My name is Julie Sacks. I'm a well-being entrepreneur. This is the second half of a two-part series about my journey from emotional exhaustion to the best version of me -- mind, body and soul.
My father's last words to me, just before he passed away from colon cancer years ago, were: "Live your life." He said them with such passion that I knew this was the best advice I would ever get.
We were on a drive together, and his health was declining rapidly. He offered me advice, telling me not to be scared, to embrace things that I love, and to follow my dreams -- big or small. The next day he went into the hospital, and he never spoke again.
It was six months between the time he was diagnosed and the time he died. I was lucky enough to spend some wonderful, quality time with him before he passed. It was such a gift. He and I were so close, and his death shattered my heart. I wanted so desperately to have more time with him, and losing him cast upon me a profound sadness. His death, and his words, "Live your life," hit me deeply. It made me so aware of what's important in my life.
I was 35 when I lost him. I was now healthy and fine after 15 years of battling the panic attacks that had ruled my life. I had rejected early recommendations by doctors that I take medication. I knew it wasn't right for me, so I chose the path of natural remedies instead. I tried and found success with a blend of meditation, acupuncture, diet and exercise; my thoughtful experimentation helped me discover what would help me feel well and fully alive.
During those years, I built a career, got married and was busy making important choices to heal, both physically and emotionally. I read everything I could about self-help, such as The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, which helped me see that every experience makes us who we are. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., showed me how to see fear for what it really is and expand beyond my comfort zone, which helped me leave my job and take a leap of faith to start my own company.
I had absorbed so many words by such inspirational people, but every now and then, I would think about my father's three powerful words: "Live your life." His advice to me was the key to stepping fully into who I am today.
I made a commitment to change my career and live my life in a way that better supported my body, mind and soul. It took courage, and believe me, courage is not a one-time deal. It is a daily choice. I continue to meditate daily, exercise, practice yoga, and eat real foods. Was it hard to keep going when I wanted to quit? Yes. Is it still hard work? Not anymore. These are now joyful habits that are part of me, a work in progress.
Making choices each day for many years, and feeling so much better on the other side, I know today that the results have been well worth the effort. As part of that road to wellbeing, I left my successful career in sales and marketing to start a whole new career in the field of healthy living. Without a doubt, I know it's what I'm meant to do. It is my passion.
My father said to me "live your life," and I believe he was telling me to be myself. It took a lot of strength to make radical choices and changes, but I feel more aligned with my authentic self than ever, more energetic and happy to face each day.
No matter where you are on your own journey, you can keep nurturing your wellbeing. Investigate what makes you feel better. Don't settle for "good enough" or "not too bad." Find out what inspires you to wake up each day. Learn how to be well so you can be your best for yourself and those you love. Seek out better food, greater connections and experiences that open you up.
My father's passing was a wake up call for me to get going on the life I was meant to lead, but you don't need to lose someone to awaken yourself and be the best version of you.
In other words, go for it -- start now! Make it happen. Live your life.
LiveYourVie.com, a web site with a growing community that includes experts, partners and thought leaders on mind, body and soul. The site offers educational and inspirational content, celebrity interviews with doctors, athletes and chefs -- all focused on how to live your healthiest and happiest life. Vie is purpose driven, and donates 10 percent of all profits back to the community in a partnership with the Sylvia Center, an organization which inspires children to eat well - so that they may lead healthy and productive lives.