Unknown Speaker 0:00
When I was in the wellness industry and in the self help world and you know, making my way through that, I felt like it was keeping me small. And what I mean by that is it profits off of me being in pain it profits off of, I'm so desperate to find a cure. Like, let me give you all the money. Let me buy all of your books. Let me do all these things so that you can fix me.
Welcome back to the pyjama interviews, I'm so excited to share with you today's guests Nitika show bruh Nitika and I have been in orbit with each other for nearly a year now. And her Chronicon community is an absolute gem of a space to be in with other women. So what we're going to talk about today, I am confident will bring you more love more joy and more peace in your world. And stay tuned at the end for this week's exciting announcement. So let's dive in with medica. So medica, thank you so much for joining us.
Unknown Speaker 1:07
Thank you for having me. Michelle, I'm so happy to be here.
Would you like to just share with us what experiences you have with your conditions and how the diagnosis journey has been for you?
Unknown Speaker 1:19
Sure, yeah, I got psoriasis at the age of 10. And then I ended up getting psoriatic arthritis at the age of 19. And yeah, it's been I mean, I'm 40 now so it's been 30 years, you know of a journey with chronic illnesses. And I would say that it's been one of the most like, rewarding experiences in so many ways. And I say that, like I hesitating a little bit because I don't want anyone to think that there's any toxic positivity about to come out of my mouth, because there isn't. But I guess like, it's been the thing that has brought me closest to my truth and like what really matters to me, and it's helped shape so much of the woman that I am today because it just when you're sick, and like it takes over every aspect of your life and, you know, dictates what you eat, who you can spend time with, how you can date what work you can do, right? Like all these different things. It's just, it's almost impossible for it not to shape you in some way. So it has had a lot there have been lots of brutal, really, really brutal moments. And a lot of those moments have been like decades long, like they weren't, you know, a month they were like my entire teens and like most of my 20s Um, but you know, I think now because I've been dealing with it for so long. I just have this deep gratitude for it. I feel like it has been such a spiritual journey. And so yeah, I just honour it in that way I guess too.
So what you've mentioned is such a D process and the emotional process of going through this is really what you've hinted at and wondering if you might share with us what that emotional process has been at times for you so we can have a real conversation about it.
Unknown Speaker 3:39
Well, I think you know, when I first got diagnosed with psoriasis it just it brought me to my knees I mean almost immediately because I went from being this like 10 year old girl and I was already struggling a lot with like, emotionally I was already struggling in school a lot of super sensitive as a kid and like, just never ever ever fit in like in any way it was the courteous person in my family. I still am I have like the thickest wild most wild hair and like no one in my family has hair like me, it's like silly stuff, but stuff that especially when you're like trying to develop who you are and you're looking for other ways that you fit in and you're like searching for it like, Oh, I'm like this person or Oh, that person like does work the way that I do. Okay, cool. Like I'm okay because I'm like them. There was none of that in my life at all growing up and it was really, really painful and really hard. And then I got psoriasis and my psoriasis ended up being pretty quickly from the tip of my foot to the tip of my head. So psoriasis is like a really challenging condition. It's, you know, it's just like chicken Toxic can flake it can bleed. It's a very active kind of in your face, sometimes literally on your face. But it just, it doesn't let you forget about it in so many ways. But a lot of people have it in just like a small patch here or there. And even that is so hard. And I had it, I literally had almost no clear skin on my body for like 17 years of my life. So Emotionally, it just further pushed me into isolation. It also made me like really insecure and needy growing up to because I just felt like I did not belong. And then this was just perpetuating that, that I do not belong. And it also it was really challenging because I had to like quit soccer, which was something that I really loved as a kid. And I just had to quit like sports or anything really active because it was really hard to move with my skin being the way that it was. And even just like isolating in terms of like, I didn't have sleepovers. And I didn't do things that most kids would do, because my skin would flake like so aggressively or I would lead through my sheets every night because I would itch so much. And those are just things people don't think of when they think of having a skin condition. Like it's not at all well thank God. So emotionally, my process, I mean, it's a decade's long. So I guess it's hard to sum it up. But I would say, you know, a lot of like neediness and insecurity came up for me. And then the first half of my 20s was like a lot of that too. And then I sort of started to learn about self help. Now I find it to be a very toxic place. But at the time, it was like all I had, and it did help me. It also was harmful. But it also helped me like it did, it did help me find ways to pull myself out of darkness, you know, think of something positive. Now I know I need to, like use those tools in moderation and allow for feelings. And that's actually so important. But at the time, it was it was helpful in a lot of ways. You know, so yeah, I don't know. And now I'm, I'm 40. And I feel like I feel like my health has been such a beautiful part of my life, even though it's been really hard a lot of the time. So yeah, I don't know if that answers your question. Michelle, it's like a big question.
It is a big question. And I think it's a perfect discussion to me of the emotional journey as well. And I think when we're living with chronic illness, there's so much attention on the body. And there's sort of this conversation with doctors, which is never about the emotional conversation. It's just about what the next treatment is what we're next trying, here's the side effects of feet go back. And I feel like we don't talk about it as much yet. The emotional journey, as you've described, is just as brutal as the physical journey at times. And I love what you've just that deep self awareness that you have that actually, as hard as it's been, this has been a doorway into my connection with myself. And that's really to me how I see illness. It's like it's here. So how can I use this as a portal into my power, rather than everything else that's happening to me, because you've got that choice, and you just need some tools and tips to find your way.
Unknown Speaker 8:50
I love that. Yeah. And I think it's so tricky, because, you know, when we're in the suffering of our illness, like it makes me want to weep just thinking about it. It's so real, you know, and that suffering is so it's so valid. And I never want anyone to think that telling you that there's a choice or letting you know that like Hey, there's this other option is like dismissing how brutal it can also be and how physical pain is so exhausting on a physical level, but also on an emotional level. It's so disorienting, you really feel like you lose a sense of self like there's so many layers to it. And yet, there's this like other door that's just sitting there and you don't have to open the door every day. Nope, you're not failing if you take a decade to open the door and you don't open the door till much later. You open it when you're ready. But I think that's so much of what you know I aspire in a Having to do with Chronicon is just like, we will honour that you are having a flare that you are going through a hard time. Like, it is so important. And I also see that you're this amazing person who like loves musical theatre or like is an entrepreneur or or just loves to dress in cute clothes or like, has this weird obsession with Halloween and wears cool costumes every year, and you're sharing them with us. And you know, you're so many other things besides your illness. But in most of our systems that were part of, it's like when you get sick, it's like in the movie where you see like stamped like they're like denied or like, you know, this is it. That's it, that's the thing on your stamp on your file. And it's just like, people assume that that's all you are. And it's just infuriating to me, because it could not be farther from the truth.
And I want to I want to grab this because this is such a big piece that you've opened. And it's what I call the story of illness. So we have the story, not only from culture, but actually in our families. Like who was well, who was unwell. How were they treated? What does that mean? And if we don't look at that story, then unconsciously we're weaving that in with, we don't have the choice to actually say actually, that's not my story.
Unknown Speaker 11:35
I mean, our families play such a huge role. I was just listening to one of Oprah's podcasts, like her Super Soul podcast or something. And she said she heard once that someone said, like, there's no such thing as a black sheep and a family. It's usually a child that takes on the energy and like the karma, and all of the things that have not been worked out and other family members and they take it all into their body. I definitely resonate with that. I'm like, okay, that makes so much sense. And, you know, there's so many things in my family that I really, really, really looked at and just sat with and just tried to process I'm still trying to process it, you know, and realise how much of what I carry, and I hold every day is like, some of it's mine, but a lot of it isn't. And, you know, it's it's liberating to know that, but it's also like, kind of, it's also challenging to know that because I'm like, Well, what do I do with all of this, like other energy that I've picked up from all these lifetimes? Which is what I believe. So yeah, it's a journey.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the things about that is that illness because you've got all this time, like, you end up with this self reflection time that other people don't necessarily get, and certainly not when they're young, like people often come to this conversation in their 50s and 60s. And that, to me that self reflection time is part of the doorway, because you're like, I've got 30 years to sit with all of this. So by the time I'm 40, by the time, I'm 45, a lot has been actually processed that you wouldn't have got to do.
Unknown Speaker 13:33
Yeah, totally. Great. Yeah.
So that leads me to this conversation with you about, you have such a deep experience and an understanding of that what I think of as the underworld of illness, like, you've gone down, you've been with emotions, you've been with the experience, and then you've come back up into the world, and it's not permanent, like it's cyclical, but you've worked out, okay, what do I want to do with this experience? So Nikhil, what have you done with your experience?
Unknown Speaker 14:14
Well, I've done lots of things, but I think the thing I'm most proud of doing is building Chronicon. I say I've done lots of things, because I feel like it took me took me a good like almost 10 years to figure out like what is the thing that I'm going to do with this journey? I I've shared this story before, I'm like my podcast and other interviews, but I really felt like when I was 15, I was in the lowest or the lowest moments of my life. And God really made it clear that like my illness was not about me. And I got that message. So clearly it's the thing. It's one of those things where it's like no one can do tell you that it's not true, it doesn't even matter if someone tries to tell you that it's not true because it's so real for me. And even still, so many years later, like when I think about it, you know, my eyes start to water up, because I remember that moment so vividly. And I kind of have been on like this quest ever since then, you know, of like, what does that mean? Like, it's not like you get a message from God, or the universe, or whatever you might call it. And it comes with like a handbook, you know, it's just like, Okay, and so I was, you know, and, yeah. And also, like, I was 15. So I had, like, lots of suffering after that. It's not like a doctor's message. And it was like, oh, now I'm an entrepreneur, and everything is worked out. I was like, Okay, so at the, at the so many times after that, when I was at, like, another really low, low point, or a lot of pain or something came up, I would always remember that message. And it would always be the thing that would be like, Okay, fine. I guess I will quit, because you told me that this isn't about me. So I'm just gonna keep going. And you know, people try to make it seem like when you follow your path, and you follow your inner guidance, that it's this like, flowery thing. And I'm like, sitting on top of a mountain, like with mala beads and Chai, and I'm just like, No, I'm sitting in Manhattan, like pissed off and frustrated, and I'm crying, and my mascara is running. And I like don't understand what's going on. And I am following God. Like,
yes, he true. It's a boat. And, and the both end is really the shamanic journey. Because the, the way we're taught in the world, it can, it's either this or this, that you've only got this binary decision, beauty is this, or you're not beautiful, you know, success is this, or you're not successful. But actually, the experience of coming into your, what I think of as your mystical gifts, so this relationship with more than you is that you live in the both end, your human self, and your mystical self. And that is your experience forward.
Unknown Speaker 17:24
Mm hmm. I love that. I agree. Because I definitely have not been all one or the other. Like straddling both all the time. And I think that that's, you know, so much of what I want for those who connect with Chronicon, and come into our community, and eventually come to our live events, which we will have when safe enough. And all those things is for them to know, like, exactly what we've been talking about this whole time, like you can have a chronic illness. And you can also be like an incredible boss, like at the things that you love to do. And you can also be an athlete, if you want to, you can also be someone who has kids, if you want to you can also be all these other things that have nothing to do with your illness. So yeah, so in 2019, after years of doing lots of other things, being on TV, and creating my own online magazine, and all these other things, which were really fulfilling and beautiful projects and experiences, but they were never quite like it. You know, I was always just like, Yeah, but there's something missing. And it was really after a couple of years of feeling really like, like, empty about what I was doing. And I felt like this, this void of like, there's something more but I don't know what it is. I felt it for a couple of years before I finished product
on. And I've had that I think that that is when you're creatively fallow. Yeah, before the creativity comes in. And it's such an important point for entrepreneurs and creatives and living with chronic illness. The not knowing is part of the process.
Unknown Speaker 19:13
Yes. I totally agree. It is such a pain in the butt. But I totally agree. Personally for me, I'm like, I want to know what's going on. Where are we going to be? What are we doing? What Where's like the money coming from? What are the opportunities, so to be in that place? Oh, my gosh, it was a nightmare for me. I was just like, I didn't want it to be anywhere but there. Now I feel like I've been in that place a few times in my life that I understand like, Okay, this is probably leading me somewhere that I need to go. But at the time, I did not feel that way. And lo and behold through lots of different things. I ended up creating Chronicon and it's just it is I Feel so clear, like it was what God meant when I got that message when I was 15. And I don't know where I'm supposed to go with it, I don't know who's coming with me, I don't, you know, there's so much that I don't know, that I am clear with. So everything I do with with the company and you know, with the community, and everything that I want to create with it is from that place, like knowing that that is what's most important to know that this isn't about me. It's like I'm a vessel on the part of it, I'm birthing it great. But it's really about the hundreds of millions of people that feel so alone, while they're living with chronic conditions. And the fact that we've been set up in so many systems that are designed to make us feel alone, when we're not alone at all, there's like, at least
severely in service, like so many
Unknown Speaker 20:57
millions, like in the United States, which I know people are listening from all over the world. But in the United States, almost half the population in this country is chronically ill. And
same in Australia. And then half of those are women like off that half, which is millions of women. And I can feel it moving in my system, this connection that we all have. And it's only really in the last couple of years, that we've been able to see the fruits of that connection. Because before we weren't really having that connection, I think visibly and social media has come to a point and we are now ready to share. Like we're now ready to stand up and hold space in a way that certainly for me, I had the same experiences you I got a message at 15. It wasn't about chronic illness, but it was like in a house filled with trauma and chaos. It was like you only have to wait three years, and you can leave. And it was just this divine message that went into my system. And I just was you have to hold the three years. And I was just like have to hold for three years. And when I came to life threatening diagnosis, and that threshold crossing was present for me. I had or the reason I use Persephone, the queen of the underworld in my own work is because she came and sat on the bed with me. And we had a conversation and she showed me what it would be like she said, it's not your time. And it's so peace was so peaceful with her. It was just joyous. And she's like, your time will come and I'll be here again. And while we have these experiences like you, it's like, oh, wow, like, Okay, I've got that. It's like, okay, and now back to treatment back to working out drugs, like now back to the grind. And in that process, I did a couple of businesses as well. And I went creatively fellow, none of us decide at 510 15, even 25. Okay, we're going to be a chronic illness advocate. And we're going to bring community and we're going to do this work. But the work comes out of from the inside out. And I'm wondering if you might just share with us what that process was like, like, you've got, okay, I've got this idea. You know that you've got some mystical connection, some divine connection with it. Then what happens miracle because I've heard you talk a little bit about this as Stacey and I think it's so important to show that this is a process. It's not a good idea to start a business got my website, cash flow, right, well, good.
Unknown Speaker 23:58
No. Yeah. Okay. So, I mean, so many things happen. So I'm just trying to distil it down to that it's helpful. Um, I would say the first thing that happened, like when I was becoming, as you call it, creatively fallow, like, I was doing a lot of beauty work and television work. And that was always in integrity. For me, like, I love talking about beauty, and I love the camera, like, there's something about that medium. I really just love it. And I just come alive in with it, you know, with TV. And so that wasn't integrity. It wasn't like I was doing anything that I didn't like, but I wasn't able to go deep enough. And I was like, I feel like I have so much more to say and I feel like I'm not reaching the people that really need to hear what I have to say like, it's just a whole different conversation when I talk to someone who has a chronic illness versus I talk to someone who doesn't get out And so I spent that year which was like 2017. I spent much of that year trying on all of these hats. And what I mean by that was like, every time I would meet someone, which of course, I live in New York, so we were meeting people all the time, then now it's a little bit different. But still, you can maybe try this, you know, from your zoom meetings, I would try on like, saying that I do different things every time I met someone, and they were all things that I actually did, but I was trying to figure out, like, what is the thing that makes me the truly like, the happiest. So excuse me. So I would say to one person, like, Oh, I'm a talk show host. And then to another person, I'm a public speaker, and then to another person, I'm a chronic illness advocate. And I had never said that to anyone before. And by the end of that year, fast forward, like, I ended up finding that talking to people about chronic illness lit me up, like nothing I had ever experienced. And you know, then I ended up starting to integrate that into the work that I was already doing. I started like a free Facebook group. And I was like, does anybody even care about talking about this, and it was small. And you know, I don't do that anymore. But it was the most enriching experience again. And then I started integrating my psoriasis story into a lot of the beauty conversations that I was having, which I never really did before. Like, I would kind of do it as the aside, you know, I was never ashamed of it. But I just didn't know how to. And I never wanted my health to be like a gratuitous conversation, like, oh, feel sorry for me, or something like that. So I just was so unsure of how to talk about it in a way that was actually empowering and helpful. And so it took me a long time to do that. And then at the end of 2018, I was at a conference, it was called curvy, con. And it was this conference for women who are curvy, and curvy bodies. And basically, I was walking around the conference, and I saw all these women and I was like, Wait, these people are being celebrated for who they are. They're not being told by all these brands, like you should only wear our clothes if like you just lost a few pounds or like, oh, you can only wear this colour because you can't wear that because of your size. No, they were like, Please wear our clothes. You were absolutely stunning. You weren't rocking it. You were perfect, just as you are. And here's how we're going to celebrate you. So he literally had this like spiritual experience. I was walking around this event and I was just there because my friend was modelling there's something. And I was just like, wow, what would it be like? If I as someone with a chronic illness had something like this, and I had this whole vision like, oh, there would be a pedicure station or some things. Getting a pedicure with psoriasis was always like such a thing for me. And they would be like, Oh, come over here with that flaky skin girl. Don't worry about it. We've got like a great loofah and like a thing for you like yes, we've got you mean that's like a silly Rena like vision, but it was so clear for me because that's always been a pain point. And yeah, it was so warm. It was so loving and like, just so fun. And I was just like, wait, I can, this can be a thing. Anyway, so I was walking around having this vision, like coming more and more to life tip for me. And then I was like, what would it be called? And then I spent a few minutes and all of a sudden I was like Chronicon like, is that a thing? I just my hands just started tingling. They said that I love was like Is that a thing? Is that a thing? So anyway, cut to I had the idea. I told one person about my idea, and then stole it spent the next six months like annoyed about my ID because I had built things before I had done large events before I used to do events all the time called self love celebrations here in New York City. And I would do them with like for dollars and duct tape. Like I would do them on such a shoestring budget. I would do them all by myself. I would get barters I would get all these things, and I was exhausted and I couldn't keep doing it. So I spent the next six months like kind of yelling at God and being like this is cute. God thanks for giving me this idea that is ginormous. Where's the budget? Like the money? That's gonna help me bring it to life? Yeah, and so I yeah, anyway, and then eventually what ended up happening was I finally warmed up Up to the idea of telling people and I told, like strategically, I told some really wonderful people who are in great positions to be able to maybe like, move this forward with me or something. And the response that I got from each of them. And I've told all of these people things before, like, I have this idea, and I'm like, that's cute. That's awesome. But when I told them about Chronicon, every single person was like, overcome with enthusiasm with excitement with like, a vision about it. And so yeah, eventually ended up getting people on board and creating the conference. And it was amazing. It was like one of the best days of my life, so.
And so what you did was create a conference for women living with chronic illness in New York. Like that's what actually it's for.
Unknown Speaker 30:59
For anyone is, anyone is invited.
And they all came to a day in New York, and we're celebrated. And then what happens Nico, once you've had this big celebration, like you're like, I've got it. We're gonna run conferences. This is where we're going. What happened next?
Unknown Speaker 31:21
Yes, next, the pandemic happened. And it was so wild. Because I mean, the conference sold out like six weeks before it even happened. I had a media company want to buy the rights to the conference, before we even took before it even took place. Like it was next level out of this world. Like, I don't what is going on, like, it was almost freaking me out. It was so massively charged. And then we had the conference was amazing. And then the pandemic happened. And I was like, Well, this is not why I'm sorry, this was not in our agreement. God like this was not know. So in hindsight, which I do try to, you know, see the best and everything. But it's been really, really hard. I'm not gonna lie, it's been like, just a lot of reckoning, right? To try to figure out like, what do I really want? What are these people that I want to serve really want? What do they need, like constantly re examining that and like really digging deep into the truth, but what came out of it is something that I'm just like, the most proud of, and that is the Chronicon community, which she recently joined, which makes me so happy. And it has really been a practice in having things grow like moment by moment by moment, being a spiritual, you know, kind of being on a spiritual journey with something like that, like, having it be so out of my comfort zone. I am not an online marketer. Like that is not my jam, I am a host, I am a content creator. I am an events person, like all of that I love. I'm not an online marketer, like that is not my thing. Right? My
god medica. So, I just wanted to post today because this is gorgeous. Because what you're talking about is the entrepreneur journey. And I'm giggling because I used to hold run a whole events company, it was my own it was in philosophy. And we would take people with real life philosophers who could speak to humans over on overseas travel by so I'm an events person. I love it. I love hosting, I would host philosophy in the pub with hundreds of people, this is my jam. And then it's like, I just want to grab this because we're in such synergy together, that there's something here for everybody to hear in the experience of this and my heart is really starting to move. So I decided I won't creatively fellow people kept asking and wanting to have conversations with me about chronic illness, and I'm like, Aha, and then somebody said, you know, you could do this. So I'm like, do what you can help like you're really helpful around chronic illness. And then what I did was I decided that I would run a workshop for women in hospitals called Transition to wellness, which is that point where you're moving from treatment, patient and crisis into your life, and I would help them with that transition, school transition to wellness. Like, that's what I'm doing. And I came in contact with a business mentor. I'd never had a business mentor as like, and then I looked at the price on it. You know, what do you do with that? But she's like, Yeah, just come on. And she's an online digital business mentor. And I was like, Aha. Anyway, I'm gonna run these workshops with hospital, this is January 2020. I'm gonna release workshops in hospitals. And then maybe I'll put that online at the end of the year. And she's like, Ah, I did some work with her, I ended up negotiating a redundancy package, which funded me to come start the business, which was mystical, like that was never on the cards. And I left my job in the Department of Health on the 11th of March. And I started my first online workshop on like, the 13th of March. I've never run an event in a hospital since. And I'm like, Okay, I'm an events person. But I have to learn digital marketing, like I'm so offended with it. And I look at you and think, wow, Nick has got this down pat, like she really knows what she's doing. She's got this gorgeous life, she's worked it out. And what's coming to me in this conversation is this beauty between us, following the breadcrumbs, getting offended, having to accept it, following the breadcrumbs. And I just want to open that conversation with you. Because Chronicon is amazing. It's a community for everybody living with chronic illness, and you've been able to transfer your events work online. But what is it for you medica? Like, what is this continual movement in your soul? Like, where is this going for you?
Unknown Speaker 36:51
Yeah, I just got, like, chills when you asked that? Um, no, thank you for saying all of that. I so appreciate it. And I also, I also love telling people that I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to online marketing, because everyone assumes that I do. And I'm just like, No guys, branding and social media are not totally the same as online marketing, like when you're selling a course, or you're selling a platform or anything. So I think it's really interesting. But yeah, so what I really see for Chronicon, and for the chronically ill, is our own industry. And what I mean by that is, I say this all the time. But when you think of the curvy industry, actually, it's a very, very similar trajectory of what I see for the chronically ill. So for years, curvy people, mostly women were told, you don't care what you look like on your wedding day, you don't go to work and care about your outfits at work. You don't exercise, like there's so many things that you're not included in. And we're assuming that you don't care about any of those things. And after years of that curvy women, we're like, not only do we care, but we have money, we're brilliant, we're beautiful, we're vibrant, we're active, we're all of these things that you're totally so ridiculous for not realising. Okay. And now fast forward, it is a $21 billion a year industry. There are apps, there are clothing lines, wow, entire communities, there are books, there are TV shows, there is all of that. So when someone is curvy, and there's still work to do, right, they're still fighting, the good fight and all of that. But when someone is a curvy, 10 year old, and they're growing up, and they feel like oh my god, I'm the only curvy person in my family. I'm the only person in my school that's like this. They can go to a magazine, they can go to a book, they can go to all these different things and say, Oh, wait, that's not true. I'm the only person here. But I'm not the only person and I can see it in media. I can see it in this entire industry that has been created just for me and my life experience. Why? Out of all the hundreds of millions of people in the world that have chronic illness, why do we not have the same thing? Absolutely. Like that is what I see. Yeah, I am so clear that we deserve our own fitness industry. We deserve our own magazines. We deserve our own books. We deserve our own TV shows. We deserve our own vertical entirely. That will be worth billions of dollars a year. Yeah. And I don't need to be in charge of all of that. Like, that's not what I'm saying. But like all of us, yeah, all of us. We deserve that. So that the next time somebody is 10 years old, and they get a skin biopsy and they're like oh my god, you have psoriasis and everyone in there Families freaking out because they have no idea what that is or what that means. There will be an entire universe dedicated to that life experience, there will be movies and TV shows, there'll be a fitness app. So if they have to quit soccer, they can use this fitness app and do another thing. They won't be completely isolated, and told that their experience is so rare. It doesn't matter. They're the only ones. And this is the life that you just have to live by.
Yeah, and Yeah, amazing. Amazing. And what I love about that is the same vision that's come into my soul. And so same vision that actually every woman I interview for the podcast, every woman on the summit, this is actually was the dedicated vision I had, was to speak and create content, but actually have a different conversation about illness, which is where we are in an empowered, positive relationship with ourselves. And we're living with chronic illness. And those are not different things. Like they're actually the same thing. And so when you're sharing this, what it says to me medica in this moment, is this is the time. This is the moment in history, this is the time and for every woman because I know this isn't on everybody's radar yet, like we are the content creating of this space. If you found us, we love you, we welcome you, whatever community you go to, whether it's Chronicon, and work that I do, and work that Lauren Freeman does, and an invisible pod, like we're all here, as I consistently say, No, this is not a competitive space. We're all here together, and we love each other, and we love you. And we want you to be connected, if that is what works for you.
Unknown Speaker 42:00
Yeah, yes, I want. And I think that's a huge That in itself is a huge paradigm shift, right? Because yeah, we as women, and also as entrepreneurs, like we're definitely taught, there's only a small piece of the pie. So like, you gotta get your small piece of the pie, you better get everyone away from it. Because if you don't get that, you know, you're, you're gonna be in a bad place. And I think, especially for those of us who really sent her in the spiritual place, and everything that we do, it's just like, that just could not be further from the truth. Like, literally, Michelle, if you had a million people following you, and I had a million people following you, we would be fine. We also would barely be touching the surface of how many people need to hear the messages that we're trying to share. It's just like, it could not be further from the truth. Like we need all of us to come together. And I love that.
And one of the things that I'd like to close out this conversation with you medica. Because I think this is where this all goes in terms of there's a whole wellness industry and positive thinking industry and a whole industry that I know. And I know this happens, and I want to be really gentle with our audience about this. Because there's absolutely no shame in this. We are spending a lot of money in that industry and an industry that is not helping us. And in fact, there's often shaming us for our experience. And just like self help, we've called them because that's, that's the place to go like that's the closest we've got. But all of us are talking about our experience. And we're you know, Sarah Remy does this beautifully in the ladies handbook for her mysterious stillness, the unpacking of this industry that is not working for us and can actually do us great harm. And so I want to bring this conversation round to this with you medica because your whole you know, one of your whole jams is beauty and wellness. And I'd like to just explore with you what does that mean for you? And what do you see in this space when you're talking about beauty and wellness as your jam? What does that actually mean for you?
Unknown Speaker 44:25
Yeah, I mean, well, I want to answer actually like and speak to a little bit of what you were saying before to about the wellness industry and just how it has been harmful for so many people and if it's working for you great like I agree, you know, we want to support and uplift everybody know what's working for you is is great. But for me, I know that it felt a lot like when I was in the wellness industry and in the self help world and you know, making my way through that. I just felt that it was really about, like, I felt like it was keeping me small. That's like the way that I would say it right? When I think about it to sum it up, there's all different things that I could say about it. And what I mean by that is, it profits off of me being in pain it profits off of, I'm so desperate to find a cure. Like, let me give you all the money, let me buy all of your books, let me do all these things so that you can fix me. And I think where, and I was a part of that, like, I wasn't selling those things, but I was like, hungry, you know, looking for these teachers, like, Please fix me, please help me. And I think where I am now, and where I've been for quite a while is like, I don't actually need you to fix me, I need you to love me through it. That's really what I need. I need you to love me through it. And sometimes, that means showing me like a fun face mask and showing me like I did this hair conditioning treatment that I really love. And that's how I love myself today. And you know, whatever that might seem trivial or, you know, to me, it's not true beauty is not real. But, um, but you know, that might seem like whatever to some people, but that is actually what helps me or, you know, learning how to have great relationships, like what does it mean for me to navigate relationships while I'm living with a chronic illness? Learning how to create sustainable work for myself, and like, how do I actually work as an entrepreneur and follow these big dreams that I have, but also honour that I have two chronic illnesses, you know, so to me, that is really what I'm committed to. And when you think about beauty, you know, you asked about beauty and my relationship to beauty. i It's so funny, I really always felt really like I wasn't invited to the beauty party for most of my childhood because I was so sick. So to me like creams and lotions and skincare and even haircare because I had scalp psoriasis pretty badly. I didn't ever engage with those things like beauty was always a means to an end to me, it was how thick Can I get the shea butter, let me put this crazy ointment on, let me do this crazy treatment, you know, things like that. And it wasn't about this luxurious, you know, self loving experience at all. And when it kind of turned for me was when I started to learn about what self love really is. And I always resonated more with my own definition of self love, which is being more committed to your happiness than to your suffering in every single moment. And some people don't love the word happiness. So it could be your joy, or your peace or your stability, whatever it might be. But being more committed to that higher version of yourself that calmer version of yourself, then to your suffering in every moment, because it's not a quick fix. I'm not going to do a bath tonight, and then all my problems are gone. Like, which is what I feel like people try to sell you, you know. So Beauty for me became this way for me to actually learn how to be in my body for me to actually get a cream when my skin was really impacted by psoriasis and put it on my skin and and sit there look at it. I never wanted to look at my body. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to be with it. You know, and I didn't even know that for so long. Because I just shot right past it. You know? So for me, beauty is incredibly sacred. And you know, I'm Indian. And I think there's so many things in the Indian culture that really allow us to lean on that whether it's like traditional Indian practices or just ru Vedic principles, and so many things that are so simple and pure and are about beauty but the thing is, it's rarely to me about the external beauty for someone else. When I put on a lipstick, or I wear my rings or I do my thing. It is for me, it is not for other people. And I know that might seem hard to believe because you know, we're putting yourself on camera and you're doing all this stuff. But that's because I want to feel good on camera. I could show up today wearing some raggedy like pyjamas and you know my hair and a messy bun and no lipstick on and you would be fine. You'd be like okay girl like this great. I see the rest of us are like, Yeah, let's do it. It's for me. It's because I needed to take a moment before I came to this interview, and I wanted to pay Get out the softest pair of pyjamas. And I wanted to put on a little lipstick. And I wanted to put on my ring. So I feel grounded. And I feel like other rings that mean a lot to me, you know. So it's for me. And I think reclaiming that around beauty is a sacred sacred practice. And I wish more people would, you know, feel like chronic illness and beauty can go hand in hand, it doesn't have to be one or the other.
Yeah. And I think the word that you're using is the word that has always come to me as well. And that is the use of the word sacred, and what sacred means. And I really want to grab this moment, because everything you and I have talked about is leading to this conversation in this moment here. When we think of sacred we often think of abundance or a temple or something like that the word sacred means to sacrifice something of lesser value for something of greater value. And one of the things that we can do is make our experience and what I think of as our lives sacred, it's one of my biggest things. How can we make our life sacred? How can I be more deeply connected to myself through this experience, and that means that I have to give up some things. And it's not that I'm going to put my victim in the corner, and you know, never speak to it. It's like, okay, we've got a victim, let's have the pity party, and let's do it. Well, yeah. And then let's move through that. So that I feel my whole life is about the power that I'm building within me that shines in the world. And medical, you have done this for the world, you've done this for yourself, but the luminosity that comes from you, in the conversation that we're having is actually a reflection, I know of the incredibly deep inner work that you have done. Thanks, Michelle. And I want to honour that. Thank you for doing the work. Thank you for doing the work inside, because we all benefit from the work that you have done. And that is what we are doing together. And I want to share that with every woman with us in this moment. I'm sorry to tell you, it's an inside job. I'm really sorry to tell you I know how much that pisses you off, as Nick and I've got it really pisses us off. But it is an inside job. But when you move into this, however you move into this, it's not positive thinking, just get your mindset, right and leap over everything. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about this capacity to be with yourself and find your way. And your inner wisdom and your intuition. And your guidance is there. And that is what it's there for it is there to guide you through this process. So Nitika I just I'm so thrilled that we've taken the time to be together. I'm really grateful. I'm really grateful for your experience your wisdom. And I want to thank you for taking the risk and turning up over and over for yourself but turning up over and over to shine in the world. Because you are luminous. And we need that meaning in our lives. And I'm so grateful for you for bringing that to us. Thank you, Michelle.
Unknown Speaker 53:39
Oh my gosh, it's so beautiful. You are such a gift. So thank you for bringing all these people together so that we can have this conversation and we can hopefully help people feel less alone. You know, it's just not there's no reason for people to feel alone in this journey. There's too many of us out there.
Yeah. So hope this helped. Yeah, thank you so much, Nick. And we'll have all of the links to Chronicon and all of the links to socials Kinetica. You'll find them in our show notes. And we'll be able to connect with you there as well. Thanks so much for joining us. If you want to explore connecting and working with me Michelle, you can chat to me at Michelle irving.com.au/cat. And we can book on a time to connect. And stay tuned for next week's episode where we have another gorgeous, magnificent woman sharing with us about how to navigate chronic illness in an empowered way.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai