Pema…You are brilliant!

Pema Chödrön is amazing…I’m really in awe of her spirit!  Her teachings have been a part of my journey for several years and I’m so grateful to have been introduced to her work.  Her wisdom has helped me so much.

Recently I read an article of hers assigned in my self-care class that has me thinking.  As some of you may know…I really like thinking…it’s my thing!  😉 AND this article is as timely as ever…

How We Get Hooked and How We Get Unhooked


Shenpa is the Tibetan word for urge/hook/trigger/habitual tendency to close down/tighten/tense up…  Which leads to withdrawing and not wanting to be where we are.  Can anyone relate to these feelings?

It is certainly a thing for me and something have/continue to work very hard to unravel.    Practice doesn’t make perfect but continues my progression and that’s all any of us can really hope for.

Light and love to all.

#selfcare #MSfoodie #pemachodron #journey #doingit


Power Pose

Faking it…  Sometimes that’s just what I have to do for a time.

Power Pose

Watching this brought tears to my eyes.  Most of my life I felt like I didn’t belong and that if anyone found out who I really was they would reject me.  Today I feel that less and less in throughout my life.  I finally feel like I’m where I’m meant to me.  I feel like I’m enough.  I feel that I belong right where I’m standing and I’m thrilled it happens to be at National University of Natural Medicine.

And for a while I had to fake it before it became a reality…  After watching this I’m adding a 2 minute power pose to my daily routine.  I’m curious to see what shifts this brings about for me.  I’ll let you know!  😉


Where did all of this begin?

It’s hard to say really…and it’s likely that it began long before I actually realized…  Funny how things stir within us without our knowing and then here I am living in Portland, OR studying the thing that is my thing…nutrition/wellness/naturopathy…  WOW!  Well it wasn’t quite like that…

So as some of you know I was diagnosed with MS a few days before my 24th birthday.  I turned 37 on September 1st this year.  What some of you may not know is that I was really terrible at taking care of my body, mind and spirit for a very long time…  Say for 30ish years!  I’m sure there were bits of good self-care in there somewhere.  On any account…  I, like many people, didn’t know how to take care of myself.  I mean REALLY take care of myself.  Just making it is ok for a short while.  For the long haul though taking care of ourselves in a way we deserve and are meant to a is very important part of living fully.  For the first 5-8 years after my diagnosis I basically ignored the fact that I had received this terrible news.  I partied, ate terribly, smoked cigarettes and surrounded myself with drama/unhealthy people.  I honestly didn’t know there was another way.  During this time I continued taking my medication, thinking that was enough.  The resentment that built up each time I had to give myself a shot would later be the fuel that would help propel me to the place I’m sitting right now.  We’ll get to that another time…  The resentment I carried toward this disease and the injection I had to give myself each day kept me searching for a better way.  Patiently I scoured the internet looking for someone living with Multiple Sclerosis that was doing something different than the options being presented to me.  I was looking for a unicorn of sorts…or so I thought.  I was looking for someone not taking medication and not following the well worn path of so many before me.  Sadly for those 8 years there was no one and nothing I could hold on to except the feeling in my gut that there was a better way for me.  Around my 30th birthday things began to shift.  Or maybe it began before that like I mentioned in the beginning.  I quit smoking at 28 and started looking at doing the BP MS150.  This bike ride from Houston to Austin raises funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.  This meant I had to learn how to take care of myself in a very different way.  I hired a trainer and he helped me figure some of this wellness stuff out.  By my early/mid 30s I was in the best shape of my life.  I felt good and was eating well/exercising my life away.

Somewhere in this time of change I stumbled upon this video…Minding Your Mitochondria – Dr. Terry Wahls

It changed my life.

I am the type of person who wants to change everything all at once as soon as I find the ‘thing’ I think I need.  I’m also a person who struggles with change and acceptance.  So…I’ve learned that in order for something to stick, I have to change one thing at a time.  That makes it sound long and drawn out and I’ll be honest with you…Sometimes it is.  My thoughts on that are that I can stay the same or change…Either way there’s going to be some tough spots along the way but at least with the change I get the end result of something new instead of more of the same.  So here’s how it goes for me…once I get use to that one thing I changed then I can change something else.  One thing stack on top of another and then before you know it I’m no longer having break outs because I’ve quit eating dairy.  What?!?!?  I know so people need concrete examples.  So my journey began with my morning cup of coffee.  Typically most days I had one very large cup of coffee in the morning with cream and sugar.  I use to tell myself that it was just one cup…no big deal.  Well then I started to learn about inflammation and every morning I began my day with a very large cup of inflammatory producing liquid.  The coffee itself was fine…but the cream and sugar are both inflammatory foods.  Not good!

This was just the beginning for me.  After this I decided to start makings decisions about what went into my body based on my wellness.  The reward system I was use to using food for no longer worked for me and the yo yo ups/downs with food was over.  That cup of coffee became a cup of green tea with raw/organic honey instead and eventually just a cup of green tea all by itself.

One thing at a time…  Something small and manageable to start with…  This is what taking care of ourselves looks like.

Week One

So…I made it through my first week at NUNM AND I’m feeling really good about the decision to come here and do this.  Feeling grounded and connected to things here is helpful!!!!!

A little recap…  My week began with Anatomy lab at 9:30 am on Monday morning.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well that is until we met our cadavers for the first time.  I’ve never been this close to death and though I felt ok during…the feelings that came after have me thinking.  These cadavers were alive at some point and chose to donate their bodies to students pursuing an education in medicine.  That is reality.  It’s taking me some time to wrap my head and heart around the idea that this is a gift for my education and a choice these two people made…the smell is the lesser difficultly I’m faced with here.  After lunch and Anatomy & Physiology lecture I moved on to my America Food Systems class.  Learning about the modern food system and how different it is from days gone by is so interesting for me.  I could ‘geek out’ on this but I will spare you the details for now.  (you’re welcome)  Tuesday brought another round of A&P lecture where we were able to discuss our feelings/reactions to meeting our cadavers the day prior.  I feel like having space to reflect on this experience with others who were in the same room was important and it helped me process things a bit further.  Wednesday morning was all about Self-Care and Self Management.  I’m really looking forward to this class (and well all the rest to be honest) and feel it’s important to teach people about this area of life.  I believe taking care of ourselves is one of the most valuable things we can do and it helps in our ability to care for/relate to others.  I also believe that most people are not taught about self-care/self management at home or in school.  We enter the world doing our best and a lot of times sucking at it!  After this I was left with Plants of the Pacific North West.  (beaming…)  Some of you may not know but I’m a plant nerd…Along with other nerdy-ness that I’m sure will rear it’s head in due time…  For now we’ll leave it at plant nerd!  I’m super excited to learn about all that is growing around me here.  It’s so green here and I’ve felt a bit detached on hikes not being able to identify as many plants as I was able to do back home.  Not for long y’all…  🙂

The most important thing to me about all of this is that I’m happy to be hear and so thankful for all of the support.  It’s been an amazing adventure so far and I look forward to more…


Laundry Day


Today was laundry day.  It’s interesting what that actually meant this time.  It was different from my typical day of washing and folding and hanging of the clothes I wear.  Yes, I ended up with clean clothes at the end of things.  I also ended up spending time reading a book while I waited for my laundry to do it’s thing.  Wait….what?!?!  When is the last time I sat and read a book for the sheer leisure of it.  Without thinking too hard let’s just say it’s been a VERY long time.  Typically when I’m doing laundry I’m doing 500 other things that ‘must’ get done.  Not today though…  Today I read a real book with pages while the washer and dryer worked it.  I also meet a couple new people and learned a little about my neighbors.  Interesting and kind folks are found in the laundry area at my RV park.  It’s been nice to slow down and just live life for a bit.  Like really nice!  I’m not sure the last time I’ve done that either…  #thankful

Laundry is done…  Bone broth made…  New Vitamix took it’s first spin….  Wait what?!? I own a Vitamix!!!  So exciting…  It really is!  Thanks to my awesome former coworkers for the coolest farewell gift!

Feeling like I’m settling into a different pace of life here.  (high five for me)  I think this place suits me.

Tomorrow I must visit the DMV.  Giving up my Texas license so soon you say…  Welllll…about that.  I think my Texas drivers license might be in the mountains somewhere at this point.  Yep!  I lost it within my first week of living in Portland.  So, I must officially claim Oregon as my resident state sooner than anticipated.  Fair enough…I do need a drivers license.  I’m keeping my Texas plates as long as I can though.  (loud and proud I say…)

Orientation begins in one week. EEEEKKKKK!  I’m excited.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”~Randy Pausch

Good night…

#thankful #findingmyway #followyourdreams #nunm #portland #simplicity




Well I’m here…  The road warrior crew (my aunt, uncle, cousin, me and the dogs) departed Clute, TX at 9:50 pm (Central) on Thursday, August 25th and we pulled into Portland, OR around 3:00 pm (Pacific) on Sunday, August 28th.  I promise we slept…some….

Here’s our caravan…(that’s me in my little Subaru up front)…

Caravan (2)

I have to be honest.  So far I’m in love with this place and camper living and it all feels like the right thing for me.  #thankful

The highlights since my arrival have been Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock, Indian Beach (where they filmed the final scene in the original Point Break), the Saturday Portland Farmer’s Market on PSU campus, hiking in Forest Park which is just 10 minutes from me, The International Rose Garden, The Whiskey Library…  I’m really enjoying getting to know my new home and meeting lots of people along the way.  I was even able to find a dance community and it looks like I will be able to continue partner dancing up here.  YAY!!!

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude as I recount all of the support and encouragement I have received on this journey.  It’s truly been a life changing experience and I have not even started school yet.  Feeling VERY thankful and loved!  Classes begin on September 19th and we have orientation September 14th-16th.  I’m looking forward to more adventure and learning!

How do you see the world?


For most of my life I feel my vision of the world was a frantic blur.  It twisted and shifted and shaped around me with flashes of things I recognized revealing themselves now and then.  This blur of ups and downs was a normal way of life until my early thirties.  Things began to shift at this time from what I’d known of the world.  My perspective changed drastically.  Today I see the world from a much calmer, seemingly manageable place.  The frantic blur is no longer my normal.  I see interconnections to people, places and things much more clearly today.  This new perspective of the dynamic connections that make up the world has opened my eyes to the delicate dance and flow going on around me.  Today I choose to see the world in moment to moment increments.  This stance allows me to slow down and actively participate in the world around me.  I am more able to stay present with myself and others.  I’m much more invested in things today as previously.  Clarity is an amazing gift.

@marveloptics |