You can find clues to lost parts of yourself in all sorts of surprise places...and they can strongly support the path to healing and wholeness when you allow them to speak to you about how or why you left them behind.
"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.
I have a recovery plan and it honestly feels great (enough said)...read on to find out what!
Do you have one of those brains that go off into all directions, drawing connections between diverse sources, noticing patterns everywhere? You may have an "orthogonal mindset" and its a key trait of autism, one I very-much relate to.
What if none of our traits mean we are "broken" but, rather, that we have been living to the wrong paradigm? An exploratory look at the link between my own hypermobility and neurodiverse traits and an innate need for more movement and freedom of expression.
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...
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
…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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What have you gained from this year? Do you now find it easier to appreciate? On this final day of the year, if you can scrape through the sludge of a challenging year, dare you ask these very questions and be pleasantly surprised what you find under there? I did and, within moments of intuitively listing a few things, this is what I got.
What would my autism look like if it had been noticed 50 years ago, if I had been fed an appropriate diet supported by the full understanding of what best suits my particular biology, if I hadn't had to work so very hard to blend in as neurotypical for all these years as a matter of survival, and if my autism was welcomed as the useful and contributory trait that it is in its own unique way? Here, amongst some key observations about how "wrong" diet has had such a huge impact on my life, are some aspirations for the future of a world in which autism is better understood and has its valued place.
Being diverse has got to be allowed, as a valid possibility, from the moment we are born, which takes a new kind of culture; one that has reached a whole new stage of maturity and with emphasis to that word "whole".