Illness Triggers Vulnerability – Embrace it

I would like to talk briefly about how fragile we are and how vulnerable that makes us. We don’t have long on planet earth, a few decades if we are lucky, and then we are gone again into the eternal unknown. The majority of people kind of like it here, despite all the terrible things that happen, and all the suffering, the personal and global difficulties and the struggle just to live. We get used to it, we build relationships, we have family, loved ones, and attachments. That’s the nature of life.

And we expect that to last for at least 70 years, and maybe more. That’s not too much to ask, we think.

And then illness may come along and throw that idea under the bus. We might be 30, or 50, or (god forbid) even younger. In truth, in many ways, it doesn’t matter what age we are (except for the very young, and that’s an utter tragedy I can’t address here), it’s always going to be too soon, and it’s always going to mean the arrival of very deep emotions. That is to be fully expected. 

It’s going to herald the arrival of fear, and enormous vulnerability. Some of the depth of feeling will of course depend on the severity of the illness, but in my experience many of these mystery chronic illness’s trigger these fears BECAUSE they are completely unknown.

Illness knocks us sideways, and it catches many completely off guard. There is a totally new reality that arrives, a new context for everything. The truth arrives suddenly, we can call it impermanence. The facts of impermanence affect each one of us, no exceptions, but for those who are hit with illness, or even live in the unknown, this impermanence becomes a new reality. It changes everything. 

For the spouses, partners, relations, children etc, it is very hard. I know this only too well in my relationship. This marriage with Amoda my wife is our entire world. Neither of us have much family, we have no children, and we came to America and gave up whatever little we had in the UK. This is it, and we are in the boat together. To be ill triggers such a vulnerability, even guilt and sorrow. And it hits her very hard, destabilizing plans and possibilities.

But life is like this. Life is sudden and dramatic. It is disappointing and distressing. And it is impermanent. Life doesn’t play by our rules. It is unconcerned with what we want to happen and when. And the stark truth of illness bursts our illusions, sometimes dramatically and usually distressingly. 

The key to making it easier, if there is one, is to know this and to embrace it. In all my years of being ill, and walking the path of transformation, embracing the vulnerability, the let down, the heartache, the fear, anger and pain, the only way I have found is through love’s acceptance. I know that might sound new agey and trite, but when you are sick and suffering, such things begin to mean something real. Sarcasm and cynicism are the stronghold of the defensive ego that lives and dies in the matrix. They don’t make for good companions when the chips are down and we need to get real and intimate. 

Consciously embracing the vulnerability might not change anything, it might not get rid of the fear, or anger, or heal the body, or cure you, but it will open the door to a deeper acceptance of reality. That is the best we can do, and it’s the best gift we can give others. Everyone has to face the same thing. I have not met anyone who hasn’t had dreams shattered or had to face deep disappointment and heartache. It’s in everyone. And everyone will have to meet death.

But the difference between those who turn and face themselves openly and those who turn away in fear or blame, those who become bitter and twisted, is the difference between heaven and hell.

I am one who is bold and brave enough to turn and face the truth, even though it hurts like hell. I am not writing this because I have received some dreadful news, don’t worry. I do have some strange symptoms going on in my gut that I would like resolved and it’s creating a lot of discomfort and uncertainty, and we are in the US which means access to some health care stuff is more difficult (like getting a colonoscopy), but its more that it’s triggered my own sensitivity and vulnerability, and I thought I would share my insights with you.

I hope you are well, and if not I hope this brought you some solace and comfort. Maybe that’s the best we can do for each other.

Much love

Kavi

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Update on Gut Healing and IBD, Colitis Books

Greetings!

I want to update you about some links to the best books I know for general gut healing and specifically colitis, crohn’s and all things ‘colonic.’

Some old links will no longer work from tomorrow, August 1st. Those links are to Jini Patel Thompson’s ‘Listen To Your Gut’ book on my site. And to her website in general, which has lots of products and information about healing IBD, colitis and crohn’s.


This is the new link to her shop:
Listen To Your Gut Shop

Her book has been downloaded and bought many times and it seems to help. At the very least it provides a springboard to new ideas. At best it gives very detailed and practical knowledge of what to do during acute episodes of colitis and crohn’s, what probiotics to take, how and what to eat, and the emotional side of IBD.

It is worth a look if you are still lost and wondering what to do.

 

Click on the book picture to check out the book itself.

Thanks, and have a great day.

Kavi

Sympathy for Suffering

The last few days, in fact in recent weeks, and particularly since we visited Santa Fe which is at 7000 feet, I have been revisiting some old symptoms associated with my ulcerative colitis. It is quite an unpleasant shock I can tell you. There is no blood, which is always pretty scary, but I have had mucus and irregular bowel movement and that feeling in the belly of discomfort and distress. (Sorry for the graphic detail!)

I am not trying to get any sympathy here, this short blog is about something else.

It is about the difference between feeing well and feeling ill.

I spent almost ten long years carrying illness and slow recovery. At times both Amoda (my wife) and I thought I was either going to die, slowly, or else carry sickness around for the rest of my life. It was bad, at times it was utterly demoralizing and I have spent time in despair and depression. I have been to the edge with my body and come back to tell the tale.

And my healing journey worked. It took such a long time, and so much patience and persistence. By the time I did my long water fast I still carried some remnants of scarring and discomfort in my colon, but after the water fast that disappeared. Since then I have had various issues, including a mysterious full body rash that lasted two years, and a borderline hashimotos diagnosis (thyroid malfunction and auto immune problem), but on the whole I have been getting stronger and healthier, to the point where people remark on my vitality and glow.

And every so often something happens and I get dragged back into stuff, and I remember.

I remember how tough it is to be ill. I think it’s real tough when the cause is mysterious and vague, labelled ‘auto immune’ without saying or knowing where it has come from or what to really do with it. Without knowing how to heal and how long it might take, it’s pretty daunting. That’s not to say acute illness is any better. In fact it’s all suffering.

It is tough. And that’s my point here. It is simple. It is very hard to function fully and brightly when there is illness. I am sorry. If it’s you who has something, I am sorry and I wish you great healing, or compassion and empathy, depending on where you are at.

Not everyone heals their body.

But everyone can heal their heart.

I came to the conclusion many years ago, when I was facing ‘the ‘illness for life’ thoughts, that it was more important for me to heal my wounded and broken heart than to be obsessed with healing my body. So I endeavored to do exactly that, and I remember one night I had what now seems like a deeply spiritual experience. Let me tell you.

I went out to the local woods and I lay down, fed up with pain and hardship, and desperate for some relief. I gave myself to the ground and it felt like a fell into a hole (kind of like a grave) and I realized I had reached the end of my tether. I came face to face with my mortality, and thus with God.

I remember saying (Inwardly), ‘God, you can take this body if you wan it, I no longer care and I am sick of holding on to desperation, but please help me heal this wounded heart. Give me some peace and love, and do what you want.’

I was so willing to let go of this body something changed. I actually became aware that life is vast and mysterious, much bigger than the smallness of ‘me and my body’ and how everything that we do, think, feel and experience is held in a love more exquisite and beautiful than anything we can ever imagine. If we could taste that love, what we might call God’s Love, for a moment, we may well not be able to do anything ever again, it may render everything else meaningless.

I have never forgotten this and whenever I slip back into anxiety or fear about illness, or death, or suffering, I remember it. It brings relief and great compassion, both for myself and for others who suffer. I know, through personal experience, that suffering is temporary and is not the truth of who we are.

But it is a challenge. And I feel for those who are ill, those who are at the end, those who are scared and those children who get ill so early in life. I have no explanations but I have an open heart that longs to hold suffering close and help carry it a little when it is too heavy.

Thank you for reading, may you be blessed.

Running Is My Meditation – Don’t Sit Around, Move Something!

Yesterday I did a 10 mile run. Two days before that a 6.2 mile run.

This morning I ran over the Golden Gate Bridge in the early morning sunrise.
It was utterly gorgeous and I felt such a sense of freedom.
I run approximately 25 miles per week. That’s 100 miles a month at least.
I have run 446 miles this year so far. All my runs have been in the morning.
My best running time is 11am when it’s warm, preferably sunny.
I’m 59 years old.
I am fitter than I have ever been as an adult.
I’m pretty fast for an older guy. I average 9 minutes per mile and my average length of run is 5.1 miles.
My app tells me I’m usually in the top 8% for distance run.

I am motivated for running.
For me it’s physical and spiritual. It’s even a kind of meditation.
It gets me into a zone. It helps me sweat. It enlivens me. It brings a great spaciousness to my mind.
I connect with some deep inspiration when I run.
I feel it enliven my cellular body.
It doesn’t feel like a stretch in a bad way, ever.

But it really hasn’t always been like this. In fact it was the opposite for years and years.
I was the most unfit guy ever during my 20s and 30s, and even my 40s.
It has taken years of persistence and success, and failure, to get to this point.
And still I have to persist. But I found the groove and know the rewards.

And don’t forget:
I have been through chronic illness, on a long journey that lasted about 10 years. Some of that time I ran, but I struggled with exercise. I stayed with it. When the body and nervous system is under par and stressed it’s very hard to get the full benefit of exercise. So you do what you can. I did rebounding to keep the energy flowing. I did yoga for flexibility. I did core strength exercises to build muscle. All of this you can do, adapted to your own state of health.

The bottom line is, you can’t recover or heal or find true vitality without doing something for the body.
If nothing else, walking is great! 5 – 10 miles a day will get things going. Just don’t sit around. It will kill you.
Sleep is so very important, good quality sleep. We go to bed very early and get up very early.
Hydration is very important.
Nutrition is vital.

But of all things I have seen and felt over the years, enthusiasm and motivation are the two most powerful. With those on your side anything is possible.

Anything.

Thanks for reading, see you out there!

Kavi

ps. Any runners out there, connect with me!
SmashRun – https://smashrun.com/kavi.hockaday

 

Motivation and the Healing Path

I have just been scrolling through my site here and considering my book ‘The Power of Illness to Change Your Life,’ and what it is actually about.

I have realized that it’s really a motivational book, and I am a motivational speaker and writer and coach. Not a conventional one by any means, but I am motivational by nature. It is who I am, and who I have always been. I bring hope, I bring some light and some love, not on the surface but to the heart and soul.

In that sense, and I explore this somewhat in the book, whether physical healing happens or not is not the point.

Healing is what actually happens in the heart and soul of each one of us. The physical body, and our lives, are set to perish anyway, sooner or later. It’s a sad truth but there it is. And of course we want to hold on to health, and remove disease, for as long as possible while we are here.

But finding acceptance, peace, love and a deep spiritual connection, is more important. Those are qualities that transcend the physical body, the ego self and all its fears and anxieties and open the door to something entirely new.

That’s the motivation I have. It’s the willingness to face all this, and open my heart and mind in the midst of it. I had to, when I was ill and suffering, I had to make peace with myself, with my past demons, with my family and with God.

You see, I have learned over a long period of time that this life I was graced with, is a voyage of discovery, an ongoing conversation and relationship between me and God. God is the entirety of existence, everything that I see, feel, experience, touch and know. The whole world I encounter is God. I believed myself to be separate from all of life, and life was somehow happening to me.

And over the course of a long healing journey that belief perished like an old ghost and I found myself to be in the world, the world in me, and all was one thing. I became existence and existence expresses itself through me.

Until that time I had a beef with God.

And I saw that each man and woman carries the same wound. We are all the same, but with our own stories. Me and you, we are the same, all struggling with existence itself, how to live, what to do about death, how to relate, the whole thing.

Now there is such a peace and love and acceptance. So there is a great motivation in me to support others as they walk the path of healing, however it appears for them. I don’t preach, I don’t tell and I don’t persuade. I motivate through a kind of holistic logic.

Each man and woman carries the same existential wound. We are all the same, but with our own stories.

Why I’m saying all this is not to sell you my book. It is because the path of life, like the path of healing, is pretty tough, challenging and mysterious. We are called to dive into the unknown. When the body is sick and we are called to the unknown it’s nigh on terrifying, because we desperately want to know what to do to heal the body. The body is a ruthless teacher. There is no simple answer.

There is the journey, the relationship, the inquiry, the awareness, the self love, the diligence, the persistence, the knowledge, the softness and the warrior-like ness that may transform us.

In the dark we are scared. That fear blocks our natural intelligence, our intuition. It creates cellular dehydration and shuts us off from the light, both inner and outer, and that is where some of our intelligence comes from.

My aim is to help people past fear, not avoiding it, but not giving it more power than it warrants. Fear is a powerful voice, but fear must be met with discernment. When discernment listens to fear it knows whether it’s worthy of taking action or not. That comes through experience.

I think my book was a rough attempt at this motivation. Some people have read it a few times and used it in the way it was intended. We need each other to say ‘Yes I did it, you can too.’ And then it gives us just enough encouragement to put the next foot forward. 

Does the body always heal?

No. 

Do it anyway, for the sake of your heart and soul. It is more important to find the depth of loving acceptance while you are here. The healing journey is an invitation to this depth of love.

That is what happened to me. Illness definitely changed my life. For the better. It allowed me to meet myself and transform fear into love.

I hope this speaks to you if you are on the path.

Detoxification – Gentle, Dramatic or Unnecessary?

I have just looked back at my blogs for the past year or so and noticed I have never really talked much specifically about detoxification and whether it is important, what it means, what I have done and what you might want to do.

So here goes.

I am biased. Lets get that clear right from the start. Until 2004, and from that time on, I had never heard of ‘detoxification.’ Even though I had seen Chinese doctors and a homeopath, I had no idea what it really meant, or whether it was relevant or not.

I was sick by that time. Toxic, inflamed, rosacea all over my face, liver problems, passing out, pain everywhere, headaches and generally feeling tired and deathly.

Since that time, as well as being incredibly ill for a number of years (some of you know my history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and since then Hashimotos (thyroid), fungal issues and mysterious rashes), I have done some MAJOR detoxification programs, treatments and home remedies.

My own personal view, born from experience, research and other people’s testimonies, is that detoxification is fundamentally important for real health and healing to happen. As I said, I am biased. I don’t believe I would have made the recovery I have without some major detoxification.

But I know the mainstream medical establishment doesn’t recognize it as valuable, in fact doesn’t recognize it, period. They would have it that the body is self regulating and can sort itself out, no need for this modern quackery.

But the proof, at least anecdotal proof, is there for all with eyes to see. People who don’t do any detoxification of any sort get sick. people who are sick and go on detoxification programs stand at least a chance of getting healed.

What is detoxification?
Wikipedia tells us: Detoxification or detoxication (detox for short) is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detoxification
They tend to use the term to describe those coming off addictive drugs or those who have been poisoned.

To be sure, there is clinical detoxification, usually in the form of methylation of toxic heavy metals. This is a good article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3239317/

The issue I’m really addressing is the alternative arena. From juice fasting to water fasting, from liver enemas to colon cleansing, and from Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatment to Raw Vegan Diet, you can pick a method and experiment, try one for a few days, get bored and jump to another, ad infinitum. And if your issue is weight control, and you have read or been told that detox is going to do it for you, you can spend years jumping from one method to another method, and spend a lot of money and waste a lot of time.

There is nothing worse than going through the hardship of a severe detox program only to abandon it after realizing that it’s not doing what it ‘says on the packet.’ It’s frustrating and disheartening.

But if you are sick with chronic disease, and it’s getting worse, or you have been diagnosed with cancer, and it’s urgent, and you are called to try detoxification, you don’t have the luxury of ‘trying things out and jumping ship.’

Honestly, I’m not saying I have any answers at all. I just want to open up the conversation to a more open minded one. I don’t much care for closed minds and entrenched positions, even from experts. So let’s be clear, I’m just talking around the whole subject here, and mostly only from personal experience. Search the internet and talk to lot’s of people, experts, those who have been through detoxification and healed, and those who haven’t, and find out as much as you can before you dive in.

And when you dive in, do so fully. Half hearted detoxification is an absolute waste of time. In fact stirring up the hornets nest of toxins that might be hidden inside your body, in places strategically placed there years ago by an overloaded liver, might be the worst thing you could do.

I have done 3 Ayurvedic panchakarmas in India, each one between 4 and 6 weeks. Not a week or a few days. 6 weeks! Thats a long time to be cleaning the body. Believe me , it’s incredibly deep and extremely powerful. And not just on the physical level. It impacts mind, body and spirit.
A short explanation of panchakarmahttps://www.ayurvedichealing.net/panchakarma/

Of all the modalities and programs I have tried, this has been the deepest and most transformative. It gets to places other methods don’t. It gets deep into the joint, tissues and even the bones. It softens the body up over time so the body willingly releases what it no longer needs. It works WITH the body, not against it. The trouble with many modern detox methods is that they feel quite aggressive. And I have discovered that you just cant’t force the body to let go of what it’s held onto for years. It has to be encouraged through softness.

The root belief here is that toxins lie dormant in the body and accumulate over the years. These toxins, in the form of heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, all manner of coloring agents, plastics, and dangerous chemicals, as well as parasites, viruses and other antagonists, are often stored by the liver when it is called to deal with something potentially harmful to the body but not able to be eliminated. Over time, it could be years and it could be decades, the build up of accumulated toxins, coupled with bad diet and no exercise (for example) creates the ‘overflowing bucket syndrome,’ and that is when disturbing persistent and increasingly dangerous symptoms manifest, the kind that cannot be ignored.

That is when the disease is often fully diagnosed. It has been coming for a long time, drip by drip. But it was neglected or dealt with ‘half’heartedly’ and then bam!

Very often this is also when medication itself is used, which may suppress symptoms for a while, but the big trouble with medication is….It is toxic!

The argument for detoxification is that by practicing focused and proper detoxification, not just once but as a new ‘lifestyle’ choice, removing the antagonist toxins embedded in the body’s hiding places, that body can start the healing process. Toxins put such a load on the body it’s impossible for healing to take place at the same time as their presence. So to heal it makes sense that toxins must have to be removed. The body will heal when it can turn its attention fully to that healing. But while it is preoccupied with the inflammatory effects of its current toxic load it can barely survive, in fact as we see, it often can’t. That’s chronic disease right there.

That is why those who have really delved into the true power of detoxification are absolutely dedicated to it’s power and efficacy. I have to admit to be one of those people.

So, if I have gone any way towards convincing you detoxification might be useful, and I hope I have, which kind is most useful, dramatic or gradual?

Answer: BOTH.

I’m not as in favor of the dramatic as I used to be, simply because of the fact that change takes time, the body takes time, and healing takes time. Unless you have been poisoned, chronic illness and symptoms haven taken time to build up, and they will surely take time to recede into the background. If you start a genuine and consistent healing foods detoxification program and keep to it, it will surely help.

But you should do this anyway, regardless of your state of illness or not. Eating seasonally, AS WE ARE DESIGNED TO DO, naturally supports a kind of seasonal elimination and recalibration. Nature does this anyway, animals do it. We have forgotten because we can buy everything imported and we don’t grow our own crops.
This book by Dr Duillard is fabulous about eating seasonally and naturally. We have the paperback but this ebook is a bargain right now. https://lifespa.com/3-season-diet-ebook-flash-sale/

If you couple this with some deeper and more radical cleansing, possibly some fasting when done properly, or a panchakarma if you can find one in the west (even a 5 day is good), or a good clinical methylation to remove heavy metals, you will begin to feel benefits.

The thing that I have noticed is that its the mental attitude to detoxification, diet and healing, that really underpins whether it might work or not. If you aren’t really into it, if you have massive doubts, or if you approach it with the half heartedness I talked about, you are onto a loser. If you embrace the adventure and the unknown, the absolute mystery of it, you might be very surprised by it’s power.

Remember this. Nearly ALL old religions and cultures have practiced one form of detoxification or another. Consider Jesus going into the desert for 40 days and nights. Consider Ramadam, a month long fasting program, and of course Ayurveda itself is rooted in ancient history. Steams, saunas, even sweat lodges, acupuncture and chinese medicine, all attend to the detoxification process, and all are ancient practices. It’s been around for a long time.

So this blog went much longer than I expected, and it’s not even touched the surface. I am no expert on this. But I honestly believe that my healing has in large part been down to so much detoxification. Don’t dismiss it, and if you aren’t really healing , maybe it’s because you are not really getting deep enough into the body.

Some detoxification methods  have done:
Panchakarma x 3
21 day water fasting plus many days fasting
Intermittent fasting
Juice fasting
Liver Cleansing
Colon Therapy
Seasonal eating
Raw Food diet for 3 years

Thank you so much for reading. Please comment if you can add anything useful or just drop me a line.

Have a great day.

Kavi

A Different Take on Auto Immune and Chronic Illness

I am not going to ask you to believe me, I am simply inviting you to explore all possibilities.

You see, there is much more to chronic illness, and our current upsurge of mysterious issues, than meets the eye. If you are happy with the endless labelling of illness as this ‘disease’ or that ‘syndrome,’ then you may want to stop reading.

If you have wondered why most diagnoses are painfully dissatisfying and don’t actually describe the root cause, or if you have realized that most names of illnesses are just that, names and descriptions, nothing more or less, then you may want to read on.

When I started to understand that the so called incurable condition I was diagnosed with, ‘Ulcerative Colitis,’ was only another way of saying my colon was inflamed and had some ulcers, I began to see through the illusion of labels, and how they distort our perception and understanding.

So I want to invite you to look at this guy and what he has got to say. Don’t look with the closed and narrow mind that thinks it knows and is supremely suspicious. Just look with openness and interest. You can look and explore and then throw away. Don’t throw away what you haven’t explored!

The Medical Medium is an enigma. I was confused by him at first, and still am to some extent. I, probably like you, am cautious of ‘snake oil salesmen,’ and am not interested in bullshit. So it has taken me a while to even look at this guy.

But I’m glad I did. He is, if it’s true, remarkable. And if he isn’t, he has duped a lot of people and got testimonials from some very famous people, all on view at his website.

But it’s what he says about chronic illness and this whole ‘auto immune’ thing that really stuck me as wild.

BECAUSE he claims that there is absolutely no such thing as auto immunity. None.

WHAT?

But the whole medical model revolves around this? It is predicated on medicating the immune system into suppression, because they believe the immune system is fully armed and turning its arms on itself.

He says that the body would NEVER do that.

I don’t want to explain more, because I won’t do him justice if I try and explain, but he proposes a pretty reasonable explanation and actually offers people a lot more hope of healing than most of the medical possibilities.

You will have to see for yourself. And make your own mind up. This is the book I’m reading now. It gives his own story and details the major areas of concern and what to do about them.

Check it out! And NO, I am not on any affiliate. I just want you to broaden your options and see beyond the veil.


His websitehttp://www.medicalmedium.com

His book on Amazonhttp://a.co/bwP0TQL