Gathering Aspects of Self
This week I'm getting a bit more personal, but it’s something that I feel important to discuss.
So many people out there feel lost and confused about where they are in life, weighed down with expectations, goals etc.
I know for a good portion of my life I felt this way, and that I didn’t really fit in anywhere.
This has not just been in career, but in health, well-being, and spirituality, all aspects of my life.
I have struggled with weight, with physical and mental health over the years.
Coming into this week I kept having this thought popping up, share my story and let others take what they need from it to help them on their journey.
Life is after all to be clique a journey and not a destination.
At my heaviest I was 83kgs, and I wasn't comfortable in my body, I didn't like how I looked or felt, and definitely did not see anything worth loving about myself.
I tried every single diet that was out at the time, and would lose 10kgs only to regain it the minute I stopped, one diet in particular left me quite sick, almost like my body was rejecting everything I was putting it through trying reach the ideals I was seeing everywhere in the media. This possibly is the reason I now suffer from re-flux.
At the time what I didn't know was that my weight gain was linked to the medication I was taking. Needless to say, once I came off the medication the weight also started to drop.
Then a couple of years back I suffered massively with my physical health contracting a staph infection which even the doctors couldn't figure out how I contracted, and a yeast infection which resulted on me having to go on a very restrictive diet to eliminate the virus.
Then there has been the struggle with mental health, this was the result of a few different events happening all at once in my life, and I lost myself for a while, through grief and depression.
The biggest struggle I have had is probably with my spiritual life. Like many people in Australia I come from a Christian family, I won't mention denomination as that doesn't really factor into my struggle with Christianity.
I do remember as a child my grandparents dragging me off to church and listening in on their bible groups discuss the bible, and the one thought kept coming to me, and that was this just didn’t fit right.
I share this not as a pity story, but to show you how each struggle I came up against afforded me the opportunity to gather an aspect of myself to become the person I am today.
Throughout the different struggles I learnt a lot about the different aspects of myself.
Looking back now those years of struggle with my weight afforded me the opportunity to try and research many different diets and meal plans, and by taking that opportunity, I have been able to figure out what diet works best for me, and something I do suggest to people to figure out for themselves as knowing how to fuel your body is an important aspect of health.
Throughout this experience it taught me to listen to my body and allow her wisdom to guide me back to health.
The struggles with my weight and physical health helped me to tune into my own body's wisdom, and learn how to listen to her and work with her so I did regain my health, and fitness once more.
My body will tell me long before my mind when I need to rest, and when I need to move, when to eat, when to drink, she'll also tell me when to run from a bad situation. Intuition after all sits within your body.
The body's wisdom is what has helped humanity to survive for a millennium. It is the wisdom that has been gathered and evolved throughout our existence. It helps us to forage for food, to hunt, and to help us find our best mates.
My mental health struggles are what taught me the consequences of pushing too hard, of the myth of constantly seeking perfection, of not always saying yes and having good and strong boundaries, knowing my limits and what I will accept and not accept from others in my life.
Basically, not allowing the mind to always overrule the body, the two need to work together in order for you to be able to function at your best level.
Then the last bit has been my spiritual health, as mentioned I was struggling with the faith of the majority of my family. This struggle sent me seeking other paths, witchcraft, paganism, shamanism, Buddhism, before turning to energy healing modalities, I did eventually make a return to Christianity seeing it through the eyes of an adult, but still I felt something missing.
As a child I couldn't really articulate what I felt was missing, it wasn't until I was a little older in my teenage years, experimenting with Witchcraft and realising why I always gravitated towards the old myths about the Goddesses.
I didn't identify with any of the main characters in the bible, most of which are men, and of the few female characters I didn't see me in them.
It wasn't until a fateful trip to Peru where I was able to work with some Shamans in the picturesque Andes that I was able to put it all together, and would bring me full circle coming into this year.
Watching the Shamans as they put together their alters and offerings, the masculine and the feminine are placed on the same pedestal they are equal.
Where there is a masculine spirit there is also a feminine spirit. There is balance and that is not something I have been able to find in the dogma taught by the various denominations of the main western faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
For me I find the balance of the masculine and feminine in the nature-based faiths is a perfect fit for me, and a balance I need in my life now.
I do believe people should afford themselves the opportunity to learn and discover all the different faiths, and follow the one that best feels right to you. Whether that be one of the main faiths, or like myself a more Pagan based view. All faiths have their place in this world.
So I have returned to my Pagan start and each step I have taken this year leaning more fully into this lifestyle, from bringing back my potted herb and vegetable garden - apartment living can't have a proper garden - to following the cycles of the moon and nature, I am feeling like my most truest, healthiest, vibrant, whole and loving self I have ever felt.
So, I share this with you in the hope that you too will see each struggle in life the opportunity to get to know your truest self, your most cantered and balanced self.
Allow the journey to happen and teach you as each lesson really is a gift and one, I will continue to look forward to as I continue on this crazy journey, we call life.