My name is Eileen and I’m on a healing journey.
I suppose there are two very important parts to that statement that need explaining.
The first part is that I need healing. I do. I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, severe spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, hythyroidism and auto-immune issues with my eyes. Because of these ailments I’m on a cocktail of medications, many of which have caused other serious conditions and problems that I’ve had to contend with, often related to gastrointestinal issues. I’ve also had multiple operations to fix my joints and spine.
There’s lots of healing that needs to happen.
And that has precipitated this journey.
My journey to good health began around the age of 30 when I received my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA as I like to call it. I had been suffering with RA symptoms for many years, probably since I was a teenager, but it took until my late 20s to put it all together and come up with a diagnosis.
Up until that point in my life I was what anyone would consider healthy. I was extremely active; even athletic. I was thin and strong. I ate what was considered, at that time, to be a healthy diet. I smoked, occasionally, and socially, but that was a long time ago. I was never a drinker except for the odd frat party in university. Again, a long time ago.
So when I became ill it felt like it was out of the blue. It hit me suddenly. Rocked my world. Surprised me and my husband. We were left feeling like we had the wind knocked out of us.
Never one to let something, anything, get the better of me, I was determined to do whatever it took, whatever was necessary, to heal. I didn’t care that every physician I saw told me there’s no cure for RA. In fact, I wasn’t even so sure that I had RA even though that was the consensus from numerous specialists. The only thing that I did know, that I did and still do believe, is that I can heal, and I am going to do whatever it takes in order to make that happen.
That’s where the journey to good health began. It began with a naturopathic doctor. Then a holistic nutritionist. I started to see a psychiatrist, and then a psychologist, which led to a psychotherapist and eventually a spiritual therapist.
I’ve tried Reiki, learned how to meditate, work with crystals, I journal, practice EFT (tapping) and more.
With various naturopaths I’ve tried numerous methods to cleanse my blood, had hundreds and hundreds of intravenous therapies. I’ve tried oxygen therapy, electromagnetic therapies, biofeedback therapies and on and on.
If there’s a homeopathic remedy out there then I’ve bought it, used it or it’s been administered to me.
My husband and I like to say that, short of voodoo, if you think you’ve heard of it then I’ve probably already tried it.
We never wanted to leave any stone unturned. Never wanted to say that due to fear of the unknown, or due to the expense of something, that we haven’t tried it.
And then there’s the food. Oh, the food. I was a vegetarian long before it was fashionable. Long before it was well understood. And then I was a vegan. There are plenty of folks who are vegetarians but they will eat eggs or butter or cheese or even honey. These are all considered animal products but there are many vegetarians who will eat these things. And then there’s fish. Most vegetarians I know will eat fish, too. I did not eat any of these foods.
I became a strict vegan. I cut out almost everything. No nightshades because they could cause inflammation. No gluten, and that was long before anyone knew what it was. I had to explain it to people. It was a word that, 10 years ago, they’d never heard of. No dairy. No eggs. No fish. It was strict. But it was worth the sacrifice if this was going to help me. Heck, I would take the help even if it reduced my pain by 10%.
Over the years, something else happened. I got worse and not better. My symptoms were increasing; my pain worsening. How was it possible? I never cheated on my diet. I was so careful. And I was getting worse? I was confused. It made no sense.
At the same time as this was happening to me physically I was also undergoing an emotional and spiritual change. My therapy was leading me in new directions. I was discovering who I am and what I need to be happy. I discovered what made me who I am today. I was learning about what I truly value in this world, and what doesn’t really matter to me. I was becoming more sure of myself. Confident. Emotionally strong. And I was beginning to value myself in a way that I realized I hadn’t before. I was beginning to realize that I deserve to be treated well, respectfully, with kindness and love. And I accepted, for the first time, that if the people in my life aren’t willing to treat me that way then they probably don’t value me, and they certainly don’t love me.
I was seeing the correlation between my emotional and spiritual well-being, and my physical well-being. It was all coming together for me. Everything was becoming clear.
Have I healed myself? No. That’s still a work in progress. But I have moved forward in my healing journey. I have realized some very important things about myself and about my life.
I realized that we have the life we are supposed to have. All of it. The good, the bad, the struggles. Nothing is an accident. We are all here doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. We are learning, growing, experiencing. Everyone has their struggles. Some we see, on the outside, and some are hidden away on the inside. But nobody escapes them. Mine might just be more obvious than most.
The measure of our life isn’t how much money we have, how big our house is, etc. We’ve all heard this before. And I believe it. The measure of our life is how we cope, how we treat others, how we react, and how we survive.
My diet is now Paleo and yes, it has helped. Please feel free to read about why I became Paleo and how that journey has transformed me. There is a link at the top of the page for you to click on.
And I gave up my previous life. There was a career in banking which has been gone for a long time now. Truth is, I never liked it much and it wasn’t a good fit for me. Sure the money was decent, but I was miserable. Then there was a career in politics. This I loved, but the money was terrible and it sucked the life out of me. I gave this up as well. So I’ve gone from banking to politics to pottery. Yes, pottery. I’ve discovered how much I love pottery.
To read about my journey into pottery please click on the link above.
Truth is, I’m still a little addicted to politics. I think it’s in my blood. It’s a passion for me. Only now I’m not earning a living in politics, and I’m no longer elected to any office within my political party. I am a volunteer, a happy contributor, and I do this on my terms.
I also love to write. I have always loved working with words and with language. It’s another passion for me. In fact, after university I went back to school to earn a continuing education degree from a Toronto university in public relations and communications where I placed an emphasis on writing and editing.
I have learned to meditate and more importantly, I’ve learned how important it is to meditate. I’ve learned that meditation can help me cope with pain, find solutions to problems, create recipes, channel designs, calm me down and bring everything into clear focus. Meditation is a powerful tool.
Through meditation I’ve learned about my past, what makes me the woman I am today, and what I need to do to survive.
Through my spiritual practices I’ve learned that I definitely believe in God. There it is. I’ve said it. I’ve put it out there. The thing that most people are afraid to say. I don’t know why people hesitate to say that since more than 90% of the world does adhere to some sort of religious belief, but there seems to be some strange fear surrounding this. Well, I’m over it. I can now say it out loud. I believe in God.
I’m not talking about religious beliefs. I’m talking about God. Spirit. Energy. One powerful being. And I’ve come to know, truly know in my heart, that God wants me to be happy, healthy and joyous. God wants me to have abundance. God will guide me, look after me, love me. But I have my work to do, too. I need to be constantly striving to be better, and that means to be kind and loving, to have compassion, to be generous, and that doesn’t just mean to others. That also means to myself. I need to treat myself with kindness and love, to have compassion for myself, to be generous with myself. Yes, I need to be conscious of these things, all the time, with others, but it’s just as important that I remember to treat myself this same way. I cannot put myself last, or even second. I have to come first.
Understanding that this is not narcissism, and it’s nothing to feel badly or guilty about, took me quite a while, but I think I’m now there. We should not feel bad or guilty about wanting to put ourselves first. This does not mean that I don’t love my husband, family and friends. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think of them, always, and try to do right by them, and all of the time. It just means that I now realize that I have to value myself, too, forgive myself, love myself, and doing this for myself not only doesn’t diminish me but it makes me stronger, healthier, and better able to love all those around me.
So here we are.
I’m a potter.
I’m still political.
And I’m married. I’ve referred to my husband, Raphael, but I haven’t really discussed him. Suffice it to say that I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I am married to my best friend. I love him with all my heart and soul and I know he loves me the same way. No marriage is perfect but I feel like mine is darn close. I’m married to a man who is as close to an angel as one could imagine.
My heart is filled with gratitude for everyone and everything in my life. I give thanks every day.
And now I will give thanks to you. Thank you for being a part of my healing journey, for taking the time to learn about me, and to explore my website.
I hope you’ll enjoy my pottery and maybe you’ll even be moved to buy or order something. And if you’re considering a transition to Paleo and you need some assistance then please remember that I’m also a certified life coach and I’m here to help.
May you be healthy and happy, and always have love and light in your life.