Vulnerable & Powerful, That’s Me…..💋

I’m sitting here, pondering how is it possible, to be a woman with such deep vulnerabilities BUT yet be so powerful and exquisite in this big wide world! Then I have a moment of self-empowerment ;

You see I live in a world where bravery is often only seen through visibly physical things NOT through dark shadows and unseen challenges. But those dark shadows and invisible challenges are what being vulnerable is all about ! This is my story and I discuss daily the weaknesses and failures that make up the shadows and challenges that nobody can see. Being this vulnerable is so very brave and powerful – it takes fucking guts. Having this courage to be honest and exposed when i tell my stories and experiences through this channel we know so clearly as social media will make this journey so much more impactful, allowing awareness and assistance! My stories will start resonating with people and they are!!!

Also I believe we all have stories to tell that will help others in some way. We have experienced situations through our lives that should be shared because others will benefit from it. When you start telling your stories and sharing your expertise because it is helping the people who are listening or reading it, you will be amazed with the emotional connection that you start building with people and the relationships you start developing – because you’re positively impacting their lives. I believe by sharing my stories, that will allow others to share their stories to tell and then together we have allowed our experienced situations benefit many. It is helping those people that are listening or reading and I become amazed by the emotional connection that i receive from people globally – because you see, just by stepping out onto that vulnerable ledge, I’m positively impacting lives.

These stories – my stories, they are raw and they are real and they teach me daily that , I am not weak FOR , the breath of all living things – THEY MAKE ME SO COURAGEOUS & BRAVE and that’s POWERFUL!

And it’s why this little woman who is me and so very vulnerable can , will and is so very powerful across the globe and then some fucking more…..#boom #vulnerable #power #ivegotitall 🙏🏻

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“Wandering Towards Wellness “

The Magic Of Magnesium – Part 1 – Products That Help Us Heal. 

As I’ve journeyed far and wide with multiple chronic illnesses, I’ve tried many prescription medications and alternative and natural therapies.  Its allowed me to see that the prescription medication is not all that the mainstream medical practitioners offer us. I would not say I am anti prescription medication but from trying natural therapies I can see, there are options that most of us never get to try.

What I am talking about is – MAGNESIUM!

It is an absolute solution to stress as it is a most powerful relaxation mineral and it can also help improve sleep. It amazes me that doctors aren’t clued in to the benefits of magnesium and across the journey of life, we never stop to think about our general health until we become unwell, until our bodies are unable to function properly. This is where, I’ve learnt about how important natural minerals and healing is for the body.

This weekend I begin with a series of blogs explaining the benefits from natural vitamins and minerals. Tonight is magnesium! I would say, without a doubt that as soon as you start using regular magnesium products you will see results.
Magnesium is the relaxation mineral. Anything in the body and that goes with your mood too, that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff is a sign of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is actually the critical mineral that is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax. When was the last time you had a good dose of seaweed, nuts, greens, and beans? CAN’T ANSWER ME – It doesn’t surprise me and it’s why the list of conditions that are found related to magnesium deficiency is so long. In fact, there are over 3,500 medical references on magnesium deficiency! Even so, this mineral is mostly ignored because it is not a drug, even though it is MORE powerful than drugs in many cases. You maybe magnesium deficient if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps or twitches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Kidney stones
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • PMS
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irritable bladder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reflux
  • Trouble swallowing

These are only just a few of the symptoms and being magnesium deficienct has even has been linked to inflammation in the body and higher CRP levels.

In the modern world, magnesium deficiency is a huge problem. The reason we are so deficient is simple, many of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium . Today’s diets are highly processed that are based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy – all which have no magnesium. Much of this modern world help us lose what little magnesium we do get in our diet through uses of excess alcohol, salt, coffee, the acid in colas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics which are water pills, antibiotics and other drugs, and some intestinal parasites. This is all further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies. It is also difficult to measure and hard to study, but magnesium deficiency accounts for untold suffering and is simple to correct. So if you have suffered from any of the symptoms I mentioned above or have don’t worry – it is easy to fix!!

Here’s how;

  • Stop Draining Your Body of Magnesium
  • Limit coffee, colas, salt, sugar, and alcohol
  • Learn how to practice active relaxation
  • Check with your doctor if your medication is causing magnesium loss 
  • Eat Foods High in Magnesium – some of these include the following in your diet as often as you can-kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley and garlic
  • Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed and these are the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements.

The most important thing is to use good magnesium products – One of the best, I’ve found is ‘Like Zen’ s and because it’s a oil it helps the body naturally, using it as a body tonic. It is applied as a spray straight onto the body assisting with transportation of over 350 elements straight into the cells of the body aiding the body with supporting immunity, and a integral part of the brain and nervous system. Like Zen Magnesium oil  helps migraines, neck and shoulder pain, relieves stress, anxiety and depression. When I had my own yoga studio I was using the oil within class to aid being able to ground further into a relaxed place. It greatly improves arthritis, and sports injuries. The only minor issue I’ve found with using magnesium oil is it can sting or itch the skin if magnesium levels are low or skin is cut. I’ve found that , simply by diluting the spray bottle with purified water it assists the oil to be used.  
‘Like Zen’ also have magnesium bath flakes. This product also aids and benefits  of  pain, anxiety, PMT, headaches, muscle cramping. It is also great as an immune booster, helps heal pimples, eczema, dermatitis and irritated skin conditions. It relieves nervous tension and gives an all over body relaxant as similar to the oil goes directly into the skin meaning that the cells are first in line for support ailing the particular issue faced.  This magnesium flake is sourced from the dead sea with a assay reading of 99% magnesium chloride with no heavy metals. A full body bath for 15-20 mins with 1 Bag of flakes or 1/2 bag in a foot soak gives the best support and when used regularly allows for symptoms to lessen greatly. What I like about ‘Like Zen’ products that they are natural and organic. Oil can be sprayed well on to painful areas,  by applying  1-2 times a day then adding a moisturiser to the applied the area, to stop drying of the skin as magnesium will naturally dry skin. I have found assistance by using the bath flakes every 3 days for best support of symptoms  AND of course there are times that I may need much more depending on condition and pain. Placing 1 bag of flakes in a warm bath absorbs faster and gets much needed magnesium to particularly jumping and restless legs. 


Of course if you want any further information, please check them out on facebook or on there website at http://www.likezen.com.au  

Remember most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a regimented formula. Also important to note is that if you are a person with kidney disease or severe heart disease you should only take magnesium under a doctor’s supervision. So if you are NOT coping with the symptoms of chronic illness and particularly Functional Neurological Disorder like I do – relax, because there are natural products around. Each month, I will publish a blog of products that have assisted my health, hoping that you too can find help to relieve pain and suffering. This month it’s been about the truly magical mineral in magnesium. It is essential for lifelong vibrant health. Now I’d like to hear if you have suffered from chronic illnesses or any of the symptoms that I’ve mentioned?

Do you currently take a magnesium products? What results have you noticed?
Have any of the tips mentioned above helped you?
Only YOU, can make the choice what goes into your body. Make it the right one.
Feel free to leave me feedback here, or across one of my social media channels;

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SnapChat – 👻@Simply_LisaRaie👻
Lisa-Raie 💋
“Wandering towards wellness, globally”

The Day Begins With Breakfast.

Living with chronic invisible and debilitating illnesses leave me drained, lethargic and so exhausted! There have been many days over weeks, months and years that I’ve awoken and have not been able to begin with breakfast. I have learnt through experience and study, that skipping this first meal of the day is harmful for health. There is a reason that, it’s called ‘breakfast’, because it’s the time where we all need to break the fast that has been from the previous night. Through my healing journey with Functional Neurological Disorder and other debilitating chronic illnesses, I want to help others be aware of the importance of looking after ourselves so much better.

It has been proven through research that the skipping breakfast causes many of the major illnesses that we all know about – these include; obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes and many others. But did you know that skipping breakfast can cause harm to our internal organs and muscles if we are not energising our cells and hormones. This can cause many other illnesses that many know very little about. Learning to eat a healthy morning breakfast benefits us with balancing energy levels for memory, body and brain.

Morning breakfast is one way that we can restore our health and rebuild a life that has been debilitating destroyed from chronic illness. If we don’t eat breakfast, then by the time the middle of the day comes and we haven’t correctly fed ourselves , our internal system is becoming imbalanced and this can cause such a negative impact on brain and body the more we wander a path using wrong nutrition steps. I know, because this was me. It left me with a distressed digestive system and body furthering the impact with worsening health. 

So my journey to wandering towards wellness has had to change, so that I can begin to live a life that I love. Let me tell you, there are mornings that eating is the furthest thing from my mind, if I haven’t slept well or if pain is at high levels. But, I am reeducating myself to know that a morning breakfast routine can not go missing on any day. A good start tothe  morning, may begin with different groups of foods, these may include hints like;

  • Toast 
  • Porridge 
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt 
  • Fruits 
  • Juices or Juice smoothies 
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Warm lemon and coconut oil water

Perhaps, if you need to be up earlier in the morning for an appointment and instead of skipping your breakfast you could plan foods or drinks that you can take with you. These may include;

  • Juices/Juice smoothies 
  • Chia puddings
  • Yoghurt & fruit 

What is important that you find a nutritional content that works for you and your body. For me personally, I now will be starting each day with a freshly made juice or juice smoothie and what makes it easy, is that after I have shopped I will food prepare all of my weekly juices in freezer bags, so that no matter how I feel I only need to go to the freezer and get my portion out and blitz it in my juicer or blender. Breakfast is made in a instant and most days I’ve given my body so many nutrients in order to heal and regain energy and health.

Don’t keep skipping breakfast which is bad for health. Start a new routine that will give you a reenergised energy for each and every day and I will certainly drink to that.
Much love 

Lisa-Raie

AKA (The barefooted FND goddess) 💋

Please connect with me here or across on my social media channels;

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“Wandering Towards Wellness Globally”

Choosing Me, Chooses Health & Life….❤️

Today, I felt compelled to fully commit to the world that I have gone without the feelings of being sassy and soulful for so long. BUT, I can tell you that falling down hard at the beginning of this year was the catalyst of me taking true authentic and very vulnerable action towards truly healing and becoming me and oh gosh I am again believing in myself and beginning to breathe so much sass and soul for my health and my life. I am now free to empower wisdom on why choosing ME allows true healing and a life to love. ❤️ 


I hope, that if you are seeing and hearing this message today you may be inspired and empowered to take action on yourself  finding a life to love.

Connect here or on one of my social media channels;

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Snapchat me 👻@simply_lisaraie 👻

“Wandering Towards Wellness”

Negative Energy And Its Destructive Nature. 

So here I am again, awake early into another morning, journaling after reading an array of my favourite blogs. One particular blog, grabbed my attention and that was the one by one of my special soul sista connections Marissa Lewis – Transfomation Coach. It took my attention because I had actually connected with her on a Facebook LIVE, just after this particular experience. Her experience was of taking on a external energy and it brought home to me, what had happened only hours to myself. I welcome you to read her blog by going to http://www.marissalewis.com after reading my experience as well.

Saturday evening, my youngest son had planned to go out with a group of acquaintances. Nothing wrong with that on a Saturday night for, a group of young lads – however this is where it becomes a tricky situation. My son is autistic and socially sensitive and the young men he was going out with, may I say are bad influences. So anyway, he took off, all dressed up. I was initially holding myself together but as the night went on – I felt a urge to connect with my son! By this time, I could notice his voice and behaviours through the other end of the phone were changing. He was obviously becoming intoxicated but he was telling me “mum, don’t worry I am safe”. The phone call, ended abruptly but I chose to find things to do that would stop me from worrying. I began to read and write but I was unable to continue as my energy level had changed, I was worrying intensely and it was causing me such an amount of anxiety. I contacted him briefly again when his phone dropped out with some quite abusive language, as a result, I was became self destructive in mind, body and soul.

 After reading and listening to Marissa, I can now, observe how easily my own energy had been transformed from calm and at peace to being overwhelmed and inundated by negative energy caused by knowing that my son was so heavily intoxicated. My mind was in overdrive, I was thinking destructive thoughts; ‘was my son going to be hurt’ , ‘ why didn’t he stop drinking earlier, as we had spoken about’, ‘where was he and would he be safe getting home’ and a squillion other thoughts as you may be able to imagine. I was rattled, I was unable to breathe normally, I was sweating, crying and irrational- all things that I practice daily through ritual not to be! 

This cycle of being caught up in other people’s stuff, in a instant I realised I still have difficulty with, particularly when it is family members. I can see dwelling on the situation on Saturday night regarding my sons safety is what allows negativity to affect me badly still. No one else caused my energy to become negative. It was me doing it to myself . I’m the one who took on his situation and absorbed it into my own psyche. I’ve been thinking about the way my very being changed in a instant so very quickly. My changing energy was made through my choices . I was unable to remain mindfully calm with positive self talk instead, i was attracting negative energy through the choices of the situation that was playing out not even near me. It was dragging me down and lowering my personal vibration. These feelings that  surrounded me, were of negative energy?

This state of events, has been such a fierce wake up call!!!! Asking myself this question about negative energy, and how to avoid it in the future is quite liberating. But I think my main objective will be to set an intention for the highest good of myself and those that I surround myself with across the many situations and circumstances on any given day. It  doesn’t mean I will ever feel negative, or notice other people’s negativity, but I definitely will be focusing more on controlling my emotions and mindfulness so I don’t become a sponge from the negative forces within the world.

Perhaps this sounds like you? How have you dealt with understanding how you react to situations of feeling negative energy coming across from other people?
If this has resonated, please connect and tell me your story either here or through my social media channels;

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http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

……and how did my son end up, well apart from feeling sick and sorry for himself with a horrible hangover-HE WAS SAFE!

Much love 

Lisa-Raie 

(AKA The barefooted FND goddess) 💋

I Am My Power, NOT My Chronic Illnesses…..    

Living with multiple chronic illnesses is hard – NO, WAIT ITS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE AT TIMES!!!!!
This week, if you’ve been following my journey, you would of seen it’s been immensely difficult. Getting to the end of this week and knowing I didn’t want to spiral any further down the gurgling dark hole again – I knew that I needed to shift the energy caused by my chronic health battle. I needed to make things happen, rather than just evolving by letting them happen repeatedly. I’ve come to learn that I am more than these illnesses that crush my existence, so that’s just what I did. I realised, I could own my power.

What do I mean, that I could own my power? Well for me, the new inner power came because I allowed thoughts of being supported by myself, for myself. Finding my own power has allowed me to release and truly let the magic replace the irritating experiences of darkness. I’m not saying, that I’ve removed the chronic pain and illness flares that build up inside my body, no not at all- but what I’ve found is by giving myself back the power- I can be in charge of what happens, in these times and not my health complexities.

  • These last two days, having this newly understood power feels wonderful and I want to be able to have these feelings stay with me, as I wander towards wellness and a life that is loved. So, let me give you my thoughts on how I’ve found my power and how I will keep it shining through in each day.
  • For way to long, I’ve had to wander around and around within my chronic illnesses, at times feeling like I am a tangled ball of yarn. My illnesses have controlled everything past, present and everything in between, leaving me unable to breathe my positive thoughts on life as I wanted it to be. Through these thoughts, negative consciousness connects and all of a sudden life becomes dark. These thoughts and the situations become reoccurring patterns of behaviour and soon enough the power is lost. Thinking about this as the last week kept disappearing into the darkened mist, I knew that I didn’t want to become tangled up inside my illnesses anymore. What I’ve found is that I’ve had this power all the time and it’s just about unleashing it when times get tough and it all revolves around changing my thoughts and releasing the pain to allow space for fresh breath and the magic of new experiences and opportunities to connect in me.
  • Living with these illnesses like I do, causes me to withdraw into myself. I can tell you, when I let myself withdraw further and further within, my head begins to play crazy tricks on every level of my life. So, the power begins by focusing on the positive and healthy path that I wander. At times of chronic flares and when it all looks like disaster, I need to find a way to clear some of the messy clutter from my head, allowing my brain much needed space to regather, recharge and renew the journey of life for me to wander.
  • The messy clutter occurs because of the negative thoughts and experiences that chronic illness causes to every aspect of life. There are instances within my journey of health challenges and lifestyle battles that I know cause me to breakdown. Once, I breakdown, so do the illnesses that lay inside me. I know now, to stay in my own power I need to remove that negative clutter that reoccurs far to often. I need to allow myself space within myself so that when I need to stop and rest I can do just that. This will allow myself to journey forward with the positive vibration that I absolutely love to feel.

It is amazing what I’ve learnt in just two days about being in my own power. It has actually allowed me to believe in myself more, than ever before. This has all happened because of the power of journaling and sharing my experiences through this blog. You see, as I was journaling my thoughts and feelings, prior to translating it into that last blog I was finding myself more open to the idea that i can have, be AND do whatever it is that want, despite the nastiness of the illnesses that I live with. By journaling my thoughts, feelings and emotions outwardly I create so much more space, to concentrate on the positive mindset and visual purpose of life. Journaling and blogging has given me the independence and the confidence to talk outwardly about my pain, my sadness, allowing me to release and let go of all the unwanted mess that would otherwise remain locked inside of me. Having this power now on the outside, I can concentrate on controlling the innermost movements using mindfulness with my beloved yoga and meditation that somehow got lost in the journey with darkness. I’m back in a place where I can visualise life being as I want it, not as it feels in my body during the chronic pain experiences. Now is the time to take my power to the new levels helping others that maybe feeling the same. I’m going to write and write and when I need to stop and rest I will write some more because it’s going to allow me to breathe in the bliss that’s required to owning our own dreams and lives. When I can do that, it is possible to dissolve the challenges that chronic illness brings and let’s the magic of new opportunities and experiences to arrive at the door. I have the power and I will be now learning the process so that I can remain standing in this newly understood power. I know that, circumstances will come through and throw curve balls but by journaling and translating them into blogs and verbal conversations I will guarantee that I give myself the best chance of being the power of me.

Have you found your power, if so I would love to hear how you found your way into that space. I would also love to hear from you, if you continue to struggle with being in charge of your journey. Make sure you connect here or through one of my social media channels.

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Lisa-Raie 

(AKA the Barefoot FND Goddess) 💋
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

Depression & Chronic Illness, Deconstruct Your Every Breath…..

Tonight I write in a dark place……

The last week, I’ve noticed both mind and body sliding- is it because of all the therapies I’ve begun- is it a virus or an infection that has gotten hold of my immune system! No matter what it is life seems so unworthy of and for me right now! Things literally have me thinking that I have no resources for helping myself or anyone else. So why the fuck am I wandering this path for awareness for Functional Neurological Disorder & the many other chronic illnesses- well these circumstances are why!!

I know very well now, that surviving the depression that my health takes me into is so very scary. I also know that when these dark thoughts start reappearing it’s the red warning light flickering that I need to take even better care of myself. You see, depression and chronic illness deconstructs my every breath bringing the reappearance of the big scraggy black dog waltzing back through the door. This frightens the hell out of me and that’s something, even the most beautiful people around me doing all they can will never understand- christ I don’t even know why this, health roller coaster and its dog friend does this either.

In this last week I’ve completely lost my way, including an appetite for food and life,  so I thought if I jumped back into my strict juicefasting and meditation regime I could regather my energy and thoughts. But, alas no, I’ve become even more lethargic and exhausted – I have aches and pains like the worst autoimmune flare that ever there was! I don’t want to go to my many appointments and therapies – I just want it all to stop! I am done adulting!
So with those thoughts, I come back to today and it has felt like I literally can’t keep doing this any longer BUT oh I do!  What the fuck – I am full of contradictions tonight- I don’t want to live BUT, yet I want to live and fill my life with the visions, dreams and passions that fill me with hope and take the dark away. So, this is why I ramble tonight because I know I have some ability in reaching out into the world through blog , letting you, the one that is struggling too know,  it’s not just you that feels this destructive pull! Together through my scrambled thoughts and feelings of pain and sadness, hope and healing there is a future-if we can just see through the mist and messyness that life sits us in right now!

So, as I mentioned as this last week has moved forward- I’ve noticed my appetite disappearing, well to be perfect honest, I don’t have a big one anyway so to lose interest altogether- I know is wrong! WHY – because i know that i need food for energy and if I have no energy i can’t feel okay. I’m not saying that increasing my diet is going to fix these problems I am feeling but across my wandered journey I know that good healthy nutrition, helps more than everyone realises. I’ve learnt something about living with debilitating illnesses that affect my ability to eat and that is when I have a sustained and healthier appetite with clean nutrition it allows for a better and brighter ‘ME’ and if that’s the case I can function better which means just perhaps my mind and body will be able to recover from its functional flaws that I battle with at present.

Journaling tonight, right now seems cathartic, however I feel still so discouraged with this dark space that I have again landed in! I can’t believe what my physical health has done to my mental health and viceversa. I know I’m just scrambling at this point because it’s a matter of holding myself together.

Falling into depression and such darkness is my most difficult path with living with multiple chronic illnesses all of the time. I’m so tired of it. It is what makes me lose hope, but then I hear my medical specialists words whispering “there is time for everything YOU want life to be – it maybe different from the original vision, but life is still there for you to live”. With, these whispers, I just need to hold on. 

I dont know you, yes YOU, that is reading this or maybe I do BUT I know I definitely don’t know your individual struggles. I know we all have them at some point and if you are reading my struggles tonight, then I believe there’s hope and a reason I both put pen to paper and then to blog. This message is for me, but it’s for you too – Just surviving until tomorrow is  enough. Then, when tomorrow rises, let us then look at that day. What is important is that we stay alive and keep fighting for something better – something much better than this.I know it  won’t get any better if i give up. Suicide is not an option. If you have suicidal thoughts creeping into your mind, it is those even bigger flickering red warning lights telling yourself to be nicer to you in every way you can and I know because I’ve been in that place and that’s what scares me with this darkness that I sit in now. 

As I ponder for a moment, I realise that the words written are my ways, for again talking my  way through the mess and mist, whilst reaching for support. Let me reach for a  glass of water and take care of myself physically and the mental part will follow. I hope wherever you are and if you’ve resonated with this – you too will be able to reach for a glass of water and look after yourself tonight too and together we will get through this. 

Much Love

Lisa-Raie 💋
You can connect with me through;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

“Wandering Towards Wellness Globally”

Let Me Tell You About True Friendship……and connection 🙏🏻

Would it surprise you if I told you that the majority of people whom I count as my true friends in life are people I’ve never actually met?
Of course I do have healthy actual friends. People who have known me for a long while, and I know they will always be in my life one way or an other. Plus, there’s my husband, who’s my best friend. But, other than that, the people who I connect with are thousands, maybe even millions of miles away.
How can this be? Well, when living with chronic illness, it’s hard to find people who understand. I’m very lucky because those, that have stuck by me, in my life always try their best. They treat me with kindness and a lot of patience, and bring humor into my non humour life regularly. But it’s hard. It’s hard for them and it’s hard for me. Hard for them, because no matter what they will never know what it truly feels like to live in my skin and that’s something I’m very  happy about and I would never wish this on them.  Hard for me because I constantly wish I could help them more and do all the things I want when I want to do them. 
I am not even sure if you can imagine the life that I live. It can and is so very lonely and frustrating. Being and feeling so alone is one of the most challenging feelings that comes with living with  chronic and invisible illness. Because of those feelings, I began to look for support groups – some of my illnesses I did find groups, others practically nothing. A lot of the time, I am not well enough to go out and physically attend group get togethers so online and Facebook became my support mechanism .
I soon found several groups, and joined them all. I began, to find people like me! And early in my journey with chronic illness, these groups helped me to understand what my newly diagnosed health conditions were and why I was like I was. As I kept connecting I soon found some beautiful people that are true friends for life and although I may not be in those groups anymore for many different reasons, I’ve kept those friends and we have all helped each other wander our similar but oh so different journeys of life. Through this modern day world, I have also added to what I call my true friendship group a gathering of mostly women found again through predominantly Facebook . We have connected because of likeminded goals and visions but they all inspire me greatly to push through my illness struggles to be my truest self for the story, message , mission and purpose I have to share with the world!                                                             I am in fact been lucky enough to have been able to meet some of these most beautiful friends and just as I had I found online, they are just as beautiful in reality too which allows me to be further inspired and motivated everyday.  When, I had such a major fall with mental and physical health last year none of them disappeared where people I had lived and loved in the reality of everyday dropped me like hot cakes . That was hard to deal with and probably even contributed to worsening health complexities .                                                 Come forward, I am still struggling to come to terms with the complex list of health conditions that I have to live with things like – brain tumours, autoimmune conditions, anxiety, depression (that I never wanted to accept) but it was the latest of diagnosis’ that really dealt me my biggest blow – Functional Neurological Disorder – WTF is that ! It’s taken a number of months and a whole heap of hospital stays and appointments to really become familiar with this illness that disables my every being! Paralysis down my right side of my body, insomnia caused by what I can only refer to as jumping jack legs as soon as I lay down and many more symptoms that I’ve told you about in previous blogs. I fell so ill that my beloved wellness centre where I was a trained life coach and yoga and meditation teacher was waved goodbye! I had too, I couldn’t look after myself so!!                                                            I must say it was the most beautiful group of soul sista’s, that kept me going through the darkest of moments. This has brought me to right now, with rebuilding of me, my health and my life. I want to be an angel, a soul sista for other FND women, to show them that they are not alone. I began with this blog, which through each post is something of my wanderings looking for wellness. I then created other channels across the social media network, but then I remembered how my journey began finding true heartfelt friends it was from the Facebook group. I looked everywhere, for FND connections but nothing I could see. So I created my group, http://www.facebook.com/TheLongWalkWithFunctionalDisorder  for people like me, to come and connect and support each other on the good, bad, hard and everything else days. I want to create a caring space for each one of us to come when we need a friends ear of support. Isn’t this a space creation for where true friends are made and as we all join and connect, we may just become even more fierce in the world recognising our chronically invisible and debilitating illnesses so that we can all manage a better quality of life. This group, is my creation of wanting to let my other members (newest friends) know that someone is in their corner, no matter what?                                                  My group is only young, but it has begun and while I’ve never met these amazingly brave new friends, but I want them to know like all of my other soul sista’s and brothers,that they literally save me on my most darkest days. On really bad days and their are those , I feel I am in prison from my home but through chat and inspiring banter, I am pushed to step outside of my pain barrier to build more awareness through my story. Having a support network like this, allows life to be moved forward with energy for my vision and purpose. Through finding true connections where I can talk about my frustrations with those who understand makes the weary journey worth it.

If you are living with chronic illness and particularly FND, I urge you, to please find friends that understand you and your journey. Come and find me across on social media because I do not judge your journey, I only want to be there on those days and nights where you need to find someone to laugh with you because of the dire straits you find yourself in, and it’s OK because I am in them, too. In this modern day, nobody has to feel alone. Your friends are out there. They might just be in another state or country.

Come an connect and let’s wander towards mind and body wellness together;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

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My Brain & Body Are Affected By Chronic Stress and Illness….So Much More Than I Knew.

After meeting with my neurologist yesterday afternoon and having discussions about my chronic health conditions, she began to talk about chronic stress and what it does to both body and brain. As a woman living everyday with “Functional Neurological Disorder “and other invisible illnesses, knowing that battling various obstacles from both brain and body not working, this subject has really left me, wanting to learn so much more . As my neurologist spoke, I could feel that my knowledge regarding chronic stress was about to go to new levels.  I new that chronic stress increased the stress hormone cortisol but I really didn’t have any ideas that the affects on our brain functions was so extreme, putting us at risk from many mental and physical illnesses.

BUT, STOP RIGHT THERE – STRESS IS VERY MUCH A PART OF MODERN LIFE!

What, I’ve discovered is that there are two kinds of main stress . These are acute stress and chronic stress and not all stress is bad for you. Acute stress is the cause to an immediate threat or action and is more commonly known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. When you are in a pattern of acute stress once the threat has passed, your levels of stress hormones return to normal with no permanent effects. It is actually thought that some level of acute stress is even thought to be good as it assists your brain reach peak performance. However chronic stress, which is the kind of stress that most of us face on any given day is the stress that can cause severe health concerns. Having a ever rising level of stress hormones not only makes our bodies sick and it negatively impacts the brain too. This is what struck the fear chord within me, as when stress becomes chronic, it changes the brain’s function and even its structure down to the level of our DNA. 

So what is so dangerous about the stress hormone, cortisol. So I needed to find out about these stress hormones that we have within our bodies. Firstly we have adrenalin which is the stress hormone we make in moments of excitement and is what makes us work or perform even better than we would normally have. Adrenalin assists us and it also does not stay in the body, disappearing as quickly as it was produced . Cortisol, as spoken about earlier and on the other hand, moves through our bodies all day long, making it so very dangerous. Cortisol is the number one enemy for everyone and can lead to many adverse health conditions such as digestive problems, autoimmune illnesses and cancer, just to name a few.

CHRONIC STRESS TAKES A MAJOR TOLL ON ADRENAL GLANDS.

Chronic stress can leave you feeling exhausted, it can cause weight gain, mood swings, poor sleep, short attention span, and memory issues just to name a few of the common signs of a elevated cortisol level . So this demonstrates just how stress and cortisol can take a toll on our bodies but these symptoms can and do also take an equally high toll on our brains. Some of the brain related stress symptoms are obvious when pointed out , these can include memory problems, anxiety, and worry. The horrible thing is though that most of these symptoms of stress on our brains are not noticeable until they get much worse, affecting parts of our bodies. Making diagnoses very difficult. Here are some key issues that causes stress to impact both brain mental health and physical well being. I’ve learnt that chronic stress creates free radicals that destroy our brain cells. Free radicals attack brain cells causing them damage and death as they basically break our brain cell walls causing them to rupture. Losing sleep, eating junk food, drinking too much alcohol, or smoking cigarettes all add to our free radical overload. Chronic stress can make us extremely forgetful. The sign of memory problems can often be one of the first signs of stress you will notice as you misplace commonly used items or forget usual appointments. Chronic stress can create a most vicious circle of fear and anxiety. You see stress builds up in an area of our brain referred to the fear centre. This makes us more scared, causing even more fear and stress and again stops the production of new brain cells. Chronic stress can lower critical brain chemical levels causing depression. The reduced levels of  serotonin and dopamine can leave you depressed and more prone to multiple health complexities. Serotonin is namely the “happy chemical . It plays a major role in mood, learning and sleep. Women low in serotonin are prone to anxiety and depression, while men are more prone to alcoholism and ADHD. Dopamine on the other hand is named as the “motivation chemical”and is in charge of your pleasure system. Low levels of dopamine can leave you not focused, lethargic, and again depressed. People low in dopamine may often use caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and illicit drugs to boost dopamine levels. Looking at STRESS so much more closely it is so visible that it puts us all at greater risk of various mental health conditions. The cause of most mental health illnesses is not yet understood and personally I wonder if the true answers will ever be found because the causes are a complex variety of factors. A lot more research is needed, but it has been discovered that physical differences in the brains of people with stress disorders.

From looking at stress this way, I can see why it makes me personally feel chronically stupid at times. In my particular journey with stress, my brain appears to seize up randomly and with no rhyme or reason. Stress impairs memory and at times impacts making decisions very difficult. I had heard, that chronic stress can shrink the brain. Well, yes STRESS can measurably shrink your brain and my neurologist did explain this very clearly. It was described to me that the dangerous levels of cortisol can destroy and shrink, the part of your brain that stores memories. This sector of our brain is critical for learning, memory and emotional responses and when we are chronically stressed, toxins enter our brain, however the brain is highly sensitive to toxins of every kind. When stressed our brains safety barrier becomes thinner, thus letting such things as heavy metals, chemicals, and other harsh toxins. All of this putting us more at risk of a multitude of worrying illnesses and diseases and it also contributes to brain inflammation and depression. I was amazed to learn that our brains have their own individual immune systems. This internal immune system protects our brain and spinal cord from infections and toxins. All of this new and thorough understanding of what chronic stress does, has given me more insight to why happiness and peace of mind is destroyed so very deeply. It wears us down mentally, emotionally and saps the joy from life physically and it is any wonder, finding a way out of such darkness takes enormous strength when such symptoms of stress include;

  • excessive worry and fear
  • anger and frustration
  • impatience with self and othersmood swings, crying spells and / or suicidal thoughts
  • insomnia
  • trouble with concentration 
  • forgetfulness, mental confusion
  • difficulty in making decisions
  • feeling overwhelmed

I now know why when I walked out of the neurologists room, I felt a inner request for further information of what is gurgling away within my own chronic illness journey. I sat and cried, I have to admit because, I know now why it is so difficult for the modern world in which we live to understand stress and the illnesses that are caused by it. But, having a more subtle insight to how chronic stress becomes allows me to better understand my own healing journey towards reducing my stress levels and repairing and rebuilding both body and brain to my desired lifestyle. 

I have wandered far and wide, looking for tips and tricks over the years to overcome stress throughout my wandering steps. Going forward, I will be definitely going to be more proactive in using these particular steps to help my own body overcome the harmful effects that have had on my brain. I will be going back to my vegan diet, eating foods high in antioxidants such as fruit, vegetables and green tea. This will assist in stopping further free radical damage.

Increasing mindfulness back into my daily practice will become so very important to boost levels of food energy into the brain. My journey with debilitating illnesses has left me disabled mentally and physically, so rebuilding can’t be strenuous. I am undertaking NeuroPhysio sessions based on pilates and I now know this is particularly important. As I gain more confidence and strength again, I  will be able to walk more steadily.  I also now have the belief to again use yoga and meditation exercises to heal my mind and body. Using a daily meditation practice reduces stress. Yoga and meditation are alternative tools for being able to master and strengthen our thoughts because as we know stress does not just come from our  life events, it also comes from our inner most thoughts and  negative reactions with regard to these events.

I know, learning more about, how chronic stress effects body and brain has helped me and I also hope that has given you better information of how it is an unavoidable part of our lives. But I certainly have learnt that proactive and positive steps, can definitely reduce the wear and tear on bodies and brain. I will be definitely incorporating a more mind/body selfcare program again to ensure I can manage all aspects of my life so much better because my brain health is just as important or more as my physical health.

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving feedback here or on one of my social media channels;

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“Wandering Towards A Life Of Wellness”

Living On The Edge With Chronic Illness – A Step Into The Darkness Means Asking For Help…….

So today, my thoughts are going back to when everything was oh so dark and in despair and I felt like I could not keep going.  WHY – Because I want you reading this to know that you are not alone in your journey with chronic pain and debilitating invisible illnesses.

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You see, when you are chronically ill, apart from the everyday pain and illness you most probably will suffer from forms of depression, loss, loneliness and perhaps even  thoughts of suicide,  but you will rarely discuss these because you think you will be judged as weak. I want to speak to you, openly about the fact that these topics are ones that you don’t want to dismiss or ignore and I am speaking from personal experience. 
By speaking of my own journey, honestly and vulnerably , I hope that I may help you feel more comfortable about talking about your struggles with living with chronic illness everyday. I want to show you that by choosing to ignore these dark moments, only can make the problems that you are dealing with even bigger, scarier AND lonelier. Being honest opens up doors to your inner most private struggles and lets other people in to help.  

So let me explain a little bit of my experience. Obviously my physical health was caused by multiple chronic illnesses of autoimmune & neurological breakdowns but I also started to notice a  mental deterioration clearly by middle of 2015. I put it down to extra tiredness due to opening up my own business as a life coach and yoga teacher with my own studio. I know that my chronic illnesses are part of me and this business was my way of opening the journey up to the greater world. I wanted this so much, so I just told myself to keep pushing through the daily processes of life. 

Let me stop right here, now and explain that my living in silence with my pain and illness is an oh so clear example of how this modern world makes surviving chronic illness and is without a doubt, one of the hardest hurdles to overcome. 

Going back to the beginning……my health began to decline and initially , I approached it as though I had a bad flu. But that flu, never went away so off to the doctors, I wen to find the problem, so again I could be well. Right – oh no, not so! As months went on and one year turned into multiple years my pain and suffering weren’t getting better , in fact, they were worsening. I tried all the mainstream medical philosophies, I stepped into alternative therapies , which may I say allowed me to find a path through for a while but as life was seemingly moving, my thought process began to divert from those who surrounded me. I kept going to the doctor, many doctors actually and many times, over and over but that is where my original plan failed. The pain was from nerve damage, but that was where the understanding of my situation stopped. My body kept adding more and more  symptoms and the doctors seemed to have less understanding and compassion of my daily life . Particular autoimmune illnesses were diagnosed but confusion regarding what was impacting my health increased as did my pain and with each failed attempt at managing the pain or finding a diagnosis, my life  was falling through and into deeper levels of darkness .

I can tell you that as this journey of mine wandered further, I felt a thick disconnect from everything. Everyday became a blur and what was once important no longer seemed real.  I knew I was a part of the living world and I knew I had this passion and purpose but  from 2015 it felt more like I was watching it from a million years away than from reality. This life – my life it seemed so, so far away. I began to wonder if I would ever live that life that was so vividly clear in my visions and dreams. I had once planned to make world wide impact but my days consisted of lying in bed using  my electric blanket and medication or anything and everything I could think of to lessen the pain.  There would be days where I would sit up but I would still be taking high doses of pain medication and my trusty heated throw rug or sitting outside in 40 degree days just to feel well. That is NOT life. The thoughts of being well and free of these debilitating chronic illnesses were not even near being real and in that state, I just wanted  to decrease my breath into a life of living – YES, I wanted to die! I wanted relief, I wanted wellness , even just a minute. That obviously wasn’t to be, so thoughts of dying came more readily like we breathe our most magical visions and dreams had for so long. The only thing was  I thought was to go to sleep permanently- you see being in chronic pain and illness makes you so tired , so you sleep but then you wake up.  Even the short bursts of  sleep I was getting, only gave me short term relief, but my body’s pain  and suffering continued. So fast track to late 2015, early 2016 and I was done with this pain and these illnesses- some known about , others even doctors were left flabbergasted! SUICIDE was going to be my release from this world that became all too hard. I was angry, I was hurting and no one could help me.  I was in a very dark place that I could not get out of ! So I entered hospital early 2016 with pneumonia, which I believe spiralled me further into despair. I soon was discharged, with the doctors giving me the same scripted announcement- “you will need to rest , so that you can best recover because of all your other health complexities”. I was stuck in self destruct mode with such thoughts as “they’ll be sorry,” or “I’ll show them.” My pain and illness were my permanent and realistic nightmare everyday.  My  physical and mental health could not survive another spectrum of life with this level of suffering, death would be a relief, it would be an end to this awful pain and it would take me as the burden away from those closest to me. The only problem was my loved ones, as much as I wanted to leave the reality of death I didn’t want to leave them. I tried  making my husband and children realise that by killing myself it would be kindness .  I so much wanted them to understand this agony, that I was living, so that I could find relief. At this point, I was  only alive because of the people I loved, but then they left me the internal distress was at breaking point.

Come to March 2016, I was taking massive amounts of strong pain medication but just couldn’t get relief, so I went back to  hospital.  I was in a bad state, confused , in pain, in anguish , constantly falling over and even, hospital where I thought that these people would understand me  and help me were not!  I resented myself, everybody and everything – Noone really had any clue how much pain I was suffering . In that instance , I did something – I tried to kill myself. I tried to escape the hospital ward and take myself to the busy road outside and be hit by a truck. Obviously, it failed – I fell outside of the lift – but it brought me to the NOW to finding help that was there, being open to accept it. 

Being alive and living are two different things which I had forgotten after falling victim to my own health complexities, I got lost in the mist of extreme darkness and depression because, I was afraid to accept help. I thought if I accepted help, that I would be showing an even greater sign of weakness. How incorrect the thoughts (my thoughts) are when mental health disintegrates. Accepting help and building a team of health and personal support is the biggest mental and physical gain that I have given to myself. I now, know that all life needs when in these most anxious moments of life, is honest conversations regarding an understanding and  compassion. I am grateful, for my new doctor whilst in hospital as it was, he who made me realise that coming to hospital and accepting admission was the best and only option for me. It was probably my most loneliest hospital stay but also the most important 3 weeks of my life. It gave me new set of medications, treatments and a resilience to get me through the days living with chronic illness because we walk inseparable through life.

To conclude my experience, I have learnt that at this time in the modern day world, depression and suicide are as much a part of chronic illness as all the other invisible symptoms. The problem is that this world, ignores or perhaps more correctly chooses to avoid the subject. This then leaves the chronically ill like myselff, alone to cope with  the demons and darkness that nobody should have too live with. I believe if, i  had of found that new doctor months and possibly years earlier, who sat with me  and had the full non judgemental conversation,  my journey may not have  been so heavy and dark leaving me to progress like I am now. 

As I am writing this , this conversation still terrifies me but I also know talking about it helps ideas and perspectives make more space within the brain for new opportunities that life may not yet have offered. Always  remember to show kindness, compassion and understanding;to yourself  because our inner most  thoughts aren’t because of us, it’s because of the external journeys that we are living. I am now reteaching myself using mindfulness, journaling and talking about how to no longer hold on to my fear, my pain or my illnesses. For the remainder of my journey of life with chronic illness or not I want to feel alive . So by me being able to write and talk my experiences, I hope that this may help some of you and together we can begin to walk together and tear down the stigma of being vulnerable and out of reach of a life to be wandered towards wellness and wonderful experiences.

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Lisa-Raie

(AKA – The Barefoot Goddess) 💋

If this resonates anyway please let me know either here or on my other social media channels;

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