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Posts tagged ‘acupuncture’

Peace Makers in a Volatile World

Keeping the Peace Behind the Scenes

My personal peace makerThere are people in our lives who willingly accept the role of peace maker. They’re the ones who seemingly sit quietly in the background, stepping in to extend a gentle hand when our emotional campfire threatens to explode into a full-fledged forest fire. They bury their own needs in favor of those of the people around them just to avoid arguments.

Most of the time we don’t even recognize what they’re doing, much less appreciate it. We don’t see how often their own wants and needs aren’t met just so they can keep everyone else happy. Worst of all, we don’t see what it costs them to consistently occupy this place in our lives.

It isn’t that they wouldn’t like to have things their way once in a while. They just value peace and quiet more. They’re typically extremely sensitive so arguments and unrest upset them terribly.

So they allow a sibling or friend to have it their way all the time. They back down from an argument though they know they’re in the right. They agree when they’d rather stand up to someone and make their point without being shouted down. Yet deep inside, the resentment and frustration build to what we’d consider staggering levels; levels we’d not tolerate in ourselves, yet silently expect them to endure all the time.

Peace Makers in Volatile Families

I don’t think my daughters ever knew a time when there wasn’t some kind of tension in our household. At first, it was between their father and me, but eventually, my daughter Jenni and I filled in the gap when he was no longer a part of our lives. Meanwhile, Heather did her best to stay in the background, letting Jenni have the limelight and make all the choices I asked them to make together. Jenni learned Heather would give way rather than risk the wrath of her red-headed virago of a twin. That left me to manage the explosions. In hindsight, the kindest thing I did was to give them separate bedrooms when they were about 11. It gave Heather the sanctuary she desperately needed, even if it was just a thin door between herself and the near-constant volatility of our household.

As children do, my girls grew up—Jenni still believing creating a category 5 storm would make us bend to her will, and Heather allowing her resentment towards her sister to surface and grow. I regret to say she fed my own annoyance with my youngest child until it no longer hurt to sever the relationship.

The truth is, both of my girls are hard-headed and stubborn. They’re both quick to anger but Heather lets hers go more quickly. Jenni seems to hold her anger close like a security blanket. As if as long as she gets her way, she’ll be happy, and yet, I don’t think she is. I think she’d like to have her real family back, but believes she’s gone too far to come back.

Releasing Pent-up Anger and Resentment

On the bright side, since Jenni chose to remove herself from our lives, Heather and I have grown closer. But better than our closeness, she’s learned to release some of the anger and frustration that built up throughout her childhood. She’s no longer living in the shadow of a sister who’d willingly throw her under the bus if it meant someone would like her. I often wonder if she sacrificed her relationship with her sister for nothing. Nobody ever thought better of her for turning her back on her sister. People remember her for her bright red hair, but they remember Heather for her kindness and helpfulness.

Every group dynamic has at least one peace maker. It might be you or someone else. Whoever takes on the role sacrifices a great deal of themselves in order to fulfill the weighty obligations it entails. Some may hold the role for a lifetime while others will find a way to allow their own wants and needs to be met.

Sadly, the resentment which builds up is often left to fester, unspoken and without release. It might manifest itself as broken families like ours, or as health issues, or even interpersonal ones. A peace makers ability to love and be loved is thwarted and misguided by constantly subverting their own needs for the sake of peace in their environment.

Being a Peace Maker Whether We Like it or Not

I also believe that we are all the peace maker at some point in our lives. We all find ourselves in situations where it’s better to just keep silent and go along because someone else is so desperate to be right that they simply shout the rest of the world down. I can think of several occasions where I worked for someone like that and in my own way, became the peace maker. However, as it was so contrary to my normal state of being, the silence with which I tolerated the situation was anything but peaceful inside myself.

The unrest and resentment I carried around while exposed to what I realize were merely desperately insecure narcissists is really what made me realize what the real peace makers must be carrying around inside. Well, that and what I’ve seen break loose in my daughter, Heather since the split with her sister. That resentment hurts my heart, but I know anything I do or so would, if anything, just make matters worse. Like the place I hold for Jenni should she decide to re-establish our relationship on more mutually satisfying terms, I hold the same place for both girls to reach some kind of understanding and acceptance. They are very different people with divergent values, they share a bond of twin-ship only another twin would understand.

Give your Peace Makers a Break

My purpose behind writing this article is to raise awareness of the people around us who keep life on a more even keel. But it’s also to acknowledge those of you who have taken on the role yourselves. The peace makers need and deserve to be heard. They have opinions and a unique perspective which just might bring solutions we’ve never even considered. They also need to be allowed to step away from the role, whether forced on them or self-imposed. They carry a lot of our tension and stress so we can function as reasonably normal human beings. It isn’t an easy job and is often a thankless one as well.

It’s time we acknowledged our peace makers and helped them drop their burden. It’s time to allow them to shine unencumbered by everyone else’s shit.

Remembering to be Grateful

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for the peace makers who have made my life easier, and who have shouldered my crap at those times when I neither noticed nor appreciated their sacrifices.
  2. I am grateful for the outpouring of love I’m getting while trying to figure out what’s ailing my sweet boy, Toby.
  3. I am grateful for the gift of writing which has helped me work through the challenges in my life pretty much since the time I was able to write complete sentences.
  4. I am grateful for the understanding I’m getting from my more outspoken friends as I quietly break my silence over our current political climate. There will be no soapboxes. I’m still a behind-the-scenes kind of girl.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; health, happiness, beauty, communication, joy. inspiration, new clients, lessons, challenges, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

You can find the original video about peace makers here.


Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

July 26, 2015 Is Your Shoulder or Back Pain Really Just a Pain in the Neck?

Sometimes, You Just Have to Make Your Own Miracles

As you’ve probably read by now, June and July have been my month for shoulder and back pain. Not one to let a little (sic) pain get me down, I have taken all of the usual routes (medical, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, homeopathic, topical and exercise) to send the pain on its way. As can be expected, some methods have been more effective than others. For example, the muscle relaxers helped start the healing process, but the prescription pain killers just gave me a headache. The acupuncture was pretty uncomfortable and I saw no noticeable results.

True to form, the winning combination was homeopathics, Salonpas Deep Relieving Gel, a couple of trips to my chiropractor, massage (my personal favorite) and exercise. I’ve combined several things into the last one and have done my share of research to find things which work best.

In my chiropractor’s words, “the motion is the lotion”, so I looked for ways to lubricate my shoulders from within, aside from the glucosamine, fish oil and turmeric I was already taking. One of those was a series of exercises designed to move the shoulders (and mine, by the way, make a delightful snap, crackle, pop with every move!). These seem to be most effective first thing in the morning when everything has tightened up after laying around for several hours.

As the day progresses, I add shoulder lifts and bicep curls with 5-pound weights. (this is a very light weight for me, but some may want to use only 1- or 2-pound weights.) Sometimes, I can do 3 or 4 of the 5 different exercises one right after the other, but more often, I do 3 then do the other 2 later.

Getting to the Source of the Pain

Though difficult to do when at the point where all you want is drugs to stop the pain and ease the tension, as the body seeks its own equilibrium, you begin to notice things like Hmmm, when I turn my head like this I get a sharp pain in my shoulder. or When I turn my head like this, my right arm goes numb. At this point, the chiropractor’s comments about your neck start to make perfect sense. You experiment by moving your head from side to side, then lean back and forward. Not only will you determine where your range of motion is impaired, but you’ll make a note of the sensations each movement causes. The light bulb comes on, bright and clear and you realize that the source of the pain is somewhat removed from the location of the symptoms.

Miracles and Aha Moments

Now that I’d figured out where the real source of my pain lived, I was ready for miracle number 2. A few days agMiracle Ballso, I was stuck on the phone for about 3 hours and my ADHD was running amok. Although I’d done a massive purge a few months ago, relegating about 6 boxes of old paper to the shredder, I started digging through the closet in my office on the off-chance that I’d had the forethought to save paperwork from a company I worked for 20 years ago. Although I didn’t find what I was looking for (and how often does that happen!) I did find something I’d sought a couple of weeks ago and had even given up hope was still in the house. In case you haven’t guessed by now, I found my Miracle Balls!

Miracle Balls-Day 2

Since I’d already determined the source of my problem, I skipped right to the section on neck exercises. As suggested, I started off slowly, but have now been through all 4 exercises a couple of times. In fact, doing the exercises before I went to bed last night relaxed the muscles enough to make sleeping in my bed a lot more comfortable than it has been for the last month or so. Repeating the neck exercises this morning in conjunction with my shoulder exercise routine has everything moving more freely. I did make an attempt to use the ball under one shoulder, but found that it is as painful, if not more so, than using the foam roller as the ball allows for a more intense amount of pressure on the affected area, given its smaller size. Wimp that I am, I could barely stand 30 seconds.

For now, I’m going to focus on getting my neck back into alignment, but the plan is to go through most of the book, in particular the chapters entitled:

  • Back on the Ball
  • Hips and Legs on the Ball
  • Ribs on the Ball
  • Shoulders on the Ball
  • Elbow on the Ball

The accompanying book is very helpful in showing how things are connected so you can set your own order to the exercises. For me, I find that Elbow on the Ball follows Head and Neck on the Ball for the relief of shoulder pain and stiffness. Though not necessarily intuitive, the author’s explanations about how everything connects and how relaxing one area impacts another are a good guide for determining the order of your own exercise routine.

Got to Admit, it’s Getting Better

For now, only two days with the addition of the Miracle Balls has brought a great deal of relief and what’s more, increased flexibility to my neck. I hope to bring more good news and handy hints as I continue this new journey. To be honest, I’m willing to try just about anything that allows me to meet the four chapter target I have for this week!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for fortuitous finds.
2. I am grateful for my ADHD whose benefits far outweigh the challenges it has brought into my life.
3. I am grateful for gentle things which ease my pain and improve my range of motion.
4. I am grateful for another amazing night of dancing which sent my endorphins into overdrive.
5. I am grateful for abundance: flexibility, good sleep, epiphanies, health, joy, friendship, laughter, love, beauty, kitty love (especially when I lie on the floor to exercise), peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

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