Thursday, November 7, 2019

Why I Left YouTube

So, the big question is, why did I leave YouTube? Well, the answer perhaps starts with why I started a channel in the first place, and that was because my office was downstairs under the living room and I felt like the troll under the stairs, a bit lonely and cut off from my family and I was bored while I waited for calls when I was working online as a tarot reader, so I was watching a lot of YouTube, one particular channel especially, and I decided to join in the fun. There weren't as many tarot channels back then, in 2014.

I've been on and off YouTube a couple of times over the past five years, same with Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. I'd canceled all of my other social media and returned to YouTube in August of 2018, right after my 55th birthday, but I've discovered a bit of a problem with it as time has gone on, the same things that led me to leave before: it's just too big of a distraction and keeps me from doing the reading and studying that I want to do, and it just starts to feel like too much pressure to keep up with everyone and adds too much stress to my life. 

I've thought about taking a break for weeks now, but then I started putting up the quality content I've always wanted to provide because with our upcoming move from PA to NH in 2020, I know I may be way too busy next year to produce any content or watch any videos. I also don't even know if we'll have internet, or if we do it may only be satellite or DSL. We're moving to an area that many people vacation in to unplug, so only in areas where there's a good concentration of permanent residents do they have decent internet, and that's what we're moving there to get away from instead. That realization is part of what made me leave YouTube permanently. 

So, what's the other part? For me, Paleo living has become not just a diet but a complete lifestyle, as much as possible in our modern age. This past week I've had a few chances to hang out with friends in person, and that felt very good and right. Talking about friends I have around the world and across the country, with a few exceptions, felt fake. I've never met these people in person and never will. Now some I text and email with regularly, and even video chat with occasionally, so those are the exceptions. The rest, it just doesn't feel "right". In his book Primal Connection, Mark Sisson mentions that we're designed to gather with small groups of people, not hundreds or thousands over digital media. I agree, and I think that's what's been bothering me for a couple of years now. 

Adding to it is the new elitist guidelines on YouTube, like only channels with over 500 or 1,000 subscribers having access to certain features rather than having them available to all channels. There were features that I had available that suddenly disappeared since I didn't meet the new criteria yet. 

Most of all though is just feeling like I get nothing done due to irrelevant distractions that aren't really adding anything substantial to my life, again with a few exceptions. Nor do I feel that I've done much substantial to add to the lives of others. I hope that I'll do so with this blog instead, and put some good content out that others will appreciate and find valuable, something that no social media really seems to do. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

My Journey with the Tarot de Marseille

It's funny, but if you'd told me a few years ago that my favorite tarot system would become the Tarot de Marseille, I'd have said you were crazy. Who could love those images? Or read with those pips?! I'd have told you that it's the hardest system of tarot to read, and I'd have meant it--and a lot of people would agree that they feel the same about it, it's just so intimidating. 

And yet, this year I decided to learn the Tarot de Marseille and focus on using on this system to learn it really well. Every tarot deck and book I purchased had something to do with the TdM as it's fondly abbreviated. And I fell in love! 

When I decided to study the Marseille tarot system, I thought I'd have so much to learn like new lists of meanings, numerology, astrology, etc. because I never used those with the RWS and Thoth tarot systems, and I felt very overwhelmed. I discovered that I was wrong because the ancient way of reading tarot doesn't use all of that, it's actually much simpler, which made sense when I thought about it. After all, this system goes way back to the 15th century, a time when education was reserved for the merchant class, clergy and royalty, not the average person, and it wasn't always as good as it is today. Also, the tarot started out as a game, Tarocchi in Italy, and was widely used in gaming halls before it was turned into a divination tool. My point here isn't to give a history, there are plenty of good resources for that, but I had to mention its origins to explain.

So instead of having to learn any of those things, what I had to do instead was to throw out everything I thought I knew about tarot and come to it as a complete beginner, and the result has been wonderful. It's a return to cartomancy, which I first really fell in love with when I learned Lenormand, and I almost never returned to tarot because I loved that system so much. Now I have the best of both worlds because I have cartomancy with tarot cards as well as Lenormand cards! 

Tarotmancy has always been a struggle for me, really. And what do I mean by that term? Modern tarot, mystical tarot, tarot readings based on the esoteric meanings that Etteilla, Court de Gébelin, Levi, and the Golden Dawn. I'm just not into using numerology, astrology, and the Qaballah to give readings for clients who want to know if s/he's going to call again or if they're going to get the job. I also don't use tarot for Shadow Work as much as I use Oracle cards for it as those go deeper for me. 

So, if you're thinking of learning the Tarot de Marseille, but you're feeling intimidated by all you think you have to learn, let go of that and begin the journey from the perspective of a beginner and it will be easier. It certainly worked for me! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

My 30 Day Challenge Begins

Today is October 2, 2019 and I've decided to do a 30 day challenge until October 31 and return to following a Paleo diet and lifestyle strictly for that time along with intermittent fasting and see what impact that has on my health and weight. 

I've been eating healthier overall, but keep sliding back occasionally as well, and so neither my health nor my weight loss are progressing at the pace I know they can, and the changes I've made this time around aren't as significant as the ones I did 7 years ago that had such an impact. Then I did as I am now, I started with a 30 day challenge that ended up extending over months and resulting in a 70 lb weight loss when I quit smoking, and also healed the hypothyroidism, insulin resistance and fibromyalgia with chronic myofascial pain syndrome and IBS that had been plaguing me.

I'm making some tweaks this time around that I didn't make before because now that I'm in my 50s, some of this will be harder to do than it was then just because of changes that come at this age and the onset of menopause. In other words, I am not the same woman at 56 that I was at 49 physically. So I'm following guidelines for intermittent fasting that are more stringent, fasting longer and eating for a shorter duration on alternate days and eliminating sugars that I didn't eliminate before. I've also added a morning cup of black coffee and an afternoon cup of tea for the caffeine stimulation to my system. These have been part of Ayurvedic medicine for millennia. 

The other main tweak I'm going to make is that in addition to walking, I'm adding an actual workout schedule that will alternate weight training and floor exercises to strength train, something I didn't do before that left me still feeling and looking really fat when I was very close to my ideal weight for my height and age, which eventually led to me giving it all up and just returning to eating too much sugar and junk food. 

The first thing that had to happen though was to start loving myself and my life, and letting go of stress and worry. I've spent the past month working on this, starting while I was sick with a very virulent cold and couldn't do much else but go inward to start healing, and this past week I've finally really achieved it. One thing I know is that my mental and emotional state are key to the success or failure of this challenge. Having my husband's full support like I do is the other key. It's harder, though not impossible as my past success proves, to avoid those foods if they're in the house tempting me, so it's good that he's also on board with doing his own version of this challenge. 

I'll be posting occasional updates on here, not just this month but for as long as I'm blogging because this is just the kickstart for a lifelong plan, being honest about how well I'm doing and the results I'm seeing, because accountability is the other key to succeeding. Yes, I need to be accountable to myself, but it also helps to be accountable to others.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

When You Hit Rock Bottom...

So, to continue the story of my long road back to health, it's taken a bit of a detour lately. My mother-in-law died last month, just three months after her husband died in front of her. Let's say with losing our two old male dogs within six days of each other back in January, a very traumatic setback in our plans to move from PA to NH, and then this double loss, 2019 has been a really rough year and it's been very difficult to remain on track with our health goals since we both tend to reach for "comfort foods" at times of stress, not uncommon for most people and it doesn't matter how much you know if those healthy habits aren't well established yet. 

So, what brought me to rock bottom was that after a month of eating really good and starting to feel a lot better and seeing some really good results begin to happen, I hit a month of eating really crappy again (along with my husband), and then I got a cold on top of my ragweed allergies. And when I say a cold, this was the cold to beat all colds and came on like a fast-moving storm! One moment I was fine, the next my throat got scratchy and sore and my sinuses started to fill up while my energy started to drain proportionately. Ugh.

The first night I didn't sleep at all. Zero, zilch. I finally got about a one hour nap the next day, followed by a night of sleep of one hour at a time and cuddling with our heating pad to loosen the mucus in my sinuses and lungs since essential oils alone weren't doing the trick and my ears started to hurt really bad from the pressure of the sinus congestion because I have small eustachian tubes. Most people would probably hit the ER at this point, but I'm stubborn and my husband agrees with me on it being a very low level last resort. I was finally coughing up a lot of mucus at last because of the combination of heating pad and essential oils, so we thought I'd be fine in the morning, and I did look and feel a bit better...until I got in the shower and was dizzy and struggling to breathe. 

I spent the first couple of hours of that day in bed with the heating pad and essential oils until I finally felt well enough to sit out in the living room and eat breakfast. I went downhill again gradually as the day wore on and finally went to a satellite care facility for treatment. I may be stubborn, but I'm smart enough to know when it's time for western medical intervention. I felt much better after a nebulizer treatment and the first dose of Prednisone, an albuterol inhaler and an allergy tablet. I'm still also using my essential oils in conjunction because I know they'll still help my body to actually heal. I finally got a good night's sleep, and I'm looking forward to more.

So, the firm decision to stop eating crap has been made because I hit a point of rock bottom. Again. I know this time I'll stick to it because I know it was a major contributing factor in getting sick in the first place. I know this because my past experience from when I was following a really good regime proved that my allergies were almost unnoticeable and I never got sick. So, back to eating right and daily exercise, which I've done faithfully and well in the past and thereby can definitely do again successfully...this time for life as I learned a very hard lesson by falling off of that wagon a few years ago and the much harder journey I'm having to get back on it.

When you hit rock bottom, then the only place to go is up; and when you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, then the best thing to do is change your diet and lifestyle in order to change your health. That is the magic bullet. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

When Life Give You Lemons

My husband and I were supposed to move from our current home in PA to my home state of NH this year. We had worked hard for months on renovating and staging our home, decluttering it, deep cleaning it, repainting it, etc. We put it on the market and it sold in less than two weeks for close to our list price. Everything was moving along smoothly and we were preparing to go up to NH to look at houses and purchase our home up there, we just had to wait for the appraisal to come back and then the title clearance.

The appraisal came back fine, but then we discovered that what we thought would be a minor issue with the title from my late father-in-law's estate (my late husband's father, not my current husband's) was actually a really huge issue due to a state law here that would require not only for that to be paid off, but for a really ridiculously large sum of money to be placed in escrow until the paper came back from the state that his estate was officially closed. That can take 3-6 months we've been told. 

Since our entire plan to move hinges on buying our new home in NH with cash out of the proceeds from the sale of this house and paying off other stuff to become debt-free, that killed our plan and our ability to sell this house and move this year. We had to back out of that sale, pay the buyers back for what they put into inspections and the appraisal, and take our home off of the market until we can get that estate paid off and get that document back from the state. It was absolutely devastating.

My husband and I are positive people though, and so we didn't stay down about it for long. We've continued to make some small changes for the better to this house for its future sale, we decided that I could invest in a very special course that is only offered once a year that I wasn't going to be able to do because of the move, and we decided to get the German Shepherd puppy that my husband wants now while we're here rather than waiting until after we get settled in up there and do any necessary renovations to our new home. We have an amazing fenced in yard that's perfect for a new puppy to run and play in, as well as to train him in. He'll be more mature by the time we move.

This delay has also allowed us to go through some of what has been packed up and pare it down. Books, for example. I've packed up four boxes of books to take to Half Priced Books to eliminate. We found a home for a very bulky and heavy TV lift cabinet we had, so that's a large piece of furniture that we've eliminated. We're trying to lighten our load a bit and get rid of unnecessary "stuff". 

We also learned a lot. Neither of us has made an out of state move that includes selling and buying a house before, and there were a lot of things to learn and coordinate, and what I'd arranged was a bit clumsy and needed tweaking; I'll be doing a better job of that next time around. 

So, life handed us lemons in this deal, but we've decided to sweeten it and make them into lemonade. 😊

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Today is the First Day...

This is a picture of me from April of 2013, just six years ago. I was about to turn 50, I'd quit smoking and lost 70 pounds, going down from a size 20W to a regular size 12. I was following a Paleo diet and lifestyle. I could hike for miles and hours nonstop, motor uphill better than my husband, and was healthier at 49 than I'd been at 29. Still, I looked and felt fat because of my abdomen, waist, hips and butt.

Because of how I felt after looking at images of myself, I raided my father's cookie drawer and my mother's candy cupboard and started eating sugar again. My younger son and stepson graduated from high school that year, and anticipating a large turnout for the double graduation party, I ordered a larger sheet cake than we ended up needing. Not being able to resist, I ended up eating most of what was left--a substantial amount of cake. 

Shortly afterwards, I started going to the gym again, but I'd stop for groceries on the way home and reward myself with a candy bar. Slowly at first, and then quickly, the weight came back on. Now I've gained all of that weight back plus a few more pounds, putting me in the category of being truly obese as for the first time in my life, I'm 100 pounds over my ideal weight and approaching the age of 56. 

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I'm also noticing more health concerns than I've ever had before, and I've decided it's time to do something about it. I watched a video that my husband sent me since he's also facing some of the same problems that I have and we're both concerned about being in our 50s and very overweight. That video led me to watching others by the same person and learning that my health is in far more danger than I realized, so today I decided that there's no more room for excuses nor procrastination, today really is the first day of the rest of my life.

What that means is that I started my day with tea and stevia (SweetLeaf brand because it doesn't have dextrose or other sugars added) rather than coffee and sugar. I'm making sure that all of my snacks are healthy, mostly raw vegetables. I'll make a large bowl of salad today rather than buying the greens and having them rot away in my fridge. I've started to walk, I'll keep going on that and make sure to get in some kind of workout when it's too cold or wet to walk instead of making excuses and being lazy. Due to my success before, I know that I can do it again, but I also know that this time around I need to do some things for those abs so that I don't derail myself because I still feel fat when I lose weight and gain health. 

So I've started this blog to share this journey so that 1) I'm accountable to someone besides my husband, and 2) perhaps all that I've been through and am doing now can help someone else. I'll be raw and honest here and in my videos and although there might be some overlap, there will be some different information as well. 

So if you're interested then follow my blog and check out Dr. Rhonda Patrick because she shares a lot of amazing information. 

Why I Left YouTube

So, the big question is, why did I leave YouTube? Well, the answer perhaps starts with why I started a channel in the first place, and...