My predecessors were tricksters. Well, not exactly but they asked trick questions. My great aunts and great granny were professional fortune tellers who only gave one instruction before a reading;
“Think of what you would have if you could have anything in the world and I want you to ask for it.”
Their seekers were not to say their wish out loud. They were to think of it silently throughout their reading. Little did their seekers know, it was a trick question. At the end of the reading, they would be told that they should never pray for riches or men, but they should pray for their health. With good health (according to granny) you can achieve anything.
Over and over again, I was told this ‘truth’ because I was a fortune teller and this was my family’s signature when they did readings. And over and over, I used to roll my eyes. Never once in my life had I ever performed a reading on my own health, never mind that of my seekers. Health was boring, dull and something other people were concerned about. I wanted to read on business, soulmates and how Sandy was bitching about June.
When I got older, my Tarot business took off, and I took off with it. I began putting in up to 18-hour work days. If I wasn’t performing readings, I was blogging, networking, Tweeting, teaching, planning, planting, accounting, and injecting my energy into everything and anything.
Then, I developed arthritis in my hands and feet at 24 and had continuous health problems.
Recently, I got diagnosed with a disorder which causes chronic pain, arthritis, etc. I now realize that my hyper-awareness of my great-granny and aunt’s prophecy was probably a sign that I should not have taken advantage of my own health (although we had a good run while it lasted).
I’m not going to lie, at first, I did a lot of feeling sorry for myself. I previously assumed people with shoulder pain were drama queens until I had to experience the hell that is a sore shoulder. I wondered why this was happening to me? Why was I being punished with this agony? However, eventually, I got over these thoughts when I realized how much worst my situation could be. I have my eyesight, my hearing, my fertility, I am not immobile, and my condition is manageable as long as I control my stress and avoid triggers (such as ironing but I think that’s painful for most people LOL).
One thing I never realized before I was ill is just how common chronic pain and illnesses are. It seems that spiritual people are not immune. I scroll through my newsfeed to find Tarot readers living with arthritis, bipolar disorder, migraines and all of the conditions at the side and in-between. And since this is my first official post on my website I thought I would make it one for the community. Here are ten tips for leading a spiritual life if you’re living with a chronic illness.
1: PLAN BREAKS
You have to invest in yourself by knowing your limits. If you know how much work you can do before you trigger symptoms of your condition, then it is easier to stay in control.
I am terrible in the sense that I get easily bored and begin to work; this is especially true if my daughter is at school. What I do, therefore is I plan situations where I know I will be away from, not only the temptation of work but the ability to do any work. For example, I will go to my friend's house once or twice a week; this ensures I am away from the temptation of hustle.
2: HAVE BATHS
Baths are a Godsend for two reasons. The first is that you can lie in them and be pain-free. The second is that you can wash any stagnant energy off of you.
I honestly believe that we can take on the energy of other people, particularly people we read. If the reading was heavy going, this energy could weigh us down. I believe that bathing or showering can wash this energy away and help us start anew. This thought helps me at the end of the day even if it only has psychological benefits.
3: SORT YOUR MEDICATION
Medication can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you need it. On the other, it can entrap you in a vicious cycle of dependency, so it is best being honest with yourself.
Last year when my shoulder was bad, I was given powerful painkillers by the hospital. These worked to an extent; however, they made me feel dizzy and tired. Therefore, I eat junk food to overcome my tiredness.
A lousy diet does nothing but make the pain worse, and because the pain is worst you need more painkillers, and this is an easy trap to get sucked into. Try not to get caught up in this cycle; take the minimum amount of painkillers you can stick to a healthy diet and nap if you feel like crap.
4: TRY TO DISCOVER WHY YOU ARE ILL
I have aligned my illness with my life’s mission. I believe my illness is part of my life’s plan. It has forced me to ensure that the work I put out there is meaningful and is not wasting time and energy I could be spending on more important things.
Do not spend your time and energy on things which do not honestly matter to you. Don’t give it away freely. Before you start a new project ask yourself if you love it that much you are willing to devote your precious resources to make it work. If not, then it is not worth doing, and if so, you know that it is epic.
5: DON’T TRY TO ‘DEAL’ WITH PEOPLE
In real life, I am super loud and outgoing. On a night out, you would hear me before you see me. However, I am also socially awkward in the sense that I love to have my own space, especially when I have my heart set on being alone. You can be my best friend outside but in the house don’t sit next to me. Because I am an empath, I am fiercely independent and like to plan for when I have to mix with other people.
I think that empaths have a hard time ‘dealing’ other people’s emotions and their own. Non-empaths have no clue how much energy it takes to take on the feelings of other people and process them; this leads to stress and can trigger symptoms of underlying conditions.
Before I was in chronic pain, I would deal with people I didn’t like or who sucked the energy from me; this was especially true of people online. I had clients who would send me messages day after day filling me in on their drama. Eventually, I realized I couldn’t live like that and I had to do something about other people’s dependency on me.
Firstly, I started to block people more freely online. If there was someone who was aggressive with me in a Tarot Facebook group or who harassed me when I asked them not to, I just blocked them. I realized there are billions of people in the world; I am not giving up my energy to entertain only one of them who wants to be awkward.
I also got into the habit of communicating to close friends and family. This sounds brutal, but if you have a loved one who is draining you dry you have to tell them you cannot deal with them and they should not contact you until you both feel better. It is best to nip this in the bud early and let them know that they cannot rely on you emotionally 24/7. Some people may take it the wrong way initially but, trust me, it is worth the investment.
One thing which I also struggled with, was the fact that I took on clients who were hard work. I was working with, not who I wanted to, but who I felt like I had to because I never sat down and decided which types of clients I wanted to work with. Things got much better once I made those decisions. Targeting is something I discuss in detail in my Psychic in Business e-book.
6: CUT DOWN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You must realize that social media will drain your energy if you are a psychic and this will have a detrimental impact on your health. This one is difficult if you need social media for your work and if you check your networks out of habit.
I recently discovered there is an app called Freedom which locks your ability to access certain websites (such as Facebook and Twitter) for the amount of desire. This app has been a Godsend as it stops me subconsciously checking my social media and I have been a lot less stressed since I installed it.
7: SWITCH UP YOUR WORKING HABITS
I love to blog, and I do it both for business reasons and because I enjoy doing so. However, the pain from inflammation in my hands means that I cannot type some days as much as I used to. My hands need to be saved for other things like writing. I tried writing shorter blogs but honestly? This isn’t realistic for me.
If you can’t do what you used to you may think that there isn’t an alternative but we live in 2016 and there usually is alternatives. If you cannot do your work, then there will be things out there you can try to make life easier. Go on the hunt, be open-minded and ask other business people with similar conditions what they use.
8: SEE OPPORTUNITY IN YOUR CONDITION
This was something which was difficult for me to do but recently it has become true for me. When you cannot do something anymore because of your health, you will feel angry and frustrated. Feel these feelings but don’t get caught up in them. Don’t let the negative control your life.
I look back, and I realize that being ill has forced me to live better and more consciously. In a way, I am glad this has happened to me. Being in pain caused me not to plod along in life, putting up with certain people’s shit and not making clear decisions on what I wanted to achieve. I made the tough choices, and I formed a plan. Currently, I am happier than I have ever been. I know now what matters to me and how far I am willing and not willing to go for certain things.
If there is something your spirit is screaming at you to go and get it, then go and get it while you still can. Try not to feel sorry for yourself, live your life. Be present in your life instead of going through the motions. These are things you have to do if you’re ill so make the most of them.
9: BE REALISTIC
Ugh, this one. I hate the thought of this because I am super ambitious. However, it is so true. You have to be realistic with yourself and your limitations if you want to live a comfortable life. Don’t take on too much work, get plenty of rest and live well. A huge part of living well is coming to terms what is and what isn’t possible in your condition.
10: APPRECIATE THE SMALL STUFF
Again, this statement sounds so overused and yet it is so true. Most people do not take the time to appreciate the small stuff, especially when they have chronic health conditions which seem to dominate their life.
However, appreciating and accepting life as it is, although difficult, goes a long way to feeling better and being able to cope. Find what you get joy from and do it. Enjoying walks on the beach, trips out with family, chats with family on the phone and being here in the moment. Live life instead of wondering ‘what if’ or wishing it was any different.
Post like this often ends with phrases such as ‘you can do anything.’ While, to an extent, this is true this is not something which those in pain want to hear. I think that this puts pressure on people and adds to the guilt they feel when they feel like they should ‘push through’ their challenges. Life isn’t to be forced; it is to be lived.
I want to end this post instead by saying you can do you. This is your life, and you can live it. You can design your life around your condition, and you can get the most from living. Be gentle with yourself, be mindful, be present.
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