Do you think it’s possible to thrive through a serious health issue? And beyond?
I do. Because I am. It’s a daily practice.
I’m not going to sit here, moan about it or play the sufferer. I do want to write about what I’m doing to support my health and say, ‘I get it’ to anyone dealing with something similar.
A little background.
I’ve always been a health nut. When I was a kid, my family would go on nature hikes on the weekends and take along super nutritious snacks to keep us going. Homemade backpacker’s crunch would get us through the hike or bike ride.
We grew tomatoes and other veggies in our backyard. We always had veggies as part of dinner and sugar was not a daily thing. Once a week during the summers we’d go out for proper ice cream sundaes, which was a big treat.
And we each had activities that got us moving weekly if not daily. Mine was dance. And daily play in the neighborhood for hours which meant playing soccer, running around the houses, and wandering through the woods behind our house.
Now I’m even more of health nut.
I’m constantly reading the latest findings for creating optimal health. OPTIMAL health. Not “hacks” or quick fixes to get through the day. Not just getting by.
Real, true, vibrant, optimal health where age is irrelevant and anything is possible with the right tools and practice.
For me, it’s also accepting that I need help from western medicine (doctors, specialists, and meds) for the current issue. It’s not my favorite thing -at all- but sometimes it’s necessary.
9 things I’m doing to thrive.
1) Eating super healthy food. Mindset and food as fuel are inseparable. Your mind isn’t going to be in a good place to handle the shit that comes along if it’s deprived of the proper fuel to function.
I’ve written about the dietary changes I made and continue to make that are definitely helping me. Read about that here.
2) I read a lot. Regular and audio books. My library is filled with personal growth, eastern thought, motivation, autobiographies, creative lit, and even belles-lettres.
Reading personal growth takes discernment. But I keep reading it because i need the reinforcement. I need to hear things in a different way from a different voice even if it’s the same message. I’m determined to gain knowledge that diminishes negative life programming and expands possibility.
I do also adore getting lost in a good story. When a novel takes me and immerses me in a completely new environment it feels like an adventure. And it gets me out of the stuff in my head so I can sleep at night.
But because I’m dealing with eye issues, I can’t always focus and read a book especially for a long time. I’ve grown to enjoy audio books so that my eyes get a rest.
Still figuring out what to do with myself when I’m listening, though. Mostly I use the time to stretch, do legs up the wall, prep food, or something like that. You don’t realize how much you use your eyes until you go to rest them without taking a nap.
3) Meditation. Daily. And not the sit perfectly still in silence kind.
At this stage I only get about 5 hours sleep at night so I’m usually awake about 5 am. I put my playlist of guided meditations on the tablet and lie back to be fully present in the beautiful morning stillness.
It puts me in a state of calm, easing the racing thoughts that start the moment I wake.
4) Complimentary medicine. Acupuncture has been my go to for more than 15 years. It’s helped me with issues ranging from muscle spasms to now vision loss.
In essence, it stimulates your body to heal itself. And I find it really grounds me, brings me fully back to my body. The main thing right now is that it’s easing the side effects of the meds I’m on. Phew.
5) Stop trying so hard to stay busy and embrace times of quiet and rest. I have to let my body mind recover and that doesn’t fit in to societal norms.
So I stopped trying. I’m learning to redefine busy and focus on making quality time.
Sometimes I have to take a long nap in the afternoon. Sometimes I have so much energy I can’t sleep until after midnight and I get 3 blog posts written.
But the exhaustion and anxiety of pushing too hard to keep up with everyone else only makes me sick. And it probably does you, too, but maybe you don’t have the clear signs like I do.
It’s not worth it. So not worth it.
6) Getting support from others and actively seeking out people with the right vibe. I’ve been so freakin’ happy to have amazing friends who encourage me and keep me going.
A few are in real life but a few I found in different groups on Facebook, of all places. Finding kindred spirits through similar interests.
They help me see the parts of my journey where I’m being brave even when I feel like a terrified child. Where I’m having to make decisions that suck and supporting me in that. Giving me a different point of view to consider that helps me make those decisions.
They model self-care and forgiveness that reminds me to be gentle with my self. And they always get me back to my heart center with their words (and art) of wisdom. They contribute to my daily joy, for sure.
7) Being very picky about the media I take in. Especially in the States now with all the election bullshit that’s constantly playing. I’ve noticed I get more information, in less time by checking 1 social and 1 media site to scan the headlines. Takes 5 mins.
And I watch programs like Super Soul Sunday, the olympics (still watching the recordings), and documentaries like Iris . Anything that shows the beautiful parts of life without glossing over the not-so-beautiful. That shows how people overcome circumstances and create thriving lives.
8) Moving my body. I wrote about taking up running here in a previous post.
Non-negotiable is that 5 times a week I have to get myself out of the house, work up a sweat, and move through space. Essentially get endorphins pumping through my system. It has a massive impact on my daily outlook on life.
On days I’m not running I practice yoga. More yin based, gentle restorative yoga is what’s calling me now. But through the years, I always find my way back to a good 90 min. Ashtanga practice. There’s just nothing like it.
9) Saying thank you from the heart. Not just from the mouth. Not just the words. But truly feeling it come from my heart.
I say it to my family, my friends, acquaintances. I say it to the man I pass on my daily run who has the most beautiful smile and loving disposition. Who always takes a moment out of his work to say hello.
And every morning I do what Wayne Dyer did. I sit up in bed, feet on the ground, and I say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” To my Angels, ancestors, guides, and guardians.
Wrapping it up.
I was faced with a serious issue that totally stopped me in my tracks. It’s taken a year to even get clear on treatment.
But the good thing is that it made me examine my life and decide how far I’m willing to go to get through it and come out the other end feeling awesome. I’m doing things I didn’t think would be possible a year ago.
And what’s really interesting in all this is that I’m more in touch with my joy than I’ve ever been. Even on the rough days, like today. We discussed the next course of treatment and it scares me. A lot.
But I still feel pretty good. It takes vigilance to keep this up every day, every week.
The moment we decide we’re worth it, the better it gets. And it feels like I’m getting even more support because others are seeing the changes in me.
What about you? What are you doing to thrive in your life right now, no matter what else is going on?
I send you love and support to get through whatever it is you’re going through. Keep going. You can do it.
Creative kisses, xx.