How to Support Someone with Chronic Health Issues

Do you know someone who has chronic health issues?

Chronic health issues may be issues with physical health, emotional health, mental health, and/or spiritual health.

Here are some ways you can support someone with chronic health issues ~

~ Meet them where they are. Do not expect them to be any certain way, and honor their process, even if they are currently stuck.

~ Resist the urge to give advice. Respect their journey and acknowledge all that they have done and are currently doing to help themselves heal.

~ Do not judge them. Resist the urge to share your opinions, because even if you think you know what they should and shouldn’t do, you may not understand all of the aspects involved in the battles they fight each day.

~ Practice active compassionate listening. Ask them questions, listen carefully to their answers, and then say something that lets the person know that you heard what they said. Even if you do not understand their experience, you can say something like, “That sounds really hard” or “That must be so challenging.” Simple phrases like that can be very soothing to the person.

~ Ask if there is anything you can do. Even if they say no, you can offer to pray for them, or send them healing energies, or send them things such as bright cheerful greeting cards (by email or snail mail), money (if they need it), or gift certificates for healing services like massage.

~ Encourage their efforts. Giving a well-timed and genuine compliment can really help to brighten the person’s whole day.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you or to someone you love. If you are supporting someone with chronic health issues and you have further ideas, please share them in the comments below.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Red sunset photo by Thiago Gomes on Unsplash.

 

Facing My Blogging Reality

Dear readers,

With just two days left in 2019, how are you feeling about the goals you were reaching towards this year? I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this to you, but one of my “stretch” goals for the year was to attract 19,000 blog followers. (At least I can’t hear you laughing now!) 🙂

Well, I didn’t exactly make that goal… But, I am truly grateful for the 133 people who are following the StarFire Teja Blog today… And yesterday’s post was my 250th post this year, so I celebrated that achievement by going back through and reading all of my posts… And I have to say, I feel quite pleased with my work…

And, in looking through my binder of blog post ideas, I came across the inspiration for today’s post: an article written by Christian Mihai on The Art of Blogging back in August, entitled “Why No One Reads Your Blog (and What to Do About It).” After reading that post, I decided that I needed to face my blogging reality…

… And the reality is, I am not putting in the amount of hours of work that it would take to have a successful blog. The main reason is the same reason that I have failed at numerous career attempts over the years, and that is the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia slow me down and prevent me from being able to work at the levels of time and energy that I would otherwise be capable of…

… And, a secondary reason is the same secondary reason that I have failed at so many past endeavors, and that is I do not like marketing, promotion, and sales. Please see my previous post, “Realizing (Again) That I Am Not a Salesperson!” In that article I wrote that as I face the reality of this body’s limitations, I am finding that writing is what I can do… I work for the Forces of Goodness and I have good intentions to be helpful with blog posts, even if I don’t have the mojo to promote them widely and well!

In my post “Defining Your Purpose” I shared that chronic illness and not being able to work is seriously challenging my sense of purpose, but I am determined to master this situation and to somehow be of service to others. And, I am doing all that I can, so perhaps this blog will not ever get much bigger… unless by some miracles!

So, dear readers, I am shifting the focus of the StarFire Teja Blog to being a blog of service, without the “stretch” goal of expanding its reach… I will continue writing because it is fun and because it is helpful to a few people… In 2020 I won’t be trying for any specific goals, but rather I will just be writing with the intent to be helpful.

As a spiritual helper on a mission to help elevate the human species to healthier and happier vibrations, my promise to you is that every day I do practices to happy up my life, and I will continue to share helpful tools and insights to help you to also happy up your life.

Thank you for reading the StarFire Teja Blog!

Let’s Happy Up Together in 2020! 🙂

With gratitude and loving-goodness,
StarFire Teja

 

The 3 E’s for Working With Your Holiday Emotions

So, dear readers, are you getting your Merry On during this holiday season? Are your nerves feeling frazzled at times? Are you noticing any difficult emotions surfacing or lurking around the edges?

Here is a simple practice for working with your holiday emotions, that I am calling “The 3 E’s” ~

~ Enjoy your happy, merry, cheerful, peaceful, joyful, expanded, and loving emotions.

~ Endure your agitated, irritated, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, sad, and jealous emotions.

~ Embrace ALL of your emotions, recognizing that they are all simply energies passing through you… They are energies, which are triggered by endless seen and unseen causes! ~ Underneath, behind, and all around these energies is your pure beautiful Self! Embrace yourself as you are in each moment. Look in the mirror and say “I love you” to yourself…

Place one hand on your heart, and visualize healing green energies swirling and pulsing in your vibrant green heart center! Cultivate endless self-love during this holiday season… and beyond.

I hope this post is helpful to you or to someone you love.

With great love,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo of fir tree by Peggy Choucair on Pixabay.

 

A Celebration of You

Have you been to a Celebration of Life service recently? Or ever?

“Celebration of Life” is a term being used instead of funeral or memorial service, and some people with life-limiting illnesses are opting to have this celebration before they die, so that they can be present at their own service! Have you heard of this practice already?

In my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I share a few writing exercises to help you explore the topic of death. Death meditations are practiced in many spiritual traditions, because they actually help people to live more fully in the present moment. Contemplating death can help you to keep your problems in perspective and to prioritize so that you keep focusing on what is most important to you in life.

Here is another writing exercise that can serve as a form of death meditation:

First write what you would want people to read, written by you, at the Celebration of your life. Then write what you would like to hear others say about you. Finally, reflect: Are you living up to what you would like to hear said about you? If not, do you need to set some doable goals towards being the You who you want to be?

After writing your answers, spend some time out in the trees, or if that’s not possible, then look at some photos of trees… While tuning in to the energies of the trees, contemplate what you wrote. Notice what arises in your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations… Lastly, place one hand on your heart, and the other hand on your belly. While feeling your loving touch, take a few slow breaths, and savor feelings of self-love. Conclude your personal mini Celebration of You in some way that feels precious and meaningful to you.

I hope this exercise is beneficial to you or to someone you love.

Please feel free to share your experiences with me here…

With a spirit of celebration for life,
Sister Teja

 

Photo by Jesse Gardner on Unsplash.

 

Reaching for Orange to Happy Up… And Centering in Brown to Calm Down…

Hello dear readers!

The rain is falling and I am cozy in my tree-house temple, making the best of a migraine morning. I lit a few candles and I’m sipping hot black coffee in my happy orange mug! Despite feeling sick, I am delighted to be here writing for you.

In my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I write: “On the Hindu Yoga Path, Orange symbolizes the Fire of Renunciation, the Orange Fire that burns all the external desires, attachments, and expectations that cause suffering. Once those external causes burn, the internal happiness is experienced.”

Daily spiritual practices help to burn away those external causes of suffering… And spiritual practices do not have to be complicated or take a lot of your precious time. I have been doing daily practices for more than fifteen years, and I have found that being relaxed and flexible with the practices is what enables me to keep doing them.

Some of the practices I do daily to happy up are from the Hindu Yoga Path, but others come from other traditions. This Summer I embarked on a study of the mindfulness teachings of Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh (see my previous post, “Peace Is Every Step”), and those teachings are helping me tremendously in working more skillfully with my mind as I deal with the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

At Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village monastery in France, the monks and nuns wear dark brown robes, and I find that color to be very soothing. Do you also feel calmed by the color brown?

(You can see their brown robes in this video: “Namo Avalokiteshvara Chant”)

Somewhere along the studies, it came to me that I am Reaching for Orange to Happy Up… And Centering in Brown to Calm Down!

In his book Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hahn suggests a simple breathing practice: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.”

Here are two more simple breathing practices that you might enjoy doing, especially in stressful or tense moments ~

~ With the in-breath, think “Happy Up” and with the out-breath, think “Calm Down”.

~ Breathing in, think “Calm” and breathing out, think “Down” and as you think “Down” imagine breathing down into your legs and feet… And then imagine your energy flowing down into the ground… Imagine breathing down into the sacred Earth… And feel your entire being calming down…

I hope you found this post helpful!

With boundless love,
Teja

Photo of orange leaves on brown ground by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.