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Finding freedom in my life is a relatively new discovery for me and something I’ve become very passionate about. Ever since getting sick, I’ve somehow managed to continue pursuing my passions and I’ve found unexpected freedom as a result.

So to mark the end of two very different years for me workwise and lifestyle wise, I thought I would share the 3 big things I’ve done that have led me to finding freedom in my life.

Overhaul your finances

A necessary evil that must be managed if you are to get yourself to a better place.

Due to my health issues, our income became severely impacted. We had to make some drastic decisions to take the financial pressure off. The stress of those changes was incredibly difficult. …

It’s not until I fully embraced my health circumstances that I was able to live peacefully with them.

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Source: Jared Erondu,

3 years in the making, acceptance of my illness has finally freed me.

Before I got here, I begrudged this body. It had done SO much to change my life and that of my family. Caused me to stop doing the work that I love. Severely impacted my social life. Made us sell a house I loved. Thrust immediate change upon my young kids.

A mind in denial

I used to say it changed my personality, the very essence of who I was.

The change professional was clearly in denial. My mind constantly going back and forth between the current reality and the past wishing I could be as I was. …

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To look at me is to look at anyone else.

I look like a typical 40 something with the confidence you would expect of someone who has been in her profession for 25 years. If you are talking with me, you would likely also make the assumption that I hold down a full time job. Like everyone else who looks and sounds a bit like me.

Except, I can’t.

I share my life with a chronic illness.

What you don’t see is the invisible chronic thing I now share my life with. The thing that’s so damn hard to explain in terms of how it impacts me and why it does what it does. …

A message to those who give, from one who has received

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When my health issues appeared, I was in the midst of going great guns with my new business.

Around the same time, I had signed up a 6 month piece of work with one of my clients in collaboration with a lady I had known through my work contacts for a number of years. She is an exceptionally talented facilitator and coach and this was our first engagement working together.

This lady worked in the space I wanted to develop in and, at the point I was putting together my business concept, she gave me the benefit of her knowledge and advice quite freely. …

Your self worth hinges on your ability to be you.

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“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brene Brown

It’s taken me many years to get to the space of putting my real self out there.

Conforming to others expectations is something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember.

What people think of me in my life has mattered, quite a lot.

I’ve spent years adapting myself to fit some mould of what others expect. Why? In order to get on.

To. Get. On. Three simple words.

Underneath those three words are three more.

To. Fit. …

Are you an aimless wanderer in life? Do you ever wonder what you’re meant to be doing with your life? If you feel like you’ve lost your way, then perhaps it’s time to find your purpose.

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Purpose: ‘the reason for which something exists’

What’s all the fuss about?

‘Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose’ Helen Keller

Understanding why we do things is pretty fundamental to ensuring something is really worth it. If there’s no purpose behind something you are doing, whatever you try will likely be futile or unfulfilling.

How many of you really understand what your purpose is? Why you do what you do? How many of you use it consciously to frame your actions in life?

Finding your purpose is finding your motivation — it energises you to live your life with identity and intention. …

Pausing the brain’s pathways can reduce your stress.

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What do you notice about your responses when you are stressed?

How much are they tinged with emotion vs rational commentary?

Notice how you might be short with people, impatient, blunt, perhaps angry?

We are built that way.

Being overly busy and dealing with difficult situations are our modern day ‘tigers in the jungle’.

Our brains are tuned to thinking they are facing tigers or fighting fires day-in-day-out.

And there’s an evolutionary reason why we act the way we do. We were built that way.

How the brain works.

Thanks to studies in the field of neuroscience we now know quite a lot about how the brain responds.

The pre-frontal cortex (PFC) is an area at the front of your brain that manages your in-the-moment processing and rational thought. Your working memory if you like.

However, it only has a finite amount of room and can easily get overwhelmed. If you chuck too much stuff at yourself, your brain will perceive it as a threat. Why? Because at times of overload your PFC will refer to your limbic system (the emotional part of the brain) to work out what your response should be. …

How much of your day runs like a to-do list rather than one of pure enjoyment and fulfillment?

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One day, 18 months ago, as I sat by a riverbank, I contemplated my health issues, my life and what my next steps were going to be.

I had this urge to raise awareness about two associated yet under-diagnosed and fairly common health conditions (what I now know to be Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Dysautonomia).

But I wanted to help others and touch people with something deeper.

It was more than just my health experiences.

I wanted to lift the lid on this epidemic of busy in our lives. Providing inspiration and help for those needing or wanting to slow down.

So there I was, sitting by the river contemplating how to tackle this conundrum, and all of a sudden there she was. …

Listening to your body and making conscious lifestyle choices will lead you to a calmer existence.

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Most of you know the merits of meditation and mindfulness. Enabling quiet pause, reflection and steadiness in the here and now. Allowing worrying thoughts to pass you on by in those precious moments. But what if you could somehow adopt these practices for more than the 10–20 mins you perhaps do it each day? What if you could do it more continuously? What might that look like?

I’ve learnt with my health condition that too much of a bad thing causes my body to react badly. And unfortunately too much of a good thing does the same thing too. …

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It’s been two years since my wheels came off quite spectacularly. It’s been two years of major body and life discovery. Not only about this health doo dah and what it now means for my life but also how, unbeknowns to me, this health condition had been working its magic in the background prepping me for my big fall.

It had been there all along waiting for its special moment to shine.

I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type, a genetic something that is relatively common but quite underdiagnosed and a secondary condition, Dysautonomia, that is quite common and underdiagnosed also.

I have particular issues keeping my blood up due to lax connective tissues. As a result I have developed quite the adrenaline response to it. …


Jayne Bailey

Jayne writes about life, change and health.

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