Things in Erin’s Brain 

It’s a crazy place inside Erin’s brain. Especially on the night of a full moon – a SUPER MOON. Jerry was warning me about it this morning, but I’ve been feeling its effects all week. Yes, I am a lunatic. Yes, my husband is aware (and if you read my book, you’ll recall that post-transplant, drug induced Jerry told some poor, impressionable students allllll about it…).

But in my brain today there’s lots of chatter about being The Chosen One.

In particular I was trying to narrow it down to something specific. 

But I couldn’t. Because, you see, there are so many WAYS to be chosen.

Perhaps you feel you were called to do the work you do (like me being an author).

Perhaps you feel blessed to have a partner. I love that Jerry and I are each our own individuals, yet we choose one another every day.

But there’s another level…

The day Jerry missed the call for a liver. We missed it. The liver went to someone else. It was a terrifying day. Would there be another? Did we miss our chance? I chose to believe that liver belonged to someone else. It was their day to be chosen. Not ours.

What about cats? It seems like I’m reaching way into left field with this one, but if you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ve been watching the #NotMyCat saga unfold… Did your pet choose you?

Jerry literally chose his adoptive mother. He reached up from his crib to grab her finger. She knew he was going to be her son.

What about choosing ourselves? 

<<Pause for dramatic effect>>

Really think about it. Are you doing things to choose yourself every single day? Do you prioritize your dreams? Your health (physical AND mental)? Let’s take it down a notch – do you Take the Pause? The Pause you ask? Mmmm hmmm. The Pause. Because choosing yourself doesn’t have to be big and extravagant. Choosing yourself can be small, mindful moments. That’s why I created the workshop “Taking The Pause: Redefining Self-Care.”

Originally launched to complement my book “Welcome to Caregiving: The Things Caregivers Never Talk About” I have modified the workshop so it’s more accessible to EVERYBODY. I’m excited to be offering this updated version as part of the Entrepreneurs Wellness Giveaway taking place now through July 23, 2022. Along with my workshop you get free access to 14 more free resources all intended to help you take care of you, so you can take care of business. Check it out – I think you’ll find some things you like.

And today, do a little somethin’ somethin’ for yourself.

Because it’s all about love…

P.S. The ebook version of “Welcome to Caregiving” drops on REGINA’S BIRTHDAY (aka Jerry’s transplant anniversary). You can pre-order it here, AND if you haven’t RSVP’d to attend Regina’s virtual birthday party on July 19, 2022, click HERE. It’s just going to be a big ol’ love fest of gratitude with lots of “Ask Jerry” time. XOXO

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I’ve had a TON of people asking me about Manual Lymphatic Drainage lately, so I’m re-publishing my three part article all about what the lymph system is, what it does, what YOU can do for YOU, and how I can help.

What IS the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is part of your immune system helping to defend against bacteria and other intruders. It aids with fluid balance and the absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients. It clears away bacteria, cell debris, excess water, proteins and wastes from connective tissue and returns it to the bloodstream for removal by the kidneys. Fun fact: when you feel like you have an infection and your “glands” are swollen (think neck, armpits, groin) these “glands” are actually swollen lymph nodes (Resource: What Does the Lymphatic System Do?, MacGill, Marcus Feb 23, 2018, Medical News Today.) 

The Mechanics of the Lymphatic System:

The lymphatic system consists of lymph, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels and it is located parallel to the venous system. The lymphatic system is similar to the circulatory system (blood); however, your circulatory system has a mechanism to pump your blood through your body (Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Yep, it’s your heart). Since the lymphatic system doesn’t have an automatic pump it requires YOU to do the work for it. The most common way to make this happen is to exercise (jumping jacks are my fave). 

Why Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

If you can simply exercise to move your lymph system, why do you need manual lymphatic drainage? Surgery and other damage can cause a build up of fluid in the lymph system. While a certain level of inflammation is important to protect damaged tissue, some of the fluid can be moved away to help the healing process. In healthy bodies, it aids in the flow of lymph and can help keep the nodes clear. By encouraging circulation of fluids and decongesting tissue, you can ultimately assist your organs to function at optimum levels (yes, your kidneys and liver are the star of this show!). Manual Lymphatic Drainage also has a positive effect on the parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” nervous system) and helps keep the autonomic nervous system in balance. As I mentioned in my Facebook Live Video (see the replay here on YouTube), a sluggish lymphatic system can make you feel sluggish too. Symptoms and signs of an overly stressed lymphatic system can include: chronic fatigue, joint pain, fibromyalgia symptoms and muscle aches and pains. For your reading pleasure, there’s a very thorough article by Dr. Axe on the lymphatic system: The Lymphatic System: How to Make it Strong and Effective.

NEXT WEEK: The Technique behind Manual Lymphatic Drainage