Three years ago, almost to the date, life as I knew it changed forever. Not only had our happy little family gone from 3 – 4 and I was in the early stages of wrangling a newborn, I received a phone call that shook my bones beyond that which I’d ever known. My son was diagnosed with a genetic condition, Cystic Fibrosis (CF). I haven’t really shared much here about my son Geordie and his journey with (CF). I have shared a little of my own personal challenges through my courses and speaking gigs and today I’m here, to share this story with you.
We never wanted Geordie to be “the kid with CF,” and we made a very conscious decision to not allow CF to penetrate our every thought. We wanted Geordie to simply be Geordie, a thriving little man who knew no hurdles too big to overcome. There was a time after his diagnosis I found myself in a dark hole, wishing for somebody to come along and pull me out. It was all consuming. I cried a lot. I was so afraid of the future. I didn’t want Geordie to suffer and I sure as heck didn’t want to lose him. At the same time I found myself cautious in allowing me to love him more, as if, that could too be over in an instant and I didn’t want to have my heart ripped out. Thankfully, all very temporary thoughts.
One morning (actually just 4 days after his diagnosis) I woke up and had a weird revelation, like a moment of ‘insanity’ or whatever it was. I remember whispeing to myself “you’ve got this Nat,” and each and every time that day, undeserving thoughts around Geordie and the uncertain future popped up like a spooky jack in the box, I repeated my mantra – “Nat, you’ve got this.” Something amazing began to happen. I believed. The more I told myself I was in control and I “had this,” the more evidence I found. At first it was hope that I discovered. Even letting that little glimmer manifest proved powerful. So I kept on. Soon enough, I began trusting my gut instinct toward decisions we were making around Geordie. I can not tell you how freeing it is when you begin to trust your inner voice. It was as if, at least for moments, I allowed the weight to be lifted from my heart. Eventually, I gained courage. I stopped battling in my mind between what I was being told to do that didn’t feel innately right and went with what I felt, with all my being was the best choice. And so I continued on, all the while Geordie began to thrive.
Over the course of the first year of Geordie’s life, I wavered between these feelings, some times uplifting and other times like I was dragging my heart on the ground behind me, as if a very heavy weight. But more and more, I saw evidence of how my mindset was influencing both his health and my families attitude toward Geordie. When Geordie got sick, whilst at first it was petrifying, I continued to focus on his ‘wellness’ rather than the illness. What continued to happen, now in hindsight wasn’t luck or chance – we were creating our own reality through our beliefs and thoughts. I saw evidence every single day that my mind was shaping our journey. I saw proof that we could manipulate the future. We began living a miracle.
Prior to this I didn’t know a whole lot about neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity in a nut shell is the science around how the brain changes it’s response to illness and function based on our environment, thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I was blown away! I didn’t need proof that my thoughts and feelings were influencing my life – I got that much. But it was such a beautiful life lesson for me to live, to be able to pass this information with evidence on to my patients and readers.
Throughout this experience (which I am ever so grateful for each and every day for so very many reasons) I realised that only I could take charge of my own life. It was up to me. To think that somebody was going to come along like a knight in shining armour and ‘save’ me from myself was not only ambitious but probably not actually going to help the situation, because I was truly the only person who could do that. If life needs to be changed, sitting around expecting a miracle without groundwork or effort isn’t likely – we ourselves need to make the necessary changes, because those changes start on the inside – within our own minds.
I now, almost by default apply this to every part of my life. I ask myself regularly “what am I choosing?” Am I choosing fear or am I choosing whatever the opposite may be to take me to where I really want to go. Of course I’m human, and sometimes I find myself choosing fear. It is in these moments that I need to pull myself out of the choice and simply choose again. But mostly, by following my intuition, and allowing it to guide me through my choices, no matter how tough, it’s never let me down. Never. What I find the most comforting now is that I’ve seen how my mindset propels us. Geordie is, a healthy 3 year old who is thriving. Genetically he can’t not ever have CF, it’s like being born with red hair or having an olive complexion. You can’t change it. What Geordie can do however is thrive under the circumstances. To me, this is the definition of healing and wellness. Thriving with what you’ve got, not what you don’t have. I’m regularly asked if PCOS or endometriosis can be healed. I ask, whats the definition of healing? To me, it’s thriving without evidence of illness. Doesn’t necessarily mean that the condition is gone, it means that it isn’t getting in the way or impacting your bodies ability to blossom, because it’s either well under control or your body is working within it’s ability at a top notch level. In some instances, especially lifestyle conditions (and things like PCOS, endometriosis, hormone imbalance and infertility) are most often related to lifestyle, these conditions I believe are treatable often to the point of full recovery. Other more permanent challenges, whilst they can’t ever be gone, they don’t have to always impose such an issue.
I want to wrap today up by asking – what are you choosing?
What choices are you making to propel yourself forward in wellness? And finally, are you trusting your instinct to guide you? These very questions will help bring your own wellness into reality. If my experience with Geordie so far has taught me anything, it’s that we are all stronger than we often first think, and that we can influence our thought patterns in all areas of our lives.