Heartburn and Stomach Ulcers: the Pain is Emotional & Spiritual Too


I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer when I was 18.

I could barely move. I couldn’t walk easily or far. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t wear a bra or jeans or anything which was even remotely tight around my tummy. I couldn’t lie on my side. It was extremely painful and upsetting.

So whenever I get any ulcer-like symptoms I have to be really careful. And that’s how I find myself now.

I wanted to share this because I have no doubt that my mental health along with certain life decisions I am currently making have played a huge part. Even though nowadays we’ve established that stomach bacteria is the primary biological cause, mental wellbeing can still play a big part.

So what are my symptoms?

  1. I’ve had terrible heartburn/acid reflux for about a week. This makes my whole chest burn, my throat hurt and my stomach so sore and tender I can’t even wear the baggiest of all baggy PJ bottoms.
  2. I’ve had the odd bout of what feels like heart palpitations (even though it is nothing to do with my heart) and it’s felt difficult to breath. Which isn’t fun.
  3. I feel sick. It’s alleviated a little by food but take one bite too many, or eat something which your stomach isn’t impressed with, and the nausea comes right back.
  4. I feel light-headed and dizzy, and headaches, and occasionally I mix up my words when I speak. Which sounds odd for a stomach problem but there is a nerve which connects the tummy and the head (apparently!) so there are neurological implications to ill health in the stomach.

I don’t really know anything about gut health although there is now tons of info out there, such as this talk by nutritionist Christy Orrechio or this new book by wellness expert and health coach Robyn Youkilis.

But I know from personal experience that when I feel extreme stress, indecision, unhappiness, depression, anxiety etc for a long period of time, this is where I end up.

My body has been warning me for a long time. With panic attacks, for example. But I’ve chosen to carry on regardless and so now it is getting my attention with increased physical pain which, if unattended, will cause me bigtime problems with mobility and my ability to function normally.

Which in a way is, I have to say, a pretty wonderful gift actually. To have such an intelligent and sensitive in-built GPS system like this looking out for me and attempting to guide me back to total authenticity of self.

But it’s not always easy. As I’ve written about many times before, work is my main ‘trigger’ but I push myself to the brink of my own personal emotional and mental limits time and time again because I don’t yet have an alternative which I can earn from, and I simply can’t afford to not work.

So I’m not sure yet how this will play out but I am taking some immediate precautions until I can get a Doctor’s appointment and perhaps some traditional medicinal remedies.

  1. Aloe JuiceThe helpful sales assistant at Holland & Barrett told me how aloe juice flushes out toxins, aids digestion and also soothes stomach ulcers.
  2. Multi-Vitamin spray. Also from Holland Barrett. Apparently Vitamin B in particular can repair inflammation, reduce acid reflux and increase energy.
  3. Rest. As it’s Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK I’ve had 4 days off work and have spent the vast majority of it in bed.
  4. Reflect. I’m feeling seriously unwell and that is not an acceptable state of being which can be sustained; therefore, I need to consider very seriously what I need to change in my life.

It’s so easy to treat a physical illness like ‘Whoops I’ve gotten ill, I’ll just rest a bit and take some medicine and it’ll go away”. But I believe there are metaphysical reasons behind illness – thanks to Louise Hay the legend! – and I also intuitively recognise that my emotions and thought processes play a massive part. So for me, healing cannot just be about healing the physical. It’s about taking a very long hard look at myself.

If you would like to share any tips or ask any questions, please do leave a comment below.

I wish you all the best of health and self-compassion. xxx




A Morning Ritual to Combat Negative Monkey Mind


It’s only fair to warn you upfront, this post is not actually about cute sleepy pugs 😋

I’ve recently realised that I have an extremely active, extremely negative monkey mind. It starts THE VERY SECOND I gain consciousness in the mornings before I barely even realise what’s happening!

The first thing I do upon waking, like most people, is recollect what I am doing that day and what are the most significant things I am doing that week.

And like most people, I am not doing a job I especially like, so what happens next is a rush of negative emotions and thoughts:

“Oh NO I have to go back there today 😢
This isn’t what I wanted to be doing with my life,
but I can’t figure out an alternative career.
I am a failure.
I feel exhausted and ill.
I feel weak.
I feel so sad.
I’m unhealthy.
There’s something wrong with me.
I don’t want to be here”

Before I’ve even realised quite what’s going on, I feel – to put it bluntly – like shit.

I then think “well I should meditate or recite a positive affirmation to raise my vibration” but by this point I feel so anxious and depressed that I can’t muster up the energy; and more interestingly, I don’t WANT to feel better because now I feel annoyed with myself. I don’t DESERVE to feel good about myself.

So! The last few days I have made myself change things up.

I have forced myself to recite an affirmation. Even if I really don’t want to, even if I really don’t believe it, I commit to trying.

I breathe deeply, and I say:
“I am healthy.
I am happy.
I am prosperous”.

And guys, honestly, I DO feel a shift. I do feel lighter.

This works.

I have found the last few days easier to deal with, and I even came up with my new project #FindingMySpark which I launched that very same day!

I wanted to share this because if it helps me then it could really make a difference for you too!

  1. Notice your self-talk first thing upon waking.
  2. Choose an affirmation which resonates with you and your particular worries or negative self-beliefs.
  3. Repeat it silently to yourself, as many times as you like.
  4. Your ‘ego’ / monkey mind will tell you not to bother, you aren’t worthy or you don’t have the energy. Tell yourself this: “I will try it anyway, because you never know”.
  5. If nothing happens the first, second, third morning, please keep trying. Everyone’s journey moves at a different pace.

If you can readjust your energy even just a little bit, you are giving yourself a much better chance of getting through the day in a less mentally and emotionally damaging way.

And if you DO like my affirmation then I created this little pic for you to save and share 🙏


Let me know how you get on! xxx



Today I am starting a new project, and I would LOVE for you to join me!

I have been feeling constantly exhausted and apathetic over the last few months. I’ve been eating a lazier diet, drinking more red wine, gaining weight, feeling physically ill literally every day and living in a constant state of anxiety, lethargy and insomnia. Clearly something isn’t right. But the worst part is, I don’t know how to fix it.

I already take anti-depressants to aid depression and anxiety, and am in recovery from my dermatillomania. So having days where I don’t feel great, or inspired, or I don’t feel anything at all, is to be expected.

In addition, I have a life purpose problem. I desire – and, if I may venture to sound a bit confident in myself just for a minute – I feel intuitively that I am here to contribute to the world in some meaningful way.

Trouble is, I don’t know how. People say “do what lights you up” but I haven’t found that spark. And trust me, I’ve been really looking for it, for a really long time, in many different places.

And then this idea came to me today:

Every day I will post on Twitter (and if it’s a picture I’ll post it on Insta too) a thing that has made me feel a bit of a spark during that day.

My ‘why’ for this is threefold:

First – over time, providing I am consistent with posting at least once a day – which in itself will feel like a massive effort – I will build up a picture of the recurrent themes, topics, role models, etc which have given me a little bit of that “what lights you up” feeling. I am hoping that this information will in itself trigger a bigger lightbulb moment in terms of my own personal purpose and what makes me feel passionate.

Second – it will be like a happiness/inspiration diary that I can look back on and give me nice feelz 😊

Three – I believe that honesty and transparency about mental health and these bigger life questions helps to unite people globally.

I am going to be honest if I don’t feel anything at all, or I feel crap, or I don’t feel a spark. Why force it? I want to cover the whole gamut of emotion within inspiration and purpose.

So how does this involve you? 

Because I would love you to get involved too!

Share with me, and with others, what made you feel something today.

Lets help everyone who knows they have a greater purpose than the life they are living right now, but can’t figure it out.

Lets help the people who are feeling lost or apathetic or purposeless.

Lets help those whom don’t feel anything at all today.

Because my philosophy is anything’s worth a try, right?

Use the hashtag #findingmyspark – and either hashtag me with #freedombirdie and/or tag me on @freedombirdie on Twitter and @freedom_birdie on Insta so I can follow your journeys. And let’s start sharing!

I can’t wait to get started! xxx


To Those Wishing They Weren’t In The World


I wrote this based on how I felt today when I woke up.

I dedicate it to those who feel the same.
The depressed, anxious, stressed, alone, frightened, grieving and broken-hearted.
We are all One. I am with you. I understand.

May You Rise.


Waking up Wishing I Weren’t in the World

When I woke up this morning, I wished I wasn’t here.
It’s not that I want death – it’s nothing that severe.
I’m not suicidal. I just want time to cease
So I can un-exist a while, and find a little peace.
All of my life’s burdens weigh heavy on my heart,
Though I do try to be grateful for every little part.
I don’t feel I can tell this to anyone I know
but I do not feel well, I feel trapped and I feel low.
My problems swirl around in my overactive mind.
I cannot find the answers but I cannot be resigned.
And so I fight. And so I tire. And so I crave respite.
The cycle just repeats, round and round, day and night.
But though it feels the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I decide to lift the covers and let the sunlight through.
And though my eyes are teary and inside I am distraught
I resolve that I will sit up despite my heavy thoughts.
And though I cannot bear to think about the day,
I stand. And just a tiny bit of turmoil goes away.
And though I feel a failure, and I’m lost, and I’m afraid
That every morning I will feel this very same way,
I know that things get better. Life goes up and down.
And there would be hearts broken, if I were not around.
So though my heart is hurting and I long for silent rest,
I decide that I will rise, and I will do my best.




‘Lucky Bitch’: Me, Money + Mental Health

Money affirmation.jpg

Once upon a time, I thought I was pretty clued up on the Law of Attraction.

The theory of it, anyway. I knew what I had to do. I had listened to some free ‘manifesting’ meditations on YouTube, and read a couple of books. The process was this: I had to be specific about my desires, visualise them, feel them as though it’s already in my life, release it and then receive it!

I had a few little successes but on the whole I was finding myself forever worrying about money and scouring the pavement everywhere I went looking for loose change.

If I’m being painfully honest, I couldn’t be bothered to put any further effort into it. I just wanted to make a wish and have thousands of pounds deposited into my bank, thanks very much.

So anyway – something switched very recently. Call it intuition, call it divine guidance, call it frustration from scouring the pavement lol. I abandoned my ’99p or under’ rule for Kindle books and spent a whole £8.03 on ‘Get Rich, Lucky Bitch’ by Denise Duffield-Thomas.

I am not far into the book yet but one of the most important exercises you must do, according to Denise, is to face all of your beliefs, feelings and memories about money square in the eye. So that you can then “declutter” those that are not serving you.

This morning whilst in meditation I visualised my spirit team all around me (for moral support lol) and a large basket in front of me, and I started offloading all my thoughts about money into the basket. (By the way this is a great technique if you want to offload/release anything anytime you are worried, fearful etc). 

It was not long before I realised something that I would say probably has raaaather a lot to do with my lack of manifesting success. And which is also embarrassingly obvious!

You know my previous blog posts, where I have discussed how many years I’ve spent feeling trapped in jobs I couldn’t stand, which affected my mental and physical wellbeing and felt like a waste of my life? Where I expound my belief that we should dream big, and disregard the societal norm to suffer a job because “that’s the way it is”, and work towards an authentic and fulfilling job and life?

Well that is indeed admirable. Unfortunately, underlying it is a belief which is completely contradictory:

The only way I have managed to earn money is doing things that make me unwell, unhappy, depressed, anxious and even suicidal.

And therefore:

Earning money makes me unhappy, depressed, anxious and even suicidal.

So yeah. No wonder I struggle to manifest riches! Deep down I believe that acquiring money could kill me!

I was pretty overwhelmed by this realisation. It’s fantastic to have realised it though. Realising it is the first step towards overcoming it.

I suspect there may be many, many others in my shoes – those with mental health issues like mine especially – who deep down have the same fear.

Do you recognise this belief in yourself? If you have already found this to be one of your belief, what has your journey been like since you made that discovery?

How a Rose Quartz Helped My Mental Health


Photo by Adam Dachis

As you may know, I explored and adopted various spiritual practices and principles when I was first diagnosed with depression some 7-8 years ago.

But I never “got” crystals.

I’d collected the bog standard ones that beginners often get, Rose Quartz for love, Aventurine for the heart chakra, Blue Lace Agate for the throat chakra. But I didn’t feel anything when I held them, and I ended up leaving them in a drawer.

Then last year I randomly bought a beautiful piece of blue Celestite. The first time I meditated with it in my hand, I felt different. Clearer, calmer and more connected (and more inclined towards alliteration lol). This prompted me to dig out the crystals I’d bought and look for more that might help me with the specific issues I was having.

Fast forward to 4 weeks ago. I am a total mess.

My dermatillomania is the worst it’s been in years (for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s also known as a Repetitive Body Focused Behaviour, or Compulsive Skin-Picking). I am having CBT which has helped me understand the condition and given me more motivation and accountability to stop, but only I can resist the urge and kick the habit and I am really, really struggling. In fact it’s getting so bad that I am having panic attacks over it. In public.

So this one night, 4 weeks ago, I was feeling extremely down about it all. I was getting ready for bed and putting my gloves on so I wouldn’t pick in my sleep. And I randomly decided to pop my old Rose Quartz inside the glove on my left hand. Silently, and probably rather half-heartedly because I didn’t have the energy at that point to fight, I asked it to help me feel better.

The next morning, I woke up, and I didn’t pick.

At midday I texted my therapist to say OMG I haven’t picked yet today. I was so proud. More than that, I was astonished. I had not been able to resist picking for this many hours, for almost a year.

I have not picked since that night.

I have not picked for four weeks.

Frankly, it feels like nothing short of a miracle. It was literally overnight. I went to bed a compulsive skin-picker, and woke up reformed. (There is a theory that we are more open to spiritual healing when we’re asleep). I retained the habit of feeling my skin for imperfections (although that has lessened massively over time) but I literally had no interest in picking anymore.

When I next saw my therapist I felt squirmy at how little involvement I had had in this miraculous recovery. She quickly told me that I had had a massive amount to do with it, which of course is true. I had had months of CBT prior to it. I had reached a point of desperation which led to determination to quit. I had tried and tried and tried again.

I can’t promise this will happen to everyone. And I can’t explain exactly what happened. But it’s worth a try. Try it for anything you are going through, any mental health concerns you may have.

And if it doesn’t work the first time, persevere. Because we are all at different stages of spiritual openness. There’s no rules to if, when or how it can work so don’t beat yourself up. It can be a process, or it can be instant.

I wish you love, light and hope.








Mental Wellbeing vs Paying Bills


One of the main themes of Freedom, Birdie! has always been the relationship between mental health and work: which, for so many of us, means surviving in a job we don’t enjoy, for whatever reason.

Everything I write (well, except the vegan burger recipes 😋) relates somehow to my own goal to escape the career path I am in;  and to instead work independently doing something which allows me to live the fullest authentic expression of who I am, and be happy and healthy. As an INFP if I have to take a job just for the money, a job in which I have no interest, emotional engagement or spiritual reward, if I have to assume a ‘character’ and repress elements of myself to ‘get the job done’ and be ‘the face that fits’, it is to my mental and physical detriment.

Yet that is the situation I have been in for many years as a professional ‘temp’. You can be sure I’ve spent those years exploring for a better-suited career path, starting up a number of entrepreneurial ventures, and working through my emotional and spiritual blocks – but out of necessity I’ve had to keep taking the ‘soul-destroying’ jobs and in doing so I’ve continued to push my mental wellbeing and the greater my emotional and physical health has suffered as a result.

So I’m currently in another temp job, which started in January and finishes in April.

Three weeks in I was given the workload of 3 people and it was this which alerted me to the toll these many years have taken on my body and spirit. I just can’t tolerate it the way I used to – I used to be able to get through 3 months in a job before I started to feel depressed, trapped and panicky. Now it’s only a matter of a few weeks.

I feel weaker now. In body and mind. It’s not just the usual repercussions: the insomnia, panic attacks, chest aches, sadness that leads to depression, feeling frustrated, drained and defeated. This time I feel tearful all the time, in and out of work. And I’m extremely anxious about work, in and out of work. I ache all over, more than ever. And my hands are noticeably shaking.

People who don’t know how this feels, they don’t get it. My doctor doesn’t get it. My government doesn’t get it. It’s constant and it’s exhausting. I can FEEL there will be great and more serious repercussions on my health, sooner or later. But you are expected to carry on until you crash and burn; only then, once there is visible ‘proof’ that you aren’t well, can you be helped and really taken seriously.

In the meantime you feel alone, scared, trapped, and under the assumption that you must just be so WEAK to feel like this.

As you can see I don’t have a definitive answer but I share everything I share simply to show all those who are experiencing the same that you are not alone. Connection can make a massive difference. And so can speaking out.

Please, do not accept this as ‘the way things are’. You deserve better.