How Negativity Creates Chronic Inflammation – 2 Outlooks on Life

Check out my new Quirky Quad Column on Push Living Magazine: http://pushliving.com/danger-how-negativity-about-disability-can-create-chronic-inflammation/

…. One of my favorite songs is by Bobby McFerrin called “Don’t worry, Be Happy.” This song makes me giggle every time I hear it… Go ahead and have a listen before you read the article because I bet you will have slight wrinkles turning upwards on your mouth that resemble something like a smile!

When things go wrong I always play this song, which, admittedly, many ICU nurses may never want to hear again with the amount of times I had it on repeat over the years. Such a simple motto, yet very hard to execute at times …

… We are only human. Negativity, depression, anxiety, and the stresses of daily life are part of the human condition. With that said, this column is not meant to be a guide for how to promote positivity per se, but make folks aware of how negativity in your life can create chronic inflammation, and make you sicker than you need to be. How can you fix a problem if you are unaware of it? Just like an alcoholic cannot proceed down the road of healing unless they are aware they are an alcoholic to begin with …

…. A negative frame of mind can create a self-perpetuating downward spiral of agony that may seem impossible to get out of. Those of us with spinal cord injuries deal with more challenges than seem fair on a daily basis. There are always those who have a situation worse than yours and better than yours. This is life …

Read the rest: http://pushliving.com/danger-how-negativity-about-disability-can-create-chronic-inflammation/

 

“HOW I (Unexpectedly) FELL in LOVE — The REAL VERSION”

 
My Online Dating Mission:

… Sleep with as many guys as I could in order to explore my spinal cord injury sexuality before it might be too late. A simple mission you may say … A ridiculously irresponsible mission others may comment … A wildly insane mission yet others may respond. To me, it was the most fun, wild and exciting thing I could think to do before I went under the knife once again for a seventh time in six years….

… My now boyfriend was one of these gentlemen callers. I really did like him and thought he had a lot to offer, but I certainly wasn’t going to ask a guy I met 4 to 6 weeks prior to hang around with a C6 quadriplegic who was going in for major surgery, who was going to be laid up in bed for God knows how long, and with hundreds and hundreds of staples in my ass. I simply didn’t think this was fair to ask, nor did I want any man I had been sexual with to see me in the ICU….

… As the months rolled on we really started to build a bond with one another and it was a completely new and unexpected feeling for me in life. Forget the wheelchair for a second … Apparently I had never learned how to be in a proper relationship. I had dated guys for years in the past, but I always made sure I had 1 foot out the door as a defense mechanism. My boyfriend completely turn this around for me, and, essentially, taught me how to love….

Read my new column on Push Living Magazine: http://pushliving.com/spinal-cord-injury-sexuality-how-i-unexpectedly-fell-in-love/

Forget About Setting Goals – Reducing Psychological Paralysis

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A few weeks ago I had a psychological epiphany with respect to my life over the last 7 years since my accident, and probably way before that too. I was reading an article by one of my favorite authors who focuses on writing about behavioral psychology, James Clear (www.jamesclear.com). He writes on subjects such as habits, performance, and just generally on topics regarding self-improvement based on proven scientific research. He had a very interesting article on letting go of your goals and focusing on process instead.

When I first started reading this article I thought to myself “I’ve always lived my life by setting specific goals and trying to achieve them.” However, what I did not realize throughout the course of my life, and especially since my accident, is that goals have actually been hindering my progress and reducing my current happiness.

Don’t misunderstand me, having  general goals are important as they keep you focused towards trying to achieve something very specific. What I did not think critically about was that when you are working towards a specific goal you are essentially saying “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.” The problem with this mindset is that you’re teaching yourself to always put happiness and success off until the next milestone is achieved. “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. Once I achieve my goal, then I’ll be successful.”

The wheels in my head started turning to where I took a day off work to think critically about what he meant. Throughout my life I’ve always been taught to work hard, think critically, create a specific goal, work my ass off until I achieve that goal, and success will follow. So, clearly I had defined success to equal happiness in my life. Interestingly the exact opposite has happened to me over the last 7 years of my life since I broke my neck.

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