We live in a society that, by and large, tends to look primarily to the medical profession for their health and wellness, or the lack thereof. While doctors certainly have their place, true wellness comes from within. Our lifestyle choices and the actions we take daily are the foundations for a healthy body…and mind. For me, this truth has been made evident in the lives…and deaths…of several close friends and family.
While I have always been health conscious (I am, after all, a Virgo momma), my journey into proactive self-care took a serious step forward when my now-late husband, John, was diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) in 1986. I was only 22 years old, and was pregnant with our son. The doctor’s words to the father of my child were burned into my brain, “If you do not change your habits, you will never live to see this child graduate high school.”
At the time my husband was diagnosed, I was already well aware of the importance of nutrition and exercise. I was pregnant and had a strong desire to be as healthy as possible for the child I was carrying. I was vegetarian, leaning towards vegan. My husband, on the other hand, favored the standard American diet.
He blamed his health problems on genetics and insisted that it ran in the family. He lost two siblings to COPD, and several more family members to heart disease. What ran in the family was chain-smoking, heavy drinking, a diet that consisted largely of red meat, over-cooked vegetables, and processed foods. Although I tried to influence his way of eating, it was always a struggle.
Our other struggle revolved around how to manage his disease. I soon began to realize that the allopathic drugs being prescribed to treat my his illness were simply managing his symptoms and masking the face of the disease. They also seemed to cause more side-effects than the symptoms they were meant to relieve. In desperation, I began searching out alternatives. I read everything I could get my hands on about the holistic approach to health, including homeopathy and plant-based medicine. I was becoming wiser and healthier. Unfortunately, my husband was not. For him, it was easier to take a pill than to change his lifestyle.
I fought for more than a decade to try to change my husband and to save him from himself. I finally realized that I could only save myself, and I had to let go. Our son, Jonathan, was only 17 years old when his father passed away. The doctor’s words sounded in my head.
My husband’s life and death were not within the control of the medical community. He had several wonderful doctors who went far beyond their designated duties to try to help him to increase his chance of survival and improve his standard of living. The one thing they could not do was get him to take responsibility for his own health.
Although my husband’s illness and death took a huge toll on my life and the lives of our children, it also altered my life in a positive way. It started me on a path of self-care and wellness that has forever changed my life and has touched the lives of many others. It fired my passion to help empower others to take care of themselves and to maintain their own health and wellness. It continues to drive me to study and learn more natural alternatives to managing my own health and wellness, and to share that knowledge with others.
One of the ways I am currently sharing this knowledge with others is through classes on the use of essential oils to maintain physical and emotional health. These classes are free and open to the public. I invite you to come discover how these powerful plant-based tools can be used to improve your life and the lives of those you love.