Anyone who has suffered from Lyme Disease or chronic illness can tell you that it often feels as if we are “disconnected” from life. It’s as if we are looking through a window and watching it all go by from behind the glass. We can see life but we aren’t connected to it.
Conversely, when people recover from illness, they say “I got my life back.” This may mean a job, a relationship and the ability to do the fun things they once did -- but did life ever really leave?
"How can life leave you? The Universe never stops, and you are a part of that Universe. Just as a cell is part of the larger body."
In ancient methods of healing, an individual’s health was often measured in terms of how much “life force” or “Chi" a person has in their body. Often it’s our mind that separate us from accessing this free and all pervasive healing energy field.
Your body may be broken and tired, but life force is all around you and at all times. Even the most tired body can learn to access our primal nature -- our life force, our chi. After all, we are made of stars.
This past Spring we had the pleasure to interview Master Mingtong Gu, a revered Chi Gong master and healer. [More about Qigong here]
Mingtong worked with a “medicine-less” hospital in China and witnessed the recovery of thousands of very ill patients. From Cancer to PTSD, Mingtong teaches that no dis-ease is too big (or too small) for the healing effects of essential Chi energy.
Today, Mingtong runs the Chi-Center in Northern California. He has seen countless Lyme and chronically ill patients return to a full and connected life.
Watch our interview with Mingtong and experience the meditative energy and our simple Qigong practice led by Mingtong!
Looking back at my time on tour with U2, filming Under Our Skin, and getting in with Dr Klinghardt for treatment, I never let Lyme stop me. In 2005, a year after FINALLY being properly diagnosed... Lyme wasn't going away, but my dreams were. I set out to change that.
July 27, 2005:
After almost a year to the date of being unemployed, I decide to take the job on tour with U2. Here's my answer to the email asking about my availability... (click on the letter to zoom in)
September 13, 2005:
Four days on the road with U2 and feeling the shock... we're not in Kansas anymore!
Oh how truly "unglamorous" touring can be... (click on the letter to zoom in)
November 2, 2005:
Mid-way through the U2 tour and the pain is as loud as the music!!!
Reaching out to my ONE Lyme friend, Shelley... (click on the letter to zoom in)
November 22, 2005:
Email to Andy Abrahams Wilson after our first interview for UNDER OUR SKIN.
(and the band's priest prays for me)...
November 30, 2005:
My plea to get into see Dr. Klinghardt so I can go around the world with U2. Yes, I dream big.
(click on the letter to zoom in)
January 1, 2006:
Happy New Year's!
Coming home from U2... now what?
July 18, 2006:
8 months after my request, I finally get an appointment to see Dr. Klinghardt!
Years of recovery.
June 15, 2013:
7 years later, I spend a week at a meditation retreat praying for my partners
and allies for my next adventure.
Upon my return home, I am introduced to Brent Martin (through email),
and Lyme Less Live More is born!
The Road happened, The Film happened, Klinghardt happened, and so many more amazing surprises, and NOW a Lyme Less Live More community is HAPPENING!
We receive a lot of love and appreciation at Lyme Less Live More, but not every email or Facebook comment is all sweetness and light. Although far from perfect, we have moved forward with only one intention: to bring relief.
Recently, a Facebook exchange has inspired us to write another blog post.
We posted on Facebook:
"One of the things I've witnessed in my own journey with Lyme, is that the organisms in my body seem to resonate with my own beliefs about myself." - Dr. Beth McDougall, MD
We then received this Facebook Comment:
"Tell this to the father who has to hold back his rage and helplessness because he is now homeless and has and entire family ill from this scourge and now has to watch their extreme disability and pain in a homeless shelter. Or the young mother who cries herself to sleep every night with her hands over the belly of what was supposed to be a new baby in her womb. Or the young woman who for 30 years has been continually told that her symptoms have been psychological and she is near death because of lack of treatment and completely disabled, and all this from a psyche ward of a hospital. You have completely trivialized and blamed the victim with this utter nonsense. I personally had the ideal childhood with loving family and parents with no hidden trauma. The only trauma has been this vile, evil, insipid disease. Sorry, but I am extremely disappointed in your constant references to mind over matter. You are perpetuating the trivialization of this horrible, horrible scourge."
We know you are hurting. We've all been incredibly frustrated with this illness. We have been beaten down by the illness, society and our own self doubt. The pain is incredible.
We understand that taken out of context Dr. Beth's Statement "One of the things that I've witnessed in my own journey with Lyme is that the organisms in my body seem to resonate with my beliefs about myself" could cause some upset, but please understand this is only one aspect of the many layers of healing.
Whether our trauma was there before the illness or being ill has caused the emotional upset (and/or self doubt), either way we have to get a hold of our emotional/spiritual health -- to have the life force to heal, to have the clarity for the very next step no matter what our circumstances.
Our intention is to explore this.
A huge problem here is presuming to know how much another has suffered. How can we possibly know what another has been through?
How do you know that we haven't been misdiagnosed, lost, abandoned and hopeless? We have.
How do you know that Dana hasn't been rendered penniless or cried herself to sleep with a would-be baby in her womb? She has.
How do you know that Brent hasn't struggled to keep his job, home, and his kids? He has.
We need to be careful in what we presume.
Everyone suffers -- we just choose different ways to channel the experience."
In our video interviews and group support calls, we are going right to the suffering and looking for ways of coping, calming and shifting our perspective to get our power back.
We are victims in a sense... but is that entirely true? Who are we waiting for to fix it? While we wait for the medical/political powers to wake up, our bodies deteriorate.
The Lyme epidemic (in our opinion) is an ecological breakdown -- global warming, GMO foods, electromagnetic radiation from wireless technology, pollution, to name a few. The environmental impact on our bodies is enormous.
"I’m looking at all the signs, and I know that the outcome of these illnesses is simply caused by the increase of environmental changes and pressures" - Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt
This begs the question: How do each of us contribute to environmental pollution? Many of us drive cars and use cell phones. We all live on this planet, so in this sense, Lyme is everyone's responsibility.
We are nature. If nature is out of balance, then it must be that we are too. We can't be separated.
As much as we LOVE to blame the little bug, there is so much more to this illness.
"The microbes are not our enemy. They’re not here because we’re suddenly being invaded by the species. They were always here, but they weren’t expressing the illness... it took the other synergistic toxins, took the electro-smog, the sum of electromagnetic fields to actually make the bugs so aggressive, that they’re making us sick." - Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt
Getting through this illness is going to require a much bigger perspective in which some are not ready.
C.S.S. says: "You have completely trivialized and blamed the victim with this utter nonsense."
We are not blaming the victim. We are saying to them:
"You are loved. You matter. You are powerful."
Our mission is to empower people to step out of the hopelessness and blame and into responsibility and self-empowerment.
"Under Our Skin" shows the dark political side of the illness... Now what? How can we help ourselves? We can start by changing our personal habits (lifestyles choices and environment) and demand that corporations consider our health and welfare in their decision making.
"There’s nobody individually at fault in this. It’s just failure of the greater system and so it’s up to us individuals to help people and to hopefully move the train into a better course." -- Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt
We are not here to convince the rest of the world that we are sick. There is no time or energy for that. Instead, Lyme Less Live More is focusing energy on support and solutions and is committed to helping people get well.
Everyone deserves to be healthy.
Dana and Brent
P.S... We are not teaching "Mind over Matter," but rather,
"The Mind Matters"
"Be careful here - in my experience I was sent to psychologists because no one knew what was wrong. I went through any and all issues I could even find and remained in dire pain. It wasn't until I found out what was going on and started antibiotics that the pain went to zero. I would argue that this disease is not emotional but physical, that this is the nature of spirochetal illness, to take over the body until recognized and dealt with, and to be very careful in making any statements about emotional factors mattering, which in my case I don't think had anything to do at all with being sick." - R
Thank you for your email. We appreciate your participation with us here.
We'd like to take this opportunity to make very clear that in no way do we feel that Lyme Disease (or any other chronic illness) isn't a physical condition or that it is purely emotional.
We both have suffered greatly with this illness and have endured bullying and disbelief from the medical community and had to fight for our care.
While we agree that Lyme Disease is so very clearly a physical illness (as it is an infection), from our perspective, it's also a multi-layered issue.
We are thrilled to hear that you don't have any residual emotional pain or trauma and that your case was cut and dry once you found Lyme. It's wonderful to know that exists in the world.
Unfortunately however, many of us haven't been that lucky. You see when we talk about emotional trauma, what we are really talking about is chronic stress in the body.
No one can argue the fact that stress kills, and at a minimum it steals our resilience. And as it is with emotional stress, unless we address it, and remove it, like (pathogens) it continues to stress our bodies and robs us of our vitality -- leaving us no strength for recovery.
We explore in many of our interviews how toxic emotions, (and negative self talk) can weaken our systems and keep us stuck in chronic illness, sometimes for decades.
The emotional pain/trauma doesn't have to be happening now... it could have happened weeks, months, years ago -- and often stems from our childhood.
Even if a person has cleared the hurts of the past by injecting some awareness into them, the pain, trauma, frustration of having an illness NOW needs continual healing.
We feel, Lyme (and all illnesses for that matter), stem from a systematic breakdown -- physical, mental, emotional and environmental -- each of these factors deserve due diligence as much as antibiotics or other protocols. Even our birth holds keys to our future health.
When we called Caroline Barringer to interview her in the Lyme Less Live More Core Series, we knew she was a major force in the world of healing chronic illness (as a collaborator with GAPS-founder Dr Natasha Campbell McBride and a quarter million hits on her Dr Mercola Interview), but after our interview with her we were undoubtedly convinced that Health Really DOES Begin in the Gut.
Did You Know:
Our gut lining is the foundation of our immune system
Our birth is our first inoculation with healthy flora (have you HEARD of the vaginal gulp?)
Our gut health is directly linked to our mood (and swings!)
Unfortunately however, chronic infections and chronic use of antibiotics destroys the gut lining (can you say Catch-22!?). Not to mention everyday pollution, processed foods, stress, and food allergies all tear away at the gut lining allowing undigested food and waste to become reabsorbed into the body. Yikes!
But here's the good news from Caroline... and it rhymes...
"First we weed, seed, and feed, and then we heal and we seal."
- Caroline Barringer, "Health Begins in the Gut," LLLM Core Series
That's the formula for getting back on the path to a healthy gut lining, which encompasses your ability to absorb nutrients from your food, eliminate toxins, and reduce overall body inflammation, all of which are crucial for recovering from Lyme Disease.
Here's a clip from our Lyme Less Live More interview, "Health Begins in the Gut," where she shows us a deeper connection between gut health, Lyme Disease, and our personal discernment, and Brent reveals his explosive past.
Caroline:"The gut’s never going be totally sealed guys. When we’re sick the body will know to open that gut lining and let more nutrients in, so we get well. It’s never statically closed. It just should have the integrity to know and be intact and to have the ability to open and close when it’s right to do so."
Brent: "Let the right things in, keep the wrong things out."
Dana: "Well, that goes for everything in our seminar really -- knowing what thoughts to let in, what people, what environment. It’s holistic, and it really starts with food."
Caroline:"We’re the whole organism. We have to address the entire: mood, body, spirit... the whole being."
Dana Walsh (featured in the Lyme documentary UNDER OUR SKIN) and Brent Martin, founders of Lyme Less Live More, identified a giant gap while recovering from Lyme Disease -- What to do in-between doctor visits?
Now, with the help of their expert faculty Dana and Brent teach a multi-faceted approach to recovering health that includes self-care, healthy mindset, and conscious awareness.