In this episode of The Bigger, Braver Life Show Michelle talks with host Angela Marie Williams about:
Talking Chronic Illness on Broad Radio. What was so beautiful is that this one was personal for host Nelly - who has a family member living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Me/CFS (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue)
In this quick chat we cover:
- Why chronic illness including invisible illness is an Underworld journey.
- Why family members and some clinicians gaslight those of us living with chronic illness.
- What's an empowering new story we can embrace.
- How to move forward while living with chronic illness.
There are four emotional stages of living with chronic illness and here is the map.
Stage 1. In search of diagnosis - being out at sea
Stage 2. Treatment and some improvement - you've washed up on the beach.
Stage 3. You have regained some capacity - you're wandering in the forest.
Stage 4. You stabilise and start to integrate your experience - you return to the over-world.
The most important thing to remember is that these emotional states are not linear, one blood test and the results can have you back out at sea. One treatment that works super well and you leap frog back to the over-world.
There are different resources and support your empowerment at each of these stages. You can dive into these through either the Magnificence Home-Study Collection or working with me personally in Queen of the Underworld.
Managing your Career while living with Chronic Illness
47% of Australians live with a chronic illness, 70% of whom also work
That's 6.6 million women in Australia living and working with chronic illness
So why don't we talk about this more?
Michelle is on a mission to de-shame chronic illness, illuminate the stories of those 6.6 million Australian women, and help us all see their unique strengths and value.
In this episode with the fabulous Vari we talk about:
Society's outdated and untrue story of illness and wellness
Michelle own experience of 2 chronic illnesses and how she now helps women in this space
The 'hero's journey' we see portrayed so often, and the power of illuminating the 'heroine's journey' instead - including some incredible ancient mythology
How the pandemic has changed opinions and ideas on chronic illness
Where women with chronic illness can find connection, community and 'helpful help'
How those people's family, friends, colleagues,...
The Sacred Power of Illness
It was wonderful to share with Jin Ong, host of The Art of Listening to Your Body podcast.
We talked about why experiencing illness does not mean you 'thought' the wrong thoughts or created your condition. I share with her the powerful, alternative narratives including "What if. we experience illnesses because we are Bodhisattvas?". Plus my personal favourite the Greek Myth of Persephone and why I believe there is a deeply sacred power that lies at the heart of our experience of illness.
There are times in all our relationships, personal and professional, where things build up. Unmet needs or overbearing demands congeal into resentments, and we can get overwhelmed. I have noticed that the first indication that things are building up, is that I start to complain a lot to my friends and beloved. I complain about how other people are not doing what I think they should, or are deliberately thwarting my happiness! If I don’t attend to what is bugging me, in a way that it can be resolved, then I can get very stuck. I start to shut down, and withdraw from the person I am upset with. I may then aggressively push back when other innocent people ask me to do things, or collapse into tears at the end of the day and feeling like I am ‘failing’ at life.
A complaint often masks a desire or need, one we don’t feel we can directly ask for. Some part of us feels unsafe to ask, so we create a barrier and don’t fully express ourselves. The physical and...
Over the last month, power dynamics in relationships has been a hot topic for my clients. In particular, women have been describing what I call ‘the command’, where a man instructs a woman about what she should be doing. I know for myself, this immediately shuts down my body and my heart. And it is difficult to transition from these interactions into more sensual and sexual spaces. So, what is going on here between men and women in romantic relationships?
Often the command is not so much about the words but the tone. “Could you move please” is not a polite request, but instead has an insistent and aggressive tone. In my own relationship, I find this dynamic can come up around a physical task.
Recently my beloved and I hired bicycles. As we started to mount up, I felt he was instructing me about what I should be doing, rather than sharing helpful information. He was definitely in his command tone. Let’s talk about my...
On Monday, my beloved and I held a Soul Love Ritual where we consciously committed to go deeper with each other in our relationship and we symbolised this by the ‘traditional’ wearing of rings. It was beautiful, raw, real and we both glowed as the new energy swirled in.
I want to share with you how we consciously closed out the old patterns, hurts and assumptions about each other before we moved into the new commitment.
You can use the process we designed for anything you want to consciously release in your own life (including the whole of 2020 if you like:)
For the last couple of months, I have driven myself crazy creating relentless promotion and event deadlines (not to mention cash outlays). My daily demands (laments) were that I needed to promote my Finding Freedom with Chronic Illness course for women living from serious illness. I also needed to promote my Relationship Workshop. I needed to get along to some networking events. I needed to get some new branding, and I absolutely had to hire a graphic designer! My business was going to flail and fail without one. Why? Well one of my big assumptions was that I could not promote my course to a breast cancer organisations without an engaging flyer.
Under the weight of these “must do’s” I became anxious, overwhelmed, edgy and to be honest I wasn’t a lot of fun to be around. Does this sound familiar? OK, you may not need a graphic designer, but I am sure you have a list of things you just have to do before you can...
Over the last couple of months I have fallen in love with a generous, intelligent man who knows his own emotional depth. Some of the fabulous aspects of romantic relationships are the opportunities to be seen and held in all your moods, wisdom, vulnerability and let’s face it at times – crazy. And that’s a good thing right?
Most of us did not have great relationship role models growing up. My first romantic relationships were probably a lot like yours, filled with excitement or more accurately what I would now call high drama! I showed up to relationships with a whole lot of unmet childhood needs, masquerading as high expectations of how romantic love could fill me up. I wanted the other person to embrace and love all the parts of myself I found difficult to bear. And they wanted me to do the same.
In the end life teaches us all, that our stuff… is actually OUR stuff!
Over the last decade I have learned to...