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A large number of people who read my blogs are dealing with some sort of chronic illness or health condition, whether it be minor or severe. Over the last 7 years that this blog has been alive, we have put together an incredibly extensive library of information on all things health and wellness, from gut health and autoimmune disease to adrenal fatigue and thyroid problems to simple stress management and lifestyle improvement tips (and a ton more).

This information has helped countless people across the globe live a healthier more vibrant life, and for that I am eternally grateful. I love what I do and came to this work because I myself was in need of a healthier, more vibrant life and it’s an honor to share that info with all of you.

Today, I want to talk about chronic illness and what I have found to be two things that are critical to healing in my own personal journey. No matter what condition it is, chronic illness can have a dramatic impact on your daily life, your mental and emotional well-being, and the way you approach your life now and in the future.

Every day I get questions about “what do you recommend for this condition?“, “how can I heal that illness?“, “will x,y,z help me?“, “what are your thoughts on this food, that supplement, or the newest diet trend?“.

And it’s no wonder. Everywhere we turn online, there are grand promises that if you just follow this diet, or take this supplement, or eat this superfood, or work with this practitioner, you will POOF! be healed.

I am here to tell you that no single practitioner, no single supplement, no single superfood, and certainly no single diet is going to be the be all, end all when it comes to health and healing.

Over the last decade of my own healing journey, I have worked with countless practitioners, some of which have been a great fit, while others have not. When choosing someone to work with, I always go with my gut and listen to my intuition. After our first meeting, I ask myself:

  • What was my initial gut feeling about the meeting?
  • Do I feel that I was heard?
  • Do I feel that the practitioner really has MY best interests at heart (or are they pushing their own agenda)?
  • Is this a person that I feel confident investing my time and my money into?

There have been times that I have known from the very start that the practitioner was a good fit for me. I remember one practitioner that I fell in love with right away, from the moment she introduced herself. The energy and honest care for me and my story were evident from the beginning.

Then there have been other practitioners who seemed aloof and distant. They would ask me about my story, but as I told it, I didn’t feel like I was really being heard AND understood. It was almost like they were busy formulating a game plan and their response to my story in their head without really stopping to tune into what I was saying.

And then, there have been practitioners who fall into the spectrum in between.

I’m a big advocate of having a health team. There is never going to be one single practitioner who can give you everything you need for your journey. I discuss this in depth in this blog post and video about Why I Have a Health Team and Why You Should Too.

I’ve had the best success in healing when I’ve worked with a couple of different practitioners simultaneously. Now, there is something to be said about having too many cooks in the kitchen, so you will need to find the sweet spot that works best for your unique journey.

All that said, there are two things that have remained consistent with every practitioner I’ve worked with:

  1. Each one will have their own idea about how best to treat my condition, what supplements to use, what foods to eat and avoid (and that’s OK, as long as they give you space to do what you need to do for YOU).
  2. There is never enough emphasis put on the mental and emotional aspects of healing from chronic illness.

Recently, I was meditating about the two things that are imperative to healing your mind and body and wanted to share that with you today. Healing can be so complex. It can take us into uncharted territory. It can feel overwhelming and isolating at times. But, it can be such an incredible journey if we can learn to accept where we are and be open to what is to come.

Two Things I’ve Learned on My {Long} Healing Journey

I’ve been on what I consider my healing journey since early 2012. Over the years since, I have learned so much about nutrition, gut health and autoimmune disease, adrenal health, thyroid health, and everything in between.

I’ve worked with countless practitioners, some of whom I have loved…and others I have not loved so much.

I have been exposed to a wide range of information about health, but the one area that was always neglected was the impact of mental, emotional, and spiritual health on healing.

When I hit a plateau in my life and my healing, I knew there had to be something I was missing. Something more.

Turns out, there was.

I had become an expert in diet and lifestyle, but I had not even thought about addressing my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Nor had any practitioner mentioned it to me in all the sessions I had.

Once I did start exploring these areas, things started to shift for me (although, I would be remiss to say that they always shifted in the direction I wanted). That has been another powerful lesson — healing will almost never take the form that you expect it to.

This shift in my life is what has driven me to further my education and create a heart-centered health coaching practice. My own journey has motivated me to help those with challenges around food, body, and health, digging deeper so that they can step into the vibrant life that they so desperately want.

Our society, in general, is very disconnected when it comes to an all-encompassing approach to healing the body, mind, and spirit. 

It has become blatantly clear to me that we simply cannot heal one area without also healing the others. For a large chunk of my healing journey, I was focused solely on healing the body’s many systems (which I felt had all failed me) with no thought of the emotional and mental healing that also needed to take place.

Over the last few years, I have come to understand that there are two important things that are needed for healing: braveness and faith.

Understanding these two things and how they play a role in your own life will have an intense impact on the quality of your healing journey.

When you allow yourself to be brave and have faith, you give your body, mind, and spirit an extra dose of clarity needed for the journey ahead.

Braveness and Faith in Healing

In order to heal your mind and body, you need to do two things: be brave and have faith.

You need to be brave and step outside what society and conventional medicine say is “healthy.”

You need to be brave and know that healing is a journey, full of ups and downs and twists and turns and peaks and valleys.

You need to be brave and understand that sometimes things won’t go the way you planned, treatments won’t work the way you had hoped, and your body will respond in ways you hadn’t expected.

You need to be brave and understand that healing is like peeling an onion. There will be many layers uncovered, some of which may be overwhelming and scary at times.

You need to be brave and know that healing is a road less traveled. In a society that seeks out magic bullets and quick fixes, the road of healing of the body and mind will have a lot less traffic on it and it may feel lonely at times.

You need to be brave and know that sometimes you will have big wins and sometimes you won’t. How you respond will make all the difference.

You need to be brave and know healing is not a destination, but a journey. There is no set end point and never will be…we are constantly healing and evolving and will do so until the day we die.

You need to be brave and give yourself permission to do what is best for YOUR body, no matter what anyone else says and no matter what society says.

You need to have faith in your mind and body’s ability to heal.

You need to have faith in your own ability to give your mind and body the tools it needs to heal.

You need to have faith in methods and modalities that are outside the norm and not conventional.

You need to have faith in your practitioners. That they truly have your best interests and success at heart. (If you feel otherwise, it’s time to find a new practitioner.)

You have to have faith that no matter what your life throws at you on your healing journey, it will all be OK.

You have to have faith that your healing journey is worth it, even when it feels like a mountain that is insurmountable.

You have to have faith in your own intuition. That your body knows what is best for it and will always try to guide you in that direction.

You have to have faith that self-care is not selfish — it’s a critical part of your healing journey.

You have to have faith that your health challenges are here to teach you valuable lessons that you may have never learned otherwise. Those lessons can often seem hidden, but with time, they will reveal themselves.

While there are many things that go into healing the mind and body, the lack of braveness (or confidence in self), and the lack of faith are the two biggest stumbling blocks that I have seen in my own journey and those of my clients.

When we can embrace our journey and step into it with faith and courage, our whole life will shift. I encourage you to explore the areas where you could use a little extra fearlessness and faith and see how those emotions can propel you forward in ways you may not have imagined.

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship to food and body and are ready to find the peace and freedom you’ve truly been craving, I would love to help. Whether you’re dealing with binge eating, overeating, yo-yo dieting, body shame/hate, or a combination of the above, know that these symptoms are holding a deeper message for you. It would be an honor to help you discover what that is.

Come join my 7-day Food & Body Freedom eCourse (it’s free!) here. This eCourse came from my passion for helping women transform their relationships to food and body. What you desire IS truly possible if you are ready, open, and willing. It is time to say goodbye to the years of control, compulsive behaviors, limiting beliefs, scarcity of joy, and actions driven from a place of fear and feelings of unworthiness, once and for all. Learn more and sign up here.

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