Time Out

by Vashte on May 15, 2013

My last post was way back at the beginning of April- that’s a month and a bit Vashte. What is your excuse?!Time Out

Fact: I needed some time out. I did not want time out. I was encouraged to take time out, by my body. We all need time out every now and then- don’t wait until you are forced!

It would appear that I have been running on adrenalin for many years. I then ramped it up in the past two. Having drive, and being driven are two very different concepts for the body to work with. Most often we do not know we are being driven while we are ‘being’ driven. Isn’t that great news?! (sarcasm intended). Our adrenal gland is needed to respond to stress. Too much for too long can cause chronic fatigue as well as a number of other health issues. Add a sudden unexpected event in life and our body’s ‘fight or flight‘ response can be activated.

The fight or flight response is activated in a healthy person when that person is suddenly frightened, or when someone surprises them (for example). They will feel a sudden surge of energy, with all senses wired for action and they will usually scream, jump out of the way, or prepare to attack. Then, once the surprise is realised, the body returns back to the normal state of being- the heart returns to its regular beat, and they could laugh, scold or react in some way and the senses then ‘chillax’.

Many people today are running on empty through the stresses of day to day living. Work/career expectations, deadlines to meet; children to care for involving a mammoth amount of running around for social activities these days, feeding their hungry little mouths and dealing with their high octane energy; business and social expectations, meetings to attend; personal goals such as in fitness; further education; making time for your husband or wife not to mention family events .. and then there is you. Our calenders are overflowing with events- there is ‘never enough time in the day!’  Sound familiar? We live in constant adrenal overdrive– as our bodies are put under more and more stress, good and bad; we deal with it. You know it’s true! You make a way for all these things to happen somehow. We are all some form of Superman or Superwoman – not really through choice but through expectations we either allow other people to put on us, and those expectations we put on ourselves.

The body is an incredible machine. It is designed to survive and win. And it does- look at you now! After all you have put it through it is still here, doing the absolute best it possibly can- with or without your help. Most people today offer it no help whatsoever. Some (many) seem to have a death wish and choose to punish their bodies in every way possible. Who is winning? You, or your body? That body is. No matter what state YOU put it in- it is fighting to keep you breathing and functioning at optimum levels for the state you have put yourself in.

So ‘running on adrenals’ is a common thing in the world today. Many do not make an effort, let alone a concerted effort,  in caring for this body we have been given to rent. Not really. Not the majority. We push our bodies to the extreme; we do not allow them to rest nor sleep enough; we do not choose healthy food options opting to overeat in most cases, or undereat in others; many drink alcohol in excess especially in the weekends; many take drugs legal and illegal, we cover ourselves in toxic chemicals and clean our homes with those same toxins; we work REALLY REALLY hard. We are constantly tired. This is adrenal fatigue. This is running on empty.

What happens when a major event in life occurs to a body running on empty, and or fueled with toxins, and filled with all the wrong ingredients?

A major event in life does not have to be a bad one! A positive event can tip the scales just as much as a negative if the equation has been set!! So; enter a sudden major positive or negative life event such as: a sudden change in career, moving home; a breakup of a long-term relationship, an introduction to a relationship; a death, a birth; there are many events that can cause a sudden shock to our already stressed out bodies. What then happens? How do we survive? ah ..But we do. That body is determined to keep you functioning at your peak state, whatever your peak state looks like for you in your current body.

Enter: Fight or Flight state. Fight or Flight state is not designed for long term use. It is designed to fill you with adrenalin to get out out NOW, or fight for your life. It is a response the body makes in a crisis situation. It is momentary. Then it is designed to stop. A major shock/crisis in life can result in a person living in this state for much longer than intended.- Not good.  Most people do not realise they are there, until they come down. With a thud. The fact is- we have to come down at some stage. It is possible to live for years in this state, and the health repercussion are severe. Why?

In fight or flight state you are in overdrive. You are alert, ready for action at any given time. If you are living in this state you are ready for action anytime, anyday. You do not rest. In order for the body to function at this level, it decides that certain other everyday functions can be slowed down or even switched off if we push the body for long enough. Take for instance, the following:

  • The digestive system – shut it down, not needed in this state.
  • The immune system – shut it down, not needed in the state.
  • The blood system – activate thickening of the blood.
  • The BRAIN system – concentration on high alert 24 hours of the day. Shut down short term memory and other unrelated functions in this state.
  • The reproductive system – shut it down, not needed in this state.
  • The excretory system – shut down bowel movement, not needed in this state.

Oh dear.

Our body’s total focus is on fight or flight now. Nothing else is needed in this state. Fine for a very short period of time, but absolutely not fine for any longer. Too many people today are living much of their adult lives in this state until, they crash. And they have to. And it is nasty at that point.

The importance of slowing down and making time to relax, coming to terms with events in our lives, relaxing and accepting, then letting go is momentous. Ask yourself:

  • What is it you are running away from, or what is it you are running to? Why?
  • What have you loaded your plate with and why? Really ask yourself this.
  • And give yourself time to answer these questions.

I fully realised my body had been in fight/flight state only recently. You see, you do not always see it when you are living it.-When you are in it. Especially when you are determined not to let anything hold you down or slow you down.  How can you when you think you are doing all the right things, you are moving in the direction you think you want to go in; when everything is exciting and fun but you have no time to spare; people need to schedule 2 months in advance to see you- family included; you fall in a heap every night and can hardly get out of bed in the mornings- but that is normal isn’t it? It will pass. You tell yourself to “Eat some cement- harden up”. You have a million balls and you are juggling them perfectly– well, so I thought... Then along comes one more and oh my. I drop them all…

That was NOT part of the plan Jan!

Focus focus focus– get back on track. But you can’t. No matter how hard you try; and the harder you try the slower you become. The more painful it gets. Well that is how it was for me. Perhaps you can relate?

I started gaining weight in Oct 12, I could feel it but it was not showing till Dec 12. As I was so lean I looked ‘normal’ in Dec 12- no alarm bells went off for other people. Inside I was panicking but again, thought it would pass… wrong!!  In Feb 13 I was in agony. I was not eating excessively during this time so what was happening?! Finally in that month, when I could not stand the sight of food at all (it is true!), and when I was dry retching at the sight and thought of an apple; I went to hospital. I had an impacted colon!!!! How on earth could this happen…. to me??? Look at what I eat! Look at what I drink!! Look at how I exercise!!! This makes NO SENSE whatsoever. I felt like throwing everything away as this ‘health stuff’ clearly does not work. I was over it! I felt defeated, by my own team.

It was time to get real with myself and time to get honest.

My body had been in fight/flight for the past 2 years. Many functions had shut down. But as I have mentioned time and time again on this blog, our bodies are incredible. They just keep on keeping-on until they just really really can not any more. The more you ignore the gentle signals they send you- the more the body will shut down the basics and run in survival mode. If you, like me, ignore the warning signals in the early stages, you can and likely will find yourself in desperate circumstances. That is painful. On every level. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. When you are in that hospital, which is where most people end up, as I did, you are at the beck and call of random doctors. Doctors who treat you as a number. Doctors who treat you with every pharmaceutical drug available as the first and only answer. Scary stuff. What a roller coaster ride I had dealing with this added onslaught!!! Please do not be like me and ignore those early symptoms. It takes so much longer to get back on track.

This all came about due to an unconscious and conscious (I suppose), emotional response to a trauma two years ago. I had to truly come to terms with that loss. I thought I had. My body clearly proves I had not. I had to truly come to terms with the fact I had built a brick wall around myself so that I would not hurt again. Ludicrous, yes but this is what I saw when I looked at my actions in the past two years. I had to pull that down so that I could be loved, and love again. I had to slow down!!!! (NOOOOOOO) Yes Vashte.

Sometimes in life the best thing we can do is slow down and stop, if we can. Contemplate and conceptualize life as we know it. Then start again refreshed; either on the same track;slow down or with a slight change in direction; or go for gold and flip it completely. You call the shots. What do YOU want in life? I had to ask myself that again, and will continue to ask myself that to ensure I am on track.

Things change the only thing constant in life is change so do not wish for people to stay they same. They won’t. Do not wish for things to stay the same. They wont. Educate yourself and empower yourself to prepare for change- BE the change!! And it is OK to realise you have made mistakes. I have, you have, we all have. Learn from them, forgive yourself, forgive others and carry on.

Everything is OK. Everything is MORE THAN OK now! I know I am always in the right place at the right time, in every circumstance.  I know I stumble occasionally- I am human and in saying that – that is exactly why I have my hand in Jesus’- so that when I do He is there to stop me falling. My strength is found in Him and I know I can do all things through Him as He strengthens me.

Who strengthens you? If it is you, in your own strength.. you will tire. As I did. What happens then? Who strengthens you then?

I am back on track and excited for this next chapter in life! It looks bright. It is filled with love, and excitement, PEACE, and expectation of the things I can do in and hopefully for, this world! Are you excited about the things you can do in this world? Oh get excited! Believe and have faith that you are destined for great things! You are!

So I thought I would share part of the reason for my silence throughout the month of April. Noone is bulletproof -as much as I loved to imagine myself to be 😉 It was a time of honesty with myself; forgiveness; breaking down of barriers; rest and recuperation in my health and love life. I am blessed to have been given this time out. Thank you x. It was time to get truly excited again; fall in love again with life and all that it offers- it offers so much! A time of gratitude and a time to recalibrate my direction.

Life is amazing! Keep doing what you do if you love it- and change it if you don’t! Be grateful for all that you have today– set goals forrelax what you want in your future and set a path to make them happen- always live in the TODAY as that is where we are- IN today. Be open for lessons in life; do not be too proud to accept them. Lessons are not something to be embarrassed about, rather, they are something to cherish and be thankful for. If you do not learn, you do not grow! Thus you stagnate. Keep growing into a new you; a brighter you; a more refreshing you! And take time out to relax and be aware of those emotions, be aware of the subtle hints your body sends you. Let your emotions out sensibly- if you do not, they will affect you negatively, as well as affect the people around you; take action on those physical warning signs to negate a crisis in the not too distant future.

One life live it well!!!

xx Vashte xx



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