Nicolas: “A celebration of HYGEIA”
In what HYGEIA is different than from our former work, the Scola Hermetica and Travellers to the East ? Or in a nutshell: Where are we coming from? And where do we go?
The Scola was our synthesis of the hermetic teaching, as transmitted as a legacy by different initiatic orders that do not exist anymore or but in degenerated form-far from their original mission. The chain of transmission was from teacher to heir and so on. Demanding, top down, asking for a commitment difficult to obtain in the superficial societies we live in. Its essence was the development of faculties, through the awakening of the outer and inner senses by a quasi-yogic discipline of virtues with connection out to our personal guardian angel and the spiritual hierarchies. The difficulty is to manage the phase from personal development to community development. This is the weak point of the orders and at the Scola we did not succeed to foster a generation of committed people to the community through their individual emulation and field project. Most of the students that graduated with us, stay frozen to the version of the teaching they received and crystallized, without owning it and transforming it into their own living experience. Another problem is that the younger generation lacks the discipline and the focus needed for inner work. They lack the awareness and the patience to actually walk the talk and translate into practice what stays mainly theoretical at the emotional and mental level. Also, the inability to take initiatives, the lack of creative drive and absence of a personal synthesis made us close this experiment into individual and group ritual initiation.
“Travellers to the East” was our search for another ‘vehicle’ for our work. We used Herman Hesse’s ‘Journey to the East’ as a guideline for individual and group work. We used tools and methods that were not top-down and that were invitations to personal awareness and self-development strongly pointing at community development. Herman Hesse’s book is a formidable tool for providing initiatic starting point into work on one-self and with others. It was much better than the Scola, but with scarce results again on the community level. It was not what with Nalan what we were looking for, as we were still relying on the western esoterism familiar to Herman Hesse. So, when our programs came to their natural conclusion, we took some time off, to reflect into our next move.
Then HYGEIA was born. Knowledge cannot be encapsuled and crystallized, it is alive and protei-form; always finding the optimum mean of expression, the best medium. Life conditions are not the same in every époque but humanity stays the same in its essence. We consider ourselves emulators, counselors and we provide services and program that guide individual and groups into the basis of self-love and self-initiation. A life in which body-soul-and-mind are in balance, where lifestyle, food and meaningful occupation provides strong defense against chronic diseases and mental disorders. Our work boosts the body-soul-and-mind’s immune system to consolidate the foundation for a life committed to the best version of ourselves and of society. We use the archetypal stories of ancient mythologies to provide the catalyzer for personal inner and outer work. Only when a person owns its transformation process can a sustainable outcome be possible. We are eclectic in our work and propose an extensive range of exercises and techniques which can be fine-tuned by each individual according to needs. Knowledge and guidance are individualized response to personal needs and we help each person we work with to find his/her own. We know we have found the ‘vehicle’ we were longing for. We have been given a wealth of experience and we now are putting it into practice, the way we feel useful to our community. It is such a joy, a communicative blessing.
Nalan: “HYGEIA Is Showing Us The Way”
How did we decide what should be offered under the umbrella of HYGEIA? Why did we choose the name HYGEIA?
In the first half of my life, apart from a few ailments, I wouldn’t be very sick. I spent my childhood and adolescence in Germany; besides school I devoted myself to reading, dancing, music and drawing. Many turning points in my life came together with the traffic accident we had on the day we returned to Türkiye and the loss of a dear friend in a traffic accident a few weeks later.
When I look back at that period of my life I remember that my father’s stay in the hospital for months (he nearly died in the accident we had) or seeing my friend’s coffin in front of my now deceased grandmother’s house didn’t make me cry for days. This fact made me wonder if I was indifferent, but with the knowledge I have today I know that I probably just froze experiencing those events. My soul and body were frozen because the life struggle had begun. My mechanism was pushing me saying ‘you have to survive’. A few weeks after the accident I started a prep course for the university in Edirne (town in Türkiye), a year later I moved to Istanbul for the studies, afterwards my corporate life began, so life continued. My book readings were declining. There was no more time to dance, listen to music and to draw. There were more ‘important’ things to do. I was a business woman working in an international company with elegant dresses and hair done at the hairdresser’s. A life depicted in advertisements, movies and talked about in conversations.
19 years passed like this. In these 19 years I collected many experiences and memories, both bitter and sweet. Some may know, those who witnessed remember. It was during these years that I had my first psychosomatic symptoms. I was having cramps and bloating in my stomach (yes, in the solar plexus chakra area). Physically, doctors couldn’t find anything; they said that psychological reasons were triggering these complaints.
When I turned 40, our son Cihan was born. I entered a period in my life where I began to question many things. The postnatal depression I experienced after giving birth was very deep. The main reason for this was that I started to question many things in the system. Why did I have to work when my child needed me? Why did the system only allow a certain amount of time to breastfeed him? Why did we stay away from nature, our families and many other things when we wanted to create ‘better conditions’ for ourselves? During this period, minor ailments began.
Apart from corporate life, my husband Nicolas and I had given trainings in the field of spiritual development many years. With the birth of Cihan, our training in this field decreased. They had to, due to certain conditions. Together with our son we were no longer in a constellation of two, but in a systemic constellation of three. Of course, he was bringing changes, giving new directions, holding mirrors towards us. However, with bittersweet experiences I realized that my identity, which I was constantly reviewing, no longer served me. It was this awareness that lead me to take a Creative Drama instructor training. I went into all workshops with great curiosity and they opened the closed doors to my inner world again. I realized how much the ‘time‘ frame created by the human being was ruling me, how I tried to keep everything under control/to be super organized, and how overwhelmed I was by the expectation that society created towards the role of motherhood. It was the factors of spontaneity and group mirroring which were at the core of creative drama that made me be aware of this.
I presume that those realizations jeopardized one’s mission, in other words, frightened it: my amygdala, the reptilian brain. During this period, in which I also changed my job position in the company I worked for, my nervous system was always in a sympathetic mode.
I sensed a ‘danger’ that could come from anywhere anytime. Something I had to deal with. In the past I was more or less able to work ‘people’ AND ‘task-oriented’ , now I had started to be more task-oriented. This was putting a distance to me and who I was, making me very unhappy. At that time, the discomforts in my physical body began to become more frequent.
Psychological factors were also triggered by the fear of dying, the fear that I had entered an unceasing cycle. A vicious circle was affecting the integrity of my body, mind and soul in a negative way. Two of the ailments classified as chronic disease were high blood pressure and hypothyroidism. While I was searching for the answers that modern medicine can give, I saw that there is usually a reference to genetic predisposition in chronic diseases. I have experienced that the subject is closed to discussion with the patient being sentenced to lifelong medication. The symptoms are ‘managed’ (actually suppressed) rather than investigated, meaning going down to the root cause. Inspired by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s quote stating that “Genetics are just the gun, it’s your lifestyle that pulls the trigger”, I went for a lifestyle change by participating in a training offered by the Functional Medicine Platform in Istanbul. I integrated exercises which are doing my body good into my daily life such as movement, breath work, meditation and the mindfulness approach. I had the chance to participate into Zeynep Aksoy’s Advayta Online Yoga Program.
As I listened attentively to the subjects in the field of Functional Medicine and saw case studies, I felt the need to share the awareness that was being created with everyone who was curious and in need. Also, as a mother, I wanted to pass on this awareness to the next generation as a legacy.
So if you are wondering why we named our new formation “Hygeia”? I can answer very clearly “Our decision was based on this experience”. Let us again summarize what we have experienced:
Our physical body, mind and soul can get ill if
Let me finally answer the following question for those who are wondering: “Have you fully recovered, Nalan?”
I am not completely healed yet, my process continues. But I have definitely seen and continue to see the benefits of my work. In this context, my doctor could reduce the doses of my blood pressure and thyroid medications. The cysts that were forming in my breast every 6 months disappeared. I got out of the cycle where I was constantly having a discomfort. Because of this my anxiety reduced immensely. When I feel the need, I do my exercises for the neck (forward head posture); I overcame my frozen shoulder with yin yoga. The winter months were difficult in the last few years, I was constantly suffering from throat infections. Last winter was very comfortable, one or two days of throat discomfort passed without the need for medication, we even survived C*v*d very easily (see ‘Covid’ in the highlights). Cihan started primary school, got sick a few times in his first year, but recovered much faster than before. It is said that all these exercises strengthen the immune system.
I give my blood pressure, thyroid disorder and eczema triggered after C*V*d as much time as needed. They are telling me something, now I know it not just mentally, but with all my soul. After Cihan’s birth, I got ready to receive the support of my ancestors (to be honest, I’m trying to get ready). It is said that the cause of chronic diseases that cannot be completely resolved with lifestyle changes may be related to problems that ancestors could not solve and therefore passed on to future generations (blood pressure, thyroid and eczema – all of them are in my ancestral line). For this reason, I participate in the family constellation sessions offered by @radiagelisim.
Life is definitely the best school teaching us that we are never ‘done’.