Dear Body Revisited: And Then I Got Shingles

Dear Body Revisited: And Then I Got Shingles

This month, I was planning to record a special solocast to welcome in our 100th episode of the podcast. Instead, three days before my son Jacob’s scheduled knee surgery on July 11th, I got diagnosed with shingles. I’m recovering well and so is Jacob thankfully. But it really caused me to revisit my relationship with my body. There was a need for forgiveness all the way around, a rebuilding of trust and a recommitment to myself.

In case you’re not familiar, shingles is the re-emergence of the chicken pox virus, which if you’ve ever had chicken pox lives dormant in your nerves and tends to come out later in life during a period of high stress or when your immune system is low. I should have gotten the shingles vaccine when I turned 50, around the time that I originally recorded this Dear Body episode I’m resharing with you today. Unfortunately, I had getting the vaccine in the back of my mind and never took care of it, leaving myself susceptible. 

So, if you had chickenpox as a child, are over 50 or have issues with your immune system, this is your friendly reminder and PSA to go get your shingles vaccine.

For me to get shingles when I was worried about my son’s surgery felt like a betrayal from my own body and the last thing I needed. But, a few things happened that are helping me to see this as an opportunity to make meaning and change.

1) The first person I called for guidance when I got the diagnosis was Dr. Samantha Brody, a podcast guest from 2019, when she released her book Overcoming Overwhelm, who has since become a friend and advisor. When I called her, Samantha reminded me that she had had shingles and shared some about her experience. I was surprised however, when a few days after my diagnosis I put shingles in my FB search to see if there was any wisdom I might find and came upon a post from Samantha from 2018, letting people know she had shingles because she was stressed out about her book launch and needed to ask for help. Did anyone know of any podcasts where she could share about her book she wrote? In the comments, I found the tag to me and Mother’s Quest that must have brought me and Samantha together in the first place. This was a reminder to relisten to my episode with Samantha, so relevant, and trust again that sometimes the universe connects you to what you will need in the future.

2) I had several helpful therapy sessions during these weeks of recovery where I uncovered a few things. One, the incredible parallel between my own open heart surgery at the age of 10, to repair a hole in my heart, and Jacob’s knee surgery at the age of 10 to repair a hole in his knee, from a condition called osteochondritis dissecans. We realized there may be some leftover trauma from my own experience that was adding some additional stress, even if only in my subconscious. I’m now giving myself some space and grace to look back on that experience and see if there is anything that needs some extra care and healing. 

3) Finally, this whole experience has helped me acknowledge that I’m often more stressed out than I realize. Most often, I mask my stress with a smile. And I allow my nervous system to be in a perpetual state of go go go. My therapist suggested that I should take my foot off the gas more when I’m in park. I love a good metaphor. There is a lot going on in my life and sometimes I can’t relax, but I can make an effort to be in park more often and when I’m in park, really allow myself to shut down and restore. I’m clearly on a quest for this, so may work to find some special podcast guests who are experts on this topic. Stay tuned.

I thought I’d invite all of us to listen to the Dear Body episode again and then also my conversation with Samantha Brody, linked in the show notes, with a fresh perspective. Is there something your body is trying to communicate to you? A “tell” as Samantha would say. What values are most important to you right now? And then how might that impact the commitment letter you write to your body? I’ll report back in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and would love to hear from you too! 

Wishing us all many moments of taking our foot off the gas while safely in park, good health and a restoration of trust between our body and ourselves as we close out the summer.

Announcement for my fellow Neurodivergent Listeners:

Sign Up for “Creating Your Personal 504 Plan” Summer Workshop with Briar Harvey

Heard of a 504 plan? A blueprint for how a child with a disability will have access to the accomodations and supports that will help them access their education? The truth is, a blueprint for support shouldn’t just be relegated to education and can be a model for adults as well!
Friday, August 4th @ 11 am PST 2pm ET join Mother’s Quest Member, and someone who has been an amazing coach for my family, Briar Harvey, for a Summer Workshop where you’ll discover the power of creating a Personal 504 Plan that truly caters to your unique needs.

Briar will walk us through the process of constructing a plan that goes beyond standard frameworks, accounting for your individual experiences and circumstances. By the end of this session, you’ll have a dynamic, personalized 504 plan that empowers you to navigate life’s challenges more effectively. I’m a proud affiliate and have signed me and my college son up too. Learn more about this workshop and others in her summer series here

More about Briar: Briar Harvey is a storyteller and systems witch. She believes that everything has a story and exists within a system. The trick then, is figuring out how to change the rules and tell a better story. She works with companies that are led by neurospicy minds (ADHD, autism, chronic depression, anxiety, all the fun stuff) or those that employ them, in order to create the systems and processes that work for them.

In her free time, she writes stuff and records podcasts. She’s the founder of The Neurodiversity Media Network, a collaborative and accessible media company that is hosting and curating all the news that is relevant to neurospicy folx.

Full Episode Show Notes

Check out the full show notes from the original episode here: https://mothersquest.com/ep-94-dear-body-reflections-on-embracing-and-embodying-50/

You can also listen to this episode:

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

As Mother’s Quest approaches 100 episodes, we invite you to help us spread the word by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Help us reach 100 reviews to honor 100 episodes this Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

You can also support the podcast by making a contribution or joining one of our memberships at our Patron Page on Ko-Fi.com. 

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest

 

Ep 99: Building and Thinking Outside the Box with David Neale

Ep 99: Building and Thinking Outside the Box with David Neale

I’m honored to share this special Father’s Day Episode featuring my very own father-in-law, David Neale. I started dating my husband Chris when I was only 19, so I realize David has been a source of inspiration and guidance in my life for over 30 years. How lucky I am to have had his example of leadership, impact, and joy for life to light my way for my entire adulthood! 

The inspiration for this episode was sparked several months ago at a big milestone birthday celebration David organized to honor his 80th year. That celebration was also the launch of a new fund he initiated through the San Jose Rotary, inspired by his experience as a grandparent to my two boys, Ryan who is autistic, and Jacob who navigates dyslexia, ADHD and dysgraphia. 

In this episode, we explore the stories and wisdom of David’s life, including his childhood in England, his move to Montreal and then San Jose, CA, his impactful work as the founder and CEO of The Core Companies, and all the thoughtful ways he shows up as a grandfather. We also talk about the Youth Empowerment Neurodiversity Fund, which Ryan and I have had the honor of helping to shape, alongside David and other Rotary committee members. 

One of David’s most significant contributions in leadership has come through his innovative thinking and outside-the-box solutions for redevelopment housing, including the creation of Art Ark, an innovative housing community for artists in San Jose, Willow Housing, a Veteran’s housing project in Menlo Park, CA that includes access to critical support services, and most recently the Agrihood in Santa Clara, CA, a unique affordable housing project that includes retail and has an Urban Farm at its center.  

His achievements are many, but as David says, his success did not happen in a straight line. His life journey was filled with plot twists, pivots, and even a few failures. Through it all, with my mother-in-law Anne by his side, he continued to believe in himself and his dreams.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did and leave inspired as I am to keep persevering through challenges, opening ourselves to new perspectives and out-of-the-box thinking, and knowing that each setback may bring us closer to all we’ve ever wanted.  

About David Neale:

David Neale is a leader and visionary in real estate development, known for his commitment to community building and for his innovative approaches to affordable housing and redevelopment. A career that began in 1978 in Montreal brought David to San Jose, CA in the 1980s and led him to found The Core Companies in 1989. As CEO of The Core Companies, David has built a vibrant company and spearheaded transformative projects that have left a lasting imprint on the communities they serve.

Notable projects Core has completed with David at the helm include Art Ark, an innovative housing community for artists in San Jose, Willow Housing, a Veteran’s housing project in Menlo Park, CA that includes access to critical support services, and most recently the Agrihood in Santa Clara, CA, a unique affordable housing project that includes retail and has an Urban Farm at its center.  

His leadership also extends into community engagement and education. David spent 16 years on the board of directors for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and served as a founding member of the non-profit First Community Housing. His almost two decades of service on the San Jose Rotary recently led David to initiate a new Youth Empowerment Neurodiversity Fund, inspired by David’s experience with two of his grandchildren who are neurodivergent.

Throughout his career, David exemplified a commitment to building projects that not only enhance the physical landscape but also uplift the lives of individuals and communities. His greatest accomplishment however is the family he has built with his wife of over 60 years, including his two children, and his four grandchildren. 

Connect with David:

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • David’s childhood experiences in England and his mother’s transition from a stay-at-home mom to small retail store business partner.
  • The influence of David’s father’s ambition on his pursuit of independence and his adventures around the world.
  • The political upheaval in Montreal during the 1970s that led David to pursue his fate and a life and career near San Jose, CA. 
  • David’s reflections on spending time with his grandchildren and mentoring them on life skills and overcoming challenges
  • David’s individual toasts at a recent family dinner, celebrating each grandchild’s unique qualities and stages in life, one example of how he mindfully engages with them.
  • David’s efforts to understand and champion his neurodivergent grandsons, Ryan and Jacob, and his leadership in starting the Youth Neurodiversity Empowerment Fund through the San Jose Rotary.
  • David’s impactful career in building communities, particularly in affordable housing, including the creation of the artist housing project, Art Ark. Also why building housing communities requires more than just the physical structures. 
  • Reflections on personal lessons learned, through many pivots and failures, and his advice for us about how to more fully live our E.P.I.C. lives. 

This Episode’s Challenge: 

David invites us to embrace the understanding that life is not a straight line. He encourages us to adapt and pivot to new circumstances, recognizing that daily adjustments may be necessary. Despite the obstacles that may arise, David urges us to never give up on pursuing our goals and to engage in activities that we truly love. By cultivating a passion for what you do, he believes that success will naturally follow. David also emphasizes the importance of asking questions and maintaining an inquisitive mindset, as continuous learning is a fundamental aspect of personal growth. As we move through our own epic life journey, David’s invitation is to embrace failures as valuable lessons and to persevere with unwavering determination, knowing that each setback brings you closer to your ultimate destination.

This Episode is dedicated by: 

Jacob Neale, David’s youngest grandchild.

Jacob can also be heard in the recording for last year’s Father’s Day episode with Normal Sucks author and fellow dyslexic ADHDer Jonathan Mooney.

Listen to the episode here: https://mothersquest.com/different-is-not-deficient-with-normal-sucks-author-jonathan-mooney/

You Might Also Be Interested In These Father’s Day Special Episodes

Here Comes the Sun: A Solocast on Death, Grief, and Love

Ep 75: A Call for Kinetic Partnership with While Black’s Darius Hicks

Ep 44: A Family Legacy of Service and Leadership with California Assemblymember Rob Bonta

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

As Mother’s Quest approaches 100 episodes, we invite you to help us spread the word by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Help us reach 100 reviews to honor 100 episodes this Season Eight of the Mother’s Quest Podcast!

You can also support the podcast by making a contribution or joining one of our memberships at our Patron Page on Ko-Fi.com. 

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest

 

Distance Learning Ready: Suggestions From an Occupational Therapist on Helping Your Child Stay Engaged

Distance Learning Ready: Suggestions From an Occupational Therapist on Helping Your Child Stay Engaged

Distance Learning Ready: 

Suggestions From an Occupational Therapist on Helping Your Child Stay Engaged

When I reached out to my son Jacob’s Occupational Therapist, Danielle Cesarz, for her recommendations on what might support Jacob with distance learning, I was blown away by her insight and suggestions. I realized this was information that could help all parents, not just those whose children are differently-wired. So, I asked if I could share her perspective on the Mother’s Quest Blog and she said yes! Hope these ideas support your children as you begin this school year. Have some ideas of your own to share? Leave them in the comments or come on over to the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group and share with us there!

The COVID- 19 pandemic has impacted all facets of life: how we go about our daily activities, the way we work, our ability to parent, and our children’s development. Soon, our homes will become classrooms again. Our dining room table will transform back into our child’s desk. Our outdoor space will equate to the playground. As an OT, I have many parents asking me, “How do I set my child up for success with distance learning at home?” “What kinds of OT tools will help my child stay regulated, focused and engaged?

Learning is a social phenomenon. Kids benefit most from in-person learning because of the social emotional and sensory motor affordances it provides. There are silver linings, however, to learning at home. And right now it serves us well to engage in positive thinking.

A true silver lining to learning at home is the flexibility that it allows. Your children can write while standing up at a kitchen counter. They can listen to a ZOOM read aloud with their most favorite stuffie nestled in their lap. They can chew gum while completing their math worksheets. They can keep their most comfortable pajama bottoms that have holes in them on all day. They can squeeze playdough or a squishy ball fidget without distracting their peers. They can crunch on ice while working. They can blast the Hamilton sidetrack to get their creative “writing” ideas flowing.

Taking breaks throughout the day may no longer require special permission. They can take as long as they need to complete their written work without the pressure or comparison to their faster paced peers. They can school outside in the fresh air if they desire. And let the sound of the birds and the feel of the breeze calm their nervous systems. They can lower the lights in their room to calm their minds. They can pet their dog or cat to lower their heart rate while listening to a lecture. They can crunch on chips or sink their teeth into fresh fruit at a moment’s notice. They can re-apply roll-on essential oil to their wrist before a test. Schooling at home allows incredible flexibility to meet your child’s emotional regulation and sensory motor needs.

To my older daughter’s deep disappointment, I am not advocating that your child lie in bed to engage in school. Quite the contrary, as an OT, I am making some of the following recommendations to my families:

  • Offer flexible seating to increase your child’s engagement and focus. Invest, if possible, in a swivel desk chair, wobble stool, inflatable ball, wedge seat cushion, or a portable lap desk. Show your child pictures online. Ask them what their preferences may be.
  • Allow your child to change body positions throughout the day
  • Use oral sensory input such a ice water, chewing gum, crunchy and chewy snacks to optimize arousal level
  • Play preferred music while working.
  • Per the recommendation of my younger daughter I stress the importance of maintaining a calm arousal level yourself. Co-regulation is KEY! As parents we need to provide empathy during stress, try to maintain a stable and safe environment with structured routines and logical consequences and model what it looks like to be calm and regulated.
  • Take breaks as needed
  • Kids need to move to learn. Build in a variety of movement breaks throughout the day. Kids need frequent exercise and movement to support their ability to attend and self-regulate. Ideas include:
    • Do jumping jacks
    • Log Roll
    • Animal Walks
    • Somersault
    • Run outside
    • Go for a walk
    • Take a bike or scooter ride
    • Climb
    • Ball play
    •  Skip
    •  Swing
    • Spin (in both directions)
    • Hippety Hop
    • Skateboard
    •  Go for a hike
    •  Jump
    • Hula hoop
    • Dance
    •  Roll over a therapy ball
    • Spend time in nature
    • Use structured work-outs or apps like Go Noodle, Cosmic Yoga for Kids, ALO GIVES or Swork- it Kids

In all honesty, am I eager to support my child’s learning at home? No!?! Am I freaking out about how I am going to manage work and parenting? ABSOLUTELY. Do I want my children to go back to school? YES!! There’s no denying that we can’t replace the impact in-person learning has on the development of our children however there is no harm in keeping a positive outlook that we are all in this together, keeping our communities safe and supporting our children with tools to thrive.

Danielle Cesarz, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

OT 4 Kids

 

 

 

Distance Learning Wish List

Kick Balance Board

Swivel Chair for Back Pain, Black

Wedge Cushion

Lap Desk

Junior Wobble Chair

Latex Stretch Chair

Kids’ Swivel & Office Chairs

Mobile Task Chair

Highlighted Line Writing Paper

Have you listented to this?

Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well ✨

In this “Bite-Sized Reflection from Living my E.P.I.C. Life” Minisode I Talk About:

  • How/when I learned about the importance of ending well to begin well at the youth development organization Alternatives in Action
  • The transformative Milestone Hike Experience I had on my 40th birthday
  • How I’ve used the same components of that hike to acknowledge milestones with my son Ryan (we even recorded a podcast episode about one on his 13th birthday!) including Back to School Milestone Hikes
  • The ways I have taken that experience to create signature Mother’s Quest opportunities for reflection
  • The Back to School Milestone Hike and Reflection Circle  I’m offering if you’d like support packing up your lessons from the last chapter before starting a new school year

Hope this supports you or a mother preparing for Back to School in your life!

LISTEN HERE

✨ Back to School Virtual Milestone Hike and Reflection Circle ✨

If you’d like to go on a reflective milestone hike (virtually!) with me by your side, I have three spaces left for this Back to School Circle and one-on-one coaching experience. You can sign up here: www.mothersquest.com/backtoschool

Conversations Curated by My Children’s Pediatrician Dr. Song – Thriving Child Summit Starts Monday!

Conversations Curated by My Children’s Pediatrician Dr. Song – Thriving Child Summit Starts Monday!

September 15, 2017

Last year, I had the honor of being one of 40 + speakers in the first Thriving Child Summit, led by the trusted pediatrician of my children, Dr. Elisa Song. It was an amazing opportunity for me to reflect with Elisa about all the things we did to help Ryan thrive after we learned at 18 months old that he wasn’t developing typically and had some real health challenges. You can listen to that conversation here.

I’m so excited that Elisa decided to do another Thriving Child Summit this year. I’ve already registered and have blocked off time on my calendar to take in the incredible conversations Elisa has recorded with experts on a wide range of subjects to help our children reach their potential in mind, body and spirit.

You can register too here now for FREE:

The Thriving Child Summit is a free online conference made up of more than 40 1-hour video interviews with an amazing lineup of experts in holistic health and wellness that starts on Monday, September 18, 2017 and goes through Monday, September 25, 2017.

During the Thriving Child Summit, you’ll learn:

  • The foundations for optimal children’s health.
  • What to feed your kids (or avoid!) to nourish their bodies and brains.
  • How to use natural medicines to avoid antibiotics and keep your child healthy.
  • The truth about EMFs, GMOs, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins – and how to keep your kids healthy in our toxic world.
  • How to find the root cause and heal your child’s leaky gut, anxiety/depression, ADHD, autism, PANDAS/PANS, eczema, acne, and other chronic illnesses.
  • The truth about vaccine safety from two board-certified pediatricians.
  • How to talk to kids about puberty, stress management and social media – so that they’ll actually listen!
  • How to “trauma-proof” your child and create resilient kids for a lifetime.
  • How genetics really plays a role in the future of your or your child’s health.
  • How to reclaim your mama vitality.
  • And more!

Register for FREE now to make sure you don’t miss a single inspiring and informative interview:

www.thrivingchildsummit.com

Dr. Elisa Song is one of my most trusted advisers and a key reason why Ryan is thriving today.  I hope you’ll take advantage of this incredible opportunity to gain access to information that will empower you to be the best parent you can be, and learn how to help YOUR children thrive!

Hope to see you at the Thriving Child Summit September 18 – 25, 2017!

Sincerely,

P.S. If you can’t watch all the interviews, you can own access to ALL of the expert interviews at huge pre-summit savings. You can take advantage of this amazing opportunity now through September 18 at 9:00 a.m. to purchase here: Thriving Child Summit. If you use our link, a percentage of the proceeds will also go to support Mother’s Quest.
P.S.S. If you haven’t yet listened to my episode with Dr. Song on the Mother’s Quest Podcast you can find it here. You’ll get a sense quickly why I love her so much!