Friday, April 11, 2014

Personal Fundraising Tips

Personal Fundraising Tips

Many if not most people with Lyme Disease are, unfortunately, in debt. Even if you have disability benefits, the costs of Lyme Disease and all the adjunct therapies often FAR exceed the amount of money coming in from disability or in savings accounts. Personal fund-raising for medical bills is very commonplace nowadays, and something I did on a few occasions to help offset my huge medical debt. Since I also have a lot of experience with nonprofits and fundraising, as well as advising friends on personal medical fundraisers, I thought I would share some tips here. 

Remember, there is no shame in asking for help. It is often the most courageous thing you can do. 

Personal Fundraising Websites: these websites now make it very easy for you to post your story, pictures, and a direct way to contribute to your cause.

·        Great example on of a Lyme patient who raised almost $7,000: - an easy way to explain your story briefly, post on Facebook, and have it spread virally through friends and friends of your friends. Have friends post something about their connection to you, "this is my dear friend Sharon who…" on their wall.

In-person fundraiser - this takes a lot of friends and work, but I did an event with a silent auction, donated bar, etc. I had a dozen friends help me out with this, and we secured silent auction donations, as well as donated venue space and music. It takes some leg work but it is very possible (and really fun for those involved). If you are interested in this, let me know and I can give you some advice. You can see the invite that was made by a co-worker of a friend below for my fundraiser, called "Monapalooza."
You might want to make an easy blog page on blogger or wordpress. Simple, brief description, even pics of you healthy or sick, whatever you want. A BRIEF story of why you need financial help (people don't understand that Lyme treatments are hardly ever covered). Then add a Paypal widget/button, and people can donate right there. You can send this via email to friends and also have it on FB.

Remember, everyone has a different comfort level with personal fundraisers. People with Lyme Disease are all in a boat where they should not be ashamed to ask for HELP when it's needed. My advice is to make your personal fundraising page as it fits with how you feel about asking for donations and spread the word! 

This type of fundraising is commonplace in the US now as so many people are ill and without medical coverage (or with it and still in debt)., for instance has raised $94 million for people online for medical expenses (that is people self-fundraising for medical bills). 

If people do not believe in Lyme Disease or do not support you emotionally, it is probably best not to send them the fundraiser information. However, you may be surprised how people you may not even know want to help you. In my case, for instance, my friends generously donated to my cause as well as many complete strangers (friends of friends or people who heard about my fundraiser by word of mouth). I was incredibly grateful and made sure to express this gratitude countless times. It was no easy feat to swallow my pride and ask for not just physical and emotional support, but financial support too. 

Below is the invite that someone made for my fundraiser at a bar/art gallery in San Francisco.

*If you have not applied for Long Term Disability benefits (LTD) from your former employer or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) from the government, you should do so as soon as possible. I am happy to give you some free advice on disability benefits via email, and also offer some other information about a system I designed myself with a colleague from law school while I was very disabled from Lyme Disease to help win my disability benefits quickly and easily. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What got me better? The hidden power of thoughts and intent. Dr Emoto's Experiments on Thoughts and Health

A lot of what I have alluded to in this blog are the actual treatments I did to get better,  supplements that helped me, adjunct holistic therapies, diet, and detox tips. One thing I have touched on, only slightly, is the emotional aspect of Lyme.

I want to talk more about that. Many people ask me "what do you attribute to you most getting better?" If I had to tell you ONE essential thing, I would say it was…….

……. the huge emotional shift I underwent during Lyme: the breaking down of my old unhealthy patterns and relationships, the getting to the core of what got me to being so sick that I was bedridden for more years than I care to remember, the unresolved emotional blocks and traumas from childhood (my being a Type A overachiever, always helping others before myself until my downfall, validating my self-worth unknowingly on others' approval, among a variety of other things!), the change in my MINDSET, AND the ability to see the experience a blessing in disguise. Yes, I just said that last part. Out loud.

Lyme transformed me more than I ever thought possible, because I allowed myself to experience the raw darkness, and then allowed myself to experience the great light that came from that. The transformation really changed my way of seeing the world, for the better.


I don't expect anyone to be jumping with joy going through the roller coaster of emotional and physical pain related to Lyme Disease. I was angry, depressed, horribly frightened, confused, hopeless, jealous, pissed off for years when I was sick.  Then, I slowly came to this new place - where I was able to HEAL the unresolved emotional and spiritual blocks - while doing my antibiotics, my IVs, my holistic treatments, etc. Every day was not butterflies and rainbows, but more and more moments I was able to see through the darkness. More often than not, a 10 minute walk felt like I ran a triathlon. I was able to APPRECIATE the small things in life - like stopping to stare at a flower (because I had nothing else to do with my time and couldn't really walk very far). And some moments DID seem like butterflies and rainbows even in the midst of being disabled! Then, of course, anger, and sadness, and fear returned. But they did so in MUCH smaller doses.

I worked with a therapist, of course, to help me just make sense of the fact that my life was akin to a sedated vegetable. But, after a while, it did not help to talk about my problems repeatedly.  I was sick, VERY sick. I could not function. I needed someone to spoon feed me at times, and sometimes I crawled to the bathroom. My life as I knew it as a 20-something unraveled to pieces scattered SO far and SO wide that I couldn't even see any resemblance of who I was. Talking about it over and over was not helping me, personally (I am not advocating for you to stop seeing a therapist if you are seeing one, only relaying my personal experience).


So I stopped working with my therapist (who was amazing but whose help I no longer found useful), and I went INWARD. I had the help of another person (feel free to email me if interested in his name). I read and listened all the spiritual books & CDs I could: Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Bruce Lipton. I kept putting this information in my brain even on days when I didn't feel any difference from it. Even on days when I wanted to put it off and go under the bed (if I could make it that far) and cry for hours. BUT, over time, my subconscious brain PICKED UP the positive messages that I needed to hear and see (I also had inspirational quotes ALL over my room). I listened to people like Bruce Lipton and others, who talked about how much of our own beliefs about ourselves go into our health. I know we all hear this, but do you know there is scientific proof of this?? Read below...


Dr. Masaru Emoto, a researcher and alternative healer from Japan, is the author of the famous "Hidden Messages in Water" book. This book has the potential to profoundly transform your world view. Using high-speed photography, Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to LOVING WORDS shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast,  water exposed to NEGATIVE thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the earth and our personal health. Given that humans are comprised of at least 60% water, his discovery has far reaching implications on the impact of negative thoughts and words (not just from your own mind, but from anyone else as well). So, make sure you are surrounding yourself with the right kind of people.

Dr. Emoto showed the world a good deal of evidence of the magic of POSITIVE THINKING again, below: 

The rice experiment is another famous Emoto demonstration of the power of negative thinking (and conversely, the power of positive thinking.) Dr Emoto placed portions of cooked rice into two containers. On one container he wrote “thank you” and on the other “you fool.” He then instructed school children to say the labels on the jars out loud everyday when they passed them by. After 30 days, the rice in the container with positive thoughts had barely changed, while the other was moldy and rotten. Check it out here

I am not here to tell you to ignore your painful feelings. Lyme is a traumatic disease. In my opinion, it is the most traumatic disease on the planet. It is incomprehensible. Experience your raw feelings, indeed the only way out of them is through. Life will not be all rainbows and butterflies. But go within yourself and turn the negative energy that may be lingering inside into something positive for YOURSELF, and slowly, over time, you will notice a shift. By all means, ask for help (from friends, family, religious or spiritual community, some of the authors above, meditation class, email me if you need other ideas at monamorphosis at gmail dot com).
 If you have resentments towards others, no matter how wrongly they behaved, work on forgiveness. There are many techniques around forgiveness: the ancient Hawaiian practice of ho'oponopono, EFT, etc. Forgiveness is important because anger only poisons you. This overall shift is what I believe got me out of Lyme Disease: a huge spiritual transformational shift in how I saw the experience of my life, Lyme, and my ability to get myself out.  The treatments got me out too, but without the inner work, I know I would not be where I am today. 

    I completely changed my relationship to the outside world and my family (that latter relationships was 
   very toxic). 
    I learned to say NO and take care of myself first. Then, and only then, could I take care of others. 
    I expressed my anger, fear, sadness in the proper outlets, or journaled about it, and then worked on 
   forgiveness, and other ways to clear through those emotions. 
    I stopped blaming circumstances or people for why I could not feel better or be happy. I was able to be happy DESPITE feeling ill. It was a pretty cool thing to experience, actually. And once you are able to be happy despite the circumstances of your body through Lyme, you are pretty much able to handle anything.
    I started to do everything possible to make sure I BELIEVED I could get better, with positive 
   thoughts and intentions surrounding me. 
"Suffice It to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there's only one place to look: inside you. When you look, do it with love."

TIPS for implementing this in your life
1. Practice Gratitude on a DAILY basis. Some days I could think of nothing to be grateful for because I was so miserable. Often I said easy things like: "I am grateful for having 2 legs to walk, a roof over my head, my friends to support me."  Anything to remind you of what you DO have.  I made a gratitude bowl and wrote on 5 little pieces of paper what I was grateful for at the end of each day.
2. Put inspirational, positive things and people around you. I printed up inspiring quotes and put them on my walls. I made a collage (my mom helped me) of pictures of me when I was super healthy and happy and I looked at it every day, to keep visualizing myself being that healthy again. If you feel there are no inspirational people around you, keep practicing gratitude for those who do provide to you, and more and more of these people will show up in your life.
3. Work through emotional blocks. Most human beings have a lot to go through emotionally, but Lyme patients have a whole added level of insane things to process. See a therapist, counselor, healer, talk to a friend, write a journal, do anything to make sure you have a way and place to safely express your feelings. 
4. Meditate. I cannot tell you how much this has benefited me. If you are just starting, or feel reluctant to start, try the free app called "HeadSpace." It guides you through SIMPLE, easy 10 minute meditations for 10 days in a row. 
5. Create joy with simple things! The easiest way to raise your vibration is to do anything, NO MATTER HOW small, that will make you feel better. Even if you have to cheat on your gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, diet to sneak in a piece of chocolate pie (if it won't destroy your stomach), do it. Take a bubble bath with lavender oil. Watch a funny movie. Treat yourself to a massage or pedicure. Watch re-runs of your favorite show. Watch you tubes of puppies or orangutans or airplanes or whatever makes you SMILE. Invite a friend over that you know can make you laugh. Joy is so essential for human beings, and it is so rarely experienced by Lyme patients, so remind yourself you are doing an amazing job battling this disease, and give yourself something that soothes your senses. 

Still working on the ebooks and guides on my protocols, detox, diet, etc. if you want to be on my mailing list, please send your email to monamorphosis at gmail dot com. I will send updates there as to when the ebooks are done, and also migrate content and information for Lyme patients over to private non-spam newsletters. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why is the CDC Trying to Block an Accurate Lyme Disease Test?

Another disheartening article about how the CDC and mainstream medical community may be trying to block accurate testing and diagnosis of Lyme Disease. Shameful is an understatement.