What are you thinking? Does it support you?
It was our first of many (crazy enjoyable) Feel + Good Podcast interviews. An amazing interview with Sky Denton about his journey with a “WTF” health diagnosis after 6 years of progressive, yet non-specific pain. Turns out his, like so many of late, was an auto immune story.
There was a point in the interview that struck such an “a-ha” chord in me.
Yep . . . it was personal to me and so many aspects of ‘my story.’
Here is what was shared:
Sky was talking about the point on his health and healing journey where he went on a “mental diet” . . . and furthermore . . . he talked about how people who have been given a diagnosis plus a related, often life-long, ‘prescribed’ way of eating to support their body into more optimal health have an unfortunate side-affect that keeps them in a state of illness or belief of illness/identification with illness.
THIS HIT HOME.
Three years ago after an occurrence of right-side numbness, I went in for two MRIs to determine what was going on.
I’m a very healthy individual, with pretty “clean” eating habits and an honest love of movement/exercise . . . both of which (diet and exercise) are pretty lovely-moderate. Meaning I do not stress about either. I do not feel deprived or levels of “should” in my system around either. **
** This has not always been the case, by the way. If I was to describe my “eating/exercising disorder” of my twenties it would be that of overeating or binge-ing and then using cardio exercise to ‘make up for those sins,’ if you will. In a world of unfortunate body-image issues that affect so many, I felt lucky with my flavor of ‘disorder.’ (kind of fucked up, I know . . . but y’all get me if you’re a female in our culture. And many boys and men are feeling this too.)
As I aged (30’s and 40’s) and was immersed in a career in the vast health and wellness arena – with a strong and honest focus on our hearts, our strengths/talents/innate gifting – I found that one of the biggest ‘secrets’ to experiencing more optimal health in all areas, and certainly in the areas of food and exercise, was our outlook or attitude around it. Those that learned and cultivated an ability to have less stress around the topic(s), and instead engaged in these areas with some permission, ease, AND enjoyment found more positive results. So for me, my most rewarding clients were those who were extremely de-conditioned and had a long road to more optimal health, as well as those who were extremely hard on themselves and limited (usually significantly and in back-firing ways) their eating, plus were chronic over-work-out-ers. The turning point for both of these types of clients was when they could ease up on the ‘shoulds’ and instead take a more moderate, long-game, and hopefully fun-inspired approach. The result: pounds started to come off and/or enjoyment levels went up (and pounds didn’t accrue). Feels like magic.
OK . . . but back to my MRIs.
My diagnosis was indicative of MS.
This MS diagnosis could be a whole other blog in and of itself – for a number of reasons – not the least of which is because I have two siblings with an MS diagnosis. But allow me to simply say here that the diagnosis itself did not ever fully “land” for me. That is as simple as I can put it. It didn’t fully land and I was not stressing much about MS itself. However, I did know that my overall health was screaming for my attention. And, thank you body! YOU GOT MY ATTENTION (says the easily “other-focused” person. wink and hmmmm?!) (also another blog . . . but all you other-focused beauties out there, perhaps you received that hint!?!!)
My attention was indeed piqued!
And because I have two sisters with this diagnosis and a good friend here in CO with this diagnosis I began by altering my already pretty healthy diet in some very key ways to support my brain (See Dr. Terry Wahl’s MS protocol) . For me, I’m incredibly grateful to be able to say that this was not a difficult shift for me – due to the fact that I have been a mindful, moderate, and enjoyment based eater for YEARS now. I know this is VERY difficult for many, however! For me, the biggest shifts came not with the now few things that were advisable to avoid, but with the many things advisable to add in. Cool. On I go . . .
. . . I continue my attention to my overall health – physical, emotional, spiritual – and did arrive at an auto immune diagnosis that landed as more of ‘the truth’ for me. (again, the only way I know how to put it. It’s the whole “I just have that knowing” thang!) This diagnosis (Epstein Barr) came with my work with James Beymer plus the support of dietary suggestions via the book Medical Medium. With this information, I enter an empowering 3 month full-on cleanse.
I say empowering because I FELT that in me. I knew that I was making a CONSCIOUS and POWERFUL choice to embark on a short-term cleanse journey to help my system “right” itself.
AND . . . It was the most restrictive I’ve had to be in my diet story and with that came the feeling of deprivation. Not fun! And deprivation is an energy or vibration that when lived with/experienced often does NOT serve. THIS IS WHY SKY’S MENTAL DIET AND IDENTIFICATION WITH ILLNESS COMMENTS SO HIT HOME.
As I mentioned, I was mindful that mine was a 3 month journey. A re-set button, if you will. (And it was hard.) And darn it, we all know that there are MANY people who could benefit from healing their relationship with food, movement, and their body . . . and to do so would require some certainly-challenging alterations/choices!
Ahhhh . . . but what really landed was a re-connect with a long-held (but not always successfully lived) “principle”, if you will.
That of the HOW we go about things.
That of HOW we think about things.
And knowing that our approach is the bulk of it. Our approach is what most determines our ‘success’ or not.
INSERT / ADD AMPLE DOSES of Grace, Non-Punitive Thinking, and a more Enjoyment-Based approach.
This, for me, was a re-anchoring into one of the most important ‘principles’ or tenants that I employed back in the personal training days and still employ today in my coaching and energy clearing work!
It was ALSO an invitation for me to see the ways in which I could apply this to the areas of my own life that feel challenging and/or difficult. Yep – Me Too! (mine were related to my emotional / relationship life … also another blog)
See, with my 3-month cleanse (that is thankfully over) . . . I DID have to employ mindset shifts to stay positive and better mitigate the deprivation I felt. Not a perfect journey. But pretty damn successful. And, DONE! Yeeeee-Haaaaaw!
With the grand “other” areas of life and living . . . such an amazing reminder to take a good, gentle look at HOW we come at things. HOW and WHAT we think and believe about things. and whether or not that serves us toward our desires.
AND, AND . . . if you are someone who is on a more life-long journey where certain shifts are more non-negotiable . . . HOW MIGHT YOU CHOOSE GRACE, DOSES OF MODERATION (even if in other areas), and ENJOYMENT?
Because Here’s The Thing: If we are constantly anchoring into and identifying with a “negative” belief about ourselves with our actions and choices . . . we are strengthening that belief. And our beliefs (over time) do become our truth.
What ARE we looking to CREATE?
And, how can we STRENGTHEN around THAT?!!!
Onward and Upward, People!
With AWARENESS and CHOICE!!!