General ramblings of a wild mind

The importance of recognising what makes you tick 

Digging through my archives I found this article I wrote 2 years but feel it’s as relevant today as it was then and wanted to share it again……

The biggest part of my journey so far towards wellness was realising how my soul recharges. Recently, I read a book called Quiet by Susan Cain that completely opened my eyes. I always knew I was essentially an introvert but had no idea how it affected me and the ways I dealt with life. The word ‘introvert’ was always a negative description to me, but now I realise it’s just a description. It doesn’t need to be considered positive or negative, but if you know that you are an extrovert or an introvert it can help you deal with different people and different situations.
I’ve always loved spending time on my own at home – I find myself craving being by myself. For years I had thought when I started to feel like this, I was on a downward spiral towards depression. So instead of giving into these cravings I’d push myself more, be more active and more social to try and get out of the rut I thought I was in. But I wasn’t depressed at all or even close, what I was was socially exhausted. My job is very full on and hugely social, I’m a riding instructor and a business owner. When I’m at work I’m the boss, the one that everyone goes to to ask questions, discuss problems, get advice: life advice, horse advice, riding advice… anything really. I have to be bubbly, strong, welcoming and most of all: social. The exact opposite of what I naturally am; give me a choice and I’d be the one sitting quietly in the corner with a book. God, I love books!

So when I get the chance now, I know have to give myself some ‘me’ time in order to recharge. This is because, unlike an extrovert, who recharges in social situations, introverts find social situations drain them. This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy them – I certainly enjoy socialising – but I don’t want to keep going all night long, because the next day I’m exhausted and if I’ve already had a busy day, a night out socialising isn’t what I need.

So how did I cope in the past when I used to party a lot? Well, I was a sugar addict. Because I felt my true self was boring I masked it, I drank copious amounts of Red Bull when I was younger and then Coca-Cola as I got older. I ate ridiculous amounts of chocolate and sweets to try and keep up with all the extroverts. I turned into the person who wants to keep going for longer and longer and became the life and soul of the party. It was lucky that I knew I had an addictive nature so I stayed away from the illegal stuff that most people use to keep going when their body says stop. Behaving like an extrovert meant I fitted in, I was cool and part of the crowd, all good right? Nope, wrong!

I got ill, very ill. At 19 I was diagnosed with ME after burning the candle at both ends. Did this stop me, did it hell, I would beat it, I’d prove everyone wrong. So I gave up Red Bull as the ‘culprit’ that had made me ill! Haha. But I carried on drinking coke, eating sugar and generally treating my body like crap. I was slim, I was able to the job I needed to do so what was the problem? Well, I kept getting ill. I was always ill: colds, flu, aching joints, agonising tummy pains, headaches, exhaustion. I was constantly admitted to hospital for one thing or another, nothing ever serious, luckily. It took me until I was 30 years old to realise this wasn’t normal, that everyone else didn’t keep getting ill, that I needed to grow up and fast! I had convinced myself that I’d left my ME behind me in my early 20s and that none of this was related to that, until this year, when I had a huge relapse. All the old symptoms came back, it was scary but to be honest it was the kick up the butt I needed. I needed to change my life otherwise I’d never be able to have the life I want.

So whilst I was unable to move, housebound and ill, I started to read, and one of the books I read was Quiet. Each page I turned I cried, it is probably the most important book that has helped me to understanding myself that I have ever read. For the first time I could see a pattern, not only to why I was so exhausted and ill, but also to why I ate what I ate, did what I did. This pattern was all wrong.

First things first – kick the crap out. Once I realised I didn’t need to keep going when all I wanted to do was stop and sit quietly, I realised I didn’t need all that false energy I was pumping into my body. I needed food that would heal me and make me strong again. I now eat a sugar-free and gluten-free diet and I feel the difference already, not only in the fact that my skin is alive, my eyes are shiny and my nails have grown, but also in my head, I now recognise when I’m tired I need to stop, not just down another sugary drink or coffee.

So that was the next thing to tackle – giving myself permission to stop, which is hard when your whole life has been focussed on keeping going, but now I know I have to for my health, if nothing else. I now allow myself time to be on my own, and I notice when I haven’t allowed that time how bad I feel.

Just last week I worked through my lunch breaks, I still ate but I didn’t allow my quiet time to recharge. By mid afternoon I had the worst headaches and my body felt like it was walking through glue. By the end of the week, my ME was back knocking on the door, big symptoms pushing at me telling me I’d done too much.

Why am I writing this? Well I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. If you crave time alone and find that when you’re out with friends you’re done before they are ready to go home, then don’t keep pushing, hold your head up high and head home. Good friends will still be there and you’ll be healthy and able to enjoy time with them. Recognising that we’re not all the same, that some of us need quiet time to recharge whilst others get their boosts from social situations is so important, then we can go on to understanding how to help each other.

I’m still on my journey, my illness will never go away and I’m still learning how to manage it without all the synthetic chemicals I was putting into my body before, but I believe I’m on the right path now.

Recognising what makes you tick, how you recharge and making sure you do that is vital to a healthy happy life.

General ramblings of a wild mind

My Moroccan Lesson

I’m currently sitting on a bus traveling between Essaouria and Marrakesh. Reflecting on the past few days traveling through this beautiful country I find myself learning a deep lesson.


We landed and went straight out into the marrakesian streets. We were immediately hustled by a man wanting to eat a few Durham. I found myself shaken by this mans anger that we would not go along with his game and felt my barriers rise. The continuing few hours I have to say were a bit shakey, with feeling attacked from all sides by people wanting to take advantage of our alien status we retreated to to our riad early. 


After some time in meditation and thought I reflected on the lesson this was being sent to me and found I had judged a country on one mans actions. This had then played out throughout the afternoon. I know when you look for negative all you see is negative, this also goes for the opposite when you look for positive and beauty all you see is that. 


I had taken some amazing pictures and although in my body I felt tight and stressed in those pictures I could see the beauty we had uncovered. 


With a nights sleep and a fresh view we ventured back out into this amazing city and this amazing country opened its heart as we opened ours. We walked through the city relaxed and open to its culture on seeing the magic it had to offer and feeling so grateful for the ability to see and experience such an amazing place. 


In this experience Morocco has taught me two life long lessons, 
* Don’t judge a culture, religion or country by one mans actions. This is a lesson so relevant in today’s world, so easily we judge a country or religion by one persons action. 
* When you open your heart to the beauty of something it floods in. In order to enjoy life you must look for the positives not only at the end of the day with the gratitude diary but throughout every moment as then you truly experience the beauty of life. 


These two lessons I shall be eternally grateful for, they are lessons that I know in theory but until really fully grasping them in reality they are easily forgotten. 

Namaste

🙏🏼

General ramblings of a wild mind

Unplugged

When I asked the universe to help me heal I didn’t realise what a journey I was about to be placed on.

It was February 2014 and I was suffering another bout of flu, the second that winter. Feeling totally drained and on the verge of giving up I reached out, I asked the universe to help me heal. 

I’d been suffering with M.E officially for 11 years by this point but probably for longer if truth be told. Most of this time was spent in denial and I was convinced if I just ignored it, one day it may go away. 

I bounced from one thing to another never spending more than six months out  of hospital before I was back in for a some reason and that was just normal to me. 

Then on this wet winter day instead of blaming something external I reached inside and asked. “Please allow me to be well.” I was done with it all.

Nearly two years on I’m still not fully well but I’m a lot happier and healthier mentally and physically than I ever have been.

The journey to get to this point has meant throwing my life into the air and seeing where it landed, trusting the universe and just following the signs. 

In the past 24 months I’ve given up sugar, meat, dairy, gluten and caffeine. Taken up yoga, learnt to meditate, sold my business, started a masters degree in veterinary physiotherapy and qualified as a yoga teacher. 


My relationship with horses has turned 180 and I now just enjoy them for the beautiful animals they are rather than competing them.

And the best thing is, is that I’m happy. I made a vow to myself that I would discover the real me, cheesy I know, but I wanted to find the me before all the “shit happened”.

I won’t say I’m fully there, and each day is part of my journey, but each day I get closer. 

Part of this journey was to unplug from social media for 5 months. I needed the time to just be me without the pressure of feeling like I had to live the life others live on social media. This was a pressure I placed on myself each day and needed to free myself from it. 

I’m now back and feel a different person, a person who can use social media for the good bits and not let the bad bits get me down. But I’ve also vowed, if it starts to make me unhappy, I’ll unplug again. 

My mantra in life is “only do what makes your heart sing”

I’ve thrown my life in the air and found a path that makes my heart sing, my heart bursts with gratitude each day for this journey and I’m excited about the next stage.

Sometimes to find your true self, your true identity you have to be brave enough to start all over again. I can fully recommend this path!! 

Namaste