All posts by admin

Worrying is…Praying for the Worst Outcome

Think about it…it’s hard to scroll thru any social media feed without reading about “The Laws of Manifesting”. So we KNOW that our thoughts become things. Thank you, Mike Dooley and The Secret Daily Teachings. But how do we put these principles into action? How do we stop worrying? How do we stop magnetizing the worst possible outcomes?

And why am I so intently probing this subject, you ask, on a Monday? Kind of a cruel way to start the week! 😉

Because I did some varsity level worrying this weekend and needed to turn my own worry ship around! So here are the tools I pull out when that BIG Huge looming Worry Monster takes hold of me.

  1. Make a gratitude list: 5 things that I am truly grateful for in this present moment.
  2. Share this list with a trusted friend because when we share our joy & gratitude, it doubles.
  3. Get outside: It’s the perfect time of year here in New England to do this. Breathe…listen to the birds…watch the dance of the squirrels. Nature is a total reset for the soul with zero mental effort.
  4. Positive affirmations: ‘All is well in my world today. I am exactly where I am supposed to be and the universe loves me.’ Yes yes yes – this can absolutely be a ‘fake it til you make it’ task. Here’s a tip…take what you are worrying about and then use the positive alternative as the affirmation. Example: The Worry:  I am so worried I’m not doing enough to prepare my teenagers for the real world… Affirmation:  I am enough. I am doing my very best. My kids have their own lessons in life and I trust the universe has their back too!
  5. Drum roll please….yes…I meditate. My ‘go to’ practice is HeartMath’s Quick Coherence Technique. It is the FASTEST way to interrupt my worry. Check out my video here to learn this technique. On a day like I had Sunday, I used this breath S-E-V-E-R-A-L times throughout the day. I am a work in progress. Worry can be habitual. We are not going to stop years of habitual worry with 1 3-minute meditation. Come on, people! Let’s be realistic.

So what do you choose? What are you more committed to? Creating your worst fear or putting in some effort to create a more powerful life? What WORRY are you ready to let go of on this beautiful Monday? Let’s crush this day!

Lyme Disease: Arm Yourself With the Facts

***This Is A Legit PSA***

Dear loved ones,

Happy spring! When most people think of spring the images of flower buds bursting through the earth often comes to mind…warmer temperatures, longer days, and the dismal grey colors of winter melting into the vibrancy of Spring.

The other reality that comes with spring is the resurgence of ticks and the threat of Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. Now before you pop off this post and dismiss it as me getting on my familiar soapbox, please hear me out.

It’s time for WAY more education and much less fear. Get outside. Be healthy. But be educated and know what to do…

Here are the facts:

  • 300,000 cases of Lyme will be diagnosed this year and yes, mostly in the Northeast (This is twice the number of cases of breast cancer)
  • 63% of these people will have lingering symptoms after treatment
  • Nearly 40% will go on to have Chronic Lyme or Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome 
  • Only 20% of Lyme patients ever get the infamous “Bullseye”.  Do not assume you’re safe if you see no bullseye  
  • If a Bullseye appears, play the lottery 😉 (Bad humor)
  • It is believed that almost 50% of all ticks in the Northeast now carry tick-borne illnesses
  • The most current research is now showing that Lyme disease can transmit in as little as 2 hours of having an attached tick. Do not assume the old 24/48 hour rule to be true. It’s just not.
  • Most Lyme-literate doctors prescribe 3 weeks of the antibiotic, doxycycline, to effectively treat Lyme. Anything less is risky.
  • It is not actually deer bringing the ticks into your yard and into your house. It is MICE. 

What to do if you find an attached tick:

  • The best thing to do is remove the tick at the head using pointy tweezers only. The use of oils to ’smother’ the tick cause the tick to actually eject its toxins into your bloodstream. 
  • SAVE THE TICK! Let me repeat…SAVE THE TICK! Send the tick out to be tested. This is the most effective way to find out if you are at risk. Lyme tests on humans are still very inaccurate. But testing the tick is fairly clear-cut. 

Resources:

Thank you all for taking the time to read through this! While it is a crappy topic, it is important to know what to do. So much suffering can be prevented if ticks are handled properly from the beginning. 

Taking Risks

I recently had the privilege and honor to work with some incredibly talented and creative artists. Their brand of magic was to transform my everyday self into camera-ready for headshots and video. I put them to the test as they fluffed me up and made me glam – complete with false lashes (so awesome). Throughout the transformation, I started to lose sight of the very purpose I was there…to bring to life a meditation technique that I was super excited to share with all of you.

It made me wobble…As consumer’s of SM, it’s easy to lose sight of how much work goes into a few great photos…to get caught up in the hype and the aesthetic. All that anyone sees is the final product – the post, all glammed up with great lighting and most likely photoshopped. What you don’t see are the hundreds of awkward faces and blinking eyes that didn’t make the cut prior to getting that ONE shot that I could live with. The truth is, put me in front of a camera and I felt completely exposed and totally vulnerable. All the old negative tapes started running their stories loudly in my head.

Seriously, imagine if you will, we are shooting a meditation video meant to help others de-stress and I’m having a panic attack. OK…it wasn’t that bad…but it wasn’t pretty. So what happened? What got my panties all in a bunch? That old business about being authentic…about truly showing up for what’s important in our lives…It made me temporarily freak out. All of a sudden I had thoughts like, what if they think this stinks? What if they think I look silly? But then I realized that the reason these voices were so loud was because THIS work really matters to me. It is deeply meaningful to me which made it feel riskier. How I ‘looked’ really didn’t matter and wasn’t the point. My appearance is not what gives me value.

So I laughed at myself A LOT and thanked those amazingly patient professionals for hanging in their with me through every take and every retake. And each time Eric smiled and gently said C-U-T…I started again. I got in touch with the bigger YES…the reason I was there shooting this video in the first place. It didn’t matter how I looked…I made peace with the fact that although I am at the beginning of this journey, I still have value and lots to say that can make a difference in people’s lives (just like it did for my life).

Sooooo…in the powerful and painfully true words of my teacher, Sonia Choquette, Be Willing to Be at the Beginning. Every famous actor started by stepping onto the stage for the first time. Every writer began by putting down her first words. Be willing to be a beginner…Have Courage to Be Uncomfortable…and be willing to Take the Risk to Be Seen and do what you love.

I wanna hear YOUR stories of wrangling your fears and having the courage to do something important to you anyway! Let ‘em rip!

Or better yet…DO SOMETHING THIS WEEK THAT SCARES THE PANTS OFF OF YOU because it means that much to your soul…And have the courage to share it with us here. Warrior on!

Sending hugs and blessings,

Christine

Lessons I’m Learning From My Dog

So this happened today 🙂 As I woke up, I discovered my exuberant pup, Zena, wildly thumping her tail…while staring at HERSELF in the mirror. I burst out in empathetic laughter, thinking she MUST believe she’s looking at another dog. She thinks she discovered a friend. Poor, crazy thing!And as I watched her continue to gaze and wag in the mirror, here is what emerged in me…

What if Zena is actually NOT crazy….what if she is wisely modeling for me the simplicity and joy of Self Love?

Huh…she certainly seemed to be having a better time in the mirror than I usually do when I take a peek and find someone snarling back at me with disapproving faces.

What if she is my teacher? So I tried this idea on for a bit…took it for a test drive. I physically gasped as I envisioned this shift, half out of joyful hope and half out of grief. I painfully saw just how hard I can be on myself.

Imagine how my life could transform IF I fell in love with the person longingly looking back at me from the mirror? What if I showered her with the encouragement, acceptance and kindness I show so many others? WHAT IF I learned to wag my own tail at the sight of my own inner beauty? I could feel this possibility penetrating my whole being. It was like a huge, soothing exhale. The word ‘Freedom’ popped into my mind along with ‘Vitality’. I could feel how draining my self-inflicted judgements had been. I had so willingly given up too much vital energy and power to negative self-chatter. Hmmmm…a gentle sigh of acceptance and forgiveness spread over me. With the next breath, I joined my pup on the floor to start my first lesson!

So I will resist heading down the timely path of boldly announcing and then ultimately breaking New Year’s Resolutions! Here’s to TODAY…and for today, I set my intention to not just tolerate myself in the mirror, to not just ‘love & accept’ myself – blah blah blah – but to let Zena teach me how to WAG my own spunky tail in total joy at the magnificence of my own spirit on my own journey…I’m good with that!

All my love and all my truth,
Christine

I Killed My Fish

I killed my fish! I killed my fish!

THAT was the battle cry that rang out into my once peaceful kitchen last Sunday morning as a mixture of tears, terror and oddly placed laughter spread across my daughter’s face. Who said 15-year-old girls have a flair for the dramatic? WHAT? Nooooo. I took a deeeeeeep breath to muster all my mommy superpowers…we were facing varsity level issues – DEATH…or so I thought.

Our eyes locked onto the colorless, gasping fish as we joined our sweaty hands, witnessing this sacred transition. (I know, I know, it’s a FISH…but life AND death are to be respected and NEED to be taught).

What came out of her mouth next set off all the alarm bells in my maternal being. “MOM! I failed! Now I can NEVER be a mother!” Her declaration of utter failure and incompetence stung my heart…momentarily until curiosity swept its way across my thoughts allowing for a moment to regroup.

Was it true? Had she failed this little dependent creature? Looking through one lens, I suppose that belief was an option…

But what if this experience was exactly and divinely perfect? What if we actually believed and lived as though each day was, in fact, a gift that the universe had delivered?

Letting THAT thought settle all the way down into my toes, I saw all the gifts that this little fish had actually provided to my daughter. She took on a new responsibility all by herself including all the cleaning, feeding, and supplies. She learned to stick with her fishy even when the excitement and newness wore off. She learned about showing up. She learned about reliability. Each month that passed, she took pride in her ability to nurture her fish. Her confidence grew.

So perhaps for my daughter, the lessons had been learned and it was just this little fishy’s time to go. He had fulfilled his soul’s mission – his life had been an enormous gift and offering to her.

I tenderly shared my thoughts with her as we continued holding the vigil over the tank ☺ The mood shifted. There was a peaceful, calm vibe washing over the kitchen now. The only thing really left to say to the fish was THANK YOU!

A Letter to my Daughter on her 15th birthday!

Dear Jess…my funky hip-hop diva!

You bounded into this world, BLAZING a trail through my heart, through our lives and through the lives of many. From the moment you landed, you have always marched to the beat of your own drum, stomping and dancing your way through the house letting your presence be known. Was it even possible for someone to be born so completely comfortable in their own skin? You have always been a leader, it’s simply your DNA.

I even tried color coding your closet when you were 3 years old, over managing your morning routine, in a futile attempt at having you pair your clothing ‘my way’. And each day you’d emerge wearing EXACTLY what you wanted, exactly how you wanted it…purple stripes from one side of the closet on top with blue flowers from the other side on the bottom. Even louder choice of socks and shoes…never forgetting some extra clips for your hair. You had style, sass and flair even then. You did it your way! Ahhhh…the lessons I’ve learned about letting go and giving up control ☺

Thank you for the greatest gift of my life – motherhood. My biggest wake-up call! You inspire me to be braver, stronger and tougher than I ever thought I could be in order to be the parent your soul requires.

You have come through the past 3 challenging years with the Courage of a Warrior and the Grace of a Goddess! You asked me once in the middle of it all, why you couldn’t just have a ‘normal’ childhood with ‘normal’ problems. My belief now and my answer then is still the same…everyone goes through some storms in their life, Everyone! It’s the human condition. No one escapes. The fact that God believes you can handle these storms now, at your age, just proves to me that He has BIG Plans for your life. You are being prepared for greatness…the truth is…you have gone through a hell harder than many adults ever do. You not only survived but came out the other side with wisdom and skills that will carry you your whole life through – whatever life throws your way! You now know from experience that you can handle ANYTHING. You have Grit, Resilience, massive amounts of Integrity while still maintaining a huge, loving heart! These are your SUPERPOWERS. You’ve earned them!

So don’t ever let life try to tame your spirit. Don’t ever be tricked into playing small to make others around you more comfortable. You are not meant to fit into any ordinary box!

JUST SHINE!

Shine your whole quirky, creative, spunky, authentic, gorgeous, smart self into the world!

I am proud and honored to witness the incredible human being that you are.

Happy 15th birthday!

Love, Mom

Do You Believe You’re Guided?

I have a friend…she’s a healer, a real life Shaman. She was the first one to open my heart to this idea that Mother Earth guides us every day…IF we pay attention. It’s like any muscle really. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

It was late Spring and I had just made the BIG decision to head to Germany for an innovative treatment for Chronic Lyme. I had reached my bottom and knew something needed to change…through a series of synchronicities, this German Clinic appeared on my radar and it just felt right. Tears of relief…and hope.

So as I was preparing for my journey there I noticed Dragon Flies started appearing everywhere. I heard my friend’s voice, “ Be curious, observe, is there a message?” Day after day, in front of my car, on my leg, across my kitchen window Dragon Flies kept dancing around me. I knew it was a sign and decided to look it up.

Dragon Fly: Embodies the essence of changes in emotional and mental aspects and the effects on the body, mind and spirit. Her message speaks of transformation, shedding old illusions, releasing old patterns and changing habits. It is a time to keep balance in the storm. Allow the rebirth to happen. And she reminds you of the spiritual support by the many assisting you.

Yup…it fit!

I am still awed by the simplicity of guidance…if I pay attention. The Dragon Flies followed me to Germany…whenever one danced across my hospital window or landed on a chair in one of the outdoor cafes in town, I felt supported by the whole universe. It felt like a huge warm hug.

Returning home a few weeks later, it was time for my 13-year-old son to have an adventure of his own. This kid…seriously wise beyond his years. It was his idea to take on the challenge of paddling 80 miles in 10 days through the St Croix River in Minnesota. He had never been away from home before let alone flown half way across the country to sleep in tents with strangers and be without soap or toilets ☺ He said he needed something to boost his confidence…he needed an experience to help him heal the residue he was holding onto from a couple of truly challenging years. So…off he went.

In the days while he was gone I would intentionally bring him into my morning and evening meditations, sending Reiki not only to my son but to the river, the other campers and to the counselors who were guiding the adventure. I asked my guides and his guides to be there with him as he worked out what he was there to do…and then it struck me…this was a summer for both of us to transform and heal a bunch of old stuff. How awesome! Dragon Fly came to mind again…I asked our guides to send Sam a sign from time to time, just when he needed it, that he would recognize so he would feel their guidance and know just how truly supported he is.

And in a blink, we were driving Mass Pike West towards home from the airport. He was HOME! He seemed taller, stronger and a whole lot dirtier…ALL SMILES…I could tell it was good medicine. He chatted my ear off about this and that…new friends, bad food, scary storms, etc. Then he paused…and got quiet. “Mom? I wanted to ask you…” Our eyes met and he continued, “The dragon flies…” I gasped! “ Those were you, right?” We both teared up and I reached for his hand. No more words were needed.

Guidance is everywhere…signs from Mother Nature are powerful…and our connectedness as human beings is so far beyond our imagination. Were the Dragon Flies in Boston a coincidence? In Germany when I needed some strength? In Minnesota when Sam felt home sick? One could say, SURE…or…how much better does life feel when I choose to believe I am guided and I am connected. I believe it’s a choice. I’d rather live each day feeling inspired and spurred on by a greater source – and find out I’m wrong where ever we go ‘after’ than to live each day in an isolated, self-reliant hell. It’s a choice. What will you choose?

All my love and blessings,
Christine Grace

The Gift of Lyme…and Other Chronic Illnesses: An invitation to come home

So, if you found your way here chances are you are struggling with your own health crisis or you have your own story of recovery … welcome! It is a courageous, exhausting (and sometimes lonely) journey. I won’t spend much time on the medical or physical aspects of my illness because there is no one-size-fits-all experience with Lyme, but here are the nuts and bolts surrounding mine …

No one knows for sure exactly which time or which tick “did the job.” I was bit twice in almost the same spot, in the exact same month, 12 months apart … November. It was a chaotic time in my family, and I was not very educated about Lyme. I discovered the tick, took it off, flushed it, and moved on. Knowing what I know today, a better plan would have been to: (1) Test the tick immediately and (2) Start a 3-week course of Doxycycline. But there was no bull’s eye so, at the time, I figured all was cool (Lyme Fun Fact: Only 20% of Lyme infected ticks actually cause a bull’s eye). I had a strange fever, and I do recall a weird rash (hindsight … ), but I just kept moving. Symptoms increased — joint pain, swelling in my leg, headaches, exhaustion, brain fog, vertigo, motion sickness, visual impairment, and so on — a familiar story to many.

Fast forward 6 months. That’s how long it took from the time I got bit to diagnose the Lyme. Six months for that little bugger (or Spirochete) to make a strong home in my body, unimpeded. My CD57 was a 19 — this is one of the most significant markers of Chronic Lyme. It meant I only had 19 Soldiers left fighting for me. My immune system was over run. I also had Co-Infections, such as Bartonella and Ehrlichia, as well as several other viruses that the Lyme woke up and brought to the party (EBV, CMV, Mono and others).

I am not going to get into treatment here because I want to be super transparent that I am not endorsing ANY particular protocol. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all experience, I believe the same is true as far as treatment plans are concerned. What follows below is my take on MY illness as well as my general philosophy on life …

OK. Deep breath … and TRY to keep an open mind. I believe a chronic illness is a gift. I really do. It is an invitation and a catalyst to heal ourselves on so many levels — Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul — and it REQUIRES us to heal on every level if we are to experience a true sense of well-being and wholeness. Many of us would not take on this courageous journey willingly without being faced with such a health challenge.

“The Universe Always Answers Our Prayers …Sometimes We Don’t See The Gift Because We DON’T Like The Packaging.”

Having lived with both Lyme Disease and Endometriosis, I know how natural it can be to disconnect from one’s body when suffering from a chronic condition out of self-preservation. Some of us may have even “checked out” PRIOR to the illness and may already be living in a world of distractions — things like online shopping, social media, endless exercising, over-working, and even alcohol — to avoid FEELING anything unpleasant … in which case, I challenge you to view your ‘getting sick’ as a REAL wake up call and requirement to get intimate with being PRESENT in your life and in your body. Because that’s where every path to total wellness begins. In fact, Healing only happens in present time … simple, isn’t it!?!

So, what is HEALING anyway?

This is a question I have prayed on daily for many, many months. Sometimes it goes like this: “God guide me and show me what needs to be healed in my life … .”

I don’t believe “getting better” and healing are the same thing. I don’t believe healing is linear. I don’t believe the goal of a chronic illness is to just make the symptoms go away and move on as if nothing happened, feeling robbed of precious time. What’s the point in that? Where’s the loving hand of the universe there?

From the depths of my soul, I view chronic illness as a Sacred Journey in which we are CALLED to heal on many levels. This kind of healing is not for sissies! This kind of healing will shake your very foundation! It causes all hell to break loose … thank GOD … so it can be put back together in a completely new, magnificent way. THIS kind of sacred illness is one in which you come out the other side completely transformed!

“Just When The Caterpillar Thought The World Was Over, It Became A Butterfly.”-Proverb

For me, this means that the physical body is being used as a vessel or a tool for growth and healing … Mind, Body, Heart and Soul.

So, how can you start improving your quality of life even while you’re still living with ‘Dis Ease’?

Here’s my experience…

I didn’t expect to get sick. I don’t think anybody does. One of the first real lessons for me was to admit (to MYSELF) that my body wasn’t cooperating any longer with what my WILL wanted it to do. It simply wouldn’t push through, and THAT was certainly a new experience. Slowing down wasn’t my thing. My gears were stuck in 5th to overdrive … I did everything fast even when I wasn’t in a rush. So, learning to slooooowwwww down created a lot of shame and anxiety for me. I felt unproductive and very grouchy (just ask my kids). I had no idea at this point that some of the greatest gifts were about to unfold out of this HUGE discomfort. The truth is, I think my emotional body and mental body were in WORSE shape than my ACTUAL body!

Ahhhhh, the lessons:

Letting go of expectation. Over and over each day I would set out to do FAR more than most HEALTHY people could do, and I would run out of steam over and over again, feeling like a failure … until I learned to do less and stop judging myself according to my OUTPUT. I was such a conditioned HUMAN DOING instead of a HUMAN BEING … so cliché, but there is a reason clichés come about now, huh?

Oh, yes, and then there was the doozy of a lesson called: Learning to accept help. Can you relate yet? I was always the giver…much more comfortable that way…but as I learned from author, Brene Brown, true giving can only happen when we learn to receive. In time, I started accepting help. Actually, that is so not true. ON MY KNEES with exhaustion and left with no option, I reluctantly asked for help with rides for the kids, help with meals, etc.

“No One Said Growth Was Going To Be Easy, Only That It Would Be Worth It.” Tony Robbins

And there were other gifts to follow. I needed to dig way deeper into this “healing stuff” rather than just survive the day-to-day perils of a disease most couldn’t even visibly see. If I had a dollar for every time someone would see me out and about (after naps of course) and say, “Well, you LOOK great!” … I really wished that meant something. But, luckily, I had evolved enough at this stage as a 40-something year old to realize “looking” great means NOTHING without actually “feeling” great.

So back to digging deeper. I discovered that I had my own sneaky version of “checking out” and not wanting to be in my body. Here is how it looked …Lesson 432: Living from Authenticity & Faith

It always started with me hyperfocusing on “feeling yucky” in my body. From there? Let the domino effect begin. Feeling yucky quickly triggered massive fear for me … fear of the unknown, fear of never being well, fear of being no fun, fear of being worthless etc. I REALLY didn’t like feeling physical discomfort … which led to feeling intense EMOTIONAL discomfort (more fear). I felt unsafe in my own body. So, at this point, my MIND would come in to control the whole situation (fear AND denial – a perfect match). I’d smile A LOT and pretend I was fine. And get really busy just being busy. Authenticity? Out the window! I’d set out to accomplish more in my day than my body would allow (more denial).

So, what’s missing? What was the solution? My body was freaking out. My emotions were out of whack. And my HEAD was just making it all much worse (sound familiar?). Round and round we go … until I remembered a principle I learned in church basements: Fear is a lack of FAITH. Ahhh, yes. My spirit was completely missing from this whole merry-go-round.

Lyme has also taught me how to just sit with discomfort in my body … to almost be an observer, without panicking. I can notice the sensations in my body now without judging them as BAD or DANGEROUS or triggering CATASTROPHIC thinking. It also showed me other situations in my life that I was perhaps over reacting to. Learning this skill enabled me to keep my situation in perspective. The truth was, in that moment, there were many people feeling MUCH better than I was feeling…AND there were MANY people much sicker. This, to me, was a down and dirty lesson in true ACCEPTANCE. Not the kind of acceptance we tie with a pretty bow. This had grit, compassion, and honesty for the reality of my current situation. Accepting Life on Life’s terms!

Approaching my life and my illness from this NEW perspective was yet another gift and blessing in my life. It allowed me to move towards the next lesson ☺ Look at all these opportunities for growth — isn’t this amazing? (Side note: The alternative to viewing Lyme as a gift in my life was to choose to move through all of this feeling like a victim).

“The Most Powerful Choice We Can Make Is To Either Believe Everything In Life Is Being Done TO Us … Or FOR Us.” – Interpretation From Albert Einstein

SO by being honest each day about how I was physically doing, I could then realistically plan my day (much easier freed from the extra emotional stress). This taught me several things. One was to evaluate my priorities and then to make intentional choices based on those priorities. I only had so much gas in the tank…SO #1 was guarding my quality time with my family by napping periodically when my body said stop. If I pushed too much doing less important errands or tasks, I risked being too tired to enjoy any real connection during our family time.

I also learned that physical discomfort did NOT equal emotional discomfort. Translation: Feeling tired did not give me permission to be impatient or snappy with the kids or with random people in traffic. Once I stopped making X equal Y when the equation wasn’t actually true, life got a lot smoother around the house. I was committed to reshaping this destructive pattern by being vigilant in spotting it and then reshaping it…often speaking (praying) out loud, “My Body is separate from my Heart & Soul! Right now I feel sick. AND I am still in charge of my attitude…help me choose patience and kindness.” I was actually learning some solid Patience sprinkled with a little Grace. Those alone were invaluable lessons.

Another BIG hurdle was self-care! I used to think self-care was CODE for “going to the spa to waste time and money!” Seriously! (No judgement – spa days have their purpose too). I needed to learn that it was OK to take care of myself. In fact, it was MY job to do so. But what did that actually look like? It meant making healthy food choices to support my body (no soy, dairy, wheat or corn,etc). It meant getting a good night sleep…regularly. It meant actually taking the physical cues to rest when my body started shaking instead of ignoring it and ‘whipping’ it to DO more. I learned that sometimes my need to rest had to take priority over my daughter’s “need” to go to the mall. Getting used to slowing down and doing things to nourish my body took time. I had to be gentle with the old sabotaging tapes running in my head. You know, the ones that say, “I should be more productive,” “I’m no fun,” “I should be tougher,” “Everyone else is going to work today,” etc. So, little by slow, I gently and diligently re-wired these tapes with Mantras: “I am worth it,” “I am healing,” “My body is wise and resilient”.

“I Will NOT Do For You What YOU Can Do For Yourself.” – Unknown

The BONUS here is that through learning how to care for myself, my kids also learned to be more thoughtful of others’ needs. They learned about give and take, and we all grew into a more cooperative family unit. No more MOM as a MARTYR. The kids stepped up in many ways around the house. The truth is, I was doing too much for them anyway. So, another unexpected lesson and gift was that the balance of responsibility was restored in our home.

And, now, let’s break for another commercial endorsement for Reiki Healing xox …

Many people with chronic illnesses become hardwired to FEELING BAD. Moods are darker, tolerance is thinner, fun-drive is lost, motivation is lower … we are used to feeling unwell and generally heavy. Our vibration is literally energetically lower. This becomes our normal. For me, it was absolutely essential to LEAN HEAVILY on my spiritual tools (yoga, meditation, community connection and, of course, Reiki) in order to rewire my “normal” from a place of malaise and low vibration to one of VIBRANCE and high vibration. There is a reason it is called a PRACTICE! The benefits don’t miraculously occur the first time you meditate. It happens by returning to the practice, time and again, through-out one’s life.

Reiki was particularly important though…it helped me re-groove the neural pathways in my brain (specifically the amygdala) from one of Dis – Ease to a feeling of calm, peace, and genuine ease … even when there was still fatigue and discomfort present. I learned to SHIFT my attention back to my spirit, again and again (literally breath by breath at times) to allow my innate energy to shine forth.

I had to learn to make peace with my body … to learn that I have value and worth that isn’t determined by the health of my physical body. I had to learn that my body was a safe place to be for my heart and soul and that I was strong enough to tolerate discomfort. Reiki helped me learn how to stay Home and Present in my CURRENT body!

“The Universe Does Many Things On All Levels At All Times.” – Jonathan Glass

So, in the end, for me, Lyme was NOT an unfortunate hand to be dealt or a challenge to bear and move through. It was an opportunity for so many blessings to come into my life … so much growth … so many levels of healing. This was the GIFT of Lyme!

Just For Today

Ramblings from a wintery office…So today my Lyme disease it teaching me patience and the skill of being truly present! When I say TODAY, I do not mean it in the global, life lesson way. I mean TODAY as I sit here at my desk, with the cool blue winter sky shimmering just past my office window with my head bobbing from exhaustion.

TODAY I woke up and excitedly greeted the day…I had plans…BIG plans…go to work, craft a fabulously healing lunch, run around chasing 2 teenagers, do a Spartan sized work out and cap it off with a little birthday celebration with the ladies.

SO…TODAY I drove the kids to school (almost on time)- check, drove an hour to Spaulding Rehab Center in Boston, had the privilege of working on 4 patients with chronic Lyme disease – check, drove back to school to pick up 2 exuberant teens who had a half day of school- check, made that smoothie bowl for lunch-check and…ran..walked..sputtered…completely out of steam! It’s 1:43pm and I am completely out of steam?!*@?

I had BIG plans for the day…but as usual when I try to dictate how my body should be and just how I think the world should turn, the universe has other plans.

This is what I meant about PRESENCE & PATIENCE. You see, I believe life offers us lessons all the time…sometimes the package is not to my liking…but nonetheless, the lesson is right there in front of me for the taking.

I have been an over doer, over planner, my whole life…racing from one thing to another…that is until I got Lyme. Lyme is slowing me down. Lyme has been one of my biggest teachers…it is still providing lessons on a daily basis. And TODAY’s lesson is presence and patience. CRAP!

As I write this, I had to pause, reflecting on the idea of expectations…is it OK for me to still think and expect that I can do SO MUCH in a day? Did I set myself up to fail from the moment I opened my eyes this morning? Then I start comparing myself to my healthy, ‘normal friends’, “Well Linda can do all THIS in a day and Sarah can do all THAT too. Surely I can hack it.” And yes, as we know…comparison is the thief of joy!!! But I digress! I DO think I need to adjust my expectations/ Thank Goodness Life is a journey and I don’t have to do it all at once. For TODAY my focus is back to PRESENCE & PATIENCE.

So as I sit here at my desk, can I be totally present in this moment to what is actually happening in my day, in my body, and in my heart? The flat truth is even though I am frustrated and a bit sad, I AM TOO TIRED to do anything else…at this moment. Time to S-T-O-P!

You see, I can’t see the reality of a situation if I am not present. If I am self-soothing or medicating, checked out on social media, distracting myself with on line shopping, stuck in obsessive thoughts and regrets about the past or full of anxiety about ‘what next’, I am NOT home. I am not actually experiencing what is happening NOW. TODAY. In this breath.

When I get present, I get honest! When I get honest, I know what I need and what action to take next, if ANY.

The patience part comes when I don’t like what is happening in the present once I’ve become aware of it. And BTW, the universe doesn’t really ask for my approval…said better…The universe doesn’t ask you to accept your circumstances only HOW you will accept them. So whether I am happy about being too tired to do anything else or angry about it, it doesn’t change a damn thing. I’m tired! So now what?

Can I be patient with myself TODAY, in this actual moment and accept that I need rest NOW? Tomorrow may be different…tonight may be different. Can I accept this moment with grace and kindness towards myself or will I beat myself up with critical and judgmental thoughts? Which is more helpful? Which is more kind?

So perhaps Lyme is teaching me TODAY to be present to what is AND be patient when I don’t like it all the while being kinder and more loving as well!

Sending all my love and blessings for healing and well-being,
Christine Grace