Monthly Review (February 2016) - Health, Lessons, Favorites and Inspiration (and Leo DiCaprio wins an Oscar!)

Once every four years, we get an extra day to add up to our year. That is what we call a leap-year. That additional day has the purpose to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year. Funny how time got divided by humans! Does this mean we live more? Does this mean we are a day older? For me it means that I just have an extra day to review my past month and to share some learnings and inspiration with all of you.


The defining word for this month was numbness. Sensory symptoms are very common in early stages of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (that’s a mouthful there, i know!). For the second and third week they increased, culminating with what it seemed to be a wonderful pseudoexacerbation (mouthful again! the things one has to learn in this context!).

It can get quite scary when you feel your upper left back getting numb, going down the outter left arm and ending in your 4th and 5th fingers. It’s like that feeling you get when you sleep on a side and it falls asleep. In my case, it got numb-ish when standing or sitting up. The sensation crawls on you, it gradually gets stronger, and then it tingles. Like you have small bubbles bursting under your skin.

To paint the whole picture, I have to add a blurry right eye (on and off), some nerve pain here and there, a migraine, and stinging in my left eye (on and off too). As I was feeling all this, my mind kept fighting back, my emotions were a mess, as I felt I was losing control, not being able to get a grip on my body and what it did.

And then I understood. In order to feel better and to regain control over yourself, you have to actually let it go, alow yourself to go through whatever you’re facing and then analyze and rise up with another lesson learned. It all flows. No pain is here forever. Not quite at the same intensity anyway. 
As with all things in life, you eventually get used to the situation. We are adaptable beings. We all have what it takes to survive, to accept our life, adapt and overcome any hardship. Often times, our minds are the ones standing in the way of us feeling better. People might go through amazingly hard times, but the stronger and flexible minds prevail. Always.

I tend to get scared, I tend to get irritable, angry and not so pleasant to be around when shitty things do happen. Or at least I used to. Untill the numbness episode happened last week. And through the scary thoughts, the panic I felt as my left arm side was getting numb, I crawled back up, refusing to give in to my fears and symptoms.

I got up, strethched and accepted the fact that I had a numb side. It could have been worse that that. What will I do if it does get worse if I’m failing myself now? That’s not an option. I must always rise above, breathe and be grateful for what I do have. Be calm, accept and do my best to live the life I’ve planned. If I don’t help myself, no one will be able to.


Let go of details. When you can’t see the forest for the trees is time to back up and rething the whole situation you’re dealing with. There is no point feeling overwhelmed. Focus on what makes you happy and go do that. Do it with love, ease and excitement. Stick to your plans, to your choices. Live healthy and happy, doing what comes naturally to you, what makes you all fuzzy inside, strong and accomplished. The rest are details and will arrange by themselves.

Automatize your daily routines as to be able to focus on the things that really need your energy and focus, on the things that make up your healthy life (going to work, exercising, spending time with friends, reading, etc). Choose your daily battles.

In life, you get what you focus on. Have to many bad days in a row? It’s time to change something. It might be your sleep patterns, your diet, your lack of movement, you getting to upset for minor issues, anything. Moderation and balance are key to a happy and healthy life.

Aim to simplify, give more and focus on the task at hand. Multitasking is a myth. It never helped anyone having his or her head in more places at the same time. It’s exhausting!

Move, rest, eat well, find silence and love within. Pray, breathe, accept. Find refuge in what makes you feel better, cozy and rested. Train for health. Live now. Don’t delay it (life happens now, as you read this).

Loosen the grip on things. Enjoy life, worry less. Let go of ego and pride. Give more. Be humble, be helpful. Spend more time and love on your loved ones, people, places, etc. to balance the nastier sides of rollercoastering, to always have a safety net of things, people and places that help you feel good.

Sleep is medicine, take it as needed. Eat only what heals and makes you feel good and energized (not stuffed, there’s a long way ‘till the Christmas turkey and you’re not competing with it!)


Pheeww! This was one full month! As always, I read a lot, wrote a lot, learned a lot and watched some very inspirational creatives do the best at their craft. It’s all about the people you surround yourself with, near or far, flesh and bone or via the internet, alive or dead.

There’s knowledge everywhere. There are always lessons to be learned and things to see. Choose what makes you better, stronger, happier. Choose the things that help you feel good, that act like a safety net, a soft mattress you can fall on when you’re not so good at times.

Going back to my “roots” so to speak, I chose to write a daily weekday blog again. To revitalize old projects (Metamorphosis), create new ones and share some works in progress. I find ease in writing and in building stories. 
I once more got inspired by Liz Gillbert. “Big Magic”, her latest non-fiction, is the manual I go back to, again and again when I need to better understand what being creative really means. And then I get back to writing. Once again, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin brought to life old ideas and writing plans. I will share more as the stories unfold.

I was drawn to history and natural sceenery documentaries. To story-like places and realms that made me feel free and that provided enough mental space for the ideas to develop freely and harmoniously. “Escape to the Country”, “Saints and Sinners - Britain’s Millennium of Monasteries” and “Wild Scotland” were the type of videos that created the setting.

Maria Popova with her Brain Pickings articles and YouTube interviews and speeches, David Brooks with his take on the social animals we all are, Adriene Mishler with her Yoga Camp and Chase Jarvis with his CJraw episodes were the structure of the inspiration I had for this February.

As always, I enjoyed it to the maximum. I always like having a full schedule of things to learn and see.

Another important chapter of the month, or should I say months, were reading the Bible and helping myself to better understand its story through the animated YouTube videos of The Bible Guys. I’ve mentioned them before, in my Friday Metamorphosis episode. Check them out. If you ever wanted to read the scripture and fell of the bandwagon before finishing the Exodus from Egypt, this is the channel for you. The Bible and its learnings suddenly become more comprehensible and fun. It’s a story unlike all others. It’s the book of books and inside you’ll find love, gratitude, humbleness and choice (I got a bit to excited there. but what can I do? I really enjoy it).

One last piece of inspiration comes from the not so new videos of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform, the series called “Under Pressure - Living With MS in Europe”. The episode that really spoke to me and that served as inspiration for a few following blog posts for the next months was the one that presented the story of Martina

A young girl of  26, after the diagnosis and a depressive period in her life, she is now working as part of a hotel’s staff, socializing and trying to feel normal again, in spite of her disease. Once again, there are examples that life is worth living, even if you have an incurable illness like multiple sclerosis. We are born to live (don’t listen to Lana del Rey! :)) ).

This was my month and all the things that got me a little forward than I was the one before. Little by little, we all evolve, we all change and grow. The more you resist it, the more you strain your mind and bring anxiety into your life. Straighten your back, close your eyes and breathe deeply. 

Another day has passed. What have you learned? How do you feel? Get in touch with yourself and let’s talk.

Oh, and last night (evening for USA), Leonardo DiCaprio took home an Oscar for Best Actor in “The Revenant”. Finally! :))

Yours truly,