When I first set out to write this blog a couple of years ago, under its old name Health Reunited, I already had an impression of that thing that I still want to achieve, though it was less tangible to me than it is now.
I already knew I didn’t want to set out to repeat all the other many blogs about living with so-called chronic health issues or eating/exercising your way back to better health (though these aspects inevitably form part of my bigger picture), nor did I want to peddle insincere-sounding reassurance or admiration for the long-suffering reader, to share stories of victimhood or mindsets of defeatism. Rather, I wanted to deliver the essence of that thing, inside myself, that had kept me pushing forwards with unwavering optimism and almost bewildering tenacity. This thing, this powerful core aspect of me, has insisted upon feeling whole and intact, whatever life or my body happened to throw at me, and the more I have tuned into it, the closer I have got to manifesting that reality. You see, never once did I lose this sense of “everything being all right…really” through all the dark-tunnel years of fibromyalgia (or whatever we all choose to call it, since labels are all very arbitrary and can be such a sticking-point to true or sustained recovery). I always sensed there was a much bigger picture emerging to the surface of my life through what presented as all these weird and wonderful health challenges and I still know I was right.
Whatever your particular “challenge”…and it could be health, could be life’s so-called external circumstances…the raw materials that I share here are so often clues to addressing any of those situations. I say “clues” because those things that feel like they are going most “wrong” with our lives are clues to a degree of separation from such a fundamental aspect of self that we are left feeling perpetually misaligned with our own lives. Our journey back to the kind of wholeness that delivers greater joy or better health etc. is like a trail of breadcrumbs left by the clues of our “symptoms”. I am testament to the reality that this trail has led me directly back to a degree of wholeness and of unconditionally blissed-out love of life that was completely unknown to me before my health supposedly “crashed”; that crash serving as the much-needed entropy to deliver my highest and, certainly, speediest evolution…ever!
Looking back, I see so clearly how the life I was leading before this “happened” was as alien to me as somebody else’s life; following the priorities and belief-systems of someone that did not feel like me. It took this break-down of my physical body to find my way back to a version of self that is more closely matched to what truly feels like me than I have ever achieved before and the joy of this far outweighs any minor inconveniences in terms of the physical experiences I have been through along the way. My life looks very different to how it was a few years ago and, along the way, I have found so many hidden gifts, including those that fuel a completely different life as an artist and writer (none of which skills would have bothered surfacing within the distorted life I was immersed in before). I absolutely adore my life these days and every day is such a gift that nothing else really matters; I am so much more than what is going on in my physical body.
Today, it feels like I have reached a new milestone in this adventure and have decided to change this blog’s name to “Living your Whole Life” to celebrate the fact. So, what does this new name actually mean to me?
Well, I mean it in the very literal sense of not letting health issues persuade you to live your life “small” or make do with anything incomplete or compromised, whatever seems to be presenting at the surface of your experience. Be in it for the whole story, going after all those things you really want to do, don’t waste a thing…go after those dreams, use those talents. Be aware of any aspect of yourself that is already cutting yourself a very short length of life’s cord, planning to compromise what is possible with excuses (“I can’t do that because…”) or to leave any sooner that you originally intended. You may shrug and say that’s not you but suicide takes many subtle, unseen and often very slowly-materialising forms; it’s a mindset of defeatism that creeps into every single situation and how you choose to handle it; eventually manifesting as tumours, dementias and other ways “out” of your physical body. It’s a “state of being” that is prepared to engage with the negative and miss the positive that is (always) there in any given situation. Its the part of you that apologies for being an inconvenience or a burden to others or who wonders how you will manage in the future if your health gets any worse (for starters, stop assuming that it will). If there’s one massive thing that I’ve learned, you’ve got to really want to be here and keep asserting that through everything you do.
Remembering that, at some level, I chose to have all of these experiences and that they have always been working on my behalf (even if I can’t always see that from ground level at the time) has been one of my biggest breakthroughs, leading directly to some of the most gigantic leaps in my recovery over the last five years….and there is not one single “negative” situation that I haven’t come to see the gift of from that perspective, eventually.
Notice how you talk about yourself, the language you use when you explain what’s going on with your health or your circumstances, to yourself and others; these are your clues to those subtle mindsets that can undermine your progress towards wholeness. How much do you identify with “being ill” or whatever it is that is keeping you from being more complete? Has it become your safe-haven, your identity, the thing you don’t know how to live without anymore? Even the writing of this blog about “health” made me wonder if I was identifying with this thing too much; making it into some sort of job-title or career persona – which is one of the reasons I have chosen to spring-clean my blog’s purpose and give it a brand-new name. No longer assuming “ill-health” as a starting point, my subject here is now an enthusiastic assertion that life is inherently “whole” and that all we need to do is step up to that plate.
Then I also mean “Live your Whole Life” in the sense of reclaiming the wholeness that awaits you…for isn’t that what recovery is? We re-gather parts of ourselves that seem to have been mislaid (during this lifetime, perhaps across many others). We remember who we really are and those things that are important to us and yet which have become distorted through the creation of limiting mindsets, usually adopted to “protect” us from a particular situation in our earlier life or from relentlessly repeated circumstances recorded in our DNA memory-banks. These adopted mindsets may have caused us to trim our life-cloth somewhat short or treat ourselves (thus our bodies) unkindly for so long we hardly know the difference anymore. Learning to live as wholeness once more is a return to a state of self-love and self-appreciation. A huge part of healing is to realise that our body is absolutely marvellous and is never actually doing anything wrong. When it seems to malfunction, it is only really trying to tell us something which, until now, we have been failing, or refusing, to hear. By the time health issues manifest, it has probably been nudging, then shouting, perhaps now screaming for a long time, Meanwhile, it has formed distorted pattens as a way of adapting to subtly out-of-alignment situations that have repeated and repeated while we have been busy living life with our fingers in our ears. By the time we do sit up and pay attention, there is often a lot of unlearning to be done, both by us and then by our cells!
Yet here’s the key to all recovery: when we lead the way…forming new patterns in our mindset, the body’s cells quickly follow suit. Really, our bodies are an invention of our own mind; we are actually made up of energy and the awareness that is watching over that energetic field. Once we make this partnership conscious, our awareness gets to direct that energy and it is the energy-profile of our body that dictates the way our body is built up from the cellular level to what you experience as your “whole” physical reality every day of your life. As we gather more of the parts that we want to experience over those that we don’t, we literally rebuild our divine wholeness using physical building-blocks or, you could say, make it manifest within the human form.
How do we do that, what tells us we are off-track? Well, often, we live our lives doing things that we don’t really want to do until the clarion call of illness or other breakdown comes calling over the hillside and it can be such an evolutionary process to take apart all aspects of our previously known world until we find the source of our own misalignment. You may be startled – as I was – to realise that hardly a single aspect of your previous life really worked for you; yet rebuilding your world from scratch can be such a tremendously empowering thing. Spring cleaning all of my life, all my mindsets and belief-systems has been a massive part of my healing-journey and I invite you to open up to that first before rushing off in search of an external cure-all. All healing comes from within; it’s the inner work that generates that first big breakthrough and then the sustained recovery process and these are big topics for this blog.
Then, more than anything, I find I want to share the experience of living as wholeness since – increasingly – this is what I now experience daily and its far too great to keep quiet about. Do I still have health issues? Well, yes I do (some quite extreme by some people’s standards) but I hardly notice them at all these days because I am just too excited by life to be enticed into putting my focus there very much, unless something out of alignment honestly requires my attention. This is an important distinction to make: the healing route I propose doesn’t mean ignoring the body, it means listening with a view to taking action whilst, at the same time, not “becoming the issue” or using it to define yourself or your experience. The “health thing” or other challenge is something happening in your field of awareness, not to you (like you are its victim) – and that makes a huge difference since the centred state of wellbeing that you are at your core continues uninterrupted, regardless of life’s ups and downs, since it is not conditional upon outside circumstance.
Perhaps most interesting of all, I find that even the most severe symptoms are not what they might otherwise seem when I no longer label and freak out about them. The degree of flux that I find I have evolved in terms of interpreting sensory experience is quite startling when I look back to even a year or so ago and I feel this is such a remarkable upgrade indicative of a whole new way of being human that we are all starting to experience; one where the old black-and-white labels delivered by our five senses no longer suffice. That well-known tenuous line between excitement and fear, love and hate is one that plays out in the body as an extremely visceral thing and I am increasingly open to allowing that what might initially present as awful discomfort in the human body may actually be the herald of new and incredible sensations that are fear-inducing only as long as we have such cut-and dry “old” ideas as to what constitutes normal experience. Once we open all that to the skies and allow extremes of experience as visceral proof that humanity is evolving so rapidly now that some of the “symptoms” are going to feel very weird or like we are on a plane flying through extreme turbulence as our whole systems start to operate at vastly different frequencies than before, then we start to get excited about what is happened and agree to be up for the ride.
Agreeing to be part of life, to be open to whatever presents itself…undaunted…is a hugely powerful mindset to take on, one that initiates great healing and rapid evolution. No longer contracted by fear-reactions at every new sensation, we send the message to our highest blueprint that we are ready for that upgrade; like pressing “start” on the new-improved software version that is asking to be downloaded onto our hard drive. Hesitation over whether you are sending out that “yes, bring it on” signal or contracting in fear can stall a recovery process unnecessarily for very long periods of time, as I have discovered to my detriment.
I’m most certainly in for that ride now, have never felt more committed or engaged with my human self, or more exhilarated and fundamentally well; for all, by other people’s standards, I still have this “thing” going on with my health (therefore I find it easier not to discuss my body with people outside my close circle and smile benignly if anyone asks). Wholeness is a very different thing to what we are used to experiencing or talking about over the dinner table with others; it includes aspects of everything, even those things that others might label wrong or broken or bad….yet in balance with the extremely high points and the most incredible feelings of synergy, balance and inclusiveness that it delivers, it is in a whole different ballpark to what we have come to regard as ordinary human experience. This is a new version of ordinary, with all the dials turned up, and it is coming everyone’s way…if they want it.
When I look in the mirror, I see a whole different body to just a few months ago and my core strength is so massively increased compared to what I had at the start of the year (or decade). Honestly, no amount of fitness regime or dieting every got my body looking or feeling like this when I was much younger and, at nearly 50, I am finally sustaining the body shape that I always wanted. This is important, not because I deserve a pat on the back for my daily yoga and great diet but because it tells me something is happening very differently in my biology to how it was happening just a year ago. My cells are rebuilding themselves to the outlines of a very different plan to the one they were following before which tells me they are in touch with, and receiving direct instructions from, their highest blueprint now. This is such a massive source of optimism for anyone who thinks they are in the mire with chronic health issues. It reminds them that the body completely rebuilds itself every few months and, as soon as you do the inner work, sort out the stuck mindsets and get in touch with your very highest plans for yourself, taking these giant leaps towards wholeness is not only possible, but you will be quite astounded by the tangible progress you make; I certainly am!
My renewed intention, here in this renamed space, is to share some of the high points, the tips, the clues and whatever happens to come up for me along the way. The new name feels like one very-huge step towards claiming a degree of wholeness that is quite out of this world yet which I intend to help “bring in” to this world through the anecdotal encouragement of my own experiences to help inspire anyone else who happens to drop by.
All of my earlier posts will be kept “live” in the archives as they have all been an essential part of my journey to get here and yet I am already sensing that a fresh-new take on the core material of this blog is ready to start emerging now that I have given it the new-broader space in which to express itself. As ever, I hope to meet you in here.
Helen White, November 2016
Helen White is an artist painting moments of extraordinary radiance in oil on canvas at www.helenwhite.org and writes two other blogs, one of which (Spinning the Light) is complementary to this one, if taken to the somewhat broader scale.