Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lessons Learned (And Re-Learned) In Physical Therapy

There is so much more to P.T. than getting my body where it needs to be.

I'm learning a lot; about myself, the people around me and life itself.

Learning and re-learning so many things...


This was a tough one for me.  My best has always been good enough, that was, until I ventured into the journey of physical therapy.  I had a week where I was doing the best I could.  I missed a couple of appointments due to circumstances that were out of my control.  Unfortunately, the hospital has a policy and if I miss any more, I will  be discharged.  My therapist understood, but she has rules she has to follow.  For the first time I can remember, my best was not good enough.  I had to do better.


This is an obvious one.  Every pain-filled, Aleve managed day has been followed by more strength than I had the day before.  My therapist told me, she hates seeing people in pain, but, as a physical therapist, if a patient comes in pain free, it's almost like she has to say "Well, let me see if I can change that."  It's really the only gauge as to whether you are building muscle or not.


I was terrified the first time I had to rotate my foot on the balance board.  I had this irrational fear that my hardware was going to snap.  That the screws would come undone.  All these crazy fears, even though I knew I was good to go and that I had to do this to get the muscle to grow around my hardware.  The board exercises are now my biggest nemesis, but have also become my greatest source of courage.

I'm sure I'll get to this point.  Right now, I stand on one foot and hold onto some bars.
30 times back to front, left to right and rotate left, then rotate right.
(Photo courtesy of:


And, along the same lines as #3 - once you become physically stronger, you will be emotionally stronger as well.

The idea of getting behind the wheel of a car, after not driving for almost four months was extremely overwhelming for me.  Once the boot came off, I was allowed to drive, but I experienced so much anxiety at the thought, I had to ask everyone to please be patient with me.

I knew it was because my left leg was so weak and that once it got stronger, I'd feel more confident.  And, sure as shootin'!  Once my leg became stronger, I was ready to get behind that wheel and embrace a little more independence.


Currently I can go up the stairs, slowly, changing every other foot, as long as I'm not carrying anything heavy.  Now, going down, that's a whole other ball of wax.  And apparently this is normal.  Going down the stairs involves a whole other process and takes more time to achieve.

Unfortunately, I am struggling.  My left knee is not bending when it should, or like it should.  My quadriceps are weak and so is my hip.  It's amazing to me that I can't get my leg to do what it is supposed to.  That I still have so much more work to do, even though my ankle has snapped back and is where the doctor and therapist want it to be at this point.

I have a whole new batch of exercises to help me deal with this dilemma.  In the meantime, I'm realizing that running up and down the stairs is something I really took for granted and I can't wait until I can do it again.


I really expect a lot of myself.  That's pretty normal.  I think everyone is like that.  But when things happen, like the scenario in #1, it's important to be patient and gentle with yourself.  So, your best wasn't good enough today.  That's OK.  Step back, take a deep breath, forgive, learn and take the wisdom into the next day.


Some days, no matter how hard you try, it's impossible to get a muscle to move the way it needs to.  I have had a pretty good run in PT.  Everything I have had to do, I have been able to do.  Sure, I might be super stiff and the first couple of reps are difficult, but I have always been able to work through it.  Until, that one day a couple of weeks ago.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get my ankle to rotate to the right when I was on the balance board.  I was talking to it, swearing at it, closing my eyes to visualize it moving, trying desperately to get my ankle to "hear" the messages from my brain.  Finally my therapist butted in, "Sometimes it's just not your day.  And that's OK."


Finally, in conjunction with #7, if one thing doesn't work, try something else.

As I mentioned before, I'm having issues getting my left knee to bend when and how it's supposed to.  We switched to a shorter step.  We changed my right leg movement so only my heel was stepping down.  Now, we are doing a move that focuses directly on my hip, because I shared that it felt like I was "settled" in my knee and that was making it difficult to bend.

I'm standing sideways on the step and raising my right leg up and down off the floor, which forces my left hip to do the "lifting".  And, surprise, surprise, my left hip is getting stronger.  I'm not totally out of my knee yet, but it shouldn't be long.



Monday, June 22, 2015

When The Dalai Lama Says It Best :: I

It's crazy.

I know.

But when you stand back, you see that it all comes from you, in some way.

This is why you must learn to FORGIVE!

Yourself first, for setting it into motion.

Then the other person, so they can no longer have any power over you.

(Here's one of my early posts, when I was writing under my pen name, to help you out : )


I am a firm believer in this:
Image courtesy of
That crap just happens.

This is what the Wheel of Fortune Tarot card means.

It refers to those forces, which we truly don't have control over.

It's devastating that people die in tsunamis.

Sure, they chose to be there, but they did not have control over Mother Earth.

Someone who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is sexually assaulted - this is different too.

We can not control the actions of others.

It's a wild card; The Wheel of Fortune.


His Holiness is simply pointing out that when you get stuck in the rut of making everything you are unsatisfied with, someone else's fault, you are just that - stuck.

Standing back and taking responsibility for your part, is the only way to grow.

It's the only way to truly be free.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

When Physical Therapy Gets Grueling

I'm not going to sugar coat it.

I have been in pain.

Lots of it.

Physical therapy is necessary and challenging.

For the past week I have been dealing with severe hip and knee pain.

I know!

Hip and knee pain?

"I thought you broke your ankle?"


Here's the deal.

When you are not allowed to put weight on your ankle for twelve weeks, all of the muscles that coincide with this process will atrophy.

I did a lot of leg and knee lifts, as well as thigh squeezes while I was following my doctor's orders, which helped, but still could not avoid the reality that important muscles were not being used.

So, not only am I exercising the bejeezus out of my ankle at PT, I am also doing a lot of work on my knees and hips.


A lovely quote from me to the students in my Brilliant Blogging Facebook Group.

Because I was having an especially difficult week, I was late posting the Weekly Q&A.

Physical therapy is beneficial, but it can also be grueling.

My gratitude-filled outlook was nowhere to be found.

I was tired.

Tired of being in pain.

Tired of not being able to run up and down the stairs.

Tired of not being able to stand for more than an hour or so.

Tired of not working.

Tired of my only face-to-face, social interaction being with my family and my physical therapist.

Tired of being "broken".

The last five months just came crashing in and I was beat.


I am not one of these people who can't stand it when things get real.

I don't shy away from how horrible life can get.

I don't stick my head in the sand.

AND I don't dismiss friends who need to vent on a bad day.

You will never hear me cut them short with a "Well, it sounds like you're going to be fine", followed by changing the subject.

"You have to feel to heal."

If that means facing something icky and shedding a few tears, then do it!


I am happy to say that things are coming along.

I am still in pain.

I am still frustrated.

But not as much.

I know in my heart that this is temporary.

That "this too shall pass".

And I know in my heart that this is all leading to something more spectacular than I could ever come up with on my own.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How To Age Gracefully With Yoga


So, I'm nowhere near being an elder, but I am most certainly older than I was yesterday.

And, like everyone, I will be getting a little older every day.

That being said, today I am going to address how yoga can help you age gracefully.

My first yoga practice was done from a chair.


That's right.

A chair.

It was a series meant for seniors, but I found that doing this slow, flowing yoga was a benefit to me because I had been sedentary for a while and it helped to create physical balance and relieve stiffness.

Time went on and I graduated on to Hatha Yoga and other challenging series' put out there by my favorite teachers.

And, from time to time, I would revisit the chair series for its centering and calming affects.


I just turned 46.

As I said, no where near an elder, but most definitely starting to feel the affects of aging, especially when I get wrapped up in my daily life and ignore my physical body.

Aging makes our bones more brittle, makes our muscles stiff and can cause us to hunch over.

Yoga counteracts these realities by strengthening the front and the back of the body, to better support your spine and lengthen your muscles.

And, as I mentioned earlier, all of this can be addressed by doing simple, slow, deliberate yoga, done while sitting in a chair.


It is a great place to start, no matter what your age.

All you need is a chair without arms and a blanket or bolster to support your feet.


So, if you're already feeling the aches and pains associated with aging, I have some great news for you.

Yoga will definitely help you, no matter how old you are or how long you have been living with aging stiffness and pain.

As we get older, we have a tendency to become more tentative.

If you don't use it, you lose it.

This is all that's happened.

And yoga will slowly get you "using" those muscles again, with no strain or stress.

It will empower you to feel more comfortable in your body.


I just love this video.


No more reason to continue living with aging stiffness and pain.

No more reason to be all hunched over.

Lengthen your muscles.

Rediscover balance.

And embrace the physical and emotional strength that can come from a simple, basic, yoga practice.


P.S. It goes without saying, please be sure to discuss this, or any, basic practice with your doctor before embarking on your yoga journey.  XOXO

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Slowdown

As most of my regular readers know, the beginning of June is the start of my Summer Slowdown.

Obviously, I've been in this mode all year, thanks to my fractured ankle (which is mending right on track).

So, it's not going to be too much of a change ;-)

What all this extra time has given me is the chance to create a lot of things that have been on my mind for quite a while and revisit some things I created that I always knew were meant for something more.

I'm embracing my Gemini by having way too many irons in the fire right now, with very little finished.

I just need to hunker down and focus.

And this is what Summer 2015 is going to be for me: The Summer Of Finishing What I've Started!

Don't forget to take some time to slow down, yourself.

Until next time!

Love and hugs,

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How Important Is Your "Vibe"?

I was sifting through my Facebook newsfeed, looking at all of the things my friends have posted.

Every time I wanted to comment or share, I immediately lost interest as soon as I had to think about what I was going to say and how I was going to say it.


Over the years my Facebook habits have changed - considerably!

Of course, some of that is due to becoming wiser in the ways of social media.  And some of it is due to being aware of what "vibe" I am sending out.

Your Vibe - the emotions, feelings, thoughts and ideas - the way you make people feel. How their body chemistry and brain chemistry changes while interacting with you.  In other words the reaction people have at the thought of you, or at the words you convey. That is your energy - your vibe.


*wiping sweat from forehead*

That was close!

I gave you just enough woo-woo stuff to enlighten you, but not enough to turn you into a hippy.

You're OK. ;-)


And if you're all into the concept of branding, it's a huge factor in your presence, especially your online presence.

So, somewhere along the line, I quit getting political (except for some of those great Gay Agenda/Gay Marriage spoofs.  They are simply too funny not to share.)

Facebook is where I communicate with people I know and care about.  Even my online friends and I share some sort of emotional bond/shared experience  - that brings us to the level of caring enough to want to know how the other is doing.


Where I'm at now with Facebook.

I LOVE the pictures my friends put up of their kids.  I definitely keep up with those.

I like and share interesting ideas, funny memes, inspirational memes, and the big events in my life.  This year has seen mostly statuses about my ankle.  Just to keep people in the loop.

And sharing is done very strategically.  All cat/cute animal pictures are shared with my niece who LOVES animals.

This way just about anyone else who would be interested in seeing it will see it because we are all friends with my niece.

I share superhero, comic book, rock and roll, science fiction with Ken because I know anyone who is friends with the both of us would like seeing that too.

But, of course, there are always a couple of things a week that I share specifically with the person I know it is intended for.

Like this picture, which I shared with my friend who loves to play this game. I've been trying to get him back for years.


Pretty simple.

I check my Facebook and it's like micromanaging the philosophy that I apply to my life.

If it doesn't lift me up and make me feel lighter, then it's not the way to go.

In return I have created a level of "being" for anyone who comes in contact with my page.

Which, as I mentioned, works in the real world too.

We are responsible for what we carry out there and bring into the space of others.

And now that you know better, please, it is now time to do better ;-)

Please, copy and share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on your blog :)


Monday, May 18, 2015

Latrelle's Birthday Party!


It's my Birthday this week and I felt like throwing a party.

So I'm throwing a great big Transformation Party!

Since I've been in the  process of rebirthing a lot of things while switching over to my real name, after blogging and coaching under my pen name, Marla Turner, for the last five years, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than to throw a Transformation Party.

But the great thing about this party is YOU get the gifts!

And, even better, these six gifts were all designed to transform the lives of my readers and clients.

I am currently transforming my life, so I thought, why not share everything I've ever made with the people who follow me and have been so supportive over the years.


AW!   The Party's Over.  So Sorry You Missed It.

But, don't despair - you can still get my current gift to help you create a more Joy!-filled life.

Just sign up HERE

Email Address 

I have shared these gifts with my readers over the years.

Many of them have not been available for some time.

And several will never be available again.


Create More Joy In Just 7 Days!
This is my current Opt-In and the only free gift presented under my real name; an eBook and Meditation to help you create a more Joy! filled life.
  • This kit is designed to help you create a joy-filled life over seven days.
  • Includes quotes and my personal experiences applying these life changing steps to my life.
  • The meditation includes my personal process for lifting myself to a state of Joy!

Eat Well, Be Well
This will never be offered as a free gift again.  I am in the process of turning it into an eCourse.  Cover art by Kelly Martin :)
  • This eBook is 59 pages long and contains my secrets for creating a sustainable kitchen.
  • Includes my tips and tricks for virtually erasing kitchen waste.
  • I have included over 70 recipes to get you started, as well as a list of groceries.
  • You will also find my photography throughout this book to help you visualize your sustainable meals and kitchen.

Inspiration Cards
My art photography and my own words of inspiration, presented as 7"x7" cards to be shared as memes or printed and hung up in your office.
  • This was the 2014 Holiday gift for my readers.
  • All of the photographs were taken by me.
  • Each quote has been taken directly from my blog,

A Healing Journal Experience
A grief journal I created for the readers of a blog I guest posted at in 2013.  This will never be shared again.
  • I based this journal on some great journaling ideas I found at a hospice website.
  • It is designed to help you to process the loss of a loved one.
  • You can print it out and fill in the pages or simply use the prompts in your own journal.
  • This is also great for kids.

Transforming Jealousy
A mini-workshop I created for my readers several years ago.  This transformative journey will help you to pinpoint what you are denying and what needs to be brought to life.
  • Taken from my own experience with jealousy.
  • This is a journal/workshop designed to help you tap into why you are experiencing jealousy.
  • You will then take these realizations and use them to create goals to make your own dreams your reality.

Take Charge Of Your Stress
This eBook and workbook are designed to help you navigate the stress of life.  I am currently turning this into an eClass as well, so it will also never be offered again as a free gift.
  • It's really impossible to eliminate stress, but you most certainly can navigate it the best you can.
  • This eBook is over 50 pages long and is how I originally used my art photography.
  •  It is chock full of ideas and processes to help you take the power back from the daily stress of life.
  • The workbook contains over 20 worksheets, designed to help you organize these ideas and brainstorm ways to apply these ideas to your own life.

If this looks like a party you can't pass up, please sign up below to join in.

I Really Do Appreciate The Fact That You Stopped By - Please Don't Leave Empty Handed -- Don't forget - you can still get your own, Create More Joy kit. : )

In addition to receiving these free gifts, you will also be subscribed to my monthly newsletter. This is where I share what's going on in my world, uplifting articles and other goodies from my blog  This newsletter is intended to lift you up, giving you a short reprieve from the daily stresses we all have to deal with.  (Feel free to unsubscribe at any time.)

I'm so glad we've connected in this way and I can't wait to share these transformative tools with you.

P.S. The party goes on for a month.  So you have plenty of time for access to these great tools. I always celebrate my birthday for at least a month.  It just takes me that long to see everyone who wants to celebrate it with me ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How To Deal With Expectations?

In the personal growth community, expectation can be seen as a naughty word.

As we live, grow, change and evolve, we learn that, if we don't want to waste time being disappointed, it is best to act without expectation.

So, if I do something nice for someone, I need to do it without expecting anything in return.

Duly noted.

I quit doing this a long time ago.

It is quite liberating.


Also, say I am embarking into uncharted territory to better my Self  - like my current journey into the land of Physical Therapy.

I have to do what is asked and then surrender.

What I can expect is pain and strength.

That's it.

How and when must simply unfold as they are meant to.


But, here is my constant argument with the concept that is Expectation.

We can't just toss it out the window because it can lead to self created uncomfortableness.

Without expectation, we would just sit still and stagnate.

And I'm not talking about being obsessed with self improvement.

If you are happy with your Self, then - Great!

I'm talking about growth in general.

We were not put on this earth to just sit in our little bubble, guarding our emotions, while we watch the world go by.

We were put here to grow and evolve.

And part of that entails expectation.

If you did not have an expectation, then you would not step outside your box and explore.

If you don't have expectation then you can't set goals to achieve your dreams.

Heck, if parents didn't have expectations of their children, then their kids would never learn how to navigate life.


Expectation is actually quite necessary.

The only caution would be, where you place it.

Want to graduate from college with honors?

Then, expect yourself to do the work.

Want to grow your business?

Then you will have to expect yourself and the people that work for you to follow through on a myriad of tasks.

Want that garden to flourish?

Then the expectation of tending to it is a necessity.


Be careful where you place them because, they are obviously powerful little buggers ;-)


Thursday, May 7, 2015


A funny thing has happened since I hurt myself and embarked on this crazy journey that has been the year, 2015.

Of course, after my last post, it's obvious that one of the positive outcomes of all this has been extreme emotional strength.

From doing things that were frightening, to standing up for myself and my healing, I have developed an even thicker skin than I had before all this started.

But, here's something interesting that I hadn't even anticipated.

I am physically stronger than I was BEFORE I got hurt.


"But, wait!  Are you serious?  How is that possible?", you might ask.

After all, for the last four months, I have been more sedentary than I can ever recall in my adult life.

I have not been able to go on daily walks or do my yoga.

So, I must be mistaken about this increased physical strength.

Well, lemme tell ya...

I've never been more serious and have never been stronger.

And it's all thanks to a little thing called strength training.


As I mentioned in my last post, doing the physical therapy prescribed to me was great for creating routine and boosting my endorphins.

I have been doing leg lifts and knee lifts with weights strapped to my ankle (the boot on my left foot is actually heavier than the ankle weight, so no worries about "over doing it" on the injured side.)

Once I got my form down, the arm exercises turned into something completely different.

While doing all of the upper body weight exercises, I incorporated ab work into each rep.

And, instead of increasing the amount of weight, I've just increased the amount of reps, while continuing to work my abs with each move.

What I've been doing is similar to this video, but I don't lean over, I do those moves sitting up so I can do my upright crunches and pelvic tilts.

I even added seated knee/inner thigh squeezes, except I sit on my bed, lean back a bit and do them with the boot and ankle weight.


It's not enough to just do the same amount every day.

[IMPORTANT!] At first, especially while I still had my stitches in, I was very careful and didn't go all crazy challenging myself.

Once I was well into my healing, I really started challenging myself.

Hey, if I did a lot, and got tired, I had the luxury of being able to go to bed and take a nap ;-)

I am currently up to 40 reps of everything,  and do 60 of the inner thigh squeezes -- a) because they are fun, and b) because I can.

And to keep from straining my shoulder muscles, I do shoulder rolls and squeezes as well.


Well, that's it.

Plain and simple.

Bit by bit...

Day by day...

Originally, for the sake of my emotional sanity --  I have developed a level of physical strength I would have never thought possible, given the situation.

I don't tire easily during my physical therapy.

I'm nuts though (I'm sure you've already figured that out) - I actually look forward to my PT and my therapist looks forward to my appointments.

And it's all because I'm physically strong.

So, when it's time, my yoga and walking routines will only benefit.

I'll take this kind of surprise any day!


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