Unrealized Dreams of a Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

Unrealized dreamAnyone else out there a dreamer?

I have so many big plans, and I’ve always been very conscious of making my life a good story. I’m “closing in on 30”, as my dad puts it. But, I have a countless number of goals. My head is always spinning with ideas – a centrifuge with no output.

When I grow up, I want to make a difference.

I want to be an adventurer.

I want to be an artist.

I want to be an author.

Six years ago, I could act on my dreams – on the plans that God had for me then. I’ve travelled. I wrote a little book. But now, everything is a blur because I have an invisible illness. My mind is a cloud, and I’m endlessly searching through that cloud for some release from brain fog so that I can get on with my life. I wake up each morning wanting to be normal again. Some days when I feel better, I find hope. I feel like I might be normal again. So I start dreaming.

I dream of keeping a meaningful blog going.

I desire to be an important part of our church.

I dream of being a speaker at a women’s retreat. At a youth camp.

I hope to open a women’s center. Soon.

I dream of running a café.

I yearn for the opportunity to teach underprivileged students.

I dream of being healthy enough to go hiking whenever my husband wants.

I dream a lot of things. And some aspects of what I dream get done. But, I need more help than I can say to do them. I need encouragement. I need grace from friends, family, and church members. And I feel ineffably thankful when I receive any affirmation at all. It keeps me going.

I want to be well. I don’t want to have CFS/ME anymore.

I want to be more than a dreamer.

I want to be an active character in my own life story.

Resolve Well: Soul

matthew-3

It is well,

It is well

with my soul.

The word “well” is one of those words that has many definitions. As a noun, dictionary.com defines the word as “a hole drilled or bored into the earth to obtain water, petroleum, natural gas, brine, or sulfur”. As a verb, “to rise, spring, or gush, as water from the earth or some other source”. The adverb “well” is defined as “in a good or satisfactory manner”. It can be used as an interjection or in idioms. And as an adjective, the word is defined as “in good health; sound in body and mind; satisfactory, pleasing, or good”. I’ve made the word “wellness” to mean, in my mind, something a little deeper than the word “healthy”. I want to be satisfied with my body, mind, and soul. But, I mainly want to be satisfied spiritually, soulfully. There is a depth that I crave which comes from inside of me. I want soul wellness this year.

Soul wellness is, to me, the easiest to attain and by far the most satisfying. It is the easiest because I believe in a God that gives me peace when I ask and direction when I call to him. It is the most satisfying because it is everlasting. One day my body will be rotting in the ground. I only have to take care of that part of me for a little while. I believe that my mind will one day be uncluttered and filled with freedom and truth.

I want to say every day that, “It is well with my soul”. That I am satisfied with whatever is going on in my life because there is a part of me that is eternal. What are ways that you can take care of that most important part of you this year?

Here is my list:

 

1)      Pray well.

  1. Pray more for other people – family, friends, and my church.
  2. Pray for help and guidance on my wellness journey.
  3. Pray for my husband and my marriage.

2)      Read well.

  1. Chronological Bible Reading.
  2. Combine Bible reading with art.
  3. Good literature.

3)      Listen well.

  1. Spend time listening to God’s soul.
  2. Listen to music that lifts my soul.
  3. Spend time doing art and listening to art’s stories.

Whether your focus is taking care of your body, your mind, or your soul this year, I hope you’ll join me in resolving well. Let me know what you’re doing to make your life better in 2017!

 

 

Resolve Well: Mind

Mind WellnessIt’s Wednesday! Still the first week of 2017, so if you’ve messed up on your diet, don’t you worry your pretty little head, ok? There’s still heaps of time to get it right! We’re talking about resolving well this year. No short term resolutions here. We want to make our lives better day by day, year by year. Monday, we looked at body wellness. Today, let’s talk about mind wellness.

The mind is something we don’t always thing about giving a facelift – but it is equally important for us to look after our thoughts, our dreams, and our brain’s health. Imagine if we applied anti-aging skincare to our mind – or if we touched up the blemishes of our brain with some foundation, brightening certain areas with eye shadow or mascara.

Take a minute to think about what you could be doing to contribute to wellness inside that head of yours.

For my mind to work, I need to have time with people as well as time alone. I need to make sure there isn’t clutter in my house because I know that clutters my brain, in a sense. I need to trade pessimism and lies that sneak into my thoughts for positive thinking and truth. Eating well and focusing on body wellness helps me with this. When I eat well and have a good amount of activity, I feel better in my mind. It’s easier to control my thoughts and change them into good thoughts.

Here are my personal focus points for mind wellness:

 

1)      Commune well.

  1. Have people over and enjoy playing hostess.
  2. Be involved in my church community.
  3. Treasure my “friend” time, and expand my friend circle.
  4. Find something to do in my community (art course, volunteer work, etc).

2)      Work well.

  1. De-clutter the house.
  2. Set up “my space” at a desk.
  3. Work at organization.

3)      Think well.

  1. Enjoy my times alone, setting aside time to refocus and meditate.
  2. Less Netflix, more writing.
  3. Switch negative thoughts for positive thinking, focusing on truth.

Mind Wellness GoalsThat’s it. I want to simplify my mind. There’s just too much clutter up there. Focusing on the world’s problems (or my own problems) won’t help me or others. I want to start clearing up those pimples on my brain, treating the problem. Here’s to mind wellness in 2017!

 

Resolve Well: Body

matthew-1AH! It’s the first day of the year!!! Have you joined the gym, yet? Have you lost those ten pounds?! Too soon? Well, you’re not working hard enough, yet.

Haha, just kidding. Remember this year that your resolutions take time. Your body doesn’t magically change and get rid of all that pie you ate at Christmas or all that wine you drank last night.

This year, we don’t just want to make the same ‘ole New Year’s Resolutions. We want to resolve well. We want lifestyle changes to start now and perfect for the rest of our lives, adding to them, revising and editing every New Year because we get this amazing opportunity for a fresh start. We want holistic change – body, mind, and soul.

As I’ve already told you, I have a plan. It took me a couple of weeks to develop, but right now I feel like I’m on top of this year. Today, I’ll share with you my “Resolve Well: Body” plan. I hope it’s pretty simple because both you and me tend to over-complicate life.

My motto for 2017 is “Be well”. I will repeat it as often as I need to. So, everything I do, I want to connect to that. So, under the BODY category of wellness, I have three goals:

Three Goals for Body Wellness

 

1)      Eat well.

 

Eating well is a very, very difficult thing for most of us, I would venture to say. It’s a complex task these days because we have so many options – and the easiest option is not the healthiest. I want to make my “food resolutions” to be simple. So, for me, to eat well means…

 

  • Eat often. 4-5x a day, depending on how late I wake up 😉
  • Focus on getting lots of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
  • Make healthy snacks to have in my bag when I get hungry!

 

2)      Do well.

 

Being active is almost as hard as eating well. If you’re like me, it’s soooooo hard to exercise! And when I can exercise, I just want to do something else (anything else, really). I reckon we have a very bad view of exercise (probably comes from middle school athletics). Exercise doesn’t have to be jogging or lifting weights. Though, if you enjoy that, then great! A couple of weeks ago, my husband said I could join a gym because he remembered I enjoyed it last I joined one. I chose one that has lots of classes – like yoga and pilates – because I like the classes. But more importantly, the gym I chose has a HOT POOL! And hot pools are way up there with my favourite things – like sloths and coffee. So when I go to the gym, I can listen to my favourite music or a book on tape to keep my mind away from how boring the treadmill is… and then I can wash off and go relax in the sauna or the spa.

 

Both my husband and I enjoy nature. So camping and hiking gets me outdoors and gets me quality time with my husband (contributing to mind wellness at the same time!). We also just got a kayak for Christmas! Talk about an arm workout! Being out on the sea or in the harbor is therapy on a different level (contributing to spirit wellness!). What?! I can multitask with wellness?! That’s awesome!!!

 

  • Gym 3-4x/week.
  • Be outside (hike, kayak, picnic).
  • Hydrate with activity.

 

3)      Clean well.

 

Confession. I hate showers. I don’t remember a time that I enjoyed them. Mom would wake me up and tell me I’d feel better if I showered. No. It’s soooo much work! You have to shampoo and rinse and condition and rinse and shave your legs and armpits with shaving cream and then use soap and then rinse out the conditioner hoping the knots in your hair come untangled and then you have to get out and be ineffably cold until your hair dries, which is a longer process with curly hair because it has to air dry after putting gel or mousse or both in it. I have to actually psych myself up to shower and that takes energy. Energy is a commodity. There have been times in the past five years that I haven’t been able to shower because I couldn’t get out of bed. If you have or know someone who has CFS/ME, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There have been other times when I had to choose between getting out of the house and showering because I had to decide which output of energy was most important that day.

 

Because this is my year of wellness, I want to dream big. And if I’m going to dream big, I need to set goals. Here they are:

 

  • Take all my medicine every day.
  • Use great products – like Arbonne, Origins, or New Zealand Eco products.
  • Keep my gut healthy so that my body will be follow suit.

I’ve signed up to be an Arbonne Independent Consultant, so I have a whole range of Nutrition, Skincare, Makeup, and Toiletries at my fingertips. I’m using these products for all of January, but most of what I’ve purchased will last me all year.

matthew-4

Whelp, there ya have it. I’ll leave you with a list of resources here to help you along with your “well” journey.

My Arbonne Page – www.ashleyruthstirling.arbonne.com

A Little Sanctuary Pinterest Board – Adrenal Fatigue/CFS

Arbonne & Wellness: Why I Do Arbonne Post

30 of Health Living & Beyond PDF – Arbonne International