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.

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

Apr 082015
 

 

I was incredibly honoured recently to be able to attend a talk in Sydney with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama on his recent tour of Australia. I instinctively knew that there was something he had to say that would relate to CFS and that I could bring back to you. Scribbling notes in my little notebook in the dark while he was talking was such a thrill and I’d love to share with you all some of my insights into how his message relates so clearly to CFS/ME and to our individual and collective journeys.

The one thing I was left with above all else after the event was the incredible spirit, kindness and love radiating from this amazing man. He is incredibly witty, has an amazing sense of humour (click here for further proof!), but most of all he truly speaks from his heart, unafraid of what anyone might think or of other people’s agendas. His message is one of love for all, and he sees himself not as any kind of Guru or anointed messenger , but as a simple Buddhist monk. His humility and kindness of spirit were seen through the whole talk in the way he interacted with everyone around him. He truly is an incredibly special human being and I’m eternally grateful to have been able to hear him speak in person.

dalai laughing

Photograph of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, taken from here

4 Lessons from The Dalai Lama

Lesson 1:

Everyone wants to be happy with no problems at all in their lives, but people create their own problems- they become a “slave of emotion”. Wow- this was definitely me throughout my illness, even towards the end when I knew it was all coming to an end. I kept obsessing about my health, and made my fearful thoughts into self-fulfilling prophecies. If you’re constantly thinking about CFS and all the ‘what ifs’ that play a huge part in it, then you end up being caught in a vicious circle that it’s incredibly hard to get out of. I know, I know- how the hell are you supposed to think about anything else when you’re feeling like this, right? You need to get out of your head and into your heart. Meditation is also amazing (trust me, I know people talk about meditation all the time, but it really is unbeatable).

Move away from the fear that you’re going to get worse if you go for a walk outside when you feel like it. Get someone to go with you- what’s the worst that can happen? You’ll come back to bed and give yourself a huge pat on the back, or you’ll get outside, discover that it’s too much and come back inside. Most of all, if you take these steps, you’re ever closer to cracking that fear barrier- what’s stopping you? 

Lesson 2:

Relating to lesson 1, check in with your emotions frequently- are you actually causing negative emotions by beating yourself up about your illness? Are you being too hard on yourself? CFS is an illness where I’ve found to my detriment that the more you fight it and deny what is, the worse it gets. Acceptance is key. Mindfulness is key.

Lesson 3:

“Your happiness is my happiness. Your suffering is my suffering”- I wish I’d heard this when I was very ill and to a certain extent, took my anger out on my family and friends. All they wanted was for me to be happy, healthy and well. At the time, I interpreted it as them not accepting my illness and accusing me of being lazy. Cut your loved ones some slack, cut yourself some slack. As The Dalai Lama says, “Do not let anger develop- this is the real meaning of forgiveness“.

*(This is also the main reason I set up this website, so you can connect with others in a similar position to you and know that we share our dark times. You are not alone.)*

Lesson 4:

“Fear eats away at the immune system”- wow. This is something we all need to hear right now. When your body is in a perpetual state of fear, there is no room for love and your health suffers. Most of the time, you are not doing this consciously- your illness was not deliberately and consciously brought on by you. But perhaps the fear that led you into CFS caused your immune system to suffer and not let your body do its job properly. It’s far from easy, but learning to lean in to love and away from fear, is a life practice, but one that will reward you greatly.

dalai

Photograph taken from here

Let me know what you thought about these lessons- did any of them ring true for you? Comment below!

Leaning into love, Katie    xxx

Feb 272015
 

First, let’s start with a confession…well, it’s not really a confession. The thing is, I’m not a great cook- never have been. I used to hate Home Ec classes at school, much to the despair of my Mum and Grandmother who are amazing cooks. I’m a ‘follow the recipe’ kind person and I never really focussed on getting nutrients from my food. However, all this changed for the better when I started changing my diet and realised just how creative you could get in the kitchen, and most of the time, what I make turns out ok!

Let me just say that I know cooking, even eating sometimes, is really difficult with CFS. My diet after I returned to Uni, and probably for a lot of time during it, was embarrassingly awful. Anything that was quick and easy was always in my mind’s eye. My diet during Uni mainly consisted of toast and cereal. Yep, there we have it- quick, easy and absolutely zero nutrients. When I went into my last year a group of friends and I made a big deal of having two nice lunches a week, just to keep ourselves sane and have a chat more than anything. But I realised that nutrition and enjoying your food really does make a huge impact on your energy levels and can really help you without you having to really think about it.

Here are some great recipes you can make, or have someone else make, along with a few easy ways to get nutrients into your diet (and no, they’re not all veggie/vegan!):

1) Juices and smoothies

These are everyday essential for me. I usually have a smoothie for breakfast and a juice as a ‘snack’ in the afternoon- more recipes here! Adding spirulina gives them an extra nutritional kick.

juice

2) Soup

I absolutely love eating soup, I could eat it all day- so I’ve become pretty good at making it (if I do say so myself!)! This is great way to use up leftover veggies you have and to pack as many nutrients into a meal (an easily digestible meal) as possible. Two of my favourites include:

* Broccoli soup from Lee at the amazing Supercharged Food website- it sounds disgusting, but I started making it  in batches for friends, I got so many requests!

* Vegetable (and chicken) soup with old-school soup mix (full of lentils, legumes and nutrients- it’s too easy!)

Broccoli-Soup

Photo taken from the Supercharged Food website

3) Vegan desserts

Now, before you tell me that you don’t do vegan- try this recipe for Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake, courtesy of The Detoxinista. It will blow your socks off! My other half is in no way vegan and can’t get enough of this. Lots of gorgeous raw nuts, raw cacao (bursting with antioxidants), lemon juice, lots of goodness. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

SONY DSC

Photo taken from The Detoxinista’s website

4) Herbal Teas

Go for it- camomile, chai, dandelion (a great coffee substitute), rose, green tea (my personal favourite), peppermint, lavender (I know!), liquorice, fennel, nettle, lemongrass- the list goes. I would now much rather have herbal tea than coffee any day. It’s cheaper and you’ll feel more cleansed and lighter in the long run.

tea

Photo taken from here

5) Add flaxseed oil and chia seeds to recipes

Flaxseed oil is my nutritional secret. I put it on salads and take in in capsule form (1000mg a day). This is the supplement that really helped with brainfog and aching joints. Chia seeds also have amazing omegas (good) fatty acids in them which your body needs to work at its optimum level and are amazing for creating lasting energy. See this post by Jess at The Wellness Warrior for more chia seed inspiration.

chia

Photo taken from here

So, there we have it. I’ve just given you a few to start off with, but I just wanted to say again how important good nutrition is while you are recovering. As I mentioned in this article here on MindBodyGreen, junk food is a hell of a lot easier, but the nutrient content is zero. Do what’s right for your body and yourself and think about the nutrients your body needs.

Let me know if you have any more recipes you’d like to share!

Love and more of that Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake please,

Katie      xxx

Feb 012015
 

Speaking about Energetic Healing and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is something which I am really, really passionate about. I love reading about it and researching it. It all started with Caroline Myss’ book, ‘Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing’, in which Caroline, a Medical Intuitive and Healing expert, talks about chakras, blocks in our chakras and why some people don’t heal because of this. Chakras are an intricate part of our energy anatomy and need to work together in order for us to have healthy and happy lives. (For more on chakras and what each one means, please see this interactive diagram on Belinda Davidson’s page.) Before you go running and screaming, I was hugely sceptical about it too and had no idea what was going on. I just knew I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

chakra

Picture taken from here

However much I read, however, I knew I could only experience it to know for sure what it was all about and whether it worked for me. I was having terribly stomach trouble at the time, but was eating the same stuff, and I was pretty anxious about something I couldn’t put my finger on. The lady I saw said that my solar plexus chakra was blocked, which would explain my stomach troubles, and my third eye chakra was in overdrive (I’m a very visual person who thinks all the time- well, I was!) After my first treatment, much like the White Light healing sessions, I felt lighter, had next to no physical ailments and the world felt lighter and brighter. The lady I saw warned me not to go too crazy with this new found energy (I think you all know exactly what I’m talking about here!). So, what did I do?! You guessed it! I used up all my energy and was back to square one.

The next time I saw her, I knew I had to be sensible and went straight home afterwards and rested. During my sessions, I also uncovered lots of things I didn’t know about myself. I think I was holding on to a lot of anger from being ill and from my past decisions, which showed up in my liver (I had glandular fever a while ago and had jaundice as a result- something was definitely out of balance with my liver!). I would never consider myself to be an angry person, but our bodies store pent up emotions, and I’m a huge believer in mind-body medicine- that certain attitudes and thoughts can sometimes show up in our bodies as illness. After having a few sessions on my liver, I felt a lot better, even better than after my first session!  After my sessions, I’ve continued to improve- I still have the occasional off-day, but so far, so good!

Sessions usually involve being in a very relaxed state. Sessions vary from person to person, and according to practitioner preferences, but can include meditations, aromatherapy, Reiki and affirmations- going in with an open mind is probably the best way to get the most from a session.

*Please note, as with all my posts, what works for me might not work for you, and I’m just sharing my story. Medical advice should be followed and I’m not claiming that Energy Healing will completely cure you in any way. I just know it’s absolutely fascinating!*

Have you ever tried Energetic Healing or know someone who has? I’d love to hear from you! This is just a brief introductory post, but I’ll be going into more detail soon.

Love and healing,

Katie     xx

Jan 202015
 

That person on the bus that irritates you for no apparent reason. What can you learn from him?

The little girl that has boundless amounts of energy and never stops asking questions. What can you learn from her?

The grumpy guy at work who always seems to be sitting under a cloud. What can you learn from him?

The elderly couple at the end of your road who always link arms and walk arm-in-arm together. What can you learn from them?

Screaming, shouting and hurling insults at your other half. What can you learn from that?

Sitting in quiet contemplation, being alone and only listening to your inner voice. What can you learn from that?

What can you learn from yourself? What can others learn from you? What do you want others to learn from you?

We are all one. We are impatient, we are accountable, we are faithful, we are loving, we are volatile, we are boundless, we are empathy. We are one. We share and reflect the character traits of everyone we meet.

He is your brother. She is your sister.

We are vessels for emotion- energy in motion.

please take responsiblity

Taken from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

Be patient with others today. How would you like to be treated? Think of this going forward in the way you treat others.

We are one.

we_are_one_by_kimera_kimera-d3adui1

Taken from here

Love and unity,

Katie

Jan 202015
 

travel far

Taken from here with gratitude

Don’t look back- you’ve been there done that. It’s boring and unadventurous.

They say that life’s a journey. How can you journey if you’re not moving forward? Standing still gains perspective, but the journey gains inspiration.

Forgive your past wrongs, but also love them unconditionally. They form part of your unique life experience and no-one is a unique and incredible as you. Be grateful.

You’re not going backwards, so don’t look that way.

We have this moment. That’s it. This moment to live in, breathe in, love in. Don’t miss it. Live in it, swim in it, glory in it. It’s yours. It’s ours. Not yesterday, but today.

Love your past.

Love the Now.

Love and presence,

Katie   xxx

Nov 052014
 
forgiveness

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”- Mark Twain

violetPhotograph taken from here

If you read and follow blogs which are similar to mine or if you read spiritual books or texts, you will know that ‘forgiveness’ is a bit of a buzz-word right now. Some people might think they understand forgiveness, but when I really thought about it and took it on for myself, I think my healing sped up dramatically and made me look at things in a different way after practising forgiveness. ‘Forgiveness’ definitely deserves its buzz-word identity, but it often incredibly difficult to know exactly how to forgive.

How many times has somebody you know held a grudge against someone for a really stupid reason? “She didn’t bring me a present when we had our housewarming party”, “He said he’d take my son to football, but he never offered to”, “She told me she’d phone me, but she forgot”. Little resentments like this build up over time. When they happen they can be seemingly inconsequential- you can brush them off and put it down to them having a busy day. When you find yourself feeling irritated by the person however, recognise this feeling and know that it is hindering you moving forward, creating hidden negativity, but it is more importantly a huge energy zapper.

When I was first diagnosed, I lost touch with a lot of my friends- partly because I was too tired to make the effort, but mostly because I was embarrassed and didn’t know how to explain things to them. I then started thinking things like, “If she’d ever been real friend, she would’ve phoned me” and “He didn’t even get in touch when he came home from Uni- he must have known I wanted to him to visit me”. Resentment then built up and I felt completely alone, like all the friendships and years I’d had with them meant absolutely nothing.

After I’d let them go however and moved on with my life, I knew that I had to clear any negative thoughts about them and with it, any malice or resentment I was feeling. How were they to know how ill I was if I hadn’t told them? How were they to really understand what was going on when even I didn’t know?

Forgiveness was my opportunity to release the past, bless my family and friends and move on. More importantly, it was a chance to forgive myself, for being so selfish and thinking of my own needs all the time, for feeling jealous and resenting my friends and, more importantly, for being ill.

Your illness is NOT your creation or your fault. You can forgive all the people who’ve ever wronged you constantly for the rest of your life, but if you can’t forgive yourself, you can’t move on or heal.

Once I’d forgiven myself for thinking negatively and for feeling bitter towards my family and friends, my healing rapidly sped up…and I mean, rapidly. I gave myself a week to really work on myself. A week of meditating, writing down the names of anyone who’d ever done anything wrong or negative towards me but not examining the ‘whys’, a week of blessing these people, thanking them for the lessons I’d learned from them, forgiving them out loud and moving on. After a week, I felt lighter and freer, and almost saw the world for the first time all over again.

The one thing I learned in all of this though, is that self-forgiveness is incredibly healing. It is also very humbling and will make you feel utterly vulnerable, uncomfortable and completely out of your comfort zone. REmember that this is all part of the process though. Don’t just forgive people as a fly-away comment- you have to really mean it and live it. Feel the parts of you where resentment is hiding. Talk to it, thank it and let it go. It isn’t going to serve your healing or your future life- it’s time to love it and leave it. Feel the weight lift from you and pause for a while to embrace this new you. The ‘you’ you knew was there, but always seemed to be in hiding, the ‘you’ before your illness.

forgivenessPicture taken from here

Love the ‘old’ new, love the ‘new’ you. Cherish your family and friends, and all that you’ve learned from them.

Forgive yourself.

Love and forgiveness,

Katie      xx

Oct 282014
 
joy

It’s hard to believe that you can have any fun at all when you’re ill and recovering. I remember lying in bed for hours on end thinking about all the fun other people were having without me, people with more energy and vitality than me, people who didn’t have to think about illness for a second while they were enjoying themselves.

Then I realised that my definition of ‘fun’ was all wrong. To me (and maybe to society), the epitome of fun was raucous party scenes and dancing until the early hours. I’ve never been much of party-goer, but always felt when I was growing up that this is what I should be doing- stumbling home drunk at whatever time in the morning and not being able to remember anything, because this is what my friends were doing.

Feeling comfortable with what you like to do and searching for your definition of fun can often take some time. Your definition of fun might not be the same as someone else’s and this is great- find your joy! You’re often under pressure from others and conform just so you feel like you belong. This includes going places when you don’t have the energy or feeling forced to do something because someone is telling you to snap out of it.

fun

Write a list of things you like to do.  I consider all these things fun, however geeky and strange they might sound. This is what makes me unique and I love myself for it:

How To Remember The Fun In Life

Writing to you lovely people
Reading spiritual books
Oprah’s amazing programme, Super Soul Sunday
Going to bed early / having a lie-in, and not feeling guilty or bad about it
Studying Energy Medicine
Listening to birds singing in the morning
Anything involving bright colours and stripes
Juices and smoothies
Raw chocolate
Chia seed puddings
Singing
Stumbling my way through yoga 
Writing letters and cards to people (on paper and sending them in an envelope!)
Talking with someone and really connecting with them
Someone really confiding in you
Angel cards
Danish crime dramas (I know!) and Foreign Films
Laughter and comedy
Reading in French and German
Anything to do with France and all things Paris
Breaking down sentences into grammatical points (I know, I need help!)
Batman
Men’s brown leather brogues made for girls and old-school satchels
Big jewellery
Chatting with a friend for hours on Facetime or on the phone
Sushi / anything Japanese
Going out of my comfort zone and being me

joyPicture taken from here- notice the bright colours! Fun!

This is a slightly unconventional list, but remember life is for living and being joyous. Love what you love and love it unashamedly. You can create fun from the smallest thing if you get pleasure from doing it and it brightens up your day.

Where can you find fun in your day today? Write a fun list and post it below or on Facebook! Can’t wait to see what you’ve written!

Love and joy,

Katie   xx

Jun 172013
 

I am jumping up and down excited today to bring you this amazing, amazing interview. I’ve been keeping this one under wraps for a while, but it’s finally time to share it with you.

Hayley Carr is a 9 x World Champion Martial Artist, Life, Health and Confidence Expert, who is passionate about helping people get the best out of themselves, and genuinely enjoy their life. Through her Live Peak Performance Workshops, Personal Coaching and Online TV show, she delivers world-class information to help people all around the world gain confidence, clarity and control, in a way that is unique, fun, and life-changing.

…and the best part? Hayley has fully recovery from CFS and kicked it right between the eyes. Retaining World Champion Martial Arts titles after CFS? Done. Living life fearlessly and seeing life as an ever-expanding journey? Done. Going after what she wants and not being afraid to get there? Done. Inspiring others to be the best they can possibly be? Done?

When Hayley sent this interview through to me, I had to read it through about six times- it’s so incredibly insightful and packed full of inspiration. It knocked the wind right out of me. Whether or not you have CFS, please share this with your nearest and dearest- you will definitely learn something new about yourself illness and your life in the words that follow. Hayley proves that when it comes to your health and your life, you are in the driving seat. Let me know what you take away from this- I’d love to hear from you.

Without much further ado, ladies and gentlemen, may I present the  beautiful fire-cracker that is Miss Hayley Carr.

smaller face

“You are here for a reason. This period of your life is temporary, and the lessons you get from learning how to heal yourself will serve you for the rest of your life. That is worth fighting for.” – Hayley Carr

Guest Interview with Hayley Carr

1) Describe yourself in three words.

Adventurous, Grateful, self-fulfilling. =)

 

2)  What inspired you to create your website and business?

After suffering Chronic fatigue for so long, (or what felt like so long, when I thought I just had a flu and would be out for only a week!) and learning so many lessons that healed me along the way, I was so grateful to be able to use my body and function again.

I saw so many people who wanted help to do the same thing, and felt compelled to help them, but even more, I saw so many people who had no idea that their life was just… “bleh”… for lack of a better word. They weren’t enjoying themselves, weren’t necessarily doing anything about changing it, and had no idea that they could. They thought it was just how life was – mediocre. This made me really fired up!

During my time having Chronic Fatigue, I studied a modality called NLP. (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), which changed my entire view on life, and how our unconscious thought patterns affect the outcome of our lives. It totally blew me away and I can’t NOT share the information now, if you know what I mean!

 

3)  I know that you too suffered from CFS for 2 years. How did you feel during that time? What was going in on your life before you became ill?

Chronic fatigue was such an interesting experience. In fact, you might think I’m crazy, but looking back now, it was the best experience of my life. It taught me so much about myself that I’ll never forget because it was so significant, and so intense.

Before I became ill, I was burning a candle that had many ends, at all ends. =)

It took 5 years of “signs” from my body before it finally went, “OK Hayles, you’re not listening, ***shut down mode!”

At the time I got sick, I had just quit my part-time job in an Architecture studio where I worked full-time hours, I was studying full-time at university, which required an all-nighter once a week to complete the work that was required, and I was training for World Karate Titles every night until roughly 2 or 3am. On the weekends, I was partying hard with my friends because I was so fearful of “missing out” and I felt like it was the only way I could relax, and in-between I survived off coffee and the odd sandwich or steak when time allowed. My life was a clusterf*ck of social events, and aspiring to accomplish things, which spiralled me further downward until my body said, “no more, babe!”.

During the time I was ill, I had no idea why. My life was like I said above, not great, but I had no idea how to change it or even if I could. I thought this was just how it was going to have to be if I was going to get to do everything I wanted. I felt Horrible! Like I was stuck in a drugged-out state and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I was quite angry and depressed because of this too. All the doctors I saw, except one, told me that basically, I was going to have to get used to life being a little crappy. I’d never really be able to work properly again, or make money, or train karate, or really do anything like a normal person… geeeez imagine if I had listened!

 

4)  What was the thing that really accelerated your healing? (Any juicy tips?!)

It definitely wasn’t just one thing, but using everything in combination was the key. Without writing you an essay here, I’d say my top 5 are:

1. Self-love.

Cultivating the act of deeply accepting yourself, right in this moment – warts and all. Treat your body like a vehicle, and your mind that hates your body, like the challenger to be “shooshed!”. The only way to make changes is by first accepting the situation and finding peace and gratitude within it.

 2. Finding a supportive environment.

Find your tribe. Again, this can be done in combination with all the other steps, but once you find your peeps, you have more energy. They support you, uplift you, hold you accountable, and will catch you when you fall too. Sometimes this means doing a total friend-detox!

3. Listening to your intuition and your body.

Your body knows the answer to all of your big questions long before your brain does. This is why we get sick. This is why we get skin issues, or headaches. Your body is telling you something, and if you listen, you can respond and make the “problem” go away. Same with your intuition. It doesn’t always make sense though, and that’s OK.

Recognise the difference between what you need and what you want, and Do what your body is asking you to do. This is what you need. For example, sometimes, what you want is to go out and see your friends, but what you need is to chill out and enjoy your own company, relaxing for the night. Other times, what you want is to stay home and hide under the blankets and be cranky, but what you need, is to go out and be social. When you understand when your body is telling you what you need to do, you don’t need to think any more =)

4. Back Yourself.

Set goals and protect them like they are your little babies and you’re a mumma bear! If someone is saying things that don’t quite match up with where you want to go, you don’t have to listen. I give you permission right now to tell them to “shove it” if you need to. That sounds harsh, I know, but on this journey of healing, remember, only YOU know your body, NOBODY else. Everyone is different. What works for some, won’t work for all. It gets me so fired up that doctors tell people that there is no cure to this mystery illness, when clearly there is. Follow your gut. This is the same with your goals, too.

5. Never ever ever EVER give up.

I remember in the very early days of my being sick, my Chiropractor said to me, “Hayley, when this is over, you will look back and see it as the best experience of your life, for what it will teach you”… I thought she was nuts.

She was right.

You are here for a reason. This period of your life is temporary, and the lessons you get from learning how to heal yourself will serve you for the rest of your life. That is worth fighting for.

 

5)  You’ve also won 9 Karate World Titles (Yep, you read right my lovelies! Wow!) – how in the world did you get to that stage from CFS?!

I have competed in world competitions every 2 years since I was 14, sometimes multiple divisions and multiple tournaments, so it was only the 9th that was after my CFS.

To be honest, I feel better than I ever have since I healed my body, so I came back stronger than I had ever been. I had to deal with the blow to my ego of not being able to compete in one of the world tournaments early on when dealing with my illness, and I was still very sick 6 months before the last one I competed in.

At first, I could only do 5 minutes of the 2 hour class. I’d then sit down and go to sleep up the back. So I started amping up everything I was doing to get well. For example, I was having 2 teaspoons of greens, I started having 2 teaspoons, 5 times per day. Absolutely smashing my body with nutrients. I meditated twice daily, went for walks outside even when I was tired just to clear my head, I started having colonics, and I only put the best nutrients I could afford into my body. I got really strict, but it’s important that you know it wasn’t from a place of fear, it was because I believed I deserved to get well.

It was more of a mental challenge though. I had a really hard time dealing with being hit in the face when I came back to training. For some reason, whenever anyone came near my face I’d break down into uncontrollable sobbing – it was so embarrassing! – but I had to learn to be extremely patient with myself, and accept that this was where I was. My ego was going wild, comparing me to everyone else I was training with, and how good they were getting, and how “crap” I was compared to when I stopped training… that doesn’t help.

I made getting better my sole purpose. I made bargains with the universe, and every day I asked myself, “where can I get energy from?”, as opposed to my previous mantra, “why am I so darn tired? When is this going to end?”. It was commitment and a sacrifice, and I told myself I’d be grateful just to be able to compete again, and I think it was coming from this place of non-resistance that I was able to heal much faster.

small kick

 

6)  How do you make sure you recover from intense physical exercise?

The best advice I have ever been given around recovery, is that “no is a full sentence”.

In the past during times of intense physical training in preparation for a tournament, I’d still do everything I’d normally do, and then some. I’d still go out drinking and partying just as much as before, still agree to late nights and early mornings, all the social events, and despite being exhausted, I thought it was better to sacrifice my body to do all these things and not miss out on “having a life”.

But the life I was living was not the life I really wanted to live, it was more of circumstance, and what I thought I “should” be doing.

Nowadays, I don’t feel like I am ever missing out. When you come from a place of self-love, and acceptance of where you are in your journey, in your training and otherwise, rather than a fear of not being good enough, you can easily say no to things that don’t align with you and your goals.

The best recovery is rest when you need it. Above all else. It’s OK to say no, and you never have to justify why.

 

7)  Do you ever think about your past history of CFS? How do you focus on the present and the future?

By asking myself every day these 3 questions,

  1. Where can I get more energy from right now? (sometimes, the answer is rest, sometimes, the answer is to go out and move your body.). This keeps me in the moment,
  2. What’s next for me in my life? (This helps me cultivate a positive visualisation of the future)
  3. What is the next logical step to get there? (This helps me take action)
  4. And for one bonus, what am I grateful for right now? (This helps you see the beauty in all that has passed.)

 (Seriously, how amazing is this lady?! Wow! – Katie    xx)

8)  What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your health?

Affirming my boundaries, and having ‘me-time’.

In my work, I get to help people all day, and I absolutely love it. I see a lot of people doing work like me however, and not enjoying it, because they feel like they have to hustle hard and sell their soul for cash. For my health, and for yours, I can’t run my business when it runs me, and I am not asserting my boundaries as to when and how I will work.

It’s the same with sleep. My boyfriend used to need far less sleep than me, and would go to bed really late at night. I used to go to bed when he did, so I could hang out with him, and, (again) not miss out. Sometimes that meant that I would only get 5 or 6 hours per night, which made me consistently exhausted.

When I am feeling energetic and alive, everyone benefits.

Me-time is the second non-negotiable. When I have some time to myself every day, I feel grounded, and sane again. I really notice when I haven’t had it for a while, so now, it’s a non-negotiable. Sometimes that means it has to be 5 minutes of meditation on the loo, other times its a few hours laying on the grass in a park, or writing at a cafe.

If you know what your non-negotiables are, you know the key to living the good life. The next step is to actually make sure you include them in your day!

 

9)  How has fear appeared in your life and what do you do when it does?

Oh yeaaaah I love this question.

I used to be afraid of fear. Literally. It wasn’t the fear itself that was a problem, as much as the fact that I was afraid. (An ego thing, I guess!)

I used to avoid being afraid of things, because it really annoyed me when I couldn’t do something.

Now, I love when I experience fear. Not the creepy guy down the dark alleyway kinda fear, I mean the fear that makes you feel like you’d be the biggest legend on earth if you could overcome it.

I believe the things we fear are our unique, individual challenges that we are born to overcome. Why else would we all be afraid of different things?

Once we overcome these fears, we realise there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place, perhaps it was even a matter of being focused on the wrong thing!

I have spent the last 5 years busting my own fears, and helping others bust theirs, and I can honestly say from experience, that every time you bust through a fear, you have exactly the same experience in your body. The first time you do it, it’s hard. Every time after that, you can see the pattern repeating itself, and although the fear doesn’t always subside by simply observing it, it becomes a lot less significant, and more part of a system.

When you recognise where you are in the system, it’s exciting because you know where you’re going!

10)  What do you do or say to yourself if you’re having an ‘off’ day?

I have worked really hard to re-frame how I think about “off-days” now. Here’s how I see it:

I don’t have “off” days any more. I used to say I was “having an off day” all the time, and honestly, some days you do feel like sh*t, and everything goes wrong, but when you cultivate a positive mindset that everything is going to be OK, and it’s just working out with a different outcome to how you planned, you realise there is no such thing as an “off” day. It’s just that you have forgotten it’s all fine, and you’re here right now.

One of the elements for change in the unconscious mind is the conversation we have with ourselves. When people used to ask me how I was, I’d say, “Yeah, I’m OK, I’m really tired, I’ve been sick, I have Chronic Fatigue… etc”. One day I started answering that question by saying, “I’m getting better every day” and it became very much like an affirmation to me. My Mantra. As soon as I heard the words come out of my mouth, even if I was feeling really tired, It felt better.

So, in answer to your question, on days where I feel like the proverbial has hit the fan, I take a deep breath, and have a little pep-talk with myself. “It’s all good Hayley, you’re OK. You’re safe”, and then I go back and ask myself the 4 questions from above.

 

11)  What projects are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I have a number of projects going. I’m playing solo-traveller and experiencing working with location-independence, which is a dream come true! Right now, as I’m typing, I’m in Havana, in Cuba, and tomorrow, I’m headed to Mexico, where I’ll be finishing my new website.

In July this year I will be running a live workshop in Peak Performance in Sydney, where I teach people everything they need to start living as the biggest expression of themselves, and bust through fears. Afterwards, I will be focusing on turning this into an online, video-based training so the information can be accessed by more people in more places.

 

12)  Any other words of support and encouragement to share with my readers.

You are amazing. Stay focused on what you want, and never let anything get in the way. You can be as unrealistic as you like, as long as you are willing to give yourself the time, and the love to achieve it. You are supported, and you are safe to take care of yourself. I’m sending you all my love and support… =)

xoxo

Hayley’s Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  YouTube

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Apr 292013
 

 

Lots of my mentoring clients have said that CFS is ultimately quite boring. Man, I hear you!

I know the state of being sick is boring in itself, but what bugs me more is the name, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

It sounds miserable, it feels miserable and sometimes, let’s be honest, it is miserable.

fireworks

Photo taken from here

But what if we injected a bit of fun into it! (Errrmmmm, what?!)

How about instead of CFS standing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, we make it stand for something else?

Reframing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Conquering Fear Spiritually

* Celebrating Feeling Spectacular

* Crying From Spirit

Comforting Fabulous Striving

* Cheering Fantastic Sparkles (yey! ♥)

* Creating Fairy-Tale Stories (ok, slight cheat with this one!)

Clearing Frightening States

Collecting Faith Supreme

Contemplate Flourishing Sensationally

CFS isn’t look quite so terrible now, is it?! Have fun with these lovely acronyms- they might just brighten up your day! What ideas did you think of?

Love and Creating Fabulous Steps,

Katie   xx

Apr 092013
 

Hi everyone! This is just a short post to mark the historic arrival of two important milestones in Conquering Fear Spiritually’s history! Yahoo!

Firstly, you’ll probably notice if you’ve made it this far(!) that the website has been changed a little bit to make it more readable and it therefore allows me to help you through those rocky patches and beautiful patches. I really hope you enjoy the new look and the new website! Yehoooo!

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.26.01 AM

Secondly, (*big gulp!*), I finally got around to something I’ve been thinking about for a while- putting up a video blog. I know that lots of people out there can’t read for long periods of time, especially on computer screens and many people just prefer listening to things, so I thought I’d have a go! Please let me know if this is something you’d be interested in watching more of in the future- I’ll try and keep them short, I promise!

chronic fatigue video youtube

Enjoy my darlings- have a beautiful day!

Love and vlogs, Katie    xx

Mar 252013
 
change

2013. Did you decide that this was going to be the big one? Did you decide that this was the year it was going to happen? Recovery from illness, more money in the bank, to go for a run more often, to remember to be kinder…whatever it was, it’s not too late (and I’m not just saying this to make you feel better.)

life

Picture taken from here

New Year Resolutions, as traditional as they may be, are strange little creatures. Change and willingness to change can occur any month, any day, any minute, any hour…this second.

Living with CFS feels like you’re never going to have this chance again, the chance to make a change. People who haven’t lived with CFS face the same challenges- change is scary for everyone. But who is telling you you’ve missed your chance to change? Is it your family? They know that change is possible for you. Is it society? Society thrives on change- in fact sometimes, it moves too quickly. So, who is it?

Is it you?

Do you want to change?

Answer this honestly. If you don’t want to change deep down, I hear you. I didn’t fancy it either, as it meant being who I really was and deciding what I really wanted to do. It would opening myself up to scary and amazing possibilities every day. It involves action, being vulnerable and it’s scary as hell. Everything had been against me up until that point, so why bother changing now?

The truth is, it was make or break time for me. I’d had it of the illness taking over. I knew getting better was possible, despite what I’d been led to believe. Making it a reality was a struggle, but I did it.

Be grateful.

Know your limits.

Love life, warts and all.

Look after and love your body.

change

Picture taken from here

You will get there, because you can get there. The best advice I can give you is simple: get out of your head and into your heart.

Use one of these amazing things to help you- just give the picture below a click. You’ll never use anything as beautiful and focussed again in your lifetime:

2013pages1

It’s all there waiting for you. Use this blog as a companion on your journey.

Make 2013 your year.

Love and faith in your healing,

Katie      xx