I’ve recently experienced an “ah ha” for myself in the change process, that is in changing habits. I’ve had digestive issues for a long time, in the realm of constipation. About three and a half years ago, my grandmother, who was in her late 80s, was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery on her colon, which was blocked. To me, it’s reflective on her life long battle with the same digestive issues I’ve experienced. Yes, she is late in her life, but it made me wake up to the realization that I need to seriously commit to addressing this physical issue for it to change.
I decided to go the route of Ayurveda as I had started to explore this approach when I was living in India. I met with Julia Clarke, who is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner in my community (highly recommend her). I participated in a group cleanse and then tried in incorporate certain parts of the diet into my daily life. I did another cleanse on my own, after meeting with her again a year or so later. I also sought out some help through doing a number of colon cleanses. My sadhana or daily yoga practice has included slower asanas, pranayama (breath work), slowing my mind down and affirmation that I repeat throughout my day. I’ve also been using essential oils specifically recommended for this condition. This combination of practice, which addressed working in all the koshas (sheaths), has slowly but surely been starting to change my struggle with constipation. Not only physically, but also the mental and spiritual ”blockages.”
In the past, any slight change in routine like being outdoors all weekend or being in a different house, would disrupt elimination in my body. It really sucked. My thoughts were constantly about this, which would create even more stress and anxiety. When I would travel long distances to other countries, I was prepared for hell in my belly because “it was just how it is.”
Deciding the suffering approach was no longer going to work and was not going to be helpful in long term health, I became committed to eliminating constipation from my life. With the above daily practices over the past three years, there has been change for the better.
My “ah ha” moment (s) have come over this summer. Going backpacking with friends and being regular the entire time. Traveling to Canada and being regular. As a well as realizing I haven’t been thinking about it as much or stressing about it as much.
In this, I feel like I’ve gained some wisdom around truly the time is takes to make change in our long standing habits. It takes commitment to practices towards change and the acceptance that it will take years, not weeks or even months. Even changing that perspective is a slowing down. When I expect things to change quickly, it causes more stress when it’s not happening quickly. When I accept I’m going to make this change no matter how long it takes, there seems to be more calm and peace with the process…which I’m sure ultimately helps change even more.