I've been having health challenges for years now.
I haven't had the energy to do so many of the things I used to do.
I struggle to do more than a few hours of meaningful, productive work each day.
And if I hang out with other people, especially a group of people for any real length of time, it flattens me.
Some people have just said that I'm too sensitive. For a while I believed them and created an entire "tough girl" personality just to try and fit in and get through life.
It worked, in that I became numb, but my body was still copping all the stuff that was being thrown at it. It just got sicker and slower and less happy and it took me years to work out that the "tough girl" act, that felt so natural by that stage, was actually making it worse.
Learning about my Human Design Chart helped. I learned that I am wired differently from other people and that I'm not designed to work 9-5, M-F or any such nonsense. But even as I started to give up the old stories and the old guilty feelings about "not working enough" I was still ridiculously tired. I would still spend the colder months of every year feeling like I would pick up every single head cold going around. And I was still waking up tired every morning, even though I'd spend 10 hours in bed most nights.
I refuse to accept that I'm just getting old as other people have suggested; I'm only 40 years old for f*cks sake.
So I've been searching for answers. For a long time. And I've learned a lot. A lot. I'll share a few of those things now in case you, or someone you know, is also struggling with long term, chronic physical and/or mental health issues:
1. It's a game changer to learn about Human Design.
It changed my entire view of myself. I no longer saw myself as "broken" but rather "different". I got that I'm on the planet to operate really differently from the majority. 8 years on I'm still so very grateful to have been exposed to this personality profiling system.
2. The 38 trillion microbes in our gut (microbiome) are literally running the show when it comes to so many aspects of our health.
My gut has been struggling big time since I returned from a trip in South East Asia more than 13 years ago. Despite trying to heal my gut for much of that time, we've only known (through the scientific research community) about the gut microbiome for really the last few years. Now I am learning how to truly heal my gut and am moving towards more and more of what is known as a whole food, plant-based diet. (Think: Super healthy, super diverse, vegan diet).
The only thing stopping me from giving up meat right now is that I'm still reacting to legumes (including soy) and (I think) histamine containing foods. But I have a plan for resolving those issues, so it's only a matter of time before I move to an almost exclusively or indeed totally wfpb diet.
3. Unresolved trauma will keep the nervous system in a stress response (fight/flight/freeze state/s) for way too much of our day-to-day and this causes the body to not be able to heal.
Ergo, past events that caused us huge spikes in stress (whether they appear like "traumatic" events to anyone else) need to be processed and integrated in a safe way so they are properly and finally resolved.
These are the things I've been learning about and have become more aware of in the last few years (point 1), last few months (point 2) and am understanding better than ever before in the last few weeks (point 3). But I had another powerful breakthrough just yesterday which was actually the entire point of this post. (I might have got distracted sharing other cool stuff 😉).
One of my long-standing patterns has been based on a very old, very unhelpful "not good enough" belief. This belief is extremely common across the whole of humanity and especially in any culture that is really driven to achieve. (I talked about in my last post here in ecoTrain as a key driver of climate change).
Through a conversation with my love yesterday he said something annoyingly wise and I, thankfully, was actually able to hear it and take it in. I've forgotten exactly what he said but I can share the essence of it.
I came out of the bedroom having tried (yet again) to have an afternoon nap and yet again, I was shattered. I'd spent half the time I wanted to sleep endlessly ruminating and was finally in a deep sleep when he came to wake me up. I was so tired I wanted to cry. I barely talked to him. Instead, I went and tapped (i.e. used Emotional Freedom Techniques to meet the part of me that was so unhappy and give her a voice).
Once I was calmer (and more awake) I went to chat with Brad. I shared how I was so sick of being tired all the time and he basically helped me see that I was spending a lot of energy trying to fix the problem, instead of just accepting it. It's like I was spending all this time and energy putting my attention on where I thought I "should" be in instead of where I am actually am.
When I took his simplified, brief (as always), to the point perspective and layered it in with everything I already knew about myself, life and human behaviour (and beliefs) it was clear as day:
The solution is to do exactly the opposite of what we are taught. Instead of fighting and trying and striving, the solution is to be here now. Be fully here now. No trying to escape. No trying to fix or change. But rather be with myself and my health and my body exactly as it is.
This is definitely not a lesson I was taught by my parents. Nor did I hear it taught at school. I've never seen it in the media, nor in my local community, nor anyway else (outside spiritual circles of course).
Said another way, the essence of the lesson was this:
Be here now
Accept what is, as it is
Stop "shoulding" on yourself.
I realised I'd managed to apply these same lessons to my relationship with money a few months ago. (Again, something I had picked up in conversations with Brad - bless him and his annoyingly wise, "it's so simple" philosophies on life). And when I did (apply that lesson to money) I was able to start improving my results with money more quickly than ever before.
Yesterday I realised I was hearing the exact same lesson but seeing the opportunity to apply it to my health and energy levels.
It's counter-intuitive; we think we should focus on where we want to be. We think if we want to change reality we should fight it, but as one of my mentors said (I can't remember which one; I have several and they're brilliant!):
If you try and fight reality, reality always wins.
Reality always wins.
So I'm going to actively try and apply this (wise) lesson of accepting what is as it is to my health starting immediately.
I get the brilliance of it; the body naturally wants to heal. Given the right conditions it heals of its own accord. I don't have to "do" anything but keep nurturing it the best I know how.
I also know I'm not "giving up".
This is not a resignation. I'm not saying, "I'm never going to heal so I give up on living a healthy life". I'm not going to stop doing the things I need to do to help my body, I'm just going to stop making it wrong for being where it is and how it is. (Or at least, I'm going to try!)
I am going to continue to learn about trauma resolution (that really works and really lasts). I'm going to keep learning more about gut health. And I'm going to keep moving toward living out the fullest, healthiest, most authentic expression of my Human Design chart. But I'm going to do these things because I want to, because they fascinate me and because I want to help my body not because I think I'm broken and I need to do more and more to be somewhere other than where I am right now.
Be here now.
At some point it will likely become a tattoo on my skin. But maybe by the time I'm ready to do that I will have integrated that lesson so seamlessly I'll no longer need the reminder.
How do you nurture your body? And are you good at thanking your body for everything it does for you? If you are, I'd love to hear about it in the comments! The more of us being with what is and loving the body as it is, the easier it becomes for all of us to do the same.