When an Idea Falls Out of the Sky and Makes You Feel Like You’re “Home.”

I’ve been thinking about the topic of this post for a few days, and mulling over how to approach it—how much do I want to reveal about my personal life, and how do I present this so that you will be interested?

I’ll give you the backstory.

If you’ve been reading for at least 2 weeks, you know that my sister passed away as a result of complications during childbirth. Obviously, this event in my life has had a significant impact on me and my life choices (oh, the stories I could tell….!). One thing it has also done is to instill and remind me about what it means to have Convictions in life.

A few years ago, I read Tony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within. It was written in the mid-90’s I think, but it’s still relevant and useful—and it obviously struck a chord if I’m thinking about it now (and re-reading it while I am in my sauna each day). Tony talks about how Americans have a habit of never focusing enough on anything to become really super successful—we become Masters at Dabbling in things. Let me tell you, I am SO good at this. I’m an awesome student.

But I’m 33.

I’ve been waiting since I was about 16 (when my sister began contemplating her future) to have something fall out of the sky and hit me on the head and let me know exactly what I should do with my life!

My dissertation idea came to me that way. And so did my new idea.

I have this very specific goal in life of getting up everyday and having my work feel like play. When I need to do work, go to work, talk about work…I want to feel like I’m “at home.” You know what I mean, right? It’s like when you walk into your home at the end of a long day, and you sigh with relief; you’re happy, and you just feel totally at ease.

I am the same way about my friends—if there’s effort involved in spending time with them, I phase them out of my life. It’s not personal, I’m just a homebody in regards to my personal comfort and how I spend my time.

A chain of events has led me to my current feeling of excitement and assuredness that I’m now in exactly in the right place at the right time. I’m feeling my convictions (passions?) reinforced enough to make my decisions and beliefs obvious and unwavering (another Tony Robbins concept).

The chain of events: 

My sister died in 2003

I was the primary caregiver for my infant nephew for 6 months, along with his dad (until I phased myself out of their home)

I freaking love babies. A lot. I’m also in love with other people’s kids (ask my former babysittees and my friends who are parents).

I’m passionate about (obsessed with) nutrition, fitness, and the mind/body connection

I originally researched grad schools for Maternal and Child Health majors, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for (it was more global and focused on access to care in developing countries)

I have been considering for several years how I could get involved in the Amniotic Fluid Embolism organization (in support of preventing maternal deaths, etc), but nothing has hit home or felt right. The only options seem to be to donate money or to run a race (to raise money and awareness)—I have personal limits on both of those things.

Much of my recent research (for friends and clients who are pregnant or having fertility issues) has been engaging my brain and interest more than anything else has. Ever. I spent all of last weekend reading research studies for fun.

I’ve learned that much of what determines a pregnancy outcome and the health of a baby is what a woman does (lifestyle) in the years before she is pregnant (and obviously prenatal and postnatal actions count a lot too).

Someday I want to have my own children, and since I’m an overachiever, I want to do it right.

The result: 

I’m specializing.

I’m not teaching face to face classes in the spring (just online), so I have freedom with my schedule.

I’m using my backgrounds in exercise science, nutrition, supplements, public health, community health promotion, mind/body medicine, and (soon) yoga teaching … and applying it to Maternal and Child Health (my version—how to make the best lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and mind/body choices for yourself and your born and unborn children).

I know many of my readers here are young women who will be having babies soon or someday. And those of you who are not in that category, well, you know someone who is.

It seems like the best way for me to approach this new endeavor is to share it with you in bits and pieces. Of course, I’m still a “wellness coach” by trade, which is a more general title, but boy do I have some awesome things to share with you if you’re a young woman!

I don’t know if my sister’s nutritional and lifestyle habits impacted the outcome of her pregnancy. No one does (and people get a little defensive if I bring it up—it implies a certain level of responsibility that can be hard to swallow). Either way, if you could make food, supplement, and lifestyle choices that enhanced your health, pregnancy, baby’s health, and recovery from pregnancy…wouldn’t that be worth it? Planning several years in advance is the best case scenario, but even making improvements during pregnancy will benefit everyone involved.

What do you think? Are you interested in this type of information?

I’m not sure what it means for the blog…I still have a semester to finish out of teaching face-to-face before I can make huge changes (in fact, I should be planning a lecture right now…so I really have to go!).

Sorry I have no pics today—I’m just not doing great with the photog thing lately!

Housekeeping: Thanks to everyone who is entering my giveaway—I’m going to randomly pick a winner tomorrow, so I’ll keep you posted (also, if you go to my facebook page and leave a comment on the appropriate status update, you can get an extra entry!).

33 thoughts on “When an Idea Falls Out of the Sky and Makes You Feel Like You’re “Home.””

  1. I am extremely interested, just from a standpoint of preventative maintenance and how awesome that is – I know it is effective. It is also a natural approach, which I am partial to. I am also interested because YOU are interested in it!! Often times people are driven to do something based on an event, and the fact that you have this passion (at least partly in honor of your sister) and “spent all of last weekend reading research studies for fun” – that is a passion I can get behind! 🙂  whether I want my own children or not, this will be a fascinating subject to follow and I am very excited for you!!

  2. YES yes yes! I’m extremely interested in this. We are thinking of trying to have a baby in the next year or so and I keep saying I’ll kick the diet coke + kit kat habit when I’m actually pregnant. Eep!  Can’t wait to read what you share.

  3. YES! I think all of this has a HUGE impact on pregnancy!! I have a friend who is “gearing up”her body now- I will be sending your blog her way!

  4. Ahhhhh! Love, I am SO happy you have found your calling, or something like it at least. I can definitely see you in that area of help, you would do so well and help so many people. Ahhh. Also, I come home next Friday so let’s do something!! I miss you chica!

  5. This interests me.  I love hearing people’s stories about how they find their paths.

    As for the pregnancy information…I’m both eager to know and terrified to find out.  I’m already working through the emotions of being afraid that I might never get pregnant and carry a baby to term.  So I’m not sure that I could deal with finding out that things in the past – things that I can no longer change – might have made that even less likely to happen.  Stuff that I can do now to improve my chances?  Bring it on!  Things that I did 2 years ago to make my chances worse?  I’d honestly rather not know.

    But those are my own issues.  I do think that this information is really important. 

  6. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    This makes me so happy for you! I love it when people find their path – it gives me hope.

  7. I can’t wait to hear more about this!  I am of the age where I am thinking about having kids, and recently having an experience where I “thought” I might be pregnant (even though it turned out not to be), I also want to take the best care of myself!  I love how excited you are about this! 

  8. i’m interested from the point of view that i really enjoy reading what YOU are feeling passionate about right now, lisa! to be honest, i am child-free by choice (we decided long ago to not have children, which has turned out to be the very right choice). but, i would be very interested in learning more and reading your blog, whatever direction, whatever subjects you decide to talk about and share. i can’t begin to imagine how your sister’s death and your involvement with baby matthew have shaped who you are today. i just say follow your heart, and let that passion and enthusiasm lead you!

  9. lauren@spicedplate

    This is FABULOUS!  What a lovely idea to have fall out of the sky, and YES, that “home” feeling is pure bliss.  As a gemini sometimes I feel like I get that so often, but then realize that I just have a lot of “homes” and can live in each one for as long as I want, and travel between them.
    I’m so happy for you, Lisa.  I think you’d be great at this…and you’d be happy and making a difference in the life of a whole family.
    Keep this blog full of your thoughts and experiences.  Blogs are supposed to evolve and grow and shift, just like people.  Like the 1970kikiproject, I’m also child-free by choice (although perhaps I’d adopt one day) but I’m really interested in the subject of pregnancy and health, especially as a teacher and with so many friends having babies.  Be true to yourself, be open, and share — I love reading what ever you have to say.
    Excited to hear who wins the giveaway tomorrow!

  10. YES! i am so interested. We want to have kids in a couple years and i know my body is not in the right place. I have a feeling it will take 2 years to get it right. I would LOVE to learn more, and of course, I am all about the nutrition. Keep me posted.

  11. I have to say I think its ridiculous how little so many people (including myself) know about overall health, be it prenatal, nutritional, etc. I think its cool that you know what you’re interested about, how it connects to your sister and things. Good for you- go for it!

  12. Gina (Candid RD)

    Heck yeah I’d be interested!!  I think it sounds fantastic.  I am always interested in learning more about how lifestyle and food choices impact pregnancy and mother’s health.  My cousin gave birth to a stillborn about 6 years ago.  Then, last year, she was diagnosed with Celiac.  I KNOW that was why she had a stillborn, and I wish I could go back in time and help her……
    I think this path was made for you.

  13. Sounds like you have found your passion, Lisa. What a wonderful specialty! I am convinced optimal health begins with the health of the expectant woman, lasts through pregnancy, and then takes a new turn at birth (never stopping, of course). An exciting field to be a part of! There are things I wish I’d known while pregnant with my children. Ways I could have given them an “edge.” Maybe there’s a book for you?

  14. This exact (sort of) catch 22 has been going through my head. I think about everyone I know who has already had a baby, or where things didn’t work out as planned…and there’s some mind-game aspect of it where not knowing protects us from realizing when we could have made different choices in the past for better outcomes. I guess there are ways to “re-write” that story—so that it’s about a positive future rather than a regretful past. What if our past hardships never happened, and we didn’t get the nudge to learn more and be better human beings? Then we’d not seek out higher awareness. Challenges suck, and they’re opportunities… Summary: I have no answers, but I understand how you feel. What if I find out that my sister could have prevented her death, or I could have helped her prevent it had I been informed sooner? Hmmmmm….

  15. This is a great post… its so true I am good at lots of things but not really great at anything. Its amazing how things happen in our life to completely change everything! Thanks for sharing your story & cant wait to hear more about your journey. 

  16. So glad you’ve been struck with inspiration! It’s a great tribute to your sister as well. It sounds like you are starting an exciting time in your life and I can’t wait to hear more!
    I’m a homebody too – and as a result I am now left with a few very close friends who understand that we are still close even if we don’t get together for a month, vs many not-as-close friends who I easily lose touch with if we don’t see each other every week.

  17. Ummm yes!!  I would absolutely be interested – I’m so glad that you were able to piece together things in your life to come up with a goal/purpose in this aspect of things.  I think it’s wonderful and can’t wait to read more!

  18. I love every topic that you write about. This included.  Being a young woman, things like this are interesting and beneficial to my passion (obsession) for a healthy life. Coming from someone more educated in this field is great!! Keep writing, I love reading! 

  19. I really enjoyed reading this post because I can relate to almost everything you said about life, how you are, “phasing out” friends, being a homebody and waiting for something to hit me in the head. I am a major dabbler and have so many good ideas but it’s hard to stick with something enough to make it successful when you try so hard for so long and not much comes of it.

    The second part of your post, I am very interested in those topics!!! I love learning and reading more of that from you!

  20. I think that is so exciting!!  Obviously, for a personal reason but because I think a lot of women would be interested in it too, not to mention the fact that it’s such an important topic that more women should be interested in.  I think it’s a fantastic idea, especially if it’s what you’re the most passionate about 🙂

  21. (This didn’t show up in my reader until today, how ironic!)

    I have to say that I can totally relate to wanting to work to feel like play… or to not feel like work at all.  To not “live for the weekends” or spend your entire year looking forward to your two week vacation.  I’m all about creating a life and work that I don’t want or need to escape from!

    Thank you for sharing more about your sister’s story.  I read once 9/11 survivors were encouraged to tell their stories to as many people and as many times as they could.  The more times they told their story, the less power it had over them.  I hope that sharing her (and your!) story with your readers is healing in some respect.

    Obviously I would be very eager to hear more about what your perusing!  My diet and lifestyle is very, very different this time around.  I’m much more active, weigh less and eat considerably better.  I’m curious to  see how my current lifestyle (and the lifestyle I’ve been following for the past three years or so) impacts this pregnancy and baby!

    (as a side note, I’m hoping that the way I devour fruits and vegetables now vs. the past is priming this baby’s palette to take fruits and vegetables better than my older children have.  I know that what a mother eats flavor her amniotic fluid and breastmilk too and gives baby and early “taste”… this is all very fascinating to me!)

  22. that is why we started our bakery and do what we do, we wanted our work to feel like fun!  though we do admit not all days are ‘fun’ but overall we love it. and we agree with you in that the years leading up to a women getting pregnant are important. we enjoy reading about information about that too 🙂

  23. I think this will be perfect for you. You are passionate and driven and that will def. equate to success. You will be able to help so many women in the process. I am excited to read about this new journey for you!

  24. I love this Lisa. I think this is a great idea for you to pursue. I think part of our journey is to use our own passion and personal story to help others. For you since you have so much knowledge you could really be an inspiration. As a mom to a child with special needs I find this topic really interesting and it can also be a “hot” topic so to speak. However I think it is so needed.  We will have to connect for a chat one day.:)

  25. Wow. I am so intrigued by this new endeavor of yours. It feels so “right” given where you’ve been and where you’re heading now – it does feel like “home” for you. I am looking forward to seeing where this takes you. 

  26. Yes yes yes!!  We are trying to get pregnant right now – so I accept any information out there!!  I want to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby!!  There is so much conflicting information out there (Have you heard about Dr. Fermans view on Folic Acid?) so I’d be super interested!!    Let me know if you need a test subject 😛 

  27. Hmmm…You must be a mind reader 🙂 I have been reading about the synthetic folate thing, and it’s so interesting because no one seems to question supplementing with it when it’s super easy to add plenty to the diet! Will definitely be posting about it 🙂

  28. Lisa, this post makes me so happy! I love that you are experiencing a shift in your thinking, goals, etc. and are willing to be so open and honest about it. I know that I would LOVE to hear more about it, as someone who would love to have babies in the next couple of years. Might as well start doing all I can now in the hopes that it will make everything easier once I’m  ready, as you say. I can’t wait to hear more!

  29. This is so you.  So awesome.  So perfect!  Let’s do cheapie weggies dinner again sometime soon (tomorrow night?)  I want to hear more!

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