"Your father has brain cancer and by the way, he only has 12 months to live." These were the words that sank deep into my soul that day in May of 2020 standing on the sidewalk in Billings, MT with my father's radiologist.
You see, for 17 years, I often felt like a hamster on a wheel going around and around. Days flowing into days, time whizzing past me like the blink of an eye. I would often catch myself feeling like there wasn't quite enough time to get off that wheel to really take a strong, deep dive into my true, authentic self and ask myself those tough questions. So much stress and anxiety was constantly flooding my body. Two businesses, trying to stay healthy, being a mom, wife, sister, friend, daughter. Around and around I went, day after day. Did I really not have the time to follow my own truth OR did I just not want to face what would be a difficult decision I knew I needed to make?
I would often catch myself feeling like there wasn't quite enough time to get off that wheel to really take a strong, deep dive into my true, authentic self and ask myself those tough questions.
I believe that the universe truly guides us and shows us the signs towards living our most vibrant life IF we take the time to listen and be guided by those signs. The signs are real. For me, it just seemed easier to ignore the signs as it was too overwhelming to process them. I really was too scared to make adjustments in my life that I knew were in my best interest. So, I guess I will just continue on that hamster wheel and keep business as usual and ignore the signs. I really didn't want to disappoint anyone with making decisions that best suited my own family and myself. I honestly didn't want to deal with any external conflict even though I was battling my own internal conflict. Wouldn't it just be easier to deal with my own turmoil? The truth is, I was scared. Scared to let go of what I knew. Scared of what was to come....
I really didn't want to disappoint anyone with making decisions that best suited my own family and myself.
Well, the universe chose to come knocking at my door with a big sign. On May 25th, 2020, I received a phone call that I will never forget. "Dad is in the hospital and has been in a horrible car accident." I immediately drove to Billings, MT in tears as I had no idea what was going to be ahead of me. In the days following his car accident, we discovered that my father had had a seizure while he was driving which caused his accident. What? A seizure? My father? How did this happen? My father had never had a seizure before. How could this be happening? Days later, he had a biopsy procedure done on his brain and he was then diagnosed with a stage 3 glioblastoma brain tumor. Oh shit, my father has brain cancer.
I knew at this point in time, it was time to make those tough decisions that I had been avoiding. Those decisions that best served my family and myself. I knew I needed to simplify my life, focus on my own health and dedicate my time to help my family. I immediately made changes in my life that allowed me to have more time and space. I had made a decision that was in my best interest! All I could think of is, "If I would have known how good it feels, why didn't I do it sooner?" Now, this isn't to say that it did not come with some external conflict, it did, but it wasn't anywhere near what I had made up in my mind of how it was going to play out. This decision 100% outweighed what could have led me on a darker path for myself if I would have continued on the other road.
I knew I needed to simplify my life, focus on my own health and dedicate my time to help my family.
Since I had been working in the health and wellness industry for over 20 years, I knew I wanted to take on this part of my father's care. I wanted to do whatever I could to help my father and I knew there were other modalities other than just oncology and radiation for cancer. So, I made a call to the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic in Billings. I saw on their website they had Naturopathic Doctors who specialized in oncology. The receptionist said, "You are in luck! We have an ND who works directly at the cancer center in Billings and he will be free of charge for your father." WHAT? Did you say FREE? I wasn't expecting that at all and was in shock and awe, so I called the cancer center and set up an appointment with the ND there named Dr. Ryan Turneswitsch. (we call him Dr. Ryan for short) He was working through a grant for the State of Montana and all naturopathic care was free of charge for all cancer patients. I couldn't believe this news. What an amazing opportunity for so many suffering from the effects of cancer.
I wanted to do whatever I could to help my father and I knew there were other modalities other than just oncology and radiation for cancer.
My first call with Dr. Ryan was amazing. I felt like he was the only glimmer of light and hope in so much darkness. He listened to me, he guided me on my father's care and helped me to understand simple ways to help. It was a transformational experience for me and one that I had never experienced before in dealing with someone who was very ill. We talked a lot about nutrition and really just simple things like adding in pomegranate juice to his diet to help with a side effect from a medication. Now, this sounded a lot better than adding in another pill to manage side effects! I took it all in. I wanted to learn as much as I could to help him.
I began to think about ways to share this with others and how amazing this experience has been for me and my family. I've always loved chatting with others and learning about what they do. So, how about launching a podcast as a way to get the information out into the world? I decided that my podcast would focus on all things health and wellness...ways to help others heal, offering support, different ways of thinking about whole person health, different perspectives on how to be in the world and how to live authentically. I called up my best friend Anna who is a therapist (and has been on the podcast 4 times) and said, "Will you record my first episode with me?" She didn't hesitate and said YES! Thank you Anna! I am so grateful that you agreed to another one of my crazy ideas. And, so, the RITUAL by Sageborn podcast began.
I decided that my podcast will focus on all things health and wellness-ways to help others heal, offering support, different ways of thinking about whole person health, different perspectives on how to be in the world and how to live authentically.
Dr. Ryan was also a guest on my podcast. You can listen to our wonderful conversation here. We continued to have meaningful conversations about my father's care over the course of his new life with cancer. I am so grateful for Dr. Ryan's care and approach to healing. Little did I know that this experience would guide me on the next chapter in my life.
As I began to work with Dr. Ryan, I began to look deeper into myself. I found my way back to my yoga mat, back to meditation, back into the kitchen. Back to figuring out what my purpose was, who I was, what I was meant to do with my life and how I was going to spend my time here on Earth. I had always told myself that once I made decisions to simplify my life, I wanted to dedicate my time to my own health and wellness as this hadn't been a priority in 17 years. So, this is what I did. I dove deep into books about health and healing, read every cookbook I had from start to finish and studied ways to bring healthy, nourishing choices into my life. I started to notice dramatic changes in my own life such as more energy, more balance, better recovery time after long runs, less space for unhealthy options and a better connection to myself. I felt like I now had a clearer way of being in the world. My days turned into dedicated grocery lists, cooking, a daily meditation practice, healing, nutrient rich foods and lots and lots of yoga. I knew I was onto something when my family actually liked the healthy meals I was cooking!
I found my way back to my yoga mat, back to meditation, back into the kitchen.
As time continued on, I kept feeling this longing to have more education in nutrition. I wanted to offer guidance and help to others to discover the power within themselves to thrive and heal. I decided to enroll with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Holistic Health Coach in early 2022. The program was inspirational and life changing for me. In addition to Sageborn, I am so happy to now be helping others with their wellness goals. You can learn more about the services I offer here.
I started to notice dramatic changes in my own life such as more energy, more balance, better recovery time after long runs, less space for unhealthy options and a better connection to myself.
Thank you for being here, listening to my story and for having so much love for Sageborn. I just love creating it for all of you! Follow your heart, live authentically and don't be afraid of making difficult decisions that are in your best interest-even if it means upsetting others. You got this. I would love to hear your story about living authentically and ways you have prioritized your wellbeing. Share below!
With love and compassion,