What is The Thrive Effect and what inspired you to become the Co-Founder?
The Thrive Effect is a health coaching practice that helps autoimmune disease and chronic illness patients thrive and live in harmony with their diseases. Right now, we do this mainly through coaching, but also plan to expand our outreach to include public speaking engagements, workshops, book(s), etc. We really want to guide patients on a journey to loving themselves and their lives, while learning how to live well with disease and how to take care of themselves holistically along the way.
My own personal journey with illness started back in 2012, when I got diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Through my undergraduate and continuing education, I learned so much about how to take care of my body, mind and soul in a holistic way. One day, I decided to use myself as an "experiment" and implemented what I was learning into my daily life. Making these lifestyle changes gave me my quality of life back and ever since then, I have been determined to share my life experience and knowledge in a way that can help others learn about and use this information to better their quality of life too.
The Thrive Effect came to be after my sister Christina also got diagnosed with her own illness last year. Together, we decided that we really wanted help others learn how to be active participants in their own health and well being, implement complementary medicine into their chronic illness treatments and thrive so that they can live life to its fullest potential. We decided to start sharing our knowledge, our experiences within both the Traditional and Complementary medicine worlds and our stories in order to inspire other people to figure out what truly makes them thrive with their illness. It has been a fun journey so far, but we can't wait to see where it takes us
Can you share with us your educational background and current career status?
I graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences: a Health/Wellness concentration and a minor in Holistic and Integrative Health. I continued on with my education through the Health Coaching Training Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and am also Master Reiki certified as well. Currently, I work at a local rehabilitation hospital and build The Thrive Effect with Christina in my free time. One day very soon, I hope to be working as a holistic health coach full time helping autoimmune disease patients feel their best and live their best lives.
Do you believe you were born with the innate qualities to encourage and educate others or did this evolve into who you are today, because of specific events that have happened in your life?
I feel as if I may have had these qualities hidden deep down all along, but I don't think that they ever would have surfaced if I had never gotten diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Having a chronic illness has helped me find my voice, figure out my passion and purpose in life, cultivate a deeply rooted sense of compassion and empathy for everyone and helped me grow into the person that I am today.
What do you like to do outside of work that directly impacts your career?
Outside of work, I love to meditate, do yoga, exercise, eat delicious plant-based food and surround myself with supportive, loving family and friends. All of these impact my current (and future) career because I have finally realized that, if I'm not taking care of myself 100%, then I can't show up 100% for any other aspect of my life. In my free time, I make sure to move my body, eat food that makes me feel my best, think and speak in a loving way and do things that I love daily. All of these things set me up to be the best version of myself, not only in my work, but in life as well.
How important is having a daily routine?
For me, a daily routine is vital to my success. If I don't have somewhat of a routine during my day, it is very easy for me to get off track with the wellness practices that help me feel my best. I think that everyone should have a little bit of structure within their day, whether that be daily movement, meditation, journaling, etc. I resisted "time blocking" my free time out forever, but once I put a plan together of what I wanted my days to look like, I was happier, less stressed, more productive and accomplished more of my goals. For anyone who wants to be successful in any aspect of that word, having a morning or evening routine can be very beneficial to get you closer to where you want to be.
Can you tell us one invaluable resource that has helped in the growth and development The Thrive Effect?
One invaluable resource that has helped in the growth and development of The Thrive Effect is community. Christina and I have been incredibly lucky to have some of the most amazing people surrounding us, cheering us on and supporting us in growing this dream of ours. Without the like-minded entrepreneurs/business owners, supportive family and loving friends, we wouldn't have even had enough guts to put any of this out into the world. Having a strong, understanding support system is crucial when wanting to build something big, and we can't thank our tribe enough for loving us, lifting us up when we needed it and constantly reminding us of our WHY so that we keep moving forward.
What is your vision for the future of TTE?
Our vision for The Thrive Effect has two parts.
One is a large health coaching practice that helps patients thrive and live well with illness, We do this by teaching them about complementary medicine and guiding them as they implement different modalities into treatment protocols, play with their eating styles, shift their mindsets, and learn more about what makes them light up. We also want to educate the population through other avenues as well: workshops, book(s), collaborations with other local businesses, public speaking engagements etc. so that the people that resonate with our message not only can utilize the coaching aspect of our business, but can also get involved in community events and meet other like-minded people who are going through similar situations.
The other part of our vision for The Thrive Effect is advocacy work. We are advocating for the integration of complementary medicine within treatment protocols in the traditional medicine realm and want to work together with medical professionals to see that patients are getting the most beneficial, holistic care possible by utilizing both sides of medicine. We also want to spread the word of the benefits of complementary medicine and nutrition in relation to chronic illness and disease and share our stories to inspire people and show them that you can thrive and live well with illness.
If you could present & share your story on any stage, where would it be and why?
If I could present and share my story on any stage, it would be a TED/TEDx stage. TED has such a large, diverse viewer base that sharing my chronic illness story and our message/mission on one of those stages would allow us to help and inspire more people from all different walks of life. Our goal is to help and inspire as many patients as possible to thrive and live well with illness, so being able to share our perspective on health, wellness and illness on that type of stage would be a dream come true.
I would like to share repeatedly 1 message to the world, on your behalf, what should I share?
The one message that I would love to be shared with the world on my behalf is this:
Your chronic illness does not define you. It is only a small part of who you are. However, it can be your greatest teacher if you let it. Take a mind, body + soul approach to caring for yourself and you will be surprised at how whole you can feel. By getting in tune with what your body needs, listening to it and acting on that wisdom, you can (and will) thrive with illness.
What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?
My favorite quote is:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
In one word, describe yourself: