A “Human” Professional

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Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m a recovered Bulimic, and recovering Anorexia Nervosa monkey-minded human being.
I’ve sat with crippling depression, anxiety, and taken laxatives while scared shitless of the idea of imperfection.
I’ve run trails in a healthy state, and I’ve also gone to morning swim practice in Uni while probs still drunk from the bar having come home a couple hours before.
I’ve aced papers, and I’ve also retaken courses.
I’ve googled ways to purge, tried many, and I’ve searched the shit out of the internet about how to heal.
I’ve gone to India to become a certified Yoga instructor, and I’ve pranayama’d the shit out of datstuff.
I’ve traveled across the world to New Zealand and am now a certified Holistic Nutritionist.
I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve done Paleo, I’ve hashtagged #lchf like it’s going out of style, and I’ve been a devout “I Quit Sugar” spokesperson.
I’ve gone from eating full tubs of sugar-free/fat-free yogurts with 8 packets of TwinSugar in one sitting, to beef jerky.
I’ve found that food isn’t as important as the emotions behind it, and that sugar is OK.
My beliefs have changed more times than pugs fart (and they fart a lot….#teamantipugs).
I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love, and that you can’t find yourself in New Zealand, or anywhere other than inside yourself, for that matter.
I’ve learned that happiness has no correlation to your pants size, bra size, or bathing suit size.
I’ve learned that being present is the most important part of life, and that awareness brings solace in darkest of times.
I’ve observed myself self-numbing, escaping, and also sitting right with pain; a bloated belly post-binge, an emotional smack in the face after a sexual abuse, a stress fracture from literally running away from myself.
I’ve honoured and dishonoured myself, and I’ve fluxed the shit out of life.
And through it all, I am exactly where I am today, flawed as ever, and loving myself anyways and always.

No one is perfect, and no one will ever be a “certified perfect professional”, in my humble opinion.

I’m certainly not, and this by no means takes away from the ability for someone to have a gift to help, myself, or anyone else.  In fact, the warriors with battle wounds, healed and healing are the ones I connect with and trust the most.

I’ve been afraid of sharing my story lately, uncensored, because of the stigma of mental health shame, and the thought of being unhirable in flaw.

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

This is me, there’s you, let’s do this shift.

I’m Moving to Victoria, BC! (and my nail is growing back) (and emotional eating workshop) shit that’s a lot

A couple of updates: I bought “by accident” a one-day ticket to Victoria, BC (where I’ve felt a damn calling for a loooooonnng time).

I’m hosting a workshop on Body Image and Emotional Eating on Sunday, Oct 15th at 1-2pm at TKVO on Dundas West, with my dear friend Deanne of My Empowered Body.

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I found a job posting on Facebook for a job that honestly hits me rightinthefeels for its fit for me.  I am sharing my application letter here, because it’s not only for this job, but for my calling in Life.  It’s a declaration of what I want to do with my life.  Rawr, here I go:

Job Description: The Organization: Providence Farm is a therapeutic farm nestled at the base of Mount Tzouhalem in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Since 1979, the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association, a registered charity and non-profit society, has been operating creative and innovative programs at the Farm for adults in the Valley with mental health issues, brain injuries and development challenges. 

I am moving to Victoria, BC on November 30th, and am looking for meaningful work in my field.  I found your job posting on Facebook and am feverishly keen to apply.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist from a New Zealand-based program, a Certified Yoga instructor from an India-based program, and hold my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario. I am an avid trail runner, and successful athlete.  I have a chronically green thumb, and am well knowledged in gardening from my blood-born generational teaching passed on from my Horticulturist father.  I am an endeavouring Holistic chef, and a warrior in mental health, having overcome Bulimia, Anxiety, Depression, and Anorexia Nervosa.
I am passionate about helping people, and have views in my future of a Holistic Wellness retreat centre, where nature plays an impactful role in healing.  This is one reason that your job posting hit my soul. I believe in the healing power of nature, and in having hands and feet in the earth.  The Japanese therapeutic practice of “Shinrin Yoku” or “forest bathing” is a practice I act on daily, and condone to all beings for a good life!  (This is a big reason for my move back out West, to continue facilitating my own healing.  To move to nature from the busyness and city life of Toronto where I am currently, and where I’ve grown up.)
I believe my purpose in life is to use the experiences I’ve had, along with my diverse education and knowledge gained to help facilitate people’s healing.
I’ve traveled extensively, often taking part in WWOOFING programs where permaculture is exchanged for room and board. I love this barter system and the wonderful people who I’ve met though it.  Benevolent souls are called to this realm of purpose, and I’ve been so grateful to be touched in my heart and my journey from many of them.
I’ve worked in many fields, from teaching yoga, Triathlon coaching, working at a cafe, competitive swim coaching, lifeguarding, working at a camp for kids with severe learning disabilities, to my own current endeavours at starting my own practice and business through Holistic Nutrition and life guidance.
I have an insatiable passion for self-study and development, especially around trauma-healing with regards to the psychological and physiological practices conducive of a healing practice.  In all of these positions, my passion has been deeply-cored in the one-on-one consultation aspect, and the emotional connection that is prevalent in all acts and is key to a healthy human being.  I integrate mind-body-soul techniques to bring awareness and mindfulness into everyday life, and to help people to reconnect with the present moment, and so, to themselves.
I feel as though our current society is flooded with overly-complicated and confounding consumption with distractions, and nature-soul-body connection is lost.  I believe my purpose in life is to help use my tools to catalyze healing in others.
I would be truly honoured to work alongside your team, and to have the opportunity to help others heal at Providence Farm.
I’ve attached my resume, and hope to hear from you.

(My resume is outdated, and I do apologize.  I have several postings and positions I’ve switched around and given the opportunity, I’d be thrilled to give more of my work experience).

I’m sharing this because it’s my statement to the universe, my pRoClAmAtIoN for my purpose.  May the “universe provide”, baby! #intentionsettingtingz

If anyone has any connections for work in this field out in themparts, please let a sis know, I am terrified and excited.  I’m ready to do my life’s purpose, or continue it.  I need a place to live, a good therapist for my emotional baggage (that can take me, I’ve been told before and now warn any therapist I see that I’m a tough cookie), and a jobskis.

So, since I bought my ticket, I’ve been fighting hard.  Honestly, I’ve been finishing meals NOT hungry. I’ve NOT been spending an hour in the bathroom after lunch waiting for my body to poop (an anxious reaction I am letting go of).  I’ve been wary of the external motivation for healing, but also am just renewed of my hope.  I am so excited for mountains, nature, people, to live.  I am letting go of the grip I’ve had around my own neck.  It feels like I can breathe, I’m starting to.
I just don’t give a shit anymore of the self-created struggle!
I am using the Eckharte Tolle technique of focusing on the presence of my hands, their simple presence, bringing attention to my body when my thoughts start spiralizing, and they always will.  Sometimes more than others, but feelings come and go like waves, right?  I’m accepting the highs and lows.
Yesterday, I swam, and the dude I’ve nicknamed “Thrasher look-a-like” was doggy-paddling in the FAST lane, and I swam into his heel–right in my (growing) BOOB slash pec and I’m pretty (frustratingly) fragile (styll) so, it hurt.  I was ANGRY.  I accepted the anger.  I talked to myself about it:
I’m angry. (what’s underneath this?)
I might not be able to swim tomorrow. (what’s underneath this?)
I’ll have to rearrange my training schedule when I already rode 2 days in a row and leggies are le tired…(what’s underneath this?)
I have to adapt, change from my expectations, let go of control. (what’s underneath this?)
I might have less of an intense workout.  I wanted to run on Saturday at the gym because my body is letting me run 30 mins on the dreadmill.(what’s underneath this?)
If my workout isn’t as good, then I am not in control.  I might not work as hard as I expect of myself. (what’s underneath this?)
I won’t feel as accomplished, as deserving. (what’s underneath this?)
THE FUCKING FACT THAT I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO EARN, TO DESERVE SELF-CARE, SELF-LOVE, REST, FOOD! (WHAT’S UNDERNEATH THIS?!?!?!)
SELF LOVE ISN’T EARNED!  I DESERVE LOVE REGARDLESS!!!!! IDONTKNOWWHATWEREYELLINGABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!
*****FOCUS ATTENTION ON THE PRESENCE OF MY PALMS OMMMMMM******
SO: this was the self-talk.  The intenseshits about this was that I finished lunch full – and after lunch, I was wiping the table and felt a tweak in the “boob”/pec.  A muscle niggle that was paining.  THIS made me angry.  I was angry because I was FULL AND I was angry.
Holy shit.
When I under-nourish, I am OK with feelings – anger doesn’t phase me as much.  It NUMBS.  It blunts the blow.  WAWAWEEWA.  My roommate put it this way: it’s almost like a competing pain, like, when you have a broken foot – your splinter doesn’t hurt as much.  Right?  Again, it’s an addictive coping mechanisms to numb feelings.
So instead, I sat with it.  
I didn’t like it, and today on my run, I felt constipated and crampy.  The feeling was stuck.  I am learning to process the feelings.  It’s new, it’s a process, and it’s the start.
I saw my WICKED physician yesterday way in the East end, and I have to say, she gives me hope for healthcare.  I love holistic healing and Eastern Medicine, and I also have opened my acceptance and appreciation for the healing power of Western Medicine too.  All are tools, to use sometimes, and others, other times.  Nothing is definite, nothing is permanent.
I ordered bloodwork and she PROPS’D me for this:
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This is a vulnerable one.
You know where that nail used to end? At my cuticle…That’s malnutrition…and I’m fighting it.  My nail is growing back.
Nuff said.
Please consider coming to my workshop if you feel called, it’ll be honest, it’ll be supporting, expressive, good juju.
Happy ThanksLiving!

Presence

I have an accountability deal with my neighbour: we text each other when we are doing our daily 10 min meditation (where we sit and focus on breath…that’s it).  It’s great, I recommend it highly.

Today, I had no energy to do my workout.  I was so close to taking a walk through High Park instead.  And it was scary AS, but I also viewed that I didn’t need to escape.  I didn’t wake up famished.  I wasn’t in survival mode.  It was a heavenly peaceful insight; giving myself the space to be aware.  Man, I deserve rest.  I want to run and race and have fun, cry, date, play, swim…..And it’s balance, nah?  I am in a state though where rest is scary, it’s foreign.  willmeditateonthisdon’tlikethinkingaboutit

I went to the gym and did my helliptical workout.  It was OK, I had such mindgames throughout the “ride”: basically deciding over and over again each minute that “that’s it”, I’ve had enough and will stop….I finished it, but definitely not as hard as able.  Probably as hard as I could, granted my body’s state.

I’m glad I went because I connected with the humanity of the gym goers afterwards when I overheard Jamie, an experienced older runner, mention how some days are just “get it done days”, and I felt like that big time today.  (rest would’ve been more body-beneficial though)…so we all exchanged expressions about rest, injury, healing etc.  That connection was worth it.  I am sick of living in isolation.

I have also had real unsettled gut.  I get so frustrated.  I know I eat too many veg and the fiber overload isn’t what my body’s asking for.  I am confused about the intuitive voice of my body.  I realized that I’m scared of bingeing deep down, although my soul knows that I’m not in that danger zone of such self-hatred any longer.  I’ve upped the level of self love, but still am scared to let go and fully trust.

It’s easier to control my body through suppression and using “safe foods” as fillers.  But then I get bloated, uncomfortable, and confused about hunger cues bc I hold in my tum and man it’s hard when you’re full of bulk to distinguish hunger, let alone what would best suit your body to eat.

Check this out though: my google search of “how to hear hunger cravings and choose what to eat”

How fucked is that?  The emphasis is so much on suppression.

“How to Outsmart A Craving”

Jesus, it’s scary aye?  We’re primed to believe that our intuition is wrong.  I understand the challenge, the confounding cycle of our body’s trying to survive the stress we undergo in the Western world of crunched lunches, scarfed snacks of sugar, alcohol, cigs, stimulants, NSAID’s, pain coping, escapism.  We don’t stop to breathe, meditate, feel, damnit.  So we crave sugars because our body’s are hurting for an insulin spike due to high cortisol, and the reliance on easy fast foods for survival.

Are we living in survival mode?

 

When do we stop to tune into ourselves?

How is your gut?  Mine’s giving me info, hard to tell what it means.  Maybe to rest, breathe, work on myself.  The space is scary.  What to fill it with.  I’m blogging, sharing my story, and deciding each moment to choose to save myself.

So here’s an ode to awareness and to making space for feelings.  To trusting intuition.  To look at hunger cravings and ask what the body is looking for, before acting on it.  Craving sugar means some things, lots.  But only each individual person can find that answer out for themselves.  I am so confused by cravings since I’ve shut them off, and listening is scary.  I pretty much have zero sugar cravings, when in uni, under so much social pressure, stress, bullying, I gorged on Splenda and Twin Sugar, never eating real food: meals could be a tub of sugar free yog, with 8 packets of fake sugar crap, and sugar free jam.  Followed by coffee whitener, and then saying “fuck it” and raiding my roommates pantiries for “forbidden” foods like cinnamon toast crunch and skippy PB.  Stuffing myself with cookies.

Then puking it all up.

That’ sucked hard.  It’s been 7 years since my experience of Bulimia, and my god, I am blessed to be through that part of my healing journey.

And now, so scared to face that, I truck on.  I know I need to heal deep.  The source of the pain is the same, the coping, differs.  But the healing is in truly honouring my body and it’s voice.  There is no fear in presence.  I totally was disconnected with that voice throughout High School and uni.  I’m finding it again.  And learning to embrace myself, man, ya;

I am beautiful.

Thanks Christina, now that song’s stuck in my head.

Fucking consciousness, eh?

OM.

Looking forward to meditating today.

Bless