“Writing is a way of processing our lives. And it can be a way of healing.”
~ Jan Karon
Something happened to me after suffering a major ski injury this past season. My Orthopedic Surgeon said the healing process I’ve shown shocked him. He’s rarely seen a patient my age rebuild as quickly from all the bone fractures, ruptured ligaments, and torn tendons (nine parts of my knee damaged!) without surgery.
Not that I won’t have surgery. The ACL is the one thing that won’t heal itself, and I still walk like I have a load in my pants seven months after the accident! But the bottom line is my conventional doctor insists I’ve healed this well because of my positive attitude while already being physically fit and emotionally strong before the accident. It’s a mindset as much as anything, and just keeping moving. I knew at that instant; I want to help others achieve a healthy lifestyle and be as resilient to life’s setbacks.
Basically, I went from unable to walk at all to hiking 4-6 miles up and down hills within two months (using a brace and hiking poles.) I attribute it to practicing yoga and meditation daily, doing physical therapy, getting in regular acupuncture and massage, using essential oils, and focused nutrition with healing foods and spices. I’m no superwoman. I’m still healing and I know I won’t be able to ski this season. But I’m so very grateful for the amazing progress I’ve made.
This prompted me to earn a certification as a Wellness Coach. I finished the program at IAP Career College in August and aim to specialize in helping women as they approach post-menopause, or as their hair shines silver, to achieve lasting lifestyle changes to reach their highest potential for health and hopefulness. Ever tried a health or wellness coach? Click here to discuss how to get your FREE, no-risk consultation.
A Wellness Coach does not merely focus on diet and exercise, that’s only the start. It’s a holistic approach of mind, body, and soul. It’s about personal change as we encounter new ways of thinking and behaving, being present in each moment so we leap out of fear and into a more optimistic way to respond to life. While helping clients focus on the positive, one thing I plan to suggest to them is journaling. It’s one of the first steps in accomplishing goals and recognizing positive changes.
There is a direct connection between writing and wellness. Writing can be a pep pill without the side effects. Simply jotting down your thoughts and feelings in a journal is good for you. Research has shown that expressive writing about difficult or traumatic events—what happened or how we feel about what happened—results in better physical and mental health. There is something about getting one’s passion or pain into the written word that helps the body and mind feel better. It’s a type of catharsis.
I started writing my novels in 2008, not because of anything stressful going on in my life, but because I had an invaluable message. While immersed in fun playdates in the park with my five-year-old child and enjoying the sunshine in my garden, I wrote with my whole being, showing my true self with raw emotion. I emboldened my writing with a passion to awaken social consciousness and a drive toward world peace.
The world was and still is becoming more chaotic, intense, faster. As a mother, I viewed that world through a fresh lens, including how the technology behind my professional career had its place in promoting that rapid shift to digital connectivity chaos. I thought, “the world is out of balance, its health and wellness are at stake.”
By expressing myself on paper about things that are bothersome to me, my worries seem to decrease, enabling space for holding onto precious memories made with my child through the years. Scientific research has found that expressive writing improves your mind, body, and spirit. Conventional and holistic doctors alike are seeing how patients who keep journals heal quicker from traumatic injuries or experiences. It’s noted that, in particular, those who write memoirs about personal experiences or emotions boost their immune systems tremendously. My novels are like fictionalized memoirs in that I base the protagonist on myself.
I’ve always led an active, healthy lifestyle. I can’t think of a day in the past thirty years that I haven’t done some sort of physical activity if even a simple walk in nature. It comes easy for me as I think of exercise as an enjoyable part of everyday life, not a chore or just to “get fit” or “lose weight.” When we adjust our attitude to think being physically active is as critical to our mental health as it is to our overall well-being, it comes as natural as breathing, as vital as sleeping.
I believe it is the wellness of the individual which contributes to the wellbeing of the community or society. I want to do my part in bringing love and laughter to the world, to help people be at their physical and emotional best, working with what they already have to achieve their goals. Wellness Coaches are not physicians, psychologists, or psychotherapists. (although many doctors are becoming certified as health coaches.) We are there to bridge the gap with issues our amazingly busy doctors and nurses don’t have the time to do, delving deeper into disease prevention, stress management, fitness, advancing lifestyle changes, and attitudes.
We have a choice: We can continue seeing the world in chaos and despair, or we can embrace compassion, collaboration, and conscious awareness to access a convergence of wisdom. Personally, I chose the latter!