What does authentic living mean to you? For me, it means no more masks. It means being who I am – light and darkness, wherever I am. It means all-ways showing up as me. So that’s why I’m going to share this story because it’s the preamble to my next one which wouldn’t have happened without this first.
I’ve had fibromyalgia for some time, which can be painful. After several years of visits to various doctors, I was diagnosed with Autonomic and Peripheral Neuropathy and am currently going through tests to find out why. In many ways it was a relief to get a diagnosis, as I was sure the doctors sighed when I turned up with another symptom. (Had they looked at me holistically they would have put the pieces of the jigsaw together years ago)
It has significantly affected my life; no more 48 hour days, lots more rest, finding ways to still exercise safely, and steroids that affect my immune system. It affected my handwriting so I stopped writing as it was so untidy. Above all, it came with fatigue, but I brought pity to the party. I felt very sorry for myself.
Perhaps as a result of all that, I ended up ill with a nasty bout of bronchitis and tracheitis. This turned out to be a total blessing. It gave me precious time to journal and talk to myself about how I wanted to live my life. I dare people to be happier but I wasn’t walking my walk, so it was time to see if I really believed that people can always choose their attitude, even when faced with life changing news (and I do!) I had time to find my dreams again, dust them off and see if they still fitted who I am – and they do. I still want to heal, encourage, inspire and encourage people with my words.
It was a period of recuperation, reflection – and of transformation, once I got to the stage where I could read and think again, and I know the power of words to transform lives (thanks Andrea Gardner and Cheryl Richardson and Viktor Frankl) I realised that some of my tribe and community could also be through books (thanks Robin Rice)
I realised what I wanted above all was wholeness, and that wholeness lies beyond perfection (thank you, Rachel Ramen). I also found that I would find that through following my heart, feeding my spirit and being present in this moment. I learned that I transform me, my life, my beliefs and actions as well as what happens, when I observe without judgement (thanks Ariel and Shya Kane)
I learned you give what you seek, to listen from my heart, to go with the flow, with “what is.” (Thanks, Deepak Chopra)
Instead of focussing on my health problems, I learned that my body deserves to be respected, minded and understood in its spiritual nature (thanks, John O’Donohue)
I also learned that moving into wholeness is where I find healing, not by running away from it into a quick fix – and that “suffering, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, or as is often the case, all three, can be a doorway to transformation.” (thank you, Dean Ornish). And that transformation takes place when you stop trying to fix yourself, and choose instead to own your own story, be who you are, and shine.
I learned that this moment is perfect as it is, and I must enjoy life moment by moment because this stops worry and anxiety and gives peace. I learned I can do less and accomplish more because my heart is in it and I’m focused.
And I realised I’m a spiritual being having a human experience and all that has happened – whether by my own actions or others – is what my soul has called to it for the lessons it must learn. And learning all this – with great peace – opened the door for what happened next. Namaste