I think that part of the secret to my experience of a genki life is the fact that I have been through very difficult experiences. These things taught me how to manage deep and difficult pain. They taught me that happiness and harmony are something to strive for, but that they are experienced alongside sadness, grief, pain, loss, anger, frustration, anger and all the other difficult emotions, and that is ok.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12. It is easy to feel broken when part of your body does not work, when you have to deal with the fact that something has gone wrong and will never be the same. On the outside other people might not know how much you are struggling, or that you have struggled in the past. In point of fact, I have personally been at the bottom of a pit before in my life. As a teenager and later, after major depression and panic attacks, it even got so bad that I wanted to leave this earth.
Things can get so bad that you can not see a way out, but there is always a little piece of light somewhere if you look for it. Noticing that crack of light is the most important thing. Try to get out of your head and notice the world around you. Here I sit, many years later, a mum to 3 wonderful sons, a wife, a confident business woman and academic, who has achieved so much in my life. I continue to develop and grow, to do new things and have new experiences. I laugh often. I deal with crap days with diabetes and bad patches with my health. I have down days where it all seems too hard. I have many days and little moments where I experience great joy. The little cracks of light in my life when I needed to climb out of the darkness were my children, my husband and my family. The reasons to hang onto life were far stronger than those pushing me to leave. I know it is not always this way. People do leave this earth way too early. Noticing that you are something, that you matter and there are so many parts to life can help. Recognising that we all have cracks and that there is even a glimmer of hope, can help you return to the light in your life.
The things that helped me to move through these times to experience a genki life included love from family and friends, having someone else to care for and be responsible for, counselling, medication for a time, mindfulness and positive visualisation learned in therapy, rest, exercise, permission to need this time to deal with it all music, writing poetry and journals, and, time.
The things that now keep me well and happy include family, nature, mindfulness, continuing to learn new things all the time, my passions and writing. Anxiety is still part of my life, but it is something I am aware of and can manage and reduce. Sometimes it pushes me around still, but I no longer feel worthless and I have not wanted to leave this earth for a very very long time. Quite the opposite, I hold onto it, eat it up, experience as much of it as I possibly can. Life is a treasure and it is the perfection in the imperfection that makes it so. There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
If you know someone who seems lost, please reach out your hand to them as sometimes it can be very hard to climb up yourself – be their lighthouse. And be sure to talk about these troubles before you get to that place if you can, because even in the deepest hole of hopelessness there is a crack of light.
writer . blogger . speaker and advocate for people and planet . founder of recycled interiors and the sustainable home hub1