So I have just returned from Brisbane, continuing my journey to vibrant health. This visit to Dr Mel was not quite the LoveFest of the first, in which ‘I felt so safe, understood, overwhelmed, grateful‘. He had managed to squeeze me in for a late appointment, and then one hour turned into almost four as he poured over results, perplexed and confused. We were all tired. I was scared. Little Edges arose. I began to feel a bit unsafe. Unheard. Misunderstood. Left in the dark. Disconnected. That instead of us being a team, an open, healing, collaborative dialogue, where I own my test results and information, and am fully engaged in each step of my treatment, I was The Patient (and therefore a Sick Person) and he was The Doctor.
I know that this is part of my armour, and the result of experiences with previous Doctors, in which I felt the need to protect myself. When I began to realise that my illness was more complicated than we first thought, and that a Definitive Diagnosis might not be possible, I was scared. In my most secret, hopeful mind, I had wanted my Knight Dr Mel to provide Certainty. A Solution. And when he started prescribing a fairly aggressive interim treatment plan without a Definitive Diagnosis I was more scared. So I sat with my fear. And it engulfed me for a few moments. Which was frightening. But I continued to sit. And then I clumsily journalled. And then I even more clumsily tried to find the words talking with my Loves. And in knowing I was not alone, the words formed. Slowly the fear came out from behind the shadows, and showed itself to be not so scary.
So this is where the Big T comes in. Trust.
I gotta Trust. Capital T. I must sit with my fears. Like Dr Mel needs to untangle my symptoms and test results, I must continually untangle my fears, and identify which stem from my current reality, so full of hope, support and Love, and which stem from my past. Which are useful. And which are not. This year, again more than ever I must connect with and trust my intuition. My instincts. My mind. My Body. My Spirit. And in doing so, learn to trust outside of myself. Lean into Dr Mel.
In a stroke of kismet, I noticed a sign as I drove away from his practice, ‘You are entering our Sanctuary’. Yes I am.
I’d love you to share the LIVELIGHTLY Love. Simply link to ilivelightly.com xo
Dr Mel isn’t my Knight in Shining Armour. He is not Perfect.
He ia a brilliant man. But I had already placed him on a pedestal so high I could barely see his wise and adorable face. I am overcoming my own Perfectionism. I don’t expect Perfection from anyone else. Except for myself. And my idealised future Love (that was a doozy of a realisation). And now it seems my Doctor. This isn’t fair. Or realistic. It is setting us up for doom. Gloom. Mistrust. Because trust is built upon vulnerability. If there was certainty, I would not need to trust. I would Know. But there is no certainty. Life is Impermanent, Imperfect, Incomplete. As much as I am able to know anything, in my own Impermanence, Imperfection, Incompleteness, I know this. Sometimes I inhabit my most delightful self. Sometimes I do not. And when I do not, I am reminded again to be Mindful. Dr Mel and I were tired. Edges appears. We didn’t connect as seamlessly. But that is okay.
Perfectionism blocks Flow. Creativity. Communication. Love.
Perfectionism is All or Nothing. It boxes up. Controls. Restricts. Protects. It is Rigid. Unyielding.
In an attempt to inject something concrete into my ever-intangible storytelling, I have a Real Life example. So as part of my treatment I am to introduce a little meat into my diet. As a Sustainable Designer passionate about Holistic Health, I am particularly concerned about agricultural practices, including water usage, feed grain production and soil erosion in meat farming. My inner perfectionist, all or nothing, black or white self would be happiest if I Never ate meat. But I believe in eating meat consciously and supporting local, organic, sustainable, ethical framers passionate about preserving traditional techniques such as grass-feeding.
Living Lightly is not all or nothing. Living Lightly is about being Awake.
Making conscious choices. Aligning with my values. Gently. Lovingly. And when making little compromises, like savouring more sustainable meat options, I am reminded to be Mindful. Every Mindful Choice brings me closer to myself. Connecting me to my Intuition and Instincts. As I learn to listen I align myself with my Internal Compass.
This week I was surprised, delighted and overwhelmed to discover how strong my intuition is. I knew when I was on the table with my Luminescent Pelvic Physiotherapist Alyssa, when she clicked my hips into place, that this was going to work. That all that was standing between my years of illness and suffering was the love, nurturing and support of Holistic Healers. That this little click of two bones did more for my healing than all the years before. That I had known instinctually exactly what my body needed to heal itself. The routine I cobbled together though years of trial and error, soothing inflammation, miraculously stabilising my health. The yoga style and poses I practice. The foods my body responded to best. The way I sit. The way I breath. Living Lightly. I researched and studied trying to understand my illness from every angle, but I could not find the Medical Language I needed to unlock the puzzle. My illness was just too serious for me to be able to click into place myself. When I woke up the following morning, I could feel how much my body was changing already. Blood was flowing every which way, rushing to nourish and heal parts that had been blocked for years.
My body is reawakening.
I was flooded again with emotion. I am overwhelmed. Grateful. Excited. I didn’t want to jinx it. I am still frustrated and angry. Completely overwhelmed by the need to share this information with the whole world. To make sure no else else suffers like this. Ever. I didn’t know how.
I am realising more that before I was living in fear. I knew deep down that my body was falling apart and that I needed to fit 90 years of experience into Right This Second. I suffered Epic F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out). Time was my enemy. The seconds were ticking faster and faster so I ran faster and faster to keep up. But I don’t need to run anymore. It’s sounds super dramatic to say, and even more ridiculously terrifyingly Real to hear, but I have my whole life to look forward to now. I can be Still. I can Taste. I can Savour. I can share my Story. I can be Present. In Pleasure. And in Love.
And for now, that feels like the most delicious enoughness.
I would be delighted to Tweet you!
How do you surrender to Trust? Uncertainty? Vulnerability? Flow? Love?
A LITTLE NOTE I am sharing my experience with this yet-to-be-determined Autoimmune-ish illness as an impatient ‘patient’ (not a Doctor). If you or your Loves are suffering from anything similar, and I can help at all, I would be absolutely delighted to share more details with you. Simply tweet me @izennah or email email@example.com. Sarah Wilson, Jess Ainscough and Chris Kresser have provided inspiration throughout my journey and their blogs are incredible resources.
Dr. Mel Sydney-Smith is a director and medical practitioner of the Holistic Medical Centre. His practice reflects a commitment to a holistic framework of health, clinical nutrition and preventive medicine and encompasses other therapeutic modalities such as psychotherapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage therapy.
Alyssa Tait (B Phty, Postgrad Cert Continence and Pelvic Floor, Grad Dip Nutrition Med) is passionate about helping women achieve optimal health through holistic physiotherapy and nutrition medicine.