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

 

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The Magic Potion: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is by far one of the greatest things ever invented. I’d say it is pretty up there with snap seal bags and coconut oil. Apple_cider_vinegar.jpg

Source: By Phongnguyen1410 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34840183

Why you may ask? Well please let me take this opportunity to share with you why I start every morning with a warm drink of apple cider vinegar and lemon!

  1. It helps weight loss and assists in controlling your cravings and appetite
  2. Its a great fat-burning enhancer for workouts when added to water and aids with post work out to deter lactic acid build up
  3. It  contains acetic acid which helps balance pH levels and maintaining alkalinity in the body to reduce infection and disease
  4. It is a natural prebiotic assisting with the growth of good gut bacteria and consequently aiding digestion, heartburn and liver detox
  5. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, micro nutrients and beneficial acids to maintain a healthy body and provide energy
  6. It works wonders on your lymphatic system reducing the symptoms of sore throats, allergies and congestion- also helps with reducing bad breath
  7. It assists in reduce candida overgrowth reducing sugar cravings, mental and physical fatigue and yeast infections

But wait, helping your body function properly are just some of the benefits this magic potion can provide:

  1. Its great for your skin as a toner, to reduce acne, eczema and break outs or to eliminate warts
  2. It soothes nasty sunburns
  3. It is a superb all natural, chemical free disinfectant and cleaner
  4. It aids in repelling fleas and parasites on your pets and producing a shiny coat
  5. It kills nasty weeds in your garden
  6. It aids in removing pesticides and other nasties from your fresh produce
  7. It acts as a teeth whitener eliminating stains and bacteria when used after brushing
  8. You can use it as a shampoo, natural dandruff remover and detangler for silky, shiny and healthy hair
  9. When rubbed on your muscles, it eliminates cramps and pains
  10. Rumour has it that it cures hiccups (yet to be proven)
  11. It eliminates the smell of cat urine
  12. Provides a great detox bath when mixed with epsom salts and lavender oil
  13. It acts as a great salad dressing
  14. Can be used as a natural deodorant
  15. Its magical and can be used for most infections or ailments including but not limited to PMS symptoms, arthritis, reducing cholesterol, morning sickness, athletes foot, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, thrush, acid reflux and many more

Honestly, I could go on all day about the benefits of this stuff but I am pretty sure you get the point- it is bloody amazing.

So next time you are at your health food store grab a bottle of this stuff. Make sure you get one that still contains the Mother as this is what contains the essential ingredients. And if ingesting it or applying to to your skin, make sure that you dilute it with water first as it is very potent on it’s own.

Bonus: It isn’t expensive!

Enjoy the magic in a bottle 🙂

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

 

How to Heal Yourself After a Break Up

So as most of you already know, breakups are a bitch.

Recently, and by recently I mean precisely a month ago, my ex made the fateful decision to end our relationship. After almost 3 years together, a relocation from Sydney to Melbourne and the adoption of two babies, the time had come for us to part ways after she admitted to me that she was no longer in love with me anymore.

When I first heard those words slip out of her mouth, I felt stupid. I knew from the beginning that we were two very different people but being my optimistic self I always envisioned that eventually we would align. But as fate would have it our relationship was just not strong enough to handle our differences as well as my struggle with chronic fatigue, it’s consequential financial woes and some family hardships along the way.

I admit, despite knowing this day would eventually come it has still been a frikon roller- coaster. I know it’s for the best and that this is the perfect opportunity to explore and find myself, but after becoming so accustomed to that one person and living for them it is bloody challenging to adjust to a life without them. This month has just been an up and down battle with grief, and that plus chronic fatigue has just wreaked havoc on my emotional stability.

In saying this, I decided I had two ways to deal with this. I could be a super depressed bitch feeling sorry for myself, reeling in pain, criticising myself for all the things I did to destroy the relationship and shutting off from the world entirely. Or I could instead take this as a chance to rediscover myself and heal. So a few days after the break up, I made a decision. This time, I will choose the latter option and become the best version of me possible. And this is my how to guide on how, so far, I am achieving that and by following, you can do the same.

  1. Do things that you enjoy for you and nobody else. This may sound kind of weird but along my journey of recovery I really came to enjoy doing things by myself. I loved going for long walks in nature, reading a good book and meditating. However I always felt like I couldn’t do these things with the freedom I wanted to do as I felt obligated to please the other person and do what they wanted to do. And it was these things that I knew would contribute to making me better. So now instead of feeling like I have to sit down and watch an unexciting movie or TV series or staying inside all day to make someone else happy I instead grab a good book, have a bath or get out exploring in nature. Even enjoying a nice tea in a cute cafe has become one of my favourite hobbies.
  2. Be grateful for what your relationship taught you. When we go through a breakup,  we can’t help but be clouded by the negatives. But instead try looking at the relationship in a different light. I truly believe that every relationship and every girl I have dated came into my life to teach me something. My first girlfriend taught me how to be more social and have a good sense of humour. My second girlfriend taught me how to be adventurous and enjoy life more. And my most recent girlfriend taught me how to be more appreciative, caring and calm. While they all ended, some amicably, some not, they all contributed to the person I am and love today. Whether we like it or not, everybody comes into our life for a reason. And whether it is our choice or their’s a point comes where their purpose in your life has been fulfilled and it is a time to move onto bigger and better things and make new meaningful magical relationships. No relationship is a failure or regret, just a life lesson so don’t dwell on the negatives.
  3. Open yourself up to new experiences. Truth be told, you probably didn’t do a lot of things in your relationship because you felt limited by another person. But now, you don’t have that concern any more. You are free! Take the time to explore your passions and more adventurous sides. Try that hot yoga class you have been wanting to do. Do that cooking class you’ve been eager to do. Hell, go out bungee jumping if you want to! Your world should be full of endless opportunities and nothing can stop you now. In my experience after being in relationship after relationship and always feeling like I have to be attached to someone, I am now able to find what I really enjoy physically, emotionally, mentally and well sexually. After all new experiences are the only way you are going to find yourself again after losing yourself in the relationship.
  4. Surround yourself with positivity. Naturally after a break up you become super negative. You criticise yourself and point out every little thing that is wrong with you, that is unless your ex hasn’t already done that for you. And some days, it can be really hard to lift yourself back up again. So immerse yourself in positive energy. Find happy, outgoing and optimistic people to hang out with, not Debbie Downers. Listen to plenty of uplifting podcasts (I recommend Tony Robbins or Actualized.org). Do meditation and yoga to make your body feel incredible. Exercise. Whether it be join a gym or just going for a walk, exercising releases endorphins which make you feel incredible. And it helps that you get a banging body to show off! And last but not least, make sure you eat a healthy diet with plenty of good foods. If you have a healthy mind, a healthy gut and are surrounded by happy people, nothing can kill your positive vibes!

So what are you waiting for? Stop feeling sorry for yourself. The end of your relationship isn’t the end of the world but the beginning of a new exciting chapter! Get out there and learn to accept and love yourself for the incredible human that you are. Because you can’t love anybody until you learn to love yourself…again.