Been There. Done That. Nearly Got The Casket
I've always been a person who did the best that I can do in all things. I was taught to: Be productive! Contribute! Have a purpose! I dutifully followed this directive and eventually became an over-achiever! I was driven. I was a perfectionist. I did whatever I had to do to keep going and to accomplish the task. I rarely missed work - even when I was sick. I took anti-inflammatory medicines, OTC analgesics and prescription opioids to keep the pain from my skeletal deformity at bay which allowed me to keep moving forward and be purposeful! With grit, tenacity and sheer will - I pushed myself through every challenge that came my way every day and after many years of this self-inflicted emotional and physiological stress, my body said: You need to change your life because I can't go on like this!
My adrenals had become so exhausted I could barely function. Actually, every one of my body systems was barely functioning, but the blood tests my doctor ran, aside from the anemia, told a different story. There was no sign of disease - which is what traditional blood tests are designed to indicate. According to my doctor, I was fine, but I'd been living in my body for over 40 years and I knew I was far from fine.
My digestive system was malfunctioning to the point I was barely absorbing any nutrients. My microbiome had become so imbalanced, it was negatively impacting every aspect of my being. I couldn't think straight and fears that were normally easy to manage (eg: my fear of wasps) had become so distorted, I was experiencing a full blown phobia! The mere sound of a buzzing fly sent me into hysterics. My endocrine system was malfunctioning to the point that the heavy menstrual bleeding I had attributed to peri-menopause was so severe, I became chronically anemic, which made my symptoms feel worse than they were. In fact, there wasn't a single body system that wasn't malfunctioning. Mentally, physically, emotionally and Spiritually, I was descending into a hell I never imagined visiting. When I tell people I nearly died, their initial response is to deny my statement and to assume I'm exaggerating. But it's no exaggeration. If I had not followed my Spirit's guidance and delved into the mind-body-Spirit world of holistic healing - I would not be here sharing my story with you!
I started having some pretty complicated surgeries when was young, and despite the efforts of the medical staff in doing what they could to alleviate my fears each and every time, the negative impact of the emotional and physiological trauma I suffered during these years stayed in my body for decades and contributed to my eventual decline. It negatively impacted my nutrient stores. It negatively impacted my digestion, and the emotional trauma of each and every surgery became locked in my muscle tissue. In fact, there is still some trauma locked in my muscle tissue, although it is slowly but surely working its way out of my body with each and every massage, and more importantly, each and every mind file associated with my skeletal condition I reSOLVE!
Most of us who find our way to holistic medicine have either personally become incredibly sick, or know someone very close to us who has. When traditional medicine has no answers, you have two choices: 1) look outside the system or 2) succumb to your illness.
The holistic perspective is a mind, body and Spirit approach and some people are reluctant to learn about it simply because of the Spiritual component. After all, science has yet to prove God exists and isn't God a xenophobe? For those of us who are willing to let go of old belief systems and open our minds to all possibilities, we soon discover a belief system that changes our lives forever.
Holistic simply means whole - the whole organism - and we are made up of what I refer to as our sacred three - mind, body & Spirit. These sacred aspects of ourselves interact with and depend upon one another to maintain our balance and our overall health. Our thoughts become our beliefs, and our true beliefs drive our actions. This includes the act of eating, exercising, and the act of maintaining a Spiritual practice.
THE BODY CONNECTION
HOW NUTRITION FACTORS IN
Food is our body's fuel. The food we choose to eat provides the nutrients our body needs to maintain homeostasis - or good health. If our body becomes ill, or injured, then the demand for high quality nutrients goes up. In other words - if the supply to demand ratio gets out of whack, then it is easy to see how quickly our body can become depleted nutritionally.
The best way for me to explain this is by using the salt shaker analogy.
Imagine your body's nutrient storage facility as a salt shaker. When your body is completely healthy, the excess nutrients you take in through food are stored in this facility for future use. Every time you take a breath, the salt shaker pours out a few granules for your body to use where they are needed - in your lungs, your blood vessels, the muscles that contract and expand your rib cage so your lungs can move - etc. Every time you stand up and walk, the salt shaker pours out a few more specific granules. For example, muscle movement utilizes the minerals calcium and magnesium. Every single thing you do - every thought, every movement - requires nutrients. As long as the amount of nutrients you consume are higher than the demand, your body will continue to function optimally.
So what happens when you catch a flu, for example? The demand for all the nutrients goes up. Some nutrients - such as zinc, vitamin A, B, C, D, and E are now in higher demand than normal. Oblivious to the need for higher demand, you continue to consume the foods your normally consume, so to maintain health, your body must dig into it's stores until those stores run out.
With each illness, injury or traumatic event you experience, you can begin to imagine how depleted your body's nutrient stores could become, and how this might negatively effect your body's ability to maintain health. Unless you intentionally take specific supplements to replenish the depleted stores, what do you think happens as far as your body's ability to maintain health goes? And how could you possibly know which specific nutritional supplements to take to replenish your stores unless someone who studied nutrition helped you determine them?
THE DOMINO EFFECT
Our body is like a system of dominoes. When one falls, eventually they all fall.
For example, when the demands for these specific nutrients are not met, body functions that most people take for granted can be negatively impacted.
PROTEIN: without getting too scientific here, protein is a broad term for little molecules called amino acids. Each amino acid has a job to do inside your body. Inadequate levels of certain amino acids can create an inability to relax, a lack of motivation and contribute to poor memory and concentration. Depending on the conclusions stored in your mind file that deals with recognizing which symptoms pose a threat and which ones don't, a protein deficiency could create a stress response in your body - an actual fight or flight response which calls on your adrenal glands to go into action. Threats aren't limited to physiological ones, it includes emotional threats as well. When this happens, there is an increase in demand of all nutrients and when the demand is not met - the dominoes begin to fall.
HEALTHY FATS: Fat has been given a bad rap for decades. In your mind's process, the mind file that says: you must avoid fats if you want to be ------, likely confuses fats that you eat with becoming fat. Not only that, for many years, people were advised to consume low fat diets. I was one of those folks who did what they were told. I ate a low fat and low salt diet and my body suffered the consequences of those choices.
Both saturated and unsaturated fats have jobs to do inside your body. Fats are required to transport other nutrients in the body. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble vitamins, meaning they need to team up with fats to do their jobs properly. If the fat is not available, then these nutrients cannot complete their jobs.
VITAMINS: There are two classes of vitamins - water soluble and fat soluble (as mentioned above). Water soluble vitamins pass through the body quickly but fat soluble vitamins do not. Vitamin A, which requires fat to do it's job, is an important nutrient in vision. Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency include poor night vision, night blindness, slow light to dark visual adaptation, and eyes that are unable to produce tears. Deficiencies in vitamin D include muscle weakness, pain in the ribs, spine and legs, muscle cramps, and nearsightedness. Vitamin E deficiency contributes to premature aging, irritability, muscle wasting, and heart disease.
Water soluble vitamins include all the B vitamins, which are really important in your body's ability to deal with stress. Apathy and depression can be an indication of a B1 deficiency. Loss of appetite, confusion and fatigue can indicate a B3 deficiency. Irritability, nervousness, insomnia, poor dream recall and even sore thumbs (I can personally attest to this one) are all symptoms of B6 deficiency. Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, light headedness and dizziness are all symptoms of B12 deficiency.
Every nutrient has a job to do, and when the body becomes overworked and underpaid, systems begin to fail and that puts added stress on your adrenal glands.
Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Not feeling rested after sleep
- Craving for salt or salty foods
- No energy
- You feel it takes increased effort to do every day tasks
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- It takes you longer to recover from illness, injury or trauma
- You feel light headed when you stand up quickly
- You feel more depressed than usual
- You find it difficult to feel happy; you are numb
- Your PMS symptoms are worse
- If meals are skipped or inadequate - your symptoms feel worse
- You have an inability to focus your thoughts
- You are easily irritated by people
- Poor memory
- Your energy levels drastically fluctuate during the day
- It takes considerably longer to do normal, every-day tasks
According to Dr. James Wilson in the introduction of his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, he says:
For over 20 years in my practice I have witnessed the impact of helping people recover from adrenal fatigue, not just in terms [of] their health, but also in their ability to feel happy. Happiness may be a 'choice' as far as popular thinking goes, but for those whose adrenal glands are 'running on empty' this choice seems almost of of reach.
He goes on to say:
Although I had suspected it, my conversations, research and clinical experience lead me to believe that we are dealing with a problem of monstrous proportions that is largely unrecognized by the medical establishment.
If we only look in one direction, we will only see a narrow view.
Nutritional deficiencies, combined with chronic stress, put extra demands of your adrenal system, and if your adrenal systems becomes completely exhausted, you will be faced with the choice of learning how to do things differently, or drive yourself into the ground.
THE MIND CONNECTION
INSIDE THE BE PRODUCTIVE! CONTRIBUTE! AND HAVE A PURPOSE FILES
Most of us have heard these phrases often enough that they are stored somewhere in the filing cabinets of our mind. They are common directives, widely sold to everyone in different coloured wrappers, and when these directives are carried out in a purely positive way - meaning the mind file used for reference is stored in your LOVE cabinet and contains only positive filters - it adds even more filters to the referenced file contributing to a healthy sense of self-worth. If however, the conclusions in the files take on negative filters, then the energy driving these directives are based from FEAR, and this will eventually have a negative impact on your overall health.
Before I understood what genuine self-worth is, I believed I had to prove my worth through my productivity and contributions, and I believed my purpose was to hold down a job and earn my way through life. These ideas were distorted in my mind's process because the file that said 'I am worthy' was filled with negative coloured filters and stored in my FEAR cabinet. My body was constantly in a state of fight or flight. The harder I tried to prove my worth to my boss, my family and my friends, the more frustrated, worried, anxious, stressed out and exhausted I became. Still, I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other and just keep going because that's what I'm supposed to do - right? One step at a time?
There is no defiance in love! This is an extremely important concept to fully grasp because it determines the energy you send out into the Universe and the experiences that come back to you. When you learn who you really are, you learn that you don't have to prove anything to anyone. As you go through each and every mind file that is stored in your FEAR cabinet, review, reassess and reSOLVE them, your true energy shifts. Not the energy you think you are putting out - your actual true energy. Every healed mind file counts! Slowly but surely, your body will ease up on the fight or flight response, and your endocrine system will begin to relax. Just as the dominoes fell one at a time, they begin to stand up, one at a time!
You'll know if you've learned what you needed to and completed reSOLVED a mind file the next time you are in a position where these old beliefs are challenged. If you find yourself feeling the need to 'prove' something to someone, there is more work to do to completed reSOLVE the file, and that's ok because you'll have more tools at your disposal.
As you go through the mind files in the filing cabinets of your mind that deal with being productive, contributing to society, and living purposefully, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What does productive mean and who is responsible to determine how productive I am?
2. What do I do when my productivity is questioned?
3. Can I say with 100% certainty that I am doing the best I can possibly do?
4. Is my sense of self-worth in jeopardy if someone questions my productivity?
5. When the idea of contributing to society crosses my mind, what are the three things that I believe I do that fulfills this?
6. Is it possible to contribute in non-financial ways?
7. Do I genuinely know what my purpose is? If so, do I recognize all the Divine gifts I was given to fulfill this purpose?
THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTION
Healing requires a genuine heart-felt and completely trusting relationship with God - however you choose to understand Him/Her/It. Why? Because the mind's process will always justify itself to itself. If we are to learn the truth of any given situation, we must call on Divine Wisdom to inform us, and this requires not only our willingness to completely let go of our perceived truth attached to the conclusions stored in our mind files, it also requires continual and dedicated devotion to whichever Spiritual practice we choose to participate in.
A Spiritual Practice must foster both the the psychological and Spiritual empowerment of an individual and be taught by someone who has completed the purification process themselves with a teacher who themselves was purified and so on, otherwise, the unresolved mind files of the 'teacher' will be projected onto their followers. You will know if you have found such a teacher by listening to and following the signals from your Spirit.
The psychological component is crucial because our thoughts (our perceptions) become our beliefs (or perspectives) and our beliefs drive our actions. Our actions act in combination with our true emotion, and it is our genuine heart-felt emotion that converses with God. What we think we our transmitting to the Universe may not be at all what we are actually transmitting.
One can only see out of their own eyes and every image that passes through the eyes passes through the filters contained in each mind file. In other words, the mind's process can only reference the files that are stored in the filing cabinets of your mind, and each and every mind file was born from the mind's process or in psychological terms: the ego. The mind's process will always justify itself to itself which is why it is so important to work with someone who can view your perspectives through a completely objective lens. Carl Jung, the father of depth psychology and in his forward in Depth Psychology wrote:
Moral principles that seem clear and unequivocal from the standpoint of ego-consciousness lose their power of conviction, and hence their applicability, when we consider the compensatory significance of the shadow in the light of ethical responsibility.
A person must face the darkness of their shadow before they can be purified, and the only way to bring light to that shadow is through a willingness to accept the light of God. Not merely to recognize that it exists within us, but to allow that light to reveal the truth behind the darkness of our shadow. It is only through Divine Wisdom that we are able to see the truth, remove the filters once and for all from the files in the filing cabinets of our mind and completely heal our wounds.
© 2020 Penny Hodgson. All Rights Reserved