(The following is a guest post by Alison Smith)
Seven years ago, I danced through life unconsciously. I was a workaholic neuroscientist studying how the brain can change itself. I chased recognition; like a junkie, I collected awards, accolades and achievements, yet I never felt the intoxicating satisfaction or happiness that I wanted so badly. I was blocked. I felt nothing.
I spent most of my time either in a laboratory or at the gym – I was training for the Chicago marathon. I ate cake for dinner; vegetables rarely graced my plate. I thought bliss was found within a Twinkie or a can of Coke. I never took the time to get to know anyone. Intimacy was completely foreign to me. I was experiencing an emotional flat-line: I never felt heart pumping euphoria, and I never dove deep into despair. My life was like floating in a small boat on the calmest ocean.
And then a storm hit, and the crashing waves chucked me overboard. And what happened next was the biggest soul-slap of my life.
Seven years ago a vampirous tick bit me, and the storm of Lyme Disease entered my life. I lost the ability to work; I rarely left my house; my mother referred to me as a shut-in. Lyme hijacked my life, and it forced me to stay still for the first time.
In that stillness, all of my blocks and barriers crumbled. I began to notice how the energy of others affected how I felt. I noticed how food either lifted me up or pushed me down. And I learned how my own thoughts influenced my healing. I started to reach out to the people around me, to connect and to listen. My heart opened up to love, and I was grateful.
My journey to recovery has been long, but I have a backpack full of lessons learned. I learned that if I wanted to recover, I would have to take action and do whatever it took to heal. I learned that I am not defined by the job that I do – I am loved no matter what. I learned that the food I eat could either heal or harm. And, I learned that if I take the time to listen and to share my truth, the energy and love that I get back is the most powerful medicine.
Now that I see recovery on the horizon, I’ve bought a new kick-ass boat: one that can not only withstand the rising sea swells, but it can also hold all of the people that I love and need on this journey.
I can say that I’m still an ambitious girl – I have big dreams, big desires, and big love to share. But I’ll never return to the soulless and joyless life that I lived. I’ve traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat and a meditation cushion, and I have given up junk food for green juices. I now live my life mindful of how my thoughts influence the world around me. I cherish the biggest love of my life: my man; and I give thanks, everyday, for my mother.
It took the bite of a poppy-seed sized insect to change my life. I can’t image ever being the girl I used to be. In fact, if I were to write a letter to my former self, I would tell her that I love her, but I don’t miss her.
Alison Smith is a neuroscientist and a wellness junkie on a mission to promote self-care and self-love to those in the trenches, battling back to abundant health and happiness. Schooled by her own journey back to vibrant health and vitality, Alison is the creator of alisonsmith.com and the ebook: Recharge Your Body: 52 Smoothie & Juice Recipes. Alison lives and breathes by the motto: Live healthy. Live happy. Live now.
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