This week is going to be one of the toughest and scariest weeks for me this year. Not only am I getting an important eye surgery done, the day after is Inauguration day.
I have no idea what to expect of my Vitrectomy on Thursday. The long list of potential risks are not fun to read over, especially when my Retina Specialist mentioned how they are more of a risk to me than the average person. Eye lid droop, retinal detachment, double vision, cataracts, loss of vision, and Phthisis (shrinkage of eyeball. These all sound off- putting, yet almost comical. I just need to put them out of my mind and know that whatever happens, I will get through it. Good thing I have an acupuncture appointment and Yin Yoga class scheduled and have a wonderful group of people around me for support.
It has been a long nine months with my vitreous hemorrhaging in my retina and surgery is my last option. Numerous eye injections and laser sessions every month have not helped and now it is time for my last option. Fingers and toes crossed!
I have mixed feelings about the entire process, to be honest and filled with fear mixed with determination. While this has been a horrible experience to go through the last few months, I have learned a lot about myself and have grown closer to who I really am. A lot of us have healing stories, stories that explain how they got to the where they are today. One of my healing stories has been this whole experience with my eye and I haven’t even been healed yet! Well, not physically. My eye trauma has healed me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It has driven me to leave an unfulfilling and toxic job and has pushed me to get on a path that resonates more with me. Sure, right now I am making less than what I was making, I pay for my own health insurance, and work seven days a week at two part- time jobs, but I am happier than I was before. My eye issues motivated me to take risks and be more daring by traveling alone to Hawaii to get my Yoga Teacher certification.
This entire process has made me more aware of my body and my intuition and has made me believe in the saying that “Everything happens for a reason” no matter how good or bad. I know that may not be true for everyone, but it has been for me. If I wouldn’t have had my veins burst in my retina on that morning in April, I wouldn’t have met the amazing people that I have met, I wouldn’t have visited Hawaii or gotten my Yoga Teacher Certification, and I probably wouldn’t have been as happy as I am now. Thank you weak veins. Thank you vision loss and migraines and light sensitivity and vertigo. Without any of you symptoms, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Yet, I think I am ready to let go of these symptoms and move on to the finale of my healing story.
I want to tell my story to as many people as I can to inspire them to make positive changes in their lives, no matter the risks or the fears and to not wait for a frightening wake up call, like I did. I will have a tough time ahead of me and you may too, but if we think and act positively with ourselves and towards those around us, we will be able to get through it gracefully.
This month I want to introduce an amazing woman and idol who helped me on the path that I am on today. Her name is Stephanie Kirylych and she is the creator of Spirited Well-being. When I was lost and trying to find my way, she was the one who told me about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am so grateful for her guidance and I would probably not have been where I am today without her support and kindness. Read our interview below and make sure to check out her inspiring website!
A lot of people have an “a ha” moment when it comes to their purpose in life, I know I certainty did. Was there an “a ha” moment for you that led you on the path that you are on now?
I remember the moment so vividly that it feels like the present. I had been led to Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, May Cause Miracles, and was reading the first pages filled with skepticism. Then I read the words that changed everything: “FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real”. I had no idea what those words meant but I had a physical and emotional reaction to them. I felt release - both in my body and in my soul. I felt hope. I felt peace. I felt at home. That moment was a pivot-point for me.
Can you briefly tell me about what led you to pursue coaching and also what drives you to do what you do?
I think I’ve been a coach in disguise my entire life. I’ve always loved supporting, teaching and cheering people one. In college I was a sexual health educator on my campus and I’ve worked in undergraduate academic advising for my career. Now I can look back with new eyes and see that I was coaching all that time. But I didn’t know what to call it or how to create a life around it until I met Robyn Youkilis - who became my coach, mentor, and later friend. She introduced me to holistic health coaching as a thing and I haven’t looked back since.
I love coaching so much! I have the amazing privilege of witnessing women shed pounds and pounds of emotional weight. Learning to love their bodies. Owning their voices. Choosing happiness. And finally feeling peace. I’m so proud of my clients and honored that they choose me to walk with them on their path to true and lasting health and happiness.
I love your website name! Can you tell me a little bit about what inspired you on the name and what it means to you?
I’m so happy that you connect to it! I can’t tell you how many other names were in the running. But when I first wrote out Spirited Well-being it just felt right.
The name represents what I hope for myself and my clients: unapologetic enthusiasm for and commitment to being healthy and happy from the inside out.
I know you have close ties to the amazing Gabby Bernstein. When I met her last year, I was so inspired by her words that it pushed me to continue on the path I am on today. Have you had a similar experience? Is there anything that she has said to you that stands out to you the most?
I freaking love Gabby! I have pages and pages of notes from Gabby’s workshops over the years that are filled with divine inspiration. But I think that the most important thing Gabby ever told me was that happiness is a choice. It might sound like common sense to some but it was a life-altering idea to me. I’d always believed that I was simply an unhappy person. So I stopped trying to be happy and accepted misery as my normal. When Gabby called bullsh*t on that thinking my entire perspective changed. I could be happy. I was happy. I had just forgotten.
Do you have an idol that you look up to?
It probably won’t come as a huge shock that I used to idolize Gabby. After reading May Cause Miracles I felt such gratitude for Gabby and was in total awe of her. I felt like she changed my life and I definitely looked to her as my guru. But I learned such an important lesson: I am the guru and I changed my life. Gabby cracked me open and was a beacon to the light but I walked the path and chose love over fear. Of course I still adore her and am constantly inspired by her - more now that the separation created as a result of seeing her as the guru has dissolved - but I know that her light is also my light.
If you could tell your younger self during a troubling time, what would you say?
You are enough. Right now. In this body. In this moment. YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. And your voice matters. Your desires are valid. And you don’t have to hide or shrink in order to be accepted. Perfection isn’t real so don’t waste your energy trying to chase it. Just let go and trust your intuition. Your gut instinct is strong and it will guide you. Your sensitivity doesn’t make you weak. It makes you strong. And compassionate. And who you are. You aren’t alone. I know it feels like you are but I promise you that you’re not.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
It changes all of the time but right now I absolutely love baked sweet potato with coconut oil, cinnamon, and Himalayan salt. Sometimes I mashed it all up and add a banana. Trust me - it’s SO good! And dark chocolate with sea salt is always a favorite.
Self- care is really important to me and it is something I encourage in others. Are there any self- care activities or products that are your favorite?
I try to build in self-care moments throughout the day. I start with warm water and lemon first thing in the morning. It’s hydrating and detoxifying. I sprinkle in meditation throughout the day. I’m loving incorporating Young Living essential oils into my daily routine. Not only do I smell amazing but they have the best healing properties. I apply different oils during the day depending on what’s going on. My favorites right now are Joy and Gathering. And I’m not going to lie, watching some Real Housewives is also part of my self-care routine!
Do you have any big plans for yourself/your business for the future?
I try not to get too invested in the outcome for myself or my business. My goal is to focus on how I want to feel and build a life and business around those feelings. Being of service fills me with so much joy that I hope to grow my coaching platform so that I can serve more people. I also have started to feel the first words of a book forming and they are begging to come out so I plan to follow that nudge from the universe and see where it takes me.
Stephanie Kirylych is a holistic health coach at Spirited Well-being on a mission to help you realize that you are enough. You are gorgeous and perfectly imperfect just as you are. And true health and happiness ARE within your reach. Stephanie’s coaching helps you find your happy place – the place where you feel vibrant, healthy, and completely yourself – and empower you to set up a permanent residence there. And remind you that life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. Get her free guide and request a free coaching session.