Shine Light Health

Slow Down

Originally Posted on September 3, 2015


"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."  -Eddie Cantor


I have learned many important lessons in the last year of my life.  One of the most important lessons is to slow down and take time to really enjoy this life.  So often we find ourselves rushing through our days, from one appointment to the next.  There is never enough time and there is always a list of things to do that we never quite finish.  We believe the more we do, the more we will get done.  But what if the opposite is true, what if we accomplish more by doing less?  Sounds nice right?

Well, that is exactly what I have discovered over the past few months.  I started my Shine Light Journey nearly two months ago.  I heading to Chicago to see old college friends, Indiana to visit my brother, Kentucky to celebrate my sister’s birthday, Tennessee to see good friends and Texas to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in over 6 years.  It was great to see all of these beautiful faces and have inspiring conversations with all.  But when I got to Colorado something shifted.  I realized I needed to slow down, get grounded and focus a little more on myself.  I visited my best friend and then spent a week camping in the backcountry.  Serendipitously, I found my way to Valley View Hot Springs, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains overlooking the San Juan Valley.  I took on a volunteer position as the Discovery Host in exchange for a beautiful place to call home for a few weeks.  

Here, I have been able to slow down.  I get up early, do my morning meditation and prayers.  I enjoy an outdoor yoga practice and a soak in the hot springs.  Every morning I find time to turn to the rising sun and in the evenings, I make sure to enjoy the sunset.  I have stop worrying about deadlines, timelines, appointments and dates.  I have learned to be present in this moment and not rush to get to the next.  It is one of the most healing places I have found on this journey and I am blessed to be here.  Somehow, slowing down, reconnecting with nature and taking the time to be present seems like healing to me.  It has helped me to reconnect with my purpose, to focus on what’s most important and let go of the rest.   To me, this is a healing environment, much more than a hospital could ever provide.

With Love and Light, Courtney

Shine Light Health

Take Charge

Originally Posted on July 24, 2015

When I was first diagnosed with HPV I had different doctors telling me different things.  One doctor said it is a disease I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  Another told me it will clear up on its own.  It was both confusing and overwhelming.  As my situation progressed to severe cervical dysplasia, there seemed to be even more opinions than answers.  That’s when I realized the only opinion I wasn’t considering was my own.  I was fortunate enough to have an incompetent doctor in Moab.  If it wasn’t for her mismanagement of my case, I would have never questioned what the doctors were telling me.  It took a lot of poor communication and bouncing between doctor’s offices for me to realize it was time for me to take charge of my own health.

How often do we trust the doctors blinding, accepting their word as truth?  We’ve been taught from a young age to trust the doctor.  But what about trusting yourself?  It’s my body, who better to assess what’s going on.  At best, a doctor will spend 15 minutes discussing your health history and symptoms, but doesn’t take the time to learn about the emotional or psychological aspects of your illness.  I, on the other hand, have spent nearly 32 years in this body and have an understanding of the inner workings, reactions and emotional history connected to my illness.  With all this insight, why not give myself a little more credit to take care of me?

I knew in my gut that surgery and other medically invasive procedures were not the answer.  It didn’t feel right.  It didn’t make sense to me.  So I started doing my research.  I started at WebMD, and continued reading all the books and articles I could get my hands on.  I educated myself on my own condition.  After months of research, I realized that if I was going to get well, it wasn’t about creating more trauma in my body, but learning to heal the trauma that was already there.

I created a prescription that works for me, including daily meditation, yoga, prayer, visualization, vitamins, supplements, healthy eating, lots of clean water, good sleep and stress reduction.  But to me, it needed to be more than that, I needed to find joy in this journey.  So I decided to plan a road trip; to visit the friends I always say I’m going to visit and hike the trails I’ve always wanted to hike; to reconnect with nature and a slower, stress-free lifestyle; to breathe the fresh air and walk barefoot through the grass.   Mind you, this is not for everyone.  These are the healing modalities that I believe in and I understand they may not work for all.  But the point is, do what resonates with you.  If you don’t like your doctor, find a new one.  If you don’t believe in the form of treatment offered, don’t do it.  Do your research, connect to your intuition and decide for yourself what’s best for your body.  In the end, no one else will take charge of your health but you.

With Love and Light, Courtney