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Spiritual,

  • Fatigue - The Causes

     

    Fatigue does NOT equal over-tired!


    Firstly I’d like to begin by discussing what fatigue is and what it isn’t. It isn’t a lack of sleep (although that can be a contributing factor) and it isn’t how you feel after and busy or hard week at work. Most people think fatigue just means extremely tired and while some of the sensations may be similar the reality is quite different.


    The fatigue I experienced meant I was exhausted ALL THE TIME even after a good night’s sleep. Upon waking I felt like I hadn’t slept at all. I’m a morning person and I usually jump out of bed full of energy so that was a big sign for me that something wasn’t right. Not only was I exhausted, I had no energy whatsoever sometimes to the point where keeping my head upright seemed like a huge effort. My body felt like I had been doing manual labour all day. In fact one physical therapist told me the muscle and joint pain I was experiencing was usually only seen in marathon runners! I could barely enjoy a short stroll, no mind run a marathon! Also my cognitive function decreased drastically. Most of the time the brain fog I experienced was like an ongoing hangover, my memory failed my regularly, I forgot basic words and I often had to make a conscious effort to string an intelligent sentence together. The latter was mostly put down to “getting old”!


    Causes of Fatigue


    PHYSICAL


    - Dehydration
    - Hormonal imbalances (men and women)
    - Sluggish liver
    - Sluggish colon
    - Inflammation
    - Weakened immune system / autoimmune disease
    - Clogged lymphatic system
    - Gastrointestinal issues – constipation, diarrhoea, candida, leaky gut, not enough good bacteria etc…
    - Lack of sleep / insomnia
    - Allergens
    - Food intolerances
    - Toxins –  Heavy metals, chemicals found in pesticides/herbicides/fungicides/cleaning
       products/personal hygiene products etc…
    - Drugs (prescription and non) especially frequent use of antibiotics in childhood
    - Alcohol
    - Smoking
    - Sugar / sweeteners
    - Processed food / junk food / refined food
    - Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
    - Genetics
    - Trauma
    - Lack of / too much exercise
    - Over / under eating
    - Blood sugar imbalances
    - Viral / bacterial infections
    - Parasites
    - Geopathic stress


    EMOTIONAL

    - Chronic stress / anxiety
    - Negative self-talk
    - Repressed emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, shame etc…
    - Depression
    - Grief
    - Loneliness
    - Toxic relationships
    - Having a type A personality
    - Perfectionism
    - Hyper responsibility
    - Hyper vigilance
    - People-pleasing
    - Trauma
    - Abuse

    SPIRITUAL

    - Lack of purpose / direction
    - Being an empath
    - Being a highly sensitive person (HSP)
    - Trying to be someone you’re not / living a lie
    - Fear of death or ill health
    - Psychic attack
    - Not following your soul path
    - Trusting others over your spirit
    - Lack of spiritual connection
    - Not using your gifts talents and skills
    - Judgement/criticism of self and others
    - Need for forgiveness

    It's All Connected

    This list is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive however it will hopefully give you an idea of the many factors that can contribute to fatigue and why the root cause is hard to pinpoint or diagnose. For example in some cases a hormonal imbalance may be a cause of the problem or merely a symptom. Please do not underestimate the emotional and spiritual triggers. Your symptoms may manifest as physical in nature but could be emotional at their core. Just think how your body reacts when you imagine biting into a lemon. Your mouth waters! The mind, body and spirit are intimately connected and this is why I believe a holistic approach to health and wellness is the medicine of the future. We are all energy and our bodies are speaking to us and giving us feedback all the time. If you are experiencing discomfort, pain or drops in energy then there is a reason. It’s telling us that something needs to be addressed. I liken it to a car. Let’s say you regularly let your car run on empty (under eating) and you use cheap, low grade fuel (eat junk food). For a while everything might run smoothly but then the engine starts making a weird sound (palpitations), the fuel tank gets rusty (bad bacteria/inflammation) and the exhaust is emitting fumes and back-firing (toxic overload) At this stage it can be hard to know what is the cause and what is the effect. It can take some time to get to the root cause but the good news is that once you do, it can be dealt with. Your body is just trying to communicate what needs to be addressed. Needless to say positive lifestyle changes can help no matter what.   Take a look at the list above and see which ones stand out to you. What is your body trying to tell you? What changes has you intuition been telling you to make that you are ignoring?

    It Doesn't Have To Be This Way

    If you are experiencing fatigue please seek support and help in whatever modality feels right to you. It’s a miserable way to live your life and is not something we should have to put up with. In the next few blogs I’ll go through some of the more common causes in more detail with suggestions/changes to consider if you feel guided. Until next time have a blessed, healthy and vibrant week! xxx

    A note to the reader

    Please Note: I learn best by writing and rewriting what I am learning until it is a permanent fixture in my brain. First and foremost these blogs are my way of retaining the information I have learned over the years. I really want to emphasise that my articles are by no means a “bible” to be followed to the letter by anyone but me. Having said that, I urge you to read all my blogs with an open mind and if a little bell starts ringing when you are reading any part of what I write, than by all means make a note and investigate it further to see if it might be a path that’s right for you. My biggest takeaway from having CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is to always trust my intuition, my own Inner Truth – it’s what gave me answers when no-one else could and I would encourage you to do the same.

     

  • My Journey - The Final Instalment

    Where to from here?


    2015 certainly hadn’t started as I had intended. I tried going back to the gym but my poor body just couldn’t take it. I walked around in a haze as days turned into weeks, turned into months. When I look back now there is little I remember of that time. I had some acupuncture sessions to keep me ticking over but on the whole I felt numb.

    Gemma


    I had promised myself that I would host a workshop in my local area some time that year and I was determined to make it happen. Sundays came and went and very little progress was made on this front.
    While researching a space for the workshop in late 2014, I had come across a therapy and counselling centre called The Phoenix Centrerun by Gemma Mc Cabe. We had emailed a couple of times regarding room rental and her emails were always kind, understanding and friendly. From the moment I crashed in January 2015 I kept hearing a little voice telling me to “call Gemma, call Gemma” which I largely ignored instead choosing to listen to the many excuses I usually create for myself – I can’t afford it, I don’t have the time, It’s too far away, I don’t have the energy etc… I don’t know why I was so reluctant. I’d been in therapy a few times before and I had always found it to be immensely helpful. The ego mind and the inner saboteur can be tricky devils to deal with. The ego is never ready for what the soul wants to do.


    By March however I’d had enough and I was ready to act on the nudges I was getting. In a moment of despair one evening after work, I finally called Gemma who was gracious enough to give me an appointment the following evening. I remember that first meeting so well. Sitting in the armchair I felt like a big blob. I had so little energy I could barely keep my head up. All my pent up frustration, anger, resentment and hopelessness came flooding out while Gemma held a space for me and patiently listened. Do not underestimate the power of another human being witnessing your pain with compassion and lack of judgement – it is a true gift.
    At later sessions I discussed my fear of possibly being severely depressed and my occasional thoughts of suicide both of which Gemma told me were normal for someone who had been dealing with this ongoing illness for so long. She assured me that she didn’t feel I was severely depressed but justifiably down due to my circumstances. It was such a weight off my mind that she verbalised what I knew deep down to be true.


    I’ve been going to Gemma almost every week since then. Her support and guidance have been inspiring and life-changing. As a judgement-sensitive individual, I am programmed to read even the slight hint of judgement in someone’s expression I can honestly say I have never seen even a glimmer of judgement on Gemma’s face. She is remarkable.

    A little spark of hope


    In April I went ahead with my workshop with two lovely ladies in attendance. As a born teacher, I enjoyed my time with them immensely. I had very positive feedback from them both and after it was over I knew “this is what I’m on the planet for.” A little spark of hope was born.


    However the debilitating fatigue continued. I went back to Italy and Greece to my Greek familyfor some much needed R&R and while the experiences were almost identical to the year before, I felt neither relaxed nor rested upon my return.  While in Greece I had watched a documentary on FMTV called E-motionwhich discusses how trapped emotions and repressed experiences can cause chronic illness in the body. One of the contributors to the film, Dr Bradley Nelson, has developed a technique called The Emotion Codewhich helps to release this trapped energy. I was intrigued. I checked it out and requested a free consultation with an Emotion and Body Code practitioner. The next day a lovely American woman called Wendie (who had used this technique to heal herself of Lupus) Skyped me and we started working together. Lots of things came to the fore during our sessions however a common theme was how I wasn’t expressing my spirituality in the world. I started to reconnect with my intuition which I had repressed for a long time for fear of being seen as a “weirdo” and I rediscovered my passion for angels. It was so nice to speak to someone who held similar beliefs and she became a kind of spiritual mentor for me.


    It felt great to have reconnected with my spiritual side although I still trusted my intellect above all else. However one evening after a particularly bad bout of brain fog, I had a conversation with my angels as I was driving home from work. While I was crying and begging them for an answer, a feeling of peace came over me and I heard “All is well.” Later that evening when I went to bed I said a prayer telling the universe I had no more answers, I was exhausted, I had had enough and that I was surrendering all control over to God. I could do no more and so I promised to follow whatever guidance I was given.

    Resistance


    Shortly after I read an article in Natural Connectionsabout woman who had used a technique called Biomagnetism for to treat Lyme disease. The centre was pretty local and with nothing left to lose, I made an appointment with a practitioner called Sherrie. I’m still not sure exactly how biomagnetism works. It’s a bit like Kinesiology with the use of magnets to rid the body of parasites, bacteria, viruses or anything else that is causing dis-ease. Believe me, even to an open-minded person like me, I know it sounds hokey but I had promised myself I would follow my guidance without question. In all honesty it was an up and down experience. The sessions were more expensive than I could realistically afford and the thought of investing in the suggested 10 or more sessions made me uncomfortable and a little resistant to the treatment. At times I felt an increase in energy levels and at other times I felt awful afterwards. Sherrie explained we sometimes have to get worse to get better but I wasn’t convinced. After one particularly bad episode I suspended treatment although I believe now my resistance and fear of the expense was largely to blame for the severity of the reactions. My ego wasn’t ready to give up just yet.

    D-Day


    The rollercoaster of CFS continued until one fateful Sunday in July. I woke up with a slight headache, which had been with me from the day before, but it was a sunny day and I was determined to get out for a walk. I felt uneasy from the first step but I powered through. Only 15 minutes in, my head started to pound and it felt like my brain was about to explode. I turned around and headed for home stopping every few steps because I was so disorientated. When I got to the carpark I could go no further even though it’s a stone’s throw from my house. Thankfully a kind lady could see I was in distress and offered me a lift. She also offered to call an ambulance but I declined. All I wanted to do was get through my front door without collapsing. Once inside I threw myself on my bed and sobbed and screamed like I’d never done before. I was so scared I had a brain tumour and I felt so powerless.


    My mother knew I’d been having a bad week and called during my breakdown. I tried to keep it together so as not to worry her but as soon as I heard her voice I burst into tears again. You can imagine how concerned she was! She wanted to come and get me straight away but all I wanted to do was hang up and pull the covers over my head so she made me promise I would go to the doctor the following morning.


    I slept like one can only sleep after long bouts of crying and headed for the doctor’s surgery. I chose a different doctor as it was nearer to work and I wanted a fresh opinion. She was very understanding and took a variety of blood samples and a urine sample (at my request). When I asked her what the course of action would be if the tests came back normal, which deep down I knew they would, she suggested the same solution of SSRIs. As soon as the words were out of her mouth every cell in my body silently screamed “No!” I asked her if she thought I was depressed to which she replied “no” and when she couldn’t explain the proposed course of treatment I was seriously pissed off. With the anger came a little bit of empowerment, I was determined I wasn’t going down that route unless someone could give me a valid reason for it. Later that day, I met my mother and my heavily pregnant sister for lunch to get some support but more than anything to reassure them I wasn’t going to kill myself. To this day I feel bad about the worry I must have caused them.

    The Turnaround


    A couple of days later I had a chance conversation with a client who told me that 10 years previously he had been bedridden with fatigue. Because he worked on a farm, doctors were convinced his symptoms were due to a bacterial infection and wanted to put him on high doses of long-acting antibiotics which he refused. Instead he decided to do an intensive course of acupuncture three times a week for 8 weeks and he eventually got better.


    This was exactly the encouragement I needed! I thought about the treatments I felt had helped me over the years and decided to create my own intensive healing plan. I was going on holiday in just over six weeks so that’s how long I gave myself for the plan to work and if it didn’t work, I would go back to the doctor and follow her advice. It was an expensive idea but deep down I truly felt it was the right path. I discussed it with my mother who kindly offered to lend me the money so I promptly booked acupuncture, reiki, physical therapy and nutritionist appointments. I also went back to Sherrie for biomagnetism. I had an appointment with someone almost every night of the week!


    Two weeks into the healing plan, I was already seeing results which I kept to myself for fear it was a placebo response that would be short-lived. I was following my guidance and step by step I was being shown where to go and what to do. During a session with Sherrie she told me that heavy metalswere contributing to my fatigue. When I mentioned this to Fiona, one of my acupuncturists, she said “Well then you have to see Conor. He’s a nutritionist who specialises in heavy metals.” After a 2 hour comprehensive consultation with Conor he recommended I send a urine sample to a lab in Germany for testing as my first port of call.

    Finally! An Answer!


    By the time I got the results I was on holiday and the six-week plan was over. I had been experiencing marked increases in my energy levels and overall wellbeing however I couldn’t afford to continue with so many treatments. To say the results shocked me is an understatement! I had extremely high levels of mercury, lead, thallium, copper, arsenic and nickel in my system. Conor said he had rarely, if ever, seen such high readings.
    I finally had an answer and diagnosis for my illness. The relief was immense. I wasn’t going insane! I was put on a chelation protocol for 3 months but I noticed an 80% improvement after the first treatment.  An added and completely unexpected bonus to the chelation was the fact that I had a normal and pain-free period for the first time ever without the contraceptive pill. I have had a complicated history with my period since the day it started and now every month has been a breeze for the past 8 months. This alone was more than enough proof that heavy metals have been largely responsible for a variety of health issues.


    In conclusion, my life has done a 180 since then. I still have the odd “bad day” but I put this down to residual metals leaving my system or a flare up of bacteria or a virus that may still be lurking in my body. I continue to eat well, avoid toxins, get occasional treatments and use supplements for support. I will probably have to do so for the rest of my life. Who cares! Compared to the alternative it isn’t a high price to pay. Most importantly, I continue to listen to my inner guidance or my inner truth as I have come to call it. I trust it more and more each day and it has yet to fail me. It has changed my life so radically that I am now on a mission to encourage others to listen to their intuition more hence why I started Your Inner Truth.


    I know this blog has been a long one but I feel it’s a necessity to give hope to those going through the same thing. So thank you for sticking with me. In my next blogs I’m going to discuss what I have unearthed about the various, possible causes of CFS and ways to support your treatment. They will be much shorter, I promise!

    A big thank you to all the friends, family members and therapists who have helped me on my journey. You know who you are and I am eternally grateful. <3

  • My Journey Part 1

    Sick and Tired

    It all started in 2012, although in reality it started a long time before but my body had finally had enough by then. I had started a new job in February and while the hours were longer the stress was a lot less. I was so ashamed that my fatigue might be due to the fact that I couldn’t hack an 8 – 5 job that I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling. I especially didn’t want my new colleagues to know!  I had already spoken to my doctor about my exhaustion and persistent dizziness but my bloods had come back normal so he put it down to low blood pressure and/or depression, offered me antidepressants and sent me on my way. I powered on through while I got angrier with myself and my body for being so sensitive and so weak. I wish I had known then what I know now.

    By the summer of 2013 I sat at home on the sofa most evenings with barely enough energy to lift a fork to my mouth while the sun mocked me from outside. Of course this was the best summer we’d had in years and anyone who knows me knows how much I love the sun! I couldn’t even cut the grass without taking half-hour breaks every ten minutes. Even my daily walks had dwindled to nothing. Gradually, over the next few months, the muscle and joint pain started to creep in. At times it got so bad that even lightly rubbing my thigh was unbearable. Because I was exercising less I thought the pain was because of lack of use.

    I Need Help!

    In September I went to Karen my physical therapist, and also a good friend, for some relief. I couldn’t believe how much discomfort I felt even at the slightest touch. The fear, frustration and concern was so overwhelming that at the end of our session I started to cry and confided what I was afraid to admit: “I think I might have Fibromyalgia.”  Karen was caught off guard. I’m usually so strong that I could tell it was strange for her to see me so vulnerable. She was truly great though. “Let’s not jump the gun.” She said. “It may just be a magnesium deficiency”. “You know Nancy, you’ve been really stressed the past couple of years, have you heard of Adrenal Fatigue? It might be an idea to check it out and see if it resonates.” Karen recommended a magnesium supplement and to read J. Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue as well as Marilyn Glenville’s Fat around the Middle.

    Let the Research Begin

    The magnesium helped somewhat to relieve the pain and in Glenville’s book I learned all about the cortisol rollercoaster which I will speak about in a later blog. In Wilson’s book I learned how important our adrenal glands are, the multitude of reasons that can cause them to crash and the devastating effects these little glands can have throughout our bodies if we don’t look after them correctly. Adrenal stressors include but are not limited to:

    • Infections (chronic and acute)
    • Constant/repeated stress
    • Emotional abuse
    • Physical abuse
    • Allergies / food intolerance
    • Over exertion
    • Exercising too much / too little
    • Smoking
    • Lack of sleep
    • Poor eating habits (junk food, processed food, takeaways)
    • Lack of fresh fruits and vegies
    • Sugar and white flour products
    • Would healing
    • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
    • Marital / relationship stress
    • Caffeine (including energy drinks)
    • Fear
    • Unemployment
    • Negative self-talk and beliefs
    • Lack of relaxation
    • Death of a loved one
    • Financial pressure
    • Perfectionism
    • Toxins / heavy metals
    • Lack of purpose / place in the world
    • Loneliness
    • Feeling misunderstood / unlovable

    Look carefully at that list. Isn’t it a snap-shot of our lives in the 21st century? No wonder autoimmune diseases are becoming more and more prevalent!
    I have to say I was overwhelmed when I read this list. Although I didn’t tick all the boxes there were plenty that I did tick. Did I have to rectify all of those issues at once to feel better? And who would I go to to help me?

    Confused

    Even though my diet was pretty good, I felt an easy place to start would be nutrition. I found a well-known clinic in Dublin and booked an appointment with a nutritionist. To cut a long story short, the sessions, tests and supplements cost me a fortune and I felt no better by the end of my treatment. Please don’t let this put you off nutritionists. I have found really good ones since that have helped me immensely. I knew from day one we weren’t a good fit but I was so desperate and I was sure that, because she had a title and worked at a world renowned clinic, she must be good. The takeaway from this (and from my work in general) is to ALWAYS trust your own instinct no matter how much your ego or others try to convince you otherwise.
    At the same time I also had my thyroid, B12, folate and vitamin D checked. All came back “within normal range”. I had hair analysis done for heavy metals and sent off samples for allergy testing. Nothing significant. The only red flag was that my homocysteine levels were in the moderate category at 17 (optimum is below 10 to 12) but again I was told to take more B vitamins to help lower it and that was it. I was never made aware of how important these levels are and what they can indicate. So why test in the first place?!

    I had read about good acupuncture is for chronic pain so I sought out a good acupuncturist to help with the recurring bouts of pain I was experiencing and started going to Fiona. What a God-send! I cannot begin to describe how much I have fallen in love with acupuncture and how it has helped me over the years.

    Frustrated

    So by the end of 2013 I had tried lots, had felt better at times but the fatigue continued to get worse.  I spent most of my time trying to muster enough energy to get me through the work day and swinging between frustration, anger and large doses of denial but deep down there was still a glimmer of hope I could find solutions to my problems. Little did I know though that I’d have to get a lot worse before I got better.
    NEXT TIME: Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.

  • My Journey Part 2

    Maybe it is all in my mind


    By January 2014 I had progressively gotten worse and I had now reached a plateau. The human body and mind are amazing. In order to be able to function I was running on auto-pilot. It was as if I had never known life before this reality and when I started to think back to happier and healthier times they felt like an entire lifetime away.  I was no longer able to go for my daily walk on a regular basis and any time I did feel up to it, even the shortest walk left me exhausted. I had had to stop volunteering at my local animal shelter. This probably broke my heart most of all and I didn’t even pop in for short visits anymore because I was so ashamed that I could no longer offer help or support.
    Acupuncture, a healthy diet and a multitude of supplements were all keeping my head above water. At the time it didn’t feel like it was making any difference but I know now that I hadn’t looked after myself in this way I wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed in the morning.


    Shame and Fear


    People ask me now “why didn’t you speak out?” There are many answers to this question. As I said before I had come to accept this reality as the new “normal”. Moreover I didn’t people at work to think that it might be affecting my performance and I can honestly say it rarely did. Plus I was scared to imagine that what doctors were telling me was true – that it was all in my mind. If that was the case, then what? Would I be sent to a psychiatric unit? I wasn’t calling my illness Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I just called it “This damn fatigue” and I felt like my body had really let me down. I ate well, I had exercised, I lived a clean life, I had never smoked or done drugs and I rarely drank. I felt like loser, a whiny little child. I had always been perceived as so strong, capable and independent. The shame I felt was almost unbearable.


    Where has Nancy gone?


    This feeling of shame was compounded when in May 2014 I went back to Italy to visit some friends before heading off to Mykonos for a week in the sun. The next part of my story is really hard to put into words but I’ll give it a good go. While I was in Italy my thoughts were filled with negativity. I couldn’t help but compare myself to the person I had been when I had lived there so many years before and the comparison was not a good one. This thought process was verbalised by a friend who asked me “No offence but where has Nancy gone?” I constantly felt vulnerable, inferior and very fragile all the while putting on a smiley face which I’m sure everyone saw through. The truth was I couldn’t wait to leave.


    Release


    Then one evening over dinner with a friend I discovered that my ex-boyfriend had become a father. This was a guy that I had truly believed was my soul-mate and I had been convinced we were meant to be together. I had beaten myself up for more than a decade that it hadn’t worked out and I hadn’t allowed myself to really love anyone since. I have never wanted children and in that moment when I heard he was a dad, I literally felt a part of myself come back into my body. I have no other way of describing it. If it was his destiny to become a father then we were not meant to be as I led myself to believe. The peace I felt afterwards was a balm to my soul. I had released a huge burden.
    The following days and weeks felt like a dream. Synchronistic moments showed up at every turn from special treatment on my flights to and from Mykonos to an upgrade at my hotel, to the owners of the hotel treating me like family from the moment they met me, to my very own Shirley Valentine romantic encounter!


    Things can only get better


    Upon my return I felt revitalised and ready to get back out in the world. My health slowly improved and I started to believe that I probably had been suffering with depression due to the stress and heartbreak I had endured since that relationship had ended. I started a Facebook page called Life and Soul and I began exercising at the local gym. I still wasn’t 100% but life was good again.
    At the end of the holiday I had been ready to say goodbye to my holiday romance. I felt we had had a really lovely time but that’s all it was – a holiday romance. He, however, wanted it to continue as a long distance relationship and my friends and family were VERY excited about this new development. I hadn’t trusted myself for such a long time that I went along with what everyone else wanted for me. Yet again I went against my inner truth. Needless to say in September the relationship ended badly and what should have been a beautiful holiday memory turned sour. ALWAYS trust your inner truth!

    Because I was feeling so good I stopped many of the healthy protocols I had put in place while I was sick. I thought "why spend money on therapies and supplements when really all I was suffering with was an extreme form of heartbreak?"
    I was still exercising regularly and enjoying the improvements to my health that I saw every day. In October I decided to join a 6 week challenge at the gym to take us up to Christmas. My motivation had been waning so I thought it would be a perfect way to encourage me to keep going. I’m not a fan of the gym but I’m also not a fan of rain either. I’d much prefer to be out walking but the Irish weather doesn’t always permit that. :-) To be fair, Hannah’s classes were much more fun than other classes I’d been to and I loved the dancing element in Zumba. For those 6 weeks I went to a class every chance I got averaging 4 times a week. By the end of the challenge I felt toned and strong and I won 2 medals for my efforts!


    Crash!


    Over the Christmas break I was walking on air. I said to myself: “2015 is going to be my year!” I performed my annual ritual of clutter clearing and making a vision board of what I envisioned 2015 looking like. I was pumped and ready for the year ahead!
    Sadly, very shortly afterwards I crashed and burned. “This damn fatigue” came back with a vengeance. I screamed at the sky “why is this happening to me?” and all I heard in response was “It’s not depression.”  - To be continued.


    Footnote:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to say a BIG thank you to Andreas and his beautiful wife Evagelia who own Panormos Village in Mykonos and who are now known as my Greek family. Without even knowing me they took me under their wing and treated me which such protection and kindness from the moment I arrived. Their hotel is stunning, the breakfasts are delicious and their hospitality is second to none. I feel so grateful and blessed to have met them and it proves that no act of kindness goes un-noticed.

     

  • One Size Does NOT Fit All

    Danger, DANGER!!

    The media is full of hard-hitting headlines regarding health and nutrition. It’s big business. One day wine is good for heart health, the next day wine will kill you! Even websites dedicated to alternative therapies have articles with titles like “What this superfood is REALLY doing to your brain!” or “After reading this you will never eat broccoli again!” For years butter was demonised with low fat spreads being the way to go. Now that theory has been completely turned on its head. Fear sells. It’s a minefield and the stress and confusion it causes does nothing for your cortisol levels!

    There's no magic wand

    I have learned there are many reasons why I developed CFS. There are many layers to the onion that took years, maybe even decades, to manifest fully as physical symptoms. It would have been great to have someone wave the proverbial wand and have my symptoms disappear over-night but the truth is the investigation into any chronic illness is usually a step-by-step process. Yes heavy metal toxicity was largely to blame for my illness but there were other contributing factors as well. 

    Trust your gut

    It is so important to trust your own body’s feedback. I can’t emphasise this enough. Just because a “healthy” food or supplement worked for someone else doesn’t mean it’s right for you. How do you feel after its consumption? For example I recently discovered that red kidney beans do not agree with me and yet their health benefits are touted constantly (one online article lists 39 benefits!) Your body is always giving you feedback the question is: are you willing to listen? 

    Are you REALLY willing to listen?

    Now at this point you may be saying “Yes, yes. I’m willing to listen!” but are you really? What if your body told you to give up wine or smoking or chocolate? Are you still willing to listen? 2 years ago I had gone to bed wondering what the heck was causing my fatigue. I awoke the next morning with the word “sugar” like a neon sign in my mind. I intuitively knew this “hit” was right but my inner Cookie Monster quickly convinced me I was wrong and had plenty of “evidence” to back it up! It was only when I had no more avenues to go down that I had to face the reality that sugar was in fact a part of the problem. (I’ll discuss this in a later blog) 

    Go easy on yourself

    My point is we are all born with intuition. Sadly as we grow up we are constantly taught to over-ride our gut feelings by our parents, teachers and other authority figures with their interpretations of right and wrong. What if your physical ailments were giving you the gift of learning to trust yourself again? Be gentle with yourself. Eliminate should, have-to, need-to and must from your vocabulary and stop using them to perpetually beat yourself up. You are doing the best you can and you have done nothing wrong. We all know junk food and other lifestyle choices are bad for us but we are all on different journeys, we have various lessons to learn and we will only make changes when we are ready. Others may not understand or agree with your decisions but what other people think of you is none of your business. As your holistic wellness coach I can help you get honest with yourself and tap into that inner guidance. It's my job support you in creating and implementing a tailor-made plan just for you. 

    As a fun experiment this week try asking yourself the following questions and in a relaxed manner see what comes to you and write down your insights. You may be pleasantly surprised with the answers!

    1) What is my body/this pain trying to tell me?

    2) What is my intuition trying to tell me that I’m ignoring?

    Have a blessed week everyone. Be happy, be healthy and most importantly be yourself! 

    A note to the reader

    Please Note: I learn best by writing and rewriting what I am learning until it is a permanent fixture in my brain. First and foremost these blogs are my way of retaining the information I have learned over the years. I really want to emphasise that my articles are by no means a “bible” to be followed to the letter by anyone but me. Having said that, I urge you to read all my blogs with an open mind and if a little bell starts ringing when you are reading any part of what I write, than by all means make a note and investigate it further to see if it might be a path that’s right for you. My biggest takeaway from having CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is to always trust my intuition, my own Inner Truth – it’s what gave me answers when no-one else could and I would encourage you to do the same.

  • Why I'm coming out and why you should too.

     

    TODAY IS THE DAY

    "I LOVE GOD"

    There, I’ve said it. 

    What are you thinking right now? 

    “Oh no, this girl is whackadoo. I need to unlike her Facebook page asap lest anyone think I’m a religious fanatic by association.”

    “Oh no, she uses words like lest so she must be a nutjob!” :-D

    “Nancy has crossed over to the darkside.”

    “She has been lured into a cult.”

    “Will she use crucifixes and rosary beads if I go to her for Reiki or coaching?”

    “Nancy is going to recite passages from the bible next time we go out for dinner.”

    “We need to save Nancy from herself.”

    You may be thinking one or all of the above or you may have your our version of the same. However all I ask is that you read this blog to the end then you are free to take whatever action you feel is appropriate. 

    This is my day to come out of the spirituality closet.

    I LOVE GOD - How can three simple words create such fear and anguish? 

    I haven’t written a blog in weeks. Not because I had no time and not because I had no ideas – although my fearful self, my ego, threw these excuses at me (and more) every time I sat down to write. But today after hearing about the attacks in Nice, my soul will not let me sleep until I write this blog. It’s now 3 o’clock in the morning and it will probably be hours till I’m finished but these words need to come up and out of my body today, right now. 

    The truth is that most of what I want to write about is not mainstream, some of it is controversial, so of course I may be setting myself up for judgement and ridicule. However my site, my mission is called Your Inner Truth and my passion for this mission is much larger than the fear that fuels my ego. So here it goes.

    Hurt People, Hurt People

    In reality we all have a closet we are longing to come out of. We ache for people to see us exposed for who we really are and to accept us for it but that rarely happens. So we tuck our non-popular beliefs, wants and needs deep inside and point the finger to deflect attention away from ourselves. We judge and shame ourselves for the way we feel, or what we believe, for fear of being judged, ridiculed and ostracised. You may say “You shouldn’t care what others think!” And you would be right, we shouldn’t. But that’s the point – we all do. The majority of people fear speaking in public over death, that’s how powerful our fear of rejection and humiliation is and it fuels a great many of our actions. It is my strong belief that judgement, the need to see others as different from ourselves, and the fear of being judged and rejected are at the root of all the violence and terror we are seeing in the world today. Moreover, not being ourselves is EXHAUSTING. It's like trying to hold a beach-ball under water; it's no fun, takes all your attention and eventually it will pop up and hit you in the face. 

    Which Would You Choose?

    Once I was chatting to a guy who believed all his problems would be solved if he had more money – a lot more money. So I asked him “If I could wave a magic wand and give you all the money you think you need, or I could wave a wand which would ensure that everyone for the rest of your life would accept you exactly as you are without the pressure to conceal yourself, which would he choose?” He immediately chose the money option. However later that day he texted me to say he’d had a change of heart and would choose the other option. He said no amount of money could buy him that kind of peace and happiness. Ultimately we all want to be loved and accepted for who we really are but as we are judged in childhood, the painful wounds we endure mean that we in turn judge and criticise others. Get them before they get me. Isn’t that the foundation of bullying in schools? 

    Young Love

    Humiliation is a powerful tool used to control others, to make them conform and to do our bidding. We are not born judgemental or critical of others’ differences. My nephew who is just about to turn one has no concept of “the right” people to associate with, “the right” football team to support, “the right” political party to vote for or “the right” people to love. His friend at daycare is a beautiful black girl, with big brown eyes who is a year older than him and great fun to play with. That is his reality, that is what he sees and he cries when she has to go home. He loves her and sees only goodness in her. He has no bias because his parents have not projected bias onto him. They delight in the fact that he has a new friend as much as he does. But give it time. If these little ones remain friends, the stares will come and the comments will be made even if they are just playful banter like “oh he likes the older women!” wink, wink or “Come on now, big boys don’t cry”. Very soon his own rule book will be written for what is acceptable and what is not. This is part of the human experience at this time. We can’t escape it. 

    More Similarities Than Differences

    What if we taught our kids to look for and appreciate what unites us rather than what makes us different? After all isn’t that the truth? We all hurt, we all cry, we all grieve, we all love, we all laugh, we all die, we all make mistakes. Does it really matter what country we come from, what God we worship, what our sexual orientation is, what football team we support or whether we want to be a member of the EU or not? What if we all had the courage to step out of our individual closets and gave others the freedom and safety to do the same? Already I can hear you say “we can’t let everyone do what they want, the world would end up in chaos!” Isn’t the world in chaos already? Isn’t that reaction just another one of our judgements fuelled by media, brainwashing and popular belief? Anger breeds anger, fear breeds fear, violence begets violence. Trying to change another to see the world as we see it doesn’t work; just ask anyone who is married what has happened when they’ve tried to change their partner – the partner has become angry, resentful and dishonest. Intimacy and connection flies out the window. We can't change others, we can only change ourselves.

    Depression is the Opposite of Expression

    I truly believe that all the horror we are witnessing today is as a result of people not being allowed to express their own Inner Truth. Suicide, terrorism, mass shootings, racism, hooliganism, bullying, abuse are all by-products. You may think this has nothing to do with you because you don’t partake in such atrocities. Maybe you use distractions like food, porn, alcohol, drugs or Pokemon Go to avoid the truth of who you are.  What happens when you force a wild animal into a cage or to go against its own nature? It either becomes aggressive or it becomes depressed or it develops repetitive behaviours like swaying or pacing. We are no different.  On a side note, Alan Cohen says depression is the opposite of expression. It’s the best definition of depression I’ve ever heard. 

    Holy Shift!

    We need a shift, a change in perspective, if we are to see positive change in this world. Not everyone was born to be a Mother Theresa or a Gandhi but we can start with ourselves and with our kids. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not easy. Until recently I was an extremely judgemental human being and that hasn’t changed overnight. It still pisses me off when drivers don’t indicate or cyclists don’t respect traffic lights or politicians do anything quite frankly ;-) It’s a work in progress. I’ve found the first step is not to judge or shame myself for being judgemental. Awareness and a willingness to change are all that are needed.

    If we want to liberate societies we need to first liberate our minds.

    What is happening on the planet is overwhelming and it can seem like a Herculean task to create change. Nevertheless I think back to when I was younger and every public area was filled with cigarette smoke. It was my worst nightmare and I remember thinking this will never change, I’m going to have to live on a deserted island to escape it. Look at where we have come since then. Something that seemed so impossible has become a reality and no wars were needed to achieve it just a change in consciousness, just a shift in people’s perspective.

    The Spirituality Closet

    Today I am coming out of my own closet - the spirituality closet and I urge you to do the same when it feels safe and right. Your closet may be a different one but it may be just as scary, or even more so, to contemplate. However as we all come out of our closets, we give others the courage to do the same and that can only be a good thing. The real terrorism on the planet is the terror of being ourselves. All other acts of violence are manifestations of our self-hatred and self-condemnation. This is what Buddhists have been promoting and teaching for centuries; oneness, self-love and compassion. Easier said than done but perhaps this is what we are all here to learn.  As the aforementioned spiritual teacher Alan Cohen also says “The ego loves its comfort zone, the known, no matter how miserable it makes us.” 

    So what about me and God?

    Am I joining a convent or a cult? Am I going to go door-to-door bible bashing? I am becoming a Wiccan witch or running away to an ashram? The answer is none of the above. The simple truth is I love God, not the religious kind just my version of God (and I natter to angels too!). I have been interested in all aspects of spirituality for as long as I can remember. That is my Inner Truth and that makes me happy just like my nephew loves his new friend and that makes him happy. Embrace your truth, live life in accordance with it, be happy, let others do the same and let’s see where that takes us. What we are doing now is not working so what do we have to lose? 

    As John Lennon once sang “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”

     Ok, you can go ahead and unfriend me now! :-D

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