Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Illness Narrative, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, overcoming adversity

Gotta Get Out of Here

So many times we find ourselves in places that make us uncomfortable or unhappy. There are those who grow up in small towns who find they need a way to get out. Others, who may live in neighborhoods with violence and drugs, look for a way to get out. If you watch the commercials for the Boys and Girls Clubs you see prominent people who got out. They found a supportive environment with mentors who encouraged them, nurtured them, and providing opportunities for them to make their move.

We look for ways to use our talents to give us a leg up and change our circumstances. Adversity can be a prison or a path to freedom. There are some who simply choose to succumb to the pressure of adversity and start to sink slowly as if they’re in quick sand. On the other hand, that pressure can be a catalyst for change. Think of some of our most prominent athletes. Many grew up in troubled areas and knew that sports were their ticket out. It was their lifeline to a better life.

How can adversity be a path to freedom? It’s when you take what’s challenging you and use it as the motivation you need to change your situation. This may be different when faced with a chronic or life-threatening illness. The reason is that you can’t escape illness. You can obtain treatment with the hope of getting better or well. Escaping isn’t about the physical illness once diagnosed; it’s about escaping the ties that bind on the emotional and spiritual planes.

Pain is a great motivator. Limited options are another motivator because we don’t like to feel closed in or surrounded. But motivated for what? Motivated to find freedom from the things that prior to your adverse situation kept you stuck. Motivated to stop fueling the oppressive thoughts and energy that prevent you from being the best you possible.

Illness is difficult enough without us working against ourselves. What will stop you from fueling the negative thoughts? How will you create a new pathway that promotes health and healing? Who are the people that inspire you? (Read the post “Who are the Legends in Your Life”).

I encourage you to read autobiographies, memoirs, and pathographies. Autobiographies/biographies are not written about people who fail. They are written about/by those who have overcome some type of challenge. They share their struggles and discuss the emotional and spiritual land mines they stepped on along the way. The reason these books are so important is they provide hope. They show that emergence is possible. These are opportunities to create a personal menu for health and healing.

Diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness?  Looking for education, support, and inspiration?  Visit

Looking for a way out?  How will Art help you Heal?  Visit


Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Ever Think of Rewriting Your Story?

We are born with a mission.  In our culture most of us don’t realize what our mission is until many years into the journey.  If that weren’t bad enough, for many once they understand their mission they are diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness and the story automatically changes.  Can you imagine the nerve of the Universe intruding in on your story?  Did you ever begin to think about earlier chapters of your life wondering if you had taken a left instead of a right maybe you wouldn’t be in your current predicament?

Let me assure you that you can begin re-reading your story and it won’t change anything.  It’s a shame because you spent so much time on the past and now when you would like to rewrite history you aren’t afforded the opportunity.  However, you have every opportunity and every right to rewrite your present and future.  Rewriting the past is full of “what ifs'” and I’d like us to stay in the realm of “what’s next?”  Are you up to the challenge.

Fortunately there is no Pulitzer prize awarded for being the author or your own life.  There’s a potential for other awards if you write a memoir but we’ll get into that another time.  What will it take for you to rewrite your story?  Is there some predicament or scenario that has to present itself, aside from the illness before you’ll lay claim to your story?  How will we know you’re writing the story?  What are the parts of the story that are unique and could only belong to you?

It’s really amazing because rewriting your story can be as simple as saying “I’m done trying to please everyone” and that will have huge ramifications if you stick true to your script.   One simple line can change everything because everything in the world is interconnected.  If you do just one thing different, everyone around you has to do something different.  It’s simply the law of physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  You change one thing and the Universe will change with you…but you have to stick to it.  This is not a “one day event”.

Rewrite your story!  Be the Hero you are!  Don’t allow anyone to edit your story but you!  Be mindful of what you edit…don’t want to edit out any of the good stuff!  Be proud of the masterpiece before you that is your life!  Let me know how the writing is going.