For those who have been following my Panchakarma experience (Ayurvedic Detox) you have read about my reasons why, lead up to detox, each day + treatments and the end result. (For those who are curious, read here )
The journey hasn't ended. I am still learning about my auto-immune conditions (I have 3 now) and what this means for my lifestyle moving forward. I believe I found Ayurveda and its ancient wisdom at a critical tipping point in my life and I have been meditating on these lessons and what this means for my awareness moving forward.
Some questions I have been asking myself - why me? Important to note, this question is not coming from a victimized standpoint of "why me, why does this happen to me?" and instead, from curiosity; why me? What can I learn from this? How can this knowledge make my life better, more whole, more dynamic, more creative, and free? Free? But Ayurveda lifestyle is so restricting you say! Let's pause here and have a deeper look. On the surface, it may look restrictive. Vegetarian, cooking a lot of similar foods, maintaining the same routines and rhythms - it all seems like so much work. But with a closer look, we realize that the current society we live in is over-complicated, with too many choices, stimulations and distractions. Ayurveda is simplistic in its wisdom, innately connected to nature and nature's rhythms. This is what I am remembering, to reconnect with nature's wisdom. Before you can access and use the wisdom of Ayurveda, you must understand the fundamental concepts. It is also important that you be open to new ways of thinking, because even though we all love newness, it is not always easy for us to change.
I am not here to tell you that Ayurveda is the only cure for everything and that everyone must do this. That is for you decide as a Sovereign being - what is best for you and your health is your choice, I am just sharing my experience and my path that I have chosen and the reason's why. The rest is up to you. Ayurveda is founded upon a profound understanding of our human connection to nature - our current busy lives filled with consumption, distraction, busyness, hustle - are detrimental to this connection.
To be healthy, it is not enough for us to feed the body and mind. We also need to feed our vitality and spirituality (My own definition of spirituality is reconnecting to nature and myself, recognizing that I am a being with a unique gift -- as each of you are -- and every being has a responsibility to reciprocate). If we are vital and alive, through food medicines from nature, we can reciprocate with our own creative gifts to give back. If we are sick, diseased, inflamed, depressed, we continue to consume and take for granted, sickening our planet as well.
It is important to note that health is not just a disease-free state; ;it is a state of consciousness, of knowing oneself. We may have a disease but still learn from it. This is what I am doing. With 3 auto-immune conditions, what can I learn from this with my current state of consciousness?
Lesson's I have learned since integrating Ayurveda wisdom into my lifestyle: 1) the emphasis on cultivating feelings of gratitude towards the natural world, which in turn I can cultivate towards myself
2) Less is more. Less choice for food means less clutter in my digestion. Less clutter means less inflammation. Less inflammation means less disease and symptoms. Less symptoms means more vitality and life force. Less is more. 3) Listen deeply to satisfy curiosity, then the answers come. This listening is through feeling into your body each time you prepare a food, it is reading and sitting with a new idea or concept before rushing ahead to the next, it is holding space for others and listening before responding.
4) Understanding consciousness on a deeper level. We are more than just a body, mind and soul. Life force is what sustains us and is our dynamic centre, our prana. (Chi in China, Ki in Japan, Mauri in Maori culture, Greeks call in pneuma, the bible even has a name for it "holy spirit")
5) Eating clean foods allows one to enter into higher consciousness at a much more frequent level - this has enabled me to have really great ideas in creativity, business, and my relationship with myself and my husband has never been more intimate or stronger. 6) Eating and honoring the food you prepare from scratch daily, instead of auto-pilot preparations, enables you to hold reverence and ceremony to the food you nourish your body with. Gratitude for this is second nature. This heals your vata imbalance and ignites the agni, pitta or fire within.
7) Eating healthy foods and following a healthy way of living is only one aspect of living to full potential; some form of meditation is essential practice. And just like we feed our bodies each day, we must include our spiritual aspect each day. For me this is art in many forms; painting, weaving, writing, drawing, cooking - I make many things into art practice. My walks in nature are also meditative and intentional practice - I do not listen to music or podcasts during these walks, I am present with nature each step.
From here, there are many more layers of consciousness to learn but I am off to a good start. As always, it is a journey and if someone said to me 10 years ago I would be following an Ayurvedic lifestyle with 3 auto-immune conditions I would find it hard to believe. But here I am!