I’ve been spending a lot of time on the outside of me lately. I was certainly disgruntled with how long it was taking for the living room carpet to be replaced with wood, living out of boxes, moving the aforementioned boxes from one room to another in anticipation of the other bedroom being painted, not feeling like cooking because there was a bunch of boxes in my kitchen, dismayed with my bedroom not feeling very sanctuarylike (which is quite important to me, I think that’s not unusual) and just general malaise with regard to how long it was taking my living space to start feeling like someplace I’d like to live.

That sentence was so run on, it could have been the opening shot for touch of evil

But really, I was quite at odds with the way things were. And superfrustrated with my social impotence as well. I’m living in a city where so many people I love reside and I don’t really feel like I’ve seen anyone very much. I found that it was difficult to go out and come home to an apartment in disarray, so I stopped going out. Inviting people here didn’t have much appeal either though. But something had to change, so I started small. I moved all the boxes out of my bedroom into other parts of the house. I moved my bed where I wanted it (there are times when a king sized bed can be inconvenient..) put up some hangings, started to feel a little better about my room’s cozyness appeal.

I went for my first ever manicure and pedicure at this place up the drive called Flaming June that has amazing deals. It was much harder than I thought it would be to just sit there and let someone treat me nice. How strange is that? I was paying her to do my nails and still felt like I should be participating by making tea or something. I got a haircut and my eyebrows shaped and while it was all wonderful and fun, it didn’t do for me what I expected. I still felt discombobulated and frustrated.

I have a new doctor and she’s great, I must remember to thank my sister for giving me her number. I’ve suspected for a long time that I might have hemochromatosis because my cycles are irregular and heavy and freakishly long. If there’s an excess of iron in the blood, the body finds some way to deal, or it rusts. So it made sense to me. Side effects of it include thyroidisms, joint pain, fatigue, irregular menstrualisms, hair loss and other stuff that I’ve been troubled with now and again. And for a doctor to tell me that I have hypothyroidism, prescribe synthectic thyroid and tell me i have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life never sat well with me. Why is my thyroid underactive? Isn’t that an indication that there is imbalance somewhere? Why wouldn’t there be further investigation into this? But this is the crux of western medicine that it treats a symptom, not a disease. This is not new, most people are well aware of this fact. But I’m tired of living this way. I want the whole me to be balanced and healthy, not just my thyroid.

So, after the new doctor sent me for blood tests, told me my iron is incredibly low (which rules out hemochromatosis apparently) and I should start taking supplements. I’m great at following direction. I’m terrible at self motivation, even when I know it’s important I follow through. Perhaps that will change with practice. So instead of going and buying some iron and B12 that I’ll take for a few days until I forget, I went around the corner to a naturopath.

She talked to me for an hour! We talked about everything that I have ever been concerned about with regard to my health, not just what I could remember in the (typically) 15 minutes alloted to a visit. I tend to see the doctor, get rushed through an appointment and as I’m walking out the door, suddenly remember ack! I wanted to talk about…..it was great. Except that my iron is so low that she recommended I start eating meat again. And not just meat, red meat, preferrably bison because it’s grass fed. I imagine it’s only temporary, until my levels are in a more manageable place. But wow! Suddenly I’m forced to rethink what healthy is.

The feeling I came away from the naturopath’s with, a certain determination and buoyancy was certainly on par with the feeling I had when I left the spa and subsequently, the haircutting place. A feeling like I had really made a definitive decision to affect change. One was from the outside, and one from within.  Aesthetics are important, why would we see in color if it wasn’t? But it’s hard to appreciate the outside if the inside is all messed up. So me searching for that balance by changing the outside could only go so far before I was overwhelmed with dissatisfaction again.

All that said, the desire to heal one’s body without the same regard for the mind seems like folly to me. I’m under the impression that if one begins to heal the mind, the body might more easily come along. If a mind sees clearly, how long would it continue being satisfied to reside within a toxic home? I think it’s the same as beginning a regimen of exercise while doing very little to change a diet of easy, not so healthy all the time food. There could never be a sense of complete health. But, by comparison, perhaps if one changes their diet to a more beneficial regime, I could see how energy would increase and the idea of exercising becomes less daunting.

I want to affect positive change in the world. Some days desperately. Part of it comes from wanting to connect with other like minded beings, whether they have hands, flippers or paws. Part of it comes from wanting to fall asleep each night feeling good about what I’ve done that day, while looking forward to whatever might happen when I wake the next morning.

One of my favorite stories by Utah Phillips is about some time he spent in the korean war. It’s a beautiful story and he tells it better than I ever could, but the line that stuck with me from the moment I heard it was, “it was all wrong and it all had to change, and that change had to start with me.

The best place to start is the one place I’m capable of making the greatest difference. Why this constant need to externalize the improvements? Why do I find the idea of saving chimpanzees or joing the sea shepherds and ramming whaling boats or liberating canaries from pet stores more rewarding than rescuing my own body and mind from self-imposed bad eating habits and lifestyle choices? And why am I so willing to write off the human race when there are so many people capable of greatness and joy? As it turns out, I’m not.

I’ve started practicing being non-judgemental towards other humans. It’s difficult since I’ve been such a cynic for such a long time. But recently I’ve started acknowledging every single person I see as being worthy of love. Not out loud, I don’t want those judgmental bastards thinking I’m a hippy or something! But in my head, every single person I notice while walking down the street, I recognize as deserving of love. It’s kind of amazing what a difference it’s made already with how I view strangers. I know there will be days when it will be difficult, but there will likely be just as many days when it will be easy. At some point, I bet that balance will tip in favor of acceptance and joy. And not just towards others, but me too…

Bon nuit mes amis