Itchy, scaly, painful and cracking misery is what started it all! At least what started this season of my life. I had HAD IT! The need to discover a solution became urgent, but soon I realized that the urgency in my bones was only leading me into deeper desperation.
Consequently, the stress I felt was producing more of the symptoms I was so frantic to lose. I was mystified. The conundrum of intense agony had me stumped. I felt hopeless. How could I not be stressed over the situation I found myself to be in? Every day and every night I was being tortured by an itch on my hands that when “given in to” tore my skin loose, left me cracked open, bleeding and in pain. It made poison ivy look like a walk in the park.
An endless cycle of itching, bleeding and pain was my life for around 2 and a half years! I didn’t understand how to stop the pain. I’d done everything I knew to do physically and I was still suffering. Read more about my story here.
I don’t tell you all of this to feel sorry for me, I tell you because I’m not living in that skin infected hell anymore! I went to multiple doctors and they didn’t have the answers. Furthermore, going through a chronic illness can be very lonely and confusing. I want to share with you how I did it to hopefully help anyone who is going through something similar and find what will work for them.
I realized 3 important factors that needed attention in order for me to be set free from the twilight zone. Although incredibly important, focusing on physical health wasn’t enough. In the midst of those 2 1/2 years I would see several patterns that were directly linked to my symptoms. Until I started addressing all three my symptoms persisted.
“All health begins in the gut”
– Hippocrates, Father of Medicine
to Heal Chronic Illness
1. Create an environment within that encourages your gut lining to be restored.
The first component is incredibly life changing and important to the healing process, yet has primarily been overlooked in our culture today. It’s having a focus on gut health. Hippocrates says, “All health begins in the gut.” When your gut is functioning properly the rest of your body follows suit. You must discover what it takes to keep a healthy gut environment and apply methods to heal the damage that has already become a contributing factor to your health issues. Download my FREE Food Substitution Guide outlining what foods to use as replacements for all of your favorite foods in order to heal your gut.
In our digestive system, we have trillions upon trillions of bacteria and organisms that work together to keep everything running soundly. Just as the earth’s delicate ecosystem adjusts itself to stay in balance, so does the micro ecosystem inside our gut. The digestion of our food, our immune system, our mood and our overall well-being are dependent upon this balance. If the right ingredients are present, the condition of our gut flourishes and our gut is happy. Moreover, when we eat large amounts of sugar, processed food, improperly prepared grains/legumes and lead a stressful, negatively focused life, over time the unhealthy bacteria, pathogens and yeast find themselves in hog heaven feasting and multiplying upon all of the sugar and toxins composing this scenario.
When the population of these bacteria begin to overtake the beneficial flora, an imbalance is created within us. The onslaught of waste that is released from the unhealthy bacteria and yeast compromise the integrity of our intestinal wall. The outcome? A leaky gut.. Our mental and physical health suffer. This leaves the door open for pathogens, allergens, auto-immune diseases, depression, candida overgrowth and much more to gain a foothold. This leads to a not so happy gut and usually a not so happy life. What we put in and what we keep out of our body can ease the assault on our beneficial bacteria and can help to allow the natural balance of flora and our life to become stable again. Check out Foods that Heal, Foods that Steal to get started on a diet that will reduce inflammation and encourage your body to heal.
2. Observe your thought patterns. Are they beneficial to you by creating the life that you’re wanting?
The stress of health issues can be incredibly debilitating. It can make you feel like you’re being swallowed up by an emotional monster. With chronic conditions your energy is low. You may be in constant pain which can make typical every day tasks seem unbearable, good sleep is nearly non-existent and finding your happy place in the midst of it all can feel impossible. I totally understand! Under those circumstances, it’s so easy to fall into the cycle of feeling angry, sorry for yourself and hopeless. I’ve totally been there. In that place, the last thing you want to hear from someone is look for the silver lining.
The truth is, you can spend all sorts of time and money changing your diet and working towards a healthier lifestyle, but if your mind isn’t reflecting the healthy life you’re wanting, you’re not going to get very far.
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is when you’ve got to look really deep into those aged-old patterns of yours that are not only asking, but pleading to be changed. The patterns that create sickness, pain and drama in your life are revealing themselves through the signs your body is giving you. It’s up to you to listen this time so you can live the life you’re meant to live.
When you observe your thoughts, what do you hear? Make a commitment to yourself to not give any “air time” to the thoughts that don’t line up with health, wellness and success in your life. I know this is easier said than done. Be encouraged. The more you become aware of what’s going on in that noggin of yours and realize your thoughts are not you (they’re just practiced beliefs), the easier it is to only allow the thoughts that are serving your greatest vision for your life. Keeping your thoughts free from ideas that induce stress is imperative to your health and your wellbeing. It’ll change your life as it did mine. Check out these 8 principles to cultivate a healthy mind and spirit.
3. Develop a spiritual practice that nourishes your core and brings out the best in you.
Living a life with spiritual awareness is the core of all cores and the seed from which everything grows. Exchanging the course of imbalance in your body, mind and spirit for a life of curiosity, eagerness, allowance and openness gives you the balance and happiness I know you want and are made to live. I’ve included this as one of the key elements to healing chronic illness because when you come into alignment with spirit your cells and your thoughts return to their natural state which is health and wholeness.
It’s important to cultivate the beliefs that enliven you and feel good to you. If you’re believing in a higher power that punishes you and is always looking for your mistakes, I invite you to seek a little further. Those may be beliefs that were taught to you at an early age and entertaining the idea that maybe there’s another way to see God can feel very strange and even wrong. I totally understand, but I encourage you to just give it a try. Believe for a bit that there’s no wrong or right. How does that make you feel? If it were true, would it relieve any stress, worry or struggle to perform in a certain way? If so, it may be crucial to your healing process to adopt a lighter belief system that doesn’t damn you, yet encourages and strengthens you.
The ever-present, unwavering life within you cannot be defined or identified by any religion, role, race, political view, gender or experience. Your core remains consistent and true. It’s the awareness of your unfaltering core that is growing and aligning with a steadfast love. This love IS you in the depths of your being. It nourishes your life, helps you to walk the path of wellness and aligns you with your core to enjoy a happy life and a Happy Gut!
In these meditations, I help to cultivate a space where you can get in tune with your true desires and who you truly are.