Author Archives: Rachael Stella

Everything is Perfect

Beautiful girl, it’s ok. Really. Everything is just fine, and nothing is wrong. In fact, everything is perfect. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. And any which way you go will be the perfect way, too. 

You haven’t failed, expectations are worthless, and you don’t need to do anything. Really, not anything. You are worthy as you are, simply because you are. You don’t have to earn your worthiness; it’s inherent. And you don’t owe anyone anything. Not anyone, not anything. Nothing at all. 

It’s ok to relax. It’s safe to trust the process. Your journey will give you everything you need to learn and grow.

And that journey, it has no destination. There’s nowhere to arrive. It’s all simply an experience. An experience filled with both light and dark. It helps to remember that the dark can always be transmuted by the light. 

You are perfect, whole and complete, right here, right now, as you are. You are so loved. Unconditionally. And nothing can change any of that. 

You are already playing your role – perfectly – in enabling the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold.  It’s incredible and breathtakingly beautiful. And it’s impossible to mess up.

Let go. Breathe. Everything is perfect. 

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Mental Health

Social media tells me that today is World Mental Health Day, and the posts I’ve seen have prompted me to share, as this topic has been forefront for me once again. 

I’ve shared many times about my challenges with mental health over the years. And whilst I’ve made great strides this past year with my health, I’m not yet 100% there.

Many times I’ve pondered what has caused recurrent bouts of depression since my teens. The first time I saw a GP about it, he told me it was a serotonin issue in my brain. I sought counselling (cognitive behavioural therapy) during 2 separate periods in my twenties, and concluded that I had depression because I didn’t have adequate skills in managing my thoughts and behaviours. Perhaps it was a genetic issue. Becoming a parent was the scapegoat for a while. At one point I thought it was because I was spiritually lost. I’ve sometimes wondered if it’s because I lack adequate discipline in responsibly managing my energy. And at times I’ve blamed myself for simply sucking at life. 

Whilst each of these reasons may contain at least a grain of truth, none of them offer a complete answer.  They’re all stories, and they all play a part, but I’ve learned more this past year that has been so incredibly significant. 

Since finally taking control of my thyroid health this past year – I was diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis almost 10 years ago, and later Hashimoto’s – I’ve educated myself and discovered that my thyroid issues have likely played a huge role in my mental health challenges. When my thyroid markers were at their worst, my mental state was so messed up that I wanted to die.

The beauty of this excruciating experience was that when I finally began to improve my thyroid health, my mental health was no longer even an issue. I no longer sobbed uncontrollablly throughout the day, life became joyful again, I was motivated and energetic, and life was no longer a slog – it was easy to just do life, and be content. I didn’t have to work so damn hard to be ok. This taught me that depression wasn’t a personal failing or a personality flaw. There was a very obvious and tangible reason for the depression, and working out how to treat and heal my thyroid would solve the mental health challenges too. 

Frustratingly, the past month or so has seen my mental health begin to slide again, despite great thyroid markers. This has coincided with a flare up in gut issues, which had previously improved, and which my GP and I are again working to resolve through a functional medicine approach.  Given what I’ve experienced and learned, I’m confident that as my gut health improves, my mental health symptoms will too. 

Important notes to take from my experience and learning (keeping in mind I’m not a medical professional or health expert!!):

  • If you have mental health issues, it might be worthwhile getting your thyroid checked. Research this first, from a functional medicine perspective, because my understanding is that that majority of doctors (endocrinologists included) don’t test adequately.  Testing TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) only is grossly inadequate. Look into the significance of Free T3, Free T4, TPO ab, Tg ab, and Reverse T3, as well as other related blood work such as iron/ferritin, vit D, and more. Research!
  • The gut produces serotonin. There is a gut-brain axis. Hence, your gut plays a massive role in your mental health. I used to think my guts were fine. I didn’t realise how low my bar was for “fine”.  Again, seek the help of a qualified practitioner who can support you to treat the cause of gut issues for true healing rather than band-aid “solutions”.
  • Physical/medical health issues can be a causative factor in mental health, beyond just feeling down because you’re sick. Working out why you’re suffering from a mental health condition is vital. 

What I do to support myself in the meantime, whilst working to treat the cause:

  • Mindfulness – SO worth the effort, and supports me enormously during what would previously have overwhelmed me.
  • Meditation. 
  • When meditating is “too much”, I listen to binaural beats (check out @sonesence_music – my fave)
  • Gentle exercise (yoga or walking in nature is my balm).
  • Eating well and ensuring my blood sugar levels are stable (getting hangry is no longer an issue, which helps enormously).
  • Getting adequate sleep.
  • Aromatherapy – my essential oils  are such a beautiful support emotionally and for my mood.

xoxo

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What’s going well in your life?

During a recent kinesiology session, my kinesiologist asked me to share about what is going well in my life right now. I faltered, and struggled to come up with much, apart from some aspects of my parenting that I’ve been working to improve.

I’ve been reflecting on the conversation, because it bothered me that my perspective has been so negative, that I’ve been thinking that there’s something “not good enough” about just about every aspect of my life. This tends to happen when I don’t keep up my gratitude practice, or when my meditation practice falters, or any number of other reasons. I recognised that when I focus on the positive, I feel better, so I decided to write a list of all that is going well in my life. I’m pleased to say that I almost filled the page. 

I was also reflecting on all the things that I’ve been thinking aren’t going well/aren’t good enough, and thought it might be helpful to shift my approach and write a list of “what I want to improve in my life”.  As it turned out, that list was actually much shorter, less than half a page. Writing it out helped me to realise that I’d been catastrophising. 

I also realised that a lot of what I wrote, in both lists, matched a bigger list I wrote 2 months ago, of all my desires. I realised that many of my desires have actually manifested, and for the ones that haven’t, it’s much more helpful to focus on desiring them and how good their manifestation will feel, than to lament that they’re not yet my reality, which only serves to propel me onto a downward trajectory. 

It seems to be a recurring theme for me (ahem, I suspect I’m not the only one!) that I cycle through phases of feeling good about where I’m at, and feeling not so good about where I’m at.  I’m realising with greater clarity that the circumstances don’t need to change for me to feel good about where I’m at, but rather it’s a matter of focus. It can be a conscious choice, rather than a result of what’s happening externally in my life. 

I’m becoming much clearer about what I truly desire, what’s working for me, what’s not working for me, and how I’m willing to invest my time and energy. I’m learning to let go of outdated and unhelpful standards that I set for myself in the past regarding what success means and looks like to me. I’m learning, slowly, to let go of basing how I feel about where I’m at in my life, on how I think other people are judging me about where I’m at. It hasn’t been easy to let go of that one – it’s a work in progress. I’m so aware that a life filled with choices based on the opinions of others is not a happy life. And I’m aware that even if I make choices for myself, constant angst about what others think about my choices is not a happy way to live either. Awareness and understanding do not necessarily equal integration … to be continued!

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Your Medicine & Magic

Writing is my medicine, my magic. 

It is the tool through which my challenges and muddled thoughts alchemise into alignment, clarity, and wisdom.

Speaking the words doesn’t have the same effect for me – with the right person, it can be helpful to a degree, but the clarity fully crystallises only when my words are expressed in written form. 

It works best when I share it. My most potent words refuse be hidden in my journal. I no longer question the urge to share – I just know it’s a given, a force that effortlessly moves through me. To not share would be a challenge – it would require effort to halt the impulse. I used to do battle with my ego, who would tell me I’m an attention seeker, a show off, an exhibitionist. But the urge always won out anyway, and the replies from those who read suggest that my sharing is of value, is meant to be. 

My take on this: God is using me. The urge comes from Source. The felt impulse is God’s way of communicating with me, encouraging me to do that which is in alignment with Source energy. The love that the Universe is comprised of, wants to expand. And the more I align with the Source within me, the more the words flow. 

I’m learning to own it. 


That God uses me as a vehicle for the expansion of the universe makes me no more or less special than anyone else.  

We are all of God, and so the intelligence of the universe flows through us all. We all have our own unique medicine and magic. 

This Source of which we are all a part, is in constant communication with us, encouraging each and every one of us to embody our gifts. Even if you don’t believe you have anything special to offer, you do. There is medicine and magic within you, and it is unique to who you are. 

That thing you love to do. That thing that makes you smile. That thing that lights you up. That thing that you get lost in for hours. That thing that feels like home. That thing you find yourself absentmindedly gravitating towards. That thing that comes so easily to you. That thing that takes effort and practice and persistence, but that you joyfully persist with. Perhaps even that thing that you kinda suck at, but you love so much that you revel in sucking at it.

Even if you believe that none of this is part of you’re experience … there is something. You’ve simply lost your way, forgotten.  You’ve fallen out of alignment with your soul. It’s possible (and probable) that your “thing” is right in front of your nose, but you’ve fallen out of alignment to the degree that you’ve become blinded. You can’t hear the whisperings of your soul over the raging of your ego.

When you learn to find alignment with your soul, you can’t help but hear the messages that Source has been whispering to you all along.  With alignment, you recognise what it is that lights you up, feels so good, and contributes to the healing of the world. 

You were meant to thrive. When you feel good, that’s God’s message that you’re on track, because you’re in alignment with with Source instead of resisting God’s will. 

You possess medicine and magic within you. Own it, and thrive. And in doing so, you allow God to work through you. 

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Exhibitionist in hiding

I’m noticing, with curiosity and (my best attempt at) non-judgement, that I’m in a strange place at the moment.

These past few months have seen my health improve dramatically, after a really challenging period, in response to committed effort with the help and support of my health practitioners and family. This is such a joyful relief.

As I’ve improved physically, mentally and emotionally, I’ve become inspired to write and share again, after what felt like a long period of hibernation. It feels so good.

And yet, there’s a part of me that is holding back.

I am learning to accept and embrace that I love putting myself out there and sharing. And with my words and imagery, that is so joyful and satisfying. But it’s also safe, because I can hide behind my screen to achieve this. But there is a part of me that yearns to share more – more intimately, more of me. I don’t want to hide, I want to express myself.

There have been instances where I’ve contemplated sharing a photo or video of myself. Nothing outrageous, just more me.

But the contemplation doesn’t last long. I’m experiencing a period of self-consciousness & my self-confidence is shot, because it seems that the final frustrating and baffling hurdle of my health journey is stubbornly plastered across my face for the world to see. Painful cystic acne that has returned with a vengeance, rosacea, and eye problems that refuse to be hidden under makeup. It all got too much today, and I felt sore and sorry for myself, and the tears flowed.

I’m not fishing for sympathy or reassurance (or advice!). Reassurance is useless when you don’t believe it for yourself. And I trust that there’s a lesson for me in this experience, and that working through it myself, with selective support, will bring me to a place of acceptance and healing.

I’m sharing for the reason I always do – sharing about my experiences is part of who I am, it feels good, and it might serve someone who is reading.

It’s interesting to observe how this has rattled me. I take pride in my appearance, and like to look my best, but I didn’t consider myself to be vain or overly concerned with my looks. And yet, this experience has demonstrated that when my perception of my appearance falls so far short of what I believe to be an acceptable standard, it affects me in so many ways. How I show up in public. How I feel about socialising with friends and family. How I panic when a loved one moves to kiss me on the cheek. How much I avoid interacting with strangers. What my inner voice says when I look in the mirror. And how I hide as much as possible.

There was a point when I thought that the best thing for me to do would be to overcome this self-consciousness by feeling the fear and doing it anyway – selfies, videos, just rip off the bandaid and get over it. But on reflection, I don’t think that’s what I need, I don’t think it would be helpful, and it’s just not where I’m at. Vulnerability can be a beautiful thing, but it needs to be held in a container of trust. It’s self preservation to know the difference between baring your soul in a trusting relationship compared with the local gossip. And putting my face online right now would feel like giving the town gossip flyers to hand out to everyone with the headline “Doesn’t she look hideousl!”

I’ll come out of my shell and grow my visibility when I’m good & ready. It’s healthy to acknowledge that I don’t possess the trust required to so yet. And it’s ok to be gentle with myself. I make the rules.

In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing from the heart, from behind the screen, in the way that feels good. 😘


Image by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

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Do you modulate your light?

I’ve been recognising a pattern in myself lately, that I teased out in a kinesiology session with my miracle-worker Sarah from Ignite Kinesiology (note: I do acknowledge that our sessions are actually a collaboration 😊) .  

I’ve been a people pleaser, I’m an introvert (some would scoff, but it’s truth!), and I often experience (mild) social anxiety. The truth is, on some level, I’m kinda scared of people (or more accurately, the power I give others to determine my self worth is scary). I’ve recognised lately that the combined energy of these traits has me modulate the way I interact with people, in an attempt to accomodate their energy, and therefore avoid being negatively judged. 

A simple example is when I’m taking my morning walk.  A while back, I decided to be brave and to greet passers by, something that felt like an uncomfortable stretch. The friendliness/volume/energy of my “hello” to passers-by will depend on how I assess their energy – Do they look friendly? Are they likely to reply? Will they think I’m a weirdo? … I’ll offer a hearty greeting to the person with a big smile and a jaunty step, I’ll be brave enough to mumble a “Morning” to the quiet-looking person minding their own business, and I’ll keep my mouth shut if someone looks grumpy or judgemental.

I acknowledge the importance of situational energy assessment and behaviour modulation in relating with others. But I think there’s a line to be drawn between appropriately managing/negotiating an interaction, and dimming your light. 

It’s so easy to shine your brightest when you feel confident in being well received. When another person is on the same page, likes you, supports you, and openly demonstrates all this, you feel held and encouraged to be your best. 

It’s not so easy to bring your best self to a situation if your ego feels threatened or vulnerable. If someone doesn’t like you, is focused on their own problems, or holds strong opinions in opposition to your own, there’s a good chance that your ego will take a battering if you share yourself in all of your fullness. 

But what has become more apparent to me recently, is that when I allow my egoic protection mechanisms to modulate how brightly I shine my light, a beautiful opportunity is missed. 

What if, I took a chance, recognising that an ego slam isn’t death, and opened my heart, despite the fear?  

I could be laughed at. 

I could be ignored. 

I could have to engage in an uncomfortable conversation. 

Unpleasant experiences perhaps, but not the end of the world. 

Or …

I could brighten someone’s day. 

I could remind someone to smile. 

I could make someone feel good. 

I could re-ignite the light in another. 

I’ve been avoiding these opportunities, allowing my ego to dictate my actions. Survival mechanisms are hard-wired, and it takes a willingness and conscious effort to move beyond them. 

But as I clarify my desired energy, experiences, interactions and impact in this lifetime, I can recognise that letting my ego steer the ship doesn’t support any of that. Engaging with others from a higher perspective – a soul perspective – is what will. As Sarah helped me to realise, when I’m embodying my desired energy, people receive my light, and this is the driver of my possibility. 

So I’ll start with my morning walk. And I’ll continue experimenting. 

How about you? Do you modulate your light?

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Desire is of the Divine

For the longest time, the negative voice in my head, that I had always thought was me, ruthlessly scolded and shamed me for my dissatisfaction, for desiring more. And for the longest time, thinking that the voice was me, I believed every word. And so, for the longest time, I felt so much guilt. I thought it meant I was ungrateful for my blessings, and undeserving of more. I felt so guilty and ashamed, that the very idea of ever actually attempting to achieve that “more” would be immoral. And of course, when I worked up the audacity to try anyway, subconscious self-sabotage reigned.

But now that I know that the negative voice isn’t me, now that I’m recognising that I can hear it and disagree with it, I’m realising something else. I perceive bodily sensations that come along with these thoughts, and I realise, in hindsight, that they’ve been present all along.

My body bristles, seething in rebellion against the restriction of denying my desires. I previously mistook the discomfort of these feelings to be confirmation that my yearnings for better and more were wrong and should thus be quashed. But I know now, on reflection, that this visceral sensation is my body communicating to me that my thoughts about my desires are out of alignment with the divine source within me.

Desires are meant to feel good. Their purpose is to drive us to achieve or obtain something. They’re the motivation behind virtually everything we do. Even when we’re pursuing seemingly selfless aims, we do so because we know that doing the “right” thing will make us feel good (or at least prevent feeling bad), and we desire to feel good and avoid feeling bad. Desires are part of our design; they are of the divine.

Nothing is inherently good or bad, right or wrong. It is our critical mind, with all its conditioning, that makes judgements of right from wrong, good from bad. It is only when this judgemental mind gets involved that we work ourselves into a mess over our desires. We load them with meaning, heaviness, and struggle.

By all means, use the gift of your critical thinking to assess and confirm whether a desire is truly in alignment with your highest good. But once you’ve confirmed that it is, leave it at that. Continued analysis is likely to be that critical voice, hijacking your desires.

Dream your dreams. Revel in your wishes. Fill your imagination with the glories of all that your heart and soul desires. Allow yourself to feel the light-hearted, deep joy that their manifestation will bring. It’s all a part of your divine purpose.


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

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LIFE INTENDED

Thoughts: What am I doing? What do I want to do? What is my purpose? Motherhood isn’t my be all and end all, I know there is more. I try stuff, but it doesn’t quite feel right. I get excited about stuff, but I eventually lose my enthusiasm. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been floundering with this for ever.  I think I’m destined to live, stuck in this limbo of “not knowing”, for the rest of my life. I’m a failure. Always have been. Always will be.

Feelings: Frustration. Annoyance. Despair. Shame. Resignation.

Thoughts: Hold on. Practice presence. Observe the thoughts. They’re not the truth. They’re not me, because I’m the one observing them.


Frustrations climaxed as I struggled with my ego one again.  When I finally began to quiet my mind and go within last week, this 2 word phrase  – LIFE INTENDED – came to me. Since then, it has continued to flutter into my awareness, seemingly wanting to make itself known.  Something about it feels so right, but it’s taken some reflection to tease out exactly what this phrase is about for me.

My life experiences, especially since becoming a mother, and even more significantly over the past 12 months, have ignited a rage within me. A rage about the fact that we, as a species, have fallen so out of sync with what LIFE INTENDED, and that this is hurting us deeply, even destroying us. I want to share with you (a non-exhaustive list of) what is enraging me.


In our modern society, we (mostly mothers) raise our children largely in isolation, brewing stress, emotional disharmony, mental illness (particularly post-natal depression), and overall ill health. So many of us believe that if we’re not attending to everyone’s needs, maintaining our home, contributing to the household income, keeping up a social life, looking hot, and following our dreams, we aren’t doing it right. We even believe that if we’re not super busy and stressed and exhausted, we must be lazy.

We live in climate controlled, airtight (even energy efficiency has its down side) homes and workplaces, cut off from the nature of which we are a part.

We eat chemically-laden, highly processed foods that our ancestors wouldn’t even recognise, that mess with the intricate and perfect physiological design of our masterpiece bodies, causing imbalance and ill health. Even if we eat what most would consider a “healthy” diet filled with real food (fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, meats, seafood etc.), if it’s conventionally farmed, it’s still hurting us thanks to all the chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics and more that are considered essential for modern farming practices.

We sit and stare at screens, often for hours at a time, straining our eyesight, destroying our posture, and addicting ourselves to passive digital entertainment, social media, and the dopamine rush of “follows” and “likes”.

We expose ourselves to artificial light, messing with our circadian rhythms, our hormones, our ability to get the quality sleep that our bodies need.

We expose ourselves to thousands of chemicals via air pollution, transportation, off-gassing from furniture and household fixtures and fittings, cleaning products, personal care products, air fresheners, medications and more, again messing with our physiology.

We visit doctors, expecting pills to cure our ills, creating side effects and failing to address what caused the issue in the first place.

We consume media, believing the hype, forgetting to question the source, the purpose, the money trail.

We have ravaged our environment: polluting seas and lands, decimating forests, triggering mass extinctions, slaughtering fertile lands, depleting natural resources and instigating catastrophic climate change.

We put our heads in the sand, because it’s all too hard – someone else will deal with it. Or we seek all of the answers outside of ourselves, having long forgotten the access we have to eternal wisdom within us. We’ve lost our way.

This was never what LIFE INTENDED.

Sometimes, I yearn to escape this madness, to get off the grid and back to nature to reconnect with that which LIFE INTENDED. To live how LIFE INTENDED us to live. Don’t scoff – I’m as attached to my modern conveniences as the next person, but a part of me knows that this way of life comes as a tremendous, devastating price.  And so I fantasise.

The rage has bubbled up within me again this year as I’ve suffered the consequences of living out of sync with what LIFE INTENDED. Multiple hormonal imbalances. Depression. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Brain fog. Memory and word recall problems. Addictive behaviours. A crippling lack of self-esteem. Disconnection. And more – all of the cascading set of symptoms that essentially stem from the same source: not living as LIFE INTENDED.

These consequences – this was never what LIFE INTENDED.

So, what was it that LIFE INTENDED for us?

To live in harmony with nature, because that is what we are.

To be in community (in person, not just online). To raise our families with abundant support. To rest when we’re tired. To spend most of our time outdoors. To eat from nature’s bounty. To move our bodies every day. To rise with the sun and sleep when it sets. To utilise nature’s gifts. To value and care for our environment. To be attuned to our own intuition, our connection with Source.

I know that I’m not off my rocker in recognising this. I do appreciate many of the modern marvels and gifts of our ingenuity, the advances that we’ve made in medicine, technology, science and more. I’m not suggesting that we throw this all away to live as the animals do. But I believe, with all of my heart, that we desperately need to find balance, back toward what LIFE INTENDED.

Changing our ways, globally, is a dauntingly massive task, but the ache in my heart knows that it’s vital. The rage within is a gift, communicating the urgency and importance of such an undertaking.

I don’t want to focus on the problem. It was necessary that it to be brought to my attention, so that I could crystallise what it is that I’m aiming to achieve. And now, I know.

It’s time to focus on living as LIFE INTENDED.  It’s what I’ve been trying to work my way towards, without having specifically identified it as such.  But all the research, reading, podcast listening, documentary watching, meditating, diet changes, lifestyle changes, habit changes, purchasing changes … everything has been geared towards this: supporting myself and my family to live closer to the way LIFE INTENDED.  The purpose I’ve been searching for has been weaving it’s way into my life for years now.  It’s not something else “out there”.  It’s here, what I’m already doing, for me and my family.

If you’re so inclined, I’d love to support you to do the same.



Main image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

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Raising the bar

I was diagnosed with “post-partum thyroiditis” after the birth of my first baby. I didn’t know anything about the condition at the time, and the medical explanations provided by my carers may as well have been in Chinese, but I was put on medication to address my symptoms, told it may eventually self-correct, and also told by more than one person that it wasn’t a big deal. And that was how I related to all this – not a big deal, and effectively dealt with.

After almost 9 years, I’m coming to realise some home truths about thyroid disease, and they way in which this health complication has affected me.

A few years into my diagnosis, I began taking a more proactive approach to my health. This was at the prompting of my Mum, who had begun her own research into her diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune condition that renders the thyroid gland unable to effectively do its job of producing thyroid hormones to service every cell of the body. I began reading and researching, and learning what I could do to improve my health and prevent progression of the condition. I made some significant dietary changes which made a difference and greatly improved my blood test results. I wanted to be sure that I was doing everything I could, so I took my newfound knowledge to my GP, but as she openly explained, she didn’t have the training to know what to do with any of the suggested testing. After some time, I sought the help of a naturopath who was able to give me some further support, but in the end I didn’t achieve the sort of progress I was seeking.

Four years on, I was fed up with being on a medication that none of my healthcare practitioners seemed to want to help me get off. As time has gone on, and I’ve continued researching, I’ve learned that there are many people that have put their thyroid conditions into remission. I’ve also discovered the longer term serious health implications of not addressing this issue at the root cause. And more alarmingly, I’ve come to realise that so many of the symptoms that I have put up with and accepted as part of Mum-life or as a personal failing, are likely due to being under-medicated as well as stemming from deeper root causes.

After what feels like a very long time, I’ve finally begun working with a wholistic integrative GP who has a much better understanding as to the workings of thyroid disfunction. After 2 consultations and one set of testing, we’ve already uncovered a few key issues that may well be at the root of my thyroid related symptoms.

What does all this have to do with me being absent from the online space these past months? Whilst I won’t bore you with all the many and varied symptoms, there are some key ones that I have been challenged with this year, that have made it difficult to be here. Namely:

  • Fatigue, exhaustion, lack of energy;
  • Mood swings, anxiety, depression, overwhelm, irritability, despair;
  • Brain fog, forgetfulness, confusion.

I’m not sharing my challenges in a bid for sympathy. Rather I want to offer you the courtesy of an explanation, as well as be open about my challenges which I am well aware affect SO MANY others in our society, but which we feel too embarrassed or ashamed to speak about. I tend to be a pretty open book, but when it comes to issues around mental and emotional health or our ability to cope with day to day life, even I can feel awkward in speaking openly and honestly. Truth be told, I find it easier to share in a forum like this to get the conversation started.

The thing is, awareness and acceptance of mental illness has come a long way with all the various campaigns encouraging us to open up, seek help, or ask each other “R U OK?” But the thing that I feel I must express in this instance, given my experiences, is that there is so much more to this issue that we really need to address. Here’s why:

  • I spent a period of time a few years back on anti-depressant medication, which I now know may have been better addressed by more adequate treatment of my thyroid disfunction. This is not to say that anti-depressants are never indicated, but that in my case, they acted as a band aid solution with unpleasant side effects both when taking them and when coming off them. How many of us are medicated for the symptom, rather than the cause?
  • Your medical professional does not necessarily have all the answers. I spent hundreds of dollars seeking the advice of a medical specialist that I assumed (without a thought!) had all the knowledge to properly treat me. As it turns out, this endocrinologist didn’t test some of the basic markers that could have better addressed my condition – my GP did more comprehensive testing. This is not a criticism of medical professionals in general (I believe mine cared and were doing the best they knew how with the knowledge they had), or a suggestion that you should not consult the relevant medical professional for your health concerns – it is simply to say that they DON’T NECESSARILY have ALL the answers, and we need to be responsible and proactive in our own healthcare.
  • The embarrassment or shame that so many of us still feel when suffering from these issues can prevent us from taking responsibility and further action and advocating for ourselves. It took me a long time to work up the courage to seek the help of a naturopath, and when that didn’t work out, an additional 4 years to prioritise my health enough to seek out and invest in an integrative GP. Despite knowing logically that I needed to do this, the insidiousness of mental health related issues left me feeling unworthy, feeling like my difficulties were self-induced, and I was unable to consistently hold the conviction that I needed to seek better help. Also, my lack of mental clarity had me constantly questioning and second guessing myself and what I’ve learnt through my research.
  • In addition and related to the last point, it infuriates me that so many of us hold such low standards for what it means to be well. As a mum of young kids, it anguishes me that so many mums believe that feeling vital, energetic, glowing, and fantastic is too much to ask or unrealistic. We seem to be soaked in this depressing consensus that to be a mum means to feel constantly exhausted, to prioritise everyone and everything else above our own wellbeing, that taking excellent care of ourselves is an indulgent luxury (that is sometimes shamed when it is witnessed), and that a respectable and decent mother and/or member of society must get over herself when she’s feeling not-so-great and soldier on. I am not immune – I found it so easy to passionately promote the supreme importance of self care, yet putting those beliefs into action has proven to be a confronting challenge, and one that I continue to face.  I recently heard someone speaking on the topic of self care, and they made a point which really hit home to me. She commented that we so often hear the self-care metaphor about the oxygen mask in an air emergency: fit your own mask before helping others.  Whilst taking the advice of this metaphor seems a wise and sensible move, there is a subtle problem with it – we only need the oxygen mask in an emergency.  So many of us wait until disaster, when there is no other option than to prioritise ourselves, reducing the guilt or fear of judgement and criticism.  The truth is, we’d be so much better off tending to our own needs as a priority before the #@$% hits the fan.  If we truly prioritised our wellbeing, we’d effectively avoid getting to the point of emergency through neglect.

I am ok.  I am not gravely ill, and I finally feel confident that I’m moving in the right direction towards better health even though I understand that the path forward may not be smooth sailing. Time will tell whether I need the help and support of additional health care professionals, but I know that if need be, they are out there and I can seek them out to guide and support me on my journey towards true wellbeing.

I don’t have all the answers to the issues that I’ve raised, but the urge to start the conversation has felt increasingly important these past few weeks. My hope is that this at least gets you thinking about your own life and your own wellbeing, and if need be, it prompts you to raise your standards, become proactive, and seek further help.


Thyroid Disfunction and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

It has been said that as much as 28% of our population is afflicted with thyroid disfunction – that’s more than a ¼ of the population – and so often it goes undiagnosed or undertreated. The symptoms are many and varied, can be debilitating, and can lead to the development of additional auto-immune conditions. For more information, I suggest checking out the work of Dr Izabella Wentz here.

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Weaving webs of consciousness

My heart aches.  A dull and persistent ache.  I feel it distinctly, physically, and yet I know, with a quiet confidence, that it is not from some physical pathology.  It’s an energetic, emotional ache.  I’m well practised, as I believe so many of us are, at ignoring it.  At getting on with things, relegating it down to the bottom of the list of priorities, because life is “busy”.  From time to time I notice it and acknowledge it.  When I get still and quiet, there is space for it to be felt and acknowledged.  I question where it comes from.  At times it builds to a seemingly “out-of-the-blue” and unexplainable fit of anxiety.  I do my best to squash it, to make it go away.  But it doesn’t.  It stays.  Waiting for me to listen to its message.


The morning was cold and foggy.  After the rigmarole of school drop off, I rugged up and headed out for my morning walk, looking forward to moving my body in the crisp cool air.  Not long after reaching the wetlands, a 2 minute walk from my front door, I was greeted with spider webs.  Hundreds and hundreds of dew-drop covered spider webs covering almost every tree, bush and plant along my trail.  Web covered branches reminded me of fairy floss sticks, wrapped in the gauzy layers of spiders silk.  Single strands stretched loosely from bush to bush.  Spectacular orb webs were to be found here and there, and every corner of every railing was decorated in patterns of strung pearls.  The spiders had spent a very productive night.

 

Whilst I marvelled at the beauty of their creations, it struck me that the Spider, one of my Soul Essences, hadn’t occupied my thoughts in quite some time.  Always seeking to understand the communications of the Universe, I wondered “Is she speaking to me now through this marvellous display?”  Surely she must be; it seemed so blatantly obvious that she was pulling out all the stops to garner my attention with such an extravagant exhibition laid out before me on my path where it would be virtually impossible to ignore.  Whilst I’m always seeking to understand the messages of the Universe, there are plenty of times when I succumb to downplaying or dismissing them out of laziness or doubt.  It can be easier to ignore them, feign ignorance, or justify their meaninglessness, allowing me to sit in my familiar comfort zone and go on pretending that I don’t know what I need to do rather than having to get uncomfortable taking new and unfamiliar action.  Not today – she was in my face, staring me down, almost daring me to ignore the voice of my soul.

The messages and symbology of my Spider are many and varied, and I have a tendency to psychoanalyse them til the cows come home, which is really not the way that soul communication works.  But putting aside the intricacies of who she is in my life, today her message was loud and clear: Slow down.  Take note.  Go within.  Listen.  The answers are within.  Your effect on the world is determined by your consciousness.

I’ve been hearing these whispers the past few months, but they’ve been quiet enough that I’ve managed to override them with reasoning that seems so sensible that it’s been easy to follow: You’ve got work to do, you don’t have time to slow down.  You can get to that later.  You’re building a new business.  And you love it, you’re committed to it, it’s in alignment with your desires and values and visions, you have a purpose now, so you’ve got to get on with it!  Action action action!  Just do all the things first, then you can get back to the business of soul alignment.

Ha.  You’d think I would have learnt that lesson by now.  It turns out old habits die hard, especially when they’re upheld by societal trends and norms.  And what has the outcome been for me?  Anxiety.  Unnecessary stress.  Lack of flow.  Anguish.  Despair.  The pain in my heart.

As I began more deeply exploring the spiritual path a few years ago, I thought that the answers to my yearning for a purpose-driven life would be neatly spelt out for me with step by step instructions handed to me by my soul.  In hindsight, it’s no surprise that I struggled with that soul journey, and have as yet been unable to complete it, given how ego driven it was.  Because here’s the thing: the soul’s journey operates in a completely different paradigm to the ego’s desires.

Purpose is not necessarily a fixed task.  A God-given mission does not necessarily align with modern ideals of a stellar career and financial “success”, however you define that.  And whilst it is perfectly possibly to create these successes in alignment with your divine purpose, I’m coming to realise that much of my soul searching and yearning has in fact been an ego driven desire for significance, recognition, specialness and worthiness.  I’m quite certain I’m not alone in that.

My Spider was reminding me that consciousness is the only way forward.  The quality of my consciousness impacts my experience of life, impacts those I interact with, impacts the world, indeed the Universe.  My heart chakra pain had a message for me, and I needed to face it square on, acknowledge it, feel it, accept its presence, and bring the full light of my consciousness to it, for it to be transmuted.  Continuing to avoid the pain would have prolonged it and made it worse as it grews in an effort to make itself heard.  My body, my soul, the Universe, were all telling me that I was off course, because the truth of my desire is that I want to weave webs of consciousness that will positively impact the Universe.


So many of us are disconnected.  From our bodies, our environments, each other, our souls, the Universe.  Our culture does not support a way of being in which we can tune in and connect and be guided towards healing and deep satisfaction.  We are so heavily scheduled, rushed, pressured, and distracted that we become disconnected and disengaged.  It strikes me that so many of us are so disconnected that we don’t even notice our pain.  It blends into the background.  We don’t realise how sick we are or how unwell we feel, until it grows to a point where it’s impossible to ignore: disease, severe pain, catastrophic life events.  We don’t realise that our bodies, our souls, the Universe, are constantly in communication with us, offering warning signals that we’re heading down an unfavourable path and that we’d be wise to course correct.  We’ve forgotten how to receive and interpret that communication.  We’re too distracted and focused on externalities to hear the quiet whispers.  We have bought into the modern mantra of busy-ness, constantly doing and striving.  We don’t even realise that we could feel so much better than we do, we aren’t even aware that we’ve accepted that feeling pretty crap is just how life is.  So many of us are deaf and blind to what is possible, how good it can be.  We don’t take action to improve things or even acknowledge what isn’t working, until we reach breaking point and crisis hits.

We’ve forgotten that:

  • We are inherently lovable, loved, and worthy, without needing to earn it.
  • We are of God/the Universe, therefore all the answers we seek are within.
  • Working and striving and seeking won’t bring answers. Getting still, quiet, and going within will.

This doesn’t mean that we should all sit around navel gazing and twiddling our thumbs.  What it does mean is that when our minds and our lives are overflowing with chaos and confusion and endless distraction, it’s an act of courage and commitment (and ultimately, productivity) to consciously slow down and turn inward.  If we are to live lives of meaning and contribution and fulfilment and divine purpose, the action that achieves that must be fuelled by connection to our divinity, which is found by going within.  It cannot come from a sense of duty or obligation or pressure derived from external sources.  Soul alignment doesn’t happen through blindly following societal norms, or even forcing yourself to conform to someone else’s idea of conscious living.

So give yourself a break.  Stop pushing so hard.  Take a stand for your life and your legacy and opt out of the disconnection.  Become aware of the unending impulse to be numbed out with mindless entertainment via ever-available devices and their social media rabbit holes designed to lure and capture us with distraction and quasi-connection.  Remove the overwork, over-scheduling, overwhelm and busy-ness from the pedestal that society seems to have placed it on – it has no place there whatsoever, and it’s killing us.  I dare you to slow down, get quiet, and listen.  Listen to your body, feel its sensations.  Notice your thoughts.  Cultivate an ability to cut through the thoughts so that you may hear the voice of your soul.  And discover a life worth living.

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