Thursday, March 8, 2012

Self Care Is Not an Option

Now before I get you all mad at me, let me finish my thought: Self-care is not an option, it is a necessity. Yes, it is a necessity and no, it is not selfish!
Why is self-care not selfish? That's easy! When you take care of yourself you are better able to take care of others and when you can give yourself what you need, you are better able to give to others.
Why is self-care a necessity? Another easy one! You need to regularly practice self-care in order to keep your body (physical, mental and emotional) functioning at an optimal level.
I am constantly baffled by our readiness to take care of our cars and our unwillingness to take the time to take care of our bodies. Yes, a car is a necessity to get us from point A to point B, to go to work, to school, to see friends and family, and to just do all the things that need to get done every day. But guess what? A strong, healthy body is a necessity to get us through life. All of life! What use are cars if a person is not well enough to get in them and drive off when he/she feels like it. There is also one really huge difference between these two vehicles and it's this: You cannot trade in your body for a newer model (not yet anyway)! So shouldn't we be more invested in taking care of the body we do have? And shouldn't we make more of a commitment to a self-care routine that will give us the best chance for a healthy and happy life?
A self-care routine doesn't have to be exhausting (that would defeat the whole purpose), nor does it have to be time-consuming (our time is "consumed" enough as it is!).
Here, let's go back to the car for a minute (or two). Do you take your car in for regular maintenance? Do you have the oil changed regularly, the tires checked, the brakes tested, the freon replenished, the wheels changed and aligned, the steering wheel oiled, the windshield wipers replaced? Do you "feed" the right kind of fuel it needs to operate at its best? And after you do all of these things, how do you feel when you drive your car? Do you have peace of mind knowing that it will get you safely to your destination?
But what happens when you ignore your car and you ignore its needs for regular tune-ups? The answer is pretty simple. The car breaks down and what would have cost you hundreds will now cost you thousands and what would have taken two or three hours to take care of now takes days.
Why would you expect your body to be any different? When you ignore your body's needs, it too breaks down. It goes into a state of dis-ease and when the body is not at ease, illness takes over. All ailments from more frequent or longer-lasting colds, to digestive issues and ulcers, to heart trouble to depression to cancer become fair game. True, it doesn't happen overnight but it happens much faster than you might think because everyone is dealing with so many different things these days and in all areas of their lives, from financial stress and worries about the future, to bad lifestyle habits, to too many responsibilities, to negativity in general. All these factors start to manifest themselves first on the emotional and mental levels in a person's body then on the energetic level which leads to blockages in the body's energy flow and finally they reach the physical level and show up as various diseases.
Creating and committing to a self-care routine is one crucial way to fortify your body against the assault of all these external factors. I mentioned above that self-care doesn't have to be time-consuming. All it takes is the equivalent of 20 to 30 minutes a day which you can spend doing something for you, that you truly enjoy, that gives you pleasure and that recharges your battery. It could be a massage or a get-together with close friends. It could be a new outfit or watching your favorite comedy. It could be a walk in nature or a nap. Whatever it is for you, do it. Honor yourself and those you love and do it. Commit to a routine and stick to it and before you know it, you will feel better about yourself and you will feel better about life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Healing From ME: "Transcending" the ME Diagnosis

This article follows another article I wrote recently that looked at the process of receiving an ME diagnosis, and coming to terms with it. Now I am writing about what I call "transcending" the ME diagnosis.
Coming to a peaceful place of acceptance, where we accept our situation and take responsibility for our thoughts and actions around our illness is often the beginning of healing at a deeper level and beginning to develop more strength, health and vitality.
As part of my own recovery, I did the Lightning process - a process that focuses on "unidentifying" with the label ME. Whilst this process did not lead to a complete recovery for me, as it does for some people, it was a massive turning point for me - and I see this as the beginning of regaining my strength and emotional and physical resilience.
By constantly talking about "chronic fatigue" "ME" "tiredness", we are giving messages to the body and mind - which hears those messages and recreates those symptoms. I was given tools (including the Emotional Freedom Technique) for identifying patterns in my own mind, and interrupting them - and giving more empowering messages to the mind/body complex.
For me, at the time, I wasn't able to totally transform my beliefs around health, wellness and illness and stayed stuck in a certain (more limited) amount of fatigue. At the time, this was fantastic for me - but actually I was still very limited in what I could manage in my life.
Knowing what I now know about the body, the energy field and healing, this actually makes sense to me. Our energetic patterns can be very deeply entrenched in the energy field - particularly with a chronic condition like ME where we are often unable to move much, meaning that our habits, thoughts and behaviours become very stuck. So, working on changing beliefs will be "uphill" work, as we are working in an energy field which is not very fluid or open to change.
A general effect of receiving energy healing and working with the Emotional Freedom Technique is that the stuck energetic patternings in our body begin to release and to become more fluid. As this happens, it makes it much more likely that work on beliefs will be successful, and that we will be able to "transcend" our ME diagnosis.
Often the stuck energetic patternings come from traumatic events held deep in our cells that have not been released. Energy healing and EFT are able to go back to the time when these events happen and release the energy behind them. I have written extensively about this in my energy healing blog on my website. Releasing the trauma and the energy behind the trauma leads to more freely flowing energy in the body, which automatically leads to more vitality and energy - steps on the path to healing from ME.
Once a certain level of trauma has been released from the body, I believe it is then possible for the effects of changing beliefs to be able to not only "stick" in the body but be a catalyst for further release of stuck emotional pain. For, if we truly believe that we can be healthy, energetic and well, then the energy field will also begin to resonate with that belief. And then we have truly transcended the ME diagnosis.