Meet Carol from New Zealand as she maneuvers an unexpected health obstacle that disrupts her life's calling. Discover how creativity, writing, faith, and meditation become the guiding rhythm that helps her rediscover purpose and embrace newfound hope.
“Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals.” - Charles Baudelaire.
Movement is our first language; I believe we’re born to dance. While we can’t always choose the music life plays for us, we decide how we will dance to it.
I’ve always had a penchant for creativity and adventure, enjoying dance, other creative pursuits, and climbing literal and figurative mountains. I relished working in the therapeutic world; it felt more like a calling. I savoured every moment; my purpose and mission fuelled me. I felt honoured to hold space and brighten dark places.
My highlights are when I’ve witnessed once dull and hopeless eyes light up when the person felt seen, heard, and accepted. Such is the power of compassionate presence.
Then, ill health struck. Progressively as my health declined, I was stripped of doing what I loved. Eventually, all I had was being able to facilitate the occasional workshop when opportunity and energy aligned. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is a merciless beast.
In 2020, the unimaginable happened. In addition to soul-destroying fatigue, I began experiencing frequent vocal challenges of varying degrees, from total voice loss to being able to utter nothing more than a hoarse croak. I could no longer accept facilitation invitations because my voice was now unreliable.
Uncertainty has a distinctive rhythm, the rhythm of unpredictability. As such, it is a particularly tricky dance companion.
How do you befriend the unknown, the invisible, the unpredictable?
I was devastated; the inability to guest-facilitate the occasional workshop was more dismaying than being unable to speak normally. The final pillar upholding my ability to do what I love had fallen. I cried. I grieved. I mourned.
As time dragged on, I descended further into the abyss of inexplicable exhaustion and a plethora of symptoms. My shrinking world, pervasive sadness, and a growing sense of worthlessness expedited my descent. I felt like I was being swallowed by a damp, dark fog.
After an extended period of wallowing in self-pity, I reoriented to align my thinking with truth. Writing and meditation reminded me that I have intrinsic value because I'm made in the image of God; created with purpose, created for purpose. Even though, at that point, I was no longer certain what my purpose was, I remembered that my value or identity is not defined by what I can or cannot do. Meditation and affirmations let the truth of my inherent value percolate in my mind until it was ready to travel from my head to my heart, where it settled into the fabric of my being and became embodied wisdom.
I draw on this wisdom to silence occasional value-related rogue thoughts, remain hopeful, and trust that God has a plan.
My shrinking world, pervasive sadness, and a growing sense of worthlessness expedited my descent. I felt like I was being swallowed by a damp, dark fog.
Regarding my health journey, in time, I accepted this: it is what it is. In the one hand, I hold the acceptance that for this season, this is my path. While in the other hand, I hold an awareness of all that is possible.
So, I started dancing again, swaying in sweet surrender to the melody of contentment and the rhythm of extravagant hope.
Life is full of surprises, pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral, yet what matters is how we respond to those surprises. Despite ongoing voice loss and health challenges, I found new ways to make a difference.
So, as I navigate chronic illness’s winding, unpredictable, unwelcome, and messy path, I do so with hope.
You and I may not be able to choose the music life plays for us; however, we do get to choose how we will dance to it. May we dance with strength, courage, and grace.
Meet Carol V. Meyer
Carol V. Meyer is a lover of nature and all things creative. She uses poetry, writing, dance, art, music, and faith to navigate her journey with authenticity and grace. She is a skilled trauma-informed Holistic Therapist, workshop, and retreat facilitator. Chronic illness interrupted her therapeutic practice; now she uses creativity and creates tools that inspire adults to live more fully.
Carol believes in the power of dreams and stories; in April 2022, her 41-year-old dream to start a magazine became a reality. InFlow Magazine is the mechanism she now uses to continue to make a positive contribution to the world. Carol and her son publish quarterly, offering this digital magazine for free, in service to humanity.
You can get your copy of the magazine free - by clicking here and following the instructions.
Carol also started an InFlow Facebook page where she posts inspiring quotes. She invites you to follow and connect with her there.