My Big Secret: Living with PCOS

Last week I sat down and wrote in my journal a list of things that I had kept private from my community.  I have always wanted to be transparent with you.  I realize that there are some things that I will always keep discreet as they provide no benefit to neither you nor myself in sharing.  But, there are still some things that I have gone to great lengths to hide that I am willing to risk expressing in order to feel my more authentic self.

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When I was 21 years old and in college, my mother walked up behind me and curiously touched the back of my head with her hand.  She said with a concerned motherly tone, “Honey, I’m worried about your hair - it looks like it’s thinning; are you sure you’re eating well enough?”

I took a small mirror in my hand, tilted it downward over my head and was horrified to find my hair thinning in the back of my crown.  I, like my mother and sisters, had grown up with such thick Native-American hair that the beautician would often need to thin it in order for it to be manageable.  I was in shock, then, to discover this new confused reality and felt completely exposed.  “Had everyone else noticed?  How long had I been walking around this way?”

My mother had a right to be concerned: At that point I had been a vegetarian for 8 years and was thoroughly clueless to that which was contained in a healthy diet.   Over the years I tried changing my diet, quit taking my low estrogen birth control and even took home a box of Rogaine that a close friend gifted me and encouraged me to try.  I never opened that box - to me that would be defeat.

As the years went on, the issue persisted and I became even more desperate for an answer.  I began wearing bohemian-style head wraps, bandanas, knit hats, baseball caps and fedoras to cover up my secret.  I felt so vulnerable, helpless and felt like I was losing my most important connection to my feminine identity.  

My mother would send me quarterly articles in the mail about the latest findings on hair-loss and although her intention was pure - it only made me feel worse.

It wasn’t until 2008 that my mother sent me an email revealing that one of my extended family members had recently been diagnosed with a largely genetic condition called **PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) - that I truly paid attention.  I read the definition in the link that she had sent and felt a simultaneous sense of relief and fear when I identified with the majority of the symptoms.

As fate would have it I was already enrolled in a 10-week program with a nutritionist, Rose Cole, for other health issues I was facing:  I had not menstruated in 7 months and was facing a threat of early menopause if not treated.   So - I shared with my nutritionist my mother’s loving, novice diagnosis and she agreed to run a series of natural tests.  The tests came back positive for unnaturally high levels of testosterone, low-blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and glucose intolerance.  With these results, my nutritionist concurred that a PCOS diagnosis was highly indubitable.  Nonetheless, we made an appointment with a sonographer to perform an ultrasound just be sure.

My mother came with me to my appointment and stayed in the waiting room as I went in with the sonographer.  I lay down and lifted my shirt above my navel as the technician went about her process.  I closed my eyes and grounded my spirit.  She said, “Yes, you can see here - these round masses close together - they are cysts.”  My heart dropped into the center of the earth as I saw what looked like an army of cysts completely covering my ovaries shoulder to shoulder.  I felt a tidal wave of emotion grow in my belly and gain momentum until it was stopped at my throat chakra and so flooded my body.

“Ok, thank you,” I managed to say as I made myself presentable and returned to the waiting room.  There, my mother received me anxiously and inquired about the findings: I broke down in tears.

The diagnosis explained my irregular menstrual cycle, hair thinning, weight gain, adult acne, emotional instability, fainting spells, androgenic symptoms, irritability, lack of energy and depression.

My nutritionist put me on the master cleanse immediately followed by a strict three-week sugar cleanse.  I started an exercise plan of 4-6 days a week, learned how to eat and drink fluids according to my body’s needs and began taking appropriate natural supplements.    

On the morning of Mother’s Day 2008 I woke up and went about my morning routine.  When I used the toilet I found that I was menstruating.  Tears flowed down my face as I sat there unable to move, sobbing in disbelieve and gratitude.  The symbolism of starting on Mother’s Day was overwhelming.  Had I gone just 4 more months without menstruating I would have been at risk for early menopause.  “I’m a mother,” I cried to myself.  “I’m a mother!”  

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From that day on every time I start my cycle I’m reminded of the blessing of this beautiful gift we are given as women.  We flow with the tides and are eternally and tangibly connected to the earth and stars.  

Yes, I still hold a vision of my hair being thick again, my skin being completely clear and each of the effects of PCOS to wear down to nothing.  

For now, I have hair extensions and makeup to thank for helping me feel glamorous at shows and for photoshoots.   And I have you to thank, with your unconditional love, for being open to hearing my truth so there is no longer a need to hide.

I am grateful that I have a reason to hold my overall health of body, mind and spirit as top priority.  I am grateful that I am perfectly imperfect so that I have a forever ingrained sense of humility and approachability.  I am grateful for this compassion I have for anyone who deals every single day with something special.

It just makes us special, after all.  It just makes us special. 

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**“PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders among females.  It is thought to be one of the leading causes of female subfertility and the most frequent endocrine problem in women of reproductive age.[9] Finding that the ovaries appear polycystic on ultrasound is common, but it is not an absolute requirement in all definitions of the disorder.

The most common immediate symptoms are anovulation, excess androgenic hormones, and insulin resistance. Anovulation results in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, and ovulation-related infertility. Hormone imbalance generally causes acne and hirsutism. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels.[10] The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among affected women.”  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycystic_ovary_syndrome]

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time there was a little girl that knew she would be famous and felt very special. She had special powers: she could fly and she could also heal people just by looking at them. When she came of age her parents made sure she knew how special she was and cast a well-meaning spell on her that would cause her to never need for a man and to be able to do everything for herself. She lived through hundreds of suitors who wanted her to need them but she could not come out of her spell. Instead, she followed her dream of being a superstar and she roamed the world aimlessly as if waiting for someone or something to ground her and break her from the spell! One day, when she least expected it, a beautiful man walked out of the forest where she was eating raspberries and catching some sunshine. Normally, she would’ve thought a man this handsome with eyes twinkling in the sun - and the brightest authentic smile - would not have stopped his day for her. But today, something felt different. Although he said nothing - nor did she - he stayed. He gave her space - but he stayed. She walked curiously up to him and put her hand on his heart. He put his hand over her hand and placed his other hand on her heart as she placed her other hand over his. Something switched off in her which sparked magic: For the first time she needed someone - she needed HIM. She felt overwhelmed with the sensation but she wasn’t scared as she was present to an immense and fulfilling love exchange that would prove the foundation of the most amazing partnership ever experienced in the history of mankind. This loving, honest, authentic, spiritual, powerful and inspiring relationship would grow into a beautiful family. At the core of every decision made was love and would always and forever be love. They lived happily, healthily, hope-fully, faithfully and magically ever after. It was that first miracle that sparked limitless healing and miracles for all people for all time. And the story lives on and continues for ever and ever…

A Artist’s Ladder to Success - One Step at a Time

I’m kind of currently OVERWHELMED #inagoodway by how many people in our community are successful in the music business. LA is truly crazy for that.

I’ve always told my students that it’s NOT “who you know.” Why? Because you ALREADY know the “movers and shakers” or are at least are one or two friends away from them. THEY ALREADY have access to you. We are Facebook friends!

It’s about YOUR MUSIC. It’s about YOUR COMMUNITY.

Finish this project to the best of your ability and start a new one that’s even better. See your career as EVERYONE ELSE sees their career - as a gradient process.

You don’t see a mail-room employee expecting that the CEO will walk in at any minute, see his potential and promote him to VP of marketing.

It doesn’t mean that that person doesn’t hold the vision of that VP position. It just means that that person sees the gradient work that needs to be done in order to get to the next higher level.

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When you look at the “next higher level” of your career it feels POSSIBLE. And that is SO SO very important - because it means that you are standing in your power while you confidently manifest into that space.

It doesn’t mean it’s not possible to “skip” gradient levels; Of course it is! But, holding your vision of your ultimate dream while powerfully working towards the next reasonable goal is pivotal in you maintaining FAITH and CONFIDENCE.

Otherwise - you are setting yourself up for failure - and GIVING yourself a reason to give up.

My mentors taught me this way of being just this year: I have my psychic healer to thank as well as my soulmate.

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Lastly, I want to share with you the importance, in your manifesting practice, of seeing BEYOND your ultimate dream.

The creation process sometimes seems elusive - but, it is EXACT.

Why else do you think you pay your rent at the LAST MINUTE (for those of you who are working through financial karma): because you are focusing on the 1st of the month! Try focusing on the 15th.

Why else are you barely paying your bills: because you are focusing on the exact amount of money that you need to pay your bills. Try adding a more-than-comfortable cushion that still feels doable and focus on that total.

That being said, if we focus on our “ultimate dream” as the “end result” then the universe doesn’t see your vision as “complete.” Does that make sense? You haven’t seen your vision ALL THE WAY THROUGH it’s manifestation. What do you see on the other side of your televised headlining performance at the Grand Ole Opry?

Are you going to start your own talent show? Create your own music festival? Settle down with your children and live in Montana?

What feels good to you?

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I’m just another student in this world passing along what I’m still learning - because of how much it excites me.

You are perfectly where you need to be - this I KNOW.

I bless your life, your passion, your love, your family, your health and your heart. I see you as perfect and ALL-KNOWING. Only YOU know what’s best for you and your life.

Dream on. #inagoodway

I’m moving back to L.A. indefinitely in September. <3
I just made the decision an hour ago while Skyping with my best friend.
I’m scared out of my mind and excited all at the same time. 
I have a strong and loving community, a powerful spiritual practice, more experience in my field and more connections than before.
Like every chapter in my life, however, I can’t do it alone; I’m asking for your help <3
If it feels good to you to help support my transition, please consider supporting me in one or more of the following ways.  THANK YOU so so much for being here for me: 
1) A Place To Stay
It feels good to me to stay with family and friends the first 3 months while I’m home while I get my feet on the ground and gift myself that cushion.  I would like to ask 6-12 friends/family in LA if I can stay with them for a 1-2 week period anytime Sept. 1-December 1.  Staying any less than a week is too hard on my body and spirit - but, thank you for your thoughts.
2) Cover Band Sub 
I will be working with a few agents to book cover band gigs right away and will also be starting a new project of my own.  If your band needs a sub Sept-Dec - booking me in advance would really help me to feel more secure knowing that those funds are coming in.
3) Session Vocal Booking
I will be working as a session vocalist and can be booked directly (for noncommercial gigs).  My rate is $200 per song (maximum 3 hours) this includes leads/doubles/BGs and adlibs.  There is a small travel fee for out-of-LA studios.  If you’d like me to arrange your vocals add $75.  Referring me to clients or booking me in advance would really help me.
4) Residencies
If you have direct connections to the talent buyers to any upscale venues across LA  county, namely 5-star hotels, etc., who take on resident cover style Jazz/Blues/Top 40 bands - your connections could make a huge long-term impact for me.
5) Prayers and Visioning 
Your prayers are absolutely pivotal to my success.  Please consider seeing me happily settled into my own beautiful comfy home with a booming business, high-class local residencies and the most amazing band that will create with me and headline festivals worldwide together,  a successful and exciting relationship with my life-partner - and all of this with a feeling of “enoughness,” “contentment,” “peace,” “serenity,” and “gratitude.”
BLESS YOU MY FRIENDS - thank you for always being here for me and for supporting my decisions.  I absolutely would not be this person without you: you inspire me to be better every day and truly make me feel unconditionally loved.  I will not forget that. <3  
***I will no longer be teaching voice, songwriting and performance. It was a hard and long decision to make - but, I am leaving that chapter behind and focusing on my own career. Thank you for understanding and please know I absolutely loved teaching you and will always be here for you as much as I can.  

I’m moving back to L.A. indefinitely in September. <3

I just made the decision an hour ago while Skyping with my best friend.

I’m scared out of my mind and excited all at the same time. 

I have a strong and loving community, a powerful spiritual practice, more experience in my field and more connections than before.

Like every chapter in my life, however, I can’t do it alone; I’m asking for your help <3

If it feels good to you to help support my transition, please consider supporting me in one or more of the following ways.  THANK YOU so so much for being here for me: 

1) A Place To Stay

It feels good to me to stay with family and friends the first 3 months while I’m home while I get my feet on the ground and gift myself that cushion.  I would like to ask 6-12 friends/family in LA if I can stay with them for a 1-2 week period anytime Sept. 1-December 1.  Staying any less than a week is too hard on my body and spirit - but, thank you for your thoughts.

2) Cover Band Sub 

I will be working with a few agents to book cover band gigs right away and will also be starting a new project of my own.  If your band needs a sub Sept-Dec - booking me in advance would really help me to feel more secure knowing that those funds are coming in.

3) Session Vocal Booking

I will be working as a session vocalist and can be booked directly (for noncommercial gigs).  My rate is $200 per song (maximum 3 hours) this includes leads/doubles/BGs and adlibs.  There is a small travel fee for out-of-LA studios.  If you’d like me to arrange your vocals add $75.  Referring me to clients or booking me in advance would really help me.

4) Residencies

If you have direct connections to the talent buyers to any upscale venues across LA  county, namely 5-star hotels, etc., who take on resident cover style Jazz/Blues/Top 40 bands - your connections could make a huge long-term impact for me.

5) Prayers and Visioning 

Your prayers are absolutely pivotal to my success.  Please consider seeing me happily settled into my own beautiful comfy home with a booming business, high-class local residencies and the most amazing band that will create with me and headline festivals worldwide together,  a successful and exciting relationship with my life-partner - and all of this with a feeling of “enoughness,” “contentment,” “peace,” “serenity,” and “gratitude.”

BLESS YOU MY FRIENDS - thank you for always being here for me and for supporting my decisions.  I absolutely would not be this person without you: you inspire me to be better every day and truly make me feel unconditionally loved.  I will not forget that. <3  

***I will no longer be teaching voice, songwriting and performance. It was a hard and long decision to make - but, I am leaving that chapter behind and focusing on my own career. Thank you for understanding and please know I absolutely loved teaching you and will always be here for you as much as I can.  





Have you ever had a day when you felt that everyone in your energy field decided to make &#8220;something wrong&#8221; about everything you did - including the way you think and feel? How does that feel?Today, was one of those days for me. It doesn&#8217;t feel good. It makes me feel defensive and confronted.So, I asked myself, &#8220;Why I am being confronted?&#8221;You see, I used to see where others were &#8220;wrong&#8221; on their path and explain what it was and where it could be &#8220;righted&#8221; (mostly unwanted advice). I will say, my intention was mostly pure; I genuinely wanted to help. I suppose I was doing the best with what I had from where I was. But, my need to control others was not only ultimately making them feel badly about themselves - but, it was pushing my friends and family away from me.I feel like I&#8217;ve learned to communicate my needs better and am, now, mostly able to allow others to be themselves wherever they are in their physical and spiritual paths.So - why am I still being confronted?The answer for me, is still always inside. Whatever I feel confronted by - I am.It must be in the way that I am treating MYSELF.How have I been treating you, Rachel?Oh, I see; I have been making you wrong for not being in a different place in your life. I have been abandoning you emotionally - when you need me the most. I have been forcing you to do things you don&#8217;t feel like doing. I have such high expectations of you that you could never feel comfortable in your own skin - but, always feel the need to hide when I come around.Rachel - I&#8217;m so sorry&#8230;really I am. Please forgive me I don&#8217;t know how to make it better. But, I do know that I&#8217;m committed to changing how you feel when you&#8217;re around me. I want you to always feel welcome&#8230;always feel like you can be yourself&#8230;always be comfortable and feel accepted and loved - just as you are.I love you so much, Rachel. 









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Have you ever had a day when you felt that everyone in your energy field decided to make “something wrong” about everything you did - including the way you think and feel? How does that feel?

Today, was one of those days for me. 

It doesn’t feel good. It makes me feel defensive and confronted.

So, I asked myself, “Why I am being confronted?”

You see, I used to see where others were “wrong” on their path and explain what it was and where it could be “righted” (mostly unwanted advice). 

I will say, my intention was mostly pure; I genuinely wanted to help. I suppose I was doing the best with what I had from where I was. 

But, my need to control others was not only ultimately making them feel badly about themselves - but, it was pushing my friends and family away from me.

I feel like I’ve learned to communicate my needs better and am, now, mostly able to allow others to be themselves wherever they are in their physical and spiritual paths.

So - why am I still being confronted?

The answer for me, is still always inside. Whatever I feel confronted by - I am.

It must be in the way that I am treating MYSELF.

How have I been treating you, Rachel?

Oh, I see; I have been making you wrong for not being in a different place in your life. I have been abandoning you emotionally - when you need me the most. I have been forcing you to do things you don’t feel like doing. I have such high expectations of you that you could never feel comfortable in your own skin - but, always feel the need to hide when I come around.

Rachel - I’m so sorry…really I am. Please forgive me 

I don’t know how to make it better. But, I do know that I’m committed to changing how you feel when you’re around me. I want you to always feel welcome…always feel like you can be yourself…always be comfortable and feel accepted and loved - just as you are.

I love you so much, Rachel.