Hi, I’m Carly. I’m a Wellbeing+ Health blogger/writer hoping to inspire you to Heal, Nourish and Create through my words, projects and holistic lifestyle. I am a passionate believer in the genuine magic of the written word, and the magnificent power of sharing stories. I warmly welcome you into my online home and haven and sincerely hope it is a space in which you feel both at ease and inspired. A chance to connect with like-minded spirited and authentic others, and to hold hands on this beautiful journey towards health, healing, and a beautiful Life. I invite you to get comfy on the sofa, grab a warm mint tea and prepare for a sweet chat to get to know one another more..
I truly never considered that my long term poor health could end up being the very catalyst from which I discover my unique alchemic path.
How the act of writing out my story (and journey) would be the tool required to insightfully reflect my own unique pearls of wisdom and golden gems back at me and enable me to gain clarity on how I can help others.
How utterly absurd that the tired cliche of some ‘good coming from bad’ should end up being true?
My ultimate desire will ALWAYS be to regain my health, but Passion and Purpose has snuck in too….. Let’s see where this all leads?
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My Writing and Blogging Story
I am genuinely so honoured and grateful that that you have joined me here, and that you are even reading my words. For so long I kept them internal but eventually the need to share (and connect) became too strong. My soul was madly screaming out at me to free the letters and allow them to dance upon the screen in their own merry way, and one day I took notice. I am beyond glad that I did for nothing feels better than realising and pursuing your soul’s desire. I have been beyond amazed at just how clearly it now speaks to me, or perhaps more accurately, how clearly I now hear it.
Through the powerful and cathartic act of writing I feel, see and hear more.
This Blog was born from a desire to be of value and service in the world after years of living with poor health which has severely restricted and limited me. I craved a creative release and a real world presence. Hence Living Brightly was birthed.
Whilst I lovingly and wholeheartedly immerse myself in a world full of organic real food, natural beauty and home products, meditation, yoga and inspiration in my ultimate healing quest, yet, something was still missing and I couldn’t rid myself of my sense of worthlessness and lack of purpose which was growing stronger with each year that passed…..I was particularly unaware of just how important self-love was and it took blogging (and a devotion to writing in general) to ignite further missing elements of my healing tool-kit. Through writing (and sharing) and (much) growing, I now have a chance to stand up, show up and put myself out there. To accept myself (and my life) as it is, and to invite you to see the real me.
I was nervous and scared but the fear and all consuming feelings of desperation, frustration and low self-esteem weighed more heavy in my heart. I felt like I was losing myself with each day that passed. I knew I had a light within me (and perhaps a smidge of intelligence and talent) but I desperately needed a viable outlet for it for shine once again.
What I astonishingly didn’t anticipate was that sometimes all it takes is the simple act of making a start (even when you are in the dark) in order to change your life (in some small way.)
I think mine just needed a little fuel to ignite the spark. I required power, and when your physical energy is depleted you have to change perspective and access that power from another angle.
To find another way. Making your life (and circumstances) work best for you.
My Health Story
I used to shy away from sharing my health story out of fear of judgement or looking weak. Now, It is a little more neutral so to speak. I still worry and I often feel inadequate when people enquire what I do, and I have to explain my unusual situation, but there is more peace. My illness happened to me and I deal with it as best I can. In fact I deal with it really well – despite constant feelings of guilt, shame and difficult emotions which sit alongside the physical aliments and drenching fatigue. For long-term illness is a complex issue with far reaching consequences for the both the sufferer and their family/friends – impossible to comprehend unless you’ve had first hand experience.
Nonetheless, I am much more than an illness. Yes it would be naive to say that it hasn’t influence my entire life for almost 2 decades, but at heart it is not who I am in any way. It is a large part of my story and it has shaped my path, but I am still me regardless. More and more I try to connect with my true essence and soul to remind myself of this. Through any practice which grounds me and in seeking joy in the little things constantly.
In some ways I believe that we are the ones who truly do really appreciate life and its beauty….. But of course we have a deep longing to feel well once again. It will always and absolutely be the ultimate priority, for as much as we smile there is little glory within sickness. However, even as I write this I feel humbled in knowing that there are always people worse off than myself and that I have so much to be grateful for.
To cut a long story short (although you can read the full length version here) I came down with the flu overnight at age 16 and was transformed from a completely fit and healthy girl into some for whom sickness took over. About 5 years into it (after finishing Uni) I crashed completely and became bed-bound and very poorly for a couple of years needing almost full care. Since then things probably progressed in roughly 5 year increments (with a lot of work) but I spent my 20’s pretty much housebound (and mostly in bed), and even now I am still unable to get out much, or for long, or make a plan whichI know i can commit to. It’s all very unreliable and inconsistent and there has yet to be a stable phase for me, or a day without symptoms.
I will get better though! You betta believe it.
Along the way I have become my own researcher and doctor and have gradually peeled back the layers to try to unearth what is wrong with me. I had initial diagnosis’s of CFS, Autoimmune Thyroid and Adrenal Insufficiency, and very recently, Parvo Virus (with an immune disfunction causing an inability to fight it) and Lyme Disease. I am gaining more clues and simultaneously trying to work on the accumulated damage to my system. In theory progress should have been better but I don’t react well to many treatments and I always knew I was dealing with a much bigger picture than anyone could find…..It was a relief to finally discover more concrete explanations….
I can pinpoint the exact date my catastrophic downward health spiral and hence my journey living with Autoimmune Disease began. You do tend to remember with crystal clarity when (overnight) you transform from being a healthy fit 16 year old to someone plunged deep into the midst of illness and fear.
I was thrown into the all consuming chaos on New Year’s Eve 1995 to be exact, just a few months after we had relocated 200 miles to Kent. A year of massive change climaxing in to something far greater than anyone could ever anticipate.
And not in a good way.
My friend Emma had come down to stay with me and we celebrated at a pub with a group of people we barely knew, feeling the (heightened) self-consciousness of being teenagers wildly out of our comfort zones. To be honest whilst we were determined we would be out as the dongs chimed Midnight, the dressing up and giggles getting ready together were a millions times more fun, and secretly we were both relieved to get back home as soon as we could – our reputations in tact at least.
I remember the night so clearly. A sense of unease and apprehension mingled with excitement. Wanting to fit in and build up my social life in this new place. I wore a short black dress with a shiny silver T-shirt. My Denim jacket in no way sufficient for the freezing cold 20 minute walk we took.
In hindsight I’ve often wondered if something so simple as switching that jacket for a cozy fleece parka could have saved me? If I had never caught the Flu that night would I have never developed a Chronic Disease?
Crazy harrowing thoughts?
……Besides I already felt slightly overdressed amongst these new alien people brazenly wearing their mum’s bright red shift dresses and high heels. At least Emma and I had tights on!…. Click here to continue the story.
I want to Inspire
I fretted so much over how I could possibly be a mentor or authority of any kind and inspire other people to create health when I was still sick and not seeing results. In the end I realised and accepted (somewhat grudgingly) that whilst my chosen desire would have been to lead from a place of example and glowing results, as so many other wellbeing bloggers do, that the universe had other plans for me. Something a bit different. And harder. It took a long while to accept that if I didn’t want to waste any more years I was going to have to start writing from the place I was at right now. Raw and Authentic and Messy and Real.
A renewed deeper and fuller commitment and personal voyage to Health and Happiness.
It isn’t easy at times.
But perhaps I could still inspire after all?
To support those on a similar path to me, and encourage them to follow and trust their own intuition and wisdom. To stay committed to healing, and accept where they are right now (for now) and begin to take baby steps towards creating the best version of life possible – within their circumstances.
Thus my message was born.
Teaching from my own experiences were the only credentials required.
By living the same emotions quite possibly I am the only mentor who can understand?
But please don’t ever think that I underestimate your challenges. I sincerely don’t. I know and appreciate that being sick (especially when you feel as though you have tried everything and it has been forever) is incredible tough and that most of the people around you have no idea. That is has the ability to destroy you if you let it.
Yet, somehow, amazingly, our own inner light radiates bigger and brighter that the illness. This is who you are.
You are that light.
But how do you even seek Purpose?
Honestly, I had no idea either. Just a desperate longing for it to find me one day. In the end I have discovered that purpose often appears once you access passion and creativity. Once you immerse yourself in a project or play – just for the sake of it – a vision occurs and dream begins to manifest. Do that which you love. Anything. Photography, Cooking, Walking, Writing, Playing, Painting, Shopping. It all counts when it ignites a flare of inspiration. Just have fun, see the beauty in the world, and let go of any need to see a bigger picture. Your heart (and smile) will guide you here. Have faith.
Additionally, consider the magic and power of sharing your own story to kickstart your healing, creative, purpose, and self-development process. Of writing it out in all its glory. Freeing the words from your mind and soul and letting them spill and crash haphazardly onto the beautiful clean fresh white page. Creating a ripple effect.
Could sharing and writing become the catalyst for your next chapter too?
I admit that I write primarily for myself – because truthfully I need to hear the wisdom more than anyone. And I read and share stories to inspire and encourage myself as much as my reader. I need that too.
My Hearts + Faves
Id love to invite you to find your own Grace alongside me…..Please jump on my mailing list (below) to join my growing tribe and make meaningful friendships. I am devoted to bringing you magical stories and interviews from change-makers, creatives and wise inspiring souls, as well as ongoing healing guidance. You will also receive my blog posts and recipes (plus a FREE Dairy/Gluten Free Dessert Recipe Book) straight to your inbox a couple of times a month.
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