Tag Archives: Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites: May 4th 2012

Dear Audy,

Here I am! Here, on Friday! Getting back on track with all things blogging! It feels good to be starting to feel like my old self again. The self who thinks and writes about stuff other than food and herself. It’s ever so nice to think about other things sometimes.

I am starting to get better at the monotonous daily tasks that it takes to look after myself. Cooking doesn’t feel like such an event every day, it’s starting to feel more normal. I am currently working on getting some more structure into my days. I need to fit in basic needs (like food and sleep), pain management and creative productivity. When I have those three things working in harmony, life gets easier.

Here I am winning at baking Paleo chocolate cookies. No sugar, no grains, no dairy, but all yum! I can’t link to this recipe, it’s from this ebook.

This week, I have been able to spend some time working on projects for Chronic Pain Australia. I am very excited about some of the things that are happening over there. National Pain Week is in July and there’s lots going on this year. Check out the official page if you would like further details! You can also stay up to date with the events by following CPA on Facebook and Twitter.

I have done a better job at keeping my emotions in check after writing this post earlier in the week and realising that there was no need to be getting upset about things. Occasionally, I stray a little too far away from the bottom line that I established back in December.

Nothing actually needs to upset me. I need to challenge these feelings, the thoughts that led to them and the inherent beliefs that I hold that led to these thoughts. The power to feel happy or sad about any situation is entirely my own.

Without further ado and introspection, here are some links to blog posts that have helped me to stay focused and inspired this week:

So much harder than I ever could have thought…
on Battling With CRPS

An insightful look into how CRPS can make doing things so much more difficult than they would be without it. Sometimes we really enjoy things, however, and we pay the physical price of participation. Sometimes, we try to enjoy things and it doesn’t quite work out and then we have to pay the price of the attempt. Life can be so challenging! Really hope that you recover and feel better soon, Jane.

What My Back Injury Taught Me
on Going Down Swinging

Maria has cultivated an amazing ability to learn from her experiences, however painful they might be. Her resilience is inspirational, go and have a read.

Tern To The Present
on Life, CRPS & Everything

Awareness is a wonderful and powerful thing. This personal story is a great example of how emotional things can get mixed up in our brains sometimes, but if we put in some effort, we can alter our happiness by altering our perceptions.

Does the internet rewire your brain?
On BBC Neurohacks

An interesting read on how technology and the world around us effect our brains. I like to read about how our brains are changing all the time on account of I am working as hard as I can to get mine to change in ways that have life cause me less pain.

Happiness That Doesn’t Depend On What Happens
on Sarah Wilson

A great read on learning to adjust what we perceive to be the triggers of happiness.

I hope that you enjoy following those links and find something there to inspire you too!

Do you know what happens now? The weekend. Yay! I have been pushing myself a little bit harder from Monday to Friday in terms of the three areas of my life that I mentioned I am attempting to improve. This means that Saturday and Sunday are a weekend again. I had missed them! All of the days start to feel the same without work or study to break them up. Not anymore, I’m taking back my days off and mmmm, they taste good.

Enjoy your S-days, Audy! Are you planning any adventures?

Love & Spontaneous Dance Moves,

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  • Friday Favourites: March 30th 2012

    Dear Audy,

    For those of you following along with my cooking adventures this week, I can happily report that my hearty beef stew was delicious! I was following a fairly basic recipe, this being my first attempt at such a dish, however I wanted to add a little something to make it personal and that was chilli. Mmmm, spicy. Then my prince came home and added a little lime zest to the mix, something that I wouldn’t have thought of, but it took the stew from yummy to amazing.

    Cooking from scratch is a lot of work, but I definitely think that it’s worth it. My tummy is feeling a lot better today after giving me grief for a couple of weeks. I’m actually looking forward to cooking more pots full of magic mushy food with the rest of my home-made beef stock. Yeah, I don’t really recognise myself either…


    And now for the weekly collection of blog posts that have inspired me this week. Enjoy! I hope that you are able to find something here that makes you smile or think.

    Don’t Be Sorry
    on Kisses From The Fight

    This post is moving and beautiful. Most of the things that Jess writes are. Go on over, read her blog and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the wisdom that threads through everything that she posts.

    Help Stop The Misinformation About Chronic Pain
    on Shauna’s Life In Pain…And Other Fun Things

    Education is a hugely important part of learning to cope with absolutely anything. If we already knew everything, already knew the best ways to cope with everything, then nothing would ever be a challenge. Living with chronic pain is most definitely a challenge and it’s only by educating ourselves that we can start to see ways to keep moving forward.

    It’s certainly easier to cope when the people around us take the time to learn a little too. Supporting someone is fairly difficult if you don’t really understand what is going on for them. Time spent learning is never wasted, just something to think about the next time you are doing nothing and might want to gain a deeper understanding about the life of a chronically ill friend.

    New Glasses, Renewed Perspective
    on Life, CRPS & Everything

    It can be hard to deal with declining health issues when living with chronic illness. It can even be hard to notice them. Last year I discovered that I need reading glasses and having them has made a lot of difference whenever I need to focus in one direction for a while. My case is nowhere near as severe as the one described in this story, however I could still relate and enjoy the positivity that comes through in this blog about acceptance and change.

    Can Meat Make You Happy?
    on That Paleo Guy

    I found this post very interesting, especially in light of the fact that much of the health advice offered in the blogosphere is of the vegan persuasion. I don’t have anything against vegans, it’s just not the right lifestyle for me. Before adopting Paleo principles in my diet I often felt like I would never be eating healthily unless I cut out all animal products. This idea was just the result of not having exposed myself to enough modern information about food and the human body. I’ve read a lot in the last six months and now feel perfectly comfortable with pursuing a Paleo, rather than a vegan lifestyle (still, kudos to vegans, I admire the strength it takes to make severe changes and choices for one’s health, not sharing the same viewpoint doesn’t mean that I respect their motivations any less).

    I had kind of figured that the mental health benefits that many report when taking on a Paleo diet were really the result of eating much, much less sugar. This assumption has arisen from my own experiences with cutting sugar from my diet and then observing how my body and mind react if I do happen to treat myself on occasion. The impact is pretty intense. A few times I have felt like a rabid junkie, strung out and desperate for a fix after only one sugary snack.

    That’s the effect of a drug, not a food.

    With that in mind it was interesting to read about a possible connection between eating red meat and better mental health. This isn’t really a conclusive study, however it’s interesting reading for anybody looking to change their diet to improve their health.

    No More Silence: Mental Illness Should Be Talked About
    on ABC Ramp Up

    I think that there are a lot of similarities between how people respond to a person with mental illness and how people respond to a person with an invisible chronic illness. For a long time, it was believed that chronic pain without a physical cause that could be seen and found was actually a mental illness, rather than a physical one. We know better these days, but there are still plenty of working practitioners out there who haven’t stayed up to date on the topic.

    Much like chronic pain, we can’t always see when somebody has a mental illness. It takes a little bit more effort to understand that entire diseases can exist outside our visual perception. Many people who suffer from chronic pain also suffer from depression and anxiety. These states of being don’t cause one another but they are deeply intertwined and either one has the ability to greatly influence the other.

    “There is nothing to hide. There is no need for shame. It is not a case of being brave. It is merely a matter of facing, tackling and talking about mental illness as you would any other disease. If as a society we could manage to achieve that we would be living in a far better place.”
    – Glenn Mitchell, ABC Ramp Up

    And now it’s time to relax into the weekend. I don’t have any plans, which is actually a relief after having to cancel on everything last week. I do have a few dreams about getting my house clean and buying some plants to start my thus far neglected garden. Pain management will come first though, I need to keep looking after myself so that I can regain my confidence and ability to get back out into the world.

    Do you have any plans this weekend? Tell me all about them! I love to live vicariously through the adventures of others.

    Love & Beefy Leftovers,

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  • Friday Favourites: 2nd March 2012

    Dear Audy,

    It’s been a whirlwind of a week, not in the heaps of stuff happening way, but in the sense that time has been swirling past in a blur. I’ve been busy dealing with some pretty nasty flares and turning to distractions when my pain management techniques fall short of getting me moving again.


    One of my favourite distractions is reading blogs! Here are five outstanding posts from this week:

    Be Willing To Suck At It
    on Crazy Sexy Life

    I love this author’s attitude about learning. The truth is, when we first do something, we often suck at it, but we don’t have to perceive that as a bad thing. I once spent too much of my life only wanting to do things that I was good at, things that would result in compliments and recognition due to the sheer awesomeness of my ability to do them. I thought that many talents were born into people, things like drawing, singing, dancing and writing.

    All the down time that came along with developing CRPS had me re-evaluate this perspective. I practised drawing and discovered that I could quite quickly get better at it by simply dropping the idea that I should be able to do it already (magically).

    I also began singing as a form of stress release and have improved quite a lot. I’m not about to sing for you just yet, however I have noticed that over time my brain begins to connect the nervous system patterns that make creating particular sounds possible and that I can cultivate these into better sounding songs.

    You can be sure that I majorly sucked at both of these pursuits before chronic pain, now they are things that I can enjoy and ways that I can continue to grow despite so many aspects of my life being stalled.

    Small Victories Are Big Victories
    on Painfully Optomistic

    Ross is a fellow traveller on the journey through life with CRPS. He has been through a lot in the past 12 months (surgeries and setbacks) yet his positive attitude still shines through in his writing.

    Small victories are one of the biggest things in the life of a person with chronic pain, it’s important to take some time to recognise this, lest we get caught up in the smaller struggles of day to day life.

    from Kisses From The Fight

    Jess writes in a heightened style that always plays beautifully through my eyes and mind. This is, by far, the saddest topic that I read about this week, yet that’s what makes it so amazingly touching.

    The effects of chronic illness on the ability to have a family burdens many young women who live with pain. Sometimes, the choice is just taken away and sometimes the risks are simply too high.

    “Babies and the possibility of not having them is rarely discussed. it is less spoken about when it’s the young. And even less again in the young and Chronically Ill. But this is my reality now. I am faced with complete heartbreak and uncertainty, as my body fails in me in the worst way yet. I am ok that my body has tried to kill me. I am not ok that it is trying to kill my future.” – Jess, Kisses From The Fight

    Celebrate Your Successes
    on Dream Delight Inspire

    Counting the little things isn’t just for sick people, everybody can benefit from a little alteration in perspective. It’s too easy to get bogged down in the bad of something, however often when we step back to examine the bigger picture, we see that we’re still moving forward.

    Chronic Pain Hope – Brain Changes can be Reversed

    This article contains some great information about Central Sensitisation and the hope that it can be reversed. The gist of this piece falls in line with the reason that I practise Feldenkrais.

    If I keep tipping the pain scale toward the lower end, then eventually the healthier patterns of movement will strengthen and overtake the malfunctioning habit that is chronic pain. I have made a lot of improvements, all small and all slow, but all amounting to a huge changes in how I use my nervous system and a brighter future ahead.

    Have you read something interesting or entertaining this week, Audy? What sort of writing topics and styles do you find inspirational?

    Love & Cocoa Beans,

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  • Friday Favourites: February 24th 2012

    Dear Audy,

    As it is Friday and this is the interwebs, I thought I’d share five of my favourite posts from this week in blogosphere. Enjoy the surf!


    In no particular order….

    Media Release: Ride to raise awareness for chronic pain
    on Body In Mind

    People with chronic pain tend to have mixed feelings about events that aim to raise funds or awareness through some sort of group physical activity. Some people love that any raising is going on at all, others are forlorn that they are physically incapable of participating. I think that both of these viewpoints are perfectly valid. What I found interesting about this announcement of The University of South Australia’s Ride For Pain event was this quote:

    “The first time I rode up Corkscrew Road I thought, there are so many metaphors here. You’ve got to be patient, you can’t go too hard, you’ve got to be courageous … all the things I required to get up that hill were what people with chronic pain require on a longer, tougher basis. Chronic pain is often still seen as socially unacceptable, with the topic swept under the carpet in much the same way as depression was, until recently.  We shouldn’t be looking at people with chronic pain as malingerers and fragile; we should be looking at them as tough and courageous and with potential to get better.” – Lorimer Mosely

    I can kind of see the genius in creating an opportunity for others to metaphorically (and a little bit physically) experience our pain as a method of creating awareness of such an unimaginable state of being.

    20 Simple Ways to Stoke Your Self-Confidence
    on Pick The Brain

    There are plenty of self help articles out there on the net, I loved this one because it’s written with this in mind:

    “Your identity is not locked to the past, to your parent’s expectations or demands, to your past failures, to your current view of yourself. Your identity is something that you can create every single day. Once you realize that, your self-confidence will begin to ignite.” – Barrie Davenport, Pick The Brain

    Overloaded and Under-fuelled: A case study
    on That Paleo Guy

    Those who have been following this blog for a while will know that I trialled a Paleo diet back in September last year and I haven’t looked back since. It’s the most satisfying approach to human diet that my logical mind has ever encountered. There are a few aspects of eating that are hard to get one’s head around as the knowledge flies in the face of conventional wisdom. This case study explores what can happen when people drastically cut the amount they eat and simultaneously increase the amount they exercise, and also why so many who use this method end up burning out.

    My MindBodyGreen Post: 4 Benefits to Being Imperfect
    on Going Down Swinging

    Maria is one of my favourite bloggers, her determination has inspired so much of mine in learning to cope with CRPS. I can relate a lot to this post, I too have been guilty of trying so hard to be perfect at everything that it was paralysing my ability to take on new challenges and lessons. Learning to let go of “shoulds” was a huge breakthrough for me.

    The Stigma(s) of Mental Illness
    on Neuroskeptic

    This article is fascinating, I had never really thought about stigma about mental illness differing so much depending on the particulars. I mean, it absolutely makes sense, it had just never occurred to me before.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Audy!

    Love & Linkage,

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