Under my skin.

Sun. Exercise. Wind. Stress. Heat. Cold. Alcohol. Make-up. Spicy foods. Life.

These are my triggers. Life is my trigger, great….

Trigger for what you might ask. Here’s a little background on my journey to clear skin and my new diagnosis.

I had pretty clear skin in high school. I would get the occasional breakout, usually after a basketball or volleyball tournament. I would deal, pop all the pimples and deal with the aftermath of scabs and scarring. After high school, the breakouts ceased and it was glorious. I was happy in my skin. I loved not having to wear a ton of make-up to feel pretty and enjoyed the compliments I received about my freckles and not covering them up with foundation.

Now comes adulthood.

Everything changed when I was about 22. I started getting bumps that I thought was acne that lived under my skin. My face started looking flush even when I wasn’t working out, and my chest would breakout after a sip of alcohol, especially red wine. I started having pimples constantly, and I, of course, would pop them, mess with them & try every OTC remedy on the shelf. None of which helped. I would cake on the foundation that would look flakey on my dry skin, and I now know only made my skin disorder worse.

The acne and redness moved to my back and especially flares up when I’m stressed. I had shingles (OUCH) as a kid and my doc told me I was going to have flare-ups for the rest of my life. I had thought for all this time that my flare-ups were shingles, but I have now learned I have Rosacea.

Time to do what any hypochondriac would do, hop on Google and learn everything there is to know. Not even kidding, I was online for about 3 hours googling causes, remedies (home & prescription) side effects and so on…

According to http://www.rosacea.org, Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, various theories about the disorder’s origin have evolved over the years. Facial blood vessels may dilate too easily, and the increased blood near the skin surface makes the skin appear red and flushed. This may also cause bumps and pimples under the skin, appearing as typical acne. Those with fair skin, red hair, and freckling are at higher risk for developing rosacea aka I am at higher risk for developing rosacea. 

Well now what.. I have this skin disorder that is not going to be cured, but rather manageable. What options do I have to manage this? My dermatologist prescribed Soolantra which is a topical ointment that I can apply once a day and over time it should relieve my redness and prevent flare-ups.  Remember when I said it is not a curable disorder? This $800 tube of ointment is only to “manage” my flare-ups and only lasts 2 months. Thankfully, I was able to find a coupon to save me some money on my first prescription fill, but it’s a 1 per customer coupon, so in a couple of months I will have to decide if its worth $800 or if I have to find another remedy to “manage” my redness & flare-ups.

This disorder might drain my bank account, quickly.

There are also pills that I can take that will also help prevent flare-ups, but that is the last resort option since they have some pretty nasty side effects and I have been on a mission to cut out all manufactured drugs out of my life.

I know I shouldn’t be that upset, it’s not a terminal disease, I’ll live to see another day. My self-love will suffer, my perception of how I look will now always be on how red my face is, if I’m having a flare-up, and what people think of me. I will learn to cope, to manage and to live with rosacea.

This is my journey and now rosacea is part of it.

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The best is yet to come

-Tay

 

Sak Yant Experience

I wanted to share an experience that changed every part of my being down to the core. I wrote about this experience prior to actually getting my Sak Yant and I can confirm I feel the magic it holds every single day. When I see my Sak Yant in the mirror each morning I am reminded of who I am, who I want to be, and where I am going. It is a constant reminder to be the person I was set out to be and I hope it inspires you to find something that gives you the same feelings and sense of belonging because we all belong in this world and we all have a purpose.

Enjoy.

December 10th, 2016:

I write this post as I sit in a coffee shop, sipping my caramel macchiato wondering how I am going to pass the time until my appointment at 2. This is my first time ever going to an unfamiliar city alone, and for it to be Vegas makes me quite a bit anxious.This city is nuts! Part of me wants to hide in my hotel room until my appointment, the other part of me wants to go walk around and take it all in. I’ve only been here once before, and it was not my cup of tea. Perhaps this time it will be.
I woke up at 4am to get here and sat next to the smelliest fella the whole way. He was super nice though! I got lost in the airport trying to find where to grab an Uber and just found out I can’t check into my hotel until 3pm. Looks like I can’t hide out in my hotel after all..
Why am I here?
I came to Vegas to get a Sak Yant. By definition: “Sak- meaning “to tap” or, “to tattoo” and Yant- meaning “yantra” Sak Yants is the Thai name for the tattooing of sacred geometrical designs on the skin. Why travel all the way to Las Vegas to get a tattoo you might ask. Well, while in Thailand this past September, I fell in love with Buddhism, Thai history & the history behind Sak Yants. As much as I wished I could have gone to a Wat (temple) and get this done, we didn’t have enough time. With that said, I NEEDED to figure out how I could get one without having to travel all the way back to Thailand, though I WILL be going back one day.
After returning to the states, I did some major research and found out that Ajarn Ohr was traveling to Vegas from Bangkok to do Sak Yants! I jumped right on the opportunity and sent numerous emails to get an appointment. I was luckily successful and now I am here! I booked this appointment a couple weeks after getting back from Thailand and I cannot believe how slow time has gone. I thought this day was never going to arrive.
Why isn’t Ryan here with me, why would you choose to go to Vegas alone? I’ve heard this a few times now and to set the record straight; I do not need my husband to keep me safe. This trip isn’t for me to come here to party, heck, I’m literally here for 24 hours, I will be doing 0 partying. This trip is for me to connect myself to Thailand indefinitely and to be “blessed” with a Sak Yant, that will be a constant reminder of the person I want to be.

The Sak Yant I am getting is named Hah Taew. Hah Taew is magical tattoo with 5 lines, or the 5 row yantra. Each line represents a Yant or magical spell. These spells are chanted 108 times to invoke a state of the mind where the mind can create these magical spells before entering a high level of meditation. Each line will be tattooed individually and each represents a different spell:
1.The first row prevents unjust punishment and leans in your favor when the area is grey, cleans out unwanted spirits and protects the place you live in.
2.The second row reverses and protects against bad horoscope constellations and bad fortune.
3.The third row protests you from the use black magic and anyone who tries to put a curse on you.
4.The fourth row energizes your good luck, success, and fortune in your future ambitions and life style.
5.The fifth row is to gain charisma and attraction to the opposite sex. It also is a boost to the fourth row.
Each one of these rows means something very special to me, with the exception of row 5 (I don’t need to be attractive to the opposite sex, I’ve found my life partner already!)but I’ll take it!. I would go more into detail about the meaning of each of these rows, but I find it very internal and personal. Maybe a story for another time…

At the end of each Yant there is an Unallome (ever decreasing spiral) to complete it. The spiral indicates the distractions we encounter in our daily lives and as I grow older and wiser the spiral gradually decreases until it becomes a straight line pointing upwards. This signifies the path to Nirvana or true enlightenment. I’ve read quite a bit about obtaining Nirvana and this has become my most important goal in life. If you have not read about Nirvana (not the band) please do. From my findings, to obtain Nirvana you follow the Noble Eightfold Path. This path is a list or guide of 8 ideals that will lead you towards a greater understanding of the universe and the goal is to follow this path right through to Nirvana.
The 8 ideals:
Right Views
Right Intention
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindedness
Right Contemplation
Vague right? You can interpret these ideals in SO many ways, but generally speaking, you can follow the path by approaching the world with compassion, patience and joy, and contemplating the universe through meditation. The fundamental goals are to cultivate morality (shila,) meditation (dhyana) and wisdom (prajna.)
It is very hard for me to meditate. I live a life where I am busy. VERY busy. I have been practicing almost daily and hope that with this Sak Yant, I will have more patience and find the time to let everything else go and focus on myself and meditate.

Well, there you have it. This is why I’m in Vegas, alone, for 24 hours. By the time I will be posting this, I will have already gotten my Sak Yant and will have some magic in me that will last a lifetime and help me towards my goal of reaching (or closely reaching) Nirvana.

Wish me luck as I get started on this endeavor and continue to become the best I can be! Maybe I’ll start a blog to keep you all in the loop. We shall see!