Have you or someone you know been suffering from chronic illness, asthma, respiratory infections, autoimmune disorders, or a feeling of depression, anxiety, and/0r listlessness that you just can’t shake?
You’re not alone…
And, You’ll be surprised to learn how much your home may be contributing to your health problems…
It’s 6am in the morning and I’m sitting at my kitchen table fighting a piercing headache, nausea, numbness in my right hand/fingers, and a deep, deep burning/searing pain above my lower left hip in order to write this post.
I haven’t written in awhile because I’ve been feeling terrible lately. It’s midsummer here in the states, typically my healthiest season of the year, and I’ve been laid up for nearly three weeks with a series of unexplained, debilitating symptoms and no health insurance to investigate the source of my problems.
(Although having the insurance probably wouldn’t make a difference, as I’ve spent the last 6 years trying to figure out the cause of my symptoms through traditional medicine.)
As a result of my discomfort, every plan I’ve made this last month has fallen through.
I just don’t have the mental or physical energy to focus on my family, my business, my hobbies, or anything that normally brings me a little bit of joy.
I haven’t been able to finish any of my creative projects because of extreme exhaustion, dizziness, heart palpitations, and a tendency to become sick if I overexert myself.
Plus, I can’t seem to concentrate, make sense of my thoughts, or remember the names of my neighbors, let alone simple words I use in everyday conversation.
(I can’t tell you how hard it is to write this post. I’ve spent nearly 4 hours trying to make sense of it!)
And, I’ve hardly been able to walk the dogs, let alone go hiking with my daughter. I can’t remember the last time I felt well enough to make plans with family or friends.
Did I forget to mention I’m 33 years old and every test I’ve had from the doctor has come back stating that I’m healthy?
(Stay with me, this isn’t a pity party! I refuse to take the victim stance, but need to give you a little bit of context in terms of what has been happening lately and why I’m so passionate about creating my own Compassionate Home.)
You see, the state of my daily living experience as a “healthy” 33-year-old woman is why I started The Compassionate Home in the first place.
The idea/concept of a Compassionate Home is what I feel in my bones is the solution to my chronic mental and physical health problems.
It’s never been about having a picture perfect home with magazine style décor and the latest and greatest appliance/device.
And it’s certainly not about keeping up with the neighbors or the latest design trends.
Nor is it about creating a space that your friends and family will envy.
In reality, creating a Compassionate Home is all about creating an environment that provides what you need to feel 100% healthy on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level.
Why? Because good relationships with our spouse and/or kids, professional success, and happiness will only come when we are feeling good!
If we’re not feeling right, we fall into survival mode.
Survival mode means we conserve our energy, we protect ourselves as much as we know how, we limit our actions, and stop taking chances. We try to play it safe in an effort to lessen our pain and discomfort—which compromises EVERYTHING about our experience of life.
Some people think that what I’m trying to convey on my website is all about an eco-friendly way of life or Fung Shui.
They aren’t entirely wrong. I do wish to take a sustainable approach to home design and décor that lessens our carbon footprint and enhances the energy of our living space, but it goes well beyond that.
A Compassionate Home starts with us.
In essence, a Compassionate Home is about exploring how we, as individuals, are affected by our homes and the experiences we have within them.
It’s a mindful approach to what we choose to surround ourselves with, the thoughts we allow to dictate our actions, and the habits we engage in.
It encompasses how we think, act, and feel in response to what we’re exposed to on a daily basis, not to mention what happens when you throw in our reactions to recalled memories/experiences from the past and our fears, expectations, dreams, goals, and desires for the future.
What I’ve come to realize is that the only way I can truly explain the concept of The Compassionate Home and how to create one is to bring you with me on my own personal healing journey.
I think I started out doing this by sharing the WHY behind my decision to build The Compassionate Home community, but then I got scared.
You see, I have this false belief that in order to do anything well online, to build a business, to become successful—I need to be healthy, energetic, and sound like I always know what I’m talking about.
When my health problems flare up, however, I feel nothing like that. I feel lost, afraid, and too vulnerable. Then I pull back. I retreat from the world in an effort to rebuild my safe little cocoon, to figure out my problems, to find the solution before sharing it, and to preserve what little energy I can muster for my family.
When this happened recently I thought if I switched my writing to an explanation of terms and threw in some eco-friendly, sustainable living advice that I’d be “safe”.
Problem is, I just couldn’t maintain that approach because it’s not at the core of what I’m really going through.
The reason I’m creating my own Compassionate Home is because I’m still trying to heal from a lifetime of traumatic experiences that have contributed to my stress, which has compromised my immune system, and ultimately led to my body’s physical decline and sensitivity to the environments I inhabit.
So, I wanted to take the time this morning to let you know that this is me getting real here, taking the initiative, changing course, making mistakes—sharing a bit more than I feel comfortable with in the hopes that what I’m struggling with and the solutions I’m pursuing will help you or someone you love, too.
You see, I’m a wife and mother before any of my creative/professional titles and I truly believe that my number one priority in life is to raise a healthy, happy family.
Problem is, if I’m sick—no one’s happy, and the cumulative stress my illness has on everyone is palpable.
This is why creating a healthy, healing, safe home environment is so important to me. I know without a doubt that I need to do whatever it takes to take back my health if I ever want to improve the quality of my life.
What to expect moving forward:
In the next few posts I’m going to experiment with telling you my story through the story of my home (even though the thought of this scares me like you wouldn’t believe!). I’m going to do my best to deliver it in bits and pieces, so it’s not overwhelming.
I’m going talk about the traumas I’ve experienced (because we’ve all experienced trauma to some extent and are often ill-equipped to deal with it’s long term effects), and how those traumas were being triggered unconsciously by certain things in my home.
I’m going to dig into the underlying causes of chronic illness and how our living environments contribute and exacerbate these conditions.
And, I’m going to get into the deeper meaning of home, the more spiritual aspect of what it means to be “home”, how it’s quite often the place, the people, and the community surrounding us that defines what home is for each of us.
It’s become apparent that I can’t move forward with building the Compassionate Home Movement until I start sharing more of my personal story and the stories of others I encounter on this journey.
I’m hesitant to try to even define how this will unfold–feeling a call, a nudge, an intuitive pull to just remain open, observant, reflective, and inquisitive to what awaits me as I share the process with you.
Here’s to courage, vulnerability, and the loving support of this community and to the goal that we can all build a truly supportive, compassionate haven for healthier living.
PS. I hope this post makes sense! I’ve REALLY been struggling to organize my thoughts in writing today, and I’m a bit disheartened that something I love so much has become so difficult lately!