The pain of growing – a personal share

The pain of growing – a personal share
4 October 2019 Serena Sabala

This week was challenging for me and I feel compelled to share what I went through with you as I know many people out there may experience something similar at some point on their journey to improved health and wellbeing.

Since the age of 10 I’ve been suffering from a mild skin condition called Ringworm: it’s a fungal infection which causes a slight discoloring in certain areas of my skin. Its is NOT contagious and not very serious at all. You can simply apply a topic lotion for it to disappear in a few days and, in my case, be gone for months until the next flare up. That’s precisely how I have been managing it until now. I got it from my dad: he’s always struggled with it too.

Recently however, I have been trying to avoid using the topical creams as I know they are not particularly good for me, especially given the continuous use, nor will they ever resolve the problem at the root level. I have a problem with that. I’m not good with acceptation superficial and temporary solutions. I am mildly obsessed with working out the root cause of a problem and digging as deep as I need to in order to figure and resolve any issues at its roots. That’s how I believe you can really shift your life and get permanent results rather that merely short term fixes.

It makes sense, right? Let me tell you though, it is not the easy choice. EVER. Sometimes I wish I could just get over it and go for the easier solution at least once in my life. I mean, why can’t I just accept that this minor skin thing is something I inherited and will never get rid of, like a doctor once said to me? All it takes is a little bit of cream a few times a year and it’s gone. Sure thing, the cream is not good for me. But there’s people out there doing WAY worse things to their bodies and still living so why bother question and change the status quo? Why dig? 

Because that’s how I grow. That’s why. If I keep doing what my dad has always done to manage this condition I will get the same results that he’s getting and will therefore live with the belief that this condition can’t be healed for good; that it can only be managed. But what if I question that and take courageous actions that my dad has never chosen to take? They may or may not work but I’ll never know until I try and I’ll never learn anything new until I try new things.

Of course, the other side of being brave is the discomfort that comes from it. I’ve had a phone consultation with a renewed doctor I really respect who runs a health center in California: they run health programs that revolve around water fasting. Water fasting is a powerful healing tool which, when used correctly, can unlock profound results by creating the conditions for the body to tap into its own self-healing capabilities. Just think about it: if you cut your finger you don’t need to do very much (other than perhaps disinfecting the cut and putting a plaster on to protect it) in order for it to heal. The body will take care of itself and will unlock a number of precesses which will heal the wound until eventually, it will be completely gone. The body knows how to heal itself. Water fasting gives it the space it needs to do its thing without diverting energy towards the digestive process. Is it fun to go through it? probably not. But I’m considering it.

I’ve also been recommended to try changing up my eating slightly. I eat pretty healthy: no animal products at all, no refined sugars other than the occasional weekend treat (still always vegan), not much alcohol (maybe once a month) and only one coffee a day. What is there to improve? you may ask…I sure did ask him that and guess what? He found PLENTY of things I could improve on. Oh my! Apparently I should consider giving up coffee AND even my favorite alternative which is green tea. I could also start avoiding glutinous grains such as wheat, barley, rye. Lastly, and this almost broke my heart, I should consider eating LESS fruit. Did I say it was uncomfortable? At this point it actually got a bit painful.

This is when things got a bit murky for me for a few days after the phone call with the doctor. I know he may be right and that these suggestions are totally worth actioning. Much like the water fast. My reptile brain however did NOT like the sound of any of this. At all. Very quickly, I found myself stuck with many self pity and self sabotaging thoughts; being flooded with a sense of deprivation at the sheer thought of having to make these changes, I started craving all the foods I knew I would have to cut down on. Even foods I don’t generally crave or eat. 

I started snacking, picking, looking for special treats and generally eating more and eating more badly than usual (compared to my standards). It was like I was possessed by a force which was greater than me and didn’t know how to stop it. It felt like now that I had a clearer plan of action on how I could improve things further, I instead decided to make things worse that before. Silly, right? But all too common, I fear.

Then I started thinking: “see?! This is what you get from trying to fix something that’s not even broken! Just accept this skin thing and keep doing what you’re doing. It’s not THAT bad. Seriously. Otherwise you run the risk of disrupting a balance that may not be perfect but is certainly better than average.”

It’s a fair thought, but it doesn’t cut it for me. I would not be practicing what I preach. I would be avoiding a temporary discomfort which may lead to a greater future. I would be choosing the easy way just to avoid the difficultly of making some changes. Mostly, I would avoid growth. Growth can be painful but I firmly believe that in the long run, avoiding growth is even MORE painful.

So I’m gonna have a talk with my reptile brain, tell it that it’s all good. That we’re just gonna try a few things and see if they work: if not, we can always go back to the way things where. I’ll tell it that it will not die, or starve. I’ll tell it that we can make sure we’re still eating plenty of food we love and having fun with it. I’ll tell it that it’s just an experiment for a period of time so there’s nothing to worry about: we will still enjoy life and have fun. Who knows, we may end up in a better place than before. But we won’t know that if we don’t try.

Have you ever experienced something similar, in health and wellness or any other areas in life? Have you ever avoided growth fearing that it may be too painful to endure? Have you ever questioned whether a change was “worth it”? Have you ever avoided a suggestion that you knew may be good for you, just because you “couldn’t be bothered” to give it a try? 

I know I’m not alone in experiencing these difficulties because I see our shifters go through these same throughs processes in the work we do with them. But I also know that every single time they choose to be brave, they’re MASSIVELY rewarded from it. Whether they get BIG results, or BIG learnings, they always end up better off than they were before somehow. 

So in making these changes, I will be inspired by all the amazing professionals we have and continue to work with: I’m with them in this. I put myself at issue much like they put themselves at issue. 

I choose to continue working on myself and bettering myself so that I can continue to remind myself of what it feels like for them to do the same. I also know that I will learn new things that may help them on their journey: I’ll add more tools to my tool box and equip myself with more experience that will allow me to continuously have a greater impact on the lives of everyone around me.

I choose growth for me, firth and foremost. But I know that if I grown, everyone around me will inevitably grow with me and that for sure is worth some temporary discomfort. I remind myself that I am capable of WAY more than I think I am. And so are you.

Stay tuned for more updates on this and if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to write them in the comments or email us on