Keeping Illness Invisible – Paula’s Story of Living with Narcolepsy

Keeping Illness Invisible – Paula’s Story of Living with Narcolepsy

Mindset
"In 1979, fresh out of high school living in Atlanta, I was ready to start my life," says Paula.   "Going to school full time, working part-time, and enjoying a full social life, I never felt there was anything wrong with sleeping every moment I could. It was even okay when my friends started teasing me for always falling asleep."    As far back as college, Paula remembers sleeping a lot. "Back then I blew it off as being young, clubbing, and drinking too many Pink Champales."  Paula worked part-time, did her school work, and didn't think anything of spending her Tuesday nights enjoying Ladies night at Cisco's on Campbellton Road, in Atlanta.  As they piled into the car, her friend Veronica would say, "Paula is going to fall asleep before…
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Shifting Perspectives to be Happier Now

Shifting Perspectives to be Happier Now

Mindset
Sometimes I can only see from one perspective. I have a belief and I think my way is the truth. But when I become open to shifting perspectives, I can be happier with where I'm at, without changing my outside circumstances. ⁠For example, I thought the town I grew up close to was an ugly town. I don't like the college associated with it, maybe because I went to its rival school or maybe I was just wearing the wrong color lenses growing up and made these judgements about it. ⁠Either way, it was a place I dreaded visiting and never hesitated to complain about. How I Saw "Home"⁠ When I tell people where I'm from, they have never heard of it unless I mention the nearby university, and then…
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Creating a Vision Board

Creating a Vision Board

Mindset
Visualize 1. First, you will want to visualize what it is you want out of your life. Remember to take time to consider the 7 areas of life, finances, career, recreation, health, relationships, personal life, and community. You can use this audio to guide you. Enjoy a Vision Board Ritual 2. Why not create a little ritual to make your experience special.? If you are looking at it as a chore, it will not flow naturally. Set up your vision boarding space with whatever makes you comfortable, whether its music, candles, or your favorite snack, make it special for you. It's helpful if you connect with yourself by taking some deep breaths and having the intention to move inward. Then, sit quietly and ask yourself what it is you want…
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Learn How to Live with Narcolepsy

Learn How to Live with Narcolepsy

Mindset
On Sunday, I was on a Facebook live chat with Project Sleep to share how I live with narcolepsy. First I read an article I wrote as part of the Rising Voices of Narcolepsy program. Then, Julie Flygare asked me some questions about how I manage narcolepsy and what my experience has been like.   You can watch that here. Our conversation helped me realize that I have done a whole lot more than I ever realized to live with narcolepsy.  Things that I just see as part of my habits and daily life now are actual strategies for treating Narcolepsy.  I know there are plenty of things that I didn’t think of mentioning in the hour we had Live. So I’ve tried to list them out simply below. This has…
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Can you really reduce migraine with hypnosis?

Can you really reduce migraine with hypnosis?

Mindset
A journey of self-understanding I was at a point where I would do anything to reduce migraine symptoms. I had tried everything from continuous birth control to the ketogenic diet and they had come back yet again. That's why I turned to some alternative methods that I had never considered for physical symptoms. It turns out, even my physical symptoms often have emotional roots. Before you read further, I will clarify I am not a medical doctor. I'm not trying to claim that it is anyone's fault that they have a medical disorder. Usually, I talk about narcolepsy, but today I'm going to share a bit about migraine. I had been trying to answer the question, "Why me?" when it came to my physical pain and suffering. But after years…
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This is the Sign You Have Been Looking For

This is the Sign You Have Been Looking For

Mindset
Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash You know that thing that has been on your mind, you thought about doing it, and then something told you it wasn’t the right time. Yeah, that one. It’s time now. I know you thought it was far out in the future, you thought maybe in a few months, or a year, you would be ready. Or that you would see a sign to let you know when its time. This is your sign. Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash If you feel like I’m speaking directly to you, that’s because I am. I know YOU have something that you want to do. Whatever has been holding you back can be overcome. I know it, and you know it. But you are passionate about it, and doing it is going to…
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I Am Enough, And So Are You

I Am Enough, And So Are You

Mindset
Image from Redbubble Reminding myself that I am enough is a lifelong process. I write it on my mirror, put it on the background of my phone, and set reminders to keep reinforcing this belief. Recently I even wrote a poem about it on a day when I was having doubts. If you need help remembering that you are enough, keep repeating it. The brain needs repetition. Say it in the mirror, create mantras to repeat when you are struggling. Write your own poem. Here is my poetic reminder to you that you are enough. I am enough I am enougheven on the days when exhaustion keeps me in bed until noonand I don’t have the energy to take a shower I am enoughwith a migraine raging fury in my…
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On Being Unf***withable

On Being Unf***withable

Mindset
I am consistently hearing people talk about being fuckwithable. Sure, they don't use that word, but they say things like, "You make me so mad! " or "This makes me feel sad. or "I know he is just a guy from Tinder, but I still obsess over why he hasn't texted me in 3 hours!" In many cases, people are handing over control of their emotions to other human beings. When you say, "you make me feel.." you are giving power to someone else, whether you realize it or not. That means you have the option to take back the control. In the case of someone not calling us back, we know rationally that the reaction is silly. But maybe we don't feel in control of changing it. There are…
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Identifying Negative Self-Talk

Identifying Negative Self-Talk

Mindset
I used to have trouble deciphering what "negative self-talk" meant and how to determine what was constructive and what was not. In the beginning, I only pulled out the really major negative messages with words like stupid, lazy, worthless, etc. ⁠I had no idea that there was more to negative self-talk than these obvious problems. Why Does Negative Self-Talk Matter? This whole idea stems from the principle that we all spend most of our time with ourselves. Therefore, a lot of time we are talking to ourselves even if it's not verbal, it is inside our heads. So it's important to pay attention to what we are saying to ourselves. On one hand, we have to tell ourselves what we need to work on to stay motivated and to grow.…
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How Do I Cope with World Events?

Mindset
My heart is beating in my gut, the breakfast I just finished feels heavy and I feel like I am going to be sick.  I was just informed that it's likely the US is entering into war again.  I really have to take time to process to cope with world events like this. Cope with world events in the moment As an empath, while things like this may seem far away to other people, I can be deeply emotionally affected by what is going on in the world.  I feel a lot, but even if you are not an empath, there comes a point where what is happening can all seem like too much. What can we do with these emotions? Be aware The first thing I have to do…
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Protecting My Energy

Protecting My Energy

Mindset
Learning to empower instead of enabling The phone rings, and I feel obligated to answer. Cindy, a new acquaintance, is hysterical on the other end. I drop everything I’m doing to rush to her apartment. I need to make sure the assignment she was working on is still somewhere on her computer. The deadline is tomorrow, and she doesn’t know what happened to it. Luckily, I’m a computer whiz and must have bragged about it while making small talk the first time I met Cindy. After rushing out of my house to put out the fire, I return home exhausted. Her nervous energy and panic were all it took to drain my reserves, and even though I had my own paper to write, I curl up on the couch for a recharge nap.…
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Are you authentic?

Are you authentic?

Mindset
And what does it mean? “Who are you?” I was asked that question in an interview on Monday. I fumbled a lot because I have this definition of WHO I am, but I didn’t feel like it was the answer my interviewer was looking for. What did I say? I answered that I was a life coach, an American living in Myanmar, a former ESL teacher, and a person with narcolepsy and chronic migraine. Why? The interview was for a volunteer position with the Migraine World Summit, so that’s what seemed relevant. We’ve been trained to show the sides of us that make us most qualified for a position in life, to get the job. Even though I know better, my training kicked in, and I said what I had…
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Mindful Coloring

Mindful Coloring

Mindset
This week I met with some wonderful people to talk about mindfulness and how we can be more mindful throughout the day. The first technique we talked about was to remove the words "no" and "not" from what we tell our brain to do. For example, instead of saying, "Don't forget your sunglasses, you can say, Remember your sunglasses." The brain receives the message better that way and you are more likely to actually remember them. We also discussed observing the barrage of thoughts in our heads like a train. You can either be aware and watch the train go by or you can get on the train and visit all the emotional states the train takes off to. Everyone was encouraged to choose a trigger point, something you do…
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Why I’m So Grateful for Gratitude

Why I’m So Grateful for Gratitude

Life Coaching, Mindset, Personal Story
It helped me stop feeling like a victim! My alarm was blaring and I reached around clumsily, my eyes still closed trying to make the noise stop. I was angry and frustrated with my poor night of sleep. I had a horrific dream about someone I loved being tortured, and I stayed up for an hour trying to change my thought process to avoid going back into the same nightmare again. The images were fuzzy and dark, but I knew they would be stuck in my mind all day. I stumbled to the bathroom, stubbed my toe on, and slipped in water on my bathroom floor. My partner had left the shower curtain outside the tub, and the whole floor was soaked. I was lucky I hadn't hit my head,…
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One Self-Hypnosis Technique to Manage Emotions

One Self-Hypnosis Technique to Manage Emotions

Life Coaching, life hacks, Mindset
Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash Do you ever feel yourself reacting emotionally to a situation and wish you had more control? Maybe your kids are screaming at you and instead of remaining calm, you give them what they want. Maybe someone pulls out in front of your car in traffic and you feel anger bubbling up inside. Or are you the one who can completely ignore your emotions when they emerge and have no idea what I’m talking about? Whichever is the case, we all have situations where emotions appear and we need to deal with them in a constructive way. Self-Hypnosis is a handy tool that can make that quite simple. How Does Self-Hypnosis Work? There are so many different ways to use self-hypnosis they wouldn’t even fit in one book…
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