Facing Death at Age 26
“You’ve got the heart of an 80 year old,” emphatically declared the Chief of Cardiology at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, as he concluded his procedure of filling a catheter with a dye while viewing the inside of my chest.
I was 26 years old, when I heard those stinging words and I spontaneously burst into tears. What followed was a three-week stay in the Cardiac Care Unit, a heart attack while I was in CCU, and a permanent pacemaker being implanted into my heart.
1. Avoid The Consequences
The doctors found no cause for my low and irregular heart rate. They concluded that it could be genetic (though there was no family history) or possibly I had caught a virus when I was traveling overseas that had affected my heart. Since there was no conclusive evidence that either was the case, I tried to share with my medical team the fact that I exercised excessively to avoid the consequences of a severe sugar and carb addiction, fueled by low blood sugar.
There was no interest at all in my personal theory of what may have contributed to the decline in my health. In fact, the head of the dietary department was sent in to “talk some sense into me.” She argued that, “There is nutrition in a Snickers bar.”
2. Control Yourself
Despite the opposition from my physicians, I intuitively knew that getting my health back, to some degree, was in my control. When I was discharged from the hospital after that life-saving 3-week stay, I was determined to find health—mental, physical and emotional health.I came to terms with the fact that I was a sugar addict.
It really didn’t matter if the stimulant I took was a drug, an alcoholic or caffeinated beverage, or sugar in any form, including sugar substitutes.In an era before “gluten-free” and Paleohad become popular, I realized by listening to my own body (and not other people), that simple carbs and processed foods were toxic to me.
3. Pleasurable Associations
But how do you break addiction? How do you change deep seated habits and all the pleasurable associations with the wrong foods? I was determined to find the answer. So I began to study health. I loved learning about nutrition and herbs but the area of health that really got my attention was the power of the mind.
I realized that you and I could have all the knowledge in the world on a conscious level about what we should do, but if we’re not motivated and strong enough to make the changes we need to make, then the knowledge is of no benefit.
4. Power of The Subconscious Mind
How do you find and sustain that kind of willpower? My research told me that it was through accessing the power of the subconscious mind. I voraciously studied everything I could about how to access the inner mind to create change: psychology, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, Neuro-linguistic Programming as well as delving into multiple spiritual paths and teachings.
I went back to college and got my degree in BioPsychology and became nationally board certified as a biofeedback therapist, a hypnotherapist and as a hypnosis and NLP Trainer.
5. Motivational Ideas
After working in NYC for a company as a motivational,corporate, seminar leader, using hypnosis, I moved to Florida and opened my own wellness company. I created stop smoking and weight loss hypnosis seminars that were then reviewed and sponsored in over 75 hospitals and in more than 100 major corporations, such as Walt Disney World and Home Depot.
I was so happy to travel around Florida, and later, throughout the country, offering these wellness seminars to over 100,000 people. It was so touching to hear the stories of people whose lives were changed by using the simple personal change techniques I taught them.
6. Spiritual Life
Later I went on to study energy healing and earned a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Healing and Sufism. Learning about opening the heart and receiving spiritual support completely changed my life, and I was thrilled to incorporate these techniques into my hypnotic program.
My message is about self-love, self-respect and self-care and the process of constantly making sure that our thoughts, words and actions are congruent with the results that we want to see in our physical world.
7. Strength of Life
This takes courage, intention, determination and strength. I remember lying in that hospital bed, almost 30 years ago, on death’s door. That experience, and many others since then, have taught me that our most difficult moments are often a doorway we must walk through to receive life’s most important teachings and greatest blessings.
Just keep going. Don’t stop. Something wonderful, beautiful and sublime awaits you at the other end of your emotions, challenges and life situations.