Katie

Oct 152015
 

 

This article is reposted from an article I wrote for MindBodyGreen, on my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet.

Flaxseed660

Having had CFS since I was 18, I’ve dabbled in lots of nutritional fads and special diets in my time. Now having fully recovered, I can say there are a few dietary tips I would always recommend people consider if they have this frustrating illness.

1. Flaxseed oil, you little beauty!

I started taking flaxseed oil years ago, and now I really feel the difference when I don’t take it. I take 1000mg of flaxseed oil a day, and all those omega-3s and -6s are fabulous for getting the blood flowing and easing creaky joints. You can also buy it in a bottle and use it in recipes; I put it on porridge, in smoothies, in soups—you name it. It’s a versatile creature.

2. Put the coffee down!

For goodness’ sake, I know it smells good, but you know you’d be better off without it. Sydney, where I live, has a thriving coffee culture and it’s so hard to resist, but even the decaf makes me feel jumpy and gives me a huge comedown afterwards. Don’t go cold turkey straightaway though; do it gradually and don’t be too harsh on yourself. CFS is bad enough. Chamomile tea and dandelion chai are amazing substitutes.

3. Don’t reach for the junk food.

I know, it’s rubbish—I’ve been there. If you’ve got the energy to eat properly at all, you’ll probably go for the easy junk food, the ones that you don’t even have to cook: chips, chocolate, bread, and cheese. Your body knows you’re out of whack, your mind is telling you constantly that you’re ill, so you deserve it, right? But maybe try substituting chocolate with a piece of fruit once in a while. Some might argue that fruit is still pretty sugary, but it’s packed full of nutrients and it’s got to be better than what you have in your hand right now.


4. Limit your dairy intake.

I’ve never had huge problems with dairy, but good grief, my energy has soared since giving it up. My skin is clearer and I’m able to move around more during the day. Not a bad claim for a former CFS sufferer! I would say that within a few weeks I was firing on all cylinders. Try substituting cow milk with rice milk or almond milk, for example (the non chemical-laden kind if possible, or make your own). Coconut yogurt is completely dairy-free and is the closest I’ve got to heaven on earth through food. Trust me—you’ll feel better.

5. Eat your greens.

Yep, it’s an oldie but a goody, and it doesn’t have to be boring. There are sneaky ways around getting more greens and vegetables in your diet. At my worst with CFS, I was sleeping for about 22 hours a day and was barely eating. Even the thought of sitting up to eat was unfathomable, never mind eating solid food. There are some delicious recipes out their for green soups, juices, and smoothies. This was pretty much the only way I could stomach food, and they’re still my go-to staples every day.

These are just five tricks that work for me, but you have to be patient and find what works best for you. If you’re suffering from CFS, investing in good nutrition is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. I’d love to hear from you about your experiences. In the meantime, you will get there.

Love and nourishment,
Katie  xx
Oct 132015
 

This post is dedicated to the lovely and fabulous Sonia- I hope it helps in some way, my darling.

Recently, I’ve been receiving lots of emails about why I decided to call my blog ‘Conquering Fear Spiritually – CFS’. You all know that the reason I started blogging was to support CFS sufferers in their journey and recovery and build up a community, but there’s also another big reason.

I realised last year, and have been having random realisations ever since, that my illness may well have been triggered by fear. I know this probably sounds like absolute rubbish, but please hear me out. Around the time I came down with ME/CFS, there were a lot of crazy things happening in my life. On looking back at this event, I can pinpoint almost to the date exactly when I became ill with CFS and in the same vain, when I felt I had more-or-less recovered from it. Unfortunately, the period of recovery spans about 10 years, but please remember that everyone is different and everyone has their own specific needs during recovery.

Katie

My CFS Recovery Story

I was always one of those people at school who was involved in everything. A straight ‘A’ student, homework always in on time, member of the athletics and netball teams, member of the choir, orchestra, chamber choir, member of the debating team, school play, school council- you name it, I was probably involved. I often look back at this time and feel absolutely baffled by the amount of time and energy I must have been using, but I never thought about it. However, when I was 17/18, I had a constant colds. My nose was dripping, I had a scratchy throat (not so great for a singer) and never felt completely well. My English Literature teacher convinced me to try some echinacea tablets and I have to say they did the job. But the moment I stopped taking them (apparently, you’re only supposed to use them for a few weeks at a time), I was right back to square one.

Another incredibly emotional and stressful experience of my life was when I was choosing what to do at University. Music was my favourite subject, I loved singing, I love playing instruments, I loved Music history- Music was my life. This was always what I was going to go on to do and all my friends knew this. When I spoke to my parents about it though, my choice wasn’t welcomed as openly as I’d thought it would be. In the interests of wanting to ensure my security, my parents thought that studying French and German (another of my passions) would open up more avenues for employment. After debating with them about this, and realising that not only did I not want to teach Music, but generally had no clue about what I’d do with it, I decided to go with languages. However, I knew deep down, that music was my calling. I knew it. I actually think my parents knew it too, but wanted me to be financially secure and have employment opportunities.

So I applied for Languages and pushed all thoughts of studying Music to the back of my mind. I still performed, but I’d resigned myself to the fact that Languages would be the safer choice. The summer after I finished school, I kept blacking-out, ended up in hospital on drips (in Italy!), had terrible insomnia, had low blood sugar and was generally pretty unwell. To be honest, I think my body was done-in. But I kept going, because when you’re just about to start a new life experience at University and all your school friends are doing the same, that’s what you do.

3 months into my course, I woke up one morning and literally couldn’t move. No finger twitches, no toe movement- nothing. I couldn’t even open my eyes. Passing it off as flu, I stayed where I was for the day, thinking that I’d be better in the morning. The next morning came however and I was the same. This happened for weeks, and I genuinely thought I was going mad. I truly believed that something had flicked in my brain and I needed counselling or help of some kind.

When I was forced to leave Uni because I couldn’t go to class and was incredibly ill, I went home with my parents. The day they came to pick me up, I was still lying in bed. I’d barely managed to pack and I was so ashamed to be leaving. Little by little, over the next few months, my Mum got me a job in her school on reception two days a week and I was so proud of myself for managing two days.

Fast forward a few months and I went back to Uni- a fresh start. I managed to attend about 40% of my classes in the first year, but it got better in the second year. I refused help from the disability office due to my never-ending need to prove my independence. I was pretty pleased with how things were progressing, I made some great friends, but then at the end of my 2nd year, I came home for the summer only to contract Glandular Fever. This was so bad that I had to be hospitalised and I supposed to be spending a year abroad in France in a few weeks’ time. I was so excited and was madly determined to get there.

I’m so pleased to say that I did, and went into 4th year raring to go, attending 100% of my classes. I thought I’d left CFS behind me, until I started working as a high school teacher. I was so completely involved in my work that I forget to take care of myself. I would have barely nothing to eat for dinner because I was working, had lunch on the run, did no exercise and found myself ill and off work with CFS…again.

After this I knew I had to change my agenda a little bit. I still taught but did some casual work, meaning I could sleep in in the morning and work in the afternoon. This really suited my body and this is when I really learned how to listen to my needs and put myself first.

Why I was scared

After lots of soul-searching, here is a list of the reasons I think my illness was triggered by fear in the Autumn of 2001:

* I didn’t choose Music or didn’t stand up for myself because I was frightened of disappointing my parents.

* I was frightened to follow my passion because I didn’t know what career to expect at the end of it and wanted to do the sensible thing

* I didn’t take any time out to recover from colds and flu when I was 17/18 because I was frightened of falling behind, frightened of what my teachers and classmates would think, and frightened that anything I’d miss in class would suddenly appear on the exam, and I’d fail it. Because I didn’t take time out, my immune system was shattered and I was therefore more vulnerable to CFS and flu.

* I was frightened to take time out for fear of being/appearing selfish or letting people down.

* I was petrified of what people thought of me after I had to come home from Uni and didn’t want to be branded a failure.

* In my early career, I was frightened of what my students and colleagues thought of me, and was constantly paranoid that I was a terrible teacher.

* I was terrified after University that I’d missed the boat with the Music thing and could never get it back, so anything that wasn’t Music made me feel drained, angry and resentful (ie. pretty much my whole teaching career to date).

* I used to focus far too much on the past- what if I’d done…..?, I should’ve…., How can I change my situation? 

* Ulimately, I was terrified of being me. Absolutely terrified. Would anyone like me? Would anyone accept me? Who was I without Music and my story of CFS? Most importantly though, I was petrified of being ill. I avoided going out with friends, just in case I got ill, sabotaged job opportunities in case I got ill, didn’t go to yoga in case I got ill, didn’t want to go to bed too late in case I got ill. Ironically, I was in perfect health this whole time, but was living a half-life and was virtually stuck because of self-limiting, seemingly ridiculous fear.

fear

Picture taken from here

For years, this has been my story and I’ve finally let it go. You are not your illness. The past is just a story, and once you realise this, you can move forward with your life. As soon as I realised that I had the power to control my own journey, my healing rapidly sped up, and I began to live a pretty much normal life again.

I now focus on the present moment as much as possible. Looking back at the past with regret is in many ways useless, as you cna’t change it. I am so, so grateful for my past experiences and my illness. I am completely comfortable with myself and my life choices. I still have wobbly moments (I’m only human!), but generally I’m happier than I’ve ever been…as me.

Now: My fiancé and I moved from the UK to Australia just over two years ago and we’ve never been happier. My thirst for knowledge on all thing spiritual has led me to where I am today and I’ve learned so much recently. My health has been much improved by sessions of Energetic Healing (which I’ll tell you about next week) and I can honestly say, I love my life. I don’t think about illness, and therefore I do not attract it. I still teach, but rather than worrying about what others think of me or the fact that ‘it’s not Music’, I focus on what I can do for others

A Word of Advice

The process of healing for me has taken a lot of work, 10 years worth of work. Everyone has to follow their own path, take each day at a time and do what is right for them. If you are following medical treatment, please keep going with it- I am not a doctor and just because I realised that fear was rooted in my illness doesn’t mean that it will be the same for you. I have written this post in the hope that you might be able to reflect on your own experiences and share in mine. Recovery takes work and it is not easy. I still have days when I have to step back and realise that going to visit someone (for example) might be a bit much for me today. Be patient with yourself and love yourself every day, the good bits and the bad bits.

I hope this has helped you in some way. I’d love to hear your comments below.

Love and many blessings,

Katie     xxx

 

Oct 082015
 
Authenticity and the internet

I sometimes wonder what possessed me to start a blog.

I’m not someone who can spend hours at the computer screen, probably because my brain isn’t used to it. Having been a teacher for a number of years, my job involves minimal computer time, so my brain doesn’t really handle being online for long periods of time that well.

However, all this suddenly changed a few weeks ago when I found myself spending most of my waking day on the computer after a hip injury. Now, don’t get me wrong, watching a series on Netflix when you’re sick or not feeling so great isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I did find myself wondering whether what I was doing and how I was spending my time online was beneficial to me or not. In fact, I became more than a little bit p*ssed off with myself.

After spending a lot of time trawling through the internet, giving myself multiple things to read or watch with several tabs open all in the name of entertainment, I suddenly one day found myself becoming very agitated. If you’re one of those people who finds themselves picking up their phone and now knowing why (and I think there are more of us out there than we’d like to admit!), you might relate to this feeling well. But for some reason, because I’d told myself that I had good ‘internet habits'(!), I thought I was immune to all of that.

Authenticity and the internetImage by Gabriel Santiago via Unsplash

All That Glitters- Authenticity and the Internet

In this video (13:18), I talk about:

    • my own recent struggles with falling down an internet rabbit hole
    • how to know if your time on the internet is draining you or energising you
    • what to do if you find yourself reaching for your phone, but have no idea why
    • how to be mindful when using social media, and why it might be a good idea to think about authenticity and the internet
    • how to know if your social media and internet habits are distracting you from facing issues or problems in your life
    • the unexpected resource that made me see sense!

Colette Baron Reid’s Guidance

This is the guidance from Colette Baron-Reid that I mention in the video, which really helped me to see where I’d gone wrong.

16-All-That-GlittersMy ‘epiphany’ card from Colette Baron-Reid’s new deck, ‘Wisdom of the Oracle’.

“A need to see beyond the superficial; the desire to don a mask or dress something up to disguise its true nature; trying to be something you’re not; chasing after every sparkly new thing; being mercurial.

The Oracle’s message: It’s only human to want to adorn oneself in trinkets and paint a pretty picture of oneself. It’s natural to want to acquire the trappings of status— or to deny them as a statement of rebellion. But if it sparkles, is it better? Whether it’s a fast car, a big house, a title or position, the stamp of authority, or the sparkling of diamonds, these icons let you know something about a person, place, or thing. Or do they? The truth is that people seek to acquire things because of what they will do for them, and how they symbolically will elevate them and make them more attractive. This card signals that it’s time to see beyond the adornments and probe underneath the surface. Learn to recognise the masks people wear and the motives underlying them. Imagine that all the glitter is gone. Would you still desire the object or person?” – (Taken from Colette Baron-Reid’s free readings page).

I’d love to hear your comments below my love- have you ever found yourself being swept away by the internet or social media? Do you struggle with authenticity and the internet? How do you bring yourself back to earth?

Love, Katie     xxx

Oct 062015
 
Coping with Friends and Family During

 

It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I made a YouTube video for you all (you’ll find out why in the video!), but I felt compared to talk about our relations with family and friends when we’re ill this week. Coping with family and friends during Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a subject very close to my heart, so I’d love to share some advice with you.

As many of you know it really hurts when those close to us say things like these or they begin to fall away. We feel totally powerless and frustrated. Don’t they know what it’s like for us? Why are they doing this to us? We want to tell them how we’re really feeling, but if you’re anything like me, you wonder what the point is- they’ll never understand, so why bother? Sometimes, it’s a lot safer and less tiring to stay in our little caves and wait until it all blows over.

In this 11 minute video, I talk about:

  • why it’s so difficult for our loved ones to understand CFS
  • what to do if people don’t believe you
  • how our perspective changes during CFS 
  • why trying to stay connected to people is important, even if you’re angry and don’t want to

Click here if you’d like to join the online hangout I mention in the video.

I really hope these tips help my darling. I know how isolated and lonely you feel- sending you so much love.

Love, Katie   xxx

(Apologies for the terrible lighting in this video, by the way. I was going to stop recording and start again, but was on a bit of a roll!)

cfs acceptance hangout

Oct 042015
 

Over the years, I’ve read numerous books and reports on the ‘type’ of people who seems to become ill with CFS/ME and many people who do are of what’s called the Type ‘A’ Personality.

Are You Part Of The Type A Personality CFS Trend?

You are Type ‘A’ Personality if you are/were:

  • ambitious
  • self-critical
  • driven
  • hard-working
  • easily wound-up
  • prone to stress
  • competitive
  • time-urgent
  • sometimes hostile and aggressive

Type ‘B’ Personalities tend to be more relaxed, able to express their feelings easily and are more able to do one thing at a time. Type C personalities are generally ‘nice’ people who work hard, but don’t let stress take over their lives. The diagram below explains the Type A and B differences perfectly.

typeapersonality

Diagram taken from here

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely a Type ‘A’ Personality. I was a straight ‘A’ student, involved in every single school activity going and never, ever got sick. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect because I knew I could be(!) and because it was expected of me. Although I don’t tend to identify myself as being hostile or aggressive, in a way I believe that some of this anger was directed internally and I buried it for a long time. but I’m definitely prone to stress and used to be massively self-critical, both before and during the early stages of my illness.

At present, there doesn’t seem to be any scientific reason why there is a Type A Personality CFS trend- some people claim it’s due to the fact that Type ‘A’ people might have more of the stress hormone, cortisol, in their body. But, I have another theory as to why I think Type A people are more prone to sickness, therefore opening themselves up to illnesses such as CFS.

Before I became ill, I never, ever took any time out for myself. Even when I had bad flu or a cold, I would plough on and not take being ill into consideration. In some ways, not focusing on your illness can mean that you heal more quickly, but not taking time out to look after yourself when you’re feeling run down can leave your immune system feeling completely depleted. After ignoring ‘minor’ illnesses for so long, your body can just crash, thereby forcing you to look after yourself and take time out. I had a few warning signs before I became really ill, but I ignored all of them. The exact same warning signs popped up just before relapses, and again, instead of listening to my body, I just completely ignored them.

As humans, we need rest. We’re designed for rest, not only when we’re sleeping, but at certain times of the day and at certain times of the year. Unfortunately, because we’re constantly surrounded my technology, computers and smart phones, our bodies ignore the natural light outside and we become completely out-of-sync with the seasons. But rest is designed to restore and repair our bodies, and if we ignore it, our body gives us signals that we’re ignoring it in the form of pain, soreness and illness.

Meditation, yoga and focussing on the present have really helped me to work with my Type A personality, as well as learning to really rest properly (no TV, no jumping off the sofa to do something, no housework- nothing).

How about you? Are you a Type A personality as well?

Love and living life slowly,

Katie     xx

 

Oct 012015
 
healing

I know the process well. You read about something that might help you and your health, and before long you’re off on a whirlwind internet trail. Sometimes this can bring miraculous benefits to you (I’ve found some amazing books this way), and sometimes it can leave you feeling even more confused then when you set out.

Are You Sabotaging Your Healing?

I decided to put a few thoughts together for you in a little audio file after a good friend of mine made a comment recently about people with CFS who enquire about alternative treatments. She is an energy healer, and she says that often when people are very sick, they tend to cancel their appointments, often at the last minute, rather than committing to the session. She didn’t say this with any bitterness in her voice, but I resonated so much with what she was saying. I often cancelled appointments and made excuses for not being able to do things because, honestly, I just didn’t know if I could take anymore disappointment. I didn’t know if I could bear to try one more thing that probably wouldn’t work. Obviously, there are other reasons for not being able to make appointments as well, and sometimes, we’re just too exhausted to even get there in the first place, but I thought about what she said for a long time.

The concept of sabotaging our healing is such a funny one- why wouldn’t we want to get better or at least try things that might us feel better? I discovered a few years ago that I had been doing just that.

Just press play!

Let me know your comments below- have you been sabotaging your healing?

Love, Katie     xxx

Click here for the article I mention in the audio.

Sep 262015
 

I spent much of my early days during my illness feeling numb. Nothing else, just numb. After I’d gotten a little bit better, all I felt was shame. Shame, anxiety, inexplicable guilt and shame. People talk about anxiety and guilt and fully admit to being in these states, but no-one seems to talk about shame. Why is this?

We’re ashamed of shame.

If you feel ashamed, you feel weak and vulnerable. You feel helpless and hollow. Shame feels gut-wrenching- it can pull the life-force right out of you in a second and it’s happened to me more times than I care to think about. It means you can’t speak up for yourself, so you sink back down. You can’t be courageous, so you decide to stay small or worse, invisible.

I am a huge, huge fan of Super Soul Sunday with the fabulous Oprah Winfrey, and have been an avid watcher and admirer of Dr. Brené Brown’s TED talks on vulnerability and shame. I was inspired to write a post about what I had learned and I still feel I learn so much about vulnerability every day. So, when Oprah announced that she was interviewing Dr. Brown on Super Soul Sunday, my heart leapt into my mouth. I was excited, but most of all….I was anxious and scared. I knew that a lot of my struggles during and post-CFS were founded in shame. This talk found me out- I couldn’t hide any more, and I still can’t.

o-BRENE-BROWN-DARING-GREATLY-PERFECTIONISM-OPRAH-facebookPhotograph taken from here

Shame in Chronic Fatigue

I was ashamed of what people thought of me, even those who I knew were just concerned. Ashamed of my lack of career. Ashamed of being sick as such a young age. Ashamed of letting myself get ill. Ashamed of living at home again after leaving for University. Ashamed of now being me. Ashamed of being sick with anything, even a cold, after I was ill. Ashamed that someone would see me looking less-than-perfect leaving the house after a bad night’s sleep. Ashamed of letting people down, including myself. Ashamed of thinking negatively and being judgemental, towards others and myself.

Ashamed that I’d already wasted too much time and it was too late.

If you are in any way nodding along or feeling anything as you read these words, I implore you to watch Oprah and Dr. Brené Brown’s talk on shame. This is the 2nd part in a 2-part series, with the 1st one still being completely unbelievable and revolutionary, yet reassuring. Dr. Brown’s words are truly a revelation and I’m sure people all over the world are standing up and feeling her message. Brené is such a glowing, beautiful soul, fiercely intelligent and funny- it’s a pleasure to watch her speak about such sensitive subjects.

Shame is ok. Shame is not a weakness. Work with it and love it. Learn from it.

Unfortunately, this talk is no longer available on Super Soul Sunday, but watch out for re-runs in the near future!

In love and truth,

Katie    xx

Sep 232015
 

 

As I’ll explain in my latest Soundcloud audio recording (love doing these for you!), my world is filled with a lot of ‘career’ talk at the moment, and it seems as though a lot of people are going through job/work-based transitions.

success

Artwork taken from here

The word ‘success’ has never really sat comfortably with me and I often find that it’s overused a lot in our society.

Listen to the audio to discover what success means to you and how you can redefine it and live it on your own terms.

Success is what you feel it is, not what anyone else thinks it looks like.

Love and going with the flow,

Katie      xxx

Sep 162015
 

You Don't Have To Think About It All The Time

I’m going to let you in on a little secret today, one that I really wish I’d known about when I was sick. Well, it’s not really a secret, but if you read on, it sure as anything feels like one.

You don’t have to think about it all the time.

You don’t have to think about how ill you are all the time.

Nobody is going to crawl into your head and check that your thoughts are matching your physical symptoms.

What do I mean?

This. Pure guilt.

I’m a pretty sick person, so therefore, these should be my thoughts. I must choose the thoughts of a sick person, because if I choose nice thoughts, someone will read my mind and call me up on it. My thoughts are too happy and therefore I must be a fraud, right?

Do you resonate with this my love?

Are you forcing yourself to sometimes choose negative thoughts because you feel trapped in your illness and this is how illness should feel?

Are you frightened to choose, as Abraham Hicks would say, “Better feeling thoughts”, because you want to stay ‘with’ your illness and align yourself with this rather than something bigger than you? Are you acting out of what your illness would do and feel, rather than what you really want to feel?

Do not choose thoughts based on what possibly psychic people close to you might do or not do, say or not say.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a better feeling thought. In fact, I truly believe that this is the way to go.

Why are you feeling bad for being more positive?

You don’t have to think about it all the time.

Give yourself a break.

Love, Katie     xx

Online mentoring and classes

Sep 152015
 

This post is inspired by the beautiful and revolutionary Danielle LaPorte.

love letterPicture taken from here

A Letter to Chronic Fatigue

Dear CFS, the Love of my life,

You’ve been with me through thick and thin, through good times and some incredibly bad times. I know you’ve been feeling that this was going to happen for a while, but I’m sorry to say that now that time has come. The time has come for me to thank you for all the blessings you have given me and for all the great, great lessons you’ve taught me. You will never know how grateful I am to you for all that you have given me.

You’ve made me scared, frightened, fearful and sick with worry.

You’ve made me feel hopeless, desperate and ashamed.

You’ve made me ache, made my writhe in pain, made me stay up all night, made me sleep until it’s impossible to sleep any more.

You’ve made me doubt myself, doubt my life, doubt my relationships.

You’ve made the possible impossible; the easy, mind-bendingly difficult; the ordinary, an extraordinary task.

But…

You’ve made me listen to the birds again.

You’ve made me watch and listen to the rustle of the tress once more.

You’ve made me realise that I’m pretty unique and goofy, and that’s ok.

You’ve made me appreciate the little things.

You’ve made me cry with gratitude at another day, another opportunity to live life.

You’ve made to give thanks for my amazing fiancé, supportive family and super friends.

You’ve made me realise that my life is here as a gift, and it’s mine to give in the most loving way I can to others, and to myself.

You’ve made me realise I am limitless. I am boundless. I am free.

 

That this world is worth the wait.

 

That people need my gifts.

 

That life is beautiful and glowingly sacred.

 

I am strong because of you. I am in love because of you. I am vulnerable because of you. I am myself because of you.

 

For that, my dear friend, I will always be truly grateful.

 

In love and abundant gratitude,

Katie     xx

Finding M.E.

Sep 112015
 
Collage Round-Up

There are some really incredible videos and articles floating around the interwebs at the moment, so I thought I’d share a couple of them with you in a September Blog Round-Up!

Sandy Newbigging- 4 Hidden Causes of a Busy Mind

I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to find Sandy Newbigging. I heard his name mentioned a few years ago, but it’s only recently that I’ve been enjoying his work.

I also read and completely devoured his book, ‘Heal the Hidden Cause’, this week and am absolutely fascinated by his Mind Detox Method.

His teaching style is really clear and makes a lot of sense, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy this little video.

Debbie Spellman- Is Fear and Self-Doubt Holding you Back?

Debbie Spellman teaches Sandy’s Mind Detox Method in Australia, and her website is so glamorous! Her words here hit me in just the right place and she has a lovely, warm teaching style. I hope the video resonates with you too.

(Click here for the article that goes with the video).

Hayley Carr- Permission

This article by my lovely friend, Hayley Carr, will take your breath away a little. I don’t want to spoil it or say anymore about it- read on!

(Click here for my interview with Hayley, who also conquered CFS!)

permission

Marianne Williamson’s Livestream Mondays

I tuned into one of Marianne’s free livestream events last week and had to grab a notepad and scribble furiously. Marianne’s books are phenomenal, but her live teaching is out-of-this-world.

This short video will explain everything and you can sign up to future livestream events here.

Thanks so much my loves- I hope these give you a little something to be going on with for the weekend.

Do you have any videos or articles you’ve loved recently? Share below- it might make someone’s day.

Love, Katie    xxx

Sep 092015
 
mountain image unsplash

 

I’m currently in the first few weeks of the incredible Belinda Davidson‘s ‘School of the Modern Mystic’ and it’s every bit as groundbreaking as I thought it was going to be. As part of the course, we undertake a 3-day White Light Healing Retreat and set an intention before we begin. At the same time over 3 days, you receive around an hour of White Light healing and you’re encouraged to lay low and relax for those 3 days, away from any harsh situations or disruptive energies. We’re also encouraged to wear white to facilitate the process.

Even though I’m not sure as to the long-term effects of this retreat yet (although I’m sure there’ll be some sizeable shifts!), I decided to document my days here, both for me to remember and in the hope that they might influence you to try such a retreat yourself.

white light retreatImage taken Belinda’s website

How Does White Light Work?

Ultimately, this is something we’re going to learn about later in the course, but it’s a gentle but powerful healing energy that can change negative situations to positive ones. The White Light ensures that your chakras are open and working optimally for you in both your internal and external life.

Belinda also offers free weekly healing sessions on Monday evenings, my experience of which can be read about here.

My White Light Healing Wish

My intention was to be able to move forward and make the changes in my career that I’ve been craving for such a long time. I feel as though I’ve been living a double-life for a little while now, and I really needed help specifically in opening up my first and second chakras in order to make this transition bravely and fearlessly.

Day One (Friday)

All of my healing sessions were set for 7am Sydney time, but I have to admit, I slept through the first session. We’ve been temporarily moving offices at work all week, and the energy around the building and the people who work there has been intense. Things have definitely shifted in amongst all of the stress of the building. Luckily I had this Friday off as the students had exams, but let myself sleep through the session. Rather than feeling guilty, I trusted that this was what my body truly needed and that the White Light would work its magic anyway.

When I woke up, I felt unbelievably calm. I felt like the sound of the ocean (if that makes sense?!) and that gorgeous wave-like feeling was flowing gently through my body and soul. I felt relaxed and a little groggy, but it was absolutely blissful.

I attempted to answer some emails in the morning, but as soon as I jumped on the internet, I just knew that the energy was going to be too much for me. I couldn’t stand to be around any kind of technology. I knew that I was being asked to rest totally and completely, and that I had the entire three days to hibernate, recalibrate and luxuriate. I shut the laptop lid and honestly didn’t think about the internet until going back to work on Monday.

As advised by Belinda, I decided to go for a walk in nature and stumbled upon a second-hand book fair, which we have in our area from time to time. I ended up walking away with 4 books and a DVD, all of which I’d looked at in the past, but I seem to have dismissed for various reasons. I suddenly appeared to be open to them now- something seemed to have subtly shifted. I went to bed feeling content and warm.

mountain image unsplashPhoto by Paula Vermeulen taken from Unsplash

Day Two (Saturday)

I was awake this morning for the second session of the retreat, and felt lots of sensations around my sacral and solar plexus chakra, but was still slightly sleepy as I’d just woken up. When I got out of bed I felt powerful, almost as if I had a suit of armour on and the heaviest part was around my stomach (hence the sensation in my solar plexus). I felt so motivated, fearless and energised that I had to resist the urge to jump out of bed before my session had finished to start working on my new e-book. This wasn’t a frenetic, all-over-place kind of energy though. It felt very natural and stable and I couldn’t believe how much of a shift I’d felt in one day. It was truly remarkable.

I also discovered in the space of an afternoon I’d finished one of the books I mentioned buying yesterday, ‘Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. For some reason, I read the introduction to this book a little while ago, but didn’t continue with it. Maybe I wasn’t really ready to do the work? I think devouring this book in such a short time was a clear indicator that the White Light had really shifted something in me.

Somehow, I also managed to get insanely creative in the form of not only working on, but finishing the draft of my new e-book and baking a load of muffins. Quite a few leaps in one day with not a lot of effort…

However, unexpectedly at about 6pm, something triggered off an incredible amount of rage and anger within me. I had absolutely no idea where it come from, but I was livid. I had to go for a 2 hour walk (well, it was more of a stomp!) to calm myself down and when I came back I felt a lot better. As some of you know if you’ve read this article, my poor liver has taken a bit of a beating over the years, due to all of the unexpressed (and unconscious) anger I’d be harbouring over the years, but for some reason, I just could not hold it back this evening. There were tears, staring at the sky for probably longer than I should have done and feeling as though my solar plexus was on fire. Instead of feeling incredibly conscious that people were looking at me, I genuinely couldn’t have cared less. I wasn’t embarrassed at all. Instead of feeling worried however, I knew that I had something to release and I was willing to do whatever it took to free this energy.

As a result of the second day being so interesting, I truly couldn’t wait to find out what was in store for the third and final day.

Day Three (Sunday)

I woke up on Sunday feeling a lot calmer, and although I’m usually quite focused on the present, I seemed to be more focused than usual. The beginning of this final session felt absolutely glorious and I could see the chakra colours flashing before my eyes before settling on the white light. Rather than be shocked or surprised by this, this was almost exciting and thrilling, a glorious confirmation of the changes that I knew had shifted within me.

Just afterwards, I got the distinct impression that I needed to change my vision board in some way, as what I had planned at the beginning of the year didn’t seem as relevant as it once was. I also felt a huge desire to create some kind of sacred space, so I could really focus in on my meditation and intentions. I pulled an oracle card, and as I thought it might, this card jumped out the pack:

Nemetona oracle cardOne of Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards

For the rest of the day, I felt like I’d just come back from a long holiday on the beach. I felt totally relaxed, but also completely assured and strong in myself. This feeling was actually quite foreign to me for the first few hours of the day, but I got used to it after a little while. My intuition told me that a few things had been cleared and it was now my chance to grab the opportunities that would no doubt come as a result of this healing retreat. Even though I had been retreating and really looking after myself I had also managed to complete a draft of my next book, and I intuitively know now that it is possible to have that beautiful power and peace coming from the same energy source.

How I Felt On Day Four

If I’m completely honest, I really didn’t want to go to work this morning (Monday). This wasn’t in a ‘can’t be bothered’ sort of way- it was more to do with the fact that my thinking seemed to have changed so significantly that it no longer felt natural. I remember being on the bus and feeling how foreign it was and teaching seemed to have a different, more free-flowing energy to it today. I also didn’t seem to take on other people’s problems as much as I normally do (spot the empath!) and I was running home from work to enjoy doing the work I love to do.

In the long-term, I absolutely cannot wait to see how this all plays out. I’ll definitely be reporting back over the next few weeks, as I’ve no doubt that major shifts are occurring. Many people have spoken about how talented and amazing Belinda is, and this White Light Retreat has shown me just how powerful this energy is. Thank you so much Belinda and all of the other Modern Mystics- I’d love to hear your stories below! 

Love and White Light,

Katie      xxx

P.S. In the name of full disclosure, I’m honoured to be affiliated with Belinda’s meditation.

belinda davidson website

Sep 072015
 

 

I’ve been asked a lot about the difference between CFS and ME recently, so I thought I’d write a short post about it.

When I was diagnosed, I was diagnosed with M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and I was incredibly sick. Over the years however, the term CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) has come to replace the term M.E- it’s easier to say for one thing!

name

Image taken from here

What’s in a name?

I have to say that I’ve always referred to it as M.E., but recently, CFS has come to be an umbrella term for many different illnesses of the same variety- Post Viral Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), to name just a few. The problem with this is that it only touches on the fatigue and none of the other associated M.E. symptoms, and this really annoys the life out of me. It is from this that the term CFS then comes to symbolise someone who is just a little bit exhausted, rather than severely disabled due to fatigue. (Cue- “yes, I’m tired as well” responses from others!)

For the purposes of this website, ME and CFS are seen as the same condition. This does not mean I agree with the term CFS, but it’s a lot easier to reach people if I group both terms together and I believe that the things I speak about on my blog can apply to people in all stages of fatigue. I was one of the severely affected people with M.E.- it seriously affected my life and I was chronically and seriously ill for a long time.

Does it depend on what country you’re in?

In the UK, M.E is always, always referred to as M.E. In Australia however, I’ve hardly heard the term since being here and CFS is used the majority of the time. In America, I’ve heard both CFS and CFIDS, so to a certain extent, the term you’re using might be stem from the country you’re  based in.

Why should I care?

In theory, as long as you can own your symptoms and you can tell others about your symptoms as needed, the term you use shouldn’t really matter and is completely up to you. I have to say though, if I tell people I used to have M.E, they react in a very different way to if I say I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. M.E sounds more severe, and many people who differentiate ME and CFS believe that M.E is more severe, whereas CFS can be healed in a matter of days or weeks.

If using the term CFS instead of M.E brings more awareness to what people are going through then great, but the last thing we want to happen is for people to not fully understand the severity of all of our symptoms because of the umbrella nature of ‘CFS’ (and because it’s easier to say!)

I’d love to hear from you- have you struggled to understand the difference between M.E and CFS? What do you call your illness?

Love and hope,

Katie