Dr. Michelle Robin shares what she learned recovering from a devastating accident.
Story by Dr. Michelle Robin
Picture this: Nine months ago, I was coming off a great professional week. I had shared the message of well-being in two different cities to four different leadership groups. It was a Saturday and I had just wrapped up a wonderful day seeing clients, most of whom I had treated for over fifteen years. As I walked out the door I thought, “I am so blessed. What a gift it is when people let you care for their most precious asset, their health.” I went home and started packing for a trip of lifetime. Life was good.
Then the universe stepped in. At 6:45 a.m. the Monday after that great week, 274 days ago as of this writing, I was hit by a car while riding my bike. I suffered devastating injuries, fracturing my pelvis in eight places along with my elbow and thumb, tearing my right groin and enduring trauma to my overall nervous system.
That changed the trajectory of how I would spend the next nine months leading up to my 50th birthday. However, I will carry forward forever the lessons I learned on the healing journey.
Several people, in the days and months after the accident, asked me if I thought the universe was trying to tell me to slow down. It was telling me many things. So on this day, nine months after the accident, and three days before my 50th birthday, I thought I would take time to share some of the lessons I have learned.
Before I do that, my spirit suggested that I share the “dark” side of my experience. I tend to focus on the positive, but when we experience trauma the negative feelings always bubble up too, so I don’t want to ignore them. The dark side showed up for me as head trash: doubting myself, my ability to heal and thinking about worst-case scenarios.
We all have a choice to move in a direction of love or fear. When things aren’t going well or we experience a traumatic event like I did, our tendency is to move through it with fear. I certainly did initially. In fact, I had to consciously choose to see the positive experiences that resulted from the accident and made themselves clear throughout my healing journey.
I battled the dark side by choosing love day by day. I believe it led to faster healing and loving lessons along the journey. Interestingly, the lessons I experience only reinforced what I have witnessed with my clients through their wellness journeys over the last two decades in practice. That in and of itself is a blessing.
Here are my top six lessons from my nine-month journey:
1. Be grateful for what you have. I have been in practice for 24 years. I am fortunate to have an amazing tribe of friends and healing practitioners who helped me on my journey. Who better than me to have this happen? I have an awareness of holistic healing that I used. I even had the financial flexibility to sustain this kind of detour.
2. Take control of your well-being; don’t give your power away. Make sure someone knows your wishes; if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. If at any point your treatment or care doesn’t feel right to you, don’t be afraid to dialog with your practitioner and choose another path.
3. Pain is tough but manageable with your tribe. Thank goodness I had a support system in place. I called a holistic physician from the hospital. My team from Your Wellness Connection and other holistic wellness practitioners sprang into action. A whole host of close friends jumped right in to help and “Michelle sit” throughout my early weeks.
4. Value your health. Unfortunately most of the modalities I used and like to work with are not covered by traditional insurance: acupuncture, massage therapy, energy work, etc., so I had to access my emergency health fund. The important thing is that I made, and continue to make, holistic approaches a priority in my health, which meant that I had to put my money where my mouth is and be willing to set aside funds to afford the practices in which I believe.
5. OIMF. My friend Dr. Tom Hill teaches about putting the “odds in my favor” (OIMF). That starts by removing interferences to whatever your goal is—in this case, interferences to healing. Before the accident, I was in a good emotional place, eating clean most of the time and exercising, which all made recovering easier. Allowing myself time to really heal and listening to my heart and body also proved key.
6. Rhythm builds resilience. In the last nine months, I had to rebuild some of my habits and create new ones to get back to my optimal state of well-being. I had to create a rhythm—of working out, of affirmations, of eating the right food, etc.—to build strength and resilience over time.
One last lesson: Celebration is the forward energy you need to live a joyful life. No matter what challenges show up along the way, you have to celebrate the little wins to keep moving forward on your journey. Celebration can show up in several ways, but it is always grounded in gratitude.
I wish you never have to experience an accident like mine, but we all experience trauma in some way that upends life as we know it. I hope these insights into what I experienced and how I moved through it over the last nine months will help you now or in the future.
Dr. Michelle Robin is an author, international speaker, and Founder and CWO of Your Wellness Connection, P.A. She is the author of “The E Factor: Engage, Energize, Enrich – Three Steps to Vibrant Health, Wellness on a Shoestring: Seven Habits for a Healthy Life,” and co-author of the No. 1 bestseller “Succeeding In Spite of Everything.” Dr. Robin can be reached at [email protected], www.drmichellerobin.com, and as Dr. Michelle Robin on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.