ARGH my head! Quite honestly, it’s a mind-field in there. Oh hey you say “me too!” Good to hear, I’m not alone. As school holidays are in full pelt here in Victoria, I feel as though the mind tabs continue open, yet the tackle plan only seems to get longer and longer. How do we get stuff done?! How did anybody before me survive, because there are possibly about 1 million times each day I feel myself whispering (to myself that is), what have I got myself into! But like with all diabolic situations, there is always a solution and it’s all about working out what works, in any given moment.
My real concern when our brains are on overdrive is what this is doing to our hormones. If we are constantly living in our head, our sex hormones don’t fully get the look in they deserve. In my book, Well & Good, I talk a lot about stress and even more in my Debunking Stress ecourse. We’re pretty good and understanding that it’s stressful to work in a hectic environment and meeting deadlines, but we aren’t so great at drawing the dots between how a busy mind might in fact be even more stressful. Stress isn’t just being busy. Stress is all encompassing – it’s average food, unkind thoughts, unprocessed emotions and more. How many people do you know who are still talking about a negative situation that happened 5 years ago, sometimes more? We hold onto these stories and allow them to shape our future. This chatter can go on and on in our mind all day long without us even realising. Tell yourself a story enough times – you’ll soon begin to believe it. Keep on telling the story and it becomes you. I’ve said it 100 times before – you are not your story, your condition or any label you’ve decided to give yourself (poor, sick or broken to name a few). You are you. You create the way forward.
Granted, your mind is a busy place – I get it, I really do. But could the pressure of your head be stopping you from getting your next period or even getting the job of your dreams? Yes, you bet. Because health isn’t limited to the physical. Chinese Medicine focuses on health being both physical and emotional. I’ve seen many patients retrieve a lost menstrual cycle (hypothalamic amenorrhea) by addressing both. I’ve met many a woman who has sat down in front of me and blurted out, faster than you can say kapowi her life story, every treatment therapy she has tried that hasn’t worked, every practitioner she has seen and continued to blame her lack of healing or recovery on the doctor in question. But guess what – the doctor is no more to blame for her lack of cycle than you or I. Of course, some doctors are better than others, each have various speciality areas and so forth, but in so many instances, these women are simply running with too many mind tabs open, leading to rising oestrogen, very little progesterone and almost no love in the mix. Your hormones will absolutely be affected by that mind chatter. Too much of anything is never good. Too much stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) is a disaster for anybody searching for hormone balance.
I, as much as anybody understand just how hard it is to turn down the volume on the ever relentless jargon that the mind constantly feeds us. I’ve made up just as many stories in my mind about why I can’t possibly release another event or why creating a membership is just too difficult (believe me, many times over). But there is one story I’ve never swayed from that has taught me more about how powerful our mind is than anything else and that is for me, ever inspiring – to think I’m inspiring myself is weird but it’s almost an out of body experience at times.
I’ve shared the story of my son Geordie and our journey with his Cystic Fibrosis here before. Just the other day I was reading Pam Grouts latest book E3 (E cubed). She wrote about a woman who gave birth to a baby who was deemed challenged from the beginning and would surely be disabled. I could completely relate to the story. Without going into detail, the mother of this baby felt like she was living an out of body experience – or at least there were two of her – one an emotional wreck and the other had it together to know it was, deep down within her being, all going to be okay.
During this tough time several things happened to her, one being her husband up and left her. She said “I felt deep within me that it was critical that I not give permission for this thing to be part of our lives (thing being the disability and probably mental retardation of her newborn). It may be what we had to deal with, but it was not going to be our identity.”
Story ending – that baby grew up to be a healthy woman and lawyer. Pam Grout goes on to say “of course, you must deal with problems as they arise. But it’s unnecessary to let them become your whole identity…. to focus on the problem is to subconsciously cling to it, never allowing for the possibility of release. There is a difference between dealing with what you have to deal with and building a shrine to it.” Oh my, what music to my ears! Every single day, I choose not to create a shrine to Geordie’s ‘supposed’ lack of health because that is not my reality. My reality is his health, no matter what.
Now, here’s the tricky part – I know I’ve been able to activate this in this particular area of my life, it’s activating it on other levels I still, to this day find hard. But I see it – I see how what we focus on is what we create. It’s a tricky one to continue to apply but something we must learn to nurture.
With this in mind, given we all have the ability to shape our own lives, our own health and our own reality, I don’t want to just provoke your thoughts – I too want to help you create a little magic.
Here’s how I see it…
- Create the goal. What is your wildest dream when it comes to your health? Is it for your period to return, or perhaps to fall pregnant? Create the goal and write it down. You’ve now named it.
- Initiate the affirmation. What we focus on is what we create. If we look for the lack of the period or the lack of baby, we will only continue to tell our bodies so. It’s about taking us to where we want to go, so with this we need tools to keep us on course. One of which I find so helpful is to have my little motivational quotes or affirming phrases to keep me on track. For example, “my body is changing, I can feel my hormones working,” or perhaps “my fertility is precious and I’m nurturing it daily.” Whatever works really. But you must, as you say it, look for the evidence of what you are naming. I once had a patient who started on broth. Prior to this, she was vegan. Each time she drank broth, she said she would zone into her reproductive organs and feel them awaken. Having a ritual or practice like this that you can commit to regular will count.
- Write it down or have that person you can talk about it with. Again – you’ve named it, now you’re creating it! The more you talk about it, write about it, think about it… the sooner you can be taken to the goal.
- Switch. Each time we feel our minds wander off course (we are only human), it’s up to us to remind ourselves that we aren’t headed in that direction. When Geordie was first diagnosed and fear would creep in, I’d really draw on that inner strength to focus on health and ease. To me, sickness felt black – I gave it a colour. Health felt white. So I’d use the colour white to focus on to bring me back on track. If I had to do this 1000 times in an hour, I would. Eye on the prize.
I’m here to say, life isn’t always easy, nor do we make it easy on ourselves at times. But it is with general awareness that our minds begin to awaken to things they may have never considered. Perhaps you’ve never thought your mind to be busy before because you haven’t been aware that it’s even a ‘thing.’ Maybe, you relate to the idea of mind chatter or too many tabs open in your head, but you haven’t ever had a clue what to do with them, nor did you realise this could be impacting your health. I really want to encourage you to get curious to what the story is that you’re telling yourself in your mind and how you can begin to switch the track – like changing lanes on a freeway to get off. You don’t have to drive in that lane if you don’t wish to anymore!
I’d love to hear how you’ve managed to identify stuck mindsets and switch things up for change. I’m sure others would love to chat with you too in the comment section below. Have you managed to get your period back by calming your mind? Of course there are many ways to mute the mind – meditation, exercise, being social, breathing… this is just another you can add to your briefcase full of tips to make your life a little sweeter and most of all easier! I know, I need constant reminding!
Oh and P.S. You might have heard, we got flooded! That has left me with limited copies left of Well & Good because the water found it’s way right into my storage! Rather than save them up, I want to make sure that what I have left, you can get your hands on. So if you’ve been thinking about getting your hands on a copy – it really is now or never! (well – not never, a while away – printing takes time!) Of course there is always the e-book version I guess!!