Originally posted on Sunlight in Winter:

There are many theories behind what causes chronic pain.  The one that has made the most sense to me personally involves the concept of neuroplasticity– the idea that the brain can change over time, and that in chronic pain sufferers, the brain actually becomes more sensitive to pain.  In this post I will talk about what I have learned about neuroplasticity, as well as some of the other potential causes for chronic pain.

Neuroplasticity, or Practice Makes Perfect

They say practice makes perfect— in scientific terms, this is known as neuroplasticity, or the idea that the nervous system can be molded and changed by different experiences.  The more chances you give your nervous system to perform a task, the better it becomes at it.  In most cases this is a good thing—neuroplasticity allows you to learn how to walk, how to ride a bike, how to play the piano. …

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De-Stress in the Ocean

When life direction is blurried, get near ocean.

If I could I'd be back on St. John (Virgin Island) in Cruz Bay, reading my YA book.

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4 Hour Work Week

This book will change your perspective of life and the way you know your supposed to live it! Do yourself a favor and live the life that's truly inside you to live. Don't settle.

The 4 Hour Work Week Book Cover Timothy Ferris

I'm going to REread the 4 Hour Work Week.

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The Best Way to Prepare Eggs

In addition to the beloveds such as glorious omelettes with fresh herbs from the garden, or a rich savory omelette with meats, my favorite treat would be poached eggs. Delicate, simple, and delicious.

Poached Eggs on Muffins Late Brunch

Poached with Malt Vinegar on a Sourdough English Muffin with Carmelized Onions.

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Natural Friendships: Are There Any Really Out There?

Cassie and Shelby playing

Natural friendships: are there any really out there?

Cassie and Shelby playing

A friend you do irrationally foolish things with.

You know those friends you could just hang out with forever when you were little- you had a common interest or your personalities just clicked and you were perfectly comfortable, doing NOTHING together for endless amounts of time? I feel like now a days relationships can feel so forced. I wonder if it’s because we’ve set up so many formalities or hoops to jump through in real relationship, to get together with someone you a) always seem to have to be doing something, be it getting coffee, shopping, coming over for dinner, and you don’t just kick it– Walls down, chillin’ out, you get pissed at each other, then you move on, but those friends you could confront, duke things out with, cuddle with, and if you WENT OUT and actually did something- it was a blast. I remember running around with my friends at their little brother’s baseball games, and what a blast we’d have running around, getting snacks at the concession stand (which was one word, by the way, back then. Concessionstand; no 9 year old knows what the heck a concession was; I don’t even think I know the appropriate definition of a concession today. One of those words that’s up there with the Pledge of Allegiance- “for Whichitstands”- I used to think that was one of the states). Running into other kids, kids older, younger or the same age, each interaction was always exciting.  Now days to “run around” with your friends and attempt to feel care free feels either a) like your a wanna be hippy running from reality b) your highly exclusive which wasn’t the original intent of running around or c) your off in your own world in a negative-impact sort of way.

I guess what I’m trying to ask is are there still natural friendships occurring? Do you have any we-naturally-liked-eachother-and-clicked-and-how-we-hang-out friends? And if so, are you also married, and/or have babies? Or toddlers, kids or teens for that matter… I’d love to hear some other people’s experience with this realm.

Socializing is like a Muscle

Yellow Stretch Truck

Socializing is like a muscle. Let me demonstrate.

When Jason and I lived in LA and I began pursuing modelling, I understood that a huge part of our success was my ability to keep in touch with the people I need to be connected to. Calling my agent, calling the other in-house agency, confirming go-see appointments, calling and texting other models to prepare rides to and from events, calling my agent after an appointment to go over how a casting went, receiving emails, responding to emails, talking to casting directors and having mini-interviews, around and around again.  As establishing active communication as a key element, I mentally prepared myself every day, and “lived” towards communicating each day, if that makes sense.  I wasn’t flustered or caught off guard at phone calls, I had people constantly in my mind for what I was working with them to achieve, and I could handle much of any social situation thrown at me.  In that industry you had to always be on your “A Game”- putting your best foot forward in impressions, interviews, interactions.  This industry HINGES upon your ability to leave a positive imprint on a person or group of people in about 20 seconds or less.  So I worked at it and it became normal for me.

After a turn of events we left LA and moved up to Redding, California, a small town known for it’s various natural attractions, salmon-fishing, trail walking, etc.  We moved out onto a ranch out of town where we take care of horses, work outside often, and the daily interaction with people consists usually of Jason and I, maybe one of our landlords, an email from a business client and perhaps a phone call regarding business once every two weeks or so, 4-5 text message conversations with friends about plans for the week, and a phone call from my family around once a week.  So we went from non-stop inter-connected life style to open space, nature, and slow paced remote life style.

Yet after a few months of this relatively distant living what began to happen? My perspective of phone calls, correspondence became a nuisance, a taxing interruption, an inconvenience to our own time and world, and to reach out and call someone or connect becomes a chore, and yet- less than 5 months before I was the Queen of Connectivity.  What happened?

Yellow Stretch Truck

We went from this

Breakfast with Royal and Vegas

To this.

After having enough time analyzing myself into analysis paralysis, and I was almost on the verge of labeling myself socially inept so I could embrace my recent behavior as newly attained personality characteristics, I realized, I’m not drastically losing my touch socially and withering into a hermit; I’ve just been out of shape socially!

Socializing is like a muscle.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes. The less you do, the more difficult it is and more resistance you feel.  And like a muscle- if you went from being REALLY strong in it to taking a long time off, coming back into it may be discouraging at first (it may feel daunting or scary), but realize you aren’t defined as a “weak” socialite. You haven’t become “shy” if socializing used to be easy but now you have a difficult time; your just warming up!  Your getting back into the groove! So don’t be discouraged if you feel “out of shape” socially; remember that socializing, being connected, being outgoing and all of those extroverted qualities is a muscle, and it gets easier and easier the more you do it. You’ll get a better grasp on it, learn how to operate optimally and get a real groove going in no time.

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