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: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me through my social media channels;
‘Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally’