Posts Tagged ‘Lyme Disease’

Lyme Madness with Lori Dennis ~ Two Interviews by Catherine Grace O

I just wanted to make my many Lyme and Lyme-affected readers aware of two powerful interviews of Lori Dennis, author of “Lyme Madness.” My soon-to-be co-author of a book on healing Lyme Disease — Catherine Grace O’Connell —  has become quite the Lyme activist, interviewing many authors and leaders who raise awareness and help people heal from this truly life altering pandemic. She does this for both the Huffington Post and the newer Thrive Global, as well as supporting many Lyme survivors on Instagram. Catherine’s own harrowing journey with Lyme has made her an incredibly compassionate and powerful presence in our world today, and I can now say the same of author Lori Dennis. What a powerhouse of information and Mama Bear love!

You can find Part 1 of the interview here. Catherine and Lori discuss the differences between acute and chronic (aka “late stage”) Lyme, as well as the story of Lori’s son, Matt, for whom she did all the extensive research that became her book.

You can find Part 2 here. This interview covers mental/emotional impacts of Lyme, treatment (or lack thereof) in Canada, as well as political implications in the US and Canada.

I highly recommend both parts, as they reiterate so many of the stories and symptoms I hear from clients and blog readers.

Quick Updates and Tree Love

Just a few updates on a sunshine and snow filled day!

It’s Good to be Alive, Right About Now

For most people I know, 2017 got off to a slow start, but then the forward momentum snapped like a rubber band. Lots of people, myself included, started new creative projects, and others have redecorated or embraced cleaner, higher vibration foods, as well as new exercise programs. I’ve lost track of how many people started rebounding after I wrote about it in my “Shaking Up the Energies” post. Bouncing, especially to fun and/or sacred music, really does get that lymph flowing and gives stagnation the old heave-ho.

The following Andy Grammer song sums up the shift of energies for so many people, and, coincidentally, this would be great for some dance-rebounding. 😉 Continue reading

Creativity, Lyme Disease and Instagram

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 …

Interview with Lyme Disease Survivor, Stylist and Blogger Catherine Grace O’Connell

Today’s post originally appeared on Sprout Art: Interviews with Creative People. When Catherine shared the link with me, I asked for and received permission to post the entire interview here to raise awareness with so many others dealing with Lyme Disease and other debilitating physical or emotional challenges. [Please note, this post shares the updated 5/20/2016 version of this interview.]

Catherine Grace O’Connell is an inspiration and one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. I can vouch for the severity of her struggles with Lyme Disease and the intensity of her journey. She has walked through the fire, the eye of the needle, and the Dark Night of the Soul, not only surviving to tell the tale, but shining and inspiring others.

I’m so pleased to be able to share this interview with my readers, because so many Chronic Lyme clients ask me if I know of people who’ve actually moved beyond their diagnosis and its myriad symptoms to lead the magical life I see waiting for them to claim. I have lots of incredible, yet confidential stories, which makes me all the happier that Catherine has decided to go public with her journey during Lyme Awareness Month.

A FaceBook comment introducing the link to Catherine’s interview shares what I know many who encounter her feel:

 

“This is an interview done with one of the most inspiring women I am proud to call a friend.

She nearly died from Lyme disease And has become one of my closest friends ~ meeting on Instagram. She’s someone I admire deeply and hope you will read her interview and if you feel so inclined, leave a comment too ~ here is my comment:

Catherine is one of the most compassionate, inspiring, generous, loving, kind women I know, and a leader of how to live with chronic illness. I’ve been so fortunate to get to know her personally and despite her own personal battle with Lyme (almost dying and daily seizures) and all that life has thrown at her ~ she is a beacon of light to me and so many others.

There are many physically beautiful people in the world. However, when you combine Catherine’s outward beauty with her inner spirit ~ which has such a glowingly beautiful aura ~ and her ability to, not only cope with immense adversity, BUT to triumph with great tenacity ~ AND SHARE all she has learned to help others ~~ you have one immensely powerful leader.

I’ve been fortunate to grow personally through following Catherine on Instagram and she has become one of my biggest cheerleaders. She has changed my thinking drastically and not only do I believe I will heal from this illness BUT I WILL TRIUMPH in a way that I never believed or knew would be possible.

I’m forever changed by her friendship and spirit. If you’re hurting and go to her Instagram page and just notice gorgeous photos of a beautiful woman ~ dig deeper! Read her quotes ~ read her writings ~ and one day soon, when she shares her full story on her own website you will understand and respect her all the more. I look forward to knowing her full story because from what she’s personally shared with me, in brief format, she has me immensely inspired and motivated to continue to live as passionately as I can WHILE I fight each day AND dream of fulfilling my bigger bucket list (of which I never had before) one day when I’m physically able to.

God has blessed me with a friendship with Catherine that has changed my life and I’m forever grateful to her.

She’s special and we are fortunate to have her inspiration to grow from!”

 

UPDATED 5/20/16 version below:

 

Interviews with Creative People

“I would hug that little girl and love her. I would let her know that she had it all right all along. She had all the answers within. And I would tell her to not be afraid and to go for it. Follow her dreams and to not look back. Trust. Trust in the Universe.”

– Catherine Grace O’Connell

Catherine Grace O’Connell
Personal Stylist, Lifestyle and Fashion Blogger, Lyme Disease Survivor
Instagram Website (to be launched within the next few weeks) Online Store: Witlee
Facebook: Light On Lyme

Catherine Grace O’Connell is a Personal Stylist, and a Lifestyle and Fashion Blogger originally from Lake Forest, Illinois on Chicago’s North Shore. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1983 with a double major in Economics and French studying International Finance and had every intention of going to third world countries and saving the world. Catherine went to work in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill for Senator Howard Baker while he was Majority Leader of the Senate. Following his retirement, she went on to work for Congressman Norman Lent before leaving Washington and returning to Chicago to work for a Swiss Bank Corporation in Marketing and Aon Corporation in Sales. Her time on the Hill was quite an exciting one with lunches in the White House Mess, visiting the oval office and a private meeting with Ron and Nancy Reagan at the President’s Dinner. It was a heady time for a sorority girl just out of college. Eventually, Catherine married and had two beautiful children, Maddie and Ryan, who are her pride and joy. Maddie is a 24 year old Actress who graduated from UCLA and lives in West Hollywood and Ryan is a talented musician, who is 22 and in his final year at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

 

To entertain her creative side, Catherine started an Interior Design Business while raising her children. She also began studying spirituality while going through some challenging times in her marriage. Eventually, Catherine left the marriage to start a new life in LA and to obtain her Masters in Spiritual Psychology. After a series of serious health issues, Catherine was diagnosed with late stage Lyme disease and almost lost her life to the illness just over a year ago. In her own words Catherine has come to know that: “Life threatening illness has a way of changing people at their very core and that is certainly my story as well which lead me to reigniting my passion and my purpose.” Read on to find out more about Catherine and her work.

 

Tell us about your work as a personal stylist and your journey so far.

 

This is a relatively new journey over the past few months beginning with this foray into the Instagram world. The reception that I have received has been overwhelming. I have to admit entering the blogging world in my mid fifties while most bloggers are closer to the age of my daughter initially felt a bit intimidating. I tend to be very creative and not very technological. I love playing around with patterns and colors. I believe that there aren’t any rules when it comes to fashion. My personal styling business is more about assisting women to see their inner beauty, what I often refer to is helping women to put on their “infit” before they put on their outfit. I love helping women to adopt a beautiful mindset. I have been on a deeply spiritual path for much of my life having overcome a great deal of adversity as have most women by the time of midlife. I practice yoga and meditation. I am also a Reiki Master Teacher and have been trained in many healing modalities. I bring a lot of spiritual inspiration into my personal styling and fashion blogging as it is truly my passion and purpose in life to inspire others along the way.

 

Was this always what you wanted to do or did it emerge over time?

 

I was a very sensitive young girl. I always knew that I was different in some way. My heart truly hurt seeing the disparity in the world and I wanted to make a difference.   I spent a lot of time volunteering growing up. I worked in old people homes and hospitals. Later in college, I volunteered tutoring women in prisons. I desperately wanted to help. My love of fashion was very much alive although I had little money to buy beautiful clothing. I remember my first pair of jeans were my brothers hand me downs. As soon as I was old enough to work, I began to earn money so that I could buy clothes. I worked in factories, delivering telephone books, bagging groceries, you name it and I did it. Soon enough, I would take a bus to the mall to work at Charles Stevens for the discount. Over time, I began working at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. I was offered a Management position at Neimans having been the number one saleperson. Yet the messages were so strong to get a “real job” and so, I went on to work in Washington and Swiss Bank to get on the career track as I was “supposed to do.” I had a real job at the cost of my passion as so many of us do in life. It took me another thirty years to reconnect with my passion.

 

What and who has helped you in the process of following your dream?

 

There’s an interesting story behind the beginning of this business. In the spring of 2015, I was still bedridden with Lyme disease. I spent a year with daily seizures, making walking extremely difficult. It had been the most difficult year of my life as my I dropped down to almost 100 pounds and my organs began shutting down. I went through a near death experience where I left my body and had to make a decision on whether or not to come back. Somehow, I made the decision to return, yet I didn’t understand why, as I was suffering immensely. One day, last spring while still bedridden, my daughter had a life changing conversation with me. She asked me what I would do if I were well. I told her that I would travel and write my story. I began creating bucket lists. Well, that soon became a fashion blog as I went online and began dreaming and scheming. I began visualizing. I began living in that space. And, I began healing. Quickly. And, before I knew it, I was off doing photo shoots. I had no idea what I was doing. It had been a very long time that I had been in front of a camera. I certainly didn’t know a thing about editing and I had never been on Instagram. I created an Instagram account. I pulled out my iphone and handed my camera to friends and family. Over time, I recruited a close friend who taught himself how to take photographs and how to use Lightroom and Photoshop. I invested in a really good camera and an expensive lens. I started reaching out to various brands that I loved and they responded. And, I began a personal styling business with an emphasis on helping women to connect with their inner beauty. For the first time in my life, I began doing things that made me happy.

 

What inspires you? 

 

Women of all ages inspire me. Women with a strong sense of self and a strong faith inspire me. Women who have overcome adversity inspire me the most. I consider myself to be very spiritual yet not religious. I am open to all faiths and belief systems. I tend to be very Buddhist by nature. I adore the Millenials and greatly admire their strength and dedication to protecting our environment. And women of midlife, or as I like to call it, Act II, my hats are off to all of you. To me, by the time most women have hit midlife they have had to overcome difficult challenges by turning within. It is those inner resources that are immensely powerful and to me that is what ultimately determines a woman’s strength and beauty.

What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?

Like so many women my age, I have encountered many challenges throughout my life. I haven’t yet shared my story publicly. I was diagnosed with PTSD, having survived some pretty severe trauma and abuse. The details are not what is important. I have learned a great deal through this journey. As I have shared with the many friends that I have made within the Lyme community, I have received many blessings through this illness. I will be perfectly honest that the suffering with Lyme disease is absolutely beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Yet, it is almost a way of the Universe forcing you to turn within and to shine a light on those dark places inside of us. It has helped me to be even more empathetic and compassionate. To open my heart even more. It also helped to light a fire inside of me to ignite my passion and my purpose. I literally watched myself come alive through aligning with my true passion and truly believing in myself. It takes a lot of guts at the age of 54 to jump into the Instagram Fashion Blogging World.

 

What message are you trying to share with your work? 

 

The message at the core of everything that I do is to Believe in Yourself and to Love Yourself. Beauty is truly on the inside. I was always told that I was beautiful when I was growing up by not by my family. It didn’t matter how others saw me. What mattered was how I “felt”about myself.   The messages within my family were quite critical and so that was what I believed. Those messages literally affected me and my beliefs about myself. They changed me at my core. I didn’t understand that the messages had nothing to do with me. I took on other people’s projections as my own. I then married a man who was extremely abusive and I left the marriage in a million pieces. I had to take responsibility for my own empowerment. The most important thing for a woman is how she chooses to feel on the inside. Life responds from there. To me, that is what fashion is all about. Fashion instantly changes how a woman feels. When we change how we feel. We change how people respond and our life changes.

How did you learn to deal with criticism?

 

It is a continual learning process. What I have learned is that everyone is a mirror. In other words, when I am angry at someone, I need to look at myself. For example, this was a difficult week for me. I had a lot of emotion come up with a situation. I had to take responsibility for my anger and what was triggered inside of me. It is never about the other person. It always comes down to you. If someone criticizes you, and you react, then it is up to you to look within to see why you were triggered in the first place. As they teach on the spiritual path, if you are truly peaceful within, it isn’t possible for criticism to trigger you. So, the answer is always within. It is never outside of you. The journey truly never ends.

 

What is it that you love about living a creative life?

 

It is so interesting as people have always described me as a creative and I tended to discard that label. Now, I see that as so true. I was the child who was always rearranging her bedroom. What I find now is that even when I’m having a bad day with the Lyme, when I do a photo shoot, I’m in a different place. It instantly changes my energy. I’m happy, joyful and playful. With Lyme disease, I don’t get a lot of sleep. I can look tired with bags under my eyes and they seem to go away when we begin shooting. I tend to be very holistic and natural. I have found that reconnecting with your creativity instantly reawakens joy making you look beautiful.

 

 

 

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

 

Don’t wait. It is truly never too late to get started. Your heart knows. Turn within and listen. Then just do it.

 

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back?

 

I would hug that little girl and love her. I would let her know that she had it all right all along. She had all the answers within. And I would tell her to not be afraid and to go for it. Follow her dreams and to not look back. Trust. Trust in the Universe.

 

What are you most excited for in the future?

 

I am excited that I have a future. Just over a year ago there was no future. The greatest challenge with a chronic illness is that it becomes a part of your being. The danger is that it becomes your story. I am consciously choosing each day to live in a new space and I’ll be honest, it’s not easy. To live in a place with hope and new beginnings is a conscious choice I am making each day. To live as “Catherinegraceo” and to hopefully inspire others along the way. I want to thank each and every one of my Followers on Instagram. You have no idea how much you and your comments inspire me. You all are truly the reason that I am here today.

CGO7

Catherine Grace O’Connell

Personal Stylist, Lifestyle and Fashion Blogger, Lyme Disease Survivor

Instagram
 Website (to be launched within the next few weeks)
 Online Store: Witlee
 Facebook: Light On Lyme

Laura Bruno Interviewed by Elicia Miller

My colleague and friend Elicia Miller recently interviewed me for a free webinar about my Medical Intuitive approach to treating Candida. Since Elicia has dedicated herself to helping people move beyond Candida, we had a really interesting back and forth discussion sharing both of our insights and experience. A summary of what we covered follows:

Elicia and Laura answer the most common questions about Candida:

  • How Candidiasis shows up in the body – the physical symptoms.
  • How it presents itself with other illnesses, such as Lyme and Chronic Fatigue.
  • Why doctor’s tests are not always accurate.
  • What the root cause of chronic Candida is.
  • Does Candida cause depression or does depression cause Candida?
  • Which foods, probiotics and antifungals are best.
  • The effects of energy vampires and other parasites.
  • Why we are seeing so much Candida in recent years.
  • What spiritual messages Candida has for people.
  • What the benefits and gifts of healing Candida are.
  • What everyone needs to do in order to completely heal.
  • Plus receive a FREE gift from Laura and Elicia!

You can access the hour long webinar and free gifts by signing up here.

The Telegraph ~ Lyme Disease Cases Have Quadrupled

I’m glad that Lyme Disease is finally getting more press. UK’s The Telegraph just posted an article detailing the spread of Lyme in the UK and Europe, noting that “Lyme Disease Cases Have Quadrupled.” I’ve written several articles and have posted many other expert resources for preventing, treating and healing Lyme Disease. You can find these archived Lyme articles by clicking here. The most popular Lyme article on this blog is my 2009 post, “Healing Lyme Disease.”

Lyme is a tremendous teacher and soul liberator, but those lessons and expansion are usually very hard won. If you and/or a loved one are dealing with Lyme Disease or suspect you might be, please do check out the links and resources. At any given time, probably 50-90% of my clients either have or used to have Lyme Disease, so I’m familiar with both the heartbreak and the incredible triumphs. Sending love, blessings and encouragement to anyone dealing with challenge…  ❤

Huib Kraaijeveld ~ Healing the Lyme Paradigm

I received this note from Huib yesterday letting my readers know that he has made his book, “Shifting the Lyme Paradigm,” available in e-book form. I’ve never seen this method before, but it’s a “Priceless” e-book, which you can download for free and then offer whatever donation you feel led to offer. Although Huib directs this book to caregivers of people with Lyme, I believe those suffering from Lyme will appreciate his articulation of the journey. It’s a book that can help both those with Chronic Lyme and their loved ones to make sense of an often disheartening and overwhelming journey. Huib includes some of my writing in the book, too, and from what I’ve read and experienced of Huib, he’s a highly compassionate, tapped in person.
Huib’s note to my readers:
I’m happy to be able to tell you that you can now get the book!
 
You can order the Priceless e-book here: http://huib.me/en/work/shifting-the-lyme-paradigm
 
I’m very curious how you will like it
 

Kind regards,


Huib
oh, and if you think this helps your readers, you could add this link: http://huib.me/en/blog/item/29-why-is-this-book-priceless