I held my 30 under 30 certificate and smiled for the camera. Everyone was so happy and proud that my efforts in building and heading up the mobile marketing agency for an advertising conglomerate in London had been recognised. For a reason I couldn’t quite pinpoint I wasn’t as thrilled and just wanted to leave because I was starting to get a migraine. I got home and went straight to bed and suddenly started to cry. I somehow felt so unhappy and overwhelmed. I found myself unfulfilled, so untrue to myself somehow, and annoyed that I had a migraine.
I had suffered from migraines since I was 15. They got progressively worse as the years went by and by the time I was 25 I would get at least 3 migraines a week and would resort to taking upwards of 20 pills a month to cope with the pain. I saw a neurologist for years with no resolution. After she told me the only solution would be to start to take an epileptic patient treatment which involved a pill a day for the rest of my life I know it had gone too far. I couldn’t bear the thought of taking more pills.
I grew up in Ecuador but moved to the US at age 18 to attend university and landed a job in NYC after graduating. Growing up so close to nature, I became very curious about holistic therapies. In NYC I started to practice yoga regularly and was always interested in philosophies of the east and natural healing. I started to read many books, go to several workshops, but it wasn’t enough. One sleepless night I started to search for places I could potentially study this path more formally and I came across a program called the Academy of Healing Nutrition. It was a 10-month holistic health-coaching program rooted in Chinese Medicine & Ayurveda and covered everything from food as medicine to using herbal tonics and making natural remedies. It was everything I was looking for.
My rationale mind still had a lot of doubts about signing up to something completely unrelated to my career but I had a strong feeling that I needed to go through that path. So after much deliberation I signed up to the course, hopeful it would help me get better. And then everything changed. I fell in love with all that I was learning; I couldn’t stop thinking of the content, and was surrounded by people in class with the most inspiring healing stories. I started to work with a natural healer and underwent a healing protocol that was complemented by everything I was learning. I was not only working on healing through food but also working to connect with myself more and really listen to my inner voice and my body. After graduating from the course I finally stopped taking medicine and improved my condition significantly. I would still get migraines occasionally triggered by stress but it was no longer a daily battle.
Since I became acquainted with the holistic world in my early twenties (mediation, yoga, healthy eating, etc.) I would daydream of what my life would look like if I could actually work in that field. But I would quickly dismiss the ideas because it was of course unrealistic, I would never make a living out of it, and I was doing too well in my career to even consider it. After graduating from the course and working more and more on connecting with myself this feeling and urge to make this world my career grew stronger, almost unstoppable yet I would ease it saying it could just be a hobby that would be funded by my advertising career.
But the night of the 30 under 30 ceremony, one year after moving to London for what back then I thought was my dream job, I cried in bed feeling empty and with a deep urge to get away. I spontaneously booked a retreat to Iceland that was hosted by the founder of the Academy of Healing Nutrition, Roger. The retreat was everything I needed to reconnect with myself and reset. As I told Roger how out of place I was starting to feel in my career and how much I missed everything about the Academy he nonchalantly told me “well, why don’t we open Academy in London then?”
And so we did. Of course a lot happened in between but we launched the program and welcomed our first students in March 2018 and are now enrolling students to start the program again this March. I finally left my advertising job last summer and have never felt more true to myself and more at peace. One of my friends told me the other day “I admire how fearless you are in following your passion” and I laughed and told her, “I am actually petrified half the time.” So no, it’s not necessarily easy to be honouring my path, but it fills my heart with so much joy.
There is so much more I could share about this journey (as you can imagine a lot of bits were left out for the sake of keeping it somewhat concise) but if there is one thing that this process has taught me is that there is nothing more important than always listening to that inner voice, to honouring yourself, and to know that it is possible to live a life that is in true alignment with your deepest desires if you are willing to do the work. In the process of healing my health, I found myself, and my path. So learn to connect with yourself more often and really listen. When all the business is out of the way, when the noise quiets down, and you sit still, what do you hear? Whatever that voice says, honour it and things will never be the same.
Written by London Hub Member Patricia Lopez – Co-Founder Academy of Healing Nutrition London
You can reach out to Patricia via email firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find out more on her website www.londonahn.com.