I’m a man from the coast. A life with ships and boats is natural to me, all the more so because as a child I developed hay fever. The pull of the sea, devoid of pollen, drew me in and within her waves I searched for freedom from a landlocked life. My allergy was shaping my destiny.
A blessing in disguise?
Besides my passion for sailing, I like to ride my bike. Especially bike rides with my partner, Kora. Once, we took some time off to cycle through Denmark on our way to inspect a boat. We pedalled under the hot June sun, on country roads that lay long and straight ahead of us; and the grass pollen irritated my nose no end! After two whole days of my eyes watering, nose running and sneezing, I conceded defeat. My allergy won. We abandoned the trip and our boat… or did we?
We went back home by train. Changing trains at Flensburg station, we bought a sailing magazine to read on the train. Flicking through the pages, an advert caught my eye:
“Gaff cutter, Colin Archer type, length 38 feet, built 1896, larch on oak frames, lying in Carolinensiel”
My heart pounded faster – should that be our luck? So it was, and a short time later the gaff cutter Lille Bjørn became our own. She would become our floating home for four years, leading us through the Baltic Sea and to the small island of Kumlinge in the Åland archipelago.
There, our life took a new path: land-based and ecological, we lived in a little house by the forest, with a garden to grow our own fruit and veggies, and a stable that lodged our neighbour’s horses.
Our neighbour mainly grew hay in the fields surrounding the property. Baling and stowing hay in the barn was a mid-summer community event. All the helpers were sweating, having fun, as they glistened with harvest pride. Meanwhile, I stayed indoors, my vision blurred by teary eyes as I battled to keep the sneeze attacks at bay.
Re-viewing the past
It was during this time that Kora had taken up her studies with META-Health and with NLP, so she challenged me to get to the bottom of my allergy. I agreed to an exploratory inner journey:
My ailments had begun very early in my childhood, although I couldn’t pinpoint when exactly they would have started.
Kora provided guidance: “OK, anyways there was a situation where you wished to be seen and recognized; and maybe something was unknown to you, and you felt insecure. And it was warm then, with pollen in the air.”
Aha, that was a clearer timeframe in which to search!
“Just close your eyes and let yourself drop down into your body’s memory. Trust whatever comes up now” she continued – and suddenly this scene from my past became clear! All excited I described what I could see: “It’s the summer holidays, I was sent to the countryside because my mother was in hospital. I hated the prospect of summer without the beach. And my friends aren’t there either, so I’m feeling lost and alone. I don’t like it here at all!”
“OK, now take a look around. Is there anybody else around?” asked Kora.
“Mmmh, yes, there are kids beyond in the fields. I don’t know them. They are playing and laughing. I wish my own friends were there, as well!”
“OK, but look there, isn’t one of them coming over? What’s happening now?”
Kora actually invited me to re-shape my own story, and it just felt right. I let the other kid approach me, and in no time I was part of the game. And how we played! We jumped into the hay and built tunnels through the stack.
“And how is your nose now?” – “Well…, there’s nothing – it’s just fine!”
A broad grin broke over Kora’s face: “Then let’s test that tomorrow, outside!”
The next day I joined in harvesting the hay, lifting bales up onto the wagon, and I didn’t sneeze a single time. And that’s how it stayed to this day, which expanded my freedom on dry land no end
The bio-logical connection
In META-Health, the specific symptoms lead the way in which to research their emotional origins. Allergies are like alarm signals warning us in an attempt to prevent possible re-traumatization under somewhat similar circumstances.
Irritable eyes being washed by tear fluid may have to do with not recognizing someone or something, or not feeling recognized – it has a visual trigger, like my longing for my friends.
A hypersensitive nasal mucosa, which causes the sneezing and swelling, has a trigger of smell in order to establish who or what to trust. Just as we don’t want to share the air with some individuals, or how something “in the air” can be a cue to potential danger.
Once our reaction (the symptoms) has got a meaning that was valid at some point, we’re free to re-negotiate its ongoing relevance, making sure we now have access to all necessary resources that we may have lacked in the past.
Learn to decode your physical and psychological symptoms and be META-healthy!