around my apartment slowly. I realized just how exhausted I truly am so I logged in and requested Leave until Monday. I went to a local grocery store and picked up essential soft food that I ran out of. I made an appointment for today with IIN Accountability Partner to talk through the emotional/nutritional issues that are surfacing and how to manage this break. I made an appointment at the Acupuncturist for an emergency appointment for pain in the afternoon. I called my sister back around lunch time to let know how I was doing.

The last time I saw my sister and my Mom was October 14th. I felt great day. Both of them told me how healthy I looked. I said I felt great. It all spun out the following week. I had exceptionally stressful week in work. My Mom was leaning on me a lot for multiple issues. My jaw was a little sore but nothing outrageous. By that Saturday the migraine set in. On October 25th I started the first round of steroids which was only four days. The pain in jaw got worse instead of better. I learned my Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium were dropping. ENT said it was TMJ and prescribed another round of steroids because I can’t take anti-inflammatory drugs. And here’s where the breakdown really happened. The 2nd round of steroids was a six day tapered dose. I felt pretty good the first day but every day after that I had less and less energy. While I felt I was physically resting, my body wasn’t resting while on steroids. I was taking off a day or two and resting and then going to work and working 10 to 12 hours. I was not truly resting my body to allow it to heal. I am also not a pill popper. So taking steroids plus xanax was taking an emotional toll on me. Monday was last day on steroids and Tuesday night was last night I took a lower dose of Xanax. I suspect I am in some sort of detox which is contributing to my overall exhaustion. The truth is I am burned out.

Yes, I am burned out by work. I think they are getting the picture that they over utilized me and burned me out. I am burned out by my Mom. I told her so last night. So glad she put her name on the list for the senior apartment complex. She can’t manage a four bedroom home anymore and has been leaning on me for A LOT. I am burned out by the pain in my jaw and look forward to treatment plan. I am burned out…

I am thankful for school. I really enjoy the video lectures. I also made a great friend who is now my health coach too. I am thankful I formed the LLC. My school is not considered a trade school by the IRS so you can’t deduct the tuition unless you write it off as a startup expense. Since I formed the LLC, I will be able to take the full amount of my tuition, the LLC start up costs, including the accountant, as deductions. CHA CHING!!!

I am thankful for my sisters. They’ve keeping me sane this week and also talking to my mom about how much she leans on me. For some reason, I sensing someone is working behind the scene to help me in work. Not sure why I am feeling that. But, I am thankful. It has truly come to breaking point. I appreciate the support and understand it has to be given quietly 😉

This break happened for a reason. Perhaps it is to show those around me that they can’t lean on me quite as hard as they did. Perhaps it is to show folks who care about me that I need their support more than I say. Perhaps it is to protect me. Being sick is keeping me home (out of the office) and away from the current drama and fire drills. Maybe this break is to teach me how hold back and how to say no. Perhaps it is also my body letting me know it’s doesn’t like me being Diary Free and gave me mineral deficiencies to force me to eat some dairy instead using supplements. Maybe my body needed me to relook at how I am managing my Primary Foods(Career, relationship, exercise and spirituality). And, maybe it just happened because steroids suck and cause havoc in the body. I know for sure I can not take them every day. Even if I did have RA, I would not be able to take steroids daily. I know that now. Lastly, this is proof my body doesn’t like a lot of medication. So, I am hoping after a few days of detoxing and good rest, I’ll be in better shape. I am trying to be optimistic 😉

Update after my Acupuncturist appointment: Why is it the 25 minutes I am laying under a heat lamp, listening to Classical music with 10 needles stuck in my head and neck are the most relaxing and peaceful 25 minutes I’ve had in two months? Seriously, it felt wonderful. It was meditation. I could feel my body release a bit. I asked if I should be getting a treatment the weeks I really stressed out. I asked would it prevent stress from building up. He suggested we try a series of preventive treatments for stress. I’ll get a treatment every six weeks for three or times only to see if helps with stress and pain management. I am going back for another treatment on my jaw and SCM muscle on Tuesday. After that, we will start our preventative treatment series.

I also chatted with the Acupuncturist about Nutrition issues. I’ve been going to Justin Bean for years and I really trust him. I’ve referred many people to him and they’ve been satisfied. He is Dairy free also. I do not want to go back to eating Dairy. My allergies have definitely been better without it but it’s been proven I need Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D and B-12 for my arthritis issues. He suggested I take a tablespoon of liquid supplement twice a day and also drink a cup of Coconut Milk each day since it’s fortified with all of that good stuff. I also need to be sure I am eating Egg Yolks, Chicken Breasts and Beef for Vitamin K2. The only Diary product I am reintroducing once or twice a week is full fat plain Greek Yogurt. I had one today and really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. I am adding that back in because fermented diary has many health benefits including probiotics and Vitamin K2.

Obviously, you can tell I’m using the blog as a journal until I get inspired to write poetry again. It has been helpful to write all of this out. Lastly, I love the Shrek movies. That’s why I chose her as my princess image 🦋💙👸

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long ~ All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Acupuncture, Health, Journal Entry, Life, Mental Health, Motivation, Writing | Tagged , , , , ,

Always the hard way

Why do I always do things the hard way? 😂 Everyone kept asking me if I needed someone to go with me to Penn today. I said no as I didn’t see it as a big deal until I woke up with diarrhea 😂☺️ Pretty inconvenient when you have to drive an hour😂Also, I took my last dose of steroids this morning which made me a little insane too.

After I had to get off the Expressway to use the bathroom, the anxiety started building. I hit A LOT of traffic. By the time I got to the Walt Whitman bridge I was having a full on anxiety attack and afraid I was going to crash my car. I called my sister who did manage to calm me down. She offered to drive down and meet me at doctor but I told her not to. She talked to me until I got to the parking garage.i realized as I talked to her the easier way to have done this would have been to stay at my Mom’s in Philly overnight and my mom could have went down with me or my sister could have driven me. By 9:30am I had already had a long morning😂 Yep, the hard way!

Here’s the doctor appointment run down… It’s TMJ for sure. He could hear my jaw popping and clicking as he was examining it. He could see on panoramic X-ray that both sides of my jaw have A LOT of arthritis. I said, “well, I am 50”. He said, “no, it is more than I normally see in 50 years olds. Do you have RA? Do you have arthritis in any other joints?” I answered, “RA tests and Autoimmune Markers are negative but I do have arthritis in my SI joints from being double jointed.” He said, “ahhh!, We need an MRI! I can’t give you a treatment plan until I see everything that is going on in your jaw.” He said the X-RAY didn’t show any stones in the lower saliva glands and my lower lymph node was a little swollen but it could be from the steroids. I scheduled my MRI for Sunday morning at a place that does sit up MRIs. In the meantime, softer foods, alternating ice/heat, CVS mouthguard only if it feels like it is helping, relaxation techniques, no more steroids and he wants me to ween off the Xanax. He told me to only use it on extremely painful nights or stressful days. The steroids and the xanax could be making the dry mouth worse; making the Salivary gland lower saliva production which is confusing the problem. Then he also told me I look like I need some rest😂 Um, I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing lately.

It’s 4pm and I am exhausted. I am in my pjs. I am happy that I planned to work from home tomorrow. My jaw isn’t in too much pain. It’s just discomfort. I am just beat up. I’ll see how I feel in the morning. I will feel better after a good night’s sleep. I also need to dial back the stress and drama.

This has been a strange few weeks. A LOT of stress in all aspects of my life. Some things are finally calming down:

I made decision about the apartment. As I look at the ocean, I am happy I am not moving.
Work gave me approval to apply for temporary assignment. Whatever happens things will be refined so I am not getting over tasked or pulled into everything.
Mom signed the paperwork for the senior apartment complex waiting list and is putting her house up for sale.
Today is my last day of steroids
I saw the specialist today
I told me IIN Accountability Partner that I can’t go to Kripalu for NYE weekend with her. I did already book it. But, it’s causing me some stress. It’s $700 and I will need to buy a mouthguard. I need the money for that. I am also not up for stressing myself out driving 5 hours by myself this year. She will be disappointed. I am sorry about that. I just can’t do it this year. This is the year I need to slow down and take care of myself right here at home.
I told my ENT I am holding off on any Salivary Gland MRI/tests until after the results of TMJ MRI come back and I give it a few days of being off the steroids/xanax to see what happens.

I could write more but I am tired. I need to do something mindless like stare at a TV 🙂

Everything is always working out for my highest good

(C) 2017 Linda A Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Love, Sex & Poetry Collection

Monday – Rolling the dice

what a day…

Physically I am beat up. Only more day of steroids. Thank God! They are running me down. The inflammation in my jaw didn’t go away. It actually seems a little worse today than a few days ago. It’s not quite as painful but definitely not going away. I head up to Penn tomorrow.

I talked to friend today who has had TMJ for years. She had a pretty severe case. It sounds almost like what I am experiencing, however, her Salivary Gland was never affected. I probably should have kept icing my jaw and using the CVS mouthguard over the weekend. Well, hopefully, I have some kind of answer tomorrow. I know they are doing a Panoramic X-ray which can show the teeth, jaw, teeth and salivary glands. I think I will feel better once I am done the steroids too. I need some relief. If you are the praying type or you care about me, please say a prayer I get some relief tomorrow or an answer. This is really wearing me out. I also asked to telework on Wednesday so I can work in my living room instead of going out of the house. If I wake up in a lot of pain, I’ll take a sick day. If I am ok to work, I can call into telcons all day from the table with the oceanview. It was a good self care move for me to ask to do that. I don’t usually like to work from home but Wednesday will be good.

Work…Well, I was emotional, tearing up and holding back tears through most of today. My boss gave me approval to submit my application for a one year temporary assignment as a Grant Outreach Coordinator. I cried when I read the email. Seriously, I cried. I cried for a few reasons. I didn’t expect them to say yes. I know the staffing challenges they are experiencing. I know my boss is new in the job and could use my support. I know my request was a “big ask” at an inconvenient time. I, therefore, expected them to say no. It really touched me to know that they value me and my overall well-being over spots on a org chart. That really meant something to me. I had tears in my eyes as I walked down to Human Resources and turned in the application. But, it didn’t stop me from doing it. I had to roll the dice… What if this gives me an opportunity to find real fulfillment in my current workplace. I had to take the shot.

I was emotional for a few reasons. It was really about what this all symbolizes in my life. It means I am truly “unstuck”. I am in the Universal flow. I am creating rather than resisting. I’ve worked in this group for over nine years. It’s familiar and comfortable but I’ve truly been unfulfilled. The truth is I enjoyed going to work more when I was working directly with Bluelove but even he knew it was just a job for me. This gives me an opportunity to find passion in the work. So, I’ll wait and see what happens. I believe everything is always working out for my highest good. Even if i don’t get the temp assignment or I can’t take it because my body is uncooperative, at least I will know my Leadership cares about me as a person and cares about my overall growth. Fingers crossed I get it. The Universe called my bluff. I was telling it I was ready for a change. So, it sent an opportunity right into my inbox and called me out. No chickening out now. So, I rolled the dice. As far as my body goes…I am not seriously ill. What is going on in jaw/saliva gland just needs to be correctly diagnosed and treated; then it will settle down. It shouldn’t prevent me from taking the new job.

About my current job, the perfect storm of stuff happened all at the same time which opened me up to considering other options. STRESS, I am over tasked. Too many people have access to me. I am pulled into too many things because I get shit done. I care. I perform and I am over utilized. It had to stop one way or another. I am not a Manager. I don’t think I ever want to be a Manager. I am not indispensable. I am simply someone who takes pride in every task I do. That makes me a good employee 🙂 But, the stress kept building up and I guess I broke a bit from it. Jaw clenching is caused by stress. I am a clenched for sure. Also, watching Bluelove pursuing his best and looking for his fulfillment was starting to make almost jealous. His motion was making me feel stuck in place. The restlessness kept growing. The stress kept building… Then, BOOM! The Universe called my bluff and sent an opportunity to try something new into my inbox. Like it was saying, “You said you were ready…Well, it’s time to walk the talk!” So I walked the talk today and I rolled the dice….Everything is always working out for my highest good.
Other news, my Mom submitted an application to Senior Apartment Complex (high rise) in Philly today. She’s on the waiting list and she’s putting the house up for sale soon. This is a big step. The waiting list is about a year so she has some time but it was big step for her to do this. She was ready for a change too 🙂

I could write a lot more tonight but I am tired of typing so this is it.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Change | Tagged

Self Care Sunday

I am writing this at 10:30am on Sunday, November 12th. I’ve been up since 5am. While I don’t usually get up that early on a Sunday, I am usually up for work at 4:45 so my body was on my work clock today. I took advantage of it and got four loads of laundry done by 7am and then went breakfast at the cafe. I am ready for a nap already.

The pain in the left side of my jaw isn’t horrible anymore. It’s more nagging than searing. It’s probably about a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. My left Salivary gland is dry and hurts when I lick/suck on lemons. This makes me a little nervous. While the lemons do produce saliva, it hurts when it does it which makes me wonder if something is in there. I stopped using the ice on my jaw. It seemed to make it hurt more. I haven’t used the mouth guard in two nights. I figured I see the specialist in Tuesday and would know for sure if I should be using it. Another two nights without it isn’t going to change anything. If the specialist tells me I need one, I will wear it. I have been taking a low dose of Xanax each night at bedtime and it does seem to help not only the tension but also the pain.

My biggest issue today is continued exhaustion which is most likely the steroids. I am on the four day of a six day taper dose pack. It’s only 12mg today, 8mg tomorrow and 4mg on Tuesday. Steroids block the Immune System to prevent it from over reacting which reduces the inflammation. The taper dose pack slow returns your Immune to functioning normally. Some folks feel like a super hero on Steroids. I, however, always get knocked out. Since the steroids also deplete minerals, I am focusing on slowing down and bumping up my nutrition by eating super clean. I’ve been drinking more Coconut Water, Green Juice and G2 to hydrate instead of water to replace vitamins and minerals. I’ve also made chicken soup(no noodles) and I roasted a lot of veggies. I found a gluten free Oatmeal I really like and I’ve been focusing on eating softer foods until I get my jaw looked at. I am not all that worried about the exhaustion because I think it is related to the steroids. Once I am off of them, I think my body will bounce back. Right now, I am focusing on allowing my body to slow down, heal, rest as well as eating and drinking foods that are super nutritious. But, I am exhausted.

The biggest struggle I have right now is controlling my thoughts. I working very hard to manage my thoughts so I don’t give into depression, worry or anxiety. I really don’t know what is going on in my jaw and saliva gland; I am not sure why it isn’t healing. This is the second round of steroids. I am taking Xanax nightly now which I am not used to taking and I am not walking my usual four miles three times a week. Plus I am in some form of pain or discomfort through out the whole day. It takes a lot of surrender all of this and as my mother says, “give it over to God!”. She told me yesterday “Don’t you dare give up!”. I don’t know that giving up would ever be an option for me but I will admit it’s getting harder to keep myself up.

I go back to work tomorrow after being off for four days then I am off Tuesday for my appointment at Penn. Here’s my issue with work… I asked permission to apply to go on one year temporary assignment. If I was feeling well and was my normal self a Detail as a Grant Outreach Coordinator would be the perfect opportunity for me to bridge my previous experience and current experience. It would be the perfect way for me to find more fulfillment in my job. Here are the issues. I can’t get into my work email. I’ve been locked out since Thursday. So I am not sure if I got approval to apply for the assignment. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. I have to submit the application by close of business tomorrow. This is what makes me pause. By applying for this temporary assignment I am more or less applying for new job in the middle of a health crisis. I don’t know what is going to happen on Tuesday. Hopefully, it’s as simple as TMJ and I get a nightguard, maybe some physical therapy. But, the truth is with the saliva gland not working right, it feels more complicated to me. The question I ask myself is “is it wise to apply for a new job in the middle of this?” If there was more complicated treatment needed, it would be easier to manage in my current job because it is familiar and I already know what to do. It would be less pressure. Unfortunately, if I am approved, I will have to apply for the Detail one day before seeing the specialist and knowing what I am dealing with. I think I figured if I am approved to apply, I would still apply tomorrow and roll the dice. I don’t want to cut myself off from an opportunity to do something more fulfilling for what could be temporary. The applicant consideration process will take a few weeks. If I do get the Detail, I can decide at that time if my body is up to it. I also made my peace with this in that I do believe everything is always working out for my highest good. If I am approved to apply, if don’t get it or if my body won’t let me take it – whatever it is – will be for my highest good in the long run. I do still need to work through my responsibilities with Leadership to ensure I am not being over tasked regardless of what happens with the Detail. As I am sitting here writing this, I could feel myself clenching my jaw 😂😂

I renewed my lease in my beachfront condo on Thursday. Well, I should say my landlord and I agreed I would stay. I only have to give 60 days notice to leave. We didn’t sign a lease this time. She was incredible happy and relieved I am staying. While I really wanted a 2 bedroom so I could have a room for Yoga and my business, I also can’t worry about apartment hunting and moving in the middle of my current health issue. I made the decision to take one thing off my plate. Plus, I still enjoying my ocean view and my apartment is very cozy especially at night when I have all of my wickless candles going 😊

As for today, I will be coloring on my iPad Pro, listening to music, watching movies and really not doing anything that requires too much energy. I may put on some happy music and dance around the living to shake some dust off…

I may write more later… This is it for now…. I finished writing this blog at 11:11 😇


Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Self Care Sunday | Tagged ,

Journaling For Healing

It’s a weird day. I am somewhere in the middle of exhaustion and frustration but I still feel like I’m healing.

The pain in my jaw was up around a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 on Wednesday. Mostly because the doctor was fussing with it on Wednesday morning to try and figure out what was going on. My jaw isn’t swinging right and is pulling to the left. It also had a good bit of swelling in it. My ENT wasn’t sure if it was the jaw or the Massetter muscle which is right in front of the jaw/ear. Either way, it’s a result of TMJ not being managed properly. Because I am allergic to Aspirin and NSAIDS, he had to give me a six day tapered dose of steroids to bring down the swelling. It’s not a high dose by it’s not pleasant all the same. Because the muscles need to relax a bit and I am resistant to taking any muscle relaxers or hard core pain meds, we agreed I would take a low does of Xanax each night at bed time with a Tylenol. That does seem to be helping me. Since my Saliva Gland on the left side is not producing as much as saliva as it should be, he told me to lick or suck Lemons/Limes every hour. He actually told me I will need to do this until we figure out why the Saliva Gland is blocked. I also had to pick a temporary mouth guard at CVS which will prevent me clenching in my sleep and also use ice only; no heat.

My appointment at the TMJ Center at Penn Medicine is on Tuesday. My ENT got me a quick appointment with a TMJ specialists who also has clinical experience with Saliva Gland issues so he can diagnose the Saliva gland issue. The question remains if it is truly a Sjogren’s Flare or is it related to muscle constriction in my jaw and neck. While minerals in my blood (calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamin D) all tanked in recent months, Autoimmune markers are improved and back to normal. My ENT is questioning the Sjogren’s Diagnosis and felt it was time for me to see the “Best in Philly”. He said the guy I am seeing is the guy he would send his kids to. Could TMJ and misaligned jaw really be causing all of these issues and headaches? As far as I am concerned, I hope so. That’s an answer. We can fix and manage it. It’s not a Autoimmune disease that I have to manage the rest of my life. We agreed my minerals probably all tanked because I went Dairy free three months. I just probably haven’t been eating enough food with those minerals in it to keep it up. Therefore, I need to take a liquid Cal/Mag/Vitamin D supplement every night. It tastes pretty good and I already feel the difference. Although today I feel I am in the thick of the fight and trying just rest to let my body heal, I feel like something good is coming out of this reoccurrence. It brought something that wasn’t completely healed or resolved to the surface to be healed. Now that I am going to a real specialist who can evaluate the whole area, I will have the correct diagnosis instead of Rheumatologist who just stuck a label on something because my Salivary Gland wasn’t flowing. Yes, Salivary Glands issues are usually related to Sjogren’s Syndrome but not always. Sometimes they are blocked by other things. We need to figure out which it is.

I went for a check in with my psychiatrist yesterday because my Xanax was up for renewal. After we talked, she surprised me when she recommended that I plan to take Xanax at bedtime until I get through this crisis. She said she prescribes it to a lot of folks who have TMJ to relax the muscles when they sleep and prevent jaw clenching. It also will take the edge of the stress from the day and offset the steroids the next few days. Once I get through this I can ween off of it. She recommended I stay on a half dose every night preventatively to help with the jaw issues and lower the stress from day. I decided she is right. I have noticed I am calmer and sleeping better since I started taking it at bedtime.

Why am I stressed out? Right now, it’s because of the craziness going on in my body. It’s hard for me to believe it even escalated to this. This started on October 21st with migraine. The two weeks before that I was really stressed out from work. Total no stop chaos and churn. I was over tasked and a change of leadership hasn’t been going smoothly. I was totally and completely stressed out on the night of October 20th. I’ve since learned the low levels of Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D also contributed to me not handling stress well during that time. I woke up with Migraine on October 21st. It would not break. I suspect because of the nutritional issues. I got myself stressed and tensed up. Went into work like a champ and got myself more stressed out.

In the middle of it, I got frustrated and pissed off. I started to feel like it was time for a change – period. I also felt like I was holding my words back and not able to fully express myself. I am still waiting to hear if my request to apply for temporary assignment has been approved. I guess I’ll find that out on Monday because I am locked out of my work email. Probably a good thing. I am hoping they let me apply but for some reason I think my boss hit some resistance with it and that why he didn’t text me yesterday. I have until close of business on Monday to submit the application. I am willing to talk to whomever I need to talk to about it, if necessary. If they don’t let me apply, we need to take a hard look at my responsibilities. I already plan to slow my roll down and lower my stress by not being a super star any longer. I will be lowering my stress level by limiting how much I offer them going forward…I will no longer be taken advantage of by anyone. And, it’s going to be hard to work there with those beautiful blue no longer in my experience. My eyes well up just thinking about it.

Obviously, I am too exhausted to make any decisions today. Thank God I was off for the holiday. This is a time about rest and healing. Me first and everyone else second. If you are the praying type, I would love some prayers for healing to give me a boost. This go around is really taking a lot out of me and it is taking everything I have to mentally stay strong. A friend called me a “tough cookie” this morning. Funny, I don’t feel tough. I just feel tired and sad from fighting so hard for everything that should have been mine so easily including love.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Love, Sex & Poetry Collection

Midweek Thought Download

Oh My F’n God – My Jaw aches 😢I just needed to get that out because I’ve been holding it in all day. I’ve been trying to pretend it doesn’t hurt as much as it does. I saw the ENT today. First, my jaw is not swinging right. It’s pulling to the left which is the side of my pain. Also, I’m not producing saliva on the left side which is still indicative of Sjogrens Syndrome but he said today, “what came first? The jaw problem or the saliva issue? That’s what we have figure out because that is the source of the problem!” He is sending me to TMJ/Jaw/Saliva Gland specialist at Penn Medicine in the Perlman Center in Philly. Who knew one of those types of specialist existed? 😂😂My ENT made an appointment for me on Tuesday morning with the guy at Penn which is great because that guy has a two month waiting list 👍

In the meantime, we trying to manage the pain & lower the inflammation. I had to buy a temporary mouth guard at CVS. I don’t grind my teeth but I probably clench my jaw. I could be pulling it out of alignment. I also need to suck on lemons/limes again. I’m glad I’m off the next four days. I am actually happy about the answers I got today. This problem started in April and never complexly resolved. I feel like I’ll have more answers on Tuesday because they told me they will do a panoramic view of my mouth and an MRI on my Saliva gland while I’m there. I’m headed in the right direction.

Other news, my boss told me he’s talking to my GM tomorrow to try and get approval for my application for the temporary assignment as a Grant Outreach Coordinator. He has the support of the other members of the Leadership committee; he just needs the GMs final approval before I can submit the application. I actually cried in gratitude as we talked. He got choked up too and blushed 😂😂We had a moment 😂He saw what it meant to me 🦋 I couldn’t hide it. I see people I work with everyday who love what they do. I do not feel that. This is an opportunity for me to find the same passion for the work they already have. It’s about fulfillment. My motivation is to finally find fulfillment in my career. Perhaps my unhappiness in my job is the reason for my jaw clenching while I sleep🦋 So this job move could improve my health too 🙏🦋 My Boss said he will include a recommendation for me in his letter of approval that gets submitted with the application 🦋Fingers crossed the GM gives me the blessing 🦋🤞I really am very thankful my new boss is a good man who understand what is truly important in life and knows how to treat an employee. Other work news, I’m enjoying my relationship with my new work mentor. He’s funny too 😂I was calling him my Guru today “Guru McG” is his name now 😂😂We were cracking up 🦋😂

And, of course, I end my day with ice on my jaw and Bluelove on my mind. Hmm? I wonder if he is thinking about me too??💙🦋💙💙🦋

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Love, Sex & Poetry Collection

Big Love And Getting Unstuck – long post :-)

Big Love – Love, Sex & Poetry

By: Linda A. Long

Is our love
Big enough
To ride the waves
Riding the
Up and downs
Of life
But still
Staying tethered
To each other
Balancing between
The needs of self
And the desires
Of the other
Is our love
Open enough
To allow growth
And awareness
Into our experience
Perhaps uncovering
Uncomfortable truths
Pushing each other
To the edge by
Challenging boundaries
Yet pulling back
With love
Compassion and
Are you working
In my background
Planning a way
Smoothing a road
Keeping a watchful eye
Without interjecting
Valuing my
Growth, happiness and fulfillment
As much as your own
Can I call you
A friend
Can I rest easy
In the knowledge
That you love me
Can I look into
Your beautiful
Blue eyes
And know our paths
Are intertwined
Can I sleep tonight
This is not the end
Of the road for us
It’s just
A new direction
We will travel together
Can I move forward
Into my
Pursuit of personal
And professional fulfillment
Knowing you are
Moving along
With me
As the mate
To my soul
As the joint
Synergy of our
Divinely inspired
Can I rest assured
It is as important
To you as it is
To me
That I am fulfilled
Is our love
Big enough
Wide enough
Strong enough
Ready to face
The next chapter
In our journey
Is it your hand
I will hold
Is it your mouth
I will kiss
Is it your waist
I will ride for enjoyment
Before I drift off
To sleep
Wrapped in your arms
Is our love
Big enough
To handle the
Enormity of our shift
For me
The answer is
My love for you
Is BIG enough
(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best to be lived passionately!


Having Autoimmune Diseases is much life riding a wave. You are up for a while then you are down for a while. The key is to learn how to manage your thoughts so the down times do not break you. If you are like me, it’s also essential to learn to capitalize on the good times and use them to your advantage.

I realized this past week that I am in some kind of Sjogren’s Syndrome Flare up. The possible causes are a pain from a unrelenting migraine, nutritional deficiencies, stress and my being so driven I don’t know when to stop myself☺️On Wednesday night, I came face to face with the fact that my body needed to be still. Complete stillness – My body just couldn’t be pushed another day. I have an infection in my left ear. I am also having a Salivary Gland issue on the left side again and I can feel my TMJ is tight.

Believe me, this started two weeks ago with a migraine that would not break. When I get stressed, I tighten up my jaw. I know you might say, “stop doing that”. But, I don’t always realize it’s happening. I need to be more self aware so I lightly massage it when it starts. I think me tightening up from migraine pain and the clenched jaw was blocking drainage from my ear and saliva flow from my Salivary Gland.

The good news is I started an antibiotic on Wednesday and called out sick for two days. It’s Friday morning and I am starting to feel drainage and I am starting to feel relief in my ear and my Saliva Gland. I also cancelled all of my plans for the weekend. I put a pot of Chicken Soup on. I bought the pencil for my iPad Pro so I will be doing some high tech coloring. I may work on a puzzle or read. This is a time to slowness and stillness to allow my body to restore and heal. It is also time for me to allow things to be cleared out both physically and spiritual. This is not a time for movement. So no yoga but maybe by the end of the weekend I’ll be up for a light walk. In other words, this is not a time for me to force or push. This is a time for me to surrender, allow and just be still to allow my body to replenish itself.

So, what were the causes of my stress? The causes of my stress are complex. First, I was very much starting to feel like I was the “IMPACT” of other people’s’ choices. In other words, I was giving all of my power over to other people and waiting to see what they would do. I was doing this in my professional and my personal life. That type of uncertainty stresses me out to no end because I am CREATOR. I hold my power. I determine my future. I have a choice. I have FREE WILL. I felt like the power to create my life was being taken away from me. I was very much feeling like my choices were being made by others. I needed to do something to take my power back. I did that this week.

Second, I was stressed because I was feeling STUCK. I was feeling like it was time for me to move forward but I was being held in place; hanging in limbo both professionally and personally. I felt like energy was blocked in me and it was preventing me from being a CREATOR. I needed to take steps to get UNSTUCK. I did that this week.

Third, I was feeling like I had to walk on eggshells all the time with certain folks in my life. Whatever makes them happy was my focus. Well, what about me? What about what I want? What about what I need to be fulfilled in all aspects of my life? I was trying to be so careful I didn’t piss them off, cross the line while trying to stay in their good graces that I lost sight of my own needs. I can’t live that way. I stressed myself out wondering which way the wind is blowing with them on any given day. This goes for personal as well as professional – to the folks – who haven’t made their mind up about me yet —Please take the time you need to reflect on where you see me in your life. If you want me in your life, give me some encouragement to know I am valued. If it’s time for us to take a break, let’s have a gentle chat as grown ups. Which ever it is, it is all good. I will respect that and follow your lead accordingly. If you still don’t know, that is ok. Please trust me enough to confide your worries & apprehensions in me. Let me your be a partner or at least know where I stand. Take the time you need to figure it all out just please don’t make me walk on eggshells or expect me to ride the wave of your indecision anymore. I’m moving forward. I would like you to move forward in my life but I will respect your need for space and will not pressure you. This issue was manifesting in a few areas of my life with a few people. It created a great deal of stress for me. I needed to move forward to get my energy unstuck, I did that this week.

Fourth, work…UGH… work😂😂😂I took some positive steps to take back my power there too this week. One current Manager(who is also a personal friend) and one former Manager coached me a bit this week. Which was great. Both of them really helped me clarify what my issues were and why I was getting so stressed out. While I did call out sick yesterday, I did ask my new Manager for a phone call. He texted me by 7:15am asking if I wanted to talk at 7:30am 😂 Because of my chats with my “coaches”, I went into our phone call with complete clarity and I was able to speak directly with respect. I asked for his support to apply for temporary assignment that was more aligned with passion and interests. He agreed to support and advocate for my request but also told me it wasn’t completely his decision. I should know something by Monday. After that, I went into my concerns which all rests in the fact that I am over tasked because of a lack of clarity of my roles and responsibilities. It needs to stop. Everything CAN NOT be pushed my direction just because I get shit done and I am good with following up or hunting people down😂 I found our conversation refreshing. I was able to communicate directly with him. I also found out he’s extremely overwhelmed too. We both agreed our team needs some strategic support in figuring things out given the change in roles. Our current strategic support has been sucked up by a system I now refer to the BEAST; it really is a four letter word and that team is hot mess. The team dynamics is toxic and unhealthy; he agreed. We agreed to ask a consultant group to help us. Our GM doesn’t understand our Function enough to guide us and I am too far in the weeds to see the way out. I need someone to pull the stuff out of head and brainstorm with us. I also “coached” my Manager a little😂 It suggested it was time for him to demonstrate strong leadership for his team. It’s time to for him to drive it like he stole it😂 You don’t need a committee to make decisions for your team. You are the boss😂 He agreed. I saw this conversation as a positive step in our relationship and it established a direct communication path for us as well as helped us come to agreement of the issues we are both encountering. The truth is we are drowning because of the lack of experience from leadership in key roles. That’s the bottom line. Nothing but truth right there…

In my conversation with my boss, I did not address my concerns about the overall leadership of the Organization. The poor choices I’ve seen made this year or the lack of effective prioritization of critical issues and staffing needs. I didn’t address the “leadership by committee” approach that I feel is crippling the Organization. My take is – if you want to move yourself into the big office and keep the fancy title, you need to make the hard decisions and take the hits. Take the 51% voting privileges instead of hiding behind the “leadership committee voted”. Just my opinion…

I am happy getting myself unstuck freed up space for creativity. The poem I am feeling come up is for Bluelove and it’s around the question… “Is our love big enough?”

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Posted in Blue Love, Change, Love, Love Poems, Love, Sex & Poetry Collection | Tagged , , , , , ,

Day 11 Of The Headache And Vitamin D

Day 11 – Yes, I still have a headache. It’s not horrible but it’s still here. I hope it fades away a bit with each passing day. I’m exhausted again today which could still be a “hangover” from the steroids. I am not getting too worried about that. I am just talking things easy this week. Work is about the only thing I will be accomplishing this week. It’s the only thing I’ll have energy to do. Hopefully, with another night of good sleep I’ll be a little better tomorrow.

Today’s developments – My doctor called me. My blood work tanked again. My Vitamin D level wen’t from 75 to 24 since July and a few other things were low again. I stopped eating Dairy in June. So there is an obvious correlation between the Vitamin D level and my Diary consumption. She also told me the low Vitamin D could be the source of the headaches and the muscle aches and twitches. I mentioned to her I wasn’t handling stress well lately. She told me that is also related to all of the nutritional deficiencies. She said once I get them up and regulated, I should be back to normal. We aren’t completely sure why I am not holding/absorbing nutrients from food. I eat a pretty balanced diet. She asked about the additional weight I’ve been losing. Honestly, I just haven’t been very hungry. I was pretty excited the sweater I wore yesterday and the dress I wore today were both loose on me. But she asked me to monitor it more. She wants to make sure I am not losing weight by accident. In that case, that would be a problem.

My doctor went over my supplements and here is my Daily Vitamin Cocktail for the next three months:

Multi-Vitamin with 1000 of Vitamin D. I bought Mega Foods Food Sourced.
Vitamin D 5000 (the brand doesn’t matter; cheapest is fine)
Iron 65 (the brand doesn’t matter; cheapest is fine)
Stress B-Complex with C (Twin Labs) – This one is good for stressed out people 😂<
lue Ice Cod Liver Oil; It’s my Fish Oil; it’s for Inflammation and various other stuff.

I usually get my blood work checked every three or four months. We will see happens the next go around but she seemed to think I should plan on taking the full vitamin cocktail I listed above for life except for Iron. Too much Iron can be toxic. Once I stop having a cycle, I can discontinue the Iron.

Other news…I made a decision today that I am going to ask my Manager for approval to apply for the one year temporary assignment as a Grant Program Coordinator with another group in our “company”. Here why I am doing it?? When I was the Executive Director of a non profit, I absolutely loved writing Grants and I was good at it too. Although this job isn’t as Grant Writer, it is in the neighborhood. I also think it would give me an opportunity to use all of top five strengths: Strategic, Futuristic, Ideation, Intellection and Relator. My StrengthFinders Strengths are below 🙂 I have a lot of experience coordinating and collaborating between multiple stakeholders while managing multiple responsibilities. This job seems like the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between my Museum Executive Director Grant Writing experience and my current experience doing coordination and stakeholder relations skills. Let me be clear. I don’t hate my current job but this job literally showed up in my inbox without me even looking for it. When a job that seems to be perfect for you shows up in your inbox without you even looking for it, it’s a sign from the Universe. It’s time to go with the flow and follow the signs.

The first step is for me to ask my Manager for approval to submit an application package. I plan to do that tomorrow, if possible. If not, by the end of the week would be good. I really hope they at least let me apply. They take so much from me and make no invest in employees. At least let me apply and see what happens. Just because I apply doesn’t mean I will get it but it will make me feel good to at least follow the sign from the Universe and apply.

I guess I am also open to making a move at this time because I feel like it’s time for a fresh start or a clean break of sorts. I feel stuck. I feel like I’ve stayed too long. This is the longest period of time I’ve ever been in one job. I changed my cubicle a few months ago because I needed a change. I just feel like it’s it time. I am just not happy there anymore. I am not unhappy. I don’t hate it. I just don’t enjoy it anymore. If I don’t get the detail, I’ll survive and continue to do a good job for them. But, I have figured out I need to pull back a little and not offer them as much. And, I won’t lie. With Bluelove not coming back, it won’t be any fun to work there anymore. He made it fun for me. I enjoyed it because I enjoyed being around his passion for what he did. With him gone, it’s just work; just a job for me. With it being just work or just a job, I might as well try out a temporary gig doing something that interests me. Who knows, maybe I’ll find passion for this work in a different group seeing things through a new lens. If Bluelove and I are meant to still be connected through this life, we will still be connected regardless of where I work or who I work for. The only difference is I may find more professional fulfillment by trying out something new. So, I am praying for guidance and wisdom that my guides fill me with the right words to ask my boss for approval to apply. I want to make sure they understand I am in interested in it because it ties all of my experience together, I think I would be really good at it and it could lead to me being more fulfilled professionally.

That’s it for tonight. I am going to put myself on the sofa and watch stupid tv the rest of the night.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately!

Posted in Love, Sex & Poetry Collection

Totally Out Of My Mind Today

Day 10 of the headache BUT… I think there is light at the end of my tunnel. Praise God 😂😂

Let’s me first start with saying it’s amazing I made through a 9 hour work day today. I was all over the place. The steroids had me jacked up in morning. They revved me up. My stomach was upset. I was sweating profusely. I hid out in my cubicle so no one would see me. I did, however, look quite cute today. One of my coworkers commented how pretty I looked after she saw me in the bathroom. It cracked me up. If she only knew I was hiding all kinds of crazy stuff that was going on in my body.

My Naturopathic Doc texted me this morning to remind me to buy the Stress B Vitamin Formula for my twitching eye. She said when you are under stress, your body burns up the B & C Vitamins. So, I need to bump them up for a while. I also suspected I was getting dehydrated from sweating so much too. I went during lunch and picked up the Vitamins and Gatorade. About an hour after eating, drinking the Gatorade and taking B Vitamins, I started coming down and I noticed my eye was not twitching as much. She was right. The muscle twitches were due to B Vitamins and probably stress induced. By 1:00 today I was absolutely exhausted and needed a nap. Instead I took a walk with a coworker who also wasn’t feeling well but we commiserated as we walked 😂

I am on the fourth day of the steroids. They have been helpful and did break something up in my head but that’s it. I done with them. It time for me detox and rebuild myself nutritionally. Also, the steroids made me feel crazy. Seriously crazy. I was very emotional and was on the verge of making irrational decisions. My coworker said to me as we walked down the hall, “Thank God none of the Managers are here today. You would have definitely told someone off today!”😂😂

So, yes, it was better for me to avoid a lot of interaction today. But, I did look good💁 Goes to show you… it doesn’t matter how you feel as long as you look good. Oh speaking of looking good, preppy Bluelove looked as cute as ever 😘 💙That look on him always gets my motor going😂 💙But, I was out of my mind today and it was best I stayed away. He didn’t need to be part of my drama today. I hope to be back in my right mind tomorrow. I hope he looks just as cute. We need to see each and spark some poetry for me. 💙 #prettyplease 😂 Seriously, pretty please 💙💙🙏😂😂✌️💋😈

So, yesterday I wrote that I would not go looking for a new job with the “company” but if one manifested I would be open to it. Today an advertisement was delivered right to my inbox about a one year temporary assignment in the Grants office as the Administrator and it was based at my current location😂😂 Wow! That as quick 😂👍 This blew my mind. Grants office? That’s right in my wheelhouse. Administrator? I am former Executive Director of a non profit. It’s perfect for me 🙌The only hang up is whether my current Management team would allow me to go on a temporary assignment for a year. I can’t imagine that will go over well. I would really love to chat with someone for advice about this but I am not sure who to ask for advice. Maybe a former coworker who will be coaching me can be a good sounding board on this and help me work through it?? I am going to think it over the next few days and see if I want to approach my Manager about exploring it by submitting an application. My Manager would have to approve it for me before I submit the application. I have until 11/13/17 to submit it.

I am fairly exhausted tonight. I am hoping that means a good night sleep is in my future. I am also planning on being in my right mind tomorrow without a headache. The Stress B Vitamins with Vitamin C by Twin Labs are in the photo below. My Naturopathic doc recommends them to anyone (women or men) who under a lot of stress as your body burns up the B and C Vitamins when you are stressed out. They are available at Vitamin Shoppe and are on sale.

The reason I chose the above photo is because I felt completley out of my mind today hyped up on steroids but I still had my coworker cracking up.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately…

Posted in Love, Sex & Poetry Collection

Self Care Sunday

I am sure it is clear that I’ve been using my blog as a online journal. I am using it as a place to capture my thoughts and document the events of my life. It’s also an outlet for my emotions. It feels good to download what I am thinking and how I am thinking. My posts have been chuck full of information about the stress I feel in my full time job. School work, starting up the business and the emotions I feel.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really been writing a whole lot of poetry in recent months. Mostly because I need inspiration to write. I like to write about love and sex. My “Muse” (Bluelove) has been my inspiration for four years now. However, I don’t see him very often anymore and when we do see each other it’s not really quality time. I can’t glean inspiration from his cute face in our limited interactions. That is kind of blocking the flow of creative energy for my poetry at this time. This could be a temporary situation for us or it could mean I need to find a new “muse”… I am not really sure what it means yet. One thing is clear to me. I LOVE him. And would like him to continue to be my “Muse” and my Bluelove. So, I am just tying to just go with the flow and ride out this transition with him even though it causes me some anxiety being disconnected from him. I do know I love him and he should rest assured in knowing I am in love with him. I am just trying to deal with living in uncertainty and adjust to not writing as much poetry for him. This is not really easy for me as I am creative person.

So I am writing journal entries instead of poetry just so I write something until I am inspired once again to write love and sex poetry, my posts will be my journal energies. I will be writing to help release some tension. Today I am a mixed bag to stress, anxiety, gratefulness and excitement. I’ve more or less had some form of a headache or migraine since last Saturday. It’s been 8 or 9 days now. In some ways it is better and some ways it just not going away.

My Chiropractor adjustment definitely helped and freed something up. I need to go weekly for a while to get my neck adjusted to keep the alignment in tack. My headache could actually just be head pain as my head adjusts to be put back into alignment. If that is the case, the pain will slowly away. My doctor did tell me I had significant swelling in my sinus and ears and gave me steroids on Thursday. I noticed today something started breaking open in my head. My nose in running and ears are felling less full. The steroids have me a good bit revved up. Everyone was cracking up at my chattiness this morning in the cafe where I ate breakfast. I am not usually overly chatty. I am more of a listener than a talker. Today I talked the whole time. My left eye has been twitching since yesterday. That could be stress but I am thinking it’s the steroids. I think the steroids are jacking up my blood pressure a bit. My Blood Pressure is normally 110/60. The last two days it’s been 144/90. That’s high for me and I think that’s the reason my eye is twitching. I only have one more day of the steroids so it should calm down after tomorrow. I am also using a warm compress on my eyes to smooth the muscles. My Naturopathic Doc suggested increase my B vitamins for muscle cramps. It did help the pain a bit but my eye still is twitching. I will also meditate this afternoon and try to relax a bit. It’s 1:22pm on Sunday and all of my chores are done for the day. So, I have the time to mediate, practice light yoga and relax.

The stress from my full time job…It’s a sticky complicated topic. It’s really the constant churn. No one ever has a moment to breathe. My new boss isn’t really even in the chair full time yet. As a credit to me, people trust me and come to me for help. This is also bad for me because every one comes to me for help because they can’t get in with managers who are constantly locked up in conference rooms and aren’t accessible. It kind of puts me in a stressful spot as I am perceived as the front line for them. I am trying to learn how to decipher what’s mine and what’s not mine to worry about. I guess I haven’t been doing such a good job of that in recent weeks. I asked for coaching session from folks I trust because I am getting myself twisted up with not knowing how to approach this. How to help folks but not take on what should not be mine? How to help but not do work that should be done by the manager who hasn’t taken full ownership of his team yet? How do I support the GM who lacks some fundamental understanding of key business practices without getting myself frustrated with their focus on micromanaging lower level tasks and public relations? I don’t know how to do that yet. I am trying to figure that all out. I have come to realization that leaving this job, even if I stayed in the “company”, is not a good idea at this time of my life. I am in school. I working slowly to develop my coaching business. I am working privately on my own website. I am trying to take care of my health. Changing jobs right now would just add to the stress in my life. I need to find a way to manage the situation so it’s less stressful. Unless, of course, something perfect falls into my life and all the signs point to it being the right choice. I am just saying I am not looking for it or searching for it. However, if it manifests on its own, that’s different. Then I would do it.

Folks have been telling me I pushing myself too hard lately with school, the coaching business and finishing my Reiki Master training yesterday. The truth is that all makes me happy. I enjoy it. I am loving school. I am enjoy the creation of process of building a business. I am loving what I am learning along the way. I am helping my fellow students with what I am learning along the way. And finally finishing my Reiki Master Teacher training makes me incredible proud of the accomplishment. I cried during the ceremony. I started this crazy health journey six years ago. I became a Reiki Practitioner fives years ago to help heal myself. My Naturopathic Doc is my Reiki Master Teacher. We’ve known each other for six or seven years; she used to own a yoga studio. That’s how we met. She’s been on this journey with me. To be initiated as Reiki Master by her was especially rewarding and meaningful to me. She’s part of my healing journey. I consider her a friend, a healer, a guide, my massage therapist, my naturopathic doc and my Reiki Teacher. She is my spiritual mentor. I am thankful she is based locally in Somers Point 🙂 She doesn’t have a website otherwise I would post it. She mostly gets clients through word of mouth and having a great reputation.

I have a coaching call set up with my IIN Accountability Partner today. I have to fill out my “Circle of Life” form before the call to assess where I am out of balance. It should be an interested call today. 😂😂🦋 Honestly, I just feel like I need a good cry to get it all out today.

Perhaps, I will let it all out today and actually let myself have a moment to be weak and cry.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Headaches, Health, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, Integrative Nutrition, Love, Sex & Poetry Collection, Reiki | Tagged , , , ,

Migraines and Musings

Well, it’s Day 6 of head pain 😦 It is getting better slowly and I did get a few answers. First, I went to the Chiropractor last night. He said my Upper Cervical Spine was jacked up especially on the right side. The adjustment did bring down the pain level and obviously did free something up but it didn’t solve the problem. I went to the Doctor this morning. She said my ears are completely filed with fluid. She was surprised I could hear. Lol 🙂 She said the right side was worst the left. But, the interesting thing is the left hurts more. It doesn’t appear to be infected so no antibiotics but I did walk out with a prescription for a five day course of steroids to help the ears drain and bring down the inflammation🤕

Here’s the thing… as someone who advocates for using holistic methods to manage health problems, it’s never easy for me to willingly sign up to take pharmaceuticals. My doctor and I had lot of conversations about this over the last few years. She finally has me seeing her point. I see now there are times when you need to take a pharmaceutical. If I wasn’t allergic to NSAIDS and Aspirin, I could have taken Advil and it probably would not have escalated to this point. For now, I am not ready to spend to a week in the hospital to get myself desensitized to Aspirin just so I can take Advil. For now, I am accepting there will be times when I need to take short course of steroids to get inflammation under control but I will not agree to taking them daily. It’s five days. Five days I can handle! My body is otherwise strong so the steroids should not have a great impact to my overall holistic health. I also found out that I’ve lost 50lbs over six years. Although I could easily drop another 20lbs, my doctor joked that it’s mostly in my boobs so she wouldn’t worry about it. Lol 🙂

So, I am starting steroids today. I wanted to take the steroids to eliminate the pain because I am taking my Reikii Master training on Saturday. It’s an all day course. I want to be somewhat pain free Saturday so I can enjoy the course. If all goes as planned, I will be a Reikii Master as of as of 5:00pm Saturday. I will then offer Reikii Sessions as part of Health Coaching business.

So, I had an appointment with Accountant earlier this week for my coaching business. Wow, it was a lot to think about. Basically, he helped me understand how to pay for things out of the business account so I can show the start up costs as a loss. I can also deduct my IIN tuition and Reikii Trainings as start up costs through the LLC. Since my LLC passes through my personal taxes, the losses will lower my tax bracket on my W-2 job. That means I could get a sizable return when I do my taxes for 2017. He said I was smart to form the LLC the same year I paid the tuition:-) Just more proof that you have to follow the signs in life and go with the flow. The signs told me to open the business and now it looks like it was good timing and will be financially advantageous to me.

The accountant also advised me to consider moving to a two bedroom apartment so I can use and claim one room as a home office/yoga/reiki II zone. It’s $3,500 deduction. I am interested in moving to a two bedroom but… I need to balance that against with my safety, personal fulfillment, relationships, happiness and life balance. I currently live in a high rise. As a single woman, I love high rise living. I make a phone call, guys come and fix stuff. It’s awesome 🙂 My cleaning lady is married to one of the handyman so she does an extra special job for me. No one can come to my front door without passing my the Doorman/Guard. I can let folks in the back door with my key to avoid the guard but that’s my prerogative. Given that I’ve had my share of ex-boyfriends and stalkers, I am glad there is a barrier to me. Lol 🙂 I love the building I live in. I’ve made friends. I play Mah-Jong with a group of women. I eat breakfast at a local cafe on weekends with some other folks from my building. Since I live at the beach, living by high ground is important. My parking lot is high ground. My car is safe. My lease is up for renewal at the beginning of the year. My landlord and I haven’t talked about it yet. I talked to the building manager today and asked her to let me know if any two bedrooms open up in the building. But for now, that’s it. I do not want to move out of the building for a two bedroom. So the $3,500 wouldn’t be worth the life balance, safety and peace of mind I’d be giving up in 2018. My situation may be different in 2019. Maybe I’ll be more open to moving out of the building or moving offshore. Maybe I’ll move in with a new boyfriend and start a new life by then. But for now, I want to stay in my current building and continue to enjoy the life I carved out of myself here.

Coaching business update… I take small steps each day towards my goal. With working full time, going to school and managing my life, I need to take the business start up slowly. I am also a planner and a strategist by nature. I like to visualize and think things out before I act. I am not a reactor. Taking the slow approach gives me time to digest and absorb new information and strategize based upon events or signs that I receive while riding the flow of Universal energy. While I can do Life Coaching under the umbrella Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I am also going to pursue a separate Life Coach Credential when I am done IIN in May 2018. I will also be able to write that off through the business next year.

I also figured out I prefer the 30 minute coaching model. I’ve experimented with 60 and 30 minute sessions. Right now, with my other responsibilities, 30 minute appointments work for me and are easier for me to manage. I am starting to offer a FREE 30 minute discovery session on “What is Holistic Health Coaching” via phone, FaceTime and Skype to new clients. If they sign up, I will set up 30 minute check-ins with them. Our conversations will be more focused and topic driven based upon their needs and/or concerns rather than free form dialogue. I want folks to walk away from every appointment with something meaningful to think about or work on. Keeping to a 30 minute model will protect my energy a bit and keep me balanced in life too. 30 minutes also means I can offer cheaper rates to clients who may be a budget.

I am not interested in coaching folks to be the perfect size or be in perfect health. I am interested in helping folks make better choices for their life and their body. I don’t want clients coming to me and saying “I want to lose 50lbs”. I want them to say “I want to feel better!”. Then we can start looking at their life to find small ways to help them feel better. As they choose to feel better, the necessary changes will happen organically and will be easier for them to handle. My goal is to help my clients live their highest good life – whatever that may look like to them. Some just want to be able to walk around the block and not eat as much sugar. Well, let’s start walking for ten minutes a day and let’s start eating sugary vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes to crowd out candy, chocolate and soda but still get a sugar fix. This what I can offer. I been there. I’ve done it. I am living it.

Speaking of coaching, I love having coaches. I am very coachable. My Accountability Partner from school is one of coaches. We are tagging up to coach each other this Sunday. I am also reaching to folks who I think can help me grow or may able to expand my knowledge or awareness. I respect people’s time and business calendars so I only ask folks for 30 minutes chats. I usually only ask for one-off type of appointments unless, of course, we determine we want to meet more often. If I ask someone to give me a coaching session, it’s because I respect them and their knowledge and want to learn from them.

Professionally, I had an opportunity to meet with one of my work mentors who was in town for the day yesterday. I credit a good part of my growth this past year professionally to working for him. We clicked. He never tried to solve my problems. When I went to him with a problem, he didn’t automatically jump in. He told me what to do, what to say, who to talk to and told me me come back to him with the results. He would then give me the next steps. That method taught me how to handle situations and how talk to people. He said to me, “It’s a credit to you that two men who you directly supported have been promoted. Your skills helped both of us look good!” Lol 🙂 He also told me, “You are trying to do the work and fix all of the problems. No wonder you are stressed out. You can only do what you can do but kudos to you for doing such a great job by “acting” as the manager even when you weren’t asked to!” Lol 🙂 Hmm, I guess I was managing:-) I was glad to have my 30 minutes with him 🙂 I have a few invitations for coaching sessions outstanding. I am hoping they can afford me 30 minutes in their hectic schedules I am open to any format phone, FaceTime, Skype or in person. I do value their guidance.

Now, because I was in pain for the last few days, I’ve noticed some fear based thinking creeping into my experience. My guard has been down. I’ve been working extra hard to shut down the negative Nancy who lives in my head. She is a fear based thinker. For example, it seems clear to me that Bluelove is staying in his current job. I think that is wonderful for him and his career. I am happy for him. The role suits him and I would do anything to support him both personally and professionally. Where my fear based thinking enters the conversation is that I do not know what means to our relationship/interactions. I don’t know if that means I will have to let him go. I don’t know if that means he will no longer be a part of my life. It freaks me out. I am praying that everything is working out for the highest good of all concerned but it would make me sad to lose him. It would make me very sad to not have him in my life. Especially because he’s been looking super cute and healthy late. Lol 🙂 Even my mentor commented that Bluelove (he called him by his actual name, lol ) is looking better than he’s looked in years and he is wondering what his secret is:-) I just agreed and said, “You are right. he does look good; he looks healthy!” 😂😂🦋 💙 Secretly, I like to think Bluelove is taking care of himself is because he knows he has a hot girl checking him out and loving him so he takes better care of himself. Lol 🙂 At least, I secretly hope I am part of the reason he looks happier and healthier :-)🦋💙

Well, I need to lay down and give my meds time to work. I plan to work 6am to 2pm tomorrow and then get plenty of rest before my Reiki Master training on Saturday.

What’s on your mind today? How’s life? Are you mentoring or coaching someone? Do you enjoy it as much as I do? 🦋

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Health, health coaching, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, Holistic Living, Integrative Nutrition, Migraines | Tagged , , , , ,

Migraine Again…

It’s Sunday at 12:22pm and the pain from a two day migraine relented a bit so I am writing a blog. I knew on Friday I was ripe for a migraine. I could feel the tension in my shoulders and neck. My TMJ was really painful all week too. A coworker actually noticed my jaw was clenched when I passed her in the hallway and asked me if I needed to talk. I, of course, said no. I was too busy and soldiered on…

I was also ripe for migraine because I didn’t eat on a regular schedule. When I wait too long to eat between meals, I get headaches. I also had a great deal of work related frustration and stress building up. Many of my coworkers would just go out drinking on Friday night and forget about it. I can’t do that.

When I got home Friday night, I was completely stressed out. I was planning to jump into a hot shower, practice yoga and watch a couple of my school video lectures on holistic wellness. That’s my passion and I enjoy it. I couldn’t do that either. I didn’t have any hot water as the there was a problem with the plumbing in my apartment building. They were working on it when I got home so no hot shower. I also noticed my WIFI wasn’t working. After spending an hour on the phone with Xfinity, I found out I had to drive out to the store 20 minutes from my home to get a new router. After two more hours, my WIFI was back online but I still didn’t eat dinner. It was 9pm and I ate lunch at 12pm. When I finally did eat, it didn’t agree with me. I was a bad day all around.

I woke up Saturday with a tension headache. I am allergic to Aspirin and NSAIDS and I try not to take prescription migraine meds. I took Tylenol and two cups of coffee for caffeine and I drove up to Philly for a meditation workshop. I had to leave half through it because my head was killing me and I knew I had to drive home before surrendering by taking prescription migraine medication.

I got home around 3pm with an official migraine. I took the medication and fell a sleep for two hours. I woke up with the same migraine. It wouldn’t break. Around 8:30pm I got out of bed and did a slow calming yoga and meditation practice. It felt good. It did help me sleep but didn’t get rid of the headache. I’ve have to take the meds every six hours until it’s gone. I am in no condition to leave the house or drive anywhere. I can’t really eat anything and I had to cancel lunch plans with a friend so I could rest and take care of my head. I stayed in bed until around 11:45am. I got up and had two cups of coffee and some gluten free granola. My headache relented a bit but isn’t gone. I have to take another pill around 2pm. If I don’t take the meds, this headache could go on for days. My doctor told me a few months ago she admires my tenacity and desire treat things holistically without medication. However, in situations like this, I need to take the meds. I do not have any addictive tendency to pain meds, I just don’t like taking pharmaceuticals. I am hoping this migraine breaks so I can stop the medication and drive to work tomorrow.

So, let’s break down the source of my work related stress down. My job isn’t horrible. I don’t hate it. I honestly believe folks in leadership are trying to do their best. I just think their lack of experience and understanding in some critical areas such as Program Management and Finance is hurting the Organization. I also think they aren’t asking for guidance and aren’t open to feedback or guidance unless you are Manager. Here what my problem is… I have to learn how to manage myself so I express myself appropriately. I do not intend to express these thoughts to anyone in management but I want to be sure I don’t get frustrated while watching the nonsense unfold and slip something out. Keeping my mouth shut has never been my strong suit. I’ve considered leaving the group to protect myself so I don’t keep getting stressed out by the nonsense I am watching.

With all of this said, I’ve decided to focus on taking care of my corner of the world in work. My new manager hasn’t completely transitioned into the role and it’s been hard to get decisions and time on his calendar. I’ve decided to make decisions myself, move forward with what I can and hope for the best. I’ve been reaching out to the team and asking them what they need. I am helping where I can. I’ve been having check-in meetings with staff members and taking actions on the time sensitive issues. I’ve been reaching out to folks who know have eminent needs and trying to get them resolved. Leadership is not a position; it is an action! I am LEADER! Thankfully, my former boss is coaching me through some stuff. Thank God for him. He told me to send him my list on Friday. He sent me some advice on how to move forward. He also told me to just keeping moving forward until someone tells me to stop because things need to get done. He is truly coaching me into leadership. I truly consider him a mentor and I am grateful for my relationship with him.

I needed to write all of this out to help release the tension and stress in my head and in my mind. I needed to pour it out so I don’t let my frustration be seen tomorrow. If you come back to my blog next week and this blog has been taken down, it’s just because I am not sure if any of my coworkers have found my blog. None have directly told me that they read it but I do not know for sure. But then again, would it be so bad for someone to read this? It’s the truth and I would stand by it and defend it.

Well, I am going to watch a few video lectures for school, keep ice on my head and go take my meds. I’ll probably go back to bed soon as the one med knocks me out. Hopefully, I’ll wake up pain free.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

Posted in Health, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, Migraines, self care, Stress. | Tagged , , , ,

Somewhere – Love, Sex And Poetry

Somewhere – Love, Sex And Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

My heart
Knew you
Were near
I could feel it
I knew it
Almost as if
I heard your
I felt the
Restlessness grow
I felt the excitement
Of seeing you
Wet me
With anticipation
Then I saw
You knew I
Couldn’t resist that
I blush
We both know
I couldn’t resist
Your bait

Trying to put it
Out of my mind
I focused on my duties
And fought every urge
I had to
Play the game
I wasn’t biting
But you were
And I needed a fix
It was a game
Could I find you
You do like
To play with me
And I do
So enjoy playing
With you
I am not quite sure
How to interact with you
What do you want
What should I say
Should I move closer
Should I give you space
Should I hold on
Should I let you go
Should I move on
We live
In the grey space
To Be Determined

I took a deep breath
And tuned into
My intuition
I heard relax
Into the flow
Just be a good friend
Allowing myself to surrender
To our unknown future
I said a prayer
And bought the bait
I looked for you
As I entered the door
There you were
My preppy Blue Love
You smiled a little
Like you knew
I would eventually give in
Were you timing me?
You smiled
But tried to hide it
Your tense shoulders
Melted a little
As you greeted me
And I knew
I was happy
Was here
Near me
It was hard to breathe
Did you notice?
Did you notice?
I felt
Love swell up
Into my mouth
I tightened up
To keep it in
I got tense
To keep it in
Keep all in
I try to take
Care of you
I try to
Nurture you
But I can tell
You aren’t used to it
I can tell
You aren’t used to
Being loved
The way I love you
I hold it back
I hold it all back
So you
Don’t push me away
I want to be
The person
You exhale with
I want to be
The arms
That shelter you
Oh my God
In a split second
It was getting
Hard to breathe
Did you notice?

As I walked away
I thought
I never wanted
To love you
I never wanted
To fall into
Those beautiful blue
Eyes in the
Preppy blue shirt
And boyish smile
But now
I am quite sure
I never want to
Live without you
Will you let me
Nurture you
Will you let me
Take care of you
Will you let me
Eventually love you
Surrending into
The grey of the unknown
As change
Hangs in the air
Of our reality
I am going with our flow
Wherever it goes
Hoping that
You let me
Love you
But strong
Enough to accept
Whatever you choose
Just know
Right now
I am somewhere
With you

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately!

Posted in Art & Photography, Blue Love, Love, Sex & Poetry Collection, Poetry | Tagged , ,

Living Through Pain Hostically

One thing I know to be true in life that my life has change dramatically since I shifted my approach to life. Prior to a year ago, I was living my life based on my fears. My fears controlled me. My fears surrounded me. My fears limited me. My fears kept me from loving myself. That fear kept me from being able to love others. I was paralyzed emotionally by fear.

Around this time last year I started listening to and reading books by Marianne Williamson. Marianne primarily teaches lessons on A Course In Miracle. The more I read the more my mind started to opening. As my mind opened, I started challenging everything I knew to be true in my life. As I challenged the truths in my life, at the time, I started awakening. Once I awakened, my whole world shifted. I will state here. I love Marianne Williamson books on ACIM and I love her teachings on spirituality. However, she is very political in her lectures. I happen to like my spirituality without any political agendas. So, I don’t always enjoy her live lectures as much I as I enjoyed her books. My favorite teaching on ACIM is… When you choose LOVE OVER FEAR, everything changes in life.

Last fall I also read Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankel. In this book, Viktor Frankel describes his experiences and survival in the World War II in Concentration Camps in Poland. The lesson that stays with me on a daily basis from this book is that a man/woman can endure unbearable suffering and sorrow as long as they have a reason to live. As long as person has a reason to believe, has something to live for, someone to love or a passion that pushes them forward, they can suffer any atrocities. This book moved me on the deepest core of my being. It changed the way I looked at life. It changed the way I approached people. It opened my eyes to suffering and the true beauty of the human spirit.

I suppose the true awakening happened for me after a series of family personal problems. First, my sister blew up her life last fall. I supported her both financially and emotionally for a few months. She is on solid ground now. Next, on January 31st around 5:00pm, I found out my niece was drug addict because she was arrested for stealing drugs from the Pharmacy she managed. I had to go to Philly to help bail her out. This began one of the hardest week’s of my life. It took a solid week of interventions to get her to go to rehab. She did her 28 days, got Community Service for her first time offense, paid retribution and will not have a record. She has been sober for a few months and has two jobs now. One she actually loves and the other givers her some extra money. Her life is stabilizing but she and her fiancé both know – she will be fighting for her sobriety the rest of her life. I am proud of the new person she is becoming. Also, related to my family, my mother is 78. She is basically healthy and has a solid mind for her age but little things are starting to happen and I find I am being asked to take a bigger role in helping her through the aging process.

Also weighing on my mind is my closest friend(other than my sisters and nieces) has been living with Stage IV Cancer for four years after being told she only had 18 months to live. She is my hero but the Cancer is slowly spreading and I’ve been watching the changes happening. I suppose I live in the moment with her and celebrate today instead of thinking too much about what is coming down the road.

And, last fall the man I am in love with took a temporary position away from me. It was supposed to be only four months but it’s been over a year now. Over time, through all of the crap that’s happened in my life since he’s been gone, I’ve learned how to love myself and him unconditionally in his absence. I also learned I want to love him freely without attachment. I learned I want him to consider me a loyal friend first. So, him being away is teaching me to how to love, truly love myself as well as him. I am just going with the flow.

Through all of this, I was having health issues. I went into a Autoimmune Flare up most likely brought on by stress. I was also diagnosed with a second Autoimmune Disease. I now have Celiac Disease and Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome. While the worst part of the flare up in over. I am no longer exhausted. I am not sleeping as much. I’ve been on a pretty strict diet to control inflammation and have felt an improvement with the elimination of Diary from my diet. I also added a strong Omega 3 Blue Ice Cod Liver oil which is helping with the Sjogren’s dry eyes and dry mouth. The lingering symptoms that I have now are joint pain, being cold and having ice cold feet all the time. My hip is in pain all day. I am double jointed and have hyper mobile SI Joints in my hips. That pain radiates into my right hip especially. There isn’t a lot that can be done to fix it other than manage the pain and keep moving. Inactivity seems to really aggravate it. I go back to my Rheumatologist in Philly next week. My Integrative Doc told me recently that being double jointed and having autoimmune disease is actually a syndrome and he would like me to get genetically tested to see if I have it. I will talk to the Rheumy about that next week. I have a feeling he may try to talk me into a round a steroids but I am not on board with that. I am learning to live, love, work, laugh and play while in some form of pain every day. I am learning to pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on – in pain.

Starting school for Integrative Nutrition completely changed my life and has given me a new purpose, a focus, a reason to live and something to be passionate about. I’ve met a whole team of new friends with similar interests. I’ve started to plan my business. I have an official LLC, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC. A friend is helping design a logo and website. That should come soon. I was contacted this morning by a local holistic detox facility to see if I wanted to partner with them. I am having an exploratory meeting with them soon to see how I can help people in the recovery community. While I am still a little pissed off at my niece for being a drug addict, I am also amazed how living through the experience with her broke me open to my reason to live. Helping others find a way to live through pain holistically, just as I do, gives me a reason to live. Just as Viktor Frankel said… man/woman can survive any pain as long as they have a reason to live, a purpose.

Are you living through pain? Are you sad? Is your heart breaking? Are you struggling with heavy choices? Through the stress, in the middle of the pain, see if you can find something/someone to believe in. While you are crying in grief and despair for what you’ve lost or what you must leave behind, remember it is possible to live through pain and find a purpose again even when you weren’t even looking for one 🙂 I will close this blog by saying once you start living life choosing LOVE OVER FEAR everything changes.

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately!

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Love Changed Everything – Love, Sex And Poetry

Love Changed Everything – Love, Sex And Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

It’s blooming
From the
Deepest part
Of my soul
Bringing you
To my attention
Reminding me
Wherever I go
You are with me
It speaks my name
In the middle
Of the night
As I toss and turn
Staring at the clock
With you
On my mind
It spreads my legs
In arousal
And erotic submission
To the truth
In my heart
The truth
I carry
Day to day
The truth
I lay next to at night
The truth
That opens me
To a new power
Within me
It blooms from within me
As a force
To heard
It won’t be denied
It blooms from within me
As a force
To be felt
Breaking open
My heart to
To new depths
Breaking the dam
Of emotions
I’ve held back
My entire life
Showing me
My truth
It’s love
Love blooms
Within me
Love is changing me
Love is my hope
Love is my fire
I love you
Loving you
Is changing me
It’s making me
More courageous
And profoundly
To be a better version
Of myself
I am blooming from within
Loving you
Changed me
Love changed everything

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

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Life Is Best When Lived Passionately

Posted in Blue Love, Love Poems, Love, Sex & Poetry Collection, Poetry, Romance, Writing | Tagged , , , ,

Sleepless, Inspired And Blogging

It is 3:00am on Saturday Morning and I am up writing a blog instead of sleeping. My hip is on fire tonight and I can’t get comfortable. I am icing it now. When I get done writing this, i will try to sleep again.

I am not sure why my hip is in so much pain tonight. The Chiropractic adjustments, icing, Blue Ice Cod Liver Oil will Butter and Collagen Peptids have been helping. It’s been feeling pretty good for the last week or so. I guess this is the way it will be. I will have good days, bad days and some sleepless nights. I am trying not to use any heavy painkillers, or at least, limit my use of them so I using mostly holistic methods to reduce inflammation and just plain Tylenol and ice for the pain.

Since I’ve been awake all night, I have used the time somewhat productively. I’ve been researching and doing some planning for my coaching business, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC. I got my LLC and EIN from LegalZoom today. I officially own a business. I did not pay for expedited service so I was surprised it only took less than 10 days. I am still in the business planning process. I just wanted to hold the name officially and move forward with establishing the business structure. I am not in a rush. I do not graduate from IIN until May 2018.

I want to be sure I have the all the legal stuff in place before taking clients. I want a fully written Business Plan with Goals; objectives, marketing methods and target market identification. I want a trademark, privacy statement, a strongly written waiver to use on all docs. I want a logo featuring a Blue Butterfly 🦋 created so I can use on business cards, letterhead, documents and a website. I want all of this in place before I see my first client. I want to legally protected and have full understanding of my scope of practice before I take any clients so I am working on establishing the business while in school. It keeps me out of trouble😂😂

I find it interesting that many of my classmates are seeing clients and taking cash payments under the umbrella of Sole Proprietor without having any of the legal stuff set up. I won’t do that. I am also not in a rush to get income from it. I already have a full time job. Mostly, I don’t want to do it yet because I want to take my time and enjoy creating my own business. I want enjoy the process. I want own every step. I want to make good well thought out decisions and I want to strategize so it is sustainable as well as has growth potential. Rushing to see clients while in school just doesn’t seem smart to me. I also we are not credentialed yet.

I already know that once school is done I am going to pursue advanced credentials and perhaps get certified as an official Life Coach as well. While I am in school the next few months, I am also taking some other training. I am doing Reiki 3 at the end of the month. I am taking the Mental Health First Aid course in November and I have a few meetings step up with potential advisors. I am doing outreach with a local recovery centers and starting to network and build relationships. I can see myself doing a lot of free lecture to local recovery centers. My niece who was in rehab in February and is sober now made me laugh. She said, “well, something good came out of me being a drug addict. My aunt found a business and a Calling!” I added, “only after I had a nervous breakdown, a migraine for two weeks and an autoimmune flare up from the stress!” She said, “ouch” 😂😂 I’m keeping it real with her. No more pulling punches. She gets 100% truth all the time now because she is an addict and is still in recovery. Tough love is the only way to keep her straight. She needs to remember how her actions affected the whole family.

A couple of things I need to get real clear on for the Coaching business. First, why am I doing this? What do I want to get from this? The high level answer to that is self fulfillment and to fulfill a Calling to be of service. Question two: How important is it to me to make money from this business? I really only set up the LLC for protection of personal assets. I have a good full time job that I do not plan to quit. But, who knows, what the future will hold. So, if I start getting this set up now, I’ll already have an alternate revenue stream. Question three: How much time every week do I plan to dedicate to this? Question four: How will I structure my “office hours” and appointment times around my full time work schedule? Question Five: How will I enforce boundaries? For example, no Highest Good work during my official 9 to 5 office hours. I am strict about that. I am not even posting on my Twitter or Instagram accounts from my cell phone during work hours anymore. Most important question: Who do I want to serve? What impact do want to make? What legacy to want to leave?

So, this is how a Calling works! You just got a nagging in your soul. For me, the Calling to serve has been happening for years. I just ignored it or haven’t been able to find the best way to answer it. IIN and the Coaching Business all came together quickly and easily which leads me to believe it is my path. But here’s the thing about paths – they turn. We need to be agile. I am going with the flow as best I can.

Next, I will talk about my full time job. Friday was a super crazy day. As far as my tasks go, I am fine. I have bandwidth for more but I’ve been busy trying to help someone transition into a new role. I feel like they’ve been testing me this week. It seems like they’ve been stepping back and letting me go a bit. They’ve freed up the reigns but also have given me pop up actions items, like drills 😂 But the end of the week I made list for my new boss of the most important issue he needed to address by next week. But, of course, urgent issues my take precedence. He cracked up when I reviewed it with and was thankful – even blushed because I was looking out for him. It seems I am managing my manager. Someone had to take control and make decisions; it was me😂😂😂💪Our current regeim has a hard time making decisions and sticking to them – everything gets revisited. They change their minds a lot. It’s hard to find solid ground when it keeps shifting. They do have strong organizational strengths which is a plus. Speaking of bosses, I tend to work better with men but I am adaptable. I’ve had two bosses that I enjoyed working for; I would enjoy working for either one of them again – especially the cute one 😂💙🦋Perhaps one day I will be my own boss 🙌

I’m not a half way kind of girl. When I am in, I am all in. When I love you, I love you probably more than you’ve ever been loved. My life is best when I am living passionately.

It’s about 4:00am and it’s time for me to try to get some sleep. The ice finally took away some of the pain. I also feel like I could eat breakfast now 😂😂 My breakfast spot doesn’t open until 7:00am. I know all the locals, sit at the counter and chat while drinking coffee. It’s a nice way to start my morning on the weekends.

Did you sleep well or were you up all night like me? Is there something burning in your soul or are you just getting up for the day? Are you living passionately or settling?

Live passionately with me! 🦋💙💙🦋💙

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

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Life Is Best When Lived Passionately






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Not Walking My Talk Today

Walking my talk…I confess I am having a hard time walking my talk today. Consciously, I am completely aware and I don’t have to let go of anyone yet. I know it’s not time yet. I know our connection is stronger than ever but things happening around me make it hard to not feel the void of his absence.

Changes, moves, things being packed up and put into storage by people who don’t care of him the way I do. Walking into the newly rearranged room and suddenly not feeling his energy around me. I used to feel him in there. I used walk in there and see pictures of him. I used to be in that space and feel close to him😢

While I am consciously aware the new tenant belongs there ☺️It’s their right to sit in that room. Actually, organizationally it probably sends a strong message that they are in charge since that is the room is where the leader sits. But, for me personally, it is also the room where the man with the beautiful blue eyes sat. It is also the room where I found myself falling in love with those beautiful eyes one hour at time, one conversation at a time – slowly. I lost my heart slowly to him.

I felt like I was grieving today. I felt like I lost my best friend or at least the person I looked forward to seeing the most there. As I drove home, I challenged myself to look at this from Integrative Nutrition Primary Food perspective. In other words, I asked myself “how do I work through these feelings? What do I do? Why I am feeling this so strongly today?” The way I work through the feelings is to write them out. I am really good at stuffing stuff down and internalizing things. I decided today I needed to write this out. I also decided it was ok for me to cry. I was crying because I was full of emotions. I wasn’t crying from losing him. I haven’t lost him. I was not crying because I had to let him go. I don’t yet. I was crying because I miss him🦋💙 I miss him…That’s what was bothering me today. I miss him because I am in love with him 💙🦋 The changes I saw today reminded how much I miss him and that the man I am in love with is no longer close to me 🦋💙

As I allowed myself to feel it, I also knew something else was pulling on my emotions. So, I asked myself, “What is it? What are not dealing with that is coming up today?” It felt GREY. It’s the feeling of limbo. It’s hanging out in uncertainty. It’s feeling all the people I love are struggling. My best friend is dying from Stage IV Cancer. She fights hard every day but we know she won’t beat it. She won’t beat it. My Mother is struggling with aging issues. Imagine if you were 78 and lived in your home 60 years… wouldn’t you be afraid to move? Her home needs works. My sisters and I are trying to work it out. My mom calls me crying because she’s scared and that scares me. I realized today when I am sad, it was often the beautiful blue eyes of the man I love that cheered me up. Just knowing he was near made me feel better. I guess I felt today like that feeling is gone forever. I was grieving for that loss. I know that is not logical but I already told you I am not walking my talk today😂 I am not flowing well with the Universe today😂 Instead of judging myself or denying it, I am just going to let myself feel today.

Loving someone unconditionally often requires us to stand back and give them space to figure things out. Sometimes what is for their highest good isn’t us; then again sometimes it all works out and everyone lives happily ever after. I refuse to be needy and cling to him. He is free. My love is given to him freely without expectations. I am just having a hard time walking my talk today. That’s all.

As I surrender into the unknown and ask God for divine guidance, direction and love for all, I consciously know everything is working out for the highest good of all concerned. But for tonight, I am going to just be sad and miss him 💙🦋💙🦋

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Protection StatusLife Is Best When Lived Passionately

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