Recovery From Lyme, Seeking What Makes Me Feel Alive

In my recovery from Severe Neurological Lyme Disease, I tried many things. I will be sharing the actual things that really helped me.

At the point where I could walk again, I would walk every morning. I met David Lonebear Sanipass and he encouraged me to:

Walk Further

Enjoy being in the Rain

And to begin Running again

I walked in the rain and wrote a poem about it. To embrace the rain again, to feel the droplets like electricity on my skin made me feel alive again.

The poem I wrote about the rain in 2013,  is posted here.

On my walks I slowly added in short jogs that got my heart rate up. I extended those over time to the point that I could jog 1 mile. I remember it being a very slow process, maybe even 6 months. (It was a bit frustrating knowing I used to run 5 miles quickly and easily before this illness). The running and especially in the rain makes me feel alive and I continue to seek those opportunities!

What makes you feel alive?

What opportunities do you seek to "Live Your Wild Spirit?"

Please share in the comments below, it gives everyone permission and ideas to expand even further!

Remembering the Rain

Rain

(January 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM)

Today I walk a path

a path usually crowded with people and dogs,

with bikes, children, and baby strollers.

 

But just for today

It's simply me,

Quiet and still

Rushing only where the river unfrozen.

 

And I am called to a Tree that Used to Be

only by minds eye can I see...

Rope swing no more, yet

I can still hear

the laughter of children where she cared for me.

 

This Tree, This Tree

was like a Mother to Me

Cradling so gently, a gift.

Heaven I remember.

 

I sit on the river's edge on a rock,

back supported by hollow stump

echoes of emptiness...simple loneliness.

 

The rain sprinkles Face.

Warm cheeks kissed.

Blessings from Creator.

 

I melt into my surroundings where time elapses,

Suddenly filled with music of the Mother...

As I sing to the rain

drops grow ever more caressing.

 

Each sweet kiss reminds me

I am home.

Each tiny splash reminds me

I am loved.

 

I squint looking up to the skies,

Body merging with warmth,

Raindrops cleanse the tears from my eyes.

 

How Could I have Forgotten Such Beauty?

Such Blessings?

 

Wrapped so snugly in a cocoon of pure nourishment,

The wisdom rains down from the heavens

in drops of song that only soul remembers.

 

How far this rain has traveled

to meet me right here,

to be with me now.

 

How special to feel,

these drops chose me to greet this morning.

 

I sing to the rain, and to the rocks, and to the tree,

I sing to the sky, to the Mother, to the We

....and realize that she sings in harmony.....

our sound carried down river

thank you thank you thank you

for sharing your song with me...

 

~Jaclyn A. Ouillette

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Exercise and My Recovery from Lyme

On my run today, I stopped at one of my favorite places by the falls along this amazing river. I love running through the woods beside the river and in the forest. I love the smell of the damp earth, the fog and the mist, and the soft earth under my feet.

Today as I sat on this rock (after push ups, planks, and martial arts practice) an otter came up to check me out. I feel so happy to be able to have this experience. It wasn't too long ago that I was barely able to get out of bed, to sit, or to stand. Watch this video to hear a little about my journey through exercise...from bed-ridden to now running 20-30 miles per week!

I had to start slow. Lyme really knocked me down. When I first become sick, my muscles atrophied very quickly. I was a wilderness guide, carrying heavy packs through the high mountains for 11-30 days at a time. I enjoyed backcountry rock climbing, canoeing, rafting, hiking, running, yoga and more! But when I got sick, my body disintegrated very quickly. I used to joke that I had to wear men's jeans because my quads were too big for the skinny leg women's jeans that were in style then. In two weeks I watched my neck muscles disappear and my clothes became too big. My muscles ached as they disappeared.

As an athlete, I was devastated. I remember being home lying in bed, watching my body disappear and trying so desperately to "stay in shape." I had light leg weights that I would Velcro onto my ankles and lift one straight leg, 1, 2, 3...whooo....rest and then I might fall asleep. Then the next leg...1, 2 and my body would be shaking, sweaty, and weak. I was disappointed. I got to a point where I was just too weak to even lift my legs up.

A year and a half into the illness, I had moments when I would feel better and think I was on the rise. During those times I practiced T'ai Chi. I practiced in my home in the morning, at first just a few movements to get my body moving, breathing, and soothing my muscles. Even this practice would exhaust me. I went to T'ai Chi classes in Portland with my Neuro Rehabilitation program that is if I could muster the energy to go. Sometimes I would sleep in my car right after the class because I was so exhausted and couldn't function to drive. I had learned to take a blanket and pillow with me wherever I went because I would never know if I would be able to make it back home without resting.

I practiced yoga and breathing to ease my mind and to try to stretch my muscles. Everything ached and I was in pretty severe pain so I had to take it very very slow and easy. My body would rebel if I didn't.

Once the active Lyme and Babesiosis was under control (through medications) and my body was being supplemented under the supervision of an amazing Naturopathic Doctor, I was able to continue my physical practice. As my strength and stamina built, I was able to sit longer, stand longer, and began to walk. At first walking to the mailbox and up the stairs were the only things that I could do in a whole day, but slowly I began going a little further and further each day.

I tried canoeing..very hard to sit in a canoe all day! and kayaking in a double kayak, exhausting! These were led also by Neuro Rehab and a Recreational Therapist. I had to implement strategies to ease my mental, emotional, and physical fatigue. I kept going and building my strength and stamina little bit by little bit.

I was able to do these activities, but soaked in Epsom salt baths in extreme pain afterwards. I'd sit in a tub as hot as I could stand it, and then get out and try to stretch gently. After being in bed for most of the time for 2 1/2 years, and my muscles disappearing....and then on top of that the nervous system issues... It was a challenge to keep moving despite the pain and the set backs. Sometimes going for a short kayak would land me in bed for 5 days..unable to function. I'm not sure I can even explain it, to be so tired that you can't think, that you can't make it downstairs to the bathroom, that you get winded at the top of the stairs that you crawled up. To not be able to think of the right process to dress myself or to make food. This is some of what I battled with in my struggle to reclaim my health.

In the winter I went snow boarding, again with the Neuro Rehab group. I spent a few hours on the bunny slopes, resting in the chairs that were brought out to me. And I needed an entire week to recover afterwards. Over that winter though, the beauty of the snow, the mountains, the fresh air, and the volunteers really helped my spirit come back alive and I had more hope than ever. My treatments continued, and I had ups and downs, but there was progress!

I was able to walk and then I had the strength and courage to go to the local YMCA. I remember the first day going pretty hard on cardio exercise and then I swam in the therapy pool after. And oh my goodness it felt awesome, however I was a complete wreck for days to follow. I way over did it! I made a habit of going 3-5 times a week when I had the energy and just tried to do something cardio or strength for a half hour. Then I would go home, soak, sleep, and rest. Slowly building strength.

In 2012, I met a strength trainer who helped me develop my core strength with specific exercises that were rather simple, yet focused and powerful. Building my core and my back was just what I needed! She also gave me this cool, hard plastic, spikey ball that I would stand on and roll under my foot, one foot at a time. The pressure on my feet relaxed my who body, it relaxed my feet, and helped my circulation and feeling in my extremities. She gave me stretches and helped me to regain balance of these muscles that were in a tug of war..and this eased some of the pain. We also worked on balance, and this is where I found a love for planks, especially outdoors! She helped to guide me to do 10 minutes of cross country skiing in the morning, and then 10 later in the afternoon if I still had the energy for it (or to rest if I didn't)...instead of plowing through feeling great for 30 minutes and then completely crashing out!

My training continued and I began studying a Japanese and Native Martial Art called Sho-Kai which has inspired me to strengthen my body, to run daily, and to stretch further than I thought possible. I've had alot of help along the way (Including rolfing, thai body work, reflexology, massage, specific training and body work with my Master, and more) but I keep on building and try not to get frustrated if I over do it, which still happens sometimes.

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I'm now running 20-30 miles a week and practice Martial Arts everyday. A long journey, but glad I am able to be here in this way.

The Lessons I have learned:

  • Be kind to your body
  • Nourish it with what it actually needs for fuel
  • Take it slow and steady
  • Know when to push, and when to rest.

Please feel free to comment, share, or ask questions!

 

Wild Inspirations, What Inspires You?

It seems everywhere I look, everyone is talking about the shifting energies on Earth right now. There is a bubble of creative energy and free spirits rising! This is so exciting!

We have gone through so much over the past years. We have done our personal work and now I feel the energy moving asking us to really live and express our Wild Spirit.

Do you Dare to Live your Wild Spirit?

I've created this video below of a small collection of inspirational words and images from my own journey and process of releasing my Wild Spirit.

I would love to hear about your Wild Inspirations.

What Lights you up?

What makes you Feel Alive?

What is that Wildness inside of you Seeking?

Please share below. Your courage with sharing helps those around you to have the courage to share...and together we can light up this world!

The Return from the "Journey of the Vision Tree" Women's Weekend Retreat

We have returned from an amazing journey on this years Women's Wilderness Wisdom Journeys Spring, Weekend Retreat. These women had been preparing for weeks, and some for months before we gathered.

I've created a quick video to share that captures some of the essence of this retreat and this group. Many photos were taken by Louanne Schoninger, we were greatful to have her join teh retreat and capture some special moments. Please enjoy the video.

We gathered off grid, which was so nice! No phone, no electricity, no running water. We came together to live simply and to focus on ROOTS, CORE, & CROWN. Each had their own experiences as we journeyed from the earth up to the crown to receive a greater vision.

We processed alot! Knowing when to take time for yourself is important. Maybe you feel like you should be helping, but you need that time to process, to reflect, and to ground more fully. Maybe you need space to see more clearly. I offered my perspective and encouraged each women to take the time they needed. The retreat was designed so that participation is up to you.

This retreat was held at my long time teacher and mentor's property, at the Teaching Lodge in Canaan, Maine. Ray Reitze, or Old Turtle taught me a long time ago about inner peace and peace of mind. He taught me about being OK with myself. I learned this just by being in his presence, and not being expected to do anything...even talk. This was one of the greatest gifts I have received however it took me a while to get there! I wanted to bring this to the retreat and I reminded each, "You have permission to be yourself. I am not expecting you to do anything."

I have woven into my retreats all of the teachings that I have sifted from all of my teachers, and my experiences with all of these teachings.

"May you allow yourself to be who you are, to rest when you need, and to enjoy this world in your own way. May you feel free to express your inner light, and allow yourself to receive the greatest vision you can step into...and may you step in with confidence and curiosity!"

If you would like to take  "Journey of the Vision Tree" I have created an audio journey that you can listen to on your device from home or in your neck of the woods, you can find that by clicking the image below.

Blessings on your journey,

Jaclyn A. Ouillette

You can explore my two most influential teachers by using the links below.

http://www.teachinglodge.com/

https://www.lonebearsarts.com/

MAPP Your Way To Clarity, Clear the Path to Your North Star from Wherever You Are

Being Clear is the one thing that will guide you courageously into new waters!

One of the major setbacks that I run into over and over is non-clarity which often hides under the surface of our everyday life and decisions.

When you are on a spiritual path, it is important to make clear decisions, yes or no, one or the other... not maybe. Sometimes we trick ourselves by saying we want one thing, write it down, ask for it...but in our words when we are speaking to others, and quietly in our thoughts, there is still an alternative.

"If this doesn't work out then I will do this."

"I want this and I've prayed for it so I know what I want, but maybe I should do this instead."

When you send a maybe out into the universe (consciously or unconsciously) it brings back even more confusion, because that is what you are asking for.

Often I hear people wait and wait for spirit to give them the answer, to give them the direction they are "supposed" to go in...but spirit is just there waiting for YOU to decide, so they can support you on your journey. Every journey begins with one step!

If you are looking to find clarity on your direction and purpose I invite you on this next journey, it is a free audio with MAPPing worksheets to help you get super clear!

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Enter your email below to receive the Journey and Downloads in your inbox. You can begin right away.

Enjoy Your MAPPing journey! and please share in the comments below your insights!

Uncover Your Inner Star Essence, Access Your Brilliance, & Create from the Brightest Center of your Being

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I recently guided a Virtual Journey to guide you to Access Your Inner Star Essence. I have been finding that many people I talk with have a knowing that they have this inner knowledge, inner light, and connection with the universe however they find themselves feeling blocked, lacking the luster and shine somewhere in their lives.

Having and cultivating a relationship with your Inner Star Essence is essential to living and creating your life from the brilliance of who you are. We are entering into a new paradigm right now, where you create from the center of your being rather than looking to the outside to match what you have on the inside. As people wake up to this greater part of their being, the world changes.

You can listen in to the teachings and the journey here ~

Listen in Here

And share insights, twinklings of your star essence, and your inner light in the comments below. I look forward to seeing you in the stars ~