What would I be without “all that”?

"Without pain, I would be a neurodiverse hypermobile person (which is both to think and move outside the box…) with exceptional skills of insight and sensitivity, who knows how she likes to be and work and with whom and how to follow her best, most balanced, guidance through life." Excavating the gifts of diversity beyond a paradigm of struggle.

The benefits of dancing for autism: my personal deep-dive

For the past few months I have been engaged in an experiment - me, the middle-aged autistic woman with a whole bundle of chronic pain syndromes, dancing twice a day almost every day. The result is, I can't possibly summarise the incredible benefits I have reaped, specifically within the context of autism but also relating to reduction of chronic pain...there are just too many to abbreviate and some of them may very well surprise you, so you will just have to read this post...

Cultivating joie de vivre

As an autistic person, I find there is a definite link here between my particular wiring for high sensory processing, which can make me feel more overwhelmed than some other people might be in the same situation, along with a tendency to live in my thoughts way too much, plus also the need to actively process those senses though my body in such a way that the body fully registers them, but without overwhelm, on the way through…because, otherwise, I can tend to bypass the body altogether. Not least because of issues with chronic pain, learning to bypass the body can become a really big issue. Also gentle grounding activities, such as letting energy passively drain through me into Mother Earth, doesn’t feel quite enough.

Rather, I tend to need to actively participate in the processing part in order to remember what my body is there for…and that it is important and useful for me to have one (something I tend to forget…), which is where the power of dance comes in for me. Dancing, quite literally, puts me back in touch with my body and helps me to remain more grounded for a long time afterwards. Yet whilst this especially applies to someone like me, as in highly sensitive person with autistic wiring, I suspect it applies to anyone that lives in their head and has become detached from their body to a very high degree…which is more common that you might think; a typical modern phenomenon.

I plan to share much more about the proven benefit of dancing, for autistic people, soon in another post that I’m working on for Living Whole.

To start off this topic, here is a post I shared yesterday, in my other blog Spinning the Light, on the importance of GROUNDING joy into the physical body (an absolute essential for health and for navigating these times), whatever that happens to take in your particular case.

Cultivating joie de vivre

spinning the light

…has never been more important, or elusive-seeming, so how do we conjure up, specifically, grounded joy, rooted in the body, during such challenging times?

(As doing the research that led to my retrospective post the other day reminded me) a relentless sense of my own joy of life has always been one of my defining traits, as it were, rescuing me from some very hard times, even way back when as a child feeling quite helpless in situations that traumatised me. As an adult now dealing with chronic health challenges, I have come to regard it as an utterly essential ingredient of life, so much so that I cringe when I watch so many people loose their grip on it (not that I blame them in the circumstances) because of perceiving themselves as victims of those circumstance, knowing as I do that unless we take our own personal steps to…

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Oxalates, pain and autism

Don’t think this has anything to do with you? Oxalates can be related to a wide range of health issues, from inflammation to urinary frequency, interstitial cystitis, nonspecific joint pain, carpel tunnel, nerve pain, weak bones, vulvodynia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, tissue destruction, autoimmune diseases, digestive problems, skin rashes, vision issues and just so many chronic pain issues, including fibromyalgia, plus very many more. There's also an intriguing link with autism and EDS...

Getting down to the root of my fibromyalgia

If recovery from chronic illness is like a long-running detective story, with us as its protagonist, this year has felt like one of those chapters that make sense of quite a few things in a series of "a-ha" moments. And though what I have learned in quick succession may very-well have overwhelmed me, it has also enlightened me as in TO LIGHT ME UP with a new degree of self-appreciation and awareness, also clarity as to how certain root circumstances click together to make chronic illness what it is.

Syndromes

Suddenly, people like me, on the long-haul to solo self-recovery from "mystery" illnesses find we are not all alone in here. Amidst the sea of people embarking on the bewildering covid long-haul recovery path, I'm hearing such a lot of talk about syndromes that are painfully familiar turf. So, what would I share with anyone at the start of such a journey and what does (or will) the coincidence potentially tell us about chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, PoTs, MCAS and a whole load of other overlapping syndromes? Here begins the mass learning curve!

Moving more, not less

My physical foibles (labelled such things as EDS and chronic pain) don't render me unentitled to a gloriously reimagined health future but even more prone to be open minded and eager enough to embark on the journey because there are no rules where I dwell, it is all a giant leap in the dark so why not make it a leap towards what I prefer to envision and thus create. The first step is to make friends with movement...

Creating new body memories

As an adjunct to clearing the body of old emotional memories in order to heal, it's important to start a blank canvas of creating positive NEW body memories that invite the body to take part in choosing what makes it feel good. Here's how I'm using that understanding to move into the later stages of recovery from chronic illness, shifting me into a new place when it comes to how resilient and good my body feels (yes, we all still have our off days)...

Standing up, being seen

To an extent, those of us who have been on these long-lonely self-healing journeys are always destined to be misunderstood. Our very journey has awoken us to such a different paradigm of reality that we are hardly on the same book cover (probably not even in the same book shop...) as anyone else, let alone the same page. People who haven’t been through what we have are simply incapable of understanding the depth of the inner journey as we self-explored our own existential crisis, inch by inch, day by day, nor the altered trajectory of the journey since that all began for us...but many more people are starting out on those journeys now and we can be of assistance to those who start to seek us out because we shine a light on somewhere they have found themselves; yes, we can do that, if they meet us here...

Four-legged walking and defaulting to a new “centre”

I am picking up on ways that spectrum types seem to connected to an earlier permeation of human being that lived much more closely amongst animals and in Nature, and even with animal themselves (since those early people did not feel the same disconnect with other species that modern humans do) rather than to the currently dominant neurotypical strain of human that has largely disconnected from Nature. In our extrasensory abilities, as in an ability to sense many things that we can’t "just" pick up with our conventional five senses (to the exactingly detailed standards we prefer...), our ability to preview how something will feel in advance by tuning into the experiences of others, plus our trends of mixing up and crossing over those senses, as in the way of synesthesia, and of using visual images as memory and information rather than “ideas”, I sense this link. In the way our bodies seem to connect with and respond to circadian and other natural cycles more than most people, I sense that link. In my case, the way I work, quite compulsively and intuitively, with symbology and complex metaphor feels as though it harks back to an earlier format of human that lived deeply immersed in Nature and took all sources of data, logical or otherwise, as clues leading towards a fuller sense of meaning. In our joined-up way of processing, and our deep frustration with systems built to serve social ideas of human behaviour, prescribed largely to serve ideas of lack, profit and control (but which make no sense in the broadest sense or supporting life for all and which fail to take care of the “bigger picture”of our world) I feel like some sort of honorary member of the animal kingdom shaking their head in dismay at the way the world has been turned over for personal gain. Yet, to seem more neuroptypical, in order to blend in and survive, as we saw it, we may have traded off our profound connection with the body and its senses to focus on our heads...