When I was 23 years old I decided to take some time off and drive around the entire country by myself. I felt the deep, commanding need to step away from the routine of day-to-day life and figure out who I was, beyond the structure of life society told me I was supposed to be living and which I never seemed to fit into. I researched, charted my route, gathered my supplies (which did not include a cell phone or GPS) and set the date. I took a temporary leave of my job, said goodbye to my boyfriend of 5 years and on June 6th I hit the road and headed west.
The first few days were brutal, leaving me emotionally twisted and homesick but I pushed through and found the magic and love of adventure. I faced a lot of challenges and I also had some of the most beautiful moments of my life exploring new lands and connecting with amazing people.
But that's not what this post is about. (Perhaps a future post!)
The reason I bring this journey up is because every step of making that journey happen was born from within the wilds of my intuitive heart. I felt the magnetic pull of my internal compass to go out and explore the world on my own terms. This is an example of what Mark Breadner calls "dreaming wild".
That journey was an earnest attempt on my part, to come in to union with burgeoning dreams and visions for living an authentic life. The foundation for living life in this way must be rooted in courage, self love and trust. Both of which were muscles I had not yet developed in my life. As a result I was easily prone to fear and self-doubt which lured me in to the familiar routine of comfort and predictability. However, it is without a single doubt that I planted some powerful seeds on that journey that would later bear fruit in my life.
Upon return I felt an internal tug-of-war around my relationship but something kept me bound to him. The pull back in to the folds of familiarity and safety held more allure to me than venturing back out in to the wild world.
Within one year I was pregnant with our daughter and engaged to be married. Clearly I was being called to another journey and my fate became bound with another. Like any mother has had to do to some degree, I placed my dreams on the shelf for a time.
However unprepared I may have felt, I knew my daughter was meant to come in to this world and she was welcomed with loving arms.
Although the marriage eventually ended, I learned and grew tremendously during that time. The journey of mothering is a forever one and these last 16 years have been an amazing, beautiful, challenging, inspiring, rigorous, uplifting, transformative, heart-wrenching-at-times journey that was for years, the axis upon which my life spun.
Fast forward to a year ago, when I was faced with a breast cancer diagnosis and somehow through all the initial shock, I knew in my heart of hearts that flooding my body with poison and chemicals was not the path for me. That same resonant inner voice that called me to the open road so long ago welled up to the surface and it became clear that there was another path for me. A path that honors the wisdom of nature, of reconnecting with the wilderness of my body's wisdom and allowing my dreams to come back to life.
Looking back now I see how incredibly far I've come. In the beginning I had no understanding as I do here now, through these words and this moment in this body and this soul.
At first it felt awkward to trust the rhythms, cycles and waves of my healing process. But that's the interesting thing about igniting change in our lives; it creates a ripple effect. Over time, with practice and persistence the ripple effect begins to wear away the soot around our hearts and reveals so much new awareness that previously was invisible to us. As the old congested layers fall away our personal antennae is better able to tune in to finer frequencies and guide us on our path toward our most authentic and inspired selves.
It's been a time of recalibrating, regrouping and re-emerging. Part of this process recently included another visit with my naturopath. The thing to remember about naturopaths is they are not all the same - not by a long shot. It's vital that in addition to working with someone who has a certain level of mastery in their chosen field, that we also feel cared for, heard, understood and supported.
Ultimately it is not the doctor who "does" the healing but rather they become our facilitator, our guide as we take the steps on our personal path.
It's fascinating to me that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and we have been around for a mere 100,000 years. We have evolved from this ancient, beautiful, magical place called Earth. Yet our modern medical system ignores nearly all aspects of the balancing, regenerative, grounding, vibrational, magnetic, healing forces of this very earth, which sustains us.
No doubt with emergency medical care we have made leaps and bounds, I bow to the skills of those doctors who helped my step-dad when he was in a life-altering helicopter accident, or any of the countless nurses and doctors that tend to the every day emergencies of life; this goes without saying. What I am referring to here is the "health-care system". (Also known as the "sick-care system")
My personal path called me to work with a doctor who understands the genius of supporting my body to awaken it's own inherent healing capabilities.
My naturopath specializes in Iridology. He apprenticed from the time he was a young boy with both his father and another mentor well versed in the study and application of this healing modality.
Iridology is based on the scientific study of the iris -- the colored part of the eye. Like markings on a map, the iris reveals physiological conditions, psychological health risks, challenges and/or strengths of various organs and personality traits.
Through iridology we can get an understanding of your past, present, and potential future health conditions by assessing the various body systems. Your inherited tendencies compounded by toxic accumulations in various parts of your body are also revealed.
Over the last year I moved in and out of varying levels of obsession around "the lump". Constantly monitoring it, in the beginning I held a lot of fear around it. However, the more I learned about what cancer truly is, the more I began to understand that healing is not linear and when the conditions are just right, healing is the only result. Adrenal gland, kidney weakness and lymph congestion are often the primary root causes in most cancers. A myriad of factors can lead to this including parasites, bacteria and other pathogens that release toxins in to the body and weaken our immune system. (Indeed an extensive topic and best covered in a seperate post). In my particular case I fell in to deep imbalance as a result of extreme long-term chronic stress, congested lymph system and intestinal congestion and definitely included bacterial imbalance. This created a toxic environment that was literally years in the making.
We discussed this at length through out our meeting and Dr. Olarsch is always patient with my questions and concerns. An interesting point came up that allowed me some new perspective; perhaps if I had been positioned to take time off and devote entirely to detoxing, releasing, cleansing on both the physical and emotional levels then results with said lump would have been quicker.
Each journey is unique to the person traveling it and I have done my best to embrace my healing journey while holding responsibilities as a full time single mom, working nearly full-time and sustaining my regimen with limited financial resources. With that said, looking back I can see a beautiful unfolding in my process. All the lessons, books, information, teachers, guides and mentors all seem to have crossed my path right when I was ready to receive it, then digest and assimilate it in to my life.
I have embraced my healing journey from day one as nothing less than an epic wake up call. An opportunity to reconnect, recalibrate and resuscitate my being on levels that had long since fallen in to slumber.
My doc had already concluded that said lump is now benign. What this means is that if I reverted to my old toxic ways of drinking and emotional repression that lump could easily turn back into cancer and become malignant. (Fast growing and spreading to other parts of the body). It has never grown larger and in fact has slowly become smaller, perhaps not as quickly as I might have liked but the body's wisdom is not always understood through a linear mindset.
To describe how I feel these days is difficult to put into words. There are layers continuing to peel away that are pulling me in to the deeper work of how I live my every moment. How I relate, respond, assimilate and take action authentically regardless of who is looking on or what kind of day it is.
Physically I feel strong, clear and I wake up with energy each morning. I feel a deep union with nature that feeds me every day, my skin has cleared (Ok, I do get the occasional PMS break out), my weight is steady, eyes are bright and clarity of mind and heart is blooming.
To conclude our meeting, my doc did the iridology reading and it was at this point he smiled big and said, "I feel absolutely confident, what you need to do my dear, is for the first time, stop hyper- focusing on this lump. It's common for benign lumps in particular to take longer to break down, but I assure you, it will."
He also concluded that my lymph system has cleared significantly but still holds a subtle layer of old toxic congestion that very likely goes back decades. (Think of the onion metaphor, the more layers you peel back the closer you get to the core). He strongly urged me to go deeper with the emotional work, do a couple detox juice fasts/cleanses and some more colon hydrotherapy. In addition get the lymph system moving regularly.
"Most of all," he said, "Start living your life!"
Indeed I am. After our visit I was compelled to seek out guidance and inspiration to take my healing deeper. I didn't know what I was looking for but I knew that it would involve moving toward my purpose and out of my comfort zone in whatever way I might be ready for. This search was fueled by a deeper shift I've noticed over the last month or two where I finally feel ready to embrace life beyond my healing journey. My doc's words echo in my mind...."Start living your life."
So I listened... and this led me to sign up for some yoga workshops, step more purposefully in to creative endeavors and take action as several new teachers and mentors have recently crossed my path. One of which I've not only signed on for one-on-one coaching sessions but thanks to his compassion and receptivity, I find myself now enrolled in the Holistic Nutrition Mastery Course. This is a program designed for those seeking to learn more for themselves or for those called to the path of finding their purpose, growing their vision and serving others on their unique healing journey.
Indeed, a new adventure begins...XO