Something indeed is shifting. I am not sure I entirely know what it is that is happening at the moment but there is a movement of a kind. I am not an overly open and sharing person when it comes to my personal life because I honestly feel that I don’t have an exciting story to tell. Some people out there are doing it tough in life and I don’t consider anything I have to say particularly important in comparison. I am an introvert and not great at conversation and for this reason I think people might see me as stuck up – I dunno – I could be wrong. I have opinions about things but often don’t voice them outside of my relationship with my husband because I don’t feel worthy to contribute and don’t fancy getting into any kind of debate. Mostly I just can’t find the words I want to say so I keep quiet.
I am your average country girl – I have the pigeon pair kids – I had normal labours and don’t have gory details to tell there – they were nice and I was lucky. Both of my kids slept the night through from really early and again I was lucky. I don’t tell people generally because I feel guilty for all the parents that have non-sleepers. I have never really been unwell as in I haven’t had anything particularly big wrong with me in the past. I did suffer from depression in my early 20s but luckily I overcame that. I’ve never been a smart person – just average. Average at school, average at netball, average height, average average average. People often forget my name or don’t know who I am because….well…average.
Don’t worry – I’m not seeking the violins, I guess I’m just setting the tone.
Back problems and digestive issues have been in my life for as long as I can remember – even as far back as high school (and I’m in my 40s so that was some 20 plus years ago). Always. I have gotten by with every kind of massage, chiro and other therapies that are out there and came to realise I have a gluten and dairy intolerance that I never really listened to until a few years ago. I avoid these foods but was still indulging every now and again with painful consequences. Sugar was my weakness but I have come a long way to change my habits and can safely say I am pretty much 90% sugar free (you still gotta enjoy a treat every now and then right?). When I do indulge, again I pay the price with headaches or stomach pains. I had accepted that the pain in my back and stomach was my norm and if that was all I had to put up with in life then I was pretty lucky. There were no slipped or bulging discs or damage requiring surgery so I thought I could just suck it up – I am one of the lucky ones and hey – it only lasts up to a week every few months.
But enough was enough this Christmas when I was bed ridden with a very bad back for well over a week. I have had some pretty shitty Christmases if I’m honest and this one was up there with the worst and it extended into the New Year with my son also getting gastro really badly for the 2nd time in as many months (& to get it again just last month) with me unable to care for him like I normally would. This episode of back pain was one of the worst – it lasted longer than it normally does and it was intensely painful and more so than it normally is. And man I was just so damn sad and in tears each day with the pain and sadness that I wasn’t able to enjoy our family holiday in Lakes Entrance. I came good with lots of rest and treatment from the lovely Keira at Trafalgar Chiropractic Centre and in March I went along to The Seven Sisters Festival which I was a little skeptical about but something was drawing me to it.
The mum guilt was rife heading off to this 3 day festival of women. I felt like I had been neglecting my kids a little of late and just didn’t feel ready and not sure it was for me but boy was I wrong. It seems that I was all kinds of ready and the universe was indeed pointing every thing toward me having to be there. I attended and listened intently to workshops – things I have heard before but probably weren’t ready to truly listen to. I cried at workshops, I sang, I danced, I sat in silence, I did yoga, I had massage treatments, I ate really well, I journaled, I chatted with new friends, I hugged strangers, I was wowed by the sheer power and feeling of safety & non-judgement at a festival of only women and I started truly listening to what my head and body was telling me. It was time to make a change.
Inspired I was, empowered I was & ready I most definitely was when I returned home. I looked at all the things I had put in place to date and how grateful I was that I had started this change already. I was already eating pretty well, I make all our meals and snacks and have been doing so for years and exercise was a part of my daily routine. My mind was already in a place of understanding – it was time for implementing. I booked myself in to see a naturopath friend of mine Kyeema at Nu-Leaf Naturopathic Weight & Health Specialist and went and got all the tests once and for all just to rule everything out and see what exactly was going on in this busted body of mine. There were some surprises and some news not so surprising. Without going into scientific detail (I ain’t the person for that spiel) what it came down to for me was stress and how I release (or don’t release) stress. The build up of stress and anxiety in my body was making me toxic – HAD made me toxic. All the great work I had been doing in the past with good nutrition and exercise was useless because my body was unable to absorb nutrients due to the toxic overload caused by stress.
Now I don’t have an overly stressful life – my work is not busy at the moment (although all business owners know there is a lot of work to do behind the scenes always) and there aren’t necessarily any external pressures – it is just every day stresses for someone with borderline OCD I guess. The stresses I put on myself to always have things done properly and on time – watching the clock and feeling anxious when there are too many things on my to do list and also worries about money and when my next job was going to come in and general disappointments in work and life.
Strict instructions were given to implement changes to reduce stress. Yoga, Pilates, Walking, Meditation, Journaling, Mindful eating and even just plain old lovely deep breathing. Luckily I have been doing yoga for a long time and had recently put things in motion to start pilates so it wasn’t new to me but I had to take strenuous exercise out for a while which was hard. I only lasted 10 days BUT now I do it a lot less often – I am replacing it with reformer pilates thanks to Sarah at Studio Samsara which I have really begun to love and doing more walks than runs. I still do attend Bootcamp & Metafit once or twice a week but I am not overdoing it anymore as I am listening to my body when it is time to rest or go a bit slower. The mindful eating was a big one. For a mum, it is pretty darn hard to make sure you sit for every meal and take your time to eat when you have the piled up dishes and getting kids off to school on your mind but I’m working on that.
So all of this along with a specialised detox set by my Naturopath and tweaking of a few things I eat, up-ing my purchase of organic fruit, veg & meat, putting in place a morning routine including when I drink & eat things, oil pulling and body brushing has made me feel a million dollars. They really are right when they say you never realise how good you can feel until you actually feel good. My digestion is out of this world good now – I never knew it could be this good (sorry to go there!). I honestly don’t think I will be much of a drinker anymore – not that I ever had a problem but I am so much happier & clearer without it. The fog has been lifted and although I will most definitely welcome the odd night out with friends, it is not worth it for me to drink alcohol too often because even one drinks actually makes me feel shit (waaahaaa!!). I think I will be the odd beer on a Sunday, glass of bubbles to celebrate something fab or glass of (preservative free) wine with dinner type of a gal (although I’m not supposed to drink any type of liquid with food anymore so there goes that theory – haha).
It was also time to fully embrace the low tox life in our home. I had made a start on this being a user of Doterra oils for a few years and had basically replaced my medicine cabinet with essential oils but I never fully embraced it with regards to my household & personal products. Just little bits here and there. I threw myself into making all my own household products and phasing out all the chemicals. I am happy to say that we are almost there and don’t shop the cleaning isles in the supermarket anymore. This along with the continued phasing out personal products and reducing plastic waste and using plastic materials is making me feel fantastic that I am doing something positive for both myself and my family…and of course the environment. The hubby and kids have embraced it all too (or are getting there at least) which makes me feel super proud.
Letting go of my grasp on social media has also been a big thing. I haven’t had Facebook on my phone since Easter and don’t miss it one bit (apart from when I miss session updates from You & Mia Fitness). I often will get halfway through a day and realise I haven’t opened it on my desktop either which is huge considering my addiction. I realise now that when I do though, I get almost instant anxiety. I can’t remove it all together because I need it and rely on it too much for work, connections & learning so for now I am happy to embrace the positives it gives me to get my work out there into the world and connect with my tribe and I try to manage my anxiety levels by un-following where I can and limiting my use. The same goes with Instagram – I use Instagram as a visual diary of my family on my personal Insta page so I will never remove that from my phone and again, I really need my business one but gee whiz I struggle with keeping up with all the amazing businesses & people that I would love to support and silencing my imposter syndrome at the same time. Work in progress there.
I can’t quite put my finger on it but these changes I can see they are making a positive influence on my family too. Fletch is now following the same gluten & dairy free diet as I am to improve his behavioural & health issues and this along with treatment from Keira also, he has improved tenfold and I’m seeing so much love coming from my family that it is not funny. We are learning about crystals, essential oils and space clearing together and getting rid of clutter in our lives and I guess I must be more present with them now or perhaps we are all in a better environment with less stress – we are enjoying more free time together and special moments. I lay with Maya at night and get the most gorgeous cuddles, kisses and “I love you mummy”s that I’ve ever received while we talk about her day and her worries. Isn’t it terrible that I look back and see how I wasn’t doing that to that extent before. She really needs it every night and so I now know do I. I still struggle with dividing my time with both kids – they both seem to want me at the same time but I don’t know how or why but I feel there is more time now. Now to make date nights with Jack a priority as I know he has been lucking out in the devotion stakes. The poor hubby always comes last doesn’t he.
These beautiful photos from Vicky Palmieri Photography (thank you so so so so much Vicky – I love them more than words) were delivered to me by Vicky at such a perfect time this week and really do remind me of the transition I have been experiencing and mimic exactly how I am feeling at the moment about my gorgeous family and the tenderness they show. That’s what family photos are all about for me and especially with lifestyle photography – they remind of you of that exact time in your life and that feeling that you were having when you had them taken. Precious family time, memories and feelings documented for ever. Perhaps sometimes at an imperfect time but with beautiful lifestyle photography makes that imperfect time simply perfect on reflection.
I haven’t always been the best person to be around in my previous fog – hopefully my family can see a change for the better and we can all enjoy more special times being present and focusing on what really matters – us, them, me.
So much more learning and growing to do but like I said, something indeed is shifting and I embrace it with open arms just like I do to everyone that I love. Happy Mothers Day to me. I’m ok with being average because you know what – these 3 guys love me exactly for that. What a perfect gift my life, health & my family really is.