Yesterday I wrote this poem about diabetes. I find writing to be many things, its a way for me to express how I see the world without having to verbally express. My thoughts can get jumbled and I like to use words on the page to iron them out. Poetry is even easier to write than prose. the words don’t have to make sense. They can just be an expression of an inner landscape. A brushstroke, a paint splash. Incomplete feelings that suspend in the air. For me living with diabetes has many shades. There’s the part where I control things to make living with it easier. There’s the part where things feel really out of control. And then there is just getting on with life. Remembering that who I was before my diagnosis is still me.
Peace, such a simple word with huge ramifications. Asked to describe peace what would you say? Being still? Feeling content? As sense of safety and security? Unending happiness, bliss and trust?
Whatever words describe peace, peace is something we know intrinsically. Why? Because we experience it every night in deep sleep. Peace is the very nature of who we are. Which is why we look for it in the world. We can’t bear situations that are not peaceful.
You can’t ever reach for something you don’t know. It’s impossible. Like striving to climb Mt. Everest when you’ve never heard of the mountain and have no knowledge of climbing is pointless. First, you are taught how to climb, then you hear about Mt. Everest. Then you set your goal.
It’s the same with peace. The word peace describes a feeling, an inherently familiar state of being. But, before you learn about peace, you already are the living, breathing peace itself. Everyone and everything in the creation is peace. Just like everything is love, stillness and happiness.
The confusion sets in when I see peace as something separate to me. Something to gain or fight for. And certainly, as events are unfolding right now on the planet we are in shock to discover how tenuous peace is.
When one person can affect the stability and peace of millions in an instant. That’s insane! The question I am asking right now is where does peace go in war? Does the peace disappear? Do we need to reclaim peace, or can we remember that peace isn’t outside of us nor inside of us? It is the very nature of humanity.
A few years back John and I were in an unexpected earthquake. One minute we were sunbathing on the beach, the next the ground was shaking. I freaked and ran for the car yelling at John to drop everything because a tidal wave was coming.
John, way calmer, grabbed essentials like computers and clothes while telling me to relax. As much as he knew we needed to drive off the coast he reminded me that creation was just fine. Looking around at the birds, the bees and trees, nothing had changed. The ground shook for a minute, but I was the one shaking and going crazy and freaking out. The peace had never left me or creation. I had left the peace.
In this very stressful time, with ongoing challenges and uncertainty. The crisis may not be on your personal doorstep, i.e. you might not be in a war zone, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t challenged and affected by the suffering of others. Asking what I can do right now for others and getting practical might be one way to be part of the solution, but also simply remembering yourself in a few quiet moments, being still, being peace is a potent tool.
The meditation below is something I shared as part of our intention setting practice on Sundaram Online Ashram. It’s a group heart meditation. A gentle and positive way to align yourself with all those praying and sharing themselves as the remembrance of peace right now.
with great respect…
P.S we are still in the middle of our Sundaram Online Ashram intake, the perfect way to study with me in a deeper format. If you’d like to join us for the next few months on the Ashram, but not sure if its right for you or have any questions lets chat! I am happy to jump on a zoom call and take you inside the ashram for a guided tour.
For those of us on the Ashram these teachings are transformational and supportive in navigating what’s happening in the world right now.
Today marks another World Diabetes Day.
A day to share that people living with any kind of diabetes can do whatever they set their minds to. We are not defined by our condition. Spreading awareness of all the facets of living with diabetes, including access to medication, daily management and mental health help people not living with this condition understand more of what we are dealing with.
Each year I’ve been involved in one way or another. This year I’m more detached. That’s because this year I’ve been experiencing diabetes burnout.
13 years of living with diabetes, five years misdiagnosed and managing without insulin, four years solely on long acting insulin and four years on a full insulin regime. Once I went the full gambit I managed brilliantly by taking very little insulin, implementing the law of small numbers. Low carb=low insulin needs.
Things changed in March 2020. I felt drained, arthritic, suffered from multiple digestive issues and became less and less tolerant to foods and more and more insulin resistant. A few friends in the diabetes community recommended I try a new approach. Namely wholefood, vegan, high carb, low fat. I was ready, and dove in. After just a few months, my numbers rocked in the 5’s, I felt awesome. My digestion improved. I added more and more variety back in to my diet. I had energy, I felt hopeful and I was willing to experiment and make mistakes.
But then…I had two severe lows in a row. Nothing to do with my diet and everything to do with a faulty injection site. My long acting insulin sending me into a near death nose dive. It’s been a slow recovery.
Yoga has always been my main support and anchor. My mat a safe space. On the mat I drop the uncertainty, creating room for reality. I am not the body, I am not my thoughts, I am not the one identifying with the thoughts. Even the thought of myself.
Even though I have the right perspective and incredible tools on hand, the raw reality of injecting 7 times a day, not knowing if I’ll make another mistake and go low, not knowing how my body will respond to a piece of sourdough with avocado has been unnerving.
So, I’ve had to take a deep breath, consider that yoga cannot ‘fix’ this very real physical issue and reach out.
Thank goodness for Twitter.
On a random scroll down my feed I found a Telehealth Diabetes Clinic in Australia. I resonated with their message. ‘You do diabetes your way.’ Made an enquiry and just a few days later scored an appointment.
Right now, I am working with a diabetes dietician and we are testing foods, working out how fast or slow a food is absorbed into my blood stream. It’s true nuts and bolts stuff and takes a ton of time. Eating the food and recording the results. Taking a few days to recover if I misfire, learning, adjusting and trying again.
This past week I learned how to make recipes and create servings for carb counts. It should be a no brainer, but I am TERRIBLE with math. There were lots of scribbles and diagrams to look at and screen shots and charts to work stuff out.
I’m committed to the process. Like doing full wheel or handstand for the first time I’m ‘doing it scared’. Terrified might be a better word to describe how it feels watching the arrows on my freestyle libre after a meal. There’s been lots of tears and glucose gummies under the bridge in the last two months. But I’m okay with that. Yoga has taught me discipline, persistence, patience and courage.
Happy World Diabetes Day!
with great respect…