• Kelly Johnston, FNTP, RWP

Looking Back, Looking Forward

What has this past year been if not a time for reflection, rethinking, and reframing? I can’t remember any other time in my life that fostered such a shift in perspective and self-examination. For me, it more than rivaled the season of turning inward that accompanied 'the change'. It’s been every bit as momentous as the quieting of the ebb and flow of hormones that served as an internal timekeeper of sorts, marking the passing of months adding up to years and decades; an interruption in the relentless march forward that demands we take notice, that we recognize a significant shift is taking place. We pause to look back, to acknowledge what was, to ponder what is, and to consider the path we’ll each take moving forward. Whatever conclusions we draw about the many upheavals of the past year, they had an effect on each one of us in a very personal way.

How did you cope? Where did you place your focus?

What I really wanted to do while the 'world stood still and we stayed apart' was to take advantage of the time now afforded for those projects that regular, scheduled, normal life did not easily allow for. But I stalled out, and no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t. It seemed all my mental energy was preoccupied with the circumstances at hand and with what or who to believe about those circumstances. The isolation, loneliness, and disruption of my work took their toll. But eventually, I was able to see this time as one for growth and for determining where to go from here, and my mindset turned to acceptance of the opportunity to take this pause to seek a fresh, divinely inspired perspective.

Part of the self-reflection that ensued was looking at my holistic nutrition practice and determining where I’ve been and where I’d like to go. Before the lockdown took hold here, I was enjoying being as busy as I’ve ever been with clients, classes, continuing education, and speaking opportunities. I was also trying to force myself into a social media mold many of my colleagues seem to find to be an easy fit, and not enjoying it much. I had amassed as much advanced education as my calendar could reasonably hold for the previous four years, learning how to approach lab testing from a functional nutrition standpoint in most of the courses I completed. I’d been able to use what I’d learned to help a good number of my clients, but there were also those who benefited greatly from the most foundational and basic of approaches using food, lifestyle, mindset, and minimal supplements. I’d been taught in my advanced classes to follow a very regimented schedule of lab tests and hefty supplement protocols in order to address each client’s concerns, but it did not resonate with me in my practice to walk each one through this process. Other practitioners and colleagues have made it work very well for them and for their clients. But for me and mine, as a rule, a less-is-more approach has been the most gratifying route. There are still those who are clearly in need of that deeper dive into one specific area or another, and I can still implement whatever makes sense and whatever is doable for each client in those cases, but as a whole, I like a gentler, sure-and-steady path to helping the body balance itself.

So where have I landed and what tools am I favoring these days?

I’ll go into that in my next post.

And what about you? Where have you landed after last year’s big shake-up?