Are You Grieving for Your Lost Health?

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When I was feeling my worst, I was doing all I could just to keep my head above water.  I went into crisis mode.  On top of feeling terrible and being exhausted all of the time, I really had no idea what was causing my flares of pericarditis.  So I was living in fear.  I was afraid that I would walk too much and have chest pain again.  I was afraid that too much stress from school and home life would cause me to flare.  I never knew when or where I would be when I’d flare and it made me feel paranoid.  I always had to be prepared, so I routinely kept my prescription of prednisone in my bag in case I needed a higher dose.

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other night who is currently living this reality.  He doesn’t have pericarditis, but his illness is no less mysterious or maddening.  In talking with him, I was reminded of a counselor I saw during nursing school.  She was in training to become a licensed counselor, and she had an office on campus at the community college I was attending.  I remember time and again going in and talking with her and just voicing my frustrations with the way that my whole world had been suddenly turned upside down.  I spoke of my fears and the unpredictability of my illness.  I spoke of not recognizing my own body, because I had gained so much weight from being on steroids.  I spoke of my dismay that after a year of struggling with recurrent bouts of pericarditis and even a second hospitalization, that none of my doctors could offer me any answers.  All they could tell me to do was to take prednsione to suppress my immune system and prevent the inflammation around my heart.  One day, as I was really struggling, I went to talk to my counselor.  She pointed out the fact that I was grieving my lost health.  It was a light bulb moment for me, because I had never thought about it like that before.  She was right.  I WAS grieving for my lost health.  My mind was having a hard time accepting my new body and the restrictions that came with it.  It was difficult to wrap my brain around the fact that I had been healthy, had exercised regularly as part of my work, and had eaten healthy as a long-time vegetarian.

When I realized that I was grieving, and my counselor went over the stages of grief with me, oddly enough, I felt a great sense of peace come over me.  It made me feel normal about how I was feeling.  I could see that the ups and downs of anger and sadness and back around again were part of my grieving process.  Knowing this allowed me to release expectations I had for my emotions through this time.  I began to accept my emotions, and I was more open to allowing them to flow.

So I ask you, the one dealing chronic illness, are you grieving for your lost health?  Are you grieving for the life you feel that you have lost?  If so, know that it is normal and OK, and that it is better to feel your emotions and release them as they come up than it is to keep them locked tight inside your chest.  We sometimes think that we’re doing ourselves a service by locking our emotions up so that they can’t spring out and consume our hearts, but the reality is that if we allow ourselves to feel our feelings as they come up, in whatever form they appear, we will be able to heal much more quickly.  Emotions that aren’t expressed get trapped in our bodies and lead to more pain and dis-ease.

It was the most challenging time of my life.  I felt so alone and helpless.  I looked for silver linings as best I could and I pushed through my exhaustion so that I could be present for my son.  I wondered if I would ever regain my health. I wondered if I would ever feel comfortable in my own body again. I wondered if I would always have to be fearful that things I did might cause a flare.

I write this on the other side.  I have gained perspective on life and on my health challenges that I would not have gotten had I never gotten sick.  I have experienced a total transformation of self that was brought on by my years of illness.  I was asked to take a more balanced approach in caring for my body, mind, and soul.  I was asked to tear down the beliefs I held about myself and my life that made me feel bad.  I was asked to reexamine the way I was treating myself and how I was showing up for myself.  My illness caused me to turn over every rock so that I could find all of buried thoughts and beliefs that were holding me back in life.  I was shown what was important in life.  I was taught to not sweat the small stuff and to appreciate everything and everyone I have in my life while I have them.  I was taught the delicate nature of life.  I was taught that there are no guarantees in life and so we should make the most of every day.  What is it that you might learn from your own challenges?  It helps me to look for lessons in challenges now, because I see how perfectly my illness was placed in my path to expand me to heights I didn’t know were possible.  It has made me trust the process now when things aren’t going the way my mind wants them to go.  Even when I can’t see the full picture as to why something is happening, I live with a great sense of trust that the Universe always has my back.  The Universe (or god, source, higher power etc) always has your back too.

Above all, I was taught that self-love is the key to life.  The love we hold for ourselves trickles outwards from us, so that we can love each other in a more balanced, non-judgmental and unconditional way.  How much do you love yourself?  Do you find ways to show yourself love every day?  Self-love involves loving all parts of ourselves.  That can be the tricky part.  It’s easy to love myself when I am happy and laughing.  I have a more difficult time loving myself when I lose my temper or raise my voice in anger.  I am learning and growing just as we all are.  We’re all works in progress, and that process never stops.  We just keep expanding.  We keep learning how to respond to life vs react.  We keep learning to keep an open mind and open heart with how we approach ourselves and others.

If you’re reading this, you survived another day.  Just keep being gentle with yourself in whatever life circumstance you’re in currently.  Your illness may be requiring that you slow down for now, get the extra sleep, limit the stressors in your life, give yourself some extra love, and put yourself first for a change.  Can you see the ways that your body is crying out for more love?  Notice the shift when you view your own illness this way.  When we take care of others when they are sick, we don’t get mad at them and their bodies for needing more care, right?  We don’t curse at our friends and family and make them feel guilty for being sick.  So then, why do we treat ourselves that way?

I went from a time when I was really ill and wondering “why me?” to now when I realize that facing a complicated illness like Lyme Disease and not just surviving it, but thriving beyond it is one of my superpowers in this life.  This is why we humans must be careful with the labels that we place on things, because sometimes it is difficult to know “good” from “bad” when we’re in the thick of it.  I’ve said it before, but I went from calling my illness “the worst thing that ever happened to me” to “one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”

Know that it might take more love and care than you have ever allowed for yourself before, but that we can all rise up above our challenges and see brighter days ahead!

Part of my soul’s purpose is to help others navigate through their own illnesses and challenges in life using  the perspective I’ve gained.  If you’d like some personalized support and guidance, reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com!  My favorite thing is combining the healing power of Intuitive Reiki with Joy Coaching to help others move through their chronic illness with more support than I had during my own healing journey.

Thanks so much for reading!  If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it! Much love!

Watch the video for Michael Franti’s song “Once a Day” HERE  This is what Michael Franti posts about this song:

“‘Once A Day’ is about unexpected moments in life. Some days we have unexpectedly beautiful moments and others that are unexpectedly challenging. Last year I had a really challenging moment when my son was diagnosed with a kidney disease called FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis). We thought it would break our family apart, but moving through the initial tears, made us realize life is precious and that we need to hug, kiss and be close to each other every day and through that we could ‘rise up’ and face his illness together. I hope that Once A Day brings inspiration to anyone in this world who is going through challenging times. Through music, dance and gratitude for this life we can all ‘Rise Up’!” –Michael Franti

Blogging for a Year!

I have been officially writing on this blog for 1 year today!  It is said that a lot can change in a year.  My life is living proof!  Over the year that I have blogging, so much has happened.  Just from a blogging perspective, a lot changed once I made the decision to start sharing more of myself and my story with other people this way.  I think the biggest thing I learned is that my story is a powerful one that can inspire others on their own journeys.  The other thing I learned is that we can truly rewrite our stories if the old version is causing us strife or disempowering us.

It is a very humbling thing to have someone read your first blog post and reach out to you saying that your post gave them hope on a day when they were feeling suicidal.  I decided then that if my writing did no more than give that one person hope on their own journey, it would be enough.  Through this blog, I have reconnected with old friends, reconnected with family, and made new friends.

Prior to starting this blog, only those closest to me really knew my story.  Because of my depression, struggles in my marriage, and illness, I kept a lot to myself.  I now see that I was sort of holding myself captive by staying so closed in.  I am a Gemini and a communicator by nature, and to be otherwise makes me feel a discord with myself at the soul level.  Writing here has opened me up in ways that I had really been craving, both with myself and with other people.  I have found that opening myself up to this level of vulnerability and authenticity here has also opened me up in the same way in real life.  There’s a lot of power in sharing, because you no longer feel like you have anything to hide.  You realize that more often than not, people reach out to you commiserating and saying they’ve felt the same way.  You realize that all you have kept inside was nothing to be ashamed of and in fact, by sharing all of it, you can help a lot of other people navigate their own lives.

I thank all of you who have been reading along on this journey of mine!  I now have 50 subscribers to this blog who receive a notification every time I publish a new post.  Thank you all for subscribing!  It lets me know that my words are resonating and not just falling silent once I press the publish button.  In 1 year, I have had 1,047 visitors to my site.  I have had 2,214 blog views.  In 1 year, my blog has been viewed from the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Philippines, Sweden, Ireland, Serbia, Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Hong Kong (China), United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Botswana, Japan, Russia, Belgium, New Zealand, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Croatia, Brunei, South Africa, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Greece, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Nepal, Austria, Monaco, Nigeria, Ukraine, Thailand, and Switzerland!!  The internet has really connected us all more than we normally even consider in our day to day lives.  How amazing that my words can be read in so many different places all over the world?!  Thank you to everyone who has read my words near and far, I hope that they inspire you in some way.

If you would have told me last year this time what my life would look like a year from then, I would not have believed you at all!  Absolutely everything has shifted for the positive in my life!  At the beginning of the year, as I had been dealing with negative health effects of the stress of my job for a while, I had an inspired idea that left me unable to sleep.  On thinking of what would make 2018 my best year ever, I thought that it would be epic to quit my job, start my own healing business, and travel to Australia (my life-long dream destination) and Hawaii all in the same summer!!

Friends, since May, I have done all of those things!  I am amazed at the unfolding of my life!  I couldn’t be more grateful for all that I have experienced this year, and for the fact that I still have 5 MORE MONTHS of this year still to go!  I see the divine hand that has led me on this path and it has been even better than I could have imagined because of the added bonus of growth and insight that has come from my experiences.

We usually walk around feeling very stuck in our lives.  We think we can’t leave jobs because we’re worried our business won’t work out, so we usually don’t even try.  We say we can’t travel because we don’t have the money.  We give ourselves one good vacation a year, because it’s like a weird, general social norm in the US to work more than we play.  Everything is still evolving for me on this new path, but just the feeling I have to be so connected with my higher self on a daily basis has been worth it.  Let alone the amazing places I’ve seen and the people I have met.  Australia you guys.  Wow.  I am in real love with that place!  I plan to post more about it, including a slideshow of my pictures, but so far, I’m mostly still at a loss for words for that experience.  My sister and I were able to have our first family vacation together with our families in Hawaii.  I spent much-needed time meeting, and then snuggling with my baby niece.  Plus, tons of snorkeling!  My son got to snorkel in the ocean for the first time.  I saw a few sea turtles, an eel, dolphins plus thousands of tropical fish!  Ah, I could get used to having at least two epic vacations a year!

I’m in a place of trust and it’s causing me to release all of my old doubts about myself, my old beliefs about what is possible in life, and my old beliefs about lack just to name a few.  I’ve gotten more committed to meditating and checking in with my higher self about every decision from what I eat to what I do.  I have had so many inspired ideas come to me in the time since returning from Hawaii.  Following through on those ideas is connecting me with more amazing people and opportunities.  I’m looking at life in a whole new way that has given me a sort of freedom that I have never experienced before.

Life is truly is what we make it.  If we want more adventure, we’ve got to look for ways to incorporate more adventure.  If we want more travel, we need to travel.  If we want better health, we need to start meditating daily and connecting with our higher selves, so that we can follow the guidance from within needed to heal ourselves.  Drown out the outside influences of your life that make you neglect to listen to your own intuition.  Turn off your TV, stop listening to people who haven’t been living their dreams, stop letting outside people and things influence you more than your own heart. When you connect with yourself in this way, you will find amazing ideas, people, situations, and opportunities begin to appear in your life in perfect timing!  I have had so many things happen in the last week and a half that I can’t keep up with it all as far as writing it all down to share.  I see how every seemingly little thing is by design and it’s really beautiful!

I’ll share an example.  One of the things I have written and read aloud every day since a workshop hosted by Jake Ducey that I attended in November as part of my larger Chief Aim is “I am a part of a thriving community of healers and artists.”  Earlier this week, I got the inspired idea to create a gift basket focused around “Healing Arts” for the Center for Spiritual Living’s annual fundraiser this year.  My idea is that the basket will showcase the work of various healers and artists in my town, so that people will realize what is available to them right here.  I am donating a Distance Reiki session to the basket, and after several contacts, I have secured multiple gift certificates for various forms of healing including Reiki, Sound Healing, and a How to Create Sacred Space & Crystal Grid Manifesting session, a painting, and a cool pyramid made of shungite that is a very healing stone.  In two days, I reached out, connected with, and met several new people, and learned about new healing modalities offered in my area.  This is how life can work when we are in the flow.  Our inspired ideas (the ones where you get excited to your core) happen on purpose!!  When you start following them like I have been doing, they lead to amazing things for you and others around you!  They even help you manifest your desires!  In my experience, inspired ideas lead to all that I am seeking to manifest in my life and more!  Whoever wins this basket is in for a serious treat!!

On this journey I am on, I would get nowhere if I compared myself or my journey to others, because they are not me.  Even when our journeys look similar, they are not the same, and they are not meant to be the same.  We are all here to shine the light that WE have, not dim our lights, or try to blend our lights in with everyone else’s.  I understand that conformity was once an act of survival, but at this level of the game, conformity is killing us all slowly.  The key to this game is to live our joy, so that we can match the frequency of all that we wish to manifest.  I know that life can discourage us, especially when the energy is such that is bringing our old patterns and beliefs and anxieties back to the surface for healing.  Even in such time, we are all being taken care of completely.  You will know that you are aligned with your higher self when your thoughts and words start showing up as things and people in your reality.

Once you find a way to tap into that magic, life glows like it’s radioactive.

I’m living it right now! We each have something we came here to do.  What did you come here to do?  Are you doing it? Are you working towards doing it?  What is stopping you?

I am starting a meeting group locally centered around the book “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer.  My idea is that everyone who comes to the meetings will have read the book and are willing to surrender to the flow of life more.  I will share my story and ways that I have surrendered and what that has created in my life.  After that, we will meet on a weekly basis to discuss what has shown up for us in our lives and how we have flowed with it and what doors that has opened for us.

I just had the idea that it could be really fun to coach people in this way!  It could take place via phone and I would share more details about how I do this and what has shown up for me, and I could provide individualized support for you as you begin to allow more flow in your life.  You don’t have to change every area of your life to live this way.  Even focusing on one area where you’re currently dissatisfied would make a huge impact.  My coaching would mean 1:1 support, as well as all of my intuitive insights about you and your journey that I receive during the time that we work together.  If this resonates with you, please read the book, and reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com!  I’d also love to hear from people who are currently living this way!  Please leave comments down below!

Thank you for reading!  If you liked this post please like and share it.  Much love!

My Adventure into Reiki and Joy Coaching

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After experiencing the healing energy of my optometrist, his wife and daughter a few years ago (yes, my optometrist and his family are AMAZING people!), I began to be urged to pursue training in energy healing of some kind, so that I could have that same ability to make people feel better.  As I began to speak of this to friends and family, multiple people mentioned Reiki by name.  Then, throughout 2017, I was getting message after message in various forms to become a Reiki Practitioner, which I took as a sign, so I worked to get my Reiki I and II certifications. Upon working with my life coach, doing some free-form writing, and focusing on my passion for life, the words Joy Coach were born.  And thus I was sent catapulted into a new life, closer and closer to following my soul’s purpose.

I believe that aside from being a way to wake us up, that we experience the challenges that we do, so that we can triumphantly overcome them and use our experience to help other people.  Sometimes helping other people is an active role, and sometimes helping can mean following our bliss to living our best life and showing others what is possible.  It’s why I started this blog.  To connect, and share, and show other people that they CAN heal and get their life back.  In fact, after a big, overwhelming challenge like chronic illness, you have the ability to get an even better life back than you had before you got knocked down, because with newfound health after illness comes immense, newfound joy and gratitude for the things that you used to take for granted.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a form of energy healing that came into existence in the 1920’s in Japan by Mikao Usui. Broken down, Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is Rei = universal and Ki = Life energy.  So essentially, Reiki is the life force energy that flows through everything.  Everything in our Universe is made of energy, including you and I.  It’s our limited five senses that perceive things as either solid, liquid, or gas.  Reiki is something that is passed down from Reiki Masters that can be traced back to Mikao Usui.  As someone attuned to practice Reiki, I can use a light touch, laying of hands method directly on or hovering just above a person, or as a distance healing to anyone anywhere in the world, to act as a conduit for more life force energy to be passed through me to the person, animal, or thing that I am sending Reiki to.  The idea of distance Reiki can be a tricky thing for people to grasp since most of us have spent our entire lives believing only what we can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell.  But there is a lot more to this world that what our five senses can perceive, and that includes the energy.  Various forms of energy healing have been practiced for thousands of years.  Essentially in sending you Reiki energy, I act as a conduit through which energy can be passed, so that your body is able to heal itself.

I have a lot to write yet about alternative therapies that have made my life better since the days when I was very ill from Lyme Disease.  Suffice it to say for now that in my own experience, it has been alternative therapies that have helped me heal the most thoroughly, body, mind, and spirit.  So, I am really excited that I can be a conduit for the healing energy of Reiki for others.

Distance Reiki

I am focusing my efforts on using distance Reiki on the people I work with, because not only is Reiki just as effective if done at a distance as it is in person, but that means that people already working around illness and/or multiple doctor’s appointments can receive Reiki in the comfort in their own home anywhere in the world!  You don’t have to worry about fitting an appointment for Reiki with me in around your busy schedule.  Though it can be beneficial to set up a time when you can relax and really allow yourself to receive the energy.

What can Reiki do for you?

Reiki is a very calming therapy known to help alleviate stress and anxiety, which are things that affect us all.  The energy goes where it is needed by the person, animal, or thing (like plants for example) for their highest good.  It has been shown to help with chronic pain, faster healing after surgeries, to help alleviate symptoms created by chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, skin problems, broken bones, fatigue, sore throat, flu, insomnia, and impotence, and can help make other therapies more effective.  Reiki has been extensively studied and is showing up in hospitals as the health care industry begins to realize Reiki’s potential for aiding in healing without the side effects that many medications deliver.  (See article about Reiki in Hospitals HERE.)  With my background as a Registered Nurse on an oncology unit, when I first began this journey, I became very interested in how Reiki could be of benefit to those making the transition from this life.  When I began to research, I found countless articles on the subject of using Reiki with hospice patients.  (like the one HERE)  Reiki can also help to raise our vibration during our awakening process.  Reiki energy can remove blocks of energy in our bodies and can clear and strengthen our seven chakras, ie energy centers in our bodies.  Reiki can also clear blocked energy in our auras which can prevent physical ailments before they even occur.

My Experience with Reiki

For myself, I have noticed that as I continue to practice Reiki on myself, I am able to fall asleep faster and sleep better at night.  I also notice stress affecting me less than it used to.  My mind is calmer.  I have used Reiki to effectively relieve my own headaches.  I have also noticed less blocked energy in my heart chakra which has opened me up to feeling more love for myself and others.  My connection with my higher self has gotten a lot stronger, so my intuition and sense of trust in what I receive from it has been heightened.  I find that it has also positively affected my throat chakra as I notice myself speaking up for myself more in situations where I would have remained quiet before.  Recently, I used it prior to being out on a boat in the ocean all day to snorkel with whale sharks, because I am prone to seasickness even with medication, and was surprised to find that I never felt sick!  In many ways, I believe that I was primarily guided to Reiki, so that I could use it to further heal myself.

Reiki energy always helps in some way, and never hurts because it is guided by spiritual consciousness which is always guiding us to our highest good.  As the vessel through which the energy passes, I do not control where the energy goes once I pass it onto you, but can get a lot of information about where the energy is needed during the session.  For instance, I can intuitively pick up on the fact that someone I am treating has a headache, or has had issues with a certain area of their body.  I used distance Reiki to treat someone recently, and was able to pick up on the fact that they possibly had a headache, sinus congestion, and itchy eyes at time of our session.  After the session, the person reported that I had been right, and that their headache, sinus congestion, and itchy eyes had gone away following their session.

Joy Coaching

I am very excited about Joy Coaching!  It’s basically my version of life coaching.  Through my life experiences, I have found that following our joy is what we are here to do.  I know it sounds simple, but in this busy world, it is easy for us to stay so focused on our to-do lists, work life, and family life that we can forget what it is that even causes us joy.  So, along with Reiki, I am also setting the intention to help people along their own journeys to live their lives with more joy.  I encourage you to start thinking about and making a list of  the things that bring you joy in life.  I mean the things that make you feel childlike and most alive in the moment. If we all start doing things daily that bring us joy, we will collectively make the world more joyful!  All we can control in life is our thoughts, our actions, and our response to what shows up for us.  I hope to spread more joy while actively living my joy, and sharing my perspective on life and how to better handle the challenges that many of us face.

The intuitive, joyful guidance I can offer you is much more than just making a list.  I have seen my unique perspective and guidance on a person’s life challenges take weight off of their shoulders and bring new life to their eyes.  I once went to a workshop and in doing the exercises with the person beside me, I shared bits and pieces of my health journey as I offered my perspective on the chronic health issues that his wife was dealing with at the time.  At the end of the workshop he told me that meeting and talking with me had made going to the workshop worth it.  It was an eye-opening experience for me, and it gave me a larger glimpse of my soul’s purpose.  I often experienced the same kind of responses from my patients in the hospital.  Hearing such things as “that’s the best advice anyone has ever given me on this issue.”

I am very intuitive and have a way of knowing what information people need to hear when they need to hear it.  I have been known to send people articles, book recommendations, and links to my blog posts that I just felt urged to share with them, and they have later told me that it was exactly what they needed to read at that time.  Much of the time, after connecting with someone, I begin to say things that really resonate with them that they find helpful, and/or life affirming.  As I have said before, we are all manifestations of the divine in human form.  Often when I write here, I tap more into my higher self and that divine guidance than I do my mind.  I choose to write posts as I am intuitively guided to do so, and I find that the words flow so freely through me that they do not feel like my own.  I write as I go, and edit very little after a post is written.

It is my passion and soul’s purpose to share and use my past challenges to help guide others through theirs.

If you’re feeling the weight of challenges in your own life, or you just feel like you could use some intuitive, joyful guidance and healing…

Reach Out To Me for Distance Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching!  

I love connecting with people, so please reach out at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com and share your story with me!

I referenced definitions of Reiki as well as the ailments Reiki can help heal in part from the book called “Reiki: The Healing Touch First and Second Degree Manual by William Lee Rand in this post.

Thank you for reading!  If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it!  Much love!