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Do you ever look at other people’s lives (as displayed on social media) and feel you are missing out? That your life too could be beautiful, perfectly placed, fun and meaningful, if only you were doing it right, or not doing something wrong. Or something….

#FOMO or Fear of Missing Out is real for so many people. It’s especially challenging if you are feeling excluded for reasons of disability, accessibility, discrimination or exclusion, if you have caring responsibilities and those aren’t supported (e.g no time off for caring roles or creche or childcare provided).

I can’t make it ok, I know. But I can share how I handle living a life free of FOMO:

Highlight reel v.s behind the scenes

Social media can be wonderful and beautiful. It connects us, inspires us, includes us and allows us to be involved, to stay in touch with loved ones, to witness and support events unfolding across the world, from our own beds.

But social media can also be tricky. It grew as personal sharing, but so often it’s commodified. Those gorgeous photos you see…may not have been snapped with someone’s smart phone. There may be lighting, a photographer, hair and make up people, and a stylist.

Someone may have spent hours planning and curating those designs. And that’s ok.

But if we compare the results of all that work, (even the ‘natural, casual, lifestyle’ shots), to our own actual-in-person lifestyle, it’s easy to feel less-than.

(And quite frankly, we often have many people/systems already telling us we are less-than. We don’t need any more.)

When I find myself in this situation, I think, ‘don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel’. You don’t know what it’s like in reality. And their social media isn’t an unedited, behind-the-scenes version of their reality.

All those sneek peaks and #nomakeup selfies may be carefully curated. It’s like ballet, part of the art is making it look easy.

When you look at a magazine or a television show, you recognise that it is probably photo-shopped, or styled or scripted. You don’t expect ‘real life’, which is too beautiful and painful, terrifying and frustrating, glorious and messy to look like those glossy images.

What happens if we extend this to view social media too? How would that impact your use? Why not try it for a day and see how it feels?

Bad things happen to everyone, we are just familiar with our own

Few people share their bad hair days, small dream losses, daily trials and tribulations on social media. Because of this, we often see the only good times. And it can feel everyone else is singing and swinging their way from strength to strength. Or that nothing ever happens to them, not illness or burning the toast or anything painful.

But we likely don’t know what it’s like for other people, because we aren’t them. We can think we know and they can act like they are sharing everything with us. But sharing everything is a tall order and happens less often than we might suppose.

There are people who seem to have lives which go swimmingly. People who plan their year knowing their health will likely be the same at the beginning as at the end. They can make plans, you see. And you, maybe, feel like you can’t make plans, because of flares and caring and all the other struggles that you balance daily.

Here’s the thing, they can’t make plans either. No one knows what will happen. Their plans are like yours, just hopes. Yet you have a good idea of what your main challenge will be, where your vulnerabilities are, because you work with them daily.

For me, I know energy and mobility are a challenge. Does it stop me doing things I would otherwise do? Sort of, I have to change my priorities and do things in different ways.

Does it give me good information about the part of a plan that’s vulnerable (the energy and mobility part), so I can make plans for contingencies? Yes, it does.

It’s not necessarily worse for me, I just have more information on my upcoming challenges.

How does it feel to reframe your challenges as advanced information? Does this change how you make plans?

I’m Happy at Home

We aren’t always happy at home. But if we are living a life we love, living well and doing work or creation that’s meaningful to us then it may matter less if we ‘miss out’.

Because we aren’t missing out because we can’t get somewhere, but because we are prioritising our own loves, passions and lives.

A good life is still possible, if we re-invent our dreams.

That’s the ethos of my new ebook, Beyond the Boundaries: Finding Freedom & Fulfilment Within Four Walls. Self-Care Edition. You can check it out here and get an ebook, an audio book version and free bonus interviews and printable goodies.

What’s your top tip for managing FOMO? Let me know in the comments.

L'Erin Alta standing against a wall wearing a white dress and gold bangle

L’Erin Alta is a spiritual mentor for resilient women who have survived a great something and cobbled their lives back together, Tour Guide Through the Shadowy Places, High Priestess of Sacred Space, Deep Listener and the soul guide. She’s graced the cover of Inspired Coach Magazine and she runs retreats, workshops and one on one intensives for women to connect to their deepest truths.

Read more at LErinAlta,com

In this Trailblazer Interview we talk about:

  • Resilience in our work, our souls, our lives
  • Relationship to resilience when resilience isn’t pushing through but
  • Learning how to be in her body
  • Her experience post brain surgery
  • The unsustainability of the hustle mentality
  • Learning to be gracious with oneself
  • Coping when you’ve been denied credit by the bank of your body
  • Useful links: Being Type-A With Chronic Illness, I Hate to Break it To You, But You Are Not A Robot .

 

Read transcript: Trailblazer_Interview_LErin_Alta_and_Psyche_Soma_Resilience

What’s your favourite takeaway from this interview? Let me know in the comments!

P.S You may also like more trailblazer interviews here

Photo of a fire pit with lit fire in woods shooting sparks

[Trigger Warning: Mentions of violence, racism, abuse]

In this month’s link round up, I want to put the focus on amplifying voices, especially BIPOC voices, that need to be heard.

I think it’s clear that #BlackLivesMatter and Nazism/Alt-Right/White Supremacist/Terrorism is wrong and needs to be stopped.

However, I don’t feel it’s useful to share my emotions around Charlottesville here because, as a non-U.S white woman, it’s not my place and the voices that need to be heard are not mine. But I can keep doing my own work of dismantling the white privilege that I as a white woman, (unintentionally but unjustly) benefit from and share the voices of people who do need to be heard. I am doing my best not to centre my white emotions…

It’s hard to know the right thing to say, at a time like this. I might stumble over my words and make mistakes in my communication, but I will not be silent.” – Bari Tessler

And I am opening up my monthly no fee listening space, so I can listen and support people impacted by these events.

No Fee Listening Support

I’m Grace_Quantock on Skype, and I am opening up no-fee listening space for anyone impacted by the current challenges our societies are experiencing.

I don’t have all the answers, but I can, however, listen. Just call in on Skype: Saturday 19th August 2017.

Times:
BST 6pm – 7pm
EST 2pm – 3pm
CST 1pm – 2pm
MST 12 midday – 1pm
PST 11.00 am – 12.00 midday.

Disclaimer: By participating in this consulting session over the phone/ web, you acknowledge that, though I am a professional, I am unable to conduct the extensive analysis that I would in an in-person setting. Therefore, the advice I provide during our consulting sessions is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for in-person professional work. The information provided in the consulting session should not be considered a substitute for in-person evaluation by a therapist to address your individual needs. By participating in my office hours listening sessions, you acknowledge that I am not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and my services do not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Listening is in no way to be construed or substituted as psychological counselling or any other type of therapy or medical advice. I will at all times exercise my best professional efforts, skills and care. However, I cannot guarantee the outcome of coaching efforts and/or recommendations on my work and my comments about the outcome are expressions of opinion only. I cannot make any guarantees other than to deliver the listening services offered as described.

Links for social justice: 

10 Ways to Fight Hate from the Southern Poverty Law Center (via Bari Tessler)

Diversity is an asset

Authentic Allyship subscription group.

What We Need White Allies to do about the White Supremacists in Virginia (via Bari Tessler)

These People Killed My Family with links to help (via Bari Tessler)

Calling in the New Age: Identifying Oppressive Ideals in our Spirituality

Equal Justice Initiative which confronts racial injustice, advocates for equality, and creates hope for marginalized communities.

An inclusive card deck.

Coaching as activism

My thanks to all the members in We Are the Culture Makers Group who shared lots of these links, which is how I found them.

General wellness links: 

Tools to transform tax day.

Illness as something other than brokeness

Personal Mythmaking: I can’t wait to begin. Plus, Janelle asked me to share that she has a couple sliding scale rates for folks that have financial challenges but sincerely want to participate, and they can get in touch with her for more details.

Experience of being fat, brown, femme and loveability.

What to say when someone tells you they have a mental illness. 

Disability and being seen.

5 ways zombies can inspire you in wellness and writing.

Lessons of late summer

Dreaming and woke up knowing

A book I’m so interested in

Painting your way through the mystery of grief

What resources should be here? What would you add to the list? Community contributions are welcome. Let me know in the comments. 

Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash

Cover of ebook Beyond the Boundaries: Finding Freedom and Fulfilment Within Four Walls. Self-Care Edition. Text over photo of a bed with rumbled covers and a bunch of pink flowers on the bed, top right corner.

 

I’m so excited to share that Beyond the Boundaries: Finding Freedom & Fulfilment Within Four Walls. Self-Care Edition is here!

If you are sick or struggling to live with limits then this book is for you.

I’ve been bed bound, house bound and spending lots of time within four walls due to health challenges. So I wrote this book for everyone who, like me, is living with limits but still wants to live well.

If you’ve wondered how to manage self-care when so much for it is so inaccessible…

My bath isn’t adapted!

I’m allergic to chocolate!

I can’t get outside to do ‘forest bathing‘!

…then you need this guide. It’s full of self-care that is approachable, accessible and affordable, not just aspirational.

And, there’s a list of 500 things to do when you are stuck in bed/at home and sick.

What you’ll learn in Beyond the Boundaries:

– You’ll be guided in designing your own Limits Liberation Plan.

– Meet role models for self-fulfilment and learn about the world-changers making a massive impact from their homes and beds.

– Create a morning routine of self-care that’s accessible and sustainable for you.

– Learn to create a beautiful environment, no matter your location or circumstances.

– Discover 8 ways to make your bedroom gorgeous.

– Explore dressing for comfort and joy.

– Find accessible, energy saving, stylish ways to dress.

– Reveal the secret of what to wear all day instead of pyjamas.

– Meet the challenges of how to actually get dressed when struggling with pain.

– Top tips on managing personal care when you are too tired to get to the bathroom.

What you’ll get:

– A downloadable ebook and an audio version. In total, over 30,000 words of wellness support, inclusion and action!

– A list of 500 Things to Do When You are Bed Bound and Bored (if you liked my viral blog 49 Things To Do When Bed Bound and Bored, you’ll LOVE this!)

– Exclusive Beyond the Boundaries Manifesto to super-charge your intention.

Special bonus resources including:

An interview with Vivienne McMaster, founder of Be Your Own Beloved: exploring self-compassion through self-portraiture. We talk about ways to make this accessible to people who are bed bound or house bound and how working with our image supports healing.

An interview with Huffington Post blogger Heidi McKenzie, founder of Alter Ur Ego wheelchair fashion company on how style can transform perceptions, conversations and connections, her experience as Ms Wheelchair Kentucky and creating an adaptable style solution/revolution.

You’ll also get exclusive printable posters of all your favourite fun things to do from bed to brighten your walls.

And, I’ve got 15 things for you to do when sick and tired or at home and bored here:

15 fun things to do when sick and tired. Text over a photograph of a blue tea pot and blue and white transfereware teacup. In the teacup is pink tea with rose buds floating it it.

1. Check out positive coping techniques from Heads Above the Waves [trigger warning: mention of self-harm]

2. Give yourself a sound-bath by listening to Bethan’s amazing healing harp music and get your own copy here.

3. Check out Briana Saussy’s Astro Rx 2017 and get those dates in your diary.

4. Follow in Gala Darling’s (gorgeous) footsteps and make a Radical Self-Love Bible. Looking for extra inspiration? Look here.

5. Begin a painting of a big canvas or paper, add one mark + per day to document your experience. If you are happy, what does that look like on the canvas? A golden dot? five blue swirls, circling over each other? A line that follows the shape of your fingers? If you are mourning something, how does that express on the canvas? See how your celebrations and heart-aches build into beautiful art, through your year. (Inspired by IMAGINE.)

6. Learn to shuffle a deck of cards like a pro.

7. Sing an advertising jungle from your childhood. Sing it in the style of your favourite musical artist.

8. Download Eyecare and protect your vision. Future you will thank you.

9. Try cloud watching. What will you see?

10. Record a message and send it to a friend or loved one.

11. Request a song on a radio station, dedicate it to someone you love or something you are proud of.

12. What’s the makeup/hairstyle or accessory that you always admire in others but never have the confidence to try yourself? Do it today and wear it around the house, see how you feel. If you are comfortable with it at home, you could one day expand to wearing it outside. My pick? Cat-eye eyeliner.

13. Listen to or read a biography of someone unexpected. Who knew I would enjoy the autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne so much?

14. Listen to something that inspires you while you clean your teeth or have a shower.

15. Experiment to find the most comfortable cushion arrangement for you.

Like this? Want more? There are 500 fun things to do from home in my new ebook. Get it today…

July Trailblazing Healing Resources: Fuel for Your Healing Fire text over photo of a campfire outside

The best of the wellness internet. Lovingly curated trailblazing healing resources for fun and wellness fabulousness to fuel your healing fire. Relax and dive in!

My favourite trailblazing healing resources, inspirations, proclamation and motivation this month.

I love and deeply believe in boundary work. I can testify to Randi Buckley‘s work in this area –

“Boundaries are the infrastructure for your life and relationships. 
You want them to be healthy, easily articulated, clear, & kind.” – Randi Buckley

I’m also honoured to be a guest lecturer on Healthy Boundaries for Kind People.

Next up, I want to investigate the Hawthorne Heart – a femme boundary workshop

More on boundaries: thoughts on fencing

Related: how to advocate for yourself, with Mara Glatzel.

Can chronic illness bring magic into your life?

Mary Magdalene’s feast day is July 22nd and I have some resources for you:

Why is Mary Magdalene relevant to our healing?

“For the radically reverent, She is courage embodied; specifically the courage to bear witness to trauma, heartbreak, and death.

Like all great lovers, Mary Magdalene is one who knows the limits of pleasure because she also has first hand knowledge of pain.” – Briana Saussy

Briana Saussy’s Feast Days for the Radically Reverent

And a fantastic *free* lecture on Mary Magdalene by a scholar and artist.

Can chronic illness bring magic into your life?

Have you checked out the Brain Online Health Summit?

Let’s celebrate midsummer (ok, a little belated) with dace and a safe fire ceremony.

OMG – Finding your patronus – yoga for depression workshop. I am SO THERE.

I am really, really grateful to have discovered Maranda Elizabeth’s writing on magic and disability, yes.

If you love myth, story and want to re-write your own, please do check out Janelle Hardy’s Personal Mythmaking

A yummy free painting video.

We’re holding Flower Crown Friday in the Wellness Trailblazers’ Facebook Cafe, come join and get your flower power!

Songs and videos:

Accessibility