“What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” George Eliot
Hello and welcome,
After beginning my blog, it evolved rather quickly into a journey of how I arrived here and also became an examination on the subject of self-acceptance.
I sought to find new purpose, and it’s not exactly where I assumed it would be…
For years, I thought the only way to make a meaningful contribution to others would be in a one on one setting through holistic health. No matter how many courses I pursued, I wasn’t rushing out to begin a business in energy healing, incorporating the hands on type of approach… Why not?…
I had no clue…
There was always something niggling at me. I knew I wanted to add value and have a purpose in some tangible way.
How could I add value through this new creative outlet of photography and words? These were not what I had traditionally thought I’d pursue in a million years, but now I understand… I chose to stop fighting against what I expected from myself and became open to a new paradigm…
Anything that lights us up… That little spark of excitement… The thing that has us day dreaming about possibilities… and imagining…just imagining… If it makes us feel happy, if it brings out the best in us… it’s adding value to the world… The world thrives on people feeling connected to their light… And like this candle’s light, radiate a warm glow to those around us… In the hope they may also ignite their own beautiful light.
It’s sometimes mentioned that self- acceptance and self-love imply narcissistic or selfish tendencies. I don’t believe that to be the case. If anything, once we begin to accept ourselves as we are, sharing our light isn’t about being showy, but more about being quietly confident to live a life of Love….
It has potential for us to seek out the goodness inothers.
It may foster more outward- focused living, where we are in a position to reach out more readily, see without judgement, open our heart, become more compassionate, purely because we are more aligned with our values, living a life that’s true to ourselves…
One where we are not afraid to share our vulnerabilities.
Through blogging and photography, I’ve found a home for these two new passions that are my means of reaching out to this world… I’m not at all saying this blog is faultless by any means, as I’m very much a novice, but what I can honestly say is that I’m absolutely loving creating meaning from constructing letters that become words, to sentences and finally a post, with the intention they may resonate positively for someone. Even one person…
So my wish is to hopefully bring you comfort, encouragement or value by this means.
For this post, one that I’m intentionally keeping short ( by my standards!), I’d love to share with you an interview I discovered recently. Ideas we have instinctively known for thousands of years are just beginning to be validated by Scientific method, which I personally find very interesting.
This interview shares much about what I’ll call the ‘Art of self-acceptance’ and reasons why it’s important and healthy to begin fostering a happy working relationship with ourselves…it also includes a discussion on Mindfulness and stress. It is on YouTube but doesn’t require watching, as its audio only. I hope you enjoy it. The quote below is a snippet if the interview is not something that resonates for you…
‘Self-acceptance genuinely impacts the brain and genuinely decreases your anxiety so that you can use your vulnerability for good…’ Dr Srini Pillay, Psychiatrist and Brain Researcher.
Let’s take our journey into part two. I’d love it if you would brew a cuppa, so we can share one together as you read, as it’s a long one. But there is a part three to come nevertheless…
….So, I was curious about my new iPhone.
That warm summer’s morning, I thought perhaps I’d find some information on the web about how to properly utilise the camera app. I googled and the iPhone Photography School site appeared, with a few short free videos on how to take a great iPhone photo… I was totally absorbed from the first few moments of that first video and had an overwhelming feeling that this was going to be my new next thing to discover. It was so captivating, learning about the top ten rules of good photography. I chose to take notes before setting out to put them into practise. I’d always been interested in painting more as an artistic pursuit but discovering good photographic technique overtook the painting side. Ah, I’m sure all those canvases and paints will be put to use eventually!
I signed up to purchase the video classes!
It was one of the best things I’ve done, and at that time, I had no concept of how it would take hold of me or how much it was going to become my best friend. As I began to fall more in love with photography, I joined the Facebook private page to connect with the other students and critique each other’s photos. This gave real meaning to sharing our photos and gave us an outlet to encourage the various genres of photography. So that had been going really well for a couple of months in between planning the wedding of my daughter in the March.
In the meantime, since leaving the University year, I’d visited my acupuncturist for a niggling issue that actually became an exploration into the connection between our mind and our body. Sohial would spend a good amount of time teaching me about emotions, how they relate to different parts of the body and how physical issues are connected with the stresses of daily life. As someone who would dwell on things, and at that time, I was in the midst of my ‘what next’ phase. He knew about my passion for sharing tips and methods of healing that had helped me along my journey. I was lacking confidence to do anything about it.
My Acupuncturist could see what ignited me by listening to me and he stated some lines that I will never forget… ‘It’s time to just stop the constant learning and start sharing…’ and suggested that ‘I’m being selfish by keeping this knowledge to myself…’
They hit me right in the heart and as part of my treatment over a few weeks, he had worked on my self-confidence through the balancing of those relevant energy systems. He asked me what was stopping me from going home and creating a new Facebook account? ‘Just start….Post something’. Well, I knew the time had come to take his advice. This quote came to me, one I’d hear so many times on podcasts…
And so a new Facebook site was created with a first post. I’d treated it like a blog and was very proud to be able to add my own images to it. I used it as my means of sharing what I’d learnt so far and as a means of expressing things that were truly important to me. Things many people didn’t know about me and frequently, I would feel those niggling doubts, ‘What will my family and friends think of me speaking up?’ I was and still am, the ‘quiet one’ and finding that voice to negate those old beliefs was a challenge…I had to remind myself every day to push through them. I was feeling very content sharing things in that way and I felt like I’d really found a place I was meant to be…to share positive stories, inspirational thoughts and vulnerability, along with giving my captures of nature a real home.
And I loved it… but it was mainly people who had known me for a long time that were making the comments and I understand this may sound strange, but to be fully able to explore this me that was waiting to show, it became difficult with so many people who knew me watching on. I craved to be a new arrival, with the newness not being seen as ‘out of character’. Perhaps this wasn’t being thought, but in my head, this is how it felt.
That’s why the Photography Facebook group became so important. Very important.
The wedding day came and was a beautiful day. I hadn’t realised how much emotion was invested on the actual day and the months leading up to it. I still had my purpose, and it gave me a wonderful excuse to be in regular contact with my daughter. At the end of the evening, my hubby and I retired to our room and I began to cry… And I really didn’t stop for much of that week. There were so many feelings that the wedding had stirred and I was a little slow to truly learn about them…
So, this is where my dear back decided to step in to become my new teacher.
It decided, late in April, that it was time to spasm. I was convinced something dreadful had taken place…I was utterly immobilised. I said goodbye to putting on my socks for the next two months. Everything was a chore to manage and it was impossible to sit for too long.
Sorry gentlemen, but at the same time, and since the wedding in March, my cycle had continued and was oblivious to the fact it was supposed to actually stop at some point!! I was living in fear of what may have been wrong but trusted that it was a natural thing for you know, the Big M, Menopause.
For my back pain, I consulted physios, did some exercises at home that were prescribed, attempted Pilates class, was told that just as many people with bulging discs don’t have pain as the ones that do, so pain is not necessarily an indicator of a major injury. It was not an automatic thing to take x-rays. As I waited and was anxious about my cycle, I basically withdrew from life when I could, happily escorting myself out during the daytime to discover beautiful gardens and capture landscape images. This fed my passion and began a new discovery of self… I was spending so much time alone, I could really hear myself think. ‘How am I going to get over this back issue?’ ‘What is going on for me?’ and generally pondering my life and my purpose. One thing I knew was the futility of fighting the situation… it is was it is, so I was quite at peace with the surrendering side of it. ‘What about my cycle?’ That terrified me totally, as I was going to be the one with the easy transition and I was utterly disappointed that it appeared to be eluding me.
A beautiful 92 year old friend encouraged me to have it checked out, under the proviso that I didn’t have to act upon any treatment that didn’t resonate with my alternative view on healing. She suggested that perhaps the two issues were linked…
And so I did. Thankfully nothing abnormal was showing. So if I can share with you one main take-away for you here, it’s that this can be normal during this time of our life from a physical perspective. There was no medical procedure to be done, but I saw a wonderful newly graduated doctor who could see my fear and provided much reassurance that nothing was necessarily wrong and we agreed upon the ‘let’s just watch and see’ approach, a more common theme, she commented.
One fine day, I ventured into the city seeking more photo opportunities, which also provided me with constant motion. I’d planned to visit a bookshop called The Theosophical Society Bookshop in Melbourne. It was full of so many Spiritual, Alternative Health Healing, Mysticism, Eastern Philosophy books, to name a few. While browsing, I came across the section about Back pain.
It was an urgency now to jump right in and see what Dr Sarno had to say. I’m going to include three links below of some interviews with him, discussing his reasoning and philosophy about certain types of pain.
Dr Sarno includes this to include many other types of pain from Fibromyalgia, headaches, neck and shoulder pain. Thanks to his findings, there is much more of a shift to the power of the mind, and accepting the brain’s way of protecting us from emotional pain is to create it in our bodies. It’s potentially a paradigm that may become more accepted for many mainstream treatment protocols.
It is something I have truly delved into and now experienced as you will see in part three. From my time learning about Biology, reading profusely about the mind/body connection, I cannot withhold this information from you any longer. Today, I’ve revisited these videos and it’s time, in the hope it may relieve some of you who are suffering in pain. It’s real pain, not ‘imagined’ and has a real physiological pathway. So no one is suggesting we asked for it. Life is comprised of feelings, thoughts and emotions and often, things are buried and the brain gives us the pain as a means of protection.
So in using my blog in the way that I’d always desired, here are the links and if by some chance they don’t open for you, there are countless videos on YouTube if you just search for Dr E. Sarno.
I wish you all the best if you are suffering from an unexplained, consistent pain, because I now know how utterly debilitating it can be when you can’t seem to find anything that works to relieve it. My deepest wish is that this way of thinking may be part or all of the answer you are looking for.
Until next time, thank you for reading. I really wanted to make sure we had detailed the history and lead-up to my story to help you understand what was going on for me at the time. So for the gory details, you may scream ‘too much information…’ but you will see the connection and why I couldn’t omit that as part of my journey.
****This is my story and not to be seen as medical advice but rather a sharing of my strategies and resources. ****