I was 4 years old, sitting in my new classroom learning and discovering lots of new things. I had gently rested my head and arms on the table as the teacher read a story to the whole class. I drifted deep into my own thoughts trying to figure out how I got here? What is this place we call earth? How did all life begin, how did the trees get here? The ground we walk on? The air even? What about the people, the animals, the ocean? I was flummoxed, confounded! I was getting closer though, I was sure of it. I was fascinated by the depth of my own thoughts and how far they could take me, the escapism they offered from the present moment. I knew the answer was something big maybe even inexplainable or not so clear cut to even articulate. Each time I raised this question in my mind I felt like I was getting almighty close to the answers, as my mind stripped everything back, layer by layer I would ask what was there before that? I remember very few of my thoughts as memories, but I remember these ones very clearly because of the feelings they evoked in me as a young child. A feeling of come on Ashley remember, you know…
I know that, that was 33 years ago now and I have more of a sense of knowing than I ever have. I know that in 33 years we have veered rapidly from the path of nature, I know that my body has been signalling this to me through signs and symptoms of sickness, anxiety, depression, aches and pains, emotional instability general imbalance and dis-ease in my body.
I know that the life I once lived was not in alignment or balance with me. My need for instant gratification through materialism or consumerism was not filling me up with the good stuff in fact it was making me feel even more empty. I was internally fighting the need to keep up with society or to withdraw from the nonsense completely and set up home off grid. I know my heart was veering me towards the latter and it still is today.
I was fighting with my conscience that everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay? My intuition was telling me no Ashley walk away from this madness! I mean everyone else is eating and drinking the processed foods, taking their pharmaceuticals, spraying the chemicals in their gardens, lathering the chemicals on their body, bathing in them, using them in their house. They all look okay and seem happy so why am I not? Why is my body and mind not in balance?
Was my sensitivity picking up on all that had gone terribly wrong in our society? Was my body telling me through dis-ease that things were not alright? Yes I believe so. You see we ARE nature; nature is not something separate from us so when we say we have lost our connection to nature; we’ve lost our connection to self. We are products of our environment and right now we are destroying that environment which means we are destroying ourselves. We as a planet are becoming sicker, we can see this not only with the rise in autoimmune diseases but with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes etc. We don’t have a health care system we have a sick care system and we are all paying into it every time we eat fast food, drink fizzy pop, spray chemicals in our air, water, homes and of course on our bodies. We have become intoxicated in all that we are ingesting physically, mentally and emotionally, the news channels fill us with fear and anxiety, social media makes us feel inadequate and the magazines are feeding and soothing our pain bodies through identification. We turn to alcohol or drugs to escape the trauma and the pain of the unhealed parts of us (pain body) the accumulation of painful life experiences that have not fully been faced and accepted in the moment they arose. We carry this energy form and emotional pain with us which can manifest as physical illness later on.
I will never forget 4-year-old me, the sensitive child, the child who wanted to protect her mummy. The child who wanted to feel protected but, in many ways, became the protector. Maybe 4-year-old me was really asking the question of how my circumstances came to be. Maybe I wanted to go back to where I had once been? They say kids are resilient, I disagree, kids internalise because they are not taught how to feel, but that little pain body grows into an adult pain body and that’s when the real problems arise.
Isn’t it time we all healed our inner child?