The last few months I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my life... maybe it's all part of the midlife crisis phenomenon? I'm 41 and in the midst of a deep realization that my life is half way over! We won't focus on that... haha.
Part of my process and growth has been discovering how I fell victim to the lies our culture doles out to us and the constant message that we all need to consume, consume, consume to be better, bigger, richer, have more status, and be enough. I lived for so long believing that it actually matters what people think of me and living lies is better than living our fullest and most authentic selves.
Now maybe this is part of the midlife crisis? Self-realization? BUT why don't we just teach out kids to not even live in the matrix and become who they are meant to be NOW!?
I truly believe there is so much unnecessary suffering and pain because of the false beliefs that we own and create our lives around.
So, here are the 5 things that I want to share from my experience as deep rooted beliefs that led me to being sick, tired, and depressed. I had to break out of the matrix to finally realize that there is SO much more to life than consumption and what people think about me.
So here we go...
I spent YEARS feeling like shit. 10 years ago I was in the worst physical health in my whole life. I was just prescribed anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants, birth-control, and antibiotics. I was suffering and I didn't even know that it wasn't normal. I was 20-25 pounds overweight, had horrible skin, chronic back pain, sinus infections, migraines, UTI's, tons of digestive issues (diarrhea, bloating, gassy-ness, and abdominal pain) and awful cycles. My PMS was out of control and my cycle was sporadic and painful.
I literally thought, well this is what it's like getting old, I was 31. Prescription drugs had always been something for "old people" and I felt completely lost. I literally thought I was healthy, and having symptoms was just a part of aging. I see now that is one of the lamest beliefs I have held onto. The present-me understands that it can take decades to get where we are physically and it takes time to undo what has been done... but I was still in this "quick-fix" mentality, which I talk about more below.
When I walked out of my doctor's office with a pad of prescriptions I just knew, in my gut, there had to be a better way. I didn't go and fill them... instead I decided I was going to dig deeper and uncover the truth behind my physical pain and mental suffering. Then I discovered....
Now this seems SO fucking obvious, but at the time I was clueless. It was a rude awakening when I discovered that the food I was eating and the products I was slathering all over my body were the main contributor to my poor health.
It was a small but very significant moment that changed my life. I was watching my 6 month old son gnaw on a yellow plastic teething ring. I noticed it was chipping off as he was continuously chewing on it. In a split second a voice came into my head and said, "Is that safe?" The part of me that didn't want to discover an answer to that question that would bring on a slew of mom guilt replied... "of course it is, all baby products are safe or it would be allowed!". My gut was louder and into the google dark rabbit hole I went.
I was floored. I mean, where was the "big man" watching out for all of us consumers. If it was on the store-shelf, it must have passed stringent testing for human safety, right? SO WRONG.
Absolutely not. There is VERY little regulation, and the majority of regulation is imposed by the very companies that are selling us the products.
The FDA, Big Pharma, and Big Food is a revolving door that breeds a corruptible system that is all about profit over the health of the people.
Just to give you an idea of the influence Pharma has, it spent $6 billion on lobbying politicians in the last 20 years! These conglomerates do not profit from me (or any of you) being healthy. It makes them money. Big food makes us sick, Big Pharma sells us drugs, and FDA is just the paid puppet allowing it all to happen. Did you know that approximately 106,000 people die from adverse side effect of prescription medications every year? It's insane!
We cannot entrusted food companies and our government with our health. They are there to make money, it's a business. this leads us to the next advice I wish I could have given younger self...
After my rude-awakening, I would spend HOURS and DAYS researching and going down the rabbit-hole. I was so blown away that I could be so ignorant of the truth and accepting of my ill-health, that I was constantly complaining to my husband. One day, I turned to him, holding our son, and said, "I just don't get it, babe... why isn't there anyone looking out for us?" His reply will be seared in my mind forever. He said, "Why is it someone else's responsibility to take care of us? Isn't that our job?" He really is so wise.
A light bulb went off. EXACTLY! I was placing my and my family's health in someone else's hands... I didn't know these people, agencies, or anything about them. I was blindly believing that it was someone else's job. I decided right then I wasn't going to be a victim anymore. I was going to own and advocate for my and my family's health. It would be ME in charge of our health.
I want to share that I get it if if you are obese, sick, dis-eased, and/or ill it just may not be your fault. You may even be blaming your genes. Genes get a bad rap. In my years of research I discovered that definitive research shows that human genes are only responsible for 5-10% of your chance of developing a disease!
In truth, environmental factors (epigenetics) play a much larger part! These includes food, stress, where you live, how you were born, exposure to industrial chemicals, community (or lack thereof), and many more. IT's the choices you make the the lifestyle you choose that leads us down the path of illness and pain.
Many of us were told lies and indoctrinated into a false believe system that perpetuates the lie that that the food we eat and the products we use are safe. It's part of the mass awakening and it's been my mission in life to live this truth and to help others wake up from the matrix as well! But this leads us to the next piece of advice I'd offer my younger self...
Life can be extremely fast paced. Many of us are juggling so much in life, family, work, school, relationships, etc. Our compulsion to do things faster and opting for the easy route or short-cuts is actually creating more stress and ill health. Also, the increased use of technology that is constantly vying for our attention.
"When we refer to a quick fix, the implication is that it refers to a solution that’s not chosen due to it being the best or most effective option, but, rather, because it offers the quickest — and possibly only a temporary — remedy." (Source)
Adopting this mentality can quickly lead us to substance abuse, pharmaceutical prescriptions, and living an unhealthy lifestyle that creates more anxiety, depression, and suffering.
The truth is, if you want to change something, you must do the work. To change habits and thought-patterns takes willpower and the drive to truly create the human you know you can be, through small and consistent daily choices. It's a process.
I had to discover what was my bio-individual ideal lifestyle. I tried all the diets, keto, Atkins, paleo, veganism, vegetarianism, starving myself, etc. No diet is ever sustainable!
What I've learned is that it's consistent daily habits that create real change. Like drinking enough water, eating real whole food, moving your body, managing your stress... all of these are fundamental in creating a healthy future you! There NO magic pill. Sorry but that's the truth when you live outside the matrix. The last piece of advice I'd give (at least for this blog post)...
I blame societal and cultural indoctrination, constantly being marketed to and told by the outside world how imperfect and not enough I was for the constant void I felt for the majority of my life.
I always searched for something to fill it.
I believed that male attention, good grades, parental approval, a new hand bag, shoes, boyfriends, a job, a big home, getting married, having kids, countless amazon packages, excessive alcohol, pain pills, obsessive exercise, a nose job, a boob job, escaping on vacations, fancy cars would be the answer I was searching for. They would fill it. but whatever it was, maybe for a moment (maybe 2) I was happy and the void was filled.. but not for long.
Soon that longing and dark hole would appear again and again. I'd be led to find the next thing to fill it. It's a constant pull inside. Almost like a deep longing to be complete, but nothing could ever fill it.
It only deepened when I had kids too. I mean, they are one of the biggest distractions in the world. All of my attention, thoughts, and energy circulated around these two beings that were created in my womb. I truly thought that they would complete me. They only made the longing deeper. They exposed it even more. They couldn't fill it... and to be honest, I went through a period where I resented them for it. I feel ashamed to share that but now I can see is the greatest gift they gave me.
You see, no thing and no person can ever fill the void that we feel. I believe that hole is there to keep telling us that nothing outside of us can fill it. It reminds us that we are not of this place, we are just visitors here meant for deep self-discovery and growth. Now I could get all woo woo here, but my point is only we can fill it.
Now if you are religious you may say well God, or insert the name you call your higher power here _____, he/they fill(s) it and I agree. Connecting to that higher power mandates stillness, prayer, faith, and a deep knowing that you are supported. However, we are the only ones who can make the choice to connect to that, whatever that means to you. YOU have to discover your source and connect to that.
Beginning a consistent meditation practice was the turning point in my life. I had made excuses not to meditate for years. When I have the perfect space, quiet, less going on, when my kids are older, etc. For years I made excuses. Then finally I was SO miserable and in so much suffering, I had no other choice.
I remember the first time I quieted my mind. It took weeks of consistent practice to get just a few seconds of no thoughts racing through my mind. It was just me and my breath. Then a thought arose, I can't remember what it was, but I blatantly remember what it felt like. It was a fearful thought. I felt my heartrate rise quickly, my stomach was in knots, and I literally felt sick. I was AWE STRUCK! I couldn't believe it. It was that moment that I finally understood how much thoughts affected my body.
This understanding of how thought is the first point of creation in our lives, I decided I didn't want to continue creating fear, pain, and suffering.
From that day on, I committed to my practice and chose that I would unravel all the habitual thinking that I had been taught and picked up along the way. I would decide what served me and what didn't. I would rewire the way I thought.
Here's the thing, I still feel the void, but now I get to be witness to it. I understand that it simply a messenger letting me know that my thinking or longing needs present awareness. When I can give it space and shine light on to it, I see that it's coming from yet another belief that I have yet to unravel... or an old one that snuck back in. It's a constant practice.
There's nowhere to go, only here right now.
Now is the only time change can happen. I work with a lot of clients and I see struggles, pain, and suffering, but beyond that I also see strength and power. I see that when people take control of their health and decide that today will be different, magic happens.
These past 10 years have been insane. I'm not who I was back then. I am a completely different person. One of the most powerful things I believe we can do, is change the way we take care of ourselves. Truly prioritizing our health allows us to show up in the world for people we love as the optimal version of ourselves.
It took me 10 years to figure it out. It doesn't have to take you that long.
One of the reasons I created my 14-Day Gut Reset program is because it incorporates ALL of this. Eating to nourish, managing our stress, moving our bodies, and changing the way we've always done things.
I put my heart into this program. Changing the way we eat changes us chemically and biologically. When we reduce stress on the body, we reduce stress in our lives. Having a healthy microbiome/gut is key to living a life full of vitality and sanity.
If you're curious, you can watch my video and learn more here.
If you're still reading, thank you. I'm not sure how many people actually read this, but at least it's a space for me to express and share.
In love, wellness, and gratitude,
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
Clean Living Educator & Advocate
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