When in doubt…follow the signs

[Vegan Soul, Paleo Body #1]

You’ve heard of the “comfort zone”, right? How dwelling there too long is usually not in your best interest if you want to evolve? Most of us get that wisdom and have willingly pulled ourselves out of that zone in order to see what we could find, what we could discover about ourselves and what life had to offer outside the perimeter of our comfort.

No matter how far you’ve ventured away from your familiar boundaries and into the ‘discomfort zone’, I’m sure we can agree on one thing: THE DISCOMFORT ZONE IS JUST NOT COMFORTABLE! Yet we venture out, again and again, farther and farther because the more we do it, the more we learn that our ballsy behavior will be amply rewarded (almost always anyway).

With some practice and a brave open mind, we eventually come to recognize that our fears of stepping out are in fact friendly arrows pointing to our best opportunities for growth. Make no mistake, daring to go where you haven’t been before will always come with fear because it is associated with our instinct of survival: unknown=unsafe. We always have the choice to stay ‘home’, but nothing ventured…. nothing gained. 

 I’m looking at one of those FEAR signs right now.

Let me set it up: In the past year, I followed Fear when I decided to ‘come out’ as a person living with a chronic illness after more than 4 decades of keeping it private. I followed Fear again when I decided to make it my life’s work to be an ambassador for women living with a chronic illness. 

Then a couple months ago, my body sent me a message of its own letting me know in no uncertain terms that I had to do more, way more, to get my own health back on track because I was on a dangerous slippery slope. There was a footnote to that message suggesting that sharing that journey with the public was probably a good idea too. 

My reaction was: 
—“WHAT? No. No, no, no. I refuse. I’ve put myself out there enough this year, I followed Fear, don’t ask for more. I don’t want to blog about my real-time journey to health. It’s not my style. So, no. You hear me? NO!“ Then I heard: 
—“Okay. But you know about the gifts of Fear, right? You know what scares you holds a key, you know the things you viscerally (forgive the pun) want to avoid are often the very things that move you forward the most, right? Up to you.” To which I replied:
—“Arrrggghhhhhh! I’m in.”

Friends, expect occasional posts regarding my health journey. They will be under the sub-title “VEGAN SOUL, PALEO BODY” because even though my beliefs and taste buds are vegan, it appears the gut-healing diet and protocol I will follow include a whole lot of meat, fish, bone broth, and no tofu (boohoo I miss tofu!!!). Expect some creative recipes too because I LOVE creative cooking.


GREAT REWARDS come from allowing FEAR to show the way. Since everyone is not a born daredevil, work at training your courage muscles. Choose actions that come with an acceptable amount of discomfort. Then, like adding weight to a barbell when it no longer challenges you, step it up. With time and repetition, it will take less effort to get started, you’ll be able to push through bigger fears and then one day, you’ll realize you’re out seeking the next FEAR sign!

One last thing. Keep in mind that you’re not training for a one-event challenge, it’s a lifestyle and it comes with a lifetime membership. Once you jump through one ring of fire, another will inevitably appear. There will always be a next.
[Ahhhh, God sure has a good sense of humor and timing! I just got off a call, literally moments ago, and another intimidating ring of fire popped-up… in the realm of my finances (gulp). Here I go! Another growth opportunity courtesy of the fiery ring of Fear.]

xox
Annie

What FEAR sign are you looking at right now?

Let me know in the comments below. It will inspire me and everyone else who reads it.

“The cave you fear entering hold the treasure you seek.”
—Joseph Campbell—

Fear sign-frame.jpg

45% of Americans suffer from at least 1 chronic illness. Share this post and you’ll help a friend.

The Elephant in my Room — Part II

>>> I WILL NOT LET MY CHRONIC ILLNESS DEFINE ME <<<

In PART I of the video The Elephant in my Room, I shared my life-changing aha! moment when I realized that my 40-year-old practice of living with a chronic illness while staunchly determined not to let it define me, made no sense at all. The truth I came upon is that our chronic illness makes us WHO WE ARE in the most profound ways. It is our teacher (albeit a tough one), a faithful companion (granted, we sometimes wish we could dump), and a most demanding trainer who has shaped us into who we are.

The challenges it puts on our path has mapped our Hero’s Journey and each time we survive, we are transformed by the experience, we have tales to tell, horizons to describe and wisdom to share.

Our chronic illness DOES DEFINE US, and that’s okay. It’s actually more than okay; it gives us strength, courage and compassion and those are precious qualities the world desperately needs.

In this PART II of The Elephant in my Room I pledge to pick up the torch and become a voice for (young) women living with a chronic illness. When reading the avalanche of comments I received from posting PART I, it became crystal clear that this was to be my purpose in life. Why? Because I was told of daughters with no one to look up to, without role models or examples of what their life could look like. That moved me to my core because I could totally relate. I was 11 years old when I started dealing with this and my life would have taken a dramatically different course if at any point, I had had someone I could identify with.

Living with a chronic illness is a valuable life, an important life and it is time we stop hiding, apologizing, retreating within and censoring ourselves. THIS HAS TO STOP. We are literally extra-ordinary. We have an added dimension that makes us unique and the world needs us just as we are.

To remind us of that, I’ve written an empowering 
******MANIFESTO FOR THE CHRONICALLY DIFFERENT*****

You can get your full FREE COPYat WWW.ANNIEPAQUETTE.COM

With love 💚
XOX
Annie

P.S. The Manifesto is visually stunning. It was illustrated with art from artist Emily Magone.
P.P.S. This is the raw, unedited video I posted in B-School’s private facebook group 6 months ago.

#ChronicDifference

45% of Americans suffer from at least 1 chronic illness. Share this post and you’ll help a friend.