Although I can honestly say I am now at a stage in my life where I feel more content, confident and happier than I have ever been, depression and anxiety have been familiar companions in my past.
In my early twenties, over a space of three years whilst I was living in Israel, I experienced sexual and emotional abuse from a personal relationship and from two separate professional practitioners that I had turned to for help. It was an extremely traumatic time that left me confused over my personal boundaries and, like many women I kept the experiences to myself, buried my feelings around these encounters and carried on. Four or five years later they surfaced as depression and severe anxiety. Those past experiences that had sat and festered would surface from time to time and sap the joy out of my life. The dark cloud would come over for seemingly no reason and leave me once again feeling scared, confused and alone. My reaction would always be to clam up and soldier on.
It was only when my health started to suffer in the form of chronic asthma and chest infections and threaten my career as a professional dancer that I started searching for alternative healing methods. to allopathic medicine and discovered the big wide world of complimentary medicine and self help systems that went beyond focusing on controlling the symptoms.
I spent years exploring the myriad of choice available in my quest for releasing my demons and living a happy life. I took many a wrong turn on the way and was led up some dead ends for sure! But I feel eternally grateful all the tools and techniques I have learned along the way. The wise teachers and natural health practitioners I have met and the career I have built from sharing these practices that have enhanced my life in ways I never thought possible.
While studying ancient medicine, the ways of other cultures helped me understand that underneath our stressful beliefs, memories and past experiences is a very real and magical system that loves life more than anything. A system that when stimulated, gives us access to that love of life and feeling of joy that is our birth right.
The Chinese called them the strange flows thousands of years ago when they were first documented, they have also been called the radiant circuits and the joy generators. This system can be felt when we have a burst of joy. For example when watching a beautiful sunset, hearing we have won the lottery, got that job or promotion or when we fall in love. That expansive feeling that makes us feel light happy and generous. This system is the part of us that knows how to thrive in life, to forgive, see the cup half full. To follow our hearts and live life with a joyful expectation.
As a huge bonus, when this system is activated it boosts and strengthens our immunity and releases our natural ability to heal. The more we focus on developing this system the more we can let go of habits, experiences and beliefs that hold us back from living life fully and enjoy our lives. I am not talking about putting plasters of broken legs, ignoring trauma and just thinking positive. These are powerful systems that can help us deal with trauma in a way that truly releases and allow fresh ways of being to be developed.
Regular practice and stimulating these pathways through certain physical movements, tapping and tracing specific acupressure points and pathways, awareness exercises and meditation help us build a strong foundation. Even if we have never had severe trauma, our modern day world is saturated with advertisements, social media platforms and the news telling us we are not safe, not good enough as we are and how important it is to be aware of everything that can go wrong. With this, it is easy in to get into a habit of at best, just 'getting through' our lives and at worst, feeling a low grade anxiety, robbing us of our health and well being.
The most valuable thing I learned is that we have power over the way we respond to life, a choice on what we carry with us and that we are far more capable of change than we are led to believe. There is an unstoppable life force available to us full of love, joy and wonder and always waiting for us to say yes to it!
We are hosting a free webinar The Happiness Experiment on 8th April @8pm in order to share some of these practices with you and to teach you HOW they work. Join us and learn practical and applicable ways to create the FEELING of contentment and joy with physical practices to help you embody the habit! Let's create a foundation for our well being and increase our capacity to enjoy our lives. Find more details here!
Can't make the live webinar? No worries! Register anyway and there will be a replay link available for 48 hours after the event!