Managing the managers

It would seem that if you are a manger, the skills that make you a great manger are the skills that make your health suffer.  Your ability to just keep going, your ability to function highly under stress and your ability to put the needs of others first for a desired outcome are great skills as a manager.  Well they are great skills for managing work and business, not so good for managing your health.  If you are a manager, you are likely to thrive on a challenge and excel when the odds are against you.  Your probably even just a little bit stubborn..........or maybe just determined to get things done the way you want them done!

I may as well confess and admit that I was exactly that as a manager......and while I was seemingly keeping it all together on the outside, I was slowly draining out and drying up every last drop of adrenalin and cortisol, and, every last drop of joy (and some would say, sanity!).

Sitting on the other side of adrenal fatigue and mental burnout, it is easy to see the errors of my ways.  However, when I was immersed in the merry go round rat wheel of staff reviews, staff wages, rosters, contractors, balance sheets, time sheets, sick days, bad hair days it was not easy at all to see the warning signs.  

Hence my motivation to put together this health mentoring program.  I’ve previously focused on healing the healers, now it is time to manage the managers!  This program has a whole new section on workplace intelligence, where we complete a virtual or in person assessment of your workstation and your workflow.  Two of the most important ingredients for productivity in the workplace.  We might even get our feng shui on!

I welcome you to check it out and contact me with any enquires.  Please chat with me if you have several people in your workplace who would like to participate, as the program can be packaged slightly differently for you.

In health,

Jac Edser

Ham and cheese meditation

 Last time I wrote, I spoke about my calling to go do the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  After years of procrastinating I finally found the courage to get on that plane and go.  I really didn’t know why I had to go there, and I didn’t know why I had to go alone.  And, the funny thing is, after 21 days straight of sleeping in a different bed, 21 days of cheese and ham for breakfast and step after step after step along the path not talking to anyone.......I still don’t really know!  

When I first came home and people were asking me, “how was your trip”, I kind of didn’t really know what to say.  It was really challenging.  I saw really nice places and met cool people.  Drank lots of nice wine. I knew it was an amazing experience, I knew I felt different and could see things differently, but how do you describe such a profound experience in words.....without sounding like a hippy jillipy!    

Essentially though, I think this is where the true lesson of my pilgrimage was.  I just needed to experience the experience.  I needed to get out of my head and into my body and just feel and see the beauty of life.  It was one long meditative experience that was not always comfortable and had far too much ham and cheese in it, however, it was the experience that I needed.  I now know that the little lessons I learnt along the way, have and will change the way I see and feel things.  My reference point has changed and above all else, it was a lesson in trusting my intuition.  

So I think this is what I can pass on as lessons I learnt from the camino, from my ham and cheese meditation; 

          1.   Experience the experience - get into your body and experience things, big and small.  Eat the ham and cheese....smell it, taste it, feel it, just for the sake of eating it.  Not because it is healthy, not because it is going to give you energy, do it just for the experience.  When we can turn our minds off and experience things through all of our senses, taste, smell, touch, hear, see, we can effect profound change, not only in our bodies, but in our external lives.  If you think about it, this is what meditation is.  Sitting and breathing.  Experiencing your breathe through your body.  (sorry now I’m getting hippy!!)

          2.  Trust your intuition - I really believe that above all else, our own trust in our intuitive selves is where the answers lie to our health and happiness.  Especially given that we are living in a time where money is the driving factor behind our medical care, we need to trust what we think is right for ourselves.  Listen to your instinct.  Your instinct will tell you when to trust the information provided and whether to trust the people providing the information.  Do what your heart is telling you to do.  If you have a nagging feeling to do something.....then do it.  And I am not talking about egocentric extravagant experiences that we feel “called” to do because everyone will think we are amazing and wonderful.  Do what your heart is genuinely yearning to do.  It will be that thing that keeps popping up no matter how many times you ignore it.  It might be something small like paint your toenails......doesn’t matter.   

The cool thing is, when you just experience the experience, that constant blah blah blah blah blah that goes on in your head slowly quietens down and it becomes much easier to hear that inner voice of intuition. 

In health and happiness, 

Jac Edser

Intuitive decisions are not always logical

When I first learnt about intuition I thought it was some amazing skill that was going to help me be a great practitioner and heal people.  I was taught to “tune in” to my intuition so that I could help people figure out their health problems when the “medical” data didn’t give the answers.   Sounded pretty fabulous and cool to me, so I went about doing everything I could to heighten this skill and use it to best serve others. 

Little did I know that developing my intuition would totally change my own life and they way I lived it!  Little did I know that it would sometimes be this really annoying nagging feeling, telling me to do things that I didn’t necessarily want to do.....like having difficult converstaions with loved ones, stopping doing a particular job even though it paid well, leaving relationships, keeping on persisting with a vision even though it consumed my life and running marathons! 

The thing I have noticed about my intuition is that it points me in a direction to do something, and I think, how on earth can that be good for me!!  And yet, time and time and time again, when I follow that inner voice, it ALWAYS works out for the best.  Solutions and opportunities arise that I never even thought were possible.

The more I do this, the more it seems like decisions that are made following your intuition or “following your heart” are not always logical.  

So that is how I have found myself booking flights to Spain to go on a pilgrimage.......all on my own.  I have had this calling to go and walk the Camino de Santiago for many years and have continually put it off because I didnt want to go by myself.  And as much as I kept logically telling myself it was too expensive and I shouldn’t go by myself, my heart has continued to push me to go.  

It is a leap of faith and it is totally and utterly out of my comfort zone.  

When I told one of my girlfriends that I had booked my flight, she said, “Noooo!!!.....you are supposed to go to India to find yourself not Spain!!!”  My reply was, “well maybe I need to go to Spain to find out I need to go to India”.  

That’s the thing with intuition, it is not always logical.  This trip is a lesson in trusting and a lesson in following that inner voice.  I am so excited and I am also so scared.  It is an adventure into the unknown.....and, as recommended by another great friend, all I am doing now is breathing into my belly and schrunching my toes.   And oh yeah, getting very very excited!

So I will be away from the clinic for the month of September and then back on deck in October with lots of stories.  Who knows, I might then be going to India?!?

I would love to hear from you of your own experiences of what happened when you listened to that inner voice?

In health,

 

Jac Edser

Breast Cancer - a sensitive issue

Everyone has a story about health and I love reading them.  We learn so much from hearing about other people’s journey’s in relation to illness and disease.  After hearing so many people’s reaction to Angelina’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy, I feel like I want to tell my story.  It is not for any other reason than to help people take another look at the same issue.  As it is with many many women in this world, breast cancer is an issue so close to home for me.  Three years ago I nursed my best friend to her death.....she had breast cancer, she had a double mastectomy, she lived another 9 healthy years and then it metastasised into her lungs and bones.  She was a very intelligent, healthy, emotionally connected integrative medicine doctor.  She knew so much about health and it didn’t make any sense that someone who knows everything about alternative medicine, who looked so vibrant and healthy, who was very emotionally and spiritually aware and connected, could number one get the disease, and number two, die from it.  That just didnt make sense to me and it made me question everything.  It also made me realise, there is something about illness and disease that we don’t fully understand.  It is different for every person.  Even though you might be diagnosed with “breast cancer”, it is a different set of things that have caused the disease and that will allow it to either grow or go away.

Last year I got my own personal encounter that was both scary and enlightening.  I had that experience that every woman dreads of finding a lump in their breast.  When I spoke with my doctor, we both agreed that it was not surprising, given I had only just gotten through adrenal fatigue and knew that I had a whole heap of extra estrogen floating around in my body....otherwise known as estrogen dominance.  None of this worried me, I knew it was just a consequence of pushing myself too hard and going through a few years of quite a lot of emotional stress.  I was not scared until I was lying on the table having an ultrasound of my breasts and the very scary, powerful radiologist came in to give me the report on my ultrasound.  Her booming words were that the lump I had found was no issue, however, they found another lump on the other side and it was time to panic please.

What I realise now, is that if it were not for some prior knowledge, some voices of reason and a very skilled and understanding integrative medicince doctor, I would be sitting here now having had either one or two of my breasts cut off.  

I was scared and I was in absolute turmoil about what to do.  I did not want to get into the system.......mammogram, fine needle biopsy, lump removal, etc etc.  I wanted to make some informed choices.  And, I had to make decisions that were right for me with or without the approval of those close to me.  I came to realise that I could make a decision that was right for me and my body, even though others disagreed with it.  A very hard thing to do when all you want is the people around you to agree with you and prop you up.  

So I decided I would give myself 3 months.  I would do some more testing to further understand why I had excess estrogen and why I might have a lump in my breast and how I could best cultivate a healthy body, mind and spirit.  The hardest thing was, during this time I had to try not to stress out about the obvious and I had to somehow get rid of this belief I had.  Without even realising it, I had developed this belief that if I got breast cancer I would die.  Quite extreme, but it’s funny how our minds work based on our experiences.

Part of the tests I had were some genetic testing.....and of course, it showed I was in the 10% of the population who have the progesterone receptor gene that indicates increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  Hhhhmmmm...what now?

Wtih this information, rather than feel doomed to get breast cancer, I felt empowered to know how to further look after my health.  You see, I do not believe that your genes determine your health, it is just the blueprint for what you have got to work with.  There is such a growing field of science in epigenetics that confirms that it is our internal environment, and the signals we send our genes through our belief systems, that determines our health, not the other way around.  Although I knew, understood and believed this, I felt like I was butting up against a massive system that didn’t agree.  If I was to think this way, I had to get the system to agree?! It is such a new way of thinking, and the recent stories of Angelina Jolie show how we have such a long way to go as a society and as a medical system to integrate this knowledge.  When you think and act like I have, most people think you are a bit whack.  I have even been reluctant to tell this information to people because I don’t want other people believing that I am at high risk of breast cancer because of my genes.  I don’t want that around me.  

Now I realise, it is actually ok for people to know, because I know in my heart what really matters to me.....and if the system doesn’t agree, it actually doesn’t matter.  I know what really really matters to me and therefore, what gives me the absolute best opportunity at maintaining a healthy body.   I know that for me it is about healthy and intimate relationships, time at the beach, engaging work, running in the bush, nourishing food, red wine with friends, camping, travel, wearing nice clothes, time with my niece and nephew, dinners with my girlfriends doin weird things like angel cards and astrology.  And, this combination of “things” is totally unqiue to me and would not work for anyone else.  And that is ok.  I don’t need to explain nor justify it to anyone else.  And no one else needs to explain nor justisy to me what their set of things that really matter are.  

So after three months of turmoil, freaking out, deep soul searching, mediatating, drinking wine, juicing and some funny conversations about whether I should do some coffee enemas, I went and had another ultrasound.  This time my experience was totally different and it was calmy, cleaning and precisely explained to me that the lump identified on my previous ultrasound was a fibroadenoma.....it presented nothing like a cancerous lump and  there was absolutely nothing to worry about.  It had not changed and that was a good thing.  What the?  Why didn't I get that information 3 months ago!!  Obviously, taking a closer look at what mattered to me was the lessons I needed.

 

It is my hope that as individuals and as a society, we are able to see things differently.  That we develop a more whole way of seeing and understanding health, and we don’t blindly follow the system that surrounds us.    

After seeing my friend die, and sharing her journey, I learnt at a very deep level, that you can never ever judge anyone else for their decisions or actions, because you have absolutely no idea what they are going through.  We have absolutely no idea what Angelina has been through and it is not for me to judge or even have an opinion about her decision.  It is however important to see things for what they truly are, and not get sucked into a system that will now have women all over the world having “preventative” mastectomy’s.

 

Jac Edser