How this years challenges helped me grow as I enter into my 40s!!

When I start writing anything I don’t actually know if it’s going to end up anywhere.  I write letters that I don’t send all the time.  I blab in my journals and here in my notes, but I just love when I feel like writing and sharing.

I’ve been wanting to reflect on this past year of mine.  This year was a special and challenging one that I’m really glad happened as I’ve learned a lot from.  Where could I start?  I guess I’ll start where I am right now.  I’m sitting in my new house that I love so much.  I’m warm as I sit next to the fireplace that I’ve always wanted.  This house we moved to a month ago is a dream to me.  It is just a couple blocks from my son’s school, and we are surrounded by beautiful trees, really nice people, and a very cute village up the street for me to visit the shops and library as I please.  I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with shops and restaurants and people I can relate to. And now with my son being 6 years old, we live in a safe neighborhood with so many kids around for him to play with.   I can’t say enough about how happy I am here in my new home.  Part of me still can’t believe I pulled this whole thing off.  I almost feel like a real adult.

My 40th birthday is next week.  I’m so proud to be 40; most of all I’m so happy for my health, and I’m happy that I feel so good.  This year I went through a time where my body was out of balance and I suffered with 3 health issues on top of each other.  On the surface they all seem unrelated but I know in my heart that my body was telling me something very important.

In the early spring I started noticing that my joints were achy, slowly it got worse.  Without going into the details, it was worrying me and becoming very uncomfortable.  Somewhere around the same time I developed a sinus infection that would not go away.  It was really unpleasant, and I just couldn’t shake it. After a month of doctors appointments, two rounds of antibiotics, and lots of money spent at the dentist, it turned out that a root of one of molars was infected which resulted in a dental surgery.   On top of that, I am in the process of getting some dental work done that is so important to me and so ridiculously expensive that this last tooth thing put me in a very sad place.  At the same time this was happening, I found out that I had to have surgery on my Thyroid to remove a nodule that turned out to be cancerous.  The good news is that once they took it out, they found that it was incapsulated and did not spread.  Phew!  But really, what the F%#& was going on in my body!?

Once the tooth was taken care of, my sinus infection cleared up, and as I recovered from my thyroid surgery, I was determined to get to the bottom of what was happening with my joints.  Why did I hurt all over!?  I started at my doctor’s office where he ordered some blood work that showed that my rheumatoid factor was elevated.  Rather than going to a specialist that I knew would want to put me on medication, I decided to do some research and got a book called Healing Arthritis by Susan Blum.  I read it 3 times and followed her instructions to a T and I am sooooo happy to report that I am feeling so much better now.

Almost all of my joint pain is gone.  But more, I realize now more than ever, how interconnected our emotions are with our physical health.  How our nervous system effects our immune system.  Also, how important what we put into our mouths is to our bodies.   And I thought already knew this!! I was pretty healthy to begin with,  I’ve read tons of books on the mind body connection.  I’ve read all of John Sarno’s books, and Candace B Pert’s book the ‘Molecules of Emotion.’   I’ve read so many nutrition books, but still, I got so far out of balance that my health was suffering.  Our bodies are strong yet delicate.  Life is stressful and we have to figure out the healthiest way to live if we want to thrive, and in order to do that, we must slow down to be able to listen and feel what our bodies are telling us.

Even more than these obvious realizations on stress and nutrition, on a more profound level, I can clearly see now how the protective functions of the universe work.  Why it took these events for me to grow out of my old ways and into a better way of life.  I have been studying Buddhism for some time now and this comes up often.  This idea that when you are in rhythm with the universe, you are protected, even from yourself and your negative tendencies.  That hardships, obstacles, and illnesses are the path to enlightenment and growth.

I have always told myself that if I’m following my heart, I’m going in the right direction.  So I do just that, I listen to what my body is telling me.  I let it tell me who I like, and I go toward the people and things that turn me on.  Now I see that sometimes there are warning signs that say to stop, and those are the protective functions.  For me, this pain was a major stop sign.  So I stopped a lot of things, the big ones were drinking alcohol and eating inflammatory foods. I learned how to heal my digestive system after antibiotics, and how important digestion is to the health of your joints.  I learned so much and I’m still learning and applying what I learn to my daily life and WOW, what a difference in how I feel 6 months later.   Honestly, I’ve always wanted to stop drinking alcohol but I didn’t have the guts.  I thought I was a fun party girl, and that I needed it to have a good time and relax.  Being free from it is liberating and I’m feeling more and more like myself than ever.  My mind is clear and I can literally feel how happy my body is to be clean.

I decided to go back to school and started a year long on-line program with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I’m 9 weeks into it now and I am so happy with how it’s going.  I love this holistic approach to health.  The philosophy of IIN really matches my own.  In this program we learn so much more than nutrition,  we get into all the factors of human life that effect your overall health.  All of this information I’m packing into my life right now is incredibly mind opening and exciting.  I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to use this education but I know I will.  I know that it is my mission to help people get healthier, feel happier and empowered to take control of their health.

Lifestyle, relationships, spirituality, nutrition, and Mother Nature are the best medicine.  What I’ve learned most this year is that I can trust myself to heal and grow into my potential, which is limitless.  I don’t know yet how to relate that message to others but I will try.

A wise man once told me that how you enter a decade begins the trajectory for how decade will go for you.  I took that very seriously.  So I leave in tomorrow for my favorite place on the planet, St. John USVI.  I’ll be there for a week ringing in this next decade exactly how I want it to go: surrounded by my loved ones, the warm sea water, sunsets, sunrises, fresh food, white sand, my books, and my faith that I’m on the right path.

I think it’s only normal to feel nostalgic as I approach a new decade and leave my 30’s behind.  I look back at the last decade with such warm feelings.  The last decade of mine was spent with my husband, Mark.  We had so many wonderful times and overcame all obstacles to get where we are today.  I have 10 solid years of Buddhist practice under my belt, so much study, so many new friends, and a prayer I can use every day.   I became a mother to my beautiful son, Gianluca.  That in itself, becoming a mother, could be enough to carry me through a lifetime of happiness.  I pursued my education and opened my business, and I did it all my way, and that is so satisfying.  I also know that I screwed up a lot too.  I am flawed like everyone else and I am so grateful that my friends and family love me anyway.  My support team, my Husband, my Son, my Mom and Dad, my Sister and Brother, all my loving in-laws, my amazing friends and clients who are my friends too, and of course my Buddhist family… all hold me up and help me dig into myself to make the best of this life.

This next decade of my 40s is very exciting to me.  Being healthy and happy, full of love and determination to keep working towards my dreams.  With the experience and wisdom of the last 4 decades behind me.  I feel humbled and unstoppable.   Happy Birthday to me!

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