Soul Journeying OR You Are More Than Your Earthsuit

Image from tv3.lt

“Life’s journey doesn’t start on the highest mountain peak where a clear view of the trail ahead, obstacles and all, is laid out for us to observe before setting foot on the path. No. Life’s journey begins on a low road, in a valley, or even down inside a pit where the trail beyond can only be seen in short stretches, and any obstacles are met as they come. This makes life trying, even scary at times. Have faith that God gave you this life, and hence it is worth seeing through to the end of the trail.” 
Richelle E. GoodrichSlaying Dragons

 

Hello, lovely friends,

I’ve been thinking very deeply about the private responses you’ve sent me in the past few days. Messages about your secret shames and fears, your despair about not being able to overcome a health issue, or your limitations due to illness or living with a partner or child with an illness, or some other deep-seated issue or problem that has left you feeling unable to be all you hoped you could be.

There was a theme amidst your messages that deeply resonated with me, because it was my own theme for so very long: I am not worthy – I am not worthy and even worse I cannot follow my path…

I am not worthy because I am ill or disabled or afflicted or depressed or anxious or traumatised or unable to get out from under whatever is weighing me down. I can’t share my problems because they make me feel like a failure. They are shameful. I am shameful. I cannot follow my path because I am ill or afflicted or exhausted or broken or unable to do it the way that I wanted to. I have my life on hold and I am waiting for this thing to be fixed, even though I’ve been trying to fix it myself for so long. Or I’m broken from trying and I am ashamed that I have now given up. I am waiting to walk my path. I am waiting to be ready for my spiritual journey. I am waiting to find my gifts or share them.

Dear ones, if that in any way resonates, my words today are for you.

The soul journey happens despite what is going on in our lives. In fact, it’s often because life becomes difficult that a yearning awakens for a more spiritual path. It doesn’t matter  if you’re a little broken or a lot, if your time here on earth is short, or longer and not of the quality you had hoped. Let go of the idea that this is somehow all your fault, and that you must be fixed before you can journey.

This is the journey.

I’m reaching out to you today because I need you to hear this.

You can live broken. It can still be a good life. It can still fill you up and be beautiful despite illness, pain, despair and limitation. You can create and dream and make and connect and love and laugh and adventure and matter – to yourself and to others – even if your life is not perfect, or working out the way you had planned. I know, because I have lived with pain and brokenness and despair and frustration and so many other things. And I still do.

We are souls dressed up in Earthsuits. (Yep, I’m talking about your body here!) Sometimes those suits get awfully dinged up and damaged. Life is a risky business.

But inside that suit is your soul. And souls endure, remaining shiny and unaffected by the dust and damage that your Earthsuit might have accumulated.

In fact, I think that our souls deepen and shine brighter because of the hardships our Earthsuits go through.

Please, stop beating yourself up. Stop blaming. Stop the meanness and the endless stress and self-recrimination. Stop waiting for things to change. Stop needing things to be better. Surrender to where you are. Surrender to what is. This is your one beautiful chance at this life, and it goes by in the blink of an eye. Your Earthsuit might be damaged but you are still here, and life outside your Earthsuit still holds wonder and beauty and magic if only you can allow yourself to keep feeling and experiencing and allowing, in spite of whatever else is going on for you.

You can be a healer and still be broken yourself. You can be a teacher, and never leave your home. You can be an artist or a writer or an entrepreneur and never leave your bed. You don’t need to be perfect or beautiful or young or fit or healthy or able-bodied. You can limp through life and still live it well. If you are alive, even if only just, you can think and feel and dream and you can do soulwork. You can lift yourself out of pain and isolation and back into connection, just be deciding that you’ll live anyway, despite whatever circumstances you find yourself experiencing.

You are worthy just as you are. And there is a path for you in this life that only you can take. No matter how messed up or impossible things might seem to be for you right now. Just by being alive you matter.

Soul work – that space of meditation and reflection, of connection and communion, or asking the big questions and being okay with silence or answers unexpected, that great big process of opening up to yourself and the Universe? You, my friend, are born to it. In fact, because of all this shit you have endured or are enduring, you are primed for something deeper and more meaningful in the way that your soul will journey.

So, let me give you a hug. Your journey is my journey. I’m here for you. You matter to me, and your life matters.

That world of perfect bodies and healthy happy people doing amazing things and living a life you can never have? It doesn’t even exist. It’s all just marketing. Everyone in their lifetime will experience troubles, pain, hurt, frailty and diminishment. Everyone. Most people just don’t talk about it. It’s not very Facebook or Instagram worthy.

Take a deep breath. You are where you are. And it might totally suck. But somewhere inside you is a place untouched by that pain, and perhaps made more beautiful and wise because of it. You’re a soul, and you have every right to be here, and to follow your heart. It’s why you came to Earth, despite all the risks and dangers. Be yourself anyway. Live, anyway. Do, anyway. Be, anyway. Feel, anyway. It’s worth it. All it takes is a little shift in your thinking and your life can open up again.

I love you. I’m here for you. I’m cheering you on. Nicole  xx

PS – If you want help to walk this path you can join my Year of ME membership group – a supportive place where you can belong and fit right in, just as you are (details in my shop – look for the year long course or subscription option), or come along to my Awakening to Spirituality Retreat. You’d be so welcome!

 

 

Soundtrack to Pain

Image by LietingaDiena

Image by LietingaDiena

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”~ Bob Marley

Music saved my life earlier this week. Music and drugs.

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I am suffering from end-stage Lyme disease. I’ve recently embarked on a protocol of high dose antibiotics, antibacterials, herbs and other healing tools. It’s been tough, but already I have begun to see progress, so I’ve stuck with it. I’m in here for the long haul – a minimum of two years…

I woke just over a week ago, thinking I’d been bitten by a mosquito. The back of my hand itched and burned.  I hauled myself out of bed, sprayed my room with bug spray, and went in search of some lotion for the bite. By the time I found the lotion I had two more bites – one further up the same arm, and one on the other wrist.  Finally I got back into bed, but the burning continued and I kept getting bitten. That was the end of sleep for me, and it was only a little after midnight.

By morning I was in agony. It felt like someone pouring acid on various parts of my skin including the tear duct of my already painful eye, my inner right nostril, and my gum. Nothing was biting me. I was having a severe reaction to Bactrim – one of my antibiotics. I stopped the drug straight away, and expected things would get better. A rash broke out.

Things got worse.

I phoned my doctor, who lives hours from my farm, and they warned me not to take steroids, and to treat with antihistamines. I consulted a local doctor.  They told me that if the pain got too much I was to go to hospital.  At the time, that advice seemed a little extreme.

I tried my best to tough it out. At home I played loud music, and I yelled along to the lyrics.  It helped a little, but I was in agony. I meditated. I took the antihistamines. Along with epsom salts baths. I drank gallons of water with Vitamin C powder, clay and baking soda. Nothing much worked.  The pain intensified.  My ears felt like they would explode in my head.  My eyes became bloodshot and dry, and every blink felt like rubbing sand paper on my eyeballs.

Inside, I raged. My pain was maddening.

Image form www.dezinfo.net

Image from www.dezinfo.net

Music pounded through my house.  Suddenly I understood the benefits of heavy metal. It made sense to me why angry people listen to music with savage base lines and thumping beats. Soothing music irritated the crap out of me. I needed loud, brutal and relentless – something to match my pain levels.

After two sleepless nights we went to the ER.  They wanted to give me steroids.  I couldn’t have steroids. It’s contra-indicated with Lyme, and with my Lyme-induced cardiomyopathy. So we pushed saline, antihistamines and pain killers. It helped marginally.  They offered sedation as a last resort.

I went home and waited for the effects of the Bactrim reaction to wear off.  I never knew you could endure so much pain and still be alive.  All I wanted to do was scream, and I actually did try that but it didn’t help, and to make things worse, my neighbours came over to check I wasn’t being murdered. *peak embarrassment*

I tried distraction therapy – washing dishes, cleaning things – but all that happened was that I became more and more tired, and more and more distressed.  Music was the only thing that helped a little.  I emailed my beautiful Sisters – the writing group who have come to mean so much to me. I let it all hang out; the pain, the frustration, the helplessness. I swore.  A lot. They all advised me to go the sedation route if it helped.

Finally, when I was reduced to a whimpering mess, I decided on sedation.

The drugs knocked me to the edge of oblivion but the pain was still there. And then a kind nurse lent me her ipod.  I can’t tell you what I listened to. Most of the artists were unknown to me.  But I found something extraordinary.  I could ride that music like a wave, and surf over the top of my pain.  The music got right inside me, and it saved my life.

When I finally came home, the burning was down to a dull roar and a maddening itch.  A week later it’s almost gone.  My eyes are still scratchy, and I feel like I have a bad case of sunburn, but that’s manageable.

I’m grateful for modern medicine, kind doctors, caring nurses with awesome music selections and a stoic and endlessly good-tempered and strong husband who has nursed me through one of my worst weeks yet.

I’ve had two reasonably good days (hey, what am I saying – yesterday I got Freshly Pressed!), and fingers crossed today I’ll make it three in a row.

Here’s to the healing power of music.  Music and drugs.  Wow – I never in a million years thought I’d say that and mean it with my whole heart.

Happiness is a choice

Someone commented recently on how lucky I was to have such an awesome life, and that having my life would make anyone happy. I told them that happiness was a choice.

Fact is, I AM happy most of the time, and more and more my life is beginning to be shaped in pleasing ways. But all of this has been by deliberate creation. And there are still many things in my life that are challenging, and sometimes downright devastating, be it health issues, floods and droughts, deaths of friends, family or livestock.  None of us are immune to pain and suffering.

I came to a realisation years ago, that I could either focus on the good things or focus on the bad.  And focusing on the good helped me feel better.  Feeling better helps you climb out of the hole.  When you feel good you are magnetic to more good.  When you feel bad and ooze that vibration of misery and gloom, more of that stuff seems to come your way.

So, understanding that happiness is a choice, a discipline as much as a philosophy, has helped me to heal, to heal relationships, to attract more love and friendship into my life. I’m not saying it’s easy to choose happiness, but it’s ALWAYS better than the alternative.

Activity

Time for some self reflection.  Take your journal, and over the next few weeks carefully and honestly answer the following questions?

  • Who supports me in my life?
  • What have I always been good at?
  • What activities or things make me feel good about myself?  How often do I experience these?
  • Does my home environment reflect who I am?
  • Does my work environment reflect who I am?
  • How can I make small changes to help my surroundings mirror the inner me?
  • Who erodes my sense of self?  How do they do this?  What can I do about it?
  • What six small things can I do right now, in this next week, to reflect my inner worth and personality?
  • What ten things have I always wanted to do, and that will be beneficial to my Soul and Sense of Self, but that I have not done yet?

Now use these answers to start making some changes.  Thinking is always useful, but DOING is what makes the difference!

Sending much love to you, ♥ Nicole xx

Actually, Nickelback sum it up pretty well…