Before there was a thriving online membership, a busy coaching practice, and a number of highly downloaded podcasts, there was a shy, emotional person that thought she had found her dream job as an ICU nurse.
I enjoyed coming into work, managing complex machinery, making autonomous decisions for my patients, and being a vital part of keeping someone alive.
But then it started to feel futile. Every time I came into work there was someone else with an illness or disease that could have been prevented.
Then my husband and I moved across the country for him to get his Masters Degree and I ended up working as a part of team of family practices where I helped their most complex patients with the greatest medical and mental health needs navigate the health care system.
I realized, however, that connecting my patients with community resources and agencies wasn’t the most impactful thing I could do for them.
Every single one of my patients struggled with self-compassion, stress, negative self-talk and the learned habits like perfectionism and people-pleasing that inevitably lead to burnout and illness.
My super-nerd kicked in and I started reading, taking courses and listening to podcasts to:
I began by showing my patients how they could:
Within a few weeks, the difference in them was profound. I remember a number of their doctors calling me and asking what I was doing because they’d noticed such a significant improvement in their patient.
It was at that time that I realized I found my true calling, and I started my online business.
My business has been through many iterations since then as I found my voice and learned to trust my abilities, and now I couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled with my work. This truly is soul-work, and I believe in my heart of hearts it was what I was meant to do in this lifetime.
And I am so grateful to have found myself and brought my own life into balance along the way.
Combining ancient Vedic wisdom through the Jnana Yoga Path with modern science, this account shares daily strategies on how to find stillness and calm within the chaos of our fast-paced modern world.
My personal account: sharing my poetry, life and thoughts about living as a highly sensitive high achiever with a chronic illness and invisible disability.
This is where I really nerd out, showing you how to recover your energy, optimize your habits, and elevate your impact so that you’ll get off the cycle of burnout – for good!
The truth is I’ve never really felt like a Heather, but then I know it’s normal to not always like your name.
Over the course of my life, I’ve walked through a lot of struggle and trauma which changed me over time. This gradual change is something that I think we can all relate to and is just a part of the human experience.
However, on December 25, 2018 I experienced a massive change in my life that happened literally overnight. I was working 12 hour shift work in a pediatric ICU and I was coming off the night shift and I remember the Charge Nurse coming up to me and saying “Heather, you really don’t look good. I’m going to mark you down as sick tonight. Feel better!”
I went home and slept for 20 hours straight.
And I did that the next day.
And the day after that.
After nearly a year of painful medical procedures, surgery to remove a thyroid mass and half my thyroid, and multiple specialists investigations and tests, it was determined that I was now the proud owner of a chronic illness and permanent disability known as Myalgic Encephalomylitis. (I call this part of me Emmy – get it? M.E. Emmy? I thought I was clever)
I worked hard for nearly three years to get back to some form of normal, and in September 2021 I realized that was never going to happen.
I was no longer Heather.
I was no longer a Registered Nurse capable of working in an ICU.
I was no longer able to be as active as I was used to being.
I was no longer the weight I was used to being.
I was no longer the person I was used to being.
I realized I was no longer at home in my body.
I wasn’t connected to my previous identity at all and it was causing some strong PTSD dreams, intrusive thoughts and anxiety.
So after talking about it with my husband and my therapist, I decided to change my name and spend days looking on baby name blogs until I found the name Avery.
It was strange at first to start referring to myself as Avery, when I had been Heather for 37 years – but now that I’ve had time for it to settle in – my goodness it’s a beautiful thing to feel at home in my body again!
To feel connected to who I am.
To start fresh, learn new habits and strategies rather than try and fit what I’m capable of now into the mold of what I used to be able to do.
So if you’ve made it this far, thank you for being a part of my journey. It’s lovely to have you in my corner.