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So…I was a gimp. Words create your reality so I don’t call myself that anymore, but nonetheless I’ve got a few physical quirks. In 2009 I tore my achilles, finding myself in a wheelchair and beautiful black boot for 3 months. My friends didn’t mind because we always ended up front row of concerts (OAR!). Following that bear of an experience, 9 months later I tore it AGAIN. Apparently one massive, gut wrenching surgery wasn’t enough. Louboutins, see you in 2020. Fast forward to summer 2014 (one year ago as I write this). I was driving home from a stellar meeting for Conscious Coconut and some guy rear ends me claiming he was watching the sunset. I mean, how could I get angry? I live for sunsets. I ended up with a concussion, and 7 herniated discs in my neck and lower back. Hmmm so what have we got here. We’ve got a 30 year young entrepreneur yogi in denial of some serious physical limitations with the energy of a 5 year old, and a new business to run.

My doctors handed me everything you can imagine of course. Muscle relaxers, pain killers, neurotransmitters, steroids, you name it, I was offered five of each. I know they only wanted the best for me. I am so grateful for their compassion, knowledge and patience. But some days would get so painful, I would need a muscle relaxer because I would slip a disc and be bedded for a week. But I was trying to get this coconut thing up and running and everything was making me loopy; I couldn’t practice yoga and no matter how hard I prayed, herniated discs would not become unherniated. I was groggy, spacy, I couldn’t even pick up a 20 pound bag. I wanted to feel hopeless, but I’m way too positive for that goofiness. In pure, beautiful denial I left 2 weeks later for Thailand on what we will call the “highest of all highs”. A one way ticket to “Danielle’s Dream” aka sourcing overseas and creating things. I would practice a little restorative yoga in the guest homes and hotels (yoga glo you’re da best) but I kept it light other than that. However, for three months straight I did NOT take it easy. I trudged through coconut fields, driving 6-8 hours a day into the country, just to turn around and come right back. I would fly to and from a city and back in one day, always bringing my luggage with me – in case I ended up making something work with a grower or factory.

So three months later who would be surprised to hear on my return – my back…..it eeeeez more or less broken. And I mean b.r.o.k.e.n. 75 doctors appointments later and to make this short – you must get a surgery young lady. “Do you want to be successful?”…”Do it now while you’re young”….”blah blah. I took it pretty far – I did 30 traction treatments where you lay on a stretcher which re-aligns you. I really did feel much better after that but still no dice – I hurt, I’m sore, I can’t turn my neck and I get outrageous headaches because every disc that holds my head up is herniated so I’m sort of like a bobble head. I lost 10 pounds which is a lot for me and I would shake uncontrollably.

So at that point I had two choices (still do, I’m getting better – still not there). Get the surgery or don’t. Take pills all the time or don’t. Get fixed or be broken. At that time I was a pescatarian but I simply wasn’t getting enough protein. I would make wonderful protein-filled smoothies every morning but it wasn’t enough. So I slowly began to eat a little meat. Within weeks I felt honestly a LOT stronger. I don’t enjoy eating meat but it has become a larger part of my diet while I rebuild my body. I practice light, restorative yoga. I have slipped two discs in the last six months and couldn’t get out of bed for a week so I’ve been literally bludgeoned to TAKE IT EASY. I take glucosmaine and probiotics but my angel in the healing game has been arnica. Arnica gel, arnica tablets, arnica pills. Come to mama. I swear by it. And for me it works so much better than any over the counter meds I was being given. I take magnesium salt, lavender and coconut baths every evening. These are a game changer. It’s important to reach for relaxation so my head and neck can get a little R&R. When one little part of me tenses up – it all does and I can’t quite function. So even if its only for 20 minutes before bed – I try my best to calm my body. I ice and do light heat and I get massages as often as possible/that I can afford. Healing massages are the most wonderful and therapeutic way for my body to feel at ease.

Although I’m on the road to recovery and it may be years until I’m upside down which is better than right side up, I’m positive. I always try to be – but in this healing space I’m adamant. I speak in bold, affirmative words – I AM WELL. I AM STRONG. I AM GRATEFUL. I AM NOT WEAK. I speak them kindly and with compassion. Those days that I need to sleep a little longer or can’t pick up that 10 pound box – I give myself a little hug and pray for someone that has it worse than me. Because life is good and all is well. For those of you dealing with whatever physical ailments you may – I send you love and encourage you to be creative and positive in finding a way that will help you heal yourself. It may take a bit but be kind to yourself and know you’re strong inside and out. Sending you love and light, DC.