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Lemonade from Lemons

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

To say that the past year has been interesting would be a humongous understatement. Last summer (2019) I began my journey towards becoming a Certified Yoga Therapist at Kripalu's School of Integrative Yoga Therapy in Massachusettes. I was enamored with the education and the beauty of the Berkshires, going for long hikes and even getting to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert at Tanglewood, when some terrible news came my way. My 19 y/o Burmese cat, Caleus began having seizures and passed away before we could get the house vet in to ease her misery. I was devastated. I had lost my 23 year old Siamese at the end of 2018. I became flooded with guilt and grief and sobbed through a good 3 days of classes, but I was blessed to be surrounded by 7 amazing roommates who became my sisters. We stay in touch through thick and thin and have a Roomie Zoom every few weeks.

Hurricanes chased me back to Florida earlier than I had planned, giving me some time to look into some local rescue organizations, and I was blessed to adopt a Siamese kitten we call Kosha. She is quite the beauty.

I went back to my life and business with a renewed zest only to find myself in extreme hip pain for no apparent reason in late November. A few months of medical appointments revealed the astonishing news that I had severe arthritis and genetic hip dysplasia. A hip replacement was imminent. To postpone the surgery until June of 2020, I decided to have a deep hip injection, and I became the first patient (at least at this location) to have the procedure without the use of general anesthesia. They allowed me to use self-hypnosis, although they had their doubts and anesthesia was hovering nearby. It was a huge success and they were impressed. This procedure allowed me to return to Kripalu in March 2020 for more schooling.

Halfway through our schooling, it was announced that the school would be shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had driven up to Massachusettes, so I visited my family in Pennsylvania while trying to make sense of what was going on in the world after 9 days of being sequestered from news and media at the yoga ashram. My birthday, March 17, was the day that Pennsylvania really shut just about everything down, and shortly after I decided to make my way back to Florida in case any travel restrictions might arise.

One might think being forced to not work/not go to school/stay at home was a curse, but I excitedly realized I now had the time to remodel the bottom floor of our home, creating a yoga studio and hypnosis/reiki office. My St. Petersburg office within Wings had closed permanently in April due to the pandemic to become a home-based office, and I decided to do the same. Remodeling: the painting, cleaning, staining, took my mind away from all of the chaos, the closures, and TP shortages, making life seem almost normal as I was living in present moment awareness.

Shortly afterward, Kripalu announced we could finish our Ayurvedic module from March online, and I managed to do this, host a small Reiki 1 & 2 training, and upload my HypnoBiz presentation on Unwind the Mind HypnoYogaTherapies® (this ended up being an online summit instead of a trip to NY) just 2 days before my total hip replacement surgery.

2 days after my surgery, I was exposed to COVID-19, and I became ill 3 days later. This meant I had to continue my PT online through tele-health as I was now quarantined. I was very grateful to not become critically ill during this time, though losing my taste and smell caused me some panic (I use breath and essential oils as calming techniques for myself and my clients) and the fatigue was so severe that I could do little more than my PT exercises on a daily basis. I was able to continue my Free online #ThankfulThursday yoga class, though, and this gave me hope. I was also very fortunate to have found Dr. Philip Clifford of the Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America here in Tampa. He developed a way of doing hip replacements without cutting through the piriformis or psoas muscles, which meant I had zero hip precautions and could pretty much do as much of my regular yoga and everyday activities to my own comfort and tolerance levels.

So I began researching all I could find on COVID-19 fatigue, anosmia, and long-haulers, and I was able to utilize some of my own techniques and trainings to begin healing myself. This left me wanting to share, so I contacted my friend, Karen Hand in Chicago and we put our heads together to form a Hypnotic Protocol for Pandemic Problem Solving called the HELP OUT Protocol which we plan on presenting this Fall and early next year.

I also found an editor to look over my upcoming meditation book, YogaNosis, which features hypnotic language patterns and NLP anchoring with Yoga Mudras and doTERRA essential oils. I look forward to wrapping this project up soon and sharing it. Another feel good moment was bringing home one more rescue kitty to keep Kosha company and boost my energy. We adopted a young Oriental Mix boy, whom we named Prana, and he is full of his own kitten energy and gives me many giggles.

In writing this, I comically almost called the post "Goldilocks Gratitude" because there was one challenging day when the main component of my daily gratitude list was that I'd found the perfect TP (Cottonelle if you're curious) wasn't too soft like some of the brands I was used to buying, nor too thin and rough like the best you could get during the worst of the pandemic shortages, but rather just right! I moved on to "Lemonade from Lemons" because truly, you really do get what you focus on in life. So, I hope this post gives you just that: a focus on a positive mindset and HOPE.

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