#SWAAYthenarrative

How I Turned My Trauma Into A Thriving Business After Major Brain Surgery

5 Min Read
Health

The first pic you see of me here is from November 2018, roughly 3 weeks after having brain surgery. It all started one morning in January of 2018. I flew from LA to San Jose en route to Santa Cruz for several meetings I had set for the day. I was driving on Highway 17 heading to Santa Cruz from the San Jose Airport. I was on the freeway for all of 20 minutes, and out of nowhere a car comes out from a residential area to the right of me, attempting to make a left turn onto the freeway where there was a concrete median divider — making it impossible to turn left. The car stops literally in the middle of the highway — in my lane! I was going over 60 mph. Beginning to slam on breaks, I attempted to jump in the right lane but there were cars coming, so I couldn't make it. At that moment I clenched hard because I knew I was gonna have to hit this car!

I was immediately taken to the hospital, and that was the start of months of tests, treatments, and scans. In August 2018, two days before my birthday — months after going to lots of doctors, receiving various treatments and body scans — I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. The doctor wanted me to have the surgery three weeks later. I said, "No! There is no way I'm having surgery in three weeks!" I cried my entire birthday weekend.

Some people call it cognitive dissonance, but I was just in denial and couldn't face the magnitude of what had just happened.

In the weeks to follow, I began to prepare for surgery, and let my friends, coworkers, and family know of the diagnosis. I agreed to have the surgery in October 2018. After my surgery, I stayed in the hospital for a few days, and eventually, they sent me home. I was sent home with a nasty scar, a partially shaved head, and extreme swelling causing disfigurement to the overall appearance of my face. I was on lots of different medications for the first few weeks. And, honestly, I don't remember that much from those first few weeks following my surgery. I did, however, know that I did not want to be addicted to any pain medications, so I stopped taking them and swapped them out for CBD pills and edibles to soothe my pain.

As weeks went on, I did everything I could to avoid the pain and trauma that the accident and surgery caused me and my family. In the months following my surgery, I began to become severely depressed. I all but stopped taking phone calls from my friends and family, quit going out and socializing in general, worked minimally, stopped posting, and disengaged entirely from social media. Some people call it cognitive dissonance, but I was just in denial and couldn't face the magnitude of what had just happened.

I was so pissed that I had to shave off my hair for surgery and that I had a scar on my head that would last a lifetime — my face looked like someone beat me with a bag of rocks. I just felt in general I wasn't near as sharp as I was used to being. On top of all of that I started to pick up a TON of weight — 33 pounds to be exact, which pushed me even further into depression. I went through most of 2019 just trying to recover and pick up the pieces. But one day in the mid-December, I literally woke up and made a firm decision to make a change in my life. I didn't know how, but I knew I was tired of being depressed! I knew I could not and would not continue in the state I was in, and I refused to drag the same tired, depressed energy into 2020.

Day by day, I felt myself getting stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually.

In January 2020, a close, long-standing colleague (@princessjayknowles) just so happened to reach out to me on New Year's Day. She had recently gone into a partnership with a wellness company and told me she wanted to send some products for me to try. I was like, heck why not? I had already decided that in 2020 I was taking back my power in all areas of my life that I can control — those areas being my mental health, weight, and spiritual well-being. I got back into meditating on a daily basis, and I started reading and watching any uplifting and inspiring videos that I could find. I even began taking the CBD detox tea and liquid nutraburst vitamin that my colleague sent for me to try.

By mid-January, I felt more lively and energetic than I had been since before my car accident. Day by day, I felt myself getting stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually. That's when I knew I had to help others. I started thinking of all the women in the world that, like me, may suffer from depression or extreme weight gain. I told my colleague that I wanted to go into business with her; we would help women around the world with every facet of their wellness: mind, body, spirit.

I knew I could not and would not continue in the state I was in and I refused to drag the same tired, depressed energy into 2020.

The idea for Royal Legacy Wellness was born purely as a result of transcending my own personal tragedy. I now have the honor of being able to educate, empower, and uplift individuals that, like me, are ready to take full control of their mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Royal Legacy Wellness is focused on being the go-to source for inspirational stories, personal development, and holistic wellness products powered by a revenue-generating business opportunity for people also committed to taking charge of their financial future. I wholeheartedly believe, and know from personal experience, that by making a firm decision to grow, you have the power to choose a life of health, wealth and freedom!

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.