I love challenges. Challenging myself to learn and grow is as detrimental to me as breathing. The last five years I started experimenting with diets, lifestyles and mindfulness.
Examining the results motivated me to push my limits further and so I embraced a very natural approach to my health.
The journey truly began with the birth of my son, a natural home birth, with no complications and a healthy little baby in my arms. As I chose to breastfeed, I gradually saw the healing power our bodies posses.
And so I challenged myself to take complete charge of my son’s and my health by living one year with no health insurance. This might sound extreme, at times it surely felt frightening not having that safety net, but it made me aware of some very important aspects of how we live.
The first thing I noticed was how passive I had been towards my wellbeing. By having a licensed specialist at my disposition whenever my body was sending me signals (also known as pain), I did not try to understand my own body’s needs, and instead I numbed any sensation with painkillers.
Digging deeper, I learned to feel and recognise the effect foods have on my body. I adopted a plant-based diet and lifestyle and I discovered superfoods, which I might add, have been my saviours during the post partum depression.
My body started feeling rejuvenated and was recovering fast from giving birth and getting used to sharing it’s supply of minerals and vitamins with my son.
In the fourth trimester, it’s normal for a breastfeeding mother to feel depleted of energy and life force, for she is sharing of herself with another human being. This depletion of minerals and vitamins causes havoc on the emotional state too and it has been linked to post partum depression.
For me it felt right to supplement with superfoods, such as chia seeds, raw cacao, hennep seeds, spirulina and to double my fruits intake.
The change is my mood and overall wellbeing was noticeable after a short period. This control over my body and mind left me feeling relieved.
In tandem with experimenting with foods, I adopted a more mindful and spiritual practice that was meant to feed my mind and spirit.
During the year long experience, I meditated daily for at least half an hour, which I could easily do while nursing my son. Another daily ritual was an hour long walk in nature with carrying my baby on my belly.
Nature has tremendous healing properties. The Japanese know this and use forest bathing as therapy. By being in nature, I began breathing consciously. So many spiritual practices include conscious breathing because of how it affects body and mind.
This I tested for myself whenever I was catching a flu. I made a habit of breathing very deep and concentrating on it for about an hour, while also tricking my mind into thinking my body is healthy. This works every time.
Thoughts are extremely important and powerful. They can create or destroy, depending on how we direct them.
Robin Sharma explained it beautifully in his quote:
The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
The thoughts and ideas we entertain are as important as the foods we eat. This is why it’s crucial to discipline the mind to focus on what we want, instead of feeding our fearful thoughts.
Another important aspect I discovered about health and illness is that most of our physically manifested ailments have an emotional underlying. In the alternative health care circles it is believed that, for example, cancers in the body are manifesting because of suppressed emotions.
From my own experience, I know when my shoulders hurt, that I feel burdened by too much responsibility, so I try to engage friends and family members in the activities I need help with.
All of these practices and understandings brought me in touch with myself. My intuition became much stronger and I was more willing to trust it, to trust myself.
That one decision, to take full responsibility for my wellbeing and my health has had a snowball effect and it’s brought a well hidden treasure to the surface of my awareness.
The most important thing I learned is that this complex being that I am is so wonderfully interwoven with life and all that lives.
Health must be approached in a holistic way, if we truly desire to have harmonious relationships with ourselves and the world around us.
I envision a future where the false belief of independence from others and from nature will be replaced by a sense of interconnectedness and by responsible individuals who care for themselves and the community they live in.
The modern world always finds ways to distract our attention from the real important things, so it’s up to us to decide what is worthy of our precious energy.
Credits for editing text : Tamina Salcudeanu