(Note: the following was written in 2014 while I was in the midst of my healing with a Health Coach and began this blog (most of the posts are from this era as well). A lot has changed since then – all thanks to that experience and this beginning, so I shall leave it as is for now. My current (2018) Artist’s Bio is also on this website and includes a bit about life since this description.)
My name is Rather, Rather Jane…. it is my given name. My parents weren’t really hippies, it’s just a family nick-name that I was given as the first child. I can admit that it wasn’t the easiest name to grow up with, but with time I have grown into it and could never imagine life as anyone but Rather. I live in Crested Butte, Colorado. A small ski town in the middle of the West Elk Mountains, far away from hustle and bustle of the “real world” where populations are large enough to be called cities. I find the hustle and bustle of our little town to be plenty enough…. it’s beautiful here and lots of people love to visit. More and more each season it seems. Keeping up with multiple seasonal jobs, all of the fun things to do and places to explore, and keeping a healthy lifestyle is a challenge but not impossible.
I found this area 15 years ago when I left home and went to school at Western State College in Gunnison, the neighboring city to Crested Butte, to the south about 30 miles. Upon graduation I promptly opened up my own business in Gunnison, called Rather Be Creative. I sold art supplies to the Gunnison valley along with a gallery, lounge area and work-room for mating and framing. Art supplies was a tough business for a young entrepreneur… or maybe it was just retail, either way, I lasted almost 3 years and decided to liquidate my assets and get out of it. I ski-bummed for another year, luckily an epic year, and said my goodbyes to this beautiful valley and moved to the city to work with my dad in Investment Banking and get a taste of the Financial world (I have a business degree after all). Well, timing couldn’t have been any better really, this all happened a couple of months before the Economic Crash of 2008 and instead of getting deep into Investment Banking (which hardly existed for a while there) I found myself working in a Starbucks downtown and dreaming of the mountains. One start-up finally led to a job in Summit County and I made my way to Frisco, CO to work on that project (and ski another epic season) for about 10 months until the funding was pulled and I was faced with finding another job and a way to stay in the mountains. Crested Butte called to me and when a job became available it was a no-brainer…. go back to where you are happy.
A year ago, in 2013, I was finishing up a long summer of touring with festivals as a breakfast chef and landed myself in the hospital with severe gut issues. I was diagnosed, for the second time, with Ulcerative Colitis. From the Doctors, I understand this to be a degenerative auto-immune disease that causes inflammation of the colon which can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. If left untreated the swelling could damage the colon to the point of needing to be removed and/or causing cancer. The first time I was diagnosed I was in pain but not severe, had insurance so I checked it out. I was told to simply take a pill once a day and everything would be fine. I asked about diet or lifestyle changes and they told me those things didn’t matter. I disagreed and stopped taking the pills after a couple months (they were expensive!!), saw a nutritionist, did a candida and anti-fungal cleanse, felt better and went on with life. Happily returning to the amazing lifestyle in a ski-town of playing hard and partying even harder.
The second time it wasn’t quite as simple. I had been on the road for months, I was across the country in Virgina, a state I’d never even been to before with friends and co-workers I’d only known for a short summer of hard work and festivals. There was a surgeon on-call for the first 2 days in the hospital. They didn’t feed or even give me water until the last of the 4 days. My road to recovery was long. When I finally did get back to Colorado I stayed at my parent’s house for weeks before even thinking about getting back to Crested Butte. Work was out of the question for months, thank goodness I had been working so hard all summer! I decided this time I would take my health seriously and into my own hands. I read books and asked friends, saw the nutritionist again and got a juicer…. hoping I would feel better and my symptoms would go away with time. Honestly, I was a mess. I was overwhelmed with the amount of advice and knowledge there is out there. I needed someone to tell me what to do, how to start.
When I found my coach I had no idea it was what I was looking for… but it fit so perfectly. A guide, a friend, a confidant, a teacher, a coach. I’ve been coached before! I’ve coached others before! I’ve learned so much from coaching in life, it’s exactly what I need! For the past 8 months I have been working with my holistic lifestyle coach to heal my gut and turn my life back into the healthy happy joy-filled world that I know exists. Being unhealthy was easy, but it hurt. It took me a long time to get that way…. and a long time to admit to myself that it was that bad. I know I’m not alone in the physical and emotional discomfort that exists out there when we pay attention to our bodies. The changes aren’t impossible either, it’s day to day shifts in lifestyle that are easy to get used to and make a big difference. I am a long way from being healed, myself, but I feel so much better than I ever have, that I’m ready to share and help others discover how good we can actually feel!
This blog is not meant to be a platform to market my (future) self as a health coach. This blog is more of a place where I can commit to myself as I heal and learn. I am learning to listen to myself as I heal in mind and body. I am choosing to share what I learn in hopes that I can help others feel their best and therefor do, act, perform, BE their best. I’m using Rather Be Creative again, but this time without so much emphasis on inspiring art, but to help others get creative with being healthy, happy and full of joy in life.
Thanks for joining me!