Welcome to the Om Healing and Wellness Blog! My name is Kimberly Campbell and I am the founder of Om Healing and Wellness, where I offer tailored yoga, meditation, and wellness instruction that helps you work toward your goals and overcome physical and emotional challenges.
I specialize in working with people who are dealing with the complexities of illness and injury, and in particular, with those who are dealing with cancer. In this inaugural post, I want to tell you a little bit about myself and what I hope to create with this blog.
A Little Bit About Me and the Path to Om Healing and Wellness
Thinking back there are so many moments that can split your life into “before” and “after.” The loss of a loved one, a career change, the birth of a child, the loss of a job, or being diagnosed with an illness. I want to share a bit about one of my before and after moments and what led me to Om Healing and Wellness.
Last year, for the first time since I was a teenager, I found myself without a job. I was working in corporate communications for a small firm, they weren’t doing well, and a number of us were let go. I remember day one – getting up early, working out, ordering networking business cards, searching the online job boards, making a few appointments for information interviews and then looking up to find it was only 11:30am. I remember thinking to myself, “how in the world am I going to fill my days until I find another job if I’ve done all of this and it’s only 11:30am???”
I decided to view this time, as stressful as it could sometimes be, as a gift, a time to figure out what I truly enjoyed doing…
Being a firm believer in the idea that you can’t choose what happens to you but you can choose how you react to what happens, I decided to view this time, as stressful as it could sometimes be, as a gift, a time to figure out what I truly enjoyed doing as opposed to what I kept doing out of habit or because I was good at it. I had a bunch of information interviews with some really interesting people and applied for a bunch of positions.
If you have ever searched for a job then you know how exhausting it can be, particularly the roller coaster of thinking something is going to happen only to never hear back. Seven months later, still searching for a job, I went to my gynecologist for my annual exam. I was actually going to skip a year because I had a pap smear the previous year and was fine but I decided, for no particular reason, to go anyway.
I was seeing a new doctor and she only conducted a pap test because I was a new patient and she wanted a baseline. She wrote me my prescription and said I would only hear from her if something were wrong. I had just turned 40, I more or less ate well, worked out every day, practiced yoga, and meditated. I didn’t even think about the exam once I left the office, until my phone rang a week later.
I was told my pap results were abnormal, the highest level of abnormality, and that I needed to see an oncologist. It all felt surreal, like it was happening to someone else. After having an in-office biopsy, I was told that I had cancerous cells on the surface of my cervix. I went back for a cone biopsy and they weren’t able to get the clear margins they had hoped for and so I scheduled the recommended hysterectomy.
First I lost my job, then I found out I had cancer, and now I had lost my dog.
The week before my surgery, my dog who was with me for 11 years, got sick suddenly and passed away over the course of a day. First I lost my job, then I found out I had cancer, and now I had lost my dog. I felt like my heart was being ripped in two. And then I had the surgery. Fortunately the doctors were able to remove all of the cancerous cells with the hysterectomy and the cells had not spread. I was medically in the clear and emotionally was going through one of the most tumultuous and uncertain years of my life.
I have always been hard on myself and typically pushed myself to do too much while at the same time, I have always counseled others to go easy on themselves and allow themselves to feel and accept whatever they were feeling. I logically understood that I needed to be kind to myself and that whatever I was feeling was ok and temporary, however, putting all of that in to practice at the same time wasn’t easy. It is my view that on top of whatever we as humans are going through, we put an added layer of pressure on ourselves that we have to “be strong” and that being strong means being tough, or that we don’t want to lean too heavily on our relationships, or that we have to be “just so.” We don’t want to disappoint people, we don’t want to disappoint ourselves.
Slowing down, coming to grips with the idea that our bodies can’t do what we want when we want carries stress and pressure that can make us feel incredibly vulnerable, anxious, and frustrated. And then when the body recovers, there is still the residual effect that those stressors have on your thoughts and emotions. So when something happens, when you lose your job, or you get sick, and you have no choice but to slow down and to be vulnerable, what do you do if vulnerable and slowing down are things you were just never very good at.
For me, the answers were talking with my family and friends, my community, and yoga and meditation. And as a side note, let me say that I know that leaning on friends and family isn’t always easy and it’s critical to find those people in your life that just get it, and they can be rare. Before I did yoga and meditated regularly, I used to read about the benefits and think that they had to be overstated, and I wasn’t able to wrap my head around a lot of the meditation instruction. But I stuck with the meditation, and yoga became the only thing I was allowed to do during my recovery.
Through my yoga and meditation practice, I have come to know myself better…
I found that the beauty of yoga is that no matter where you are physically, you can do yoga and feel like you are helping yourself, like you are becoming stronger. Through my yoga and meditation practice, I have come to know myself better, to get out of my own head and my own way, and to see that I am able to shape my perceptions and in turn, my experiences, and the way I handle stressful situations.
It didn’t happen overnight, although sometimes certain realizations felt as if they just came to me, and yet I know that it was the foundation I had been working to build and the people in my life that were opening me up to those realizations. The other real benefit of yoga and meditation is that they are both about where you are in the moment. They aren’t about what has happened or what is about to happen and for me that is a tremendous gift.
Try this – the next time you find yourself anxious, pause, take a breath, and pay attention to what you are thinking at that moment. I guarantee that you are thinking about something that happened in the past or about something that may happen in the future. Then assess where you are and what is happening in the moment and you may find that there isn’t anything dangerous or scary about the moment you are in presently. Right at that moment, you are ok.
Once you start hitting the pause button, breathing, and questioning your thoughts, you can literally change the way you feel and the way your body biologically responds.
Once you start hitting the pause button, breathing, and questioning your thoughts, you can literally change the way you feel and the way your body biologically responds. Like any habit, it definitely takes time for the change to trickle down from your head to your heart but once it does and you feel it, it’s really eye-opening. Stressful things still happen, I still sometimes feel scared and anxious but when I do it somehow feels different. Like I have a foundation and an inner calm that I didn’t have before and I know that I put that there through my yoga and meditation practice, by being mindful of my thoughts, and by allowing myself to be vulnerable and feel that it is okay and human to need others and rely on them sometimes.
It is empowering to know that I, that each of us, hold the power to shape our experiences through our thoughts and with our breath, and now that I have learned this, I want to share it with you!
What the Om Healing and Wellness Blog is all About
I want this blog to be about you, for you, filled with information you want and need about how to reach your physical and emotional goals. So please feel free to write in using the Contact page with any health and wellness questions you have or topics you would like to read more about.
Whether you are looking for the best yoga poses for runners, or seeking advice about how to recognize and respect what your body is trying to tell you, how to manage feelings of anxiety, cope with loss, or learn about the interaction of certain supplements with medications and treatments, I want you to think of Om Healing and Wellness as the non-judgmental place you can go to get credible information about your health and wellness questions.
Learn more about Om Healing and Wellness by going to omhealingandwellness.com where you can also sign up to receive monthly wellness tips delivered right to your inbox.