Post from honored Guest Author: Tiffany Lengyel, Holistic Healthways
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, when only one remembers to turn on the light.” ~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – JK Rowling.
I remember the day very clearly. It was January, the middle of winter in Ohio, 5 years ago. I was laying on the sofa, sick again, this time with pneumonia. My husband was playing with our daughter, who was only three at the time. I didn’t have the energy to get off of the sofa. I also couldn’t risk infecting her with my illness. Then a light bulb went off in my head. I knew there had to be a better way of living. I had to live long enough to make an impact on her life. There was no other choice, so I went to work.
I started by acknowledging my childhood. I was raised in a horribly hostile environment, with a mentally unstable parent. I was raised on McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, and Diet Coke. I was never given a fruit or vegetable. I was never spoken to with love. I didn’t know what it was like to be touched out of kindness and I didn’t know what compassion meant. So at 17, when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer it wasn’t really a surprise. However, what did surprise me was that after thirteen years had passed I was in no better shape. When I took control of my life at 17 years old I kept with the same habits that I was taught as a child! Those habits nearly killed me once, and they were looking to destroy my life and my health once again! So that day was when I went to work.
I researched, then completely overhauled my diet, adding as much nutrient dense food into my body as I could. I started with green smoothies, and amazingly enough, my daughter joined me! Then I went to work on our dinners, making as much as I could homemade, and choosing organic options if it came out of a box. Slowly, I started making most of her snacks by hand, and all of her breakfasts too. After I regained some energy and immunity we added exercise and she’s been involved with everything! She and I have been to quite a few aerial yoga classes together and she’s watched me work-out at home as well!
The very last thing we’ve been working on over the last year is meditation and mindfulness to help heal the thoughts in my head, and to teach my daughter how to cope with the stressful things that can happen in life. She just takes things as they come, and works through them with me, and doesn’t think twice about it. Nothing makes me feel better than to see her coloring a mandala before school or sitting with me to do some deep breathing exercises before she heads to bed.
Children trust and believe in us as parents. They don’t question us or our motives. They believe that what we teach them is right and best for them. What I’ve learned (from my own experience and from listening to others) is that people won’t seek change unless there is a serious health related concern, and that included me. Often times, the bad choices that we make for our children won’t appear until they are in their 40’s or older. We take it as just a part of aging, but it doesn’t have to be. Cancer, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, and Depression don’t have to be the standard for us or our families.
The most important things that I’ve learned throughout my time making these changes, is that children adapt easily. It’s more stressful for us than them. These changes soon become the norm to them. My daughter won’t remember the times that I fed her cinnamon rolls out of a can, or the times I fed her macaroni and cheese with yellow dye. What she will remember is that we had green smoothies several times a week, that I made all of her breakfasts from scratch, and that all of our dinners were filled with extra veggies and salads, snacks came from whole fruits, we didn’t eat junk food, and we drank water. She’ll also remember that we take care of our bodies, we appreciate them, and we cherish ourselves and our hearts. We deserve love and compassion and all of the good things this world has to offer. She’ll take that with her to her family and continue on our good habits. As a parent starting in such a dark place, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Tiffany Lengyel is a Holistic Health Expert who empowers women to take control of their health by focusing on complete mind-body healing so they may lead healthier, happier, and more joyful lives. She is also a co-author of a book coming out in February, “Living with Heart – Integrative Perspectives from Holistic Health Experts”. Learn more about her at www.facebook.com/holistichealthways, www.holistichealthways.com and take a look at her Spiritual Meditation Cleanse to create a viable meditation practice here: http://courses.holistichealthways.com/course/28-day-spiritual-meditation-cleanse/