"When you are here on a mission and you hear the call from spirit to change things, it is easy to fall into endurance mode. I have done it time and time and time again. Put being of service ahead of my own body's needs. This must stop. If we are to do the work of change, we must be sustainable....We must stop pushing and pressuring ourselves. We are here to do a life's work, not a season.......trust the natural flow of your inner seasons and don't push yourself to bloom all year round."
~ Rebecca Campbell, Rise Sister Rise.
"My story begins with a genetic predisposition to weak adrenals, a lifelong compulsion to over-achieve, and both interest and talent in MANY areas. Add to that an extremely strong will, MANY years of working on my feet in physically demanding jobs, some pretty dysfunctional relationships, and being a full time, single "super" mom, and you begin to get the picture..."
The above quote is the opening paragraph from the "About Me" page of my website.
It seems like no matter how many years have gone by since my adrenals first crashed, and how many times I've tried to cut back on activities, my life just fills up again. As I've been looking at my current situation, I am clear that I have a strong body, eat a very healthy diet, and take good care of myself overall. But for a long time now, it has felt as if I'm always mentally spinning 8 plates at a time - causing me to feel really stressed - and that's what gets me into trouble with my adrenals.
Zen Buddhists refer to the constant chatter of the mind as "monkey mind". The Buddha held that the human mind is filled with drunken monkeys flinging themselves from tree branches, jumping around, and chattering non-stop. He meant that our minds are in constant motion. This is a perfect description of what I had been experiencing!
I recently read that Adrenal Fatigue develops because of a combination of a genetic vulnerability and enough chronic stress to overwhelm those genetics, that people who have Adrenal Fatigue are typically overachievers who have pushed themselves beyond their capacity to adapt to the stressors of life, and that it is their tendency to force themselves to return to a "normal" lifestyle that causes a relapse in their condition. So, recognizing the signs and symptoms of an impending crash, I decided to stop, look, and listen BEFORE it happens. Therefore, I am taking some time AGAIN to relax, renew, and re-evaluate my life.
After the Spring Nutritional E-Cleanse Program ended, I left "everything" behind and went to Fort Bragg and stayed at my favorite place, The Beachcomber Motel and Spa, for a few days. I visited the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, went for early morning walks on the bluffs, and hiked all over Noyo Headlands Park and to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse...but mostly I sat on the beach.
I didn't read a book or fall asleep, and there were very few people to "watch". I just sat there enjoying the warmth of the sun and watching and listening to the waves...for hours! Over and over I was aware of how my mind kept scanning for things I needed to do - as if in "default" mode. Then, upon finding nothing - which often took awhile, it would start to let go... only to do it all over again. As in meditation, I just observed it, breathed deeply, and blessed it all - a real experience of literally winding down.
Well, my trip to Fort Bragg was over WAY too soon, and returning home, my mind returned to it's full on default mode once again. Only my to-do list is MUCH smaller these days. I am enjoying my daily yoga stretching, meditation, and early morning walks. (I'm up to 3 miles - my goal is 5 - as I get ready for my High Sierra trip in August). After seeing clients 4 days a week and spending time with my 95 year old mom, I've been sleeping a lot, binge watching Netflix, reading romance novels, "puttering" around the house and yard a bit, and spending time with friends and family.
Slowly but surely, my mind, body, and spirit are beginning to relax. For now, I'm choosing to trust this process of unfolding and not get attached to how or what will be in the future.
More to be revealed next month, so stay tuned...
Please note: I'm still seeing private massage and nutrition clients as well as am available to support anyone choosing to do the Spring Nutritional E-Cleanse Program independently, but will be taking a break from researching and writing blogs, posting on social media, the healthy eating support group, and facilitating the group Nutritional E-Cleanse Program.
Happy, Healthy Living!
JoAnn Newton is a Master Massage Therapist, Certified Diet Counselor & Holistic Nutrition Educator, and Spiritual Counselor who is committed to creating, living, and enjoying health, balance, and freedom on all levels, both personally and professionally, while providing educational and healing services.