Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Fork In the Road Part 2: The Healing Mindset

  In Part One, we were looking at a post by Coach Scott Abel on using illness as an excuse to escape responsibility. In Part Two, we will look at how you can actively participate in your healing and improve your life.

Here is the last part of his post:  Healing was never meant to be a passive thing – something that happens “to” you. Healing was supposed to imply something you actively participate in. There should be more to treating illness than “swallowing pills” which has the potential for reward in it, by using the “sick” label to remove personal responsibility and expectation from your life’s working equation. Regardless of any ill or disorder – the identity formed in someone as being “limited” “sick” or “victim” should not be reinforced in a way that makes you passive in your own life’s ownership!
Every person should own up to the fact that you are responsible for choices and for your own pursuit of happiness. And in that, you must at least “consider” the possibility that some obscure, hard to define “diagnosis” may be something that rewards you by removing responsibility and expectation from your life. Hard to accept - but so common to witness' 
Some Roads are Full of Dips

Own up to your own pursuit of happiness... let that one simmer in your cranium a bit.  Passive healing.  Is that even a thing?

 Live Like Bill Murray. Relax. Be Yourself. That's it. 

Funny how it works that your best self, what you do for fun and what you care about is the most incredible thing about you. Whenever I try to be something or someone I am not, it leads to so much anxiety and tension I abandon it sooner rather than later. 
um. yeah. Don't.

 You should know that I make worrying into an Olympic sport. And it's really a bad sport to be good at. When I see that I am getting into this area of "nothing bad has happened but what if it did" thinking I have to stop. Breathe. Talk to friends and run my thoughts by them. 9 times out of 10, ok 10 times out of 10, they tell me my worries are useless, unfounded and just plain silly.  So I take my Alfred E. Neuman mask out and try to chill.
What, me worry?          

 If you find out something is going really wrong, in your body, your life, with a  loved one, what then?  What is the road to healing, peace and relaxation Bill Murray style? The road away from worry is not on the map, so how do you get there from here?

Here are my top tips from what I have learned along the way these last 8 years.  If you would be so kind as to share yours in the comments I would stop worrying if anyone is reading this. ;-)

1. Relax. Seriously.

But it's an EMERGENCY I have CANCER/LUPUS/DEPRESSION etc. Yes, some of these require urgent treatment, it's very true. But here's a well kept secret by most doctors, usually, it's not an emergency.  Take my case for example. The online information told me I could expect to die within 2 years, worst case scenario. I would burst into tears reading things like this, really lose it. But I kept reading and I kept working on me. Guided or transcendental meditation is the number one way to relax. Other things help, being in nature, walks, yoga, biofeedback, but meditation is hands down the fastest way to ease both body and mind. Remember, they are connected on a continuous loop, imagine a mobious strip.  You cannot have peace of mind and an uptight tensed up freaked out body. Or vice versa.

 I am so squirmy that guided meditation is the only way to go. I do love me some Meditation Oasis and it's free on iTunes. First thing in the morning, last thing before bed, try it. Headspace is also great, 10 days for free that ease you into meditation with quick 10 minutes sessions.  While we are at it, your staying up late/getting up early days need to end as well. Sleep is your friend so do all you can to get rest in a darkened room for 8-10 hours a night. The body does magic while you sleep but like the Tooth Fairy,  if you are awake you will not get any money under your pillow.

2. Smarten Up
Read, read and then read some more.  Question what you read and research. If you can find a website you trust or a person who has already climbed some of the hills you face, that much the better. Information is Power. I cannot stress that enough. Do not fall for promises of miracle cures, keep your common sense intact at all times. Been there, done that, more in the future on my falls down rabbit holes filled with false promises. Read on healing, books like Getting Well again ( find it on Amazon, link in right hand margin here >>>) can apply to any issue and the techniques are invaluable for getting your mind focused. Read about all sorts of people that have overcome issues, start with Helen Keller for example. If you can find people that have what you are facing, read their stories. Find blogs by people who are in the midst of treatment or in similar boats, check out my blog favorites for some super ones. Their journeys can inform yours. Use their knowledge, build a library of wisdom.
Reading is a Super Power

3. Reach Out
Dwelling on illness is bad enough but doing it alone is the worst. Join support groups to find people in similar situations, many are online or in your city. Check out Caring Bridge, a place to journal and to read others journals. Talk to friends and family but be ready for advice and worry or fears that may be hard for you to handle. Just know that all they want is for you to be Okay. And let them know that all you want is for them to be Okay with you not being totally Okay. 

There are support groups for every possible situation or disease, find a few to try out and see if that helps. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then try a different approach, maybe reaching out to people who share common interests, say cooking or hiking using local Meet Up groups. Don't hole up at home, be sure and let people know that meeting up for tea is a good thing.  Assure them you are interested in their lives too,  even if you feel that your diagnosis may be the elephant in the room. Most folks want to help so let them know that their friendship is the biggest gift they can give you.

4. Move It
That's right, you need to move. Walking in nature or around the block is medicine of a very specific kind. Get a dog if you can, walk one if you already have one, get out and get fresh air. Smell the flowers, meet your neighbors, be in the world. Sunshine in the morning is said to help regulate your sleep. Getting into jogging or marathons is not necessary, just walk. Listen to music or podcast, I prefer to listen to comedy podcasts on my walks. Yoga is great as are all other exercises that get you moving but don't involve you getting so overworked that you end up sidelined by injuries. Weight training is something that is super important for keeping muscle on but don't go in like Arnold. Do go in at your level and don't try to compete with everyone at the gym. Find what works for you. Get a trainer to show you the ropes if need be, but by all means, Do It!
Pump YOU up!

5. Today Is The Best Day
I will keep this one super short. Don't wait. Today is the best day to start. One small change is all it takes, one day at a time, to change a life. What have you been putting off? Do you have a mental list that you have titled 'Someday'? Do it now, plan it, make it happen. Even if you are still under the illusion that you will always have time later, don't wait.  None of us know what tomorrow will bring. So now is always the very best time. Make things happen, there is power in action.

Share your tips in the comments. I need your brains too, no zombie.
xo deb xo


  1. Writing poetry has helped me. Turning anxiety into art (even if it's crap haha) is very cathartic to me. And also creates the space and focus to clearly see the true nature of what's going on inside... Sometimes I write a journal or scribble some thoughts when I'm in the bath. Oh, baths are good too! Epsom salts, scented candles and a notebook...

    1. Don Yes! Those are all great! If I took a bath with my notebook I think it would be a mess LOL.Thanks for your ideas! xo Deb xo

  2. Great stuff, Debbie. Meeting for tea is always a good idea, I agree!

  3. I like everything on this list. I do yoga, run, write, meditate and have someone to talk to. My biggest challenge is keeping away the worry and doomed attitude and striving too much--all the time. So one thing I would add that fits my situation is to give up being the star student getting the stars and awards and trying to be the kid at the back of the class. Being adequate is enough. I don't have to be the best.


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