We’re calling in our community at all stages of healing— whether you’re dealing with chronic illness or just beginning to dabble in the wellness world out of curiosity.
Firstly, let me introduce myself: I’m Kate, the newest member of the Free and Native Team. I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of such an amazing team and community. I have loved connecting with you all during my takeover series, Unblocked Health, and will continue to see you guys there on Tuesdays. In this new blog series, Fuck That, I will be bringing you along as I heal. I’m here to let go of the burdensome shoulds and rules of the trendy, hypey wellness world. Health doesn’t have to feel like a burden, an obsession, or be the central feature of our lives. Fuck that. Health is crucial groundwork, certainly, but there is so much more.
The healing is in the living.
The importance of health has been an ongoing focus of my life from a young age. When I was 4, my brother fractured a growth plate and was told he’d never walk normally again. Unwittingly, my fascination with medicine was ignited. I immersed myself in raising money for the children’s hospital that cared for him, and playing ‘Dr. Katherine’ with my family quickly became my favorite game. Three years later, my mom picked me up from school one day and I inexplicably collapsed in screaming pain. I spent a year in and out of the hospital, but no doctor was able to provide an explanation or diagnosis for my extreme exhaustion, joint pain, weight loss and migraines. They told my parents that they should prepare for the worst. I slowly recovered. We didn’t have answers but we were so grateful that it was over.
Ten years later, an almost identical attack on my body occurred, and again, we looked to allopathic medicine for answers. I became determined to heal myself. I became a yoga teacher, began studying Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and nutrition. More recently, I have been dealing with a less severe but similar health issues and I once again am looking for answers to heal this chronic illness.
I am entrenched in the wellness world. I am so grateful to have access to the most incredible doctors, alternative medicine practitioners and energy workers. I’ve tried western medicine, naturopathy, water fasting, raw vegan diets, acupuncture, Ayurveda, breathwork, plant medicine, shamanic healing and yoga— just to name a few. Some of these experiences have been incredible and some have been underwhelming, but none have been the panacea. I’m going to keep exploring and report back to you all as I crack the code for my healing.
Though I will be continuing to delve into wellness in all its forms, my larger goal is a reclamation of self beyond health. The more my identity has become intertwined with health, the less well I have become, both physically and mentally. I have become resentful towards so much of the wellness world because it seems to suggest that if I just sage myself enough or drink enough adaptogenic lattes, my problems will be solved. Fuck that. True healing begins in the mind.
The deeper I go into Lacy’s work, the more it becomes clear how our subconscious projection literally becomes our physical reality.
Here’s how I’m working through my healing from the inside out:
i. Extricating Identity from Illness: Lacy’s work has helped me realize the core of why my illness is so distressing— my physical issues are preventing me from embodying the most authentic version of myself. When I was working through REPARENT, I saw my most authentic self as this vibrant, free, loving, energetic being. My physical exhaustion makes me feel like I can’t fully embody any of those things. During the DI’s, It became clear how much I was celebrated for being an overachiever and for not needing rest. My determination and seemingly endless energy was treated as a superpower. I’m slowly learning how to release my tendency to define my worth by my denial of my needs.
ii. Worlds Within this One: I find it so comforting to remember how many worlds there are within this one we live in. Lacy and Lila talked a while back about doing an information detox and I’m following suit. I’m putting away my plethora of health books and working on tapping into the desire and direction within. After my meditation or DRE each day, I have been asking my body ‘Show me what I can give you to help you heal.’ For the first few days I felt silly doing this and got no response, but my body is slowly beginning to respond. One of the messages I received was that there are endless things to be immersed in and moved by. I realized I was yearning for more of the expansiveness that life has to offer. My hyper-focus on health had eclipsed my diverse, disparate interests. Ballet, anatomical drawing classes, building rockets— whatever it is, there is something so vibrantly healing about passionate, bizarre subcultures.
iii. DRE Challenge: We’re only 7 days into the challenge and I’m already feeling a huge shift. Since my frustration with my health has been at the center of my awareness lately, all of the triggers that have come up have surrounded that theme. In my hypnotic meditative state, I had an incredibly healing conversation with an ex who I pushed away because my illness made me feel vulnerable, I was able to hold my sick 7 year old self, and I got to see myself in my mom’s pregnant belly from her perspective. It has been so beautiful and transformative to understand the parts of myself that need to feel seen and loved.
I’m so stoked to take the deep dive with you all and learn how to both heal and live more fully. We’re in this together.
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KATE HINKENS • Social Media and Blog Coordinator
Minnesotan in LA. Endlessly enthusiastic about plants, neuroscience, and holistic medicine.