Last week I attended a health camp. A legit shine the light inward, chant around a fire, talk about bowel movements retreat. I was in dire need of some spiritual and physical healing, as those of you who follow my Instagram exploits know: due to my pregnancy I have been eating pretty much anything within a one-metre radius of my mouth. I’ve also been suffering from total and utter burnout and hanging on mentally by the slimmest of silken tendrils. So like Marge Simpson heading off to Rancho Relaxo, I said goodbye to my family for five nights and headed off to the mountains to hopefully find that elusive inner peace… or at the very least, lower my blood sugar levels so that I don’t get gestational diabetes again.
Upon arrival at the Gold Coast airport I stood at the luggage carousels and waited for my bag to appear, and I waited and waited until every last person on my flight had collected their belongings and the whole thing had physically stopped. That’s never a good sign is it? When the whole conveyer belt heaves to a grinding halt, and you’re yet to collect your belongings. I tried to remain calm. “Serenity now Em, serenity now,” I said to myself as I walked over to the baggage counter, and upon approach, was asked by the lady if I was SURE my luggage wasn’t there.
“The belt stopped, it physically STOPPED, and my bag wasn’t on it, so yes I’m pretty sure it’s not there, Sharon.” I answered in my most zen voice.
Serenity now, Em. Serenity fucking now.
Sharon took my details and told me they’d call when and IF the bag containing all my new maternity active wear, my runners, my toiletries and my undies – showed up. I took a few centering deep breaths and made my way up into the mountains to find a better me. Luckily upon arrival I noticed there was a large gift shop attached to the retreat, so I was able to stock up on organic, sourced-from-Narnia bamboo underwear, and some totally luxe but very expensive activewear (let’s just say this joint only stocked one type of brand. I won’t name names, but it rhymes with schmu schmu shmemon). Yes, I was already three hundred dollars poorer; but I knew that at the very least, my vagina was going to be a better person from being sheathed in such natural opulence.
Each morning, a well-meaning volunteer knocks on your door at 5:30am, acting as a knocking human alarm clock. You’re to be up and reporting to Qi Gong by 6am. Qi Gong is fancy breathing with interpretive dance moves – we stood on a hill facing the sunrise, and I cried the first time I did it – so I was off to a killer start, guys. You then have a morning full of activities (walking, yoga, pilates, dancing, spinning, deep water running, crying…) and healthy eating, and in the afternoon, you’re encouraged to nap and go to the day spa. This Hogwarts of health has every single service you can desire, from a mani/pedi to a colonic irrigation. My first session was with a holistic naturopath who was also trained in iridology. Iridology is where they can tell the inner workings of your body from zooming into your iris.
That’s right, a lady looked deep into my oiyes, and read my very soul.
Firstly, I was told that my eye colour means I have a predisposition to being angry, sad and vulnerable. Hello, me (although a quick Google search of my name might have given away a few indications, but let’s press on). My eye colour also says that I am a perfectionist with an analytical mind. And that I tend to not listen to people when they give me advice. Wow. Hazel eyes are a gossipy bitch.
And then it got even scarier.
The rings in my irises show I have a tendency to suffer anxiety and to be a workaholic. Holy Christ on a wheel, yes. “Tends to thrive on stress, generally being ambitious and highly motivated – the real self-starter. The type A personality can work on many things at the same time, rushing from one project to another and thriving off the stress caused by doing so.”
Gahhh. Get out of my brain.
My irises apparently also scream that I am prone to a “wide range of emotional mood swings leading to exhaustion: grief, fear, anger, pain, enthusiasm and unconscious behaviour.”
My pupils reveal that I’m adrenalised a lot. That I’m a ‘fight or flight’ person. And that I’m holding so much grief and sadness in my lungs, that even my eyes know it.
Lastly, there was advice bestowed upon me and my irises.
-Listen to your body – your greatest gift is intuition.
-Avoid eating while emotionally upset. (Lol. Good luck.)
-Don’t be ‘all or nothing’. Find balance, be gentle. (My youngest daughter isn’t speaking to me because upon my return I emptied the pantry and fridge of anything not organic or healthy. I don’t believe in ‘easy does it’, or this elusive BALANCE I hear so much about. RIP THAT BANDAID OFF!)
So if next time you see me, I have my eyes shut – it’s because they are revealing far too much of myself to strangers.
Oddly enough we ended the appointment talking about vaginal seeding, which obviously does not concern my pupils. I told her I was expecting to have a c-section and she said that I should make sure that my obstetrician gets my vaginal seeds to give to my baby to promote good gut health and something something less allergies…. I smiled and nodded, pretending to know what she was talking about, all the while picturing the horrified look on lovely Dr Llyod’s face when I informed him that after he delivers my son, he’ll need to pop on a pair of overalls and a head torch, and proceed to harvest my birth canal. I mean I assume that’s what that situation is, and NO I AM NOT GOOGLING IT!
Was it a helpful, life-changing week? Look yes, yes it most certainly was. I cried for the first twenty-four hours, I don’t know why. Perhaps because I gave myself permission to finally let go of all the crap I’d been holding onto just so I could survive day-to-day life. Over the past year or so I’ve also buried and swallowed an extremely unhealthy amount of rage and sadness which I believe was starting to poison me from the inside out. My overall internal monologue was that of a misunderstood, ripped-off angry person. I was tired of feeling half-broken all of the time, I was also exhausted from carrying unresolved grief and resentment. I confronted all the touchy raw spots I’d been protecting and I can report I came home feeling lighter.
I also learned humans are capable of foot-long turds… so you know, it was a BIG week guys.
I have so much more to tell you but you’ve already been here for 1200 odd words so I’ll save it for the next time I see you all in person. I guess what I really wanted to say is: if I can stare head-on into all my faults, hurts and anger, and survive it, then anyone can. I mean, I’m still a fucking lunatic, just not an unhappy one!
Yours in peace, love and vaginal seeds.