Who is Carly and what is Living Brightly? Carly is a beautiful soul that I have connected with through Rachel MacDonald's online blogging course, Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted. Carly is a strong woman who is on her path to recovery and wellbeing as she suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is based around autoimmune, thyroid and adrenal issues. But she is truly special by sharing her story and learning's with us all through her blog.
Living Brightly is a website that is spreading the message for all women to embrace their dazzling dreams and believe in the magic of NOW. Here is Carly's beautiful and deep interview with me...
+ How did you get to where you are today?
I suddenly got the flu at age 16 and basically my energy never really returned. I got really sick at age 21 and deteriorated much further, spending my 20's either bed bound or mostly housebound. I am still a 'work in progress' today and its been a difficult journey but it has also contributed to where I am right now in terms of discovering a love and passion for healing and wellbeing. I started my blog because I want to create a beautiful life regardless and because I needed to find a purpose. And whilst I really do need to get well and heal in order to just have the basic energy to fulfil a lot of my dreams (and normal life progression) there is a lot I can be grateful for and happy about right now. My journey and experience has definitely opened the door to this healing path which I love and embrace. I feel in many ways (adult) life is just beginning...or a whole new chapter anyway. It is too weird to look back and realise how long I have been sick (and stuck) so I am just focusing on the NOW and retaining hope for the future.
+ What motivates you each and every day?
Motivation is a funny thing. It almost feels like it requires a lot of effort and willpower. I guess I prefer to be naturally 'inspired' into action. If that makes sense.
Hope and joy motivates and inspires me. Believing that I will get well and stronger motivates me. The thought of one day going on a long bike ride in the sunshine, feeling fit is a motivational goal. For me, improving my health is the strongest motivator there is for everything I do and for sticking with a nutrition and healing plan. I am literally investing in my life :-)
If I need some inspiration or encouragement I will head on over to my favourite Blogs (or books and podcasts) and I immerse myself in words that soothe and stir my soul. I feel at home here. I feel naturally motivated then (or inspired) to get my own creative juices flowing. Writing and sharing my blog is my passion and purpose. I really needed to find this, and I feel a sense of being on the right path because it all just aligns with my soul and I feel like I have found 'my thing'. It motivates me even more when readers contact me and thank me for sharing words. This humbles me and touches me so much. To feel like I could potentially be helping others is amazing and that is truly motivational.
Little things like the sunshine and the sea inspire me. They make me feel like a small player in a big world - which is a positive thing - because it means that all my worries don't really matter in the whole grand scheme of things and it reminds me to be present and peaceful and to just be as happy and as grateful as I can be.
Yoga and meditation are also very important. They connect me and ground me and I cannot explain the huge impact they have on my life. I need them. They are my tools. Afterwards I feel so much more motivated and inspired simply because I have reconnected to my true sense and I know what I truly desire from this point. From here the spark of motivation/inspiration is ignited. If you work from the heart there will always be organic motivation to do what you love.
+What quote do you live by at the moment?
"There are always flowers for those who wish to see them." ~ Matisse.
I love this as it reminds me that beauty is everywhere and happiness is a state of mind - we can always find moments of joy if we are prepared to look.
+ What has been your biggest struggle on your journey?
Just keeping going and believing in myself. It can be hard to retain an identity when you are sick and when you don't have a job or get out a lot and this has been a struggle. It is hard to feel 'good enough' when you don't feel like you have a strong presence in the world. It is hard to rely on others too as it can feel like you are a burden.
I guess I've struggled with self-esteem and value just through the circumstances. The biggest struggle was probably also at the start of my bad decline (for a good few years) when I was so sick and anxious and I just didn't know what to do at all. I had no knowledge of any of this wellbeing stuff back then and I was just surviving. Fear takes over and you get lost in it. You have to climb slowly upwards (with all that you have) and it is bigger than any mountain.
+ What food can you not live without?
I love nutrition and the power of food. I could not live without meat which I know isn't right for some people but it is for me. I love pork crackling heaped with sea salt. I buy meat ethically and from good sources. I also love chocolate although I've given up the sugar laden stuff and only have dark chocolate now.
+ Do you have a daily routine? If so, what is it?
I don't have an exact daily routine as I still need to listen to my body and some days all I can do is rest whilst others are more exciting.
But I have some routine such as waking to a large glass of warm water, followed by a second glass of water and apple cider vinegar mix to rehydrate my body. I then usually spend an hour in bed checking email and reading my favourite blogs online. After that I make breakfast which is two free range organic sunny soft boiled eggs and a bowl of vanilla chia seed pudding with half an apple. I have developed a recent love for breakfast and I do feel like it really sets me up for the day. I literally look forward to it from the night before! haha. Food is probably my main routine actually! haha. I never miss a meal.
At some point in the day there is nearly always yoga and/or meditation. And mostly I will go for at least a little walk too.
+ What would you tell your 14 year old self?
I don't honestly know because I wouldn't want her to know what was in store health wise and I think she was pretty much okay and happy anyway. I would probably tell her to look at meditation as a way to control any anxiety that cropped up to learn about healing techniques for what is to come. And to just be herself and know that she is always good enough and not to worry quite so much about the little things. But I was a pretty happy 14 year old really.
+ How do you want to be remembered?
As someone kind, generous and loving.
Such beautiful and honest responses Carly, so thank you so much for joining me. It was such a pleasure.
"Carly is the creator of Living Brightly – A Wellbeing & Inspirational Blog. As a long term health sufferer of CFS/ME/Thyroid/Adrenal/Autoimmune issues she hopes to build a community to inspire and motivate those on a healing journey. She also aims to encourage everybody (regardless of circumstance) to pursue their own Passion & Purpose in order to create Beautiful Lives. She believes that true Wellbeing is a unique synchronistic blend of Mind, Body & Soul. Her Mantra is to Be Well & Breathe Happy."
You can find Carly and all her awesomeness on her website, connect with her on Facebook and send her some Twitter love.