Recently we were away with the WAMS and families for New Years. Half of us had vans and half of us were in cabins in the Tanunda Tourist Park. One early morning Todd and I were lying in our caravan bed. I was having a grateful moment enjoying our unique early wake up calls from the birds, thinking about how lucky we were to be able to get away during Covid with all our beloved friends, the country we live in, our very Aussie Unique wild life and our life in general when Todd rolls over and says “fucking kookaburras”.
I have spent the better part of this year so far researching Ayurvedic medicine (where have you been all my life) and gut health. I have since learnt I am at the highest risk for an unhealthy gut: long term antibiotics, hypertension medication, surgeries and analgesics and anti cancer treatments. As the scientific evidence is mounting in favour of poor gut health being the culprit for most western chronic illness, explaining mine including; inflammation, poor joints and pain, lack of blood supply causing a myriad of other symptoms which our doctors try to treat as opposed to why I have poor blood supply, inflammation or joint pain and so on and so forth. I am on the hunt for an holistic approach with the plan to live a life of enduring vitality health and wellness. Of course finding a practitioner in the western world of this description is hard, which is why I have taken the research into my own hands. If you want it done right do it yourself as they say. Obviously the place to start is my gut, but if we are talking holistic we need to be mindful and actively participating in movement, healthy diet choices and a kind, compassionate, relaxed stress free healthy mindset and positive self talk.
During my quest I have had several mental mind shifts, which are in and by themselves, liberating, freeing and filled with infinite possibility. Surrounding myself with similar like minded strong women and others is also an intuitive move that is taking place in my life with little to no effort, except for maybe how I am showing up. One change as the Buddhists say, create ripples of change beyond your own knowing.
My mental shifts have come about through my feminine power course and my amazing pyschospiritual life coach who is an advocate for inner child trauma work, has revealed to me my old beliefs have been a feeling of lack and shame (not enough and too much) and I can now move towards I am enough, I have enough, there is enough. What has made me has shaped me, and rather than conquering cancer like it’s a battle I have waged with myself since the age of 20, I am now embracing my cancers with loving open arms and thanking them for shaping me into the powerful, insightful, strong, compassionate women I am today. I have also finally learnt to thank my younger self for getting me through the best way she could, with all that she knew back then and finally am walking forward into the future with her, holding her hand, and no longer berating her for not being enough. This has been powerful, overwhelming, emotional work for me, but I feel I have stretched and grown once more. If nothing else, my life has been a journey of constant, growing, stretching, learning, evolving, reinventing, changing. I may not be flexible in body but I am in mind and spirit.
I came across an analogy during meditation the other day which really resonated with me. Its poke of a garden needing tender loving care, nutrition, weeding, water for it to thrive. If this balance is right it will reward you with delightful odors, bright colours, and bring butterflies, birds, bees and the very best nature has to offer. In other words, it will present the way it is nurtured. And it occurred to me I dislike trainers that do not encourage with positive reinforcement, so why would my inner critic think that my body and spirit and mind would respond to constant negative talk. I have started to practice what I preach with a sense of utter belief in the process and genuine self love and care. Praising my body for getting up everyday, knowing our cells are rejuvenating constantly so what is a problem yesterday does not have to a be a problem tomorrow. What a magnificent miracle my physical body is, navigating and enduring challenge after challenge to be here right now as my vehicle to experience my spiritual existence here on earth. As I said to my boys the other day ‘I have gone through most of my life like it was nothing, but it was something’.
Still on the garden theme it occurred to me, while I was in what I thought the fight of my life during my bone marrow transplant, my mental guided visualizations coincided with my treatment. While receiving high dose chemo and full body irradiation, I visualised, Roundup on my garden killing everything in sight (before we knew Roundup literally does kill), during my daily blood transfusions and marrow transplant I pictured planting seeds, watering, feeding and caring for my healthy patch of dirt. As my blood counts were written on the white board every day I pictured, my seedlings popping through the soil, growing taller and brighter until eventually I had the most magnificent garden. I did this for a few years and then as I got back to normal life I forgot to tend to my mental garden. Weeds infiltrated until finally I was back where I started, with another period in my life, knowing I didn’t feel right, being extraordinarily stressed and with cancer. I have made a promise to DEB that I will never forget to tend and nourish my garden again.
And so as I have been pondering what activity I can participate in (already back to yoga and giving Tai Chi a go) I notice my old gym and the best freestyle step instructor AKA Jade Lisa McCorquodale posts she has her class back (after not having one until recently, on the gym timetable, removed – right after my knee pain stopped me from being able to join in). I started at the gym 16 years ago with the Dennis O’Donnell taking the amazing Thursday class of old style aerobics and then started his freestyle step, fell in love with gym life, became a gym junky and the rest is history. Finally doing Jade’s step every Saturday morning after Foster’s school football and hitting the gym up to 6 times a week for over 2 hours a day. The universe was giving me sign the class was back and I listened and hit the gym (with my knee brace and no expectations) for the first time in 3 years, doing step for first time in a decade.
I was made to feel so welcome, and I surprised myself I didn’t collapse from exhaustion, my swimming obviously maintaining a little of my cardio fitness, although my feet and shins were on fire having done little weight bearing for years. Today I am still able to lower myself to the toilet, pain free, however I know I am a sucker for the second day soreness ( I have therefore spent the morning walking in the ocean for rehab and last night, iced my knee, stretched and used the hammer gun on every muscle I can reach).
I’m just praying my knee pulls up so I can continue this feel good for body mind and soul class (plus potentially a few other old favourites like pump, body balance and pilates). Ooha ooha
Meanwhile Todd and I watched a short you tube video this week on ‘what makes marriages work’ and the difference between masters and disasters in marriage. It has been like a window opened and let in a breath of fresh air. We are strong, committed and supportive of each other. It has bought an extra level of intimacy to our relationship. On that note, he straddled me the other night in bed, got a cramp in his hamstring and screamed ‘what’s the point of living?’ as he jumped off and grabbed it writhing in pain and I nearly wet my pants laughing. I think I have answered that question already.
Happy days xx