Living in the LymeLight: Balance

LymeLight Intro Link

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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

 

Balance

Photo by Alison Jones

Chronic Lyme seeped into my awareness as ill-defined poor health—pain, lack of energy, stiffness, interrupted sleep. I lost my balance hurrying downstairs with both hands full, landing on my left posterior rib and then bouncing down to hit the same place again on the step below. Healing from that fall was much harder than I imagined, and I didn’t recover fully. As my ribs healed, my stamina evaporated and I slowly worsened overall. I started experiencing the unnatural fatigue I came to call dead duck energy crashes. Unbeknownst to me, the stress of my injury progressed another sickness. It took almost two more years before I understood that the cause of my problems was chronic Lyme disease.

As a driven, dream-manifesting Lightworker bee I lived in my own little fast lane and made some fateful decisions. All were to support pursuits I loved. I didn’t feel overworked until the stealth microbes’ numbers exploded inside my body, catalyzed by Lyme scoundrel Borrelia burgdorferi. These miniscule rogues perceived the opening I created with my go! go! go! attitude, and they went for it.

Fateful Decisions

  • I was ignorant about Lyme disease and viewed ticks as a mere nuisance.
  • I worked in some way from the moment I got up until well into the evening, breaking only for meals, exercise, exhaustion and scheduled time off. Some of it was creative pursuits, so my life wasn’t full of drudgery, but it was FULL.
  • In order to save money for some of my activities, I skimped on food quality, rarely springing for organic.
  • To avoid being tethered to the kitchen, I frequently ate healthy peanut butter on tortillas, yogurt, packaged salad and nutritional shakes along with an evening dessert. It wasn’t garbage, but it lacked freshness and variety.
  • To increase efficiency, I only powered down during the day if I was exhausted. I used inertia to propel myself forward.
  • I stretched boundaries and skimped on self-care to accept more paid appointments.
  • Working “vacations” were the rule.
  • Cheating the need for restorative sleep, I would drive for 24 hours or take the red eye.
  • Before self-employment I worked 11 years of rotating shift that cycled through evenings, days and graveyards every 24 days.
  • I felt my spiritual commitment and practice, creativity, boundaries to what I didn’t want and tending to the self within cancelled any ill effects of my chosen schedule.
  • I dismissed my vague and variable symptoms as “getting old” and possibly “normal” in the context of my life in recovery from alcoholism and an eating disorder.
  • I honed my ability to tune out discomfort.
  • I was too busy to see a doctor.
  • I believed test results from my annual physicals (a concession to my fifties) meant I was in good health—after all, most measures were within normal range.
  • My only response to low vitamin D levels was to start effective supplementation with vitamins D3 and K2. But it was probably an early indication of illness.
  • Personal situations called for my involvement and I managed them to the best of my ability. I have no regrets, but the stresses were detrimental to my health.
  • When I finally pared down my schedule it was as much to claim space for another project as it was to recover from what I thought was too much stress and physical fatigue.

I’m guessing you relate to one or more of these. Let’s take a nice, deep breath and forgive ourselves for whatever we didn’t know or chose to ignore.

Boundary Balance Boot Camp

In the messy reality of a person’s life, balance is nebulous, spongy and variable. Balance is situation-dependent—welcome, Paradox! Sometimes we must temporarily veer out of balance to maintain balance in a larger context. Balance defies definition, yet if we listen closely, we’ll know when it’s off. Balance is supported by a broad perspective, yet the practice of balance rests on boundaries. Which makes chronic Lyme and chronic illness boundary and balance boot camp. Yee Haw! Just what a sick person needs.

Healthy Decisions

The questions to ask ourselves as we make decisions include:

What do I value?
Are these the same things I would value alone on a mountaintop? With only six weeks left to live? Standing before the Gates of Heaven?

What do I believe?
Is this belief true? Do I know it, or have I accepted it from another source? Have I explored alternatives? How does this belief serve me? How might it hurt me?

Given what I know, what’s likely to happen if . . . ?

How does this support my recovery and ongoing good health?

How might this impede my recovery or damage my health?

The answers to these questions shape our boundaries. If the answers are reasonable and we act in accordance with them, we’ll have some balance in our lives—balance we can live with.

Simplicity, Efficiency,Flexibility

Unless you have a staff to take care of you, the footpath of balance is to simplify and become more efficient and flexible while still moving toward your goals. (Even with an uncommon level of support, balance accompanies simplicity, efficiency and flexibility.) Like the humble vacuum cleaner hose, we’re designed for these. We clutter up our lifescape with extra conditions we impose and accept. So, to reclaim balance, we must vacuum up the clutter.

Compassionate Listening

The basic skill for creating a balanced life is relentless, compassionate listening to all aspects of ourselves. Which is good news, because listening and compassion can be learned. It’s valuable to understand that—for me—juicing might cause more havoc than it relieves, before I buy an expensive juicer. And that while I can cut out Toastmasters, I need to keep my commitment to my empowerment circle. That I can welcome a special needs cat into my heart even though it’s an energetic and financial stretch, and then hold the boundary firm at being responsible for no more cats.

Imbalance

Illness—especially chronic Lyme and coinfections—is the result of imbalance. Dr. Bill Rawls illuminates how a compromised microbiome allows overgrowth of harmful stealth microbes in our bodies, and how imbalance in other areas of our lives contributes.

The combination of microbes present and impaired immune function allow the stealth microbes to flourish and push the body further out of balance. Herbs restore balance slowly through numerous underlying mechanisms the stealth microbes have exploited in order to thrive. But even herbs need our help—our behavior also must foster balance. Change must be brought to the circumstances that caused impaired immune function in the first place— Dr. Rawls’ system disruptors: poor diet, stress, inactivity, poor sleep, exposure to toxins and exposure to microbes.

To foster balance is far more nuanced and liberating than following a bunch of rules and giving up stuff we like. It’s a perpetual fountain of satisfaction to witness your own good choices and their effects. When changes are being made, it helps to be on board mentally and emotionally, allowing for natural fluctuations in resolve. Doubt, confusion and resistance burden the process, so it’s worth the effort to bring our thoughts and feelings into alignment with the changes we’ve chosen first. But if all else fails, fake it ‘til you make it.

Unflappable And Patient

With the goal of balance, we can’t afford to be carried away by every tide. We can’t afford to be “all” anything any longer (as if we ever could). We must learn to live in “and” instead.

  • Restricted diet and the freedom to eat without getting sick.
  • Vigilant to our protocols and trusting the slower progress of herbs.
  • Awareness of injustices and focus on healing.
  • Grief and determination to thrive.
  • Intellectual and allowing God to show the way.
  • Work and play.
  • Movement and rest.
  • Boundaries and open-heartedness.
  • Reckoning and forgiveness.
  • Moderation and moderation.

The Capital of Health

Restoring balance is a process and a journey. It probably won’t be achieved without dialing down the pace and lightening the load. It won’t be achieved with 30 seconds of calm on an app. The sick nervous system isn’t deceived by stuffing a moment of calm into chaos (although a moment is better than none). Spaciousness is also required. We have to reshape our days and nights into a healing route toward balance.

Balance is the destination, the glittering capital of Health. Patience is the way. It took six years for my illness to overtake me; it will take time to rebalance my body and fully manifest the result. Remember, the nature of stealth microbes is that they persist within us. Eradication is not a realistic strategy. But balance is.

  • Stealth microbes AND good health.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

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

Mira Carroll

www.alohaservices.org

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Next up:  Movement and Exercise

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