Feb 092015
 

 

This article was reblogged for my article featured on health and wellbeing website, MindBodyGreen.

Illness affects most of us at one point or another, whether it’s from an allergy a cold, or having to stay in bed for months — if not years — on end. I was in the latter category, having being diagnosed with M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS) when I was 18. When we’re sick, we find ourselves automatically looking for ways to feel better. Spending so much time in bed gave me a lot of time to think, and I’ve definitely learned a lot from this experience.

Now that I’ve been CFS-free for three years, I often think about all the time I spent in bed. I used to hate being stuck there; I felt like I was wasting my life and missing out. I was in the same spot, staring at the same four walls, with the same thoughts I had yesterday.

sick in bed

Picture taken from here

But every cloud has a silver lining. Although being ill in bed is incredibly frustrating, here are a few things to remember while you recover and some ways to feel better when you’re too sick to move:

1. Don’t feel guilty for one moment.

By taking the day off sick, you’re prioritising your health and well-being. Give yourself a huge pat on the back. When I first started working full time, there was no way I would take a day off for anything. I thought that by dragging myself in when I was on death’s door, I was doing my colleagues a favour. It turns out that I really wasn’t, as not taking that single day off actually meant eventually taking another four days off because I was so sick. Prioritise your health and you’ll feel glad you did it further down the line.

2. Let other people help you.

This was a big one for me. People would volunteer to do my shopping for me when I was ill or run me to the doctor’s office. But in my complete haze of stubbornness, I was determined to do everything on my own. The last thing I wanted was for people to know I was ill.

Let others help you if they offer. You get no extra points for being a martyr. You’ll be doing others a service by accepting their help — people just want to know you’re OK.

3. Take each day at a time.

I know this is incredibly difficult, especially if you have a chronic illness. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is incredibly difficult when you have no idea how long the tunnel is. The only way you can do this by living in the moment. This term often gets thrown around a lot, but trust me, after years in bed, reliving the past or throwing yourself into the future is not giving your body what it needs.

4. Don’t push yourself.

If you have CFS or a chronic illness, you’ll hate those words, but this goes for anyone who’s had to take time off sick with the flu. Even if you think that going out for a run will make you feel better, tune in to your body and listen to it. Are you really going to feel better after running, or do you really need to just rest up? The little energy that you do have is for your body to repair itself. Your body can’t do its job if you’re completely ignoring it and pushing it. It took me years to learn this lesson once and for all.

5. Enjoy your recovery.

I know, I know — you feel awful and I’m telling you to enjoy yourself. Crazy, right?! I don’t mean throw a wild party; I’m just talking about really sinking into your recovery. When I work with clients, this is the main thing that gets them. They feel guilty for enjoying a DVD or for diving under the duvet with a book and not surfacing for a few days.

Stop the guilt. Your mind sends signals to your body that cause stress and therefore really hinder your recovery. You want to lie in your pyjamas all day? Do it! Slap on a face mask? Go for it! But whatever you do, do it with your whole heart and really enjoy it. As soon as you feel guilty, all of your good healing work goes to waste.

 

Do you feel guilty when you’re ill? I’d love to hear your comments below.

Love and guilt-free healing,

Katie   xx

Feb 042015
 

wordsPhotograph taken from here

I have to admit that when I was first diagnosed with CFS, everything that everyone said to me to help just made me feeling overwhelming down and even more disappointed in myself than I’d ever been before. Here are a list of the things that hurt the most:

* “Yes, I’m tired too”- I’ve gone into this a little bit more here, but comparing everyday, running around tiredness with CFS is like comparing a walk around the park with a marathon. Please remember though if you’re on the receiving end of this comment that is it only said with love and good intention. It’s such a crazy illness and people would love to get a glimpse of what you’re going through.

* “Are you depressed? / Do you think it’s depression?”- granted, the symptoms of depression are similar in a lot of ways to CFS, but people with CFS at their core aren’t usually depressed- just frustrated and dying to pick up where they left off. Occasionally people with CFS might be slightly down, but the CFS is causing this feeling rather than the other way around.

* “Come on, let’s go shopping / Let’s get you out and about”- this is the #1 way most people will try and help you. Say gently and with gratitude that you’re not up to it today, but would love to go some other time. If however you do feel like going out and feel that you could cope with it, be honest about what you think you can do and for how long. My main problem when I was recovering was not being honest with other people and, more importantly, myself, about how much I could cope with. Cue: feeling like I was on the verge of collapse in supermarkets and shopping centres. A walk around the park or a car trip to the local shop might be just what you’re looking for.

* “Snap out of it!”- trust us, if we could, we would! It’s incredibly hard for people to understand CFS, but please don’t blame others for frustrated outbursts of their own. They just want to help you and have no idea how or where to start.

These are just a few I’ve experienced, but I’m sure there are many more. Please feel free to share them in the comments below, even just to vent for while!

Remember, always approach your family, friends, your illness and yourself with love, kindness and patience.

Love and light,

Katie     xx

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 212015
 

 

As I mentioned in my introductory chakra article yesterday, the chakras are all linked, so knowing if your chakras are out of balance is important for an abundant life. If one of them is blocked or not functioning optimally, you might feel emotionally out of balance and ‘not quite right’ physically. But how do you know if you need to work on your chakras? Do you need to look after a few of them, or are many of your chakras out of balance? What should you be looking out for?

Well, fret no longer my friends! Here are a few things to look out for which might mean that your chakras are out of balance and not working as they should. (When your chakras are balanced, your life just flows and is easy, so it’s important to get to know your chakra warning signs!)

chakraImage taken from here

How do I know if my Chakras are Out of Balance?

Root Chakra (Chakra 1 / Red) – Represents feeling ‘rooted’ or grounded, represent our foundation and stability

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: safe and secure in life; trust in the divine order of things and you will feel safe in life’s ebbs and flows

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: worried about money, work, or other base issues in your life; focussed on material possessions; the need to satisfy own wants and desires

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: digestion problems; cold hands and feet; hip, leg and feet problems; frequent need to go to the bathroom

Sacral Chakra (Chakra Two / Orange) – Represents creativity, sex and your ability to accept new relationships/situations into your life

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: abundant, pleasurable, creative and able to enjoy sex in your life, no trouble expressing emotions or connecting with others

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: unable to take pleasure from life or sex, cannot handle emotions or feelings, suppressing natural needs

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: lower back pain; menstrual troubles; irritable bowel syndrome; ovarian cysts; prostate or testicular issues

Solar Plexus (Chakra Three / Yellow) – Represents confidence, thoughts and feelings, and our ability to be in control of our lives

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: confident, optimistic, whole and calm, acceptance of self and others

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: low self-worth, pessimism, no trust in natural flow, need for material security

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: liver and pancreas problems, gluten intolerance, gall stones

Heart Chakra (Chakra 4 – Green) – Represents our ability to love and be loved, to enjoy what we love

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: loving, joyous, peaceful, whole, accepting, balance

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: unable to love, unable to be generous, unable to follow your passions, unable to accept love given by others, the need to look for rewards

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: heart problems, allergies, immune diseases

Throat Chakra (Chakra 5 – Blue) – Represents our ability to communicate clearly and to speak our truth

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: heard, able to articulate your own ideas, thoughts and feelings; able to trust your ‘inner voice’, comfortable in both silence and expression

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: unable to speak up about things that matter to you, unable to express opinions to authority figures, unable to believe in your creativity, fearful of being judged or rejected, afraid of silence

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: thyroid problems, mouth ulcers, persistent sore throats or throat infections, asthma

Third Eye Chakra (Chakra 6 – Indigo) – Represents our ability to see the big picture, inner knowing, insight and vision

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: able to make good decisions, clarity of thought, imaginative, intuitive, connected to the universe

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: confused, out of alignment with your intuition, unable to think about other points of view, only able to see the surface meaning in a situation

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: headaches, migraines, eye problems, ear and sinus troubles

Crown Chakra (Chakra 7 – Violet) – Represents our ability to connect fully with our spiritual selves

If this chakra is working optimally, you will feel: blissful, as though everything in life is working for you, the world is beautiful, connected to the universe, knowing that the self reflects the Divine

If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: full of thoughts and like you can’t switch your brain off, disconnected from the source and the world around you, unable to let go of anxiety and fear, depressed and unsatisfied

Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: confusion, dizziness, depression

I really hope this helps you my darling. As you know, I’m not a doctor or health professional (and my chakras aren’t perfect!) and it’s not as easy as saying, “Ah ok- I’ve got a throat infection, so I’ll just work on my throat chakra”. If you’re ill, please still go to the doctor and take good care of yourself. Unfortunately, as with so much in life, it’s never that simple, but it might give you something to think about during your healing.

Have any alarm bells been ringing for you as you’ve read this article? I’d love to hear from you my lovelies- which chakras do you need to work on?

Love and inner knowing,

Katie      xxx

My favourite chakra cleanse meditationbelinda davidson

(For a *free chakra e-book*, click here and it’ll be with you in the blink of an eye!)

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

Dec 122014
 

Sometimes living with chronic illness can just seem absolutely impossible.

It’s an impossible situation in impossible circumstances with an impossible outlook and future. I know exactly what you’re going through. Even though you feeling completely alone, you try to push others away, because you know they just won’t get it.

Here are few words to think about when you’re feeling completely stuck and you have no idea where to turn next.

When it all seems impossible…

Just go and do it. If you can’t do it physically, go there in your mind. It’s your ego that’s making the excuses, not your soul.

If you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way. The worst thing you can do is not even try because it’s too difficult- the best things usually are. Don’t you want the best?

If you’re going to cry, be at peace with it. Let it all out. You’ll feel better about it in an hour or so.

Stop hiding. You know you’ve been doing it. It’s too much effort, sometimes even talking is too much. Let it go. You’re pretty sweet.

Laughter.

Laughter.

Love.

Laughter.

Dreams seems unreachable for a reason. Only those who face the fear will get there. Never let anyone tell you it’s not possible, including yourself.

Love.

Make it up or move on.

Shake it up or shake on out.

Peace, love and harmony. It’s your reality.

espejo_l

Have a beautiful day,

Katie xxx

Dec 122014
 
meadow sunshine

 

field

Photo by Jason Long for UpSplash

Yep, I know it all too well. You’re aching, you’ve got brain fog, you’ve been in bed for days…it’s rubbish. Going outside and enjoying nature seems like a distant memory. There are some things that you can do though to bring the outdoors to you, even on your worst days when you feel like it’s all for nothing.

1) Open a window

My Mum used to come into my room while I asleep and fling the windows open. I used to grumble and grunt a lot, but I always felt instantly better. Even if you can only stomach it for 10 minutes, the air will be lighter and you’ll feel refreshed.

2) Use plants and flowers

Unless you’re highly sensitive to some plants and flowers, as I know as lot of people with CFS are, put a plant or a bunch of your favourite flowers in the corner of the room where you rest or spend most of your time. The atmosphere in the room will brighten instantly and you’re one step closer to being able to appreciate the outdoors again.

3) Spend 5 minutes next to a window or door

I have to say that while I was very ill this would’ve been almost impossible for me, but getting some UV rays whether it’s sunny or not releases feel-good hormones and help increase levels of Vitamin D  in the body. When we stay indoors all today, we can sometimes becomes deficient in Vitamin D, resulting in bone and muscle pain. We get enough of that as it is, so try and take advantage when you can.

4) Listening to sounds from nature

Whether it’s birds singing or your cat purring, listening to natural sounds can be very therapeutic. Even downloading a free app (such as this one) and listening to the sound of rain, for example, can relax you and help bring restful sleep.

I hope these suggestions relax and soothe you.

Love and peace,

Katie   xxx

Nov 242014
 

annoy

Photo taken from here

The clue’s pretty much in the name- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But this only touches on a fraction of what people with CFS go through. How about the ironic and utter inability to be able to sleep half the time, especially at night? How about the headaches, nausea, muscle aches, bone aches, brain aches, brain fog and the inability to be comfortable with light and sound?

This is why the term ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ annoys the life out of me. The term ‘CFS’ apparently is used today as an umbrella term to encompass all manner of illnesses in which fatigue is the main symptom, but to be honest, fatigue accompanies a lot of illness, none of which are even within the realms of CFS or M.E. In 1959, E.D. Acheson an early investigator of benign myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E), wrote: “The wisdom of naming a disorder, the nature of which cannot at present be proved, and which may be due to more than one agent, is debatable.” This is one of the many controversies surrounding CFS. Well said, that man.

I know we all get tired, I know that. In the end, I stopped telling people I had CFS, but just had a bit of a virus, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the, “Ah yes, I’m exhausted too” line. It just gets too much in the end, and you end up sounding like a stuck record, that’s if you have the energy to answer back in the first place.

In all of this, I’ve learned to practise patience. Patience that one day the medical profession might improve their consciousness and compassion towards everyone under this frustrating CFS umbrella. Patience that everyone who cares about you will care about you and not the strange stigma attached to CFS. Patience that your healing has arrived and will come to you.

Peace and love,

Katie     xxx

Nov 182014
 

Be completely honest with yourself. Forget about CFS for a moment (really!) and just concentrate on you.

What are those big, completely bonkers, unbelievably insane, but juicy goals you have for yourself? (Notice I’m using ‘have’, not ‘had’)

dream

Image taken from here

Do you think that it’s all over because you’re ill? Have you given up on it? If so, why? (Please don’t say, “Because I’ve got CFS”!) Are you letting your illness pull you down?

You rule CFS, CFS does not rule you.

You know this and you’ve known it since the first day you were diagnosed.

What if your big dream and visualising it is the thing that helps you recover? Is it still looking so terrible? Can you see it in your mind’s eye and imagine yourself in that image?

Dream big, dream bold. Be brave, be bold. Be strong, outrageous, honest, loving and brimming full to enthusiasm.

Your dream is here- I can see it. Everyone around you can see it…and it’s yours. 

…But where are you? What’s stopping you?

Step up and take the route to healing by loving your illness. Sign up to my FREE 4Week Transformation Project, starting soon!

You deserve this- the world needs your dream. Pop the bubble of fear.

In love and fearlessness,

Katie   xx

Nov 082014
 

 

Sometimes, I was so determined to beat this terrible illness that all I did was think about it. I would think about it morning, noon and night (when I wasn’t sleeping, that is!)

I know you want to heal now, instantly, and one of the things that’s so difficult to accept with this whole thing is the longevity of it. When is it going to end? How will it end? Will I wake up one morning and suddenly feel instantly better? It used to drive me absolutely crazy.

selfLoveFortune

Photo taken from here

All I ask of you today, is to take this minute, this hour or this day as a day of healing.

Ask yourself, what do I need today to make me feel better and begin to heal CFS? Even if I wake up tomorrow morning and I’m having a bad day, what I can do for myself today that’ll really make me happy and that I’ll remember tomorrow? What does my body need? What does my spirit need? What does your gut tell you? (Don’t ignore it!)

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or use up lots of your energy, but taking time out to find the little joys and pleasures in life and acting on these impulses can make the difference between a bad day and great day. Give all your energy to whatever little pleasure you have, and do not feel guilty about it for a second- you deserve this and you are really honouring yourself through it. Be present and enjoy. If you’re eating chocolate for example, think about the texture, colour and smell of it, as well as the taste. You’ll find your enjoyment rockets to a whole new level!

Here are a few suggestions:

If you honour and care for yourself regularly and every day, even in a small way, you will really start to see the benefits. This will set you up to form amazing healing habits for your recovery and beyond.

How would you find pleasure in this second, this minute, this hour or this day? Comment below!

Love and time-out,

Katie    xx

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

Nov 012014
 

As well as accepting my illness, for me, asking for and more importantly, receiving help from others was incredibly difficult. I realised very quickly that not only did I not know how to ask for help, I also didn’t know how to accept help from others. There are several members of my family who are not just a little bit stubborn, but almost infamous for it! I didn’t think I was one of those people until I became ill with CFS when it showed up in a major way.

As you’ve probably got to know by now if you’ve been following my blog, I pride myself on being independent and doing things my own way. I’ve always been a little bit quirky and don’t tend to follow the crowd (this isn’t a deliberate choice, it just seems to happen that way!). Having to drop out of Uni in your first year and move back in with your parents after a CFS diagnosis is one way in which the universe made sure that from then on, I would have to collaborate and eventually ask for help from other people. I learned recently however that once you learn to do this, and receive help fully and graciously, there is a sense of power and amazing collaboration which appears…

…and my god, does it feel good.

The key in the early stages of any illness is recognising the ways in which people try and help you (more on this here). When I first moved home, I thought my parents were nagging the life out of me and really didn’t understand me. In hindsight however, this was their way of caring for me and making sure that my illness didn’t completely take over what was supposed to be a prime time in my life. After their loving care and injections of positivity, I attended Uni a year later and managed to complete my four-year course with a year in France to boot. I honestly believe that if they hadn’t helped me in this particular way, I may not have been able to attend Uni at all. They knew I was independent and stubborn, so basically forced their help on me. I wasn’t very good at being grateful at the time, but now I hope they know how grateful I am to them and I hope I can repay this gratitude through my actions in years to come.

Asking for help from someone in itself, especially in our world today, is a great sign of strength and character. By asking for help, you are admitting that you are vulnerable and need assistance, and there is great beauty in vulnerability. I would say that when you ask for help, 99% of the time the other person is grateful to be of service and to assist in whatever it is you are going through, be it asking when your bus is due, asking a neighbour to mind your cat for the weekend or asking for advice with a difficult personal problem. I take it as a compliment when people ask me for directions in the street- I must appear to be kind and approachable. I can’t always help them, but I am incredibly grateful to be asked.

brene

Picture of Brené Brown at TED taken from here

Receiving help is an art-form in itself, and one which I think the world needs more of. There is a quiet power in receiving help. We are one, we are all connected, so receiving help not only benefits you in the short term, but it creates a ripple effect. Your friend then asks someone else for help, then they ask their neighbour, and it continues. Decide whether you need help or whether you can truly and honestly take the responsibility on your own. As soon as you decide to ask for help, the butterflies in your stomach will tell you that you are moving out of your comfort zone and into this ripple effect, enabling you to receive graciously.

I feel strong and vulnerable when I ask for help, as it was a foreign concept to me for quite a while. Babies and children never fail to ask for help and receive it with love, and we should learn from them as adults. We grow and stand a little bit taller every time we do, the world appears brighter and people smile that little bit more often.

What do you need help with today? Ask with love and feel that little bit more grounded when you receive their assistant. We are one big community, full of ripples, and it feel gorgeous.

(For a little bit more on the concept of vulnerability, please sit back and watch this amazing TED talk by academic, speaker and writer, Brené Brown. I absolutely love this video and think being vulnerable is a humbling and inspirational attitude to have)

Love and vulnerability,

Katie   xx