2016 was a particularly interesting year for me. I went through an extended period of poor health. In my quest for wellness, I tried pretty much everything – different diets, coaching, holistic treatments, even some prescribed medications from the Doctor which had always been a big no-no for me. And nothing really worked.
This was new territory. I’m generally a fix-it person. Give me a problem and I’ll solve it. Ask me for advice and I’ll probably have some words to offer or, at least, be able to signpost you towards someone who could help. I just don’t do “can’t fix this” very well.
But the problem with my health was a biggie. Because when you don’t have your health, your life becomes rocky. It’s difficult — sometimes impossible — to make plans. I felt I was letting down the people around me — my husband, my children, my friends, my clients.
So I withdrew from the world.
I had crippling insomnia and terrible pain at night. And the result was that I spent a lot of time on my own, especially in the middle of the night.
In those dark hours, when it is just you and your thoughts, you learn you have a choice. It is too easy to be consumed by negativity — I met anger, resentment and despondency far too frequently.
But there’s another option. The choice to connect more deeply to your body and the process it is going through. Not with the intention of resolving issues but rather with the love and respect of an understanding witness — gently asking myself to stay present to what was unfolding and to allow and accept, instead of fighting and battling against what is happening.
Being unwell became a teaching of presence. The more I enquired, the more I learnt. And the more I learnt, the more I understood.
I’ve always said that while I believe life can be full of joy, if we become attached to that as an expectation, we only create self-suffering. When we let go, we allow joy to appear in the most surprising of places — like a new idea or insight appearing in the darkness of the night.
And so 2016 was tough at times. But it also became the fertile ground for new thoughts and intentions.
I discovered that what I’d been doing no longer brought me fulfilment. It was time for a different direction — one that fed my soul with inspiration that I could then share with others.
The nudge of my spirit was to release and let go. I’ve spent the first 6 weeks of this year ditching the old with ruthless abandonment. There isn’t a firm plan for what comes next. Just a total willingness to be with what is and follow the flow.
There’s a new website in the pipeline. There’s a new creative project I’d like to share with you (and perhaps you will join me?) There’s a new way in which I intend to offer my service to clients. But within all of that, there is plenty of space.
Space for discovery, exploration and experiment. What is life if it is not all of these?
And in this space, there is an openness to whatever comes my way. There are no rules. Nothing is set in stone.
My coach kindly sent me a program to support my health and wellbeing (You can find it here if you are interested). The last track is built around the concept of a disclaimer — that there are no guarantees that placebos/programs will work. While I was listening, I noticed myself smiling inwardly. Because it so reflects the journey I have been on over the last few months.
And if there are no guarantees, what is the point of expectations?
I went from tackling my health head on to letting go of my insistence of wellness. I went from demanding results to being the curious observer. I went from head-led to body wisdom.
I stopped trying to be healthy and listened to my body.
I could have tried a million solutions and found nothing worked. And I could still be locked in a battle over my health — sadly I see too many people in the world stuck with this struggle.
But instead I am choosing to let go and let it be. I trust my body. I trust myself.
I am looking forward to the next phase.
When I am lying awake in the middle of the night and spirit whispers gently in my ear, I’ll have a reason to listen well. Because, maybe, there will be a message that serves us all.
I hope my articles will continue to inspire you. But if they don’t and we go our separate ways, thank you for the time you spent with me.
And if you’d like to be part of this journey, you can sign up for updates below or visit my Facebook page.
I can’t say what I will be sharing. I can’t tell you what will come next. Only that this is a big life experiment.
It may not come with guarantees but it promises to be fun. And having fun seems like a good-enough reason to make a start.