A new ICN column of practical tips on living with chronic illness by Frannie Rose

Frannie Rose is a Patient-Advocate, Inspirational Speaker and Writer on issues relating to keeping your spirit alive when dealing with chronic illness and the medical system.

"Fixing Frannie" is one woman's story of achieving diagnosis and her surprising 15 year journey through the medical system. It is an honest and uplifting story of laughter, challenges and heroes and most of all finding the medications that changed her life.
Now available on Amazon.com

Have you ever visited a new place that you've never been before and felt immediately at home? Have you ever read a book and wondered just how that author knew exactly how you were feeling?? Have you ever met someone new and knew, immediately, that they'd be a great friend??

Frannie Rose evokes all of the above and more! In her articles, I feel so comforted. The word "peace" comes to mind but it's more than that. It's as if she takes your darkest worries and helps you walk through them and back into a place where you feel more hopeful and less alone! Frannie is, in my opinion, of the most "healing" and "thoughtful" authors in the self help movement and we are absolutely delighted and privileged to feature her columns! - Jill Osborne, ICN President & Founder

Life-Raft Concept of the Month

"I am the boundless ocean
This way and that
The wind, blowing where it will,
Drives the ship of the world.
But I am not shaken." -Ashtavakra Gita

The unpredictability of the waves of our life's situations, can sometimes throw us to our knees. Just when we think that life is in our "control", something happens that we did not expect, nor are we prepared for. We are taken out of our element, out of our comfort zone, and into the world of the unpredictable, the world of the u nknown.

It is in such times as these, when we face adversities. Whether it be illness, loss of job, loss of family members, injuries, or catastrophes, we feel lost in a foreign world. We are at first shocked, later denial, then anger sets in to replace the hurt we feel. We feel abandoned by our God and our spiritual beliefs up until this point in time are shaken. We long for what we felt was the predictability of life. The habits we created in order to feel that life is in our control, are no longer comforts. The soft place we used to lie, becomes uncomfortable and we no longer fit into it. We long for familiarity to help us to feel our lives can go back to routine. Yet, we find no familiarity in this land of the unknown, the land of adversity.

It is at this time it would help us to remember that life has a natural flow. Just as the clouds can cover the sun, so can the sun burn through them, given enough time. Just as a wave can move toward the shore in the ocean, so can it break and lose its intensity. Sometimes the waves move forward without us. It is then when we can allow ourselves the extra time we need to swim to them, to catch up with them, and to go with the flow of our lives.

Keep in mind- your life situation is not your life. It is merely a string of happenings from one day to the next. As waves are not the sea, they are movement in the ocean tides- a momentary situation. Your life consists of present moments, while living in the very now. And this is how you focus on adversity, living in the now, each second at a time.

There is beauty in every waking moment. There is good on the flip side of what we once perceived as bad or unpleasant. It helps most when we try to train ourselves to see it that way. It is part of the nature of polarities in the world of form and body. There is good and bad, high and low, bottom and top. It is always good to remember that polarities work both way with infinite possibilities of gray areas in between. Just as everything wonderful has its own limitations, everything unfortunate has its own beauty. And everything we do that is worthwhile in our lives, has its lessons.

Find the beauty in your life-situation. You are the boundless ocean, and not the waves that flow this way and that. Waves are just waves, as your life situation is merely a momentary situation, a picture in time. Ride the waves to the shore, see the sun through the clouds. Practice flip-side thinking and you will surely see the beauty in all your challenges. Capture the lessons for the first time, in the world of the unknown and your adversity becomes a learning experience. The time you spend on this is never wasted. Whatever is taught to you on your journey will become the catalyst for a spiritual transformation of your life.

Let us walk down this healing road together.
Always with peace and love,


Revised: 05/01/06 - jho