As soon as I started to feel myself taking off for flight, life presented challenges. Seriously, it was like I lifted off the runway only to then realize my gas tank was half full. So, I had to touch down, put my wheels back on the runway, and turn around.
Due to the nature of how I started Sun In Bloom, with my piggy bank filled with pennies I had saved from teaching yoga classes over several years, if a Sun In Bloom team member calls in sick, it translates to me working a very long day. Or, this is the story I’ve written based on my fear of the penny jar becoming empty. So, last week, as I was entering my bliss in my 4th week of juice feasting, and was taking flight, a team member called in sick each day. Which means, I am on my feet, without break, for 14 hours.
Looking back on all the chapters of my life, I believe it was working in the Emergency Room (ER) that led me on my meandering path seeking wellness. My body never adapted to the 12-hour graveyard shifts I worked 4-5 times a week. And to cope I developed an addiction to sugar and caffeine. You would never believe the quantities I ingested and how I’d find ways to inhale these chemicals. I basically hooked myself up to an IV pumping caffeine and sugar directly into my blood stream. Looking back, I can’t believe this was my life.
It was not long after I developed these habits that I started to feel very sick, tired, and depressed. I constantly battled fatigue. I was always constipated, bloated, and suffering from severe inflammation. I stopped menstruating. My body hurt and I was literally living in a fog.
My idealized dream of what it meant to be a doctor in our country was quickly tarnished when I sought help and was pushed around the medical system from doctor to doctor with no positive outcome. As a result, I adapted to getting by in my life being “sick”.
Frustrated and disenchanted with my experience seeking help within our health-care system, I left behind all of my studies and hard work to go to medical school and decided to pursue my photography and passion for music. And with the flip of a page, I changed the course of my destiny. But, I was also living with a secret. And my secret was that underneath my mask of charisma, success, and fun, I continued to struggle with my reality of feeling sick and tired every day.
I honestly forgot what being alive felt like and alcohol and drugs became the perfect prescription to numb me from the pain and support me to live the double life of being the charismatic, successful young woman I was, as well as the deeply depressed and lost girl I had become. And with a little practice, working hard and playing hard quickly became my routine.
A couple years later, I had a life-changing experience with Michael Franti, an incredibly talented musician and human being who chooses to live a self-aware and conscious lifestyle. A yoga session in his green room before a Red Rocks show changed my life. The next day I started a daily Bikram Yoga practice. And within two weeks, I resigned from my dream job, called my Mom to ask for help, and one month later I packed up my sweet condo I had bought and renovated (thinking I’d spend my life in Colorado) and moved home to NY. I just knew I had to make some big changes, but I had no idea where they would lead me.
My yoga practice sent me down this path in which I developed a deep sense of self-awareness and I believe it has been this self-awareness that ultimately changed the fabric of who I was choosing to be in my life. My yoga practice saved my life. For the first time since I had hit rock bottom working in the ER 5 years earlier, I tasted the experience of feeling alive. And I wanted this to be my experience everyday!
After so many years of feeling sick and tired, I had honestly forgotten how it feels to be alive and what life can be when you are energized, clear and happy. And then I discovered living foods. This is when I exceeded all my expectations for what healthy living might feel like. I opened up spiritually and tapped into an energy resource that was unbounded by the walls of fatigue and depression. And as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I have no doubt, it was this space of pure potential that opened up the opportunity for me to manifest Sun In Bloom.
But, as soon as I approached this place of personal expansion with Sun In Bloom, I was working extreme hours unlike anything I had ever experienced and felt that everything came crashing down as I relapsed to my state of dis-ease that struck me when working in the ER.
I quickly dug a very deep hole called self-sabotage.
So, as soon as I found myself working 14 hours everyday this past week, an intense fear surfaced. Is this what my life is going to look like again? Why does this happen every time I’m just about to lift off this runway? Is there any hope for me? Or do I just have to accept I am stuck – this is my life now. This is what it’s like when you are the head chef and owner of a restaurant.
We were short-handed with staff and I was unprepared for my juice feast. I had run out of important supplements, did not have time to prepare as much juice as I needed, and did not believe I could fit in yoga or exercise into my 14 hour work day.
However, rather than completely folding in on my fear, something miraculous did happen – I stayed in action. I posted an ad, interviewed several cooks, invited one to train, and trained my entire team to support me in areas of the business that depended completely on me. But, I found myself in the situation where I needed to taste recipes. And because I tasted recipes, I believed I had sabotaged my juice feast.
Yet, with perfect timing, a powerful conversation about self-sabotage with my dear friend showed me that this was simply a beautiful opportunity.
It was an opportunity to be gentle, kind, and loving towards myself. It presented this perfect opportunity to let go of judgement or expectation for this journey to unfold with perfection. It provided me with this opportunity to practice creating a new pattern in which I remove the actions of self-sabotage.
As soon as my chef returned Saturday, I jumped back into my yoga routine, prepped my juices and followed my body’s desire to continue juicing. So, here I am, Day 31!
And I truly continue to feel more alive each day. I feel closer to my essence. And my story here is just like a child who falls. She scrapes her knee, but with a quick wash, she is running through the field again, following her bliss.