Risen From The Flames



“None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.”  ~ Gail Godwin


I never thought I would be one of those people I had read about who was beaten down by life through stress.  Or that a job’s stress would impair my health.  Growing up we would hear about people who would die young (young meaning before their mid 60s) from a heart attack or a stroke because of stress and their job.


And once I was retired I was firm in my belief that I would not let anything bother me so much that my health would be compromised.  Of course all the stress that I let affect me prior to retirement, has had a cumulative effect and cannot be washed clean in a few weeks or months of retirement.


It was one month after I had retired that I was having abdominal pain…so bad it sent me to the ER where I was told I had a small hernia that should be repaired.  So I agreed to a repair that would be a small incision and would only lay me up for a few weeks.  No sweat….I can do this and bounce right back!


Of course it was not a small hernia and it was not a small incision and it was not a few weeks of recuperating but a few months.  So what happened?  What usually happens….stress affects our bodies building until the inflammation wreaks havoc, and the illness is much worse than we thought.


DSCN9713I know this was not a life threatening illness.  It was not even major surgery, but any inflammation we leave unchecked can lead to more serious illnesses.  So I am grateful this was taken care of.


The surgery did not cure me of the inflammation that caused the hernia, and in fact added to it for a while.  So what would put this right?  I have found it required being more in balance or in harmony with life.  Not letting thoughts or feelings eat away at me so much so it causes blocks.  These blocks are what disrupt our body’s ability to heal.


I am still wrestling with what all this still means for me.  How do I maintain balance, harmony and peace?  For now it is through my thoughts and how I act toward others.  It is more than a physical healing but a mental, emotional and spiritual healing as well.  I start my day with a peaceful meditation, and try to bring that state of harmony into my day and my actions whether it be kind words, helping someone or even just a simple smile to a stranger.


But above all it is allowing myself to be vulnerable…not hiding from life or trying to push it down…that just blocks the flow again.  And I am finding it best to share these feelings in my writing and with those closest to me.  Expressing them allows us to let them go so much quicker….and be like a phoenix renewed and risen from the flames.



Special Note:   The echinacea pictured in this post (also known as purple coneflower) represents strength and health.  This is very fitting since echinacea is purported to have significant medicinal properties.



The picture below is my gift to you this week.  Please download it and use it however you want.




 All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

20 Replies to “Risen From The Flames”

  1. Donna,
    You have no idea how close your words hit home.
    “…bring that state of harmony into my day and my actions whether it be kind words, helping someone or even just a simple smile to a stranger.”
    “stress affects our bodies building until the inflammation wreaks havoc, and the illness is much worse than we thought.”
    ” I have found it required being more in balance or in harmony with life. Not letting thoughts or feelings eat away at me so much so it causes blocks. These blocks are what disrupt our body’s ability to heal.”
    I have just come from a Healing Touch weekend, which spoke to these very points about which you write. It is a journey that I have been struggling with for decades, and I am finally “Rising from the Flames”.

    1. Oh how wonderful Carol..your Healing Touch weekend sounds incredible. It is amazing what we don’t realize we are doing to ourselves. I am so glad you are rising with your journey. I wish you great healing as the struggles lessen.

  2. I needed to read this today (and yesterday and the day before). For the last few years I have been supporting my partner as he has gone through surgery after surgery (some life threatening, some ‘clean–up’ jobs). I have neglected myself. I have neglected myself physically and emotionally and need to start to find a balance and focus on healing. My healing.
    Thank you. So very much.

    1. Oh Soosie it is hard to keep our health as a focus until it bites us and we are in crisis…at least that was me. I am glad to hear you are going to take care of you. As caretakers of any kind we have to remember that and not think it is selfish.

  3. It was my experience that the first few years after retirement are very valuable for simply feeling one’s own rhythms. It is not something we are used to doing. And it is so important not to judge all that may go on during those days, because they may not be “our idea” of who we are. A nap in the afternoon? Pshaw. Not for me, I’m not old. Really seeing who gives energy and who takes it and then acting on that? Not easy, not at all. Finding passions you didn’t know existed in you and other things that fall off like a snake shedding its skin. What a fascinating time and an opportunity not to feel compelled to explain yourself to anybody. Now there’s a concept-:))

    1. Susie your words are so liberating as they reflect how I feel just in these first several months. It is so liberating especially if you take time to get to know yourself now that you can…to feel you can do something or just simply let it wait for months is wonderful. I am feeling that rhythm. I am beginning to know what is the right thing for me at this given moment….like a bird learning to fly without fear.

  4. Comments are thought provoking too….I am in a struggle with this as you know. I do not want to say that I caused my MS or breast cancer…but things could be in better balance

    1. You should not think you caused your illness and I am glad you do not Michelle. Just an awareness that we can help ourselves by getting back into harmony and what stress can do to our bodies. And you are working on that in such great ways.

  5. With time, all is healed. Rising from the flame is a nice metaphor. I am glad my work always brought me joy. Being creative everyday keeps the happiness flowing.

    1. My job used to bring me joy but in the last 10 yrs, joy was slowly sucked out of it by bureaucracy. You are so right Donna that we must be creative in our lives and work if we are to be happy!

  6. There is such a rich raw beauty in the way you’re processing
    this messy business of living
    and I think your honesty with yourself
    (and that you share)
    is gorgeous and I thank you.
    big large roomy joy to you,

    1. Thanks so much Jennifer. I am enjoying the journey even the bumps….it is interesting to discover things about myself…those ‘ah ha’ moments are what I love to write about.

  7. So true, so very true.

    I love this post Donna, it’s just so full of meaning, and truth.

    I must remember to dig up the photo I took of Enderby last fall, your gorgeous header reminds me so much of that part of the world.


  8. I love Echinacea flowers, Donna, they look strong and yet charming, don’t they?

    I wish we could see those blocks preventing our bodies and minds from operating freely. If there was such an apparatus whose rays would show us where the problem lies in the same way as roentgen with its X-rays shows us where our bones are broken or misshaped. Do meditation, prayers, our creativity and ability to think and understand serve that purpose? They seem to be the only means available and look at us, how bad we are at interpreting their messages… and how insincere we often are to ourselves, lying and pretending we didn’t get the message. That is our most serious fault, that pretended ignorance. I believe you are on the right way, Donna, working with what you feel and think and combining all the tools we have at hand.

    1. I agree Petra a most beautiful yet very strong flower that stands up to birds pecking at it for seeds and bees finding nectar and pollen. Wouldn’t that be great if we could see inside ourselves with a machine. I had to chuckle when I read your words about pretending we don’t get those messages from our bodies. Boy am I good at that pretending. But meditation has helped me hear my intuition and my body telling me the truth. Now if my ears and heart would listen more.

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