I am now making wiser choices when it comes to both food and mindset so that I can decrease stress levels and create hormonal balance.
After returning from a month trip through Austria where I lived off of bread and dairy, it was no wonder my respiratory issues went from seasonal allergies and a persistent cough to a severe case of walking pneumonia, where I was hospitalized with stabbing chest pain, fever, and nausea which continued for weeks even after a round of antibiotics. With the antibiotics killing my gut flora, which I learned can take up to a year to recover, I was left with a vaginal yeast infection, chronic fatigue, and a low to practically no libido. With weekly visits to my general practitioner and almost 2 dozen blood tests, all I was told was that my inflammation level was high. I had been told by a homeopathic doctor that I should not be eating wheat, but it was never explained why, until one day, I was listening to sex therapist Dr. Cat Meyer and Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist Diane Kazer's podcast, Eat, Play, Sex, where they interviewed Dr. Tom O'Bryan, world renown expert on gluten-related disorders and author of "The Auto-Immune Fix".
Listening to Eat Play Sex Podcast Episode 24: The Gluten Sensitivity, Leaky Gut, and Infertility with Dr. Tom O'Bryan explained the effects of gluten on the body SO well that I have no desire to touch it. Dr. Tom was also interviewed on the Wellness Mama's Podcast, which goes even deeper!
Since I have cut gluten out of my diet, inflammation has decreased, my energy level has gone up, and I am feeling better than I have ever felt. It also helps that I sought out help from Diane Kazer and her powerful 8-week coaching program CHI: Hormone Warrior Transformation Program.
While studying the Essence of Tantra in Thailand, our teacher gave us this beautiful story on forgiveness. It is a sweet reminder of who we really are. It's a bit lengthly but well worth the read. And so it begins...
Once upon no time, there was a Little Soul who said to God, "I know who I am!"
And God said, "That's wonderful! Who are you?" And the Little Soul shouted, "I'm the Light!"
God smiled a big smile. "That's right!" God exclaimed. "You are the Light."
The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out. "Wow," said the Little Soul, "this is really cool!"
But soon, knowing who it was, was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was.
And so the Little Soul went back to God (which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said, "Hi, God! Now that I know Who I am, is it okay for me to be it?" And God said, "You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?"
"Well," replied the Little Soul, "it’s one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it's like to be the Light!"
"But you already are the Light," God repeated, smiling again.
"Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!" cried the Little Soul.
"Well," said God with a chuckle, "I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one." Then God's expression changed. "There's only one thing ..."
"What?" asked the Little Soul. "Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not."
"Huh?" said the Little Soul, who was now a little confused.
"Think of it this way," said God. "You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you're there all right. Along with a million, ka- gillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles ... and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light – that is the question."
"Well," the Little Soul perked up, "you're God. Think of something!" Once more God smiled. "I already have," God said.
"Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we'll surround you with darkness."
"What's darkness?" the Little Soul asked. God replied, "It is that which you are not."
"Will I be afraid of the dark?" cried the Little Soul.
"Only if you choose to be," God answered. "There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending."
"Oh," said the Little Soul, and felt better already.
Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. "It is a great gift," God said, "because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then.
"And so," God concluded, "when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don't be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!"
"You mean it's okay to let others see how special I am?" asked the Little Soul.
"Of course!" God chuckled. "It's very okay! But remember, 'special' does not mean 'better.' Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special."
"Wow," said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. "I can be as special as I want to be!"
"Yes, and you can start right now," said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul. "What part of special do you want to be?"
"What part of special?" the Little Soul repeated. "I don't understand."
"Well," God explained, "being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?"
The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. "I can think of lots of ways to be special!" the Little Soul then exclaimed. "It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!"
"Yes!" God agreed, "and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That's what it means to be the Light."
"I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!" the Little Soul announced with great excitement. "I want to be the part of special called 'forgiving'. Isn't it special to be forgiving?"
"Oh, yes," God assured the Little Soul. "That is very special." "Okay," said the Little Soul. "That's what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that."
"Good," said God, "but there's one thing you should know." The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.
About the writer:
Marisa loves hoop dancing, riding her bicycle, playing, hosting gatherings, practicing yoga, traveling, meeting people, eating, and savoring dark chocolate covered strawberries and coconut ice cream. She strives to be fully present, compassionate, and act and connect from a place of love.