When I reflect on the past eight years, I am emboldened by my ability to transform. Committing to an entirely new way of life is no easy feat, but I believe that change is within everyone’s capacity, when it is approached through compassion and community. We all carry unique pain and experience personal challenges on a daily basis, and it is how we choose to evolve in the face of this fragility that either paves the way for our path to healing or keeps us planted firmly in the past.
For me, dealing with chronic illness has pushed me to reclaim my life as much as my health. I’ve reconnected with old friends and introduced beautiful new faces into my circle. I’ve overcome feelings of isolation and confusion by tapping into a source of strength previously untouched. As much as I initially struggled to enjoy social settings revolving around food, I soon found passion in creating and photographing vibrant, healthy meals. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to be vulnerable and honest with others about how I’m really feeling, rather than putting on a performance of holistic well-being.
During the past few years I’ve slowly relinquished gluten and dairy, processed foods, and refined sugars. I’ve removed harsh chemicals from my home and use only the purest makeup and personal care products on the market, or make my own. I’ve also connected with so many people who are struggling with similar health issues or living with chronic disease. Acknowledging that I wasn’t alone and cultivating a community that could offer specialized support was essential to my jumpstarting my recovery. Notably, I’ve found peace in ancient practices that honor mindful living and eating, making it easier to embrace the difficult art of acceptance and detachment.
I’ve learned to exist more comfortably in the space that separates conventional and alternative medicine. My countless experiments have taught me that achieving good health cannot be approached from only one perspective. What works for some is not guaranteed to be the golden ticket for all. There is as much need for western medicine as there is for integrative therapies and I regret that these philosophies are predominantly divided.
The grace and beauty that can be found in the realm of holistic healing is transformative. Whatever your journey might be, I hope that you too can find relief in this tranquil space. At this moment, and really every moment, we all have then capacity to begin healing.