... and little over 2 years before writing this paragraph, I was suffering from a severe case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder that western medicine has been unable to attribute cause to. Simplified, it is a case of your immune system attacking your own body, specifically the joints. The body knows something is wrong and your immune system springs into action... but what if the problem is you?
I believe that 23 years of poor diet, badly managed mental health and an almost flat out refusal to live life caused my body to turn on itself. Only when I hit a rock bottom so hard that I was 100 lbs (45 kg) over weight, barely leaving my small apartment because of physical pain and shame about my appearance, was I both desperate and sufficiently inspired to find a new path.
Feeling failed by Western Medicine after 4 years trying a toxic cocktail list of failed pharmaceutical solutions, I opened my mind to alternatives. In conversation, my brother mentioned 'juice fasting' to me, and it was a moment that would change my life. I watched several documentaries about how people had overcome their chronic illnesses by simply denying their body all the processed food they normally eat, and flooding their system with micronutrients from raw, organic juices.
I decided to go 60 Spartan-strict days without a bite of solid food, following a nutritionally balanced 28-day program, back to back plus a few added days. I also took the decision to end my course of pharmaceutical drugs at this time, as they were having no positive effects and I wanted to give my body the best possible chance to detox. The drugs I were taking are so toxic I required blood tests every two weeks to make sure I wasn't rotting away, inside out.
My juice fast was successful but plans for the next step had already been made, long before I ever knew that would be the case. Near the start of my juice journey, I booked a trip 6 months in advance to the middle of the Peruvian Amazon for treatment with their indigenous plant medicines; Bobinsana (a flower for enhancing dreams while you sleep), Ayahuasca (a vine for inducing dreams while you are awake) and Huachuma (a cactus for awakening you from the dream of modern society).
These plants (chiefly Ayahuasca) are considered useful in treating both mental illness and auto-immune conditions (perhaps because the two are so connected). However when the time came to fly into the jungle, I was already pharmaceutical drug free and suffering no arthritis symptoms. I feel this allowed me to focus healing on my mind, more than my body. And after being on & off anti-depressants since the age of 17, my brain was long overdue some attention.
I returned from 3 weeks in the Amazon with a lifetime of lessons. It was my first introduction to 'tribe' and opening my heart, after connecting with over 20 incredible people in the jungle sanctuary. I also realised my true calling to help others who were depressed, chronically ill or just wanted to improve their life circumstances, and this lead me to get qualified as a Chek Academy Holistic Lifestyle Coach (HLC1) in the months that followed.
My progress didn't stop there however because by this stage I had become acutely aware of what would turn into the Causeway Living philosophy. The fact that life is built on momentum, and if you can keep taking small steps in the right direction, the big things take care of themselves. My next challenge would be the Wim Hof Method. A 10 week course of breathing exercises, cold showers, stretching and yoga. It was harder than I imagined, but I gained far more from it than I ever believed possible too...
... The Wim Hof Method didn't just make me fitter, more flexible and resistant to the cold. It was also the catalyst for creating Causeway Living. Through the Wim Hof Method, I was lucky enough to meet some unique individuals . Through the love and support from this incredible group, (just as in the Peruvian Amazon) I was pushed to grow. I was pushed to create Causeway Living and share my message of Small Steps to Giant Living.
Even though at times my story appears to be more about giant leaps of faith than small steps, it's important to remember the extreme circumstances I was starting out from. As strange as it sounds, I'm extremely grateful for those years of mental and physical suffering, because without the chance to hit rock bottom, I would not have discovered the same simple and effective path to get more from life. I learnt the hard way so you don't have to, and now I'm living my dream of helping others and travelling the world in the process. Get in touch for advice on how to start living your dream today.