Adjusting my sails…

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I read an amazing quote today: “Why spend time crying about the wind, when you can adjust your sails” (Dan O’Connell).

It’s amazing how you can have a period in your life, say of around 30 hours or so, where things look pretty grim. It can be as if things could not be worse, the situation impossible to navigate from, your issues seemingly insurmountable. That was me, yesterday.

I’ve been unwell and hospitalised and its been the kind of illness that has really taken my legs from beneath me, so to speak. One of those things where you become fundamentally aware that no amount of denial or willpower or determination makes any difference – it is what it is, and acceptance of the situation is the only exit from what feels like purgatory. A good day is just that – not necessarily an indication of conditions going forward and a bad day (like yesterday) has you realising you’re not quite out of the woods yet and that without question, there’s a larger force at play here.

What’s also interesting is while you’re down in that emotional void, realising that you’re really just a leaf in the wind and that there really is a bigger power at play here, a myriad of synchronicities (like that quote) that tend to surface all at the same time. Consider my situation where I have always identified with the tag of ‘strong, independent and capable’ and ‘resourceful, astute, wise’… I don’t think there’s ever really been a situation I have been in whereby with a little application and planning I haven’t been able to navigate through. Until now that is. When an illness takes hold, your ‘powers’ can really feel as if they are totally shut off. When you’re required to hand over the reigns in terms of financial responsibility to your nearest and dearest, when you realise that what ‘was’ is no longer a part of what ‘is now’ and that all the ideas you had have pretty much been put on hold. Then a bill comes in, and a telephone call reminding you about another bill you had and, unable to contribute or fix the situation as you normally would, you succumb to what is going on around you and feel the fear… and the realisation that this is not going to go away tomorrow.

I’ve been asked to consider what it was that brought this on. Yes, the obvious question has been answered by my doctor, however, what is the metaphysical message being conveyed here? What is the universe trying to tell me?

I believe it is my lesson in the illusion of control. The Universe’s chaos theory in full flight. Oh I might be in charge of my little neck of the woods and prepare contingencies for whatever I can (thank god for private health cover), but at the end of the day the control I thought I had is nothing more than a false sense of security. That life is going to do what it is going to do and its up to you to navigate through whatever comes up to the best of your ability, in the theme of ‘its not so much what you do, but how you do it’…. and lets face it: Chaos is just the Universe’s expression of creativity…

For me, personally, I believe this is the most fundamental message I’ve had in what has been a rapid awakening process… about trust, and letting go. Oh I can talk about trust and letting go, but now, says the Universe, it is time for you to walk your talk … lets see how you really are with the trust and letting go thing, shall we? The Universe has a sick sense of humour, I tell you!

I believe there is also a theme of optimal health and nutrition. I have an insatiable almost obsessive focus on what goes in and out of my body much like the parents of a newborn baby. Indeed, it is just like being newborn. How does my body react to this, and to that? Sleeping and eating, is it coping with this particular food, I’m not eating that! Since returning from hospital I’ve learned a lot purely by applying a lot about what I’ve read and researched and in the process my body shape has changed. I cannot drink alcohol whatsoever. I cannot eat fat except for the smallest amounts; and my body craves only the best foods: freshest of fresh fruits and vegetables and legumes; eggs; rice and pasta. I crave nuts, seeds, smoothies and juices; small amounts of either white or red meat and lots of water in conjunction with the addition of beautiful herbs like basil, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, and a very small amount of chilli. What has been most astounding is the very things I am craving are the absolute best things I can have for my liver and what will help it run again in optimal function. It’s curious, because again that was a massive lesson in trust. Eating something toxic is what caused my body to completely shut down in the first place, and I had to retrain it to accept food again – that was a real mind game!

I’ve also been asked to really work out my priorities and what is important to me. Being at home, being present for my children, providing nourishment for myself and then indirectly my family and nurturing myself and my family is what I am capable of at the moment. I’m also blessed with the gifts of being able to write and share on my blog now (this was difficult a few weeks ago). I have benefitted deeply from the effect of calm, uplifting and positive music which has acted as a healing tonic on my body and in conjunction with the food is magnificent. And before long, I will return, stronger and fitter than ever before with the wisdom of even more life experience behind me.

What a journey! And the wind can blow, and I will continue to adjust my sails…

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A Lesson in Gratitude

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The last time I posted it was the 21st of September, and I had just posted of my impressions of Cairo – after just 24 hours in Egypt about to set forth for an amazing two week tour. And, it was spectacular for the obvious and not-so-obvious reasons – experiences aplenty, many past life recollections that flooded in, the most surreal realisation that most if not all of my dreams were set in Egypt (never been there), it told me a lot about who I am, and who I was.

I met some extraordinary people – locally and on our tour – who will remain friends for life. The intention of course was to blog each day’s experiences, well the days were full and the internet connection intermittent, the schedule hectic and this didn’t really leave the space to sit and write as I had hoped. I realised that perhaps I was just a whole lot better to just absorb the experience, photo journalling wherever possible (and I have some amazing photos) and just go with the flow… this proved to be a much more reasonable expectation ultimately – given the circumstances.

On every front, the trip was incredible. Two weeks is a long time to spend in any country and as you’d expect I came to know the country and its people fairly intimately over that time. While there were rough language barriers in some cases, my experiences were that the people were incredibly kind, tolerant and welcoming. I felt very blessed and will treasure the memories for a lifetime. There were unexpected surprises around every corner, and surprisingly, leaving the country at the end of the trip was far harder than I anticipated it would be. I had some wonderful souvenirs, both the bought kind and crystals from the earth itself that simply gifted themselves to me wherever I walked, and another completely unexpected one: Hepatitis A.

I was home about two weeks, and after attending a conference felt very run down. I thought I might have been getting the flu or something similar but was hospitalised 3 days later with a very severe bout of Hepatitis A and remained there for 11 days. It has taken all my time and energy since then, along with incredible support from my partner Ura to get to this stage – being able to blog again. It’s been 3 months. Two since I became unwell. And somehow, we have arrived at Christmas. The last quarter being pretty much a blur for me. Exciting, interesting, fascinating, and devastating all at once. Life is never dull around here.

Curiously, I managed to meet and fall in love with a wonderful man in my partner Ura just before I left for Egypt – indeed he was the one that encouraged me to take the trip of a lifetime which I would never have done if it hadn’t been for him. The pace at which our relationship developed took even my breath away, which is saying something. I couldn’t understand why things were unfolding so quickly or what purpose there was behind it. I was happy to let go and be in flow, I am quite ok with trusting the universe’s wisdom and would even describe myself as having a degree of ‘cautious spontaneity’, but it was swift and fast which was curious because I had decided that I was happy to be alone and single indefinitely. Yes, I know, that’s when it comes along …

So, it ended up that this amazingly generous and wonderful man was not only someone who was attentively loving, open hearted and aware; who opened his life and welcomed me with both arms, who encouraged me to head to Egypt and experience what life had to offer with both hands…. and who – as God would have it – had been immunised against Hepatitis A many years before. Because of this he was able to come and see me in hospital every day and was the only person who could because I was in isolation – as I was a public health risk! I even turned yellow for the privilege thanks to a severe bout of jaundice that followed!

The last few years have been a hell of a rollercoaster ride for me, but the one thing that got me through all of it was the realisation that things were not happening to me, but around me. That was always my saving grace: getting through a violent end to marriage; through the trauma of seeing my entire neighbourhood annihilated by flooding; my parents ill health (cancer and a heart attack) and moving on my own; through a 12 month battle to keep my job (I was eventually made redundant this year) and having to eventually make the decision to take the kids out of their beloved schools which was a very difficult decision for me to make, but necessary. Finally, I meet Ura and fortunately all of those decisions were the right ones as had I not taken the actions I had, life would have been extremely complicated and I would have been financially destitute. Things really do happen for a reason, and now I am on a completely different, inward journey – as ‘big’ as any Egypt tour, longer, with the ETA unknown. Will I come out of this a different person? Most likely yes as I have every reason to believe that this was all necessary – the last unturned stone of transformation. The timing, on a metaphysical level, is impeccable. So I’ll be using this blog to document my moves forwards, sideways and backwards, as I learn to accept things as they now are, and move forward in a way that is both realistic and beneficial and open to the love that Ura bestows on me. With that, and the wonderful love of well wishers, my family and incredible friends no matter what, I am one very lucky lady and I am deeply grateful for all I have, make no mistake.