Last week I completed a 15 question health reflection given by a leading Hashimoto’s author. It was easy to quickly realize the themes. One question was about a word to describe 2017 so far. My word is growth.
With a chronic illness, it’s so easy to feel like your life is putting out fires. The setbacks can be overwhelming, because you know they aren’t going to end. You never get a vacation from your illness (even if you go on vacation!)
But what this reflection invited me into was a reflection on my entire year. This year I’ve committed to a yoga practice, and I’m still far from flexible, but I have a really strong practice. There’s definition in my calf muscles again! And I have really strong arm muscles–actually in proportion to my leg strength. That’s a new thing for me. In a massage session, my therapist asked me if I was a swimmer in my past life. I laughed and said, “No a runner. With big thighs and skinny arms. Yoga has given me the arms and shoulders that I have now.” It feels really good to have an athletic outlet again.
This year I visited Omaha, Nebraska and went on a weekend silent retreat that was pivotal in experiencing silence in community. It was important to me to meet other 20 and 30 somethings that were cultivating a contemplative practice. And since this weekend, my spiritual practices have grown and shifted. They are more aligned with who I am, what I need, and how I go back into the world as a healing presence. And I will be going back on retreat here next year. Gravity Center facilitates hope and healing–the work they do is beautiful.
I read so much and I love that! I read 2-3 books/week. And people ask how I do it. I don’t know. I just have to rest a lot–and I prefer reading to watching TV just about any day, so a lot of reading gets done.
I’m moving again for a better environment for my health. Better air quality. New. Less carpet. No mold. While this has been stressful, it will feel great once I’m moved in (which is this week!)
I quit two jobs that I needed to. And I started my own tutoring business! I haven’t written much about this on the blog yet. But yes, Staying Power Resources launched this summer. I continue tutoring students with learning differences, and have a more flexible schedule more myself.
I posted about the female healers in my life, and entering back into massage and acupuncture. I posted publicly about my assault.
Through my circumstances, in being invited to change directions, I’ve been invited to grow. By necessity, growth is awkward and clumsy, and in the process I’ve raised so many questions and seen so much doubt. I was thinking that healing might mean that I enter back as a classroom teacher again. And I’m learning that’s a dream that will not come to fruition as I saw it in my mind.
I’m learning about the severity of my mold toxicity, and the unpredictability of Indiana weather and which buildings I can go into and which ones I can’t. I’m going to write much more about this in the future.
While I’ve made great gains, I’ve also been fatigued for a good part of this year. In the winter, I felt great. And once the late spring hit, I’ve really been quite exhausted ever since.
So many interesting questions surface when my health is deteriorating, and everything feels like its in transition. Job. Home. Health. Future.
Survival questions like:
- Can I make it?
- Do I have enough energy not to quit my business as soon as I started it?
- If this doesn’t work, then what next?
- To what extent can I heal?
The questions are real. And yet so is my growth. So is all the risk of this year, so is all the loss. A very human adventure. With many twists and turns, decisions I wasn’t ready to make and yet was thrust in a certain direction anyway.
Here’s to more risk. More adventure. More growth.