I haven’t done a journal update since October, so I thought I’d squish all of my updates from the Winter months into one update. Here we go!
Shot the forthcoming Anima Mundi book on Adaptogens. Between that and some sponsored stuff I did most of my work for the Winter in a couple of jam-packed, stress-filled weeks. I do most of my paid client work for the whole year in the 4th quarter of the year, which is to say — it’s a lot of pressure. But in some ways I really thrive on that. Logan and I decided we wanted to celebrate the Christmas holiday by going on a mini retreat to a cabin in the Virginia woodlands. It was so nice to be alone — we did daily saunas, took walks in the countryside, cuddled and ate candy in bed. It was one of the best Christmas holidays I’ve had in a long time. Just generally, I’ve been going to the sauna at my gym a lot more over Winter which has been great for my mood and muscle recovery from workouts. Over the Winter I found a whole network of healers to help with my chronic headaches and neck pain — a great Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, a craniofacial pain / TMJ specialist, a physical therapist and a dry needling practitioner that I love (which both happen to work in the gym I teach yoga at — double win!).
My tension headaches were at their all-time worst over the Winter — feeling more like migraines than headaches. Even my GP thought they were migraines based on my description. I’ve had TMJ and neck pain for years now, but it had never been so bad that I had to take weeks off from work. I was feeling really non-functional. All of this contributed to working out a lot less, going out less and getting more anxiety and depression than I usually do in Winter. There was no amount of stretching / massage / acupuncture / salt baths / self-care that would stop the headaches. I found a craniofacial pain specialist who confirmed my headaches seem to stem from muscle tension / injury and suggested dry needling — which I just started in March. I’m feeling really grateful for Logan as he’s been with me every step of the way, encouraging me to get help and find solutions from every healing modality possible — including prescription drugs if needed (something I’m very resistant to, but at this point I’ll try anything). He’s been hugely compassionate and loving as I finally get unblocked on this healing journey with chronic pain. My headaches are way down right now (from 4-5 a week to 1 a week). And I’m feeling hopeful.
New Things I’m Loving
To Be Magnetic courses — these course are about healing negative subconscious scripts formed in childhood / by trauma that impact your ability to create / manifest your dream life. The majority of the course work is a combination of imaginative audio meditations and journaling practices — perfect for my creative brain. The program has been profound for helping me heal a lot of emotional pain I’ve been holding on to. And I just bought this book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, which I’ve barely cracked into but I know I’m going to love it already. Best $30 I spent all Winter was on The Productivity Planner — it’s a total game changer, especially if you’re self-employed. I got this Moment wide angle phone lens and this case for Christmas — it’s a super high quality little system perfect for vlogging. Best apps I downloaded all Winter were the Mint app (for tracking my spending) and Kine Master (for editing videos on my phone).
Goals for Spring
Get out in the sunshine every day. Go for lots of walks. Plant the garden with flowers, veggies and herbs. Take more in-studio yoga classes. Form better habits with my phone — I’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety about using social media lately. I’m experimenting with keeping the social networking limits on from 11am to 7pm for everything and making sure I’m on social phone apps for 1 hour max a day. Do you guys have rules around social media use? Would love to hear your thoughts! Also: Keep on bravely putting one foot in front of the other with my chronic pain healing journey. Also also: record my new ALBUM with Logan!!! We’ve been writing together for over 7 years and we’re finally ready to bring an album to life. And I’m planning on launching a bunch of new blog freebies and downloads over the next few months. Stay tuned ;)
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to 2019! Leave a comment letting me know one of your highs and lows — let’s connect. xo — Renee
Portraits in this post were all shot by my talented friend Tiffany Jung!