Katie

Sep 042015
 
Finding M.E.

2

Finding ME on Amazon

My new book, ‘Finding M.E.’, is now available in paperback and Kindle formats, via Amazon.

You can also jump over to my author page here (my own page on Amazon- who’d have thought it!)

As many of you know, this book has been quote a journey. I’ve procrastinated over it, got slightly fanatic about it, but have now just got to a place of letting it go. What will be, will be.

I knew I had to scrap my e-course after realising that the only way I could be of real service was to write my story, so here it is!

(Click here for the short version of my story.)

finding M.E. paperback

finding M.E. kindle

Preview of Finding ME

You can find sneak previews and extracts of the book below. Just click the image to be taken to the posts:

First Preview- Am I selfish for taking care of myself?

Am I selfish for taking care of myself-

Second Preview- Can you really recover from CFS?

Can You Really Recover From CFS-

Finding M.E.- Preview Video

This video gives some insights into the book, what you can expect and what’s next for my writing. (Enjoy the song!)

Click here to read the full article.

Thank You

I cannot express how grateful I am to you all for supporting me through this project. What once felt totally impossible is now a reality, and it all feels very surreal!

I would be so grateful if you could share your feedback on Amazon if you read the book- I’d love as many people to read this as possible, so I can try and help others through my experience and my words.

Thank you so much for being here my lovely- you’re an angel!

Love, Katie     xxx

Finding M.E.

Aug 312015
 
Finding ME Preview

As many of you know, I’m currently in the process of launching my new book, ‘Finding M.E.’. If I’m completely honest, it’s all a little surreal, and I feel as though everything’s moving in slow motion. I’m definitely being called to just trust that everything will work out for the best and not to push things. I feel as though I’ve done my part, and I just need to finalise a few little details.

I just thought I’d put together a video for you to address some of the questions I’ve had via email over the last few days.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • why this book is completely out of my hands now
  • why I’m launching my new book in a slightly unconventional way
  • how you’ll be able to order it and when it’ll be available
  • whether or not I’ll be producing an audiobook (let me know!)
  • why there might be a second book in the works sooner than you think!

Click the links below to read more book previews:

{VIDEO} Launching my New Book, ‘Finding M.E.’, (and a Song!)

I hope you enjoyed this little preview my lovely.

Can’t wait to let you know when she’s released out into the world! Make sure you’re following me on Facebook to find out first.

Lots of love, Katie    xxx

Aug 282015
 
Port Douglas Snorkelling

 

As some of you know from my Facebook page, I recently had an incredible experience on the Great Barrier Reef which involved me basically smashing my fear of water. I’ve been absolutely terrified of water ever since a distressing experience at Primary School, but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve come to realise how traumatic it actually was. This can sometimes be a problem in Australia where everyone loves the beach so much and really knows how to handle themselves in the water! I would go out of my way to avoid even putting swimming gear on when we went to the beach, just in case. I would even sometimes ‘forget to pack it’, meaning that I’d have to stay on the beach while everyone else swam.

It wasn’t until the experience I had a few weeks ago that I realised how much I had really been holding back because of this and how much of an emotional release there was afterwards. (I think the sheer joy on my face says it all!)

Listen to the audio below to find out:

  • where my fear of water came from
  • how I somehow managed to get in the water (kind of embarrassing!)
  • lessons I learned from the experience

It had such an impact on me that we’re even planning to go snorkelling as part of our next holiday!

When in your life have you really worked to overcome fear? Let me know in the comments below!

Love, Katie      xxx

A few photos from our trip…

These were all taken by my husband- he has quite the eye for a photo!

Port Douglas collage

We went to the Reef with Quicksilver from Port Douglas- highly recommended!

Aug 262015
 
slow

 

One of the main things I speak to my coaching clients about is noticing when their lives reach a bump in the road. I don’t mean the huge, life-changing experiences that can either make us or rip us to shreds- I’m talking about the roads and paths we take every day. You’re ticking along and everything’s ok until you wake up one morning with a fuzzy head, or you’re so achy that you have to spend the day in bed.

slow

Image taken from here

Everyone has a different ‘slow it down, man’ symptom or set of symptoms- mine is a sore throat and slightly swollen glands. If I wake up with these symptoms, I know that something I did or the way I reacted to something the day before was completely out-of-whack and out-of-line with that loving, easy side of me that my soul loves so much.

This morning was one of those days. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting on the blog as much as I would’ve liked recently. My work schedule has completely changed, meaning a big change in my body clock and priorities. Unfortunately, this is all still quite new and I haven’t found a way of nailing my self-care practices in between running around, teaching and paperwork. Yesterday, I felt like it was all too much. I couldn’t get to sleep as quickly as I would normally and worried into the night about lots of tiny insignificant things that in the grand scheme of life don’t really matter too much. I was completely out of alignment with my true self, so it’s no wonder I woke up this morning feeling less than wonderful.

So, where had I been neglecting myself? I hadn’t meditated properly in a few days (I only managed 5 minutes instead of my usually 25-30, telling myself that I had too much to do) and my yoga practice has not been as regular as I would’ve liked. In times of stress, my usual non-negotiables fly out the window, even though I know my spirit and body need them to thrive and live.

ohy_ourstyle

Spotting Your Relapse Triggers

Spotting your own personal triggers can guide you to prioritise yourself even more in times of stress of worry. As many of you know from reading my story and from your own experiences, ignoring your these warning signs and ploughing on anyway can often lead to long period of illness, anxiety or, in my case, CFS/ME.

Have a look at this list and see if you recognise any of these as your own physical ‘warning signs’-

  • muscle spasms/aches
  • headaches/migraines
  • sore throat
  • dizziness
  • heart palpitations
  • feeling like you’re breathing too quickly
  • swollen glands
  • fatigue
  • colds/flu
  • dry or dull skin
  • just feeling ‘meh’

Now look at these emotions or circumstances and see if any of your physical symptoms tie-in with them:

  • not feeling good enough, so why bother?
  • feeling disappointed in yourself or someone else
  • trying to hold on to a situation when you should just let go
  • trying to control the outcome of too many things at once
  • feeling silent anger or resentment that’s been building gradually
  • rushing around to please others and forgetting about yourself
  • not sticking to your guns and going with what others expect from you
  • feeling like a fraud because things are going too well (trust me, this exists!)
  • fear of any kind

In my experience, lots of niggling physical symptoms point to something else, some other area of your life which isn’t balanced. I don’t mean to say that people can’t get sick with the flu or a stomach bug- I’m talking about those sneaky ‘something’s not quite right’ symptoms. Take a step back, and ask yourself it there’s something else at play here. Get honest.

I’d love to hear your comments below- what are your ‘slow down’ warning signs and what are they telling you about your emotions?

Love and ease,

Katie     xxx

 

Aug 202015
 
5 Things You Might Not Know About Chronic

5 Things You Might Not Know About Chronic

I’ve been there myself and felt that pang of anger in my stomach, that moment when I’m catching up with friends and they complain that they’re having to take on a lot more work because their colleague is suspected of having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I used to react, but I don’t anymore- it’s impossible for others to really understand what it is sufferers go through if they haven’t been there themselves.

Although I was diagnosed with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), this illness seems to have morphed into the more commonly recognised (and slightly easier to pronounce) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but this name still really annoys lots of sufferers. Whether you believe that M.E. and CFS are the same illness or slightly different, there are still a few misconceptions about the illness which most people don’t realise.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

1) It’s not just about the fatigue

Feeling as though your muscles are going to melt away, not being able to finish a sentence because you’ve forgotten why you started speaking in the first place, living like a nocturnal creature and walking around like a living zombie. Unfortunately, the illness’ name doesn’t really represent the extent of what CFS sufferers have to go through on a daily basis.

‘Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease’, a new name for the illness created earlier this year by the Institute of Medicine, also has the same complication. I don’t know many people who are tolerant to exertion- we’re only human after all. Muscle pain, brain fog and an intolerance to light and loud noises are only a fraction of the list of symptoms that can be added onto life-altering fatigue.

2) More people have it than you think

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (source), one million Americans and a quarter of a million people in the U.K. have CFS, M.E. or PVFS (Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome). However, these figures are from a number of years ago and are increasing worldwide all the time.

The numbers just go to prove that it’s not in our heads- millions of people can’t be wrong.

flower picture unsplash

3) A Weekend in Bed Won’t Cut IT

I was ill with CFS/M.E. for 10 years, one of which was spent sleeping in bed for around 21 hours a day and feeling like I had been hit over the head for the majority of the other nine.

There’s a common misconception that if you’re chronically fatigued, you’re not feeling totally wiped-out. It’s nothing a few lie-ins, a Netflix marathon and a takeaway won’t get rid of.

But the truth is that some people have been ill for years with this illness. An added bonus to this condition is chronic insomnia- ironic, I know- so even if people look ok or seem to be functioning reasonably well, their body clocks and general health might take months to normalise.

4) People with CFS aren’t lazy

I’m sure you remember the time when ‘yuppie flu’ was the topic of much heated debate, but the truth is, I’ve never met or heard from a single person with the illness who isn’t desperately trying to get out of their situation. A lot of people who become sick are your typical type-A personality, always striving, and so suddenly going to zero energy has us totally bewildered.

We are not lazy people. We make ourselves relapse in an effort to recover and ignore what our bodies are telling us. We make ourselves even worse when we push ourselves, and then feel terrible when all of our symptoms flare up. It’s the world’s worst vicious cycle.

5) There is no cure

Even for a diagnosis of the illness, you have to rule out a whole list of other illnesses just to be sure, and even if it is diagnosed, there’s very little that patients can do with this new information. It’s a complete mystery.

So, if you have a friend or family member who is ill with CFS, M.E. or another chronic illness, please send a little love their way. We’re frustrated out of our minds and have no ideas what’s happening to us either.

Love, Katie  xxx

* Main Photo by Anfal Shamsudeen; second photo by Jimmy Chang; both for Unsplash

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Family and Friends E-Book CFSClick the image above to download a free CFS e-book for friends and family

Aug 202015
 
How To Pace Yourself with Chronic Fatigue

 

“Pace yourself, you’re going to tire yourself out.”

“One day at a time.” (The worst!)

“Everything will happen in its own time.”

I’m sure a few people might have said these things to you (amongst others) while you are recovering. They are all said with love and are meant to help you, but can often have the opposite effect and make you feel more deflated than ever.

How To Pace Yourself with Chronic Fatigue(Photo adapted from here)

Pacing during my Recovery

Let me say first of all that I HATE the word ‘pacing’. Even though I haven’t had to consciously pace myself as much as I did when I was healing, the word still makes me shudder. I’m generally not one of those people who claims to hate anything, but in this case, ‘dislike’ really doesn’t cut it.

The thing is, I didn’t want to pace myself. I didn’t want to go slowly. I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need to change my habits. I truly believed that once I got going, I’d just keep walking and I’d take this magical journey that would mystically transform me into my former, athletic self.

Obviously, you know as well as I do that this little type-A tactic of mine didn’t work. Once I got going, my ego convinced me that I was ok, but falling into bed when I got home and having a 4 hour ‘nap’ showed me otherwise.  My ego screamed at me for taking a rest and ‘giving in’. Sometimes, my ego was on complete overload and I’d be in bed for weeks following a relapse. To be honest, it was always weeks, not days to get out of these relapses at this time. The relapses period became shorter and shorter, but it took me a long, long time to get there.

How I paced myself

To be honest, I couldn’t even begin to entertain the idea of pacing until I was at about 50% of my normal functionality. Thinking about it before then was just laughable, as I couldn’t even support my own body weight or sit up in bed. I had to have a good laugh at the situation and myself to get me through the relapses (more on that in another post).

At the time, getting to the places below without fainting or convincing myself I was going to faint was a gold medal for me, a Pulizer prize, a New York Times bestseller. There was never usually anyone there to celebrate with me (I was still stubbornly independent), but sometimes I could have cried with utter delight and elation when I reached my (usually not-so-exciting) destination.

My favourite excursions included:

  • going along the corridor to the bathroom from my bedroom
  • going downstairs to get a drink or have a nibble
  • a car journey of 2 minutes without feeling like I was on death’s door
  • the corner shop which was literally a 3 minute walk away (handing my money over was always a delight- I’d made it that far!)

However…

The return journey on all of these trips was when the real fear would set in. Had I overexerted myself? (What an idiot!) Would I actually be able to make it back? What if I fell over in the street?! People would look at me like I was completely crazy (“Why isn’t she at work? Is she drunk or something?!”).

I’m pretty sure that at some stage or another, you’ve been through the absolute agony and embarrassment of seeing how little ground you’ve actually covered when you’re walking and in the same breath, beaten yourself up for being so pathetic and also sweated in panic about how you were actually going to do it. (“I don’t have my cellphone with me for the ambulance- gah!”)

How to Pace Yourself with Chronic Fatigue

Ultimately, after more set-backs than I care to admit, one thing I did learn was this:

My body wasn’t actually as much of a problem as I thought it was. It was my mind that stood in the way.

I was genuinely shocked to realise how much I had been getting in my own way, how negative my whole attitude towards pacing myself had been.

Here are a few things to remember when you’re sick of hearing the word ‘pacing’ and you’re tempted never to leave the house again (just in case):

  • Your body is not broken, neither is your mind.
  • If you’re struggling with pacing, you probably still have some way to go towards accepting your illness. You’re only human and we’re not invincible.
  • You’re probably panicking when you leave the house because your sense of security and wellbeing has changed (to be honest, it had to)- what you’re feeling is completely normal in the circumstances.
  • You are not the only person to have felt like this and you won’t be the last.  Everyone with CFS feels exactly the way you do to one degree or another.
  • The fact that you’re evening thinking about pacing yourself or trying to get out the house shows how strong and courageous you are. Don’t let yourself forget that.
  • Do not compare yourself to other people- even if they seem healthy and well, we all have our little crosses to bear. Withhold judgement.
  • Don’t just think about pacing in terms of CFS/M.E.- think about it in terms of a life lesson, blazing your own trail and moving graciously at your own beautiful pace. It will always be perfect for you at any given moment.

In short:

slow quoteConfucius Quote taken from Etsy

I would love to hear your stories about pacing below, my lovelies- did you find it as frustrating as I did?! How are you learning to pace yourself?

Love and surrender,

Katie   xxx

Aug 182015
 
Can You Really Recover From CFS-

Can You Really Recover From CFS-

Since starting my blog, I’ve had my fair share of emails and comments from people who really just don’t believe that it’s possible to recover from CFS (click here for more on those pesky labels, if you’re interested!).

I’m in the very, very final stages of my book (yipee!), but I have to admit that I’ve been procrastinating over the last few weeks. Why? Because I suddenly realised a few weeks ago that if my story became public, people might criticise me quite a lot. I also became acutely aware of the fact that I’m sure my book won’t please everyone- some people want more juicy details, some people might want more of a ‘how-to’ guide, but what I’ve written feels right for the moment (I don’t want to rule out the possibility of other books!)

The truth is, there is no right or wrong way of doing things, there is only your way. How could it be otherwise?

I wanted to share with you an excerpt from the very beginning of my book, to wet your appetite and to discuss whether it is really possible to recover from CFS:

Can you really recover from CFS?

I have to really put my neck on the line here and say ‘yes’- it is possible to fully recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I know that some of you might disagree with me, and I understand your point of view. I have read and spoken to countless others who went through exactly the same thing as me, and you’d be absolutely amazed at what they’re managing to achieve in life. Like me, they have more energy now than they’ve ever had before in their lives. They’re not going to tell you that it was an easy road, but they are embracing life like never before.

If you’d asked me when I was right in the thick of it all if I thought there was a way out, I would’ve definitely said ‘no’- how can you even begin to imagine that symptoms that are so persistent, difficult and misunderstood aren’t going to follow you around for the rest of your life? A lot of people believe that because there’s no cure for CFS/M.E. (yet), you shouldn’t tell people that you’re recovered or healed, but I feel it with every part of my body that my illness is not coming back. Every illness and experience is deeply personal, but if anything about the introduction to my book has sparked something in you, I encourage you to keep on reading and take it all in with an open mind and heart. You might just uncover something unexpected.

What do you think my darling? So you think it’s possible to heal from M.E./CFS or do you think people just find a way to be well? Let me know below!

Love, Katie    xxx

(Click here to read another book preview!)

*Photo by Anton Lammert via Unsplash

cfs mentoring

Aug 182015
 
Strength picture

 

What is your priority? Name it and say it loud and proud.

A priority is a priority for a reason. There’s only one of them- you can’t have it all. Well, you might be able to have bits of everything, but treating them all with the respect and time a priority deserves is pretty much impossible.

What is your priority?

Is it your health? Your family? Your job? What do you need to prioritise to make your life tick and for you to feel authentic and whole?

A Few Notes on Priorities

  • Your priority can change as often as it needs to, and that’s ok. During the day, my priority is my job, but my priority changes once I get home.
  • It’s ok to have an overriding priority which become your compass. Mine is my health- if I feel myself on the edge of burn-out, that’s a clear sign that I haven’t been prioritising my priority (if you see what I mean?!).
  • Don’t let others tell you what your priority should be. There are only so many hours a day and you’re never going to be able to please everyone. You know where you’ve been harsh with yourself and where you can get more focussed. Remember, you know yourself better than anyone.
  • The word ‘priority’ can sound quite extreme, but it doesn’t have to be. You’re just respecting yourself enough to say what is important to you.

Strength picture Art by Carne Griffiths taken from here

Don’t be Ashamed of Your Priority

I used to be incredibly ashamed that I prioritised my health and wellbeing as much as I did, but to be honest, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t. Lots of people didn’t understand that I was resting before I felt tired (click here for more on this amazing trick!) and not choosing to eat certain things. Others might not always like it, but the more you stand your ground, the more people will respect you for it. You might even inspire them to reassess their own priorities. Having personal priorities is a sign of healthy self-respect and self-love.

So my darling, what is your priority? Do you respect yourself enough to bring it into your life with everything it might entail? Let me know in the comments below.

Love, Katie    xxx

Aug 172015
 

Am I selfish for taking care of myself-

I have to admit, I wrote the title to this post and laughed a little. Since when did we feel that we have to put ourselves last and put our owns interests, fun and needs behind everyone else’s? (Why does it seem as though women are affected by this more than men?)

As many of your know, today is the first day of the ‘Take Care Project’ and I’m also writing a book for you all (which is coming along better than I thought it would!). After writing this passage a few weeks ago, I knew that I had to share it with you all. As I was writing it, I was absolutely horrified at how narrow-minded and irresponsible I’d been, not towards others, but to myself. It makes me slightly ashamed to think I did this to myself and pushed myself so much, but sometimes when you’re blinded by your type-A traits, it takes getting it out in writing for you to realise how far you’ve come and how the lands lies today.

CFS book sneak-peek!

Let me set the scene- this is about 5 years after my CFS/M.E. diagnosis, having dropped out, then returned to University. I then completed my teacher training after my undergraduate degree.

Teacher training in the UK is completed in a year, and while it might seem as though that’s all it takes to hone your skills, you end up squeezing every since minute out of that year. We had lectures and tutorials back-to-back, along with 2 periods of time spent in a ‘real’ school on a reduced teaching timetable. My first placement was 4 weeks long, and this was when my perfectionist self really rose up and hit me between the eyes. Every single aspect of my lesson had to be perfect. If a student acted up or an activity didn’t go that way I thought it would, I would beat myself up about it for hours, sometimes days, afterwards. Little did I know how wasteful this energy would be in the long-run, especially when you’ve got a full teaching load, as well as numerous other school-based responsibilities.

Just when I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, all my stress and anxiety caught up with me, and I got the flu. It was winter in the UK and to be honest, I didn’t draw any link between being out-of-my-mind stressed at work to being sick. Everyone got sick in winter, didn’t they? I remember being absolutely baffled at my then Head of Department who went swimming every evening on her way home from school to relax after a frantic day. How could she afford the time? How could be so utterly chilled out? I learned in hindsight that she was doing was I now know is crucial to not just recovery, but life in general. In the words of the inimitable Dale Carnegie, “Rest before you get tired.” Still, in my young naivety, I couldn’t fathom how or why this gorgeous lady felt the need to care for herself so unashamedly- how selfish!

The Christmas holidays were spent writing essays. Even on the afternoon of Christmas Day (yep, I was that far over the line!), I had a spare hour while everyone was dozing to make some leeway on my Masters essay about bullying, a topic very close to my heart for reasons you read about earlier. Rather than comment on how rude I was being or whether it might be a good idea just to give it a rest for a day, my parents just left me. They knew that I’d work whether they insisted I had a day off or not.

For my second, longer placement, I had more of the same, but this time instead of becoming sick, my stress and anxiety played out in a different way. Because I was so stressed and so keen to make sure that all the students thought I was wonderful (an affliction a lot of teachers have, whether they’ll admit to it or not), nutrition and the amount I was eating really fell by the wayside. Breakfast was taken care of, as my Grandparents who I was staying with for this placement, insisted that I sat down with them and had a good breakfast, God bless them. All the other bits in between however weren’t as easy. Lunch, if I remembered to grab something at all, was half a piece of bread or a few crackers and a mug or instant soup. No wonder I was seeing stars after my last lesson of each day. I had absolutely no sense of what it meant to nourish yourself or respect your body’s need for natural (non-synthetic) nutrition. I managed to convince myself that even the act of sitting down, chilling out and eating was a total waste, and I could be maximising my multi-tasking time. I always managed to get something, but I turned into someone who definitely eats for fuel, rather than for any kind of enjoyment or pleasure.

As you can probably imagine, I was absolutely shocked on reading this. After writing it, it didn’t fully register just how much I seemed to disrespect myself and how unworthy I seemed to think I was.

Am I selfish for taking care of myself?

Given what I’ve revealed here (and remember this was a few years after my CFS diagnosis!), suddenly taking care of yourself doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world- anything to avoid feeling empty and constantly grasping at the next task. If this book is teaching me anything, it’s to respect how far I’ve come, and sometimes you can only do this by emptying yourself of expectation and stepping out of your own way.

I hope by sharing this, you might be able to realise where in your life you need to care for yourself a little more. I was absolutely frantic in those days, and I occasionally find the same impulses bubbling up to the surface (I’m only human). This is not about competing or trying to make as many green smoothies in a week as possible- it’s about being gentle with yourself and allowing yourself some breathing space.

I’d love to hear from you below- how does stress and anxiety affect you? Do you feel selfish for taking care of yourself?

Love, Katie       xxx

* Rose photo by Meredith Whitman adapted from Unsplash

For more on self-love and some great links, click here.

Aug 162015
 

 

Over the last few weeks and even as I sit here writing this today, change and the realisation that I might  be frightened of change has been staring me right in the face. Even when I’m not looking for it, it keeps on popping up- in blogs posts, in articles on the internet, in my yoga practice, everywhere. Actually, I tell a lie, it hasn’t really been following me around- I’ve been open to accepting it into my life a lot more. This has highlighted where my limitations are- it’s incredibly uncomfortable, but I feel like I’m growing (such a beautiful feeling!) As much as we want to hold onto things around us and certain situations, the world around us and therefore our worlds are in constant, gentle flux.

When you’re ill with something like CFS for so long, there are moments when you’re going to want to play it safe (as in, pretty much most of the time). Who would want to go through relapse and the agony of starting at square one again, right? It’s embarrassing, uncomfortable and it feels like there’s now way out. You’re completely stuck and you’re pushed to the very limits of what you can handle and what you can’t…

…at least that’s what I thought for a while before I hopped on board the change wagon. Once you’re on, it becomes pretty impossible to get off.

This week, I’ve gone gluten-free and ramped up my yoga practice (I seem to have accidentally fallen in love with it, even though I wasn’t particularly mad on it before) Next week, more of the same, more reading, more catching up with friends after being a slight hermit (I blame Australian winters!) and less playing it small.

Would it really be so bad if you bought an audiobook that could change you life and committed to listening to it, instead of just buying it and putting it on the back-burner like you did last time? What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like what they have to say and switch it off. Nobody got hurt, you saved face and at least you took the first step and tried.

Maybe you want to ditch the coffee and try a green smoothie? Honestly, it’s a completely no-brainer. You don’t have to like it, but you just might. They look disgusting, but they taste pretty flippin’ good, let me tell you.

No marathon running, no switching to a vegan diet overnight- just play it softly. Shift softly. The reality is, you can think about change until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, you’ll still be where you are unless to make the change.

That’s all there is to it. Just try. Be courageous.

(These suggestions probably sound really patronising, but honestly, there was a time in my life when I was so scared of change and of doing something differently, of thinking about things a different way, that I became really, really stuck. Changing my diet or choosing to read different books were terrifying to me at the time. I would hate for the same thing to happen to you.)

Ask someone for help if you’re unsure. They’ll cheer you on as much as they can, with every fiber of their being, trust me. Ask me for help if you’re a bit lost and absolutely friggin’ petrified.  I’ve got you. We’ve got you. You’ve got you.

I just want to leave you with this picture below, which really got me choked a few days ago.

If you want to change, you have to come unstuck.

change picture

Picture and design by the beautiful freshbysian.com

What change can you make today?

Love and evolving,

Katie     xxx

Aug 142015
 
belinda davidson

I’ve received so many emails from you beautiful people about Energy Medicine, which I see as being the major catalyst for my healing from CFS and the beginning of an amazing period of personal realisation and transition. This has ultimately culminated in me sharing my story in the hope that you too can heal yourself from this frustrating illness.

I will be writing a more detailed post about Energetic Healing in its various forms tomorrow, but wanted to give you a taster through introducing you to the beautiful, beautiful Belinda Davidson and White Light Healing.

belinda

Belinda is a Medical Intuitive and Psychic and has been using her talents to help people all over the world for many years. I stumbled upon Belinda Davidson’s White Light Healing a few months ago and knew I had to sign up to her newsletter. On signing up, Belinda sends you a 7-Day Chakra Kit over the next week and it is absolutely invaluable as an introduction to chakras and your body’s energy system. I loved these guides so much, I’ve actually printed them out a made a little book out of them (call me a geek!)- they are incredibly useful.

belinda davidson website

Belinda Davidson and White Light Healing

As if Belinda wasn’t generous enough, she also conducts free White Light Healing Sessions. I had absolutely no clue what White Light was and I must admit, I was slightly scared to try it. I knew all about the chakras, but couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of this before. White Light is also known as the ‘ultimate harmoniser’ and transforms all negativity into positivity. (Belinda explains it here better than I ever could!) Belinda sends out White Light to you wherever you are in the world on Monday evenings at 9pm. Sessions can last anywhere from 20 minutes up to an hour, but you can feel your body change when your healing session is over. You can sign up via the email Belinda sends out every week when you sign up to her free newsletter and set an intention for your healing (for example, to attract my abundance into your life, to help you to forgive a friend or to speed up your body’s healing process). I just light a candle, lie on my bed for a few minutes before, get comfortable, close my eyes and wait for the magic to happen.

The first time I tried it was absolutely unreal- glorious, powerful, warm and just out-of-this-world. I felt like I had fireworks exploding out of my body from my belly button (solar plexus chakra) travelling up out of the top of my head. I watched colours flashing before my eyes, was completely nailed to the bed and can honestly say that afterwards, I’ve never felt more alive. I was hooked! After one of my more recent sessions, I was so blissed out that I was slurring my words like I was drunk when I’d finished and my fiancé was really worried! This only last for about a minute, but this is how amazingly powerful and effective the White Light is.

After-effects of White Light Healing Sessions that I’ve personally experienced include: magically coming into money/saving money for no apparent reason, feeling more energy than I have in years, being offered opportunities and accepting opportunities that I never would have otherwise, feeling shocked at how brave and courageous I’ve been, feeling more at peace with the world and feeling more present and grateful. I can honestly say that these sessions have formed a huge part in my healing, and will do, I hope, for many years to come. The great thing about the sessions is that the effects are long-lasting, not just temporary, and best of all, in Belinda’s generosity, they’re free! I hope to do one of Belinda’s White Light Intensive Courses soon and will report back to you with the results.

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I have no idea how it works, but it really, really does. I now really look forward to Mondays, whereas before they were a bit of a ‘meh’ part of the week. Belinda is one gorgeous, talented and amazing lady. Please check out Belinda’s website, blog, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and try a free White Light healing session- you won’t regret it! I’d love to hear your feedback!

Love and White Light,

Katie     xxx

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

Click here or on the icon below for details about Belinda’s amazing chakra cleanse (seriously, this is really good stuff!).

belinda davidson

My favourite chakra meditation

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Fear Affirmations

Having had a lot of time to think and read over recent weeks (click here to find out why!), I was gently guided back to the work of Louise Hay. Louise’s book, ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, as for so many people, was the first book that started taking me on a journey of physical wellbeing and eventual recovery from CFS.

As you might have noticed on my Facebook page last week, I shared not one, but two of Louise’s affirmations during the week, as I find they really help to ground me and keep me in the present moment. After having read Louise’s collaboration with Robert Holden, ‘Life Loves You’, I’ve been unable to stop myself from diving further into Louise’s teachings.

Fear Affirmations

Louise Hay’s Affirmations for Fear

All of these gorgeously illustrated affirmations for fear and others for love, wealth, health, forgiveness and abundance can be found here on Louise’s website.

I find that not only do these affirmations for fear work with ‘obvious’ fears, when we’re feeling immediate panic for example, but I’ve also found them useful when I’m feeling like I don’t know what’s around the corner and I can feel myself trying to control outcomes in order to make myself feel more secure (typical type-A!)

Another of my favourite affirmations, which works well in many situations, is:

I am one with the Power that created me, I am safe. All is well in my world.

(Click here for more affirmations especially for fatigue.)

louise-hay-quotes-self-esteem-life-supports-me

louise-hay-quotes-happiness-joy-ease louise-hay-quotes-healing-free-from-destructive-fears2 louise-hay-quotes-healing-safe-rhythm-flow-life louise-hay-quotes-health-glorious-dynamic-energy louise-hay-quotes-self-esteem-home-body louise-hay-quotes-relationships-surrounded-love

(I just had to include the last one with the kitten- gorgeous!)

How about you my darling? Do you use affirmations regularly? Do you have any favourites? I’d love you to let me know in the comments below- I might be able to learn some new ones!

Love, Katie    xxx

(P.S. Life loves you!)

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I always said I was never going to be a teacher and I always said I was never going to move to London. Both of these things happened to me in August 2008.

Teaching is an incredible profession- no two days are the same and it can be very rewarding. However, most of my non-teaching friends wouldn’t believe me if I told them I have days when I don’t sit down and hold off going to the bathroom for two hours; when the most stressful part of my day isn’t dealing with students, but getting the photocopier to work and trying to drink a full cup of tea becomes virtually impossible.

When people ask what I do and I tell them I’m a teacher, the conversation usually ends there. We all went to school, so we presume we know what it’s like for teachers. But in a profession where you deal with so many people in one day, get your ‘daily word quota’ out before 11am and put other people first, your wellbeing and maintaining good health often come as an afterthought. I know from experience that if you can’t look after yourself, looking after others gradually becomes increasingly more daunting.

With that in mind, here are my top 5 health tips for teachers:

Health tips for teachersPhoto adapted from StockSnap

1) Think about the long run

As anybody who is a teacher knows, teaching is a marathon, not a sprint. I would often sacrifice my health in the early days of my teaching career, just so I could perfect that lesson plan or just produce one more worksheet that might make all the difference.

In the first few years of teaching, I was very hard on myself. I would take Saturday off, but spend most of the day worrying about my lessons and how much work I had to do the following week. I would then spend most of Sunday planning my lessons and getting on tops of things. It really wasn’t a great way to live, and as a result, I was constantly stressed and my immune system was shot to pieces.

My former High School Music teacher gave me some one-of-a-kind advice when I was in the middle of my teacher training. He said, “Teaching is the kind of job you can work on 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and you will always be able to justify what you’re doing”.

This advice has really stuck with me, and has always been at the back at my mind when I know I really need a break, but I just want to ‘get stuff done’.

Pull back and give yourself a break. Don’t take everything on as your own.

2) It doesn’t all have to be done right now

This is one of my perfectionist habits that can often trip me up and make me ignore my body’s need to rest and relax. Even when I come home from work, I usually make sure I try and get as much done in the house as I can before putting my feet up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with resting and then doing what you have to do.

Working to the point of exhaustion can be tempting in teaching, especially when you have lesson preparation, reports, after-school clubs and marking to do on top of teaching. But burning yourself out not only makes you feel depleted that evening, it can carry on into the next few days as well.

It will all get done eventually.

3) Make sure you eat!

I’m embarrassed to say that I was so busy trying to do my photocopying, bending the hands of time and seeing students at lunchtimes that I sometimes didn’t have time to eat. Half a cup of coffee would get me through, but my blood sugar didn’t take kindly to this after a while. (More on this here).

Make sure you prioritise taking real time out at lunchtime, and only focus on unwinding and enjoying your food, even just for 10 minutes. Failing that, at least keep some wholesome snacks in your desk drawer just in case. You’ll find you have more energy to teach and you’re not reaching for the biscuit tin at the end of the day.

4) You might not be skipping into the classroom every day

Like any profession, there might be some days when you really have to gear yourself up to teach and set foot inside that classroom one more time. I remember feeling incredibly guilty for feeling like I couldn’t be bothered some days, but there will be off days or days when you feel like you’re ‘survival teaching’. It’s all part and parcel of an often draining profession, so don’t think negatively of yourself if you’re not feeling inspired and energetic all the time.

5) Think of the positives

Good holidays, talking about a topic you’re passionate about, a rewarding and creative job, gaining good people skills and being able to adapt at a moment’s notice are just some of the benefits of teaching.

Even though there are some days when you’ll wonder how you got into the profession, remember why you wanted to be of service in the first place.

Let me know below, how do you take care of yourself so you can look after others?

Love, Katie     xxx