You drag your feet to the end of each day. You catch every virus going. You can no longer eat (or drink) like you did when you were 25.Your nagging little digestive pain isn’t quite so quiet. You go from caring too much about things to not caring less.
What’s going on with you lately? Are you falling apart or just getting old? Or is it that life has taken a left turn and you’re not quite able to keep up?
Who was it who first said that change is the only constant?
Some changes are well thought-out choices, some are inevitable, and some pull the rug right out from under you. This is true for all of us.
Becoming a mother, losing a mother, losing a job or starting a new one, divorcing your husband, the kids moving out, a diagnosis (yours or another’s),… Life is full of transitions, with an ever-evolving need to recalibrate.
I’ve seen how outer transitions clearly show up directly in the body – in clients whose discomfort with a certain situation manifests as physical discomfort, disease and pain. Occasionally these women are conscious of that connection, quite often they’re not.
These cases walk into my office as
- The 46-yr-old who understands, if reluctantly, that she needs to adapt her eating and lifestyle to reflect the creeping signs of age and perimenopause
- The teacher whose irritable bowel finally drives her to get help – a cry of distress from deep inside that she can no longer digest the status quo with her husband
- The writer who weeps in frustration before the basic task of preparing supper because of eating restrictions from the doctor, the same one who’s too unsettled from moving for the umpteenth time to grasp any sense of normal anywhere
- The mother who wants to take charge of her body since several flus hit hard after her own mother dies; flip side to the one whose fibroids spawn complications as her kids move out
- The professional who woke with labyrinthitis (dizziness from an inflammation of the inner ear) the week she retired.
In my 30s, my own expanding waistline signalled a need for me to grow in a different way.
Think about it. When you’ve felt your worst in body, had something major just shifted (or wanted to shift) in your life?
Could it be that these symptoms you’re experiencing during life’s transitions are a message from your body that something needs to change in YOU as well?
Health, by definition, is a balance whereby you have what it takes to cope with, and recuperate easily from, whatever ails you. When your life changes, it necessarily sets you off balance. In the best case scenario, you’re in a place in your body, mind and soul where you can regain your equilibrium without much ado.
However, when the transitions coincide with your usual aches & pains getting the better of you, or new ones showing up, when your anxiety’s up or your energy levels are down, it’s a sign that you were thrown more off-balance than you’d realized.
Your symptoms are a sign that you need to care for yourself more thoroughly, more consciously and more deeply than you have been.
I know what you’re thinking. When things are in flux – even when it’s your choice and all for the best – you’ve got to make sure everyone around you is looked after, not to mention the details and to-dos. How can you possibly think about yourself at a time like this?
If there’s one thing I hope you’ve learned by now as a wife and mother and multi-tasker extraordinaire, is that you can only be so, effectively, from a full cup.
Perhaps the discomfort you feel at these points is actually your body reminding you that NOW is the time to look after you. Dare I say, it’s the perfect opportunity to dig deeply into what YOU need to survive the upheaval and land on the solid ground of who you are.
I’ve spent the last year riding a physical, mental, emotional roller coaster through a move from my lifelong home in Montreal to Ottawa. Under two hundred kilometres’ distance, but light years in how far I’ve come in myself. Perhaps it’s this experience that has pushed me to own up to a strong compulsion to help women struggling with the pain of change to reach a new normal.
More than finding a healthy balance, I want these women to thrive, even blossom into their full, beautiful potential.
As a result, my work is undergoing a slight transition of its own. My client work still revolves around encouraging you to listen to your body for making your best healthy choices. My writing will continue to offer tips, stories and inspiration for finding whole health from the inside out. I will still encourage conversations in the Whole Health Dinner Party group around the same.
The upgrade will be that my focus is now on supporting women who feel the shifts and changes of life take a toll on their body, guiding them to care for themselves in ways that allow them to land safely, feeling healthy, on the other side.
If this is you, tell us how change affects you, and where you need the most support when life changes directions. When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.
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If you have a friend who could use an extra hand to hold while she crosses the ravine of another transition, please get her in on the conversation by using any (or all!) of the buttons below.