Everything is as it should be!

When I started walking the Red Road 12 years ago, my first Native American Teacher said to me, Everything is exactly how it should be! This phrase challenged me for many years, especially on the toughest days.

To explain what I mean when I talk about walking the Red Road I am referring to a spiritual journey into the best and worst parts of yourself through the Native American teachings. It incorporates beautiful prayer ceremonies, amazing work on our inner needs and creating a space of consciousness for all around you.

There are many explanations that people use for this Road/Path, but this is my description. It’s also important to highlight here that no I am not a white women trying to be Native American, I am just a very blessed being learning a gentle conscious way of connecting with Great Spirit and myself that is in beauty, Harmony and Balance.

The true blessing is that this phrase has become more and more relevant in my journey with chronic pain as when you make peace with the fact that everything is always exactly as it should be, you remove the “victim” within yourself and you look for the teaching rather.

The last 2 weeks of my life have been fraught with the most horrendous pain and a lot of frustration and anger. I have been allowing myself to become unbelievably annoyed at the fact that my body wasn’t listening and just letting me enjoy my paddling. All I wanted to do was paddle and be in my “happy place” on my board on the water.

I however had such a bad flare that my skin came off my feet and my toenails started lifting off. For the first time in a long time my hand began locking and both my calves began swelling to a point where if felt they would explode.

In the height of my frustration and pain I realised I needed to just STOP, Breathe and be gentle with myself. I realised that I had gone so far into my head and being annoyed with what was going on, that I wasn’t listening to what my body was saying. And basically what it was saying was just be gentle. Take things slowly and this week just be in the moment and stop pushing yourself.

So I made the decision to withdraw from the race I was going to do and I ventured out on a road trip with some friends to most beautiful forest camping site. And boy oh boy is this place exactly what I needed! Setting up camp in the pouring rain was highly entertaining but once set up we found that we were in the most peaceful beautiful forest space.

I live in a country that has so many hidden treasures and amazing places and this week I have discovered another one. This hidden gem has a spectacular waterfall and rock pools, incredible forest walks and a powerful healing feeling. There is a wonderful beach and lagoon 10 minutes drive down the road that is SUP heaven. So basically everything is exactly as it should be in this moment.

I am truly thankful that my body forced me to just stop and be in nature and bring myself back to acceptance and to just surrender to whatever it is that is meant to be happening and step out of what I think should be happening.

So as you begin your day today I ask you to just look at where you are in your life. If when you do that you find that you are frustrated or things aren’t going as planned, STOP and surrender to what may be trying to come in. You will often if not always find a teaching so something much better than what you had planned comes in.

Understanding Chronic Pain

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind and have put a lot about my life and journey into perspective. One of my readers asked the other day what exactly it is that I am living with when I talk about my journey with Chronic illness.

I must say I hadn’t considered that my blog would be read by people around the world, and nor had I considered it would reach people who didn’t know me personally.

I started my blog however to try and reach people and give them hope that regardless of the journey we walk in life (and yes I do believe we choose our paths before we come into our bodies), that we can always find hope and gratitude no matter how big the challenges.

I personally have found that since I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia I have learnt more about myself and my ability to overcome the odds regardless of how challenging by simply deciding to do so.

I recently got another diagnosis of chronic Compartment Syndrome in both my legs. This rather pissed me off as I have such muscle bulk in my legs from all my exercise that I have been doing to make sure I keep moving and don’t surrender to these diseases.

While all of these have great solutions and many clinical and alternative healing approaches, they ALL have complications and challenges as the treatment differs with each individual and how your body and DNA reacts.

To add insult to injury I had a surgery 5 years ago, where a doctor knew better than me and operated while I was on a biological drug (which at the time was working and I was heading for great success) and as a result of not listening to me I contracted a superbug that nearly killed me.

This has since caused massive complications as things that could be managed or handled around the challenges of my disease have become massively complicated. The treatments that “normal” people can use or undergo, I can’t do as I have massive risk of infections and complications.

The other challenge with chronic illness and living with constant pain, is that everybody has an opinion and a miracle cure. While I appreciate and respect that the concern and suggestions of cures Come from a place of love, I can promise you that if there is something new out there for me to try, I have tried it, researched it and am still researching more.

In short if you have someone in your life who has one of these challenging auto immune diseases, or lives with Chronic pain, find out what they need instead of what you think they need. I can say from my point of view all I need is understanding that everyday in every way I am showing up and doing my best In the moment.

Some days are better than others and yes often I look great and more often than not I have a huge smile on my face, but the pain in my body is constant and relentless. It is exhausting most of the time and sometimes I get grumpy and fed up. So on the days when I am quiet and remove myself from society, it’s not personal, it’s just necessary.

Today as you start your day please just take a moment to reflect on all the blessings in your life. I can promise you that when you stop and take time out to count your blessings they tend to add up quickly and you will be surprised at how that helps you start your day on a positive uplifting note.

Attitude of Gratitude

Good Morning world. Today is a day of true reflection and gratitude. This morning was a tough start with pain levels off the charts and a general feeling of being tired of being in pain.

The blessing however was that I knew I had made a commitment to meet my friend for a swim at 6:15 am and I am utterly grateful for that.

On the toughest days walking this journey I have realised it’s so important to do things that make your soul smile. It’s important to get up and appreciate all you do have in life and it results in you giving less energy and focus to the challenges. Where focus goes energy flows as I have learnt over the years.

So this morning I gave myself a stern talking to and committed to enjoying every minute of my morning drive and swim. I focused on taking in the sheer beauty of my surroundings and the fact that I am able to get up and do these things still.

I collected fresh water from the mountain on route to my swim and took in the breathtaking sunrise. When I arrived at the spectacular natural tidal pool I was in complete awe and felt incredibly blessed and thankful that I got up and showed up.

I got to swim with my friend and we even got to enjoy our swim with a beautiful octopus. He was spread out taking in the reflection of the sunrise and enjoying the water with us. What more can you ask for in life?

So as you start your day today take time to be grateful for all that you are blessed with and shift your focus to the things that make you smile rather than the things that challenge you. I know that after this beautiful start, I certainly have a better attitude towards my day ahead.