Through my lived experiences of chronic illness
I have become dedicated to a world where no one is shamed for their experience of illness. In fact, I'm for a world where we have deep respect for our experience, wisdom and the journey we go through including the grit, vulnerability and power we harness every day to meet our experience.
MY WORK FOCUSES ON MENTORING WOMEN JUST LIKE YOU,
who want to have a positive relationship with themselves even while living with serious illness.
I was deeply confronted by life-threatening illness at 35 years old, and then my whole life revolved around doctors, tests, treatments and side effects. Along the way I felt like I lost connection to my body as every part of it is poked, prodded, tested and operated on. Everyone, even strangers, treated me as a patient in crisis. My condition is managed and cannot be cured. So I’m in for the long game it seemed.
As difficult as the physical experience was beneath the surface there were much bigger issues unfolding. The emotional free-fall, the crushing anxiety, the feeling of despair and that my whole future life disintegrated.
I felt like all my dreams of writing, loving, dancing, working and simply enjoying the best of life had to be abandoned. And worse, there was no one really to talk to about it, not really - I ended up feeling like I had to try and to hold it all together inside. And to be honest all of this, every part of it sucked!
So I decided I needed a new approach. I refused to believe that illness could ‘steal’ my life and my confidence.
I absolutely knew that the grit, vulnerability and courage I was finding in myself could illuminate the way through.
I just needed a new psychological map for the experience I was having, one that was empowering and where I was the lead decision maker. I also needed some badass relationship boundaries because I no longer had the luxury of being in friendships, work and family dynamics which exhausted my emotional wellbeing. I also needed clarity and confidence about my beauty, my grace and my deep personal power even though my physical capacity was widely uncertain on any given day.
I knew there must be a better way for me to be with myself.
Over the last 15 years I've learned how to stand up for myself during diagnosis and treatment, so that I get the best possible medical advice and medication that works for me and my body.
I’ve also learned some badass boundaries that mean I can truly stand my ground and advocate for myself, even when feeling extremely ill. Why?
Well some very strange things happen when you become seriously ill:
Suddenly some friends, family and colleagues gain a medical degree and declare you their first patient.
You feel like you have to apologise for feeling fatigued, emotional or having 'brain fog'.
Clinicians, who I like to think of as my 'advisors', can get very bossy and just a little dismissive of side effects.
All of this can be annoying AF. So it’s critical that my emotional capacity is as robust and powerful. I’ve learned what to share, with whom and when on my whole experience of illness.
Along the way I acquired a core set of skills to keep my creativity alive and create meaningful work that works for me and my body.
All of these inner resources, skills and rituals have become my daily grounding, and my daily foundation.
I do not believe we are meant to suffer in silence.
I do not believe that we are destined to sit quietly on the sidelines of life.
I believe we are magnificent. I believe we move between two worlds, the world of our human bodies and the world of the unseen, intuitive wisdom.
I believe our longings are the guidance for where to focus our energy.
I believe we can enjoy meaningful work in ways that work for us and our bodies.
I believe we can trust ourselves.
I believe we can have a life filled with love, meaningful work and deep personal power.
I believe there is No Shame in Illness.
The big question is, what would our experience be like if we all believed this?