I’ve had a few people ask me lately, what led me to Kinesiology? My answer — I had a deep desire to do more with the life that I was given. But this kind of realisation didn’t just appear out of thin air. My path to kinesiology was a long, painful, and at times unbearable one. I needed to follow it to arrive on the other side, taking with me lessons of resilience, love, and healing. This is my story.
How much can one family handle before somebody breaks?
Over the course of 10 years, I had become a carer. Not just in the traditional sense of being a mum to my children and wife to my husband, but a carer of three ‘heart kids’ – Tyson, Charlotte, and my husband, Stuart, who although no longer a child, has suffered a heart condition since he was a young boy.
During this period, I nursed my 11-year-old daughter through two heart surgeries. My 13-year-old son through one heart surgery, and later through a gut-wrenching condition that left my vibrant, happy, energetic boy wheelchair bound and in excruciating pain. I nursed my husband through multiple heart-related surgeries and procedures which almost resulted in a heart transplant.
Why us? Why me?
I would often catch myself asking why? Why do my children have to go through this? Why does my husband have to nearly die? My answer was always: ‘We get given in life what we can handle.’ I truly believed this, but sometimes it can be easy to forget and find ourselves drawn down a dark tunnel of sadness.
It was towards the end of 2014, after our family’s last major health crisis, that I started to fall down that dark tunnel. This didn’t make sense.
Looking back at it now, I can see that the emotional turmoil had caught up with me at that point, but I still struggled to understand why, now that the danger had passed, I was feeling lower than ever.
My heart was so heavy I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t pick myself up. I couldn’t make myself happy. I was just so sad. Worse yet, I was feeling guilty about it.
I went through a period where I would cry all the time. Not in front of anyone, but in the car, in the shower, on the toilet. I had convinced myself that I needed to be strong, but the more I told myself that, the more I broke down. I hid my sadness.
I didn’t want anyone to think I was weak — no matter what the universe threw at me, I could handle it. I told myself that I didn’t deserve to be sad or exhausted or defeated, I was the healthy one — it was Stuart and the kids who had gone through the illness, the surgeries, the pain.
I had convinced myself that I was selfish for feeling the way I was feeling. I was so wrong.
I had lived each operation, each procedure, each painful cough. I had physically picked my son up and carried him to bed or the toilet when he couldn’t walk. I gave my family cuddles when they didn’t have the energy for much else. I sat with them while they cried, while they were in pain – while we were all in pain.
I had lived and breathed each of their illnesses with them and had slowly but surely forgotten about my own needs and my well-being. I had become depressed. I had lost my identity.
Guidance in unexpected places
It never ceases to amaze me, that if you go with the ebb and flow of life’s journey, the people you need to guide you through the hard times will appear. It was in February of 2015 that two remarkable women came into my life, Carren Smith and Kim Morrison. I had met both women before, but never really ‘saw’ them and what they each had to offer.
I was at a wellness retreat in the Dandenong Ranges. It was a weekend full of activities, motivational speakers, and exercises designed to help you achieve your true potential — to break through whatever was holding you back in life.
I was there to gain information on nutrition and weight loss – not address the depression that was festering away under the surface because, at the time, I didn’t realise how sad I was. I was a master actress who had not only hidden her grief from loved ones but from herself.
The walls came crashing down
It was with Carren that my cover was about to be blown. No matter how far I pushed the sadness down – silenced it – it had started to bubble over and spill out of me, in front of her – in front of strangers. Because I didn’t know these people, I could finally be weak, and I could cry, I could let my wall down.
I could finally tell my story. Carren sat there and listened without judgement, and told me that I was lucky. Lucky?
She explained to me that I was one of the lucky people in this world who knew what they were made of. She said, ‘you know that you have an amazing strength, not many people in this world know what they are capable of, and it isn’t until they go through their darkest times that they realise just what their superpower is’.
It turns out my superpower is: strength. That I have the ability to stay calm and in control when the world is crashing down around me. The problem was, I had forgotten to care for myself during the process. I had forgotten to give myself love; my cup was empty.
The power of perspective
This amazing lady taught me to change my perspective, to stop living the story, to stop being the victim. In that one conversation, she managed to get me out of my negative cycle and had ignited a strength within. I still had a long way to go before this single flame would become the raging fire I have burning inside today. At the time, Ididn't know how to make the fire spread.
This was when the second incredible woman entered my life, Kim Morrison. Through her course, she helped me find that missing piece of tinder wood, by teaching me the art of self-love.
Acknowledging that I needed help
As I was listening to Kim talk at the retreat, it felt like she was talking directly to me. I couldn’t stop the tears rolling down my cheeks as she asked, ‘Who in this room truly loves themselves? Who gives thanks to their thighs for carrying them through life? Who looks at their body in the mirror and says “wow you sexy women, you hot thing!”?'. I was ashamed of my body. I had let my physical-self go while I was busy looking after everyone else, but worse, I had stopped doing things for me – spiritually and emotionally.
I wasn't listening to music. I had stopped exercising; I had no hobbies, no real interests except my family and my work. In my younger days, I was a social butterfly, constantly out, catching up with friends, dancing, reading, educating myself. I lived life. I loved life.
Now don't get me wrong, I still loved life, but I had stopped smelling the roses. I was caught in a bubble of sadness and self-pity. I was exhausted, and I refused to acknowledge that I needed help getting out of this hole I had dug for myself.
Getting real with myself
It was at this same retreat that I decided to sign up to do Twenty8’s Health and Lifestyle Education program with Kim Morrison. Not for business development, but to learn how to love me again — to put myself first and do something just for me.
Throughout the course, we learnt the benefits of essential oils, the effects of chemicals in beauty products and foods, and how to bring daily rituals of self-love into your life. I found it challenging and almost gave up — struggling to juggle my course, home, and work responsibilities. Thankfully, my family wouldn’t have it. They supported me, and I am so thankful that I stuck it out as it ended up being a life changer. A life saver.
Discovering my life purpose
It was halfway through the course that I realised I wasn't living my life purpose - I had a desperate need to help others. This was when my interest in kinesiology really started to develop. This, and my pre-existing admiration for the therapy that when coupled with chiropractic treatment, got my son out of his wheelchair and back to being a vibrant, happy child.
The end of a course, the beginning of a new way of living
I graduated in July 2015 and by October I was studying kinesiology and on my way to changing my life forever. If I had given up on that course, if I had taken the easy road, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
This was the major lesson I had to learn to find self-love – how to put myself first, without guilt.
Interestingly, it was when I started putting myself at the front of the queue and started looking in the mirror and seeing a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman, that my whole life started to change. I stopped being fearful, stopped feeling sad, I started loving myself and my life again. Everything around me started getting better. I could feel that flame inside of me growing wild and fierce.
This is why I am so passionate about what I do. I have had my fair share challenges in life, and that is why I am so dedicated to helping others face theirs. I love life, I love to help others, and if I can help another person find their superpower and change their perspective on an issue, then I am making a difference in this world. I am living my purpose.