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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Physical Pain an Almost Full Disclosure Part 2

Hi All,

I appreciate all your comments and feedback from my blog last week.  The authorship process is one I want to learn and grow with.  Your feedback is invaluable to me and helps me to better myself as well as produce a better book for the world at large to benefit from.

Before I get to part two, I wanted to pass on a couple of updates:

The next 1000 Challenge Community event has been scheduled.  If you are going to participate in one event, this is the one to join.  It is a very special one for me.  Please click here to learn all about it.  Also be sure to invite your friends and family to join in.

Our next Youtube chat has been scheduled.  Sunday, September 7th, at 7:30am PST.  The topic will be: "Moving Forward from Grief, How to Honor Those You have Lost."
You can join the chat by clicking here:

Signups for the next 28 Day Flat Belly Challenge will be open on Monday September 22nd.  I will only be allowing 30 people to the opportunity to participate.  If you want to join you need to make sure you are subscribing to my newsletter as newsletter subscribers will get the first shot.  Click here to subscribe to my newsletter.

Ok: Physical Pain an Almost Full Disclosure Part 2

As I said last week this is a brief excerpt of the book I am working on.  Any/all comments, suggestions, and feedback are welcomed and much appreciated.



In March of 2012, nearly nine months post hernia surgery, the pain downstairs had subsided enough were I was starting to feel more normal in that area.  Normal in the sense that I was no longer getting the constant pain I had been previously, but there were still problems.  My back had gotten so bad that my movements were very limited.  Sitting for more than 20 minutes was a challenge, as was walking, hiking, etc...  (those of you who have been following the 1000 Challenge page since the beginning have noticed the decrease in hiking photos) This again affected the more intimate parts of my life because if I made any sudden movements, I would be greeted with a shooting pain through my body.  Reaching out to open the door hurt, imagine how much other things would hurt.

I was in so much pain, I felt completely emasculated, and was so frustrated with not being able to do some of the physical activities I enjoyed doing.  I began seeing a chiropractor that I was referred to by a friend.  I saw him for several months and my back did not improve, it only got worse.  In late June of 2012 I was referred to a Physical Therapist.  I saw him a couple times and for the first time since April of 2011 I felt a little better.

When I left to live in Europe, July of 2012, I was hopefully and optimistic that I was finally healing.  I had made a promise to myself that I would take a long walk around London every weekend.  The first weekend I was there I took about a seven mile walk.  The second weekend I walked the length of the Thames River up to London Bridge.  It was awesome.  I was doing the exercises religiously that the physical therapist had prescribed.  I was excited to continue to heal and return home in the fall back to my normal self.

Two weeks into my London adventure I went to the bathroom, number two.  It was really painful.  I thought that was weird, but figured it would go away. It didn't go away, it was there the next time I went to the bathroom and the time after that.  Not only was the pain there, but it was getting more intense and leaving me with a bloody mess.  

It only continued to get worse and worse.  After two weeks of this I was terrified to go anywhere or do anything.  If I walked longer than 10 minutes I felt uncomfortable.  I was scared of being away from a bathroom because the whole process of going was now taking me three times longer than normal.  It hurt so bad that I found myself at times biting down on towels to try and keep myself from yelling out in pain.

I was able to fly back to the States in late August to go to the doctor. By this time I had scared myself stupid by reading horror stories on websites about what could possibly be happening.  The first doctor I went to suspected I might have hemorrhoids. I started taking medicine (the kind you have to shove up your ass) as well as spending 30 minutes a day, two times a day, soaking in an epson salt bath trying.  As you might imagine, I was feeling really good about myself, especially since I had just started to feel better about my sexuality a few months earlier.  Now I am back to having pain and problems in areas that are some of our most sensitive.

 I also went to an acupuncturist who prescribed me to drink aloe vera juice (which tastes gross) as well as wheat grass juice, everyday.

I did all of this and it still did not get better.  I flew back to the States again and went to a different doctor.  He told me a I had an anal fissure, which is basically a tear in the tissue of your butt.  He said it was a fifty fifty chance it gets better on its own.  If it didn't the other option was surgery.  I again read the horror stories about how if the surgery did not go right you could lose control of your ability to control those muscles needed to go to the bathroom.

There was no way I was going to roll the dice and do the surgery, especially after I had had such a "positive" experience with the hernia surgery.  I convinced myself that I could heal naturally and I resolved to do anything and everything possible to heal.

I was doing everything I could to be proactive with my new “condition.” I changed my diet around by adding in a ton of extra fiber, stool softeners daily, eliminated alcohol, and eliminated red meat.  I stopped going out to eat because I was so terrified of not having full control over what went into my body.  Naturally this had a pretty shitty (Pun intended) affect on my social life.

I continued to take the Epsom Salt baths twice a day for 30 minutes at a time. The baths were frustrating to me because they took up so much time, but I had committed to follow instructions.  I began using the time in the bathtub to meditate.  I would go through a visualization of healing energy entering inside of me, healing my body.   Along with the Epsom Salt baths, I was applying this cream one to two times daily that if I put to much of it on it made me light headed, dizzy, and gave me an instant headache.  There was more than one time I almost passed out using this stuff.  The cream of course has to be applied to the injured area, so needless to say the rubber gloves that you see at doctor’s offices became staples in my day-to-day life.  I got very familiar with a part of the human body that most of us never have to acknowledge save  for disposing of our  “wastes” and that is it.  This was definitely some of the more humbling times of my life.

I was miserable.  I had finally started to feel better and now here I was with another problem below the waist.  I felt emasculated even more so and horribly inadequate as a man.  All those feelings I had of not being good enough, of hating myself, of being unattractive that I had fought my entire life were beginning to come rushing back to me.  

A large part of my adult identity had been built around the physical aspects of who I was: being able to be fit, active, and desirable by the fairer sex.  Now my ability to move was again limited; my back was only getting worse and now I was having new problems downstairs. More significantly for me was the emasculating feeling.  I was in so much pain I could barely think about sex let alone be sexual.  It was challenging, in my mind I did not feel attractive, in my mind I felt broken and focused on pain.

I can go a couple ways with next weeks blog... I can share with you part 3 or I can switch it up, save part 3 for later, and go with a different topic.

It is up to you.

Thanks for reading and your feedback. :)

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Physical Pain an Almost Full Disclosure part 1

As many of you know I have been busily writing my second book.  A couple weeks ago I asked if there would be an interest in me sharing some of what I had written.  Today's blog is just that, a small excerpt of some of what I have been working on for the book.

This is my first share and so I would appreciate your feedback from two perspectives: One as a stand alone blog post and two as a perspective reader of a larger book... is this something that interests you, what more would you like to know, what can make it better, is it something you would want to read more of?

Thank you in advance. :)

I say "almost" full disclosure because I want to do my best to be fully honest, but at the same time I will spare you all from reading some of the less pleasant details.  I will include more of those details in the book as my intention with the book is to be as transparent as possible in hopes that it will inspire others.

Some of the stuff I am about to share is pretty personal.  I am not going to lie, I am a little embarrassed talking about these parts of my life, but I am going there in the hopes that my sharing can maybe help inspire at least one other person out there who is struggling with pain.

What I also help you all will take away is this:  That while I have kept this part of my life hidden, you all have still been able to watch me over the years.  Watch me grow, watch me share my message, and watch my choose my attitude and how I wanted to experience life.  I could not control some of the physical stuff, but I have always had a choice in my attitude.

We all experience pain in various forms throughout life.  Mental, emotional, and physical pain will affect us all in some way and at some point in life.  Different types of pain have different affects on each individual.  When it comes to pain, there is not a universal right or wrong for how to experience it.

The last three years I have been in a lot of physical pain.  As painful as the physical part has been, the real daily challenge for me has been the mental and emotional obstacles that my physical pain has imposed.

I have had back and neck problems since I was a little kid.  In fact one of my earliest memories is of being in a chiropractors office, getting my necked cracked, when I was about five years old.  Over the course of my life my back would "go out" at random.  If you have never had your back go out on you it feels, at least for me, something like this: like you got punched in the lung and the fist that punched you is still there squeezing your lung making it hard to breathe.  While you are struggling to breathe, your entire back seizes up making it virtually impossible to do the simplest of movements like standing, sitting, or even reaching out to open a door.

When I got into college and started exercising the frequency of my back going out dramatically decreased.  I had begun giving my spine the structural support it needed to stay in place.  Without fail, it would still go out once every six to eight months, but the recovery time was now quicker.  Usually I would be able to be back to normal function three or four days later.

So in early April of 2011, as I was sitting in a hotel room in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, working on my taxes, it really did not come as much of a shock when I turned to my side and felt my back snap. It was painful, but no more painful than it had been in the past, and I figured it would be back to normal within a week.  A week came and went, but the pain remained.

Not only was the pain still there, but my range of motion had started to diminish, especially on my right side.  I was having a hard time bending or rotating to my right.  When I would try to, I would instantly get this shooting pain through my body.  If I tried to push through the pain I would get a feeling like my spine was about to snap... it would take my breath away.

I was cautious with day to day activities and did my best to take care of it as I always had in the past. Since this happened right in the middle of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge, I was constantly on the go and did not give it the attention I could have or probably should have.  Plus shortly after this had all started I had to have surgery to repair an inguinal hernia that was bulging and beginning to cause me a lot of pain and discomfort.

I never got a really good vibe from my surgeon. This was confirmed the morning of the surgery when he showed up 15 minutes late, rushed into the room looking a little disheveled and asked me, "what are you here for?"  I remember thinking to myself: It is reassuring to know my health is the hands of someone who obviously cares so much about it.

It took several days for the initial swelling to go down.  By the end of the third or fourth day most of the surgery pain (pain that comes from getting operated on), had subsided.  I seemed to be healing with the exception of lingering pain in my testicles.

As the days turned into weeks the pain below the belt not only remained, but got worse.  When I asked the surgeon about it during my post op check up he said (if I recall correctly) it could take upwards of 12 weeks for pain to full subside.

12 weeks went by and the pain was not only still there, it was really impacting my life.  I tried to run, the impact hurt to much... felt like I was getting punched in the balls over and over again.  Even things like hiking had become difficult because the downhill vibrational impact really hurt.  I can vividly remember driving back from San Diego in early September when suddenly I got an intense pain, again feeling like someone was beneath my seat punching me over and over again in a very sensitive area.

Naturally this affected certain other areas of my life... without mincing words, my sex drive all but disappeared and the act of having sex became way way more painful than pleasurable.  I felt horribly inadequate and unattractive.

In the fall of 2011 I went to one of the top penis doctors in the world.  He had me get an ultra sound ( is that what it is called where they take the instrument and look inside you like they do for pregnant women?).  Results said I had a lump in one side and it may or may not be the cause of the pain I was experiencing.  He also revised my post op window for side affects and said to give it until 16 weeks.

16 weeks went by... the pain was still there, not as bad, but still there.  What also happened during this time was my back got worse and worse.  With some of my physical activity being reduced (no running, hiking, jumping, etc...) I was sitting a lot more.  Sitting meant more compression on my already painful back.  I did not pay as much attention to it because I was so preoccupied with what was going on downstairs.

Part two will be posted next Sunday...

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Forgiveness of Self

Hi!

I hope this blog finds you happy and healthy.  Before I get to the blog I have one update I wanted to pass along to you, as well as ask a quick question.

Quick question: I was thinking about sharing with you all in a future blog a little bit about what I have been writing for the new book.  Any interest in that?

This coming Tuesday, August 12th, at 5:30pm PST will be our next #Youtube chat.  The topic will be: "Fear, what it costs us and how we can overcome it."  As always there will be a Q&A portion of the chat.  I hope you can join me.  Here is a link for Tuesday's Youtube chat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeW1YXHNCOc

The other day I was chatting with a friend about life.  Life is one of my favorite things to talk about and conversations about it can be fairly broad: love, death, changes, fears, hopes, relationships, dreams, and everything in between. On this particular day we talked about forgiveness, specifically forgiving of self.

When forgiveness is talked about it is so often talked about with the context of forgiving others.  Forgiving others is important, as the act of it allows us to free ourselves from the emotional control that the act that was forgiven, had over us.

So often we put our focus on forgiving others, that we forget to look in the mirror and acknowledge who else needs to be forgiven.

When we hold on to our own mistakes, our own missteps, and our own short comings, we are essentially allowing weeds to be planted in the garden that is our mind.  These weeds, will spread like wildfire when given the slightest bit of attention.

When we fail to forgive ourselves it is like putting on a back pack and filling it with heavy rocks.  Each rock represents something we are holding onto.  The more we hold onto the more weight we have to carry.  The more weight we have to carry the slower we move, the faster we get worn out, and the more rapidly we cease moving forward. The power in forgiving yourself is that it allows you to live in the present rather than be held back by the past. 

Forgiveness with yourself begins by first honestly acknowledging what part you played in whatever happened.  Allow yourself to see the situation for what it was, not better than it was and not worse than it was, just for what it was.  Accept that what happened has happened and it is now in the past.  You can't go back and change it (as much as we all my like to in the moment), what you can do is learn from it and resolve to use it for a greater good in your life going forward.

Remember you are human which means you are not above or beyond making mistakes.  You, despite your best efforts, will likely cause pain, hurt feelings, piss off, and frustrate other people.  It is a part of life.

What does not have to be a part of life is holding onto the pain that comes from those events.

Free yourself by forgiving yourself.

My questions to you is this:  Are you willing to forgive yourself?  Can you remember a time you forgave yourself?  What was that experience like and how did it impact your life?  Is there something you are holding onto and have not forgiven yourself for?  What is it and why?

Unchain yourself from the past by forgiving yourself and embrace the life that is waiting for you.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Life of an Author

Hi All! :)




A couple of quick updates before I get to this weeks blog:



1.)  The start date for my Six Weeks to Your Greatest You program has been pushed back by one week.  Additionally, I have opened a couple extra spots to give a few more people the opportunity to participate in this program.  If you are looking to and ready to make some changes, You NEED to click this link and sign up for the program.  Click here to learn more and sign up.

2.) Our next 1000 Challenge Community Youtube chat has been scheduled.  It will take place on Tuesday, August 12th, at 5:30pm pst.  On Monday morning August 4th, I will put up a post with the opportunity for you to choose and vote for the topic you would like me to discuss.  I am excited and looking forward to chatting with you all then. Youtube Chat

As I shared on the 1 Year 1000 Challenge page yesterday I have fully immersed myself in the writing process of the book about the 1000 Challenge.

What has been interesting thus far is the book has begun to take on an entirely new life than what I originally thought it would be.  Initially my intention, at least for the last couple years, was to have a book that was all about the 1000 Challenge and my experiences in doing so.  In the future I may still write that book.  This book I am writing now, is turning into more of a tale of my life, experiences I have had, what lead me to the 1000 Challenge, and how life has changed since.

This, as many of you know, will be my second book I have written to completion.  Over the years, I have "attempted" to write four other books, with only one of them Ouch My Heart Is Broken, being written to the finish.

When I wrote Ouch My Heart Is Broken, it felt like it was something I had to do, something that needed to be done.  The process was very satisfactory and I am extremely proud of what I produced.  However, writing it was more of a challenge as at times I struggled to get into the writing flow.  I believe this in large part to be because I was writing the book as I was going through "my stuff," and learning.  In the near future I will update the book to add on how I have learned and grown since.

With this book, the writing process is different, it feels like I am writing and doing what I am meant to be writing and doing.  Mental and emotional blocks that have held me back from writing seem to be gone and what is emerging in their place is a flow of words, concepts, ideas, thoughts and feelings.  All with the intention, to help anyone who reads it to learn, grow, get inspired, and live their best life possible. :)

Even the writing "process," of this one has more of a process to it.  I have a block of time each day that I am allocating to writing.  During this time, I sit down, put my headphones in, turn the Superman theme song on repeat (yes I really do here is the link to which version I use) and type.

What comes out during these sessions has been typically anywhere between 2-5000 words about my life, my journey, how I have viewed and experienced life, how I have changed, how I have grown, and how I am still learning.  Of what has been written: there are sections that will make you laugh (I hope readers think I am funny), will make you cry, will make you stop and think, and will hopefully inspire you to take action to change.



Every single one of us has a story worth sharing.  Every single person has a great novel, great idea, great concept living on inside of them.  The only difference between the ones that get told and the ones that don't is the actions that get taken to get the story told. 


What is your great story?  What is one action you can take to get it told?  Note: this does not mean you have to write a book.

I am excited to have this opportunity to write, to share, and hopefully inspire millions all around the world. I will keep you updated and share more as the process continues along.  For now, I must bid you adieu for it is time for me to transition over to the book.

Until next time,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse