This project has been on my mind and in my heart for years. Through my Bachelors degree in History, my Masters Degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies, my certification as a Women’s Herbal Educator, and my personal health crisis, it has continuously grown and developed…meshing each piece of my life, education, and experience into one beautiful dream.
In the beginning, I never really wanted to put a lot of “me” into this project. I wanted to build a community, a sisterhood, and a movement, but all from behind the scenes.
The more I dove into it, the more I realized that I was hiding and in order to create something real and meaningful, I had to be brave. It was at that point that I received the best advice that I never wanted to hear:
The story that you don’t want to tell is the story that you need to tell.
It’s pretty simple really… I almost ruined my life, and had to fight pretty darn hard to get it back. I took a healthy body and nearly destroyed it through various forms of disordered eating. I covered up core insecurity with artificial self-confidence, and I never learned how to properly embrace my true and lasting identity.
When my mind, body, and spirit all started to rebel against this mistreatment, I suffered a really scary medical crisis that led me on a healing journey that changed my life.
Acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, and herbal medicine accomplished what conventional medicine was unable to fix. Gently and naturally, the roots of my illnesses were uncovered, linked together, and healed in a complete and thorough manner that left me healthy, happy, and at peace.
Oh how I wish I would have known sooner how amazing it would feel to be in harmony with my body. I wish someone would have told me at a really young age that although sometimes medical intervention and pharmaceuticals are necessary, often they are not and there is a gentler and safer first line of defense.
I no longer spend time in regret, but it can be healthy to reflect and learn from the past so that we can help others. Given that, here is what I know:
- I would have benefited from a stronger identity during my formative years. The confidence that I did have was all based on me. When the big bad world attacks that, it can be really damaging. My real confidence should have been based on who I am as a child of God, and not what I thought I could or could not accomplish or be based off of my own merit.
- The diet that I ate was not to the best benefit of my growing body. It was in fact, incredibly damaging. If I knew then what I do now, I would have fueled it with much better quality foods. This could have eliminated so many issues that plagued me!
- My body gave me clues pretty early that all was not in balance. I probably had leaky gut, I had terrible acne, irregular and very painful periods, struggled with anxiety, had a terrible body image, was pretty moody, and may have had food intolerance that were un-diagnosed. Although I still felt fairly healthy and strong at the time, all of this was setting up what eventually became the perfect storm in my young adult body.
- I had no idea that the personal care and beauty products that I was using were unsafe and were adding to the toxic load that would eventually overtake my body.
- I was completely unaware that more natural health care options existed. If I would have known, I would have greatly benefited from safe and natural ways to heal and keep my body well instead of just putting a band-aid on the symptoms with medications only meant to cover them up.
Let’s help this NOT happen to other girls…yeah? I truly believe that as women, we have a responsibility to pass our knowledge and experiences to the next generation.
I can’t get back the years that I spent in the throes of sickness, anxiety, and fear, but I like to think that I can give them away as gifts to young girls who have too much potential to waste! – Jill
On an airplane they ask you to put your oxygen mask on first so that you are able to help others…the same concept applies here. First we heal ourselves, then we use our voices to pay it forward help others find the same level of peace and wellness.
So that’s it, my story and now my mission…
Thanks for being a part of it, and don’t be shy!