I've been laying low and living under the radar the last few weeks because of a stubborn and slow moving chest infection. While it wasn't serious or life-threatening, it was pretty freaking uncomfortable, and the worst my physical has health fallen in what's been a pretty healthy last three years. It was a combination of feeling like shit, plus watching a crapload of health documentaries on Netflix, that made me decide I really needed to take my self-healthcare more seriously. Thirty-one years old does not a kid make, and I'm learning that this body needs 100% love all the damn time. And I'm not just talking about the naughty stuff...
I decided to go au naturale and avoid western medicine and over the counter/synthetic meds unless absolutely necessary. So, a few days ago when I returned to my acupuncturist for the third time in a week and a half, describing to him in detail the appearance of my mucus and the intensity of pressure in my right inner ear, and he said, "You could be releasing a lot of old stuff," I was like, "Well that makes sense."
I reflected back on the last time I was really sick, and surprise - it was almost three years ago to the day that I was medically evacuated from my Peace Corps country of St. Vincent to Washington, DC for a leg infection and depression. Apparently I had about three years' worth of stuck energy and toxins my body needed to release.
The Universe was giving me an opportunity to feel more, pay attention more, and to look back at what I've learned and how I've grown in the last three years.
I've learned that everybody has something that they're dealing with; physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, etc., etc., etc., I've learned that everybody ultimately wants to love and be loved. I've learned that taking a leap of faith and following your heart can take you on some pretty epic adventures in life. I've learned that people are generally good, but have a tendency to get lost without an anchor. And I've learned that different people have different anchors.
There's a lot more that I've learned, but I think having tangible action items to implement are way more powerful, so I've put my three biggest lessons from my recent health challenges together for you, in case you're ever in a place where you need to hit reset.
- Turn to natural medicine. There are so many beautiful alternatives to what is mass marketed in commercial retail locations that can help you heal from illness that are affordable and free from side effects! Of course I'm not telling you not to go to the doctor or not to take your medication, but know that there is a treasure trove of natural solutions that come from the earth and are nature's gifts to us for healing. When I took the step to empower myself in my health, I decided I was only going to consume plants in medicine form. This meant only green juice and raw food until my body felt rebalanced. Green juice is an easy and affordable way to get a ton of the micronutrients you need without eating large kale salads 8x a day. If you need some hardcore inspiration, I highly recommend the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. For help with my symptoms, I was so grateful to have all of my essential oils on hand and the knowledge of how to use them. To move the mucus, I steamed with Breathe blend, Eucalyptus and Oregano. For the allergies I was experiencing in addition to my cough, I used my trusty magic trio of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint on the soles of my feet and on my chest. For my earache, I rubbed Melaleuca and Lavender around my ear and on the mastoid bone behind the earlobe to relieve the pain. And when it felt like it was turning into a full blown ear infection and I could barely hear out of my right ear, I took two drops of Purify blend on a cotton swab and rubbed it around my ear canal. It was amazing - the next morning almost all of the pressure in my right ear was gone. What else might be considered natural medicine, you ask? Singing, laughing, dancing, being out in nature, meditation, homeopathy, Ayurveda, hypnosis, shamanic healing, Reiki, bodywork, and the list goes on...
- Go back to basics. When the body needs a reset, that means it needs a reset. I've found over the years that my yoga practice ebbs and flows, through the seasons, the months, the weeks, even over the course of a day or in any one session. It serves me in the way I need it for support, and I've come to let go of the "shoulds" that some lineages encourage. When I'm feeling ill, I'm not still trying to work on my alignment in handstand, or reach my heels in kapotasana. I'm laying on soft things, in easy positions, and sometimes I ditch the yoga mat all together. I was on swim team as a kid and in high school, so when I started to feel better I headed to the pool for laps. Turns out I was revisiting my first experience with meditation in motion, before I even knew what that meant.
- Trust that your illness is a spiritual teacher. Ok, so I'm not saying that every person who gets sick deserves it, but I do think that illness is one of those mysterious ways the Universe sends us spiritual lessons. I'm not surprised I got sick when I did. I had been generating a lot of forward movement in my projects, was really excited about getting on in my new life and was overall happy and upbeat, but I was eating a lot of junk, wasn't really taking care of my body, and was ignoring my spirit guides speaking to me loud and clear about my relationships and needing to reflect on my life. At one point when I felt the lowest, my ear was throbbing and I could barely hear. I was in the shower trying to relax, and I heard Spirit say to me, "You can't hear because you're not listening." That moment completely reset my mind and got me back on my meditation cushion pretty fast. I sat with my experience of the last three years, listened for guidance about how to take these lessons and move forward, and held myself in each moment, just the way I am. And that's when the healing really began...
So there you go. Three simple ways to reset your health.
What helps you reset your health? Comment below and share with the Love Club!
In health & happiness,