The intensity of the river can be heard from our front road, an entire acre away. Its continual word, shh. It’s shushing us.
Even as we turn to leave the drive, we’re being reminded. Shush.
Maybe we’re learning. We’ve been practicing putting our hands over our eyes while we pray. We’re taking our sense of sight away briefly in hopes to notice it better when it is returned. Maybe, with eyes closed, we’re learning to see & hear better.
May I share a tender part of my life with you—a part that has asked me to walk without sight, without understanding, listening for things that I’ve shushed more than I allowed to quiet me? I want to share this because in the quiet I’ve found sweetness.
Almost two years ago my body sent me a message. I was responding to life as though it were a continual emergency. Not giving myself enough relief from stress, my body decided to take one without my say.
It has been a long road, but a healing one.
A few months ago I found myself in a string of new strength, an answer to prayer and painful re-educating of myself. It wasn’t just a day or week of health, it was coming in waves, weeks and months, at a time. Restoration was deepening past the point of surviving. I was thriving.
Still a day or two at a time would, and does, crop up where some of the effects of my sympathetic nervous system reaching for recovery after exhaustion shows its multifaceted face. Hard reminders, but important ones for me to remember my humanity, my limitations, my need for deeper growth.
I had a couple days like that this past week. Graciously, simultaneously, I was contacted by several friends and family who wanted to talk about health. The words I heard coming out of my mouth, urging others, fortified me to keep moving toward strength—holding tight to what I have learned, not forgetting.
I want to share these things with you all too, not because I have them down perfectly, rather because we all have stress and the need to detox from it. We all need encouragement to take hold of and understand the tools to do so.
The very real poison of the toxicity that comes from stress is actually pretty simple to detox from. By that I mean it is not complex but it does take discipline and often no small amount of shush. Sometimes, it is the simplest things we need a reminder of. So, here’s some reminders for us all today.
Starting wherever we are, taking only the next step, knowing it matters:
SLEEP: Get ample sleep and sometimes more than seems necessary — this is when and how the body heals itself.
DEEP CLEANSING BREATHS: Do you know how to do this where your belly rises like a baby’s? This heals.
Practical ways to build this into our days:
-waking deep breaths (I marry this with prayer and space for gratefulness)
-afternoon deep breaths (with nap during healing intensive, even 15 min—we have that), scan the body for stress, release the stress wherever it is trying to find a place to live in our body
-evening deep breaths, to welcome cleansing rest (space for communion with our Creator & thanks)
LEMON IN WATER: First thing in the morning, cleanses the cleansing organs.
This is us believing our body wants to heal and working with it to do so. Hydrate the rest of the day with straight water. Note: a cup or two with lemon is plenty, too much lemon can work toward dehydrating you, not the goal.
-tai chi, qi gong, yoga (via YouTube videos if need be)
-a walk outside
-stretching, reaching, rotating neck, arms, legs, hips
Goal: stimulate lymphatic system to do it’s cleansing work. Think: “waking it up”. Keep your body moving each day, even a little, to help it do the healing it wants to do. This comes alongside our cleansing organs, to get the toxins out of our bodies. Lay this foundation, make it a routine, and then build.
BATHS: Epsom salt baths in very warm-hot water, 10-15 minutes of sweating it out and then re-hydrate with drinking water.
NOURISH the BELLY: Gut health is essential, most of us need help in this area.
Many thoughts here, but a few notes from my own journey:
-Healing the consequences of stress on the body can be helped by eliminating more rather than adding.
-Let our gut rest. Think: times of partial fasting, like morning or simply after a certain time of night (dinner) no more eating until breakfast.
-Then when we do eat OBSERVE what is not peaceful, be willing to avoid those things, eat more of what nourishes (face addiction and the often real needs, behind it)
-Come alongside the healing with pro and pre-biotics in one daily supplement (great brand: Garden of Life) #notanad
-After this foundation of peace is laid, then consider further nourishing such as juicing
GET OUTSIDE: Try for 30 minutes a day or, if need to, start with just 15 min.
EAT simple: The fewer ingredients the better. So much of our food has been genetically modified or, as with dairy, has hormones added to it, a tremendous and conflicting strain on our bodies. As we simplify, so can our body.
I know this is big subject, but it really can get simple. Happy to talk more about this.
SING: As worship, as prayer, as release. If you don’t feel like singing, start with listening to music. This heals us.
WALK in HEALTH: The health you have, today, walk in it.
SEE with HOPE: Hardships, health or otherwise are not the end, they are the means. I want to be forever changed by Paul’s words, “when I am weak then I am strong”. He knew a secret we need to survive the many stresses we encounter and dare to absorb.
There is no mistake in the design of day and night, nor in positive and negative. It is for us to SEE, both these things are a door to more. Our failures or hardships are not the end of the story, they are the story ark, a place ripe for change.
Paul boasted of his weaknesses not because he had overcome them and was now perfect, but rather because he knew the power of Messiah in his life through facing them. All of my being has the deepest down hallelujah over this reality.
Do not be afraid my friends. Healing, restoring, thriving — it is possible. One simple, though maybe difficult for us, step at a time.
The hard reminders are here for us, as invitation to more — the more we’re hoping for.
One last love note to my sisters and fellow mommas and wives: it has been important for me to ask myself what was really behind my sense of not “being able” to take care of myself as I needed to. What was behind “I don’t have time”, “I can’t”?
When once the ability to or not to is taken away, much comes to light, but I still had the choice to look it in the face or not. The pride I found there was ugly. As was the lazy way I had given over my choices, choices that were mine to make as for what kind of life I lead. I had handed them over to excuses, even blaming,…because I was afraid. I have been afraid of failure, of risk, of looking foolish, of finding myself unable, of, of, of…
I’m not through with all that yet, but I’m on my way. I hope these notes from my trek meet you wherever you are in yours with the intoxicating scent of grace and freedom. one. step. at. a. time. It is enough.
These choices are FOR us, but sometimes we need vision to see that the hardships come to invite us into those choices…like a banquet prepared beforehand, for us.
Can you hear the river? Listening in with you today.
Hello! I’m glad you are here. Subscribe to stay connected? I’ll send you my poem, Bound by Light, to say welcome and thank you.
My name is Raynna Myers, I’m an author, photographer, homeschooling mom to six children, and a wife of 19 years, creating to be the life-giver I was created to be, in the image of my Creator. This is where I share as I learn, because we need each other.
If you are interested in purchasing my book, it is on sale in my store now.
All photos copyright Raynna Myers, 2018