Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.- Soren Kierkegaard
Someone asked me not long ago, what was the one moment that started me on this wellness path. I had to think on this for a bit. There have been so many experiences in my life that have led me to this point.
But for the sake of keeping this short, the day that my life took this course was the day that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.
I was 21 years old.
I was so, so sick.
I was terrified.
When I look back at the 11 years that I lived with Ulcerative Colitis, I can certainly remember all the hardships, but in truth UC was absolutely a gift. For me, this disease was a gateway, opening me up to an entirely new way of looking at the body, health and nutrition. It was also an invitation for me to heal much deeper wounds within my soul and helped me to return to my truest self. I am so grateful for this time in my past and all that it opened me to for my future.
Ulcerative Colitis introduced me to both traditional and more natural or holistic forms of health care. It was the natural and holistic forms of medicine that immediately resonated with my soul. With the help of some amazing holistic practitioners I learned that I had several food sensitivities and nutrient deficiencies that were preventing my body from healing. I bought in 100% to the diet changes they recommended. With these changes came almost immediate improvement in my symptoms and disease and I was finally able to taper off of my medications with out flaring again. This was my first big ah-ha moment and I wondered why something as foundational as diet was never mentioned to me during my initial diagnosis and month long hospital stay.
I started my professional career as a High School Physical Education teacher and volleyball coach. I loved my job but I found it hard to keep up with the busy pace. Although I continued to work hard at my diet, I began to realize that food was not the only thing that was impacting my health. I began to explore myself on a deeper level, discovering more about my emotions, my limiting beliefs, and understanding how stress impacted my health. I was so driven to learn more about a holistic perspective on health and healing that I took a leave of absence from my teaching career and enrolled with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I also studied yoga and became a Certified Yoga Teacher. I explored many different forms of alternative health care including acupuncture, massage, Reiki, meditation, mindfulness and more.
The more that I learned, the more I dreamed of helping others on their own wellness journeys . I knew in some capacity that I would always be a teacher but I wasn't quite sure how. I eventually made the difficult decision to leave my traditional teaching career. Although my classroom space looks different, I have never stopped teaching.
My life and illness progressed and changed over the years and I continued to evolve through it all. I accessed both allopathic and natural and holistic supports. I learned through all of it.
With an re-empowered vision of my self, my will and a deep trust of my intuitive knowing of what was right for me, despite what many of my natural practitioners told me, I eventually made the decision to have a full colectomy. I remember the long conversations about what this decision meant, what it would be like living with an ostomy, what it meant for my chances of ever conceiving. The moment the nurse came to take me for surgery was the most emotional, frightening moment of my entire life. And yet, somehow I knew it was the right decision for me.
Here is what I can tell you. When we make decisions for ourselves from a place of belief and trust, magical things happen. To my Naturopath, my decision to have surgery went against everything. He told me to NEVER consider it. To my medical doctors it was a viable option, not the only option, but a viable one. After 10 years study on the body, nutrition, the mind and emotions and most importantly, myself, I knew it was time to trust myself more deeply than I ever had before. It didn't need to make sense to anyone else.
And then the magic happened.
I healed quickly after surgery with no complications. A fact I know is due to the strong nutritional foundation that I had created for myself.
3 months after my surgery I was married to the love of my life on the most perfect day.
5 months after my surgery we left for a 3 month honeymoon, living in a van in Australia.
On the day before we were to depart fo Oz, I discovered I was pregnant.
My life has continued to blossom. I now have 2 amazing kids. I am still in love with my wonderful husband. We live a life that we love. Living slow. Eating well. Resting. Working with nature. Growing food. I love my life.
Wellness has become my embodied passion. I have lived the transformation. I have studied the many diverse yet connected elements of wellness and I will forever be walking and further uncovering my own wellness path. Over the last 10 years I have made it my mission to step into my life's purpose of helping others to find what I have found. A life of joy. A life of abundance. A life of deep love and appreciation for myself, for others and for the earth. This work fills me up!
I see you. I feel you. I love you.
I have lived the physical illness and pain and I have come through the other side. I have harboured the self-defeating and self-loathing thoughts and I have transformed them. I have felt the overwhelm and the sadness take over my days and I have found joy again. You CAN do this! You are reading this for a reason. Trust your intuition and take the next step for your health and your life. When your body and soul call you, you must act. This is where the transformation starts. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else.
The healthy and abundant life of your dreams is waiting for you once you take the first step towards it.
I would love to hear your story.
Copyright Diane Johnson Wellness Consulting 2019