“Restoring the mind heals the body and completes your being.”
—Dr. Liz Lehman
The universe literally had to force me to sit still to set me on the path I was meant to be on. As a type A overachiever I constantly pushed the limits, never listened to my body, to be still was a fate worse than death. I am embarrassed to say I was the person who left yoga class before savasana- who has time for that right? In my constant overdoing I tore my hamstring muscle. I couldn't walk, I couldn't do. The universe had to sit me down on a frozen water bottle to be still, and in a moment of reflection, which was more like self pity, I found a blog on making candles. I had never read blogs before-who has time for that right? But I read this, and thought, you can make candles? As I needed a "something to do" I ordered a candle making kit that day, researched candle making and was appalled to learn about the chemicals and toxins in candles I had burned in my home and around my family. I started my kitchen candle experiment.
To preface this, I had always LOVED candles. I am 53, and grew up at a time where childhood safety meant just come home when the sun goes down. I survived no seatbelts, no bike helmets, playing the street, and candles burning all around the house. I was drawn to those candles. I loved to pull the wax off the pillar, make balls of wax, put my fingers in the melted wax and make molds of my finger tips...I even called those wax cuplettes. My Mom would yell at me to stop messing with her candles. That I remember. What I forgot was my answer. She recently told me that I said I couldn't help it. That I just needed to be around the flame, and put my fingers in the wax. Rather than sending me to therapy, my Mom just bought more candles.
Fast forward 40 years, and I am an anesthesiologist. I had started a baby candle business. Uniting my knowledge of medicine, and holistic healing, and my desire to make a candle with purpose, I developed a beautiful coconut wax candle, scented with essential and natural oils, and eco friendly cotton wick, infused with healing crystals and hand poured into a luxurious barware glass. I was dabbling with being an entrepreneur.
The Universe had to sit me down - again to reinvent my self. I turned 50, and started to develop pain in my hands. As an anesthesiologist you use your hands a lot every day: opening vials, injecting syringes, mask ventilating patients, intubating them, waking them up, turning dials on ventilators, doing nerve blocks. This chronic overuse took a toll and I developed arthritis. Never one to be told to listen to my body, I kept pushing through, downing ibuprofen until the day my hands didn't work, and I couldn't put my patient to sleep. That was the last day I practiced anesthesia. I wish it was more memorable, over 25 years of being a doctor and it stopped in that instance. I scheduled what should have been corrective surgery on my left hand. It didn't fix the problem, in fact it made it worse. I have had 2 subsequent surgeries, and I need another. My hand is stuck in what I call the royal wave position, awesome if you are a queen, not so great for a peasant.
But here's the silver lining, the beautiful part: Not being able to practice medicine opened a door, and opened it wide. It gave me the permission, the green light to pursue my business Aluminate Life. My mission is to improve your mind-body health in your sanctuary so you can achieve balance and wellness in your life. That message is resonating, when I get feedback from my customers, I hear that they truly feel better after lighting my candles, or that they can only fall asleep or find energy after using my essential oils I know that I am still practicing medicine, because I am still helping and healing people but at a scale I never dreamed possible. I am now walking the path of a candlemaker that my younger self knew I needed to be on.