Kindness costs you nothing

Over the last few months as I have been challenged by the physical assault on my body, I have also been blessed with the teaching of more gratitude and humility. I have been utterly devastated by the lack of presence from some people who I have always been there for but at the same time truly thankful for the opportunity to take stock of where I invest my energy.

What has been remarkable for me is that I have found the depth of true kindness and how simply being kind to someone can really change their world. Somewhere along the road consumerism, greed and the absolute obsession with “STUFF” has clouded peoples judgment and created many very self absorbed individuals who don’t see the value in what’s really important.

We live in a world where people feel the need to own, buy and display their success through things and what they have in a material sense. However the real wealth of a person lies within their heart and level of consciousness.

As the current cost of living and financial strains start to put pressure on the material foundations people have built to define their “success” so the cracks are beginning to show. All the stuff in the world means nothing if you have no health and you have no depth of character as all those old beliefs systems are crumbling right now.

There has been a real sense of entitlement and general rude unacceptable behaviour that has started to develop and rear its ugly head on social media and daily life where it is actually astounding to watch. People have stopped communicating from a place of authenticity and have started to simply portray the image and illusion that works best for their “digital image”.

Well I call bullshit on this all. The more my health has been challenged and the more I have had to face what is real and necessary to live a good life the more I am astounded by the complete blatant lack of authenticity in society. Simple things like saying please and thank you and a general sense of community has really lost its direction.

I am blessed to have access to Private Health care not because it was handed to me but because I worked darn hard to make sure I could afford it and I am utterly grateful that I have it as I am able to get the medical attention I need and have the some of the best doctors possible working on my case.

This is not something I take for granted at all. However it has also revealed the complete sense of entitlement so many of the other patients in this Hospital feel and the lack of respect gratitude and appreciation they show the staff working hard to keep them alive or get them better.

Just because you have money or access to Private Health care it does not give you a free pass to rudeness and a sense of entitlement. I personally won’t stand for it anymore and find myself calling people up on their rudeness and behaviour regularly. If we want to be the change we seek in the world we need to create an example to follow and often that means you are swimming against the flow.

So today I ask you to simply consider and be conscious of how you speak to people and think about the tone you are using and call yourself up on your sense of entitlement if you become aware of it.

Believe me I have been rude and spoken terribly to people at times and don’t get it right all the time, but I am making a conscious effort to be more self aware and thinking more before I speak. And when I don’t get it right I have learnt to find the courage to apologise for my behaviour as it costs nothing to admit you were in the wrong.

Challenges are the greatest Teachings

Walking my road with Chronic illness has been one of the most humbling experiences I have been blessed to have. There are times and moments where the constant pain and endless infections feel overwhelming and all consuming. There are times when I feel so mad I want literally throw my toys out the cot like a petulant child and then you get to the place I am in today. The space of complete surrender and release.

Today I had the wind completely knocked out of my sails when I discovered that the 5th Biological drug I have been on can no longer be infused into my body. My lungs are taking too much strain and I am getting too many infections. When you have an auto immune disease basically your own immune system believes a part of your DNA is the enemy and your body produces these little soldiers to go and fight that enemy.

In my body I have 3 of these diseases so I have a whole bunch of crazy neurological signals and immune fighting going on. Over the last 9 years I have had a number of treatments both holistic and western medicine to combat what is going on in my body. My doctors have worked with a variation of treatments, diets and psychological approaches to get on top of what feels like a full blown assault at times.

I have had numerous surgeries and treatments and have survived some truly intense infections and today I start another journey as the last biological is now no longer working in my best interest but is causing major lung complications. You see with these diseases one of the approaches that has worked best to keep me moving has been to have immune suppressors. However when you are on Immune suppressors you switch off the immune system and are of course highly susceptible to infections and germs.

I am a positive upbeat person who will try and relay what it is like to people who have not walked this journey what it is like and that no I am not sick AGAIN, I have an autoimmune disease so I am just sick a lot and often. I don’t need to “just be positive” or reminded to look at the bright side. As I really do live that approach every day. Sometimes when you live with pain 24/7 you simply don’t have the energy to be upbeat.

I have also been pretty pissed off of late as I have been following all the diet programs for inflammation and leaky gut and doing all the protocols of awareness and I have still been floored and fallen ill. I am a spiritual being having a human experience and somedays I get truly Gatvol with it all.

So today when I sat down with the one doctor that I really trust who has my back and gives a shit and we discussed the results. I watched as he looked at me and said we’ve got this! I listened as he said we’ll find a way. And he said I know this because I know you and you are too determined to let this get the better of you. And as he said this I just smiled because I know that what will be will be.

This was a terrifying conversation as what now? How do we keep me moving? How do we keep the bones and joints from deforming what is going to happen to me when the pain is off the charts. How do I find the strength to put on the tap shoes and keep my chin up and keep doing all I can to be better. And the answer was simple really. Just surrender and let it be what it needs to be.

Now don’t get me wrong that in NO way means that I am giving up. You see the word surrender has been so misused and so misunderstood for so long that people think when you say you are surrendering you are giving up. All you are doing is not fighting with yourself and your mind and overthinking every decision every single thing and worrying about what you can and can’t control.

So today I am grateful again for the true blessing and teaching that is coming from this new challenge. I am thankful for being able to have the opportunity to be surrounded by friends, family and medical professionals who have my best interests at heart. And that is a whole lot to grateful for.

When you start your day ask yourself what can I be grateful and thankful for today? And how can I be more aware of what is great in my life. And focus on that. If we all just start looking at what to be thankful for I really do believe we can be the change we seek in the world.

Gratitude and Blessings

Today has been a truly contemplative day for me. I haven’t shared in a while because I have been working on finding the Gratitude and the Blessings in the traumatic 4 months I have experienced with my health.

It’s so important to be authentic and honest about where you are in your life and who you surround yourself with in your most trying times. One of my greatest goals is to always appreciate the teaching the dark and challenging times in our lives bring us.

I would not be authentic if I said I am finding that easy at the moment and on some days I really have to dig deep to find the joy and the blessings in situations that feel overwhelming. It’s ok though to get mad, to feel low and to honour all the myriad of emotions of living with Chronic illnesses is so important on this journey.

I find in today’s world people have lost touch with what’s real and what truly matters and let me tell you there really are only a few things that truly matter. For me these things begin with do you love yourself enough to accept, surrender and just feel all you choose to feel regardless of how scarey it is or what anyone else thinks.

What’s important is, is it authentic? Does it make your soul smile and if it doesn’t do you have the courage to do what best serves you and your wellbeing ? For a very long time in my life I have given generously and helped those less fortunate than me and I aspire to do more for people whenever I can. But right now my body is in crisis and I am having to learn a new way of being.

All that said and done there comes a time when you need to look at what is working for you, who’s got your back when you need it and who is just there when they need you. It’s the most brutal yet necessary teaching you can have. The day you wake up and realize that no amount of words make a difference but that action is what has the greatest impact.

Over the last 4 months my body has gone through an unbelievable amount of trauma and no matter how positive and mentally focused I have chosen to be, I have simply not been able to control the physical reaction to the trauma in my body. I am a truly strong willed individual and can generally, visualise, focus and pray my way through anything. But this has been next level for me.

My body is tired and I am tired and the reality is I can no longer move at the speed I am used to moving. The level of frustration I feel about this is incomprehensible. I am angry, sad, frustrated and grateful all at the same time.

On the outside I look like my normal self (baring some raw feet and cortisone bloat). On the inside I am like a ticking time bomb waiting for the next explosion. And a week ago today I dropped, my heart stopped and I stopped breathing. It took the medics 45 minutes to stabilise me and then a further 3 hours in hospital to get my breathing to return to normal.

From the trauma I have experienced in my body I have full blown PTSD and this has been my greatest challenge of all as I simply can not control how my body shakes, how emotional I am, my mood swings or the the emotional roller coaster I am on and that let me tell you for an OCD control freak is like living hell.

Sharing my story and helping people living with Chronic illness is something I am passionate about as so few people understand what it means to live like this. As someone with Chronic illness I can promise you that I am doing everything mentally, physically and emotionally possible to get better. I have read up on every possible treatment, miracle drug, meditation and holistic treatment out there.

I work with my nutrition and exercise and focus on being positive about what I am living with, however I have reached a stage where I am sick and tired of the “suggestions” from people who have NEVER experienced a full blown attack like this on their bodies and the condescending manner in which they deliver the “suggested approach”.

With this in mind as someone living it. I would simply like to say that the only real thing a Chronically Ill person really needs from the people who love them is understanding, a listening ear, an offer to make a meal or just a hug. They do not need to be lectured and told just be positive. Don’t make the assumption that you have any understanding of the journey being walked as you will NEVER understand it until you live it.

So as I end my blog today, I ask you to simply be present with yourself and those around you who may need your support. Don’t assume you know what anyone is dealing with as assumptions and expectations only create great disappointment. Just do what is best for you in the now and that is something that changes depending on where you are on that particular day. Don’t put yourself under pressure to be anything for anyone that does not ultimately serve your best interests first.

I am truly grateful for the teachings I have received from living with these challenges as through every darkness there is always light. As we face the challenges so we grow and learn how best to honour ourselves. I am grateful for every day I get to walk this earth and am at peace with my journey.

I am thankful and truly grateful for every nurse, medic and doctor that has worked with me and is doing their level best to help me heal. I am one very blessed human.