In September 2019, I was in the midst of a five-year health crisis and struggling to simply survive each day.
I felt like my body was holding me hostage. I was crawling to get to the bathroom. I could barely feed myself, and could no longer sleep upstairs in my bedroom because seizures had become common and I was worried about falling down the stairs.
My mind was overwhelmed with the fact that I had been living a healthy lifestyle almost my entire life, and an organic one for the past decade, yet I had been hospitalized three times in two years, and now had 6 rare diseases, 4 mycotoxin poisonings, and 5 heavy metal poisonings. I always practice what I preach but I had become severely ill and no matter what I tried, I wasn’t getting better.
I couldn’t work, leave the house, or drive. I was trapped. I was too weak to stand up and use the walker. I was barely eating or drinking because it took so much effort to make it to the bathroom. I would have to take a break from crawling on the floor and just lay there and take a nap until I could crawl further to the couch. I was dropping weight, getting weaker, and I was completely alone having seizures with no support from friends or family.
My body continually had adverse reactions to every protocol, supplement, medication, and diet I tried. I was getting worse over time instead of better. My mind was in a constant war between hope and acceptance. My internal dialogue battled back and forth from, “I am determined to beat this,” to, “I may be stuck with chronic illness for life.”
As a wellness practitioner, I felt embarrassed and ashamed. If I had become this sick “doing everything right,” then why would anyone ever want to follow MY advice?
Life was a blur of difficult days bleeding into each other, until one day, a mentor reached out to let me know about an upcoming training in aromatherapy protocols for medical conditions. I signed up immediately.
During the training, we learned 18 medical protocols that focused on different diseases and both mental and physical health issues. On the last day of the program, we were given a protocol that took me by surprise.
THE FORGIVENESS PROTOCOL.
Coming from the yoga world, I am highly aware of how the mind can affect the body and that healing disease can be a spiritual evolution just as much as a physical one. I tried to tackle my health issues this way, and even went to therapy in an attempt to help address any subconscious issues that could be interfering with my healing, but nothing improved.
It was at this moment I learned how guilt and shame in particular lead to dis-ease, and how forgiveness can actually heal and reverse these symptoms in our physiology.
This protocol was different from the others in that the client had to do the first two steps themselves to truly let go of the past and forgive. At the end of the training, they said, if all else fails then turn to the forgiveness protocol.
When I got back from the training I asked my doctor which ones he felt I should focus on since I had so many different issues I was battling. He told me to make sure I did the forgiveness protocol once a week, and use my intuition and symptoms to choose the others.
I wasn’t sure where to begin with forgiveness, but I let my intuition guide me. While I was reflecting on the concept of forgiveness, my mind took me to the spring of 1994.
I was 12 years old. My dad’s license had been revoked because his brain cancer was too debilitating. Despite this, he went out driving. I came home from school to find an empty house and no car outside. My worry and concern got the best of me. When he got home I found myself screaming at him. It escalated. I had never raised my voice with any adult before, let alone call him what I did. An asshole. He immediately packed his bags and checked into a hotel.
My mom got busy that night making arrangements, and the next day he was admitted to the V.A.’s mental hospital over an hour away. After that, he never lived at home again.
It isn’t a memory I think about very often because it does bring up guilt and shame, but something told me to start there with an early childhood wound. The experience was transformational. I cried throughout the entire protocol. Afterward, I felt overwhelming relief. Whatever I had been holding onto all of those years had dissipated. What was left was peace.
The next morning something shocking happened.
I did my usual routine; woke up, showered etc. Then, I found myself making eye contact with myself in the mirror.
For 25 years, I had avoided looking at myself in the mirror. I hated it. It was uncomfortable, so I always found a way to avoid looking into my own eyes. For years I told myself that “it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” so I never got too hung up on the external… and here I was, mesmerized by myself. I was truly seeing myself for the first time since I was 12.
Afterward, I started moisturizing my body. I never do this, but all of a sudden it came naturally and effortlessly. This entire experience felt so profound. I had no idea how much that incident had affected my psyche until this very moment.
This breakthrough helped me see that I had never learned what true forgiveness was. I never realized that even if you mentally forgive, if you still have hurt feelings when you reflect back on something, then you haven’t truly forgiven. These emotional memories get trapped in our physical bodies. Now when I look back on that argument with my dad, it isn’t upsetting at all. There is no guilt, shame, or regret. It is simply a memory with no emotional attachment.
The forgiveness protocol didn't cure my physical ailments overnight, but it started shifting something inside me. Even though my health remained the same, my headspace was lighter, calmer, and after so many dismal diagnoses and experiences with doctors, I was determined to discover the healer within.
I read books, watched documentaries, and consumed every piece of content I could find until I started learning how to rewire my brain to heal. This process made me think of my dad and how, after being diagnosed at 44, with only six months to live, he defied all of his doctors and went on to live another 14 years. If he could figure this out without any guidance, then I was determined to use all of the tools in my toolbox to heal completely.
Over the next few weeks, I had to make some major life changes. I had to trust my own intuition, leave my relationship and home, and take a huge scary leap without a safety net. I had to go against several doctors’ opinions in addition to my family and friend’s advice and trust my own inner wisdom. I had to practice an Ayurvedic lifestyle and follow a diet that I knew worked best for me even though it was the opposite of what all the experts were telling me to do. I had to meditate and follow my self-care practices and aromatherapy protocols. I had to address every aspect of health on the wellness wheel.
In the end, there was no specific diet, prescription, herb, or supplement that healed me. Instead, I had to create a new mindset and belief system in order to kickstart my healing.
A month later, I was back on my feet. I wasn’t passing out anymore. The drenching night sweats had stopped. The seizures and convulsions were gone. My heart rate and body temperature had normalized. The bone pain was no longer crippling. I was able to go for a long walk on the beach and my body wasn’t punishing me for every ounce of energy I spent. I had followed my gut, moved to my happy place, and overnight, my symptoms were gone. A client reached out a month later and asked me to move to NYC for a live-in contract and I was healthy enough to say yes!
I remember my next doctor's appointment clearly. It was a telehealth appointment while I was on a road trip with my client driving from NYC to Florida. My doctor said there was no explanation and that my healing was simply a miracle. I am a very logical and rational person so I asked a lot more questions to try to pinpoint the reality of why I healed, but he truly couldn’t figure it out.
I knew this illness journey was all for a greater purpose from the beginning. I clearly remember lying paralyzed in the hospital bed nearly five years ago, and knowing in my gut that there were lessons to be learned on this path that I would never learn any other way.
Upon reflection, I think the ultimate lesson I had to learn in order to heal was forgiveness. I wasn’t able to dedicate enough time and energy to my own healing practices because subconsciously, I was blocked. I had to forgive myself in order to truly feel worthy of self-care.
The truth is that most people don’t practice self-care because on some level they don’t think they deserve it.
The forgiveness protocol gave me the ability to do the self-care required to heal. Then, I just had to truly believe that it was possible, visualize it, and create a plan to get there.
The healing journey is different for everyone, and you don’t have to have an illness in order to be on a healing journey.
We all have wounds to forgive and heal from.
We all have limiting beliefs that hold us back from doing what is best for us.
We all tend to struggle with self-care and put everything else on the to-do list before our own true needs.
Illness helped me become whole. It helped me heal from something I didn’t even know was “ill” - my heart and mind.
My healing process helped me understand that no matter what physical health goals you want to achieve, it has to be done by tackling forgiveness and healing your mindset first.
If you are ready to dive deeper into your wellness journey and truly heal your wounds, I would be honored to be your guide.
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