Almost all the client that find themselves faced with my ancient old door are on a quest of some kind. They might have a health goal, something they are working toward (weight loss, improved hormonal levels, reduced pain) or something they're working away from (the threat of diabetes, heart disease or cancer). Some come with a clear expectation of what they wish to achieve only to realise that when they take time to reflect and really dig in - this is not in fact the central issue; the feeling of overwhelm, constant giving of oneself or negative self-talk is the monumental issue that needs working through;and that ultimately is why the combination of nutritional science and health coaching can be a perfect pairing.
One recurring theme is that of self-love; or lack there of. I hear a wife speak of their tender care of their husband (and vice versa), Mum's their constant striving for their children, animal lovers doting on their furry friends. But where, in that, is The Me? The I Am? Our society takes great store in the busy-busy, our children have an abundance of after school activities, it's the norm to give and give and give in the workplace; and dear God in Govan if you're not in paid employment (through choice or in a child/ older adult caring role) then you'd better have a diary full of charitable giving, self-development activities and the cleanest house ever known! Cutting back on the "me time", taking time to relax or enjoy exercise or slope off for an early night become such a rarity that it's an almost unspoken, whispered confession "I read a book.... sssshh; don't judge me".
And, why am I - the Nutritional Therapist - writing about this and not spurting on about the merits of cabbage juice? Well, cabbage juice is overwhelmingly mindnumbingly dull, but more important than that - the results may not always be immediate; but the break in the chain will appear at some point and I have the great privilege of witnessing the unveiling of these truths within the four walls of my clinic. Broken sleep, poor thyroid health, rock bottom energy, anxiety, depression, gut issues, weight gain (or loss) and so the list continues. And of course adapting our diet and adding in adjuvants to support this in short or long term is an important part of the healing journey; but so is the self work... and the self worth.
Our results are the perfect manifestation of our investment. So a long term poor investment in the bank-of-self will equate, at some point, to a negative balance - in one of many forms. I find the research around wellness and self care utterly fascinating and compelling - but part of the reason I know this - is because (as the song goes), this is me! And after many yrs of chasing the elusive elixir of inner harmony and ultimate wellness I've realised to my complete delight that I will be the forever student and not the teacher. In the same way that my palliative care patients, families and colleagues would teach me every day; my clients offer the very same joy in their stories of striving for better, their ability to transform in front of my very eyes and to create new, ingenious ways of making our action plan work just for them; and it is an on-going process.
There are a number of ways I have found to add wellness bucks into my bank-of-self. Meditation is a must, time out in green space is a balm to my soul, Yoga I adore, conscious listings of gratitude, journaling and being clear on my focus and desired outcomes (for how can you reach a destination if you don't even have a map) and mindful practice -as simple as the walk to school having awareness of "Little Red's" hand in mine as our feet slap the cracked and well trod pavements.
My urge to you, dear reader, and to all my clients - is find your thing- the thing that makes you stop and breathe and do it again and again and again. For how can we give our love away when we haven't found ourselves worthy of it in the first place?