"Through illness or hardship or both we have the opportunity to
discover what we most NEED to SHINE BRIGHTLY in the world."
Last week I embarked on a Yoga Detox run by the Newport Yoga Centre. In all my years of doing Yoga – on and off for 20 years… nothing has ever supported me physically and emotionally as much as this Yoga practice does.
It appeals to 2 of my primary needs - constant self-improvement and independence. You see my Natal Moon in my Astrology Chart is in the sign of Aries so the character traits of Aries deeply influence my emotional and physical needs. The yoga pushes me to deepen my understanding of self and sets me up with specific exercises to heal my body at home on a daily basis.
The founder of this Yoga is Andzej Gospodarczyk . He trained and was mentored by 2 of the greatest Yoga thought leaders - Masahiro Oki in Japan (founder of Zen Yoga) and B.K.S Iyengar in India. Andrez’s philosophy centres around inspiring people to be well so that they can enjoy a rich and fulfilling life. In his mind it’s simple, when we’re unwell, it’s really difficult to do the fun things in life. And isn’t having fun the joy of being human?
Photo of Andzej by www.MrsVMedia.com
He started his practice in the city of Sydney as a Shiatsu practitioner whilst maintaining a personal yoga practice. The inner-city, work-hard, play-hard set would turn up for treatments, be healed, feel amazing and then return to their life of stress peppered with poor diets, alcohol, stimulants and drugs just to cope.
Andzej grew frustrated with people returning over and over again so he made it his mission to provide people with tools to help heal themselves between treatments. Hence he opened the Yoga School - RYOHO THERAPY where he opens the way to vitality through simple strategies of diet, movement and life-style adjustments. When all parts of the body are working properly and the body is free of toxins (acid) - it is strong, flexible and you feel as though you can take on anything!
Conversely when our bodies are stressed, out of balance, full of toxins and under-nourished from poor food choices, we move into over-thinking, over-reactivity and it’s literally impossible to bring the best versions of ourselves into the world each day.
An old haunt.... The Ivy Rooftop Bar. Source www.merivale.com.au
The old version of me is very familiar with the stressed and over-thinking way of being. I used to accept stress as a ‘normal’ side effect of working in the corporate world as I am keen to learn and achieve more and more. I also loved letting my hair down at the end of the week (and during when I had the energy) with friends at pubs, bars, clubs and pissy dinner parties. After all, that’s what most of my great friends and siblings were doing. As far as I was concerned that was normal and it was great fun!!!
Now I'm not saying I've turned into a Saint who doesn't enjoy partying anymore. I still do. But I've paired it back to once in a Blue Moon.
In a strange twist of fete - I have a long-term health issue to thank for bringing me to a more focussed, less analytical and joyful version of myself. This same issue also inadvertently led me towards my career as a Holistic Executive Coach.
MY HEALTH STORY
In my final year of high school my lower legs and ankles started to swell for seemingly no reason. I hadn’t had an accident or operation. After reaching a particularly acute state where my ankles swelled out past my shoes for a week running, I took a visit to a Physician who diagnosed me with Primary Lymphoedema. (They call it Primary because they don’t really understand why it happens). Most cases of Lymphoedema occur in the secondary form when lymph nodes have been removed or as a result of poor diet and obesity. The lymph nodes in my knees don’t pump well and the veins in my ankles and feet readily leak extra fluid into the tissue. At the end of the day I’m left with very swollen feet & ankles and an uncomfortable tightness in my legs. Light relief comes from wearing very tight support stockings and raising the legs as much as possible.
Now I appreciate that Lymphoedema is not life threatening (although you’re more prone to certain blood illnesses such as Cellulitis which I've had 3 times) but the swelling leaves a very tight and heavy feeling in the legs which can literally weigh you down. Not to mention it’s highly unattractive and no fun for a woman who loves wearing dresses, skirts and pretty shoes!
THE SEARCH FOR WELLNESS
Ever since it started happening in my late teens, I have been on a constant search for someone or some practice to help understand why I have it and help to heal me…. So I could feel great in my body... and in skirts!!!
Over the years I’ve visited Physicians, Lymphatic Drainage specialists, Lymphedema Clinics, Vascular Specialists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Chinese doctors, Acupuncturists, Kineseologists, Masseuses, Dieticians, Nutritionists, Fitness Trainers, Yoga & Pilates Studios, Numerologists, Reiki Healers, Homeopaths, Aromatherapists, Astrologers, Psychics, Clairvoyants and Physical & Spiritual Healers. Each one in their own way has helped me understand an aspect of my condition, why I have it and how to keep it “under control” but nothing has helped me sustain an ongoing healthy physical condition in the way that Ryoho Yoga coupled with a Macrobiotic diet has.
When we're sick or suffer from long-term health issues, of course we'll try anything. I do feel so blessed that the combination of Diagnostic Shiatsu, Therapy Ryoho Yoga and a Macrobiotic Diet are working for me better than anything else I've tried.
Andzej is extraordinary as he is able to diagnose which organs in my body are sub-optimal and causing other parts of the body to be in a state of dis-ease. He then provides me with therapy exercises to do every day at home that actually fix the functioning of my body. But the key is…. I have to be CONSISTENT. Otherwise, the swelling sneaks back and the stockings go back on!
CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY
After 21 years living with Lymphoedema, I appreciate that no one person or thing will ever magically cure me. I’ve accepted that. I also understand that I have to live my life in a way that nourishes my body and mind EVERYDAY. When I’m giving my body and mind what it needs (movement, great food, meditation, enriching work, family time and uplifting connections) the most brilliant version of myself is able to shine through!!
So now I have a different take on my Lymphodema. Now I am grateful for what it has taught me.
If I hadn't had a health issue I was doggedly determined to find answers on how to fix, I may never have gone down the path of exploring alternative medicine, meeting healers and trying all sorts of alternative ways to understand who I am and why I have this issue.
THE JOURNEY TO WELLNESS ALSO LED ME TO BECOMING A HOLISTIC EXECUTIVE COACH
I believe we all have an Authentic Purpose, a Life Path journey we're here to uphold.
The experiences I've had on my path to wellness have helped me realise that the Western Medicine and Modern Science I grew up with isn't always the best option for truly understanding our issues - physical and emotional. I now hold in very high regard, the world of Alternative Therapies and Esoteric Modalities which provide Wisdom used by cultures for thousands of years.
Once I was armed with this knowledge and realised the incredible difference it can make to your life, I was driven to create a coaching practice which incorporated a Holistic Approach. When we ignore the Spiritual aspect of our life, we cut ourselves off from a major vessel of knowledge which can help us connect with our Needs and truly Shine in our Careers and Lives!!!
To give you a sense of how Astrology can help you understand your Needs, look out for my upcoming Moon Signs Facebook Live Series starting this week.
Until then, have a Magical Week.