Category Archives for "Fibro Warrior Stories"

Guilt and Fibromyalgia

In my last blogs I talked about guilt in my teens and when my children were babies. Later in life this is how guilt took a hold of me once more.

Fibromyalgia put my life in a tailspin.

As I have said before, Fibromyalgia put my life into a tailspin. I had so much guilt because I was unable to attend family events. And, even if I was at an event, I wasn’t really there – not 100%. I put everything I had to give into my job, and when I came home, I had nothing left to give to my family.

During the first few years of my illness, I took my kids to a lot of movies. It was one way I felt I could do SOMETHING for my children, but once the lights went out, I was out as well – sleeping the movie away because of chronic fatigue.

My daughter is the youngest of my children, and this time impacted her the most. She would have dreams where she would be calling my name and needing help. She could see me, but it was like she was seeing me through glass. I wasn’t coming to help her. When she told me about her dreams, my heart broke. She didn’t tell me to hurt me. We were being candid about that time. Now that she is older, we are able to discuss this time and why I was not present. Her older brain is able to understand it. We have worked hard on our relationship so that now she DOES know I am ALWAYS here for her!

Crazy thing about OolaBlockers is they want to wiggle their way back into your life.

She has forgiven me, and I have been able to forgive myself. That doesn’t mean every now and again the guilt doesn’t try to trickle back into my thoughts. That’s the crazy thing about OolaBlockers and learning to retrain your brain. Once you have combatted the blockers, they try to sneak in again to see if you forgot all the hard work you have done to retrain your way of thinking with OolaAccelerators and the use of affirmations. Whenever this happens, I start to say my affirmations again like a fervent prayer to let the OolaBlockers know they do NOT belong in my life anymore.

This is a perfect example showing that Oola is not a destination but a way of life. If you are ready to start this new way of life, leave me a comment below or schedule a 30-minute chat so you can start living the life you were meant to live!

Together, we are Positively Powerful!

January 29, 2021

Fibromyalgia Helped Me Stand Up for Myself

Fibromyalgia robbed me of so many things, but one thing that it amplified was the ability to stand up for myself.

Oola helped me find my confidence again.

By doing the Oola steps (Oola Wheel, Oola Plan, and Oola Path) consistently along with OolaAccelerators and positive affirmations, I was able to be confident as my own advocate. Oola helped me set baby step goals for my dream of living a productive, full life with Fibromyalgia. Because the goals were written as SMART goals, I had important data for my doctors to see that I was not just grasping at straws but had data to back up my claims for what I was asking. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Time-Based.

My Best Advocate.

When I knew I needed to have a full hysterectomy to alleviate my symptoms, I had to be my best advocate. I had to be consistent and clear, not rude, in my message to the doctors treating me. I had to have a message with my own data, as discussed above, not just a whim of an idea of why I felt this was necessary for me. It was extra tricky because there is really no data out there that shows hysterectomies help Fibromyalgia. In fact, Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions that has little information about it and many contradictions.

Because everyone who lives with Fibromyalgia experiences different symptoms, there are very few real solutions. The ways to treat Fibromyalgia are as different as the people who have it.

When I found my voice, it helped me articulate where I was currently (Oola Wheel), develop a plan (Oola Plan) and helped me determine where I wanted my life to go while living with Fibromyalgia (Oola Path). My voice helped me put steps in place little by little to get the relief I needed. (Note: This is what worked for me. I am not stating that everyone with Fibromyalgia needs a full hysterectomy.)

Are you ready?

Are you ready to find your voice?  Are you ready to find your confidence again?  If you are ready to determine exactly where you are and what steps need to be taken in order to get where you want to go in your life, contact me below for a 30-minute chat.

Together, we are Positively Powerful!

January 27, 2021

Patience Grasshopper!

Fibromyalgia is like an onion;

it has many layers to it. Living and finding strategies that work for you is a very long, tedious task. As I was trying to find ways to live a full life in spite of Fibro, I kept hearing Lexi, my daughter, saying, “Patience Grasshopper!” And, that is exactly what I needed. I knew where I wanted to be, and I wanted to jump right to that spot. But it doesn’t work that way. I had to incorporate one new piece over a period of time.  I had to analyze the pros and cons of each piece to determine if it was helpful or not before moving on to the next one.

Weight Gained.

The weight I gained with Fibromyalgia is a perfect example of this. Part of the weight gain had to do with a prescription I was given to try to keep the level of pain down. While it did not lower the pain levels, it did, in some ways, add to it, because I gained 40 pounds in 2 months. We all know extra weight does not help any symptoms. Of course, this weight did not come off in 2 months after stopping the drug but has instead persisted to stay.

Additionally, Fibromyalgia causes an excess of inflammation. Talk about feeling like the Michelin Man! After my hysterectomy, I was ready for the next steps to lose the excess weight and inflammation. I started working on my nutrition through nutritional supplements with my chiropractor. Three years later, I am finally starting to see a leaner body. Am I where I want to be? No, but I am getting there. This is the first time I have been able to see diagnostic results since the weight gain.

Oola Helped Me Accept What I Did Not Have Control Over.

I was stuck in many OolaBlockers. Fibromyalgia had me living a fearful, guilt-ridden life. I was angry. I felt my normal life had been taken from me, and I was envious of others who were able to continue to live their life without all of the complications caused by Fibromyalgia. I am usually not this type of person. I turned into someone I did not know.

Grieving Over Who I Used to Be.

With wisdom, an OolaAccelerator, I realized that rather than feeling shame over these feelings, it was part of a grieving process. I had to grieve the person I was before Fibromyalgia so that I could move forward and reinvent myself. I had to grieve my pre-Fibromyalgia life so I could create a new, full, and positive life despite Fibromyalgia.

If you are grieving who you were prior to a change in your life, contact me below and let’s get on a 30-minute call to start getting you on the road of living your best life.

Together, we are Positively Powerful!

January 13, 2021

Oola Life is a Blank Canvas

If you were to look at your life as an art piece, what would it look like?

What colors would be involved? Would you have a vibrant or dark looking piece?

If I were to look at my life canvas, I would see vibrant colors for most of my life, with dark areas for the difficult times in my life. The darkest part would cover about 10 years of my life. Trying to figure out my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, how to live with it, and what would alleviate my symptoms were some of my darkest times. During this dark time, there would also be a lot of abstractness because my life was so unbalanced.

Oola Helped Me Dream Again!

Finding Oola was so helpful to me. It not only helped me become more balanced, but it also helped me dream again. It gave me the ability to accept where I was (Oola Wheel), identify where I wanted to go (Oola Plan), and develop the action steps to achieve it (Oola Path). Oola gave me hope again.

My Canvas Is Full of Bright Colors Again!

Today, my canvas is full of bright colors and the anticipation of living a life worth living. I am living a more balanced life. It is so refreshing and uplifting to be on this side again. When I do have Fibromyalgia flares, I have the wisdom to just ride the tide, because it will pass. And, I know what I need to do to help myself during the flares, and I do it without apologizing. I have the gratitude that, although I have flares that sometimes last 2 months, the pain and fatigue of a flare do not last 365 days a year.

If you have experienced a change, no matter what that change was, that has turned your life into one of unbalance and uncertainty, contact me below to set up a 30-minute chat. I am here for you!

Together, we are Positively Powerful!

 

December 31, 2020

Does Anticipation Give You Satisfaction?

 

Maybe Elvis’s song Satisfaction should have been more about anticipation because you can get almost giddy with it just like you can get giddy about his tune to Satisfaction.

Let’s think about that a little more. How many times have you had anticipation about an event, holiday, new year, and then, it doesn’t give you the satisfaction you were hoping for? So many times, we build up in our minds what an event “should be” and what you will do and feel that by the time it comes around it isn’t all you thought it would be. You feel let down.

As the year winds down, so many of us start feeling the anticipation of new beginnings, of a brighter future.

I remember 2019. For my family and many North Dakota farmers, it was not a great year. Everyone was so happy to say good-bye to 2019, and we were filled with hope for 2020. Well, we all know what happened there! So, what is 2021 going to look like for you? Are you filled with the excitement, hope and anticipation that 2021 may bring, or are you holding back, fearful of what is to come?

Oola helps bring joy back into your life.

Oola works on where you are – the Oola Wheel. Where you want to go – the Oola Plan, and how you are going to get there – the Oola Path.

Oola came into my life when I was no longer dreaming.

I have a feeling there are a lot of you out there that are feeling the same way I was 4 years ago. I just felt lost. I had no more hope. Fibromyalgia (Fibro) had robbed me of my dreams. In fact, I didn’t know HOW to dream anymore.

I was always the person who had everything planned out. I was showing up. I was disciplined. I felt good about my life. I had dreams and went after them. Once Fibro showed up in my world, all of this was stripped from me. My identity was stolen. When I was asked what my dream was during this time, I looked like a deer in the headlights. Blink, blink, anyone home?

I started with the Oola Wheel, finding out where I was at.

My wheel was FLAT! I was on the hub for sure. Yep, it was balanced – but not in a good way. Because everything in my life was a struggle, I had to pick just one area and one goal at a time. Fitness is where I started.  Until I could get this under control, there wasn’t a way to improve the other areas of my life.

I knew where I wanted to go.

I wanted to live a full life while living with Fibromyalgia. With the help of my general practitioner and natural pathic doctor, we started making baby-step goals towards my dream of living a full life again. It was a long, arduous task because each goal was very time consuming. We had to introduce only one thing at a time and work with it before we could add another layer of therapy. When I first started, there were times I thought I would never reach my dream.

I had a wonderful support system in the professionals I worked with and my family, most importantly my husband. Without the support system, it would have been easy to give up and, sad to say, most likely not here anymore. When you are in that much pain and fatigue 24 hours every day of the year, with no end in sight, it puts you in a very dark place.

I hear you!

If you are dealing with a change in your life that is robbing you of your dreams, I hear you. If you don’t to know where to start, I hear you. If you are too overwhelmed to know where you want to go, I hear you. If you need guidance putting those baby steps – those goals – together, I hear you. Contact me below so we can schedule a 30-minute chat. I can listen and start helping you with the pain you are going through and start living the life YOU deserve!

Together, we are Positively Powerful!

November 4, 2020

To Everything There Is a Season

Lately, The Byrds’ song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (To Everything There Is a Season) has been playing in my mind.

Is it because we are actually going from the fun, family, sun-filled days of summer to the beautiful, cool days of fall, or is it because of my Fibromyalgia Flare, or is it because of the exciting new things I am developing for my business? I think it is a little of all of these and here’s why.

Summer to Fall:

Interestingly enough, when I look at the three Oola Fun goals I wrote for myself last December, I have accomplished all but one. The one I was unable to do was drive to St. Cloud, Minnesota (an 8-hour drive for me) to visit so many amazing people I had to leave behind when I moved back to Bottineau, North Dakota. Obviously, due to the pandemic, this had to be put off until next year.

The other two were making a point to spend time with my parents once they came back to North Dakota after spending the winter in Arizona and to have plenty of family time at the lake.

In North Dakota, the cold weather comes way too soon and often lasts longer than we would like, so making the most of the summer days is quite important. The lake is also where I can go and immediately feel grounded. We do not have a lake home, but we do have a beautiful state park – Lake Metigoshe (met-ah-go-she) State Park – with a wonderful public beach that we take advantage of. Additionally, my brother-in-law has a boat that he graciously has us out on quite often. Even if I only go to the lake for half an hour, it is sometimes all I need. Furthermore, we go hiking on many of the trails at the state park. Many laughs have been had in the middle of the woods! Of course, the family joke is if we get lost, we just have to make Nicole laugh, and they will find us! How RUDE!

I also like to go for walks with my family at a gorgeous park here in our town, the Forestry Park. Getting exercise while catching up on family news is the best way to stay connected while enjoying the outdoors.

My parents are in their seventies and both have underlying health conditions. The retirement community they are involved in Arizona has helped keep them young and active with all of the events and socializing opportunities available. They act like a couple of teenagers down there! Haha! Even though they act young at heart, I realize that every day I have with my parents is a blessing, and I want to make the most of each of those days. I don’t want to feel, when it is too late, that I should have made this more of a priority.

Fibromyalgia:

When the seasons change from summer to fall and then winter to spring, I get a rather lengthy Fibromyalgia Flare. There are many reasons for this. The major reasons include barometric pressure changes and extreme temperature changes within the same day and week. The “Fall Flare” starts when we begin to have frost at night and lasts until the first snow. Often, this can be a 2-month flare. The same thing happens in the spring. It happens for the same reasons but because of opposite weather patterns as the days become warmer. When the night freezes stop, the Fibromyalgia starts to abate or at least have daily pain levels that are easier to handle.

For those of you that are new to this blog, let me tell you a little bit about my flares. I have excruciating pain all over my body, headaches, migraines, and extreme fatigue. When I state that I have pain all over my body, I mean EVERYWHERE! I literally have pain from the top of my head, including my hair, to the bottoms of my feet and tip of toes. Often, my fingers cannot close up into a clench. My eyes have a hard time focusing which makes it hard to see things clearly and read. You can read more about my Fibromyalgia journey here.

Exciting Business News:

Even though I cannot do much during my Fibromyalgia Flare, one thing I can do is think and dream! And that is exactly what I do. The positive that comes out of the Fibro Flares is that I take time to reeallllly sloooowwww dooowwwwnnn and regroup.

With this said, I have had a couple of ideas floating around in my head but have not had the time to really think them through – that is until one of my flares. During one of my recent flares, I began developing a new business idea, and now, I am so excited that I am able to up-level my coaching options for YOU!

The first is that I have been wanting to develop another coaching program to meet your needs. I created a new, 10-week coaching program. I debated about the length of time for the program and realized for the best outcome you really need 10 weeks. I have also produced additional informational activity bundles to enrich your experience during this program. The program launched the last week of October so it is ready to go. Once you have completed the course, you will not only have all your goals ready for 2021, but you will also have the action steps needed to achieve them. What a great way to start a New Year!

Lastly, I am toying around with the idea of a Positively Powerful membership site as part of my website. There will be a monthly fee to belong to the site. If you purchase a full year up front, you will receive a complimentary Jalendar. In this membership site, I will have more videos, resources, positive affirmations and quotes. Things I am considering for this site include: 1. Money Monday, 2. Tricks of the Trade Tuesday, 3. Wednesday Wise (Positive Quotes), 4. Thriving Thursdays (Positive Affirmations).

As this would be a huge undertaking, I would really appreciate some feedback from all of you. Here are some questions continuing to swirl around in my head:

1. Would you pay a monthly fee for a membership site, knowing what I have given you this summer and turning the volume up on that information?
2. What would you pay monthly for this?
3. Are 4 days too much or too little information? If so, how many days would you like?
4. Any other ideas for titles for the weekdays?
5. Other thoughts?

Please email me below. This is private so you can be as honest as you want. I appreciate the feedback you all will give me. Afterall, I want the resources I develop for you to work for YOU .

Together, we are Positively Powerful!

July 8, 2020

Measure and Improve

What gets measured gets improved.

Have you heard this advice before? “What gets measured gets improved.”

It’s particularly applicable to your finances. When you focus on your numbers – your bills, your debts, how you spend your money, and how much you save for your future – those numbers tend to improve. It’s human nature. We want to “win” at whatever game or challenge we’re facing.

So let’s go . . . game on.

If you’ve been following my series on de-stressing your finances, you’ve already done some of the work when you took inventory of your debts, expenses, savings, and more.

Now it’s time to create a monthly budget and keep track of those numbers on a regular basis . . . making sure you find the money to apply to those areas where you want to win.

Step #1: Look online for a budgeting worksheet you like (spreadsheets and apps work, too). Then start inputting your numbers. This will take some time to find all the expenses, particularly if you do a one-year budget where your costs change month to month.

Step #2: Highlight one area where you want to focus first, such as: Creating a small emergency fund • Paying off your car loan • Saving 15% of your paycheck for retirement.

Step #3: Decide how you’ll get the money together to achieve that goal. If it’s a $1,000 emergency fund, for example, can you: sell unused sports equipment or other items? Do weekend projects? Take a second job for 90 days? And if it’s saving 15% in a retirement plan at work, calculate how much your new take-home pay would be – then budget other areas (eating out, travel, cable TV) accordingly.

There’s real power in focusing on one goal at a time until it’s achieved.

And what’s even more powerful is how many opportunities will appear unexpectedly to help you achieve your goal faster or easier.

I’m up for that kind of powerful focus . . . how about you?

In fact, focus is what the Oola lifestyle taught me, and it’s what I help others do as an Oola Life Coach. If you think working together to keep you on track and accountable for results is something that would get you to a balanced life (and finances) faster, I’m here to help.

Message me and we can jump on a call to chat about it. Or go here to check out the 10-Week Oola Coaching Program.  I deliver for clients who want more balance, less stress, and more happiness in their lives.

For now, drop a comment below and share the one thing you’ll be focused on as your very first “win.

Changes

Is change leaving you feeling unmoored?

Change is inevitable. Change is good. Nothing evolves without change. Learn from change. We hear these catch phrases all the time, but sometimes when a change happens to you, it can leave you feeling unmoored. I have had changes in my life that have been all of the above. And, I know I am not alone. I am sure most of you have experienced this type of change too.

I am on a new adventure.

To begin my series on change, I will start with my most recent one. As most of you who have been following me on Facebook know, I have the opportunity to start my own Life Coaching and Vision Board Facilitating business. Yay! I am extremely excited and blessed for this new adventure in my life. I am invigorated by all the new learning that comes with starting a business. How to do it correctly and just the DREAMING I am able to do with this venture. I mean the sky’s the limit here, and I’m anxious to get things rolling in order to help as many people as I can with their life changes.

Another part of this adventure is a Jalendar. I tease everyone that I am coining a new word – Jalendar – that will end up in the next revision of the Webster’s Dictionary. A Jalendar is a journal and calendar all in one. I have been looking for something like this for a long time but always come up short. I can find the Journal or the Calendar but not the two together. It has been thrilling to work through my ideas for this, and see it develop.   Click here for a free 1-month version, or here for a 7 month (2020) version or here for the 12 month (2021) version.

Change can also bring on mourning of a loss.

Along with all this high energy and excitement, there are some things I am mourning with this change too, as can happen with some shifts in life. I am mourning that my twin sister and I will no longer be working together every day. You would think that being with each other every day and working side by side, we would be sick of each other…well, we’re not!  I used to live in St Cloud, MN and that was too far, so I moved back to Bottineau, ND.  Now, we live approximately two miles from each other, and it’s still too far!! We keep joking, to our husbands’ chagrin, that we need to build a house where we have common rooms and then our own suites when we need time away. And, let’s be honest, that is probably only when the two of us are sleeping!

Major life changes are not always planned.

My sister was diagnosed with cancer and had a six-month check-up that wasn’t great! This led her to rethink her business. She wasn’t planning on the change just like those of us with Fibromyalgia aren’t always planning to make big life changes. It is just something we have to do. Although we have separate businesses, my sister and I are planning to work together in different capacities and will ALWAYS be together doing “our thing” which means I say or do something and Susan shakes her head and rolls her eyes. After all, that is how we roll!

Change is inevitable.

Sometimes change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean change is bad. Take time to mourn what you will miss with the change. Then, take time to look ahead and get excited about the change. Great things happen with change.

I will keep you posted about my lively changes. In the meantime, if you are undergoing big life changes, let me know. Let’s work together to make your life Positively Powerful!

 

 

June 15, 2020

Why Does It Take A While For Gratitude To Become More Natural To Me?

Why does it seem like some people are able to always look at the bright side while standing in a pile of shit as the house burns down around them?
Well, here are some thoughts on that very subject.

Habit

Getting into the habit of focusing on gratitude in your daily life takes work. It takes time and practice for you to retrain your brain. When I was a teacher, I had a saying. As the class learned a new word and definition, I would tell the students, “Use the word three times so it goes in your Memory Box.” Now, I understand this isn’t just words you are learning but a habit. The premise is that you need to use and play with it in order to own it and really know it.

You will get there!

It could take up to three months for a more focused gratitude mindset to come to you – might be less, might be more. The bottom line is, you will get there. Trust the process and love yourself enough to go at your own pace. This isn’t a competition.
Do I dare say that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we went about our days not always thinking how grateful we should be just to be able to get up every day and be able to breathe? Or that we had a job to go to, or a place we could shelter for social distancing.Some people’s personalities are predisposed to being more positive.

Some people’s personalities are predisposed to being more positive.

Some people are just naturally more positive and developing the habit of writing in a gratitude journal will come more easily to them then it will to someone in the throes of a depression. Some people just have more grateful personalities than others. But it doesn’t mean you can’t develop it.

You are honing a skill.

You are honing a new skill. You are learning to be more in-tune with the world around you as you find things you are grateful for. You’re looking at life with a different lens. That is what Fibromyalgia did for me and what the pandemic has done for so many others. I could wallow in all the things I hate about Fibromyalgia. But, in the end, it ends up hurting me more and allows Fibro to take away from me more than it already has. I refuse to allow this. Instead, I choose to be grateful for what it has taught me.

Friends: Invest 1% In Your Inner Circle

Who Inspires and Supports You in Tough Times?

In times like these, we find out who our real friends are. Not our coworkers at the office or the moms we see on the school run—but true, stick-with-you friends who make up an inner circle of supporters who care about you.

Friends are awesome. And it’s the awesome ones that we need more of in our lives.

Apply the 1% Strategy to friendships.

If your friendships could use an upgrade, why not apply the 1% Strategy we’ve been talking about this month to nurture and grow your closest friendships—and work on also becoming a better friend yourself. You can use the same 1% Strategy to carefully consider which pals show up as no friend ever should: toxic, needy, envious or just too busy to know what’s going on in your world.

Could you take a small 1% step and . . .
• FaceTime friends for a change, instead of texting?
• Have a talk with that toxic friend to ask why?
• Plan a get-together of close friends once a month?  You can do this with Zoom.

What’s the best thing a friend ever did for you?

But here’s a question: what’s the best thing a friend ever did for you? Did they support you, cheer you, cry with you, or something else? Comment below and share what great friends do during good times and bad.

And don’t forget the mentors in your life who’ve helped you get ahead or make a difficult life decision. They’re friends, too, and deserve your recognition.

Being impartial and friends don’t go together.

Of course, here’s one thing I know friends don’t do well: be impartial. They love you too much!

The reality is we don’t always have someone in our life who holds us accountable for making progress on our biggest life goals—someone who can be our cheerleader, inspire us to keep going, and applaud us when we reach a milestone.

Loved ones, spouses and friends are rarely impartial. In fact, they’re far too close to our situation to be neutral. An “outsider” is really the only person who can be committed to your success over time.

As a Certified Oola Life Coach, that’s what I do.

In fact, the coaching process can help you turn your dreams into achievable goals—then provide accountability as you pursue those goals with enthusiasm. Together with my clients, we focus on ways to reach career milestones, personal goals and lifestyle objectives. We share ideas, unlock new paths, and celebrate wins. But most importantly, I hold my clients accountable for making progress in every area of their lives. And all it takes is just 10 weeks.

Why not message me and see if it’s right for you? Or, you can read more about it here (and even register online).

What’s the extraordinary thing in life you’re supposed to do? Achieve your best life with Oola Coaching. I would be privileged to work with you in getting there.