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…
When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes all I knew about the condition was that I would be insulin dependent for the rest of my life. I didn’t think much about the details about the invention of insulin until I became more involved with diabetes advocacy. I was surprised to discover that before the discovery of insulin in 1921, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was a death sentence.
Diabetes is one of the most studied diseases in the history of medicine, whose first mentions trace back to a collection of Egyptian medical texts proposing a treatment of a decoction of bones, wheat, grain, grit, green lead and earth. The Indian physician, Sushruta, and the surgeon Charaka were able to distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, termed as “madhumeha” (literally, ‘honey urine’).
The term “diabetes mellitus” was introduced in 1674 by the British physician Thomas Willis who defined diabetes mellitus as the “Pissing Evil.” It was only in 1776, that physician, natural philosopher and experimental physiologist Matthew Dobson discovered that urine of diabetic patients is sweet because of excess sugar.
Before the discovery of Insulin doctors were confused as to what caused diabetes. Was it a problem with kidneys, a metabolic issue? Not knowing the cause, all manner of bizarre treatments were prescribed from high calorie diets to fasting to opium. The founder of the Joslin Diabetes Centre, advocated for severe, prolonged fasting and under-nourishment as a cure for diabetes, coined the “starvation diet”.
Discovering that the problem lay with the pancreas took many years and experiments.
To give you a long history and treatise on the discovery of Insulin is not my goal, rather I hope it will inspire reflection on the ground-breaking discoveries we make as humans and the miracle of medicine and science.
I’m not a science nerd. I am a physical, emotional type, a dancer. Diabetes has forced me to find interest in things I wouldn’t naturally be drawn to. It’s made me more rational, reasonable and logical and I am starting to like this new part of me. Especially right now in the midst of this pandemic.
I admit I have been trolling conversations on facebook, just to try and put myself in the shoes of my friends who are struggling in the current climate. The ones who are adamant that the vaccines we are being asked to take are dangerous, that the statistics and scientists are wrong, coerced or lying because there is a much larger plan at work. That our freedoms are threatened, that we are now living in George Orwells 1984. Not only that but we must take a stand and say no.
I agree these are unprecedented scary times. Yet… it seems to me there is a missing piece to this and this is where the discovery and implementation of life saving insulin comes in.
How did Banting and Best, the two famous men responsible for bringing insulin to the world figure out that insulin was the key? They had to experiment. Once they had the inkling they were on the right track, they injected themselves to see what would happen. The final step was to inject a person living with diabetes who was about to die.
I am here today because of these risky human trials, because of years and years of experimentation and research. This was raw, edgy medical experimentation.
Now here we are in 2021, living on a knifes edge, friend pitted against friend, the world divided. Some of us absolutely convinced that the discovery of a vaccine for Covid is a miracle and others certain it’s a long-term death sentence, the end of life as we know it and NOTHING in between.
But what if this vaccine like insulin, is the start of something truly beautiful. A new beginning, a way forward in science, medicine and technology that’s only just beginning. Maybe this mRna technology are the first signs of a cure for all the genetic incurable diseases we have today. There is a great deal of evidence in credible scientific journals to suggest this.
To my friends freaking out, angry or even just hesitant and on the fence. There are many issues on our plate today. The climate crisis for one.
If we are willing to believe climate scientists, why aren’t we willing to believe our medical scientists? What is the difference? Is one body more co-opted than another? Most friends are terrified of what we are doing to the earth.
Which then begs the question how can a nature loving, non-harming, vegan like me even think of injecting myself with a supposed gene altering vaccine I know nothing about?
Try a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. It changed my perspective about everything. I have learned that sometimes to live a life in harmony with nature I have had to put myself first and trust science.
Life is precious and whatever keeps me living is precious. If that means injecting myself seven times a day with a lifesaving hormone, created in a lab from sequenced human DNA so be it. If it means taking an mRna vaccine so be it. I have way more years left in me to share, support and bring light to this earth
With great respect…
Something not many people know about me is that I am obsessed with sci-fi and dystopian stories. I was never a big Lord of the Rings fan, instead stick me in front of Star Trek and I’m as happy as a pig in mud. I am not quite sure why I’m so obsessed, but I think it has something to do with wanting to be just like my big brother when I was little, who along with my cousin, spent hours making meticulous Star Trek Enterprise models and filming action shots with them for fun.
Lately I haven’t had much patience for sticking my nose in a good novel, so I’ve been tooling through Netflix, consuming shows like Sense 8, Colony, Handmaid’s Tale and my current favourite ‘THE 100’
What is it about THE 100 that has me on a binge? It’s the unresolvable crisis’s that just seem to pile on top of each other in never ending succession, while going through every genre of horror, Sci-Fi adventure movie ever made. Think killer bees, the Lockness monster, the Blob, Frankenstein, Werewolves, Zombies, Cults, Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong, Jumanji, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Soylent Green, Rosemary’s Baby, even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (yes, to me that’s a horror flick)
No matter what kind of decisions the characters make to ‘do better’ or save their people, things never resolve in the way one would expect. In fact, in the show someone always ends up dying, getting maimed, or emotionally scarred for life. Yet somehow, they pick themselves up after their super awful decision and try again, usually making an even worse choice.
This is exactly on my worse days how I feel about managing my diabetes. No matter what choice I make, the outcome will never be what I expect. Even when I have all the right information, all the best tech, and excellent support.
Somehow, I’m back at the Dropship, waiting for the next Grounder invasion or trying to make nightblood in Zero G without a spacesuit or worse stuck in a bunker during yet another nuclear holocaust forced to become a cannibal or die.
Of course, if you haven’t seen the show you have no idea what I’m talking about but rest assured. Living with diabetes is just as edgy, and all out terrifying on even my best days.
Learning to accept my decisions when it comes to day to day management is my new goalpost. Like the characters in the show, who have to accept that killing, and maiming is the way to get their ‘humanity’ back.
I am not really sure about that sort of self-reflection when it comes to diabetes rather it’s through constant revaluation of the 180 decisions I make a day that keep propelling me forward with positivity and faith.
Like today when I took 65% of my breakfast dose, because I knew I’d be teaching yoga, which would drop my blood sugar, except woops it didn’t so subsequently I spent most of the morning plateauing high, which then caused me to spike higher at lunch even with a correction, which in turn had me scrubbing the stove and vigorously moving furniture about which most likely will mean more insulin sensitivity by dinner and a low overnight. Adjusting like this over and over takes effort, discipline and awareness. Qualities I developed through my yoga practice.
Some people might think of yoga as Sci-Fi. All woo-woo weird stuff with buzz words like transcendence and higher consciousness. But in reality, yoga is what happens when all words, ideas, identifications and imaginations drop out. It’s the base. The thing that doesn’t change. The changeless is the nature of yoga which is you, the perceiver of every experience, every choice. Even when you make a terrible choice, taking you down a dark seemingly treacherous path to a place you know nothing about. Who you are, the yoga itself, is the constant. The pathless path.
With great respect
P.s Join me for a grounding nourishing all level practice perfect for these times we find ourselves in