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Is your illness telling you to make a change?

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I have debated and put off writing this post but have now decided to go ahead.

The truth is that I have experienced another adrenal crash.

I really have been going back and forth on whether to share this. Firstly, because there is the ever-present question of when is it appropriate to share what is private in posts. Secondly, I initially felt some shame around this news. I am a perfectionist by nature (hence why I am predisposed to adrenal issues!) and here I am writing so much about managing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, sharing tips on how to avoid adrenal depletion, and then I go and crash all over again! I was concerned that I would be seen as not having validity. However, I have also learned that it is because I have been through Adrenal Fatigue and crashes that I do have some knowledge around these topics i.e. a knowing that comes from experience and the knowing is constantly evolving as I experience more.

I have also learned that there seldom is a right and wrong or a correct way of doing things and this has helped me to hold this experience with compassion versus judge the fact I have again experienced an adrenal crash as some kind of failure. I have been  consciously striving to live authentically and to live with integrity for some time now as I have found that in doing so I experience flow, opportunities open up and support comes my way and I have just grown and learned so much. Furthermore, I have found that when I am authentic others benefit too because the honesty provides the space for others to be honest with themselves, and if anyone is able to learn from my mistakes and experiences then that can’t be a bad thing! Finally, instead of being a good thing or a bad thing I have realised it was all part of what I needed to experience to transform and I wanted to share the power of illness/disease/imbalance to provide an opportunity for transformation.

Our experiences are not good or bad. They simply are and if we can be vulnerable and honest and live in the question of “what can I learn from this”, we can hold ourselves and our experiences with compassion. The experiences pass far easier, we feel a sense of empowerment versus being a victim, and finally, we learn valuable lessons. So that is why I am choosing to write this post today.

It is not a surprise that this crash happened. It has been a very difficult three months full of all sorts of challenges (for most people it seems?). However, these challenges have  been huge to my growth. I fortunately only had a few ostrich moments (putting my head in the sand and pretending nothing is happening!) but for the most part managed to live in the question of what I can learn from the experiences. I have shifted some powerful and long-held fears, belief systems, inner child experiences. It has been very, very difficult yet I have come out feeling inspired and excited.

A big part of the last three months was my attempt to hold and control (as I’ve said in previous posts this is a tendency found in many who experience adrenal fatigue). I was trying to fix things, make things better for me, make things better for others, take away their pain, and I realised, “Hold on, this is the opportunity for me to do it differently”. I bounced between the holding and letting go but what has happened is that following this three month life -lesson I really let go!  I felt safe, I surrendered to what was happening and trusted others to be OK. In doing so, my body also let go. Adrenal Fatigue often follows a period of difficulty/struggle that involves holding and control and when there is respite and a sense that one can let go the crash happens. I often ask my clients who recognise they are in fight/flight (a sense of urgency, being wired, feeling overwhelmed) “What is it that is making you feel unsafe? What are you trying to control?”

From all struggle comes growth. What I also believe is that we become ill when we are not living our truth, when we are not aligned with who we are meant to be, when we are not meeting our full potential. This is something I have discussed with a few of my colleagues and was affirmed with such great words by Charles Eisenstein, an author who focusses on a new way of being – of being more interconnected and more conscious. He stated that addiction, self-sabotage, procrastination, laziness, chronic fatigue, and depression are all ways that we that we withold full participation in the lives we are currently living because on a subconscious level we know that we are not happy with the way things are. We know we are meant to be stepping into our power and expressing ourselves authentically.

So, for me, what has come from this whole experience is not only that I have shifted some long-held patterns around holding and controlling that have been sapping my energy and preventing me from being authentic but it also provided the opportunity to ask, “what needs to change?” After all, I have now crashed every 2 years since 2013 (there were also crashes before that but I did not know that it was adrenals before an official diagnosis in 2013). I am going to be making some big changes around my work in terms of my focus and where I put my energy. It has been pretty exhausting since my children entered my life to hold one-on-sessions with clients to the extent I have been, as well as holding life with my kids in it. (A big lesson in the last three months was another layer off the onion of letting go how much I try to control their health and wellbeing!)

I have for a long time been considering building an online presence, presenting webinars, offering online programmes etc but for various reasons I have not really done much. This crash has prompted me to see IT IS TIME! My soul/inner knowing/my authentic self (or whatever you want to call it) was tired of shouting and not being heard so my body gave me the message instead “You can’t keep doing what you are doing and expect things to be any different!” So I have chosen to honour that. I will not be taking on new clients for a while and will be spending more and more time right HERE! So watch this space for exciting thing to come!

If you are battling with depletion, burnout, or chronic illness/symptoms perhaps your body is giving you a message? Perhaps it is time for transformation? Perhaps it is time to live authentically? If you find yourself in this situation try to live in one or two of these questions (this means just put them out there and be open to receiving some guidance in whatever form it comes. When you live in the question you’ll be surprised what opens up – you may start reading, hearing about or experiencing the same things repeatedly – PAY ATTENTION!):

What is the universe/life/your inner truth (insert your preferred term!) trying to share with me or make me see?

What am I trying not to see/acknowledge?

What am I trying to control or what am I resisting?

Why do I feel unsafe now? (particularly when you find old compulsions, addictions and destructive ways of being crop up)

What am I supposed to be learning?

Your innate wisdom and bodymind complex are very wise and always trying to guide you to be your best (your true best and not the illusion of who this is!). Honour all your symptoms as an opportunity to learn something! You’ll be very surprised what can happen….

PS please feel free to share similar experiences or let me know if you you have any questions regarding the potential to learn from struggle. I love to hear from those who read my posts!

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