Wednesday, September 10, 2014
I called in on Jon Gabriel's blog talk radio for some help. bellow are his recommendations and the suggestions by a friend of his. I wanted to have them here to refer to in the future. This is what I wrote to his friend:
"I feel like I've following all Jon's recommendations for the last 8 months, but I'm feeling stuck, more fatigued and was looking for more suggestions on what else I could be doing to get energy, health, vitality and lose the 40 lbs I still have on me. He said a name was coming to him, and it was your name. I remembered you right away from your testimonial video which I saw back in Feb.. I watched it a couple of times as your story touched me.
Here's a little history of myself: I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mom with 5 children. I've had a happy life with no traumas (except for a move from one country to another when I was 13). I gained 60 lbs with each pregnancy and was able to lose it within 2 years after each of the first 3 babies. Life was a lot more stressful after the 4th baby and it took me 6 years to lose the weight. Then we had a surprise baby when I was 43. That baby didn't sleep well until he was 4, so I didn't sleep well either until he was 4. He just turned 5 and I still have my 40 lbs to lose. I have been adding the healthy foods to my diet since Feb, but even before that. I gave up sugar 2 1/2 years ago and have been eating flax for many years and taking probiotics. I've been staying away from wheat. I still eat yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese, so I do have some dairy. Raw dairy is possible but very costly. It is beyond our reach right now. I do listen to some of Jon's visualizations, especially after I do school with a couple of the kids and need a break to rejuvinate before I work with the others. I started doing yoga for 20 minutes every morning. I started painting with watercolors again, sewing, making jewelry. I started a blog. I studied style on my own with books and the internet and feel like an expert on myself, my colors and styles. I feel more tired now than I did 6-8 months ago. I start to fade by 3pm and by 5pm am not worth much. I sleep 11-6, sometimes a little more. Also, since the last baby, my immune system has weakened and if I have a stressful event, like travelling to visit my parents (they are nice but it is a 24 hour drive each way), every holiday and Birthday, etc.. my immune system goes down and I get hives, my gums swell, and/or pink eye. High doses of vitamin C is the only thing I've found to help restore the balance and within 2 weeks I am usually better. I do some strength training and some intervals. I am 48 and seem to be entering peri-menopause but still have regular periods, just miss about 1 a year. Jon said this will slow my weight loss down and that it may take me 2 more years to lose the weight. My kids are much older than yours and I am much older than you! They are ages 17, 15, 13, 11 and 5 (4 boys and 1 girl). We want them to live happy and to be fulfilled. We are Christians. Jon said that anything that makes my spirit feel lighter will make my body lighter... lighter foods, lighter thoughts, things that replenish my spirit. So, I'm thinking it means I need to turn to my God and let Him carry my burdens and soak in His love for me. I always picture God as the light in Jon's visualizations. My kids are older and the older ones can watch the younger ones if I need time to myself, but often they are busy with their own interests and I can have a lot of time to myself if I want to. Like now, I am in my pretty little bedroom writing to you. Some are sleeping and 2 are on the computer together. I am sorry to take up so much of your time with my long story. I would appreciate any advice you can offer. I think Jon has good intuition with his callers, so when he mentioned I should contact you I was very happy to do so. I thought I saw that you are a narrative therapist? Is that using story to help people? I am a (retired) music therapist, using music to help people. I worked with Alzheimer's patients for 5 years before we had children and then stayed home with them. I have not started playing music again. I was never very good at making music... a little singing, a little piano, a little guitar, a little oboe, I loved playing the recorder. It was enough to reach my patients, but not enough to play in church, or perform in any way. Music has not bubbled out of me for a good 10 years at least. I do enjoy listening to music but don't often do it. The kids have their own music and it is usually blasting through the house. I don't often get a chance to put my music on. I wear headphones and listen to my iPod when I'm doing house cleaning and laundry or riding the exercise bike, but I seem to be drawn to programs like Jon's blog talk radio programs instead of music. OK, dear. Thank you for listening to me. You are beautiful and you have a beautiful family. Thank you. Helen
Here is her response:
Hi Helen, I have just read your message again, and will share with you my thoughts. I believe one of the keys to my weight loss success has been opening to my spiritual path. I certainly would recommended you embrace your spirituality and connection to God as a means to lift you and raise your vibration. Whenever i let the busyness of life overshadow my spiritual practices, I notice a 'heaviness' returning. You wrote 'So, I'm thinking it means I need to turn to my God and let Him carry my burdens and soak in His love for me. I always picture God as the light in Jon's visualizations.' This is your own wisdom coming through.
Four years without good sleep is a long time - having had 5 babies in 6 years, I totally know how that feels! You have only begun getting adequate rest in the past year, and it can take time for our bodies to trust that the 'sleep famine' is truly over! Rest, rest, rest. If you can take a nap in the afternoon - do it! Even for 20 or 30 mins. This is going to give your body the sense that sleep has not only returned, but is in abundance. I would also recommend you go to sleep earlier at night. We get our most restorative sleep in the hours before midnight. If it is at all possible to get to sleep by 10, it could make a real difference to your tiredness.
The fact that you have been adding all the good foods to your diet, and are more tired than ever suggests to me that there may be some food allergies worth looking in to. Do you think you could drop all dairy for a little while to test out your tolerance to it? Try going dairy free for 2-4 weeks and just see if this has any impact on your fatigue. I personally find dairy of any kind very inflammatory, and stay right away from it. Raw milk is easy and affordable here, so my children have that - my allergy is such that I can't even tolerate that, although I have friends who can tolerate it fine, but react badly to regular milk products.
Also, could you try switching flax for chia seeds for a little while? I have an issue with estrogen dominance, and flax can be estrogenizing, so I avoid it and prefer chia. Particularly if you are going in to peri-meopause - it might be worth trying the switch to see if it has any effect.
Another piece if inner wisdom I read from your message was that 'music hasn't bubbled out of me for 10 years.' Irrespective of how accomplished you were - did creating music make you feel alive? joyful? Often we lay down some of the things that nourished our soul when we have children because there is so much else to do - I did that with painting. Perhaps it is time to bring music closer to you?
Above all, what I want to ask you is this - are all the things you are doing for yourself right now about self love, nuturance and acceptance just as you are in this moment? Do all the activities you are doing in service of getting back to your preferred weight fill you with joy and a sense of self love? If not - then this is the area of greatest importance.
Sometimes less is more - a gentle walk in beauty, a quiet nap in the sun - for mothers like us who are so busy all the time - doing 'nothing' can be highly generative!!
I can hear from your message that you have a good sense of inner wisdom, and I would encourage you to really listen in to what your body is trying to tell you. Jon teaches us that we speak to our body in images, I would add that our body speaks to us in symptoms. If we can become a compassionate witness to these exquisite bodies of ours, and really listen for the clues it gives us, and respond to its needs in the way we respond to and nurture our children, we can find a place of balance and peace.
As you send out your intent to really listen to your body wisdom, things will start coming through to you (keep a notebook handy). Insights will arise, certain books/ talks/ articles will catch your eye. You will begin to piece together the puzzle of your perfect health and wellness needs. Jon can give you pieces of that puzzle, I can offer others, but it is ultimately your own wisdom and discernment that will find its perfect pathway.
These are my initial reflections, and I hope they are helpful to you in some way. I could ask a lot of questions to get a clearer picture of what is going on for you, and offer more ideas/possibilities and solutions. But these are my initial thoughts, based on what you have told me. I am not a certified GM coach, just another friend walking a similar path, so please take what is useful and leave what doesn't resonate with you.
As you mentioned, I am a Narrative therapist, which is a form of counselling that honors you as the expert in your own story - and is based upon the idea that we create meaning in our lives through the way in which we story our experience. There are many ways to story our lives, and I support people to mine the landscape of their experience for the jewels that will nourish their sense of self and open up possibilities that were not apparent before.
I offer coaching via skype to people who would like ongoing support. Some come to me through my involvement with the Gabriel method, and others come to me in other ways and for different reasons. I am a family therapist by day, and a life coach by night! I only mention this in case you feel you would like me to assist you more (it's so much better to talk than type!!) As a single parent of 5, who has struggled at times to afford the support that I need, it's important to me that I remain within reach to the people who seek my support. A 1 hour skype call with me is $60 NZD (which works out to about $50 U.S) and a 30 min call is $40 NZD.
I am happy to continue to chat with you via fb messages, but if you want to set up a skype call, we can do that too!
I hope this helps, and I wish you peace in your journey
This thoughtful response touched my heart. I will treasure it and apply her suggestions as I feel able. I thought it might be helpful to others as well.