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Home » Holistic Health » How I Turned the 3 a.m. Sweats into GRACE

How I Turned the 3 a.m. Sweats into GRACE

“There is a crack, a crack in everything,

That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen


It is my pleasure to share my story of transformation with you.  Today I am offering the first of this five part story.

I will publish one piece a day for the next five days, so keep your eyes open!



  • a virtue coming from God
  • a mercy or pardon
  • an act or instance of kindness, courtesy or clemency

For me, Grace is an acronym which defines my experience of trauma and transformation.

GRACEGratitude, Revelation, Adjustment, Clarity and Evolution.


G is for Gratitude…

Gratitude for the whispers of the 3 a.m. sweats, getting the tags, and feeling the wound.

Are you familiar with the 3 a.m. sweats, not related to hormones, but you know, when you are lying awake thinking of the mountain of responsibilities you have to your family, clients, business, money, relationships?   How fast are you dancing?  Are you dancing as fast as you can?

I have a background in dance, I love it, the variety and rhythm of the steps.  It is a release and it brings me joy.  At its best it provides me with balance, and in my life, at that time, 2 years ago, I was dancing very fast.

I was trying to keep up with the repertoire, but the choreography of my life was way off.


In fact there were way too many choreographers, and the rhythm and pace were all off kilter, I was beginning to trip and miss many of the steps.  I was spinning out of control.


As a holistic nutritionist I had a full practice and I supported an MD in his integrative practice, I had a .3 teaching position in a grade 2 French immersion classroom where I had a responsibility to the kids, parents, my colleagues, the school board.

I am the mother of 3 children, mostly grown up, but I am involved with them and want to be there to support and help when I can.

I am the daughter of (at the time) two parents both suffering from various stages of dementia and needing to receive appropriate care and be placed in the best facility.  I am a sibling to 2 brothers and a sister, we were constantly putting our heads together (and sometimes butting them together, and sometimes shedding a few tears), in an attempt to come up with the best solutions for our parents.

I am a wife and that alone is a pretty complex dance.

I am a friend, a mentor, a community member, and when I could squeeze this important step in, I am a deeply spiritual being.  I believe this last step is the one that keeps all of the others flowing, and in sync.


I was exhausted from all of the activity and pressure.

I approached an integrative physician I knew, for advice on how to support myself, I was so exhausted.  This was uncommon for me, as I took extra special care of myself, organic food, the best supplements…

I was given a prescription for a drug that I was told would give me more energy.  I hadn’t taken a prescription drug for years, but I trusted this doctor.

And it worked, in fact I was even able to add a couple of extra new steps into the dance!


R is for Revelation…

I had a powerful revelation when the whispers became sirens on the way to the hospital.
Oopsy daisy!  The dance had gotten out of control, one too many twirls and I was down!  In fact I had tripped not once, not twice, but three times.
I had suffered three strokes!


Oh my goodness!  How could this be happening to me?

I spent my days teaching others how to be healthy, fit and balanced.  It seemed that every client I worked with dealt with stress at some level.  Meditation, yoga, qigong, stress management were central to my practice.


In fact I was with a client prescribing some homeopathic remedies for stress when I experienced my first stroke!


It was clearly revealed to me that I was out of step, and I had messed up.


I had been missing the cues, the whispers inviting me to feel to the rhythm, to connect to the beat, to join in a slower dance, a much slower dance.


I couldn’t hear the whispers over the sound of my feet dancing as fast as they could.


Too fast…


A is for Adjust…


Oh yes, there was a major overhaul happening.  Time out for dancing, forget the repertoire.


I took to my bed.  I took to my bed for about 3 months.


I was afraid to leave my house for a year.


I stepped away from all of my responsibilities.  I was shaken to the core and developed post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia.


It was my darkest hour.


I felt like I was a walking time bomb.  If I was flat on my back in bed I must be safe, right?  I have stopped dancing…I must be safe…

No phone calls, no communications, no visitors, no computer, just me, terrified, in my safe bed with many books, oh yes, I devoured novels.  They offered me the perfect escape.

My anxiety managed to develop into a case of full blown anorexia.  Even putting my toothbrush into my mouth caused a gag reflex.

I lost 30 pounds.

Skinny really is not so great, the weight was melting off of me to the point that I was afraid that I would disappear.

My dear sister Sue was my lifeline and the main person I communicated with.   Unfortunately for her, the communication consisted of anxiety driven, panicy and fearful calls begging her to reassure me that I was safe, and that I would live, and that one day I would actually lead a normal life again.   She is a holistic healer like myself, and I trusted her expert advice and solace completely.

My children were there for me, I didn’t want to worry or scare them, but I felt and valued our connection more deeply than ever before.

As time went on, I reached out to a few dear friends, and I was deeply grateful to know they were there.

My husband Rick was my rock, he was solid and sure and went about life supporting me.  Preparing meals I was unable to get down.  Providing hugs when I needed them, listening to my tearful, fearful outbursts, reassuring me.  He allowed me the time and space I desperately needed, and generally kept everything at an even keel as I fell apart in my bed.

The choreography had moved inward and was being completely revamped.


C is for Clarity…


“Within the heart of every individual is the Truth they are seeking.

With Truth you live a life filled with perfect health, creativity, supply and joy.” 

     Master Chunyi Lin.


Through the very tough times a few truths were very clear to me.

1.  Physical health is the most important thing.  Without your health nothing else matters.

For days following my strokes many, many, many tests were done, I had a fantastic team of specialists.  They were very thorough, numerous MRIs, EKGs, cameras were swallowed, a full angiogram, a spinal tap, my entire body was tested for cancer. Every test came back with a report of glowing health, I was clear of plaque, free of inflammation, I had a healthy cardiovascular system.  They were mystified as to the cause.

Final diagnosis, I was a low stroke risk?!


I believe that it was my high level of health and absence of inflammation that carried me  (thank you, thank you, thank you God), unscathed through the strokes.

I attribute my physical resilience to my dedication to the natural health plan I had followed for years.  Whole food, gold standard supplements which deliver excellent anti-oxidants, and daily exercise.


Months later, following a final thorough panel of blood work and one more round with the heart monitor, the specialists concluded that my strokes were caused by the prescription medication I had been taking, it was a textbook case.  Although I heard the words with my ears, I wasn’t able to trust enough to hear them with my heart, until just a few months ago.  Needless to say, I had stopped taking the drug following the events.


Transformation was on the horizon as I gained clarity through mindfulness.  I had time, lots of time, and I stepped back into spirituality.  This was a practice that I had held near and dear for years before my busy lifestyle had crowded it from my reality.

I had allowed that fundamental, precious step to slip away as the choreography of my life adopted a new theme.

I fully embraced mindfulness.  The strength and power offered by moment to moment awareness, deep looking, gratitude, compassion, loving kindness and simplicity.  What a beautiful step.

I began to feel safe in this moment, and the next, and the moment after that. It felt safe to count on getting through the whole day, and soon even the day after that felt like a possibility.


Ah, there it was, a hint of the beat was back.  Very quiet, subtle, and slow, the gentle rhythm was perfect.

I began studying and practicing Spring Forest Qigong a powerful healing practice.  Tapping into the the love, support and healing energy of the universe were just what the doctor ordered.  I became my own healer.  This helped me immensely with the trauma and anxiety and I began to rebuild my sense of confidence.

These two practices were central to my growth, and formative to the direction my life was taking.  My new life.


Deep inside a gentle beat was arising.  Interestingly, this was a familiar beat, not new really, but pleasantly comforting.


2.  Financial health is important too! 

  • The holistic practice I had lain awake worrying about was no longer there, so it was not providing me with an income
  • The employer I had worked with since 1992, was not supporting me.
  • I was really glad that I had saved money in my RSP account.  I realized the R in RSP stands for ‘Rescue’.
  • Residual income rocks.  The health and wellness company I had been affiliated with for the past 10 years, and hadn’t given much attention to, was in fact sending me a beautiful cheque every Friday.  I was paid every week for the entire year that I was unable to dance.  It was clear that when I was ready, this amazing company was deserving of my attention.

Yes, financial health is important and it is powerfully intertwined with physical health.


E is for Evolve…  

Ah yes, now it was time to get up and begin to dance again, tentatively, mindfully, with my hand on my heart and deep gratitude in every baby step.


Each move was purposeful, completely and carefully choreographed and very, very difficult.  I had lost my confidence.  I had lost myself.


I had forgotten all of the steps.  It was time to learn new ones.


My crisis provided me with well over a year to evaluate and regroup.  I was feeling a new beat now.  The beat of my heart, courageous, powerful and grateful.


I developed a daily ritual that consists of my morning meditation, a gratitude prayer, a mindful walk and deep, careful listening.

If I hear or sense any whispers I tune in make an adjustment immediately.

I became a certified Spring Forest Qigong practitioner, I knew that I wanted to share this wonderful practice with others.

I now spend the majority of my time in Victoria, a magical city.  Victoria has incredible beauty, the astonishing power of the ocean, glorious greenness and floweriness 12 months of the year, and a lovely, relaxed pace.

Plus, I love that Victoria possesses healing energy.  I am reminded of this each and every day.


Professionally, I see a new direction, a powerful new body of work which is open hearted, proactive, compassionate, and loving.

I enjoy working with women as they achieve peace, balance, health and connection to spirit.

I love watching as they begin to feel the beat and fall into the rhythm of their purpose.  Tuning in to your soul’s desire and your life purpose is a meaningful and rewarding experience.

A life altering experience you could say.


It is with GRACEGratitude, Revelation, Adjustments, andEvolution that I am sharing this with you.


What do you need to take care of yourself?  Take some time, allow yourself to be honest, brutally honest, with an open heart, and love and compassion look deeply.

Learn to nurture the whispers, the voice inside.

In the words of Melody Beattie, “You can trust yourself.  You can take care of yourself.  You are wiser than you may think.  Your guide is within, ever-present.  Listen to, trust and nurture that guide.”

Research has found that people who have suffered trauma value gratitude and simplicity the most.


I will add GRACE to that.  I am committed to gratitude, simplicity and GRACE.


There is grace in evolving, in accepting help, in hearing the whispers.

And there is grace in acknowledging and respecting the message of the whispers.  Listen carefully and you will discover your soul’s desire and your life’s purpose.

Perhaps it is an angel whispering, I believe that it is.


I want to share with you what works for me.

To help you achieve Grace, my new offerings are based on the GRACE Principle.

Are you ready to hear the whispers, to respond with Gratitude, Revelation, Adjustment, Clarity and Evolution?

I offer programs to women like you who are ready to enter a state of GRACE.

I provide solutions for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial health.

I offer both group and private sessions of Spring Forest Qigong. It is very exciting to introduce this wonderful practice to the Victoria community.

I offer private one-on-one Spring Forest Qigong balancing/healing sessions for those of you who are ready to go deeper and shift on a profound level.

I am also offering Spring Forest Qigong at the Fernwood Community  Centre, Thursday nights at 5:30.  Come and experience the beautiful energy of our practice group.

Physical and financial health are intertwined, if you are looking to improve your physical and financial health, I have a solution.


Interested in learning more?

It is my pleasure to offer you a free 30 minute consultation to help you gain clarity on your whispers, and to determine what dance steps you are ready to introduce, or remove from your life.  Let me help you with the choreography.  Contact me and we will set it up.


Thank you for following my story, your encouraging words and loving messages were appreciated.  Many of your messages contained the words,

courage, bravery, strength, and conviction.

Hmm…these words are whispering to me, I am listening, and remember, when I hear or sense any whispers I tune in make an adjustment immediately.

Stay close there is more to come…


I am so, so grateful, and I wish each and every one of you GRACE.



Nancy xxx

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Nancy Crites

Nancy Crites

As a holistic nutritionist, specializing in women's health, I help women suffering with pain who want to look and feel amazing from the inside out using my tested-and-true method. I'm not interested in quick fixes, the kind that only addresses the symptoms. Using an effective holistic approach I take you right to the root of your pain and create a lasting transformation. Over the past 20 years I have helped thousands of women transform their lives. Having suffered with Fibromayalgia Chronic Pain, I now live a life I love! I offer free 30 minute consultations to help individuals create the healthy body and life they have dreamed of! Contact me to talk about getting you the health and happiness you desire.

Kick Start Your Holistic Nutrition With Nancy and Book Your Complimentary 30 Minute Session Today.

2 thoughts on “How I Turned the 3 a.m. Sweats into GRACE”

  1. What a beautiful story Nan! I am so glad that you are well again and that the dancing continues, this time focused, and rythmally (not sure this is a word lol) balanced. You are truly an inspiration and I wish you much more successes to come as you follow the path laid out before you. God Bless!


    • Thanks Sonia! I feel truly blessed to create a life which is alignment with my soul’s desire and my life purpose. Each new day is a gift and I am so grateful.

      N xxhttp://temp-nancycrites.siterubix.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?p=722&approved=1#comments-form


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