Are you coping with chronic illness?
Wouldn’t it be more fun if you could thrive with chronic illness instead?
Living with chronic illness can often feel more like a struggle than truly living. That’s no way to live your life! So, I’m sharing with you the 7 best-kept secrets to thriving with chronic illness.
Settle in, get comfy and get ready for the revelations …
Did you know that the leading cause of death in Australia is chronic illness? I was shocked to the core when I read this statement on the Australian Government Health Department’s website recently.
What’s even more concerning is that the number of people reporting chronic health conditions is rising; and women are more likely than men to develop a chronic health condition.
Looking at the stats, listening to what our doctors tell us, it can be difficult to see the link between what they report and what we experience. It feels like there’s more going on that isn’t recognised, and we still don’t have many answers.
Before we dive in, I’m sharing a lot of highly valuable information, really useful tips, and powerful practices that you’ll want to keep coming back to.
To make it easy for you, I’ve created a PDF for you to take it all away and access it in comfort anytime any place.
What causes chronic illness?
A quick Google search shows you that the common key risk factors for chronic conditions can be found in our lifestyle choices. What’s not included in this picture is the incredible stress load that just about everyone on the planet carries in current times.
Other factors that are known to contribute to chronic illness include injury, surgery or some other form of trauma—physical, mental, emotional, or a combination of all three. Also, things such as genetic make-up, childhood illnesses, and other illnesses in adulthood can create a predisposition that opens the way for chronic illness.
So, it’s a combination of factors manifesting in perfect timing in a physical environment (your body) that is already compromised in some way. I believe it’s the level of stress that ultimately pushes you down that slippery slope to land in chronic ill health.
The known risk factors for chronic illness
Being a woman
Looking at the stats, it appears the biggest risk factor for chronic illness is being a woman. Data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that nearly half the population reported living with a chronic health condition, with more women than men having a chronic condition.
In the case of Autoimmune Disease, this discrepancy increases. Of the number of people in Australia living with and Autoimmune Disease with 3 out 4 are women
When we look at Central Sensitivity Syndromes, evidence shows that women are more likely than men to develop these syndromes.
Essentially, this boils down to what we do in our time off, that is, how we choose to relax and look after ourselves, with the leading trend items being:
- tobacco use
- poor nutrition
- alcohol use,
- lack of physical activity.
While there are obvious linear connections to be made between the key risk factors and the leading chronic conditions from big picture government health perspective, these direct correlations don’t often apply to the whole gamut of what I call chronic illness, or why so many women who don’t tick any of the above boxes still end up zooming down that steep slope to chronic ill health.
The secret risk factors for chronic illness
What I’ve discovered, in my time as a #fibrowarriorgoddess serving other women with chronic illness, is the “common” key risk factors often aren’t the key. There’s something deeper and unacknowledged going on.
The fact that more women than men seem to be affected in each of the categories outlined above, can’t be a coincidence. There’s something else going on and it’s time to look beneath the surface.
In the decade that I’ve been working in this area I’ve discovered 3 key risk factors, not identified by official sources. I’ve defined these qualities into three areas for ease of illustration, but they aren’t definitive, or discrete. All of us contain each of them to a greater or lesser degree. Each of them, I believe, predispose women in particular to having a higher degree of sensitivity and susceptibility to living in hustle and bustle of the modern world.
The High Achiever: “I could’ve done better.”
This is the woman driven to do her best everywhere all the time. On accomplishing what she sets out to do, she’ll do a quick review and see only what didn’t go as well as planned and immediately conclude “I could’ve done better.”
Friends and colleagues admire this go-getter who seems to have boundless energy and an unconquerable will to get sh!t done, and be the best she can possibly be.
The High Achiever is so focussed on outcome, she often pushes way beyond her limitations and has learned to completely ignore the demands, cries and pleas for help sent with increasing urgency from her body.
Health outcomes for the High Achiever can include, among other things:
- high stress
- adrenal fatigue
- reproductive dysfunctions.
The Highly Intuitive: “It’s too much.”
Intuition is an extension of your innate empathic nature and relates to how you perceive and receive information through your subtle senses and energy field. For the unconscious empath this provides a plethora of opportunities to start carrying burdens and responsibilities that are not yours to own. This can be experienced as:
- mood swings
- a sense of being reduced and squashed.
Ultimately it manifests as feeling unsafe and anxious as the “normal” state of being.
When you have a particularly sensitivity in this area and empathy blooms into intuition, you become exposed to a greater range of input. In today’s society intuition still isn’t generally recognised or understood, and many Intuitives remain uninformed about how to work with this incredible skill.
Being highly intuitive in today’s society can be overwhelming, confusing leaving us lost between the dictates of societal directives and the whispered wisdom received from other sources. Highly Intuitive women often feel like “it’s too much. I can’t handle this. I just can’t keep up.”
Health outcomes for the Highly Intuitive can include, among other things:
- crippling self-doubt
The Highly Sensitive: “I can’t cope.”
This gift is an extension of Intuition, and resides in your ability to receive and process energetic information within the physical body.
Highly Sensitive women have incredibly fine-tuned nervous systems to enable this skill of translation.
Just as your nervous system receives all the sensory input your body needs to survive and function in your environment; it also receives a flood of energetic data.
What’s lacking in our current way of being, is the understanding that this gift needs guidance, training and support to blossom rather than overwhelm. As such, Highly Sensitive peeps are prone to the dominant refrain of, “I can’t cope. I need to get out of here.”, and can experience, among other things:
- poor vision
- muscle, joint and body pain
- anxiety and panic attacks
Are these qualities that exist only in women? No, of course not. But having these qualities in an environment that doesn’t acknowledge their existence is a big part of the picture.
The frame for this picture? A society that is devoid of feminine energy. That is the key risk factor for chronic illness.
The known risk factors are the things that medical science attributes to the development of many of today’s health issues.
The secret risk factors belong in the subtle realm and are far more powerful contributors to your health and wellbeing than are currently recognised.
Understanding, reclaiming and honouring these unacknowledged parts of ourselves are the most effective way of restoring health and wellbeing globally.
The real reason for chronic illness
Underlying all of these risk factors is the real cause of humanity’s rising rates of ill-health and collective levels of insanity. It’s our lack of connection with the sacred feminine that’s the fundamental source of dysfunction.
This absence of divine feminine energy shows up many areas, but the starting point is the imbalance of global energies, meaning we are living in a society, a framework and a mindset that is dominated by masculine energy. Worse than that this energy is devoid of the divine elements that create health at all levels. We are living with a wounded, toxic version of masculine that is in desperate need of the healing embrace of the Goddess!
Here are 2 simple energy techniques to help you better manage your daily interactions.
White Light protection. Every morning, picture yourself surrounded by brilliant white light. This light contains the entirety of your being and is impenetrable.
White Light cleanse. Every time you bathe, imagine white light mingling with the water cleansing your being on every level. Imagine you can see the dirt, toxins and darkness of incorrect energy leaving you completely free as it washes down the drain. Imagine this being drawn deep into the recycling energy of Mother Earth and transformed for the healing and enlightenment of all.
We feel the absence of the sacred feminine in so many ways, but without conscious awareness of the true cause. Here are some of the fundamental ways this disconnect manifests in everyone’s ordinary everyday lives.
We’re stressed out all the time
Hands up if you live a stress-free life?
Hmm, I don’t see any hands up. Yes, that was a leading question. Show me a single person on the planet who is without stress in their life right now.
Sources of stress
On an individual level:
- Money, or lack of
- Too much to do, not enough time
- Poor eating habits
- Meeting external expectations and obligations
- Disconnection from nature
- Disconnection from ourselves
- Disconnection from Spirit
On a collective level:
- Threat of war
- Natural disasters
- Climate change
Types of stress
Flight, fight, freeze or faun
Your sympathetic system initiates a fundamental survival mechanism designed to be life-saving. When functioning healthily, the cascade of biochemicals released do their job, have a short-term effect on the physiology of your body. They are then metabolised and your body returns to a healthy state of dynamic balance.
In our modern society we’ve trained ourselves to trigger this response simply by thinking or imagining, at a deeply unconscious level, that our life is under threat. Survival triggers now show up as missed deadlines, overwork, conflicting demands, threat of lack or scarcity, and so on.
The net result, we constantly think or imagine ourselves into a state that our physiology interprets as life-threatening and we live on alert all the time. Biochemicals are continuously released and aren’t disposed of properly which causes:
- a build-up of toxins over time
- the disruption and degradation of the healthy functioning of your physiology
- a depletion of vital resources.
Other things that cause stress on the body, but aren’t often recognised as stress are things that impact on the healthy functioning of your physiology. These are directly linked to the way we choose to live our lives, that are in complete contradiction to a way of life the human body is designed for. Interestingly, these are all key risk factors for chronic illness!
These can include:
- sedentary lifestyle
- food choices
- postural imbalances caused by occupational patterns
- sleep-wake cycles dictated by artificial work-related time frames
- unconscious pressure to “get there” (succeed, earn money, new car, OS holiday, whatever your current goal in life may be)
- environmental toxins
- injury, surgery or other physical trauma
Your breath is the easiest way to make conscious connection with the subconscious functioning of the autonomic nervous system and gently switch from the sympathetic branch responsible for your stress response.
Taking time periodically throughout your day for a few minutes of deep, full breaths signals to the body you are safe and allows the parasympathetic nervous system to become dominant.
Modern living causes chronic illness
I love my lifestyle, don’t get me wrong — water on tap, lights at the flick of a switch, food prepared and packed for my convenience! I appreciate what our modern society provides on so many levels.
But we’ve forgotten one vital fact: we are an integral part of the web of life on earth. At the collective level we take for granted that humanity is privileged, that we are separate to and above the laws of nature, and that our society operates without need or reference to the health of the planet we live on.
As such we live disconnected from our natural rhythms entranced by artificial cycles and hypnotised by the false belief that the pinnacle of human potential is the collection of wealth.
This unconscious willingness to contribute to the subtle transformation of humanity into an artificial construct of humanity is demonstrably toxic. Our biological imperatives are ignored, overridden or medicalised and viewed as problematic rather than what they truly are: a desperate cry for help from a sentient being in incredible pain.
Socio-economic framework reinforces chronic illness
To top it off, we are born and bred with the belief that this is the only way. There is a right way and a wrong way to be a successful human being. The right way looks like your personalised version of what everyone else is doing.
In truth, the right way to live your life is doing whatever it is that makes you happy – truly, deeply and completely happy. We are blessed with the incredible gift of life when we are born. How are you enjoying your gift right now?
When you live intimately with each of these factors every day it’s almost impossible to see the interrelationships: how the lessons learned in childhood, mixed with an overdose of stress and the systematic undermining of your innate nature could possibly result in physical illness.
It’s purely because I’ve spent over a decade working with these specific symptoms, and am living with the consequences of those symptoms myself, that I’ve been able to make the connection.
Why do I have chronic illness?
Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I never asked for it!
You can be forgiven for having these thoughts every now and then. You are only human after all! I’m putting my hand up to admit this right now. Some days have been so tough, that yeah, I succumbed to victim mode and wallowed in self-pity, in between the bouts of debilitating pain.
But it only made me feel worse and added a whole new shade of grey to the sea of fog I was already lost in. That’s when I realised I was sick of it. The whole thing. The mindset, the struggle, the pretence, basically everything I was doing to uphold the semblance that everything was OK when in fact everything was desperately wrong.
A number of factors clicked into place for me all at once. The result of a number of different things that I had set in motion over the years. They all distilled into one thing. What if I’m looking at my life through the wrong eyes?
Change your perspective!
Just one little tweak can open up a whole new world of meaning and opportunities. Try this, just one little word change in the following sentence.
Why is this happening to me?
Swap out the word ‘to’ and use the word ‘for’ instead.
Why is this happening for me?
Rather than running into a brick wall of victim thinking, this opens the pathway to possibility. I invite you to start tweaking your perspective whenever you can. Close your eyes on your current understanding and re-open them with the curious, wondering gaze of a child. I guarantee your world will look different!
What did I do to cause my chronic condition?
The bottom line is, you’ve done absolutely nothing to deserve this, whatever this happens to be for you. All you’ve done is to try live your life to the best of your ability in a framework that systematically undermines your essential nature.
Maybe you’ve ticked some of those lifestyle choices boxes I mentioned earlier, and perhaps those choices have played some part in what you have on your plate right now. It doesn’t really matter.
What matters now, is how you choose to proceed anyway, in spite of the obstacles littering your life path at the moment.
What is your responsibility when you are chronically ill?
It’s time to take responsibility for whatever your choices have or haven’t been in the past, and to be present and conscious for all the choices you make from this point forward.
So, let me clear up any chance for misunderstanding what I mean by responsibility. Firstly, this is what responsibility is not:
- Blaming yourself.
- Slathering yourself with guilt.
- Holding yourself in judgement.
- Shifting ownership of your circumstances to something or someone else.
- Letting fear dictate your choices.
What responsibility is, is this:
- Clear-sighted acceptance of the possible outcomes or consequences.
- Claiming ownership of your circumstances and all the choices that led you to this exact spot.
- Absolute lack of judgement for yourself, and any others you perceive to have some influence in your current circumstances.
- Compassion for the beautiful human you are, doing the absolute best you can.
- Unconditional forgiveness for the times you think you’ve “slipped up”.
How to own your process when you live with chronic illness.
The very first step is to forgive yourself for whatever it is you hold guilt, blame or judgement for. This is a waste of your energy and the toxic load these emotions carry only exacerbates what’s already going on in your overwhelmed system
The second step is to make conscious choices. This one is a biggie, though and I suggest you break it down into 5 parts:
- Take action
I call this the cycle of conscious change, and it is one of the most powerful things you can learn to do to make the most radical shift in your relationship with chronic illness.
The Cycle of Consicous Change is an evolving process activated by bringing your mindfulness practice into your daily living,
moment by conscious moment.
Find out more in my book, Invisible Woman: Transcending the Hidden Struggle of Chronic Illness.
Why responsibility leads to power, potency and potential.
Recognising your responsibility in creating the life you live in is a pivotal turning point that leads straight to reclaiming your power. Once you accept responsibility you regain the position of being the one in charge. This is what I call taking radical responsibility!
Moving from accepting to actively taking responsibility stakes your claim on you being the authority of you! No one else on this planet truly understands everything you are and exactly what you need.
It’s in this position of power, that the cycle of conscious change comes into maximum effect and you actively move towards realising your full potential and discovering the potency of your own medicine.
So, does taking radical responsibility mean you don’t have to do anything that anyone else tells you to do?
Let me answer that question with another one: What does your inner guidance tell you?
The hidden facet of radical responsibility is your willingness to turn down the volume on your tricksy ego voice, and dial into the channel that receives your higher wisdom.
Emotions and Chronic Illness
Here’s an aspect that’s often overlooked in the big picture of chronic illness. Emotion. We know from the ground breaking work of Candace Pert, that molecules within our body give rise to the emotions we experience.
So, it makes sense when we take that understanding deeper, to consider the effect of the chemical cocktails of these emotions moving around in the waters of our bodies. Just like stress hormones, if these chemicals aren’t properly metabolised, they accumulate and become problematic because they:
- contribute to toxicity within the body
- interfere with healthy cell function
- increase the workload of the lymphatic system.
There’s a fair chance that strong negative emotions if not now, then at some time in the past, have been a factor in your life and that these hidden contributors played a major role in painting the picture of your world today.
My experience in clinic is that there are three common offenders:
Closely followed by worry and anger.
These emotional contributors blend beautifully with stress creating the perfect combination to undermine what you experience and how you conduct yourself as someone who is a high achiever, or highly intuitive, or highly sensitive, or some combination of each or all three.
These are the secret, mostly unrecognised risks factors, that when squashed into the box we call living in the western world, and separated from the balance and flow of the sacred feminine, become the major risk factors for chronic illness.
If you’re someone like me, who doesn’t tick the lifestyle boxes of risk factors, then there’s a fair chance that these are the risk factors that have caught you!
How to release the toxins of emotion
This is a powerful element in any healing formula. Being able to step away from self-judgement and to have compassion for yourself. To be able to see yourself with clear sight and accept every part of who you are, both the things that shine in the light, and the things that lurk in the shadow.
Making peace with the shadow is very much about being able to forgive yourself and to embrace the power that resides in the aspects of you that you don’t like very much. It’s at this point that I ask you to see yourself and to treat yourself as you would your best friend.
You would never, ever let your best friend treat themselves the way you treat yourself. It’s time to be your own best friend!
The Practice of Forgiveness
This tip comes to you verbatim from the Virtues Project.
I overlook mistakes.
I free myself from pain and resentment.
I am willing to heal the past.
I find it in my heart to give others another chance.
I use guilt only as a signal for change.
I accept Divine redemption.
I have the power to change for the better.
So tired of being tired!
I hear you! It’s one of the most common complaints people with chronic illness have—fatigue, no oomph, running out of steam, can’t overdo it—so many versions of the same symptom. What the hell has happened to my energy levels?
So, what can you do about it?
A popular way to manage this aspect of chronic illness is to define your limits by how many “spoons” of energy you feel you have available to you at a particular time. For instance, you may wake up most days feeling like you have 10 spoons full of energy for that day. So, your day might pan out something like:
- Normal morning routine (shower, breakfast, get ready for working) = 1 spoon
- Getting to work and settling into work routine = 0.5 spoon
- First half of the day = 3 spoons
- Lunch break = 1 spoon
- Second half of the day = 3 spoons
- Getting home = 0.5 spoon
Afternoon/evening routine (shower, dinner, family interactions, etc) = 1 spoon
What happens on the days that you wake up feeling there’s only 5 spoons of petrol in the tank?
So, while spoons may be a great way to explain inconsistent energy levels to others, spoons don’t really help you invite change into the picture. In fact, the concept of spoons keeps you trapped in the idea that your energy is finite, a scarce resource and is not to be used unwisely.
Retain the wisdom, but let go of the limitations. Here are some change-making steps you can take, while you use the spoons to support yourself as you make change.
What’s causing your energy drain?
It’s most likely your energy drain is occurring on many levels, not just the physical. But let’s start with the physical—energy loss can be due to:
- The food you eat
- Your metabolism
- Mitochondrial damage
- Your mood, depression and fatigue go hand-in-hand
- Pain, being in pain—acute, or chronic or both—is fatiguing!
So, addressing these seems pretty logical, and should be easy right? Yet, for many women living with chronic illness, fatigue—heavy, overwhelming and engulfing fatigue—continues to be a major symptom.
Why is that?
I put it to you that our major energy leaks occur at the energetic and spiritual levels. The mere fact that we think ourselves to be separate to nature, and that many of us are physically disconnected from nature on a daily basis, is a major source of distress and disease. We have consciously disconnected ourselves from the source of renewal and healing freely available to all life on earth: direct physical contact with the Earth herself.
This lack of connection carries over to the spiritual level as well. Let’s face it, the spiritual make-up of humanity at the moment is like a threadbare patchwork quilt. There are remnants of exquisite colours and patterns still to be found in the tattered grey remnants of our spiritual nature.
Remembering that we are multi-dimensional beings connected to the Universal flow, that we are a part of the Universal flow, and that we contain the Universal flow as a spark of the divine is a key understanding in identifying where you’re losing energy.
Repair the energy leaks
Once you’ve identified possible sources of your energy leaks, it’s time to plug them up, repair any damage that’s repairable, or find other sources and channels to meet and sustain your energy needs.
What does this actually look like?
Well, that really depends on you, but most commonly it’s some, all or a combination of the following:
- Modify nutritional habits.
- Explore and do movement that’s appropriate for you.
- Discuss and alter your treatment protocol with your health practitioner/s, if it’s appropriate and beneficial to do so.
- Learn new habits, such as meditation or mindfulness.
- Add some energy healing techniques to your self-care practices.
There are so many different types of meditation to choose from. If you’re new to the practice it can be overwhelming, and if you’ve struggled with the practice in the past, perhaps you just haven’t found the style that works for you.
I invite you to try your mind with journey meditation. Even if you’re a seasoned meditator I extend this invitation to you too, for the simple reason that this is an easy way to incorporate some profound healing activation work.
As with other forms of meditation, there are many types of journeys you can undertake. If you have a specific healing intention, look for a journey meditation that can take you there.
For example, diving into the cleansing energy of the ocean is a wonderful way to receive restoration for body, mind and soul.
How to love yourself when you’re chronically ill
When illness is something you’ve acquired, rather than a condition you were born with. it can be a real mind flip. The person you knew yourself to be suddenly no longer exists. There’s often a real sense of loss, or feeling you’ve been cheated or robbed—not only of good health, but of who you used to be.
Who are you now that you’ve received a diagnosis? What does this mean for your relationships? How will I manage being seen by other people now that I am different? How do I see myself? How do I accept this new me? What if this means I’ll never do or be all the things I dreamed of? All of these questions and more can come up, or perhaps they stayed buried in your subconscious adding yet another layer of distress to what you’re dealing with on the surface level.
Claim your new identity and own it!
When all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter how other people see you. The opinion that matters most is your own. Recognising yourself for who you truly are, while adjusting to so many changes, is a process. It can be easy to sink in a sea of overwhelm, blame, guilt, resent and denial mixed in with varying degrees of self-pity.
How do you accept all of this without being lost in it and allowing that morass to become your new identity? While we each have to find our own way, it’s true, understanding that you’re going through a process can help, and that process involves grief, forgiveness and choice.
My tips for uncovering the truth of who you are, when you live with chronic illness are as follows.
You’ve just lost someone you love—the old you. It makes sense that you feel all the extremes of emotions that go with grieving. You have the right to grieve, allow yourself to grieve in your own time in your own way. Be wary of getting stuck though. I found myself in the land of denial for a very long time, for example. Feel the feels and endeavour to bring in some objectivity from time to time to ensure you are letting your grieving process flow naturally.
Let go of blame where ever you can, starting with yourself. You haven’t done anything to deserve this, you’re not being punished, you haven’t made stupid decisions in the past, none of that! Find a way to forgive yourself however that looks or feels for you.
Equally, it’s nobody else’s fault either. Observe how you feel and interact with those around you, and where ever you discover judgement, blame, resentment or even a small sense of “it’s not fair” forgive yourself and them.
Ultimately who you truly are and how you want to be seen are your choice. You can choose to be lost in the morass of victim-hood if that’s what appeals to you the most. Or you can choose to discover who this new person before you actually is, stripped of all the trappings and trimmings of what once was.
How many people get the chance to reinvent themselves every day? This is your new secret super power because you can choose, and choose again.
And you can choose again, and again.
See yourself in the light of Truth
When you’ve reached that point, you know the one, the “I’m over it” point, then moving beyond the bleak, repetitive “bleurgh” that goes with that point, takes commitment and determination. It also requires stepping away from frustration, resentment and impatience with yourself (and others) that also often accompanies the experience of being over it.
Take a moment right now to acknowledge the courage it takes to even contemplate change. How much do you admire and celebrate a friend or loved one when they make a difficult decision and take action on that decision? I’ll bet you’re right there cheering them on, loving them and encouraging them.
Now’s the time for you to do that for yourself. To see yourself as a courageous person making a difficult decision and taking bold action, baby step by baby step, to change something that isn’t easy to change.
You truly are a warrior goddess. Invite that vibe deep into your heart and let it radiate out to every layer of your being.
Redefine your boundaries
One the hardest things I’ve personally found to deal with in living with fibromyalgia is the unpredictability that goes with it. It’s hard to know from one day to the next exactly how you’re going to feel, what your energy levels are going to be like, et cetera, et cetera. So, planning out your life, running a business, make social commitments, all the things others take for granted, suddenly become a high stakes gamble. You just never really know until you know.
Sometimes it feels easier to just say no, until you realise that your world has become small, empty and more than a little bit lonely. It can also feel overwhelming and frustrating always having to choose between things instead of being able to do everything.
Chronic illness, limiting choices and a smaller world seem to become a fact of life.
Here’s a perspective flip that empowers you to reclaim your free will and invite the energy of expansion back in. Don’t limit yourself by what you can’t do, redefine yourself by what you want to do.
What I mean by this is become truly discerning, uplevel your understanding of self and start directing your life by making choices based on how you feel rather than making them based on guilt, obligation, pleasing others, or because it’s what everyone else does.
The number 1 lesson in living with chronic illness is being true to you, and only you. This means, you love and value yourself above all else—not in a way that is selfish, judgemental or “holier than thou”, but rather in a way that sees the true value of who you are and what you bring, and in that seeing makes an incredible difference to the world just by being who you are.
If you weren’t sick, who would you be?
Who you are now is a temporary state of being, just as the person you were before was also a temporary state of being. You just didn’t know it then. If you don’t like who you are now, you have the power to change that.
Your ability to make that change can have a profound effect on your entire being.
So, I invite you to start dreaming into your potential by asking yourself the following questions.
“Who would I be if I didn’t have [INSERT YOUR ILLNESS HERE]?”
“What would I be doing?”
“How would that make me feel?”
Your ability to change rests as much in your ability to dream as it does in your willingness and commitment to change. Invite that change in now by dreaming up another new you, one that you can grow into as you change. Who are you becoming?
Change is inevitable so why not embrace it?
Our body is in a constant state of change, from the biochemical processes, to cellular death and regeneration, growth, metabolism to merely maintaining a stable inner environment. Every moment of every day we have the opportunity to make change, to be someone different. Here’s how to activate change in your relationship with chronic illness.
Take a moment now to grab your journal or notebook, and a pen.
Ready? Before starting, take a moment to centre yourself. Feel your feet grounded and connected with the floor; notice the way you are supported by the chair; feel the air against your skin and bring your attention to your breath. Just breathe quietly for a few moments. Allow yourself to come to stillness.
Now, ask yourself the following questions and note what comes to mind, whatever emotions may bubble up, whatever sensations manifest in your body. All of this is powerful and much needed information. If nothing comes, that’s OK. Make note of that. Do your best to refrain from judging whatever is happening for you. Just notice, and make notes.
- What do you know to be true about yourself?
- What is your understanding of your physical body?
- What do you truly want?
Excerpt from, Invisible Woman: Transcending the Hidden Struggle of Chronic Illness.
Do you know what you want?
This is the point in our conversation where I ask the hard questions. You have a choice coming up in just a few minutes (if you keep reading). Have you reached a level of comfortable discomfort with the chronically ill person you’ve become, and you feel safer to maintain that status quo?
Or are you yearning for change?
If you’re fed up with it, tried everything and are over the ever-diminishing horizon closing in around you, roll up your sleeves and read on.
If you’re afraid that making change will put you into a downward spiral, I hear you. Fear is perfectly natural, and it’s a key indicator that change is the only way forward even though taking that step brings unknown and unknowable consequences. It could get worse.
It could just as easily get better.
So, do you want things to change? Are you so fed up that you’re ready to take the risk, even though it’s scary?
The next secret I’m about to share with you is one of the best kept secrets in the world. You already have everything you need to make your heart-felt desires a reality. The trick is remembering how to access all this juicy goodness.
If you’re ready for change, here’s the next piece of the puzzle.
Want to change the nature of your relationship with chronic illness forever?
Everything you need to know to transcend the hidden struggle with chronic illness.
Move beyond your current way of being and embrace your true potential.
Spirituality and Chronic Illness
You are a divine creature. Deep within you, a spark of the divine illuminates your unique brilliance. That brilliance has been covered over in the dense layers of the accumulated understanding of our human condition.
In essence, this is the true source of your health condition. Our disconnection from Source, Self, and the Sacred is leading the whole of humanity on an accelerating pathway of rapid decline. We see it in the rising numbers of chronic illness and mental health, as well as what we see reflected in our environment. This mindset that we are separate from the life around us is causing the destruction of not only ourselves but also all the life around us that we rely on for our existence.
The first step in healing this disconnection is to acknowledge and start to accept that you are more than what you understand yourself to be. There are layers and dimensions to you that extend beyond the comprehension of 3D reality.
The journey of reconnection with your true nature provides the medicine you need for true healing of what you’re experiencing as ill-health.
Comfort from connection with the divine
There are a number of different avenues for discovering your connection to the divine. They exist under three general categories: meditation, contemplation and focus.
This is pretty self-explanatory. There are a number of different meditation types you can try to find the one (or 2 or 3) that really work for you. The caveat with meditation is it is a practice, and it does take practice, however the health benefits from doing meditation are well documented, and make perseverance well worthwhile.
Over and above the beautiful physiological benefits, meditation invites the ego mind to take a step back making space for the greater consciousness that we are all a part of, to bring itself to your conscious awareness. This connection fills you, body, mind and soul with peace, calm, joy and the absolute knowing that you are special, part of something special and that everyone else and everything else around you are also special.
Life is incredible. You are incredible, and the planet we live on is a stunning gift.
This simple understanding, once experienced through every layer of your being, changes everything!
Similar to meditation, contemplation enables our mind to comprehend its own boundaries and then to move beyond those boundaries. It’s a practice honoured by many traditions and takes a number of different forms. From simple breath connection, through to more extended mindfulness practices.
There are a variety of methods you can try such as:
- Mindful walking
- Stream of consciousness writing
- Contemplative reading
- Yoga nidra
- Contemplating the Labyrinth
- A Course in Miracles
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but this is a good starting point.
The outcome of contemplation is the experience of being in the moment and noticing what comes to your attention without analysis or judgement. Contemplation is a practice in experiencing the now, of being in the mystical—of just being.
The goal with developing a focus practice is to remain present with the object of your focus. Again, it’s a practice in staying present, acknowledging the distractions of the ego mind, but not being drawn into those distractions. Practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are wonderful for focus and have the added benefit of bringing you deeply into your body and into the experience of being in your body.
Focus enables you to experience being present in the physicality of your body.
Even though I’ve listed these practices under separate headings, in reality they intersect and overflow. They are each a part of the other two, and the understanding they invite is this: What am I experiencing when I’m truly present? Who am I when I experience this?
Self-knowledge and chronic illness
Reclaiming your connection with the divine has a number of spin-off effects that in turn create a deeper appreciation of the experience you are living.
As you develop the skill of becoming the Observer (becoming conscious that you are not your thoughts) your perspective shifts. You are able to see yourself, and everything around you in a new light. The gift of making this connection, of reclaiming the sacred aspect of yourself, is a choice. You have equipped yourself to see things clearly and to understand that everything is your choice. How you feel about your condition, is a choice.
Understanding that how you see yourself is a choice, and that you can choose to see yourself differently is a personal revolution. Seeing your past actions, attitudes, beliefs and choices without judgement is profoundly healing. These two ah-ha’s alone are a potent mix for making a significant shift in your relationship with your condition.
These combined with the next realisation are gamechangers: in truth you are a being of free will.
Self-love and chronic illness
As you embrace this newfound freedom your understanding of yourself moves from acceptance to love. Your ability to see yourself more in the light of truth, than in the stories you tell yourself triggers the release of the medicine of forgiveness and self-compassion.
Your ability to choose is empowered by the vibration of love and enables you to make loving choices for yourself. To lift yourself out habitual responses, habitual attitudes and beliefs, and most importantly habitual living.
Claiming the power of choice and using it with conscious awareness is an act of deepest self-love. It’s your life and you get to choose how you want to experience it, even in those moments when you feel completely powerless and without choice!
Self-devotion and chronic illness
Self-love is transformed to self-devotion when you take radical responsibility for who you are in Truth.
This alchemy occurs as you release fear, blame and judgement and come into experiential understanding that we are indeed connected with everything—more than that, we are one. Some of the experiences within this process include:
- recognising and reclaiming all the parts of you with compassion and non-judgement
- releasing the habit of living and replace it with conscious choice in each and every moment
- transcending the drama of emotion-driven reactionary thinking and observing from a new perspective what is actually going on.
As the blocky weights of fear, blame and judgement drop away more space becomes available for compassion, kindness, gratitude and unconditional love. Ultimately you live and breathe a new baseline that resounds with happiness and joy. It may sound cliché but the body-felt experience of this vibration as your “normal” is worth working for.
Ascension and chronic illness
As you step up to the responsibility of being in your full potential you also step into your full power as a sovereign being with free will.
Living your Truth, sharing who you truly are easily, with authenticity and completely free of any reservations allows those around you to start their own vibrational shift. Your efforts, your claiming of self-worth, self-love and self-devotion change the frequency in the field around you and gives permission to those around you, albeit at the unconscious level, to move closer to their own essential truth.
Unity, the absence of disconnection
At this level of conscious awareness, you step into the experiential understanding that there is no separation. That is, you have a daily, body-felt experience that we are part of all life on earth, a part of the Earth herself, and that there is no hierarchy, only cause and effect. We are all different frequencies of energy and there is no boundary to this energy other than vibrational levels. We flow, weave, interconnect and originate from the same source.
I find Edgar Cayce’s explanation of consciousness the easiest to understand. Universal consciousness is like the ocean, and our individual consciousness is like the peaks of individual waves. There is only momentary separation while the wave holds its form, then it collapses back into the sea of consciousness, disperses, and new waves are formed.
Healing at the spiritual level often feels circular as lessons are learned, and then repeated, and repeated. The key to remember here is that as you revisit lessons you are coming to them from a different starting point. Each refresher gives you the opportunity to transcend your understanding in that moment and to release more incorrect energy, toxic emotions and to clear the gunge obscuring your own soul light.
Learning at this level is circular not linear, not only that it’s multidimensional not two dimensional. That is, the pathway that you experience as circular is in truth a spiral; a pathway that moves you not only forwards and backwards, but can take you upwards or downwards, inwards and outwards, as you discover and uncover the things that need your loving focus to release whatever is holding you in painful stasis.
This is healing! This is your personalised healing. When you step into the spiral dance of cosmic consciousness you are taking heaping doses of your own unique medicine.
The end point is your soul—reconnection with your own spark of the Divine within in you. Surrendering your understanding of who and what you think you are to the wisdom within is where your true healing lies.
The Test of Truth
What is truth, how do you know when it’s present, and how do you know if it is actually true for you?
Here’s an activity for you to try to help you connect with your truth. I’ve taken it from my book, Invisible Woman: Transcending the Hidden Struggle of Chronic Illness.
The first part of this activity is to get a baseline reading on your Truth. Find a quiet spot where you feel safe and comfortable to go into a light meditative state. Make sure you have your journal or notebook hand.
Before moving into the meditation take a few minutes to draw to mind a memory of knowing your truth. For example, one that leaps to mind for me is the moment I signed the loan with my husband for an investment property. My truth was literally screaming at me that this wasn’t the right thing for me to do. Yet, I did it anyway. I have a very vivid body recollection of what that experience of truth felt like. Another powerful moment of knowing my truth was when I was told at 21 years of age that if I wanted to have children, I should have had them when I was 18, as it was very unlikely I’d now be able to conceive, or carry a pregnancy to term. The voice of truth that rang through me at that time is unforgettable.
Take the time to let a recollection of your truth come to you, then move into the visualisation below.
Feel free to record your own version and be guided by the power of your own voice.
Gently close your eyes and allow your breath to deepen and soften. Let your breath start drawing you in, enticing your awareness to sink deeper into the sanctuary of your body. Invite your awareness to drift softly to the centre of your being, finding comfort and accommodation in your heart space. With every breath notice your awareness settling more solidly in your heart space.
Now call in a moment of truth. Invite the memory of that moment to fill your being. Bring it into the present—all the sensations, the emotions, the feelings and the absolute certainty of truth ringing throughout your being. Really open yourself to the experience of that truth, and jot down dot points of what you recall, what it felt like—how you would recognise that experience of truth when it shows up again.
Pause and reflect …
You’ll probably notice that truth is a full-body resonance. You won’t find it in just your head, or your heart or your gut. It emanates from the deepest recesses of your being, welling up from the womb-space, and from the centre of every cell of your being where it manifests in all your centres of consciousness simultaneously. There’s no mistaking this particular vibration for anything else.
The Truth about Chronic Illness
There’s no cure, only healing
The medical profession is correct when they tell you there’s no cure for whatever condition you’re currently living with. It’s not just because they haven’t yet created the magic pill to fix you.
Firstly, you don’t need fixing because you’re not broken. Secondly, there is no cure because cure implies a return to how things were before.
You know now, that can never happen. You will never be the same person you were before; you will only ever be who you are now, and now, and now! Discovering that and absorbing that as body-felt wisdom is your healing.
Find your medicine and take it
For true healing you need to find your medicine and take it. That is, embark on a journey of discovery that:
- enables you to explore your inner landscape
- reclaim your loving connection with who you truly are
- empowers you to step into your full potential
- frees you to live in a vibration of abundance, joy and personal freedom unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
Chronic Illness: the catalyst for your purpose
Rather than being a life sentence, or a punishment for perceived wrongs, your chronic illness is an opportunity.
It’s your opportunity to make the most important decision in your life and to experience the most profound change you will ever make.
You are powerful, incredible and alive with purpose and you now have the key to unlock the fullness of all of your gifts. What you choose and how you live your life will make all the difference in the world, to the world and for the world. Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you do doesn’t matter. It does, you do—you matter!
Individual expression of collective conscious illness
As we’ve already discovered, the secret risk factors for chronic illness are metaphysical in nature and that these are compounded by a disconnection from the sacred feminine.
The reason why you in particular are facing the challenge of chronic illness right now is because as a Yin-dominant being you tick all of those metaphysical boxes. Like a canary in a coalmine, your sensitivity makes you highly susceptible to manifesting the distress of humanity’s collective consciousness as physical illness.
You are the sign that we are breaking, not only the planet, and the life cycle of the planet, but we are also at risk of breaking ourselves, collectively, beyond the point of repair.
The Changemaker and the paradigm shift
Whether you align with the school of thinking about global Ascension or not, it’s clear that major change is imminent. Humanity is standing on either the brink of catastrophic disaster, or at the start of the next level of our evolution.
The choice is ours—yours and mine—and everyone else on the planet. We can choose to keep repeating the patterns of the past and hoping for a different outcome (that’s the definition of insanity, by the way!), or we can choose to do something radically different: believe that we are capable of making the change needed to stop the insanity.
The change starts with you, if you choose it. You are the Changemaker we’re waiting for. Focus on your own healing and let that healing heal us all.
Be the change you want to see
If you want something different for yourself, your family and your friends, you are the one to make that difference. By honouring yourself as a divine being, switching on the light of truth and dancing boldly in that light you become the living inspiration that change is possible. You show those around you that we are all capable and worthy of so much more.
Don’t wait for the rule-makers to make the change. Wake them up and invite them to into the change you are already making.
There’s nowhere else you need to be
No matter how challenging, uncomfortable, distressed, depressed, frustrated or angry you may feel in your current circumstances, you’re exactly where you need to be, doing what you need to do.
The Biggest secrets for you to take away are:
- Throw away your spoons, you don’t need them.
- You already have everything you need to live well with your condition—really well!
- The choice you make now has the power to change the world.
If you’ve reached a point of an acceptable level of discomfort with the status quo and you don’t want to explore the possibilities, that is quite OK.
But if you’re ready for something different to what you’re experiencing now, where would you like to start?
Want some directions?
Your guidebook and road map
are a click away.
This book is for you if you have tried everything – I mean everything – to get on top of your condition, but nothing seems to work for long. You’re over the band-aid approach to self-care, and you’re sick of being stuck in Groundhog Day with your business. You know what you have to do, but it’s scary and you don’t know where to start.
Alternative medicine healing
Emotions & Mental Health
New Age New Thought
Personal Growth & Inspiration