Eliza Hodge has written an excellent essay about overcoming serious problems and considering alternative ways to find happiness and security. Eliza suggests we look carefully at the implications of losing our self-awareness. She indicates that we can continue to work and enjoy life even though we have endured the cruellest events.
Last week, I reflected, twenty-one years ago I would have ridiculed the environment which has become my whole life. I began to think about my students, the meeting with Jill Frazer and the wonderful home I live in today. There are my supportive friends and interesting clients. Of course, there is my work which combines teaching and the incredible feeling of achievement when I watch my students prosper.
Training pupils at my holistic therapy school is my long-term future and security. There are few concerns within my life, although, as we age we all have daily twinges and small gripes, that’s fine it’s the reminder we are alive! One of my greatest lessons was an illness, allow me to take you back a few years.
I am working in a harsh corporate world, I have been in this ‘hamster on a wheel’ environment for nearly thirty years. The successful woman in a man’s world is no joke. This is the reality of the era; women had to work exceptionally hard to succeed. I’m not complaining the rewards are excellent, although the pressure is relentless. The external pressure is now taking its toll. And little by little the ability to deal with stress becomes more difficult. There is a grey cloud over my daily routine, and it is becoming evident my body is exhausted.
By the way: The key signs of overwork, depression, and stress is the ‘recovery rate.’ If you find yourself waking up each morning and feeling in need of more sleep; I would suggest you look at your workload and external environment. Do not neglect the warning signs, if your memory is not as sharp as normal and you are taking longer than normal to accomplish tasks. If your mind is wandering and you lack concentration. That is the time to address the issues which cause the discord. Many of us ignore the accumulative effects of small worries. Excessive fatigue has many symptoms and is easily remedied with meditation and an hour of ‘slow time’ each day. If you don’t think you have the time, read the rest of my story.
The story continues: – I opened my eyes and the morning light seems a little fuzzy. I think to myself that my sleep must have been deep and I have laid on my side for too long because one side of my body feels numb. Initially, my doctors believed I have a virus, although I suspect a minor stroke and my suspicions are soon proven to be correct. Worse of all, family and friends seem to ignore the certainty of my illness. I had always been the one who family and friends called on when they were experiencing problems. Now I needed some reassurance there was none to be enjoyed.
The worse moment was when my sister commented about my stroke ‘Don’t be silly, you’re too young.’ I was still expected to carry other people’s problems and burdens. I foolishly ignored my body and continued to fight on. Three years later, I was near the end of my plight; I was feeling suicidal. This could not go on – Finally, I found the courage to talk to a friend, a conversation which was to change my life.
I laughed when she suggested I visit a spiritual healer, for three years I had undergone all available treatment (remember I am going back many years and acknowledge the major progress in modern medicine) what hope could a ‘healer’ offer me? Later I decided there was nothing to lose, and I felt an intuitive feeling that visiting the healer was a good choice to make.
Linda Wainwright looked just like any ‘normal’ human being. I did not know what to expect. I certainly did not expect the balanced and clear-minded person who, after one treatment, lightened my existence. It was inevitable, after such a profound experience I would investigate complementary therapies. Reiki being my first encounter with the power of universal vibrational healing energy. Much more would follow!
The paralysis made me anxious that I would never recover, this anxiety turned to depression. One morning I realised my corporate career was over. Thirty years of continuous effort and determination to succeed was now over. Possibly one of my darkest days. Once we accept, and I mean accept our situation, no matter how difficult, life will turn around. My focus was now on my health and the future. As the months turned into years, my health and body began to repair. The more I became committed to my therapies and learning about the different aspects of healing, the healthier I became.
I am not saying the journey was easy. We all have unexpected hurdles to overcome. I am writing that life is sometimes uncertain, and accepting the situation is one of the ways to move forward. Today the way I view life has turned around. Anyone who feels trapped on a treadmill does have alternatives. When I train people in alternative therapies, there is an understanding that the students are becoming more aware of their whole life. The healer learns to heal their own life; this is an amazing experience.
While training to be a teacher, there was a moment when I realised my whole existence was being given a new beginning. Teachers give their fellow humans opportunities to better their own lives. And when the pupil becomes the master the cycle continues. My passion is to help people who are in the same situation I found myself in twenty years ago. I was at a crossroads, depressed, overworked and becoming ill. I was no longer aware of my inner-being and could no longer hear my inner voice. This is why during a lesson or course or even within a conversation with someone who feels lost, I talk about my journey and the opportunities which are waiting in the future. It is all about learning how to discover our true self, the spiritual journey helps us to accomplish this.
Once we work to strengthen our inner being and we learn how to build confidence, willpower, and self-awareness we can enjoy life in our way. When I am teaching students, there is a constant reference to self-awareness. And as we become more aware of the world around us. We realise what and where we want to be. It is not long before we put our learned skills to good use. My world is enhanced by great friends and the successes of my students, what better way to live?
To think twenty years ago I would have laughed at myself in my present happiness. Within the ignorance were poor physical health and the darkness of depression. Which way of life is better? Only you can answer this question.
Eliza runs a successful holistic training school, her website can be found at this LINK
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