Over the past year of my life I have had this quote hanging on my wall. I would stay up late at night pondering what is the change I wish to see and what is my purpose. I have listened to many people, teachers, and friends give their opinion on finding purpose and if it even exists at all. Ultimately, one answer I did come upon was that the change I wish to see is more honest and blunt communication. From a young age, I always spoke my mind (it is actually a running joke in my family that no one could tell me a secret as a child as I would probably open my mouth and let the surprise slip; unfortunately for them even lying to me backfired as I still, in my cute 5 year old style, slipped and spoke the lie). These days I have learned the power of words and choose my words wisely; including my tone of voice and timing of when I will speak what needs to be said.
The moments that fill me with light though are when people are real with me; when they drop the facade and walls of protection and speak their mind without any worry of being judged. Authentic communication with another human being is what I search to experience every day of my life. Furthermore, the more I have come into relationship with myself and have become comfortable with my outspoken nature the less I have held back my own voice. I have seen how repressing my essential nature has been stuck in my own body and I refuse to let my body hold that tension any longer.
For those who don't know anything about me I suppose I should give a little background. About 5 years ago, after a very difficult period in my undergraduate days, I began to experience some intense digestive issues. As Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis runs in my family, I went through a colonoscopy and an endoscopy to make sure it was nothing worse (really fun stuff getting tubes shoved up and down you for those who haven't experienced this yet). Fortunately, I did not have Irritable Bowel Disease, yet the doctor I was seeing did not delve deeper and just said I probably had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and to start to track my trigger foods and sent me on my way. I accepted this diagnosis for about a year of my life until I a light bulb went off that IBS is BS; it is an explanation doctors can give to put the mind of the patient at ease yet does not explain at all what is actually going on in the body. This shot me with determination to heal and sent me on a digestive journey.
After spending a year and a half being a Food Coordinator at a Drop-in center for at risk and homeless youth for a year and a half in Burlington, VT and becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor, my plan was to move to Boulder, CO to return to Graduate School at Naropa University for Somatic Counseling Psychology with a focus in Body Psychotherapy (p.s. I am queen of run on sentences). I wanted to learn more about the mind body connection as I had delved into Ayurveda and Yoga during my AmeriCorp time and came into a deeper relationship with my digestive tract. Just FYI, I have always been a person with a plan and I follow that plan through no matter what or how I am feeling. On my way to CO, for the first time in my life after driving for almost 6 hours to Rochester NY and crying for hours on the phone with my mother I finally had to listen to my feelings and knew it was not time for me to go back to Graduate School yet....there was a piece missing.
It is amazing how within 48 hours you can change your entire life plans. I turned my car around, deferred school, and moved back to CT (where I grew up and promised myself I would never return). It took a long time to figure out what my next steps would be as I laid in a puddle of confusion in the room I grew up in on the comfort of my purple carpet. Eventually, I got my Aries spirit back and worked almost 7 days a week behind the counter of a yoga studio and discovered the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where I became a Certified Health Coach and started my own business helping those with digestive and body image issues (as I have found that these two things are very tied together). During this time I delved deeper into my astrological studies and began to see the buddings of my own creation of what I was going to put into the world.
I did finally make it out to CO to go to Naropa this past year. Over my first year of Graduate School my half broken heart that I was always trying to fill up, stitch back together, and pretend wasn't there literally broke open. I came face to face with my heart, my harsh critical inner voice, my perfectionism, my ever lasting running mind. It has been a roller coaster this past year of slowing myself down and re-learning what true self nourishment means. There is a difference between nourishing (as my therapist likes to call it) the "heart basket" and the "stomach basket." I have truly come to understand that so many times when I reached for food to fill some vacant hole that gripped at my body, that a lot of the time what I needed was a hug, or a walk, or connection- that honest open authentic communication where you walk away feeling truly understood and realize that you are not a lone island.
I've learned so much on this journey to heal my digestive tract that I want to share what I know, what I've learned, and what I continue to discover. So welcome to being a part of my journey toward finding further understanding of true nourishment and what it means to cultivate a relationship with myself because that is the most profound and influential relationship I have realized one can foster. Yes, connection with others is imperative, but at the end of the day there is still you and you will always be there for you.
As the mission of these writings is to connect and find more honest communication with others, I not only invite you, I implore that you leave a message. Reach out, make a connection for it is within our vulnerability that our strength lies. Looking forward to connecting with you.