The journey to the “Living in Balance” 4 day wellness retreat with Deepak Chopra began February 28 with a very dear, trusted and true friend, and came to a pause last night, March 4.
Eleven years ago that friend, Deborah, was also my mentor. Deborah was the first (of very few) authentic woman in administration I encountered in my 20 year nursing career. She was unafraid to voice her well-informed opinion, far more concerned with patient care than corporate climate, and chartered new territory in more than one very backwards-ass Kentucky hospitals. Deborah rattled roofs, and, she believed in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself.
With Deborah’s guidance and encouragement I naively agreed to ascend from the ice cold corridor of the operating room to the role of bariatric surgery program creator, coordinator and manager. Initially I thrived and enjoyed the challenges but eventually any semblance of a balanced life vanished.
Job stress balooned daily, and the many hats worn in my off hours, (single-mom, homeowner, fitness junkie, to name a few) eventually led to major health decline. By 2012 I was in one of those backwards-ass Kentucky hospitals as an ICU patient, with a section of my right lower lung removed, a muscle biopsy taken from my left thigh, and a catheter in my heart.
Stress. Stress on the job, stress at home, stress on my body at the gym, even stress in my sleep as I grinded my molars to nubs. Stress created the perfect environment for an underlying autoimmune disease to flare out of control.
That was six years ago. Today, praise God, I’m healthy and thankful for my husband and family, a whole foods plant based diet, my yoga teacher training (JP Guyer Yogi Cop), friends and new opportunities like this weekend. My life is balanced, and I’m no longer suffering.
So Deborah and I ran off to Carlsbad, California like Thelma and Louise on our “Living in Balance” adventure. Why? Because friends are part of life’s balance. Because having the opportunity to share great experiences brings joy. Because nudging my friends towards balance is important to me. Because I love learning new things. What did we learn? Read the next blog.