Many times, the things that you’re scared of usually aren’t as scary as you think they are. The thought of the thing is usually scarier than the actual thing.
Astrid Walsh’s journey to save her vision was witness to this. Having been confronted one day by a diagnosis that meant she won’t be able to do many of the things that she loves doing and a possibility of being derailed from her passion for the visual arts, Astrid allowed herself to be scared off by what she thought would be the worst.
While being treated conventionally for Lyme disease, she noticed episodes of flashing in her vision. Later on, she was told it was a detached retina and surgery is the only way. But that night of the soul pulled her inwards to wait and hear an answer, led her to discover a world that taught her that healing occurs so much deeper than and after the treatments and interventions that we do for our body.
Astrid took her health on her hands: for better or worse, she relied on what she feels. She had the inner knowing but had to find out what it is. So Astrid researched and found Ayurveda as the only healing modality that looked at the senses specifically. Alexandra, as a long-time friend of Astrid, introduced her to that world and went deeper—into Panchakarma.
Astrid spent weeks in a tiny village in India, being taken care of by Dr. Ashwin Shastri and practically the whole village. These weeks led her to discover so much about herself and the world we live in. Panchakarma and all the detox she went through taught her that healing is about creating space for and letting in what could heal us and letting go of the things that intoxicate, not only our bodies but also our mind and soul.
More than the interventions, big and small, Astrid learned that it was really about tuning in to the self, about attachments and sufferings, about the way we look at life and death. And ultimately, about letting go.
This whole journey, for Astrid, brought closer together two worlds—traditional medicine and Ayurveda—to teach her most precious take away: let in, want something, but let go of the necessity to get it and you’ll find peace in your decision.
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- Every illness brings death with it to a certain degree. Dr. Ashwin Shastri showed me the terror of death, blindness. As a visual artist, I overly relied on my eyes and blindness equaled to death. I was coming to grip the reality of death. – Astrid Walsh
- I came from a culture where death was the absolute worst-case scenario. Whereas from Ayurveda and India’s cultural perspective, there’s rebirth. The way we see it isn’t necessarily the only way to see it. – Astrid Walsh
- In modern times, we live in a very fast-paced environment that we almost have to learn patience. – Alexandra Kreis.
- You can only have the energy to do these things for yourself, it’s all self-responsibility in making the choices every day. But you can only actually do that if you’re supported in some way. Big interventions can give you a good place to start. Because sometimes, you just have to act now, in a big way. But then after that, you have to integrate it into your new reality. And that takes time and patience. – Astrid Walsh
- Ayurveda gives you the stability to be able to face health problems and not get panicked. The sickness can’t travel so deep if you keep an eye regularly on what is falling out of shape in you and what needs amending. – Astrid Walsh
Astrid Walsh is an amazing visual artist from Ireland. She has done numerous individual and collaborative exhibitions across the country and received awards and recognitions for her work. She started first started her healing journey and discovering Ayurveda when she was undergoing treatment for Lyme disease in 2003. Later on, she was diagnosed with a detached retina and that’s when she dove really deeply into Ayurveda, which she practices until today.