My dear sister Bea who was instrumental in bringing me to a space of living out my desire to be known has been supporting me to do something about it. That’s what got me into sharing my reflection weekly during a very trying time healthwise. God is so good in providing friends who supported me through it.
The second reflection is one that prompted me to step out in faith. One of my biggest struggle is faith in providence, it was difficult during my years as a full time lay missionary, it was still very challenging afterwards. With the lion within me awakened, I know what is required of me is just to step out in faith: I do what I know what to do (the natural), and then trust God fully that He will do the supernatural. Here’s the reflection written and shared on 18 December 2022, may you be blessed.
When desperate, call on St. Jude! That was exactly what I did on 9 Dec, asking many companions to pray together with me. St. Jude activated saints around me that loved me into the deep which eventually led me to stillness that brought about breakthrough.
Examining my desire to be healed led me to realise how much I did I not prioritise my body due to limited funds. I wanted to check the state of my body and take the right action, I did not. I wanted to do a proper body detox and cleanse, I did not. I wanted to eat more organic, that happened limitedly. Realising my own sin against my body; I apologized and reconciled with my body.
My body start opening up to respond positively to treatment. I started gaining more sleep with nightly deliverance prayer from anxiety. Then I started embodying a decisive identity of “I am important”. Being decisive to make me a priority led me to my current holistic doctor. With renewed hope, I’ve started a nutritional supportive regime and so far my body is responding well.
Praising God for His favour and thanking you for your continous prayer. As I dare to hope and trust in the Lord, I am also sharing my appeal with you. Please pray about this and I truly appreciate any form of support.
Love and blessings, Irene
With this reflection, I attached my appeal and my work in mental fitness promotional poster. For the purpose of sharing it here, I have removed edited out some information due to sensitivity and ethical practice.
The responses I garnered were mixed; some are very encouraging, some even took action to bless me financially, some immediately helped me to promote my work and some went totally silent. The silent part can be deafening and I took it with grace, believing that they are praying for me. This stepping out in faith exercise brought me to realization that I finally get it: I get the lesson that God is teaching me since the beginning of my YES to Him. The idol of my false sense of self sufficiency was well and truly shattered this time. I realized all these while, what I thought was lack of trust was rooted in me trying to control all the outcomes of my life including my attempts to control God. Now I understand the sense of lack of freedom whenever I am invited to trust God in financial providence. With all sincerity, I tried my best to trust and allow God to work but there’s more anxiety than freedom. This amazing breakthrough that came with the awakened lion within is grace from God. I am also seeing this partially as the fruit of my own daily practice of mental fitness. All these has been prepared before hand for me to come to a moment of grace where I dare to step out and I also dare to trust and allow God to provide as He pleases.
So here I am stepping out in faith to invite you to consider my work in mental fitness training. If you are curious about this, connect with me. If someone you know may benefit from this program, send them to me. I pray that you are blessed by my reflection and that you are encouraged to find victory in your challenges and sufferings. May you find the courage to step out in faith!
Having the privilege to be off drugs and living pretty well for a short period of time has been nothing short of a blessing. Being inflicted with a nasty flare up of Myasthenia Gravis around end of November all through December of 2022 has become an awakening for me. I am given yet another chance in life. I praise God for the people He placed in my life to bring forth “a new life” in me. I was so sick that I can only share my reflections personally with close friends. Those who supported me has been a blessing to me and has been blessed by my sharing. So here I am sharing my past reflections in parts as I believed that everyone deserves victory in their suffering.
This was written and shared on 11 December 2022 and it was my breakthrough reflection.
Upon being invited to stay with the desire to be known, so many things came out. One identity I am invited to take on now is “The Beloved who Suffers Well”. I sensed my own discomfort in it but then who is the first Beloved who Suffers Well? None other than our Lord Jesus Christ. He showed us that the Cross is the way to Glory and I am to be focused on the grace of the moment.
What came out of my reflection surprised me. I only want to be known of the good stuffs but in my reality now I am crying out to be known in my suffering. To dare to bare the suffering. So here are the symptoms I am experiencing:
– muscle weakness – unable to swallow properly without drug. It’s sometimes hard even with drugs – severe double vision – dizziness – unstable movement – jittery feelings on my muscles – cold numbness on my lips and pallate – slurry speech – loss of appetite – heaviness on my chest – anxiety / depression (drug related) – diarrhea (drug related)
I desire to suffer well like Christ and I recognise opportunities to do that. When things felt good, praise Him and when it is not that pleasant; look to the Cross for His grace for all these shall pass.
Continue to pray for me.
Love and blessings, Irene
I pray that you are blessed by my sharing and that you find victory in your suffering.
Yes, that’s part of the story of my life! Many years ago, when I was young, vibrant and energetic, I worked as a legal drug pusher – the way pharmaceutical representatives fondly call our job title. I have left pharma for almost 10 years now. A little more than 2 years ago, after being diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), I went down the path of pharma drug addiction – by necessity! It became a journey of unlearning what I thought I knew and learning a new way of honoring my body. Praise be to God, I am now in sobriety for a little more than 2 months.
Having a pharma background has indirectly made me ignorant to the natural healing ability of my body. As I am also not free from confirmation bias, so it was kind of an eye opener to walk down the path desiring total sobriety from pharma drug. It is not uncommon for patient living with an autoimmunity being told that they have to be drug dependent for the rest of their lives. I stumbled upon stories of people who defy the odds and achieve something called a remission, some even successfully reversed their autoimmune condition with the right protocol. In the beginning it was amazement for me and kind of a wishful thinking that I want to be one of those who beat this. As time goes, the more I learned about this amazing God given body, the more I am convinced that healing is possible.
So started my quest for an alternative natural treatment. In the quest for healing, one main attitude that I took on is radical self responsibility for my health – I am responsible for my health, not my physicians. Hence that calls for a shift in the way I treat my body. What comes in contact becomes important be it the food I take, supplements, cleaning agents or even medical treatment I allow in my body. “Are those interventions necessary?, What are the risks vs benefits?” are among the questions I will ask before proceeding with any medical intervention. Thanks to my pharma background, reading products insert and clinical paper is something I am accustomed to. What it comes down to is doing my own research and own my decision as I should be the one who is most in tune with my body, knows my body best – not just following orders from my physicians. Self responsibility is an attitude welcomed by my physicians, it’s much easier to work with me as I do not put the burden of my health on them.
The initial part of the journey felt quite lonely as MG is a rare condition. What’s more rare are people who successfully reversed their condition naturally. The support group I joined are mostly conventional based which is fine as that’s the best known ways. I am grateful that I got support from my family who also believe that natural healing is possible. With heaps of prayer, I met my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician. Acupuncture, chiro work and TCM herbs worked for me. It may not the answer for every MG patient but it’s worth a try. I recognized the importance of radical self responsibility when it comes to healing as I met people who unconsciously embodied their victimhood in their healing journey. Living as a victim will not bring any freedom or victory. We are better off doing the heart work of getting out of victimhood to accountability if we want any progress at all in our lives. Talk to me if you’d like to explore tools to shift from victimhood to accountability.
Has there been bad trial for me? Yes, you bet! Some of the stuffs I tried not only did not help, it worsened my condition. When that happened, I simply stop and keep searching for things that may help. Have I been reckless? Oh yes, indeed recklessness was the main driver towards my sobriety. In March this year, I ventured into mushroom growing at home. It was an awesome experience to able to harvest fresh mushroom at home. What I did not consider was the spores from the mushroom. For any healthy person, those spores are easy peasy to get rid of from their body. For me at that time still on immunosuppressant, I got infected and suffered prolonged cough. Tried all sort of medication and it only just helped the condition a little bit. I knew for a fact, I need to be weaned off the immunosuppressant in order for the fungi infected cough to be healed. Praise God I have at that point started the weaning process. The cough been quite an ordeal and I thank God once I was off the immunosuppressant, my condition started improving exponentially.
A very interesting experience of being off pharma drug was the withdrawal syndrome. My hands and feet were swollen for a month; I shivered at my neck while the peripheries of my body felt crazily warm. To intensify the drama, the prolonged cough finally affected my taste buds. When my taste buds were affected, that’s when things got hard. I enjoy my food and for that simple pleasure to be taken away, I was left in a state of choice again. Do I rise up victoriously or do I sulk in self pity? I chose victory. Well, experiencing drug withdrawal with an affected taste bud has become a reality, I may as well laugh it out. Not in my power to stop that with a switch but definitely in my power to define the experience with an attitude of praise and gratitude. As I continue to praise God for His healing power upon me and His overflowing grace that helped me through; I find peace, strength and courage to persevere in my healing journey.
So today, I am a little less young, still vibrant and regaining my energy; being thankful for the experience I had journeying from a drug pusher to a drug addict and now in sobriety. Thank you for your support dear friends through my journey. It is my prayer that you will also embody radical self responsibility when it comes to honoring your body. May your journey be an exciting one!
The vivid thing that I remember was being overwhelmed with grace in the beginning of the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (MG). When I first started having symptoms, we did some research and were desperately hoping it was something mild and less nasty. The illness progressed really quickly to the point of hospitalization and looking back I now know I was just a day or two away from a full on myasthenic crisis, where intubation would be necessary. We are ever so grateful for the grace and the favor from the Lord upon us that I was just in time.
I was determined to make my season of healing a season of grace and that mindset became the guide of my search. The journey was tough and at every juncture, I searched for the blessings behind it. My mother was in my house helping me at the early stage and she needed to get back to my hometown for her doctor’s appointment; so my niece helped for a week followed by my sister for another week. Then the lockdown happened. I was a little more than month out of hospital, still very weak and found myself without any help. My attitude was “think possible and do what’s possible”. With the outlook of gratitude, here are some things I learnt (please note that these are my personal opinion derived from personal experience);
Emergency care is life saver I am alive today thanks to emergency care where I get immediate help and rescue medication. In my case IVIg was administered to bring my body back to a more stable state. I am evermore grateful for my dear friend who helped me in the admission and also my neurologist who is respectful and dedicated to saving me at the time of hospitalization.
Get a medical insurance coverage in case you need it This is where grace was really abounds. My work as a lay missionary paid me nothing monetarily and so that led me to a decision to put my insurance to a holiday mode. Thank God I get to restart it in time for its use. We are privilege to have private hospitals that can attend to us immediately. The bill was really huge for us and thanks to my medical insurance, I paid only a fraction of it. I got my medical insurance when I was young with the desire to not ever need it and it turned out to be a blessing when I needed it.
It’s liberating to unlearn limiting beliefs and learn new ones I’ve worked as a medical representative for quite some time and the medical field was one that I looked from a one sided perspective. When I was diagnosed I was told there is no cure for MG and that I would be on medication for life. I know the fact that there is a possibility to depend on drugs for life but I do not like that option. So I start researching extensively on the topic of autoimmunity. The search opened my eyes to a whole new possibility of healing naturally. I learnt not only about autoimmunity but also about cancer. The whole dynamic of the body becomes something I start seeing a whole. It’s like scales were peeled off my eyes that I now am able to embrace the fact that the body is really interconnected. I may have an autoimmune of the nerves but healing my gut would be the gateway to heal the autoimmune.
Understanding the modality of natural means of healing gave me a lot of hope. My research led me to meet my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor who helped me to heal to the point of wellness. This in turn enabled me to start tapering down the immunosuppressant I am on. This is hope enfleshed and I am so grateful.
Diagnostic tools of modern hospital are helpful I have a good relationship with my neurologist and I appreciate his care for me. Some MG patients are not as lucky as they did not meet good doctors who are respectful. The diagnostic tools in modern hospitals are really helpful in the navigation of disease management. Yearly CT scan is needed for me to monitor the thymoma, blood tests will give an indication of what’s going on. So for me, even though I am experiencing healing through my TCM doctor, I am still going under the care of my neurologist.
Mental fitness is a plus for healing journey I am privileged to have gone through my own mental fitness journey in 2021 and now on the journey of advance coach training in this area. Mental fitness is our ability to take on life challenges with a positive rather than negative mindset. It’s the work developed by Positive Intelligence (PQ) and the programme has helped me tremendously in stress management. It is a well known fact that stress is a root cause of many diseases and I believe the it was major contributing factor to me getting MG. Since the diagnosis in 2020, I made it a point to regulate my emotions well. With PQ I was able to identify the source of stress in my life and am able to regulate even more effectively. I learnt tools that helped me to stop the spiraling down of negative thoughts and emotions that often resulted in stress and unhappiness. My PQ journey has seen me being happier and more productive in my work. I run an eight weeks mental fitness journey to as a foundation for clients who desires to achieve their desired outcomes with ease and great happiness. Connect with me to find out more.
Healing is possible when we take responsibility Self responsibility is so crucial in healing. I take full responsibility for my healing by educating myself on the disease, being discerning on what I put into my body and choosing a healthier lifestyle. Education is what helped me to tap into hope of healing through the natural means and what I learnt is such a treasure on every front. Formerly a drug rep, I know well how modern drugs work. I acknowledge that modern drugs can be quite helpful especially in the beginning phase of getting ill. Dealing with symptoms can be debilitating and having drugs to help control it for a little while helps us get back on track. However, to gain full healing, it would be worth it to look at natural means. In my condition, the drugs I was on just could not bring me to a state of wellness. I thank God for TCM modality that brought me to where I am. Getting to know other people who are sick and stuck, it became apparent to me that they lack the courage to take responsibility of their bodies. They are likely to embody an attitude of helplessness and depended fully upon the advice of the healthcare provider without any question or research. Those advices are great but as responsible adults, we are invited to discern what’s best for us. Nobody knows your body better than you do, in all logic, we should be the “expert” of our bodies. What went missing that we became so disconnected from our bodies? I can answer that for myself – I was not present to my body and I did not know how to love my body fully. Through MG I learnt to reconnect, listen to and love my body the way God intended me to.
I intentionally choose my diet, lifestyle and what kind of medication I allowed in my body. Healthcare providers had encouraged me to take certain drug for prevention of some disease. My response was to check on the recommended drug; is it necessary? What are the contents of the drug? What potential side effect would it bring? Would the mechanism of action injure me due to my condition? What is known about this drug? Is it even ethical? These are some of the questions I would bring to the table of discernment whether to take any additional drug. In my discernment I would tap into grace of the Living God and connect to my instinct for decision. When it concerns life, I think it’s important to go beyond our rational mind to our intuition. All these requires a sense of self responsibility. This body is a gift from Christ and it is my responsibility to take good care of it.
God heals the way He pleased One of my first response when I got sick was to pray. I invited family and friends to join me on a 54 days rosary novena with the intention of my healing. I secretly wished I would be one of those who received healing instantaneously. However, in my case God is pleased to heal me according to natural law. It’s a process that I go through with some days being great and some being really crappy. I learnt to be grateful through it all. This is a journey of endurance and trust training. I certainly see my trust in the Lord increase steadily. Do I still cry when it’s difficult? YES I do! I also experience recovery from the negative emotions way faster and with every hurdle comes greater trust. I am learning as St. Paul taught us to find contentment in all circumstances (Philippians 4: 12).
I hope my little nuggets of learning is helpful for you. Wherever you are in your healing journey, the burden feels lighter if you have someone who walk alongside you. Should you be considering a coach, I am here. My prayer for you is that you find fullness of life in the midst of your circumstances.
The recollection of events that happened 2 years ago is still vivid in my mind. It sometimes felt surreal that we’ve been through such drama, especially now that I am in a much better state physically. Just a few weeks ago I shared my grace of healing with a Myasthenia Gravis (MG) support group, one response that I got was pretty astounding: “that’s crazy, you are one lucky person!”. Indeed I am really blessed to have found healing through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
I can count so many blessings that came out of my healing journey; one of them being my openness to unlearn what I thought I know to be the “right” way of viewing sickness and relearn to connect to my body through natural means. As a former drug rep, this is a sanctifying journey and I am just simply amazed at the grace of openness that I was able to tap on. Because of MG I enrolled myself into all sort of health education programs and the irony is that I finally understand a little bit of the principle of TCM through an English speaking American program despite growing up more deeply rooted in Chinese culture (I only speak a few Chinese languages but am unable to read or write Chinese scripts).
Acupuncture has been attributed to being quite helpful for MG, with that knowledge I started praying and looking for an acupuncturist from the very beginning of the diagnosis. I finally found one after more than a year of searching when my friend shared his experience with his TCM who also does acupuncture. Meeting my TCM doctor was an answered prayer. I only wanted acupuncture to supplement my current conventional medicine regime but I was given more.
At my first appointment, I found out that my TCM doctor did his masters in autoimmunity, hence he was totally unsurprised by MG with thymoma. Another assurance came my way when I met his wife who had MG with thymoma 17 years prior. That gave me a lot of hope as I know then the doctor I found knows what he’s dealing with as MG is a rare condition. I started off with just acupuncture as I wasn’t sure about taking herbal meds on top of my current conventional regime. After consultation with my TCM doctor, his advice was to take the different meds at an hour and a half apart.
It was Aug of 2021, I started experiencing slight worsening when I finally met my TCM doctor. Came Sept, I lost my dearest younger brother and that bout of emotional stress threw me to the floor of MG flareup. I was so weak to the point of having difficulty in swallowing water. So at that time, I restarted steroid and pyridostigmine to help control the symptoms. Both my neurologist and TCM doctor had great empathy and were really supportive.
By early Oct, I started herbal meds with weekly therapy that involves cupping, chiro work and acupuncture. Within 3 months, I showed signs of improvement to the point of wellness. One example would be computer screen time. At the peak of when symptoms was relatively low on conventional drug treatment, I could withstand computer screen time up to 10 minutes and then my eyelids will start to droop. By that point, my whole body would feel a tiring sensation like an out-of-sync-electric-current numbness that runs through my body. I would need to lie down for at least 20 minutes to recover. After 3 months of TCM treatment, I can withstand computer screen time up to an hour before I started feeling my eyelids. I only need to take an eyelid rest by closing my eyes for about 30 seconds and then I am ready to continue with my work at the computer again. That’s a massive difference and I can only praise God for His grace that led me this far into my complete healing.
Today I am on yet another milestone journey – the last leg of immunosuppressant dose reduction prescribed by my neurologist. The last appointment in Dec showed how much I improved clinically and that somehow gave him the confidence to propose the beginning of the dose reduction. I am ever so grateful at the mercy God is showing me. His mercy that enveloped me from the beginning of the journey. His grace that led me to decide to make this a meaningful season. I’ve learnt so much through this and it has certainly changed me in the way I view life, the world and the way I honor my relationships. My heart is filled with gratitude towards everyone who jumped in support of me and my family during the most difficult time. I am praying for you daily as I thank God for the healing I received.
Being able to turn any circumstances into blessing is indeed a grace I received and happy to tap on. One of my way of blessing others is sharing my journey and what I learnt. My next post will be focused on what I’ve learnt through my healing journey. When I prayed for healing, I was expecting an immediate miracle. God, however has a different thought (Isaiah 55: 8-9). In His mercy, He allowed me to experience the fullness of loving myself – transforming my mind, teaching me patience, forming me in His love and my trust in Him. I experienced a miracle that manifests itself in the ordinariness of life, the power of natural remedies and the effectiveness of life long mental fitness training. Praising God in my own transformation and looking forward to share more with you.
I could finally doze off once I received that scripture after a whole night of struggling with fear. It was Mother Mary’s birthday, 8 Sept 2021, we had our appointment cancelled in the last minute and we thought let’s still make the best of the day. I made the decision to happily finish my food despite struggling with difficulty in chewing (due to worsening of Myasthenia Gravis) for the past few days. As I sat down to have lunch, my mom called with the news that my younger brother had a stroke and was unconscious. That immediately sent me down the spiral of fear. I cried and started shivering the whole day through. We made preparation to get back to my brother as soon as possible.
The Joy of the Lord has indeed sustained me through this difficult time of losing my younger brother. The stress from this has also taken a deep toll on my health as my condition continue to worsen. As I try to make sense of the whole situation I came to realize fear was the main factor that may have triggered the thymoma in me which eventually led to MG. For that revelation, I am grateful. Balancing between regulating my emotions, taking care of my body, being present for my child and husband and at the same time fighting for my brother in prayer was quite exhausting. By the grace of God, he received the sacrament of baptism. Then on Saturday, a day we honor Mother Mary, my younger brother Bartholomew was called to eternal rest.
When the stroke happened on Mother Mary’s birthday, in the midst of chaos, a still small voice whispered hope in me. I could not put everything in perspective as there were just too much fear of losing my brother. On the day he passed, that gentle assurance came back. I knew Mother Mary is taking care of Bartholomew. When I found out that his funeral was going to be his birthday, 15 Sept, I knew without doubt he is in the safe care of Mother Mary. 15 Sept is the day we celebrate Our Lady of Sorrows.
Seeing his final resting face gave me so much of peace. He wore his signature smile and looked absolutely peaceful. With peace begins the grieving process. It is very raw at this moment and once again learning from my father’s passing, I encouraged everyone to grieve with gratitude. I certainly am going to do that. That process does not take away tears, rather grieving with gratitude elevate our praise of God. The loving memories become something we cherish. Healthy grieving is so important as part of our human experience.
God is seeding something in my heart – a desire to help people through an experience loss. Let’s see where this is leading. Dear friends, as you read this please pray for the soul of my younger brother, Bartholomew and I pray that you are immensely blessed in your journey.
I used to be a person who proclaim certain ways of eating some food as being food crime. How could someone possible put rice on pizza? Or what a strange way to eat chips with ice cream! There were heaps of comments that I would make as I was a picky eater. Then the ultimate funny thing happen when I actually started liking the very food crimes I used to judge. It started when I ran out of ingredients to cook the conventional way. What’s the best next option in that case? Creativity kicked in and I started experimenting making food in ways that was crime for me. Those turned out to be the most fun experience as I managed to turn a challenge into a blessing.
Seeming misfortunes happen all the time because our plans do not always turn out the way we want it. The matter here is our response towards those incidences. Some are small matter that can be easily turned into something good and some are heavier stuffs that need time and space to make sense of. Big stuff like the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis for me was not a pleasant thing that happened. I certainly did not choose that misfortune. However, I have the power to choose my response to move forward to make this a meaningful season in my life.
The experience of making the best of the worst that happened reminded of the song, This is How We Overcome. It says: “You have turned my mourning into dancing, You have turned my sorrow into joy”. Such powerful way of turning the worst scenarios into a blessing – turning to God almighty for help. Even your deepest hurt can be turned into a gift to the world. That brought me to a principle I learnt in prayer school that says: “Your deepest hurt becomes the launching pad of your greatest calling”. More often than not, this is hard to comprehend as deep wounds like childhood trauma often scars people deeply. So much so that some chose the destructive path.
Tragic childhood trauma like an abuse is indeed very detrimental to the person. It confused the child and sent wrong messages to the child which in turn destroyed the true identity of the child. It takes a lot of work and heaps of courage in the part of the victim to rise up to victory – reclaiming their true identity as a beloved child of God. We know for a fact that none of us are immune to trauma whether inflicted by a trusted person, teachers, schoolmates etc. Treating ourselves with great compassion and taking the courageous path of healing with trusted companions have proven to be a path towards great victory. Putting these misfortunes in its right place bring out blessings that would otherwise be hidden.
In my current season of immersion in Positive Intelligence (PQ), I see a connection to this concept. The author of the book, Shirzad Chamine shared his childhood wounds were indeed blessings in disguise. It took him heaps of work to be where he is today, a deeply compassionate person who is directly blessing me with this programme. The inspirations drawn from this program is beyond what I imagined. Being an active gift and opportunities seeker in all circumstances is a powerful gift to self and the world we live in.
Dear friends, what are you facing today? I pray that you are given the grace to turn EVERY circumstances into a blessing. My father’s death which was a tragic event has taught me so much about life precisely because I choose to grieve with gratitude. This blog is one of the beautiful fruit coming out of that season of grieving. Be encouraged dear friends to be conqueror that is capable to tap in the grace of God – turning misfortunes into blessings. In the event that you need some help in getting there, feel free to contact me for coaching information.
Food is a great means of unity, celebration, expression of love, reconciliation, happiness and heaps of other things. For me food is my source of creativity. I am a person who refers to recipe and method but never really follow the exact measurement or method. Most of the time, I prefer to modify the recipe to suit my taste, the needs of my family as well as availability of ingredients.
Recently I felt inspired to try steaming fish the way restaurants did. It was a pleasant learning experience because in the past, I could not be bothered doing a few steps process. I like things simple and easy. However, my past way of steaming fish never produce truly satisfactory taste. With the newfound knowledge, I immediately hooked on to the method and started creating all sort of sauces for steamed fish. It was such fun experiments and I look forward to Fishful Friday just so I can create new dishes every week.
Creating food being therapeutic has been a great help especially when changing diet is a neccesity due to the autoimmune diagnosis. Eating healthy can be tasty and enjoyable. All that is needed is a dash of creativity.
I recently came to realise what a great gift is this expression of creativity. It was a difficult morning and I was starting to beat myself up for not being a perfect parent. I knew “being a perfect parent” is a lie, I had that intercepted so those negative emotions did not drag me further. As I was trying (and struggling) to gain better perspective, I decided to create a new dessert for dinner. It resembles milk pudding from my hometown but I have never been able to get any recipe. So with a little bit of imagination of the taste I began my experiment. Praise God it turned out well.
The effect of that 20 minutes of creativity was beyond just yummy dessert, I was able to clear my mind and start seeing things from a better perspective. I was able to show empathy towards myself and to express my loving concern towards my child. My level of happiness increased so was my overall wellness.
I recalled my days in the mission centre where celebration of life was emphasized. We will work together to create a beautiful atmosphere for celebration. The most elaborated one would be an Agape Meal that typically involved good food, well decorated room, well dressed people and heaps of honouring – a setting that enabled expression of creativity in so many ways. I remember having fun cooking, baking and sometimes trying things like decorating and flower arrangement. That kind of excellence has become my lifestyle though not as elaborated. We recently celebrated my husband’s birthday and it happened to be a Friday. I was jumping with joy as that was an opportunity to express myself creatively. I steamed a large fish and made a marble milk pudding as the “cake”. It was a joyous occasion filled with love.
The experience of having my mind cleared and filling my love tank through creative expression has demonstrated to me its importance. Creative outlet does something great to our being. It helps us to connect deeply to our true self and hence enable us to appreciate the being who’s made in the image and likeness of God. The direct impact is the release of stress and clarity of mind. In our fear saturated and highly stressed out world, creative expression becomes a remedy to bring us some sanity.
Dear friends, I pray that you are encouraged to make time for creativity, however you like to express it. May you find joy in the little things in life that fill up your love tank. Make sure you also empty your stress tank regularly. Have fun expressing yourself creatively.
Recently we recorded a podcast with the title The Cry for Affirmation, that turned out to be such a powerful and healing experience for me. The past year has been focused getting my body back into a new optimum and we are also aware that the past year has been tough for most of us. Isolation has been especially hard for me due to my natural preference of being around people. Little did I know, I slowly lost sight of my true self. I have not surrounded myself enough with people who live with a lifestyle of affirmation. So happened word of affirmation scores high for my love language.
With the challenges of the lockdown that rendered us to react rather than respond also has activated the survival part of the brain big time. Reacting to every announcement made became a constant fight or flight response. Not only it is stressful for the body, it also has the ability to rewire the brain in an unfavourable way. I was constantly tired, unmotivated and found myself settling for the small things. We have managed to find ways out of those episodes of reactions.
God is truly generous in providing resources like the availability of communion, books, courses as well as master classes that I can learn from. We dare to dream bigger with each hurdles we overcame. It has been a slower process when we are isolated. Going back to coaching is also a great blessing and now being part of my friend, Justin’s podcast Don’t Just Talk Lah, I am provided with a platform to give. All these works are possible also thanks to my body’s healing progress. I have the attitude to give as I am, although still not 100% healed yet as I occasionally get mild symptoms.
The recording of the affirmation episode helped to dust off the dirt that covers the whole true self. I have somewhat become less affirmative through this challenging year. Being affirmed through the recording, I was so energized and decided to live that more fully again. So I started affirming my daughter for every little things she did well, even to the detail of her listening to my instruction. She was glowing with joy with my new attitude; so was I and my husband.
Challenges ahead when met through the truth of own goodness can produce wonderful results. When we choose to overcome problems and deal with sin through the lens of our inherent goodness, we are elevated to a place of higher praise. I believe that is a place of freedom and happiness!. After all, if negativity has ability to rewire our brain unfavourably; positivity ought to do the favourable rewiring.
Dear friends, if you are in a place of uncertainty or are embarking on a new venture, do surround yourself with people who affirm you or hire a coach to achieve better results. A coach will help you see new perspectives when you are met with blockages; hear you out and affirm you in your journey as well as celebrating progresses with you. May you be blessed in your venture and remember you are worthy of happiness and joy in life.
I recently learnt that healing is circular instead of linear; that was quite astounding for me. There’s great encouragement and wisdom in that school of thought. I found myself experiencing setbacks in the midst of progress periodically. Those moments can be discouraging but when seen through the lens of a circular healing journey, it’s quiet empowering. Setbacks just meant it’s time to take a pit stop and evaluate. It becomes a circle of learning more of myself and the condition. With every circle of learning, I also come to appreciate myself and the whole journey more deeply.
In an older post, I elaborated the importance of celebration. Living celebration through my healing journey from Myasthenia Gravis (MG) has been a great experience of affirmation. We started celebrating from the moment we’ve got a confirmed diagnosis as we finally knew what we are up against. When I was discharged, we celebrated with a good meal. I remember vividly how nervous was I when I finally started driving again. Thanks to the lockdown, the option at that time was me driving out to collect donations of expressed breast milk (EBM) for my child. We were blessed to have generous donors who helped us through those early months of fully breastfeeding our child. I knew my limit very well at that time, so there were great planning involved – with full gears of sunglasses and hat plus praying really hard for an overcast morning. I came back within an hour with new supply for the baby and feeling victorious. We celebrated that big time as it was real progress and such a great milestone.
Then came the time when I started on the steroid dose reduction, it was a happy day and great celebration. After a few months and was almost off steroid, I started having regression. It was quite discouraging but I did not allow that to stop me. Pushing through with a good mindset and a strong network. I was still experiencing a fair bit of symptoms back in Dec 2020 but we decided that my birthday is a good day to celebrate. Every initial disappointment after the doctor’s visit was being treated as an opportunity to find a better remedy for me.
Having friends that introduced various natural remedies to me is a true blessing. I am glad people are open and they know me well enough to be confident that I take responsibility for my decision whether to try the remedies they introduced or not. The values that I believe in and live by has also been a navigating post for me. I cannot imagine missing out on good remedies just because of being a scary blamer that absolutely nobody dare to recommend anything. Being daring to try stuffs (some of which did not work) is certainly something worth celebrating.
Celebrating progress keeps us going and it makes the journey pleasant. Dear friends, I encourage you to be creative in your celebration keeping in mind that this is not just a reward system. Celebrating yourself is directly celebrating the One who made you. Think about it, who gave you the grace to see goodness in the midst of darkness? Who enable you to work through your issues? Who is the happiest when you are happy? My answer to those questions: none other than God. I wish you a great time honoring your Creator by celebrating you.