Sunday, 12 April 2015

One year on....Setting the scene

This morning my newsfeed on facebook showed me a picture that I posted exactly a year ago today, which was an identical scene to the one I had just left only moments before- so for those who didn't get the memo I'm back in India.

Once I decided to return to India people instantly kept asking me to keep a blog again, but each time it just didn't feel right, and although I thought I wouldn't, I find myself today, 20 days in feeling a little inspired to write.

Its kind of a sense of De-Ja-Vu here everything seems the same, yet is totally different.  I am different. Last year I found the panchakarma process very physically challenging, but this year it has dropped to a completely different level.  

When I returned from my 5 week panchakarma experience last May my medical teams, were delighted (and slightly intrigued) at how I had re-booted my body, and stabilised my bloodwork.  For the majority of 2014 & 2015 I have been really healthy, and felt like I had been given my life back.. So I got busy doing all the things which I had not been able or well enough to do over the previous years.

As many of you know I booked this trip with about 1 - 2 weeks notice, shortly after finding out my thyroid had switched itself off.  This in itself was a major wake up call, I began to delegate and to re-focus my health (AGAIN) as my #1 priority.

For most people a diagnoses like this can be a relief, a pinned down condition and a treatment plan, for me getting this news was devastating.  Initially I felt steam rolled by failure, that everything I had worked towards, especially in the last two years to regain my health had been a waste.

You see in January I finally completed my coach training, and got started working on my new wellness company, something which I had felt called to do for such a long time, but had not been well enough to do.  So at last I was well enough to take the training, had enough energy to infuse into my new company and then came the SMACK!! 

The news became even more traumatic- that I was not the glowing example of 'healthy and well' that I was pinning my company on.  I wanted to start this new venture to give hope to people that despite a diagnosis you can make decisions to empower and encourage your healing and wellbeing.  Love Your Life (my new wellness company) would offer techniques and tools from coaching, yoga & meditation to empower and inspire people to transform their lives and health.  Yet I found myself thinking 'who am I to deliver this message, you can't even maintain your own health'.

Doubt and vulnerability are two key emotions that every entrepreneur feels as they share their offerings with the world.   For me dancing with wellness has been a major aspect of my life for the last 10 years, so this offering came from deep within my heart.  All this combined, my ego was having a field day, bashing me down, and now this set back just 'confirmed' I was not good enough to start this wellness company.

Fortunately I have 10 years of experience in this wellness dance, and as one of my favorite authors always say- 'life is your classroom, to teach is to learn' and by god am I learning!!

I was forced to face my ego, my chronic illness', my own beliefs and wellness practices, and whilst it might sound dramatic I felt rocked to my core.  I had to dig deep and examine how best I should proceed.  Having taken medication for the guts of 9 years, and rarely had a quality of life which I have experienced over the last year I was faced with the FEAR dilemma....Should I follow my doctors prescription out of fear of what might happen, or should I do what has worked for my body in the past, both filled with risks, and whilst paralyzed by doubt and fear choosing my path became increasingly difficult.

Yet slowly with the love, encouragement and support of my cheerleaders aka all you amazing people in my life I began to acknowledge and recognise that six of my chronic illness' were (and still are) in remission- I was doing amazing!!

So this is something I began to focus upon, and choosing my healing path became simpler, once I began to dissolve the fear.

Having met so many inspiring people here in India who have or are experiencing health conditions (be they chronic or not), I am feeling even more inspired and called to get Love Your Life off the ground, so if you want to join me with a daily(ish) slice of positivity pop over here to join my journey.

Sending love to each of you, and some morning sunshine xxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 2 May 2014

Facing My Fear of Cohabiting!

I had commenced another blog, but have put it on pause as I felt the lessons 'learned' and need to express my sheer terror was far here you go- Cohabiting!

It was inevitable that after 4 weeks of living in an Indian nature reserve I would be faced with not just an unwelcome visitor but a family of misfits. However spending the night with a venomous creature was and still is very out there! Please be more careful universe when your creating my next challenge!

The flies commenced the room invasion, so even having an afternoon nap became impossible as they buzzed by, each seeing who could skim me. And those who know me, well know how dangerous it is to disturb my sleep in any form!

So I got clever (or so I thought) I kept my door closed all day and closed it quickly each time I entered or left my room and had a wonderful afternoon nap zzzz

So can you imagine my HORROR when I returned to my room after dinner, turned on my lights and was 'greeted' by an AMPLIFIED buzzing, which we know is terrorising when you can't see 'it', but then came the big reveal and the TERROR, hysteria and uncontrolled body movements set in!

Billy the bug as he has now been named (thanks to Sephi) decided to reveal himself, the size of a cockroach but black and yellow and frantically flying around my room. After I freed myself from the initial frantic / crazy lady state, I for some reason ran to my bathroom, thinking I could lur him there, (clearly not thinking that I'd need to also frequent the same room throughout the night).  So lights on in the bathroom, bedroom lights off and I waited but Billy was wiser :(

Billy had landed on a top I had hanging so instead of just swatting him I swivelled to grab a glass and some card to catch him and set him free, but as soon as I spun back around he was now somehow silently GONE.  Plan B in the form of my yoga philosophy I'd studied that morning had taken over...Note to all yogis ahimsa or non-violence, can cause severe TRAUMA! Not sure which was worse the big reveal or knowing he was now silently hiding. 

So I waited and waited and waited until I no longer could, 'twas at this point the frantic searching ensued.  Everything I moved went with a highly adrenal filled movement, like a tiger was about to pounce. So having turned all the lights back on, moved everything and I mean everything in my room Billy was still missing! And a GIANT spider had been discovered.

So I waited some more and nothing. It was at this point that I began to question if I hulisinating, and as amusing as this may sound I'm not joking!!

(Just in case you though I was exaggerating, this is an internet picture of Billy as a baby, even the picture is giving me the creeps!)

So Skype beckoned and between Skype calls by the very dimly lit beside lamp Billy decided to buzz again, I could see his black shadow, lept out of bed and repeated the above attempts and still no Billy, whilst the spider watched amusingly from the ceiling!

So bedtime went like this: half a bottle of my aromatherapy bug oil all over my bed, blanket, pillow, pjs and me, ear plugs (which made it worse) and burying myself under the covers completely, affirmations where said, Billy and the spider where even sent love and compassion (at this point I was prepared to trying ANYTHING).

I somehow awoke freshly the next morning, delighted to be still alive and surprised to be revitalised, I giggled to myself about the night before, and then the buzzing commenced again.

Returning home from yoga I flung my door open, an invitation to Billy to leave and I sat watching the door and waiting but nothing, Billy has vanished, however the flies are back, and I'm attempting to feel grateful for them.

So the moral of the story is:
1) It was actually a giant flying hornet, the type that does actually kill people, so my answer when my dear friend Sephi asked on Skype what's the worst that could happen, I was right...always trust your gut!
2) My adrenal glands now appear to be fully functioning in stressful situations.
3) Ahimsa is a skill which I must master, however I would prefer a different form next time please!
4) I'm ready to go home to Irish bugs now!

Sending love to you all x

Ps Sharing some beautiful sunshine with you all. Sunrise this morning from my bed:)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Trekking To The Temple With Angelic Protection :)

On our day off we decided to go visit the local temple, so we set off on our 2 hour trek trusting we'd find it... my fellow squeaky knew the way to the sign at which point we turned off the main road by the army barracks and commenced our trek through the forest road.

Angels where called upon for protection several times as many random people stood in the forest starting, by passed by several bikes and cars we where the only people walking, a strange and slightly odd sight as any of you have been to India know, and more an eery feeling that accompanied it.

(Check out my photo bombing angel)

But we persevered up the hills round the bends, glares from onlookers in the forest (we where clearly a sight to be seen) after what seemed like a long time walking we reached the next town, questioning if we had missed the temple somehow, as the smell of insense was so strong in a part of the forest.  But it was at this point a cow clunked by with directions for us, drawing out attention to the sign behind him, an angel cow I think!

So we continued on our way through another section of the forest, admiring the beauty of the trees, each one so different, uniquely beautiful, offering shade to us and no glaring bystanders, soon after the temple on the hill came into sight, flags flying and surrounded by the forest.

The temple itself that of Sri Shirdi Saim Baba Mandir was so beautiful, peaceful, sechulded. It is said that when you make a wish at this temple, it will be granted if you where a goodie in your past life. Passing several Ganesha (elephants like gods, for removing obstacles) shrines on the climb up to the temple, each displaying offerings, of flowers and incense. I just loved it:)

When we reached the entrance to the temple we removed our shoes, and there by the doorway lay an offering of three Daisy's, so pretty, so perfect!

Inside the temple itself was dark as the shutters on the windows where all closed, the cool air inside was a welcome comfort from the hot sun outside. The alter that lay under a large portrait held a small bright shining flame, and an array of golden offerings. 

It felt so familiar, so comforting, so much good energy, (like the church we visited up the hill in Arizona, and the old indian ruins back in 2008) secluded, peaceful, perfect!

I placed my offerings in the small alcove to the side of the alter, sat cross legged on the floor and began to absorb the amazing energy.  Having made a wish and sat a little longer I began to blubber, not sad snotty tears, but peaceful pure energy filled tears, I felt like I had arrived home to myself, the most beautiful feeling which has happened only a handful of soul has been touched and my spirit filled with love, so magical, so pure, so powerful.

Whilst leaving the temple an old man appeared and offered us tea, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude, yet could not over come the fear of potential illness and the thought of reliving my cleanse scenario, so I kindly declined and we went on our way, filled with a new sense of light, a purpose, a knowing yet not knowing...a feeling!

This by far has been the most worthwhile part of my trip, I hope to visit the temple again before leaving next week, but if for what ever reason I don't get there I know that I can connect with the amazing energy anywhere....I even have goose bumps writing this!

Feeling grateful for this experience and to my amazing angels, thank you for surrounding me on this healing journey in your beautiful wings of love and protection.

Sending some of this pure loving energy your way xxxx

Saturday, 26 April 2014

A return ticket to HELL for 1 please!

My trip to HELL or my ghee and purgation cleanse as its more correctly referred to is finally complete and the severe retching has subsided enough to enable me to write this blog.

This cleanse draws out the toxins from your cells into the digestive tract and then flushes out of your system, to reveal a squeaky clean you.  The cleanse consists of 3 to 5 days of ghee and then a day of purgation or flushing out of the body.

So the ghee cleanse involves you drinking medicated ghee or clarified butter that increases in dose each day, followed by two hot glasses of water and shortly after a third, eating a very light diet of broth soups, rice and lentils and only hot drinks....sounds simple eh....LIES!!

It really goes like this.....

1) Great medicine man at bedroom door enroute back from yoga, smile politely as he hands me the dreaded container and fills my flask with boiling water, then instructs me to drink the ghee straight away.

2) Set up the station in the bathroom (essential location as the stuff is vile and may be fired up at any moment).

3) Toothpaste on brush, essential oils ready. Down the ghee, hold it in, brush teeth and mouth like mad, add the 2 cups of BOILING water, not forgetting sock to hold scalding glass in. Repeat affirmations and slowly move away from the bathroom.

4) Add glass 3 of slightly more drinkable now cooled hot water, and sit quietly on bed beside bathroom. Inhale essential oils at every stomach churn.

5) Ensure mouth is opend widely and any burp is exhaled like fire from a dragons mouth and only when you begin to wheeze for breath should you close your mouth again, followed by large inhale of essential oils.

6) Broth soup at 12pm, rice and lentils at 7pm, oh and for those of us starving on this diet 4pm biscuit:)

Repeat this for 4 days and your are GUARANTEED to arrive in hell, no diversions just straight there!

Four days of  headaches, severe nausea & gagging, weakness, nightmares, hots &colds, becoming best buddies with my toilet and each day it getting worse. In comparison with the western world by day 3 I would normally be on my frequent flyer miles to Beaumont, hooked up to fluids and steroid drips having had several injections to stop my body from flinging everything out.

But I persevered and then nearly died on day 4. I even saw the bright lights, thankfully 'twas just the sun beating in my bedroom door, and my complete inability to complete the triathlon to reach it and to close it lol.

Day 4 went like this: steps 1 to 5 above, increasing the dose of ghee to 120ml.  Then bed, bathroom, bed, bathroom, bed, bathroom did I mention bed bathroom for 12 hours, my bathroom two and a half steps from my bed was like a marathon....not pretty at all!

Doctor arrived took one look at me- that fear filled look that I have come to know only too well over the years (which today I can giggle about) and decided to finish it straight away. Electrolite to rehydrate, nausea tablets, diarrhoea medicine and tablets, fruit juice and food, I was enroute back to me!

Purgation is due to follow the day after stopping the ghee however as my body was so weak it was persponded for 4 days.

So on purgation day I ate the icky paste (trying to imagine ice cream, chocolate, anything) and then began drinking hot water for a few hours, waiting for the results, at which point I became besties with my toilet- again....advice to anyone considering an ayurvedic cleanse share a room with NO ONE...your toilet is sacred!

Treatments also continued throughout the process, which added more 'fun' but I will tell you about them next time!

Squeaky clean love to you all from me and the plants xx

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Pure Gratitude!!

Two blogs in three days....well kind of I'm feeling Grateful and want share my 
Gratitude with each of you this Easter Sunday.

Today I am reflecting on how grateful I feel, because today I can actually feel again. Grateful for the courage and strength which has gotten me though the last in particular four days (finished the first part of the the major detox last night). Grateful for the support and love from home, for the calls, the texts, and the laughter.

Grateful for the amazing team here, they work 7 days a week for 6 months and then have a month off to visit their families, always smiling and so kind hearted.

Grateful for having the opportunity to come to such a remarkable place to heal. 

Hope you have something to be grateful for today, and if not know this (as cheesy as it may sound) I am grateful for having you in my life!!

Sending love to you from the garden, even the trees are oozing LOVE xx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fire Walking, Sight Seeing and Oh Oil Enemas

Thank you to each of you for your kind words, support and encouragement for my first blog. It means so much to me especially being so far from home and on such a life transforming mission! Feeling so loved, and supported by you and the beautiful nature that surrounds me- loving hearts everywhere!

This fell on my lap whilst reading in the garden a few days ago.

When starting this blog I promised myself I would update this regularly, I'd share the lessons I have learned and would be as honest as possible, however those who know me, know i have a slight tendency to not just bite a little off the apple, but to crunch the entire apple in one go. So the blogs might be fewer than initially anticipated, but I'm learning to chew slowly!

Whilst I anticipated challenges throughout this journey I have had to dig deeper then I ever thought possible. With daily highs and lows, pain and discomfort I am appreciating (or at least trying to) the opportunity to put everything I've learnt over the last 9 years of illness into practice, and to test my positivity abilities!

So here at the Ayurvedic retreat hospital we receive two treatments each day, with each treatment been given by two amazing therapists simultaneously.  Treatments are prescribed by the ayurvedic doctor who is also a MD- always helpful when you have a concoction of conditions which are as long as the ingredients list for your favourite dessert, or anything sugary...currently CRAVING the snickers in my suitcase under my bed and everything chocolate eastery you are all posting on Facebook- satisification through visualisation I will master you!!

So the treatment rooms are OLD, the tables are wooden and cleverly designed to support the variety of treatments offered and for their healing properties.  The rooms are small, heated with gas heaters and dimly lit which is always appreciated by us westerners and our wobbly bits as we wip off our gowns to be tied up in cheese cloth to protect your decency- prudes beware I joke's India, no disposable undies here!

So for the past 12 days my treatments have consisted of a mixture of oil massages, oil baths and oil enemas.  Each of these treatments are completed with medicated oils and clarified butter (ghee) as prescribed by the doctor, dependant on your condition and to balance your dosha.  The treatments detox the body by cleaning and removing toxins from the cells.

Whilst you might all drool at the thought of two treatments a day (apart from the obvious, which of course has to be the best treatment for lupus, bet you can hear my groan from there!) the massages and oil baths can be wonderfully relaxing to freakin painful, however as with everything in life contrasts are essential. But on a transformational note I can already feel the effects working, and not just the positivity!

On Sunday I stood for about three hours in the one place with no back pain (which for me has been impossible since about 2006, as my gig going buddies know only too well) and I am now participating in the 6.30 am yoga class and adoring it. I can even do downward dog with no wrist pain now:) The yoga is physically tough, and you know your ready for it once you've survived the warm up 'trek' to get to the studio (this picture doesnt do it justice). But the teacher has postures I've nearer heard of, so it's great to be learning each day, however child's pose ( which I insist on adding to the morning programme) continues to be my favourite lol, reckon I could sleep in it:)

Sunday is our 'day off' so no treatments, but still 5 doses of medication (vile!!) so on Sunday we went sight seeing to dolphin's nose/point, located high up in the tea plantations. The views where stunning and the monkeys almost adorable, apart from their hissing over their biscuits- clearly they didn't know about our ayurvedic diets!

No views, just a group of us!

Later that day we had the privledge of attending a fire walking festival, it was supposed to be shopping, but everything was closed for the festival.  So we found our way to the fire pit and perched ourselves in the viewing area, which was constructed of wood and twine (important for later).

The experience was amazing, electric energy, boiling heat, such kind caring people and an earth angel!

The fire had been lit at 4.30am and food cooked in GIANT pots and brought to the temple as an offering. The fire walking participants had resided in the temple preparing for this event for 4 months, which in my opinion is pretty impressive, 4 months to conquer the mind and dissolve limitations...warning to all I may stay in India, or at least return in the future!

So the volunteers kept the fires in the pit burning, turning the hot coals and ashes with large tree like sticks.  Shortly before it was time for the procession from the temple to reach the area the fires where dismantled and volumteers carried the giant chard logs in wet cloths to another area.  As you can imagine, no order prevailed with lotsa shouting, and no one appearing to be in charge, however water, bananas and chai was provided for the bystanders :)

So now the pit was ready and everyone began chanting, the energy became even more electrified, the sardineness more as the deity Durga arrived.

After a couple of laps of the pit with the deity the fire walking commenced, sadly the only part we could see was their heads bopping as they ran across and out the other side, but everyone wanted a better view and we became sardines in a compressor (remember the fence, see fence posts in picture above) the fence was becoming increasing unstable and as we tried to leave we could barely turn around until a wonderful man who I have named an earth angel pulled us out of the crowd, slightly rattled, filled with adrenalin we made our way back to the retreat, and relished in the bliss of its calmness!

What a wonderful once in a life time experience, all to be topped off with a Skype call from home:) and my crazy doggie 

As I prepare to commence my major detox I send almost squeaky clean love to you all, and will check in soon. Xxxx

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Indian Ayurvedic Adventures

Greetings from hot normally sunny but today cloudy India!!

For about a year or so I've been contemplating starting a blog, but did not know what to write about.  So many people have asked me to keep them posted about my 5 week Indian healing adventure, so here it first blog and your update about my Indian ayurvedic adventure.

It's hard to believe a week has already passed since I left Dublin, however a clear sign I have arrived is my need to ask the staff what day it is on a daily bases....I am here!

The flight journey was awesome (haha maybe a little over enthusiastic), but kind of, especially the part where they upgraded me to the exit row, and the other part where I had a row to myself!! Whilst it wasn't the upgrade I'd been working on manifesting I gratefully accepted both..... 

See lotsa leg room...I hear those tall people eeeking ( also possibly the echo of the huge man in the row behind me lol ). Oh and I must not forget my internal indian flight -wish I took a photo, it was like a toy plane, the steps pulled down from the plane and only one person could board the plan at a time and tractors took the luggage off the plane when I arrived at Coimbatore airport, probably nothing much for all you globe trotters, but a funny sight for me!

So I was collected from the airport by a lovely gentleman from the ayurvedic hospital centre and thanks to Paulette's advice it was a very pleasant journey. Perched in the front seat I began to experience India first hand, and think I now have a firm grasp of the rules of the road...'twas like being in the front seat in mario kart! After we got out of the city we began the mountain climb, blind bends, horns honking, monkeys running, it really was so exciting, my driver stopped to show me the view half way up the mountain in the nature reserve.....

They even had signs to say 'careful elephants crossing' how cool is that?! Sadly no elephants seen yet, but as you all know me and my hopefulness, otherwise it might be a photoshop job lol!

So I arrived at the clinic and was greeted by the wonderful Team, saw the doctor and after a few room changes began to settle in and start treatments.

The routine is fabulous (apart from the Meds 5 times a day, especially the 6am wake up call one). Lotsa time to chill out and my new favourite hobbie appears to be chasing the shade around the garden (yes I'm not kidding) and I win every time lol!

Many if you maybe unaware of what ayurveda is but it's basically translates to the science or wisdom of life and is an ancient method of healing and balancing the body to promote health.

I have come to the hospital in India for five weeks of panchakarma or detoxification treatments with the hope that it can dissolve my ever growing list of chronic illness' and enable me to live a vibrant life filled with light, love and happiness.

The hospital is located in the blue mountains near coonoor in the Tamil Nadu district of India.  Surrounded by nature and wildlife this is the view of the garden from my bedroom. And just in case the picture doesn't look 'nature filled enough' a wild monkey the size of my dog (big dog) strolled by my room and insists on visiting the garden and roof tops frequently.

With yoga that is too physically strong for me to part take in at the moment (people trying to stand on their head who are beginners in yoga, yes DRU yogis I hear you shriek) I have resolved to commit to my daily DRU yoga practice- watch out ladies I'll be like a walking manual once I return on May 10th, but hopefully more flexible than my 10 techer training books currently residing beside me on my bed!

So I'm currently getting to grips with all my different twice daily treatments, enjoying tasty fresh food- like just picked off the tree (coconuts for breakfast this morning) and meeting lotsa interesting people.

The lessons have started and once I have digested these I will blog a little more owwww sounds so good, blog a little more :)

Sending love to each of you xxxx