August 7, 2023

4 Things I’m Leaning on for my Healing Journey as I Turn 40.

No. This is not an “I am ageing and still single” post.

This is my little way of hoping and living more fully through my healing journey, and sharing it with you all makes me happy.

As I write this article, I am revived from an episode of a panic attack. I am breathing through this, keeping my nervous system regulated.

The grand number 40 is here, and I am wide-eyed and thrilled to have come this far. But let’s not fool anybody here. I will acknowledge that it has been a problematic, clumpy, cumbersome joyride with a massive part of it being me embarking on my healing journey. Massive, not in the length of time but in the amount of work that has gone into even getting started and staying intentional.

The popular belief is that 40 is an age of revelations about who we are. I do not doubt that because it is more from being comfortable in your skin. Oh, I am so ready for that!

However, I believe this is the time to be strictly intentional. If we start healing, we can convert “what happened to us” into unbelievable growth.

Here are four essential things I am focusing on as I enter the next stage of my life, and I hope this will help you too. Happy birthday, folks!

1. Staying connected with my divine self.

I intend to take my relationship with myself to the next level and continue my healing journey and post-traumatic growth by using a few additional methods other than what I am practicing:

>> Self-massaging. Touching my skin when I am feeling anxious is something I have been practicing (as part of the 5-senses revival process to regulate the nervous system and vagus nerve), but massaging specific points of the body is something I tried recently, and it is marvellous! It helps me ease the stress in certain parts, it helps me breathe, and it helps me locate the root cause. I use essential oils—patchouli, ylang-ylang, chamomile, lavender, clary sage, sandalwood, and frankincense. I’ve also been trying something unique; after massaging I sit through my meditation practice. It’s so calming.

>> Pilates (or, in my case, specifically, Wall Pilates) has changed the way I look at my breath, body, and mind. It has not just made my body flexible, but it has also given me the rush to always be in the present.

>> Gardening (a sucker for plants and watching them thrive and grow) has awakened my soul, and I will continue this on a larger scale. Watching that tiny seed take life is a feeling you can’t just get like that. You need to make that effort. I enjoy reading to my plants, and they want it too. I know it. So that will go on.

>> Pottery is like a mud cake—all crusty, crunchy, and fresh initially, gooey and messy yet deliciously satisfying in the middle, and then you hit the high where you want to linger a lot longer. I am a basic-level trained ceramic clay potter. And now, I am ready to get my tools ready to go to the advanced level. The joy of getting your hands dirty, moulding something, questioning it, and then accepting it for what it is is how you would look at yourself as you do the inner work.

>> Knife painting (oil and acrylic). I come from a family of artists and writers, but I haven’t explored this part of me until recently. I discovered that I have a way with a knife (then a brush), and when I create, it is my soul speaking to me and the world. It reveals the colours, contours, and patterns of life. This is another way that I will continue to stay intentional and connected with my divine self.

(What I already do: Kundalini Yoga, Loving-Kindness Meditation, Movement Meditation, Breath Meditation, Art Therapy, Crystal Therapy, Writing love notes, AML dance, and Cooking (love, love, love).)

2. Living minimally and appreciating life as is.

I started working on this a few years ago, and it started from my living space. Creating space is so essential in the sense of staying connected to one’s divine self too. But I have been making space. I prefer lighter furniture and breathable areas. I went from mono to fully coloured decor with beautiful artisanal yet straightforward furniture and artwork and a space for my inner work and healing. Living light is also intentionally making sure I don’t clutter my mind with things I don’t need—including toxic people, habits, inhibiting beliefs and practices, and even setting boundaries.

3. Making new connections that nurture healing and pay it forward.

One of the most significant impacts of trauma is the acceleration of attachment styles. Being unable to make new connections and getting highly attached to new connections can be daunting and overwhelming. I am making new connections by being my true self, listening to my gut, respecting my boundaries (and others’), understanding my trauma responses, and not gaslighting myself. Connections that look all green, blue, yellow, orange, and not red. Connections that feel safe and are on their healing path (whether they realise this or not) are empathetic and kind. Connections that are open to receiving kindness as much as they like giving. Connections with children who need harmony. You know what I mean. Being vulnerable is usually something that is seen as a negative thing. Honestly, vulnerability deepens connections (true, kind, honest, non-toxic ones), and I believe if one is on their path of healing, they will know when and how to be vulnerable.

4. Making writing my primary focus.

This is a magic therapy that no other form of therapy can win over. We all know this, right? Especially all of us who are part of the Elephant Journal family. Now I have discovered a new way to do this, and this is my last yet most vital addition to my healing journey. I am going to write while I paint. I tried it out several times, and it’s been so therapeutic. It could be about a painting or a painting about something I write.

Please remember that even when you’re healing internally through your practices, you may need external guidance from a professional medical practitioner who understands, advocates, and practices trauma-informed healing. Please be mindful. Be kind to yourself.

May you be the light even in the middle of the tunnel.


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