I've been thinking a lot lately about the parts of healing that have nothing to do with diet, supplements, or even exercise. Things that connect us to the power of nature. Things that feed our souls. Things that heal our hearts. When we are disconnected from these things, wholeness and healing don't happen to their fullest capacity.
I mentioned in my last post that I was about to start participating in a small, online live chat group based around mind-body-emotional healing- specifically around using Love as a healing agent. I'm now two sessions into the group and it's been opening up a lot of insight for me. The other participants and I had a laugh relating over how we've all reached a level of burnout regarding reading health blogs/books, and attending online summits (doesn't it seem like there's one every week now?). Basically, information overload. It's being made clear to me that your brain will only get you so far when it comes to real healing. I'm finding some of the most powerful healing tools for me lately have me looking for and finding answers in my heart and soul.
This is kind of personal, but I'll share because I always appreciate when bloggers are willing to get personal and real. A few months ago, I had a session with a medical intuitive. I wanted an overview of how my body was doing, and I wanted to know what would help my insomnia and hormones. Like I talked about in my last blog, the answer to that bout of insomnia was getting better connected to the seasonal and circadian light cycles. Connected to nature.
The answer to the hormone question was an interesting one. The intuitive saw that I was a creative person, but was very disconnected from my creative energy, while my analytical side had become very dominant. Ultimately, what does the reproductive/hormonal system deal with? Creation. I had a huge ah-ha moment when I realized this! The creativity thing came up again in the online group. The facilitator, who is very intuitive, felt guided to ask me why I had shut down my creative side, which had very much flourished until sometime in my teens. At the time, I couldn't answer. She told me that creativity was my path to healing.
Since then, I've done a lot of soul/heart-searching and had some huge insights about issues relating to some stressful periods in my childhood and adolescence where I didn't have a sense of security in my life. It's hard to feel free to create when you don't feel secure. Dealing with these traumas, though they didn't feel like dramatic traumas at the time, has been important.
I also realized that I had become very ungenerous with myself, living from a perspective of lack and restraint, rather than from one of abundance and opportunity. It's amazing how it manifested in so many areas of my life, and all the little things I was denying myself because of it. Realizing how suppressed my creative energy had become and how ungenerous I was toward myself gave me the sense that my soul was starving for nourishment. When I explored why I had become so ungenerous with myself, I became aware of feeling guilty for being unwell, for not working full time like "normal" people, and for the burden it has placed on my husband (even though he's made it clear that I'm not a burden). So, basically, it was a way of punishing myself or paying a sort of penance. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case for a lot of people with chronic illness.
All of this has led me to do some serious re-evaluating about where I should be placing my focus and spending my energy. I started by making a big list of the traits of my "real" self- the self I knew myself to be as a child, and the self that lurks underneath all the baggage. It was really freeing to write all of that out and reconnect to the idea of that version of myself. I highly recommend it! Next, I wrote a list of things I could do to nourish and heal that "real" self. What kind of activities make her happy? What sort of things feed her soul? What gives her energy? That list was so much fun to make and made me feel hopeful.
So, here are some of the things so far that I'm finding healing and transformative. A lot of them happen in the morning because I find it helpful to start my day with a lot of intention and it keeps me more centered, focused, and energetic later in the day. That's a big deal for a non-morning person like me: no more stumbling out of bed and straight onto the internet!
-Spending time in the morning sun
I wake up in the morning, drink a big glass of chlorophyll water, make my tea, and head outside, first thing, to sit in the grass and sunshine for a little while. I find that grounding myself to the earth electrically and energetically, makes a big difference in my physical energy levels, as does getting morning sunshine. It syncs me up with the daily circadian rhythm. I've also learned that morning sunlight is a source of infrared light, which helps our cells to function properly. We also absorb units of light from the sun called biophotons. Chlorophyll happens to be fab for aiding biophoton absorption and increasing mitochondrial function.
-Reading, journaling, and setting intentions for the day
I love to read an excerpt from Wayne Dyer's book of daily essays on living the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching. I find it incredibly grounding and it reminds me of the person I want to become. I check my "real self" lists to remind myself of where my focus should be.
The form of qigong I practice is similar to tai chi, but with more of an emphasis on directing energy flow through specific organs. Standing barefoot in the grass, breathing deeply, connecting to the earth, quieting my mind, and feeling energy in my hands is magical. I've had a consistent practice since January, but I've found that doing it in the morning is so much more beneficial and powerful.
-Purging belongings that don't suit or serve me
A few weeks ago, I listened to an audio download of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I LOVED it! It just really clicked with me and made so much sense. I've been purging categories of stuff and it feels very liberating and energizing to keep only that which either "sparks joy" or is necessary. Our stuff tells the story of who we are and who we've been. It's good to let go of that which no longer tells the story you want to be living.
-Being more generous to myself
Once I realized how I needed to be more generous with myself, the first thing I did was I bought a new (well, used, but new for me) purse to replace the old, tired one I'd had for years. My new purse is stylish, golden yellow, and cheerful, and I feel good every time I pick it up. It serves as a reminder to keep being generous and kind to myself. I bought myself some new makeup, instead of just making do with the old makeup that I wasn't really liking that much. I'm about to order some adult coloring books so I can indulge my creative side in a fun way. These are all little things, but they feel huge to me!
-Giving my brain time-outs
Sometimes I just sit outside and stare at the sky and trees. Or I lay on my bed and listen to soothing music. It feels wonderful when I force my always-going mind to settle down for a bit and stop analyzing. It's so easy to get stuck in constant information mode when you've been trying to heal and figure out an illness. But too much mental work is NOT healing (otherwise, I'd be the healthiest person ever!).
I'm still working on recovering my creative mojo, but I'm enjoying the reconnection that's happening. It brings me a deep sense of satisfaction- the kind you experience when you're being true to yourself, when your soul feels nourished. I feel hopeful about my future and I'm excited about the possibilities it holds.