Fan the flame of your inner pilot light

I borrowed this term from Lissa Rankin https://lissarankin.com/what-is-your-inner-pilot-light/ (it’s explained in more depth here).

To quote Lissa, our Inner Pilot Light begins in every baby as the untainted, radiant, buoyant light of God/Goddess but often gets filmed over by trauma, conditioning, and the illusion of separation from the Eternal Flame from which this unique spark arises.

I’m not religious, but I love this idea of us being born pure and untainted, and the understanding, for me, is that it is through trauma and conditioning that our inner pilot light (our true self) can start to fade. If we are not loved or supported as we need when we are young, then our inner pilot light can go ignored as we go through life trying to live up to the expectations and demands of other people, following the limiting self beliefs that others have conditioned us with: ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you’re useless’, ‘you’ll fail’.

However, that Inner Pilot Light never goes out. It may flicker and fade, but it is always there.

It is through self-awareness that we begin to question the conditioned responses we have acted out for years, mostly to our detriment, and to begin to fan the flame by slowly understanding our true selves, desires and capabilities.

This belief you have of not being good enough. Where did it come from? Who told you this? Were they right? Was it true then or now? Was it possibly a reflection of their own fears? Was it simply their opinion, based on their own conditioning? You don’t have to believe it any more. It’s not true. You are good enough and you always have been.

Now is the time, especially with a third of the world’s population in isolation due to coronavirus, that we find ourselves with more time to look within, to ask ourselves ‘what do I really want to do with my life?’, ‘Where are my strengths and what is my calling?‘ and, most importantly ‘What makes me happy’ (what fans my inner pilot light).

It isn’t selfish to want to be happy or to pursue your dreams. There hasn’t been a better time for change. It’s within you and it always has been.

Corona crazy!

The world has gone mad over coronavirus! And it’s fascinating to observe the different reactions from different governments and populations. Until recently the French were accused of being too calm. Last night Macron decided to close ALL French schools for two weeks! We live in France. Our children are delighted. I’ve just heard that my son’s tennis training has been cancelled until further notice. Only 8 people attend his training. What’s next? I can’t go for a run in case I bump into someone?! This morning my running friend and I knocked elbows, instead of the usual ‘bise’ on the cheek.

In the UK, people have been advised to wash their hands to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’. I assume this is more about time spent washing hands and won’t ruin anyone’s actual birthday. I suggested that MC Hammer’s ‘You can’t touch this’ might be more appropriate.

I’m not trying to make a joke of the virus. It is highly contagious and has caused the deaths of many elderly people. However these are elderly people, many of whom were already suffering health problems, and who would struggle to fight flu or other viruses. And as a percentage of those who contract the virus it’s small.

Preparation ― not panic ― is key when it comes to the novel coronavirus outbreak. However, this can be easier said than done, right?

It can be hard to keep calm with the barrage of news stories about COVID-19 and worries about vulnerable populations, sick leave and the health care system.

With so much uncertainty, it’s completely normal to feel concerned or even scared right now.

But experts are correct that managing your anxiety can be beneficial. One of the best ways to do that is to get some (measured) perspective about the situation.

Here is some useful information from the Huffington Post:

People do recover from COVID-19

Harvard Health reports that “most people who get sick will recover from COVID-19.”

As of publication, more than 66,000 people globally have recovered from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Many people who contract the disease will experience ‘mild’ symptoms

Experts say cases can range from mild to severe. Some may even be asymptomatic.

Symptoms could include “fever over 100.5, cough, malaise, and occasionally nausea, diarrhea. In more severe cases, shortness of breath, chest pain and pneumonia will be apparent,” Dr. Linda Anegawa, an internist with virtual health platform PlushCarepreviously told HuffPost.

Doctors recommend treating the symptoms with medicines like Tylenol for fever, drinking lots of water and getting lots of rest.

You likely can’t get it from your food

“We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging,” a spokesperson from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service previously told HuffPost and mentioned in a statement.

The main ways the disease spreads are through people who are in close contact with the disease, respiratory droplets, and touching infected surfaces and then touching your face.

You also can’t get it from your pets

Evidence shows that dogs and cats may test positive for coronavirus, but it’s unlikely they’re able to pass it on to their humans. Go on and get those belly rubs or scratches in. (It’ll help your stress, too.)

It may go away once it gets warmer

We still don’t know a lot about this virus yet since it’s new ― including a definitive conclusion on when the outbreak might end, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No one can say for certain that the spread of the coronavirus will slow down or be less severe once spring or summer arrives. However, some experts have said there’s a good chance it can, based on similar diseases from the past.

Scientists are working on a vaccine

This may not be done or available for the public anytime soon, but it is projected to be ready in the next 12 to 18 months. While this isn’t great news for an immediate fix, there is at least hope that researchers will develop more medicine to fight this off in the future.

One of the absolute best ways to help prevent it is simple

Wash. Your. Hands. End of story.

Doctors recommend rubbing your hands together with warm water and soap for 20 seconds or longer. (Need a song while you scrub? This brilliant app has you covered.) Use common sense when deciding how often to wash. After using the bathroom, before you prepare food, after you’ve been in public places and after you’ve touched potentially dirty surfaces are usually good bets.

Additionally, avoid putting your hands on your face when they’re unwashed (here’s how to do it) since the virus can easily spread by touching areas like your eyes and nose. Disinfectant wipes are also a great resource for keeping things clean (this guide explains the proper way to use them and the best ones to buy).

Let’s hope that this, at the very least, has encouraged people to practice better hygiene habits ― ones that should last longer than this disease outbreak.

Finally, know that you have the power to help what’s happening right now

If it helps to channel your panic into something productive, try thinking of the situation this way: Taking care of yourself right now is an actionable priority. A lot of people will not be severely affected by this disease, but there are plenty of people who will. This includes older adults and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

Practicing good hygiene (as mentioned above), social distancing when you can, getting your flu shot if you haven’t already, and staying home if you’re sick are all ways you personally can make a difference.

We have a responsibility to each other as humans on this planet. One of the best ways to exercise that is by looking after your own health and habits. If you haven’t been doing that yet, now’s a great time to start.

Positive distractions and surrendering to what is

I almost didn’t write this blog today as I was feeling too sorry for myself. I’ve had a bad flare-up with my back recently and I’ve just about had enough of it! Yesterday I ran 12km, no problem. Then, I was stiff as a board all night and this morning and did my ‘ape to modern man’ walk to the bathroom, angry and thinking ‘why me’?

However, I realise the problem is that I haven’t let myself surrender to it yet. I need to accept it, relax, give myself some love, and not keep driving myself to do things. It’s one thing saying this to clients – it seems it’s another thing doing it for myself! It’s time to be my own best friend and just ‘let it go‘. Breathe, accept what is, and move forward in a mindful and loving way, ignoring my inner critic who is shouting at me for not being able to manage all the movements I could easily do a year ago.

The science is there in black and white. It honestly isn’t all ‘woo woo’. All pain comes from the brain. Here is an excellent explanation of why the brain continues to send pain signals, even after a prior injury has healed.

By the way, the ‘Curable’ app could be worthwhile investing in. It includes exercises on writing/journaling, meditation, education and brain training. Its founder and CEO, John Gribbin, fought lower back pain for fifteen years himself before overcoming it with this technique. 

Pain comes from the brain, and the brain can be retrained. If you are suffering from chronic pain (pain that has persisted for more than 12 weeks), have a look at this short, 5-minute video which gives you a good overview of why and what you can do to help yourself.

Back to me and my distraction! I may run and exercise almost daily but I still have a saggy bottom! So, I did a punishing 10-minute glutes workout on YouTube. Yes, I know it was only 10 minutes but it’s a killer when you have glutes that don’t ‘fire up’ like mine! Talking of ‘fire’ they were on fire by the end of it 😉 The idea was if I could feel fire in my glutes, I wouldn’t be able to feel any pain in my back! So far, it has been a pretty good distraction.

If you are suffering from chronic pain and need further support, please get in touch. You can email me at catherine@unbottlelife.com or find me on Facebook (Unbottle Life) or Instagram (@unbottlelife).

Until next time, a word from myself and Oprah……x