It’s maybe the ultimate silver lining: Routine derailed by a sudden crisis gives way to a more meaningful trajectory. For Bloom Farms Community member Bethany Holmes, a medical emergency was the catalyst for transitioning from an uninspired corporate career to a new calling as a holistic health coach.
After graduating from Michigan State with a Communications degree, Bethany worked in human resources for several years. This career was “never a passion, but a great placeholder” while exploring possibilities for her real purpose. When a 2015 health trauma culminated in emergency brain surgery, Bethany immediately set herself on a path of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing which also set off a career shift.
The Michigan native is now based in New York, where she uses a combination of tools and ideas she picked up on her own health journey to coach others in holistic wellness, which encompasses mind, body and spirit. At its root, holistic health posits that the physical body cannot heal if another pillar—mind or spirit—is deficient. Bethany’s brand of holistic wellness prioritizes small, sustainable changes over time versus radical overhauls. She also is a reiki practitioner.
Because she hadn’t seen these concepts well-represented in Western medicine and media, she felt compelled to share alternative wellness practices with a promising message: No one has to suffer, and there are many ways of healing.
We checked in with Bethany to learn more about her views and snag some tips for how to deal with life right now.
How does the approach of a wellness coach differ from other types people may be more familiar with, such as a fitness coach or diet coach?
I learned during my own healing journey that the physical body does not heal if your mental and emotional health are suffering. My approach to working with my clients is to focus on mental/emotional/spiritual health... strengthening that so the physical health really falls into place on its own.
To get started with a client, I typically have an intake call to learn more about what they are looking to achieve and give them an opportunity to ask questions. If it is a match we jump right in. It starts off with open, casual conversation… we identify goals, current blocks, [fears] and self-limiting beliefs and work to create sustainable shifts in habit and mindset to achieve an overall healthier mind body and soul.
[Rather than a single modality, this work might include] meditation, breath work, journaling, self-care practices such as salt baths, sleep and less screen time, time in nature and reiki.
How do you introduce reiki to someone who hasn’t heard of it?
Everything has energy. Energy creates matter. Reiki is [based on the idea that] where there is an energetic imbalance, disease can occur; it’s a practice of balancing energy within the body. The idea is to move the energy throughout the body so it is evenly flowing.
You often share insights on the mind-body connection, an aspect of wellness that, as advocates for cannabinoids, we are really keen on. What are some signs that a person’s mind and body aren’t as connected as they should be, and what can they do about it?
Lack of self-awareness is always a sign I see as a disconnect. Another is when I notice someone is on autopilot rather than making decisions with intention. [A good first step to changing this is incorporating] meditation or creating a practice to slow down the mind and create awareness of actions.
How have you or your clients incorporated cannabinoid products into their wellness routines?
A lot of my clients use it for [anxious feelings] and sleep. I love Recover. It seems to help chill me out the most.
What do you think is the most important thing any person on this spectrum can do to set himself up for success when targeting a new goal?
Mindset. Focus on mindset—believing you are worthy of feeling happy and healthy. Then learn how to fall in love with yourself along the way.
What tips do you have for people who struggle with establishing good habits (or dropping bad ones)?
First, ask yourself why. Why is it difficult? What is holding you back from committing to yourself? Then, start small and build. Practicing self love and patience is important too. Remember that nothing is linear: You will have good days and not-so-good days... but you can focus on the good and use that energy to move forward. It's all a part of the journey.
The present is unusually taxing right now. What advice do you have for someone who might feel paralyzed by their current circumstances?
Stop wishing for things to be different and focus on how to find joy in what is. What can you do today to care for yourself, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually? Bring the focus to what you CAN do. Don’t worry about what you cannot control; focus on what you can. And be open to doing things differently.
Also, environment has a profound impact on health. Everyone differs in where they thrive. I do not think one is better than another, because it is all about how each person responds to their surroundings. Areas have their pros and cons. For someone living in NYC [like me] , it's very important to learn how to protect your own energy, value and implement rest and stay grounded in a very fast-paced, materialistic world.
Learn more about Bethany at her website or on Instagram.