Hello happy people,
It's time for an update, and this time a somewhat personal update.
For those who have been following my writing since the beginning, which began almost a year ago now, you may have noticed that my content creation has become less and less regular overtime.
A few months ago I pulled back from creating regular content and decided I would commit to one piece a month. The research and reference checking for even short pieces does involve a good amount of time and energy; wanting to remain authentic, I decided this schedule would be achievable long term. Recently however that has declined to once every two months or so.
There was in-fact a set of circumstances that led to this retrieval and I feel it's time to share.
WHERE WE BEGAN
To recap a little let's go over things from the beginning; if you're familiar with my story (see here) then you're aware of the reason I was drawn to investigate the notion of self-healing, and eventually also compelled to share my personal story. While unique to me, it is also not an uncommon one, and over the years I have met many people who have struggled with what would be defined as mental/emotional imbalances. Either as one off events or persistent recurrences; as we have discussed here, in its simplest form, this is often a combination of physiological imbalance, psycho-social stress and unresolved past emotional traumas.
I started eating and living a certain way 10+ years ago now out of a need and want to own my life. Back then taking the steps I took to manage, and repair, an out of balance mind and body were quite far out on the fringe, and I was laughed at for claiming the state of one's gut could affect their mood.
Ten years later the data has caught up with what I, and many others, discovered through personal experience. Our mental state is intimately connected with the state of our physiology, which is primarily determined by what fuel we put into our bodies and our ability to utilise these nutrients.
For years I held off from sharing my personal story, even though those around me often suggested it would be beneficial work. My decision to withhold was for a number of reasons, one being that I had never considered myself special for achieving what I did. It was simply something that needed to be done, so I did it. I am also not one for dwelling on the past, nor do I have any desire to wear trauma or achievements as badges of honour. I have always found that sort of thing incredibly unsettling.
Prior to starting to write the thought of going over my story felt self indulgent; revisiting that part of my life seemed unnecessary. It also appeared to be counter-intuitive to how I try to live, which is doing my best to remain focused on the now and what is ahead of me.
Nevertheless as those who are close to me know, I am an open book and have always enjoyed sharing things that some may personally hold as deeply private. It is simply a natural inclination, those that I idolised growing up all lived with open hearts, and to me it was a logical and intelligent way to be.
As I progressively became more aware of a major gap that existed in the way mental wellness was approached and discussed, deciding whether or not to write was no longer a difficult choice, it was something I knew I had to begin.
So I committed to sharing, and have been utterly humbled by the reaction received thus far.
Life is a flux, meaning all that exists within, including health is in constant motion. It's an obvious concept but perhaps something that needs reminding when dealing with this static means of telling a story; i.e. words shared across the interweb.
The last six months for me have been a real grind, I have had to dig deep and use every tool I have, and integrate new ones, to stay afloat.
The catalyst for this 'grind' has been in the form of a number of facets of my day to day life. One main factor has been the activity I partake in to pay the bills, otherwise known as a job ;) I work in an industry that for all intensive purposes could not be more out of alignment with my nature. While there are parts of the role that do align, for the most part there is constant conflict.
In Jan '15 I started with a new company in the hopes that it would offer what was missing in my previous time in this industry, and as one last chance to give this particular industry a go. What followed was another year of being worked into the ground, this coupled with an already present misalignment in the nature of the work, and the compounding of previous years with similar workloads, meant I was on a direct pathway to burnout. I fried my adrenals, damaged my gut and picked up a parasite for extra measure; became anemic, and even with the stoic positive nature I had built from my youth, I found myself exhausted, extremely unhappy and once again cornered.
As I worked on clearing the parasite, healing my gut (still in progress) and restoring balance in my life (also more progress), it became clear that emotionally there was still a void. Partly this was due to physiological reasons, the symptoms for chronic fatigue may as well be the symptoms for depression, but deeper than this was the disconnect between my yearning to live with purpose and what my current situation offered in terms of this desire. Something I'm sure many can relate to.
So while I am of course grateful for the part of the world I have been born into, the opportunities this provides, and the fact that, for the most part, I do not need to worry about where my next meal is going to come from. I have always believed this is a leg up not to be wasted, where shrinking oneself out of a sort of reverence to the 'luck' of the situation is a backwards notion. Conversely, using this gift as a means to push further and affect more positive change in the world, to me is a true means of honouring the gratitude.
This is where I stand at present, working on healing and nurturing my body back to a place of homeostasis; it is a process, and one that is still very much in motion. While offering a chance to revisit many of the steps I took some fourteen years ago, it is also a perfect reminder to remaining present in the situation of the now, using daily practices to be in joy and fulfillment right where we stand.
As a great musician once said when asked how to become a master player; '..be in perfect harmony and joy with where your playing is right now; love every note, that is the path to mastery.'
Such words could not be truer when healing or striding towards a life of work that is in alignment with one's true nature.
Over the next few posts I will be sharing some of the tools I have in a way rediscovered, that have assisted in the healing (and continue to) as I work my way back to equilibrium.
I have worked with an incredible EFT practitioner and will be sharing my discoveries and daily tools picked up through these sessions.
I have found an arsenal of incredible herbs and supplements to assist in the hormonal and gut re-balancing necessary after periods of chronic imbalance and stress.
I have reaffirmed the importance of daily spiritual practice, however that looks for you; whether sitting meditation, mindfulness through a discipline (music, exercise; even cleaning!) or simply engaging in complete presence and connection with loved ones.
I have also reaffirmed the necessity of a high plant, high natural fat, moderate protein and low net carb diet for optimal body and mind function.
As cliche as it sounds, often times gifts come into our lives disguised, this last period of my life has again been a true expression of this. If a core purpose of life in this form is to grow, then such events of local disharmony are very obviously part of a beautiful macro symphony; where at the optimal level of zoom the beauty of the dance can be truly appreciated and embraced.
Enormous love as always,