Hello and welcome to Wisdom Elements,
Over a decade ago, my life was turned upside down by a mysterious illness, one which led to varying degrees of poor health for over a decade. I never discovered the cause of my illness, but it did set in motion a longing for a cure which never came. A visit to an army of health professionals yielded few answers, and instead, prompted important questions like, given what we now know about the mind-body connection, did my state of mind cause my anxiety? Did that anxiety reduce my body’s capacity to protect itself from viruses and bacteria, and it’s ability to self heal?
I realised that my personal journey into better health had to start with looking at the beliefs I’d developed growing up. Did I learn the skills of resilience, feel safe and connected with those closest to me, or did I grow up in a world of fear? Did I learn to view the glass as half full or half empty? These questions led me to explore the disconnection that had existed between my heart, mind and my body.
I discovered, through challenging, introspective work, that as a child, I’d developed the belief that making mistakes was unacceptable, and by association, I must have been too. In my young mind, I equated being loved, with doing things right, and doing it right the first time. My subconscious mind developed people-pleasing tendencies and an obsessive desire for perfection, in myself and in others. The result was anxiety. But I couldn’t name that horrible feeling of fear, every time I attempted something new, or why I felt so bad when things went wrong. It wasn’t until I could lay claim to being an anxious person that I could see how this mindset had run my life, and led to me getting sick. My poor adrenal glands could only take so much.
I’d gone from a super confident career woman to someone who could barely leave the house, lest I have a panic attack in the middle of a supermarket isle. My world went from mega huge to the size of a shrivelled up raisin.
The journey of rediscovery, restoring self-belief and self-esteem is a long and hard one. Dumping damaging beliefs is difficult because it calls into question our identity. Who are we if we are not the beliefs we inherit from parents, caregivers or our society? What do I really believe in? Who am I? What makes me happy? These are confronting questions but worth exploring, because once you strip away inherited or distorted stories, you truly begin to live.
As I began to remove the layers, I also began to get glimpses of my true self. I saw my beautiful soul, the mystery that beat my heart and formed my body. Feeling a divinity in all things, I could no longer dishonour the gift of life that I was given. I promised myself that I would try to live it honestly, and as fearlessly as I could, even if it meant living a more restricted life due to illness. I had to learn to accept my new kind of “normal” and live it as boldly as I could.
Through the discovery process, I found the healing power of creativity and a deeply buried passion. I’d all but lost my creative self and so I began exploring textile design and sewing and began to write a blog, simply for the joy of it.
Writing, particularly journaling, remains my most important healing tool. It kept me sane during my darkest hours and helped me re-discover my voice. It’s the tool I use to help others by sharing my insights, in the hope that I might inspire others to reclaim their true selves and live a more authentic life.
As part of my exploration into developing my courage muscles, I also occasionally share things I’ve created and encourage anyone else thinking of exploring their artistic side, to join me in that exploration and to find their form of expression. I also hope to provide inspiration and techniques to overcome any negative voices that love to hinder the creative process.
I hope the small offerings shared on this blog are helpful and uplifting.
On the journey with you.