My Japanese Wonderland

 

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Today, after a week of incredible up’s and down’s I escaped to Japan.

Okay, so obviously it wasn’t the real Japan, but it was an incredible taste of the beautiful culture and scenery that Japan offers and a great warm up for my plans to travel there next year.

This is the Japanese Gardens, a beautiful cultural space that surrounds an art gallery and cultural centre in the heart of East Gosford.

I may not be able to financially or physically get to Japan just as yet but this experience was just breathtaking, being surrounded by so much natural beauty it was visually overwhelming. In the best possible way of course.

The gorgeous water painted in lillie pads, koi fish swimming calmly while ducks wandered peacefully on the waters edge. It was like a painting but one that I was a part of.

Everything about this place calmed me, putting aside all of the thoughts that had overwhelmed me the entire week. The stress of uni and business, the sadness over some unexpected, yet somewhat expected news and the yearning for some me time, this was the perfect remedy. Being one with nature, with the animals in a space that was full of beauty and wonder.

As I embraced every moment, every sight, nothing else mattered. Just the astounding wonderfulness of the world we live in.

Life may be full of highs and lows, moments of happiness and moments of sadness, but when we just stop to enjoy the present, none of those emotions can grasp us. The Power of Now by Eckart Toll has helped me comprehend that. The past is the past, the future is in the future, so take life for what it is now in this moment and just love it with all of your being.

In this moment today, while standing amongst the Japanese wonderland, I was able to do just that. Not only was I astonished by the beauty that surrounded me but I was amazed how much listening to the incredible book had helped me. I wasn’t anxiously looking ahead or sadly looking back, I was just so incredibly happy in that now.

Every day, in every moment I am writing the story of my life. I just want to make it a masterpiece that I will look back on one day as the soul-searching journey that defined me. This is why I choose to live in the moment and just make every moment beautiful.

Wherever you are, Japan or far away, just know that you have a choice. Do you want to live for then, now or later. I know what I choose and my life is greater for it.

Live in the moment, for the moment. You won’t regret it.

– the Soulful Wanderer

 

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How To Get More Out Of Life

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Only you have the power to change your life

 

The one thing that I see every day is unhappy, miserable people. Despite my Facebook and Instagram pages filling up with positivity from the wonderful entrepreneurs, travellers and people that grace my newsfeed, I still find the outside world full of individuals who are hating on life, just simply existing rather then living.

One person that springs to mind in particular was a lady that served me in Woolworths the other day. A shortish, middle aged woman stood idly behind her checkout and despite my smile and ‘how are you today’ greeting all I got in response was a grunt. As she packed my goods in a bag and processed my payment, I kindly thanked her and wished her a good day, and of course, not to my surprise she looked down and grunted once again. No thank you, you have a nice day. There were no good manners or courteous exchanges of the sort.

As I walked back to the car, this really got me thinking what in life had caused this woman to be so unfriendly and impolite? Maybe her husband at cheated on her and left her to raise 3 kids alone? Maybe one of her parents had died young and she struggled to live without them? Maybe she just plain hated her job and wanted to be spending time with her grand kids or holidaying in the Caribbean instead? Whatever it was, this lady acted as though the whole world was against her.

Unfortunately this is not a rarity. This woman was one of many people who I see on a daily basis who seem like victims to their own life, one in which they have sacrificed their dreams and happiness to end up in this monotonous, miserable day-to-day existence.

The sad thing is nobody else is to blame but them. Yes, I know this sounds harsh but it is us that chooses how we think and what we think is reflected back to us in the form of actions and experiences within our lives. Now these thoughts may not have been purposely embedded in our brain, they may have derived from beliefs that were drilled into us when we were younger, but they are still OUR thoughts and we must take responsibility of them if we want to change what we give out and get back in life. If we give out unfriendliness and impoliteness, it is highly likely we will get others acting the same in return and attract negative experiences into our life. On the other hand if we give out love and compassion then you can bet that we will attract loving relationships and great opportunities in return.

What I am talking about here is more then this though, so many people I see on a daily basis are not only failing to take responsibility for their thoughts, they are also failing to claim responsibility for their entire life. They work in their current position because the company they work for won’t promote them. They can’t find a job because their are no jobs out there or nobody will hire them. They can’t get good grades because the teacher is to harsh. They can’t leave their job because their husband won’t let them or they can’t afford it. However this victim mentality is just making them fall deeper into the black hole of misery.

We are born into the world as one person, one individual with our own thoughts, personality and beliefs, so why do we let external factors dictate our lives and turn it into something that we have minimal control over. The answer comes down to this- lack of self love.

As we grow from an innocent child into an adult we are influenced by our parents, teachers, friends, neighbours or even in the media who foster beliefs in us that we carry throughout our lives. Some of these beliefs are positive and make us into great people, but others can be negative and self-limiting, degrading our level of self-love and self-worth and it is these beliefs that prevent us from being the extroverted, valuable and full-of-potential person we were all born to be.

Now I am not blaming the people that inflicted these limiting beliefs into our lives, not at all. They were unaware of the power their thoughts and beliefs were having over you at the time, however in order to overcome these and be the person you want to be, live the life you want to live then you need to become aware, take responsibility for your thoughts and change them. The first step to change starts with you.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and it is a process. If you can work hard at school, university or in your job, surely you can work hard at the most important thing and centre of all of that: you. The most significant investment you will ever make in your life is in you, but you need to make that decision to start. Nobody can tell you you need to change, nobody can force you to change, you need to be the catalyst for your own migration to your higher self. Once you have conquered your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs, the world becomes your oyster and you become the greatest version of you imaginable, projecting greatness and receiving greatness back into your life.

How do you do it? Well what it entails is the following:

  1. Figuring out the root cause of your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs
  2. Providing yourself with a ridiculous amount of self-love to combat these
  3. Daily, repeated positive affirmations.

 

FIND THE ROOT CAUSE OF YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

Firstly you must identify where your problems came from. Reflect back to your childhood, as this is usually when these beliefs take their hold on us. I recommend writing in a table, with three headings Belief, Problem and Cause. Then ask yourself for each belief, what is the problem it has caused and the root cause of it, eg. What is the belief- I am not good enough, Problem- I can’t hold down a relationship, Where did this come from- Bullying at school, abandonment, heartbreak. This may take some time and may be a little emotional, but as you work through them you will come to make more sense of your mind and thoughts to be able to change them through self love and affirmations.

LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF

Secondly we must pour immense amounts of self love into ourselves in order to conquer these self-limiting beliefs. Self love is a difficult concept to grasp but if we are going to have any chance of living the life of our dreams and finding our soul mate, then loving yourself is a crucial step. For me, I had to learn to love myself the hard way after becoming ill with Chronic Fatigue but for you I feel this will be a much more self-willing process. Self-love is about treating yourself as if you were a baby, treating your mind and body with all the delicacy and care it deserves.

Some ways include:

  • Doing things you love
  • Surrounding yourself with uplifting people
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Exercising
  • Practicing mindfulness

Trying to avoid practices like comparing yourself to others, criticising yourself and negative thoughts will also make a huge difference, and while these things may take time, you will find your love for yourself increase profusely when you let them go. Try and make a daily practice of self love, as the more we practice loving ourselves daily, the greater overall love we will end up accumulating.

PRACTICE DAILY AFFIRMATIONS

A great way to re-frame your negative thoughts and retrain your mind to think more positively is through the practice of repeated daily affirmations. Every day for 10-15 minutes sit yourself in front of a mirror and repeat 5-10 positive affirmations that link in with your personal values and that reflect parts of your life that you need to work on. Personally, based on my goals to recover from Chronic Fatigue and build a successful business, my affirmations are centered around these core ambitions. I have listed some great resources for positive affirmations below for you to practice:

35 Affirmations That Will Change Your Life

Louise Hay Affirmations

Wherever you are in this world, you truly deserve to be living the life to the full. With the help of this 3 tier process- uncovering limiting beliefs, loving yourself and positive affirmations- I have no doubt that you will be able to unlock your full potential and get to achieving those goals you have set out in your life. All you need to do is take responsibility for your life and choose to take this first step.

Stay tuned, there will be many more resources on how to transform your life coming soon!

Peace and love

-the Soulful Wanderer

The Self-Love Journey

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Self-love has never come easy for me.

As somebody who was naturally shy and introverted, had a rough upbringing in a tense environment, was victim to the bullying and bitchiness at my all girls school, self confidence and self-esteem were never my strong points. And realising I was gay later in life didn’t help either.

So now, at this ripe old age of 28 and suffering chronic illness, naturally all of these feelings have come to the surface and created a need for me to address them with self-love. And the reading from a psychic recently has emphasised that requirement.

Last week, after months of uncertainty and curiosity over the future direction of my life following the break up and resignation of my job, I decided to consult with a psychic in the hope that would give me some kind of direction with my life.

And after much anticipation, the result was a little more comforting then what I thought it would be.

Firstly, and not by any coincidence I think, I found out that my psychic also suffered from Chronic Fatigue. What are the odds of that? I guess this illness is coming more prominent but cannot help but feel this was a sign from the universe!

Secondly, what she said about my current and not-to-distant future situation really helped me see some clarity. In a nutshell, this is what she said:

  1. The reason why I feel as though I am not making progress with my recovery is because my life is at a stand-still and the only thing that will move me forward is radical self love. I must learn to listen to my body more and praise it for what is doing to help me recovery instead of constantly criticising and putting myself down for the things I can’t do. If I am able to, with the help of Mother Mary and Archangel Isis learn to love myself immensely, then my chances of recovering by December 2017 will be greatly improved. I also need to focus on taking slow steps, not setting too bigger goals and enjoying complete rest days when required without feeling guilty.
  2. My relationship with my ex was not a loveless one. My ex did love me and care about me however realised that she had lost control of her life and of the relationship. The break up was her attempt to regain that control and to deal with the issues that had been holding her back. Apparently, she did have regrets about the ending of the relationship and within the next 18 months or so I will receive clarity around that.
  3. In the next 3 months I just need to focus on taking things easy and doing things that I enjoy and that make me happy. Reading, writing, getting out in nature, training, exploring, socialising, cooking, yoga and meditating. All of the things that make me the more grounded person that I am
  4. Between now and 6-8 months time I will surround myself with a network of positive, uplifting women that will help in the healing process. In the process I will meet or may have already met a person who could potentially be my soulmate, if I chose, or at least a friend and within a few months we will move in together. It is my call if this eventuates into anything more.
  5. Within the next 2 years, I will own and operate my own successful business. I will firstly get involved in digital marketing, combined with my marketing expertise, to generate some income, and then eventually will create a business in my own desired field. She also advised me that a job will come up in the next few months that will be a gift from the universe.
  6. She advised me not to stress about money as in a few months I will be offered some money as a gift and encouraged for me to take it. I will also find a way to conquer my financial woes but I just need to relax for now. There is plenty of money in the world and it will find it’s way back to me.

So I guess, from all of that, the most enlightening part was that I need to focus on loving myself and from there everything else will fall into place. Therefore I have made a vow to myself, from this moment forward I will focus on me, putting 100% into making myself the loving, healthy and healed person I was meant to be.

A lot of it will require retraining my thoughts and I intend to do that through meditation, positive affirmations, gratitude and self development books and podcasts. I vow to only surround myself with positive people that lift me higher and avoid those who attempt to bring me down or bring drama into my life. And I refuse to let any type of negative talk or criticism find it’s way into my mind. There is only space for love, kindness and positivity in this mind of mine.

I will avoid comparing myself to others, putting myself down or punishing myself for mistakes and avoiding dealing with my issues. I will stop feeling rushed, like I have to make up for all the time I lost being sick, and push myself to achieve goals that I am not ready to achieve. I will achieve great things in due time, I just need to be patient and believe in the power of the universe.

I must also learn that I cannot rely on anybody to fill my void, that only I can fill that with love and kindness for myself. I am the most important person in the world and nobody can love me until I learn to love myself and the beautiful person that I am, and I can feel that I am getting there. I do love myself to a degree, but the rough days where the depression emerges, I need to learn to conquer that. Once I overcome this, then when something eventuates into a more beautiful relationship with a girl that I meet, then I will be ready.

So right now my main focus is this: radical self love, beautiful friendships and exploring all of the things that I enjoy and make me who I am. I will immerse myself in nature, writing, training at the gym, yoga, meditation, personal development, reading and building great relationships with incredible people. And then will great things follow- love, happiness and abundance.

I am on the pursuit of happiness.

Don’t mind me while I learn to fly.

teaghanlee xxx

 

The Truth Behind Chronic Fatigue

I hear people say it all the time. I am tired. I am exhausted. I need more sleep. But what would you do if one day you no longer had the energy to do even the most simplest of things? Cooking dinner, showering, even thinking and all you wanted to do was just sleep.

Well this is what happened to me and after two and half years of suffering from this multi-faceted illness, I am still struggling to reclaim the life I once had.

Before I got sick, my life was fantastic. I had just moved to Newtown, the lesbian capital of NSW, and as a single lesbian was excited about the prospect of living life to the full and exploring my sexuality. I was working my dream gig at JB HI FI and was an avid gym-goer, training once, sometimes even twice every day to offset my weekend partying habits.

As an overachiever, I always had a habit of taking on to much. And because life was going so well and I was feeling on top of the world, I thought why not fulfil my passion of becoming a PT? So I decided to put my marketing degree on hold in the hope that I could become a fully qualified PT and combine my marketing expertise and fitness qualifications to start my own business. Typical Teaghan move.

I enrolled with the Australian Institute of Fitness, commencing studies around about the same time that I got another job working at Platypus Shoes. So now, not only was I partying, training and working at JB a couple of days a week, I was also studying and working a second job. Now that I look back, it’s no surprise I crashed and burned.

Slowly, I started to notice little things happening. As somebody who used to be really great at talking to people, I was finding trying to articulate myself was becoming increasingly difficult. New people I met, customers at work, whoever I communicated with I struggled to not only get the right words out, but found myself becoming exhausted just talking to them.

I found that studying and learning new information became almost impossible. No matter what it was I just couldn’t remember things, or even worse found that information was getting confused in my head making it even more difficult when trying to communicate that same information back to others. For the first time in my life, I felt stupid and unintelligent.

Then came the more obvious signs of exhaustion. I no longer had the stamina to work out at the gym, get through a whole day at work or even read a chapter of a book. Even the simplest things like blow drying my hair, cooking dinner or showering had become the biggest effort. All I wanted to do was just shut off from the world and sleep. But adult life doesn’t really let you do that. Especially when you got bills to pay.

As I tend to do, I pushed through just thinking it was just me feeling depressed or just being plain lazy. I had always been very hard on myself and as somebody who refused to give up, definitely wasn’t going to let my body crash on me. I just kept drinking my double shot macchiatos and pumped myself full of supplements and pre-workout to keep me going.

Despite all of this going on, I still maintained my avid party lifestyle going out to all the latest lesbian clubs with my group of gay friends and meeting girls. While I enjoyed it for a bit, it wasn’t until I met a girl that I decided that I needed to take a break from this lifestyle for a bit and just settle down.

With much struggle, I finally finished my PT course and after resigning from JB HI FI, got a job at Vision PT. I was absolutely ecstatic and finally felt like all my goals were starting to align, even despite the 4am wake ups and 6am starts as a personal trainer. Despite feeling mentally and physically exhausted, I still continued to build my business all while training clients and myself and working at Platypus Shoes.

But a few months of early starts, my body finally gave in. I found myself being unable to train at all, consistently unable to get out of bed and taking a shit load of sick days to try and get some rest. But no matter how much rest I had, I still felt exhausted. I kept drinking coffee and eating loads of sugar to try and increase my energy but that just ended up making me feel worse.

24/7 I felt like crap. I was consistently getting sick. My muscles ached. I felt sick in the stomach and bloated all the time. I craved endless amount of carbs to try and increase my energy. I was running out of breath walking 100 metres. As somebody who was used to having control over their life, I became increasingly frustrated, depressed and anxious as that control began slipping through my finger tips. I was becoming somebody I no longer knew or even liked.

But I put on a brave face. After beginning to date the new girl I had met, I couldn’t show my vulnerabilities and weakness to her could I? Especially not this girl as she was something special and I feared if I did I would lose her.

I had never been one to show anyone my vulnerable side or ask for help, even from my family, so I continued to suck it up. But deep down, I was struggling so badly.

I began to come increasingly scared of what was happening. And Dr. Google wasn’t much help. My endless searches of trying to match my symptoms with a cause resulted in several possible outcomes: cancer, severe mental illness or an incurable autoimmune disease, among others. As stupid as this sounds, I began to think that I was dying. And endless Doctor visits didn’t ease my concerns.

In the space of six months, I had more Doctor’s visits then I had ever had in my life time trying to get to the bottom of what was going on. Blood test after blood test, every result came back normal with no answers. The Doctor’s began to believe it was psychological, and quite frankly so did I. But this illness whatever it was was making me depressed as I was no longer able to work, train or do things I used to once enjoy.

Then, in the cloudiness of everything, I made a big decision. After a less then 6 months of being together, my then girlfriend and I decided to pack up and move from Sydney to Melbourne. With all my family back on the Central Coast, and my friends scattered between the Coast and Sydney, I knew absolutely nobody in Melbourne. However her family were there and wanted us to move to be closer to them. So I thought why not? I could see a future with this girl and at the time, it didn’t seem like such a stupid idea.

After quitting my job at Vision PT, we moved to Melbourne and while I enjoyed the sea change, things continued to get worse for me. I ended up having to quit my job at Platypus Shoes despite getting a transfer to one of the Melbourne stores and found myself struggling to get through the days. I could no longer keep up with anyone else and found myself getting so stressed and exhausted from normal everyday tasks.

My search for what was going on continued. More blood tests, more tests and no answers. After more Doctor’s visits with no avail, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I continued to research my symptoms, and finally found something that correlated with everything I was going through, Chronic Fatigue.

After months of frustration and no answers, I went to my Doctor with my findings whereby she agreed that Chronic Fatigue could be a possible cause for my symptoms. Finally, I was getting somewhere. I was referred to a Rheumatologist where after the process of elimination I was given a diagnosis. Fibromyalgia and later Chronic Fatigue.

I thought I would be relieved after this, but I found myself reigned with disappointment and heartache after what the specialist told me and what I read about the illness. According to both sources, my life was never going to be the same. I would probably never be able to work, study or socialise again as my limited energy levels were not likely to ever improve. I was heartbroken. In that minute, all my future hopes and dreams were crushed.

I already knew I was depressed. But this just took me to the next level. I would often have suicidal moments where I thought that to continue living would just be a pointless feat. I felt like I was just a waste of life and without being able to fulfil my passions and ambitions, my purpose in this world was invalid. I cried and grieved for my old life, the old me.

I tried so hard to remain positive. Not only for myself, but for my girlfriend. I feared that if I showed her how much I was hurting or what I was going through she would no longer love me anymore. I mean who would want to be with a depressed, exhausted girl with no future right? To be honest, I didn’t blame her if she ran away. She had her whole life to live and I was just holding her back.

So I took a few months off from work to try and sort things out. I refused to let this illness get the better of me and take hold of my life. I spent my days resting, researching chronic fatigue recovery and putting into practice some of my teachings. I joined some groups with people going through similar illnesses, but quite frankly just found them more depressing then uplifting me up so decided to continue the journey on my own.

That was when my entire recovery journey began. And I tried everything in my power to try and get better. A specialised health program, high fat diet, Graded Exercise Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, detox, meditation, vegetarian diet, eliminating Gluten and Dairy, fasting, juicing, Psychology, naturopathy, vegan diet and endless amounts of different supplements including glutamine, magnesium, b vitamins, ginseng, astragalus, fish oil, flax seed oil, maca powder, vitamin d, coq10, gama, acetyl l-carnitine, curcumin and medications such as anti-depressants, steroids and pain killers. Some of it has worked. Some worked for a little bit and the benefits have subsided. And the rest have just had no affect whatsoever or the adverse effects whereby making me feel worse.

The most success I have had so far is with the help of an Exercise Physiologist in learning to balance my energy levels and disperse energy effectively. After implementing meditation to break up the days, alternating between physical and cognitive tasks and building a graded exercise plan, there has definitely been some progress. Regular meditation and yoga has been particularly helpful.

The switch to a healthy, wholefood vegetarian diet has also seen a huge increase in energy levels. Starting the day with a green smoothie, a salad for lunch and a stir fry for dinner, as well as consistent meal breaks, I have found that my energy levels can remain relatively consistent. However if I eat dairy, gluten or too much sugar, that is when I can see the rough effects of fatigue, pain and stomach issues beginning to emerge.

And by far more then anything the most significant thing that has helped me get to this point is personal development. I have had to completely restructure my thinking, trying to divert my negative, depressed mind to think more positively. I have had to completely transform my weaknesses to become my strengths. Anything that was holding me back from succeeding with my recovering I have had to challenge myself and work through. And I have had to teach myself to be grateful for the simple things in life in lieu of the bigger things that I used to require to secure my happiness.

Its still difficult learning to grasp the fact that I am still not up to a normal capacity and am not my old self. I still have days where I am unable to get out of bed because I am just so fatigued. Some days I just can’t even talk to others because I am so cloudy and confused and the things I say will make me sound like a weirdo. And then there are days where I am just so depressed and stressed as I grieve my old life. But I am strong and these days will not last forever.

Its safe to say, the recovery process from Chronic Fatigue has been very much trial and error. In between all of this, I have attempted to work two jobs, one at an Insurance Company and currently with a bank, and while I have seen short term success, the long term outcome is still the same. I am still struggling with this illness but my future is looking brighter. Chronic fatigue was just the world’s way of rerouting my life purpose.

The reason why I share this story is not for sympathy for what I have been through or to gain greater respect. I share this because I want to raise awareness of  invisible illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue and other auto-immune diseases and teach people to understand that you don’t always have to look sick to be suffering. Not only that, but I want people to know that pushing through stress, illness and suffering is not the answer. It only makes things worse for you, your loved ones and anyone else that bares interest in your life and well being. And invisible illnesses do not discriminate. It can reap havoc on anyone’s life in a heartbeat.

Through this illness I have learned so much. But by far the most significant thing that I have learned is the importance of health.

Health is the most important thing in this world. If you have it the world is your oyster. The moment you lose sight of that, problems start to emerge and your life becomes a whirlwind of challenges, for the most part of which we have control over. And a healthy life constitutes a magnitude of happiness.

Now I am no Buddha or Gandhi, but my advice to you is simple. Look after yourself. Eat healthy, wholesome foods. Avoid stress and toxic relationships. Get out in nature. And practice gratitude for the even the smallest pleasures in life.

Your health and happiness define not only who you are but your life and how you live it.

So why not make it count!

teaghanlee xxx