I don't think I need to talk about how important the switch to natural medicine has been for me. I'm sure you all know by now my thoughts on it, and how important it is to my overall well-being.
Because I love food, we'll start there. When I first gave up eating wheat,dairy,corn,oat,grains and caffeine the whole idea of living without these things looked daunting. How would I get by without all of it ? The first while was a little hard. I had to replace pretty much everything I was eating and find a new way of doing it. Almost right away, I noticed how much better I was feeling. I didn't have insane reflux or stomach upset instead, I had energy and felt like a million dollars.
I used to spend a lot of time on the water, I'd be in a canoe or kayak as much as possible. I've made some incredible memories and wouldn't trade them for the world. Finding new outlets to replace paddling was hard. I didn't think there was anything that would come close, and there hasn't been. It may be that I don't want to believe there's anything better, or abandoning that idea would somehow make me loose that part of my life's story. Either way, I have had many new and brilliant things come into my life that otherwise wouldn't have happened. For that, I am thankful.
There is nothing better than hanging out in a park with friends on a warm, sunny afternoon. Throw in some alcohol and other deliciousness, and life is good. Drum circles on a summer's evening with a whole bunch of people just chilling out, dancing and jamming with their own instruments is also a blast. Let's also not forget all of the festivals that happen with a bunch of friends.
If I were still able to paddle, I would have left the city for the G20 and gone to play in the water somewhere else. Looking back, I'm glad I was there to experience it and see more of the real problems that are happening in my back yard. What happened to this city during the G20 summit was horrible. There was a disgusting amount of police brutalization that thousands of people had to endure for no reason. So many of our rights were violated. The police force, and the government were caught lying on multiple occasions trying to make Toronto's diverse group of advocates look bad. People who are responsible for the mess keep passing the blame and pussy-footing around the subject. They're cowards to say the least. This has allowed me to be one of the thousands of people who's voice won't make the problem just go away, or let the public and the country forget what happened. We're in it for the long-haul and it will eventually get dealt with, justice will be served for all of the people who suffered at the hand of the police and the government. Nobody ever got anywhere by being quiet.
Having to give up climbing has lead me to start taking Taiko lessons. I miss scaling the walls, but banging on a huge drum with a bunch of cool people is just as awesome, maybe even better.
I'm going back to school. I can't do my jobs anymore and need something different. As much as I love what I do, it's time for a change and I've found two things I'd love to do. Being an Art Therapist or a Child-life Specialist will allow me to continue working with a holistic approach and give me more opportunities to work with different populations of people. What could be better than playing and doing art for a living while helping others become okay with what's happening to them ?
I guess the most enriching thing that's come from all this EDS poop is figuring things out spiritually. I found something that makes sense, is practical and something I put into practice all the time. It's allowed this transition to happen probably a lot less painfully than what it could have been if Buddha had not been my home boy. A lot of people ask how I can stay positive as often as I do, how I manage to chill out and get back up when I get knocked down. Well that's my answer....
The other priceless experiences are the ones I see everyday. A lot of people think that living in a big city means I'm at risk for ending up on the 11pm news. I'm glad to say that's not the case. I've met some of the most incredible people while living in this city. One of the things that I love is all the diversity that surrounds me each day. I've been able to check out the incredible cultural neighbourhoods and get a little glimpse of life from all over the world. I've met people from different socioeconomic backgrounds and have had some amazing conversations. The biggest commonality with everyone I've met is kindness and it's humbling. Sure, there are still all the things that happen in a big city and a few bad apples, but I see kindness everyday from all the people who make up the place where I love living.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then, go do that, because what the world needs, is more people who come alive."