Tracie call 4485… Tracie call 4485….
Could it be? Am I getting another chance? There’s nothing but great excitement and anticipation when that call is made knowing there’s a CABGx4 (coronary artery bypass graft surgery) on the operating room board today.
We need you to be heart holder in OR12.
What a sacred honor. To place your hands in the chest of a living being and hold their heart while the surgeon ever so meticulously reroutes their vessels.
I always stood there, hardly breathing, in awe of the gift and the opportunity. They’d never know I was there. They’d never know the gift they’d given me or the prayers I’d pray for them, yet our lives crossed paths and would never be the same again.
The only thing I’d ever wanted to do as a nurse was work in the operating room. I was fascinated by hearts. Their power and endurance. Their strength and wisdom. And it was all triggered by my own father’s journey.
My dad had a heart attack at 40. He seemed to be a healthy young man with none of the obvious preconditions. Yet, he had a heart attack anyhow. So how could this be?
Dad’s not sure, but I always attributed it to stress. He’s a pastor and he also worked a full time job. So stress. It must be stress, I told my younger self.
He’s not one to vent or complain, so I’ll never fully know, but nonetheless, it sparked my fascination with hearts and with stress.
According to research, stress is linked to 6 of the leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory problems, diabetes, suicide and unintentional accidents.
We all experience and process stress differently, but it directly impacts our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.
As a nurse, working in the OR, I began to wonder how so many people got to this point. What stories could they tell and life experiences did they have to lead them to those OR tables?
I also began to wonder why no one was having this conversation. Why were we waiting until people were faced with debilitating illness before we tried to do more?
Yes, I understand that the message of eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, etc. is preached religiously, yet, even if those things are happening, if we don’t address the stress that people experience in their daily lives, they will continue to get sick, they will continue to struggle to survive and they will continue to accept stress as just a natural part of existence.
Well, it’s not.
Just in case no one has ever told you, stress, chronic or otherwise, does not have to be your normal way of being.
Some of our stress is caused by our outlook on life. Some of our stress is caused because we think we’re stuck in situations that we have the ability to change. Some of our stress is caused because we’ve signed up for too much or for too long. And some of our stress is caused because we think we’re alone on this journey and that no one will understand or care or listen. Some of our stress is plain made up in our minds, created by imaginary problems or concerns and the inability to place a filter on what we should spend our time, energy and thoughts on.
And just in case no one has ever told you this, you are divinely wired to combat stress and produce the exact opposite effect of stress in your physical body. So instead of a rush of adrenaline and the fight or flight response we’ve been told is our normal, you can trigger a calming effect that releases healing endorphins and opens up our ability to think clearly and coherently and avoid irrational reactions.
It’s amazing to me that I never learned this in school, nor did I learn this on the job. Instead, I learned about this heavily researched and proven response by doing my own research in an effort to make sense of the stress epidemic.
You see, I believe we are made perfectly. I believe that we have every tool, resource and ability necessary to thrive at life. So for me, there was always something missing. Something more to the story that no one was sharing. So I found it, studied it and now teach it in an effort to let you, and the rest of the world, know that stress is optional. Yes, we will each be faced with unimaginable situations, but it’s in how we deal, interact and perceive these situations that we move away from stress towards peace.
What I’ve also learned is that whichever path you fuel expands. So if you’re unaware that you can train yourself to react with peace and calm instead of chaos and confusion, you’ll never master the ability to overcome the stress in your life and you’ll continue to think you just need to deal with it.
The holistic practices that I teach and share are some of the many tools you can use to cultivate peace, calm and relaxation in your life. They are designed to take you off of the stress cycle and bring you into awareness of yourself, the truth and what actually matters in this life.
They are the lens through which I view this life and our health and well-being. They are the gifts that we should be sharing with all at the beginning of life; not simply as restorative, rehabilitation practices that we share once one has collapsed under the weight of it all or fallen victim to, and survived, a deadly disease.
These healing, wellness practices should be celebrated and woven into our daily lives to fortify and sustain us on our journey.
This is why I’m so glad to tell you that in the next few weeks, I’ll be offering an entire selection of classes and wellness kits to help you cultivate peace and calm in your life, spend less time on the stress cycle and create more of what you love and enjoy, today (not someday). NOW!
It’s my goal to help you stress less in every area of your life and wake up to the pure joy you were designed to experience in this life, no matter what else is going on in the world around you.
Share your name and email address in the box below and I’ll let you know when these new tools are available. And as a gift to you, I’ll send you the Exposed Workbook so you can begin to peal back the layers of the stress you’re experiencing in your life right now. We all deserve to be whole, live well and thrive at life and I want to help you do so.
P.S. – Dad’s alive and well. Thank God!!! And I’ll be sharing more of my journey with you over the next few weeks. I want you to know how I’ve reached this place in my life and why I’m passionate about helping you eradicate stress and live the life you’re dreaming about.
(My 6 year old son took this picture of me and I love it!)