I’m back! And finally ready to share what I’ve really been doing since I stepped away from Embracing Health – to a large extent – over the past eighteen months.
Many of you know me from my Hippocrates days. I spend many years working as the naturopath and massage therapist at ‘Hippos’ – the raw, vegan detox retreat on the Gold Coast that sadly closed its doors in 2008. I built up many lovely relationships with the guests that frequented the retreat, and delighted in hearing their stories of recoveries and about people’s journey through life. I shared much of myself with everyone, and following the retreat closure, set up my own detox retreats where I could bring more of myself, my beliefs and experience into a new and vibrant setting. The success of Embracing Health, and the many life-changing retreats we’ve held has been just incredible, and fills me with gratitude to be involved with such great people, doing very beneficial work.
Over those years I went on a journey myself, going through a very painful divorce, and then entering into a relationship that almost ruined me – leaving me with complex PTSD and a complete relapse of my adrenal and thyroid issues. I soldiered on, loving what I do too much to walk away, but knowing that at some point I would have to stop, slow down, and heal.
Meeting my husband Dan in late 2011 was a turning point for me. He provided the rock solid foundation upon which I could rebuild my life. Through this time I was still running retreats, building my business, organising massive David Wolfe Tours, starting to write my book on fatigue and generally working way too hard. My stress levels were high, but I didn’t really know how to stop. My health was suffering, and I couldn’t seem to regain the extraordinary levels of health and fitness that I had been accustomed to most of my life.
In April 2013, after spending a week at a Tantra retreat with Dan, deepening our relationship to a beautiful and profound level, Dan asked me to become his wife. During that week we also made the decision that if it was possible to start a family, (I had just turned 42) then we would give it our best shot. I knew that my work and stress levels were not conducive to having a child, so I started slowly moving my workload over to the talented and dedicated naturopath Rhianna Smith who had been working with me for some time, and I also passed a lot of administration work over to my Mum, Trish. This year I even took the massive leap of having a dear friend and colleague Trudy Brooke run two of my retreats, so that I could have the time out that was essential for me.
Even though it was hard for a perfectionist workaholic such as myself to let go, I knew that I needed the space to heal, to finish writing my book, and also to devote myself to the possibility of creating a family. So that’s what I did.
And I fell pregnant the first time we tried.
Fast-forward eighteen months, and three gut-wrenching, heart-breaking and soul-destroying miscarriages later, (four if you count the ‘chemical pregnancy’, five if you count the unplanned, surprise pregnancy that I had in the very early days of our relationship, six losses if you count the twins as two) – and I feel like I’m at the end of this particular journey. Over the past eighteen months I’ve spent nearly half that time pregnant. My body has been through the wringer with the hormonal ups and downs, not to mention the emotional ones, and with two anaesthetics for two operations for missed miscarriages, it is time to have a break and let my body rest.
So far there doesn’t seem to be a reason why our babies don’t make it. I’ve had every test under the sun, spent approximately $20,000 over the past year on every type of doctor, practitioner, healing regime, supplement, therapy and test. I’ve slowed down, reduced stress, taken up yoga and mediation and made space in my life. Just recently I was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease and a co-infection called Babesiosis which is related to malaria, so that could be an answer. Not just to the miscarriages, but it also could have been underlying my issues of fatigue for a very long time. I’ve started treatment and look forward to another stage of healing.
Right now though, my husband and I can’t face another loss. So I need to do what’s right in front of me and that takes me right back to Embracing Health and the work I love. My book The ‘F’ Word Solution is almost finished (I will be releasing it early next year), I have some wonderful retreats coming up – the next one is in Byron Bay in November that I am SO looking forward to – and I have lots of ideas for the continuation and expansion of Embracing Health.
It was last weekend that really bought me back. I was asked to speak on thyroid dysfunction at the annual Integria Health Care conference on Endocrine and Mental Health in Sydney. I was treated like an absolute VIP, and being on stage in front of 250 naturopathic practitioners, lecturing about thyroid issues and fatigue – it really hit home to me how vital it is for me to educate both the general public and practitioners, on this important topic. Fatigue disorders can steal the life from a person. How can someone live the life of their dreams, fulfill their purpose and explore their passion if they are suffering with fatigue? My vision is to see more people achieving their dreams through regaining their health. I have reignited my excitement for this work, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
So you will be hearing and seeing a lot more of me from now on! I will be back blogging again regularly (Rhi has been doing an absolutely awesome job on the blog while I’ve been absent, and you will still be hearing from her), and I will soon be putting out some new videos, and sharing my often strong and controversial opinion on all sorts of health and lifestyle related issues.
For the friends that I’ve made over the years that I haven’t been actively in touch with the past eighteen months, I hope to hear from you on the blog or on Facebook where I hope to resume those friendships and continue to build new ones.
I have an amazing life – an incredible marriage, work that I am passionate about, I live in a beautiful part of the world, have good friends, a loving family, and my health is really pretty good in spite of the Lyme diagnosis. Even though there is a piece missing, and likely always will be, I still have a lot to be grateful for.