In June of 2014, I came down with a mysterious illness. For months, doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. It started with weakness in my extremities, severe eye strain, and debilitating brain fog. Within a few weeks, my strong legs could no longer carry me. I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my shoulders and poison in my eyes. I spent the summer bedridden, unable to work or care for my son.
My fear and frustration was palpable. What could possibly be wrong with me? How could this happen to me? I was a fit and active mom living in Hailey, ID who ate healthy food, practiced yoga, and climbed mountains on my days off. I had worked to create a balanced life in a mountain paradise surrounded by a community of friends who made the leap to do the same.
Swirling in the Eddy
After months of swirling in the eddy of blood tests and doctor visits, I met a Naturopath who discovered high levels of mercury in my system that could possibly be causing the neurological dysfunction in my extremities. I was given copious amounts of herbal supplements to boost my immune system and underwent a chelation process to detoxify and clear the metals. It took a few months, but I could walk again and I got my life back.
End of chapter.
Or so I thought…
The Mind-Body Connection
In the meantime, my mind (heart) was in a state of overwhelm, confusion, and grief. I was in the middle of a divorce and a major career change. My schedule became inconsistent and unpredictable as I juggled temporary jobs and struggled to keep up with the additional responsibilities of a one-parent household.
And then IT happened again.
My symptoms came back with a vengeance. For the next year, I battled with recurrent episodes of neurological dysfunction and lethargy. It would visit me like a rainstorm, and then it would clear. I continued to chelate and swallow my herbs until I could function again. But the storms were wake-up calls. I knew that if I did not start healing my heart(mind), my body would continue to degenerate itself. So I took the plunge and dove in deep.
Deep into ancient India.
Wisdom from the Himalayas
Although I had traveled to India a few times in my 20s during my vagabond years, this time I did not get on a plane and go to the Himalayas. Instead, I dug into my toolbox and pulled out Ayurveda- India’s 5,000 year-old sophisticated mind-body health system. Its practices are deeply rooted in the innate intelligence of Nature and its power to balance the mind, body, and spirit.
Throughout my life, I have had a deep connection to the natural world and feel most at home in wildlands. As a tomboy in the 1970s, I spent a lot of time in the woods climbing trees and catching frogs. As an adult, I have spent a good chunk of time guiding people into the wilds of Idaho, Colorado, and Alaska. I’ve seen people, including myself, transform right before my eyes. City dwellers would enter the wilderness with a dull and pasty haze and leave with an effervescent glow. I knew if I could access the power of nature I could heal myself.
Could I access its power in a modern and disconnected world? Without going to India to live in a cave?
The Synergy of Ayurveda and Nature
I love that nature is the guide to Ayurveda. When I discovered that all I need to do is follow Her lead, it was a great relief. No more internal wars of what to do when and why.
All I needed to do was pay attention and sync up.
So I changed my habits and streamlined a schedule based on nature’s rhythms. In Ayurveda, this is called dinacharya. With my new upleveled habits (better sleep, diet, exercise) and practices of self-care (meditation, self-massage, gratitude), I slowly began to thrive.
When you align your circadian rhythm to nature’s clock, your physiology harmonizes. Your body’s intelligence wakes up and you heal. As a result, my symptoms completely disappeared. Thanks to my lifestyle shift, I now live with a clear mind, strong body, and full heart.
I’ve learned that anything is possible with the right plan, structure, guidance and support. Behavioral science teaches us that our brains are malleable and we CAN make the shift- one small step at a time.
My hope is to coach you into radiant health and longevity using nature as my guide. I want to help restore your energy, so you can show up and share your gifts with the world.
Rhythm is one of the most powerful pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue. When it does it grows sweeter. When it becomes reliable, we are in a kind of body-heaven.
~ Mary Oliver