For me it’s about balance and feeling connected with all four aspects of yourself. The body, mind, spirit and your emotional being.
If you look at those four aspects of yourself one realises that there are many areas of ‘good health’ we need to work with in order to live a balanced and healthy life.
Many people are unable to focus on all aspects of their life. They are either laser focused on their physical and mental well being, while ignoring their spiritual and emotional wellness. Or they focus on all aspects around spiritual and emotional wellbeing and ignore physical and mental wellbeing.
I, personally, believe that physical and mental ill-health and disease come from imbalance, blockages and congestion in the emotional and spiritual bodies. When we are not in harmony with our inner selves, when we do not really accept who we are nor deal with all emotions that continually flow through our bodies, then we open ourselves up to physical and mental dis-ease and illness.
Up until very recently, our society has been incredibly judgmental, biased and unforgiving about perceived differences in their fellow human beings, whether it be the colour of someone’s skin, their sexual orientation, education, the clothes they wear or their belief structure - everything is a point of differentiation - and that is seemingly not good.
We have been taught to think and act a certain way and to conform to a so-called societal “normal”. Those who do not conform and stand out for their uniqueness and individuality are often considered weird, strange and not really acceptable in society. As such these mavericks are teased, bullied or left feeling like they just don’t fit in or belong. As I write this - we are waking up and celebrating our uniqueness - especially in western societies - however we have a long way to go towards acceptance and the celebration of individuality.
The feeling of not fitting or belonging formed part of my earliest childhood memories and I realise now that they were all of my own doing. I had a wonderful childhood and have a very loving and caring family, who have always loved and accepted me, if not always understanding me.
Even as a 5 year old I perceived something different in myself than the “normal” of my world and being a very shy and insecure little girl, I just wanted to fit in, to be like everyone else. I have always been a people pleaser and can remember thinking “what will they think if I say / do that” before interacting with others and then giving them what I thought they wanted.
Through this process I hid my true self from the world and more importantly from myself. I chained her up inside with thoughts of not being good enough, not fitting in and not being acceptable to others...never enough - always lacking!
I went through life being this person I believed everyone wanted me to be. I got good at pretending, so good in fact that over time I started to believe it myself. It worked for a very long time, I had a good life, I was happy and I had a husband, friends and family who loved me. There was only one problem. I didn’t love me, in fact I didn’t even know who I was!
My journey into self awareness, love and acceptance started several years ago and it has been a very slow painful journey of rediscovering my true self, who I am and what my gifts and purpose are for this lifetime.
The most challenging part of this process has actually been the accepting part. Funny enough I don’t have a problem accepting my more negative traits, I’m not saying it’s always been easy but I can understand that accepting my “bad” parts is the first step in overcoming them, in being able to work through them and choosing to change that aspect of myself.
The most challenging part has been showing up as myself, being true to my own ideas and beliefs, to accept who I really am, saying and doing what I believe and what feels true without changing any of it for fear of what others might think.
Over this time my physical and mental health have both been negatively impacted and as you may know, I have leaky gut and various other issues that go along with it. I have very much been focused on the physical side of my healing and become very diet focused. I have now been vegetarian for over 5 years and went fully plant based about 8 months ago.
I have my ups and downs with my health and I’ve realised that it ties in with my emotional state, that my continued inability to truly embrace who I am, is in fact what's making me sick.
I have come to realise that self acceptance must be unconditional and complete. It’s not enough to accept most of me, If I am to heal my body, mind, spirit and emotional being I am to accept, love and embrace and share all of the real me.
I now believe that true health comes from within. It comes from a deep place of knowing yourself, accepting yourself and most importantly, loving yourself. That means all of you. Not bits and pieces - loving all aspects of self - even the parts we have been led to believe are ‘bad’ and the parts we don’t like about ourselves. It’s in the loving and accepting of self that we can start to learn, improve and grow ourselves.
Self acceptance makes us aware of all our different qualities, good or bad, which leads to self growth, personal development and the evolution towards a much happier and guilt free life. Self acceptance also helps us uncover gifts and talents we’re not aware of.
The path to self acceptance may not be an easy one, it requires a very long, honest look at yourself. It requires going within and learning all about yourself, of taking stock of yourself - of what really makes you tick.
For me part of self acceptance is about uncovering all hidden personality traits and understanding that you are in charge and can work to improve anything about yourself you don’t like. A good way to bring clarity about what needs to change is to understand the pro”s and con's of how things stand now and what the change would bring
The first step to self improvement must surely be taking stock of who you are and how you think you could be perceived by others. And then reviewing all this with a loving heart, an embracing attitude and an accepting mindset.
You were made for great things - you have all that you need to follow your purpose - and what you don’t have will be learnt, discovered and embraced on the journey of life.
Remember - you can’t accept something if you cannot embrace authenticity and truth - the true you.
As I say to myself now - you are a magnificent being on a wondrous journey of discovery. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself as you would wish to be loved. Catch yourself thinking harsh, unkind and unfriendly thoughts about yourself. Rephrase the thoughts into kinder, more loving words. Smile at yourself in the mirror and celebrate the road you have come along already - there are so many things to be grateful for right now in the present moment - give thanks for where you’ve been and how you’ve grown and promote your inner little girl or boy that you are there to lovingly hold their hand through the next steps and that no matter where that may lead you that you will love them and that you will never ever give up on them. Because you are of course your own very best friend, lover, partner, mother, sister, mentor and coach that you will ever have in this lifetime.