By Guest Blogger Lynn Rossiter
If you’ve ever experienced a chronic or acute illness, you know how important the role of hope can be in the recovery process. It moves us along a seemingly impossible road and it’s the flicker of light in a dark situation. Despite its strength and beauty, a solid plan is essential to moving ourselves from a vision of health into the reality of health. The chronic illness I’ve been working my way out of for over 20 years has been labeled many things: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut, Lyme, and Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). Whatever the label, the debilitating effects on my life have been the same. Hope?! While it kept me motivated and focused, there was more to my healing than hope. We are living in a world where we are faced with increasingly complex physical ailments where cut and dry answers and solutions no longer exist. Gone are the days where we have one doctor over the course of our lives and a quick diagnosis with treatment that resolves our problems is not the norm. I’ve uncovered 10 helpful strategies on how to navigate the world of health care.
1) Networking. I called people I knew who were struggling with similar issues and I called the people they knew. I collected information about different doctors, about what people were doing and what treatments were working or not working. I read books and articles and was pointed in the direction of invaluable resources. Not only is networking an ongoing skill for information gathering, it is equally important in providing support.
2) Identifying my own unique health issues was a significant step towards recovery and empowerment. Everyone is unique and reacts differently, physically and emotionally, to the illnesses that challenge them. When I identify exactly what is happening with my body, it gives me something to work with and I am then able to make a plan and move forward.
3) Create a health history notebook and interview potential doctors. After many years of working towards health, it became increasingly difficult to remember the details of what I had already done for myself. When seeing a new doctor, I bring information about my health history and what I want to accomplish. In my notebook, I list the doctors I’ve seen, their diagnosis, treatment plans, remedies and results – good, bad or neutral. I include lab tests and anything I feel is important. I also include everything I remember from childhood, including things that may or may not be directly related to my current condition.
4) Know when a doctor has done all she can do for me and move on. Not only is relying on one doctor for everything impossible with a multi-faceted chronic illness, I believe it is unfair. A doctor can only acquire knowledge and experience in so many areas. Moving on is about acknowledging and accepting when a doctor has taken me as far as she can. It is a time to gather information, make decisions and act on a solid plan.
5) Remain open to new options. It can be extremely disappointing when I’m moving in a certain direction and the results don’t turn out as I had planned. It sometimes means starting back at square one. It always means, reevaluating what I need and how I’m going to fill those needs. As discouraging as it can be sometimes, a dead end is really a neon sign that lets me know I need to go in another direction or sit still!
6) Realize that healing from a chronic illness is a long-term endeavor and there is no ‘quick fix’. Living in an instantaneous culture can make it hard to believe that anything takes time. It would be great to find a treatment that would make everything clear, easy and fast! However, many chronic conditions are complex disorders that were manifesting in our bodies long before we became aware of them and it is important to accept that it will take time to recover.
7) Deal with the many emotions that go hand in hand with a chronic illness. Being chronically ill can trigger feelings of grief, loss, self-pity, rage and depression. When I try to ignore this swell of emotion, I make everything worse. Dealing with my emotions in the present has become imperative to my wellness. When I don’t cry I get a headache. If I say ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’ I feel exhausted and resentful. When I don’t express my love I feel dead. I learned I have the freedom to choose how to express my feelings and the ability to get the support I need.
8) Clean out the psychological/emotional/spiritual wounds that contribute to health issues. Embarking on this journey was the most rewarding decision. My health has improved immeasurably by acknowledging and cleaning out old traumas, changing old behaviors and learning new ones.
9) The importance for partners of people who suffer with a chronic illness to get support as well. So much focus is placed on the individual who is ill that often times the partner/caretaker is left alone with their feelings and needs. I came to realize that I wasn’t the only one who suffered at the hands of this illness. Support is crucial for everyone on the journey back to health.
10) Treating my health care as part of my life, not my entire life. Health is a precious thing and a lifelong commitment, but it doesn’t have to be my entire life. Taking breaks from a constant focus on health is very important. I like to take time to sit back and enjoy the window of peace when there is a lull in treatment. After a while, I begin feeling impatient for even better health and then I move forward again. During long phases of difficult treatment, I made an effort to do something pleasurable every day in order to break up the painful monotony of feeling sick – even if all I could do was sit and watch the breeze blow the trees. There is more to my life than health care and there is more to me than an illness.
In taking responsibility for my health care and incorporating all of the above into my life, I have been rewarded with ever improving health. I offer my experience and knowledge as inspiration for those who are just beginning or are still on the healing path. There is hope. Most miracles are not handed out on a silver platter. They come from hard work, perseverance and a passion for change. But miracles do happen!
Lynn Rossiter is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and the owner of Back to the Garden. As a Certified Health Coach, she supports people who are actively seeking creative, healthy, abundant and productive lives, but feel stuck, afraid or unsure what the next steps would be to move from their existing life to the life they are seeking.
She facilitates workshops, conduct groups and lead retreats across the country that educate and inspire people to make positive changes in their lives around nutrition, lifestyle, healing and transformation, and spirituality.
She is in the start-up phase of a new venture called Brain Sponge Buffet, an online site dedicated to giving a voice to people who are creating positive transformation in the world through art and social action: brainspongebuffet.com
by Guest Blogger Debra Mittler
When I heard people say “It’s important for you to love yourself” I didn’t understand what they were talking about. “What do you mean love myself, how do I do that?” I spent most of my life hurting and judging my every thought, word and action; I was very far from loving myself.
At age 15 I entered my first hospital visit for anorexia and for over 23 years I was in and out of numerous hospitals and treatment centers, living a life of self hatred and self destruction. What was going on? Why would anyone choose to deprive their body and hurt themselves with negative self talk? There are many possible reasons why I created a life of self destruction and negativity as it served a purpose in one way or another, however, I didn’t understand this at the time; it just seemed to happen by default.
Through my journey of healing, I discovered that one of the misunderstandings I had bought into, was that it was selfish for me to love myself and that if I did I wouldn’t be loved or accepted by others. I also had concluded at a young age that someone would show me that they loved me by taking care of me if I was hurting or rejecting myself. These misunderstandings, as well as many others, influenced the ways in which I handled myself and experienced many years of my life.
As an adult I struggled with nurturing and treating myself with love and respect as it wasn’t in congruence with what my energy system was used to. In my mind I wanted to love me and appreciate me, however my entire being was running on a misunderstanding that to be loved I needed to punish and hurt myself. There was a constant struggle that would come up anytime I took steps in the direction of honoring and loving myself, I was bumping up against a belief that I developed early on and stored in my unconscious, thus I resisted the experience of self love.
My first step towards loving myself started when I became willing to be with myself and acknowledge what I was feeling with compassion and understanding instead of judgment; which allowed me to feel safe, loved and accepted.
By becoming aware of my negative self-talk, thoughts, beliefs, fears, guilt, misunderstandings and judgments, I was able to see the ways in which I wasn’t in alignment with my true self. Then I learned to ask myself supportive questions such as: “What’s a more loving way I can be with myself right now; how would someone who loves themselves be in this moment? What would they do, how would they think, speak and act?” This helped me to expand my awareness beyond what I was habitually experiencing.
At the beginning it was a challenge and I resisted the ideas that came forth because they weren’t familiar yet, however, I had the opportunity to heal by acknowledging what I was feeling, by being compassionate, loving and understanding, and becoming aware of new possibilities.
By acknowledging myself fully, and through forgiving myself and others- I was then, able to choose new thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions that were in support of me loving myself. I felt an internal shift take place, and from this space I started experiencing unconditional love for myself, others and all of my life experiences.
One day in the mist of feeling sadness, my inner self, guided me to go into my bedroom to pick up a picture that I have had next to my bed of me as a little girl. As I looked into this little girl’s eyes, I felt so much love and compassion for her, I held the picture and said “Its okay sweetie, I love you, I care about you, you’re not alone and I’m here for you.” After doing this I felt the most beautiful and blissful feeling of love moving throughout my entire being. It didn’t matter anymore whether I was being loved or accepted by others, as I felt so much love inside; there was a profound integration of unconditional love and acceptance available to me.
Once I stopped judging myself and instead became more compassionate and loving, I began to experience what it truly means to love myself fully.
My wish for you is that you come to know, experience and love the divine being that you are, you are worth it.
What does it mean to love myself?
It’s embracing all of my god given wealth.
It’s seeing that I am perfect as I am,
And so is every boy, girl, woman and man.
Loving myself is allowing myself to feel,
And bringing to the light what needs to be healed.
Loving myself is honoring my body glove,
And treating myself like someone I love.
Loving myself is speaking to myself with honor,
Just like a mother who loves her daughter.
Loving myself is having compassion,
And embracing my own unique fashion.
Loving myself is letting go of the lies,
That told me I’ll never be as good as the guys.
The lies that told me that I needed to be thin,
In order to be accepted and win.
Loving myself is appreciating all of me,
Especially the parts I didn’t want to see.
Loving myself is being my own best friend,
And seeing myself as a beautiful gem.
Loving myself is appreciating my mistakes,
They show me the corrections I can make.
Loving myself means expressing myself,
And doing what’s good for me and my health.
Loving myself is treating myself like I matter
As I continue to climb up the learning ladder.
Loving myself means giving myself a chance,
A chance to live, love, sing and dance.
Loving myself is breaking free,
Free from the fears that limited me.
Loving myself is being in the flow,
And giving myself permission to learn and grow.
Loving myself is taking care of my needs,
Letting my true self guide and lead.
Loving myself is allowing my light to shine,
And being compassionate, loving and kind.
Loving myself is being one with all,
And being willing to answer my divine call.
Debra Mittler is a warm and compassionate Spiritual Counselor, Intuitive Healer, and Hypnotherapist, with a unique ability to touch people’s hearts and souls. Debra enjoys assisting others in developing and cultivating gentle and loving ways of being with themselves, others and following their heartfelt dreams.
For more information you can contact Debra at Debra@Hypnosisisfreedom.com
by Guest Blogger Megan Steinbeck
there’s a seed that
wants to grow
but it’s locked in tissue and bone
I say, be still, you don’t need water
there’s a seed that wants to grow
but I’m too timid to let it germinate
to nurture into something tender, take root—
and smudge it out,
tend to children, dishes, sweep away fallen crumbs
there’s a seed that
wants to grow
but I let it lie hidden tight—a specked dark grooved seed
longs for sunlight.
there’s a seed that
wants to grow
but it’s locked in tissue and bone
in awaited silence—
do you want to expose
what you’re made of?
spring tender shoots?
the wild world will eat you.
there’s a seed that
wants to grow,
but I’m too hard.
I’m dark caked earth that holds
ancient and buried sorrows.
there’s a seed that
wants to grow, I water it
at dawn sometimes
when the moon sets.
I say, I know you,
have a little water.
I control it—
tell it what to do.
I dig it up, rub the jagged pitted edges
press it tight in my palm
and feel its pulse
as it drinks
the salted drops fallen from my eyes.
Megan Steinbeck is a friend, a colleague, and a Transformational & Wellness Coach who thrives in helping others achieve the life that they so desire. For more information on Megan, you may visit her on her website at: http://www.megansteinbeck.com/, and she may also be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
YES, IT HAPPENED!!!!! Check out more of my Outrageous Experience HERE in my recent GUEST BLOG:
Frizzy hair, braces, clothes from Walmart, and a trumpet case in hand, I was NOT the definition of “COOL” in Middle School OR for much of High-School. My mom drove a bright, yellow VW Van with Grateful Dead Stickers on the back. I didn’t receive many props from my peers for that one! This WAS small town Kansas, people.
As a teen, I always felt a bit on the outskirts, like I didn’t belong or fit in. As if every other kid had received some “How to be Normal and Popular” Handbook, except for me. The UPS Delivery Truck broke down on the way to my House, apparently, and was then permanently re-routed.
One of my most embarrassing “Nerd” Memories was in 7th Grade. I used to walk to school with *Adam, a VERY popular and Handsome fellow student. He was so ashamed to walk with me that he forced us to walk on SEPARATE sides of the street. We YELLED our conversations across the road, as we made our way to Kennedy Middle School. He also made me promise NEVER to tell anyone that we were friends.
One morning during our walk, I tripped on the curb. My trumpet case went flying, knocking my trumpet out onto the street. I fell face first into the cement. It was a major wipeout. I was mortified. Adam just kept walking, as I wiped off the dirt and small amounts of blood, and saved my trumpet from being smashed by incoming cars.
Instead of questioning why he didn’t stop to help, all I thought about was how clumsy I was, and how everyone at school was going to laugh at me.
The Truth is, I was the girl that the Popular Boys used to “pretend” to like when dared by their friends. Not super fun.
Around 16, something shifted, and I started hanging out with the Cool Kids, and was eventually even elected Prom Queen. Adam actually asked me out on a date!! I told him SURE! As long as we walk on separate sides of the street and he never told anyone that we went on a date.;) Hee hee
However, even in my “More Popular” years, I still felt like an Outcast inside, a Mistake, even. I may have been wearing a tiara, but inside I felt like I was still carrying my trumpet and tripping over curbs.
I have tried to shove these feelings down, Self Analyze them away, and Process the shit out of myself and my emotions. I thought I had made peace with my Inner Nerd. I felt like we had reached a Truce. I thought I had fully embraced my confident, Business Owner, New York City Resident Self.
HOWEVER, I recently went to my Hometown in Kansas for the wedding of the most popular woman in my Class. A BEAUTIFUL and SWEET woman, and one of my close friends. However, the minute I walked into the wedding, I felt my inner “Nerd” come up and out. I immediately felt like an outcast and an alien. My dress was all wrong. My hair was frizzing. Was I too New York City? Who was I trying to impress? I felt like a fraud, a fake, lost, confused, and ugly.
I escaped to the Bathroom, where surprisingly, I was alone. I looked myself in the eyes. Deeply.
“Little Cora”, I said, “I know you are totally freaking out. You feel lost and scared and on the outside. I want you to know that you are AMAZING. You are beautiful. You are quirky and nerdy AND confident and cool. You are a mix of everything. You can’t be labeled or put in a box, and you may never feel popular. And that’s MORE than okay. Because we have each other. And we have an amazing support network of friends, family, angels, Spirit Guides, God. We are SO supported. I love you so much. Now get out of your own way. Stop overthinking. Go down there and have fun with your friends. Life is to be lived fully and you are missing it, by staying stuck in your thoughts, fears, and doubts. Let’s go PARTY!”
And that’s what I did. I embraced my Inner Nerd, Outsider, Prom Queen, Hippi, and Coach. I embraced ALL of me.
I walked down the stairs, back into the party, and when I tripped on the bottom step, this time, YES, this time, the men came running to help me back up.
For your very own FREE Dream Body and Life Coaching Session with Coach Cora, click here: https://my.timedriver.com/HCQ3R
*Named changed to protect the innocent!:)
Live your Bliss BABY!!!
“It is only when you have both divine grace and human endeavor that you can experience bliss, just as you can enjoy the breeze of a fan only when you have both a fan and the electrical energy to operate it.” -Sri Sathya Said Baba, Spiritual Guide and Mentor
Embracing both our Humanness and our Souls is KEY to living a BLISS-filled Life!!
I am so excited to announce this weeks’s GUEST BLOGGERS, Lindsey Smith and Lorraine Miller, authors of the Bliss Cleanse, a Kick-A** Book all about living your Inner and outer BLISS!!
Bliss is about connecting to your heart and living a life of happiness.
Are you someone who is connected to your heart? Do you wake up everyday beaming with gratitude? Or maybe you want to connect more to your heart and soul?
Here are 4 tips on how to cultivate bliss by connecting to your heart and soul:
1. Practice daily gratitude. Simply write down 3-5 things you are grateful for and focus on how you feel when you think about them. We recommend getting a separate journal to do this, and practicing gratitude either first thing in the morning or last thing before going to bed.
2. Celebrate you everyday. Instead of focusing on your faults or weaknesses, take time each day to celebrate something wonderful you did, even if it seems small like holding the door for someone. Take some time to remember all the things about you that you love, the parts of you that make you, YOU! Allow these feelings to fill your body and nourish you from head to toe.
3. Spend time with people who make you feel loved, supported, and appreciated. Try limited your time with people who drain your energy or create negativity and toxic thinking.
4. Now ask yourself, “What does bliss mean to you?” Bliss is different for everyone. Take a minute to reflect on what makes you feel joy and utter happiness. Practice incorporating more of those things into your life this week and feel yourself shift from being stressed out to blissed out.
Written by Lindsey Smith and Lorraine Miller, authors of the new, unique book, Bliss Cleanse: Your Two-Week Mind, Body, Spirit Guide to Greater Health and Happiness. For more information, visit www.BlissCleanse.com.
by Guest Blogger Isabel Foxen Duke
I know some of you have been there. That day when you’re running around trying to organize your sister’s bridal shower — or some similarly stressful event — and all of the sudden you’re on line at Starbuck’s getting ANOTHER not-even-that-good pastry for no apparent reason.
Then it spirals out of control. Another pastry turns into “I have to go home and lie in a bucket of take-out because I blew my diet and I’m definitely gonna have to start like, three juice cleanses tomorrow.”
Eventually you end up face-down. You’re drooling, you’re in the fetal position, and all you can think to yourself is “SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH ME.”
And I have to tell you, the key to getting through it is doing whatever it takes to forgive yourself, and put it in the past.
Half of recovering from three bags of Chinese take-out is just letting it go, without berating yourself for “screwing up” or fantasizing about how you’re going to “make up for it” tomorrow.
And when you’re really in a lot of pain, both physically and mentally, try to take super-duper gentle care of yourself. Remember, you just made yourself a little sick, so it might be time to drink some hot water with lemon, lie in bed, and watch a movie while it courses through you. It’s just like nursing a bad cold, but one that usually passes in a day or so.
Your body is a living, breathing organism that needs to be taken care of, especially when it’s not feeling good.
Say it out loud. And if you want to learn more about how to take care of yourself with food, download “How To Not Eat Chocolate Cake” for my self-loving (and kinda funny) food strategies.
Isabel Foxen Duke helps women make peace with their bodies, so they can stop obsessing about food and start living again (or for the first time). Your weight dramas are scared of her. For more articles, visitwww.IsabelFoxenDuke.com and download How To Not Eat Chocolate Cake. You can also follow me on Twitter @IsabelFoxenDuke and Facebook.
Yee-Haw!!! I am HIRING!!!
I am looking for a Personal Assistant who yearns to be a part of a Company whose Mission is to assist our Clients in LOVING themselves Fully and Living a Soul Centered Life connected to their Unique Life Purpose of Sacred Service. You will be helping me with Newsletters, Emails, Google Docs, Website Updates, Networking, Errands, ETC. MUST be adept at working with a Highly Sensitive Empath/Indigo Child (ME!). We will have a BLAST! I promise!!!
MUST be in the NYC area and available to come to Park Slope Brooklyn once or twice/week. 4-8 hours/week to start with the possibility of more hours and even Business Partnership if it aligns. BIG Plus if you have experience or knowledge working with a Heart and Soul-Centered Entrepreneur. Hourly rate to be discussed. Coffee, tea, or mate provided.;)
Please send all resumes and cover letters to email@example.com. Answer the following questions:
Why do you feel Called to work with Coach Cora and Sexy Soul Wellness?
What do you have to offer this position, that would set you apart from other applicants?
What is your Word of the Year for 2013 and WHY?!
What is your Personal Life Mission and Message that I was put on this Earth to share with the world?
I will be in touch in the next couple weeks. xoxoCC
And there’s more!!!
I am the fitness model for the female version! A dream come true and rather outrageous indeed!
Snatch up a copy here and help make this book a best seller! There are female and male versions!
Recently, I was feeling a little blue, and a bit lonely.
Suddenly, I heard the words, “Cora, YOU are the Star of YOUR Greatest Love Story ever told.”
This has become my Mantra, and everywhere I go, I experience deep connection and Union with God, the Angels, SO many people, animals, trees, and flowers. AMAZING!
I am truly living MY Greatest Love Story.
Now my name is NOT very common. I have met ONE other Cora in my entire life. AND CHECK THIS OUT!! In affirmation of my new Mantra, I was walking through my neighborhood and I saw THIS:
We are ALL the STARS of our Greatest Love Story! HOW OUTRAGEOUS!!! And how beautiful. I am SO grateful for my Love Story.
To schedule a complimentary 30 minute Soul Awakening Breakthrough Session with Coach Cora, click here:
To learn more about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s Holistic Health Coaching Program, click here: