By Daryl Wood, CPCC
What a privilege to be able to share space with Tracey. You only have to read her words and hear the passion in her voice to know how authentic she is. And that’s exactly what I aim to encourage through the work I do with women.
I have always had health in the middle of what I do. In fact, not that long ago I was offering a program called Loving Ourselves Weight Loss. What I believe is that when we love ourselves we take care of ourselves. And when we take care of ourselves, we feel good. And when we feel good … we do good. And boy does this world need more people doing good.
Sometimes people have role models and mentors who point them towards a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes it’s the impact of reading and being exposed to alternate thinking. But I’m going to guess that the majority of people who land in a wellness program are there because of a health crisis. That’s what happened to me.
It was the winter of 2011 when I finally stopped denying that I was seriously abusing my body with food – even while coaching others about why they were doing it. I couldn’t finish the stress test at the cardiologist office and came home thinking “I’m only 56 years old. This can’t be what I want for myself.” By chance (and it’s never by chance) my yoga teacher recommended reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat To Live. I was hooked. I started searching and my collection of dvd’s expanded with ‘Food Matters’, ‘Raw 4 Thirty’, ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ and many more. I shared these at small community gatherings and was struck by how people saw this as something “too hard to do.” Wasn’t being healthy worth it? Not for anyone who doesn’t inherently believe they are worth it.
Self worth – the magic key
My coaching business has an underlying theme of emotional, spiritual and physical wellness. What I know for sure is that even when people know what is good for them, if they don’t feel deserving of the benefits, they won’t do it. For me, when I put that piece of self-worth into the puzzle, it was much simpler than I imagined.
The work I did to regain balance and clarity was exactly what I do with my clients. We trace the patterns of self-neglect and find the gift in each circumstance that led to their addictive behaviours. We spend time on retreat, breathing, meditating, listening, holding, learning and loving what is. When we get very honest with ourselves about what we have been hiding from, a miracle happens … it’s not so scary anymore.
And a huge bonus for retreat participants is the vegan/raw/plant-based meals. They love them. They are swept away by Raw Broccoli Soup and can’t wait to discover all the neat things that can go into a salad. Most have never eaten a delicious Raw Coconut Date Roll or Raw Avocado Chocolate Pudding. It adds an enormous piece to the retreat because the nutritional nourishment deeply complements the emotional and spiritual nourishing that our reflective work offers. Of course they always want the recipes and then go home to incorporate new dishes into their everyday menus.
Finding peace through change
Women come to me when their relationships are broken, their careers are unfulfilling, their bodies and psyches are no longer obedient and they desperately want to find some peace. Lasting change takes time. My premiere package, Women’s Whole Life Retreat and Coaching Program, gives unprecedented support for a full year which gives women the time they need to make healthy, empowered habits a part of daily life. While my focus is the interior, Tracey has become an outstanding resource for the outer. I’m a devoted fan of raw but nowhere near qualified to coach it. Now, when women have a solid understanding of themselves and are ready to eat consciously, Tracey can take them on the next step of their journey.
Ms. Daryl Wood has been an Intentional Leader of Women’s Retreats creating deeply empowering experiences in sacred, healing environments for over 12 years. She also Coaches women around the world by phone on the biggest challenge of all – Coping With Change – so they can live more fulfilling lives that have a greater impact on their world, no matter how big or small it is. Daryl loves the opportunity to help people move forward in their lives and her slightly irreverent humour adds a refreshing and engaging energy to all her relationships. You can learn more about Daryl at her websites are www.darylwood.com and www.womenswisdomretreats.com