Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Marrakech Migraine

I went to Morocco with no expectations other than to do something different and get away, to clear my head, and to put things into perspective again. I decided that I would be a big shot, drive myself to JFK, park long term parking, travel alone, and return in the same manner. I would not be alone while in Morocco, but I was going on an adventure to Africa!

* * *

A staff member whipped a garbage bag open and it sounded like dynamite going off in my head. My teary eyes squinted to see what was happening, but the lights were too intense and I quickly pulled my hood over my head and face again. I took a deep breath. There were too many voices for my brain to interpret. Each person that spoke sounded like they were doing so through a bullhorn. My husband, checking his phone for football scores, clicks on a video of a sportscaster and I jump up, grab my head and move to another seat. There is laughing, sobbing, registration clerks typing and asking for information, family members squabbling over what to do, a security officer telling someone to step further back, and then there is the door...the door slamming over and over again as another nurse walks into a back room after screaming out a patient's name.

* * *

I am back in Marrakech, Morocco. We are at a lively dinner show. As the tajine arrives, belly dancers begin to roam the room, followed by snake charmer's flutes and drumming. Our group laughs and talks amongst ourselves - there are 10 of us at dinner and the conversations go from what we ordered for dinner to what is happening around us. A woman with a stacked candle display on her head danced by. The trumpeters begin their music. My head begins to throb, and I turn to a fellow traveler, a neurologist. She advises me to take advil and stave off any headaches. I do so, which means no wine for me for dinner...tonight. I snap some pictures in the restaurant and try to listen across the table to some of the conversations there. My friends yell to me as the bellydancer climbs on the table. We all clap and yell loudly, provoking her to dance more wildly for her dollars. And then the hookah is ordered and slowly passed around the table. More laughing, more dancing, more loud instruments, and yes, more food.

Because in Marrakech, it just keeps coming!

* * *

I am taken to the room with the loud slamming door for bloodwork and urine sample. It is a little quieter back here, but she cannot find my vein. She tries three times and finally gets it. I nearly pass out when I stand up to walk back to the noisy waiting room. My head is still throbbing and I haven't eaten much in two days since arriving home from Morocco. I drove myself home from JFK after a long flight with heavy turbulence. I'd been taking advil for every subsequent day since the infamous restaurant dinner. The next day we traveled to the Atlas mountains and climbed up to nearly 3000 km. I had a difficult time with the altitude and stayed back at the restaurant on the hilltop while some others hiked further. I was feeling off and not myself. I was tired, possibly dehydrated, and the late nights in Morocco were a challenge for my current schedule. Let's face it, I live a more zen lifestyle, I go to bed early, and I don't do loud noises and crazy energy.

Haha, Marrakech is laughing at me!

Driving home from JFK was rough. I hit rush hour traffic in Brooklyn. And finally when I got 2 miles from my exit (over two hours of driving later), I found myself in stand still traffic due to roadwork. It took me another half hour to drive those final two miles, get off my exit and head home. When I got home, I crashed. I hadn't eaten more than some bread and yogurt on the flight. It had been hot and Royal Air Maroc was stingy with the water and beverages. Did I mention the turbulence? It was pretty bad. Our pilot finally went of course to go around it, but I was invoking Archangels Michael and Raphael to wrap white light of protection around our plane...while trying to ignore it by watching a movie.

After sleeping in the next day, I could hardly move. Forget my head pounding, I had a full blown migraine. Unfortunately, I knew these well due to my concussion last December, but hadn't experienced one symptom since April. I thought I was out of the woods, but Marrakech had other ideas.

As I write this, it is 5 days since I arrived home and I am still not well. Today I haven't taken any advil for the first time, and I have a slight head throb. But my gut still isn't right. I'm not sure what exactly happened because we left the hospital after 5 hours of not being cared for. I'd never experienced such neglect and lack of care in an emergency room before. But I couldn't take the noise one more minute, and since we hadn't even seen a doctor on the floor in the entire time we had been waiting in the back room, I could hardly wait any longer for one to show up and decide that I could have something. I told the little girl who was supposed to be caring for me that I could go home and at least take advil. Her response, "you don't have to check out, you are free to go any time."

Bye bye. Home it was.

I stopped at CVS and got myself coconut water and electrolytes. The one thing I found out in the ER was that I was NOT dehydrated. But, maybe I needed electrolytes. Maybe it would help. My head was feeling better, and I went home to rest, and slept until 11 am the next morning. I was feeling better, but not great. My detective archetype believes that the migraine was triggered in Marrakech due to several things, exasperated by the turbulent, hot flight home and stressful drive...oh, and most likely a travelers bug in there too.

* * *

I went to Morocco with no expectations.
I landed in the continent of Africa.
I rode a camel on the beach.
I met some fabulous people.
I ate wonderful, heavy food.
I stayed out late...
                          danced a tad...
                                              drank a little...
and I shopped and haggled in the famous souks.

Oh, I may have pissed off some snake charmers.

Morocco is no joke.
I came home with an experience of a lifetime, some clarity, a travel bug and a migraine...

...a Marrakech Migraine!
Yea, they aren't happy...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October's Theme: TIME TO CREATE!

OCTOBER 2017 Theme: 

Is there a creative project that you have been too busy to get to? Do you have a burning desire to share something with the world? Autumn is a perfect time to get working on just that, because the energy of the sun is waning, and we are slowly moving towards the dark winter period of moving inward. Fall Festivals aside, this time of year is perfect for moving forward with creative projects that have either been brewing in your mind, that were put on the back-burner and partly completed, or that you have been busy working on. Why? Well, simply. the last of the crops are being harvested, and we are reaping what we have sowed. Some plants will continue to grow for the next couple of months until the weather turns too cold, so yes, let's not waste time...let's get to creating and work with the natural energies around us!

A few months ago, Tracey offered a 4-week series called "Unlocking and Awakening your Creative Potential." The attendees all were able to move energy and begin creating or finishing projects. If you missed this series, but would like to take part in another one, email us at, and let us know. 

If you would like to take part in a Holiday Crafters Fair/Expo at One Yoga Center,we are looking to book people for Sunday December 10th, to give our community great ideas for holiday gifts! We want our community to be a part of creating this amazing Fair/Expo, so please write to us at with what your craft/medium is and what you would like to contribute! As you know, there is limited space at the studio, but we want everyone to be involved with sharing their creative expression with the greater community - whether it is for sale or just to get yourself out there into the world!

So, get to creating this October! The energy is in the air. And we will provide inspiration for you on the mat during all of your regular yoga classes this month.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Special Message from Tracey for October

"Time to Create" is especially meaningful to me, as a writer. After I pulled this card from the Indigo Angel deck, I went to the Life Purpose deck and pulled "Author." It says, "We all have a book inside that wishes to be expressed. Make the time to write." Well, lucky me, I have been writing all summer. In fact, my book is just finishing the second edit from an editor, and then I will put the finishing touches on it before going to print. It is a very exciting time!

This book I am more excited about than the others that I have written because I feel that it will have a broad appeal and it is yoga-related. Many years ago, a good friend of mine told me I should be writing what I know. Well, Dave, I am finally getting to it! I am not only working on the inside of the book, but I am also working on the design cover myself, and, with positive vibes behind me, it will be ready for purchase just around the holidays. So, fingers crossed! Seriously, everyone, please cross your fingers and send out an intention with me! 

Once the book is "out there," I hope to run more creative workshops and take it on the road to other locations as well as in One Yoga Center, my favorite and very special home base. But, I have big hopes for this book, and I am doing what I can to get the Universe behind me. And, I have two other books and a co-authoring book in the works as well. So, yes, Author certainly fits for me. Now, what about you?

What have you dreamt of creating? What do you have a desire to learn or create? Music? Art? A poem or novel? Knitting? A new business line? Let the magic of autumn nights inspire you to bring forth what is already inside you waiting to come out. 

In Love, Service & Wisdom.
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Founder, One Yoga & Wellness Center LLC, E-RYT500, RYS, CMT, Energy Worker, 11:11 True One.