Words on Self Love and Mind Body MedicineMarch 19, 2019 5:47 pm
Hello my loves,
Today, I want to check in with you all to say hello and share a bit about how my year has started off. But before I dive in to what has been happening, I want to let you know that I am typing these words from the lounge of my health club, with a pot of tea to my left, Lucie Silvas playing in my headphones, and perhaps the best part … I’ve just been for a gentle swim and sauna.
I’ve dreamed about being able to do this for such a long time. A morning swim followed by a little bit of writing with a pot of tea. But despite my absolute best intentions, my body has always had other plans which has meant it just hasn’t been possible. Therefore as I’m sure you can imagine, when moments like this do happen … they feel kind of magical.
I guess this is one of the silver linings of living with Chronic Illness, the glimpses of better days or moments of normality when they do arrive and how beautifully freeing they feel. The moments that so many others take for granted.
This year got off to a bit of a bumpy start for me as I caught a flu virus over the Christmas period which wiped me out and lingered on well into the month of January. As I’m sure any of you with M.E / CFS will also experience, a virus that affects someone else for 4 or 5 days, often wipes me out for around three weeks or more. I did my best to surrender whilst my body did its thing and I eventually healed from it and got back to ‘my normal level’. Only to then come down with Bronchitis mid February which took another month off my calendar.
Despite the two lurgy’s, over all, I feel life is actually much better than it has been in quite some time. The healing work I have been doing over the last two years is building a stronger foundation for me. (I write about my current healing protocols in this post) The weeks in between viruses have felt that bit better. I’ve been able to get out and about a little and the days where I have needed complete rest have felt more nourishing. I feel more rooted and in touch with myself not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually too.
It has taken a long time to reach this point. I have spent much of my life pushing myself hard, resisting the present moment, disconnected from my body and heart. A fierce inner critic and perfectionist part of me ever present. The breakdown of my physical and mental health in 2010 forced me to face so much. I have spent the years since then immersed in self discovery through meditation, reading, learning, intensive therapy and so much more. Its an ongoing journey isn’t it, this unravelling and peeling back the layers thing. But as long as we keep going, and stay open to things shifting, there comes a day when we can reflect and think ‘things are actually so different now.’
Life is still very restricted for me, I need my afternoon sleep daily. I often have to go to bed for the night by 8pm. There are still many days where I need complete rest and can’t do much at all. Symptoms are ever present and chronic fatigue is not yet a thing of the past. As I previously mentioned, when I catch a virus or infection, it floors me for quite some time. But… I still feel a subtle, yet definite, shift.
During the poorlier weeks I experience less resistance and fear, more surrender and peace. I can see the bigger picture more easily rather than getting gobbled up entirely by the intense feelings of a single moment.
The better weeks feel, well, just beautiful. They aren’t perfect. But they are enough. Enough for me to feel I can live a little.
I feel self love has had a big part to play in this, alongside the things I am doing physically to support my healing. But the inner shifts have been powerful. Giving myself less of a hard time. Showing myself copious of amounts of love during the super poorly weeks, rather than beating up on myself or cursing my body. Acknowledging feelings in all of their dark and all of their light, instead of pushing down or rejecting the sadness/anxiety/anger and only embracing happiness/joy/peace. It has taken time to reach a place where I can treat myself gently and with love.
Feelings often need space to move through us so they can be released. Ive learned this so deeply in recent months and it has proven to be life changing for me to honour myself in this way. To give myself the space to feel.
The light and the dark.
If you find yourself instinctively knowing that you don’t treat yourself too kindly, be it through pushing yourself too hard, expecting way too much or indulging in too much negative self talk, know that awareness is the first step to changing this. Go gently. Work on just changing small things, maybe begin by noticing the kinds of words you say to yourself. It really can have a ripple effect on so many areas of your life, especially when it comes to healing.
The other thing I have been revisiting since the end of 2018 is the work of Joe Dispenza, Lissa Rankin and many others in the field of Mind – Body healing. I have spent time re-familiarising myself with the modalities in this arena, as well as stories of those who have healed from things previously said to be incurable. Amazing stories that help to build the belief that healing is possible and that the body naturally wants to be well.
After my relapse in 2010, I have been through a phase (a long phase!) where I felt a block towards these theories and ways of thinking. Despite knowing so much about them through years of study, and the profound effect these modalities had on my initial healing back in my early twenties, they also had a devastating downside for me.
I used ‘positive thinking’ and NLP to deny the fact I was getting unwell again many years ago, to push away symptoms and ‘push through’. I disconnected from any feelings that I labelled as ‘bad’. I ended up relapsing so severely because ultimately I ignored messages from my body. This experience and the trauma of all that period of my life entailed lead to an adversion to brain retraining techniques and lots of mind – body stuff for so many years since, because of the unhealthy way in which I used them before.
I guess I have been protective of myself, especially because many of my most powerful healing shifts for me since then have come from learning to live from a place of connection to my heart and body.
However, from where I stand now, I finally see that when approached from a place of love and self compassion, visualising wellness or being mindful of what you tell yourself each day is SO important when it comes to healing. Using your mind to assist your healing, to raise your vibration and build your beliefs is a gift. We just have to make sure it is done in a way that feels grounded and right for us.
So I am gently exploring this area once again, with self compassion at it’s core. And it feels good. It feels empowering to have the trust to visualise my future with an open mind and heart, allowing the idea of healing to be absolutely possible, no matter how many years I may have been unwell.
So, that is where I am at. My latest learnings and discoveries and a little update from my world. I hope you are all doing as well as can be. For any of you who would like to look further into the things I have mentioned in this post, I shall share a few links and resources in the ‘notes’ section below.
— NOTES —
For Self Love and learning to Accept and Surrender
The Work of Dr Kim D’Eramo
One of my favourite books on Self Compassion
A classic that everyone should read
The Mind Body Connection
The following people have some amazing talks on youtube plus some incredible books. Have a search for their work.
Dr Joe Dispenza
Dr Lissa Rankin
Dr Bruce Lipton
Dr David Hamilton
For any of you who have Netflix, there is a documentary on there called ‘HEAL’ which features many of the people above sharing some great knowledge, as well as documenting stories of people who have had incredible recoveries from all kinds of illnesses. It is inspiring, uplifting and well worth a watch.
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