I’m writing because I want to give you a heads up about an exciting new venture I’m about to launch. I’m still putting the finishing touches in, but I couldn’t wait to share this with all of you.
Many of you know my story: a part of which is, at the age of two months, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. This has meant a lifetime of medical treatments.
During my journey as a “professional patient”, I realized that something essential was missing in today’s mainstream medicine.
When I discovered that missing piece for myself, it changed my life.
Here’s part of what I did: I created my own labels, with words like “love”, and “gratitude”, and placed them on my IV med bags, pill bottles, nebulizers, water bottles, you name it. As I did this, I began to have a different relationship with what I was taking into my body. It was a simple step, that could be done easily, but made a huge difference! It’s a small part of a bigger idea, but the labeling OPENS THE DOOR.
For me, labeling gave me the opportunity to stop, pause, and think about what I was calling into my body with each treatment. Even a three second pause for reflection and creativity can be a huge asset in the healing process! I began making friends with some very challenging drugs and regimens. I was choosing what those meds would mean to me and adding in my own energy and intentions. I was choosing how to be with what was going into my body and I was choosing to have an active role in each treatment.
As I continued to do my labeling, I noticed that I received the meds differently and my body responded to the treatments differently. I came to have a working relationship instead of resistance to some things that were necessary, but not always easy. I was engaged in a much deeper way with my treatments and my health.
The simple act of writing positive words on labels, and applying them to the containers of the medications I had to take, was life changing. I was no longer the stereotypical patient, or someone lying on a hospital bed, passively receiving treatments. Instead, I became someone who asked to hold my med before it was given and understand what I was taking. This in itself proved to be life saving on more than one occasion as I was able to stop mistakes. I began to look caregivers in the eye, tell them what I needed, and make joint decisions with them about my treatments. As I became more engaged with understanding and accepting the treatments that made sense to me, I was able to develop a team approach with those caring for me.
You see, labeling is how we define ourselves and the objects and beings of our world. At a deep level, Iabeling is how we create our world.
Yes, I have CF, and yes, it’s hard. But the life I live is full of joy, meaning, and adventure. A big part of this is because of the choices I’ve made in my medical care and also my life. Over the last ten years, through my CF treatments, both in and out of the hospital, and in my work, I’ve explored this principle in many different ways.
As I share my labeling system with the families that I work with privately, I see it work with children again and again. They brighten up. They talk more. They laugh more. I’m watching their language around their treatments change, and thus their attitudes around their treatments change, and thus their little amazing lives change.
Now I know it’s time to bring this concept into the world in a bigger way.
Stay tuned. The big unveiling is coming in a few weeks.
Love and gratitude,