Today I am trapped in a car with my family for 12 hours. We are 2 hours into the trip and the ruckus from the back seat is deafening. There’s not a lot of tranquility going on at the moment! Tranquility, that was my ‘word for 2016’. Right now I’m not feeling it!
Have you ever had a ‘word for the year’? Historically I’ve been a regular goal setter. At the beginning of each year I would write goals for the year in pretty much every area of my life. Pages of them. Physical goals (usually weight loss), social goals, financial goals, professional goals. Prior to 2016 I’d never narrowed it down to just one word.
My introduction to the concept of ‘a word for the year’ came in 2015 from my friend Emma. She has taken time each year to think, ponder, pray and seek God for a word, a single word for the year ahead. I loved this idea so decided to take it on for myself.
12 months ago I was exhausted. Writing my book had taken it out of me. My health wasn’t in a great place and I needed to learn to manage day to day stress better. My doctor had recommended getting away for a couple of weeks to a health retreat and whilst I would have loved that, I knew I had to learn to manage my emotions on a day to day level to reduce stress.
Generally I wouldn’t describe myself has a highly stressed person. I’m not highly strung, I’m not high maintenance, I’m a very ‘even’ personality. I do, however like order, and having 3 boys is not exactly an ‘ordered’ life! I have wished from time to time they were little robots that just did what I asked when I asked them so my life was ordered! It’s those little things that actually stress me out.
I’ve learnt about auto immune issues (I have Hashimoto’s, an auto immune thyroid disease) that stress causes inflammation, and inflammation is at the heart of auto immune disease. So, in order from me to heal, really heal from a cellular level, I need to reduce stress to reduce inflammation, to promote health & wellness.
12 months ago as I sat and pondered about my year ahead and a word that captured what I wanted to get out of 2016, I came up with ‘tranquility’. I wanted to learn how to be more tranquil. Calm. Peaceful in the everyday. You can read more about this in my post here.
So, how did I go?
I’d like to say I’m a chilled out hippie enjoying meditations and yoga every day but that’s not quite true! I did however take some deliberate steps towards tranquility in 2016 and a few twists and turns that weren’t deliberate but have contributed to a slightly more tranquil Annabel.
What did I actually do that helped with a more tranquil year?
- I started the year with a cleanse – I spent January doing a raw food cleanse, resetting my digestive system.
- I got back into reading my bible, praying and meeting regularly with a Christian friend of mine to talk about our spiritual lives. (This pietered off during the year which is a shame!)
- I began walking through the local botanical gardens each Monday morning to get my week off to a peaceful start (as my feet worsened this stopped).
- I began regular sessions with Tess Godfrey initially for massage and reconnective healing and then as the year progresssed for naturopathic treatments that I have continued monthly and will continue this year too. I believe these sessions have been key to my healing this year.
- Maintained my quarterly visits to my thyroid doctor.
- In April I discovered that essential oils may help support my thyroid health so bought a few and got hooked.
- I’ve expanded my use of essential oils for many many other benefits but one of the biggest benefits I’ve seen is in reducing stress – diffusing and applying calming, grounding essential oils has helped enormously.
- I spent 6 months investigating recurring pain in my feet which involved multiple scans, MRI’s, orthotics, a moon boot and various anti inflammory options. I ended up in hospital with back spasms as a result of wearing a moon boot for 6 weeks and whilst all this was unpleasant, depressing and painful, it forced me to slow down, rest, watch 5 seasons of Downton Abbey & discover magnesium flake baths and I suppose in a way be more tranquil!
- Magnesium flame baths with a couple of stops of essential oils and a tablespoon of coconut oil became a regular relax and unwind at the end of the day, particularly in the colder months. I’ve never really been a bath person, but I’ve embraced them this year as a way to bring in some tranquility at the end of the day.
- I’ve also embraced massage. I’m not a person that loves massage but my body has needed it this year. My gorgeous neighbour has been doing a massage course this year so I’ve been blessed with being bit of a practise body for a few months which has helped me actually enjoy massage!
- After I recovered from my back spasms in the middle of the year I had some physio then have been doing Pilates which has been incredibly helpful in realigning my spine and beginning to build core strength. I’ve resisted Pilates for years thinking it too boring. It’s actually been fantastic and I love it! If you’re local to me, I can highly recommend Monique from Meta Pilates, she is one of Brisbane’s most experienced Pilates instructors and has helped me enormously.
- I’ve set a few goals again – a few months ago I was challenged to set a few goals for my doTERRA business and whilst I’m a competitive person and I’ve worked hard to achieve those goals (not exactly tranquil), I’ve been reminded of the power of focussed energy, EFT tapping and pursuing my passions.
- I’ve tried to let the boys face their own consequences more. I am a rule follower. I was a nerdy, studious student. I did my homework, I wasn’t harassed by Mum & Dad to do it. It frustrates me enormously that 2/3 of my boys are not like this. My natural disposition is to harass them on a daily basis with ‘reminders’ and ‘incentives’ (read threats) to get their homework done. I’d like to say I’ve let that go completely but that would be an outright lie but I’ve tried to let it go more than previously. I’ve let them get in trouble for not finishing work, I’ve let them do it on a Friday morning before school when it’s due and I’ve not helped with the doing of it as much unless asked. I’ve got WAY further to go on this front, but it’s a work in progress!
Even though the last few months I haven’t been as focussed on the word ‘tranquilty’ as much as at the beginning of the year, I do feel that I’m capable of relaxing more than 12 months ago. I haven’t found myself yelling at the boys before and after school as much. I will take myself off for a bath. I diffusing calming essential oils and have been known to lean over the diffuser in the afternoon and just breath in deeply! I think that’s progress!
The best news is that from a thyroid health point of view I’m in the best health I’ve been for about 3 years! I have my energy back, I’m motivated for the year ahead. I’ve reduced my medication, my body can tolerate a form of thyroid medication it hasn’t tolerated in the past. My brain health is great. My thyroid test results until recently have been out of the recommended ranges for about 2.5 years. My most recent results have me not only in range but at the healthier end of the range. My thyroid anti bodies are the lowest they’ve ever been!
I’m incredibly grateful for the healing that has taken place this year in my year of tranquility!
I’m now placed to move into 2017 from a position of strength. I’m ready to SHINE.
Thanks as always for being part of my journey!
Love Annabel x