Its November, which means the crimson leaves, beer fests and costume parties are all coming to a close just in time for Christmas. Winter is such a beautiful time of year, but also a time that does crazy things to my brain. As a season of closure, reflection and hibernation, I find myself wanting to make positive arrangements for the coming year (in my brand, spanking new diary which I always purchase months in advance!), as well as reflecting back on the last twelve months to count my achievements; a summary of efforts that may or may not be a reflection of how well I played at life over the previous twelve months.
Naturally, this year has kicked up a lot of emotions for me. In so many ways, I feel like I’ve fallen short, not achieved, or could have tried harder in many situations when my mind was willing, but when my body was not. I’ve been dissappointed, angry, frustrated, bitter, but mostly fearful. Its been a process of acceptence, and something that I’m still very much working on. I’m learning that fear contains powerful messages, and when we’re courageous enough to connect with what scares us, we can awaken our intuition and create new paths for healing and for goal setting, too. When we invite fear to dinner, instead of blocking it or ignoring it, we learn new things about ourselves that we didnt even know existed. We learn how to live (better), and create new boundaries, and open up instead of shutting down.
Anyone who lives with a chronic illness will tell you that managing fear is an ever-evolving, and often an exhausting process. Sometimes serenity happens quite naturally, other times, our fears refuse to be rushed and we live in shifting states of doom and impending uncertainty while our imperfect bodies do (or dont do) their thing against our will.
Fear is just one of the many colours in our emotional palette, and it often shows up for a reason. It doesn’t mean we’re weak, or failing, but actually, that we are very, very normal. After all, non of us are fearless, no matter what we’re facing, and to a certain extent, Im learning that fear is important.
So, my question has been, how do we get what we need from ourselves without letting fear pull us under? How do we set goals for our future and learn more about ourselves from our emotions, without creating restrictive boundries that are born from those uncomfortable states (like fear)? We bring ourselves back to the present moment. While a lot of this is about acceptence, especially in chronic illness, much is about focus on the here, the now, the the roof about our heads, the ground under our feet, the reality of what is and ultimately, the reality of what we can create for a positive tomorrow despite the terrifying tormoil of what may be happening within our bodies (and possibly, our minds).
This has been a course of growth for me, and something I’m working on (daily). It’s something new, and for somebody that has always been very self-critical, its something that doesn’t come easily. I’m also extremely uncomfortable with change. New things. New information; and the unfamiliar and all that goes with it. But I’m learning to give myself a break. I’m human. The trick has been to stop being so critical. To start applying more compassion and to start being more open to adjustments in life and my health, even if that means less mobility, or not being able to see so well, or having to tolerate tremors and therefore having to use a tripod every. time. I. use. my. camera. Annoying, yes, but not the end of the world.
Opening my diary today and setting goals (prematurely!) for the new year has been refreshing. A word that I don’t normally associate with New Year goal setting or looking back over the previous twelve months and seeing where I’ve been. For the first time in forever, I’m okay with where things are despite not achieving everything I’ve wanted too.
Because, I’m learning, acceptence and awareness is helping bring about a state of optimum wel-being and fulfillment that no amount of worrying, self-criticism or fear ever could.
Breakfasts of late have been this epic granola with home-made hazelnut milk. Ya’ll need this stuff in your life.
→ litre water
→ natural sweetener of choice (like coconut sugar, maple syrup, dates etc.)
- Place the hazelnuts in a large bowl, fill with water and leave to soak overnight.
- Drain the water, rinse, and place the hazelnuts in a blender, adding the sweetener to the mixture after blending. Pour the water into blender, blend until hazelnuts have completely broken down. Place a muslin/cheese cloth over a colander and place onto of large bowl. Pour the liquid over the cloth, then pull up on all ends to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Serve straight away or store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. It will keep fresh for 5 days. The milk might separate a bit while it sits, just give it a quick stir or shake and it’s ready.