Updated: Apr 14, 2018
Spirals are fascinating. The Greeks and Fibonacci had them figured out. They mathematically derived the occurrence of spirals everywhere in beauty and nature. We see them in plants, eyes of hurricanes, the double helix of DNA, and shapes of galaxies. There's also something beautifully metaphorical about spirals and the human spirit, which is well put in this quote:
My wellness journey has very much been a spiral path.
Between 2014 and 2016 I was working and going to grad school full time, all while dealing with Graves' disease that I was diagnosed with a year before. As I was taking hormone medication to normalize my thyroid function, I watched in despair as my weight seesawed and hair fell out. Since I didn't have a solid wellness foundation at the time, I relied often on meds to muscle through the exhaustion and physical pain. The combination of aspirin and poor lifestyle choices related to the stresses of work, school, and my thyroid issues attributed to causing painful stomach ulcers for the first time ever in my life. Finishing my masters was a relief though! Furthermore, my thyroid finally normalized around this time after being on the horomones for 2.5 years. When things settled down again, I was expecting to feel a return to wholeness. I didn't. I was just so far removed from being in tune with my body to notice that my needs changed during this time.
What was it going to take for me to feel good again? No idea. So just as described in the Gillespie quote, I took a step back and reevaluated what it meant for me to be healthy. I now looked at health as a bigger picture, and what came forward to me was a deeper truth. I found that being healthy was more than exercise and diet, which I already was doing regularly. Health is holistic. It's a state of well-being in all aspects of life — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. So in order to achieve this balance, these became important to me:
Reading leisurely again
Fully expressing my emotions instead of suppressing them
Releasing stagnant and negative energy, such as stress or anger, so that they don't manifest into physical pain
Recognizing when my anxieties and fears are irrational
Trying alternative ways for pain management or treating physical ailments if feasible
Giving natural products a go
Incorporating more movement and exercise
Getting much needed sleep and rest
Getting a massage and doing a salt float once a month
Being out in nature more
Working on creative and stimulating projects
Using technology to support my wellness
Following people on social media who inspire me
Cutting ties with people who leech off my energy
Having one less mimosa on the next brunch so I don't ruin my Sunday
A moment when things felt like life was "spiraling out of control" caused me to spiral inward by which I contemplated why things happened the way they did and found so much more meaning to the experience. It led me to implement new lifestyle changes that give me me purpose, passion, joy, and peace of mind. I am the happiest and most grounded I've felt in so long. When I'm married, pregnant, a mother, in mid-life, a senior citizen, and so forth, I have no doubt I'll be coming back to reevaluate wellness again and again. I'll just need to trust the spiral path.