A few years ago, my entire life was turned upside down by a series of events. The biggest thing was getting really sick and eventually discovering I had POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia), Dysautonomia, EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), and a host of other secondary ailments. During this time, I was forced to shift my career path due to physical limitations, and on a more positive note, I got married.
Life completely changed.
Before this point, I can honestly say it was one of the happiest times of my entire life. I had lost over 100 pounds, gotten sober, found my calling in life, and really started to learn who I am and embrace it. I knew what having life by the balls looked and felt like.
That’s the thing about life, in an instant, the entire game can be changed; and that’s exactly what happened in my life. Furthermore, I am grateful it did.
I don’t want my life to be consumed by just sustaining life, I am bound and determined to live.
The past few years have had many uncomfortable periods of growth opportunities, some I learned quickly, some a bit more slowly, but it’s allowed me to become who I am today and grow in ways I would have never otherwise. One of the biggest lessons I’ve continued to learn is that no matter what, we can enjoy life. No matter what you can thrive.
When life hands you lemons, check yourself and drop any victim mentality you may be clinging onto.
It may feel justified, but in the end it will only keep you from living. Sounds harsh, but it’s true.
There is beauty in everything, there is purpose, and if you are alive and reading this, there is hope. You never know what the path not traveled may have held and that’s a good thing. It’s like getting a flat tire and instead of being angry and stressed, thinking maybe this flat tire saved my life? What if I would have gotten into a fatal accident if I would have made it a mile or so down the road? You never know, but you also have no control of things out of your hands so I find it a lot more easier to deal with when I remember there is a purpose for every event in my life, even if I never actually know what it is.
Life rarely turns out how you expect it to… so drop the expectations and take it as it comes. I know this is easier said than done and you’ll never be perfect at it, but keeping an open mind without expectation will drastically increase you satisfaction with life.
I am a personal trainer, who 3 years ago, had been told by a neurologist that due to my body’s heat intolerance, I shouldn’t go outdoors in the summer and due to orthostatic hypo-tension, I shouldn’t exercise past light walking in cool weather / indoors or recumbent biking. I am an outdoor, summer loving, wilderness thriving, spirit. I felt like a part of my soul had been stomped on.
Luckily my parents raised me to believe that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything.
It’s taken a LOT of open-mindedness, trial and error, being gentle with myself, and patience, but I’ve been able to find variations of the things that truly ignite my spirit to add back into my life.
I’ve taken to kayaking which eliminates the hypotensive tachycardia since it’s done in a sitting position, I’ve embraced my Pilates reformer where I can do a lot of exercises laying down, I’ve also found gadgets and gizmos to help where my body lets off. I don’t always sweat, I can literally drink gallons of water and be dehydrated at times. But I’ve found nifty little cooling towels that help perform the function of sweat (cooling) and I listen to my body. If I’m in the heat, not sweating, and start to feel off of ill, it’s time to stop, cool down, and rest.
Since a lot of my blood volume hangs out in the lower half of my body at times, if I start to get symptomatic, I’ve found a LOVE for my cool hammock where it’s super easy to get my feet to a level above my head, plus it’s comfy.
The point is, if you are willing to accept what you actually have to work with and keep an open mind, there is a lot that can be accomplished.
Personal boundaries are a must for anyone, but especially if you are working toward reclaiming your life.
Being a recovering alcoholic, it’s not hugely surprising, but I have found I have some hugely co-dependent tendencies! Learning to effectively express and hold boundaries in my marriage, with my kids, with friends, and even when it comes to my health has made life so much more peaceful.
Be True to You
Never be afraid to be who you are.
You are currently living your life, it’s yours. You wake up with you, you live with you, you go to bed with you. Life is way too short to spend it in fear of being yourself. Sure, you won’t mesh with some people, but you’ll attract the ones that are meant to be in your life.
I’ve had to learn that sometimes I walk my own path, an area that was really hard to see when newly married. But I found I was giving up little pieces of me, then resenting my hubby when I did (of my own free will). It’s a losing battle that way.
The past couple years, I’ve travel around the country for work, speaking and teaching people about healthy living, essential oils, and holistic health; I’ve driven cross country solo, I’ve followed dreams, and I’ve gone on adventures, the most recent being a 50 mile kayak race.
The coolest thing is the more I embrace myself and meet my own needs, the richer my relationships become with my husband, my kids, and those around me. Try it and see for yourself!
For me and what my circumstances have been, it’s been quite a journey. Especially learning that I need to be careful with my health. I don’t want my life to be consumed by just sustaining life, I am bound and determined to live. Even if that includes a little extra work along the way.
What’s taken you off course probably looks different than my circumstances, but I promise you, if you start taking some of these actions, you’ll start to thrive. The best is yet to come!
The I Love Me Challenge is a great way to kick-start tapping into yourself and igniting your soul. You can join for free below.
Let me know in the comments below one thing that really excites you, something that ignites your spirit and fuels your passion!
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