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A Journey with Illness through Sickness Dreaming..

A Kynoch Witch Musing...

Hello my Loves...

It has been some time since I wrote but March was a humbling month for me. I fear I had been burning the wick at both ends, from trying to promote and grow Lyfjaberg Apothecary, create and share new and beautiful course content with my Soul sister Petra over at The Empowered Intuitive Academy, to finding time to create again when aligned, manage house and raise my beautiful children, it all just got a bit much.

I could feel my energy and quite frankly, my fucks left to give, waning by the end of the first school term, which was quite big for us considering it was Erika's first term at Prep. School runs are the literally devil simply because they give you the illusion of time.. you think you have so many hours in the day and then 2pm is creeping up on you like a tiger in the dense jungle... Then in comes my personal favourite, the barrage of school sickness. Not only do your children get sick, which is something which always puts me on high alert, even though as a trained Registered Nurse I know what to do (its different when its your own kids). No-one ever mentions the fact that you too as a parent get to experience the plethora of new and evolved viruses making their way through the playground, to which you have no immunity to. Its all a bit much isn't it?!

But funnily enough I am able to appreciate this in retrospect, sickness dreaming, which is what we call it in Aboriginal Culture, refers to the concept which sickness, illness and injury all have the ability to teach us something or highlight an aspect of our lives which we aren't aware of or simply, in denial of. This is not a concept belonging solely to my ancestors but many Indigenous cultures adhere to this belief and it forms the premises for a lot of the Shamanic and Energetic Healing modalities across the world. Sickness dreaming is something which funnily enough fed into the wider energetics of my own spiritual and personal growth for this month and I wanted to give it a highlight by sharing the insights I received during this time now being on the tail end. 

My Visions in the Illness Portal...

There were so many intuitive little inklings that I was made aware of during this time where I sat in this sickness space. One of the most profound insights I received during this time, was that as many of us are aware but no one fully comprehends is that we live in a culture which constantly demands of us our time, energy and vitality. This I dubbed Burn-out culture in my own personal thoughts, even though the modern tongue would liken it to 'The daily grind' or 'Hustle' which is demanded of us if we are ever to succeed in life. I felt this was incredibly relevant to me because of the 'multi-tasking' I was constantly doing, and even in a quiet moment where I was at a loss on what to do, I was berating myself internally to FIND something productive to do... even when I felt I was done and had no more left to give to the day. 

I feel the blessing of being sick in this way is that it FORCES US TO STOP, and when we think we are on the road to recovery and again pick up the hoe to plough the fields, it reminds us that we are not ready yet, and forces us to lay back down and REST. There is so much glittery talk around the ideal of rest BUT HOW MANY OF US ACTUALLY REST?. To be at rest is to do nothing, and simply be, this is something which I found incredibly hard to do, and again, needed to keep my hands and mind busy even when my body was saying enough

I also found that I needed to meet the CONDITIONS OF REST in this way. Taking time for myself needed be an elaborate ritual, or it involved some vigorous preparation before I actually got to sit down. I feel I need to share, especially in the spiritual community and the realms of women, how bullshit this double jeopardy of REST we find ourselves in is. Statements of such come to mind: I can't until... I need to do this in order to.. I have to have this elaborate self-care practice planned out in order for it to be PROPER...

I think the ultimate caveat to this is that again we have hustled the concept of REST, and bastardised its true meaning. 

Another insight, THE GUILT AND SHAME OF REST IS SO REAL... I know as a mother to young children, I am often doing many things at once, things that I realised generally go unnoticed or don't seem like much of anything until, I watch someone else do them... Then I am unconsciously placing a level of grandeur to the completing of these tasks that I seemingly do every day... I found I am really taking all I do, and devaluing it, and myself. Yet, when I stopped to rest, and surrender and allowed myself to be supported by my husband in these things the guilt was so crippling, I would cease my rest to 'Pick up my Slack...'. What a horrid thought to have about myself when I did not choose to be sick and know damn well I would be doing the things I need to do to contribute to a happy and healthy household if I wasn't... 

This really highlighted the importance of surrendering and allowing myself to be supported as paramount  to my healing journey moving forward, and I feel its something we could all be doing. I started with Gentle reminders that I am worthy of support and love in my healing, this is an opportunity to appreciate all I do and that maybe when I am well, regain balance through supportive delegation of tasks and responsibilities, which needs to be a focus if everything seemingly falls apart when one of us is out for the count... 

Finally the RECOVERY DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE HEALED... as I sit in the final stage of my illness able to function close to normal but still in the purging stage of the final remnants of this gnarly virus, I realise tat again if I push myself physically and emotionally to jump back on he bandwagon my body will backslide and re-enter the cycle of illness. Its as if the virus says to you,

Nope you aren't ready, I am not through, there is still more to teach and more you need to learn, stop and listen.

From a physiological point of view this is so very true, our bodies go through various processes to help us fight of and heal from illness or injury. In the example of a Flu-like sickness, we are triggered through our immune response to engage the enemy invading our system, raising our core temperature to kill off pathogens, which utilises our stores of vitamins and minerals to keep us nourished as we fight, dehydrates us by keeping us cool through sweat while we purge. There is so much we need to restore to homeostasis before we can even begin to think about getting back on our feet, and yet we don't allow this to happen. 

In our society today there is so much emphasis to pray for a speedy recovery so that everything will be fine and we can get back to work, again prioritising the agenda of the Burn out/ Hustle/ Daily Grind. Through this thinking and our own pre-mature return to life, we are perpetuating and empowering the Burn-out culture.

I will be honest this guilt again of taking rest when needed often lead to 'Home days' for my children, where I chose not to take them to school so that I didn't have one more thing to add to my plate for the day. I was tired, they were tired and I just felt it was the right thing to do. I remember growing up that it would significantly impact your school performance if you took to many absent days, and even in our work force, we are only allotted a certain amount if Sick leave, and in Australia, two mental health days.. not nearly enough to account for the proper amount of time it takes to rest & recover... and I started to feel guilty for the amount of days my daughter was missing of school. I decided to change that narrative, yes we pay for her to attend School, but I am also investing time to ensure her health and well being, and emulating that I too value my own health and well being if I make the conscious decision to allocate REST DAYS. These are days where the to-do list is minimal and intuitively aligned with what I feel I want to do that day. This new evolution of pro-active care taking in our health and well being is something which I hope she embodies in her life and passes down to her children. I really truly feel that this is the only was in which we will combat the Burn out culture we have been cultivating for so so long... 

So, what does this mean for all of my beloveds reading? what was the point of this blog?

Well, I wanted to share these musings in hope that you will find some resonance with them, or maybe even ignite an ember if awareness around this culture of hustle we have unknowingly indebted ourselves too. We might not escape its clutches in our life time but we can sure start to sow the seeds so that our children might... Many of us have watched our parents ignore the wisdom of illness, eventually entering a state of chronic illness and eventually succumbing to it. We don't need to re-enact that series of events for our children and those we love to experience. 

Instead, when illness and injury visits let us sit with it for a while, allow us to welcome it and let the body host it as it will. I sat with my illness and it told me that I needed to surrender, I needed to allow the support of others, I needed to STOP and worry less about what needed to be done, because the only thing that needed to be done, was to slow down, rest and recover in that order. Louise Hay writes exactly on the concept in her book 'You can heal your Life' by sitting with your illness and other bodily complaints to learn the true meaning of what their presence indicates and as a way of getting in touch with our souls need. This is a wisdom as ancient as time and yet we have lost sight of it, and in-fact painted it in the colours of the enemy. 

Now of-course the are various illness and conditions which are chronic in nature and some fatal which are harder to contend with, they threaten our very mortality and in fact bring it into perspective. Sharon Blackie, Author of 'Hagitude' wrote about her experience with cancer in this way, with such majesty, of inviting her disease to sit at the table and have the conversation of with it and listen to it came to say. I truly feel her perspective was a source of inspiration and strength in my own, more acute illness and the mindset around how I experienced it. I feel through sharing these insights, through opening ourselves to having the conversations on our bodily complaints and sufferings and allowing ourselves time to sit in the rest and recovery portals of sickness, we might truly come out the other side more aware and empowered in who we are as physical beings and maybe even open ourselves to the possibility of loving these bodies a little more xx 

I really do hope, this musing, as long as it was, allowed all who held space for it to feel slightly more prepared, empowered and open to receiving the insights which may comes, through your next journey with sickness. I feel this way of offering my insights and journey through writing feels more natural to me then just a limited Newsletter and if you feel the same or enjoyed this read, feel free to let me know, leave me a like or comment and of-course share with anyone who you feel would resonate with this musing...

Blessed Be, 

Tay xx ( The Kynoch Witch)

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