On Authenticity and Your Adrenals
A few months ago I made a reveal to all of you that I have been healing from something called ‘adrenal fatigue’ for over a year now. Adrenal Fatigue is one of the ‘hot’ topics these days in the alternative health, fitness and healing realms, and is something I have been working with many of you on as well in my private practice.
Adrenal fatigue is characterized by feeling tired for no reason, having trouble getting up in the morning, feeling stressed, depending on caffeine to get through the day, and other similar symptoms. Almost everyday I have another client come in with these symptoms, and I see countless posts in the blog world about it- what it is, what supplements to take to support it, how to get more rest, how to change your schedule to support your healing, what doctor to go to or expert to follow…. the list goes on.
As someone who has dedicated my life and my service to the belief that it is possible to life a pain-free life, it’s been frustrating to read all of the material I see out there, because with every one that I read, it feels like something is missing. Like they are all just scratching the surface, putting band-aids on a condition that at it’s core, needs deep healing. No amount of supplements, change in diet or going to the ‘expert’ is going to completely heal adrenal fatigue- or any condition, dis-ease or injury for that matter- if the emotional and spiritual components are not healed on a deep level as well. As long as we continue to ignore this part of the equation, we will never be fully healed.
You see, I firmly believe that when anything manifests in the body- pain, illness, dis-ease, imbalance- it is really our physical body sending a message that something is happening in the more subtle systems of our being- mental, emotional, spiritual- and it needs to be listened to. The more we listen, the more we heal and the more we can live a life of infinite possibilities.
Today I am going to use adrenal fatigue as an example of this core belief in how I view healing of anything- to serve as a case study & inspiration on one hand, and a jumping off point of something way larger coming in the future of my work.
So let’s dive in!
A lot of you have been coming to me with adrenal fatigue within my private practice and writing to me as well. Now I’ll admit- throughout my own healing journey with this, I’ve tried everything- from supplements to naturopaths, to coaches to juice gurus to cutting back my work hours. They all helped and made me feel better, but I still never made it to 100%. Until a few months ago.
I had an ‘aha’ moment after writing my post ‘Are YOU Happy?‘ back in March. I saw so clearly for the first time how despite all my sharing the past few years, I was holding myself back from being truly authentic in my communication. That post was the most vulnerable I had ever made myself to the public, and it felt good. Really really good. And within a few days, my fatigue started to wear off. My energy came back. I didn’t need the second coffee as often anymore. Or even the first. And as I shared more, opened up more to people face to face and in the media, the better I felt. The more alive I felt. The more authentic I felt.
And almost magically- the less tired I felt. And actually- I feel pretty amazing. And happy, fulfilled and overall- awesome. Whoa. Mind-blowing.
For years, I have been working with the body and energetic system to heal my own physical pains as well as thousands of you, but I have held myself back from openly talking about it, stating it, and revealing exactly my process for working with it. I’ve held these core beliefs about how we can deeply heal, yet I wasn’t openly owning it. And thus, I wasn’t openly owning my true authentic self and work. Why? Fear. Fear of being attacked, fear of being rejected, fear of being discredited by my peers.
So here’s the thing about Fear- when our body feels threatened, even if it’s a perceived threat- like what someone may say to hurt us- our adrenaline kicks into overdrive. Imagine being on the savanna and a lion spots you. Your adrenaline kicks in the second you experience fear to give you the energy to run or fight or whatever is needed to survive. In animals, once the threat is over, the body releases this surge in adrenaline, and they move on. Humans have evolved differently though, and since we have more complex systems that take other things into account as threats- like finances, work, relationships, commutes- our bodies aren’t always given the chance to discharge that energy and move on once the ‘danger’ is gone because with such things, the perceived danger never ends. And so, our bodies adapt by living in a constant state of high alert, which eventually leads to adrenal fatigue.
That’s the science, and I’m sure each of you have had an experience of this in some part of your life, or may even be experiencing it now to some degree. Here’s the energetics:
Within the body, our adrenals are located above the kidneys, tucked up under the ribs at an area called the Solar Plexus. Within the ancient Ayurvedic chakra system, the solar plexus is where energetically we house our personal power, our 3rd chakra. Our ability to be ourselves and fully in our power in the world. When this area is functioning properly in our energetic body, we radiate confidence, action, courage and self-esteem. I know plenty of people who think they are doing this, yet have adrenal fatigue. And I know many others who are in jobs they don’t like, relationships that don’t work, living in cities they don’t love, and are fatigued as well. Why? Because in some way, even though they are putting themselves out there, they aren’t being truly authentic to their whole selves and their deepest desires. And so, the body fights. And fights and runs and fights some more until it becomes overwhelmed with fatigue.
There are a myriad of reasons for this, and ways that it manifests. Perhaps you know you need a change, or want to work less hours, or change where you live, or really want to speak your truth to the world or a particular person- if your power center- the 3rd chakra- knows you want these things but you don’t act on them, the body takes it as a fight and perceived stress, then responds physiologically by increasing adrenal output. And so, the body continues to fight until we finally do something about it- or are forced to. It just fights and runs and fights some more until it becomes overwhelmed with fatigue.
Thus, at it’s core, adrenal fatigue is the physical manifestation of fear of living your most authentic life, or preventing your most authentic self- however that wants to manifest for you- from coming through.
So my homework for adrenal fatigue is this:
1. Take the supplements, read the literature, see the experts and take a lot of rest to restore your body.
2. Dive into self-inquiry. Are you being truly authentic in your life? Is there are area that you are fighting what you really want? Or running away from the situation? Or perhaps are not speaking your whole, honest, raw truth? Are you running from yourself in some way, or fearful of showing up fully to the world?
3. Ask yourself in every moment, decision and interaction the following question:
In this moment, am I being my most Authentic Self?
If yes, ask your body to relax and accept that it is not in physical danger and can just BE rather that fight or flight.
If no, ask yourself Why? What am I afraid of? What is the perceived danger in this situation that I feel I must run from what I really want to say/ do/ be/ act?
This is a practice, and takes time. For many, it could take months or longer to begin to feel better. But keep practicing. I know for me, being authentic in every interaction is key, and you will be seeing a lot more from me about changes in my life I am making to live the most authentic life that I can. It’s exciting, but no longer scary. I hereby declare that I will no longer be living in a state of fear for being myself, sharing my beliefs and asking for what I want.
And- I will be spending way more time at the ocean to continue to rest and recharge. Because this girl loves the ocean, and reminds her there is nothing wrong with just being yourself in every moment.
Now, I want to give each of you permission to do the same, and feel safe to share it here. Have you experienced adrenal fatigue? How have you been treating it? Or have you struggled with being authentic in certain areas, and what is one step you can take to begin to be more authentic in your life?
I would love to hear your answers!