When I was in the depths of a six-year illness, with chronic fatigue syndrome, I did not even consider how I could be the “best me” or even what most people would define as healthy. Crippled by fatigue, brain fog and low mood, I was utterly consumed with surviving and hoping that one day I would be able to live a half-decent life. Many years later, working as a healer and empowerment coach, I can clearly see that in order to recover from chronic illness, or in order to create a thriving, happy life, we need to look at different aspects of ourselves as human beings. When I first became ill, I was convinced that somehow, someone (most often my latest therapist) would wave a magic wand, and miraculously I would wake up completely “recovered” the following morning.
While I was initially disappointed to discover this was not the case, I did find out that creating vibrant good health is much more empowering. We have the tools in our own hands to not only create good health but a life that excites us and means we are happy to be alive. I see now that there are several components to being healthy, and that chronic illness of any kind requires that we address the mind, the body and the spirit. This is not something that ends when we get “better”; rather we need to continue to consider these elements to remain happy and healthy.
Understanding your Mind
Chronic illness of any kind is often accompanied by negative, downward spiraling thought patterns. These may focus on what you read about your diagnosis, or what your doctor has told you: “You will never recover”,’ “You will be lucky if you learn some techniques that allow you to manage your illness and lead a reasonable life.” You may also become preoccupied with your financial situation or your relationships.
What I now see is that the power of the mind is such that if we believe something, we feed it and create it. Of course, when we have any kind of illness, it is very easy to go online, read all kinds of negative things about it, and then live them out. Fortunately, there are some simple techniques, tools, and questions you can use that can empower you to question and ultimately release what your mind is telling you, no matter how real it feels. The first tool is incredibly simple – each time you notice a dis-empowering thought, you just say – “it’s interesting that I think this, interesting I have this point of view.” As you say that a couple of times, it starts to undermine the thought and release its power over you. What follows is that something different is possible and this is the “extension” of this tool. You can then ask – “if I didn’t believe it was impossible to recover from this illness, what else would be possible for me?” Asking open-ended questions such as these allow something more positive to occur. When you ask these questions a lot, something starts to shift in your mind and you start to break free of the negative spirals. This can actually have an effect on the body, too. However, in order to be completely well, you need to specifically address what is occurring in your body. Connecting with Your Beautiful Body A lot of us would not use the word “beautiful” about our bodies, even when we are following all the advice about how to exercise and eat to be really healthy. We can fall into the trap of believing that if we follow this exercise plan or that particular diet, we will be really well.
The reality is that blindly following “rules” written by somebody else is unlikely to lead to good health and may lead us to being completely disconnected from our body. An example of this would be someone jogging past you, huffing and puffing; you can almost hear their body screaming at them to stop, to exercise in a different, kinder way; yet they can’t hear the message because they have decided that they have found the “right” way to exercise.
To change this pattern and to step into something more generative, I suggest asking simple questions, that allow you to honor your body, include your body, and stop imposing onto your body: “Body, how would you like to move today?”; “Body, where would it nourish you to go today?” When you ask these simple questions, your body will find a way to “answer” you, to give you the information that you require. You may, for example, suddenly have the idea of going to a new dance class, and at the end of the evening your body feels more alive than it ever has despite the information claiming that jogging “should” be “better” for your body. Nourishing Your Spirit
Yes, it’s important to include this indefinable, intangible part of ourselves, that the logical people on the planet have decided doesn’t exist, and yet we somehow know does exist, even though we can’t point to any “evidence” of it. What I see is that people often become ill, to different degrees, when they fail to include in their lives what nourishes them, what feeds their soul, what inspires them. Of course, this is not something we are generally encouraged to do – more often we are taught to do the “safe” thing - the boring career with the secure future, the uninspiring partner who will provide for you. Often when we follow that, we end up feeling tired, disillusioned, burned-out and somehow cheated. We know there should be more to life than this.
I see that there is often a turning point with people who have chronic illnesses. For me, it occurred when I visited an energy healer. I knew from seeing this amazing woman that learning more about energy healing would lead to my full recovery. Actually, what occurred went way beyond that – I knew that energy healing was what I desired to bring into the world and discovering this is what reignited my passion for life. I had something exciting to live for, something that nurtured my spirit, something that inspired me to become more alive and energized.
What I also see is that what supports and inspires us shifts and changes as we change. To maintain vibrant, good health, it is important that we continue to tune in to what nourishes our spirit and find ways to include them in our life. I end this article feeling happy and inspired, grateful that I have this awareness of what can lead us to good health, and a life that truly develops us. I hope it is a contribution to you in your quest for being the best ever you.
Fiona Cutts was a painfully shy child who excelled academically, a strength that led her into a profitable career as an accountant. By 30, however, she was unhappily divorced, suffering with back pain, depression, and eventually, a debilitating bout of chronic fatigue. Her journey of health restoration led her down all the conventional medical routes to no avail. It was the tools and processes of Access Consciousness and Right Voice for You that enabled Fiona to attain the vibrant, expansive, joyful living she enjoys today. Today she trav
els the world facilitating Right Voice for You programs, a specialty program of Access Consciousness, offering others the tools and strategies to experience this level of change and possibility in their own lives. Follow on Twitter @Fiona_Cutts.