Wellness: My Body vs. My Soul
As I pulled up the little dirt road into the woods, my heart pounded in my chest. “What am I doing?” In the back seat of my jeep sat a suitcase, yoga mat, my briefcase, and a small purple kennel, with my latest familial addition, a rescue pup I named Whitley. I came seeking wellness.
We are not wealthy. I mean, we have everything we need, and then some, but this event, it is a huge deal for me… us, them. I have just arrived at a Wellness destination, I will be here three nights and four days. Alone, with Whitley, in a little cabin in a south Texas pine forest (HA! I typed “PIE” forest.) I confess I am most intimidated by one aspect of my retreat, no food.
The spa is a semi-fasting resort. Except for some juices, one raw soup a day, and lots and lots of lemon water. This getaway does not include wine, chocolate or fancy, aromatic, meals served by an experienced chef.
No, this place is one to reboot, cleanse, if you will.
I like to eat, wait, I take that back. I love to eat. I am well versed in all things, braised, buttered, julienned, smoked, roasted, fried, marinated, and sautéed. However, once again, I have found myself not well. My liver enzymes are elevated. My thyroid gland enlarged. My digestive track is – well, I will spare you. And my husband and I, both lovers of cucumbers, mangos, green juices and the healing powers of “clean” decided that this time, we would try something, “new.”
By new, I mean, do my best to completely start over. When I booked this “vaca” I was on a tight deadline to finish my third book, Sacred Temple Lumpy Thighs, and hand it off to my editor. However, since the original reservation, there have been a couple of changes in the schedule. I am THRILLED to report the book’s launch date has been moved to January 7, 2020.
Breathe, Jami, breathe.
Of all the things I have ever written, this third book is harder, more gut-wrenching, raw, heartbreaking, and healing. Healing, mentally and spiritually, that is, liver enzymes are still elevated. And as I lay on my private screened in porch, staring at the tin and cedar ceiling, I felt the sweat roll down my spine and drip onto my spongey purple yoga mat. My thoughts are a muddled mess. Warm piney air and a stick of smoldering incense tickled my nose and I consciously filled my nostrils and lungs with their curative tranquility.
Still, I found myself pining over all the excitement of the last week.
Tuesday, I was on Jen Hatmaker’s podcast to discuss foster care and adoption. A friend and launch team member, Ticcoa Leister, (seriously go read this post by Ticcoa… breathtaking,) nominated me to be on Jen’s crowdsource episode and I, and another friend, Diane Dokko Kim, were chosen. And this was a HUGE blessing. But Jen, (I call her by her first name now cause we are “soul sisters,” her words,) and I, we say things out loud, and then there is the backlash.
Diane Kim says, “If someone isn’t mad, you’re not doing it right.” Jen is probably a lot more seasoned than me. And more chill. Backlash kicks my butt. I should never read comments. But, sometimes, I like to peek. And then there were the emails. Oh, my stars. One from a now X-reader that said, “I can’t believe you were on Hatmaker, I thought you were on OUR side.”
I am not sure what “side” she is referring to, as I am firmly on the side of Jesus, and sane people.
I like to hang around sane people simply because I think I might be crazy. I have a secret, that will no longer be one, I have an intense fear of doing something entirely crazy, out of character and control. Like telling a stranger or plumber contractor I love them or robbing a convenience store.
When I am in line at a 7/11 I always whisper to myself, “don’t ask the cashier to hand over all the money, don’t ask the cashier to hand over all the money.” On the night before my interview with Jen, her assistant sent instructions for the next day and at the bottom of the email, it said, “if any problems arise here is Jen’s number.”
I lay awake all night chanting, “don’t cold call Jen Hatmaker, don’t cold call Jen Hatmaker…”
I am 99% sure I would NEVER do this. But, what if I did? And what if I did it in my sleep? So immediately after the interview I “nueralized,” you know that memory zapper from Men In Black, myself. I deleted the email and then deleted the trash email, and then deleted everything else in my email, just in case. That is how scared I am of myself. And this information will probably also cause a backlash because I used the term “crazy,” and people fighting crazy will be offended and other “crazies” will now think I am on “their side.”
Also, is it just me? Or am I using an exponential amount of quotation marks?
“Get to the point.”
I forced my brain to comply with my husband’s and doctor’s orders: STOP IT.
Stop worrying, contemplating, people pleasing, thinking, stewing, wrestling, fighting, planning, organizing, daydreaming, wishing, lying, and crying. Get your mind on target and for all that is good and holy, just be.
Perhaps, I am altogether too intentional. How does one stop being so… Jami?
I am without a doubt, one of the most intense personalities with which I have ever made acquaintance.
Cheese sounds good.
So, does pie.
[bctt tweet=”I am without a doubt, one of the most intense personalities with which I have ever made acquaintance. #itiswell” quote=”I am without a doubt, one of the most intense personalities with which I have ever made acquaintance. #itiswell”]
Alas, this is not on the agenda, nor the menu. And perhaps, hunger is the best medicine. For when I am in want I seem to be most in tune with Jesus. This is both tragedy and triumph. In my fleshiness and affluence, most everything I need is at my fingertips. I was just able to Google how long it would take for me to die from no food. For the record, it takes a while, primary to this death by starvation in the ample size of my hiney. Also, I only just arrived.
I am not one for deprivation. I certainly would prefer my common comforts, but alone in my cabin with my dog and no lunch, I am curious to see what will be revealed to me. What words will I concoct? In what scripture will I marvel? How much clearer have I heard my God when my heart was hurting, and I needed Him most.
Ironic, wellness often comes when I am most ill.
Clarity is more palpable when I am most confused. And my spirit has been most at rest when chaos and grief are my neighboring companions. When I have been mostly lost, I have simultaneously been most found.
I do not prescribe to the notion that my God is a senseless puppeteer pulling my strings through tragedy and destruction that I might cry out, “help!” However, I am most convinced that His confidence in the spinning globe, in all its mayhem, would require my utter surrender to that which I could not control, and that which He most entirely conquered.
So, while I spend the next days forcibly persuading my liver to purge itself of impurity, toxins, elevated enzymes, and perhaps one too many Cosmos, I too trust. Liver biopsies and experimental treatments aside, I have much hope today. I feel all the things I normally feel; hunger, fatigue, curiosity, creativity, and a slight headache just at the base of my head.
I find it of great comfort, dare I say filling, to be less, to be in want.
Here in a cabin with my dog and no dinner, perhaps the words will become more obvious, more truthful, and drenched in Grace. Truly, this is my greatest craving, that no matter my health, wealth, or decline, that He be made known. And certainly not just to those who click on my links or turn my pages, but most definitely myself.
A self in the woods, conceivably sick, and completely and utterly… well.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (TPT) “Now, may the Lord himself, the Lord of peace, pour into you his peace in every circumstance and in every possible way. The Lord’s tangible presence be with you all.”
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