“In the broken places, the light shines through.”
Could chronic illness be a guide to support us on a path to healing and awakening to who we truly are? Could it be that the illness has come to teach a lesson, to guide the sufferer back to wellness and happiness? Could the illness somehow become the healer?
Having spent the last eight years supporting hundreds of people with chronic illness on the path to wellness, I would answer yes to all of these questions. My own personal recovery journey took me on a long, challenging, yet ultimately profoundly liberating journey of awakening.
Eleven years ago life looked very different to me. I was two years into CFS/ME and barely able to leave the house; I was experiencing extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep problems, brain fog and anxiety. Now I have been fully recovered for eight years and am enjoying developing what feels like my life work: supporting people back to health.
In this blog, I’ll share some of my thoughts about how trauma and stress can both trigger illness and act as a catalyst to heal and expand our consciousness. I’ll also explore how activating my life-force energy, or ‘Kundalini’ – and the awakenings that followed, were instrumental in my healing.
Trauma and Stress
I’ve noticed that when I’ve delved a little deeper into my clients’ history, we find there has often been trauma in their lives prior to them becoming ill. There has almost always been prolonged stress. This trauma and/or stress can impact the nervous system of an individual dramatically, creating fertile soil for the illness to develop. Some doctors now say that up to 90% of all illness can be attributed to stress.
Sometimes it takes becoming very ill to realize that life changes are needed. In this way, the the illness itself can ultimately be the cure. It can become the call to address your life stressors and to explore the trauma you may have experienced. It can become the call to heal.
(On top of the stress that leads to chronic illness, many people find themselves adding extra stress about the illness itself. This perpetuates the stress cycle in the system, which in turn can exaccerbate the symptoms. For many, simply addressing this secondary cycle stress becomes the key to finding health again.)
Big Life Changes
It’s possible to fully recover from most chronic health conditions and in my practice, I’ve noticed this is full recovery is very often accompanied by a big life shift. Sometimes this looks like a new career, a change in direction, or a coming home to one’s passions and life-calling.
Most importantly, full recovery is usually accompanied by a profound and lasting change in the individual, which leads to them living a happier, more fulfilled and vibrant life.
A big part of that can be the simple practice of learning to stop. To be still. To find the centre of yourself and to observe it with compassion. Learning to drop more and more into this state of presence can regulate your nervous system with profound shifts in physical health.
In invite you to explore this now by taking a moment to take a few conscious breaths… become aware of the subtleties of the in and out breath experience
…..perhaps bring a gentle smile to your lips…
Meditation and life-force
Practicing meditation and yoga can help to gently activate our life force energy, also know as Kundalini. Throughout my journey with Chronic Fatigue/M.E, I experienced this powerful life-force energy as a deeply beneficial, yet challenging ally on my healing path.
I have seen that several people who have chronic health challenges also find themselves on a journey with Kundalini. I’m passionate about educating on this subject and supporting people to integrate the amazing potential of this ‘energy of awakening’.
In ancient Yogic and Hindu philosophy, Kundalini is thought to be a coiled ball of light stored at the base of the spine. Once activated, it rises through a channel in the energy body just in front of the spine. On it’s way, it can awaken our energy centres, bringing healing and ultimately deep spiritual transformation.
As it moves through, it ‘purifies’ our psychological and emotional wounding. This can mean we feel worse before we feel better and some people even experience a ‘dark night of the soul’. If we can stay present and get support, we can receive many benefits from this process, including profound physical healing.
As we are cleared of our traumas and our conditioning, many body systems can start functioning as they should and our nervous system and brains can be soothed:
Fatigue and brain fog gradually turn into energy and mental clarity…
Our soothed digestive systems can start to absorb nutrients properly again…
Pains disappear and lightness and ease comes into the body…
In my experience, once people begin to experience Kundalini awakening, it is essential to get support with the process, from mentors, guides, therapists, bodyworkers. Ideally these are people who have experienced or studied this kind of complex and intricate journey. There are many experts out there to help this process. However, ultimately they can only facilitate your own transformation. It’s the inner cure that results in wellbeing.
From my own investigation of chronic health issues, both within my own healing journey, and by supporting others to heal, I feel that journey of awakening through chronic illness is fundamentally about our own unfolding.
The illness calls us into our own ripening to who we truly are.
Others can help hold the space for this process, show the doorway and hold your hand as you walk through. But it is you who will ultimately take the walk home…
Home to your Self, to your truth, to your body, to love….