Fear and Loathing in a Midwest Seasonal Shift

A few weeks ago I felt like I was on a ROLL…. My morning journal musings were filled with positive affirmations that I would repeat throughout the day as my mantra, I was completely trusting the universe, reading some amazing books and felt like I was vibrating at all time high.  I was meditating, I was moving, I was food prepping, I was kicking some ass in the focus department and my health was showing it’s appreciation for all the TLC.   

Then, the weather changed. I am not a cold weather person, I don’t like grey skies and I dislike (re: HATE) wearing shoes and socks - it makes me feel heavy and disconnected from the earth. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing and it affects me big time. Not only that, but my body physically dislikes cold weather. My lungs get tight, it’s difficult for me to breathe, I catch every respiratory illness out there and it lingers for what seems like the entire winter IF it doesn’t turn into pneumonia.  My gingery hued skin turns translucent and grey to match the sky, my hair is so dry I can’t ever escape static cling, my feet are icy cold and my hands resemble that of an 85 year old cadaver.  I am a disaster.

As Missouri does every year we went from 82 and sunny to damn near winter overnight.  For about a week I managed to stay healthy. A whole week! I was high fiving myself thinking “Alright Jesse, way to kick ass and take care of you. This winter WILL BE DIFFERENT.”  

Then I caught a cold.  The cold turned to bronchitis and my sleep schedule shifted to a necessary 10 hours each night just to function the next day.  

I lost my positive affirmations, my journaling was non existent, there was no food prep, limited movement and definitely no meditating.  So of course, I was feeling awful all the way around. The answer to the crappy mood and place I was in was obvious.  But motivation was low. I think of Hunter S. Thompson’s words in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas “....once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can”.  

So take out drug collection and insert your favorite self destructive behavior.  That statement is so undeniably true. If you give yourself an inch you tend to take the next 26 miles and eat the whole wheel of cheese (or whatever your vice is).  I’m sure someone much smarter than I can tell you why we do this but whatever the reason, as humans it's what we do.  Although I was not locked into a serious drug collection, I was locked into a definite spiritual and physical dump site.

So what do you do when you’re feeling all twirly and chaotic and need to get grounded and focused?

In this specific case my friend and amazing energy worker/masseause Michael Shuver (Silver Lightning Massage) asked if he could practice with me some new treatments he had been putting together.  Some combinations of energy work, massage and spiritual ceremony.  I, of course, said yes and went into the first appointment feeling all over the place, expecting nothing and just asking myself to stay open to the experience, whatever it may be.

Within minutes of the start of the first ceremony he laid his hands on my shoulders, he didn’t ask me to feel grounded but instead asked the universe to help me feel grounded, safe, secure. Throughout the session I started to reconnect with myself, with the universe (God, higher self, whatever you want to call it), with my spirit and to shed the crazy chaos that had been twirling inside of me. By the end of the first treatment (4 Points, 4 Directions Mesa Energy Work w/Lomi Lomi Massage) I was exhausted but for the first time in weeks felt balanced.  I woke up the next day slightly emotionally charged, I had some dreams pertaining to the treatment swirling in my head -  I journaled it all out and felt refreshed.  My cold was still lingering but my spirit had been renewed.  I was back.    

As someone who uses my physical and spiritual strength to give daily to my students, my athletes, my friends and even to strangers.  I had forgotten that I needed a little love too.  That sometimes self care is letting someone else take care of you; not only physically (thanks Dr. Dyer and my health coach Julia!), though that’s a huge part of it; not only emotionally (thanks friends, family and Rosa the dog), though that’s a huge part of it; but energetically and spiritually too. That doing the work yourself is of the utmost importance but also trusting in the people around you, whose talents, whose hearts, whose life’s work is to help make yours better - is essential.

If you’ve never had energy work done, try it.  Seek out someone you feel comfortable with, someone you trust.  Take care of your spirit with the same zest you take care of your skin, your hair or your body, for your spirit will outlast it all.

Want some recommendations? See some of my favorites in the KC area below:

Michael Shuver - Silver Lightning Massage

Chromotherapy, Reiki and the Himalayan Salt Room at The Laya Center

Reiki with Lauren Chavez of Badass and Balanced

In the meantime, you might be able to find me bundled up, sitting on my porch, working with a blanket on my lap and Rosa by my side in the sunshine until the bitter cold truly takes over.  

What are your experiences with energy work? Do you have favorite treatments or practitioners? Or how do you deal with the winter blues?