I Didn't Know I Needed to Change...Until I Did
What is your relationship with change?
God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
(modification of part of the prayer written by Reinhold Neibuhr)
The Ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, is quoted to have said, "The only constant is change." Still, we resist. What we resist, persists.
My relationship with change was on par with my relationship with uncertainty. If I could avoid change, I wouldn't have to deal with my fear of uncertainty.
Taking "The Road Less Travelled", as Scott Peck recommended, evokes, "fight, flight, or freeze." Fighting or resisting change, has never worked. It is like Job wresting with the angel. I get overpowered every time. As for flight, every time I try to outrun change, my angels catch up with me and tackle me. This time I was at the 52nd yard line. Freezing, only left me stuck in the rut of repeat.
Another person, might internalize the release of adrenaline as some great adventure yet to unfold. Change can create opportunities to explore uncharted territories; to create something great; to discover amazing parts of yourself.
Off Course and The Need for Change
By ship, it takes approximately six days to cross the Atlantic from London England to New York City. Over the six-day trip, even being a few degrees off course, might have you arriving at St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, instead of NYC. Was the navigational equipment not working or set properly? Did the captain decide not to check the navigational equipment? Perhaps the captain knew the ship was off course, but figured it was just a few degrees and wouldn't make that much of a difference? At times, getting the ship back on course requires a hard course correction.
It was my late teens when my immune system first showed signs of malfunction. The symptoms were manageable and not enough for me to fully course correct. I was a hard-core exerciser, often pushing my body even when it asked for rest. My dietary plan was generally, the "Standard American Diet" (SAD), and I was addicted to sugar. Vegetables were a side dish. My Perfectionist captained my ship, often creating unnecessary stress. I would push myself until I was exhausted, burning the candle at both ends. My Co-dependent's need to be needed, created an autopilot response of putting other people's needs before my own. I frequently experienced post-viral (Epstein Barr) fatigue, and burnt out on one too many occasions. Supplements, in my case may have been like adding a stabilizer to a low grade of gas.
You are the Captain of Your Ship
Our bodies are our ships. Each of us is the captain of our own ship. If you are an adult, you are responsible for the navigation of your ship. This doesn't mean you do it all along. A captain has a crew there to help out. My team of health care professionals has included: A Medical Doctor; a Functional Integrative Medicine Doctor, a Naturopath, an Osteopath, an Acupuncturist (Transformative acupuncture), a Massage Therapist, a Reflexologist, an Astrology Spiritual Director, a Surgeon, and an Oncologist (consultation only).
In the past I worked with a Councillor. Depending on your personal challenge, you might also include a Personal Trainer, a Dietitian/Nutritionist, a Speech Therapist, and an Occupational Therapist.
Regardless of your crew, you are the captain. You are the one who makes the decisions. You use the best information that you have at the time. You take in all the information from your crew, but ultimately, you have the final say. You have to do the work. And the captain does go down with the ship.
The body requires maintenance. It is in a constant state of breakdown and repair. It requires the proper set of tools and materials to repair. I know some of the basics, but cellular biology is not my area of expertise.
What I do know is that the body requires oxygen to heal. I have seen this first hand with the healing of external wounds. That was my rational for doing the hyperbaric oxygen sessions, and biophotomodulation (laser) therapies. It is about getting oxygen to the cells, especially the mitochondria.
The body requires water, minerals, vitamins, amino acids (proteins), carbohydrates, and fats. As far as minerals are concerned, testing showed that I was low in both iodine and selenium. Research does show a correlation (not cause) between certain cancers and low iodine/selenium. Selenium (found in brazil nuts), has a relationship with the P53 gene. This is the gene that sorts out the damaged cells, so they don't get replicated. Research has linked a dysfunctional P53 with certain cancerous tumors.
A person can be consuming enough calories, but be starving nutritionally. By eating more whole, plant-based foods, I was providing my cells with more nutrients. Provided that I was able to properly digest and absorb these nutrients. The addition of zinc and B12 into my supplement routine, was a game changer. I noticed an improvement in my energy, and a reduction in the frequency of cold sores. The results of "Nutrogenomix" testing, suggested that my body might have difficulty converting beta carotene to vitamin A. It was suggested I get vitamin A from direct sources (fish, poultry, eggs, dairy). My vegan diet, might have left me vitamin A deficient, as vegetables contain beta carotene that needs to be converted. I now do fish and poultry.
Sleep is also a must for the repair process. Again, there is research correlating lower melatonin levels with higher risk of cancer. I now use 10 mg of melatonin about 1.5 hours before bed. This is the time for an evening lemon/honey drink, reading, and an evening meditation.
Movement is also a critical factor in taking care of the body. Some people seem allergic to exercise, so I like to call it movement therapy. Sometimes all I can muster is a 1-2 Km walk; 20-30 minutes on the bike;10-20 minutes of qigong. Keep on moving is my moto. This doesn't mean, pedal to the metal, full throttle, no time for rest. The pit stops and refueling time is just as critical as the driving time, to reaching the finish in the best possible condition.
STRESSED and DESSERTS
Did you notice that stressed is desserts spelt backwards? I love desserts. Joy is your dessert. It is the opposite of stress. The information on stress and its effects on the body is plentiful and doesn't require an in-depth review. The take away is that unmanaged stress equates with disease (Dis-Ease). The psychological, mental, and emotional stresses, just as much as the physcial stress, all take a toll on our health.
There was a physical stress placed on my body through the viruses and pathogens (Epstein Barr Virus, Herpes Virus, Liver fluk parasite). There was a physical stress at the cellular level through non-supportive nutritional habits, and the pushing my body to exercise when it needed rest. There was more physical stress through not getting enough sleep. Throw in a few emotional and psychological stresses that everyone in life experiences, and "boom chug-a-lug" as my Australian Soul Companion, Christine Denny would say, cancer is the diagnosis.
I heard it said that sleep is more important for the body than nutrition and exercise.
- Sleep: Not needing to wake up to an alarm, is the best indicator that I am getting enough rest. I do the 10 mg of melatonin 1.5 hours before bed; no electronics within the 1-hour pre-bedtime window; no blue light in the bedroom; read or meditation in the 1.5 hours before going to bed; consistent bedtime. Practicing good sleep hygiene isn't always easy, especially if you have children or do shift work. Just do your best, but remember, sleep first.
- Nutrition: A diet plentiful in fruits and vegetables, with or without the meat, dairy, grains, has been reported to be the ideal. You need to find what works for you. I do know that if I eat more grains, my fruit and vegetable intake does decline. The key is to not let my Spoiled Child manage my diet. She wants the crap. When she is throwing a tantrum, I have to call in my Mystical Parent.
- Exercise third: After getting a good night sleep, and putting high quality fuel into your body, you are ready to take the body for a spin, swim, run, walk. If you need a rest day, get your Perfectionist out of the driver's seat, and let your compassionate and nurturing part drive. You know the loving, caring, Mystical Mother, who says it is good to take a rest. Not the Perfectionist, who calls you lazy, and pushes you off the couch to go do a 60 K bike ride, when the body is saying "Rest please."
- Joy: Do more of what brings you joy. "If it isn't a hell yes, then it is a hell no." For me this has involved, benching my Pleaser and activating my Mystical Lover.
- Meditation: I really recommend doing a daily spiritual practice that involves some meditation. While challenging, I have been doing Dr. Joe Dispenza's, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself meditations daily (30-70 minutes).
- Reflection Time: This can be challenging if you are married with children, or overly focused on running a business, just surviving, or all of the above. I know even as a single, childless person, I did not always make time for reflection. Each person will need to figure out what is important, and what you can give up. Reading this blog, listening to a podcast, walking or kayaking solo can provide time for reflection.
You cannot change with using the same patterns or thinking that got you to where you are.
Maintenance Underneath the Water's Surface
Shadow work: I know this sounds sinister, but this is about examining my "Archetypes of Survival and Adaptation". I have been following the teachings of Robert Ohotto, since 2018 (Mystical Tour of Spain trip). His teachings have introduced me to my Shadow Rescuer, Co-dependent, Blood donor, to name a few. These parts of me feel insecure, and will compromise my own need for self-care, just to feel needed and valued. I have also had some great conversations with my Workaholic and my Perfectionist. I have been in the process of interviewing and hiring my Mystical team. A new crew who is going to help me maintain and navigate my newly renovated 2021 ship. Some of these include the Benevolent Queen, Sacred Prostitute (give my Soul currency), Truth Teller, and Pragmatist.
Something new, comes from something new.
- Robert Ohotto -
Reflection: What new you do you want to create for 2021?