When I first started my journey in holistic healing, it was a scary time in my life. I had just quit my job solely on a leap of faith. My parents had told me two days prior to my resignation that they were separating after 29 years of marriage. My therapist of two years passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, and we were moving into a new home. AND I had just gotten married one year prior.
That’s a lot of changes all at once, and although it was stressful I ignored my stress and anxiety, and just went about my business. I was too busy to cry, or mourn, eat or sleep, or even go to the bathroom many times.
I pushed forward, each day one foot in front of the other, ignoring my emotions. After a few months of doing this, my body responded by creating illness and I became very sick. I was in and out of doctors month after month, pill after pill, until I ended up taking five prescription medications daily by the age of 28.
Looking back now eight years later, I am not one bit surprised that my body responded in this way. My body was trying to tell me to take care of ME, to allow whatever was happening to come to the surface, to stop holding it all in.
Our bodies are our best communicators. Eat something bad? Touch something particularly hot or cold? Our bodies will tell us.
But over the years we have somehow lost connection with our bodies as a society. We have been taught to cover up symptoms, to shut off our emotions with pills, to stay quiet and hold in our true feelings and thoughts.
But what happens when we do this is, our bodies will reveal the truth sooner or later. The body never lies.
A great example of this is, when I was 15 years old, my parents took our family on a beautiful vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. On the last day of our vacation, the day we were traveling back home, I woke up feeling intensely nauseated. We had to get on that plane, so I had no choice but to get up and go.
My mom came back to our room with a pill she said would help me feel better. I took the pill, and about an hour later I felt normal again. Whew. Dodged that bullet!
But not so fast. Two weeks later the nausea resurfaced, and I was in bed for four days or more feeling sick, feverish, weak and having constant bowel movements. After an exam at the doctor and some fecal testing, we found out I had contracted salmonella food poisoning, likely from some bad chicken I ate in the Caribbean. I had to just drink a lot of water and allow it to pass through me. (Yes, this was followed up by a health department inspection in my home, it was a big deal!)
The point of this story is, nothing is silenced permanently. We can suppress or ignore all we want to, but in the end our body will bring the truth to light, and we will have some moments of discomfort. But, once we move through it, we have the opportunity to feel like we did when we took that pill but even 100 times better than that.
Please know that I do understand sometimes pills are necessary, like in circumstances of extreme pain, surgery or advanced dis-ease. But generally in our lives, our bodies are telling us countless things throughout each day, either whispering or screaming. Can you tune in and examine what the message might be? And if you don’t know what the message means, what can you do to take steps to find out?
Some important ways our bodies communicate with us:
· Rashes, hives, acne
· Moles, growths
· Pain of any kind
· Digestive discomfort
· Diarrhea or vomiting
· Joint stiffness or pain
· Muscle tightness
· Cold/flu-like symptoms
· And much more
When I first began this healing journey, I was in a place of deep fear and anxiety about what was happening to my body. I would see or feel something new happening, and I would panic inside and run to the doctor in sheer terror of what ‘could be.’
I remember having trouble breathingfor a while (that’s for a different blog...maybe next time!), and would see commercials on TV for things like COPD, asthma, heart conditions, etc. The anxiety would start and I would call the doctor and start Googling what was “wrong” with me.
This is the place I was, and I’m sure many of you are there now or have been in the past. But once I changed my perspective on what was happening, I was able to be more at ease and really tune in to the signs my body was showing me.
When we can think of our “ailments” or symptoms as simple and straightforward communication to us, we can begin to investigate what the message is.
Working with qualified professionals is always recommended in this case, if you are unsure of what may be going on. But beyond that, YOU know your body better than anyone. Can you perhaps meditate, and ask yourself what you may need to know? Can you tweak your diet slightly to start incorporating more fresh, whole foods? Can you start a log or journal about what you may be experiencing, and see if you notice a pattern?
These are some small yet proactive things you can do to become more empowered and get to know your body a little better. Get cozy with yourself, and get to know your body on a deeper level. This is not only empowering and productive, but a beautiful journey of life you may begin to eventually enjoy. And be sure to surround yourself with a team of professionals who can co-creatively support you as well.
What is your body telling you today?