Why Not You?
I sat on the grass at Machu Picchu and looked out across the mountains. It was absolutely breathtaking. Exactly as the pictures promised. Really, I couldn’t believe I made it.
I felt myself tear up. I never thought I’d be there. Just two years before, I was struggling to walk to the bathroom with a cane. It was the third and second most debilitating relapse of my Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and it was the flare that pushed me to shift my perspective on how I view healing.
Yet, here I was, climbing over rocks. Exploring the beautiful Incan citadel in the middle of the Peruvian jungle, and doing it all completely symptom free. Was I in a parallel universe? How did I go from not being able to feel my right leg to here, in this magical place, almost 8,000 ft above sea level? I’d made the lifestyle changes, I knew that, but why did I finally make the change this time? I reflected on my journey there on the grass and I realized that the only thing that had really changed, was my mind.
My illness had progressed rapidly and instead of dreaming about my future, I started living in a nightmare. My doctors told me the severe daily pain was “normal” with my disease. They offered prescription after prescription with warnings that they may not work because “nerve pain can be tricky”. I felt lost and trapped. Within a few years, my life was consumed by MS. I had a handicap tag and cane before my 25th birthday and I knew, if I didn’t do something immediately, I’d be in a wheelchair before my 30th. Then, in 2014, I lost the feeling on my entire right side. I could barely walk or use my right hand for four months.
I didn’t realize it then, but those four months were a gift. I was on disability and I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have any obligations, just to rest and heal. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted to feel better and I made it my personal mission to make that a reality.
I refocused all of my attention on my goal. I watched inspirational speeches, read motivational blogs and watched transformational instagrams until I believed in my heart that the “impossible” was in fact, very possible. I became my own team mate, telling to myself, “Carolyn, people do amazing things. Why not you?” Why not you became a daily mantra for me and I still use it now. I feel like it’s become an automatic reaction to any challenge now.
I slowed down through deep breathing and started designing my future. I thought about what kind of life I wanted, how it looked and felt. I spent day after day, focusing on deep breathing, and manifesting healing throughout my body.
By the time I booked my ticket to Machu Picchu, my life had changed drastically. In those 2 years, I not only healed my daily symptoms and stopped using my cane, but I lost over 145 lbs and felt better than I ever had in my entire life.
I used the power of my mind, of slowing it down and refocusing my energy to design a life that I loved and to heal my body. It’s now been 4 years and I go symptom free almost every single day. I’ve ridden in a bike marathon, hiked mountains and traveled internationally multiple times.
Now that I feel so much better, I changed my mission to help other people on their journey. I’m a certified Health Coach and I guide people through stress management, self care, and neuro linguistic programming tools to overcome their challenges so they can design a life they love as well. I know it’s possible because if I can get here, anyone else can too. You just have to ask and tell yourself that “People do amazing things every single day, why not you?”.