On Friday I turned 41. As a beach lover, and resident of South Florida, a visit to the beach was mandatory.
It was a very windy day, and the surf was turbulent. As I stood with my feet in the water, I questioned whether or not I should go in.
For most of my teens and my entire adulthood, I’ve challenged myself to be courageous. If something seemed scary, do it! As a little girl, I was extremely shy and often held myself back from doing things I wanted to do, or saying things I wanted to say. At a certain point in my life, I realized I had the power to change this shy persona, to be who I wanted to be, and create the life I wanted to live.
And that’s exactly what I did! I’ve done lots of big scary things in my life, and little scary things too, and I feel really good about the life that I have, and the person that I am, as a result.
Then, something odd bubbled up for me a couple months ago.
I spent the day on a boat with my dad and my boyfriend, and afterward, I never stopped rocking. Since then, I’ve had the feeling of being on the boat everyday. Some days the rocking motion is more intense than others, and at times it’s anxiety inducing and exhausting.
Turns out I have something called Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS), and there is no “cure” for it. Often, it goes away on its own after a few weeks. On some occasions, it never goes away.
In much the same way I learned I had the power to turn myself from a shy person into a bold and courageous person, I know I have the power to bring my brain back into stability. Everyday, I practice a body scan and grounding meditation, and work on my balance through yoga.
On my birthday, I felt no perceptible rocking motion. It’s the first day I felt “normal” in 8 weeks. What a perfect birthday gift!
I stood before that turbulent ocean and questioned whether or not to jump in. The voice I normally listen to said, “Go for it! It’s your birthday! Laugh at your fear and dive in anyway.”
Then I heard a different voice, with a brand new message…
“Hey, it’s your first day feeling completely steady and grounded. Why not honor that and let your body rest, instead of tossing yourself into a turbulent situation?”
Yes, I will listen to that voice.
I walked away to rejoin my boyfriend and my dog under the umbrella knowing 2 things for certain:
- I am incredibly courageous woman. I know that for certain within myself, and there is no one to whom I need to prove myself.
- I am creating a new theme in my life this decade, a theme of immaculate care, of self-honoring, of listening to my body and giving it exactly what it wants and needs.
As a wellness coach, I’m excited to practice what I preach on a whole new level. I know that my body loves to be challenged, and I also know, at times I can ignore its signals and push beyond its threshold. This decade is about listening and honoring my body, even when it feels scary to take a step back and rest, because that’s what a brave woman would do.