What do you say when people ask who you are? I used to say Kinesiologist, runner, active mum, avid dog walker but all that I thought I was had been stripped away and I didn’t know how to respond. Disabled? Wheelchair user? Unemployed? Labels I didn’t want, and yet I had happily labelled myself before with words I felt were positive descriptions.
I realised that despite my previous work and the advice I gave to clients I was a classic case of what I call ‘what if’ syndrome. “What if I don’t get any more clients”, “What if my boyfriend doesn’t love me anymore”, “What if my children are bullied at school”? I had spent a huge proportion of my life anxiously obsessing about things that could go wrong in the future and actually, somewhere along the line, forgotten to fully live. The car accident, ironically, was something I hadn’t spent hours worrying might happen but it had, wow, so how to deal with it?
My body had changed and my pain levels were high but I knew enough about the mind/body connection to realise I had a choice here. I could choose to re-label myself in some derogatory way, thereby giving up on myself or I could work on my emotional health knowing that, ultimately, it would impact on my physical symptoms. I thought how I would react if it was a friend or a family member in my position. I knew I would be caring, compassionate, patient and understanding. Hmm so the little voice in my head telling me I was useless, a burden and had no purpose now had to go. I needed to be as loving towards myself as I was to others, easy to say, harder to put into practice. I spent hours meditating, exploring my own consciousness and learning to just Be and little by little began to feel stronger and positive about the future. The essence of me still remained, the packaging now was just a little different is all.
When I was at my lowest I came across the story of The Starfish Thrower which led to this website (see home page for story) through which I hope to share all the things I have found which, despite my high pain levels, enable me to lead a happy, positive life from a fulfilled heart and a peaceful mind.
The tips below got me through a really tough time, live by them and you too will see that you really can cope with whatever is thrown at you.
An extract from an article first posted on Mindbodygreen on August 19th 2012