2018 blog stats

Every year since 2010, I’ve written a post summarizing the year on this blog. Here are the highlights for 2018.

My posts from years past about healing my injured sacroiliac joints have gotten a lot of comments in 2018 from people who are also suffering, and that has brought the most gratification this year, to know that documenting my healing journey offers hope to others.

To summarize that journey, I saw many practitioners in various bodywork modalities for a couple of decades before finding one who truly understood what it would take to heal the injury. I followed her advice, and it worked. My final post, Sacroiliac joint healed!, published in 2017, includes links to all my previous posts on the topic.

In 2018, I had 94,239 visitors and 127,235 views. This is down a bit from 2017, even though I wrote more posts in 2018. I’m attributing the downturn in visitors and views to social media burnout.

Social media has been a fun new toy — and more people are seeking balance in their lives. I’m actually fine with it, as I’m seeking balance too. Writing fewer posts but having them be more germane to how we can live better lives works for me. Plus, I’m a bodyworker and wellness advocate by trade. Less text neck, eye strain, forward head posture, and sitting are better for your health. I want you to be healthy!

I wrote 32 blog posts in 2018, totaling 16,319 words, averaging 510 words per post, a bit shorter than I typically have written.

Of the posts I wrote this year, these have gotten the most views (listed newest to oldest):

The most-read post in 2018 was one first posted back in January 2014, How to drink water with lemon and preserve your tooth enamel. It’s gotten the most comments of any post I’ve ever written. Believe it or not, almost 5 years after it was first published, 40,960 people read that post in 2018. I hope they/you are preserving their/your tooth enamel!

At the end of 2018, I have 292 followers on WordPress, 92 on email, and 605 on social media. Thank you!

The most popular day and hour for reading my blog is Sunday at 2 pm.

And now (drum roll), where are readers from? Well, it looks like this:

  • all of North America except Greenland
  • all of South America except for one tiny country north of Brazil (French Guiana)
  • all of Europe except Svalbard islands
  • all of Asia except Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan
  • most of Africa except Western Sahara, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia
  • I imagine there are some tiny island nations that don’t appear on the map with no readers

As always, it astounds me how connected the world is now because of the internet.

One of my intentions for 2019 is to improve my writing. I’d like to write a monthly post but have each be more interesting, compelling, and shareable.

Thank you so much for reading!

Updated products I recommend

I’ve updated this page with some new recommendations! New for 2018: the book How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, a new online dispensary for supplements, stainless steel drinking straws, a hand/face/body lotion, and more.

Happy shopping!

 

Habit tracking simplified

I do much better when incorporating new behaviors into my life when I have a way to track them that’s visual and shows more than just a few days. I found an online PDF, Habit Tracker, that has space to track up to 17 behaviors for one month, so you can easily view trends, skipped days, etc.

One of the activities that is motivating when trying to develop a new habit is checking off each time you do something on a monthly calendar. When you’ve done it for a few days in a row, you see your streak of successfully incorporating the habit, and you don’t want to break the chain. This technique was attributed to Jerry Seinfeld, but he doesn’t claim credit. Whatever. It works!

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 11.56.00 AM

Source: https://www.clementinecreative.co.za/reach-goals-free-printable-habit-tracker/

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What people are saying after Zero Balancing

So far in 2016, I’ve done 96 Zero Balancing sessions ranging from 15 to 45 minutes in length. Most were about 30 minutes.

Help me make at least 100 in 2016! [I made my goal!]

The part I love most about giving my clients a Zero Balancing session comes after the fully-clothed bodywork has concluded, when the receiver slowly moves from supine on my massage table to sidelying to seated to standing, taking a pause after each movement, and finally takes a few steps around my office.

I ask, “What are you noticing?” Continue reading

Gravity Pal, a low angle inversion table, makes a difference in a minute a day

I just had the pleasure of taking Zero Balancing II training in my pursuit of skill and finesse in my bodywork practice. Jamie Carmody was an excellent teacher, her lovely San Antonio studio well located, and my fellow students a delight to learn with, practice with, and get to know.

For more about Zero Balancing, go here. I’m getting ready to send out a newsletter with some sweet special offers, including one for Zero Balancing that will be impossible to resist for wellness-seekers in the Austin area. If you’d like to subscribe and get in on this time-limited offer, please send your email address to me at mareynolds27 at gmail dot com.

If you haven’t yet encountered it, you’re probably wondering what Zero Balancing is. My description is that it lets you feel like you’d feel without habitual tension patterns or the constant pressure of gravity pulling you down. Younger? Taller? Lighter? Buzzing with healthy energy? Can you even imagine feeling like this? I invite you to come get a session, or two or three, and find out how it affects your body.

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A tale of recovery: my path from traumatized to healer

I had lunch a few weeks ago with John, someone I’ve known for about 12 years but haven’t seen much in recent years. He commented that I am a very different person now from when he met me, and that would not be apparent to people who hadn’t known me that long.

When we met in 2004 (I think), I seemed troubled to him, and I was. John said that now, I appear to be happy and “like a fountain” (which I love), and he was curious about that.

Other people have said I’ve changed more than anyone they know. Well, that’s probably because I was starting from a more troubled place than most.

So I’m reviewing my path in search of insights to share. This is for you, John, and I know that some of you are interested in recovery from trauma, and some of you are interested in personal growth, so this is for you too.

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Health is…

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air,
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~ Nursery rhyme

 

As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body.  ~ Lewis Thomas, The Medusa and the Snail, 1979

 

Health is a relationship between you and your body.  ~ Terri Guillemets

 

Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well.  ~ Marcus Valerius Martial

 

After these two, Dr. Diet and Dr. Quiet, Dr. Merriman is requisite to preserve health.  ~ James Howell

Nine days into a cleansing diet

Today is a cold rainy day here in Austin, and I’m in a great place right now as I write this — in bed, where it’s warm and cozy. I hear drops hitting the trailer roof with that satisfying sound that metal roofs provide.

I’m in the 9th day of a cleansing diet.

Usually sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, I get the strong idea that I want to eat simple food — once the holidays are over.

Don’t get me wrong — I partake of feasts and many holiday goodies. I don’t eat gluten ever, if I can help it, but I indulged in gluten-free muffins, bread, and cookies, not to mention sugar, mostly combined with chocolate. And wine. And a delicious Wensleydale cheese with cranberries.

The richness is delicious, of course, but it just gets to be too much. I start making lentil soup to simplify and make plans to really clean up my eating in January…

Now the holidays are over and we’re into January, and I’m doing the strict candida diet that I first did 5 or 6 years ago. That diet includes very limited grains (only quinoa, millet, and a few others), no dairy except plain yogurt and kefir, no fruit except lemon/lime/pomegranate, no sugar in any form, no fermented/pickled/brined foods.

You can have a lot of non-starchy vegetables, meat/poultry/fish/eggs, nuts and seeds. The only sweetener you can use is stevia.

I remember the first time I did it. I followed it so strictly. I had read that with candida, if you messed up and ate any of the forbidden foods, you could lose all the progress you had made toward clearing excess candida out of your body, and you’d have to start completely over. That’s because the forbidden foods contain sugar or become sugars that feed candida.

So my idea then was that this change in eating was so painful, I wasn’t going to mess up, because I never wanted to do it again.

Now here I am, doing it again. Not because I have candida again, but because I remember that after about two and a half months of eating so cleanly like this, I realized that I felt different.

I couldn’t describe how I felt.

After checking in closely and realizing that I had many fewer aches and pains, more energy, and no issues with my digestive system, it gradually dawned on me that I felt well.

And I’ve built on that for years.

And that’s what I’m going for again. Feeling really well. It’s not that I’m sick. I actually feel pretty blessed to have good health and be able to work 20-25 hours a week doing massage. But I could feel better.

I figured that I might as well ride the impulse to clean up my diet in January and really clean it up. And it’s not that painful, just another adventure in learning about the relationship between the food I eat and my well-being.

This might be something I do every January. It’s hard to maintain perfectly, and I miss certain foods, which I usually indulge in in moderation. The diet is like a baseline to go back to, and it has influenced my food choices quite a bit.

The book I used the first time was The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. It explains the whole inner ecosystem idea (balancing the gut flora and fauna) pretty well without being overwhelmingly scientific and walks you through doing the diet, including recipes.

I lent that book out afterwards and never got it back, but I remember it pretty well, and some of that material is available online.

In the interim, I discovered green smoothies, which I can make differently every time, using different greens and adding fresh mint and other herbs. I’ve been making those (anyone got a Vitamix they want to sell cheap? my blender is wearing out) for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

I’m also planning to make cultured red cabbage!

I’ll report back after January ends on whether I experienced a surge in well-being and how I want to move forwards.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling pretty good, except for some aches and pains from doing massage.

The Anti-DSM: A compendium of healthy states!

The DSM-IV is the psychiatric profession’s Bible of mental disorders. It’s where experiences like PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and autism are defined. Doctors diagnose, and insurance companies cover prescriptions for diagnoses, according to the DSM-IV. It’s a very powerful book affecting the lives of millions.

Rob Breszny, astrologer extraordinaire, questions why we don’t have such a list of healthy states. He asked his readers to help him compile a compendium of healthy, exalted, positive states of being.

Here are just a few of the responses:

* ACUTE FLUENCY. Happily immersed in artistic creation or scientific exploration; lost in a trance-like state of inventiveness that’s both blissful and taxing; surrendered to a state of grace in which you’re fully engaged in a productive, compelling, and delightful activity. The joy of this demanding, rewarding state is intensified by a sense that time has been suspended, and is rounder and deeper than usual. (Suggested by H. H. Holiday, who reports that extensive studies in this state have been done by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.)

* AESTHETIC BLISS. Vividly experiencing the colors, textures, tones, scents, and rhythms of the world around you, creating a symbiotic intimacy that dissolves the psychological barriers between you and what you observe. (Suggested by Jeanne Grossetti.)

* AGGRESSIVE SENSITIVITY. Animated by a strong determination to be receptive and empathetic.

* ALIGNMENT WITH THE INFINITY OF THE MOMENT. Reveling in the liberating realization that we are all exactly where we need to be at all times, even if some of us are temporarily in the midst of trial or tribulation, and that human evolution is proceeding exactly as it should, even if we can’t see the big picture of the puzzle that would clarify how all the pieces fit together perfectly. (Suggested by Meredith Jones.)

* AUTONOMOUS NURTURING. Not waiting for someone to give you what you can give yourself. (Suggested by Shannen Davis.)

* BASKING IN ELDER WISDOM. A state of expansive ripeness achieved through listening to the stories of elders. (Suggested by Annabelle Aavard.)

* BIBLIOBLISS. Transported into states of transcendent pleasure while immersed in reading a favorite book. (Suggested by Catherine Kaikowska.)

To read and be inspired by more of these healthy and delicious possibilities, click this link! This is an excerpt from Rob’s book, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, well worth reading if you’d relish subverting the dominant paradigm and confirming more of what’s good and possible in life.

Tao Porchon-Lynch: teaching yoga, ballroom dancing videos

I found more videos of Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest living yoga teacher. I just can’t get enough of her! She’s my inspiration, my role model for wellness, because what she can do now is based on what she did when she was much younger: a lifetime of good habits.

She looks, sounds, and feels so healthy! She seems to be wonderfully sweet and so full of vitality! Seeing her living so well is very motivating.

In the first video, she talks about yoga, and you see her teaching a class:

In the second video, she displays amazing ballroom dancing skills. That was filmed in 2009, when she was “only” 91. Her partner looks to be about one-third her age, yet they are well matched on the dance floor.

If you didn’t know, would you ever have guessed she was even over 70?

She has her own website here: http://taoporchon-lynch.com/.

Also, if you missed them, see my earlier posts, The world’s oldest living yoga teacher and More from the world’s oldest living yoga teacher: she tangos!