Wellness Blog

Why Self-Care Practices Are Essential Right Now

September 2, 2020 /

self-care is essentialYesterday morning I made a big mistake in how I started my day…

While I typically begin my day with my exercise routine and meditation to get physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the day that’s ahead, yesterday I got on my computer to send a login to my website designer that she needed.

When I logged on to my computer, I happened to see something related to politics and the elections that triggered me…

While I believe that I would have still been triggered by this particular article had I seen it a few hours later, because I wasn’t really grounded in my body and I hadn’t meditated and centered myself, reading what I read sent me down a spiral.

I felt waves of emotion wash over me, some fears that had been hanging out in the back of my mind came to the front to take hold, and I felt tension fill my body and a headache start.

The result was that I was completely thrown off kilter for the whole day.

I truly believe had a done my morning practices, I might have bounced back a bit more easily but since I hadn’t the emotions I was suddenly swimming in seemed to take over the day.

I share this story because I truly believe that it is ESSENTIAL these days that we practice good self-care, that we develop our own key practices that we use daily AND that we also have some boundaries for ourselves around all the information we can be bombarded with– from social media to the news to family and friends sharing things they are reading and hearing.

As the 2020 election approaches here in the US, I believe there will be more and more pieces of news and information that can be triggering to us and that we need to work to stay grounded and centered, to set and maintain good boundaries, and to practice good self-care.

If self-care is a challenge for you, stay tuned as next week I’m hoping to release a little digital self-care toolbox that you can purchase for a very affordable price (just $19!).

Here’s to taking good care of ourselves!

Getting Quiet and Listening to My Body

August 14, 2020 /

I have to be honest… I used to spend more time listening to my body every day. It feels vulnerable to admit that since I’m so passionate about the message of listening to our bodies but that’s the truth.

I had a routine of starting each day with meditation and with gentle, mindful movement inspired by therapeutic yoga.

Somewhere along the way, probably about 6 years ago, I got busy focusing on my relationship and my morning routine got put in a box on a shelf that I would get back to “later.”

Yet 6 years later, I still struggle to find the depth of that morning practice that I once had. Yes, I do still meditation but I’m less consistent with it. Now I focus on starting my day with cardio exercise, which is also very important to my body and health, but that slow, meditative movement practice is still long gone from my mornings…

Looking back, that morning practice was an important part of how I tuned into my body-mind, how I listened to what my body needed, how I prepared my body– my vehicle for life– for the day ahead.

This practice also supported my mind and helped me feel in touch with my emotions, my thoughts, and what I really needed for that day.

Lately I’ve been working with a somatic therapist and one of the themes I’ve been exploring is coming back to a deeper listening to my body and what it needs…

It has gotten easy to get caught up in the to-do lists, “shoulds,” and productivity and to forget to slow down and ask my body-mind what does it need today.

After last week’s therapy session, the answer was putting on a salsa station and dancing my butt off in our living room! I can’t remember the last time I did that and yet it brings me such joy to move and dance to the music! I’ve been doing a lot more of that in the last week.

Today the answer was walking in my new favorite park, breathing fresh air, and connecting to nature. And then sitting on my favorite bench there and meditating out in nature, as well as writing this blog post in my journal.

I’m reminded of the saying we are human beings, not human doings and yet it is easy to get caught up in the doing…

I’m committing to more being, more listening, more slowing down and really asking my body, “What do you need today?”

The past 6 months have been challenging in some very unique ways. While the first few months of being at home, I felt a burning passion to use my tools and skills to serve others, by June my energy was flagging and my body was signaling to me that I really wasn’t as ok or as unaffected by the situation as I was telling myself.

I’ve spent some time slowing down, getting out in nature and recommitting to listening to what I really need on a deep level.

I hope reading this post inspires you to reflect on how you have or haven’t been listening to your own body.

Have you been caught up in the mental chatter, the stress, the fear Or are you taking time to really listen to what your body needs and to honor that in your daily life?

If we don’t listen, as my own health crisis in my mid-20s taught me, our bodies resort to screaming at us. And I certainly don’t want to go back to that…

time in nature

A shot of my new favorite park to hike in

My Weight Loss Journey

January 13, 2020 /

A YEAR AGO, I WAS AT MY HEAVIEST WEIGHT EVER

And it wasn’t just about the number on the scale, it was how I felt in my body….

I felt sluggish and tired, my feet would ache if I was on them for very long, and I hated trying to find clothes to wear.

I felt frustrated and disappointed in myself because I was exercising regularly and eating fairly healthily yet I weighed more than I wanted to.

A few months before the first photo (at the bottom of the post), I had started working with learning more about how to rebalance hormones that regulate weight and metabolism through the tools I have in my energy healing toolbox and I KNEW deep down that this was the key to real change for me.

My weight has been a struggle for me for many years. Even as a teenager who spent a summer working out DAILY and eating healthy (not a crazy fad diet but focused on eating mostly fruits, veggies, and lean meats), I lost ZERO pounds.

I now know that the problem was that the MANY hormones that regulate metabolism (and that evolutionarily have kept us starving) were out of whack…

By addressing those issues through working with my teacher, I was able to achieve my goal of releasing 25 pounds last year and not starving myself or exhausting myself with working out for HOURS every day.

And now I’m helping others to do the same thing.

Just today I got a text from a client saying SHE LOST WEIGHT EVEN DURING THE HOLIDAYS.

If you are reading this, I hope this gives you hope. You might be doing “all the right things” and not seeing the results because something needs to be rebalanced in your body. It isn’t your fault or that you “lack willpower.”

This isn’t about fad diets, starving yourself, and spending hours in the gym every day (the first 2 things will actually further mess up your metabolism, FYI). It is about healing the root imbalances and seeing results!

If you are curious about how I might be able to help you do the same, I invite you to read about more about this work or to book a complimentary 30 minute call so we can chat. Please know that this is a process that takes at least 5-6 months but that it can bring you success if you are also willing to follow some lifestyle guidance about diet and exercise.

Lyn's weight loss

What I Recently Learned About My Migraine Headaches

November 21, 2019 /

When I was 12, I started experiencing excruciatingly painful migraine headaches.

I still remember the first one, which was very scary since I had no idea what was happening.

I felt dizzy, my vision started to get weird, and I felt numbness on one side of my body.

My mom was scared that maybe I was having a stroke, given the numbness on one side of my body.

A trip to the doctor determined these were migraine headaches…

And a whole new chapter of my life began with most of my teenage years being filled with this headaches that could at times be so bad that they required a trip to the ER for high doses of pain meds.

After the first couple experiences of these debilitating headaches, I became very superstitious about various circumstances that might have caused them.

Since we couldn’t figure out an obvious trigger for them, I started to associate the place I was at when the came on, the thing that I was doing, or especially the lighting of that place as my potential triggers (without real evidence that this was true)…

My world got smaller and smaller as I didn’t want to go back to some places, do certain things, go places with bright or flashing strobe lights and I was TERRIFIED that I’d get another headache resulting in another ER trip.

It wasn’t until I was in college that the intensity and frequency of the headaches went away, as I learned to begin to manage my stress.

While I have long understood that these headaches taught me a great deal about how I could use relaxation to help control and eventually eliminate them from my life, it was only last month that I connected them to something else in my life…

Being an empath and a highly sensitive person.

In preparing a talk with my friend Laura Rowe, who specializes in working with empaths, I had a light bulb moment that my headaches actually could have been a way that I was trying to block out my sensitivities.
Of course not consciously… but on a subconscious level.

You see, being someone who could sense other’s emotions, pick up what wasn’t being said, and who was just sensitive to a world that is loud, sometimes crowded, and often overwhelming, I was often overwhelmed.

In talking to Laura, I realized that it is actually COMMON for empaths to experience headaches because it is like a way to try and block out all the noise we are bombarded with.

Fascinating discovery for me.

And this is EXACTLY what Laura and I will be talking about in our upcoming online class “Unraveling” on December 3.

If you are curious how being an empath or a highly sensitive person might be connected to physical symptoms and health issues, we invite you to join us.

To learn more about the class, click here now.

Does It Feel Like Your Diagnosis Has Become Your Identity?

July 25, 2019 /

INSIDE I CRINGED WHEN EVERY CONVERSATION BEGAN WITH “HOW ARE YOU FEELING??”

After I was told (incorrectly) that I had leukemia back in 2004, I remember feeling like all the parts of me, all of the pieces of my identity that had existed before were gone.

The Lyn that was the daughter, the friend, the grad student, the dancer, the healthy and alive woman… all the parts of me, suddenly disappeared.

One minute all those parts of me existed and in that instant of hearing that I had cancer, it was like “poof” those parts of me were gone.

has your diagnosis become your identity?

In the months that followed my diagnosis, I felt like the only part of me that was seen by anyone was “the sick person” or “the cancer patient.”

Every conversation with a friend seemed to begin with “How are you feeling?” or “How is your treatment going?”

While it was nice to know that people did care about me, it was also extremely painful to feel like I was reduced to this one identity of sick person.

I longed for all the other parts of me to still be seen, acknowledged, talked to and talked about…

It felt really lonely to be seen in only this way.

Yet I felt like it wasn’t ok to say, “You know, I’d really rather talk about something else…”

WHEN WE ARE GIVEN A LIFE-CHANGING HEALTH DIAGNOSIS, IT CAN FEEL LIKE THIS ONE THING BECOMES OUR ENTIRE IDENTITY… LIKE WE LOSE ALL THE OTHER PIECES OF OURSELVES.

And it’s painful…

Maybe you can feel how much you long to still be seen as wife, as mother, as friend, as daughter, as business woman, AS YOU.

Because this diagnosis is NOT YOU.

Let me say that again…

THIS DIAGNOSIS IS NOT, I REPEAT, NOT WHO YOU ARE.

You are still all of the parts of you that you were BEFORE you heard that diagnosis pronounced.

You might feel a bit worse for the wear, a bit more in pain or symptomatic. Yet those parts of you that seem to have vanished or be ignored are still there.

And it is totally ok (in fact, I encourage it!) for you to voice your needs and desires to talk about other parts of yourself and other parts of your life in conversations.

It is wonderful to say, “I appreciate your concern for me AND I also would love to talk about our relationship and the fun things we can do together today.”

THE LESS YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BECOME AND IDENTITY WITH YOUR ILLNESS AND YOUR DIAGNOSIS, THE HAPPIER AND MORE WHOLE YOU WILL FEEL AND THE EASIER IT WILL BE FOR YOUR MIND, MIND AND SPIRIT TO HEAL.

When we don’t let ourselves become identified as this diagnosis, when we still acknowledge all parts of ourselves, we empower ourselves to feel more whole and alive.

And that is a powerful fuel that can be used to heal and transform your health.

The Healing Journey Never Ends… Not Even When You Are a Healer

July 10, 2019 /

I think that many of us have the belief that people like teachers, leaders, and healers have things “figured out.” Like they have gotten to the end goal somehow and their healing is “done”…

Today, I want to share that although this is something we think and maybe we WANT to believe this, it really isn’t the case. Healing and evolving is ongoing for ALL humans while we are here on earth.

I’d like to share one of my own recent (and still ongoing) challenges and growth experiences.

Over the past few months, I have been dealing with some fairly severe pain in my mouth. The first day it came as sharp stabbing pain in the roots of a couple teeth and went away. Then it built to pain moving from place to place in my mouth and feeling like my gums felt very angry.

In working with dentists, it seems like I’ve developed a pretty strong clenching/grinding pattern. My bigger question is WHY this has come up because I don’t think it is for no reason.

I’ve been left these past couple months working on practicing what I teach—listening to my body and what it is saying to me through this pain I’ve been experiencing—which has been very slow to resolve.

To be transparent, some days, the process isn’t easy and I get frustrated and just think “Make it go away now!” A couple weeks ago, I almost took my husband up on his offer of a leftover Vicodin. But I didn’t because that’s not how I want to treat my body.

The process of understanding this pain is like a trail of breadcrumbs that is leading me to messages that my own body’s wisdom and my own higher self are trying to bring to my attention.

Through working through the healing process with other practitioners, I’ve had insights into how some of the pain in my face connects to feeling like I wear a mask at times (and sometimes that mask doesn’t even feel like it is MINE), how I hold myself back from feeling all the joy that is available to me, and most recently, that much of this pattern is about speaking my truth.

Some of you may say “Oh you seem visible and you share your message and your truth here” but there are parts of it that I don’t share—words that it feels like I literally bite back—in my relationships, in my business, even in my connection to myself.

This pain is calling me to go deeper and deeper into the process of being ALL of me, feeling like it is safe to share even the struggles (WHILE I’m in them instead of after I’ve gone through them and feel like I’m clear on the message), and to speak my own truth without apology or fear.

Two weeks ago, a dear friend of mine held space for me. I thought I was just going to be getting some bodywork but instead in our conversation, she asked me how my breathwork practice was going and how it was helping with this pain.

I replied “I haven’t really been doing it because it hurts my mouth when I do the breathing.”

She said I want to hold space for you and be with you here while you do this. I had been feeling that I have NEEDED to do the breathing but when I’m in my own space and the pain surfaces, it is too much and I stop.
By having someone hold sacred space for me, I was able to breathe and face the discomfort.

And what surfaced in that breathing was a profound realization about something that I have hidden from saying to anyone for 15 years. I spoke it out loud, to my friend, and could feel a deep healing begin to occur.

I’m not quite ready to share what came up YET but I realized this is a key piece of my story that I cannot hide if I am telling my own journey. I’m allowing the healing to continue with the part of myself that I let go of 15 years ago before I share this piece of my story publicly but I did hear strong guidance that this is crucial to share when I am telling my story.

So to all of you who think I’ve got it all “figured out” or that I’m so far ahead of you, the reality is, it is still a journey and a process.

Another healer friend describes the process of healing like a spiral… sometimes we come back to deeper layers of something we thought we had healed and there is another layer to address.

Wherever you are on your journey, honor it. Don’t think that you haven’t made strides in your process because you HAVE. But also, don’t look at someone like a healer or a teacher as someone who is done with the process because the Truth is, we aren’t. We might be some steps ahead of you but we are still walking our paths.

Not Putting Doctors on a Pedestal

February 8, 2019 /

“We give too much authority to someone in a white coat.” – Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Doctor in white coat courtesy Martin Brosy

A couple of nights ago, I was watching the documentary “Heal” on Netflix (which I highly recommend you check out!) and I was struck by this quote from Dr. Beckwith. I was immediately transported back to my own experience with the medical profession during my healing crisis back in 2004.

The whole story of that journey is something that I share in my book, “You Are Not Your Diagnosis,” but in this post I’d like to hone in on this point that I find to be critical for so many people– that we give too much authority and therefore too much trust/confidence to doctors.

When I went from thinking I was a healthy 24-year-old woman who was getting ready for elective surgery to discovering in the pre-op process that my labs looked alarmingly abnormal, I was immediately cast into the realm of doctors and Western medicine. I spent close to two weeks in two different hospitals going through a battery of tests and examinations to uncover what those abnormal labs meant and what was going on with my health.

In the end, the “experts” arrived at the diagnosis of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and I believed that diagnosis because I trusted the medical profession. Yet over the next several years as I was told that all my lab results were looking good and yet I felt horrible (and I was turning into a walking skeleton), I knew deep inside that something was not right.

Yet despite my internal knowing that something was off, I couldn’t get my doctors to listen to me. When I would share that I still felt very ill, one of my doctors would brush that comment off with “Well you look great!” which also was not true because people would tell me not to lose any more weight because I was wasting away…

I was beginning to question my doctors and their knowledge but I was caught in a web that required me to get a referral from my primary doctor in order to see a new hematologist and for several years, my primary doctor reassured me that the current specialist was “a great doctor” despite my own experience that he was, in fact, anything BUT that.

It was only after I left graduate school and got medical insurance through a job and therefore got a new primary doctor outside of student health that I was able to finally get the long desired referral to a new hematologist, who questioned my diagnosis at our very first appointment…

Looking back at this 15 years later, I am still angered by the fact that my doctors didn’t want to listen to me. And I’m also frustrated, on some level, that I didn’t make a bigger fuss when I knew that something was wrong.

I share my story because I believe it is one that is all too common, although it is something that we don’t like to think about. Doctors make mistakes and it is probably more common than we think about.

When I work with my clients, I am a strong advocate that THEY are in charge of who gets to treat them and be on their care team. I remind them that just because someone has the title of doctor or wears a white coat doesn’t mean that we have to blindly follow them against what we know in our own guts to be right for us.

In one simple sentence, Dr. Beckwith sums up perfectly how so many of us have become conditioned to defer to doctors as the “experts” and to discount what we feel or even know to be true based on our daily lived experience in our bodies.

If you are reading this and you feel that you are seeing a doctor who doesn’t listen to you, who brushes off your shared experience, or who you just feel in your gut is not the right doctor for you, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion or to even fire your doctor.

Since my own experiences in 2004-2007, I have fired a number of doctors for not listening to me and my concerns or because I had a knowing that they were not the right doctor for me.

We need to make this a normal thing to do… to question our doctors and to be in charge of our health and healing by choosing who is on our team (from doctors to alternative practitioners).

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve ever felt like a doctor wasn’t right for you but not felt like it was acceptable to question them or “fire” them. Let’s start to make it acceptable to talk about this subject and begin to help all people feel comfortable in questioning medical professionals.

Warrior Women with a Purpose Podcast Interview

June 21, 2018 /

warrior women with a podcast interviewLast week I was interviewed by Kole Hansen on her Warrior Women with a Purpose Podcast and it was SUCH a great interview that I wanted to share it with you all!

Kole is also a healer with an amazing story (which she tells on one of the podcast episodes) and we really jammed about the wisdom of our bodies, how things like illness are a wakeup call from the universe and more.

I hope you’ll take a listen and if you enjoyed it, leave a 5 star review on iTunes for the podcast!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/warrior-women-with-a-purpose/id1234340783?mt=2

https://player.fm/series/warrior-women-with-a-purpose/episode-61-misdiagnosed-with-leukemia-led-me-to-my-lifes-purpose-with-lyn-delmastro-thomson

The beginning of my story… Chronic illness that came “out of the blue”

January 5, 2018 /

I’m getting more and more excited to publish my first book… I wanted to share just a glimpse into my story that will be continued in the book.

The Beginning of My Story

When I scheduled my elective surgery for June of 2004, I had absolutely no idea that anything was wrong with me. As far as I knew, I was a healthy 24 year-old who simply was finally going to get the breast reduction that I had wanted since I was 16 years old. Although I was apprehensive about what is still a major surgery and unsure how painful my recovery would be, I was looking forward to the end result.

As the day of my surgery approached, I went through the standard pre-op procedure. Appointments with my surgeon, pre-op blood-work, and waiting for the day of the surgery to arrive. Then the night before my surgery, I received a call from my surgeon. He told me that he had received my pre-op bloodwork back and that the results looked abnormal. My heart began to race…

The surgeon first said that it could be some sort of error with the lab results themselves and asked me to return to the hospital to have the tests run again to make sure of what was going on. Panic was beginning to wash over me. I tried to stay hopeful that it was just a lab error or glitch but hearing something looked “off” was unnerving. We repeated the labs and they showed the same abnormal results.

Another call from the surgeon confirmed that surgery needed to be cancelled because there was something “wrong with me.” The surgeon said I should follow up with my primary doctor as soon as possible to investigate what was going on. My mind was racing. “I feel fine… I feel absolutely fine. What the hell is going on??”

The next day I saw my primary doctor who ordered more bloodwork to try and figure out what was going on. After the labs were drawn, I went home to await the results. I was filled with anxiety about what the lab tests would show was wrong with me. It felt like I had woken up in the middle of a nightmare. Again, it made no sense how I could feel completely fine and yet be told that something big was going on with my health.

Next thing I knew, I got a phone call from a gastroenterologist who I had never heard of asking me how I was feeling. “I feel ok,” I said as I felt a wave of panic rising up over me. He replied that since I wasn’t feeling any symptoms, it was ok to stay home that night but that I should report to the local hospital first thing the next morning, where I would be admitted, and he would see me there. Then he told me “If you start to feel any symptoms, come to the hospital tonight.” Well that was certainly unnerving to hear… I suddenly felt like a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment.

I was completely shaken after this phone call from an unknown doctor and I waited nervously, continuously scanning through my body to make sure I felt ok until the next morning. In my mind I wondered what exactly I should be looking for in terms of symptoms but no mysterious symptoms appeared as I scanned my body repeatedly through the day and evening. What followed was a long afternoon, evening, and night of waiting and wondering but I was still feeling fine on a physical level so I didn’t report to the hospital until the next morning.

I hope this glimpse into the beginning of my story has peaked your attention and you will be excited to read more. Stay tuned for future sneak peaks into my story and my new book!

The Cycle of Expansion and Contraction

June 1, 2017 /

courtesy freedigitalphotos.onetApril was a month of big expansion for me personally and also for my business. I was speaking and sharing my work in a much more public way. I was stepping into my intention for 2017 of expanding and shining my light brightly and I was starting to feel a big surge of momentum in new clients and visibility for my business.

Then, about 2 1/2 weeks ago, my husband started to develop some significant pain in his feet. My focus has shifted to him as we search to uncover the cause of what is going on and get him relief from the pain.

I have experienced this pattern before in my life and business where momentum builds up, I feel like I’m really getting somewhere and then “something” happens…

In the past, I’ve said that I’ve been “de-railed” by something in my life. But last week, I was talking to my business coach about this pattern that I’ve experienced multiple times over several years. She gain me some great advice and said, “What if you shift your mindset around this and don’t view it as ‘de-railing’ you but instead a natural cycle of contraction after expansion?”

Those words were a very helpful mindset shift for me. You see, I have created a pattern and belief that “Whenever things start getting good, something in life just de-rails it…” In a way, this belief creates a “Why bother?” mentality and it also makes it a bigger deal that it needs to be.

Life happens. People get sick, family members die, someone loses their job… the list goes on and on. It is easy to say those things can “de-rail” us when in reality they are just life being life.

Nature is wise because it understands the cycle of expansion and contraction. Expansion cannot exist without contraction. Even though the seem to be opposites, the really are part of a cycle. A tree must let go of its leaves in the fall to make way for something new to come after a period of dormancy in winter.

So I’m making a major mindset shift and choosing to view this time as simply a time of contraction and life being life. I’ve made huge gains in the past 6 months, grown a lot, pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve stepped into being a public speaker, supported many amazing clients, learned how to use live video in my business and so much more… And just because life is being, well, life, that doesn’t take away any of those things that I’ve accomplished. Those things don’t magically disappear.

It is ok for me to honor a time of contraction from putting as much energy into my business so I can honor my need to support my husband. Honoring that allows me time to be present for him. And it is also bringing me gifts like getting inspired to start writing my very first book!

I hope that this blog post inspires you to shift your mindset when life feels challenging and to honor that it is ok to pull back your energy from certain things to make room for others. I hope you are inspired to realize that contraction is a natural part of the cycle of energy and it is not something to be feared.

If this post helped you, please share it. And please comment with you own stories of expansion, contraction, and mindset struggles.