A Week Of Wonders

“Well, I always know what I want. And when you know what you want–you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don’t know. I’ve forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn’t matter, so long as you move.” 
Ayn Rand

Hello, Lovelies!

Don’t you love the glorious blue sky (see top pic) that greeted me at breakfast yesterday on my last day in the Adelaide Hills?

I sat in a cafe and ate on my own, and spent time planning my week ahead. It was wonderful – my table was next to an open fire and I found myself with plenty of quiet thinking time and reflection on the week that was, before I went back to my room to pack and head to the airport to fly back to Brisbane.

Back in Brisbane as I waited at the carousel for my luggage I watched the people coming and going, and I marvelled that I was one of them.

In the past week I have run an evening event, conducted two days of private consultations, been out to dinner and all over Adelaide exploring with friends and then attended a very full-on three day conference that included one late night and very long days. I’ve also drunk coffee and enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages, eaten cake and chocolate and all kinds of other yummy things and managed to still feel good.

Somehow my health has held up for it all. More than that, I’ve enjoyed myself and felt like a normal human being for most of the time I was away.

Look – that’s me at the conference! (see pic below)

That might not sound very remarkable to you. But the truth of my life has been that most of the past fifteen years have been spent in my pyjamas, or in comfortable clothes – staying very close to home, and being in bed early. As someone with late-stage lyme disease and all sorts of other health complications, independent travel has not been on my radar. I’ve always needed someone with me, and I’ve needed plenty of rest and down days.

So this past week has been a glorious victory.

My brain has worked. My body has worked. And I’ve been humbled again and again to still be here on this planet when I’ve had so many close calls that I thought would have ended my life before now.

So for all of you who are currently struggling with health issues or anything else that is slowing you down I want to encourage you not to give up. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see a day again when I’d be well enough to venture forth in life on my own. Sure I’m still working within limits, and I still nurse myself along. I’m careful in my choices. But I HAVE choices, and that’s a miraculous and incredible thing.

It’s back to herbal tea and organic vegetables and early nights and my normal routine again today. I’m looking forward to it!

Don’t give up on your dreams, my friends. Miracles happen every day.

Love you! Nicole ❤ xx
(And yep, that’s me happily upgraded to business for the flight home – yippee!)

PS – Also, I just need to tell you – some days I just want to jump up and down and run around screaming I’M ALIVE AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

A Slow Start is Better Than No Start

Image from xojane.com

Image from xojane.com

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”
~ Robin S. Sharma

 

It’s fair to say that, thanks to Lyme Disease, I’ve experienced chronic ill-health for a long time. Over thirty years, in fact. And certainly in the past six or seven years, as I have battled with cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, severe breathlessness, low blood pressure and fatigue that was exacerbated by any form of physical exertion, it is also fair to say that I have done little exercise apart from stretches and gentle walking or swimming.

But I’m beginning to feel better.

Better enough that I want to exercise. And finally I have my doctor’s blessing to do yoga after not being allowed to for so long.

So, I dragged out my yoga mat, and in the privacy of my own home, all eagerness and optimism, I began the routine I had done easily and every day for years before my lyme-induced heart attack. Forgetting, of course, that I’d last done this yoga regime with grace and ease seven long years and twenty kilograms ago.

Except that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t bend, I couldn’t move my poor stiff body into any of the positions, and I fell over. A lot.

Do you know what I did then?

I cried.

I cried with frustration. I cried because I’d lost so much ground. I cried because I was so much worse than I’d thought I would be.

Honestly, I should have known I had no hope of getting through that advanced routine, but it was the only one I knew off by heart, and I hadn’t stopped to think that the thing I’d always been able to do would suddenly be so hard. After years of illness I’d lost my flexibility, my balance, my confidence. What was I to do?

Be kind to myself is what.

I turned to my trusty iPad and downloaded a cheap little app called Yoga Studio. From its clean screen of images I chose a fifteen minute beginner routine for back pain. To my delight the fifteen minutes flew by, and although I was not elegant or graceful, I managed to do some semblance of each of the poses. By the week’s end I’d progressed enough that I could complete the routine with a kind of flow, and I’d also noticed an improvement in my flexibility and co-ordination.

It will be a while before I am setting the Byron Bay yoga studios on fire. That’s okay with me. I have found a beginning place, a place where I feel the joy of success rather than the sting of failure.

A slow start is better than no start at all, and slow starts often lead to deep and lasting practice.

Is there some place that you can make a slow start this week?

Commit to something simple and small. You can build on it later, when you’re ready. But do start. There is so much power in starting. And continuing. Slow starts give you room to move and improve. They build confidence and skill. They set you up for success.

And gee, it feels lovely!

If you need a little motivation, this short and inspiring video should do it…