“Oh But You Don’t Look Sick”…..

Lately, I have been looking back at the journey I’ve wandered and it’s sad to think that I’ve been chronically ill since 2012. Every single day, since then I’ve learnt so much about the ups and downs related to my hidden health conditions. I want you to know that these health conditions use what I would describe as a kind of lottery system, that give me highest of highs and the frightfully lowest of lows. Anyway, with that said, I sit here journaling for the benefit of all the sick and healthy people across the world. As I walk and talk my journey to more people with so many varied chronic illnesses, i see that the perception of what being sick looks like has an impact on more people than just me. It affects so many areas of life for every chronically ill person. I want to tell you, out in the big wide world how the phrase, “Oh but you don’t look sick” can seriously impact those people like myself, who suffer with invisible and chronic illnesses . It is time to look deeper into  what chronic pain and chronic illness looks like in the real world, so that they can receive the necessary medical care. 

As you are reading this, you may have just connected with me through social media, this blog or maybe you might be a good friend or family member. I just want to take an extra moment to talk to you about the phrase that I mentioned earlier “oh but you don’t look sick.” I want you to remember that as you are saying that to me, you have never seen me at home on the yukkiest and darkest days. So, at the moment that you are seeing me – you maybe right, I may not look sick or just because you can’t see my pain or illness, it doesn’t mean I am feeling at my weakest. Sometimes, dressing up helps mood, or even if it doesn’t help my pain, it helps to mask it. I’m so sorry if that messes up the idea of looking sick – but that is one indication of chronic and invisible illness.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for what you may mean as a compliment, but it is kind of insulting to me or anyone that is chronically ill. That little phrase dismisses the pain and suffering that I and so many go through on a day to day basis. So, if we have just met, and I open up to you about my painful neurological condition and I don’t even begin to mention my other autoimmune conditions that I live with, please don’t think you’re complimenting me. If you follow it up with but “you’re so strong ,” you are implying that being sick should make me weak. Maybe you think I’m exaggerating my pain because you perceive me as strong. When you are ill for such a long time, strength fades, but pain doesn’t.

This journaling and blogging session is not about only me, it’s about all of the incredible souls that I have connected with through support groups to keep me from giving up. By telling me that i don’t look sick and that I’m strong, BRAVE or beautiful you are reinforcing the idea that I don’t want these medical conditions taken seriously. Maybe I should not take any pride in my appearance, when I am on my sickest days so your conceptions of these illnesses and my illness will fit together. The thoughts of what being chronically ill looks like is what stops people from seeking the medical attention that they need, receiving the benefits that they deserve, and being treated with respect. We are the people who even lose the much needed family support during their illnesses because their families do not understand or believe that being sick can look so many different ways. SICK LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE ON DIFFERENT DAYS. 

You don’t see me at home. You don’t see me the way my close network do. The way I live is so horribly embarrassing that even some of my doctors don’t see all of the pain. The mask I apply is there, because of the negative experiences with showing vulnerability. Even the necessary doctors’ appointments and my God, there are many are excruciating hard because  it means that I have to take a shower with energy that I do not have. I let many of you see what I want you to see because to me it feels uncomfortable with showing you the truth. I don’t want to be ridiculed by the “oh but you don’t look sick” scenario each time I venture out.  So, if you see me outside of my home when I’m dressed up, don’t presume. Living a chronically invisible ill life is isolating and lonely and there are many days that I don’t have the energy to make myself look presentable. There appears a huge amount of stigma around when we the chronically ill can’t shower ourselves because we feel that sickly, but there is just as much judgement because you can’t see the whole story within a moments notice.  That’s why you only see me and most invisibly chronic ill people when we apparently don’t look sick. 

So,  I can’t explain my whole life’s chronically ill story across my blog or in a short conversation because without the endless health specialists notes and medical timelines,  I cannot tell you about the hours and money that have gone into tests and examinations that I’ve had done and then there is all the extra stuff that I have taken or done to maintain a manageable pain level. In conversations apart from now I won’t tell you how many doctor visits that I average a week or how many pills that I’ve tried and have had horrible side effects or allergic toxic reactions. I won’t tell you about the pain of when the doctors don’t know what to do with me – yes, I have been turned away by many doctors because I’m too complicated !!! I want you to understand the frustrations that I and so many deal with on any given day. Being chronically ill is like you are slowly losing your sanity and that’s what makes us feel even worse. So if I brush my hair to try and look ok when I leave the house, but I carry so much pain behind the pretty faced selfie don’t think that’s my everyday experience. I go out of my way to document the moments that I enjoy life, so when everyone else is out there having amazing and exciting life experiences and I am alone in my lounge room with my heated blanket I can see evidence of the few times life shined.
So, to end positively, I do appreciate it when you tell me that my voice sounds strong or notice an improvement in my symptoms. But, if I don’t know you or you think that “but you don’t look sick” phrase you aren’t complimenting me – so it’s probably best to stay quiet, with my favourite saying “if you can’t say anything nice – don’t say anything at all”.

             Life NOW- 2016 & beyond!

** I want to tell you that it’s at this point along the journey looking for healing and wellness through endless doctors sessions and research that I am now, standing strong because of a doctor that saw me at my weakest and was not going to let me take my own life. I am currently undertaking weekly physical and psychological therapies in order to be strong and well. I have also returned to my vegan dietary choice to strengthen and alkalise my internal health. Through this therapy, my love for writing again came and why this blogging map is here for you but probably what’s happened is my love for mindfulness with meditation and yoga. I am stepping a new and revived pathway to trigger brain, body, health and life to commit to a life to love. This is me, this is my passion and purpose – this is life being authentic and vulnerable so if you see, me out and about don’t utter the words “oh but you don’t look sick”. I have a incredible long journey to go, but I am on a path for myself and so many others. Let’s walk together for life in brilliant colours!**

I hope you may have resonated with some part of this – if so make sure you connect and let me know;

SOCIAL MEDIA 

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
Lisa-Raie 💋

Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

How I Rediscovered My Mindfulness Key 🔑 For Chronic Illness. 

Mindfulness was something that I fell into accidentally when I was first diagnosed with chronic illness 10 years ago. Looking back, I wish I had kept my daily practice strong in my life. It may have saved me a lot of worry, distress, and hopelessness over the last five years of further and debilitating chronic illness symptoms. Through a lot of research and life experience learning, I found that mindfulness is a set of skills for healing, intuition, insight, calmness, focus, resilience, and hope that you can use to counter the destructive path that chronic illness is. 

But what is mindfulness; 
Using Google as a reference, mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

Across my journey of life, I’ve dealt with my share of pain and tragedies many which caused my path to being chronically ill. Prior to becoming chronically ill, I was a full time busy working woman, wife and mumma. I was focused on building a life for my young family to grow in. Unfortunately, the path that transpired was different . It began initially as a virus that never went away. Slowly that virus, tore my immune system apart and disease after disease began to be diagnosed. It often left me with debilitating aches, unable to eat and everyday simple tasks seemed  overwhelming to say the least. It was then I found mindfulness through yoga and meditation . The techniques I found allowed me to build remission and a new passion for life. I began to research, study and train within coaching, yoga and meditation and my holistic wellness centre opened. It was growing in such a way that my body couldn’t cope. Through the path, I lost my mindfulness mantra and I fell ill again but this time in such a dark despair of dark inner destruction. The stress of chronic illness, was back worse than ever. Back in and out of hospital- more tests after tests! By the time end of 2015/beginning of 2016 came – suicide became my only option! Ahhh yes, this is when the first doctor stepped in and saw my darkness and depression. More tests occurred and it was my next hospital admission after I had , had a seizure and fall leaving me with right sided paralysis that my neurologist diagnosed (FND) Functional Neurological Disorder, just to add to my multiple health complexities. But, I was connected with a team of doctors, physical therapists and psychologists that began my rediscovered walk towards healing and wellness. Just as I was thinking I could not survive more stress and illness, I found a positive pathway to bring me healing. It allowed me to find the mindfulness tool of a few years back. 

Today, I am rebuilding health and life. No, I haven’t completely moved mental and physical symptoms, but a LOT has changed for the BETTER in my life! So much so that I want to stand up in the world to show people that have struggled with the dark days of depression and chronic illnesses that their is a healthy healing path to wellness. Through strengthening my mental and physical health I am learning the daily practices of yoga and meditation that is enabling me to develop inner health and again a professional support network for others. Everyday I am grateful for my wonderful husband and youngest son that I have supporting my every step and struggle and in short, I am blessed to breathe clearance and clarity for life’s future. 

Practicing mindfulness will always be a continuous learning process. But I know staying strong in this lifestyle that  I’ve been fortunate to learn skills in of how to be more mindful. There are ways mindfulness can help heal chronic illness. 

Here are 6 ways I have used mindfulness to help manage my chronic and I know that they can help you too;

1. Self-Love – Be good to yourself, treat yourself with kindness and compassion. 

2. Focus On NOW  –  Live life with awareness in the present moment.

3. Be your POWER – Know yourself, don’t let your illness define you.   

4.  Heal Yourself – Seek healing by finding others that can help you.  

5. Connect With Like Minded Souls – Surround yourself with people that love, support, and inspire you, especially when facing illness and other challenges. 

6. Gratitude & Mindset are everything – Be grateful and stay positive. 

This journey hasn’t been easy and it still has moments of fear, and hopelessness. This is something that happens to us all. But I don’t stay in the fearful moments long anymore because of the daily gratitude that mindfulness brings won’t allow it!

Using the skills I use, I want to help you find this lifestyle too. So if my story has resonated in anyway, please send me an email to: theblessedgoddessproject@gmail.com or connect with me through my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Namaste 🙏🏻 
Lisa-Raie 💋

‘Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally’

Living A Life Of Contentment 🙏🏻

A lot of people search for ways to find happiness, but I personally think the idea of contentment is more important than happiness.

So why contentment over happiness? 
SIMPLY- 

  1. Happiness can go up or down each day or by the moment, BUT contentment is something more stable.
  2. We seek happiness by adding things like food, a warm bath, time with a loved one but contentment is a skill that allows you to not need those things and still be contented and balanced.
  3. Contentment can actually be a good place to start as we make changes to health, life and simply ourselves.

So what is contentment? For me, it’s about being happy with who we  are as individuals. This is something I wasn’t for many years, and I think is one of the reasons I am slowly becoming more and more my truest self.

As I am journeying life and healing myself , I’m learning to be better with the skill of contentment.  I am happy with my life. I am happy with myself. I’m happy with where I sit myself each and everyday because I now see me for who I am and I love the woman that I’ve grown to be.  I’ve grown and I am still growing in ways that I would never have imagined and part of the reasoning is that I am content with knowing that I am enough in everything that I try and do on any given day. Of course, I still strive for many things but I know that for when one day ends and the next begins, I’ve been and done all that I can do – that is true and total contentment and that is enough!

So let’s take a look at the path of contentment and how it’s a good place for letting change to begin and how to get started down that path. The question is how to get there. How to go from being unhappy with yourself to being content with yourself!

  • The path is learning a few important skills at a time.
  • Build self-trust. The only way to fix a lack of trust is in small steps. You can’t  trust your unreliable self right a way,  instead, it’s about starting to build trust in small steps. Do little things, each day, where you start seeing things showing up. As this begins to happen, you open yourself up more and more to being able to want , think and feel more expansive options in health and life.
  • What I usually do to build trust is to start with small things that I’m totally certain I can do, for instance  drinking a glass of water every day is an easy to do task. If you want to drink more water, like I do set yourself a bunch of reminders in your phone or with notes scattered around your home to remind you to drink more water. Keep that up for a week or more and it will help you to trust yourself. If we try to change hard stuff, we will fail, every time and then your self trust is gone. So start with the small stuff.
  •  The other problem is with finding contentment is the reality of ourselves does not meet some of the ideals we hold in ourselves . That ideal comes from the media, particularly social media in this modern day world. Or are maybe our thoughts, are just coming from some idea about how perfect we think we should be – that was my idea and it’s still a process I am working on releasing.
  • The truth is, the reality of ourselves is only bad in relation to the ideal that we have about ourselves. When we let go of that ideal, we’re left with the reality that can be judged as perfectly great and then we are able being someone who is beautiful in its own special way. It’s a most beautiful feeling to step into the thought when you suddenly realise , “oh I am really worthy and enough”. Life changes so dramatically when these thoughts appear.
  • So ask if you’re feeling bad about who you are and how you are doing. When you can  recognise those traits that is awareness that you are noticing and those traits are your ideals.

Once we notice the ideals, we need to stop comparing ourselves to them. The only way to let go of the ideals is to see the pain that it’s causing in yourself. Letting go of an ideal that’s hurting us, is self-compassion. Being self-compassionate about causing pain within ourselves begins the process of comparing ourselves with these ideals. So are you ready to live a life of true contentment? Are you ready to commit to being really connected to yourself and living a life of contentment.
Let’s connect and wander together within life everyday using social media;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
Lisa-Raie 💋
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

Just Breathe….you are finding yourself ❤️


When we find ourselves, we can truly love ourselves and it’s then we can create ourselves ❤️️

Don’t worry if it’s painful and messy- creations are best found in these situations 🙏🏻
“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”

Let’s connect on social media;

http://www.facebook.com/IAFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
Lisa-Raie

Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally “

What is NeuroPhysio….Treatment Is Available. 

Since I’ve been posting about beginning my rehab sessions-I’ve lost count at how many people have messaged me to ask what is this “NeuroPhysio” that you are doing!

Let me explain;

Neurological physiotherapy is a treatment for people who have neurological impairments. It is an exciting area of rehabilitation that merges key discoveries in neuroscience, exercise and movement science. People, just like me with neurological or neuromuscular disorders can present with a number of difficulties with movement issues or challenges that can influence balance, walking, arm & hand function, posture and pain. This form of treatment can help people with dizziness and balance disorders, and those people at risk of falls and I am one of this group of people that this form of rehabilitation is helping. 


This treatment brings in the evolution of Dr. Norman Doidge who introduced neuroplasticity to the world, through his book ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ a number of years ago. His idea was that our brains are not as rigidly hardwired as once believed, and with therapy, they can change by being rewired. I read this book sceptically positive about this doctors ideas but indeed what i am finding in my own rehab is that the brain can heal, it can change and it can rewire and be triggered to find new circuits and paths through mental and physical activity. Indeed our brains can “…form, unform, and reform in new ways”. 


Beginning NeuroPhysio sessions, I’ve stepped into rehabilitation with positivity  that it will assist me to regain control over areas of my body that have become blocked from functioning normal in my daily life. What I’ve found is that the exercises and techniques that I am having to learn or perhaps relearn are at times exceptionally frustrating. They are exercises, set on teaching the particular parts of the body which have become blocked in their normal functioning behaviours. My particular areas are teaching the right side of my body to again function. The areas worked on are my right leg and foot, which presently due to paralysis are frozen and walking is strained, thus I am needing to use a four wheeler walker to assist with balance and gait structure. My right arm and hand is also worked on, helping to trigger messages to my muscles so that I can again do such things as brush my hair, butter bread, etc. But, I have this inbuilt strength that tells me after being ill for so long that I can’t give up! I’ve managed to come a long way in such a short time and although, the day after each session and if I’ve had a exceptionally full rehab session it may be two days where all my body can do is rest, all it can do is sleep and recover. But, I won’t stop because I know that I can trigger my brain to rework its processes of messaging my body. I will recover,perhaps not in the way that I would like , but these therapies will allow me to put in place new pathways to live the life I love.

                         
I hope, I’ve deciphered the mysteries of ‘NeuroPhysio’ .

If you have found my blog helpful, please like and share and I would also love to connect with you on my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

Can’t SLEEP-Come & Meditate With Me….🙏🏻

Ok – I am in my pjs and as normal night falls and sleep becomes non existent- what I have found is that even though I can’t get deep sleep , I can meditate and bring calmness, it’s my solution at this time. 

If you would like to try this meditation activity with me or at some stage and then let me know whether you would like me to do a Facebook LIVE meditation session together on my blog page.

Here we go, let’s begin;
1. Find a comfortable space and a seated position and if possible set your phone or timer for 3 – 5 minutes.
NOW 

2. Inhale fully to the count of 4, hold that breath, again to the count of 4 and then exhale fully to the count of 4. 

Repeat 3 – 5 times.
3. Bring your breath to its most natural state, focusing on the inhale and exhale for the remaining time thatbyou selected on your timer.
This helps me clear any emotional and mental blockages particularly through the middle of the night when sleep is a issue. 

I would love to hear your experience, if you tried the activity and if you want me to do a Facebook LIVE meditation, please also let me know. 

Let’s connect here or on one of my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Life is all about breathing, so let’s find our breath and use it to truly breathe! 
Namaste 🙏🏻
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

Mumma, Just Chill Ya Undies…….

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the what if’s!!!  You know the stuff  – work, family, health and life !  How awesome would it be if we could just space it all out so we never had to think anout more than one thing at a time! Ahhhh yes – what if!!!! But we all know the truth, that life gets hectic and there’s so much to get done or to think about that we regularly feel like our brains are going to explode. Thinking about the what ifs  in life , end up making our ‘To Do Lists’ seem even longer and more stressful – so what’s the alternative? What if we found a way to include more  mindfulness in our lives and as my son says ” mumma, just chill ya undies”!  Chilling out and relaxing is something, we in this modern world have forgotten and it’s causing more chronic health issues around the globe.

We Need To Learn To Breathe…..



How many times have you promised yourself that you will  ‘make more time’ for you – be honest, I know that you probably do this all the time – HELL, that was me too!!  But, I’ve learnt that making time for myself is so very important. But sometimes it can be seriously really hard to find time for a even a small break so how could I stop for something like a meditation session even though i know it would help. During busy or stressful situations I’ve had to learn to simply use something i’m already doing, and that is breathing. What ever I am doing, I am still breathing throughout, so I thought I might as well make the most of using that most important action in a better way. When I am noticing that I am feeling tired or perhaps anxious, stressed or that I am not paying attention to what’s happening  in life because I am overthinking – I now begin to deepen my breath rate for a short while. This doesn’t  impact me in any way of what I maybe doing ; in fact by becoming more present and mindful through focusing on what my breath is doing, I can begin to lower my anxiety and stress levels so the head clutter and overthinking calms and I can be more productive and proactive across my day.

If You Forget – Write It Down……


I can tell you that keeping all of my TO DO list consistently enabled in my head is highly stressful.  I was always worrying whether I was  forgetting anything – to a point that my thoughts and actions becoming highly anxiety ridden affecting sleep  and my relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Something had to give. I had to unclutter my mind, so beginning the process of writing things down began. Simply from filling my mind with clutter, I learnt how overloaded stress can take its toll. It left me feeling angry, irritable, tearful and depressed.  Since writing things down or adding alarms into my mobile phone I have transformed my day.

Self Love & Compassion…..


Since becoming more responsive to my self care and love needs, it has assisted me greatly to be able to feel worthy, loved and safe in the crazy modern day world in which we live.  Everyday I now know that I can calm myself through a number of different ways, whether it be by getting myself a warm green tea, or just stopping to tell myself how hard it is in life at a particular time through either inwardly or outloud self talk. Simply by giving ourselves random acts of kindness and compassion on any  given day life can be wandered just as we want. 

My life and those words muttered by my youngest son – ” mumma, just chill ya undies” is my everyday reminder how important I am for my life, but oh so important for my loved  ones lives. If I continue to stay highly anxious and stressed doesn’t allow healing to take place and a life that I want to live. Stay mindful , present and consistent everyday and see how it changes your experiences within life.

If this has resonated with you please connect here or across on 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 💋
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”