Project 22 – Chapter 22
Chapter 22 – Bonus
We went to Canberra for Christmas and we took things very slowly over the Christmas holidays, it was heaven! When we got home, just before New Years, I decided to look at ways to ‘starve’ the inflammation in my body.
I’d re-watched the documentary Heal, and somewhere in there someone mentioned (I think it was Dr Joe Dispenza) that to reduce inflammation we need to starve it, take away it’s ‘fuel’ so to speak, so I started swimming.
The aim was to help improve my lung function. If we don’t use it, we lose it, so I wanted to see what I could create there, plus it was movement, which would be great for my body.
On the first day I got into our pool and I procrastinated swimming any laps, I just lay around. Then, resisting the change, I put on my goggles and swum 6 laps. That was enough for the day.
The next day I swam 10 laps, then repeated that for a few days. 10 became 20, 20 became 30 etc. until I got to 60. That became my baseline, and within a month I was swimming 60 laps a day.
There were times when I’d stretch that out, going to 70, then 80, then 90 and eventually getting up to 1km, which was 112 laps in my pool.
The purpose of it was to do the thing aka swimming, but I learnt so much about myself like when I focused on the swimming stroke in the moment, rather thinking about my next lap, my breath was calmer. Whereas when I was thinking ahead it was harder for me to breathe, I was perhaps more anxious.
Also I’d break down my overall goal into 10 laps as follows, doing 6, having a break, then focusing on the last 4. That was 10 done. It was easy to do that 6 times (or more).
And focusing on what was right in front of me, that current stroke, allowed me to focus on what was right in front of me in life so I wrote down all the things that were right in front of me and that’s where I’d start my days. Not with the 50 million other tasks that I could do, just the things that were right in front of me, including bigger goals, and then breaking them into smaller goals.
It was simple stuff but big reminders
I also started doing hot & cold showers during this time. This wasn’t fun but it was easier to do being summer and it got easier over time.
I stopped swimming and doing cold showers once the weather got colder, it was late March I think, but by then I was in another space that came about through following my intuition and listening to my body.
My mornings with my lungs were, what I’d describe as, quite bad. I basically woke up coughing and bringing up mucus for the first 45 minutes of my day. There were times when I would put ice packs on the back of my neck because of the heat rising through my body.
Both the cough and the heat were (in my eyes) my body’s way of expelling the mucus that had built up over night in my lungs, so they were supporting me but it’s not normal and it hadn’t been my normal.
The heat rising in my body got me thinking about Ayurvedic Medicine and the Doshas. I’m a Pitta Dosha which means my body it naturally hot, I’m fast at doing things and I’m fast at letting things go. A good way, I find to describe a Pitta Dosha is an A-Type personality, people give you things when they want them done.
I wondered if my Pitta fire was too hot, and that was part of my issue.
The other thing I wondered about is how a wet Spleen, in Chinese Medicine, pushes mucus to the lungs, and ways I could dry out my spleen. Our spleen in Chinese Medicine is our pancreas in Western Medicine, just an FYI.
Food of course was one way, however, I wondered about Acupuncture.
I was at my Drs office in November 22 and I mentioned I was thinking about Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, when he told me he was a qualified Acupuncturist. Amazing, I thought. I booked in with him and had a session. It was good, not earth shattering but good. I wanted more but given the acupuncture was an add on for him, not his core business, I never got around to booking in another session.
Then I was out to lunch with some ladies when I asked, ‘so what’s been going on for you this week?’ I felt the question was totally random and I didn’t know if it was the ‘right question’ but I said it anyway. One of the ladies told me she’d been to see her Chinese Herbalist and she shared that he was also an acupuncturist. GOLD, I thought, that’s why I was meant to ask that question.
I booked in with him that day and have been working with him since. It’s been about 3 months now and we started with weekly consults, then moving to fortnightly. I take his specialised herbal tea 3 times a day and the shift from there to here has been huge.
What’s gone from coughing up tablespoons of phlegm and the heat rising for about 45 minutes, which would lead to exhaustion and really, ideally, but it rarely happened, going back to bed. Also running out of breath from walking down to let our chickens out, which is maybe 20 metres away, then coming back and feeling out of breath, and exhausted.
To a dry cough in the morning, and if there’s mucus it’s not from my lungs it’s from my sinus. That’s a huge shift in itself because I didn’t know I had any sinus issues prior to doing this work. The heat has disappeared, and I’m now able to walk to my chickens and back and I have energy afterwards, plus finally, playing a game of netball and not feeling completely exhausted after 5 minutes. Just this week I saw that I can get to the end of a game, and whilst I feel fatigued and yes I’m coughing as my lungs settle, I’m not bringing up a world of mucus from my lungs, it’s considerably less and I recover better.
Of course I’d love overnight results, but I believe that to create sustainable change, it’s going to take time. I haven’t always been in this space of allowing things to take time, but perhaps age has created this. As we get older our bodies are different, and it’s important for us to listen in and see what we need now.
Going to the gym for an hour doesn’t excite me at all. Doing a quick 20 minute session, that’s centred around what I want to achieve, which is a bit of cardio and some specific weight training (where I can walk the next day) is enough.
So when it comes to acupuncture or any other modality, I’m giving it time. I’ve had this lung issue since 2011, as far as I can see, which means I’ve had a version of it for 12 years (it’s 2023 when I write this) so if I give my lungs 1 month to heal for each year that I’ve had this, that’s 12 months of healing that’s required. That’s 12 months of seeing my acupuncturist and not just healing this but thriving beyond this.
Are you ready to give yourself time to heal and then take the time to thrive?
Too many off us, myself included, get off the wagon when we’re healed, but what if we stay on the wagon and thrive, creating a health span, not just a life span?
The Spiritual Work
I’ve spoken a bit about this on my journey, but I thought it might be time to go a bit deeper with you.
Firstly, I want to separate spirituality from religion, in my mind they’re two very different things however they can be connected. For me, spirituality is about connecting to my soul, and knowing that everything’s connected. This means, I’m connecting to everyone’s soul. Sounds full on I know, but it’s really not.
Think about it this way, you walk into a room and immediately you can feel the energy of the room. Is it uplifting or is there tension or a mix of the two? When I’m in a spiritually connected room, for me, it’s uplifting, this is the spiritual work – anything that’s uplifting, even in the sad moments. There is a difference between the quick hit (drugs, alcohol, sugar etc.) and the sustainable long term benefits of these uplifting times too.
Sustainable long term benefits last, they create calm in my mind, body and soul, they slow down time, they create benefits and they grow. They don’t give me a hangover, depression, anxiety, bloating, ground hog day etc.
I definitely have been dabbling in the spiritual work, listening to podcasts, talking to spiritual healers, working with my Reiki Master aka burping lady, seeing my medium, being a RAW Consultant, but in 2023 I took this to a new level. I decided to commit to meditating every day. Again, I wasn’t going to lose my shit if it didn’t happen and there are days when I’ve mediated 2 or 3 times.
I chose to use Dr Joe Dispenza’s guided Morning Mediation (I use Volume 1, but Volume 2 has recently come out). This meditation connects us with the Unified Field (think of the mettaverse) and to our future self. My future self doesn’t have my lung condition, she’s healthy and she’s so much calmer than I am (even though I think I’m calm). She is in the work we’re meant to be doing and she’s living a version of the life I have right now.
We (my spiritual friends and I) talk about how she lives in the ‘Gucci’ home and then there’s another version who lives in the ‘Cottage’. I came to the realisation in 2022 that I’m living both versions of that life now. We live in, what some people call, a mansion (it’s literally come out of their mouths) but we live on half an acre with chickens, we’re growing veggies and I ground myself daily on the grass, so more cottage and earthy.
This woman is who I sit with in meditation, this is the work I’m doing daily to bring her into my current life and sometimes she’s here, sometimes we’re holding hands, sometimes I’m looking into her eyes and asking her questions – seeking her guidance.
She’s always so loving and supportive of me, it’s just incredible.
I’m also about to start work with a Spiritual Mentor. Now I have no idea what this looks like but I’m open to exploring what she’s going to bring to our sessions. Knowing that I know myself better than anyone, and the answers are within, she’s a mentor, a guide and she’ll help me wake up, quicker than I could myself. Just so you know, this is what coaches do for you, especially the ones who’ve walked your path.
This is definitely a new, deeper journey for me. It’s not one I talk about a lot and I’m really conscious about talking about it in ‘safe’ spaces. You won’t hear me talking about this randomly, and that’s about protecting my energy.
The Emotional Work
As for the emotional work, I did do some work on this in 2022, but it felt really uncomfortable.
I’m good at sitting with emotions as they rise up. I can feel anxiety rise through my body, I can feel anger explode through my body and equally so, I can feel happiness, joy and love expand through my body and beyond. I can feel all of this and I can just notice it, I don’t have to do anything with it and I know that ‘this too shall pass’. The happiness will pass, the joy will pass, the love will pass, the anger will pass and so will the anxiety, plus any other feeling that rises. It all passes.
However, to sit down and actively bring an emotion or feeling into my body and fully explore that feeling, and where it plays out in my life, well that’s tough.
I worked with my friend Kylie Wolfig and did her Emotional Release Technique. It was freeing but confronting.
I sat in front of a mirror and brought in feelings of grief, and talked to the people and things I was grieving from.
I sat on my meditation cushion and brought in feelings of anger, and talked to myself about why I was angry about that thing or situation, and I sat with anger until it passed through me.
But did I do any of this consistently? No. And does it feel really hard to write about now? Yes. Can I do more work in this space? Absolutely. And will others benefit from me doing this work? Of course.
The openness that I experience on the other side of this work is incredible, but it’s like doing something you know will be beneficial but you don’t want to do it when you start out. That’s the deep emotional work for me and where I’m at right now is ok.
I do know that when I work on myself, be that in the spiritual, emotional, physical or mental space, or a combination of those spaces, the people I love and who choose to actively be part of my life benefit. They benefit via osmosis, it’s like an energy field that I naturally project and they can come into that field or not, they get to choose, just like they get to choose what they take away and what they receive, plus what they give in return.
So there’s more to do here, and my heart feels better seeing what I have done, and what, through doing this work, it creates for myself and others.
Why do I do this work?
It’s a good question to ask and I wondered this myself until I got a phone call. My brother rang to talk about my lung issues. We’d never spoken about them before but it turned out he had a similar condition.
It was a fun chat, we shared our challenges and what we were doing about them. He shared with me that he was told that ‘our lungs are dumb’ by a medical professional. I share this here because it happens way tooooo often where we’re told this stuff and we believe it, which could lead to someone thinking they’re stuck with the issue for life.
You know my experience in this space, and how I was told ‘your a-typical’ which meant, ‘nothing to see here, get on with life and we’ll chat to you when things get worse – but don’t get sick.’ It was an oxymoron.
Also, I was on a podcast interview with someone and he shared that in his research his team had discovered that our lungs have an immune system lining (see they’re not dumb, they’re actually really intelligent), and that helps heal our bodies because, like our skin, our lungs are exposed to the outside world. They breath in the outside world, so we want to be careful what we breath in.
Anyway, this got me thinking, if my brother has this issue and there had been other health issues with my siblings, perhaps we could chat and share what’s going on for us, so I started the conversation but interestingly it quickly died.
Now this isn’t a negative. What I learnt is I have a lot of health issues going on, more than I would have said were issues. I thought it was normal life, but perhaps it’s not. They on the other hand are pretty healthy.
Here is my list. Most of which is in chapter 1:
- Tonsillitis and laryngitis from 18 to 38
- Period pain most months where I’d self-medicate to relieve the pain
- Post-natal depression
- Cold sores
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Hair loss
- Low iron & associate fatigue
- Lung condition including non-tuberculosis mycobacterium
- SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth)
This is why I do the work, because I have a lot going on and whilst 80% of it isn’t an issue any more, everything’s connected so when I work on one health issue, I know the others are benefiting too. It’s a win win and time and consistency are our greatest friends.
Even more so, I do this work because it lights up my soul, I love it and I’ll keep doing it because I love it.
All the best on your journey, keep moving forward and thank you for being here with me. Soulfully, Susan xo
Thank you so much for being here and I’d really love to hear what you’ve taken away or what’s resonated with you, and if you’re on a healing journey. Whether you be reading this in 2023 or 2033, it all counts and keep walking towards your future self, because they’re waiting for us and we can bring them in right now and embody all that we are in the future in our today. Much love, Susan xo
PS. Just reminding you, you can check out everything about my Project 22 over here.
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Everything shared in this post and across my website is my story and recollection of conversation and events. They are in no way medical or mental health advice, prescription or diagnosis. Should you be interested in what I’m sharing and what this could mean in your life, then I’d encourage you to engage with the relevant health professionals or if you need support please seek out the health professionals that can support you.
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