I’m in a terrible flare-up right now, and I think I might be driving my naturopath a little bit crazy. You remember the one, right? The guy who told me I needed to experience more joy in my life to finally end this long and painful journey with eczema? Anyway, I sprung for the extra couple hundred bucks to have email access to him, and (poor fellow) has been bombarded by my questions and dramas ever since.

My wrists are swollen and crimson, cracked and bleeding. My whole trunk and legs are marbled with itchy, inflamed blotches, my face is beaming red and raw, and the delicate skin on my neck is so parched…I was looking in the mirror actually, and I reminded myself of the turtle from The Neverending Story. (This is me trying to find some kind of humour and lightness in this experience.)

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It keeps coming back to stress, all around. The doctors, the people who know me best…myself if I’m really honest. And as much as I’m trying to charge forward right now, eating gentle foods and forging on with writing my book and creating an online program, my body is screaming at me that what I’m doing is not working. That I need to step back (big time) and reassess how I can be compassionate and caring towards myself right now.

Why is that so hard?

I’ve been really enjoying blogging and showing up in your inboxes lately. I’ve had such good ideas to teach you mindfulness, standards, and so much juicy juice, yet I sit here feeling like I should probably be swathed in bandages and in bed instead of at my desk. Then throw that terrible election into things, watching documentaries like Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and Vegucated, for job research and…you get the idea. I’m looking forward to better times.

You know that I’m here to be real with you right? I say on the front page of my website:

I write stuff and I also teach people to be more mindful and compassionate through online courses, coaching, and workshops. I believe that if we want to create real change – for ourselves and for the world – the first thing we need to do is raise our standards. 270c

Right now, the highest standard I can have for myself is to be gentle and kind and stop trying to force myself to do things I think I should be doing, because it’s not working.

There. This morning, when Kev and I were talking about how I could reduce my stress and let my body heal (unfortunately we talk about this a lot) he said to me: write about your skin. 

I don’t usually post this kind of personal stuff about me, or us, or my health, but I’m just sick of trying to make it look like I’m perfect and not suffering. I’m tired of booking photo shoots on days after slathering myself in toxic steroid creams so I look like I’m healthy. I’m a fan of real, and I feel fucking terrible right now, which may seem strange because I resemble a red Christmas light and I always thought Christmas lights should be happy.

And I believe with all my heart that it’s going to get better because I’m starting to accept it for what it is. A condition that’s trying to pass, and waiting for me to step aside and allow it through.

I know I’ll be able to mine lots from this experience, but before that happens I need it to pass.

Thank you for listening.

Jen.

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