Right before the new year, I had just come back from a nostalgic vacation in my hometown, Rowland Heights, California.
This is where I grew up until I left for Georgia to start a new life as a mom and a wife.
I’ve been back to California many times, but this was the first time coming back by myself, post divorce, with my two boys.
I have lots of family and friends in California, and I’ve been apart from them for many years. All of them understand the struggles I had with my Lupus and my marriage.
Since the Lupus diagnosis, for many years, I was self absorbed. I felt I was entitled to special attention, and I was always paranoid about my health.
Then the marriage. The unnecessary drama in my life was taking a toll on my health and my confidence.
After seeing the friends and family who’ve put up with me during the darkest moments of my life, I realize how far I’ve come in completely rewriting my story.
At first, I thought I was broken. So as a broken soul with Lupus, I sort of gave up. I believed that life with Lupus had everything to fear, that I would become compromised and never the same.
During this trip, I reminisced with my closest friends and family about the past, when we were young and somehow, their perception was drastically different from mine.
They felt that I had given up too fast, and they didn’t understand what was going through my head, what narrative I was choosing to believe.
My loved ones felt helpless as they watched me suffer and struggle with fear of my future with Lupus.
That no matter how much they tried to talk sense into me, there was no changing my own story that would continue to dictate my life for the next 12 years.
In truth, they share that they too were scared, but the negativity and the over-obsession with Lupus was excessive as they watched me settle in my life.
From getting married to abruptly moving away, I changed from a confident, best dressed young woman to a frail, depressed woman who withdrew from life.
When I recounted their version of the story, I realized that the false story I had been telling myself at the time was completely self generated.
More importantly, I realized that I had the power to change my story.
“I have Lupus….. I may not be able to work, full time, part time…. or ever.”
“I may not have kids….”
“I can’t see the sun…. but how do you avoid the sun in California.”
These were the thoughts running through my head at the time.
During this same trip, I went to a Hot Yoga Studio and enjoyed a “hot” Bikram yoga class.
Not to brag, but I was the best yogi in the room.
As I huffed and puffed in the studio I recalled crying as the sweat poured down my face.
At every turn when Lupus challenged me, I sought out a challenge for myself, to overcome yet another Lupus flare.
You see, at some point, I stopped settling. When things got so bad in my marriage that it couldn’t get any worse, I decided to seek challenges that I could overcome to get stronger.
I believe I am as healthy as I am because I was able to channel the negative into something positive.
Which explains why my healing method has not only healed me, but made me stronger than before I was diagnosed with Lupus.
What is Hormesis?
Hormesis is a biological phenomenon where a beneficial effect (improved health, stress tolerance, growth, or longevity) results from exposure to low doses of an agent that is otherwise toxic or lethal when given at higher doses.
Such is true for high heat in Bikram Yoga. While it was hard in the beginning to get acclimated to the heat, I enjoyed the physical and mental strength it required to get through it.
Key was to keep showing up, despite my narrative that I should take it easy because of my Lupus.
It was the same for being a mom.
Once I stopped using the excuse of having Lupus to pace myself and hold back from enjoying activities with my kids, such as going to amusement parks or going into the swimming pool for fear of the sun or extreme fatigue, I grew stronger and more confident.
I’m not saying force yourself and push, but questioning our narrative and the stories we tell ourselves like….
“I’m not smart enough, strong enough, pretty enough, thin enough, or healthy enough” are all stories that keep us back from daring to try.
This year, I’d like to challenge you to take a step forward and “lean in” as the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg’s book describes.
To be clear, I’m not judging nor am I advocating doing exactly what I did.
I’m trying to make a point that we tend to have our beliefs, that are deeply ingrained in us that keep us from leaning into our lives.
We become defined by such stories that are nothing other than myths.
They tend to keep us in FEAR. Or False Experiences Appearing Real.
I don’t have all the answers, but certainly for me, in retrospect, it was my subconscious choice to lean into my fear, and that allowed me to grow.
I also realize that timing is everything. So if you’re reading this today and are in no position to lean in, that’s ok.
I wasn’t ready many times and as a result I didn’t lean in.
But for those of you daring to make a change this year, we’ve got our Reverse Lupus Membership launching on 1/8/18.
And many of you have signed up and once we hit 200 members, prices will go up.
For $9.99 per month, you’ll receive a lifestyle blueprint, accountability, coaching, and a clear guidance on how to transform your life to better serve you and ultimately heal.
You’ll also receive discounts on many different products, programs, and retreats.
The discounts you’ll receive on supplements alone will more than make up for the small membership fee.
From daily Yoga-Pilates-Physical Therapy based exercise routines curated by myself to cooking hacks and eating out guides, we’ve got plans to transform your year so you can reverse lupus in 2018. So please join our movement today.
For more information, click here.
If you know anyone who can benefit from this information, please don’t hesitate to share.
And as always, thanks so much for watching or listening today.
So until next week, talk soon.