In all my studies in the last few months on wellness, the Law of Attraction, the power of positive thinking, and the energy of the human mind, spirit and body, one concept in particular has been undeniably life-changing. And that is this...
"Both the good in our lives and the 'dis-ease' are the results of mental thought patterns that form our experiences."
(Louise L. Hay in Heal Your Body A-Z)
This one was a full-fledged Oprah "a-ha moment" for me. And yes, you're reading it correctly. It basically says that for the most part (I believe Ms. Hay says 95% of the time in her book You Can Heal Your Life), we are responsible for the physical ailments we experience in life. And that the negative thought patterns that produce the most disease in the human body are CRITICISM, ANGER, RESENTMENT and GUILT (and probably a high dose of processed food...but I won't go there today).
So as someone who has been battling endometriosis for the last few years, I was of course intrigued to see what Ms. Hay and others from the same school of thought had to say about that condition. Endometriosis is a very misunderstood "disease" because 1) no clear "medical" cause has been identified and 2) it can only 100% be diagnosed through laprascopic surgery.
This, to me, screams of emotional causes. So it was no surprise when I read this...
"The uterus is related energetically to a woman’s innermost sense of self and her inner world. It is symbolic of her dreams and the selves to which she would like to give birth. Its state of health reflects her inner emotional reality and her belief in herself at the deepest level. The health of the uterus is at risk if a woman doesn’t believe in herself or is excessively self-critical.
When a woman feels that her innermost emotional needs are in direct conﬂict with what the world is demanding of her, endometriosis is one of the ways in which her body tries to draw her attention to the problem.
It is our bodies trying not to let us forget our feminine nature, our need for self nurturance, and our connection with other women."
Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD in
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
Talk about my innermost needs being in conflict with what I really wanted! When I developed endometriosis, I was absolutely denying myself what I really wanted out of life...which was balance, flow, peace, and ease. Instead I thought I needed to be doing the things
thought I SHOULD be doing...mostly suffering in the name of a career I didn't even want. Yuck.
So! Where is the positive in all this you ask?
It's the realization that I have the control to change this! Woo hoo! Yee haw! It's MY thoughts that determine MY health.
So the Universe very appropriately put the book
Anatomy of the Spirit
in my life, and I am abundantly grateful. I think I sobbed through the entire chapter about the second chakra. As I read story after story about others whose second chakra issues had manifested pain in their lives as well, I thought about this brave girl and all she's gone through in the last year in the name of her ailing uterus.
But more importantly even amidst the tears and the reflection, I learned. I absorbed. I began to understand that if I truly believe that the Universe is perfect, then I can be thankful for this endometriosis. I can be thankful for this incredible gift the Universe gave me to let me know that I could stand to make a change or two in my life.
And with this new perspective, that's exactly the path I'm on....making changes in my thoughts and habits that BUILD my health instead of DETERIORATE it. I'm nurturing the seat of my creativity. I'm affirming my power as a creator. And I'm encouraging myself through this journey of reassessing my relationship with the concepts of career, money, the world.
And most of all, I'm allowing myself to be OPEN.
So when I read in Anatomy of the Spirit about a woman with ovarian cysts who used gardening to symbolically heal herself, that's exactly what I was...OPEN. In the book, Caroline Myss instructed the woman in one of their sessions to come up with one small task that she could use to represent her intention to rebuild her life.
She chose planting flowers and with each flower she planted, she said "I am planting a new beginning for myself and my children." And as she weeded her garden, she said "I am pulling the cyst out of my body." (Her cyst dissolved by the way!)
This exercise really resonated with me, especially because growing something is so intimately tied with the female reproductive system in my mind, and so I shared the story and the idea with Brian. He was super supportive, and we talked at length about all the different things I could plant...but I never really acted on it beyond that conversation. That is, until we were at the Farmer's Market about a week and a half ago.
There was a woman there promoting her "edible landscaping" services (www.subsisttoresist.com) and she was showing people how easy it is to plant sustainable food-based gardens by providing chard seeds and potting soil for market-goers to plant. With a loving touch, Brian nudged me toward the booth and asked if maybe this was the right time to finally begin my exercise in symbolic healing.
The woman was of course so lovely, so patient, and so kind. And as she walked me through each step, I literally felt like a child...in that tender, innocent, joyful way. Suddenly all the hard edges of the career-woman-of-Kayla's-past melted away, and I was this excited, squishy ball of love and hope. As I gingerly covered each seed with soil, I said loving affirmations to myself.
I am healthy.
I am creative.
I spread love.
My second chakra is alive, well, and flowing.
I must have said a hundred different little things to myself in that moment, and I was overcome with a flood of positive emotions. Brian and my friend Tina chuckled at me as I carefully guarded my sweet little baby chard for the rest of the time we were at the market and all the way home.
Each day since then, I have greeted my baby chard each morning with a smile and an encouraging word. I have watered it, cheered it on, and provided it lots of warm, healing sunshine.
There has admittedly been a part of me that has doubted. Can I really grow something? Can I foster life? The hard-edged survivor of Kayla's past reared her dissenting head from time-to-time to mock my exercise. But I kindly asked her to shut up, sit back, and watch the effortless wonder of God's green earth.
And guess what?
It sprouted! After about a week or so of love and attention, I awoke one gorgeous morning, pulled back the curtains and literally cried tears of joy. I leaped around condo-mini, called Brian at work to report the news and laughed at myself the whole time. My sweet little baby chard was growing!
I don't know if I can adequately express the amount of SELF-love I felt in that moment and the deep gratitude I felt for this precious little plant. All these years of underestimating myself...beating myself down...criticizing myself...forcing myself into jobs and roles in life that were at complete odds with my emotional needs. It was all perfectly, poignantly, poetically erased when that baby chard showed its springy little stalks.
I can't be sure how long it will take for the endometriosis to completely clear. I know the tally sheet is a lot fuller on the number of years of negative self-talk than positive.
But I do know that I'm making progress. I know that I have fully shifted the responsibility on myself for creating the kind of positive life I want and deserve. And that I no longer feel this 'poor me' victim mentality about my condition.
I love that I've endured endometriosis. I love how close it's brought me with others going through similar situations. I love that it has empowered me to see the impact of my thoughts on my health. And I love that it's allowed me to finally embrace and celebrate my softer side.
I can't wait to grow this cute baby chard into a full-grown, life-giving plant. And I can't wait to nourish my healthy body with its colorful leaves!