Living in the LymeLight: Load

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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

Load

Load. We’ve established you’re a badass, but nonetheless put down your sack of rocks. Let go and let God. Carry a fanny pack as needed.

Sickness teems with opportunities to polish patience, rest on faith, and allow. So little seems within our control. Obstacles loom where we once enjoyed ease. We wait—for appointments, test results, callbacks, tangible results of treatments, the next moment of feeling better. We wait for better health coverage, for a smarter healthcare system, for a (Lyme-literate) doctor or healer who understands our malady. We wait for our own research to bear the fruit of our own improvement. We wait for the energy to go back to work, to engage more with loved ones, to play with vitality, to pick up any number of habits and pursuits that had to be put down. We wait attentively for the moment we can finally stop when we must perform a task but lack the needed fuel. We wait and imagine being “normal” again.

Waiting can feel heavy and torturous. Waiting adds to the load. Ours is usually not the calm attention of an impartial observer because our very life is woven into the outcome.

Rocks to shuck from your sack:

  • Any commitment of time and energy that doesn’t directly contribute to your survival or the survival of your dependents. (such as volunteer work, formal or informal)
  • Anything that detracts from your healing. (such as partying, most arguments)
  • Anything that provokes a stress reaction when you think about it.
  • Anything that causes a predictable energy crash for longer than a few hours.
  • Anything you regard as extra or non-essential.
  • Time guidelines from your past as a healthy person—in other words, how long it USED TO take you to accomplish things.

Rocks to renegotiate:

  • Aspects of your employment situation such as total hours, hours per day, working from home, leave of absence, etc.
  • Domestic duties.
  • Domestic standards. Maybe the house doesn’t need to be dusted from top to bottom every week, for example.
  • Toxicity of food, supplements, personal care products, cleaning products, etc. This may include the toxicity of your dwelling or workplace.

Healing Sabbatical

If some of these suggestions strike as too surgical, apply them as you see fit. The purpose is to focus your energy on essentials until you’re feeling a lot better, to free yourself to travel the healing path.

Some efforts reward us so richly that the giver receives a net gain. For the past five years, as the holiday season starts I declare I’m not putting up Christmas lights because taking them down feels overwhelming. And for the past four years, I end up changing my mind.  I love how the rainbow sparkles uplift the night, and I want to be part of it! Waiting until I’m committed to the whole process—including the knockdown—neutralizes any stress, and the lights become an authentic part of my celebration. I have no doubt I’ll be ready to put them up any day now.

Bringing all the rocks into alignment with your goal to regain your health is no small undertaking. The awareness of what needs to be done can feel daunting, especially when we’re ill. But we can divide, conquer, and take one step at a time.

Embodied Angels

Allowing ourselves to receive support also lightens the load. A long-time weekly client lifted me when I was struggling most with pain and low energy. She boosted my morale and helped me keep my head above water. She’s always expressed appreciation for my work and paid generously, but this time she expanded beyond the scope of any hope or dream I could have come up with. It coincided with Hurricane Harvey and the economic aftermath on local businesses not connected to rebuilding or necessities. Demand for massage therapy decreased markedly (not that I was physically capable of doing much massage therapy). She gave me two gifts of money so large I could have refused them on that basis. But I did not. Knowing her for many years, I understood that she could afford the gifts and no strings were attached. They arose from her heart and her commitment to charitable giving, so I accepted them gratefully. I also accepted her kind words after each session, even when I wasn’t sure my pain or fatigue hadn’t compromised my work.

Adapting mentally and emotionally to a relaxed pace and lightened load can be a stretch. We might feel anxious over not meeting prior levels of self-expectation. Remember, the specifics of cause and effect have changed. For example, if I push my physical limits, I don’t just get extra tired. I risk muscular fatigue and injury that will affect my ability to do a massage session the coming days. Or worse, a whole-body dead duck energy crash that stops all activity and may or may not resolve for days.

Breathe

Anxiety might persist despite logical reframing. Or it may be independent from your thoughts. Anxiety can be a manifestation of chronic Lyme and coinfections. The breath is a built-in calming tool that can be modified to use anywhere, anytime.

  • Close your eyes and take a nice, deep belly breath. Let go of thoughts. Inhale peace.
  • Exhale as you let a gentle smile form on your lips. Breathe out peace.
  • Repeat.

If your anxiety calls for a chemical intervention, Nature again has you covered. I highly recommend Vital Plan Select CBD oil. However, if you’re subject to drug testing at work, check to make sure full spectrum CBD oil won’t cause a false positive on the test your company uses. I’ve also found that CBD oil helps me recover more quickly from energy crashes.

The Work Filter

My least favorite renegotiation has been around exercise, chores and giving bodywork—aka the work filter. With post-exertional malaise (PEM) looming, I can’t afford too much physical activity before a session. Running out of energy while working with a client is simply not an option. So, no long walks, no major cleaning or heavy lifting on the front end. For the first year and a half I even had to shower the day before a session to make sure I didn’t overspend my energy before work. This cramps my style and decreases the sum total of exercise I get. But I want and need to earn a living, so for now, all energy expenditures get passed through the work filter.

The stakes are high. To heal we must understand our limitations and live within them. Yet we can still function highly within that range. Badassness is compatible with a lighter load.

What can you shuck or renegotiate to lighten your load and create more ease today?

Which shucks (if any) put a smile on your face?

How have you been a badass in terms of lightening your load?

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

Mira Carroll

www.alohaservices.org

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Next up:  Paradox and Spirit

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