My name is Gemma, welcome! Everyday I recover even further from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Leaky Gut Syndrome, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth), Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Anxiety, and Depression. The most brilliant gift that these chronic illnesses have brought me is clarity to my highest passions. Sharing this space is one of them.
The name @mandatorymindfulness is derived from the ironic health circumstances I came to find myself within progressively over 10 years, but most intensively in May 2015. It took crippling unforgiving chronic health issues for me to be stopped in my overachieving, perfectionist, ‘strong and independent even if it kills me’ tracks. I had no choice but to learn how to sit still and live in the present moment, ask tough questions about the way I had been leading my life, and to make decisions that put my precious self before any other. I needed to disconnect from the Gemma who was a figment of a destination in the future, surrounded by accurately measured success and material items. The one who no matter how hard I worked to shape and create could never reach the moving goal posts.
To discover the amazing person who is me, my body put me in a position where I had no choice but to stop and be present. To be still and mindful and reassess my beliefs and values, and critically evaluate how they hadn’t transpired from paper to reality. It was time to de-clutter and quit the crap that had kept me “too busy”. It was mandatory that I became mindful.
The ‘self’ whom I have discovered and grown to love unconditionally is the version of me who can let things be. This person can balance perceptions and knows that failing to perfect or improve everything that crosses my path doesn’t make me less brilliant. In fact, it makes me quite successful. This new self is where happiness and self-love aren’t destinations to arrive at in the future in exchange for pushing my mind and body through excruciating pain to achieve enormous goals that aren’t true to my heart’s fabric. The self-love and happiness is here in the now and it’s here to stay!
In suffering with these illnesses and reaching diagnosis I have been exposed to 18 medical professions and visited multiple practitioners in nearly all 18 fields. I’ve learnt a tremendous amount about myself and others, acquired privileged empathy and empowering skills, and formed a deep respect for natural treatment therapies. I have personally found the greatest success in recovery through yoga, meditation, a diet of fresh organic and nutrient-dense wholefoods, Chiropractic, probiotics, life coaching and therapy, traditional Chinese Medicine, and quality time outdoors soaking in biophilia.
You’ll find me at my happiest amongst the awe of mother nature, cruising the aisles at the fresh produce markets, chanting an ‘om’ from my yoga mat, baking singing and shaking my booty in the kitchen, indulging in some retail therapy, traveling new sights, using my creative brain, and connecting with genuine down to earth souls.
It has been an extremely long journey to the stage of recovery I find myself at today. I’m extremely grateful that my lifestyle choices and values mean I no longer suffer with Depression or Anxiety. Currently my biggest health hurdles are treating my Leaky Gut Syndrome and SIBO, and carefully managing my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome alongside that to full recovery.
My hope is that this collection of my intimate open and honest learnings will help support others who may in anyway relate.