When I was 17 years old, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that caused my body to attack itself. The symptoms were horrible and my organs swelled up with the threat of my spleen exploding if I exerted myself physically. Consequently, I had to endure the disease, or so I thought.
After four months of battling this disease and going to doctors appointments, specialists, and holistic practitioners, I was faced with hopelessness. There was no medication I could take and I wondered if I was always going to be sick and if this was going to be my life. I let myself fall into defeat.
At one of my doctor’s appointments, my doctor saw that I had given up. She felt it in the way I spoke, and she saw it in my eyes. She looked at me and said, “Natalie, if you think you are sick, you will stay sick.” Her words struck me, and she prescribed me on a prescription paper to read the book called “The Biology of Belief” by Bruce Lipton, so I bought it and I read it.
I learned how my thoughts can shape my physiology. I learned how I didn’t need to be sick anymore if I decided not to. It gave me hope, and it gave me strength. It was powerful. At that point, my doctor told me I could finally start to do light physical activity, so I enrolled in a yoga class at my university. There I met an amazing teacher who changed my life, taught me how to connect with myself, and how to be strong in all ways.
My entire world view shifted. My values. My beliefs – all redirected to vitality, community, and love. I was stripped of my achievements, all that I had defined myself as, and I was boiled down to just me. My heart and my soul and that’s the way I started to see people. I saw their beauty, their hearts, and their souls.
I had graduated top of my class from high school, and I was ready to pursue success but life had a different lesson for me. This disease happened to me because I was at dis-ease. There was turmoil in my life that I didn’t know how to deal with, and it manifested into a disease. I was depressed, I was upset. Why me? As soon as I discovered that this dis-ease was an opportunity, I realized that this was a moment in time that I could cease and grow from. Today, I am proud that I overcame this mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual challenge. It revealed to me what is important in life – love, connection, and health.
If you are going through anything where you don’t think there’s an end, think about how you are the creator of your life. You get to create your thoughts, your beliefs, your world views. Use challenge as a way to grow and launch yourself. Stay resilient. Stay calm. Everything will be okay. We have the choice.