At 15, I lost my ability to walk normally down the school hallways. My mom had to cut up my food for me because I couldn’t grip silverware. I lost my ability to close my hands into fists, and at night I had to wear these god awful arm/hand braces to keep my fingers from completely curling into my palms. The severity of arthritis progressed rapidly. Having grown up active, and then playing high level volleyball in high school, I was in shock, terrified, and overwhelmed with depression.
I had a hard time processing what was happening to me, and why it was happening. I remember laying on my mom’s bed, my head in her lap, she stroking my hair as I cried, and pleading to her, “why me?” She said, “I don’t know why honey, but I do know that one day you will know, and it will all make sense.” What she said to me at the time made me angry, because it gave me no resolution.
Over a decade ago, I didn’t know whether that was actually true or not. In the past years as I’ve continued my own health journey, and continued to connect more to myself, I’ve continued to help women in their own health and happiness. And it has become more clear to me that this is my why. This is truly why I got sick to begin with, to have this gift of a relationship with myself and to guide women into transforming their own.
This hasn’t been the only time in my life where I’ve had that same question. Wondered the reasons for life experiences, and every single time I remember that it’s not about having the answers in the moment. It’s about living your life in a way that allows you to make sense of them later, and that comes from the relationship within.
Steve Jobs gave this famous speech called connecting the dots, and what he talks about is the great part of life that we all seem to forget. We all want to know why something is happening to us right now, when the reality is that we can’t connect the dots to make sense of our life until we’re able to look back on it and reflect.
It’s like connecting the dots on a map, or drawing a picture, you have to wait for those big moments in life to happen, and to happen again or appear in a different way to actually be able to say “Oh my gosh, now it all makes sense, I was lead here, through that experience.”
And then we can look at our lives as this big journey where one thing explains another, and in total it makes us who we are. This requires patience, it requires learning who you are and understanding where you’re right now, without worrying too much where you’re going to go. You’ll get there, and when you do it will all make sense.
In that vein, I’ve been waiting to share a part of my story until it felt like the right time. Until I had enough time to process, collect information, tune into myself and really understand where I was in my life and be patient with the “why” of things happening.
I am on month 4 of a Lyme disease protocol treatment.
When I was diagnosed it was a flood of emotions. I hadn’t been searching for a diagnosis of any kind per say. I was exploring why I was reacting to certain things, why I seemed to have certain pains that I’d not before, or that were there before but came back on only subtly. This diagnosis was so vastly different from my initial one 12 years ago.
It came more from curiosity and less from desperation. It shocked me, mostly because I was actually suspecting that I may have originally been exposed to mold and had mold biotoxin illness, but also because there’s a possibility that I was actually misdiagnosed 12 years ago. This of course, is only speculation right now.
It’s a lot to absorb. I decided to trust myself that I would know how to move forward in the ways that served me and my health, whether that was treatments, approaches or how I handled sharing publicly. I realized that what I needed was to be supported by myself, my family and my friends as my highest importance. It’s important to me that I make my own choices, my own judgment calls based on my intuition, this is how I stay connected and true to who I am.
I am SO grateful for this diagnosis.
On one hand, there’s a very real possibility for me to truly fully be free of illness, instead of managing one that is in remission with a lurking possibility of a flare. On the other hand, what I have experienced to date with treatment has allowed me some of the most deep, intimate and tremendous growing experiences with myself. More than I could have imagined. This time around in a healing process I already know myself so much better. I am far more equipped and aside from that, I am really in line with what I need, what I don’t, and how to take care of myself through this process.
The ironic, and possibly hard thing to relay over a single blog post is that at the same time I received this diagnosis, I am also the healthiest I have been in literal years.
It’s hard imagine if you saw me now, but I am off 7 medications with little to no pain day to day. I used to take 7-10 NSAIDS a day (not including the other medications I was on at maximum doses to help manage arthritic pain. Currently my body is responding incredibly well to the Lyme treatments. My Lyme doctor, who sees patients worldwide, is convinced that I am not more sick or in more pain than I am at this point because of all the healing I have already done to date. Which is why it’s so important to remember that health is not linear, and that there are always improvements to be made, but the effort that goes in, we do see the benefits of those.
What I have learned so far, in recovering to full health, in specific to Lyme, has been invaluable. The knowledge I now possess that I didn’t have before is incredible. The deeper understanding of my body has allowed me to access new parts of myself that I didn’t know were untapped. While all of those things are intensely true and real for me, I realized, they were not the “why” of this illness.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my friend who right now is in the middle of some major healing, to the point where he’s been laying in bed for literal months. This isn’t his first rodeo. It’s far from the first time he’s spent months in bed, but as we were talking he said to me, “Ya know, I’ve been trying to figure out what the lesson is this time, why it is that yet something else is going on with me. And I’ve been struggling with feeling frustrated about it, and at the same time not feeling inspiring to other people on how I am dealing with it.”
His words resonated so deeply within me. Not only figuring out the why, which as we just discussed, can only be seen in retrospect, most of the time. But not feeling you’re inspiring people.
Ooph that is rough, right? The weight of feeling responsible for other peoples’ inspiration, motivation and change is huge.
When I got this diagnosed I made the conscious choice to not share until I knew it actually felt right to me. Sharing without processing, sharing without connecting to myself, sharing mindlessly, essentially was not on the agenda for me, it just wasn’t an option.
I am not looking to be another person you follow on social media who’s healing from an illness and doing it amazingly. If you look back on my Instagram posts from 4 years ago I highlight this by showing you all the serious unpleasant parts of healing.
I didn’t share immediately because it matters more to me that I actually connect to myself, instead of trying to look for outside validation. I think it’s great to be inspired by other people, I could list off so many that I am inspired by. And you may be inspired by me, but what I don’t really want you looking to me for inspiration, I want you looking within yourself, because that’s what I did. It matters more, that you see me finding inspiration within myself, to know that you can do the EXACT same. That is your own power, and not mine, but in witnessing others journeys’ we often discover the power within ourselves.
Sure, I have lots of insight on treatments now. If you have Lyme (or RA, Ankylosing Spondylitis, IBS, Hypothyroidism) I can tell you what supplements to take, what foods to eat for optimal health, how to move to support your body healing, etc. That stuff is valuable, sure, and yet what I realize, what I know in my heart, with the most clarity I have ever had – it is not my purpose to tell you what will work to eradicate illness from your body. Because all of our body’s are different, unique universes.
It is, however, my mission to help you understand how to support yourself, find yourself, believe in yourself, nourish yourself, connect with yourself, and love yourself through it.
I fully believe that everything we experience during our time here on Earth is here to teach us a lesson, and not in some kind of punishment way, but a lesson so that we may actually learn, and go forth and teach others what we’ve learned. So that we can make each other better for ourselves.
Everything makes sense when we look back and connect the dots. I could have shared with you, the day I got my diagnosis. I could have shared with you when I started treatments. But that wouldn’t have served me. And the thing I knew is, it wouldn’t have served you either.
What makes sense to me now, that didn’t feel as clear then, is that the only way I serve you better in the work that I am meant to do, is by connecting more to myself. By making myself the biggest priority, that is how I am serving you. That is how I learn, how I master what I teach.
Having this diagnosis is literally what led and guided me to create what I have been dreaming of creating for years. To create a program and platform for women to learn to eat better, connect better and move better, together. To have resources, community, understanding, and information during the journey of life, which at different points will give us a big ‘ol dot that we aren’t sure how to deal with.
Soul Power is what I wish I would have had when I was first sick and diagnosed at 15. I can’t imagine how different life would be for me if I had had the kind of support that will exist in Soul Power.
Then again, I wasn’t meant to. Because it was meant for me to be challenged in ways that would bring me closer to myself, to master the relationship with myself, so much so that I could teach other women how to love themselves deeply and support them through some of the most trying (and happy) times in their lives.
Right now, I am standing (dancing!) at my desk while I write this. I am full of purpose, truth and peace. I know this is exactly what is meant to be. I feel immensely grateful that I am charged with this gift to help women come more fully into themselves and to be actually living their healthiest life, because that’s what I am doing, and I don’t plan to go it alone.
I’d love to share the details of Soul Power with you. Enrollment ends at midnight today. See here for details.