Joyful Katie

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Welcome to my little corner of the web, I am so happy to have you here today.  I hope you enjoy your stay! On this lifestyle blog you will find thoughts on travel, faith, how to be environmentally conscious, healthful eating, gardening, my musings, obsessive photographs of my dogs (I am their personal pawparazzi) and everything in between. The sky is the limit at Joyful Teacup!

My name is Katie. I am a passionate enthusiast of nature, gardening, adventuring, homesteading, photography, art, science, oceans, beach combing, hand-written letters, the smell of old books, binging on Netflix, my furbabies (and feather babies), friendship, an excellent mug of tea or cocoa, writing, and life. I am a recent graduate with a major in Health Sciences and double minors in Biology and Holistic & Integrative health. From here, my goal is to go on to be a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) through one of the accredited schools in the United States and a licensed acupuncturist. Holistic is my middle name, wellness is my game!

So, what led me down this whole-hearted, holistic path?

My parents would always have described me as an “old, gentle soul.” At two years old, I told my brother to stop antagonizing me (trust me, he deserved it).  I couldn’t crush a spider or harm a fly, instead, I covered them in cups and brought them to a safe new habitat (at 23, I still do).  I was social, energetic, and creative – I loved to draw, write, paint, and take pictures whenever I could. You could never get me inside! I wanted to be outside all day, every day.

When I was 12, my life turned upside down; I went from a happy-go-lucky, art-loving, bike-riding, spend-all-day-outside, swimming-every-summer kid to sick… and fast. I suffered daily from excruciating muscle pain and debilitating fatigue. While kids my age went to summer camps, I found myself too tired to get out of bed and too in pain to go for a walk down my street. As I grew older and friends got jobs, I spent hours in bed, unable to stand for more than 15 minutes without spending two weeks writhing in pain.

When you are forced into seclusions you have two choices: be depressed or learn to find the joy in life. By some grace of God, I learned to do the latter.

We bounced from doctor-to-doctor for answers.

I was repeatedly told there was “nothing wrong” with me, I was not sick enough, or, my personal favorite: “We know something is wrong with you, we just do not know what or how to help you.”

In desperation, my parents and I catapulted into a holistic, wellness-centered lifestyle journey that has never ended. We went to nearly completely (90%) organic; extensively researched and took antioxidants and herbal supplementation; cut out all gluten; reduced-with-plans-to-eliminate dairy and sugar intake; eliminated most grains; turned to only grass-fed meat and butter; reduced meat intake; increased healthy fat intake; eliminated as many harsh chemical products as possible from our home-care products; and began on a journey of purging emotional toxicity.  With each step we took, I got better, a little bit at a time. And when a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) and an integrative osteopathic doctor (D.O.) finally discovered in high school that I had Lyme Disease and several co-infections, I went under treatment.

My life hasn’t been the same since.

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So, where am I now?

I am still that same old soul. When it comes to my friends, I am the mother hen, wanting to keep everyone safe and happy. I am a self-proclaimed “grandma.” I love to have fun, laugh, and adventure, but I am a Netflix-marathon, don’t-go-out-drinking-on-Saturday-nights, crochet-and-knit all day, art-on-the-weekends, garden-for-hours-in-the-morning, grab-tea-and-listen-to-local-music, let’s-go-to-a-book-club kind of gal.

Now, I can walk without pain. I have energy that allows me to go to classes, complete college, and have a life. My joints no longer hurt me.

The vibrant excitement that I feel about life shines through in my life and actions, rather than being trapped inside. Long before I had my physical capabilities back, I went on a spiritual and emotional journey to healing, which taught me to love and accept who I am, where I was, and love the journey. I want nothing more to encourage and inspire others to that same level of health, wellness, and joy wherever they are at. Healing does not have to equate cure; let’s find the joy in the space we’re at, together, shall we?