Over the last 15 years I’ve learned how to stand up for myself during diagnosis and treatment, so that I get the best possible medical advice and medication that works for me and my body.
I’ve also learned some badass boundaries that mean I can truly stand my ground and advocate for myself, even when feeling extremely ill. Why?
Well some very strange things happen when you become seriously ill:
- Suddenly some friends, family and colleagues gain a medical degree and declare you their first patient.
- You feel like you have to apologise for feeling fatigued, emotional or having ‘brain fog’.
- Clinicians, who I like to think of as my ‘advisors’, can get very bossy and just a little dismissive of side effects.
All of this can be annoying AF. So it’s critical that my emotional capacity is as robust and powerful. I’ve learned what to share, with whom and when on my whole experience of illness. I
Along the way I acquired a core set of skills to keep my creativity alive and create meaningful work that works for me and my body.
All of these inner resources, skills and rituals have become my daily grounding, and my daily foundation.
A pioneer in the Chronic Illness space, Michelle Irving is the Queen of the Underworld. She mentors women around the world, teaching them to harness the Sacred Power of Illness. She keeps it real.
In her forthright style, she provides practical relationship and self-care strategies for the whole illness journey through diagnosis to ongoing management and survivorship. She believes we can all have a positive relationship with ourselves even in the midst of experiencing illness. Michelle is a gifted mystic, and is in demand globally as a teacher, speaker and writer.
Michelle gets it. While extensively bed-bound twice in the past decade, she mastered the practical demands of medical appointments, insurance, relationship dynamics and working. She also immersed herself in mythology, mysticism and embodiment teachings. She emerged with an understanding of the deeply spiritual dimension of serious illness.
She is driven by a mission to deshame our conversations around illness.
Michelle has created a methodology for women to claim the precious power that lies at the heart of any underworld journey. She knows that the grit, vulnerability and tenacity required to face illnesses are also amazing tools for creating a life filled with flexibility and creativity.
Her work is underpinned by extensive professional development in the emerging survivorship care sector. She has completed training with the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre and The University of Melbourne Primary Practitioner Survivorship Training. She has also studied as an embodiment therapist and apprenticed with Gyanamala, a renowned Melbourne elder.
Prior to this work Michelle had an extensive career in government, not-for-profit and the corporate sectors focussed on women’s health policy and health service delivery. Her academic background is an honours degree in Philosophy and Women’s Studies.
I’m deshaming illness.
I do not believe we are meant to suffer in silence.
I do not believe that we are destined to sit quietly on the sidelines of life.
I believe we are magnificent. I believe we move between two worlds, the world of our human bodies and the world of the unseen, intuitive wisdom.
I believe our longings are the guidance for where to focus our energy.
I believe we can enjoy meaningful work in ways that work for us and our bodies.
I believe we can trust ourselves.
I believe we can have a life filled with love, meaningful work and deep personal power.
I believe there is No Shame in Illness.
The big question is, what would our experience be like if we all believed this?
Michelle provides resources and articles upon request. For more information about Michelle’s blog, podcast, media kit, media relations + interview requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.