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Transforming My Relationship to Pain

Two years ago at this time, I had been very sick with extreme fatigue for over a year. I was in need of a much needed break, so Jordan and I headed to the newly blooming spring desert of Moab, Utah.

My immune system was unable to fight off any bug it would come into contact with. I was struggling to have energy to make it through each day, most days having barely enough energy to function, let alone work my full-time wellness director job. Each afternoon I would sneak into the massage rooms to lay on the table to try to rest and get through the last few hours of the day. Exercise, social time or extra activities definitely were simply not available. A blood test confirmed I was dealing with the effects of the Epstein Barr Virus, causing mononucleosis, which I found out from my doc as we pulled into Moab. He told me to rest and that it could take up to a year to feel better.

I cried. A lot. I was scared. I was overwhelmed. I felt so horrible in my body. I wasn’t sure where to begin. I sat by a creek in Moab and cried out to Jesus. I felt His presence strong next to me rubbing my back and reassuring me everything was going to be ok.

I knew I needed to make radical shifts in my life to reconnect to my vibrancy. I needed to regroup. I needed a sabbatical. I needed radical self-care.

The first choice was to leave my financially supportive job and become the wellness director of my own life. I was scared and I knew I needed to let it all go. My security and identity had become wrapped up in it all, yet my spirit had known for a long time it was time to move on. Through Divine guidance and my body’s strong messages, NOW was that time.

I began taking high potency anti-viral herbs and receiving regular acupuncture. I received Rife Frequency treatments 2x/week, which is a machine that targets a specific virus, bacteria or parasite with frequency to kill it. I eat pretty clean, but I amped it up with foods recommended by Anthony Williams in his Medical Medium book that are high in antioxidants and anti-viral nutrients. Restorative yoga became my daily medicine. I rested A LOT. Shoulderstand pose was my medicine for my imbalanced hormones. I went on very slow, short walks learning mountain flower names.

I journaled a lot. I began developing a relationship with this virus and realizing how my old habits and patterns of giving my power away, pleasing people over the sound of my own needs, and my inability to set healthy boundaries on my time and energy had contributed to my illness. Somehow amidst it all I still taught yoga each week without my students even knowing what I was experiencing and even finished my 300 hr advanced training that fall. I had it in my mind as a health coach and yoga teacher that I should be the epitome of health at all times. HA! What a wake up call. When in reality, my life’s journey and experiences with imbalance and depletion, challenges and obstacles, was where we could all meet in the land of understanding.

My faith got me through each day. Yoga got me through each day. The help of my partner making meals and taking care of me got me through each day.

The journey was/is tedious. I was/am being transformed. I was/am in a cocoon of healing. It has changed the way I practice and teach yoga. It comes more now from my own life experience of surrender, vulnerability, self-acceptance, gentleness and tenderness toward myself amidst challenges. From this place, I can meet my students where they are with more empathy and compassion.

This time last year, I began to get a little more energy and it felt like the virus went dormant (It is a virus that does not go away once you have it, but it can go to sleep.) But then tendinitis flared up in both of my arms bringing me into the experience of continuous physical pain for the first time in my life. I had been doing a 20 hr week computer job and viruses can settle into weak areas of the body. This guided me into another level of healing, surrender, self acceptance, and asking for support. I couldn’t open doors, dress myself, make my own food, even drive for a bit of time. I had to ask for so much help, it was so humbling.

My arms began to get a bit better this winter and then…………… I went dancing and I injured my foot and I haven’t been able to walk well since December……and so life continues to bring me opportunities to wait, to rest, to ground, to slow down and let go, let go, let go of control. Has it been frustrating at times? Absolutely! Have I had down moments or days? Of course!Thank God I have emotions and can feel them. The frustration. The sadness. The anger. All heard, felt, honored and loved.

Through injury and illness, my relationship to self-nourishment has been transformed. I have been forced to slow down, ground down, put my legs up a wall and rest, to let go, to breathe and just be, to not know where resources will come from, to trust in the Divine for all my needs ~ In the same breath, I have been forced to sing more, to follow my heart, to create, create, create! to express myself, to listen to the nudges of Spirit, to really listen to others when they are speaking, to laugh more, to collaborate with other entrepreneurs, healers and teachers, to study more yoga, astrology and energy medicine, and even start a new holistic healing business.

As a result I am the most grounded, open-hearted, relaxed, playful and joyful version of myself that I have ever been.

I am more aligned with the truth of my heart, body and soul because I have slowed down and made self-nourishment my number one priority. I was so not in this place two years ago. Since then, my relationship to pain has been transformed. I am no longer scared of injury or illness. Instead, I thank them for being visitors in my guesthouse and for the messages they bring me from the beyond. (Thank you Rumi) I am grateful for my limitations. They tell me what I most need. What matters. What doesn’t. They tell me to live fully now even within my limitations.

It is this acceptance that sets my heart free.❤️