I’m changing trajectory with this blog…not sharply, since I realise I’ve been heading this way for some time now; but more concertedly than before and without compromise. I used to think I was writing about recovery, about “dealing with” health issues, about coping or making a bad situation better, seeking pinpricks of light in the dark. Well, my focus from this point onwards is to write about all the things that the body is doing right, to share the highlights of my journey towards increased wellness (not recovery); which is surely something that engages all of us, isn’t it? I intend to write from the heart about all the great adventures in learning to work with the body in more life-enhancing ways, something I have already gathered quite a wealth of understanding about.
Recovery suggests there is something to recover and it really hasn’t felt like that for a very long time now. I realise I am more than whole, more than perfect…and what is playing out here is really a long-running (lifetime’s) adventure in reading the physical messages, sent by my body, to encourage me the way I am going or tell me when I am out of alignment with that perfection. These “symptoms” have only ever been the clues leading me straight to myself; the gentle tugs on a kindly cord coercing me back onto the path that best serves me. Much more so than recovery, I find the experience I have been through has been mostly about shedding what doesn’t serve, what keeps me off track (and that includes the mindset that tells me I am “faulty” because I am different to some other people). It’s a wonderful, powerful and transformative journey I have been on and it continues to be worthy of sharing as it really never ends while you are alive in a body. I would love for more people to open to this mindset of “nothing wrong” and to embrace the positive messages their bodies are sending them, not to mention all the things they are doing well.
Really, I am so done with our culture’s mindset that what I have going on is some sort of illness that I need to endlessly explain or apologise for; and I have noticed that even the language I was continuing to use here was bowing to that belief-system at some level. In order to make myself accessible, I was telling myself that I still had to apply so-called universal labels and use typical language around these topics so that other people could relate or even find me on the internet. In doing this I was, in a sense, blocking myself from the full recovery that is already mine. It was also keeping the perspective I have to offer small and limited since I was complicit in this continual mindset of boxing it up inside a cultural concept of “sickness”, which is no longer one that I share. And, really, who is sick here – those who have reinvented their lives with healthy lifestyles and refinements they would have missed had they not been taken on this journey of the body, or those still leading the most abysmally unhealthy lifestyles because (so far) their health hasn’t forced them to do otherwise.
Drawing a line and stepping into a reinvented landscape that is all about optimistically meeting your life exactly where it is whilst knowing it will only get better is what this long pursued thing called recovery really is to me and so I’m already there. This state relies on not having to face a setback of the mind every time I introduce myself to others, which comes down to how I choose to explain those things about me which are likely to be alien to their world and which they may not immediately understand. When I meet new people and their brows furrow at things I state I do differently to them, I want to be able to explain how I don’t do “x” or “y” because they interfere with my wellness, not that I am unwell to start with. That way, I am always starting from a point of wellness…and I now know what keeps me there (better than most); something I should be prepared to own and feel really good about. The difference is subtle but is oh-so important; and if you play with it for yourself you will find the extent to which this is true. Why should those of us who have become this in-tune with our own state of wellness be the ones deemed weird or faulty for noticing some of the detrimental circumstances that others continue to sleep-walk through though they threaten or actively undermine their wellness everyday? My health is not so vastly improved because I am reliant upon orchestrating a miserably complicated life of different-to-mainstream behaviours, denying myself what I wish I could have or take part in; it is so because I have consciously ditched those behaviours as non-conducive to the deep wellness that I now know for the deliciousness that it is and am not prepared to compromise, for anyone. And when I can’t avoid those behaviours completely (since, sometimes, they are all around me) I know many ways in which my well-balanced life will keep me afloat; which is only more reason to share what I have discovered in this blog.
Making peace with it all is the prerequisite of taking this next step and I have that peace in spadefuls. Clearly I wanted this so-called illness to happen since it has been the most direct route towards the kind of lifestyle that is a vast improvement upon what I had before. In that time before, what I called “health” was a make-do state of precarious vulnerability, one that was much more about being sufficiently unconscious of what was keeping my wellbeing compromised for me to ignore that mountain of things than about transparency, equilibrium or vitality. That transparency refers to the open relationship I now enjoy with my body; we have no secrets between us and can talk about literally anything. I am the convert to this way of life; the great enthusiast with even more to get excited about, every day, as life unfolds, which I intend to do here in this space. Here’s another of those big clues telling me my trajectory has altered; health is something I get excited about, these days; not something I keep pessimistically and rather fearfully under lock and key. This way of life is, for me, a lifestyle of choice; not an insurance policy, a chore or a ransom for my life. How do I know the lifestyle I have adopted has nothing to do with being a so-called recovery plan, this thing I make myself do out of hardship or fear? Because if I found myself without a single uncomfortable symptom in my body tomorrow, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about the lifestyle I have adopted for myself this last decade. I wouldn’t shrug and say “to hell with all that healthy organic food” or “scrap the supplements”. There’s not one thing I would wind the clocks back about because I know my body has led me direct to my own best life; and there’s even more to come. I am a contagiously enthusiastic person and enthusing about wellness is what I want to do in this space. No more talking about illness or things going wrong; those words are just not my perspective anymore and its time to decommission them.