image source I recently received a thank you letter from one of my clients that left me filled with love. Hannah is one of many, many reasons why I do this work. I'll let her letter speak for itself.
With a heart swollen with gratitude,
Before I sought help from you I was wandering around in this world, suffering badly, crying constantly, and at times wondering if ending my life would be better than suffering through misery. Although I don’t think I was so serious about this last though to the point that I was suicidal, the fact that I was thinking these thoughts was terrifying. Some fear, anxiety, and self-hatred had taken over me and planted bad seeds all over my mind.
An avid foodie and food blog reader, I stumbled upon your website via one of Lisa’s recipes. After reading through the health coaching link I really connected with the idea of primary food. As compared to the school psychiatrist’s suggestions (confronting my parents about our relationship problems, sorting through our past issues, exploring all of the past pain in my life), you’re approach said to me “Ok, there’s a problem here, but instead of focusing too much on the past, let’s proactively fix it by finding happiness in other areas of life.” Still hesitant, I called you for my first free consultation. I was still in a weight-oriented mindset at the time, and didn’t see any other goals or solutions to my problem. When I told the school psychiatrist that I had disordered eating and wanted to achieve my goal weight, she basically told me to forget about losing weight because I had much bigger problems to deal with. Probably true, but that was not the right way to break the news to me. When I told you about my goal weight, you said “Yes! You can achieve that. It takes time and trust, but trust me, trust yourself, and it’s going to happen.” That’s when I was hooked. I needed to hear somebody acknowledge my goals and tell me I could do it – no matter how unrealistic my goals were at the time, I was not about to seek help from somebody who told me to ignore them and uproot other parts of my life instead.
At the beginning of our first session, you asked me to do a short meditative practice. I have practiced yoga extensively in the past and have found it to be very helpful and mind-quieting at times, but the past two years have put me in go-go-go mode, and meditation and mindfulness had flown out the window. During the meditative practice, my mind was all over the place and ended on “This lady is totally woo woo.” (A term that I’d learned from my friend to describe zen, ujjayi-breathing, female-empowerment-type women.) You asked me how it felt, and I thought “Ok, so I can tell her this is all too zen for me, or I can fake it and say that I felt inner peace.” I decided on something in-between, I was honest “I wasn’t quite feeling it, my mind was all over the place and won’t be quiet.” I’m glad I told the truth – I think it helped give you and me a better picture of where I stood.
Throughout the months, I’ve fallen hard at times, and floated really high at times too. You’ve seen the full roller coaster ride that is my emotions, stress, and my life. Again, there were times I was so ashamed of my binges that I almost lied to hide them from you. But thankfully, I realized that there’s no point. If I couldn’t tell you, then why had I contacted you, and who would help me then? Sometimes I even feared that my downer attitude would rub off on you, and the last thing I wanted to do was make somebody else sad or frustrated. But you stayed really strong even when I felt like I was banging my head on a wall, you saw that there would be an end to this and kept encouraging me.
In the last few weeks I’ve notice a huge change in my mindset. I took the seeds of the lessons you taught me, brought them on vacation with me, and they really blossomed. I feel like a whole other person now. No more self-hatred. Telling myself “I accept myself” is no longer awkward – it’s a tiny self-hug because it’s actually true now. I accept that I’m type-A, that I get anxious, that sometimes my body needs a cookie, that sometimes my body needs a break. I accept that some characteristics and needs are true now, and that they may change. I walk, breathe, eat more peacefully. I trust that I can walk, breathe, eat peacefully with no bad consequences. Even in this hectic city and this hectic line of work, I was meant to live peacefully. You taught and empowered me to take the challenges as they come and to calmly diffuse the bomb and to walk away unscathed. You helped me build defensive walls to keep those self-demons at bay. I’m not quite “woo woo” yet, but I’m partway there. Just “woo” and loving it – Woo! Living with an easy peace is soooo much better than living in the dark with an occasional glimmer of glory.
Thank you, Lacy, for having faith in me and being so incredibly patient and supportive. You’ve been not only a teacher and guide, but also a model for happy living who I look up to. In more ways than one, you’ve saved my life. I know that my boyfriend, my family, and friends are all thankful as well. I no longer receive worried calls to make sure I’m not harming myself or a sobbing mess. I’m a stronger student, daughter, friend, and girlfriend than I was before, and my loved ones are starting to turn to me for support now. I feel so empowered and so happy to support them.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with my latest journal entry:
“I am human. I fall; I run; I jump. When I fall, I will see what tripped me, get up, dust myself off, and keep walking a bit wiser than I was before. When I run, I run with love and toward happiness, not from fear. When I jump, I push hard, envisioning the top, and when I catch air, I enjoy the glory before making my way back down to modesty.”
There’s no doubt that I will fall again, hopefully not as badly as I did last time. I walk calmly toward these hurdles, trusting that the other side is greener and that I can reach out to you if I need additional support, and most of all, knowing that the Lacy-way works 100%.
Thank you again! I look forward to future lessons with you! – Hannah Li