Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease, Part 8

find your own fire

find your own fire

Unorthodox Idea #8

Devote Yourself to Personal Work

You believe you can heal yourself, right?  It might be time to dive into doing personal work that will connect you with some powerful parts of yourself you might not know about.

It’s no coincidence that when I got serious about curing myself of Lupus, I was also knee-deep in my lifecoach training as well as doing a lot of work with my own coach and developing my personal spirituality.  Working specifically on healing myself wasn’t necessarily the focus of that work, but learning to become my most powerful self was.  This process was (and still is) absolutely integral to the continuation of my health success.  Why?  Because I am constantly both raising and deepening my awareness of what’s true about me at every level of my being — mind, body, spirit — which opens the channels for ever-more mindful choices and fearless living.

When we start prioritizing personal work, we not only begin to deepen our own human experience, but we also engage in the continuous feedback loop of holistic healing.  Our bodies get the opportunity to awaken to their own power centers when we take the time to notice and work with them.  For many of us, there are wellsprings of healing potential that are virtually untapped.  Consider this: how connected are you to your energy centers, your breath, your dreams, your internal cast of characters, your inner critic, your core of aliveness, or your muscles memories?

Mae Jemison, the 1st African American female astronaut, says, “The answers to many questions are already with us.  Often we just need some help to bring them out.”  Getting some help with personal work is a great idea and there are so many directions to go.   Hire a coach who is a true soul guide (I know a good one), find a great therapist, develop a spiritual practice, take an enriching workshop, try out some Reiki or Alexander Technique — most importantly, find someone to work with who will truly support and reinforce your process and who will help you identify and connect with your innate powers.  Just get in there and start to know yourself — you’ll be amazed at what you discover.

I’ll see you tomorrow for the penultimate Unorthodox Idea, #9.  Don’t forget to enter your email and subscribe to the Treelife Blog.  More importantly — pass this article along to anyone in your life who is suffering.


Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease, Part 7

you are what you eat

you are what you eat

Unorthodox Idea #7

Realize You Are What You Eat.

This idea is not unorthodox at all.  It goes without saying, right?  Still, when you are on the miracle mile towards self-healing, it is important to remind yourself that each and every morsel you put in your mouth is an opportunity to make a contribution towards health.

Food choices are some of the easiest places to look and make changes — even small ones — towards what we want for our bodies and ourselves.  The logic is right there in choice, if you think about it — what you put into your body is what you’ll get out of it.  For example, do we want our bodies to look and behave like a bag of Cheetos or like organic tomatoes? In other words, do we want our systems to be made up of processing dyes, empty calories, and chemical preservatives… or do we want them to be natural, alive, and full of energy?

death spray

There is a movie that came out a few years ago called Our Daily Bread that shows — with striking and objective imagery like the photo above — where, exactly, our food comes from.  There is one particular scene that stays with me.  We see a middle-aged man arrive at work and go directly to the locker room to dress for the day’s duties.  At this point, we don’t know what those duties are.  We watch him methodically don a kind of hasmat suit, complete with a face mask, gloves, and special footwear.  He is totally sealed in; not an inch of his body exposed.  Seeing the extent to which he is protecting himself, we might assume this man was about to clean up a toxic spill, perform live surgery on a poisonous snake, or enter a burning building.   But no, we quickly learn he is merely treating our food.  We see him enter a large greenhouse, and with a spraying hose, distribute chemicals on a huge crop of growing peppers.  This man’s head-to-toe protection suit keeps him a distance away from the hazardous chemicals he is spraying on our food. In the very next scene, he sits down to eat his lunch.

As I said yesterday in regards to how we speak to the delicate healing systems at work inside us, we can’t engage in warfare — at any level of consumption — and expect to balance our own systems.  Peace just isn’t achieved through violence — we know that — so let’s stop supporting food sources and systems that promote it.

A few years after I was diagnosed with Lupus, and I was still juggling medication dosages and different advice from different doctors I had a realization: I am the ONLY person who can truly take care of this body.  The same is true for you. If self-healing is your goal, start investing in yourself by choosing life-giving sources of daily sustenance.

Here are a few places to begin:

1. Get the facts. Put Our Daily Bread or the movie Food, Inc on your Netflix queue and learn about where your food comes from.

2. See that what’s best for the planet is also best for us. Get some education and a great story with one of these enjoyable reads: Animal, Vegetable, MiracleThe 100 Mile Diet, or Omnivore’s Dilemma

3. Take ownership. Shop at your local farmer’s market and/or join a CSA for the freshest, organic ingredients.

4. Stop drinking out of plastic bottles! Buy a water filter and save money while you are saving your own life.

5. Cut out the unnecessary drugs. All the chemical preservatives in processed and frozen foods go directly into our bloodstream. When we are already taking prescription medications, that can add up to a large amount of chemicals having their way with our internal systems.  Trim the fat — start cooking your own simple meals.  That way you can be in charge of using fresh natural ingredients, and start filling your body with live, active nutrients it needs to bolster it’s own healing. Cooking can be easy and simple.  If you are new at it, start with Mark Bittman’s fabulous How to Cook Everything. Take it from me, that book can turn just about anyone into a family chef.

6. Start to see your health as a life-long journey. When you spend a little extra money and effort to procure organic meats, dairy, and produce from small farms you’ll get it all back and then some in so many other ways.  A few extra dollars is a small price to pay for a healthier body; cleaner, safer water sources; a more beautiful and functional environment to live in; and a sense that you are contributing to a small-business fair economy, among many other benefits.

7. Put love in your food. Before you eat anything, remember you are feeding the miracle-making temple that is your body.  Take a moment to acknowledge the true meaning of nourishment when you are cooking and preparing meals, and another moment just before you eat to let your body know you are taking care of her. Go ahead and envision your daily intake working wonders on you.  It is.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Unorthodox Idea #8


Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease, Part 6

It’s a new week — Happy Monday!  Today begins the 2nd half of this 10-Day, 10-Way Blog Series on Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease — Unorthodox Ideas #6-10.  If you are just now joining us, you can scroll down this page and read the last 5 entries in reverse order to bring yourself up to speed. There’s a subscription button to your right — just enter your email address and you will be the 1st to know when a new post is published.   And, don’t forget to pass this blogsite along to anyone in your life whom it might empower.

unabashed presence

Unorthodox Idea #6

Befriend Your Body.

“You mean, you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?” – from The Princess Bride

When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, I was lucky enough to receive superb medical care and getting the right cocktail of prescription drugs shifted my experience from one of utterly painful paralysis to taking a long jog in the park within a matter of days.  In the short-term, western medicine saved my life and I am grateful for it.  In the long-term, though, I knew I’d need to save my own, especially with a label like “incurable” tagging along behind me everywhere I went.

Befriending my body meant realizing my body is 1)all of me, and therefore, 2)not against me, and 3)not some separate thing I can “hand over to the experts to fix.”  I knew I needed to forge a loving relationship with the very thing that seemed to be betraying me and my life plans.

One easy and totally accessible way to start to befriend our bodies is to put down our swords. We can embrace that in order to move towards true, lasting health, a holistic approach is not only preferable, it is necessary.  To start, we’ve got to see that our minds and bodies are constantly sending messages to each other, and that how we do that matters.  Modern medicine approaches (particularly when utilized solely) have a tendency to engender an antagonistic relationship between our minds and our bodies, and you can hear it in the very language we use.  Visit any conventional cancer ward, and you’ll hear words and phrases like “kill the cancer cells”; “get rid of”; destroy”; “eliminate”; “infested”; “battle”; “fight”; etc.  Sure, the idea is to get whatever is toxic and poisonous out, but in the meanwhile, these are our bodies we are talking about.

We all know that sticks and stones can break our bones…but words hurt the worst. The last thing our bodies need when they are sick is more violence — particularly coming from us! We simply can’t wage a war against our own lifeblood and expect to heal from the inside out. What we can do is change our language.  We can nurture the delicate processes of healing with a delicacy of speech, thought, and belief.  Doing so instantly shifts our relationship both to our disease and to our bodies.

So, put down your sword, and instead, send some loving messages to the systems in your body that are working to right things.  Write yourself a letter.  Talk about your journey with others using the kind of language you would use with a toddler.  And, thank your body for all that it’s doing to move you along towards another day.  After all, we all work better with a little encouragement.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Unorthodox Idea #7.


Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease, Part 5

you don't get to stay here indefinitely

hey Disease! You don't get to stay here indefinitely...

Unorthodox  Idea  #5

Tell Your Doctor.

Doctors want to see medical miracles happen as much as the rest of us do.  It was awhile before I told my doctor I was nearly certain I was through with Lupus.  I wanted to be symptom-free for a good while, and more importantly, I wanted to feel it in my gut.

When I did go and have an office visit, the conversation went like this:

Doctor: “So, what brings you into the office today?”

Me: “Well, I’m here because I really don’t think I have Lupus anymore.”

I fidgeted while she looked down at the copy of my medical chart she was holding, perusing it for a long moment.  Then she looked me dead in the eyes.

“You know what…I don’t think you do either.”

Getting this clearance from her (and the blood tests that followed) was important to my family, but what made a huge difference to me was knowing my doctor trusted me. As in all healthy relationships that eschew hierarchy, trust is a two-way street.  If my doctor trusts me, I can trust her.  In sharing your commitment to heal yourself with your doctor, you aren’t asking her to mix a potion or perform wizardry — you’re just asking her to partner with you.  In effect, you are making her job easier.   (I have subsequently visited other specialty doctors who have, patronizingly, laughed in my face when I’ve mentioned my Lupus-free status.  Suffice it to say, I walked out of those offices and have never looked back.)

While the focus of the modern/western medicine is a more scientific approach to the human body, many doctors understand the limits of a science-only approach to healing. Moreover, they do well to maintain a sense of empathy and openness when it comes to dealing with their patients’ emotions and experiences.  After all, doctors are the ones who invented the placebo effect, right?  They know that good old faith, hope, and love can have a most dramatic effect on the healing process.

With an air of confidence and a little benefit of the doubt, tell your doctor your plans.  If your doctor isn’t one to truly listen to your belief in your own powers to heal, find another doctor.

Thank you for following along this week.  I’ll see you on Monday for Unorthodox Idea #6. (And, don’t forget — now you can subscribe to this blog!  Just enter your email address in the top right corner, and confirm your subscription status when you receive an email.  “Subscribing” means you don’t need to remember to check the Treelife Blog for updates — we’ll alert you!)


Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease, Part 3

an altered perspective

an altered perspective

Unorthodox Idea #3

Take up a Hobby that will Remind You Life is Precious and Amazing.

You know you are the cure to your own disease and you’ve put pen to paper to document your plans to self-cure.  It just might be time to get off the couch, put down your copy of Beating the Cancer Blues, and experience yourself in the world, living.

Extreme-type activities do the trick; for me it was the flying trapeze.  Taking a leap off that narrow scaffolding over and over again made me feel that electrifying rush of adrenaline that filled my body with a sense of total vitality, vulnerability, and choice.  Surfing, scuba diving, skateboarding, rock-climbing, bungy-jumping, snowboarding, and any of the circus arts are great places to look as are hobbies in nature like swimming with dolphins, taking long hikes, walking in the dark, or camping.  Go ahead and let yourself be awed by your own bravery, as well as the diverse and endless opportunities in today’s world to shift your own consciousness, if only for a few moments at a time.

One of the benefits of doing something that requires you to shift your physical position (like hanging upside down on the trapeze) is that you, quite literally, get a different vantage point.  Physically hanging upside down puts your head closer to the ground — you might see something there that you don’t see when you constantly tower 5-6 feet above.  The same is true when you take another viewpoint towards your disease — looking at it from another angle might illuminate something valuable you wouldn’t otherwise see.

Furthermore, when we choose to participate in life in ways that differ considerably from the conventions of our daily routine, we begin to enter a zone of magic, mystery, and play.  A spine-tingling sensation occurs when we catch a glimpse of our own aliveness — a sensation that allows us to truly occupy the moment, as if this moment is the only one that matters.

So…become your own Cirque du Soleil, instead of Cirque du So-Lazy; live your own nature channel; ride your own waves.

See you tomorrow for Unorthodox Idea #4.


Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease, Part 2

this year's bucket list

bucket list

Unorthodox Idea #2

Write It Down.

Once you have decided you are the cure to your own disease, put it in writing that you intend to cure yourself — this year…this decade…this lifetime.  Write it down as a goal. Merely by the act of recording your hopes and wishes begins to make them come true both because it activates external support and it sets you in motion.

There’s an exercise I do at the beginning of each year and I invite my clients to do as well:

*Date a sheet of paper for the end of the year that’s just beginning.

*Write down your accomplishments in past tense — as though they have already happened.

For example, if you made this list today it might look something like this:

August 2010

1. Got pregnant

2. Went to Mexico

3. Cured myself of diabetes

4. Saved $10,000

5. ………   and so on.

Seeing the goal in past tense brings it alive and it lets our brains know that we are taking over — that we mean business.  It also sends our bodies the subliminal message that this goal is fully possible, and the process has begun. When we write things down we make them a priority, and the universe responds to us when we clarify and articulate what we want.

In January of 2007, when I did this exercise, “Cured myself of Lupus” went on that list.  Shortly thereafter, I put the list away and didn’t even look at again until November.  Lo and behold, when I dug that list out of my files 10 months later, there were lots of items on the list that I had completed and accomplished that I had even forgotten were goals.

I notice, both personally and with my clients, that sometimes very specific goals change slightly over time (instead of going to Mexico, you went to Greece — but most importantly you lazed on the beach).  The heart and soul of what’s important to us doesn’t change all that much.  When we say we want to cure ourselves, what we are really speaking to is a deep desire to live fully in our bodies.  To be here now, and to know we have that choice.

Your heart has the ability to decipher what your brain is asking for and to respond accordingly.  When your brain decides it is going to do something — and writes it down, making it real — it sets up a whole body accountability with your heart, your muscles, your cells, your energy, your breath, and your spirit as if to say, “All aboard!  Let’s get this thing moving!”

See you tomorrow for Unorthodox Idea #3.


10 Unorthodox Ideas for Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease



Today is the beginning of a 10-Day Celebration on the Treelife Coaching Blog where I will reveal, One Day and One Way at a time, my Unorthodox Ideas for Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease.  For a little backstory and today’s kick-off idea — Unorthodox Idea #1, read on…and come back tomorrow — there will be more waiting for you.

Two years ago, I cured myself of Lupus.  Perhaps you know someone with Lupus and you might have heard that this autoimmune disease is “incurable” — which means that once you have it, you have it for life.  Like many diseases, Lupus can manifest in variant degrees.  In some cases Lupus is deadly, in others it means a lifetime of painful symptoms, and in other cases it is mild and controlled, but always present.  In my case, it’s gone.

The number one question I get from friends, family, and anyone who visits my website and reads my biography is this: “How did you do it?”  Whenever someone asks that, I realize what they are really asking is:  How can they cure themselves (or someone they love) of something incurable?

The answer to that question is both complex and simple.  The complexity lies in the fact that we are all so unique as individuals.  Therefore, we have to find the kind of solutions that work best for us. This is true with any kind of issue or problem.  Assuming I can generalize about any kind of solution for anything would grossly undermine your instinctive ways in the world.  Therefore, I simply can’t give you a secret number to call or a magic potion.  I can’t tell you exactly what to eat, what doctor to visit, or what book to read (although I have some ideas).  I certainly can’t assure you that you will “Be Free of your [Incurable Disease] in 30 days if you just Follow these Simple Steps.”  I wish I could guarantee instantaneous and miraculous healing for anyone who is suffering.

What I can do is this: I can tell you that you have a lot more power than you might think to cure yourself of whatever is ailing you. I can offer you my non-strategic, unorthodox, and non-guaranteed approaches to a disease-free life in the hopes that there will be something in there for you of value.  I can say that this journey of self-healing really is a journey, and it doesn’t stop when it’s over.  If doing these things doesn’t cure you of your disease, they will, I think, at least, cure you of not believing in yourself.  Which is to say, it’s worth a try, right?

Unorthodox Idea #1 Decide You Can.

If this article was titled “1 Unorthodox Idea for Curing Yourself of an Incurable Disease” this would be the 1.  The simple act of deciding the impossible is possible — and moreover that sheer will is more powerful than nearly anything — is not only the most potent gift you can give yourself, but also the only place to start on a journey of self-healing.

When something is labeled “incurable” — too many of us take that to be law.  The end.  In truth, “incurable” simply means a cure hasn’t been discovered or recorded yet.  Until now; until you.  Shifting your perspective to look at it that way makes a diagnosis like “incurable” more like the beginning of a journey (and less like a death sentence).  Begin with deciding you are the cure.

See you tomorrow for Unorthodox Idea #2.