In and amongst my own posts...
I've given today's post much thought. The title says it all in some ways - I've been genuinely puzzled why, in all of the posts I've ever made on my Instagram account, the one I made sharing my story had the most likes and engagement of anything I've ever posted across all of my social media, hands down!
Before I posted it, I took a deep breath, and hit the 'post' button with more than a little trepidation; what would my kids think? What would people who knew me but didn't really know me think? The story was wanting to be told; it's the roots of me, my journey into health, and though it certainly no longer defines me, it does I feel, hold hope, inspiration and encouragement to others that if I can overcome these challenges to get to be living a life I love, well so might they.
Of course not everyone wants the kind of life I have, so I make no assumptions there, more that I aspire to encourage those who may feel hopeless to feel hope, those who may feel lost to find a pathway, and those who may feel really sick to find a crack in their darkness where the light may enter.
Sometimes in life we get lost. We may be really great at covering that up, pretending it, faking it in the hope we really will make it one day. We may find that sense of lost can last decades, or perhaps we find our way back to our centre more easily than that, either way, when we are in it, it hurts, it's hard and it's often pretty dark.
At the age of 19, I was really seriously 'lost'. Covering my pain in a false smile - the photo on the left is me at around 21 and I was in full blown addition in this photo, I was self medicating on heroin (a lot of that), alcohol (not so much of that) and many other things that took me as far out of my body and of feeling as possible. I was living amidst many London gangsters, way out of my depth but getting further and further into depths in which I had no idea how to swim. I was a sweet, naive northern lass with a good heart and a strong moral compass but I honestly felt those two qualities were fairly useless to me at that time; I needed a hard heart and a cynical way of being in order to get by. I never really found those latter qualities - I'm glad I didn't, it's probably what saved me.
Here's what that Instagram post said:
"30 years ago I was a heroin addicted desperate woman. Paying for my habit and making sure I didn't get sick was my main goal every single day (but I did get sick often, probably daily). Now I'm an experienced juice detox therapist and health coach, breath worker and retreats leader living a life I truly love and which inspires me every single day. I never say yes to things I don't love, I choose my friends wisely, and I have so much freedom, pleasure and purpose in my life I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure it's true! A year from now, would you regret all the choices you didn't make, the actions that stayed a dream ad never came to fruition, or will you have been the change maker, the conscious creator of your own life?"
The solutions were all in my own hands, they still are. It's often easier to blame others for our life circumstances; the parents who never gave us what we deserved or needed, the lovers who broke our hearts, the friends who betrayed us, but ultimately, it all comes down to us. It's our life, our story, our solution. Sometimes that's a bitter pill to swallow, but I swallowed it in order to get well, to reclaim a sense of self that somehow I didn't even know before starting on that road to recovery.
Don't get me wrong, I worked DAMN hard to get my life together. I went through detox programmes, counselling & therapy, healing, AA & NA meetings, workshop after workshop after workshop (thank the lord for those offering what I couldn't find in myself), plant medicine ceremonies, kambo clearing, and more. I was searching to find wholeness and in the end, what brought me true peace and inner knowing was three things - yoga, the breath and a true and honest sense of real self love. These were the bricks laid upon the foundations of the healing and clearing work I'd done before that.
Back to the question of significant engagement with that post - I concluded that people love a success story. That people really are rooting for us, because in witnessing us overcoming really big things in life, it means others can see it's possible for them too. People always want to believe in 'hope.'
Nowadays, I know that I don't have to be liked by everyone, no-one is. Sometimes I will rattle people just like some people rattle me. I thank them for the lessons in showing me subconsciously where I'm still not healed. It takes discipline and devotion to gain mastery over one's thoughts and actions but all we have to do is commit to ourselves 100% - commit to our personal growth and do the work, and keep our hearts open, understanding what it is that makes them close.
Someone asked me why I do what I do recently, why I do all of this "healthy" stuff. I replied that it is because of my deep longing to live in a healthy, loving and healed world. That it is my deep longing that my children will have a beautiful planet to grow up in, and their children too. That healthy, healed people create a healthy, healed world. Communities and people thrive in love, not pain and suffering, fear or judgment.
There's no room left for attack and defensiveness when we evolve, we just allow others to be where they are. There's no need for aggressive action or communication, no need to 'prove' that "I'm right and you're wrong" when we realise there is no 'right,' there's only conditioning, I am a product of mine, just as you are of yours, and my values are no more or less worthy than yours. My guiding principle these days is one of Ahimsa, to do harm to no thing and no-one. I seek to find the kindest part of myself and rest there and that's a practice which has come, to a great extent, from my yoga. I try to make other people's lives who connect with me for whatever reason, a more uplifting experience than a contracting one. It doesn't always work of course, I have no control over that...and therein lies the wisdom "do good and let go of control"
I wish you all deep and lasting peace.
CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
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