The Journey to Finding Balance and Harmony: One woman’s true story

by Denise O’Malley, founder and Healthy Living Maestro at You Define Wellness

The achievement of ‘wellness’ has oftentimes seemed like an exercise in spinning plates to me.  Just when I’ve got the plates all spinning, one starts to falter.  I focus my attention on that plate and just as it starts spinning correctly, other plates start wobbling.  I repeat the pattern until I’m thoroughly exhausted and all the plates suddenly crash to the floor.

Sound familiar?

On February 21, 2021, all of my plates crashed.  All of them.  Simultaneously with one slip on the ice dislocating my shoulder and causing massive soft tissue damage in my dominant arm.

That singular event was seven weeks ago and I’m sharing my story of the evolution and transformation since.

Everyone experiences their own moment when the world comes crashing down and you hit rock bottom: the death of a family member, loss of a job, pandemic, the end of a relationship… mine just happened to be slipping on the ice.

Besides the pain that was massive, I had to find new ways to exist.  Getting dressed felt like competing in an Olympic event.  Work consisted of short bursts interspaced with long rest periods.  Every single dimension of wellness was impacted and in the process I realized how fragile they were PRIOR to my accident.  Had those dimensions been strong, I’m positive my recovery time would have been accelerated.  

But they weren’t strong. I had been existing on sheer adrenaline and strength… and when those were exhausted the shell of me was revealed, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

THE EIGHT DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS

At You Define Wellness, we often talk about the eight dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, financial, social, spiritual, intellectual, occupational and environmental.  Living a happy, healthy & thriving life requires harmony within and between the dimensions.  Think of the dimensions as plates spinning, when one falters you start scrambling and set yourself up to a pattern fueled by adrenaline to keep them in sync.

Let’s look at the plate (dimension) labeled PHYSICAL.  Physical is a big category that includes fitness, nutrition, and overall general health.  This is the area that most corporate wellness programs focus on as it has the greatest impact AND appeal to the general public. 

Here’s an interesting theory of ours at You Define Wellness: when you start to focus on one dimension of wellness, the positive growth positively impacts other dimensions too!  When you start working out and eating healthier, you start to feel better about yourself (EMOTIONAL), going out more (SOCIAL), and are more productive at work (OCCUPATIONAL) and home.  You may even start to explore your purpose in life (SPIRITUALITY), improve your surroundings (ENVIRONMENTAL and FINANCIAL), and broaden your horizons (INTELLECTUAL).  

BAM! All eight dimensions solved with just focusing on PHYSICAL.  Problem solved, right?

Wrong.

Without the right tools, resources, and support team, you are likely to experience an erosion in not just one, but ALL dimensions of wellness… at least that’s what happened to me.

And the irony is I’m surrounded by tools, resources, and support teams… I just hadn’t been applying them to me.

WHERE TO START

Weeks after my accident I sat with the sober knowledge that I had failed myself, overwhelmed with where to start creating change, and – if I’m going to be truly honest – humiliated with the thought of asking for help.  I own a wellness company; shouldn’t I also have the answers in front of me?  How can I be a leader for others if I can’t even take care of myself?

Okay, okay, that’s my own head trash talking… but I’m being honest here.

I’m a big believer in the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear” and this student was ready… but it took ANOTHER accident to make that happen.

Five weeks after slipping on the ice, I didn’t see a step, fell again, and badly twisted my right ankle and bruised both knees.  On top of having a right arm that didn’t work, now I couldn’t walk. As I sat on a nearby picnic bench crying, I literally screamed to the heavens, “Why do I keep falling?”

THAT was the pivotal moment for me.  It will help you, dear reader, to also know that in the past 20+ years I’ve had 10 concussions and in the past 4 years I’ve had two additional falls, one that cracked my kneecap.

MY TEACHERS APPEARED

TEACHER #1: After a slip and fall I immediately contact my chiropractor, Dr. Jessica Reichert; I’m sure by now she hates getting a text message from me.  After twisting my ankle we started to explore the interconnectedness between the falls to my prior concussions and she recommended I go see Leah Weibel, a certified traditional naturopath who has had good results for concussions (including Jessica’s concussions) using neurofeedback.

TEACHER #2: Leah Weibel was not new to me, I’ve seen her previously for foot detox which is a disgustingly interesting process that everyone should try at least once! Both Leah and Jessica had tried repeatedly in the past for me to experience neurofeedback for my concussions, but I was skeptical and not ready until now.  Three sessions in to our 10-session package and it’s like a fog is lifting from my brain and I can see clearer.  

TEACHER #3: Several weeks ago I agreed to be part of Jess Bonasso’s 14-day program to learn about a new frequency tool that has entered the market. At the beginning of the program, Jess reminded me about muscle testing and walked us through an exercise to determine where we are in several dimensions of wellness and it was like a light bulb when on in my brain!  Of course… MUSCLE TEST would be a perfect way to evaluate where you are in each dimension of wellness!!!

Disclaimer: This is my own care plan and in no way am I giving medical advice to the reader.  Seek competent advice before implementing your own care plan. In case you’re wondering, owning You Define Wellness does not give me free care although it is often offered to me… I paid retail rates for all services I received. At the time of this publication, Jessica Reichert and Leah Weibel are providers in our network whose stores are in the process of being set up.  Jess Bonasso is a friend of You Define Wellness but not in our network.

HOW TO MUSCLE TEST

BUILDING YOUR RESOURCES AND SUPPORT TEAM

I recognize that I’m lucky to have access to a support team through You Define Wellness and all the resources that we’ve created over the past five years… but so do you.  We created an Individual Well-Being Assessment that asks questions on all the dimensions of wellness and it comes with a 90-minute one-on-one coaching session with a certified Wellness PathFinder.  It is available to anyone and is a good place to start.  During the coaching session, the PathFinder will make recommendations for next steps to take!

WORKING ON YOUR DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS

Want to explore alternative resources in healing?  Every Wednesday we host a live event on Facebook where we invite experts in our network to join a panel where we discuss a specific healthy living topic.  It’s fun, informative, and people say they feel like they’re eavesdropping on a conversation in my living room! 

Previous topics have included fitness, nutrition, eating on a budget, financial health and more. Starting in June, 2021, we’ll be focusing on a different dimension of wellness every week!

Like our Facebook page to receive notification of when we go live and join in the conversation!  While you’re on our Facebook page, check out the events tab for upcoming discussions!

FINAL WORDS

I am not at the end of my healing journey, in fact it’s just begun.  Muscle testing has shown me other areas that need work too and I’ve started putting together a game plan for sustainability.  Life shouldn’t be about running into brick walls (or slipping on the ice) to finally make changes… we only get one life and it’s about experiencing it happy, healthy and thriving.

Namaste. 

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