This weekend I’m enjoying two days of rest and relaxation at the Omega Institute. The timing of this two-day getaway is perfect. It occurs at the end of a one-week social media campaign that I allowed to run me into the ground. So with a cough and a runny nose, I surrender to what the weekend restores, balance.
This is not some revelation…knowing that I do better with balance in my life. I just sometimes forget what I’ve learned.
Dealing with Lyme disease for a number of years provided many opportunities for introspection. There were many lessons I learned, many beliefs I let go of, and new ways of being I took on as a result, one of them was living with more balance.
During my illness I lay on the couch, contemplating and looking at my life and how I’d lived it. It was no wonder my immune system was shot. Not only had I not nourished myself with consistency, but also I rushed around without stopping to take a breath, frequently barreling through day after day with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep. It was fun, it was stressful, and it was out of balance.
Learning about balance experientially happened in the darkest of times. I had been feeling sick for a long time, and the Lyme rollercoaster was getting the best of me again, physically and emotionally. I found myself in a depression that was deepening every day, leaving me courting fantasies of suicide. In the self-imposed isolation of depression, it took a full month to force myself to reach out to my naturopath for help. He tested me and prescribed a protocol of amino acids to restore what was out of balance physiologically, and he also requested I take some time to look inside at the emotional and spiritual aspect of the depression.
As part of the amino acid protocol, I was spraying 5HTP (tryptophan) under my tongue as directed: two sprays twice a day. It took less than 36 hours to experience the benefit of the 5HTP, and I came out of my suicidal depression. It was such an amazing relief! I nicknamed my 5HTP “Happy Juice”, and trotted gratefully downstairs to put in on the kitchen counter. It had graduated from next to my bed to its new place of honor. And then several times a day, in between the morning and evening sprays, I’d just spray a little more Happy Juice…more must be better, right?
Several days later I noticed an old symptom returning…severe brain fog. I reached out to my naturopath again, happy to report that the depression was resolving beautifully, but that I was now dealing with severe brain fog again. He quietly contemplated things and then asked what dose he’d prescribed of the 5HTP. I said “Two sprays twice daily”, leaving out the part that I was taking several more doses a day than prescribed. So he explained about balance, changing balances, and how clearly it was time to adjust with my newly calibrated body, and recommended cutting the dose in half and seeing what happened. I reduced the doses down to one a day, feeling foolish and guilty, and low and behold, the brain fog resolved within a couple of days.
The protocols I followed through the years of dealing with chronic Lyme disease also had to be balanced and rebalanced, depending on where my body was.
And so it is in all areas of life. Just because something feels good or produces a result I like, it does not mean that letting go of all other things and just focusing on that one thing will continue to produce a desired result. We are complicated in our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies, but if we are aware and pay attention to the dance of balancing and rebalancing, always honoring what we hear our entire being asking for, there’s a peaceful state that emerges. We find ourselves going with the flow of the river rather than trying to paddle upstream.
Coming through years of illness into well-being and wellness has taken finding the appropriate balance for myself. What looks like balance now is vastly different to what looked like balance a few years ago, and no doubt will look different in future times as well.
For all of us, I wish a state of quiet and the wisdom to listening to our inner voice to support us as to remain in the dance of balancing.
Written by: Jenny Rush
September 29, 2012