Adrenal exhaustion, Alcoholism, Amazing Race, Body Deva, Body messages, Dylan Thomas, Gratitude, Greatest happiness, Hypothyroidism, Indiana Jones, Limitations, Optimal health, Physical needs, Practicality, Release, Rest, Self-care, Slowing down
As the process of self-honesty unfolded, my Body Deva insisted on participating. The above card repeatedly came up and I was quite puzzled by its message. Any exercise was exhausting to me, and my intuition told me to rest rather than push to exercise more. But I tried anyway. Eventually, she forced me to notice and pay attention to all the ways I have ignored and dismissed her needs.
When I mentioned this to a friend, he chuckled at the irony…he’s a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and a child of an excessively controlling mother, divorced, has two children from different women, has loved the chase and conquest of repeated one-night stands, and is struggling to put his life together in healthy and productive ways. In comparison, I’ve never married, have no children, drink on occasion but could usually take it or leave it, dislike unnecessary herbs or medications of any kind and have never been remotely interested in illegal substances, can live within a small budget quite creatively, have a relatively healthy and supportive relationship with my mother, and am at a healthy weight. From his perspective, the idea that I had abused my body in any way was quite ludicrous. And yet, my explanation allowed him to hold grace and compassion for himself in a deeper way as well.
It’s true…I do not indulge in the extremes of life that he has, but I do like the extreme rushes of adrenaline from adventure and being on the go. I am a highly driven personality. Power through! has been my mantra, and I usually sing the Indiana Jones theme song as I do. The challenge of The Amazing Race calls to deepest parts of my being simply because I want to see how I would be in those situations and where my limits are. I have been hyper-focused in a masculine way…excluding everything and everyone along the way that didn’t contribute to helping me accomplish or achieve my desired goal. When in this state, I have gone for days at a time without stopping to sleep or eat…continually singing my theme song and performing feats of Wonder Woman. But…in this moment of honesty, my Body Deva told me NO MORE!
After numerous tests and consultations with a variety of practitioners, I learned that my adrenals are completely shot and my thyroid is under-active. My impulse to Power through! even though I’m so exhausted I can hardly move, is one that my Body Deva is asking me to ignore…something I have never before done…also incredibly uncomfortable. She’s asking me to slow down and not be so pointed with my movements through life. And, to make that request even stronger, my car literally blew up in a cloud of steam and volcanic spewing of boiling coolant one day. I am not yet in a position to repair or replace the vehicle, so I am forced to slow down, take the buses, and rely on others for transportation. It’s also limiting my excursions, forcing me to rest and heal. A part of me understands this…and this part of me is deeply grateful for this release of an unhealthy pattern to make room for a more balanced way of being and living. And yet…the unhealthy pattern is not quite so grateful…it is not going gently into that good night.
So…again…I breathe…moment-to-moment…paying attention to all that I feel in the body…learning to listen to her and value her messages…finding and feeding all those experiences that nurture my physical existence…valuing me by keeping all of that energy I have given away to manipulate others…deepening my honesty to include the more tangible, practical, and earth-y life…finding those limits in this experience and expressing gratitude that these limitations are the key to allowing my greatest happiness to flow in and around me.
And so it is.