At the age of 47, as my three kids were heading into college years, I decided to go back to school for Holistic Nutrition and fully immersed myself in the world of yoga and meditation. Why would I make such a sudden life change? One word, FEAR!
In September of 2012, a week after dropping our daughter at college, I went for a typical routine physical and was diagnosed with what I now call “that thing” after blood work came back, shall we say, “a little funky”. CLL or Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia decided to enter my life and take over my mind occupying every waking thought and some non waking ones too. I stayed in bed and cried for a month! This most common form of adult Leukemia is very insidious and slow growing, often detected in routine blood tests and is not treated until symptoms take hold. CLL patients are told to “Wait and Watch.” It’s like waiting and watching for a bomb to go off! How does one spend the rest of their life with a bomb strapped to them, not knowing when or if it will ever go off? Not by staying in bed and crying. That’s for sure! I realized my mind was spinning tales of gloom and doom that might never even happen. The more attention I gave CLL with my thoughts, the more it was in control.
I decided to take back control, be proactive and started researching anti-cancer lifestyles, nutrition and holistic/alternative medicine. I began meditating and practicing yoga consistently, mostly to help calm my mind and tame all those negative thoughts but chiseled arms, increased core strength and some freaky flexibility sure were nice side effects! Through my research I came across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and after reading about the program and their philosophies I immediately enrolled! I soaked up information like a an old sponge submersed in a pool of water. I began to feel empowered. My mindset was changing from one of hopelessness to courage, strength and optimism!
I’ve made gradual and wonderful changes in my lifestyle, diet and most importantly my thoughts. After graduating from IIN in December 2013, I immediately enrolled in a 200 hour yoga teacher training and am now a registered yoga teacher currently teaching Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin and Stand Up Paddleboard yoga classes as well as private sessions. I can honestly say I have never felt healthier, stronger or happier! Although I’d like to say I’m rid of that pesky CLL, (blood checks have stayed stable and I’m working on that spontaneous remission) I have to admit it has been a blessing in disguise.
I have seen first hand how much our thoughts can control our reality and how making even tiny changes in our mindset can create huge shifts in our lives. Don’t wait for a health scare or traumatic life event to set you on a path to BE-coming your best version of you! BE all you can BE now!! As your health and wellness coach I can help you change your mindset and keep you on track with your goals. Who do you want to BE?