the wellness formula
I am sure that there is a part of me which thinks that if I can just find the right formula I will be able to vanish my illness away. If I have the right balance of work, creative practice, exercise, diet and rest then I will be well.
While that is true to a certain extent – there are certainly things I can do to stay fairly well it is not as clear cut as that. Firstly, my illness means that I can feel shocking because the weather is off, because the seasons change, because I got stressed out or because I’ve done too much, even when I have easily done that in the past. Sometimes I can do something and it energises me, other times it drains me. Swimming is an excellent example of this – I need to keep swimming regularly because it helps maintain my fitness – it works pretty much every muscle in my body, it also means I can get a cardio vascular workout without putting pressure on any of my joints. It also has a wonderful mental benefit – I feel so strong in the water, although I can no longer swim as far or as fast as I used to I am still able to do it without any adaptations. This is going to sound small and petty minded, but it is one of the few places that I still excel at, and that is important when you have a chronic illness.
Despite all the positives that come from swimming it is still quite tiring and some days it is more tiring than on others. Sometimes I can see why it’s had such a dramatic effect, but quite often I can’t.
I have my morning routine, consisting of yoga, meditation and morning pages (a form of journalling created by Julia Cameron). Quite often I then make my breakfast – a smoothie containing spirulina, spinach and almond butter amongst other things, along with my only cup of fairly traded coffee. Then I sit down and do my creative work, even on client days. This means I am always working on my vital work – developing my photography and writing.
I stop at lunch and take some time for prayer. I often stop client work early afternoon and take the dog for a long walk, swim or just read or play my flute.
Part of me thinks, I have this sussed! I am literally taking care of my body, mind and soul here – I have a creative practice – several in fact, and I spend time in prayer and meditation. WHY AREN’T I WELL?
And of course it doesn’t work like this, life doesn’t work like this. It is great that I have a nourishing routine, but part of me hangs onto it with a death grip, which isn’t helpful. I’m not great at adapting to if my plans go awry due to circumstances outside of my control, which then causes more stress and hassle, which then causes me pain and fatigue.
I still think that if I was a better spiritual person, doing the right practices, having the right connection with God then I would miraculously be healed and I could go back to my old life. This is dangerous thinking on so many levels, I don’t really believe it at a conscious level – that I am sick because I am not connected with the divine properly, but it is there, lurking in the back of my mind. I also don’t think my old life was healthy for anyone to have, but it was certainly in keeping with the rest of the fast paced, always busy world.