Healing: Acceptance, slowing down, deep diving, and finding ways to thrive

In my last post I thought I had solved a long-standing physical issue just as I felt I was on the cusp of moving forward. The Universe had other plans for me. There was much from my past still stuck in my body (aka PTSD) that needed processing and ousting. I believe the body holds onto trauma long after you have processed it emotionally and mentally. You feel fine, like you are over it. But then comes a trigger and your body is instantly in panic mode. Then you realize you have more to process and let go of.

Forgiveness

It has not been a easy road. In fact it’s been very bumpy, drawn out, and terribly inconvenient. But clearing the decks and letting go of the past comes before you can move on. I had forgotten this in my excitement at the idea of achieving a new level. I cut cords to those from my past one more time and added a good dose of forgiveness for all parties involved, including myself. The road to healing is more than about the body. You must heal at every level.

Acceptance

In March a condition I’ve lived with for some time started acting up in the worst way possible. It was becoming serious. I would be sick on the same day every week like clockwork. Recovery took two to three days. Then it would hit again. After four and a half months it becomes your life and you start to wonder why it’s all happening. It can be hard to accept. But acceptance is key in the healing process. I was actually thankful for the need to socially distance, because I needed time for a singular focus.

Accepting things ‘as if you asked for it’ is an Eckhart Tolle idea I adopt when things get dicey, frustrating or stuck. I can’t tell you how often this has saved my butt. Even though it seems highly counter intuitive to accept a crappy situation, it works because it changes you from the inside. Without it you are only fighting yourself along the way. Getting out of denial and into acceptance was my next major step forward.

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

—Eckhart Tolle

Since March I’ve been clearing and cleansing at the deepest spiritual and physical levels possible in order to get to the heart things. I’ve never had such dedicated focus, looking at every single physical and metaphysical approach, viewpoint or solution. Things that seemed way out there (very woo woo) suddenly appear in the realm of possibility. This happens when you are desperate for answers. It’s a good thing, as many of the avenues I explored gave me some relief, and those successes built on each other for a picture of improved health. As a result I’ve never felt more on top of my life than I do now.

FINDING JOY

In coping with the up and down energy level of my condition, there was little joy in my life. There needed to be some joy for me to cultivate a winning attitude. Here are ways I found my joy, which had to be caught in tiny snatches when I had normal energy. I discovered two things that kept me going. One was by following a strong urge, and another was out of shear necessity.

I’m a terrible outdoor gardener but I have felt emboldened and passionate about growing greenery inside. The feeling was so great I knew I had to follow up on it. I’ve never had good luck growing anything. I seem to have ten brown thumbs, unlike my mother, The Tomato Queen. But this constant urge to fill my home with green living things felt right. I bought a large shelf, deluxe pink and blue LED grow lights, and tons of lovely herbs and succulents. A month down the road the basil has grown by leaps and bounds and even needed re-potting. I gotta have my pesto! Everything looks green and healthy. I’m feeling quite chuffed and proud of my accomplishments.

My plant education continues…in my own back yard. I recently learned that a plant growing in profusion on my property is helpful in healing my condition. I’m harvesting, drying leaves, grinding root, and making tea and tinctures from this wonderful plant, Yerba Mansa. I’m learning from a woman who harvests Yerba for her local one-woman company yerbabotanicals.com. Rita is a wealth of generations of wisdom and knowledge about this healing plant. She is passionate about her beloved plant and has generously shared her handcrafted beauty and bath products and deep knowledge of Yerba with me. I’m learning more about herbal lore and healing modalities as a result. I’ve gotten closer to the plant kingdom and plant wisdom is revealed when most needed.

Dogs lounging in the wild Yerba Mansa.

The other thing that kept me going—something I can pick at when I have even a few minutes of focus—is sewing. The sewing bug was reignited when I started making lots of COVID-19 masks for friends and family. Home Economics class is where I learned to sew. That and tips from my mother who sewed a great deal of my clothing. I recall my first project was a skirt. It was long, made of rich velvety dark red pinwale corduroy with a ruffled waistband. Below is a kimono robe I finished a few weeks ago. It’s made from a pattern I created myself.

HUGE LIFE LESSON

During my long healing process—a result of needing to slow way down—all of life has come into sharper focus. I treat myself better. Way better. I treat my body like it is a temple (this from a devoted foodie who ate anything and everything). I’ve learned to trust my gut, sometimes counter to advice I received from the medical community. You know your own body better than anyone else. I know the subtle ins and outs and nuances of what my body is constantly communicating to me.

In my search for health, I was dealing with literally hundreds of solutions or causes to one condition. It’s something I call the churning miasma (aka the swirling vortex). Lots of things all swirling over my head. That can be overwhelming. But this is where things get juicy. I’ve learned that when you dive into something deeply—something complex and multi-faceted—you must slow down. It feels like you must stop time itself to give any subject ample attention. Look up at the churning miasma of solutions, grab one and concentrate on that one solution in front of you. Let the rest go. Observe, learn, adapt. This is where progress is realized. You can’t make that kind of progress quickly. This has been a huge life lesson for me.

Now I revel in taking time to explore. Especially if the medical community tells you there is no cure. You still can and should treat yourself like you matter. You can find solutions from many different sources. Please know I’m not knocking the medical community. Go to a doctor if you need help. But learn to be a very shrewd customer, asking questions and holding their feet to the fire. Western medicine is more reactive than preventative, often with a very narrow focus. You should consider all avenues for healing if you are not finding relief. The more you know your body, the better you can help your doctors and yourself. And don’t give up on finding answers! My health is not perfect but vastly improving.

Finding Balance

Focus on healing but with balance. I was doing so much research that I’d have to take a mental health break from always being in solution-finding mode. Take delight in the smallest of things life has to offer you. You’ll find yourself doing fist-pumps and on-the-spot happy dancing at the smallest possible victory. And you should! Find something to happily occupy your free time. I have found succor in a few simple tasks that will carry me well into my senior years. My two passions that have wound themselves into my life like the tendrils of a plant, slowly growing, reaching, and finding places of comfort and richness where they are thriving.

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