Katie

Aug 232016
 

 

Is It My Fault That I Have CFS-

After I was able to actually be awake and ‘functioning’ enough to think about it, and even maybe on a good day, read a paragraph of a book, I suddenly started to ask myself, “Is it my fault that I have CFS?”.

Was it really as bad as all I thought it was? Maybe I wasn’t that sick after all. Was it all in my head? Why I had been given this ‘lesson’ as a lot of self-help authors might have us believe? Why or why did this so-called beautiful ‘lesson’ have to be so damn difficult?

Please listen to this, my love.

This is not your fault.

Having CFS or Fibromyalgia or any other chronic illness is not your fault.

You did not bring it on yourself.

You haven’t done anything to deserve this.

This is not part of some plan by a malicious Universe to bring you down.

This is not because you didn’t eat enough apples when you were five (or drink enough green juice in your thirties).

This is not because you said that horrible thing to someone, and now you’re being punished.

This is not because you’re a horrible person, and you need to be punished somehow.

This is not because you’re deficient or worthless in some way.

Absolutely not.

Sometimes, things just happen.

Our brain wants to try and figure out this whole thing, so we know what we ‘did wrong’ and then the brain can make sure we never do that thing again. (Otherwise known as ‘survival’.)

You can think yourself into the ground (and you probably will) trying to pin down the one thing you should’ve done back in the day, but if you could put your finger on it, would it help you?

Sometimes, there is no answer. It just is what it is.

What can rationalise and justify and ‘self-help’ all we want, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

It’s not your fault, my love.

Please let yourself off the hook once and for all.

xxx

Aug 172016
 

This post has been a long while in coming. Could I find the right words to express what I’m feeling to you all?

self-trust

2016 has been quite a journey so far. We became Australian citizens in January, I legally changed my name to my married name of ‘MacDonald’ (and couldn’t be prouder), the Universe decided that it was time to move away from my classroom teaching job and take on private tutoring clients instead and two weeks ago, we found out that we have to move from our beautiful flat in Sydney, right in the middle of when my husband’s parents are visiting us for the first time. I was also guided recently to close my mentoring sessions to new clients, but have no idea what is going to take their place as of yet.

Phew.

Contrary to popular belief, winter in Australia can be pretty unforgiving. Coming from the U.K. where central heating is standard, Aussie homes aren’t built for cold weather and it’s often a lot colder indoors than outdoors. But something else was up that was making this winter a little bit more taxing than normal.

I was being called to look at some fear-based patterns that have come to light, especially since leaving my job. I realised that I’d been placing an incredible amount of my self-worth of what I did for my day-job, something I think I picked up while I struggling to work in the later stages of CFS recovery. My husband has pointed this out to me a few times in the almost ten years that we’ve been together, but I didn’t quite click at how true this was for me.

After leaving my day-job, I almost went through a period of mourning, even though I absolutely knew it was the right decision. I really missed my colleagues- making the move didn’t seem to make much sense even though I knew it was the right thing to do. Then, it hit me.

self-worth

My Lack Of Self-Trust

I was absolutely blinded a few weeks ago by this book by Iyanla Vanzant. Her latest book, ‘Trust’, followed me around everywhere- I could not get away from it. Within the first few pages, I knew that this was what had been holding me back. My lack of self-trust was telling me that I wouldn’t cope with a transition to something new. It was trying to convince me that I wasn’t strong enough to move away from my job. I now know that my lack of self-trust is what has stopped me from writing more books for you all and sharing a little bit more about how to live a good life beyond illness and recovery. You might also want to call it fear, but I think self-trust resonates a little more with me, as in many ways, acknowledging it also gives me my power back.

Even though I’ve got about four book ideas running around in my head, I didn’t want to commit to any of them because I didn’t trust myself to give you good advice.

I haven’t been blogging as much recently for exact the same reasons.

I haven’t been posting as regularly on social media because I didn’t trust that I was enough. It’s a shiny, sparkly world out there, and sometimes, I want to scream and run the other way.

I didn’t think that I was of any value, so I didn’t trust myself to be able to follow through on what I was doing.

I didn’t trust in my own self-worth.

I’m not writing this for sympathy or comments, but I’m simply trying to put my experiences and feelings into words, so that if you’re feeling the same, you can trust that you’re not alone. I know that a lot of people have found the huge changes around the world and in themselves absolutely terrifying recently, and our natural inclination is to be fearful. This is how our ego helps us to survive, by telling us that it’s not safe to do or try something we’ve never done before. All we can do is thank it for doing its job and try and find a way to glide forward anyway.

It’s often said that winter is a time or rejuvenation and hibernation, and for me, it’s been quite confronting to look at my blind spots. But, I know and trust that over the next few months, I’ll be guided and that everything will happen in the right time and place. I needed to be conscious of these blocks, so I could move through the rest of the year with ease and be of service in whatever way I can.

This is my wish for you over the next couple of months too, that you can find it in yourself trust where you are and accept your current situation, so you have strength to move forward into whatever’s next for you.

Thanks for listening, my love.

Love, Katie    xxx

[1] Photo by Roksolana Zasiadko

[2] Photo by Anders Jildén via Unsplash

cfs books

Jun 222016
 
question marks

We’ve all done it, and maybe we’ve found a tiny breadcrumb or two something, but at some stage we’ve all looked for evidence that CFS healing is possible. Now, I’m not much of a scientist and, as many of you know by reading my story, I didn’t heal via traditional medical means (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) So, stories or at the least the hope of recovery was what pulled me through.

If I’m completely honest, I couldn’t really find many recovery stories when I was healing, or at least not ones that didn’t have someone doing this on the front cover:

unsplash man on mountainImage by Joshua Earle for Unsplash

Arms above their head in victory on top of a mountain (and also able to climb to top of said mountain.) Well, unfortunately, it was incredibly hard for me to relate to these images while I was in bed unable to move. I understand the sentiment, but I just couldn’t ‘get there’.

Over the last few days, I’ve received an incredible amount of emails and messages from people just like you who follow the blog, letting me know how well they’re coming on in the CFS recovery journey. I got so emotional while replying to one message that I stopped writing it to record this video (and proceeded to cry with happiness afterwards- I should have made an ‘outtakes’ video!).

Walking on the grass for the first time. Coming off medication with the help of a doctor. Experiencing a lowering in their anxiety levels. GETTING MARRIED to a wonderful man who she never thought in a million years she’d meet because of her illness.

It’s all in this two-minute video (with a sprinkle of “amazing” and emotion!) Enjoy and then read on, my love…

Evidence that CFS Healing Is Possible

Granted, it’s not scientific evidence, but this means more to me that medical reports and statistics.

Be Happy For The Healing Of Others

I know exactly what you’re going to say, “That’s great for them, but why not me?”. I understand my love, I felt the same way too.

When we celebrate and help others to rise up, we all rise up. This isn’t an ‘it’ll never happen for me’ situation- these people didn’t think it would happen for them either. At my lowest points, I genuinely didn’t think I’d recover, but it happened. So, be happy for those who are making progress, because soon, it’ll be you, and I for one will be there cheering you on (and making soppy videos for you!)

Be inspired, not deflated. Be encouraged, not disappointed. Be optimistic, not pessimistic.

One day, it’ll be you.

Love, Katie      xxx

Apr 202016
 
Intuition photo

If you’ve felt as though you’ve been try to run through syrup for the last few months of 2016 (i.e. trying to get somewhere, but definitely not at your own pace and not always sure of where you’re going), you’re not alone! These past few months I’ve used oracle cards a lot to bring me guidance, so I’ve decided to reintroduce my intuitive readings.

Why Intuitive Readings?

Sometimes, as much as we try not to, we get in our own way sometimes. Our thoughts go round and in circles and we never seem to get any clarity, convincing ourselves that things are either like this or like this.

Letting someone give you an intuitive reading is like stepping back, letting go and allowing something greater to lead you. It can be terrifying, but can ultimately give you a perspective or clarity you might not have been able to reach before. I know I’ve never regretted having a reading myself and always come away from it feeling a lot lighter than when I went into it.

Readings buttons

Intuition photo(Photo from UnSplash by Matthew Wieber)

Sample Reading

Your card is: Ten of Fire
 
This card has such a strong energy to it, and I think this’ll be a very important card for you my love.
 
This card is all about letting you know that it’s ok to take time out of your schedule to play and relax. Play is a big, big focus of the message I’ve been asked to give you! Maybe you’ve been working too hard recently, but the angels are telling me that you’ve been incredibly harsh on yourself. You’ve been feeling too proud to accept help, but now is the time reach out. There is a strong risk of becoming sick or burnt out through stress and it’s important to slow down and be kind to yourself in every area of your life.
 
Treat your energy like a savings account and don’t spend it all at once. It’s important to accept where you are- are you trying to do too much and/or do everything on your own? Maybe you’ve been dwelling too much on the negative recently and it’s important to acknowledge the positive in your life as well. Only then will you be able to reestablish the important yin/yang balance we all need as we go through life. You have permission to look after yourself.
 
I hope that some of these points are relevant to you my darling- thank you so much for letting me learn more about giving readings!
Love, Katie    xxx

How Does It Work?

Once you select your reading type below, please allow 48 hours for your guidance to be sent back to you. (It doesn’t normally take as long as this, but just in case!) I will attach an image of the card or cards that came up and give you in-depth guidance for each card. You are free to email me afterwards with any feedback or further insights.

Important Guidelines

  • Please note: if your question if something along the lines of, “Will I get this job?” or “Is he the right man for me?”, these readings are not for you. They are not designed to predict the future or give psychic insights.
  • I specialise in giving readings based on health and wellbeing, but am open to other to readings for life situations as well.
  • Normally, I’m intuitively guided to working with a deck based on your question, but you can choose a certain deck if you prefer (email me for a list).
  • These readings are not designed to be scary or stressful in any way- there is no such thing as ‘bad information’ in these readings, and they are not dark or frightening. I just can’t work like that!

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Testimonials

Katie, this is so spooky and accurate- amazing! – Michelle

This is very, very relevant to me- you’re very good at this! – Ruth

Thanks so much for the reading, it really helped me actually. A really big thank you. – Helen

Investment

You will be sent a detailed paragraph(s) of what I felt and intuited during your reading, together with a picture(s) of the card via email within 48 hours. A deck will be chosen for you at random unless you would prefer otherwise.

All prices are in Australian dollars (AUD)- click here to convert to your currency.

1 card reading (with question)- $9

1 card reading (random)- $9

1 card healing reading (with CFS focus- please email)- $9

Readings buttons

3 card reading (with question or random)-$23

1 card healing reading (with CFS focus- please email)- $23

Readings buttons

Please email me with your question (if you have one) BEFORE purchasing at: katie@conqueringfearspiritually.com

Feb 192016
 

What We All Need To Hear

There will be periods in life when you’re going through a bit of a difficult time, but there’s something missing.

what we all need to hear

I posted this on Facebook the other day and I’m so glad that it resonated with lots of you. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt as though I’ve been carried along on a very powerful current, but have sometimes struggled to keep my head above water.

I’ve been meditating like a crazy person, and have been craving more down time than usual. All my ego wants to do is justify WHY I’ve been feeling like this, but really, there’s no reason. There doesn’t always have to be a reason.

Change often sneaks up on us when we least expect it, and we often feel as though we’re doing our own frantic doggy paddle when there’s something we can’t see around the corner.

We can choose to go with the flow and stop fighting, or we can swim upstream and wear ourselves out.

I’ve come to realise that often, what appears to be a difficult time for you might not seem that big a deal for someone else, and this makes us feel a little powerless. We come to believe that we’re creating problems where there are none, and we tell ourselves that we’re stupid and that we’re a big of a drama queen (or king!)

But this super short video tells us what we all need to hear. We often wait for others to tell us this, but in many cases, it might never come. (This isn’t their fault, however). So, I rushed home the other day to make this video for you before the idea escaped me. This is what you’ve been waiting to hear, what we all need to hear at various points during our lives (including me).

I really hope this video resonates with you, my love. I certainly needed to hear this the other day too.

(Video length: 1m, 20s)

For more on going  through change, click here.

If you enjoyed this video, you can find my other videos here.

Be gentle with yourself, my love.

Love, Katie    xxx

Feb 112016
 
Katie Manning CFS

If you’ve followed my blog for a little while, you know that I talk about acceptance quite a lot, but what does acceptance really mean?

I’ve discussed it in my e-books and also in this very special webinar I gave last year, but recently after mentoring many new clients, I find myself coming back to the same thing when we discuss how they can best move forward.

A lot of people haven’t really accepted what happened to them.

A lot of people think they have, but if they’re really honest with themselves, they’re still asking themselves, ‘What does acceptance really mean?’, ‘Am I anywhere near it yet?’ and most importantly, ‘Why did this happen to me?’

I was exactly the same as you. I thought I’d come to terms with it, but as I moved through a long and agonising period of relapses without learning why I still wasn’t getting anywhere, I realised that there had to be more to it than met the eye.

I should just say that it is not your fault if you’re missing this piece of the puzzle, but our minds and egos will try and make us think that it is our fault. (Click here for more on this.) You’ve done nothing wrong, and the insights in this video might help you feel a little bit lighter in your mind and body.

In this video, I answer questions around-

  • what does acceptance really mean?
  • why do I keep getting stuck in the same loop (and am I playing the victim)?
  • how can I move forward?
  • hat does it feel like in my body to truly accept something?

I really hope this is useful for you, my love, and I’d love to hear your comments below. Did this video resonate with you?

Keep moving forward gently, and always know that we’re all just doing our best with the knowledge we have at the time.

Love, Katie     xx

Feb 012016
 
maze

 

Although the vast majority of this post is written with CFS/ME in mind, it can apply to many aspects of our lives. We all get stuck to different extents- it can take a few moments or even years to pull ourselves out of it (something I have experience with myself). Sometimes, there might even be a purpose behind our feeling, in which case we have an opportunity to learn more about ourselves.

maze

Image taken from here

1) Admit You’re Feeling Stuck

Feel the full extent of your frustration and fear. Throw a pillow across the room. Get really flippin’ angry. Cry and sob your heart out for a few hours, and let everything come out (I’m talking big, snotty tears here). Don’t push it away because you’re trying to save face or think you have to be strong. Screw it.

2) Get Outside

I’ve only recently since living in Australia been able to feel the full benefit of heading outside for a strop (that’s Northern England talk for ‘deliberate, angry walk’!) or a slow meander with no particular destination in mind. I’ve always, and I mean ALWAYS, come back clearer and calmer. It doesn’t solve the problem entirely, but my god, do you feel more able and equipped to deal with it.

If you’re at a stage in your illness where you’re spending most of it asleep or in bed, click here for a little love and some suggestions.

3) As Cheesy As It Sounds, Talk With Someone

I’m not necessarily talking about a counsellor or psychiatrist here, but rather someone who you know isn’t going to judge you and can see how ill you are. Someone who really sees you on a day-to-day basis and knows how you tick. This person might not understand completely, but all you need is an open ear.

You can even say to them before you start that you’d really be honoured to have them sit with you, so you can talk through everything and how you’re feeling. I would even say to them that you don’t really want any advice, you just want to be heard and to sit with them. You will feel better the moment you’ve let it all go- trust me.

4) Ask For Help

Often, our frustration and worry comes as the result of not having all the information to hand and of having to deal with everything on our own. I used to take great pride in taking on everything and not asking for help- I wore it as a badge of honour.

There’s no prizes for taking everything on yourself. It’s a fast way to resentment and burn-out.

Swallow your pride and ask for help with that thing, whether it’s doing the dishes or asking for a helping hand through life. It’s a bit of a muscle and it needs flexing regularly.

You are not a burden.

5) For Goodness Sakes, Meditate

It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, and you don’t have to have some outer body experience to feel the benefits. It’s just taking time out in stillness with no distractions- that’s it. When we see it like this, it’s a wonder we don’t jump at the chance to do it more often.  Click here for more on meditation.

6) Be Present

Stay in the moment and know that what you’re feeling now is fleeting.

This too shall pass – Proverb

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Image taken from here

I’d love to know how you get through these moments, my lovely. We often find what works for us in certain circumstances and build up a ‘toolbox’ as we go. Share how to cope below and let’s learn from each other.

Love and big, deep breaths,

Katie     xx

Feb 012016
 

 

This post is dedicated to Lisa.

I’ve just received an email asking about how to cope with losing friends and other acquaintances when you are ill, and wanted to share my thoughts on this.

This definitely happened to me (click here to read my story), and it was a very distressing part of my illness. It’s even more distressing when you’re 18, your friends are your life and you’ve just left home to start university only to find yourself at home again having to be cared for. My friends were all living their lives and here I was having to be looked after be other people. I felt so ashamed and like a total failure. Honestly, I felt like it was me- I was the problem. It must’ve been me, right?

I had to come home after my first term of University at Christmas. Christmas in the U.K. is typically a time for freshers to come back to their home town and meet up with everyone for drinks, compare courses, accommodation and the nightlife. The snow was falling and I was petrified and lifeless in bed. I could practically hear my old classmates clinking glasses and boasting about their new lives.

friendsPicture taken from here

But there was also another part of me that could here them saying, “So, did you hear about Katie? She dropped out, didn’t she? Straight A student as well- it must be so embarrassing for her”. These conversation never happened, but in my mind, they were very, very real. If you add on top of that the things that people say about CFS sufferers anyway, you can imagine that my mind was on overdrive and I felt so lonely and isolated.

After feeling upset and angry for months, in a moment of clarity between bouts of brain fog, I realised that it really wasn’t their fault. My close friends had tried to understand what was going on, time and time again. They’d even asked if they could come and visit me, but I was so weak (and also so piercingly ashamed of myself and my situation) that I said ‘no’.

It suddenly struck me that there was no way on earth that they could understand what was happening to me. Even I didn’t know what the hell was happening.

If even you don’t understand your illness, how can you expect others to do the same?

As soon as thought about this, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I also felt less angry and more compassionate. This doesn’t mean that I liked the fact that my friends were drifting away from me, but I accepted it for what it was. There was no way that they could understand how my life was going to have to change as a result of this illness, and this was the first true moment of real clarity that I had in this whole, sorry mess. Up until that moment, I hadn’t thought about it either.

You cannot control the way people view you and what people think about you. You cannot control their feelings or confusion towards what is happening or what has happened to you. What you do have control over if how you react it and how to feel about it. You can accept it or keep fighting, and you know me- I’ll fly the flag for acceptance any day of the week (it puts less stress on the body and makes you frown less. Wrinkles, girls- wrinkles!)

Friends and people will drift in and out of your life, but that doesn’t mean you are devoid of friends forever. New people will come into your life when you least expect it and they’ll be exactly what you need. They will bestow life lessons upon you and then drift away, leaving room for new angels to meander in.

Don’t miss out on these experiences by clutching too much to how things were or how things could have been. Loosen your grip with love and let the love find you.

In love and friendship,

Katie     xxx

Jan 252016
 
rebecca campbell

Dear Rebecca Campbell…

A few weeks ago, you were so kind and generous, and sent me a copy of your gorgeous new book, ‘Light is the New Black’.

I secretly hoped that you’d have written something inside the cover of the book and indeed you had:

I read on with so much enthusiasm, as I’ve been following your work for so long now, but I stopped reading half way through.

I put it down to being distracted and saying that I had other things to do besides reading, but I realised that your book triggered something in me.

A few weeks ago, as I contemplated and am now faced with the very present task of launching my own book, your words made me realise something.

I’m terrified of my own light.

That’s why I stopped reading your book. I was intimidated by how brightly your light shone in your words and message, and I didn’t think I could emanate what you were doing, not in my life, and not in my own writing.

This realisation made me feel ashamed, because I’ve intuited enough to know that what is in you must also be in me. I had met my true reality and being head on, and I didn’t recognise it. So, I chose to quickly shun it and run the other way.

We are often terrified of our own power. Once we see it building up, or see it reflected back to us in what others say or do for us, we don’t believe we’re worthy of being seen in that way. We can only be praised like that if we look this way, have this or are doing this.

This was the moment when I realised that I’d lived a lot of my life looking externally- what students thought of me, what my followers thought of me, what my family and friends thought of me. I’d even based life decisions on these very self-created parameters.

This is no way to live.

If we live like this, we can never truly be free.

Disregarding and ignoring our own light is not what we are put here for. If we can’t acknowledge and appreciate our own light, then we can’t truly be happy for others. We can’t cheer on from the sidelines, as we’ll always be convinced of our own darkness rather than our own light.

I think I’ve been blinded by my own light on many occasions, and this has scared and startled me to go scurrying back into the safety of my cave.

rebecca campbell

So, my darling, dear Rebecca Campbell, I choose light. I choose to live in that space and expanse that you could see in me from afar even though you don’t know me; that space that I’ve been told I bring with me, that I can feel glowing all around me and that I sink into so vividly when I close my eyes.

I choose to follow the light.

I choose me.

Love, Katie   xxx

P.S. I finished your book- it’s a pure beam of radiance. Thank you, beautiful.

To hop on over to Rebecca’s stunning website, click here.

Jan 212016
 
best chronic fatigue blog

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I had all sorts of plans to write one of my most glittering and best Chronic Fatigue blog posts of the 2016 and welcome it all in, but it didn’t want to happen. I’ve tried sticking with various things, and do believe in welcoming in the new, but I’ve always believed that resolutions and starting new things shouldn’t just be for the turn of the year. It should be something that you can choose for yourself any minute or time of year.

As I looked back on last year’s New Year post, I realised that a lot of the things I hoped for (but didn’t cling to) didn’t materialise, and that’s absolutely fine. Instead, something wonderful and totally unexpected happened- I published a paperback and Kindle book on Amazon (click here for the details), and I still pinch myself every time I think about it. Reading reviews and hearing comments from readers about how much the book resonated with them has been nothing short of divine, and if I’d clung on for dear life to what I told myself at the beginning of the year I wanted, none of this would’ve happened.

As I’ve been travelling and visiting family back in Europe this month (hello jet-lag!), I didn’t create vision boards, plans and all the things people tell you you’re supposed to do. Instead, I flowed through the days and came back feeling more grounded and serene than if I’d planned every move to within an inch of my life.

So, with all this in mind, I’m totally willing to be surprised this year. I’m not going to do what underneath it all I naturally do, which is push and get things done.

Enough.

I’m through with it.

Let’s put it all into cruise control and let the magic happen.

best chronic fatigue blog

10 Best Chronic Fatigue Blog Posts of 2015

I don’t have any philosophical or spiritual platitudes for you as we roll well into this New Year, but I thought it might be useful for me to compile a list of my most popular and best Chronic Fatigue blog posts of last year.

I hope they help you in some way, lovely one.

1. How to Heal and Balance Chakras

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2. 5 Ways to Treat Brain Fog in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

brain fog

3. Louise Hay Affirmations for Chronic Fatigue

louise hay

4. How to Deal with Feeling Unworthy

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5. The Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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6. Does Gluten-Free Help CFS?

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7. How to Accept Help From Others and Being Vulnerable

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8. Hot Yoga and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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9. How to Deal With People Thinking You’re Lazy When You Have CFS

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10. 5 Reasons You Might Be Scared of Getting Better

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Most Popular CFS Pages

The most popular CFS pages that you lovely people have clicked one are: my ‘About’ page, my Mentoring page and my freebies page!

So, there we have it!

Let me know in the comments below- do you make New Year Resolutions, and what have been your favourite blog posts of 2015 (not just mine!)?

Love, Katie    xxx

Jan 022016
 
silence unsplash

I’m sitting here on New Year’s Day in the house where I grew up in the North-East of England visiting my family. I had absolutely no intention of writing anything for a few weeks yet and for really making space for ideas to come to me after writing my book in 2015.

However, if you’ve ever written or had creative impulses in any form, which I’m guessing is pretty all of us at some point or another, you’ll know that inspiration sometimes won’t wait.

silence unsplashPhoto by Greg Rakozy for Unsplash

Maybe We’ve Got It All Wrong About Silence

As I woke up this morning to near silence and wondering what time it was, I realised how at home and at peace I am with everything in stillness and silence.

I’ve always been one of those people who’s been at ease in my own company, but it’s only over the last few years when I’ve become totally ok with this.

As we’re growing up, we think there’s something wrong with us if we don’t want to go and party at the weekend. There’s a constant fear of missing out (the dreaded ‘FOMO’). We base our self worth on whether we’re seen to be at a party and how much fun we’re seen to be having.

But maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence…

Maybe this is where the party and all the action really is…

We become so caught up in going after what we want and trying to fix ourselves that we miss out on all of the peace and wisdom of the ‘other’.

Instead of sitting with ourselves and just being ok with what’s happening right now (because really, it can’t be any other way), we try to involve other people, so that they can distract us and maybe, in those moment, fix us.

Hours pass by on the internet when we were only going to quickly check our emails.

But maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence…

Maybe this is where the magic is.

Maybe this is where all the good stuff is, that stuff that we try to fill with books, e-courses, forums and running ourselves in circles (trust me, I’m as guilty as the next person of trying to fill this void with more knowledge in the vain hope that it might make me feel more worthy as a person).

But in that space, that silence, you’re always enough.

When you just settle with what is in the moment, when no action is required by others or your monkey mind, this is where everything is. In the spaces between the words, the actions and the wants.

Maybe this is why meditation is taking off, and rightfully so, because we’re realising that there is so much potential in the white space, the blank canvas. It can be everything to us, but we’ve come to perceive it as representing emptiness, unfulfillment, loneliness.

We don’t want want to sit with ourselves like this, because we’re terrified of what we might find and we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s just too difficult. But maybe what we’ll find is better than anything we could perceive with our minds. There is unlimited potential in the white space and so much possibility, so why shouldn’t it work for us when we’re meditating as opposed to sitting with a paint box or blank document in front of us?

As we move into 2016, I encourage you to think about the possibility that maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence. Maybe it’s the everything, rather than the nothing.

It’s not to be feared, but to be welcomed and honoured.

Love, Katie          xxx

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If you’re interested in discovering more about healing beyond reason and reframing silence, I think you’re going to love this incredible podcast from Sounds True featuring Caroline Myss. It absolutely astonished me.

sounds true podcast

Jan 012016
 

You might be wondering why in the world I’m writing an article on how to stay well in winter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when we’re full steam ahead for another hot summer in Sydney. Well, I remember what it was like to be incredibly ill in the North-East of England  and later in Scotland, and how difficult it was to look after myself during those bitterly cold months. (As Billy Connolly says, “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter”!)

Here are a few pointers on how to stay well in winter that worked for me (after a lot of trial and error!):

Winter Chronic Fatigue SyndromeTree Photo by Gabriel Santiago via Unsplash

How to Stay Well in Winter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

1) Layering is your Friend

So, you’ve got 3 jumpers, a scarf and bed socks on, and you’re just about to grab yourself a blanket from the cupboard. Go for it.

I used to feel incredibly paranoid about how I’d look, but to be honest, I was only at home with my parents and my brother- who was I expecting to walk in? George Clooney? It’s safe to let your guard down. To be honest, I rather feel warm and toasty.

Affirmation: I love and respect myself completely as I am.

2) Jump on the Herbal Tea bandwagon

With the variety of herbal teas out there, there really is something for everyone. Some of the decaffeinated black teas are incredible as well (I’m a bit of chai fanatic!)

It’s really important to stay hydrated, even in the winter. It’s difficult when all you want to do is crawl under the duvet, but herbal teas and tisanes will help you to stay well. I even make my own homemade drink (similar to the one in the photos below) with hot water, fresh ginger and a little bit a fresh turmeric, some raw honey and a dash of apple cider vinegar. It sounds a bit much, but it’s perfect for warming your body up and staying grounded.

Click here to read about some herbals teas which might give you a bit of an energy boost.

3) Eat as Healthily as you can

While I was sick, I tended to eat meals or snacks that were incredibly easy to prepare and not always good for me (as some of you might have read here! Embarrassing!) Try to eat as many nourishing, hearty and warming foods as you can, such as soups and stews. This green soup is my go-to for when I need a health boost!).

4) Try to Head Outside once in a while

Even though it’s the last thing we feel like doing, trying to get some fresh air and blow the cobwebs away can be really good for us. It might be freezing, but it’s a great opportunity to rejuvenate our lungs and just feel a little bit lighter.

Although we’re not always able to when we’re sick, there are ways of bring the outside indoors. Click here to read more on ways we can do this when we’re not feeling up to it.

lemon waterPhoto by Dominik Martin via Unsplash

5) Surround Yourself with Loving People

I remember feeling a little fed-up during the winter. Even though I couldn’t really be anywhere else but in my bed, I found that consciously making connections with people was incredibly helpful and made me feel better. Winter can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people, especially in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere with the short hours of daylight, so reaching out to others will help them as well as you.

6) Take this Opportunity to Practise Extreme Self-Care

You might know of the work of Cheryl Richardson and the many books and projects she has created with Louise Hay. I absolutely love the phrase that she created, ‘Extreme Self-Care’, to encourage us to really honour our own needs and learn to not negate our self-worth. Practising Extreme Self-Care is an ongoing journey for me, and while I still sometimes struggle with feeling that I don’t deserve to look after or honour myself in this way, I truly believe that the ‘hibernation’ which winter sometimes encourages in us is a great opportunity to establish a life-long practice.

“To practice Extreme Self-Care, you must learn to love yourself unconditionally, accept your imperfections, and embrace your vulnerabilities.” – Cheryl Richardson

Affirmation: I respect and love myself completely. I am worthy of self-care and love.

7) Spring and Summer always follow Winter

If you’re finding that winter and the Festive season are all getting a bit much, just know that it won’t last forever and that the seasons are a lifelong lesson in feeling comfortable with change.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland

I hope you found these tips on how to stay well in winter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome useful, my loves. Let me know in the comments below, how do you keep well in winter?

Lots of love, Katie    xx