#SelfCare #001 - How do you nurture your mind body and soul particularly when it has been damaged used or abused?
One thing I know for sure as Oprah would say is I know it's possible to come through that and not just survive, but thrive.
Many people have a story of a difficult or challenging life or event. I sometimes feel like I've had more than my fair share; clearly my soul was hungry to experience many of the downs this life has to offer!
Story of a Difficult Life
The #LifeList includes; 10 years of sexual abuse from age 7, lack of confidence, low and possibly no self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, destruction of my thyroid gland due to medical over zealousness, rocketing weight gain going from a natural size 8 to a size 16 in a matter of weeks, from beautifully clear skin massive acne outbreaks in my 20's; a face any cheese and olive pizza would be proud of, adrenal fatigue, being banned from joining the gym because I was in such poor physical health and my 220 bpm heart rate scared them, going comb over bald and having to shave off ALL my hair, 3 years of exhaustion where I was sleeping up to 12-15 hours a day, finding out my partner had an affair and got someone else pregnant and was moving in to play happy families with the other woman, diagnosed with what was thought to be early onset Alzheimer's in my 20's, I could go on however I think you get the gist.
All of the above happened by the time I was in my mid-20's. That's a lot for a young person and inexperienced mind to go through alone.
Better Out Than In
Whenever I get the opportunity I've been writing and speaking about emotional health and well-being for the past 19 years and gave up my Chartered Accountancy studies in October 2000 to become a Coach and Hypnotherapist.
Having bottled everything up until age 32 discovering NLP, Hypnosis and Therapy made me realise with old emotions that it was a case of better out than in. I contemplated suicide in September 2000. I recently wrote what I thought my suicide note back then might have been, prompted by the suicide of a social media friend: https://marilyndevonish.com/the-suicide-note/
It Turns In or Out
I also realised the potential anger, rage, disgust, shame, guilt, fear, sadness, or whatever someone else who has been through one or all of those situations can generally speaking go one of two ways, it either turns inwards or outwards. For me everything was internalised; having learnt in 2001 about the real power of the mind-body connect, I suspect that was the catalyst for some of my thyroid issues and I was just unlucky to have then met the doctor I did who finished the job and destroyed it.
I remember sayings like: "Talk is cheap" and I understand there are times where it totally is and you want someone to put their money where their mouth is. When it comes to things like this however, I think expressing and sharing is important. There's also a bit of a perception in the black community that therapy isn't for 'us', something I've expanded upon in the Suicide Note Blog above.
When it doesn't turn inwards, it can get spewed all over the people around you, including those who are attempting to love you and help.
The Illusion of Love Island
OK so I'm being a tad dramatic, however there have been two recent deaths by suicides from previous Love Island contestants, Sophie Gradon, and Mike Thalassitis. Why would people who appear to 'have it all' and living their dream would choose to end things in this way is one of the big questions people ask.
I recently did an interview with BBC Radio Oxford talking about these issues and importance of having an outlet and things you do to take care of yourself and others. You can listen to the replay here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07b6wq3
What forms your daily or weekly self care routine, and do you actually have one?
Many of my friends say I'm the #QueenOfSelfCare when they hear what my mind and body has been through since age 7 and the fact I'm not just still standing, but doing so with a sense of radiance, vitality and joy.
I owe much of still being here and as Elton John would say "still standing" because of implementing a self care routine even though I didn't realise what I was doing at the time.
Most of what I created took 5 minutes because I didn't have the strength, will or stamina for much else. Those who attended my Health TranceFormation Day learnt about many of my Life Hacks. There will be an Online Video Webinar version to make it more globally accessible.
A Big Realisation
One of my big realisations was the power of "little and often." I made dramatic changes at a time where on a day-to-day basis I felt as though I was just muddling through.
Sometimes there is the illusion that change and progress has to happen all at once. Because I didn't have the energy for much else I came realise looking back the power of the cumulative effect. I carry that approach with me to this day and people are often astounded by the amount I get done.
Another realisation was: "Notice What You Notice." A brief expansion of the idea is in one of the cards from my Coaching Cards Deck:
When you are open to noticing positive changes and steps in the right direction that is where the magic of TranceFormation starts to happen.
My 5-Minute Health Hack also turned things around once I had piled on all the weight.
The Power of Me Too
The Me Too numbers below would have changed by the time of writing so represent a snapshot and point in time from 2018.
Me Too is one of the reasons I have been speaking and writing about these subject for the past 19 years.
With a lot of the Me Too variations and how challenges show up in our lives I have been there and lived a version of them them. One of the reasons I share stories such as this and talk about what life used to be like and some of the things I've been through is so people know:
- They are not alone.
- Not the only one.
- There is light at the end of the tunnel.
- You can thrive after the most devastating situations and events.
You can read a tiny snippet about my health ordeals and challenges on Lynne McTaggart's What Doctors Don't Tell You site: https://www.wddty.com/magazine/2017/january/mind-body-techniques-for-treating-an-underactive-thyroid-1.html
To your good health, joyous soul, and continued sanity.
Keep a lookout on my Blog and YouTube Channel for future hints and tips.
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