My body is my temple…
A simple saying, yet how many of us really live by that saying? Oh sure you might go to the gym and drink green juice but are you happy? Can you look at all areas of your life and say you fill happy and fulfilled?
I grew up in the beautiful beach side suburb Bronte, in Sydney Australia. I wanted for nothing had a wonderful loving childhood and was honestly blessed with the 2 people in my life I am honoured to call my parents.
In 1999 I was ready to see the world armed with a brand new paddy pallin backpack (a typically australian brand for ruggard mountain climbing types)
I set off to see the world, well Europe in particular, first stop Lake Como, Italy. My grandparents were staying there, with long time family friends. I ended up staying longer than I thought…..in fact I’m still here.
Over that summer of ’99 I fell in love with my husband, his family & friends, Italy and Italian food. In the years that followed we had 3 beautiful children and worked together in the family business.
I am extremely blessed to live the life I live, surrounded by people I love and cooking in the family restaurant. My family in australia had had restaurants for 4 generations, so it seemed like a natural movement for me to come and join Enzo’s family in the kitchen. I learned more about food, people, and life than I ever thought possible in my first 36 years of life…
It wasn’t always like this, I knew I was blessed if you looked from the outside at what we had, but inside I felt empty. This was masked by a lot of happy times too, which made life like a rollercoaster ride but in 2009 a few months after the birth of my third child, Matteo I hit rock bottom. The rollercoaster seemed to be stuck.and I didn’t know how to get off.
The blow up came in the form an argument with my sister, she was doing everything to try and help and i just kept getting angrier and sadder and sadder and angrier. I said to my husband while we were driving in the car, I think I have postnatal depression, and I want to go and see a doctor.
He and most of my family members seriously doubted it. But, you were happy the other day, and yes this is what I had been telling myself….I had been happy on occasion so I couldn’t possibly have depression. But this time it was different, I knew there was something wrong with the way I was viewing the world and I needed help.
The next day I was in the local doctors surgery and I explained in between sobs and tears, to the wonderful doctor that I had this sadness and negativity inside me and I didn’t know what to do….she got me to answer a few questions and what I had said the night before to my husband. She recommended me to a psychologist and the next morning I get in to see her.
Already just by telling someone that I felt lost , that I didn’t know what or why I was feeling what I was feeling. I had lost my beautiful Aunty Susie that year…. And I had seen my grandmother crumble before my eyes as she was told on the telephone she had lost a child….The strongest woman I had ever known and possibly will ever know just crumbled into my arms and let out this deep inner cry I have heard only from mothers who have lost a child.
I held her and did my best to comfort her, and spent the next 24 hours organising both my grandparents plane tickets to fly back to Australia and making sure they were ok, as ok as you can be after something like that. Aster they left in the days that followed I felt hollow, I didn’t know what I should be feeling… deep inside me I knew things move and change, people come and go from our lives but in those days after I was numb. It was as though I was going through the motions but my heart wasn’t there. DUring these sad times my beautiful girls would just sit and colour in or take themselves off to their room to play.
A few months later Matteo was born, a beautiful baby boy. I should’ve been over the moon and on days I was but, it wasn’t the same as it has been with girls. WIth both the girls I had felt alive and in a bubble of baby love following their births and as a consequence everything was easy and just flowed…
With Matteo, I had thrush on my breasts and for anyone who has experienced this knows is can been extremely painful while feeding. But I was determined to feed him as I felt this was the best for him.
What I didn’t factor in was me being tense (due to the pain when he fed) was stopping the milk from flowing, this in turn made him suck harder and me clench up even more, this vicious cycle carried on for 4 months.
Thankfully the psychologist at the time , explained the oxygen mask theory for exercise. Exercise and fresh air works in the same way as when you get on the plane and in the safety demonstration they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping your children.
She said take half an hour -1 hour a day, taking care of yourself. My first thoughts were “ha an hour that’s impossible” but slowly I realised that if I got up in the morning and fed the baby, he would be fine while I went for a walk on the beach.
This theory proved to be gold and anytime I forget it, yes it still happens I revert back to the oxygen mask theory and put it into action.
I then went to my wonderful naturopath in Sydney, who had me change my diet to whole grains, vegetables and fish/meat. This combination of exercise and simple diet gave me a sense of calmness and balance that I hadn’t felt in over a year. Matteo started to sleep longer periods during the night and everything started to settle into being a family of five.
The next few years were spent delving into everything I could find on the subject of food/diet and its effects on our physical and mental health. I read hundreds of online articles and books, tried tons of different ways of eating, I quit sugar, I went paleo, I began the gaps program, I did CLEAN eating by Carl Jugger…..
I read Micheal Pollan’s real food and this resonated with me more than all the others, but after a few years I still hadn’t cracked the code of what to eat… and to be honest it all seemed strange to me as I had always eaten what I felt and had never had a problem.
I was still on the rollercoaster ride though, I admit it wasn’t as reckless as it had been but, it there were still ups and downs and days I didn’t want to get out of bed. Although the numbness had been replaced with my addiction to absorbing information on the internet, I kept searching for an answer.
In 2013, I had some girlfriends visiting from Australia, one lunchtime we were chatting about life and I confessed to still feeling depressed. They listened, hugged me and suggested a studio in Como, they had met the owner at a party, she was american and they just thought I might like it.
ENTER YOGA into my life: In June 2013 I went to my first power yoga class. After the lesson I proceeded to the desk to pay for the class and when the teacher asked “how did that go?” I burst into tears, it was as though everything I had been holding in was released, I was home.
Slowly I began to do yoga once a week and for the first time although i didn’t realise it at the time I had stopped searching for the work /life balance and had begun to create it.
The creation of anything begins inside us.