You may have noticed that over the past few weeks I haven’t been online much. There is good reason for it! I have been out living. I mean, going out on adventure after adventure, thrive, making up for lost time, filling my soul at the deepest level type of living.
A few years ago I thought life as I knew it was over.
In part, it was. But not in the way my neurologist made it sound.
As you already know, I was diagnosed a few years ago with dysautonomia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Ehlers-Danlos, GI dysmotility, and some other random ailments.
What I have never shared is that when I first started showing symptoms of dysautonomia, I was in the process of trying to acclimate myself to the cold in order to be able to go on backpacking trips in the mountains during the colder months. Cold intolerance was one of the first symptoms I showed… worst timing ever!
My dreams of backpacking along with many other activities were suddenly crushed, it appeared being active and being outdoors weren’t something I’d really be able to enjoy anymore, much less being active outdoors together.
But something changed over the past year…
I wasn’t miraculously cured and I certainly haven’t gone out and gotten a bubble to live in. What changed was my attitude.
See, one of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was the mentality that anything is possible. One of the greatest gifts being in substance abuse recovery has given me is the outlook that even if something doesn’t end up looking the way I think it should look, it can still exceed my wildest dreams.
Put the mentality and outlook together with a little faith and you get miracles.
It still took a bit of a wake-up call to get there though…
I love you, I really do, but I love me too. In order for me to bring you material, courses, coaching, meditations, etc that are not only created with educated intelligence, but also from the experience of personally living a naturally balanced healthy life, I have to practice what I preach. I have to thrive and I have to follow what is in my heart.
So this spring I set out to do something that was pretty normal for me before I knew what dysautonomia was… go camping every other week. It may not sound exciting or like much at all, but to me, it is something the lights up my soul like nothing else. I let my daughter cash in her birthday / Christmas gift of a trip to Florida so we could use Disney passes she won last year. And my husband and I finally got kayaks, something I was about to do right before dysautonomia kicked my butt.
None of this would have been possible even a year ago.
Three Reasons I Was Able to Do This:
I listened to my heart
Everyone has things that make them who they are. Things that make them insanely happy, things that light them up. In order to see what I needed, I had to first be able to be completely honest with myself of what was and wasn’t working in my life.
Over the past few years I have dove into my work. That’s great, but as I tell those I work with… you need to have activities in your life that recharge your batteries that are not work related. No matter how much you love your work.
I hadn’t been doing this, and while my life was pretty joyful and pretty full, there was obvious room for growth. There were relationships with friends that I wanted to rekindle, adventures in my heart, and experiences that I wasn’t having and could. There were also pieces of my work that were extremely emotionally and spiritually draining. It wasn’t easy, but those pieces had to be adapted or they had to go.
I took care of my own needs
Practicing boundaries, self-respect, and self-care wasn’t intuitive for me. It’s taken a lot of practice and learning to get to where I am today and there is still much room for growth. A couple years ago, I wouldn’t have done 90% of what I’ve done this summer simply out of not wanting to worry my husband. Full disclosure… our relationship rooted from a place of co-dependence and a place that wasn’t very healthy. Through lots of work, lots of work, I’ve learned to hold boundaries and be secure in a committed relationship.
Our marriage has respect, healthy boundaries, and love without attachment or expectation the vast majority of the time. Learning how to be able to take care of my own needs, respect his feelings without taking them on, and honor my own desires has been mind-blowing beyond anything I knew was even possible.
I found ways to thrive in spite of
If you saw me out in public, you’d likely have no idea of the health limitations I live with. I’ve learned ways to take care of my body and be able to experience life in ways I never thought I would again.
For example, I take my hammock camping and what looks like a normal cat-nap is actually a way to get blood back to my upper extremities when I start to get worn down. I take supplements, fill my Camelbak with fluids that will properly hydrate me, pack foods that I know I can digest in any physical condition, and try to get enough sleep (this is still a struggle sometimes!).
But the point is, even though I have to add rituals and routine that wouldn’t have been a part of my day a few years ago, I can still go out and experience life, the way I want to, in a fairly normal way. In a way that doesn’t cling to shame, guilt, or insecurity. In a way where I don’t feel the need to constantly explain to others why I may need to sit down or take a nap.
I get to be free.
You deserve to be free too!
It doesn’t have to look the same way as it does for me, but you deserve to find what lights up your soul… then do it. Everyone deserves that. I can’t even put into words the immense gratitude I have for the ability to be able to have experienced these adventures, the time with my kids, family, friends, husband, and with myself. The ability to be in the moment, not clinging to expectations, not rushing to the next checkpoint on the journey. The ability to be flexible and be open. It’s all there for you as well!
I took the time I needed to go experience the adventures I’d missed out on over the past few years because, quite frankly, if I’m sitting here telling you that you need to honor what’s in your soul… no regrets… I need to too. No excuses.
And through these experiences, I’ve found some awesome new ways to stay healthy, get active, eat clean, find balance, get centered, work around unexpected challenges, and even lose weight that I’ll be sharing with you in the coming months. It’s a great time to be alive, and I hope you feel the same way!
My I Love Me Challenge embraces everything that I’ve experienced this summer. Check it out if you feel that there is more for you in life yet to be found by clicking the button below!
Share in the comments below an area where you want to be more fulfilled in life!
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