Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New idea

For the next semester I am going to try an experiment. I am going to post excerpts of my personal practice journal on this blog so that I can include my readers in this portion of my recovery process. Please to not criticize or share this information with anyone who could possibly use it against me in any way. I am using this semester to develop my own new life routine, one that will be healthy in every way and promote my continuing journey toward recovery. Please pray for me as you follow my updates and feel free to offer any kind suggestions or advice. To begin, here is an excerpt from today:

1/19/10- I have been contemplating the most effective way to continue to help my body heal in every way that it needs to- physically, mentally, emotionally. I had a very very bad few days from Friday-Saturday, due to what I think was my own pressuring of myself to push myself hard all the time in every way. I was talking myself down, without even necessarily realizing it and I got to a very depressed state. I chose to take Sunday off from every kind of work except spiritual. I was able, through the Holy Spirit, to refocus on God and direct all of those pressures I was feeling away from myself by focussing on my purpose in light of God’s will. I was reminded through a few Father’s House sermons that God always picks the most unlikely person- the barren woman or young boy or the virgin girl- to change history. For this, I am an excellent candidate. Come on! A clarinetist with a jaw injury?! But rather than looking at the situation as impossible, I have to, I must, see the truth- God always always works in impossible situations, for nothing is impossible with him. I choose, right now, to view this semester in that light. That anything that seems impossible to me is actually an opportunity for God to work mightily- visibly!- so that the blind, and my heart which is oftentimes blinded by fear, may see him and know he is the only God. I asked him who he was the other day and he said, “I AM.” No kidding?! 

My goal for this semester is to discover my own practice routine, meaning essentially, the pace at which I will move, the amount of time my body needs to rest, the amount of time I should spend playing my clarinet vs. the amount of time I should spend listening, journaling, and overall practicing mentally- quietly contemplating music, my body in relation to music. I will also try to find a way to nourish my body that is effective, enjoyable, and continues to help my healing process and give me energy and clarity of mind. I also need an exercise program that will aid in my continued recovery rather than hindering it in any way. 

So, over the last few days, I have been paying close attention to what it is that my body needs from me. I will list my observations*:

Sleep: I need 8 hours of sleep right now. I feel rested after 8 hours of sleep, 7 1/2 at the least. This is difficult because I am in college, but my goal is to heal right now and I must not deprive my body of its rest, especially since my brain has so much information to sort through during this period of intense analysis of my every habit. So, my goal will be to get 8 hours of sleep every night.

Exercise: I feel so wonderfully alert today, I think due to the fact that I have been to the pool twice and the ice rink once in the last 4 days. Today, I woke up at 7:30 and went to the pool to swim for 20 minutes, which seems to be a good amount of time for me- anymore and I am afraid  I would strain my neck and shoulders too badly. I also had my Keys to Healthy Music Class at which we did a two hour Tai Chi session which included an effective centering session. I need to be careful because I do have a pretty nasty spasm in my right shoulder right now which I am treating with my tens unit as I type. I want to get up at about 7:00 every morning and swim, stretch and go through a few of the movements I learned today every day for the next few weeks to just see how my body responds over a set period of time. Of course, I will monitor my pain and stress levels and adjust accordingly.

Tentative Exercise Schedule- 7:00 am- awake, 7:10-20- stretch, 7:35-55- swim, (shower, etc.), 8:45-9:00- tai chi/stretch

Food: 3 regular meals + afternoon and evening snacks. I will try to have fruit and yogurt and wheat bread every morning for breakfast. Lunch will be protein in some form (meat, eggs, cheese, beans), vegetables/fruit (depending on what is offered), carbs in form of bread or pasta. I would like to have a protein shake before dinner on any day I can and with dinner if necessary to help with my muscle building as I exercise. I will also eat some dried apples for sugar and fiber (plus, they are organic and easy to get at Wegman’s). Then I will have dinner, similar to lunch- I want to make sure I eat fresh vegetables and fruit at the dc too. My evening snack is more of a reward, a cup of tea or cocoa and popcorn or a few cookies or something like that. This is to reward myself for sticking to my goals throughout the day and to help me relax before bed. 

Hydration: bottle of gatorade + two bottles of water every day (green tea to the equivalent of the same amount of water works also)

Practice: I want to try doing 1 part physical/2 parts mental practice for the next 2 weeks to see how that works out. With the exception of Saturday which I will leave open as a light playing day/heavy listening day, unless I feel fabulous and want to play more. 

Rest: I will try to have reading/tv time every evening possible for 45 minutes or so and will take Sunday entirely off for the next two weeks. If that doesn’t work, I will alter it, but I want to give it a chance to settle in. I also need to schedule in 45 minutes to talk to Ty in the evenings. 

My homework will get fit into the times when I am not practicing and will take precedence over my 45 minutes of reading/tv in the evenings.

Spiritual life: I will spend 1/2 hour every morning with God. (Breakfast with God appointments work nicely). Church every Sunday and will listen to one or twoish sermons along with reading more on the weekends. God will be at the center of everything I do because, as I have seen, I cannot do this on my own strength. He is my Healer and I will trust him to do a good work in my life daily. I will make the concious decision to trust Him daily. 

*This plan is a two week plan. I will stick to it for two weeks and will adjust it as necessary on February 2nd. 

I am really excited to see what the outcome of this endeavor will be! I will remain positive even on days when I am experiencing more stress and will remain driven even on days that are less stressful. I want to move more slowly, think more slowly and conserve my energy more effectively and that requires not thinking so hard all the time and just learning to breathe through life. Above all, I will meditate on this verse for the next two weeks. 

Are you tired? 

Worn out? 

Burned out on religion? 

Come to me. 

Get away with me and you'll recover your life. 

I'll show you how to take a real rest. 

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. 

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 

I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 

Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message


  1. Awesome plan Kate!!! I am very proud of you and am praying for you. I love you, Mom

  2. Katie,
    You are an inspiration to me. I am praying that this year is a healing year for me, also. I also feel like I have so, so, so far to go.....

    When I had TMJ so badly in college, swimming became my friend. I'm praying for a chance for that to happen again.

    Love you!