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Crying in public places when you are a private person. Unexplained joint pain. Digestive imbalances. Thyroid issues. Depression. Fear. Anxiety. Exhaustion. Feeling lost, alone and unsupported. This is how I would describe two of the worst years of my life.

I work in the holistic field and even with an army of knowledge and tools at my disposal, the tornado that hit me caused me to feel ungrounded, and alone. I had just lost my mom unexpectedly, leaving my world a little smaller and more uncertain. But as if that wasn’t enough to handle, a host of other issues arose that left me feeling more like a pin in a bowling alley than the strong spirit I once identified with. It was a tumultuous time, but the tidal wave of chaos forced me to love and nurture myself like never before.

LETTING PEOPLE IN

When your spirit is exhausted, you are actually more awake to what you need. You are in a state of vulnerability and your only focus is to refuel. At the time I was feeling like life’s pincushion, so certain relationships were feeling particularly sharp, and I could sense a draining situation from miles away. I had to distance myself from people who felt more like energy vampires than friends, which made room for others to step up. Most were used to me having an endless giving reserve, and this was the first time that I really needed people to be there for me.

When you take on the role as the “giver” you often swallow your own needs, or make other people’s problems more important than your own. So for years I got away without being vulnerable, and being there for everyone else. But in this case my emotions were bubbling over, so suppressing them was no longer an option. I opened up, allowed myself to cry and also gave myself permission to say no when I needed time for me. Surprisingly, I found joy in letting people in and watching many of my friends become the rock for me.

ALTERING SELF CARE

Although my diet and supplement regimen has always provided stability, I found that I still needed to alter my self-care routine. Massage became a saving grace, but I added in essential oils to the treatment for extra healing. Acupuncture provided immediate relief, but I needed to do it more often. Yoga became essential, but I needed to add in restorative classes. But aside from these items, I realized that I needed more energy work. I sought out Reiki and theta healing more than ever, and I made sure that I talked to the healers about my inner feelings. I even added time to my Reiki session so I could be sure to be honest about what I needed. It was more than ok to be vulnerable; it was necessary. I opened up to the let the healing in.

SEARCHING FOR JOY

This darker period of time felt like a maze of clues to rediscover my happiness. I have to admit that searching for joy can feel daunting; sometimes even the mention of the word seems too bright for the darkness within. But the quest is essential; it is what sustains us. Ask yourself what brings relief, even if it’s small.

I took my first solo trip to hear my own thoughts and spend time by the water. For me, healing always occurs near the water, so I spent as much time there as possible. But I also needed to be around animals. I will never forget visiting a farm and having an interaction with a horse that caused me to sob. That horse was a healer for me. Children can provide a similar healing; their light is contagious. What used to make you happy? What makes you happy now?

Life’s battlefield can feel like a draft, being pulled into a war we never asked to fight. It challenges our emotional energy, our stability, our courage and most of all our faith.  But it is through these tests that we find our greatest teacher. We learn to lean in to find support. We open up to find connection. We rest to find strength. We practice gratitude. We believe the Universe has our back even when evidence seems to show otherwise. After all, when we fall to our knees, what better time to stand tall, fight back and let the light in.

Nicole Glassman is a holistic nutritionist, blogger, public speaker, founder of Mindful Health and creator of the Mindful Mosaic Program. She completed her Masters in Food Studies at New York University, Holistic Health Counseling Certificate at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and was one of the first practitioners to complete Dr. D’Adamo’s Blood Type Certification course. Her philosophy toward health stems from her own life changing struggles with stress and troubled digestion. She sees her client’s health struggles as unique to their bodies, with a mission to support wellness from within. We are honored to have Nicole and Mindful Health as a Wellness Partner.

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