How to Blossom from Lyme Disease
Updated: May 18, 2021
Finding answers and insight from the mud and muck to transform your well-being
Like a lotus, my wellness journey started surrounded by mud and muck with chronic Lyme Disease conditions and a toxic cocktail of symptoms I had battled for years. As I detoxed from Lyme from 2017-2020, its coinfections and years of working and playing hard, I started to free myself from these harsh conditions. As I heal, I open new dimensions of myself like a new lotus petal to the sun.
As I emerge from the mud and muck in 2021, the lightness and serenity I feel, as well as my body’s resilience is something I am so thankful for. The love, compassion and self care that I now champion is stronger than ever. At times I have setbacks as balancing health and life can be a challenge, but I keep focused on the now to rise through adversity and find something to be grateful for even when obstacles present themselves. Learning how to embrace the gifts I am supposed to receive from this process has been my quest and finding a Lyme literate doctor after many years of searching for an answer was key to healing.
Along the way, I have gained insight into myself and the world around me in ways I could not have imagined before. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and I am honored to share this support to help you and your loved ones. These 11 seeds of wisdom are vital to me and worth sharing with other Lyme’s warriors so that your journey can be filled with more serenity along the way.
1. You are your best health advocate. When you feel something is off in your body, don’t let any doctor or medical professional shrug off your symptoms and not dig deeper into your labs. For me, the uncovering started when I was trying to figure out why I had Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. I knew that you just don’t wake up one day with an underactive thyroid. Numerous thyroid docs told me that my lab ranges were normal, but I sure felt like I was fatigued beyond normal. After years of inaccurate diagnoses and doctor visits, I finally found a functional medicine doctor who ran a test for Lyme Disease and found that this is my root cause. Seeing a specialist for Lyme and eradicating it and co-infections in a slow and steady approach so that my body can eliminate the toxins while rebuilding my health over the last couple of years was key.
2. You must focus on loving yourself and being more gentle. As an alpha, A-type personality, I am continually learning the power of loving and gentle thoughts and actions. If I am having a tough day, feeling physical pain, tired or just in a funk, my life becomes better if I ask myself the question, “What can I do to love myself more?” or “How can I be more gentle to myself?” At first these questions seemed absurd to me, but every time I answered them my soul would give me the best tools for self healing. Answers ranged from: you have permission to not do chores, watch a comedy, read a spiritual book, go walk out in nature, spend time with loved ones, or spend some time in the sauna. Every time I listen to this inner voice and follow through, I feel better.
3. Building in time for self care is critical and meditation is your best friend. I used to burn the candle at both ends and enjoyed the work hard, play hard mentality. I now realize I was pushing myself to the brink and had to change my philosophy of carpe diem to include down time. Meditation has been my saving grace. After 20 minutes of meditation, I am more relaxed and in tune with what my mind, body and soul needs in a caring way. My creativity gets sparked and I feel refreshed. At a minimum, I do meditation during my lunch break. I have also found meditation as the best way to chill out when waiting in lines, riding as a passenger in a car, or any other situation where there is down time that can be used in this precious way. Meditation is one of the fastest routes to get still and find your joy; from here your true blessings rise up right in front of you, cutting away all the baggage and useless clutter that can cloud your true spirit and mind.
4. Quality sleep is essential. In my teens and 20s I loved drinking coffee at night and writing until the wee hours of the morning. I also enjoyed going to live music events and exploring nightlife until the sun rose. I had to take a hard look at how these habits were not serving me any longer. At first it was incredibly bizarre to give up coffee and be in bed by 9 at night, but after I gave it a chance I found it so delicious to take care of myself and get closer to 8 hours of sleep a night. I weaned off coffee by decreasing slowly, switching to decaf and then ultimately making herbal tea almond milk lattes such as CCF tea. I took Valerian root for 6 months to help me stay asleep as I could go to sleep well but woke up from 1-3 a.m. with my mind running like a hamster on a wheel with random thoughts. After this short course of Valerian, my body reset and I can now sleep through the night. I have now found that delta wave music assists me to not have as many crazy dreams that wake me up in a frenzy. YouTube has a treasure trove of free, eight-hour delta wave music sets that make it easy to set the stage each night for sound sleep.
5. Find spiritual visionaries to help you rise above. In the darkest hours of any illness, it benefits to have an A team at the ready to help you feel more free. Without a doubt, these superheroes came to my rescue in the form of videos, books and podcasts - Sadhguru, Roger Gabriel, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Ahlea Khadro, Heather Dane, Eckhart Tolle, Yung Pueblo, Thich Nhat Hanh and Andy Puddicombe.
6. Call on grace, joy and ease. I never found it beneficial to play a victim role with this illness (or in other facets of my life, and I have to attribute this to my mom who was adopted and never let any hurdle stop her passion). Of course I was upset and questioning everything at first, but then I switched gears to do everything in my power to lessen chronic Lyme and see life and my journey with more grace, joy and ease. Meditation has helped me to not get upset at things that don’t matter and have more grace when dealing with difficult situations. I have found more joy in the simple things - doing yoga on my back patio, listening to music, a quiet night in at home with my loved ones, enjoying daytime activities, connecting with my family support system over FaceTime, and reading something nourishing to my soul on my Kindle. I am also doing better at finding ease in the now. As I let go of some Alpha tendencies that aren’t serving me any longer, I am doing a better job of catching myself in forceful mode. For example, if I am washing the dishes and catch myself clenching my teeth, I now relax my stance and laugh at how uptight I was and tell myself to find more joy in even the basic tasks. Instead of forcing actions, I am going more with the flow and feel more light and airy as I go about my day. Sometimes making a game of what would the opposite of the old me do leads to the best results to heal.
7. Fill your temple with organic, healthy food. Before I was diagnosed with L