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Your body always knows

September 10th, 2017 | 4 comments
Your body always knows.

Remember the last time you saw a band with your friends – the lightness and joy you felt dancing to the music. It wasn’t just an emotional reaction. Now recall  the last time you met someone you ended up not getting along with so well. Even before you had an in-depth conversation, you felt the hair on the back of your neck standing up, your muscles stiffening, a clammy sweat come over your hands. Your body knew.

Today, I am going to share one of my most recent experiences where my body showed me the way.

Early July, I Quit My Job

I have always enjoyed observing contrasts in the world, and learning through contrast. A few years back I identified gaps in my health care where western medicine was failing , allowing me to find a new medical treatment as well as my ideal nutritional solution, exercise options and complementary therapies. Over the last 9 months in my previous role, I had begun to see signs in my body that something was far from well. I was fatigued and irritable, then I struggled with my vein accesses for treatment, I stopped ovulating, I began feeling anxious all the time, and dreaded getting up. A few months back, it’d come time to admit something had gone terribly wrong, and it was time to change.

Acknowledgement is the first step

With so much evidence piling up, I could no longer live in denial that a solution could be found in the situation, and stepping away was my best option. That was a 99% freeing idea, of course a small part of me felt like my inability to create a workable solution was a failure . The feeling that came over me when I quit put me at ease.

Some of the factors that lead me to realise my working situation was no longer the right thing for me had recurred over a number of years:

  1. Firstly, it is up to me and me alone to be responsible for my own health. No one else alive, dead or yet to be born will ever be as invested in seeing me healthy as I am. When I give away a large portion of my waking time, and the choices I can make in that time, my health is automatically disadvantaged.
  2. No matter how stressful the idea of being temporarily without income is, the reality of being in a stressful situation for a sizeable portion of my waking hours is more stressful. To put it another way, the idea of being stressed in the future while also being stressed now as well is worse than experiencing just one of these things. 2>1.
  3. When the opportunity to do what you love, what you’re great at and/or be challenged is not available, it can be a slippery slope to boredom, frustration and disengagement.
  4. Never underestimate the role of stress in managing health, especially where a chronic condition is involved.

A woman writing in a journal

What Happened Next

My body gave me instant feedback – I had a bleed which was pain free and came without issues in accessing my veins. I say bleed and not period because I had been unable to confirm ovulation during the previous cycle. A feeling of lightness, of ease, came over me too. Being aware of the signals my body was sending helped confirm my next steps.

That old saying, “the definition of insanity…” lead me to my next decision. Instead of engaging in the usual panic that has followed unstructured change in employment in my past, I instead took a mindful break. An enjoyable, peaceful few weeks followed, including my month long More Social Less Media experiment as well as the space to rest, guilt free through a cold.

My body had been sending me signals when things weren’t going well, but for years I’d also been picking up on signals when things suited me perfectly (oh, those contrasts!). It should be no shock to you some of the times I’ve felt most fulfilled, personally and professionally, are the opportunities I’ve had to write. Any time I’ve also put my health first have allowed me to be at my best, too.

For some time now, I’ve been playing with the idea on how to create a location-independent income I can still generate from bed or the couch. Despite having what I believe to be my best medical treatment plan, I still have a genetic illness and symptom flares are inevitable. While many times, such as my recent broken foot, I’d be able to work in some capacity, often the requirement to be on site at a work place, wear certain clothes or have to get up at a certain time set by outside forces (for example), restricts my capacity. I have come to the conclusion that for me, the ability to set my working hours and locations can have a significant impact on my health.

The ability to create a work cycle that fits with my menstrual cycle is another significant driver. Claire Baker’s work in this are has had an impact in how I view my health and self care – I know that being able to contribute to the best of my ability means being mindful of my natural rhythms.


A seasonal view of the menstrual cycle for a woman's body awareness

A cyclic life is part of being a menstruating woman – image courtesy of Claire Baker.

 

Finding a way to combine all the things I’ve mentioned here, plus a number of other factors I won’t bore you with today, is why I’m launching my own business. Now, I’m looking forward to contributing to the world in the way I’m best able. To be able to manage my health in the way my body needs. To getting up in the morning and wanting to do my job.

If you’d like to learn more about what I’m up to now, take a read here. I’d be very grateful for your recommendation to anyone you think would be a great fit for me to work me to work with – pass on my page and my details.

 

I’d love to hear from you – what does it feel like in your body when you do something you love?

4 people have commented
  1. Thank you Jenna for your talent in articulating not only the importance of listening to your body but also the tremendous benefits that come from doing so.

    Your experiencial knowledge, perception and awareness are gifts to those looking to become responsible for their own health and happiness.

    • Thank you Diane! I appreciate you reading my posts and leaving such lovely, well thought comments.

  2. I’m so happy that you’ve tuned into your body. You’re an inspiration to all of us. Building a business from your couch sounds like a glorious idea. Best of luck. 🙂

    • Marie-Therese,

      Thank you for reading, I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment! Yes – from the couch, a co-working space, the beach or even the hospital bed if it comes to it. Being able to structure my contribution to the world around my health needs has become a priority.

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