Living in the LymeLight: Pace

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Nature does not hurry,
yet everything is accomplished.
Lao Tzu

There’s more to healing than the physical. In this series I share ten body/mind/spirit practices to help us live in the LymeLight, from stealthy back to healthy. Each will be posted separately during the holiday season.

  • Allow
  • Pace
  • Load
  • Paradox and Spirit
  • Gratitude
  • Balance
  • Movement and Exercise
  • Discernment and Intuition
  • States of Mind and Emotion
  • Responsibility and Power


Pace. Get off the time treadmill. Reframe time.

The reality of today is that to maintain functionality I’ll have to rest longer than I used to. That means I will do less. Some days I may need to rest most of the day, but down days will impose on my aspirations less as I learn to slow my pace and rest more.

The theme of reframing runs through any recovery. Experiencing pace differently has been a major mental undertaking for me. Slowing my actual pace has been easy—my energy level often dictates it, and a dead-duck energy crash (profound fatigue from pushing the limit too far) makes a compelling teacher. But my expectations have been slower to recalibrate.

So, I get to practice patience as well.

I invite you to consider:

What can you take off your to-do list to create more spaciousness and ease today?

Can you and yours survive if you don’t do everything that is theoretically possible by a healthy human being (or your former self)? Hint: most of the time the answer is an emphatic “yes.”

No matter how much you may protest, name the top three things you must accomplish today. Only three, and they must be achievable. Here are some examples:

Bank. Groceries. Shower.

Take morning and evening herbs. Feed children. Feed self.

Prepare for client. See client. Clean up.

Pay bills. Walk. Vacuum.

Feed pets. Change and wash bed linens. Shop online.

Delegate. Delegate. Take morning and evening herbs.

Dead Ducks

With energy-zapping chronic illness, short lists like these should be the measure of accomplishment. It’s really the state of the illness TODAY that dictates what is reasonable to expect of oneself. Everything beyond the top three things is gravy, whipped cream, sprinkles, champagne, or any icon of lavish non-essentiality.

I didn’t know that post-exertional malaise (PEM) is a thing until I’d been on herbs for several months. PEM is caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, meaning the cells are not producing enough energy. It can range from weakness in muscles, to sleepiness, to fluey malaise, to complete and utter exhaustion. Until I plugged the PEM concept into my own experience, I couldn’t understand why I could do a thing one day and not be able to the next. Now I see how mitochondrial dysfunction was subtly present long before other symptoms got my attention. In fact, when I first started to gain weight (seemingly for no reason) I countered it by stepping up my exercise. I added 13 flights of stairs to my daily walk and began taking raspberry ketones. This worked for a while, but the stair-climbing was quite a challenge even though I had a long-standing habit of walking long distances in the south Texas heat. I expected my capacity for stairs to increase over time, but it never did. They always took my breath away, even after years of conditioning.

I have come to learn that every stressor pulls funds from my daily energy wallet, which is currently middle-class finite. Stressors include physical activity, emotional activity, mental activity, food (such as sugars), environmental factors like allergens and noise, exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), being “on” versus being at ease, and, to state it baldly, whether or not we enjoy what we’re doing. All these factors interact with the current state of body to determine what we can afford today. We either stay within the finite energy budget or overdraw and pay the penalty. We cannot borrow from tomorrow. If we bounce a check it’s literally on us. We can only use what’s in the energy wallet today.

It’s true for everyone that now is the only time we have. But it’s a flashing neon truth for chronic Lymies and others prone to PEM, because “now” stops dead in its tracks when we spend more energy than the body can currently produce.

Needless Treadmills

Have you noticed the crazy driver who zigzags lanes dangerously, cutting people off? That dude is idling at the same stoplight as everyone else. Or pulled over for a traffic violation. We are that crazy driver when we drive ourselves too hard. We gain nothing but can lose our momentum and render the energy wallet empty for hours or days.

Relax your pace. Shift timelines rather than abandon goals. Be okay with all of it.

At the same time, notice right now the ways that you are badass. I mean badass in the coolest and most admirable sense: undeterred in doing what needs to be done while steeped in humility and compassion. I don’t care how sick you are, you have your badass moments. That trek to the bathroom, or how you down a vile tincture while fixing dinner. Going to work every day. The complaints you keep to yourself. How you can laugh at your predicament. Hugs you give or how you rise to the occasion with your child, your partner, your friend, your customer, your boss. It’s definitely how you carry your secret worries.

Tomorrow your badassness will manifest in the many ways you’re putting your life back together because you dialed down the pace and tended to your own healing.

Which of your badass moments puts a smile on your face?

healing-loss-small-cover-outlined-e1495905246179.jpgWith Peace and Love,

Mira Carroll

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Next up:  Load

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