Many years ago I read “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss and it was so fascinating. I started and finished the book in a small cabin in Hants Co in just a few days.The concept that we carry our emotions in our physical bodies made so much sense to me but I had not entertained the idea before picking up this book. I reflected on our Western worldview around “ailments”. We are so disconnected from the mind/body. Often drugs are prescribed for everything without entertaining the idea that there could be an alternative underlying cause.
While it made sense to me I was not really afflicted with any health issues at that time until….my child died. Maybe I was afflicted in some way but never really felt the discomfort enough to “drop in” to explore the possibilities until…
The trauma experienced after finding my child the way I did and the aftermath in the hours, days, months to follow showed up in my body. I could not lift my legs to put my pants on and often had to ask for help. My legs, hips, thighs were dense with pain. Six months later I woke confused and scared because I felt like someone worked my body over with a baseball bat. I looked for bruising but there was nothing there. I went to the Dr only to be told “You have Fibromyalgia Leah, this often happens when someone experiences trauma” At this point in my journey I was still in a fog so I just accepted this diagnosis as a temporary pain that would subside. It did not. Later I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease and this explained other types of pain.
Luckily for me (because yes, I believe I am blessed) I found Yoga which opened up so many doors. Especially, the concept of connecting to the body. I connected and dropped inside.I felt that my grief and the corresponding pain in my body were very much linked together. My emotional pain was constricting every fibre of my being. My heart literally ached and my breath was shallow. My diaphragm tender to the touch. I listened to my body and asked it what it needed. Did I have less pain? No, not really because my body was holding so damn tight. I longed for space and expansion.
After a while of connecting to the wisdom of my body I found moments of spaciousness and peace but still my body was holding, holding, holding.
I was frustrated but intrigued with the connection. I ate comfort foods which resulted in weight gain and more pain. Part of me knew that I needed to try to eliminate foods that caused inflammation but I resisted – until recently. One day I thought “Leah,if you are going to climb out of this hole its going to have to include loving the food you are putting into your body.”
I gave up refined sugar at the beginning of January and then started cooking differently and adding even more veggies and dishes that were both nurturing for my soul and my body. I gave up starchy foods and most carbohydrates -foods known to cause inflammation. I’m loving myself from the inside out now and as one of my mentors Sarah Roberts states “if you dont have your health where else are you gonna live?” Now, when I eat a meal I imagine my cells are glowing with happiness and joy.
Afterall, isn’t the body amazing? Yes, it carries our pain but it also carries our love. I look at this photo that came across my facebook page today and yes, I cried! I cried at my profound loss then I looked at my face in the photo and Rehtaeh’s precious face – I was able to go back to this exact moment. Then I thanked the Universe for allowing me to have met this girl I was blessed to call my child.
My life changed for the better the day she arrived. She was the catalyst for all that was to follow. I dont believe this was a coincidence – this life of mine. The time we shared! The path we continue to travel. Now, I’m loving myself back to health and I’m so excited about this new adventure. Excited is something I have not felt for a very long time.