Holistic coaching, supporting and empowering people with ME/CFS (S.E.I.D), Fibromyalgia and other chronic illness towards better health, happiness and rediscovered dreams. (Myalgic Encephalomeylitis, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
I went for a wonderful walk today. It was especially wonderful as it was the first ‘proper’ walk in the countryside that I’ve been able to manage for several weeks (if not a couple of months). The sun was shining and there was an abundance of different shades of green. We’ve had so much rain this year and it’s now the time of year where fresh growth can be found everywhere.
It felt great that I could use my body again. It may have only been a couple of kilometres that I walked, incredibly slowly, stopping to take lots of pictures, but my body felt light and relatively strong, I could make it up the slopes knowing that I wasn’t having to push myself.
I felt such joy in all that I could see, I’m so lucky to live in a place with such amazing views, but I’ve also learned to look closely and appreciate the little things: the extraordinary beauty in the ordinary that I used to take for granted when my physicality offered me the rewards of faster changes in scenery and the physical accomplishment of achieving much greater distances.
Then the views opened out and I could see the high mountains. There was a little patch of deep green that was cultivated that I’d never seen cultivated before and I was drawn to work out just exactly where it was in relationship to all the routes I had walked. And of all of a sudden, I sped from the full and complete joy of appreciation to the depths of an intense sense of loss.
The high mountains were like an intimate lover to me when I was well, I knew them better that the majority of locals and visitors, and always felt a great curiosity to know the few parts that I had not explored. I used to spend a lot of time alone in them and it was at those times I felt most deeply, my connection with the oneness of nature and the universe; a kind of intense connection with love itself.
Looking up at the mountains which at one time I knew so well and loved so deeply, I felt the deep pain of being kept apart from a lover who I knew was still willing to love me, by the bars of a prison created by the illness. Part of me wanted to shake myself away from that pain. I create my happiness by choosing to focus on the joy that it still available to me and I wanted to push myself to refocus.
But a more stubborn part of me wanted my pain to be heard. I am not just the joy of the present moment, I am an accumulation of all my past moments too. The whole me includes the loss of things that I adored, and it just doesn’t feel right to flee from those feelings, when they naturally surge up inside of me. It almost feels like diminishing the love that was involved.
So today I wear my heart on my sleeve and I share that moment of grief. I shall not be ashamed of those intense feelings because they are only possible because of the love that I had for what I lost. Loss is not exclusive to those of us who experience chronic illness, everyone who ever loved is going to experience loss at some time in their life, they come as a package. I guess we just have to face it more often. But the positive side to that is that we get more practice in dealing with it.
I’ve learned that when I allow my feelings to be exactly as the are they flow and change. Acknowledging that loss is an understandable reaction to the recognition of a now out of reach past lover and allowing those feeling to be felt in their full intensity, not only acknowledged my wholeness, but it also allowed the feelings to pass to a point where once again I was able to focus on the little moments of joy involved in the beauty around me.
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I wrote this post to take part in the Mass Observation day that this year coincides with the international ME/CFS awareness day, thinking I could kill two birds with one stone. The idea of the mass observation is that it captures the every day lives of people int the UK. Although I’m not actually in the UK at the moment I thought that my entry could represent those Brits who choose to spend time abroad for what ever reason. I have to admit today isn’t a particularly ordinary day either, because yesterday I did something I rarely do, something that used more energy than I knew I had easily available. I chose to have some fun a pay for the consequences later. Because of the illness Myalgic Encaphalomyelitis (otherwise known as M.E.) I am usually very careful with how I spend my energy.
I woke up feeling exhausted and as though I’d been hit by a bus, stiff, heavy and aching all over. I got up to get my hot water with lemon and then went back to bed. It’s Saturday and I’ve decided to enjoy the luxury of allowing myself to come around slowly and read in bed. Rehydrating myself helps the general malaise a little and after an hours’ reading some light ‘chic lit’ I feel almost ready to face the world. I get up, switch on my essential oil diffuser with an immune boosting blend of oils and practise my tai chi. At first, I have to bat away thoughts about how foolish it was to allow myself to dance 3 times last night, because of an awareness of how much worse my body feels today than normal, but then I notice what a beautiful day it is and I am washed with a sense of well-being. I’m so lucky to be here in Spain looking out over the stunning valley, so beautifully green after a long, wet winter. I also feel so grateful that this quiet retreat, chosen for how well the relaxed pace of life supports my well-being, also offers the occasional opportunity to enjoy live music and have a little dance. So what if I’m going to pay for the dancing, it feels so good to have had some rare fun!
Because I didn’t get straight out of bed, by the time I’ve finished my tai chi all I can think about is how hungry I am. I’m so very tempted to miss my meditation and get straight to breakfast but I know how much my meditation supports my well-being so I compromise with a very short guided meditation.
I enjoy a special breakfast of scrambled eggs with asparagus sat on my terrace looking at the view once again paying attention to how lucky I am. Also feeling rather virtuous for including something green in my breakfast!
I don’t sit down at my computer until 10.30, I try to have a light day of work on Saturday, but I’ve not been able to keep up this week so I have a lot to do. On top of that It’s a very special day. It’s the international ME/CFS awareness day so my first job is to start raising awareness on social media. I share some of my old awareness day’s blogs on twitter and Facebook, trying not to feel guilty that I didn’t find the time to write a fresh one for this year.
Now it’s time I got on with my real work, I have a set of case notes to write, a free online workshop to promote and some emails to send. (I run my own online business as a holistic life coach supporting people with energy limiting chronic illness, although being self-employed can often be quite a pressure, at least I working from home I can adapt to the needs of the illness and rest when I need to).
I feel a sense of rising overwhelm but reassure myself that if I take it little by little and have lots of breaks, it will be amazing what I can achieve even if my energy is particularly low. I also promise myself I can stop whenever I feel I need to.
It’s now 2pm and I have to admit that I’ve worked through without a proper break so am really ready to stop now. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved though. I still have more to do to promote my workshop but that can wait till tomorrow. All other things on the urgent list got completed including more social media awareness advocacy, retweeting as many #millionsmissing posts as I could.
Now for lunch and a long afternoon rest.
It’s now Sunday, I was hoping I’d finish this yesterday, but as I probably could have predicted, I ran out of steam. I did continue to have a lovely day though.
After a salad lunch topped off by fresh strawberries (one of the few fruits that I can eat because of my gut symptoms) I rested for a couple of hours. First a bit of vitamin D therapy (sunbathing for about half an hour) and then gentle reading in the shade. I’ve had to learn how to enjoy resting as it plays such a big part in my life now. I’ve learned to value it as something that makes the other things that I do possible. It took a while for me to stop resenting that but I’ve now turned being happy despite chronic illness into a art form, an outlet for my creativity.
resting in the shade
Instead of yoga today, I decided I would spend my afternoon energy on a little gardening on a veggie plot that I share with friend at the bottom of the village. Both activities seem to give me back as much energy as they use, if not more, so I’m happy interchanging them. I spent a pleasant 45 minutes planting some beans and mange tout. Then I called in on a friend on my way back up the hill, for a gentle half hour chat.
Although the gardening had boosted my energy, by the time I got home I was pretty exhausted (Friday night and the busy week as whole was catching up with me). I managed to put together a quick meal (spring green chow mein) and then collapsed on the sofa with my book (when I’m this tired I know I can’t watch TV as the whole screen experience is too stimulating). But even sitting up on the sofa was a struggle so I took myself of to bed by 9.30pm. I loaded my essential oil diffuser with oils to help me let go of the tension of my exhaustion and relax and fall asleep, hoping that I’d have one of my better nights and actually wake up refreshed.
A small favour: I’d be very grateful if you could rate this post using the stars below the related posts. Thank you
Do you struggle to accept the limits placed on you by ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia? Could lack of acceptance play a part in your boom and bust cycles? This FREE online workshop will teach you to take better control over your energy simply by cultivating acceptance, hope and trust! Learn how these 3 simple attitudes can make a huge difference to your chances of improving health. We’ll be smashing those barriers to acceptance and opening up a smoother path to hope and trust. Empowering you with the essential tools to achieve a more relaxed, balanced, healthier and more fulfilling life.
‘Highly Recommend: Julie nicely puts into words the struggles that we all feel, and leaves you empowered with tools and strategies to better handle these struggles. Terrific class!’ Stephanie
‘Very helpful and hopeful class!: A great class, given it is a very big subject to be covered in one hour it was extremely effective and helpful and I felt like I had made progress by the end.’ Michelle
‘Thought-provoking workshop: A powerful and inspirational session which was very motivating.’ Angela
‘Hope! Julie presented powerful information on acceptance, hope, and trust in a concise and easy to understand way. Even better, she lead us through exercises to help us connect to our obstacles and breakthrough them. I feel more hopeful just listening to her and connecting to the community.’Vanessa
‘Acceptance: Very good session of learning to accept, hope and trust that things will be ok and we don’t waste energy worrying about ‘stuff’. Jane
‘Trying out a new thing: Today is the first day I have used this internet technology in any setting, and the first interaction I have had with Julie Holliday. I was surprised how well I felt connected with Julie and the others taking part. I felt listened to and supported whilst learning some new ideas, techniques and outlooks. We are all at different stages of our illness journey but I’m sure the content would have been relevant and helpful to all. I will certainly return. Thank you. Rhoda
‘Great as always:Julies classes should not be missed. As always loads of information in an hour but presented in an accessible way and followed up with being able to view the recording. Relevant to those already on a management journey or those just getting to grips with the initial stages of a chronic illness diagnosis’ Lorraine
If you’ve attended this workshop before and your feedback isn’t included here perhaps you could use the comments below to tell people what you got out of it?
There are many, many ways we can help ourselves when we have illnesses like ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. Many of them are small simple steps, that may not have a huge impact in themselves but put together they can make a big difference to well-being. Although I haven’t quite reached full recovery again this time round, I’ve found that the steps I routinely take have led to a really good level of general functioning most of the time. Most of these steps I’ve had to build in to my routine one at a time and some are just things I do occasionally, but having so many things that I can do for myself feels empowering especially when there’s nobody out there to wave a magic wand. I hope you’ll find some inspiration from this list, if you do find things you’d like to add to your self-care, be kind to yourself and build things up one at a time. Ask your intuition to guide you towards the most important next step for you!
I’ve found that to keep up motivation to do the things I do, it helps to have a reason for them; an understanding of how they are contributing to my well-being and to pay attention to the intention I have for each of them when I start to do it.
Affirmations to help strengthen neural pathways of beliefs that will drive more adaptive behaviour and to send commands to my body chemistry about what I expect it to be working on
Drinking 2 or 3 mugs of hot water with a slice of lemon in to rehydrate and detox
Tai chi; gentle mindful movement to help unblock my energy channels, support flow in my lymphatic system and connect with a sense of oneness
Morning meditation to engage the parasympathetic nervous system
I use different meditation practices on different days to serve different purposes
Mindfulness meditations as a means of practising acceptance of what is
Mindfulness meditations as a means of practising control over thought processes, improving my ability to choose instead of going along with automatic pilot behaviours that are no longer adaptive.
Mindfulness meditations that enable me to let go of secondary symptoms and resistance
Breathing exercises and visualisations for relaxation
Meditations that connect me with a sense of peace, love, joy and oneness
Gratitude practices that prime me for noticing the little things and appreciating them in the moment
Intention setting for the ways of being that will help me get the best out of the day
Visualising the day going well
Connecting with a sense that the universe will support my well-being and purpose
Food and nutrition
A protein packed breakfast to help stabilise my blood sugar issues
A colourful salad for lunch to include lots of antioxidants
A balanced evening meal with lots of fresh vegetables and a small portion of a low GI carb
A low carb, low GI diet in general to help stabilise blood sugar issues and support my gut issues
Avoiding foods that aggravate my gut symptoms, it’s a very long list but generally, sugars (including most fruit), gluten, high lactose products, yeast and mushrooms.
Good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement for optimal bioavailability of nutrients
Mitochondrial support supplements to help with energy production
Essential fatty acid supplements which serve a variety of purposes but specifically improve the quality of my sleep
Gingko Biloba supplement that helps me with my word finding
Supplements that support my gut health
An essential oil supplement to support healthy cellular response and regeneration
Intermittent fasting two days a week to stabilise blood sugar
Keeping well hydrated to support detoxification and lymphatic function
Aiming for mindful relaxed effortlessness in all that I do: tension and effort use energy inefficiently and make noticing when it’s running out harder
Recording activity and effort over time to get an idea of a baseline of sustainable activity
Breaking activities into smaller chunks to give mitochondria of particular cells a better chance to recycle energy and not switch into the harmful emergency production mode
Alternating activities that use different types of energy: e.g. taking a break from cognitive work with a little washing up. (gives different cells an opportunity to recycle ATP)
Paying attention to effort as an indicator that energy is dipping and stopping when it does!
Using a timer for energy intensive tasks
Matching tasks to the kind of energy I have, e.g. I concentrate better first thing in the morning and am better able to do gentle exercise late afternoon
Doing only what I feel like in any given moment, to use energy most efficiently and not waste it forcing myself to do things that don’t feel right at the time
Pacing rest with gentle movement to support lymphatic functioning
Mindfulness of the task completion complex, so that I don’t push to finish something when my energy is running out
Mindfulness of the urge to rush, which uses energy inefficiently
Letting go of the non-essential
Other energy management tools
Mindfulness of indicators of a low energy day, e.g. heaviness in my body, a sore throat etc. Cutting back activities to a recuperation level when energy is below baseline
3 day, 10% rule: only increasing activity by 10% if I’ve been feeling well for at least 3 days consistently. Making sure that level of increase is sustainable by not increasing again for at least another 3 days etc.
Quality rest periods as part of routine
Afternoon Yoga and meditation give me an energy boost, releasing tension, unblocking my energy channels and engaging my parasympathetic nervous system.
Gardening gives me a boost of energy
Connecting with and appreciating nature gives me a boost of energy
Donna Eden Energy exercises to improve the balance and flow of energy channels
Managing stress and overwhelm
Mindfulness of hitting an adrenalin state (false energy, speedy thoughts etc.), to minimise damage and avoid overdoing things in a big way
Taking regular stimulation breaks in a stimulating environment
Having a list of single pointed focused calming distraction activities, to help bring down sympathetic nervous system activity and referring to it when overstimulated
Distracting but calming reading material (for me it’s romance novels)
Easy puzzles that engage my mind enough to stop it going around in circles but allows stimulation levels to drop (for me it’s easy to middle level sudokus)
Understanding overwhelm means not having the resources to meet perceived demands and giving myself permission to step away and top up my resources.
Writing down what you think you have to do and putting it to one side until you have more resources. Culling the list as soon as you’re feeling relaxed enough to concentrate.
Diffusing relaxing and releasing essential oils
Eating regularly to avoid blood sugar swings and how they contribute to feeling stress
Awareness of hormonal influences and not attributing unnecessary meaning which just makes stress feel more real and intense
Managing Brain Fog
Sense of humour, accepting that I’m going to do daft things when my brain isn’t working properly
Pacing concentration activities and fitting them into the best time of day for me to be thinking
Lots of lists to minimise what I have to store in my head
Routines that trigger the next thing without having to think about it, e.g. preparing supplements whilst preparing a meal
Flexible scheduling programmed into my calendar with phone reminders
Stimulating essential oils to help me focus, and relaxing essential oils to help let go when my mind becomes overwhelmed
Managing emotions (minimising their energetic drain)
Understanding that resisting emotions takes a lot of energy, aiming to accept them with compassion and allow them to flow
Writing worries on a piece of paper to hold them safe for when I have enough energy to deal with them, being trustworthy in dealing with things one small step at a time as soon as I have enough energy
Mindfulness of when I am ruminating over the past, accepting that it can’t be changed and choosing to let it go
Recognising that comparisons don’t serve me and choosing to let them go
Befriending unpleasant emotions that can be regular visitors such as frustration and disappointment. Acknowledging and accepting them, then choosing to pay attention to other things.
Recognising that the low mood that accompanies a crash can be a result of altered brain chemistry, avoiding giving it extra meaning that deepens the intensity of despair. Making myself as comfortable as possible while I wait for the worst to pass
Understanding the role the illness has to play in exaggerated emotions
Recognising the opportunities in the challenges
Positively reframing things that regularly get me down e.g. recognising the benefit of being clean, rather than resenting the energy involved in taking a shower.
Having emotional first aid postcards to remind me of my coping skills when my energy is low and brain fog gets in the way
Taking responsibility for my own happiness in the here and now
Here and Now low energy Happiness skills (When the now’s OK you don’t feel so compelled to push past your limits!)
Keeping a gratitude and achievements journal, and noticing the essence of a happy life
Recalibrating what counts as an achievement bearing in mind the load of the illness (The strong man puling a truck 100m is as amazing as a marathon runner running 26 miles)
Appreciating the little things in life
Valuing time spent with loved ones
Practising skills to help keep me focused in the here and now
Practising loving kindness to myself and others
Finding ways of making sure I laugh every day (e.g. comedy on the TV)
Holding an intention to be light-hearted and joyful
Spending time doing creative things
Appreciating opportunities for growth and learning
Taking the initiative with my social life and inviting people to take part in social activities that suit my needs and limitations
Cultivating trust that all is as it should be and all will work out well
Sometimes because they are just something pleasant to pay attention to
To help me relax and engage the parasympathetic nervous system
To help lift my mood when I’m feeling down
To help me process my feelings when they are feeling stuck
To massage into stiff muscles and soothe pain
To ease headaches
To help fight airborne pathogens when someone in my household is sick
To replace toxic cleaning products and toiletries
To help boost my immune system
To help sleep
Minimizing toxic overload
Using environmentally friendly household products and toiletries
Taking care with what I put in my body, including medications, supplements, food and drink
Taking measures to minimise exposure to mould
Bedtime routine to promote better sleep
Screens off at least an hour before bed
Doing everything in the same order to create a system of triggers that prepare the body for sleep
Gentle reading in low light to settle the mind down, ready to catch an early sleep wave.
This list goes to show that there is so much involved in dealing well with an energy limiting chronic illness! Why not make a list of all the things that you are doing for yourself to show yourself what a great job you are doing!
A small favour: I’d be very grateful if you could rate this post using the stars below the related posts. Thank you
A couple of weeks ago a wrote a post about how I got involved in being a wellness advocate for dõTERRA. Today I want to share a little more about how I use the oils in the Home Essentials Enrolment Kit to support my well-being as a ME/CFS thriver. Although it is possible to buy dõTERRA products at retail prices without becoming a member, signing up gets you a 25% discount on those prices so it makes sense to become a member. To enrol you can either buy an enrolment kit with even more savings or you can pay an enrolment fee.
I decided on the home essentials enrolment kit because it included a diffuser (which I didn’t have) and several oils that I already used frequently and was running out of. It’s the kit that includes the 10 most popular dõTERRA oils.
6 individual essential oils:
Frankincense, lavender, lemon, melaleuca, oregano and peppermint
And 4 of their very own essential oil blends:
Breathe, deep blue*, digestzen and onguard
(*5ml bottle, the rest were all 15ml)
I also bought 2 other oils that I use all the time that I was running out of at the time: marjoram and thyme. Although I enjoy making my own blends, I was also curious about the blends in the kit.
There are several ways I use essential oils in my battle to overcome energy limiting chronic illness. Here are the ways I’ve used been using the home essential kit.
Supporting my immune function
For years I’ve been using essential oils as soon as I get up, in my oil burner to tackle airborne pathogens and boost my immune system. My favourite blend has been a drop each of lemon, melaleuca and thyme. I started using this blend in the diffuser instead. As well as the immune boosting properties, lemon is a lovely uplifting smell and great to get you going first thing in the morning.
On guard is the dõTERRA blend designed for immune support. Unfortunately, I have a strange sensitivity to cinnamon, and so have used this blend very sparingly. Occasionally, when I get a sense that I’m fighting an infection indicated by a sore throat and swollen glands, I’ve rubbed the on guard on my throat and I’ve been surprised by how quickly my throat has been soothed. When I don’t feel as though I can tolerate the cinnamon, I use lavender for this instead.
I’ve also mixed my own immune boosting blend with frankincense (10), lemon (10), oregano (5) and melaleuca (5) and taken a drop at a time diluted with olive oil in veg capsule when I feel like I’m fighting an infection.#
I’ve been amazed at how effective deep blue has been on the few recent occasions that I’ve experienced muscle pain either from doing too much or from tension building in my neck and shoulders. I’ve made up a solution filling an empty 10 ml bottle with fractionated coconut oil and then adding 20 drops of the deep blue blend which I massage into the appropriate area when needed.
One drop each of lemon, lavender and peppermint oil works really well in the diffuser when I have a headache, particularly if it has a toxic nature. For tension headaches, I massage diluted deep blue into any neck tension and then use lavender oil on my temples and forehead.
Breathe was a lifesaver when I had a cold, for clearing congestion and relieving that kind of headache.
Relaxation and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system
If you’ve followed my blog at all you’ll be aware that my main approach to self-healing involves engaging my parasympathetic nervous system so that my bodies resources can be directed to healing. Essential oils are so effective at encouraging deep relaxation! For this purpose, I mainly use them in the diffuser or occasionally put a drop in the palm of my hand, cup my hands over my nose and breathe deeply. Lavender is a wonderful oil for this and even more effective when combined with Frankincense.
I was surprised to discover how relaxing ‘breathe’ could be in the diffuser as it contains some oils that I consider to be stimulating. However, it’s relaxing effect is thought to result from encouraging deep relaxed breathing.
A drop of lavender on my pillow at night can also help me sleep. (Marjoram is another great oil for this)
Mood lifting, distraction and helping with the emotional impact
Essential oils can have a profound effect on emotions, especially when inhaled, as the nerves that detect smells link directly to the lymbic system where emotions are processed. For me they are also a treat, something nice to pay attention to when I need to distract from the discomfort of the illness. I use frankincense and lavender when I need peace and calm or if I’m struggling to express myself. Peppermint and/ or lemon are useful when I need uplifting, motivation or help with concentration.
I’ve been using oregano oil diluted with olive oil in a capsule# to help rebalance my gut flora and it works as well as the candida support capsules I was taking before. On the rare occasion that my bloating gets painfully out of hand, drinking a drop of peppermint oil# in some warm water brings almost immediate pain relief. Unfortunately, I found digestzen pretty ineffective, but that’s likely to do with the severity of my gut issues.
Minimizing toxic overload
I believe that ME/CFS involves a difficulty with getting rid of toxins so I do my best to minimise any exposure to toxins. I’ve mixed up my own cleaning solution with vinegar and lemon essential oil to avoid the toxins in cleaning products. I also feel much happier using essential oils for managing my health than medications when I can avoid them.
I like to drink hot water with a slice of lemon in the morning to help me to detox, but when I can’t get hold of organic lemons I now use a drop of lemon oil instead.#
Non-ME/CFS related use of the home essentials kit
There are so many other ways that I use the oils in this kit for my everyday health needs which also contributes to minimising toxic overload! Here are just a few of the most common ways.
Aches and pains, pulled muscles and cramp: massage diluted deep blue
Allergic skin reactions: lavender diluted in witch-hazel
Athletes foot: a blend of 2:1 melaleuca and lavender applied neat with a cotton bud
Burns: lavender is just magical! Apply neat after cooling with cold running water
Catarrh and colds: inhale/diffuse breathe, and/ or rub diluted onto chest and back
Cuts and scratches: either lavender or melaleuca to prevent infection
Moles, blemishes and scars: Frankincense applied neat or diluted
Mouth ulcers: apply neat peppermint oil with a cotton bud
Spots: apply neat melaleuca or lavender with a cotton bud
# Certain dõTERRA oils can be taken internally because they are certified pure therapeutic grade. Before taking any essential oil internally please make sure you have researched its safety and purity.
I started writing this post before I heard about dõTERRA’s April offers. But this month is a great month to sign up. dõTERRA have a points value scheme with their products (loyalty rewards program) but this month, if you sign up with an order worth more than 100PV then you get 50PV to spend on future purchases. You’ll be entitled to this offer if you sign up with the home essentials kit! Contact me and we can arrange a chat if you’re interested! The idea is that you sign up with a wellness consultant to make sure you get all the support you need to get the most out of dõTERRA! I’d be delighted to be your wellness consultant!
Obviously, there is something in it for me too! This month I get 50PV too when anyone signs up with me. Working with dõTERRA means that I get some of my products paid for and I hope one day that it will also supplement my income! Let me know if you think you’d be interested in sharing the products too, I’ll be happy to support you!
A small favour: I’d be very grateful if you could rate this post using the stars below the related posts. Thank you!
Starts Wednesday 25th April 5pm CEST (4pm UK, 11am EDT)
In this 26 week group coaching program you will be guided through the 8 steps to taking back control from energy limiting chronic illness for a more relaxed, balanced and fulfilling life. (Sign up HERE)
This extremely effective program offers all the benefits of individual coaching at a fraction of the price. In fact, after running several groups now, I’m convinced that there is a special magic about the group process; I’ve found being with others on the same path boosts motivation, and there seems to be a knock on effect to the learning. What others put into developing their skills will benefit you too!
These are just a few of the benefits that previous participants of this program have reported:
Decreased anxiety, increasing calmness; more in control and less overwhelmed; more even energy; less brain fog; more confidence and self-compassion; a more positive outlook; an increasing sense of happiness; better equipped to deal with daily challenges; sense of moving forward; more relaxed; cry less; happier; more contented; more appreciative; more acceptance; more peace, joy and harmony.
I’d love to help you with all that and much more too! Check out my testimonials page to find out more!
Will you be able to manage it?
I now run this program at a slow and gentle pace to make it easy for anyone to take part. We meet once a week for 26 weeks, alternating teaching sessions with coaching sessions. These sessions will be recorded in case you can’t make one live, and there will be additional options for support should you desire it. The commitment should be manageable whatever you are dealing with. The focus of this program is taking small steps one at a time in a relaxed effortlessness manner. I understand how important it is to avoid any kind of pressure. You will be supported to learn how to take the pressure off yourself and still move forward! And don’t worry about those really low energy days, I know from personal experience that the best way to move forward with those is to kindly and compassionately let things go, making yourself as comfortable as possible while you wait for the worst to pass.
What’s it worth?
I’ll be running the program for a fraction of what it’s worth because I want to make coaching accessible to everybody. I understand that many people with a chronic illness are on a reduced income. This kind of coaching program would usually cost a minimum of €1000 but I’ll only be asking for €232 in total (about US$285 or £203 depending on exchange rates), and you don’t even have to invest it all at once! There will be an initial investment of €87 followed by 5 monthly payments of €29. There will be no commitment to complete the payments, if you find the program really isn’t for you. But I am confident that you will be getting so much out of it you will want to renew each month!
Get to know me at my FREE workshops
Because I really do want to help as many people as possible I share my 8 steps and even go into detail on the strategies to achieve them, in two FREE workshops. I hope that everybody will be able to take what I share and make important improvements to their health and well-being, but I’m also confident that the support of the group coaching program will get you so much further. Register for the workshops here, don’t worry if you’ve missed them live, they will be recorded and posted to my Facebook page. They’ll also give a better idea about what it’s like to work with me in a group.
There will never be a better time to start to take back control over your health and happiness than right now! And it has never been easier to take it at your own pace than with the my new value packed format! So grab this chance and SIGN UP NOW!
Meet weekly for 26 weeks alternating teaching and coaching sessions
12 workbooks with supporting materials to work through at your own pace
Includes 3 weeks of daily guided meditations audios + extra guided relaxation and meditation techniques
Also includes ongoing support in a private Facebook community
Optional extras: fortnightly support group, monthly workshop and monthly Q&A session
Special bonus: 1 x 30 min individual coaching session per month for only $20, that’s less than a third of my cheapest price to non-members of the program! (optional)
What previous participants want you to know if you’re thinking of enrolling:
‘If you’re considering this program, I’d say Just do it! In my experience this course is so superior to whatever the NHS currently has to offer.’ Angela
‘I thought the 8 steps group programme was excellent. It met all my expectations and more.”Julie
‘I have been on numerous courses supplied by the NHS and by ME and FMS specialist units, and have paid privately to see a counsellor, and read loads of books, but this course has been by far the most helpful of them all.’ Rhoda
‘If you are considering this program, I’d say ‘don’t hesitate as you won’t regret it’ Jane
‘I highly recommend this 8 step programme…IT has been the Best Single Step I have taken’ Treasa
‘This program will open new windows in your head, and will give you springs to be more loving to your body and to yourself. You won’t regret!’ Céline
‘Don’t even think about it another second, just sign up, you’ll get so much out of it! Julie and the information she shares is wonderful!’ Sharon
‘If you’re thinking about it: Definitely do this programme – It has essential advice and guidance for a better way forward’ Caroline
‘I would recommend this program to anyone that is struggling with chronic illness, particularly someone who feels isolated and has not found support. The course is organized well and the pace is flexible. For anyone looking for help, this is the outstanding program you need!’ Dorian
With my support and with the support of the group, taking the 8 steps will be easy. You will soon be feeling more in control and enjoying a more relaxed, balanced and fulfilling life. Invest in yourself, you’re worth it!
Wednesday 18th and Sunday 22nd of April at 4pm UK (5pm CEST; 11am EDT)
Dealing with an energy limiting chronic illness can be overwhelming, we all want to live the best life we can but just how do we get there? Discover the 8 Steps you can take to a more relaxed, balanced and fulfilling life. A life where you are in control rather than your illness controlling you!
This year I’m splitting this workshop into two parts so that I can share the steps with you in more detail. In Wednesday’s workshop I’ll give an overview of the 8 steps and explore strategies to achieve steps 1-4 in more detail, inspiring you with a structure for how you can move forward. Sunday’s workshop will detail steps 5 – 8.
If you can’t join me live I’ll post a recording to my YouTube channel and share it on my Facebook page a couple of hours after the event, but if you can make it, I’d love to meet you. I always seem to be able to share so much more when attendance is high and people are asking me questions!
Previous attendees said:
‘Very helpful – not to be missed: The 8 steps has such helpful and realistic ways to help you deal with CFS/ME and I feel much more positive about how I can progress with my recovery. Worth attending’ Caroline
‘Loved it: Really enjoyed the class and learning new and helpful things’ Sue
‘Excellent support for chronic fatigue: I enjoyed the class and got plenty of good inspiration and practical advice for dealing with the challenges of chronic fatigue syndrome. Thank you Julie’ Shelley
‘Great Course and Excellent Tutor!!: Really useful tips for helping to manage a chronic illness. Thank you!!‘ Helen
‘A great summary: looking forward to going through it all more slowly in the 11-week course’ Rhoda
‘Helpful and inspiring: What is very helpful for me is that Julie gives words to what I think and feel in a way I can’t do myself.’ Anne-Marie
‘Learned a lot in this class: Great class full of helpful information.’ Sharon
‘Enjoyable, informative and supportive: It was great despite technical difficulties. Well structured, supportive, enjoyable. Thanks.’ Nikki
‘8 steps to taking back control from chronic illness: loved every minute of it learned a lot!’Margie
‘Inspiring: Julie truly knows what she is talking about.’ Al Ma
‘Hope for CFS sufferers: It’s always uplifting to see someone with CFS- a condition that has changed my life completely and left me basically housebound- speak with hope and from a position of some recovery. I don’t care if I never get 100% well, but I would be happy to be able to walk a few miles again, and do some yoga. Those now seem to be reasonable goals, and Julie has given me some tools I can use to perhaps achieve them, if I go slowly, patiently, and mindfully. Looking forward to the journey’ Pamela
‘8 steps: I found this class very informative and easy to follow. I’ve been finding it a struggle recently with my health, this class has given me a nudge in the right direction to start managing my CFS better. I also like the fact that Julie really understands CFS and the detail is there….’ Helena
Another chance to take part in my popular and effective challenge to develop a new way of being that could make all the difference to your health!
In this video I talk about what I have learned about recovery and why relaxed effortlessness is so important!
A Key to ME/CFS Recovery and How You Can Learn the Skills for Free - YouTube
I’ll be sending you 7 daily emails with videos explaining the day’s challenge, each day building a little more mindful relaxed effortlessness into your everyday life.Sign up HERE!
What previous participants have said…
‘I am truly grateful and forever indebted to Julie for her great generosity with her time and professional advice in offering this Relaxed effortlessness Challenge. Following the weeks challenge for R/E … i notice this week that slowing down can help me cope better with having low energy and managing my daily tasks . I find it encouraging to have a plan that works very well if I break down my daily activities throughout the Day with relaxed effortlessness in mind. I know from Juile’ brilliant tips what to watch out for and how, if repeated, they are becoming like Mantras for me in my Day . I find this soothing and helpful as I try to apply the very practical and doable low energy tips Julie has suggested.
From the weeks practice I have noticed I am tuning more into “ Being’ rather than” Doing “ and I am aiming to be more relaxed during the Day , thus promoting opportunities for Rest and Healing. Practicing Slowing Down during the challenge has helped me to feel “i am swimming with the tide….. ,” more so , noticing what energy I do have and using it wisely .
Wishing a very special thanks to Julie’ Treasa
‘I am so happy I got to enjoy these videos. I am trying to let things that can wait to be done wait. I am fortunate that it is just me and my husband so I am more able to do that. My problem is changing my old ways of having to get things done. I have tried each challenge and find myself stopping and realizing what I can do. Before it was still just do it. Then I would flare up and hurt. So thank you for the 7 day challenge it really opened my eyes that I have to do things different now with this Illness.’ Christine
‘Thanks for creating this challenge! What helped me a lot was the slow buildup. It is easier to implement one part of the challenge every day, than doing all at once like “from now on I am going to do everything with effortlessness”. I would feel overwhelmed that way and quit the challenge as I’d be thinking about doing things differently all day long, instead of only during a walk or when brushing teeth. It also helped to get a daily reminder and knowing it is done in a group.
I didn’t expect it to be emotional as well, as it reminds me of my limitations and I have to make the wise choices over the fun or habitual ones (not stopping a task when it’s done but stop when I need a break), but it also feels empowering as in the end I have more control over my energy and it feels like I can actively do something about my situation.’ Al Ma
‘I have found the whole 7 days of videos fascinating, so informative. I am jotting down notes and really hope to put all into practice, so that it becomes more natural, and becomes a way of life for me. I am sure this will be helpful to aiding recovery. Thank you Julie. I hope to learn more from you, such wisdom. Blessings and love, Sue‘
This is the 4th in a series of posts, expanding on how easy it can be to contribute to making the world a better place even if you have a chronic illness. Tip 1 focused on how it’s as simple as having an intention and then being extremely permissive about following it. Tip 2 was about how working on your own healing you are also contributing to healing the world. Tip 3 was all about how easy it is to make a difference through love.
Tip 4 is mostly based on quantum physics and the law of attraction. I have to admit I don’t completely understand the science behind it but everything that I have read about it seems to make sense to me. On top of that I choose to believe, because that faith helps me act in ways that result in my moment to moment happiness. So, in a way, it doesn’t matter so much whether the science is being properly interpreted, what matters is that the interpretation creates positive change in the world.
If it helps, let me share a very brief explanation: At the basis of the science behind this approach are two discoveries, first, that particles behave differently when they are observed and second, that entangled bodies can interact with each other even when separated. Because everything in the universe comes from the same source (the big bang), everything is entangled. So, the physics suggests that we can exert an influence on the universe just by the way we pay it attention. The Law of attraction goes on to state that we attract what we pay attention to. It can be described very simply by the expression: ‘energy flows where attention goes’.
How Positivity Spreads
So, putting aside the law of attraction for a moment, imagine you choose to pay more attention to the positives in life. Even if that didn’t have an energetic influence on the universe, it would result in you feeling happier (ask anyone who’s ever written a gratitude journal). If you were feeling happier you’d be nicer to be around. If you paid less attention to the horrors in the world you’d feel less fear. If you felt less fear you’d be very likely to spread more goodwill amongst those you come into contact with. People who come into contact with you would feel more relaxed and it could ripple out from there.
Note: Paying attention to positivity isn’t about ignoring the difficult feelings that regularly accompany a chronic illness, they need to be acknowledged and accepted with compassion in order to be enabled to flow and change. It’s more about choosing what you pay attention to when you’re not in the grips of an emotional reaction.
Pay attention to better health
I certainly believe in a mind, body connection. Pay attention to what you want to attract in your body and you’ll be giving your body a command for what to focus on. Pay too much attention to being stuck with horrible symptoms and your cellular intelligence will take that as a signal to reinforce the status quo. Whenever I notice myself paying particular attention to something unpleasant about my well-being I decide to replace the thought with 5 breaths focusing my attention on my breath bringing relaxation and healing. I also aim to pay lots of attention to how good I feel on my good days. When I can walk with a sense of lightness and freeness in my body I stay mindful to that feeling, letting my body know I want more of it. So how does this make the world a better place? Simply put the better your health, the more you’ll have to contribute, but on a wider scale. It goes back to tip 2: heal yourself, heal the world!
Pay attention to the good things happening in the world
We see so much bad stuff in the media, that we can feel powerless to be able to make a positive change. Even more so when our energy is substantially limited. However, change can be made by everyone just taking small steps forward. Pay attention to all the good that is happening in the world and you’ll feel more motivated to contribute. Share that with others and they’ll feel more motivated too. And if we believe the law of attraction, we can attract more of that good just by paying it our attention! So, stop watching the news and make sure you only follow people on social media who generally only share good stuff and then share it yourself! Help others pay more attention to the good in the world too!
Pay attention to those little moments of joy
True happiness is made up of those little moments of joy and appreciation. You don’t need a lot of energy to start to pay attention to the little things in life. And if you share your appreciation of these moments regularly you can teach your nearest and dearest how to be happier too! And as I mentioned before, even without the law of attraction, your happiness (and theirs) can have a positive ripple effect in the world!
Journaling gratitude and achievements
Journaling can be a great attention tool. Journal what you’re grateful for and you’ll start noticing more things that you appreciate. Journal all those little achievements and you’ll start to feel good about how you’re doing, feel happier about how you’re doing and you’ll be more relaxed, if you’re more relaxed you’ll be giving your body a better chance to heal! Heal yourself and you’ll not only have more to give, you’ll also be adding to the healing of the world!
Pay attention to this purpose
Finally, pay attention to the fact that by taking care with your attention you are making the world a better place. Look out for the evidence that you are making a difference, not matter how small! Remember that your attention will attract more of that feeling. Feel empowered by the fact that you are serving an important purpose and it will become easier and easier to choose what you pay attention to; easier and easier to contribute to making the world a better place!
A small favour: I’d be very grateful if you could rate this post using the stars below the related posts. Thank you!
Monday 19th March 5pm CET; 4pm UK 12pm EST
Here’s to feeling fresh, free, cleansed and energized!
Are you ready to learn how?
At this time of the year I always get a fresh burst of energy. Sometimes it can feel like agitation and frustration, sometimes I’m in danger of doing too much, but if I harness it with wisdom I find that I get to really give my well-being an extra boost.
In this FREE workshop I’ll be sharing tools for letting go of the things that are weighing us down and no longer serve us, as well as how to create new supportive habits to replace them.
Many of the symptoms of illnesses like ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia coincide with symptoms of poor gut health and toxic overload:
Joint and muscle aches
Soreness or cramps
Warts or other skin eruptions
Inability to concentrate
Weight gain or loss
Flu like symptoms
Allergic reactions including hives, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and coughing.
They may not be the cause of the illness, but I believe that by tackling toxicity and improving gut health we can give our body’s healing mechanisms a powerful helping hand. I’ll be introducing a simple new tool for a physical cleanse in addition to sharing tools for cleansing the mind and spirit.
I’ll be running the workshop through a zoom meeting. It’s set up so that only my video will be switched on, and you’ll be muted as you join the meeting. If you’d like to speak at any time I’ll explain how you can do that, alternatively you can interact using the chat box or just quietly watch. I do find though that I can share so much more with people interacting and asking questions.
If you’ve never attended a zoom meeting before, click on the link now and follow the instructions to download the free software, it’s very quick and easy. Once it’s done it will tell you I haven’t started the meeting yet. You’ll then be able to use the same link again to log in at the time of the workshop.
If you’ve never been to any of my workshops before you can check out reviews for my previous classes and workshops HERE!
I’m really excited about where this year’s spring clean will lead me, and I’d love to be able to support some exciting changes for you too!
If you can’t make this workshop live, I’ll be posting the recording on my Facebook page, so make sure you’re following me now!
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