Autoimmunity

Ten years ago this month something like a virus was ailing me.  But it didn’t go away and new symptoms kept coming … one after another until I landed with a rheumatologist and a diagnoses of an inflammatory type of arthritis. For the next two years, it was a non-stop battle to try to figure out how to survive the onslaught of inflammation that was wreaking havoc on my body – so much so that at one point I had to scoot up and down the steps into my home like a little toddler not quite ready to tackle the staircase.

Eventually, I made all the decisions I could to try to get my health back on track.  I left my high-stress career and took an eight month break and just allowed myself to rest.  Looking at it now, that is almost the same amount of time it takes to incubate a new life. Gradually, I found one job or project or training at a time and worked my way back to my present, healthy, strong way of living.

I still have flares. Anyone with autoimmunity in their life knows about that. My mess of autoimmunity has several components, including food allergies.  It’s been a tricky road. One day I’m fine and then out of nowhere that familiar sting.  Today that is how it shows up for me…like a barely perceptible sting.  I describe it like this:  “My insides feel bigger than my outsides.”  That is as close and as subtle as it is for me.  When I am taking time to really rest daily, live in this new now moment, I’ll see this subtlety rising and be able to make better choices.  Catching this requires a lot of time for stillness which I schedule into my day.  I set timers, reminders, rituals, whatever it takes to make sure I prioritize rest throughout the day.  Sometimes this is a 5-second ‘stop, pause & rest’ every thirty minutes and at other times, it is more like three planned 10-minute breathing/meditation sessions throughout the day.  I joke and call my midday session my nap time but I promise you this is no joke. That is the most important resting I do.

Part of the my ritual of resting includes teaching others how to rest.  Really resting deeply. And I’m not talking about naps (although they are important).  Once we can rest, we may be able to find stillness where our own innate wisdom resides and tap into this powerful source to find that subtle hint cluing us in that something is awry; then we can regroup, make new choices, and hopefully feel better.  No promises…I’m just sharing my tools.  I invite you to come rest with me in my Yoga classes & workshops.  Here is a link to my upcoming workshop early June:  https://jennbrooksyoga.com/about/restorativeworkshop/.  Join me!

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