Permission to BE in BEING

Anyone else feel tied up and tight with pressure from self and others? Well this is your sign to take steps of freedom to just BE… Sometimes I feel caught in the past, or worried about the future, or like I’m chasing something that I don’t desire or want anymore, and I forget that I am allowed to BE in process as I do life. And I know others may feel the same. This is my note to you to embrace the freedom to BE.

Today, my friend, I release you.

I release you to relax and take a deep breath.

I release you to enjoy the short, good moments that you have on this earth.

I release you to do what you LOVE.

I release you to not just work for the sake of work, money, prestige, or something else that is an unstable foundation, but to work toward something you love because of passion and JOY. You were created with a personality and preferences on how to spend time and what hobbies and work you would pursue.

You, dear reader, have been put on this earth for a purpose… multiple purposes I’m sure, as seasons come and go and you move down your path and walk of life.

I release you to not stay caught up in what you DIDN’T do and HAVEN’T yet done, but in where you are in this moment of life; enjoy it.

I release you to have faith that you are where you are in life because you are supposed to be here right now.

I release you to not need to force yourself to hold onto past ideas that you claimed over yourself, or that others may have spoken over your life.

I release you to allow yourself to change.

You, dear reader, are a “being” a human being in BEING and you must allow yourself to BE. You must allow yourself to change. You are in process from what was to what is to what will be and change through the process is inevitable.

I release you to stop striving to be perfect.

I release you to go for a walk and take a break.

I release you to cry, even.

I release you to give yourself permission to be and breathe and relax into today, your purpose, what you love, and the inevitable change that’s coming as you just BE….

Today, dear reader, my friend, I release.

The Real Language Barrier

Cross cultural communication has proven to be more difficult than I thought in marriage. Before getting married to someone from another country and race, I had expected that communication between us would be a time to shine with free-flowing understanding and empathy. I also imagined the two of us laughing about why we choose certain words over others and how we say things differently than the other, despite both speaking English. But it wasn’t like this. There was a root language barrier preventing us from true understanding and I realized it wasn’t limited to just us. This barrier is everywhere.

A little background… My husband is from Jamaica and though in Jamaica locals speak English, most islanders speak Patwa (also spelled Patois or Patwah). Patwa is a heavy English dialect that I misunderstood and couldn’t keep up with when I lived on the island for a good nine months last year. When it came to talking to locals, it would often take two or three tries of me saying, “what?” before I could catch the full meaning. Bar tenders, baristas, wait staff, those selling trinkets and food on the beach, even my husband’s family that we lived with proved difficult for me to understand at times with simple things. Though I learned to pick up some Patwa, I relied on Kevin for translating most of the time.  

Then there was the communication between he and I… and I learned very quickly after getting married, that language was going to be a bigger issue than I expected. Though my husband doesn’t communicate in Patwa to me, except to tease every once in a while, I realized that the words we both use to describe things, and certain phrases that neither of us thought about that come from our individual cultures, needed to be slowed down and explained at times. Still now, fears, frustrations, even humor often needs to be explained in a way that we’re both really able to get quiet and listen.

And then one day it hit me—the real language barrier between us isn’t in how we talk or what needs to be explained, but is actually how willing we are to listen to the other.

Listening, or lack of it, is the ultimate language barrier no matter where we are from. Listening can keep any person from understanding (even people within our own families).

Without the ability to listen, to really hear someone out with an opposing opinion or viewpoint, different choice of words, unfamiliar language…well… communication is pretty much blocked and no one moves forward.

For true communication to flow, the root language barrier of inability to hear and listen needs to be dug up and tossed aside. At the end of the day, we all must overcome the inability to hear and listen first if we truly want to understand the heart of any matter, no matter how deep or light the topic is. Ability to listen and hear can be the key to understanding, or the ultimate language barrier.

A Close Encounter and 3 Little Reminders

“Watch your step, watch your step,” the voice said to me as I walked through the woods on an evening hike. And then I heard it. The rattling caught my attention first before seeing the rattlesnake’s head, inches from my ankle, posed to strike.

Though many would think this just happens in nature and would write off the experience, I can’t help but dig a little deeper with why almost stepping on a rattlesnake applies to my life in a bigger way.

This is a short post with three lessons learned in the one day of processing. Here goes!

1. The Voice

Some might call the voice I heard… something only a crazy person would hear; Some might call it an inner guide; some might call it a conscience (though typically that term is used for moral choices rather than something that occurs outside of your control); I call it the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides me daily—beyond my knowing how or why. Sometimes I hear Him clearly, other times not at all.

We are all guided by different voices.

Maybe we hear the lingering voices of our parents when they taught us right from wrong when we were children. The voices of our peers and friends with influence in our lives when we seek advice, stand out strong sometimes. Then there are the voices on ads with a constant drip of “buy this now.”

Voices are all around us, communicating, telling, sharing, influencing. And we need to be careful which voices we pay attention to and why.

I’m grateful for the quiet voice saying to me, “Watch your step,” as I hiked quickly through the woods. I would surely have stepped on the rattler’s tail. That and had I not heard the rattling tail itself. What are you listening for? Who are you listening to? Warnings of protection are there for us to learn and glean from if we’re willing to stop and listen.

2. Independence doesn’t mean I shouldn’t communicate plans

The second lesson of my encounter with the rattle snake is that I was 100% alone in the woods and had not communicated with anyone that I was hiking, nor where I was going. I’m used to the paths and trails around my community in the hills and mountains. The area is small and most people I bump into are healthy, kind hikers and bikers. I typically have SOME cell phone service; I never venture too far on my own, and genuinely feel comfortable and safe when I’m alone in the woods.

But no one knew I was there. And what if something HAD happened?

I take for granted my independent nature and safe surroundings. Until it’s not safe anymore.

I wonder if I had communicated other things through the years, would I have strayed so far down paths I didn’t belong? Would I have been more aware of danger with people and situations?

Maybe I’m the only one who just trusts that things will “turn out alright” as I act independently and go through my days… even if I am, I’m reminded once more to communicate with those around me better than I do. I can be independent with my time and plans, and still be safe with communicating said plans with those around me.

3. Don’t give into fear but, be wise and knowledgeable

This is HUGE. It applies to the rattlesnake and to me. The rattle was the snake’s warning. Thank GOD I heard and listened. But even after freaking out, (I’ll never forget seeing his head poised to strike just as I realized he was under my feet), I went back to the snake for a video and then continued on with my hike. I was jittery the rest of the hike, but didn’t just turn around and give up.

Yes, there are dangers in the world, unexpected ones that catch us by surprise even if we have the BEST communication and plans in place, but we are not to give up.

I’ve seen SO many people give into fear this last year and a half with covid. I’ve seen SO many people dismiss the dangers of covid like it’s nothing. Neither living in fear, nor acting unwise will get anyone very far in life.

We must continue on the path and journey set before us, as best as possible, despite the obstacles. And we must do so with wisdom and knowledge.

The rattlesnake reminded me I don’t know the best protocol with snakebites in the woods at all, let alone poisonous, perhaps deadly ones. So, I need to read up and be more prepared next time. I need to gain knowledge and insight into the woods that I think I know so well. BUT, I didn’t give up on my hike then, and I’m not going to just stop living my life because of potential dangers. I love hiking too much!

Wisdom, while moving forward with courage is where I choose live. And is the best reminder and takeaway with… that darned rattlesnake.

And honestly? I’m glad I bumped into it. I was able to warn others on the path to use caution. I was nervous for one woman with her dog because I wasn’t sure how the dog would react IF it encountered a snake beyond the point where I did.

Through my somewhat scary experience, I could alert and help others. Just like others have done for me in the past with other things in life.

I’m sure there are MANY other takeaways with the rattlesnake… but for now: Listening to the loving, guiding voices in our lives; Communicating with those around you/ not being so independent; and Not giving into fear while using wisdom and knowledge. These are my biggest takeaways to that VERY close encounter.

Have you ever had a close encounter with danger that taught you a lesson? What was it? What did you learn?

Inclusive Creativity

How many people out there would consider themselves a “Creative”? Right now, looking at what you do every day for a living, at home with family, or in the community, would you, Reader, call yourself a Creative?

I caught myself a number of months back writing a post within a group on Facebook: Hey ya’ll! Where are my Creatives at? Our team is growing!

To be a Creative, in the world of art, design, music, dance or writing is a normal label to take on. It feels good in those worlds to be known and identified as belonging to these traditionally creative communities. And in my post to promote a growing team for media and content creation work. By calling the “Creatives” I inadvertently fell into the trap of excluding everyone outside these traditionally creative fields.

I’d like to re-define how the label creative is used to be more inclusive, to allow creativity to take on meaning for people of all fields.

To be a Creative, one doesn’t need to by profession be an artist or designer. Creativity is not limited to your job title or hobbies.

A Creative is someone who thinks and acts outside the norm. Someone who inspires new ways of doing life, regardless of fields or professions. You could be in the line of fitness, business, therapy/counseling, teaching, tech, politics, law, or anything else out there and be a Creative.

I’m not going to lie I really hate that the word “creative” as having many connotations connected to specific fields, it just leaves out too many creative people in other fields.

One beautiful example of this is a fitness instructor I got super inspired by when I saw a new type of fitness-dance-drumming-cardio workout that she founded and trademarked. It’s called Drum Late and it’s a one-of-a-kind workout experience. After a couple of weeks of working out with her, I got so inspired, I asked if she could coach me to instruct Drum Late on my own. Here is a woman in a “non-creative” field of fitness, but creating a brand-new workout experience with mixed dancing and weight lifting moves to help people meet their health and fitness goals.

Then there are my teacher friends who through the entire 2020-2021 school years have needed to adapt classroom settings to be online or a mix of online and in person. There were some creative solutions for getting students to engage and be proactive while remote learning. New systems being put into place quickly and seeing big picture problem solving solutions for something they never had done before—wow! Creativity has sparkled and shone through the entire 2020 year as people and business developed and changed how they do life to make it work.

Then I have a mom-friend who came up with a pretty creative idea to teach her son potty training. By dumping a small handful of cereal in the toilet bowl, she taught him to aim for each piece and “sink the ship.” Creative! Maybe this is a trick a lot of moms know? But I don’t think so because I have seen a number of Facebook posts “Help! How do I teach my son potty training and how to aim?” This simple solution was creative for her situation and should be celebrated for working.

Creativity is not limited to position, field, or community. It lives outside all of those things. There are creative solutions in business, entrepreneurs are constantly coming up with creative ideas and products. I’d like to see the word Creative become more inclusive and applied to more people. I don’t want anyone to be limited by phrases like “Where are my creatives at?!” that I myself posted in that group. For as useful as a post it was that I wrote to get some attraction for media people, it limits and holds back everyone else. I don’t want anyone to ignore a post because they say “I’m not creative, so this isn’t for me.”

We all have the potential to be creative in any field. I mean, think of how science and medicine have been advanced through the years because of creativity being put to good use with other knowledge?

Maybe because I see people in my field calling themselves “Creatives” I’m sensitive to others being excluded. Maybe you read the post from the beginning and thought, “Yeah, I’m super creative!” And you’re in the field of counseling. Great! I’m so glad you’re ahead of this idea I’m just now writing on.

But. If anyone reading this never considered themselves creative before—would you reconsider? Let’s not limit ourselves from new thoughts and creative ideas in ANY field, profession, or role.

Fitness instructors, pastors, doctors, lawyers, parents—mom’s and dad’s— We ALL have the potential for creativity and be called Creatives. So, my last statement, really a question is simply this: What field are you in and how can you think and act more creatively in your community?

{Q&A} How One Chiropractor Now Helps Women Have Pain Free Periods

{Q&A} How One Chiropractor Now Helps Women Have Pain Free Periods

Dr. Lydia Zajackowski is a dear friend who I’ve known for about eight years and when she agreed to do a Q&A for Written Jewels, I couldn’t have been happier! She is well studied and has a passion to see women live pain free lives… especially during “THAT” time of the month.

She is a Chiropractor and Functional Medicine Practitioner based out of central Washington state. Growing up Lydia was always active playing softball, dance, and doing other outdoor activities. Movement was always an important part of her life. She graduated undergrad (with me!) with a B.S. of Kinesiology and fell in love with holistic health. From there she took a gap year to work and travel to Bali and New Zealand (which she HIGHLY recommends). She then started chiropractic school shortly after. During her time in chiropractic school, Lydia earned her CSCS, USAW, Precision Nutrition Certifications while also taking the opportunity to run her first 1/2 Marathon, and compete in an Olympic Weightlifting competition. She took an opportunity to dive deeper into her own health, discovering more about the body than what is mainstream.

-Juliandra Jackson, Owner and Founder of Written Jewels

Q: Tell me a little bit about your chiropractic background—why did you choose this as a career path? In regards to my chiropractic path, I’ve been adjusted since I was 12 and it has allowed me to have such a high quality of life that it was a vehicle that I wanted to use to help others. I got into this field because my mother had severe scoliosis, and as a result she ended up getting a surgery when she was 15 that left her with a rod and 9 pins in her back. Prior to the surgery she was very active in gymnastics and cross country, and she was no longer able to do those activities afterward. Because of that she kept an eye on my spine, and I also ended up having scoliosis. We decided to treat that through chiropractic care and I’ve been able to continue doing all the things that I love while having a high quality of life.

Q: I see so many of your social media posts center on period pain and relief, what led you to choosing to help women in this way? Yes! How many women do you know, or have you known through your life who has complained about cramps, etc.? Probably most of the women you knew right? I was one of those women. My first experience with this was in high school, and it was so severe that it sent me to the ER. As a result of that I chose to go on birth control because that was the only solution I knew of, and it seemed like the cool thing to do that could also get rid of my acne, and give me regular periods so I would know exactly when it was coming. I’m a very driven individual, so I viewed having my period as a liability versus a sacred time.

Fast forward to undergrad, I attempted to come off of it, and was bed ridden for a morning due to a cyst bursting. (If you know, you know). I saw this event as a setback, didn’t know of other options, and it didn’t fit with the goals I wanted to reach so I went back on the pill. Fast forward to chiropractic school, I started to take my health seriously. I knew I had to get to the root cause of why my body was having this response while coming off the pill, and the cause of irregular periods and the signs and symptoms I was having in high school. Luckily, I had an extremely kind colleague who specialized in this area and helped guide me, holistically, so I wouldn’t have such severe reactions when I came off the pill. And the transition was seamless. However, I fell off the wagon in my self-care and ended up in a situation where my cramps were so bad I had to leave working with a patient to go throw up.

The disconnection from my mind and body was still present, and I felt I had to push my body into submission in regards to working harder. At that point I visited a naturopath, and had visited another practitioner, tried acupuncture, but I was still having symptoms. I realized that no one is going to figure this out, or care about it as much as I do. So, I chose to dive into the functional medicine world, got trained in it, healed myself, and help others do the same. There are millions of women out there who have gone through similar circumstances, and I knew that if I could help them avoid the pain I went through, it’s priceless. Women’s health has been neglected, and period problems are more prominent than ever. Having a bleed every month is a sacred and beautiful part of being a woman, and women do not have to accept that it has to be painful. God did not design women to suffer, there are other man-made factors that can cause suffering. The menstrual cycle is a 5th Vital Sign, and once we get to the root cause of what’s going on it opens the doors to better health, quality of life, vitality, and smoother transitions later down the road when it comes to menopause. The cycle is not meant to be forced into submission like how the pill works, but a God given tool that allows women to work smarter and not harder.

Women’s health has been neglected, and period problems are more prominent than ever. Having a bleed every month is a sacred and beautiful part of being a woman, and women do not have to accept that it has to be painful. God did not design women to suffer, there are other man-made factors that can cause suffering.

-Dr. Lydia Zajackowski

Q: What particularly interest me is dressing for your period. How did you come up with combing fashion and cycles of the month? During the month we have four different phases: Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal and Menstruation. Through each of those phases our hormones ebb and flow, and therefore we may feel a bit different. For example, ovulation is a great time to go on a date because our baby making hormones make us feel and look more vibrant and sexier. Then during menstruation, that’s a great time to reflect and nourish to cozy up in sweat pants or wearing comfy clothes may feel more in line with how you feel. So, it makes sense that you would dress a certain way for how you’re feeling or dependent on the events you’re doing. It’s really about reconnecting to your feminine energy, and feeding off of that to optimize your life!

So, it makes sense that you would dress a certain way for how you’re feeling or dependent on the events you’re doing. It’s really about reconnecting to your feminine energy, and feeding off of that to optimize your life!

-Dr. Lydia Zajackowski

Q: What would you say to encourage women to find wellness through a naturopathic route? Love this question! Whenever someone asks me how to find a practitioner, or recommendations, I like to have them reflect on how they want to feel when they go to a practitioner. There is no perfect practitioner for everyone, and you do not have to settle for a practitioner just because they are in network with your insurance. Some of the things a client may look for is that they want to be heard, they want to be cared about, and they want a high-quality service.

Now on a second note, if you’re tired of your provider pushing pills your way, it’s time to search out other providers. Allopathic medicine has its place, and it’s great for emergencies and certain situations, however, it is not wellness care, it is sick care. Allopathic medicine treats the signs and symptoms, not the root cause. When you go into a traditional doctor’s office, have you ever seen anyone happy to be there besides that kid who just got a sticker? Most of the time not. Plus, there are incentives from the pharmaceutical companies for the doctors to use their products and medications. Holistic medicine is about the whole person, not just the signs or symptoms. Particularly functional medicine dives into the reason why you’re experiencing those signs and symptoms, not just treating it. As a result, your entire health benefits.

A third note, you may be thinking well I don’t want to take meds, and I also don’t want to be taking a boatload of supplements every day. That is completely valid. However during the healing process of getting to the root cause, it may be more intense for a temporary period of time until the problem has resolved. And we are encountering more toxins than ever before that our body has to adapt to, and we aren’t getting as many nutrients as we have in the past. After that time period it’s a great idea to get most of your nutrients from food, and supplement with supplements (just as the name suggests) when you feel that you need to. This comes full circle back to reconnecting to your own body and intuition.

Q: Ending with a lighter question, what do you like to do outside of your practice? Outside of my practice I love to read, hit the gym, travel, hike, bike, paddle board, and hang out with my rescue dog.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add? Maybe you’ve skipped to the bottom, so if you have this is what I’ve covered: there are a lot of women just like you who are having the same experience, there is significant room for improvement in regards to holistic women’s health, you do not have to settle for a pill or pain, you can get to the root cause of your signs and symptoms, heal and have a high quality of life, reconnect to your body and God given intuition, if you’re ready to start your health journey a holistic practitioner may be right for you. If you’ve resonated with what I have said, you can follow me on Instagram and @synergy_by_drz and ask me questions, or I am currently accepting clients for functional medicine as well. God Bless!