For most of my life I watched as my grandma, then my mom, then myself struggle with ill health.
My grandma succumbed to cancer way too early in her 50’s. As a little kid I watched my mom bring my grandma to doctor after Doctor and to alternative therapy after alternative therapy to no avail. In the end we still ended up losing her.
My mom began struggling with her health a few years after we lost grandma. I remember endless weekends spent driving hours upon hours seeking one form of treatment or another. Endless evening sitting in odd rooms filled with the odd aromas of herbal medicines. Endless theories and advices as to what was wrong with her and what she should do to fix it.
And I, I followed in their footsteps. I can't tell if I was really always a sickly child or it was my mom thinking that I always was. I felt like I spent more time at doctor’s offices than out on the playground. It only got worse in middle school when my periods gave me so much trouble that I’d end up in the nurse’s office every month, waiting to be picked up.
All the way through my twenties I was always well enough to be well by the standards of western medicine, but always far from being well enough to feel like it. It always perplexed me why I felt that way. Was I crazy? Obviously not. But the standard western Doctors always brushed me off and wrote me off as healthy. Yet the practitioners of eastern modalities always shook their head when they assessed me and prescribed one treatment or another. It always helped, but the problems kept coming back.
The year that I turned 30 I was battle worn, having gone through one crisis after another. With a stressful life and a stressful career, I felt like I was fighting fire (quite literally in one incidence) all the time and getting nowhere. Everything was taking a toll on my health. I had trouble sleeping and ended up with frequent anxiety attacks. And that period thing. It got so bad that some doctors were telling me to start considering a hysterectomy. I wasn't even 30 yet when I first heard that suggestion. Needless to say I was shocked. I was a single mother of one then, but I was far from being ready to shut the door on my child bearing years. (In retrospect I'm so glad I stood my ground and didn't do so!) I even ended up with too close of a brush with the very cancer that took my grandmother’s life.
My only saving grace at that time was yoga. So much so that I practiced it religiously on a daily basis, even completing a teacher training course so that I can share this one saving grace. As I began to teach, I realized one day that there must be more to this. That I must get to the bottom of this health thing to find the secret to wellness. I set out to leave no stone unturned.
Back in those days the idea of me becoming a healer was so far fetched, I think I would have given it equal probability to me becoming a purple unicorn. I searched high and low for programs, degrees, whatever it was that would allow me to do all that turning of stones. As much as I was exposed to the workings of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) I never would have imagined becoming a practitioner. Somehow I envisioned an octogenarian old man with a long white beard and wispy white hair - and nope I was definitely not that by any means.
But one summer in 2011, after an intense healing session, my amazing healer looked at me and told me to go to school and get my acupuncturist license. I smiled and nodded, taking it in half heartedly. At the same time I knew I needed some major overhaul in my life and a reprieve from the intense stresses of my career. So I signed up for a tour for a Masters program in TCM. Within a week I was sitting in my first class as a student of TCM, still not believing one bit that I could be a healer.
Essentially I signed up for an entire Master’s program, on a whim, as a stress relief for my normal life (yes - that was how stressful my life has become) and to turn those damn stones on why this thing called wellness was so elusive.
And that's the short version of the story! Thank for for getting this far! Now here's the juicy part you've been waiting for.
Well for one, I realized that there are way too many stones to turn in a lifetime. For every stone I turned I realized there were probably a million more to turn. Not that I'm going to stop turning those damn stones. I'll keep at it for til my last breath. And even then I won't have all the answers. But that's the nature of life, isn't it? In the meantime it's become my life's work to share with others what I've uncovered.
But here's what I really discovered. The true healer is not some random person who walks into our life, either with scalpel, prescription pad, needles, or whatever tools there are to perform whatever procedure or ritual or whatever there is to perform on us. The true healer is one that lies within each and every one of us. Because no matter what is done on the outside, we cannot truly make a difference unless the healer within is on board and ready to make a difference.
All too often in our modern day life we are accustomed to handing our powers to someone and have them do all the work. We want them to cut away the disease, to needle away the pain, to hand is that magic pill to make everything all better again. After all that's basically been the premise of our post industrial modern life. Add to that the quickening pace of our lives and we all want to pay for instant gratification.
The problem is, our health and wellness doesn't work that way. We are a being of nature. Nature doesn't conform to this thought process at all. I mean, come autumn, can we pay the leaves to ask them to stay green and not fall to the ground? Or maybe we can pay the trees to hand on to those leaves so that they won't fall? I think not.
So how do we tap into this healer within?
In a nutshell it's about reconnecting with the whole of who we are. Digging deep to find the light and the divine within. And looking far and wide to grasp an understanding of the vastness of the universe we are a part of.
Sounds abstract doesn't it? It is and it isn't. Because on one hand, we just are. And we simply need to tap into the natural ebb flow of our very nature.
The complex part comes from us being disconnected for so long. Most of the time we don't even know what it means to connect. Heck, I thought I was closer to being a purple unicorn than a healer.
I am not as a healer who comes from above to make all those aches and pains go away or magically dissolve all those pesky problems. But as a partner and a coach who stands alongside to shine a light for others to ding their own light, to connect with their own divine nature. In doing so the blockages that have been hidden from view come forward to be resolved. The lack of connection slowly becomes a stable groundedness.
Of course,I can make those aches and pains disappear (pretty magically too) and help keep those pesky problems at bay for the moment (it's a pretty cool perk of the job), but it's the healer within that continues the work. It's the healer within that can make way to the root of the issues. It's the healer within that is always available, working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
I'm not going to lie. Healing is a tough job. But when there is a will, there is a way. It requires commitment. It requires a great deal of inner strength you never knew you had. But with each progression you'll be utterly amazed at how far you've come. The transformation is magnificently breathtaking in the toughest ways possible and the best ways possible.
Moreover, I discovered that health and wellness isn't this one dimensional thing that just involves the body.
Wellness is multi faceted and multi dimensional. It is all encompassing. It is not only wellness in body, but wellness in mind and spirit as well. It is wellness in all facets and aspects of our lives. It is living a life fulfilled and purposeful.
At the end of the day - I don't know all the answers. I will never know all the answers - no one will. And yet all the answers and the tools with which to answer them lie within. Why? Because the answers lie in fluidity. They thrive in the our dualistic, paradoxical world. There is two sides of the coin to everything. And both the black and the white need to exist for the whole. Both yin and yang have exist to be to be complete. A day cannot pass without the presence of night. There are no absolute absolutes. It's a never ending cycle of momentary absolutes. Being present gives us the grace to flow through the ebbs and flows of life. Letting go of judgement and absolutism allows room for our inner truths to flow.
I am so honored to have you here with me on this journey of discovery as I fill this space with tools and articles and more on the various aspects of body, mind and soul.
Cheers to wellness, abundance, purpose and fulfillment.