When I was growing up, I was painfully shy.
I remember being about 6 years old and hiding behind chairs when my Mum tried to introduce me to people.
It didn’t get easier.
I used to absolutely hate those days at school when you had to perform anything to do with music and drama, in fact I think they were the only days I had off ‘sick’.
Even when I was about 20 years old, making phone calls terrified me, and I’d try and get other people to make them on my behalf.
This really changed for me, around that age when my body screamed NO, NO MORE!
Suddenly out of nowhere, after never even having a spot as a teenager, my skin erupted into the worst eczema I’ve ever seen.
Seemingly overnight, my face, my arms, and legs were bright red, shiny, weeping and very, very sore.
After going to the doctors, and his first words being to me ‘Oh my, you have it bad’, I just burst into tears. I did have it bad, and it really hurt.
I was prescribed anti-biotics, steroid creams and had to wash in emollients.
My skin remained red, sore and weepy.
I remember walking down the street in winter, and people staring at me as my face was so red, I looked burnt.
I tried elimination diets, no wheat, no sugar and no difference.
I’d take handfuls of vitamins, oils, and aloe vera juice and still no change.
After months, I finally took the advice of a friend to visit a Kinesiologist – whatever one of them was…
I have to admit, I was completely sceptical. I’d never even heard of kinesiology before, but nothing else was working. I had nothing to lose, and I was running out of options.
The Kinesiologist was really nice, but what she was doing made absolutely no sense to me.
Wiggle my arm. Think this thought. Wiggle my arm some more. Now think a different thought.
Wiggle my arm, place this on my stomach. Wiggle my arm some more.
And so, the session went on.
I was to later learn, that the ‘wiggling’ my arm was her testing the integrity of my muscle in the presence of a stressor, a thought, phrase, or substance. But at the time it just seemed ridiculous.
I left there rolling my eyes and wondering what on earth I could try next.
But…. My skin started to clear up! Even as sceptical as I was, I couldn’t dismiss this as a coincidence!
At first it didn’t completely clear up. But it stopped weeping, and to me that was amazing! I’d been having to change my clothes two or three times a day, and now I didn’t.
At the time I thought to myself that I didn’t care if I stayed bright red, it was the weeping skin that was the most painful and inconvenient for me.
So I went back and finished the course of treatment and my skin has never flared up again – I’m now 42!
But not only did my skin clear up, I felt more connected to myself. It was hard to explain, but I felt more ‘in my body’, more present that I ever had before.
I also felt more confident in myself and my choices.
I just felt different, more me.
I was so amazed, that it had worked; I hadn’t wanted to go, but felt I had run out of options, I thought it was a load of rubbish, and never believed it was going to work, and yet despite all of that, it still worked. I had to know how, so I signed up on the very next course.
Still, after all this time, Kinesiology never fails to amaze me.
Pinpointing age-old issues for people and getting right to the core of an issue.
Things in life aren’t very often caused by what we think they are.
We want a nice tidy answer, so that we can ‘fix’ the symptoms and move on with our life.
Just like when I went to the Doctors with my skin issue, I wanted a pill or a cream to fix it, and when it didn’t, I was unsure of what to do next.
In my mind, the Doctor was supposed to be able to fix me, and if they couldn’t I hadn’t realised there were other avenues available for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am super grateful for Doctors, their training and their knowledge. There have been times in my life where medical intervention has probably saved me, and my little boy, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Yet, there are other ways that I’ve learnt to take responsibility for myself and my health, knowing that I can’t always rely on current methods of health care.
But that’s the great thing about being alive today, we can explore both.
As humans we’re complicated, intricate and oh so messy.
One thing I’ve learned after decades of working with thousands and thousands of clients, is there is no ‘one-size’ fits all, and no magic bullet.
When people come to me with a symptom, even if it’s a symptom I’ve seen time-and-time again, the way that it’s resolved is different for every person, because every person is different, with their own unique set of experiences, traumas, and beliefs.
The reason the symptom is showing up is unique to them, and never because of just one thing.
Many of my clients initially came to see me with conditions such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and eczema because they thought allergies were causing their symptoms. In the huge majority of cases, however, they had underlying emotional issues they needed to resolve, not another food they needed to avoid.
The body is a sensitive piece of equipment. When you think you’re suppressing an emotion – a disappointment or a hurt feeling – your body remembers. It also remembers every time you say “yes” when you really want to say “no”, and every time you smile when all you really want to do is cry.
It was more socially acceptable for the women who came to see me to have an irritated bowel that they couldn’t control until it exploded, than it was for them to lose control over themselves and let the words they really wanted to say explode from their mouths.
Their suppressed words, feelings and emotions found another way to be expressed (or rather expelled) from their bodies.
When I explained this situation to my clients, I was invariably met with mixed emotions.
I saw relief that they could finally put words to their situation.
I saw guilt at being unhappy even with all they had.
I saw sadness at not having honoured their true desires and callings.
I saw frustration for all the time they felt they’d wasted.
I saw overwhelm at the thought of what they now had to do.
I saw anger at themselves for not having done this sooner.
I saw annoyance at their parents/partner/society for having placed these expectations on them.
I saw confusion as to how this could possibly have happened to them.
And – perhaps not surprisingly – I saw exhaustion at the number of emotions they were suddenly allowing themselves to feel.
Of course, I can totally relate to this. Why?
Because I was one of these women too!
I was smart, educated, open and aware. Yet somehow, I still fell into the trap of living my life the way I’d been taught was ‘right’… even though, at the time, I was convinced I was living on my own terms.
And yet there I was with my angry, weeping skin.
I thought I needed a pill, or to eliminate a food group.
But what I actually needed was to heal unresolved anger at events from my childhood that had been triggered by circumstances in my twenties.
The anger that I’d repressed for decades was quite literally burning through my skin. Apparently, it was ‘easier’ to deal with the eczema than it was to face the truth of my emotions, and the reality of my past situation.
I needed to acknowledge what I really wanted in life.
I needed to reconnect to the truth of who I was and stop restricting myself with limiting beliefs that no longer served me.
I had to create a life on my own terms, not the life that others expected me to live.
The words sound so easy when I say them like that. But little did I realise that when I said ‘No, not this life anymore’, I opened up the powerful thought of ‘If not this, then what?’
And so, my inner journey began.
Fast forward twenty years, and I had to wonder why so many intelligent women were turning up at my clinic with the same underlying issue.
What had disconnected so many women from their truth so completely that the only way their inner selves could communicate with them was by creating bodily symptoms that they just couldn’t ignore?
We live in a world that’s saturated with the idea of how life should be. There’s little room to celebrate true diversity and individual expression.
From the youngest of ages, we’re taught (usually at an unconscious level) the behaviours that society expects from us. We’re taught the roles we should live, and how we should contribute to our family, friends and community. It comes through in comments from the adults around us. Comments like…
“Children should be seen and not heard.”
“Good girls don’t xxx.”
“That’s women’s work.”
“You’d be prettier if you smiled.”
But more specifically, we’re told that how we should behave and what we should aspire to depends on whether we were born male or female.
“Why are girls so emotional?”
“You’re so high-maintenance.”
“Big boys don’t cry.”
“You do xxx well… for a girl.”
“Does your husband mind that you make more money than him?”
“You’re so lucky that your husband helps out with the kids.”
These seemingly throw-away comments seep into our subconscious minds and influence how we think we should behave. All this is further compounded by the seemingly innocent (but often gender-biased) stories we’re told growing up, along with the films we watch and the toys we play with.
And the media we consume as adults continues to reinforce these beliefs and patterns. We’re basically surrounded by them.
Many women long to contribute creatively to society. They want to heal their families, their communities and the planet they live on. They feel called to co-create better lives for themselves and those around them.
Meanwhile, they’ve been taught to work for – to create and honour – security over passion.
But this will never fully satisfy them. How can it? They’re trying to find value in some kind of external security, rather than developing their own internal resources and inner sense of security.
They know deep inside that they’re here for a reason, and that they have a sacred soul-purpose. Yet they haven’t been taught the language to decipher this inner knowing. They don’t understand how to make it tangible.
Instead, they make choices that compromise their passions. They feel obligated to create financial security for themselves and their families above all else, which leaves them unsatisfied and searching for greater meaning. Then add to this the primal need we all have to fit in… and it can be hugely difficult to truly break from the expectations of their families, friends, and spiritual and religious communities.
However, becoming aware of these limiting patterns, stories and beliefs can help them – and you – to break free from those influences. It can help you to consciously create your life and choose how you express yourself.
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