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Do You Want to Help Heal a Heart?I remember receiving my first diagnosis. I never imagined then, at 18, that there would be a time when I would look back at just one diagnosis in rose-tinted nostalgia. Perhaps it’s better that way, I have a laundry list of diagnoses now, but none of the labels constrain me. The disabilities are just the footnotes, I am the adventure story. But I’m getting ahead of myself, that’s not where I began.

In the sterile office, with fading winter light slanting in through the blinds, and the grey institutional carpet under my red ballet shoes, I heard the doctor say those words ‘no cure’. I took the wound to my chest, it stopped my breath and my world.

I think of what the doctors said, white coat M.Deities who told me never. That day of never smells of fear and the February grey, dim despondency of hope.

Getting a diagnosis can be a blossoming of relief because it may pave the way for explantations, answers and solutions.

But for some of us it is the broken label from which we struggle to shake free.

No matter whether you welcome it or not, you change in that moment.

It is the moment which changes your life. Sometimes it feels like it is the moment which ends it. The life you knew is gone, you are post diagnosis, AD, your own new millennium.

There is hope and possibilities, but if you have been through that moment in the doctor’s office, the hospital bed or with the test results on the desk between you, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

You need help and support during a diagnosis, heck, you need a posse of angels.

Want to be someone’s angel?

What better, more beautiful act than to heal a hurting heart this Valentines? (Click to Tweet!)

That’s what we decided to do after a particularly difficult diagnosis when I was 22. We took the pain, and fear and transmogrified it into boxes of love and healing goodies, for all those struggling with health challenges and life crises just like me. Most probably just like you. This is from where Healing Boxes CIC, our registered non-profit social enterprise grew, and I want to share how you can transform your pain and grow your angel wings wider.

To share the reality for me, I am sitting, writing in pain and facing new health challenges now. I’m sitting here with this pain and reaching out from my tender chest, from my vulnerable heart to yours. I don’t know what’s happening in my body. I think perhaps something else has come up for healing, but I don’t know. Yes, it’s scary for me too. I don’t want another diagnosis either, I’d rather not have something else I need to deal well with.

But I know we can do this together. We can help make the painful process of diagnosis easier for everyone.

Here’s the plan (and how to earn your angel wings):

  1. Listen – people’s thoughts and experiences might be difficult, but we can listen and allow them the space to express themselves. Some people want to search for a cure, others need to focus on their happiness. Allow them their choices. They are probably being swept up in a sea of emotions. Validate, accept and support whatever they express. Acceptance, not instruction is needed right now. They might want to retreat or need to reach out. Be there, whichever.
  2. Offering Practical Support – instead of saying “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” it is easier for everyone if you make some suggestions. This allows your loved one to see the level of help you are offering. It saves them trying to think up tasks you could help with and stops you being asked to offer support beyond your means.

What could you help with?

  • Picking up food for them when you go shopping
  • Collecting prescriptions
  • Accompanying them to hospital appointments and taking notes on medical terms, treatment options, doctors names, recommended books, prescriptions, appointment times, dates, directions and advice. Or prompt them to record the appointment with the dictaphone app on your smart phone
  • Getting them some books from the library
    Making them up a box of treats and delivering it to them in person (without mentioning the fact that they are still in their pyjamas at 4pm or the stack of washing up next to the sink)
  • Sending them lovely stories you read in the paper
  • Drawing them a warm bath
  • Suggesting you switch your weekly cinema date to a film at their house, or writing them a chatty friendly email without expecting a reply, in other words, making friendship accessible. Checking in with what they need around that, maybe they don’t want anything to change, or maybe they’d welcome the switch, but we can always offer
  • Babysitting the baby, dog or similar so they can rest
  • Making double the food and taking one half to their house every other day
  • Taking them flowers already in a vase or jar so they don’t have to dig one out of the cupboard
  • Giving them a pedicure with hot pink polish so their toes at least make them smile
  1. Drop Some Love – we are creating a treasure chest of support so when someone is newly diagnosed we can kit them out.

You can help by:

  • Sending loving emails of support, quotes and promises of positive energy and prayers to grace AT healing-boxes.com. We will pull out these messages of love to send to those in need.
  • Making and posting cards, notes, affirmations and goodies for us to pass on to healing hearts. Send to Healing Boxes CIC, Office 8, 10 Buckhurst Road, Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex, TN40 1QF, UK
  • Donating. For every $20 you donate this month, we will send a Healing Box to someone newly diagnosed and in need. You can send donations via this button or through Paypal to grace AT healing-boxes.com
  • I will match every donation with copies of my ebooks and guides on how to live well with chronic pain and illness.

Just by reading this, just by being in this loving space, I believe that you are healing your own heart and mine. Thank you. Let’s take a moment to send love to all those whose hearts hurt and are in need of healing today and then pick your action from the lists above and make it happen angel-face!

*Originally published on Kind Over Matter.

Image courtesy of Anne Worner.

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Let's Talk About Self-WorthMaybe you aren’t a size 6.

Maybe you can’t do downward dog.

Maybe you aren’t exactly setting the world alight.

Maybe you don’t know who you are, or what your passion is.

Maybe brushing your teeth feels like a huge task.

Maybe you aren’t earning 6 or 7 or 8 figures like a #boss

Maybe your blog isn’t the talk of the town.

I don’t care. You, my dearest, are worth everything, everything.

Let’s talk about self-worth…

Self worth is respecting my right to be a human being not a human doing.

It means, I get space on this planet simply by being here, and I don’t need to rush/prove/busy myself to be worthy of the resources my existence uses.

I live knowing that I can touch lives and make beauty simply by being.

For me, self-worth in action is:

– Living my life with compassion

– Moving with grace

– Speaking with kindness

– Practicing ethical choices

– Being a good friend

– Growing a garden

All the things I do naturally because I am moved to do so are more than enough.

In contrast, when I begin my day and my life from a place of ‘not enough’, I am always rushing to catch up with myself in a race I can never win.

Joyful moments aren’t embraced as I’m always looking for the next task, the next thing I must do in the race to be enough.

I embrace my worthiness each day with kindness and self-compassion. (Click to Tweet!)

I embrace myself with love and kindness by releasing perfectionism and knowing that I am always a beautiful work-in-progress.

I love spending time out-of-doors, with horses, in the garden and the woods. In these places I am embodied and joyful.

I follow my daily practices; allowing myself space for yoga and meditation, for swimming and resting.

Sometimes I feel wonderful when I do these things, sometimes it’s hard and I resist getting on the mat more than I can say. In those moments I come back to the love in my heart. I listen to my body’s messages, I move to the mat with compassion for myself.

I step away from any media which doesn’t contribute to my self worth and self-love. A few years ago I did a year long fast of all media that wasn’t explicitly woman and body positive, it made a huge impact.

Your heart is beautiful because it loves so much, and so tenderly. In all of it’s wounded places, through the scars, the cracks where you have been broken open by life, you are expanded. You love even wider.

Your scars are beautiful, because scars are medals of survival. A scar can become a shooting star. Let them decorate your skin with silver-red rockets of strength and desire.

Your resilience is beautiful. It’s everything in you that draws you forward, that whispers there is another way, that it will be ok. The part of you that reassures, whispers that you have another day in you and another way onwards.

I’m blessed to share a world with one such as you.

I’m helping spread the word about the “What Is Self Worth?” e-book! This e-book features me! And many other wonderful women who are all talking about self worth and what makes them beautiful.

Want to support your self worth and beauty? First get the free “What Is Self Worth?” e-book then check out the #YesToBeautiful Group Course!

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Horses in a field with text: Q & A: Building a Life with DisabilityQuestion“What can people do, who don’t feel they can start their own business or aren’t able to work in their circumstances? What kind of projects could they get involved with? What kind of things can they build their life around, if they currently lack focus? What kinds of hobbies can ill and disabled people take up?”

Answer: The real answer, of course, is to find your passion and then make it accessible. Just as you’d build a life without a disability. What do you want to do? What do you love? If you don’t know what you love, can you explore?

But I do have a list of accessible options and ideas.

Micro-volunteering – easy actions from home that benefit so many worthwhile causes.

Make sock monkeys

Write love letters

Be a chemo buddy

Crochet Angels for Hope

Make quilts for Project Linus

Therapeutic knitting with Stitch Links

Volunteer with Healing Boxes

Volunteer with local charities. Can you stuff envelopes? Answer the phone, visit people and read to them?

Taking care of a patch of land. Growing a mini-garden.

Write to Postpals

Creativity

Writing


Penpals

Write letters for freedom with Amnesty International

Foster an animal

What do you do? What’s your passion? Tell me in the comments below!

This post was originally published on Healing-Boxes.com

Image courtesy of Bethany Legg.

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