Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

When's the Last Time Your Authentic Self and Chronic Illness Had a Chat? with Amber Gilkerson

August 16, 2021 Kelsey, Amber Gilkerson Season 2 Episode 8
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
When's the Last Time Your Authentic Self and Chronic Illness Had a Chat? with Amber Gilkerson
Show Notes Transcript

Improving well-being and quality of life when you have a chronic illness takes a lot of work. Connecting with your authentic self can be helpful in improving your day-to-day life, even though it's not going to make your illness go away. My guest this week is Amber Gilkerson, chronic illness warrior and health coach, who is sharing how reconnecting with her authenticity has helped her improve her well-being.
In this episode we talk about:

  • what authenticity is
  • 4 steps to reconnecting with your authenticity
  • how authenticity can improve well-being

Trigger Warning: mentions of suicidal ideation

Guest Bio:
Amber Gilkerson is the owner and founder Overcoming Starting Over, Holistic Health & Embodiment Coaching. Her mission is to show fellow chronic illness warriors how to reconnect with a body they feel as betrayed them, so they can reclaim their power, and live in authentic alignment to the healthy lifestyle they have been dreaming about.

Follow Amber on Instagram @ambergilkerson and on FaceBook @ A Home for Chronic Illness Warriors
Amber's Website: www.overcomingstartingover.com
Support the show on Patreon
Follow me on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.

Kelsey Harris:

When's the last time you reconnected with your authentic self? Have you ever thought of authenticity is affecting your well being? What does it mean to be authentic when you have a chronic illness? Here's a definition of the authentic self, if you're not sure what I mean, it's an honest representation of you. It's not caring about the judgments of others. It's being honest with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Now, it's not giving yourself permission to be a jerk or ignore the feelings of others. But it is about at the very least an inner acknowledgement of who you are and what you need. My guest this week is Amber Gilkerson, a chronic illness warrior and a holistic health coach here discuss how authenticity has improved her well being on this week's episode of chronically living. I'm Kelsey Harris, a chronic illness warrior and a psychotherapist and training on chronically living and how to make the most of it, we're providing tangible ways to improve the well being of spoonies. So get ready to make the most out of your life even with that pesky chronic illness.

Amber Gilkerson:

My name is Amber Gilkerson. I'm from Whidbey Island just north of Seattle and Washington state where I get to live. And I'm a professional chronic illness warrior as well as a holistic health and embodiment coach for people who are, you know, trying to build their foundation and reconnect to a body that they feel has betrayed them as they're struggling with chronic health conditions and wanting to live that life that they're there and dreaming of that they're wanting to thrive.

Kelsey Harris:

amazing.

Amber Gilkerson:

So I've got almost 15 diagnosis of chronic health conditions. And so my story goes back about 10 years ago, when or I should say 10 years ago is when I got my diagnosis. My story with chronic health conditions has been there my entire life as far as I've dealt with chronic depression and anxiety my entire life and have dealt with real suppression of authenticity that entire time as well. But my other health conditions include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, Nutcracker syndrome, mae Turner Syndrome, pelvic congestion, endometriosis, and pcls, dysautonomia, rain, activity induced asthma hypermobility, like I said, the chronic depression and anxiety as well as migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, and stenosis of the neck and mid back, and degenerative Bone and Joint disorders in my hips and low back. So I was hit pretty hard with the chronic health spectrum. And I got almost all these diagnosis within a year span. So it was incredibly overwhelming, a really, I felt like my head my identity had been ripped into, because suddenly, all of these illnesses fell into my lap, and I kind of had no idea what to do, I just felt like my body had betrayed me, I felt very angry, very sad. I can say that now, that, you know, I really felt sad about it. But I went from being this active horseback riders, competitive barrel racer, and horseback rider, and kind of alternative sports junkie to not being able to get out of bed and having to learn how to walk again. So it was a real wake up call to the fact that my body was not invincible, either to physical, I had dealt with the mental and emotional aspects of health, but I hadn't really dealt with my physical body not being able to carry me through it. And that was a real change that happened about 10 years ago. And suddenly, I was thrust into the chronic illness warrior life.

Kelsey Harris:

15 is a lot of diagnoses. I know that just with the three I have, it feels like a lot. I also know that there are a lot of other chronic illness warriors out there who have a lot of diagnoses as well. Amber mentioned that she had a really hard time at the beginning of her journey, something that may resonate with most of us. So how did she get from there to identifying as a warrior now.

Amber Gilkerson:

To be honest with you, I spent seven years in full disconnection, anger and betrayal from my body, I could hardly look at myself in the mirror. I didn't want my photo taken. I actually, through all the years that I was sick, I have maybe five photos of me that I let my mother take so I really have no photos of me in hospitals or things like that, because I wouldn't let her and I hated I hated the universe for letting this happen to me. I felt deep anger, actually, and resentment towards like my genetics and everything like that, that played a role. I felt anger towards myself for any part that I had played. And I wasn't fully even at that point, ready to admit some of the areas where I had been a part of my own chronic illness and suppression. But I was angry. I felt like my identity had been like The split and it took seven years of, of dreaming basically, of the life that I could have had is what I was thinking I was sitting there in a state of dreaming about the life that I could have had if I hadn't gotten diagnosed. And I'm gonna just say this for transparency, you know, I had a scholarship to WSU for their business departments, I was, you know, really on track to be, you know, in marketing and business. And it was like, that was the career that I was headed down. I wasn't really thinking this kind of thing was going to be for me for health or whatnot. But it changed all that. And it was about three and a half years ago, where I was actually after my grandma had passed, I grandma took care of me growing up, and I ended up taking care of her until she passed. And when she passed, the last thing she said to me was lip live. And those words really resonated with me from a woman who had met many struggles in her life as well. And that was her advice means live. But I didn't know what that meant anymore. Like, what what was living, and because I was existing, and I was faking it until I made it, and I wasn't making it, that that's like most of us are with chronic health conditions is that you really are. And so it's about three and a half years ago, I decided to start making steps to really know myself, again, to know who I am with chronic health conditions. And I'll tell you, it was one of the most difficult journeys I've ever been on. But one of the most rewarding, it almost makes me emotional, because there are so many points, you know, I can think of one that happened in the first year that I started to make this commitment was I decided to come off of narcotics and not everybody's at that point in their journey. So not trying to, you know, shame anybody for being on them still, but I knew that I needed to make the step. But when I did that, it opened up a whole other set of aspects to get to know about myself that I had been numbing from that from all of this, within my mind, the real pain that I felt after being diagnosed, the real pain that I had gone through before my diagnosis, and then after, and a whole new set of healing unfolded. And then really, it's been the last year that I implemented, I implemented everything that I was sitting there dreaming about was when I talk about, you know, relearning my own brain, I was journaling a lot I was thinking about, you know, and was trying to get out who I am, right. And, and it's really this last year where I implemented a lot of those things that I had been writing down that I had been dreaming of that I had been thinking, this is the life that I want to live or this is, this has to be possible and reframing the mindset, right, because that's the part none of us want to do. Because it sucks.

Kelsey Harris:

Amber makes a really good point, the journey to a better life while having chronic illness is hard. It's long. It's a lot of personal work. And what I want to add is that change is slow. I see this to clients all the time, whether it's a mental health issue or chronic health condition, if you want to make changes know that change is slow. mindset is Amber is talking about is part of the change that improves quality of life and well being. So let's hear a bit more about what she did.

Amber Gilkerson:

What helps you understand why your body is in a state of disease, and that it really hasn't betrayed you that it's asking for help. And this reframing was huge. And that again happened about a year ago. And then just to bring you up to date completely, is that in the last four months is what I really I took action in a completely different way. I really took all these things that even in the last year where I thought I was taking all of this control I was realizing I was doing all this foundational work in my mindset right? these last four months is where I took all that and then implemented into all the other lifestyle factors. And the results have been incredible considering at the beginning of this year, I was talking with doctors about moments where I was slipping in and out of consciousness literally I was so sick at one point earlier this year where that was happening. So it's I'm also wanting to stay in that that's part of why I'm bringing that up is that I'm also not completely better. My chronic illnesses are not gone is that I still fight but if there is there is obviously something here that's working and that's why I've started sharing my story because I think others deserve to know that yes attorney is long and wherever you're at it is okay but keep going keep going. Keep going because there is there's there's more.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, yeah. I like that. And it's so true like well being as a person with a chronic illness isn't about getting rid of your chronic illness because they're chronically ill, you know, it'd be great if we could get some cures for them. But that's not, that's not within our control. What's within our control is is how good our life can be even with chronic illness. So I like that you've kind of pointed that out for for us.

Amber Gilkerson:

It's a huge aspect of it right is that I think that we get a lot of people who are trying to tell people with chronic health conditions and chronic illness that Oh, you just do, how many of us have been told, if you just do yoga, all your problems will go away. And don't get me wrong, that's a beautiful modality to incorporate an absolutely vital essential for healing and movement, right. But that doesn't mean it's going to take away everything. And this is giving people also a chronic illness, this sense of that they're not doing enough. And there's so much too, that you can do that can help you just live with this, not necessarily cure it. But live with this.

Kelsey Harris:

I think it's probably what most of us want to be able to do is keep living, not just existing, as Amber mentioned earlier, as we've been exploring on the show this season, there's a lot of different aspects, we can incorporate it on this path to living. Amber shares, one that I think is often overlooked, and actually was touched on briefly by one of my guests last season. So listen up.

Amber Gilkerson:

Reconnecting to my authentic self was the biggest part. And this is if people end up following me on a platform anywhere, I talked about this a lot. When I refer to my authentic self, I refer to connecting to the fullness of my identity to the fullness of who I am as a soul, not just in my journey with health, but you know, the purpose, what is the purpose here? What are my wants, needs and desires? Who am I really because I think what ends up especially when people are diagnosed young with chronic health conditions, like I was right, I was still figuring it out. I didn't know I was diagnosed at 17. So I'm, you know, I'm still very young. And this whole journey, I didn't know any of it. And I was still figuring out who is myself. And connecting to my authenticity was probably the biggest aspect. And I did this a lot through journaling. But I started asking myself the hard question, which was, am I'm actually speaking my needs to people around me, what am I doing that's suppressing my own voice? How can I not be living in a state of suppression of the self? And what are some goals? You know, how can I start bringing the sport and I focused on that more than anything, actually, I mean, that's really what I did is just getting comfortable sharing who I am, which was, for many people in my life, a lot of people didn't accept that I had chronic health conditions, many people still don't believe that I do. You know, there's a real importance of connecting truly to who you are in the fullness of the self, so you can stand in your power, because that's what I think is also happens when you're getting diagnosed is you feel like someone has ripped your power away. But suddenly, all your control all your choices, suddenly, those are ripped away. And this happens in multiple facets of you know, trauma as well, you know, which a lot of people with chronic health conditions have dealt with trauma. And so there's a real link there. And that was a big link for me. And so connecting deeply to that authentic self was recognizing all of that, seeing how the fullness also then manifested into the chronic disease that I'm in. And it was powerful. It was beautiful healing and connecting experience, so that I could take the next step for authenticity.

Kelsey Harris:

Being your authentic self. A lot of people with and without chronic illness struggle with this. This doesn't mean dwelling on your pain or necessarily sharing every aspect of your life with every person you meet. It's more about getting in touch with that part of yourself that isn't a chronic illness warrior. Like we talked about in the episode on using externalizing language. We are more than just our illness. Everyone's process to achieving this might be different and after the break we'll hear about what amber has found to have worked for her. Hey, warriors, what if it was possible to get local fresh groceries delivered right to your front door. You could take a deep sea yoga with all that free time. Well instacart gives you unlimited grocery delivery for one low monthly fee. This is definitely better than paying for delivery on all those other apps. Forget that one ingredient you needed to make that super healthy smoothie instacart can deliver to your front door in as little as an hour. You can shop multiple stores getting all your favorites on a single order. instacart even highlights a deal so that you can save money. Get all the products you love hand selected by shoppers based on your preferences. They'll pick the freshest produce handle. Keep your eggs safe, too. find everything you usually buy and get smart suggestions on new items. To get free delivery on your first order over $35, follow the link in the show notes to let instacart know that we sent you, and help to help support the show. With instacart, you'll never step foot in the grocery store again. So what is Amber's doing to achieve this authenticity process? I'll give you a hint. It's for seemingly simple, but actually not really easy steps.

Amber Gilkerson:

Yeah, so really, what I first did is I implemented a system, what I call the four R's, and they are rest, reflect, reset, reconnect. And this was actually something that came to me in a meditation Was this something that like, came to me and I was like, Okay, I'm gonna really start working through this. And so when I implemented structure, I started really identifying what true rest meant to me because one of the big things for chronic illness is self care, and making sure that you are adequately doing self care for yourself that fits your bio individual needs. And rest is one of those main things that we often chalk up and almost put it up on a pedestal, we make it so that we think of rest as being you know, going off and doing the big vacation or something like that. And that might be somebodies idea of rest, but we forget to just rest in our day take moments of pause to connect more deeply to the self. And that's what I started doing is identifying Well, what are my rest periods that I need in a day? What do I need to have a true rest and meaning a soul rest? Like what do I need to spiritually recharge. And through the process, because I'll go through the four R's here is what I identified that I then would do a reflection piece is if I was feeling burnout, and I needed to do rest, okay, what led to that burnout was it lack of boundary setting lack of speaking by needs a lot of personal accountability is what I did is because I realized that people around me really couldn't know what I needed unless I was telling them. And if people weren't around me weren't respecting what I needed, then it was time to reevaluate the people around me, it gave me more clarity. And so then I could move into the third arm, which is reset, I could take action that was my action step in the process where I would then okay after my accountability, resting recentering with myself is I would reset my life is I would go in and I would make the changes, I would I would read tweak my sentences, if I wasn't saying what I needed properly, I would tell people around me like, hey, like, maybe we can't hang out as often or actually got rid of some friends as far as remove myself away, still love them from a distance, but they don't support my chronic illness journey right now. And that's okay is that you know, it's just honoring that for yourself and resetting it into your life. And also resetting the lifestyle factors in your health, like nutrition, movement, and so on are some of those the areas that you were needed that you reflected on that you needed to identify more of, and it all led to more reconnection. And in the reconnection process, what I found is, every time that I got there, my body would react in such a visceral way, as far as it was, like this release of serotonin or whatever it might be. But it was this connection of Thank you of gratitude to, to my own self, of thank you for doing this process. And the four R's are ones that can be worked into, like every day, and what that's what I do is I do them every day, as I work through a little bit of rest, I reflect on it, I reset myself and I reconnect to my full self. But they also can be done in months long periods of time, where you really do deep dives into each one of these areas. And I did that. And that's where some of the journal work came up and like the reflection piece, and so on. But those four R's, they were the game changer of implementation, that that happened, and I'm so grateful

Kelsey Harris:

Rest spiritually, reflect on yourself, reset everything you need to, from your language, to friendships, to nutrition and movement, and reconnect with the self using gratitude. I have a feeling a lot of you listening might be thinking, Oh, but when I reflect, it's just going to be all about my illnesses causing me my problems. And by the way, I think that this is a very natural default thought process for people with chronic illnesses to go to.

Amber Gilkerson:

Because that was something that I was deeply in for a very long time was every time I would go to reflect it was toxic, spiraling into myself of more, more betrayal talk more angry. I mean, you know, all of this feeling just like like, Oh, I don't want to reconnect to you those feelings, right. And really, I think How I moved through that it's kind of weird cuz I don't know if I've actually really shared this part of like how to move through the reflection piece of that is you have to, if you're in the process, I think this is it if you have to be willing to forgive, and I'm not just talking about others in your life, right is we've got it, you've got to come into the process. And I think you have to be ready to take the step in the healing. But forgiveness is very hard. And I also think it's important that when people are diving into this is to remember that if there are aspects that you may be in lifestyle choices, or whatever it might have been that did in some part can contribute to the disease, you are not any less worthy of healing, I think it is that we get so angry at ourselves and believe we're not worthy of forgiveness for some of the things that we do to ourselves. And the thing is, is I say this, and this does not blame, I say this in a such a love is we all we all experience trauma that we inflict upon ourselves. And it gives me chills. But in the first step of connecting to your chronic illness is to forgive yourself, you are worthy of being forgiven. And, and that was it for me, I stood in front of the mirror. And this is one of the most emotional things I've ever done in my life is I stood in front of the mirror, and I forced myself to look myself in the eye. And I said, I forgive you. And I still like it gives me chills, I'll never forget that moment. And I didn't really believe when I said it to myself, like I said it, I forgive you. But it was me looking back at myself in my own eyes, that I broke down into tears. And then I said it again. Anyway, I forgive you. And it changed it. And I continued saying, I forgive you, I forgive you. And again, I feel I feel like some people hear me when I tell this part. And it's gonna it sounds like it could be blame. And it's not. It's not, this is really important. This is just an aspect in how you can partner with yourself. And I think what ends up happening so often is we're so discouraged do that from the time we're very young. That then when we're presented with something that fully makes us feel disconnected from ourselves in any aspect of the word. This idea of having to connect reback or to forgive or to do is very hard. And so just to recognize that for people and where they're at. I see you been there. And forgiveness is an essential first step for your healing.

Kelsey Harris:

As amber says self forgiveness is essential. I think that forgiveness in general is important. You may not cause your illness, but I've heard so many people be hard on themselves for being sick. Again, it's a natural response and one that you can forgive yourself for. This ties in to self compassion as well. I've seen in my work as a therapist, which by the way, I just finished my master's. So I am waiting for that last mark. But I think I can say I'm a therapist now. Anyway, what I've seen him so many people is that they're lacking self compassion. Because we're not taught to do it as children. We're taught to be compassionate to others, but not to ourselves. I didn't really start to develop self compassion until I was doing meditations and specifically doing loving kindness and other types of self compassion, meditations.

Amber Gilkerson:

It's it's pretty, it's pretty incredible. And I think I actually I think I talked to you earlier at one point about Gabor Mate. I might have just said his name wrong, but is the where he talks about suppression and the link between that and chronic health conditions. And when I really started looking into that this is just for my own personal story. It was so linked, I didn't realize that my entire childhood and up until actually just real recently was spent in suppression mode as well. Not just disconnection from my body when I got diagnosed, but real suppression of who I was. I never felt like I could show who I was. And so all all holds down deep inside. I also work as a Reiki healer and energy healer. So I believe deeply in how energy is stored within the body. How negative energies can be stored and how they build and build and how to start working through them. Forgiveness is really part of that.

Kelsey Harris:

If you're not familiar with the work of Dr Gabor Mate, whom Amber just mentioned, I highly suggest reading When the Body Says No, I know this is a topic I will be discussing more on the podcast in the future. When it comes to suppression, though, it seems that many people suppress emotions suppress authenticity, suppose trauma and so on. I think it might just be that society has taught us to do this. But it's actually not healthy. And we need to learn to do more of the opposite, which is to accept these things. We're supposed to have emotions, we're supposed to have physical sensations. And sometimes those really suck, but they're supposed to be there.

Amber Gilkerson:

I think for people with chronic health conditions that we really have to be willing to step into is the fullness of emotion, understanding that feeling anger and sadness and grief is okay, that it is not bad. And that's in our society has built up so much that to feel angry or to feel sad, or to feel frustrated is bad. And we leave people suppressing those emotions and continuing to harbor these negative energies within themselves. And this is just wrong. And it's so culturally normalized, that breaking through it. It's, it's, it's hard, it's difficult to break through the noise, but it is an essential part of living fullness.

Kelsey Harris:

So how do you relate authenticity to where you are with your health, both currently and where you want to be in the future?

Amber Gilkerson:

Yeah, so with my health is really living in alignment to what I know my body needs, is that I think, for authenticity that I broke it down into a few different things. But really, for me, it was I've always been a people pleaser, so I had to start speaking my needs. So authenticity came in the form of really sharing my voice sharing my truth. But it also, like I said, came in the form of, you know, what I'm putting inside of my body, what I am taking in, mentally and emotionally, it came to aligning to joy, as opposed to this grand end result, which I was. So I really was, I was so focused on I was wanting to get to actually even where I am right now, this is about, you know, seven years ago, Heck, even three years ago, I would have loved to be just even feeling this much joy in my day to day life because joy was missing. And so connecting back to my authenticity was also connecting back to what brings me joy on a soulful level, not just on the surface level, and how to dive deeply into bring that more into my life.

Kelsey Harris:

So where would you see your well being is now comparatively to a couple years ago.

Amber Gilkerson:

Oh, dramatically improving say back it just, just a couple years ago, my well being was probably at a one or a two, I was floating on the suicidal line frequently, I was in and out of hospitals. You know, I didn't see any more reason to look, especially since my grandma had passed by reason had been taking care of her and so on and so forth. So I'm kind of like, what am I gonna do? And now I would say my, my well being and this is not an exaggeration is between a 9 and a 10. And why is because even on the bad days, because I do I have bad days yesterday was a bad day is I feel joy again, every day in my life now because of connecting to my authentic self. I've created opportunities for joy, my beautiful dog sits right at the foot over here next to me. And realizing that joy sometimes comes in just being able to give him a hug and love on him. Sometimes it's being able to step out my door and get into a car that starts you know, if finding joy again, and there wasn't any back then. And now there is

Kelsey Harris:

This again reminds me of the conversation I had with Dr Shirazi about Viktor Frankl. In Man's Search for Meaning, Frankl talks about finding joy in meaning in the little things like the sunset while he was in a concentration camp.

Amber Gilkerson:

What I think it is, is that we have joy that surrounds us every day, and we're constantly waiting for joy to come to us. And you have to find it in your life, you have to find what joy is to you. Because my joy could be very different than yours. And you know, it's and that's the beauty of it, though. Or at least I think it is it shows our individual expression or individual authenticity, and the most beautiful individual ways that we can find joy in this world.

Kelsey Harris:

Next, we have a bonus topic for patron subscribers of Chronically Living. This topic is about taking control of your illness rather than it taking control of you. I had clients once say to me that they realized they could take control of their mind and that their mind doesn't have to control them. Believe it or not, we can do the same to some extent with our illness, head over to Patreon and subscribe to access to this content. So let's do some lightning round questions. Google. It seems like everybody fears What are the top five songs that describe your life?

Amber Gilkerson:

This is very difficult for me because I don't know song names. Can I say genres? Okay, I'm thinking like, probably folk music. I'm thinking strong, like strong instrumentals a little bit of the classic rock, a little bit of the mainstream pop, and a classic mix up if at all.

Kelsey Harris:

Okay, a little bit of everything. I like it. It's a little bit of everything. I'm like, I don't know song name. I like that sort of folk music. That's a not one. A lot of people would say I actually really like folk music too. It's quite, it's amazing. Like the lyrics and stuff are awesome.

Amber Gilkerson:

I maybe that's where I live too. You know, it's like I'm like Whidbey Island is such a folk area. It's that kind of that that kind of place? Mm hmm.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, I grew up in Winnipeg, and Winnipeg is a massive Folk Festival. So I've gone in many, many times.

Amber Gilkerson:

I love that I love in Seattle. We have a huge Folklife Festival that goes on. And so yeah, I love this.

Kelsey Harris:

What's one thing you can't go a day without doing?

Amber Gilkerson:

Connecting in nature. I cannot go a day without being outside in some form, even if it's just going outside and sitting on my porch to breathe in fresh air.

Kelsey Harris:

What's one thing you plan on doing in your life that you haven't yet?

Amber Gilkerson:

That's a great question. Um, I, I want to travel the world and connect with cultural and indigenous healers from around the world. My ultimate end goal actually, and I didn't talk about this much in here but is to do shamanic healing and get to a place where spiritual healing and so on and so forth, which I know that can be. That's that's a whole other conversation. But I'd love to travel the world and study with healers from around the world to learn from them.

Kelsey Harris:

Very cool. Describe your perfect day.

Amber Gilkerson:

Okay, I really want to quote Miss Congeniality right now. April 25, that's too hot, not too cold. Sorry. No, my perfect day. My perfect day is truly getting up early, packing a bag for an adventure for an unknown adventure, loading up my dog and going and just listening to music. My one of my greatest therapies is driving with a dog in the car listening to the music loud. And so my perfect day is that and ending up somewhere where I get to watch a sunset and just be at the time for me.

Kelsey Harris:

Amazing. How do you inspire others to make the most of their lives?

Amber Gilkerson:

I'm truly is I my mission here is I'm hopeful that I inspire people to live more connected to their joy and authenticity. I feel like so many people do not feel they're worthy of it, even if they're not struggling from chronic health conditions. And I just, I want to encourage people to know that they are because there's a lifestyle of more connected partnership that awaits. And I want that for people.

Kelsey Harris:

That's great. Amber, thank you so much for being here. Where can we find you and follow you?

Amber Gilkerson:

Yeah, totally. So I am on Facebook, I have a Facebook group. That's called a home for chronic illness warriors. And that is your home, I have that as a sport space for people to come and share. But I also share a lot of great free information there. I do a lot of free trainings and so on. I also am confining on my website. And my business is called overcoming starting over. And so you can find me at www.overcomingstartingover.com there you'll get information more about the programs, more about the people I serve more about my backstory, I've got some videos on there that share a little bit more of my story. I'm still new into really sharing all of this with people. So some of these videos are a little bit rocky. But also you can find me on Instagram, I am under my name, which is Amber Gilkerson. And so you can follow me on their social media platforms are still building. But if you get into the Facebook group and on Instagram, you will be able to follow along and really get on there. And on my website, you can join my mailing list too and get your I have a download on there. So you can actually get the four R's, an outline to the four R's and how you can start utilizing them in your life to build a foundation as a chronic illness warrior. So you've got all those resources available to you. And hopefully we'll get to connect.

Kelsey Harris:

Yes, and all the information will be down in the show notes as well. Amber, th s has been great. Thank you so much for coming on.

Amber Gilkerson:

Thank you so much.

Kelsey Harris:

I'm curious as to what you were all thinking about reconnecting with your authentic self. There are so many aspects to well being I like this one because I try to live as authentically as I can. And yet, at times I do find it difficult this reconnect is going to look differently to each of us. But the steps amber uses sound like they're worth a try. Let's take our reflection moment using that observer self we've been developing. What did you notice about your thoughts and feelings while you listen to this episode? What are you noticing now as you reflect on your noticing? thank you as always for tuning in. I really appreciate it, Amber and I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode by tagging us in your Instagram stories. I also love it when you leave reviews. So if you're on iTunes, that would be great. And really, I just want to make a show that reaches as many chronic illness worries as possible. So any feedback you have or ideas for topics you'd like to hear about, please feel free to reach out in the DMS and let me know. Alright, that's it for now. So you all know the drill. Let's keep making the most of it. Special thanks to Nicole sicuro for the original music and to charity Williams for original artwork.