In my previous career I travelled the world extensively as a Purser for an international airline for many years. Often I would only be home for a few days a month and never really felt grounded.
In 2013 I became very ill, my immune system was compromised due to my vocation. My world as I had known it just stopped. I went from flying around the world, running a training business, socialising and living my life fully, to not being able to function properly. I had to leave my home so that my mother could take care of me - as the simple activities of life such as eating, drinking, breathing, and walking started to present a huge challenge. There were days when my mother had to feed me spoonfuls of water as I couldn’t physically eat. This period lasted for an intense 7 to 8 months. I went from doctor to doctor to try and find the cause of my illness and they were all baffled. Each week was another doctor and another diagnosis.
At the end of the seventh month, I decided to stop all the tests and take a holiday. Whilst onboard the flight on the way to India - I realised that I was struggling to breathe and once I reached India it took me weeks to recover and function. It was at this time that it dawned on me that maybe this was the cause of my illness. I was finally diagnosed as suffering from Aero-Toxic Syndrome (ATS). My immune system had been contaminated with toxic levels of atomized engine oils and other chemicals. I was given the prognosis that it would take years for my health to begin to get better, if at all. I refused to settle for this.
I realised that I needed to start my own healing process by detoxing my body. I began to look for any alternative therapies that could help. I started by deciding to fully commit to doing a 10 minute yoga practice daily. These 10 minutes allowed me to focus on myself instead of my illness. The difference this short, slow, meditative practice made was immense. I felt calmer, more grounded, I ate slower and my sleep slowly became more rejuvenated. I set an intention each day to get stronger and healthier, and to be surrounded by good people, and as time went, on my intentions started to materialise.
I truly realised the necessity of slowing down - allowing my body and mind to live moment-by-moment, and taking pauses to allow myself to heal.