~ My Happy Place - Pog Lake, Algonquin Park 2015 ~
'Learning is a Gift even When Pain is Your Teacher'
Welcome, Dear Ones! I'm Lisa Hamilton, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Yoga Therapist & Mindfulness Teacher, Reiki Master, Intuitive Empath, Writer, Speaker, Patient Advocate, Grandmother, Mom, Wife and Daughter. And I live an inspired life a life in balance, joy, health, love & passion. But it hasn’t always been this way…
I have been on a healing journey for over 25 years. And I have been so blessed to have been inspired by what I refer to as my Great Teachers:
They have taught me lessons greater than any teacher ever could, each disorder teaching me something new – coming in waves – often years apart, so just as I gained an understanding and found equilibrium in my life, a new teacher would arrive. And for that, I am forever grateful.
This Is My Story:
"You Must Learn a New Way to Think Before You Can Find a New Way to Be."
At the age of 22 I had just become a new mom, and like many new moms, I suffered from post-partum depression. My depression became so bad that I was hospitalised and medicated. Shortly after being hospitalised my symptoms got worse – MUCH WORSE. So my medication was increased, still, I got worse. I spent the next 10 years in and out of hospitals living a life that never felt like mine. However, I knew intuitively that I could heal, I also knew enough from my Father an MSW and Certified Hypnotherapist that the brain could be programmed. That essentially I could write, download and install a new program! Gradually, amazing things began to happen, and soon after I felt compelled to stop my medications whereupon my mental health drastically improved and I started over. **Always talk with your doctor before stopping any medications)
"Yoga Teachers Us to Cure what Cannot be Endured and to Endure What Cannot be Cured"
Fibromyalgia – Chronic Pain & Chronic Fatigue
A year after the trauma & drama of on my mental health problems, I began to experience severe daily chronic pain. Now, I’m talking about deep in your bone marrow kinda pain. A pain that never went away – that only got worse. And the fatigue… well, that was almost worse – I have been exhausted, I mean truly exhausted since grade 10. But unimaginably… this was worse! Fibromyalgia. It’s impossible to convey the impact that this syndrome has had on my life. Especially if you take into account that I was diagnosed in 1995 when it was still considered a psychosomatic illness. Desperate for help going from doctor to doctor – All the while no one believing my pain was real. It was a waking nightmare and then there was yoga…
I’m still in pain every day. The question is never ‘am I in pain?’ but how much pain? Fortunately, I have learned so many healthy tools to keep the pain minimized and in control. And on the days it’s not – I know how to get through it. But perhaps more remarkably still, is my spirit… that despite – or maybe in spite of the pain I am happy, I am joyful, I am fully alive.
~Roxy Sharing Kisses After my Meditation, 2016~
"Let's Show Up to Life. Let's Prove How Beautiful it Can Really Be. Let's Face the Conflict, Redeem it, Conquer it and Allow it to Mold our Character. Let's Participate in What God is Doing, in the World"
I have always been predisposed to being overweight, most of my family is overweight. However, now having been diagnosed with Fibro for almost 5 years, and living in daily chronic pain with no answers and no relief – I did the only thing I knew how. I ate… and I ate… and I ate. Now at my heaviest, I was almost 350lbs!! (btw, I’m only 5 feet tall) I was miserable! One day my mother-in-law came over with a book, hoping to help. She knew I was struggling with my fibro and my weight problem was evident. Now the book was ‘Stretching for Senior’s (or something like that) it had a picture of several smiling blue haired ladies, one hand stretched above their head the other gripping their walkers. I smiled, took the book and thanked her graciously. But secretly I WAS PISSED. I mean come on what was she thinking… doesn’t she know I’m only 27?
However, it got me thinking, and I came to realize who I was really angry at. It also got me thinking more about stretching, and although the book wasn’t going to cut it stretching - of some kind wasn’t a bad idea. So I started looking into different possibilities and what I found was Yoga.
My first yoga DVD and I still have it today was ‘Gaiam’s – Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason’ this was to be my introduction to what today has become for me a way of life. I made myself a promise – that I would show up and sit at the yoga mat every day. And I did. Some days I just sat there and cried, and that was okay – because I showed up.
I remember when I first started practising yoga, that while in a table position my stomach would sway across the floor… I swore never again. So, every day I showed up. While that mattered what hooked me was something magical that happened in my very first ever downward facing dog. It was like a knowing, a coming home, for the first time in forever, I felt good in my body, it was like a lightning bolt of bliss moving through me. I didn’t understand, but I wanted more. So, I showed up.
Today I go between a size 12 & 14 not exactly what some would expect from a yoga teacher & health coach. But at 47 I’m happy exactly where I am. I eat a mostly plant based diet, I exercise and enjoy an active lifestyle. My body works as a wonderful vehicle to explore the world and I feel vibrant and alive.
~ Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason~ I'm surprised I didn't wear my DVD out!
"Rock Bottom Became the Solid Foundation on Which I Rebuilt My Life."
Spinal Disease & Arthritis Years after the book incident, I’ve raised my family and I’ve transitioned from Corporate Trainer. I’m volunteering and laying some floor tiles in a senior’s activity room and twisting behind me to get the next tile when I hear pop followed by a rush of pain. Just from a simple twist, I had ruptured several of my discs and found myself unable to stand straight or lie with my legs flat and outstretched. Now to be fair, there did turn out to be some underlying conditions but it was also a dark time in my life my husband had just been laid off and we had just lost our family home. I wasn’t practising yoga and I was living almost exclusively off junk food and caffeine.
At the time there was also a problem obtaining radioisotopes so it took over a year for my MRI and then another year to wait for the surgery. So for almost 2 years, I slept with my legs tied to a wall to keep them elevated while I slept. For almost 2 years I couldn’t stand up straight, and during those 2 years, I watched my friends and family slowly fade away.
But I remained determined to find a place of health & well-being. So using all the mental & physical tools I had gathered up till then – I moved forward. Day by day, better & better. Today, I can do a forward fold like nobody’s business. I have more flexibility than my children. I am very physically active – and am able to enjoy life through my physical body.
~Baddha Konasana - Bound Angle Pose with Fold - Home Studio, 2008~
"Health is a Vehicle, Not a Destination. We're not Trying to get Perfectly Healthy.
We Want to Use Our Health to Improve the World. Right?"
Celiac Disease & Gut Dysbiosis
By the age of 44, my husband and I had moved from the city to a beautiful country setting, the kids having moved out the year before. I was just starting to feel back to my full self again – having taken a full 5 years to recover from the spinal surgery. When BOOM! I get what I think is a stomach flu and I’m sick. I mean take my pillow and hang out in the bathroom for two weeks while praying for people who died from dysentery sick. Finally, almost 12 days later I emerge shaken to my core. After a few days, I tried some light food with no luck, in fact, it seemed I couldn’t eat anything at all.
So, I started an elimination diet in reverse – I just slowly added back one food group at a time. And after some trial and error, it became clear that gluten was definitely a problem. But it was still really confusing because clearly gluten wasn’t all of the problem. I can clearly remember crying in the grocery store during that first year – trying to figure out what to eat and being so hungry. (They didn’t have all the Gluten Free Foods that there are today – which generally speaking are terrible for you)
So not only did I have Celiacs disease – which I have probably had undiagnosed all my life, (Celiacs likely contributed to most if not all of my health concerns) but I was also suffering from a good case of leaky gut as well as SIBO with adrenal challenges to boot. So I learned the tools to heal my gut. I couldn’t believe what a difference good nutrition made – it changed my pain, my inflammation, increased my mood, slimmed my waist, improved my memory, helped my sleep, it impacted every area of my life. And that is what inspired me to attend IIN the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and to receive my Health Coach Certification.
~Homeward Bound - Norwood Tracks 2012~
"Do Not Go Where the Path May Lead,
Go Instead Where There is No Path and Leave a Trail."
~Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Hearing Loss & Tinnitus
I lost the hearing in my right ear as a child of about 7 or 8 due to an inner ear infection which severed the nerve resulting in a 100% loss of hearing in my right ear. I was young so I learned to compensate – to be honest, it really didn’t cause too many problems.
Fast forward and it’s 2015 and my husband and I are taking my grandson and daughter camping to Elora Gorge. Now Elora is known for its tubing down the Grand River and the Elora Quarry an abandoned limestone quarry made the perfect swimming spot with cliff jumping. Cliff jumping you say? Why yes, there is the illegal 48’ jump and the legal 15’ jump which I was about to take - now something that day was pushing me to take the leap. I was terrified but yet still I really wanted to do it… Even if I had to climb barefoot over sharp rocks of limestone just to get the jump point (which I did). I was compelled. I was petrified. I jumped. But the second I hit the water pain exploded in my head, I became extremely disoriented and started swimming downwards. I was running out of breath, I was beginning to panic and the pain was excruciating. Thankfully, I thought to open my eyes to determine wherelight was coming from – even this took a moment in the murky darkness. Finally, I burst onto the surface, gasping for breath.
I had ruptured my ear drum, what’s more, it had ruptured in my only hearing ear! Now in 90% of the population, this is likely to heal. But despite treatment and time that was not the case for me. So I still have a hole in my eardrum, although, surgery is possible there is a risk of total hearing loss so I’ve declined at this time. That leaves me with only about 25% of my total hearing left but thanks to a great program here in Ontario I was able to get a set of BiCross Hearing aids – which basically sends the sounds from my deaf ear (right) and sends it over to the hearing aid in my, my hearing (left) ear while bumping up the volume. There actually pretty awesome – I couldn’t do what I do in the world without them.
My hearing loss was a toughie – I’ll be honest. But what was worse was the tinnitus that came with it. Keep in mind that I’ve been a meditator for almost 20 years, silence was my sanctuary – and now it was gone forever replaced with a high pitched buzzing 24/7. But by using hypnosis I don’t notice it as often as I did and my new bionic ears allow me to function in the world, better than perhaps even before. Now, I haven’t figured all the lessons of this latest chapter yet … and I’m going to take a LOOOOONNG time thinking about it, just in case the universe figures I’m ready for a new lesson any decides it’s to send another teacher.
Disclaimer - The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information represents what I have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.