Are You The One In Four? A Letter To A Judgemental Friend

“I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.”  Daphne Du Maurier

*Long read ahead. Go grab a cuppa.

Someone, a friend (or maybe not), send me a long and well-meaning (or maybe not) message yesterday asking why I so publicly explained my current health situation in my latest blog post, including mentioning that I suffer from incontinence AND had posted less than flattering images of myself that made me look ‘sick and drained and old’. Apparently, you shouldn’t talk about ‘body failure’ so openly. They suggested that it was ‘harming my image and the potential for me to build my business.’ Finally, they added that my life was  ’embarrassing and overly drama-filled, and maybe I should keep those details to myself’. In the midst of all their advice, they neglected to ask me how I was.

I was going to write them a long message back but instead, I’m going to reply here by way of a recent experience:

Dear YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE BUT I WON’T PUBLICALLY NAME YOU!

The other morning Ben and I needed to visit an office supplies store, but when we arrived at our destination the store had moved. It was only a few blocks away, and to navigate to the new address was straightforward, but for some strange reason as we exited the carpark Ben ducked down a side street and suddenly we were travelling down a rabbit warren of narrow suburban lanes instead of using the main roads.

‘Why are we going this way?’ I asked. ‘This is a dumb way.’

‘I dunno. Felt like it I guess,’ said Ben.

Who was I to argue? I haven’t been able to drive for months. Ben could drive there any route he chose.

When we slowed to take a corner I glanced up a street that ran off the one we were on. My vision is limited right now but of my mouth tumbled the words ‘Stop the car’.

‘Why?’ asked Ben, pulling to a halt.

I pointed. ‘There’. And even though I couldn’t see more than a blur I knew it was someone in trouble. That’s one of the gifts of being psychic.

Ben reversed and we drove fifty metres down another street. There on the sloping front lawn a middle-aged woman was lying awkwardly, half across her driveway, with the bulk of her body angled down the slope and her legs bent uphill behind her. Her handbag and car keys were strewn across the ground.

Ben put the window down and asked calmly, ‘Are you okay?’

‘I’m a bit stuck,’ the lady responded as she waved one arm in a feeble attempt to right herself.

We jumped out of the car and hurried over. As I gathered her fallen things Ben helped her to a sitting position and then we both helped her to her feet. Since my fiftieth birthday in 2017 I now feel every single emotion other people are holding within them as viscerally as if those emotions were mine. This woman’s story unfolded within my own body – this was the first major fall the woman had experienced and she had been lying on the ground for some time, alone and unable to reach her phone or to get herself back up again. It was terrifying for her, and worse, it had suddenly made real the truth of her health situation and diminishing capacities. I could feel the shame and embarrassment in her, as well as the shock.

The woman told us she had Parkinson’s. She was dazed and shaking but kept insisting she was fine and asked to be helped to her car. It was only when Ben let go of her and I saw his hands were covered in blood that we managed to convince her to go back inside her home and look after herself. She’d taken off quite a bit of skin, and her scrapes and bumps looked like they would become painful bruises later. She wouldn’t let us call anyone, and she was embarrassed and upset. I totally understood. The thing she’d been dreading had happened. She’d fallen, and been left stuck and helpless. Once upon a time if that had been me I would have waved everyone off as fast as I could too!

Chronic and terminal illnesses eventually lead us down paths we may never have imagined taking. But as a species we are resilient. We adapt. Life is about making the best of what we’ve got.

Have you ever been in that place, Dear ____________? That place of wanting to hold on to something that is no longer true for you? That place of wanting to not draw attention to yourself, of not wanting to admit a situation or a problem or something else that you perceive would make you somehow diminished in the eyes of others? It’s so human. It just swells my heart with compassion and pricks tears in my eyes.

There is one thing chronic illness has taught me. We’re all fragile. Poor health, accidents, illness and misfortune can strike any of us, at any time, at any age. Statistics show that one in four adults has some form of disability, physical or mental illness or chronic pain that limits our ability to function and cope with the activities of daily life.

One in four.

One in four of us suffers from diabetes or cancer or anxiety or pain or depression or incontinence or irritable bowel or restricted movement or chronic fatigue or OCD or chronic insomnia or some weird genetic thing or bullying or abuse or an occupational injury or… the list is endless. If it’s not us it’s someone we know. Maybe you’re not the sufferer but you live with that person. Care for that person.

Right now I am that one in four. Why should I hide that? It’s not all of me but it is part of me. And I refuse to hide that because if I do it means I am endorsing a world that says we should only show ourselves if we are perfect or at least ‘unoffensive’ to others.

And what does it say about you if you think that people like me should only show the ‘better aspects’ of our lives? Are you saying that I am not worthy to be out in the world if I wear a diaper or need a cane or someone to cut up my food or drive me places?

One in four, Dear _________________. One in four.

One day, that could so easily be you. Or your partner. Or your child.

This is what I believe – we need to embrace the truth of where we are at, without shame, embarrassment or apology. The ‘Instagram Life’ is a lie, and it puts ridiculous pressure on us to be something that so few people are or are with any kind of consistency; young, rich, thin, shredded, beautiful, stylish, completely together, popular, loved by a wide and ‘normal’ circle of family and friends, well travelled, eating amazing meals at fabulous places and healthy and well-balanced inside and out – with never a hint of adversity.

As to the fact that my life is at times ‘overly drama-filled’, my darling friend Carly-Jay Metcalfe who lives with Cystic Fibrosis responded with her own hard-won insights on my Facebook page, and I’ll include her post here in full:

Can I just say that as a person with a terminal illness, I don’t think people who are unaffected by chronic or terminal conditions can understand that with each step forward, it’s usually four steps back. It’s unrelenting and just because you say you’re on the road to recovery, does not mean you’re necessarily ‘better’. I’m glad you’re being gentle on yourself, Nic. I just wish everyone’s expectations were a little more realistic.

When I think of Carly-Jay I don’t think Cystic Fibrosis. I think poet, writer, aunt to my dogs, hilarious, soulful friend. When I think of myself I don’t think illness, I think of all the dreams that reside in my heart. We are not our illnesses or our frailties. We can live and thrive despite any of that. And we never need be defined or diminished by them. Does illness impact our lives and sometimes the lives of others? Sure. It’s just how it is.

What matters is who a person is on a soul level. Bodies age, fade, fail. But our souls are an eternal brightness. So, who are you in your heart? Who are you in the way you act in the world? Who you are as you live by your values? What are your dreams? Your relationships? Your interests? Your knowledge? Where can your passion take you?

Dear ____________ , I guarantee you that our world is held up and held together by people who are limping along in life doing the best that they can, sharing their ideas and gifts and love and care even though they face their own personal adversities.

I’ve been sharing my vulnerabilities since I first started blogging, and that’s the way I shall continue.

I hope no hardship ever befalls you but statistically, things are not on your side. ‘Life is suffering’ is what the Buddha said, and from my experience that will be true for everyone at some stage. That won’t mean you have failed. It will mean that you are human. If your road gets hard I’ll hold your hand as we navigate the bumpy bits together. To think that we need to be alone in our adversity is a myth perpetrated by people like you. Let’s end that way of thinking. It serves no-one.

Much love, Nicole  xx

A Nicole Update and A Little Lesson In Surrender

“After all, the true seeing is within.” 
George Eliot, Middlemarch

 

Did you know that the energies of November are great for all forms of metaphysical work, for clarifying our Life Path and for honouring a life-calling by owning our capacity to share knowledge? It’s also a month for honouring our connection to the natural world, and to the nature spirits of the Earth. And I had intended to do all of that, in my spare time, after doing all the other things on my very big and busy November To-Do List.

But the Universe had other plans.

It started with a scratchy throat at the end of October. I’d just come back from holidays, I was well rested and feeling fabulous, and I didn’t think anything of it.

The sore throat lasted a few days, my voice got a little raspy, and then a high fever kicked in. From there it was all dramatically downhill. I was in and out of doctors’ offices and hospital. A virus, a severe chest infection, a raft of drugs, and then a bucketload of extra complications. Such is the reality of being immuno-compromised and having Late Stage Lyme Disease.

I might have coped if it was just the infection. But it was the other things that happened which really threw me. My bladder became irritated and painful. Then neurological urinary incontinence kicked in. Inflammation and infection in my body meant that my bladder would suddenly empty with no warning and no ability on my part to control it. I went back to plastic backed bed-sheets and adult diapers. 🙁

My heart raced and thumped with arrhythmia bad enough to wake me up at night.

Feeling less than fab, and with almost no functional vision.

I lost vision in my ‘good’ eye. After suffering Bells Palsy some years ago the right side of my face has never been the same again and the muscle control has never quite come back. My right eye often experiences blurred vision or becomes lazy, especially when I am tired. My left eye is my strong eye but it is also the one that is affected by Lyme. When my optic nerve becomes inflamed I lose vision in that eye. After a few days of high-dose antibiotics for my chest infection, I woke up one morning to almost total loss of vision in my good eye and reduced vision in my weak one. Suddenly I couldn’t see well enough to read or watch television. I started tripping and bumping into things. So I couldn’t read your messages or answer them.

 

Then I lost my voice.

My fatigue was off the scale. All I could do was lie in bed. Right when I’d had a million things planned and so much work on my plate.

To top it all off just as I was beginning to improve I had an extreme reaction to one of my drugs which caused bloody urine and off-the-chart bladder pain.

This was not how I had expected to spend November!

I’ll admit it – when I lost my eyesight I came very close to sinking into deep despair. I had a few very messy days. (Yep, I howled like a baby.) But then I got home to the farm and as I lay in bed each day listening to the birds and the wind in the trees I realised that I could still see auras and that my eye with almost no functional vision could see energy in great detail. Ben picked flowers from the garden and put them beside my bed so I could smell roses and gardenias and heliotrope.

I made a decision earlier this month. I could sit in an ongoing pity-party or I could surrender to the moment and use my time to refocus on my inward journey. I couldn’t read or write or talk, but I could meditate. I could pray my mala. And the inner world and the Quantum Field had plenty of magic to keep me engaged.

There have been complications since then, and other problems. But it’s been okay. Because I just shifted out of my body and back into the Zero Pont Field and the All-That-Is for a while.

So, that’s where I’ve been these past few weeks. I’ve been interdimensional – a traveller through space and time. I haven’t had such an intense spiritual journey for many years.

And out of it has come clarity about my own direction, so much new material to share with you, new courses and many, many messages.

I’m finally on the mend. My eyesight is still limited. My bladder is still raw and agonisingly painful. My voice is still raspy. And my battery is still flat. My hair is full of knots and I can’t see to fix it. But my soul is shiny-bright, and I am optimistic and grateful and loved-up right down to my bones.

Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but sometimes it gives you what you need.

This week’s energies support thinking about your dreams and goals and giving yourself space to ask and seek answers for the big questions in life. I sincerely hope you make some time to get off life’s hamster wheel and feel into your heart and your own soul wisdom to help you see what the next move can be for you so that your life becomes more satisfying and meaningful.

Sending the biggest hugs and love your way, Nicole  xx

PS: Looking for some extra help and support for your spiritual journey in the year ahead? These are the very last day to pre-order our gorgeous 2019 Planner, Meditation Mala and membership packages at the special rates. They’ll be officially launched and on sale after Thursday but the prices and packages will change, so get in quick if you’re looking for extra savings! You can find everything you need here.

Home treatment for dodgy airways – thank goodness for my awesome doctor who manages me so well!

Victory in the shape of an outing to the local shopping centre yesterday. My first in weeks! I didn’t walk far or do much, but it was thrilling.

 

It Had To Happen…

Image by Kristy Lynn

Image by Kristy Lynn

“The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.”
― Aleister Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4

 

Just read back over this before I posted and thought I might insert this small disclaimer: Oops, cranky alert… Also, minor potty mouth.

I’m all for magical thinking, and (as you’ve probably worked out!) as a practicing psychic and metaphysical teacher (yes, that’s what I do for a living) I’m totally open to thoughts, emotions and beliefs helping or hindering our healing process. In fact I’ve had some incredible health breakthroughs using mind-body medicine, and in facing and working through my own paradigm.

But you know what? I’m also a cheerleader for….

wait for it….

SCIENCE.

Yep. Science rocks. I respect the science that stands behind modern medicine, and many of the traditional healing therapies. Medically speaking, science has saved my life on more than one occasion. I believe that science and medicine can be a spiritual life path or calling. I also believe that it is not a cop out for me, a magical thinking kind of person, to use modern medicine and science in my own wellness journey.

So, please, crazy people, stop messaging me in response to my post yesterday to tell me that my current bladder incontinence is simply a manifestation of me being ‘pissed off’ and ‘anxious’. Don’t quote me any more passages of Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’. Spare me the messages that tell me one session of past-life regression to resolve all the bad karmic shit I did in previous lifetimes will miraculously cure me (or anyone else) of all my physical and any other ills.

First of all, don’t you reckon that over the last thirty years, and given my background in spirituality and metaphysics, that I haven’t already explored all of this stuff? I have. And some of it has been really useful.

Secondly, cause and effect. Do you remember that stuff from science at school? I am suffering neurological incontinence right now as a direct result of medication, and its effect on my body and the disease that the medication is treating.

When I stop the medication, the incontinence goes away…

(But I may be a bit pissed off now anyway, actually, given some of the crazy-pants simplistic-thinking messages you’ve been sending.)

Also, stop with the guilt thing. I’m fortunate that I don’t buy into your arguments. But please, stop berating my friends and fellow illness-sufferers with all of this poorly-informed rubbish about them being responsible for their illness, or that their thinking or stupid dietary choices (ie not vegan, or eating of non-organic, or gluten, dairy, sugar, not prayed over, possible GMO soy choices) caused their cancer/car accident/marriage breakup/congenital heart defect/gay child/lyme disease/miscarriage/sudden hospitalisation after ruptured appendix. I’m totally bowled over by this judgemental and mean nonsense. What happened to kindness? What happened to good old-fashioned common sense?

Humans are complex beings. Incredibly so.

We are fortunate to live in an era where science and metaphysics are aligning, and where we have a wide array of healing methods and tools at our disposal. There is not a one-cure-fits-all cure for anything. Ask any healer – western, eastern, metaphysical, scientific or otherwise. If they are honest they will tell you that the treatment that cured someone will have also failed to cure another with the same malady.

Did I mention that we are complex and bio-diverse?

Lastly, in response to the ‘new age leader’ who emailed me to say that I am a disgrace to the movement for even using modern medicine at all, and setting such a poor example to others. Sorry, but WTF? When someone I know suffered a horrific injury with a chainsaw do you think I should have stood over them waving my crystals and chanting positive affirmations? What healed them was an incredibly skilful and careful surgeon who took three hours to irrigate their wound before using microsurgery to stitch them up, restoring full limb function. Modern drugs – a truckload of antibiotics, was another useful tool in that healing mix.

Pilates, rather than positive thinking, fixed one friend’s bladder weakness and leakage. Another friend found her cure through an excellent physiotherapist.

I’m always open to new ideas, treatments, and modalities.

But I am not open to your lack of open-mindedness.

Engage brains, people. They are one of the most magical-thinking, cosmically-cool healing tools you have.

I pray that if you are ever unfortunate enough to experience a chronic illness, injury, accident or awful life circumstance that the people who reach out to you do so with kindness and wisdom rather than judgement.

Rant over.

Image from pinterest

Image from pinterest

PS: I wrote another post on this same topic some time back. You may find it useful:

Sad Unicorns OR Is Your New Age Thinking Positively Unhelpful?

Measuring Progress

“Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.
If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” 
~ C.S. Lewis

 

I spent the morning with my Lyme doctor yesterday. It’s been over a year since I embarked on a strict regime of diet, supplements, herbs and industrial quantities of various drug combinations. On top of my pre-existing meditation and alternate therapy practices that have kept me alive and functioning thus far, defying conventional prognosis.

Yesterday was all about evaluating my progress this past year, and determining our next course of action.

I went to my appointment armed with a list of symptoms: those which had improved, those which had worsened, new symptoms and those which have resolved and gone away. My list was only slightly shorter than War and Peace.

Image from Claire in London

Image from Claire in London

So, how did I go?

I can’t actually tell you yet.

I have a fistful of blood work tests that need to be done. I have to pee in a jar and poop in a cup.

I have to make appointments for a brain MRI, ultrasounds and scans of various organs and body parts. There is every kind of test for my heart.

2014-04-05 06.03.56

And in the meantime I shall be drug and herb free. Two glorious weeks without this punishing regime of horrors. I feel like a kid at the beginning of summer vacation, with all those beautiful clear days stretched out ahead of me.

Once my results are in, we’ll formulate a new treatment plan, my doctors, alternate therapy practitioners and I.

I am looking forward to comparing where I am now with the results of previous tests and scans. I am hoping for good progress.

In the past thirty years, while I have dealt with declining health, often the only way to evaluate my progress or response to various healing agents was how I felt. I know lots of people who use that technique for evaluating their progress with Lyme treatments. And I think that is valid to some extent. If you feel better, you must BE better, right? And if you feel worse…

Truth is, I have felt WORSE, sometimes much worse, over the course of the previous year, as I have knuckled down and followed this healing path.

And I have had many times in my life where I have experienced a lessening of symptoms, or an upward swing for a while. When you live with chronic illness any kind of better day or improvement in energy and function, even if that improvement is marginal, seems like a really BIG thing.

But until last year, few of my improvements have ever lasted. And scientific evaluation of my condition over time, using evidence based medicine, prove that prior to 2013 I continued to deteriorate. Although, in my defense, I have stubbornly refused to die, even if that was my expected trajectory! 🙂

So, I welcome this next barrage of tests. I welcome being able to use the best that science and modern medicine can give me. I want to be able to critically evaluate what’s working, what isn’t, and working out from there where we go next. Yes, I am the psychic who embraces quantifiable results and proof of change!

I am hoping for measurable improvement. I’ll keep you posted as to how I go.

Image from Chronicles of Illusions

Image from Chronicles of Illusions

PS 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with advice and suggestions.   Some of your ideas and treatments have been happily embraced by myself and my very open-minded doctors. An especially big thank you to all the lymies who have given me tips on coping with herxing or who have suggested alternate therapies, herbs, essential oils and so on to compliment my current drug regime.

Thank you to my friends and readers. Your healing energies, prayers, letters and words of encouragement have meant the world to me, and have kept me going through the darkest of times.

 

And for all if the people who have contacted me with suggestions about changing my obviously-flawed thinking which caused my disease (Dude, get with the 21st century – they are actually called pathogens and you can see them under a microscope!) , repenting of sins, God’s cursing of psychics, past life regressions as THE definitive treatment, multi-level marketing product miracle cures accompanied by pages of written testimonials about people feeling better, and stories of people who have cured their Lyme disease with a crystal, drinking their own urine (I went there already and it didn’t work!) thirty-day water fast (tried that too), psychic surgery,  amazing technological device or  a simple solution of bi-carb soda or other common household product, thank you. I’m always opening to expanding my knowledge and trying new things. However… If you can claim a cause or cure, I would appreciate your evidence and long-term results to back this up.

Dealing with Negative Thoughts

Image from DTSL

Image from DTSL

“By means of personal experimentation and observation, we can discover certain simple and universal truths. The mind moves the body, and the body follows the mind. Logically then, negative thought patterns harm not only the mind but also the body. What we actually do builds up to affect the subconscious mind and in turn affects the conscious mind and all reactions.” 
~ H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

Negative thoughts. We all have them. The question is, what to do about them?

(And please note, I’m not talking about addiction or mental illness here. Addiction and mental illness is a whole other ballgame, requiring specialised treatment.)

I’m naturally an optimistic person. Or at least I’ve become that way over time. I choose to look for the silver lining, to focus on the positive… I thought I had pretty much eliminated negative self talk, and that I had healthy self esteem.

So it was distressing for me when, without warning, I began to have a barrage of negative thoughts. Their cause? One of the drugs I was taking for my Lyme treatment. Suddenly I was anxious, negative and self-loathing.

Of course it was the drugs. My doctor had warned me about these possible side effects. ‘Nicole,’ I would say to myself, ‘this isn’t how you really feel, it’s the drugs.’ If things got really bad I would ring my wonderful sister who would also reiterate that, yes, I was feeling this way because of the drugs.

But knowing it was the drugs wasn’t helping. Those feelings just weren’t going away.

I tried ignoring them, but the more I ignored them the louder they got.

It was horrible.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter WHERE the feeling comes from. What matters is that you’re experiencing it.

Maybe it’s a voice from our past, someone from our life who judged us or was less than supportive. Maybe it’s our own sabotaging behaviour, our fears or doubts. Maybe we’re exhausted and today everything just seems harder.

Sometimes the thoughts and emotions are generated by disease, toxins, chemical or hormonal imbalances, or good old-fashioned stress and overload.

Wherever the thoughts come from, they sound like this:

No-one likes you.

You’ll never be successful.

You’re ugly.

You’re fat.

You’re useless.

You’re stupid.

He’ll leave you.

You’re not good enough.

This won’t work.

You’re a failure.

This is going to be a disaster, like everything else you’ve done.

Why do you even bother?

You’re such a loser.

Of course, these thoughts often turned up when I was trying to do something; sticking to my diet, taking my meds, writing, thinking about the future once I began to regain my health.

These negative voices would stop me in my tracks. Which is pretty much what negative self talk is designed to do.

A friend shared this technique with me, and it has worked brilliantly well.

When a negative thought turns up, schedule it for later. Like this:

10am and I’m working on my blog…

Negative Thought: Why do you bother? This is such a colossal waste of time. No-one actually reads this crap. You’re not even a good writer.

Me: Hello, Negative Thought. I’m busy right now. But I promise I’ll give you my undivided attention at 5 o’clock this afternoon. Okay? See you then.

Negative Thought: But, we need to talk NOW.

Me: Nup, sorry. I’m busy. Come back at 5.

11am and I’m watching TV…

Negative Thought: No words, just a sense of suffocating doom.

Me: *sighs* Go Away. Five. I’ll deal with you at Five.

Negative Thought: Doom, doom, doom.

Me: Leave me ALONE!!! You’re interrupting my show. I said I’ll talk to you at Five. Later, okay?

Midday, and I’m making a healthy lunch…

Negative Thought: Why don’t you just eat chips? You’re so fat anyway and this salad crap won’t make any difference, porky. Chips!!! Chips are easy. Chips are good.

Me: I’m sorry, Negative Thought. No time for you right now. I’m making salad. Come back at 5.05pm and you can tell me all about it. I promise to listen to everything you say.

Negative Thought: Grumble, Grumble, Grumble, CHIPS!!!!

Me: See you this afternoon.

2pm and I’m trying to take a nap…

Negative Thought: You’re so lazy. You’re just faking it. Anyway, this treatment isn’t working. You’ll never be well. You’re a total loser. Everyone is so ashamed of you. You’re pathetic.

Me, through gritted teeth: Ten past five. Get in the queue. I’ll deal with this later.

Negative Thought: Sure, Loser. Have a nice nap. I look forward to our chat.

Me: Great 🙁

And that’s what I did. I kept telling my negative thoughts that I acknowledged them, but I would deal with them later.

Just before five that afternoon I sat down in my lounge, expecting that the waiting room for my Negative Thoughts would soon be crammed full.

In fact, I waited and waited.

No-one showed up at all.

Negative thoughts have no endurance. They want instant gratification. They need to engage you and feed off you in order to stick around.

I found myself in a quiet room, with only me for company.

A Negative Thought did show up once, but the conversation it delivered had no oomph. It sounded like a pre-recorded message of all of the worst, most unoriginal cliches. The negative talk had scant impact on me, especially since I was no longer involved in the task it had been complaining about. Honestly, it all sounded a little ridiculous. Less than five minutes and we were done. And I came out the winner.

My dear friend, Leesa, also suggests: “Another thing to do in case they do show up is to say ‘I’ll give you 5 minutes at 5 o’clock.’ Set a timer and get up and do something that requires concentration when the time is up. The thoughts have to wait until the next day at 5 o’clock again.”

Telling my thoughts to wait, and that I’ll get back to them, has been the singular best coping mechanism I’ve had for negative thoughts and negative self-talk.

It has allowed me to keep focusing on what I need to, undistracted by these white-anting thoughts that erode my stability and self-worth.

I’m through the worst of my treatment now, and life is looking up.

The less-than-positive thoughts I may have from time to time are much more likely to be my own old patterning. Still, I keep making dates with these thoughts. And they keep standing me up.

It gives me time for quiet reflection each day.

It gives me a chance to enjoy the view.

Maybe you might benefit from this technique too. 🙂 The more you work with this technique the easier it gets, and the weaker those thoughts become.

You are valuable and worthy, and this negative talk IS NOT YOU!!! Don’t let it define you, or steal your joy and the energy you want to put into your life.

Above all, if it gets overwhelming, ask for help. It’s your life. You get to be in charge. So take the power back from those negative thoughts. If the thoughts are BIG and it’s hard to stable them in one corner (like with addiction or mental illness) then pull out the big guns – commit to a program or course of action and find yourself a team of trained helpers and supporters to get you through.

You deserve happiness and peace of mind.

I’m thinking of you, and sending love. ♥ Nicole xx

Image from 8tracks

Image from 8tracks

How to Get Through the Hard Stuff

Image from www.frmtr.com

Image from www.frmtr.com

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

~ Christopher Robin to Pooh (by A. A. Milne)

Life. It’s just hard sometimes.

I know, I know. There’s a library full of books out there on the magic of positive thinking, positive attitudes, thinking beautiful thoughts to create beautiful realities.

And that’s terrific.

But…

Sometimes life is just hard. Or unfair. Or filled with the sorts of things that make you wonder how you’ll ever keep going, or ever get back on your feet.

When you’re in that hard place, it can be impossible to think about rainbows and puppies and sunshiny happiness. Sometimes life is all sad unicorns…

So, my friend, I’ve put together a small list of suggestions and strategies that I have personally tested while in that hard place. Perhaps something here might be useful for you. If you don’t need this right now, tuck it away for a rainy day, or save it for a friend. No one’s immune to suffering. We all get our shot at the hard stuff…

1) Whisper positive encouragement in your own ear. Tell yourself that you can do it. Be your own cheer squad. And if it’s really, really grim and no encouraging words can be summoned then simply grit your teeth and remind yourself ‘this is not how it ends!’

2) Hold a picture in your mind of what you want your end result to be. Visualise it often. Make sure it is positive. Make it as real as possible. The sort of image that inspires you! Keep it fresh in your mind.

quote-formulate-and-stamp-indelibly-on-your-mind-a-mental-picture-of-yourself-as-succeeding-hold-this-norman-vincent-peale-143240

3) Know your why. Why are you doing this? Why? For you, your children, your future, your health, your security? To get the deposit for a house? To never have back pain again? So you don’t die early? So you can finally get out of the rat race? When our why is clear enough and strong enough, we can get ourselves through anything.

Image from Weight Watchers

Image from Weight Watchers

4) Give yourself some mini-breaks. When the going really is tough, and the road is a long one, letting yourself have a moment to catch your breath and get your strength back is always a good idea. Do all you can to make this journey sustainable.

Image from www.webmd.com

Image from www.webmd.com

5) Don’t look back. Always keep looking forward. Keep your eyes on where you want to go. Looking back can fill us with regrets, slow us down, weaken our resolve. Live in the moment, not the past.

Image from Studded Hearts

Image from Studded Hearts

6) Break it down into the smallest possible increments. Smaller, smaller, smaller if you must. Then deal with just that small bit. Then the next one.  Then the next one. Bit by tiny bit. That’s how you make it through.

7) Distraction therapy. You know what I’m talking about. You get through the chemo or the transfusion by listening to music. You survive the weekend with the in-laws by painting the fence or cooking the world’s most complicated dinner. You scrub mold from the walls while you plan your next vacation. As you do the hard thing, let part of you be somewhere else or engaged with something else.

8) Stay away from the non-believers. It’s hard enough without all those people telling you just how hard it is, or that you can’t do it, won’t do it, don’t deserve to succeed etc etc… If you can’t stay away learn the blah-blah song (sing blah-blah-blah in your head to drown out their negativity. Smile at them or put your best ‘I’m-really-listening-to-you’ face on as you do this – you’ll find it’s quite empowering) . Or wear your psychic raincoat.

Image from Traffic Scene

Image from Traffic Scene

9) Celebrate the tiny milestones and look for the smallest wins. Cheer yourself on. Remind yourself that you’re making progress. Chart it on the wall. Sometimes hour by hour IS a victory. Don’t kid yourself it’s not. When the going really is this hard, just hanging in there is worth celebrating.

Celabration Cake 015

10) Have faith and develop a support network. Draw on whatever uplifts you and gets you through. Pray; meditate; spend time in nature; hug your dog; play music; light candles; talk to your Guides, your Nana in heaven, your best friend, God, the sun and the stars. Make positive little signs to remind yourself of the why, and place them around the house. Choose a daily Angel Card. Put a magical rock in your pocket. Or maybe Elvis is your thing. The point is, go with what works for you! Oh, and did I mention that maintaining a sense of humour and a healthy appreciation of the absurd is also very useful?

Image from Charlie

Image from Charlie

We are human. In this cycle of life we shall all know victory and defeat, pleasure and pain. There is a buddhist saying that has served me very well during the hard times, and it is this: ‘This too shall pass’.

It’s true. There is always an end to difficult times. Hang in there, my friend. I’m thinking of you and sending love. {{{HUGS}}} Nicole xx