ritual for january 08: honor (your body)
By loving and honoring the body you have, you can bring more health and flexibility into your life. Be conscious of what you put into your body, and try starting the day off with gentle stretches. You can also walk instead of driving or taking the elevator, rest when you are tired and take short breaks during the day. (original article)
Oh boy. This is a doozy for me, particularly considering my journey over the past four months. In August 2014 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. I've been closing the posts in this ritual series with the lessons learned for 2015, but I want to lead with that in this post.
Lesson: Keep fighting.
Only you know what's going on in your body. Only you. I fought my way through six different doctors to get to a diagnosis. I continued telling my story and I wouldn't let anyone dismiss me or patronize the reality I experienced daily. I kept breaking up with doctors until someone listened to me and did something about it. It took eight months of medical appointments at countless hospitals in a 50-mile radius, mountains of research, insane specialist fees, blood draws every few weeks, overnight hospital stays, the wrong medication, the wrong treatment, utter exhaustion. Keep fighting.
Lesson: You're worth that fight.
You deserve to be healthy. You deserve to be happy. It's not okay that I was exhausted and anxious all the time, and yet I wrote it off because I didn't believe I was worth the fight. Deep down in the muck of a subconscious I didn't fully create, I believed I was clearly doing something wrong. I was bad or irresponsible or weak because I couldn't clear the brain fog or become a morning person or lose a single pound despite working out four days a week. Good, strong, responsible people are healthy and have their shit together. Why don't you? Fuck that. If even one syllable of my experience resonates with you: Stop. You're worth the fight. You deserve to be healthy. My specialist and I traced the onset of my Hashimoto's back somewhere between six and eight years. Some lessons take years to learn. Let me be your Cliffnotes. Stop. You're worth the fight.
Lesson: Only when you fully tune into the metaphysical aspects of your health will you begin to heal.
What do I mean by the "metaphysical aspects of your health" and how woo woo is this about to get? I mean that your emotions manifest in your body. If you don't live from an authentic, whole, expressive place, then something is off kilter and that something will find a way to express itself. For a quick, relatable example: Think about emotional eating and you'll see the connection between our emotions and the physical manifestations of those emotions. Both negative and positive emotions will manifest. If you're totally in love with your boobs and that emotional charge is positive, you're gonna rock those babies without apology. Your love will show in the way you take care of them/your body. If you hate your perceived weakness (ahem...me in a past life) and that emotional charge is negative, you're going to push yourself to be strong until you're frazzled, then stressed, then exhausted, then chronically fatigued, then bam...you worked your way into a full blown autoimmune disease with accompanying adrenal failure. Your emotions will manifest, one way or another. The metaphysical aspects of your health matter. Tune in. Sort that shit out. Know that you're worth finding a solution.
Declaration: I'm going to quit my job and travel longterm because I finally realized the metaphysical connection, finally believed I was worth the fight, and finally fought until I got answers. I did a lot of work to get to this point, but one watershed for me was identifying my Core Desired Feelings through the process of The Desire Map. Once I gave myself permission to structure my life around feeling exactly how I want to feel, without guilt or shame or apology, my entire world changed. In perfect alignment, I'm now on a mission to help other people gain that same clarity, permission, and freedom. Bam. That, my friends, is the full circle of honoring your body.
Love, love, and more love,