Friday, January 27, 2012

Attack! 100-days or bust!

This last Summer and Fall I found I was getting pretty annoyed with the negativity that I was seeing on Facebook and very sad about the job losses I was hearing about on LinkedIn. 

In addition, I was upset over the lack of seasonal spirit preceding the holidays... just general cheer about life and living was gone from nearly every place I looked. Ugh! 

It was pulling me down and at the same time I didn't want to leave the social networking world. So, I created a new goal. 

The aim: To be relentlessly and publicly vocal for one hundred days and to speak truth, kindness, goodness, and encouraging words to myself and others. 
  • The hope was that I could literally change the atmosphere and environment around me. 
  • Maybe there was a friend out there that needed help out of the  emotional gutter too.
The method: Use Twitter to tweet to the great unknown and use Twitter's linking abilities to share the daily goodness on my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts simultaneously. 
  • I would do so by posting quotes or stories that I find awesome or motivating. 
  • I would post at the very beginning of each and every day. 
  • At the end of the onehundred days, I would stop all social networking communication for a week.
The results 
  1. By day one hundred one recognized that I simply had to keep tweeting. The good messages gave me a different energy for the day. I found I personally still needed this. 
  2. In order to satisfy part three of my method, but still meet the overall goal, I cut the connections from Twitter to Facebook and LinkedIn.
  3. The one hundred days of positivity and truth definitely impacted me. I like it and I'm going to keep doing it, so long as it's beneficial.
  4. I really don't know if others feel more hopeful or affected in a positive way. I really don't have any way to measure that... all I do know is that I'm glad I did it in a vocal way; I needed to make a stand.
Take home messages 
  • I have the power to regain control of my response(s) to the world. 
  • Regaining control of my metal health, positivity and responses to the world requires discipline (ew!) and the willingness to go out on a limb. 
  • I have the power to create an action plan and put the plan of attack into place, so that I can create my own joy. 
  • I know it's not always this simple in every situation, but it can be done. Yet, at the same time, it really is just that simple. 
Many birds, one stone. The question is, was it a good throw? For me it was well worth it. For everyone else out in the world... well, I'll doubt I will ever know. 

I don't even know if anyone has noticed the silence on Facebook or LinkedIn, but I hope it has been a positive or source of peace for someone out there; at least as much as it has been for me. I feel very different than I did over one hundred days ago and that was the whole point. 

I'd be interested to know what others out there have done or are doing to incite happiness, joy, hopefulness and positivity. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Truth Glows

Many have been surprised to learn that I have struggles beyond Multiple Sclerosis (MS), being a military wife and obesity. These are simply the most obvious tools in which I feel most comfortable in discussing challenges. 

It's because they are the most obvious challenges that they are the least damming of me to admit to, as well as to be the drawing board to say the things that I have to say.

There have been some very dark times in my life and I'm continually surprised when others comment on how things come so easy for me and that I have a "perfect life". 

Some have even said that they feel like I judge them for what they do - because I could never understand the circumstance(s) that they find themselves in. Or that they think I'm judgmental, because everything seemingly comes so easy to me (insert a lot of coughing and hysterical laughing here). Who's judging who?

The reality is that I simply really do care about people in general. I try not to pass judgment. If anything, I feel a great deal of empathy and sympathy. 

I wouldn't wish sadness, darkness, and loss of hope or motivation on anyone; I know because I've been there. 

I believe that one of our biggest challenges in this life, 
is to love ourselves unconditionally. 
To love ourselves the way that we are hoping 
to experience love from another before we die - yet, 
we don't even invest in ourselves this way. 

I have an intense desire to reach out and shake as many people as possible - to let them know that they are worth everything and deserve happiness and joy. 

It's kind of like the poem I posted a while back called Imaginary Villain. We oftentimes create an idea of what we believe others think about us, when it couldn't be further from the truth. Dammit! Why do we do that?

I've found that when you actually believe you are of value, worth more than the bad ways people (or yourself) continually treat you, then your character simply radiates. 

This radiating joy and inner peace just glows. It is this that attracts those in search of light and hope. It is also this same glow that repels others who aren't ready for the hope, the belief... lasting change. 

Joy and happiness are a daily decision and the people that glow have decided; it's just that simple.

I've been enjoying as a means to set up safe guards for myself. Maybe you want to try it out too. I do this because I know how easy it is for me to lose hope; to slide backwards. 

You see, I have a melancholy disposition. I need words of affirmation from myself in order to believe in myself. When we find our truth and embrace it, then it glows for all to see. 

In doing so, others can see that it's possible to attain. It is by this that others find the daring within themselves to try. To me, finding the daring within - to simply try, has come from several sources over the course of my life. I could never say "thank you" enough to those people.

It's been really interesting to know that during some of my darkest hours was when I was actually shining the most for others. People would point this out and I was internally floored, because life at those particular points was downright awful. Why was that? 

This drove me nuts to hear. It's akin to the days that you get a lot of compliments on your appearance, when that was the day you literally rolled out of bed with semi-greasy hair, neglected to brush your teeth and failed to even put on essential underclothes.  

I wonder if it was because during those times of my life, I was working my hardest to be honest; despite what I was facing. I was in survival mode. 

Only a few things really matter when you are in survival mode and it was during those times that I was being humble enough to speak the truth. I was speaking the truth not just to others, but to myself - because nothing else mattered but the truth. 

When the darkness eases up, I'm left barely breathing from the recovery, but still fighting to come out of the shadows. In times past, I've left the dark running full speed ahead, never looking back or learning from the situation. 

Then there have been times when I've left the dark, crawling on all fours and vowing to learn from what I had just came through. I've worked hard to apply what I had just learned from those experiences. I don't like re-learning. So I opt to crawl a lot of the time. 

I doubt myself constantly. I'm trying not to lie to myself anymore. It's a daily battle. But I must move forward and it is the forward motion that is key. 

This is where heroes are made. This is where you become the shining light in the darkness for someone else. Why? Because you are hanging on with all you've got left and others may be secretly hanging on to your coattails. 

They are desperately grasping on to anything that has light - in efforts to be saved. This is the action and face that movies are made of. 

Simply put, I believe that you glow during these times 
because something greater than yourself 
is sustaining you...
and that's the truth!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

INSANITY Graduate!

Oh my holy freakin' cow, 
I am an INSANITY graduate! 

I should have posted when I was a P90x graduate... but, I am a graduate of both (and both are excellent programs)! Wahoo! I lived to tell the tale!

Here are my fit test results. For a visual description of the eight movements involved in the fit test, click here. I am just so tickled that I:1- survived; 2 - completed it; 3 - could do it; and 4 - stuck to it. I think five-thirty in the morning is the best time in the world, 'cuz ain't nobody gonna' get in your way at that time.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Switch Kicks 66 70 76 78 86
Power Jacks 40 51 51 53 58
Power Knees 50 60 74 80 84
Power Jumps 25 29 33 35 41
Globe Jumps 7 9 9 10 10
Suicide Jumps 7 8 10 11 13
Push-Up Jacks 17 25 29 35 42
Low Planks Oblique 28 40 50 62 63

Though I am very pleased with myself, there is no way in hell that I am going to post half naked pictures of me so that ya'll can see the results. If you really want to know, ask my loving husband - he is the only privileged one who get to see those results. ;)

What benefits I have received over the last sixty days?

  • Increased flexibility and rotation in all of my joints** 
  • Improved core strength
  • The beginning of ability to see lower and upper abdominals. There's real shape starting there and I can actually feel the abs, though not defined enough to really see them.
  • What this? I have obliques!
  • Seriously increased lung capacity. 

Oh my dear... I have come a very, very long way.
~ Diana       

**Do yourself a favor and boost your joints with Fish Oil pills.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Poetry Corner: Please Name this Poem

Note: This poem is currently without an official name... I think I'd like to have one other than "Untitled". Any ideas? What shall it be? 


A still shot can seldom capture light and dimensions
like the naked eye,
yet memories
oftentimes become more vivid as they age
or more faded as we heal -
a photo only portrays an outline
of what once was,
not necessarily of what is.

The human spirit is innately courageous,
mankind loves
we manifest this in more ways than can be counted, yet
we can be counted upon.
A stranger can comfort just as reassuringly
as a familiar face –
mercy is not limited to the Divine, rather
it simply is that… divine.

When the world comes tumbling down,
whether large scale or small
there are many everyday heroes
that rise from the ashes.
This is where we see the gods within ourselves,
our potential is limited
only by our fear
and courage is fear
with forward motion.

By Diana M. Bateman
2011 ©

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Messed in the Head

I haven't wanted to admit it, but I do struggle with the marbles rolling around in my brain and I'm tired of feeling afraid of the things that I have been experiencing... um, the downright freakishness that is occurring. 

The "freaky" I'm talking about is called cognitive dysfunction. The kind of stuff I am experiencing are things I had anticipated dealing with much later in life (way far down the road), as part of the natural aging process. 

There are also other things that I hadn't anticipated struggling with at all - these things have me the most nervous - scared. I'm thirty-six (I think)... yes, I am, I just did the math... but cognitively, well, I'm older and struggling. 

To the people that I work with, friends and family I hang out with - you may have not noticed any issues, but they are there. 

If you haven't noticed, then either I'm hiding it well or you are caught up in your own world. If this is the case, I'm sorry for not having noticed whatever the heck it is that you are dealing with... (sigh)... we all have something don't we? But I hope you are well.

Because of the freakiness that I've been experiencing, I've decided that I need to stretch my mind a bit. So, I am heading back to school; classes start this next week. 

I already have a bachelor's degree and I'm already quite settled in a profession, but that doesn't mean I don't need to challenge myself. 

The local community college offers a series of classes that fit right up my alley with regards to a few of the short and long term goals that I have planned for myself. 

Another reason I am doing this is to combat my fears regarding the cognitive dysfunction I have been experiencing in relation to my multiple sclerosis. 

"But you look so good, Diana!" I, like the rest of the world, have challenges that are not always visible. Part of the cruel challenges of MS are the things that others can't see. But that is the same with life in general, isn't it?

I use silence and deliberate speech to process things that I should have comprehended sooner. I need a few minutes to myself periodically throughout the day to breathe, review and absorb what has happened. 

This is how I am able to avert the panic that occurs with confusion as I'm trying to comprehend stuff. It hasn't always been like this and it may not always be like this either, but for now - the issues are present. 

So, I'm going back to school. Throwing myself part-time into a structured learning environment to learn some things that will be of great benefit to me. 

I figured that if I were to take classes that will help me achieve some of my goals, then I will be more patient with the cognitive frustrations that I am currently facing. 

I'm going to be taking one or two classes at a time and just taking whatever time I need to do them.

All of these courses will challenge me in some way or another, as well as help me gain insight, all while achieving other goals that I have a sincere interest in. 

If I start randomly swearing at you in the next few months, please forgive me and gently remind me that I made this choice, and in the long run, it will be very beneficial.

... any willing tutors out there for Human Biology, Kinesiology and/or Exercise Physiology?