You are not alone. I fail too.


Just over 3 weeks into my new super healthy protocol of grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free + 16/8 regime and just prior to the Equinox on 23rd I fell into my old habit of chocolate after dinner.  Dark chocolate and lots of it.

A little voice questioned how long will it be before the dreaded migraines which began over 2 years ago re-appear to remind me that I am fallible?  Which disappear every time I delve deep with diet and self-love rituals.  

So is this chocolate love-fest the fault of intense emotional heartbreak perhaps, or the equinox for that matter or cyclical? Perhaps it's a combination.  I resist then I fall into deep contemplation with my inner self ( I journal) and there I find immense compassion and gentle loving kindness.  It's in this moment I breathe.

And I remember my Qi therapist's last words on Friday when I left her room - the sadness will arise - let it and be very very kind to yourself.  This is sadness that I've been carrying with me since an episode when I was 10 yrs old, triggered recently by heartbreak and which requires the utmost gentleness and compassion even when you don't feel like giving it to yourself or others even.  

Coupled with the gradual hormonal change that occurs in your late 40's, nothing can be hidden.  Our body will tell us in no uncertain terms what it feels and it is up to us to address all that may have been suppressed physically and emotionally. There's no hiding here anymore.  We may appear utterly sensitive to everything at this time but if we can acknowledge it all - the physical pain and the emotional pain as it arises, we will emerge as the phoenix rising from the ashes to take full and conscious part in the rest of our life engaged and in expression of our unique innate wisdom for those behind us.  

Pema Chodron writes a Buddhist teaching on Loneliness, Rejection & a Broken Heart - "Those times, when you absolutely cannot get it back together, are the most rich and powerful times in our lives.."  Would it be easier if I wasn't in my late 40's when my kids are growing up and I'm edging just a little closer to middle age ( aren't we supposed to be all sorted out by now - with our life partner, settled, easier as the kids are older..ahem, I don't think so - life throws at us what it will at whatever age mutters a little voice).  what we need to learn comes at any age but forgive me if I'm requesting a little break from life's nudgings!!

Her words may be little comfort when you're going through it and the Autumn Equinox is battering on your door with seasonal change and all the physical and emotional responses that come with it so the chocolate comes out to temporarily soothe...

What do you choose?  What is your tipple or fancy in those moments?  And how hard are you on yourself when that happens?

Pema Chodron continues: "In the midst of loneliness, in the midst of fear. In the middle of feeling misunderstood and rejected is the heartbeat of all things……the genuine heart of sadness.

Someone needs to encourage us not to brush aside what we feel. Not to be ashamed of the love and grief that it arouses in us. Not to be afraid of pain. 

Someone needs to encourage us: that this soft spot in us could be awakened and that to do this would change our lives.."

So without significant other to tap me on the shoulder with best advice, it's down to me to let the chocolate go and get back to the business of self- healing through diet and emotional wellbeing.

My tips are:

 *Journal your feelings or speak into your phone and listen back - (Thanks to Jo Henton at Shen Guernsey for this tip)

*List the Haves and the Haven'ts - you can be sure that you haven't failed completely and this really puts this into perspective.  For e.g: I noted that the rest of my protocol has been pretty superb - plenty of water, veg juice daily, 16/8 regime, daily meditation, clean meat/fish with 50% veg daily.. 

*Do something you like doing.  Today I sat in the Sun by the back door after dinner and read for a while.

*I paused and reflected with kind thoughts upon myself and others.

*I called a sick family friend 

With much love,

Sophie xx

Sophie Shand