Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Gratitude

So cute!

I've just come from writing a contemplative piece on Inner Beam about Easter and what it means for me, it's a questioning piece because I'm still trying to work it out.

The absense of sugar in my life means that this Easter looks quite differently to those in the past. I must admit that I felt somewhat relieved this morning when I realised I would not be feeling regretful about the amount of chocolate consumed at the end of the weekend. It's not so much a weight issue for me, in fact, it's not a weight issue at all, I'd be happy to add a few kilos to my frame. The issue is how I feel when I've had too much 'crap' or sugar, I feel yuck, sluggish, tired and bleh.

So I'm pleased that there's no Easter eggs this year and no other forms of sugary sweets. For anyone who eats sugar it's probably hard to imagine thinking like this, you've probably been enjoying chocolate treats for atleast the last week and you can't imagine having to 'go without'. Interestingly without my choccy 'vice' I am left seeking some sweetness, I wondered what I could find to savour.

I decided to 'do' gratitude, to take a look around (metaphorically) and acknowledge all the goodness surrounding me. I took a walk down the hallway and had a little peek into the bedroom, where the bf was lying reading a book, I smiled to myself and walked to the back door. I peered out through the window and saw my gorgeous bundle of fur curled up in his bed sleeping peacefully, I smiled widely. My heart felt warm, my two boys are content and chilling out after a beach walk this morning.

I looked outside and the sun was shining, although it's pretty chilly out, the sun coming in the window is delightful and helps me to feel bright too. I reflected on the domestic tasks we'd ticked off the list this morning in a team effort to create a nice space (home) to spend the coming Easter weekend in. I felt a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. It's the simple things, isn't it? I felt so good and so in love with my life as I practiced gratitude. All is well, is perfect.

What are you grateful for today?

Wishing you a safe, loving and very Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Returning Home

I have just returned from retreat, I must admit that I've been feeling a little anxious about getting a blog post up- either here or on Inner Beam. So tonight I find myself ready and willing to write after a lovely chakra clearing meditation from Goddess Leonie.

Last time I did the meditation I fell asleep with ease, tonight I'm feeling revitalised and a need to write. I think meditation is alot like Reiki- it fills the vibratory need, in other words, it meets you where you're at and helps with whatever you require.

So about the retreat...where do I begin?

It was amazing; who would have known that within an hours drive of home I would find myself in the bush at such a gorgeous retreat. I truly would have believed that I'd travelled over seas to arrive in such a place, it felt so far from home. The experience was relaxing, insightful, clarifying, an opportunity for growth, detoxifying and completely and totally what I needed.

I have returned home feeling more like myself than I have for a long time. During my time away no aspect of Self was ignored. There was an abundance of healthy food, vege juices and pure water, meditation and yoga and walks, opportunities for stillness and reflection, reiki and massage, wood fires, comfy relaxation lounges, awesome views and informal 'counselling' and teachings.

I came to realise that all the aforementioned were important ingredients for healing; the healthy food made it easier to hear my truth and to lighten up, the movement and yoga helped my flexibility both physically and mentally, the reiki heals on all levels, the informal counselling/teachings inspired me, got me reflecting and made me want to nurture and listen to my Self. I could go on and on...but I won't.

Things changed 'big time' during the retreat.

It was actually as if everything changed. The last however many years of my life made more sense, I could observe patterns of behaviour and thinking and where I'd turned my back on my true path. I could see how fears and doubts caused me to believe that others knew something I didn't and therefore I should be listening more closely to them than myself. I saw that I had known since a very young age why I was here, what I wanted to do, but I'd become confused and tried to do it just the same as everyone else does. I hope I haven't lost you, I'm talking life purpose kind of stuff here.

The theory behind Reiki goes a long way to explain what can happen when we're not in alignment with our true selves and we lose sight of 'our dream'. Reiki teaches us that being out of sync with our higher self/soul/god/spirit causes discomfort. This dis-ease can be in many forms- emotional disturbances, accidents, addictions, illness etc. Reiki teachings say that our higher self loves us so mucht that it will do anything to 'wake us up' and remind us of our real dream when we veer too far from our paths; initially the attempts at waking us up are gentle. However if we continue to ignore the calls from our inner self they can become more alarming. I have learned about all of this before; but somehow I didn't have the clarity (or the memory) to apply it all to my own life.

In summary, during my 4 day retreat forgiveness happened, clarity was found and my energy started to improve; I felt lighter and brighter. I still feel this way now; I have kept up my daily meditation practice, I intend to maintain the yoga and eating well and am drinking plenty of water. My focus is now narrowed and I trust that as I stay true to myself and begin exploring my 'dream' that things will unfold in miraculous ways. Stay tuned for updates :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Underneath it all

My last post was a cheeky little affair, all about my recent indulgent behaviours when it comes to food. I knew that my fun may meet with trouble soon in the form of a naturopath. I knew that once I told her what I was getting up to that she would probably remind me of the issues around eating croissants and pies regularly for lunch.

When she asked about my 'diet' I quite cheekily shared about my lunch time indulgences and she seemed a little shocked. I explained that I believed that habit stemmed from a lack of appetite at lunch time, which meant I had to coax myself into eating via tantalising the taste buds. I was also dealing with a secondary issue of 'can't be bothered, too exhausted to prepare healthy food'. We both knew that things needed to change a little, my regular lunch time antics would have to be replaced with more nutritious options and the not so healthy options would need to reduced to a weekly occurrence.

I expected this to come up while at the Naturopath. However I got a little more than I'd bargained for during my appointment, I got confronted. The food was a non-issue, I've been seeing naturopaths for many years and the required dietary adaptations no longer scare me, so I didn't go in prepared to be challenged.

The difficulty started with me having to explain my current situation to the Naturopath. I had to back track and explain that I'd become seriously ill last year with hyperthyroidism and that the cause was dangerously high levels of iodine in a soy milk I was drinking. I went on to explain the symptoms I'd experienced- nausea, loss of appetite, vertigo, extreme weakness and fatigue, anxiety...(the list goes on). I explained how I had to leave my job because I wasn't getting better and that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and did not find the true cause of my condition until I'd been chronically ill for 6 months. Yes, it's an awful story (and for this reason I don't like telling it).

She was amazed and told me it was interesting to meet an actual 'case' from this disastrous soy milk debacle. She went on to ask if I'd had anger come up and listed a whole lot of reasons why I would- loss of income, loss of prime years of life, loss of good health, not being where I could have been career wise....

I felt myself struggling to hear what she was saying, it was almost as if she was telling me those things were going to happen in the future, I felt a disconnect from it being my reality. I became annoyed and upset at hearing her speak the words out loud; I knew them to be true, but did she have to say it OUT LOUD? It was an interesting reaction to have to hearing someone else speak about my reality. I spend so much time trying to focus on the every day issues of just living and getting on with things as best I can that I don't dwell on the awfulness of what I've experienced. I try to pretend that I am ok with where I am at and what's happened; because if I wasn't I might have to feel angry, hurt or some other kind of emotional pain. I might feel sorry for myself, I don't feel entitled to do so, because there are so many worse off than me.

Something else happened last night, I spoke with my sister about her upcoming wedding, it's 12 months away, but I was honoured to be invited to be her maid of honour six months ago. When she asked me I had hoped I'd be well soon, unfortunately that hasn't been the case and I have been pretty much unable to do anything to help. I haven't been well enough to travel and go shopping for her dress or the bridesmaid dresses. I haven't had the energy to offer much to anyone else, to get excited for others or offer guidance or advice. All of my energy right now goes into getting out of bed, feeding myself and putting one foot in front of the other. I hate to admit it, because it feels like a weakness, but it's true.

Thinking about my maid of honour duties are something I have been blocking out, in order to do so I pretty much had to pretend that my sister wasn't preparing for a wedding...and in order to do that I put up a wall between her and I. It only came down yesterday when I realised why the wall had been put up; to protect me from the painful reality that I'm not the maid of honour I would love to be for my sister. I am someone who is struggling with her own stuff, trying to get her health back on track, experiencing chronic fatigue on many days and living the rollercoaster life of someone recovering from long term chronic illness. It hurts, it makes me sad, but only when something forces me to look at it. Yesterday my eyes were opened to how much I practice denial or blocking out of things to try and 'keep going' each day, to survive.

As I once wrote here before, there comes a time when the pain of denial becomes greater than the pain of acknowledging the truth. Yesterday the tables turned and I was faced with the painful reality that everything is not ok, I am not 'just fine' with what's happened to me and it's not 'no biggy'; I often feel frustrated but can't pin point why. I guess it's for some of the reasons my naturopath pointed out and because I am physically a shadow of my former self, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I am different and I am constantly faced with challenges on every level of my Self, alot is required of me to recover, rehabilitate from this illness. It's true, there are many aspects of the whole thing that are shit. It's not very often I let myself think that, let alone say it, but I am allowing it today. On the up side, I am glad I've realised the blocking tactics that I was using to try and keep myself self from difficult emotions. The blocking was getting mighty uncomfortable...and in the long run it's not healthy.
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