"I was diagnosed with Lupus when I was 12 years old in ‘95: 4 years after my father past away. A year after burying my grandmother. The same year I started my cycle. There was a lot going on with me mentally, physically, spiritually & emotionally that I would not know how to name until my early 30s
At 18 years old I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. R.A. often goes hand in hand with Lupus but I was skeptical of my doctors and didn’t really want to believe it. My only take away was “YEA! I get to trade in my penny loafers for pumas & ride the elevator for my last year of high school!” .
A year later, at Rutgers University my diet was fried & fast foods & my physical activity non-existent. My R.A. was so bad I had to walk with a cane & living with depression linked to my chronic illnesses. I graduated a degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology to start my career in the fashion industry
4 years on, while working in Dallas, I wandered into a yoga class on one of my lunch breaks & instantly fell in love with the moving meditation: I felt calmer & eased up on the negative self-talk; my joint mobility increased
Within 2 years I was laid off but my yoga practice stuck with me for my next transitions, via Los Angeles then on to Chicago 2 years later for a position at a mega Fortune 500 retailer
. Every new city I lived in brought on new Lupus symptoms influenced by the climates & my attempts to adjust to the stressors of corporate America. I kept going back to my mat to meditate & move
. When I was laid off again, that was my catalyst to start my own health & wellness business to teach others how to destress & mindfully move their bodies
The clarity & body awareness aspects of yoga were the game changers for me. I learned how to feel into my body, recognize my lupus flares & be intentional with my self-care
I love the woman I am becoming; chronic illnesses & all. Yoga helped me to see the divinity in my imperfections 💚 Jewell"