Self Manage Chronic Pain
I recently visited an elderly woman in her home, in my community therapy role. So much had been happening in her world. During the weeks since my last visit she had experienced some serious health challenges, and her brother had died.
How could I be surprised that she had not managed to continue with the exercise and walking programme we had started?
She was tired, heartbroken and wracked with guilt, describing herself as “full of self-pity” because she was mourning the loss of her dear brother. This had also reminded her of the grief she experienced when her sister died a year previously.
I sat and listened with my Whole Heart.
I was not there to offer solutions, to slap a band-aid over her aching heart, to make light of her feelings. I told her I believed it was good, right and proper to feel such acute loss and to express it. How else do we recover from our deep wounds?
She told me about her family, her ancestors who had migrated to New Zealand from an Eastern European country, just before the time of the Depression. She spoke of a grandfather who worked many menial jobs to provide for his family of seven children. Her parents also worked hard to raise her and her many siblings – a labour of love which she reflected on with great gratitude. She spoke of one of her sisters who had endured many trials and tribulations only to finally triumph – and she now lives overseas. She spoke with love of her own children – their successes and challenges.
In the telling, she called all of her Ancestors into that small lounge. I could feel them standing around her. I told her that I believed that talking about our Loved ones brings them close.
I can recognise the entrenched belief that being occupied fully, being accountable for every minute spent at the expense of any form of pure relaxation, has been ingrained in our psyches. No wonder, then, that this dear soul believed she was “full of self-pity” because her thoughts kept turning to those she loved dearly who were no longer here, in physical form. Because she could not do it for herself, I offered her the gift of my time, so that she could express what her heart was longing to share.
When it was time for me to leave, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for “just listening”. I feel I was the recipient of the greater gift. I heard her heart sing!
Do you feel taking time to grieve is selfish? Do you believe it is a form of self-pity?
I welcome your comments.
You are going to win! With these words spurring me on, how could I not be a winner!
This morning I set out on my morning run, and it was hot already. Along the way, I passed and greeted a mum on her early morning walk, pushing her two small children in their stroller. The older child called out to me as I passed them, “you are going to win!”. How could I not honour that proclamation? How could I even consider feeling tired or discouraged with those beautiful words ringing in my ears?
This set me thinking about the many times I feel discouraged, as if I am wading through sludge. I have a strong work ethic, and set myself tasks and deadlines. This works for me when I have a good idea about a desired outcome, because it keeps me on track and I can measure my progress. But what happens when I am not sure about what I want to pursue or produce?
I am marooned in indecision, in not knowing, what my ‘next step’ is. Do you experience this too?
Business and personal coaching works wonders in helping one to define a pathway, helping to break down goals into manageable steps, in order to reach the defined outcome. This supposes that one already KNOWS or at least has an idea of the desired outcome.
One beautiful practice I was invited to participate in, invited us each to choose a Word to define a theme to focus on through the new year ahead, and to choose four Supporting Words to cushion or supplement the Word.
I have chosen SURRENDER.
Nothing works easily when I am pushing uphill, trying to do it all alone. I am not giving up, just practising being present in the moment, experimenting with ‘flowing’ rather than being rigid.
My supporting words are Grace, Gratitude, Courage and Insight – all qualities I will need to call on and include in my daily living.
Which brings me back to the proclamation “You are going to win!” We are all winners when we focus on what inspires us, what gives us meaning, and practice living in the present moment. And when we have others cheering us on!
“You are going to win!” – how does that make YOU feel?�
I have a heavy heart moving into this new year. Endings and more endings, because I am grieving the loss of two people dear to me.
My sister Anne has dementia and she is sliding further into the space between here and there. While she is still physically present, I miss her intellect, her sharp wit, her full presence. She is my older sister. I have known her my whole life. I never imagined that I would not be with her ‘fully’. She was the drawcard for my move to live in Christchurch.
She always looked after my younger brother and I; we looked up to her and trusted her guidance. As the eldest child, she copped the authority of our parents, and she fought hard for her independence. She is super intelligent, and my brother and I had a hard time following after her at school. She chose her own path, and with her husband travelled to places I have only ever dreamt of.
Now, I call on all my parenting and therapy skills as I navigate our relationship. She can’t remember what she ate two minutes ago, or whether she has eaten at all. She can’t dress herself. Her spatial awareness is impaired – steps are a challenge, and she doesn’t recognise familiar objects. Loud noises and busyness upset her, and her tolerance levels are reduced. Soon, she will need to be placed into full time care, which seems like a jail sentence. Excepting, there is no parole to look forwards to.
My heart is breaking. How did her Soul choose this challenge in this Lifetime?
Imagine being able to take a month-long holiday and have Business Location Independence ! For me, this would be a dream come true.
Where would I go? What would I like to do there? How would I structure my days and nights?
I would choose somewhere warm, sunny and next to water but with great walks and places to explore.
I would wake as the sun rises, and greet the day with a walk, run or meditation next to the water. This puts me into the attitude of gratitude, and helps me to think clearly about the day ahead. After my breakfast I would plan my 3 most important business tasks for the day, and complete them in the morning, which would leave the rest of the day free to explore… If I had planned a whole day excursion, I could plan to complete my business tasks the following morning. Perhaps I would write a blog post about my adventure of the day.
Perhaps I would be meeting someone connected to my field of work, to exchange ideas and to collaborate. Perhaps I would spend a few hours sitting next to the water, writing part of my book. Perhaps I had planned to attend a seminar or workshop, and I would then spend time reading and studying the course material and attending the relevant functions.
What if I, myself, had been invited to host or present part or all of a Workshop or Seminar?
What an amazing prospect!
I would make sure I had plenty of time before the event to be well prepared, so that during the event I could meet and mingle with like-minded friends, and enjoy the location and its offerings. After the event, I could take time out to explore, to relax and to reflect on the experiences I had enjoyed. I could start to plan the next adventure, my next workshop, my next online course or webinar.
As I start to think of all these possibilities, my horizon expands, and I feel a sense of Joy and Freedom. Location Independence may seem like a dream for my business now – with concerted effort this could become my new reality!
If you were able to envision this lifestyle for yourself, what would you choose to do?
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9
Choosing my adventure for Day 8 of the blogging challenge was interesting! What could I do that was fun, made me feel that I had all the time in the world, and could set me up to include more such activities in my Freedom Plan lifestyle?
As it was a ‘normal’ working week day for me, I chose to browse in a few clothing stores after-hours. Having also recently completed a mini-makeover workshop, I was keen to hone my new skills in finding wonderful garments that flattered my colouring and body shape.
I loved the feeling of browsing at leisure without being compelled to buy anything which was not pleasing to me. I knew what I was looking for - even so, it was fun just observing other shoppers, and taking the time to absorb the colours, textures and styles of the rows and racks of clothing.
I felt great appreciation for the designers of the garments, for the people who had been employed to construct, market and merchandise all of these amazing clothes.
Because I was feeling centered, on purpose, but also expansive, I found 4 items that were a perfect fit, perfect colour, and perfect match for what I had intended. And – the price was perfect too – an added bonus!
These are the kind of adventures I am choosing for my Freedom Plan Lifestyle. They may seem routine ‘every day’ activities, but when they are tinged with a sense of awe and wonder, they soon become part of a Perfect Day, day after day after day.
I know my adventures are different to yours… Inspire me and share yours?
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8
Today’s Blog Challenge to take imperfect action solves the wretched curse of procrastination and overwhelm.
This is particularly pertinent for me today as I grapple with the multitudinous after-effects of the very large earthquake we experienced in Christchurch, New Zealand, last night. I feel tired from lack of sleep, and can’t seem to concentrate for very long to focus my attention on any task requiring my full attention. My usual morning routine was superseded by the very urgent need to evacuate my home due to a tsunami threat. I know that I am not experiencing this alone – my whole city has been shaken!
These are circumstances brought about by great forces of nature, not by my lack of attention to detail nor lack of focus on my business plans! Yet, I recognise my friends Procrastination and Overwhelm, as I have become familiar with these qualities in myself.
Procrastination, because I put off doing what I know is necessary – often because I feel Overwhelm-ed by the task, or unsure of where to begin. So, here I am, making a beginning on this blog post, and loving the sense of normalcy it offers me. Loving the comfort of writing, an activity that I love. Feeling so grateful to capture thoughts and words in action. Even though parts of me feel scattered, and I wonder how many people could possibly read my post, this Imperfect Action brings me one step closer to reaching my Freedom Plan.
I am going to commit to writing for at least 25 minutes every morning after I wake, whether it is for a blog post, a reflective statement, freehand in my journal or a letter to a friend. This Imperfect Action taken daily will solve my procrastination and overwhelm, word by word, action by action!
Have you been shaken to your core recently? Please let me know how things are in your world today!
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7
Finding my Tribe is the key to inspire and support me on this Freedom Plan Journey.
Today’s challenge is to name 2 people who are living the kind of life that I want to live, and whose Tribe I would love to be a part of.
Caroline Myss has long been someone whom I respect and look up to. I was so fortunate to attend a 2- day workshop in Stellenbosch, South Africa where I experienced first-hand how it feels to be listened to, truly acknowledged and respected as a fellow seeker of knowledge.
Caroline told us that she had started out providing individual personal consultations, but soon became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work. It was then that she set out to offer public workshops, seminars and her online courses, audio books and offerings – in order that she could teach us to do the work for ourselves.
I am inspired by her wisdom, her compassion for our human-ness, and her unrelenting stance on what she holds true. I am inspired that she is continually expanding her vision and that she is so willing to include us, her Tribe, in adventuring with her. I am inspired by her Freedom Lifestyle – offering workshops and seminars in significant and beautiful locations around the world.
I feel I am already a part of her Tribe, as I aspire to integrate her insights and teachings into my daily life and my healing work.
If I were able to ask Caroline one question in ‘real life’ today, I would ask “Who inspires you, Caroline, and why?”
Byron Katie is equally inspiring to me. Once again, I was so very fortunate to meet her at Fourways, Johannesburg, and to attend a day long workshop with her in Johannesburg, South Africa. After experiencing very dark days, she came to realise that Loving What Is provides us with the way out of suffering. Her method of self-inquiry – The Work – is offered free on her website. She has published numerous books, posts videos on her website, is active in Social Media and travels the world to deliver life changing workshops and also offers residential immersion experiences in beautiful locations.
I am inspired by her generosity of spirit and her patience in helping each participant to reach their answer inside, to relinquish the suffering caused by their thoughts. I am inspired by the simplicity and potency of The Work which she shares so willingly. I am inspired by her constancy, never straying off course, seeing each process through its full cycle. I am inspired by her Freedom Lifestyle, traveling where she is invited, and offering workshops and classes in beautiful locations.
I would certainly like to be a more active member of her Tribe – I feel I am moving closer!
If I were to meet Katie again, I would love to ask her " who inspires you Katie, and why?"
Do you have someone who inspires you? Are you part of their Tribe?
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6
# 10DBC #freedomplan
If I utilised a Daily Success Plan for my Freedom Plan Business, my perfect day would be productive and efficient. Today’s Blog Challenge invites me to describe what I would do, when I would do it and how I would feel once I had completed my daily plan.
Natalie Sisson’s 3 guidelines are a great starting point.
- Our work space needs to be clear and uncluttered. Ideally, in our own home office area, with no distractions from well-meaning friends or family members who may not realise we are actually working!
- Then, we need to set the 3 most important actions for the day.
- We work most efficiently when we have a deadline, so the Pomodoro Method (working in 25 minute intervals) is a very effective method to keep on track and working to the assigned task – no distractions!
My home study is peaceful, and I aim to keep the tiny desk free of clutter. To do so, and to remain productive and efficient, I need to keep papers to a minimum. One of my daily success plan tasks is to pay bills as they come in, and file the paperwork immediately. I do admit to having piles of ‘things to do’ that I am working on…. Writing and filing notes from meetings I attend, keeping my Professional Development folder current etc.
I receive a fair amount of correspondence via email, concerning initiatives I am involved in. I don’t always answer each on the day I receive them as some require contemplation before response.
I am pondering how to advance my business, and have been consulting with coaches and participating in online courses / workshops – like this blogging challenge!
I can easily list 3 of my top current important actions for my daily success plan:
- Work on revising my website and eBook
- Write my blog
- Pay any due invoices, correspondence, filing
I would focus on the first one early in the morning, before my ‘other work’, and then complete the rest in the evening ‘after hours’. To hold myself accountable, I could tick off the activities in my diary, or I could go so far as to draw up a planner to keep track of the activities.
I already feel energised and enthusiastic, having used the Pomodoro timing segmsnts
to write this blog. This has been a most productive and efficient use of my Saturday morning,
How do you hold yourself accountable – I would love you to share!
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5
# 10DBC #freedomplan
Today’s challenge is to identify my Super Powers in order to find my Sweet Spot. The ‘sweet spot’ is the key to realising my Dream for Freedom because this is a combination of things I am good at, things I enjoy doing, and things that I could expect to be paid for doing / delivering.
The invitation was to ask those people close to me whom I trust, love and respect to provide me with a list of qualities they could identify as my Super Powers, as generally few of us are great at shining the light on our own attributes. I am humbled and grateful to those who responded so generously to provide their insights.
I am very aware that today is the 11th day of the 11th month – and according to numerology 11/11 provides a Portal of Light to align with the Divine. I believe this whole exercise serves to bring clarity and focus to my Work and is Divinely guided, and so I am conscious of bringing the finest in me to express through these words.
If I were to choose 2-3 Super Powers which could lead to my Sweet Spot, I choose those which are supported by so many others, but are more likely to bring me a source of income:
Healing and reconciliation –
- The capacity to love, care, and be heart centered
- An ability to see things in balance, both physically and metaphysically
- An intuitive ability to know exactly how to say the right thing at the right time
- The ability to hone into the salient point of a problem
- Allowing another to feel their pain without judgment, belittling or trying to say something "spiritually appropriate"
- Intuitive acupuncture treatments and Energy Attunements
- Great listener, listening without interrupting
- Artistic ability - seeing possibility and beauty in a tangled mess
Sparkling Powerful Presence –
- Precision in expression – economy of words leading to powerful, concise presentation of self
Teaching, Workshop or Group Facilitation -
- Fortitude; Endurance
- Tenacity; Resilience
- Stay true to my highest vision – I don’t give up on living as a spiritual being expressing in human form
- Initiator – I am willing to take risks which are thoughtfully assessed
- Emotional intelligence – I willing to own the hurts in my heart yet not let these dominate my expression.
In offering these Super Powers through the forms of individual consultations, group workshops and seminars, public talks, written words (blogs, books) I will be able to serve those who are searching for what I have to offer, and in so doing, I will also be able to realise my Dream:
I help people to invoke their own unique energy to harmonise their mind, body, spirit and emotions – so that they can consciously align with whole body health.
What is YOUR sweet spot? Have you identified it yet? I would love to hear about it!
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4
# 10DBC #freedomplan
The invitation to describe my Perfect Day, from start to finish, is a real challenge. There are so many ‘things’ that I love to do – how could I compress them all into a single Perfect Day?
A theme of Perfect is easier to contemplate, to imagine unfolding in the present moment.
I wake up to the dawn chorus of birdsong. I feel well rested and am looking forward to this awesome day! I meditate on my slow deep breathing, on the Energy and Light filling me from the inside and radiating into my immediate environment, into my greater world, into the Universe. Feeling light and energised I choose which course I will adventure out on for my early morning run – along the beach, the estuary path or residential streets past homes where most people are still sleeping peacefully. It is glorious running so early, when the day is fresh and new, and I think and plan and breathe to the steady rhythm of my feet caressing the earth in Blessing.
I look forward to my breakfast – a smoothie compilation of great fresh fruit and veges, and steaming mug of aromatic coffee. The day stretches ahead. I may have a few Acupuncture consultations booked - my passion in practice. I feel so grateful to be able to share this knowledge and expertise – and my heart sings when my clients benefit. I could spend some time reading and researching, planning future treatment sessions.
I could write my next blog post. I could write a letter to a loved one. I could spend time visioning and reflecting on current projects.
Lunch time! Perhaps meet a friend to share lunch and a catch up. Or create a meal from home grown produce and sit in the garden watching the birds, listening to the ocean. I could spend a few hours working in the garden, or creating and crafting some form of handwork. I could read for pure enjoyment. What about going to the movies, or browsing through the shops in a local mall just for the fun of it?
Late afternoon is a perfect time for a coffee and email check. What is happening in my world? Time to also check that I have not left anything undone that needs to be done today. I am feeling relaxed and satisfied with the way my day has unfolded, with all the events and people that have featured in my Perfect Day.
Dinner time approaches. I could be meeting a friend for dinner and an outing to the theatre or an event. I could be planning a quiet evening at home with a simply delicious home cooked meal enjoyed by candlelight. The time after dinner is one of my favourite times. I feel a sense of order and completion once the dishes are washed, and the kitchen and table are cleared. Now I may finish off any last tasks for the day.
My evening shower is a calming and cleansing ritual, a time to wash away any cares and to express Gratitude. Gratitude for all the events and the spaces in between; for the people I have encountered; for thePerfect Day that I have been gifted with. Time now to read a bit, to reflect some more, and to slip into a deep and peaceful sleep, to awaken fresh to my next Perfect Day.
Does my Perfect Day inspire you to define your own Perfect Day?
# 10DBC #freedomplan