Katherine Willow’s monthly natural health diary, cont’d
The trip was definitely positive overall: Felix learned to swim with enormous enthusiasm in his jelly belly suit; Coral and I got to have some needed talks; we met wonderful new friends, human and otherwise (see photo), and learned to appreciate the open-hearted Mexican people with their fascinating history. Yours truly failed miserably trying to windsurf in the ocean and blew off some steam on the dance floor one evening. And it looks like we might have a perfect place to run a retreat in the middle of next winter!
Underneath all of these holiday events, I was distantly aware of being anxious, tense and too organized. It was difficult to be close to Coral. My sleep was restless and I woke too early. However, I ploughed these feelings under and kept on functioning, just as I do in my life. Only in the last few days of the holiday was I able to even realize that I couldn’t relax. Not new for me. This is what I avoid feeling by working most of the time.
The dynamic became more clear as I studied my way through a profound book, The Inner World of Trauma, by Jungian therapist Donald Kalshed, in between taking (excessive) care of Felix and Coral. By the end of the trip, something had shifted in me from better understanding how and why I resist change and do self-destructive things—like working compulsively. It’s similar to German New Medicine, in that these seemingly negative behaviours and thoughts are actually attempting to help, just as diseases have a biological purpose to improve our chances of survival. My negative voice is trying to protect me from feeling emotions that it considers too painful to bear. . .
Back home, I’m more ready than ever to integrate these insights into my life. I have started to work with counsellor Deborah Boldt to facilitate my awareness of the places I’m so good at avoiding. It’s only been two visits and I already feel deeply hopeful and grateful for her support. I slowed down my exercise routine so that it would prompt me to be more in touch. Also, I signed up for Amber Young’s relaxation circle. The first session was absolutely delicious, even more than I had expected! It’s exactly what I need to do right now — rather than always trying to teach everyone else…embarrassed clearing of throat here. . .
On another but related note, Coral woke up in the middle of one night with a splitting headache that caused her to cry and beg for painkillers. After a little reading in my homeopathic book, I found that I had brought several remedies that might work. We muscle-tested five and one made her remarkably strong. She took the remedy and was fast asleep in less than 1/2 hour. As usual, I was left with utter gratitude for this knowledge and look forward to sharing it through our work at the centre. (Check out the free open house talk on Sat, May 14th, 1-3pm, Allergy Tips & Children’s Seasonal Health, for similar info.)
These transitional seasons tend to be upsetting. The world seems more-than-usual intensely turbulent. It’s a time of change, difficulty, hope and new solutions. It’s a time when we need each other more than ever and when strong relationships can make the difference between sinking and floating.
May you be surrounded by positive and caring people and be so for others.