Confession: after spending a few days on Instagram, I have to admit that social media’s even crazier than I suspected it would be in 2016! To me, it feels like walking around a mega mall on Black Friday, something I’ve purposely avoided since childhood. All manner of eye candy, logos and slogans vie for your attention, and even if you’re there with people you “know in real life,” you almost need to shout through the din or have your face and voice completely swallowed by hordes of people, razzle-dazzle, endless thoughts of the day, and the ever increasing images, some of which are truly spectacular.
I’ve enjoyed catching an extra glimpse into friends’ and clients’ (public) “private” lives, and, as with those upscale mega malls or top notch international bazaars, if you can find ways to manage systemic overwhelm, you’ll begin to notice amazing things. Former medical intuitive coaching client, fashion blogger, and soon to be co-authoring with me a Lyme Disease recovery book, Catherine Grace O’Connell, had often told me about the supportive Lyme community on Instagram, and during the past few days I’ve recognized exactly what she meant. The friendships, inspiration, networking and encouragement on Instagram for people with LD go beyond anything I expected to find there. I cannot even explain the breadth and depth of loving, supportive connections I’ve witnessed.
I work with so many isolated individuals in various stages of Lyme Disease, and one of the biggest topics to arise in sessions is a pressing need to channel their creativity in constructive rather than destructive ways. As Catherine shared in an interview you can find here, unlocking her own creativity flipped a switch in her recovery. Instead of lying bed ridden with daily seizures, she now has over 21K followers on Instagram, runs a popular fashion blog, travels, supports “Lymies” and others with major health issues, and writes as a guest author for the Huffington Post, where she interviews musicians, artists and other cultural creatives making a difference in the world. She brings a spiritual depth and beauty to areas often glossed over or only superficially addressed.
But back to creativity, Lyme and Instagram: yesterday, I came across @morethanlyme, and found The More Than Lyme Holiday Gift Guide. This warms my heart like a bonfire, because it features art, fashion, beauty products, jewelry, detox mixtures, and Lyme Awareness paraphernalia, all created by people who have Lyme Disease! These creatives are truly living as “more than” their health issues, instead, bringing forth their inner beauty in ways that impact the greater world. I always love when artists express themselves in bigger ways, but in this case, I love it even more, because I recognize the layers upon layers of healing involved. All profits go towards helping people pay for treatments or raising public awareness and finding cures.
I have nothing vested in this project other than a soft spot for the many amazing beings I know who’ve been “initiated” by Lyme Disease. This Instagram newbie was so impressed yesterday that I asked @morethanlyme for a way to share this collection with my non-Instagram readers, many of whom are artists, natural healers, have Lyme, and/or know loved ones who do. Whatever your relationship with LD, prepare yourself for delight. These women are beyond talented. If you’ve got holiday shopping left or just want to treat yourself or support some good causes, here’s the non-Instagram link to The More Than Lyme Holiday Gift Guide.
As for Instagram, I’ll stick around for awhile longer. Having avoided all social media since 2011, it’s generally not my cuppa tea, but I love seeing artists express themselves in myriad ways. I also love when people navigate chaos to find those amazing connections, heartfelt friendships, synchronous moments, and little glimpses beyond the veil. What a bizarre bazaar we live in right now, but here’s to healing and meaning through it all.
Big blessings and much love …