Co-inside Wellbeing was founded when we (Curtis and Candice Aiken… the two crazy cats pictured above) began making fundamental changes to our lifestyle following a serious health scare, and wanted to share our learning’s with the world.
The name came to us through inspiration. Dr Wayne Dyer so eloquently explains the word coincide: “In mathematics, two angles that are said to coincide fit together perfectly. The word coincidence does not describe luck or mistakes. It describes that which fits together perfectly.”
After coincidentally hearing Dr Dyer say this several times we realised that it had more meaning to us than just the words he was saying, and thus, Co-inside Wellbeing was born. So what about the spelling? ‘Co’ represents a number of meanings to us; coincide, co-create and cooperate. ‘Inside’ represents our true selves, our spirit, our inspiration, passion and individual life’s purpose.
I was a pretty typical teenager as I entered into my early adulthood. I knew everything there was to know about the world and my only reason for earning money was to pay for petrol, alcohol and fast food.
Needless to say, my lifestyle took its toll on my energy and happiness. As the years progressed, rather than seeing the error in my ways I looked around me at my peers and role models and realised that I would regain my happiness and zest for life by developing a successful corporate career and buying lots of really, really nice stuff.
So that’s what Candice and I set out to do. We secured high-paying jobs and built a home fit for a king. We bought a brand new car, several TV’s and more furniture than you can poke a stick at. And then I discovered something. I was wrong; I was even more miserable and when I looked deep into the eyes of my peers and role models I discovered something powerful – appearances can be so misleading. The people I was modelling my life on were no happier than I was!
I was still eating and drinking more than any one person should and now on top of it I had dug myself into a deep, dark hole of false success and massive debt.
Out of sheer frustration and helplessness, I had a few angry words with God and demanded “what do you want from me?!”
Rather than sending me an email or text, God was a little more cryptic with his response. Within a few short weeks of my cry for help the years of unhealthy food and lifestyle choices, not to mention the career-based stress, caught up with me and my body began to fail on me.
Then at only 28 years old I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
And it was the best damn thing that has ever happened to me!
Because of my diagnosis I discovered not only how to physically look after my body, but also what it takes to truly be happy. Candice and I sold our expensive house and most of our stuff and moved to a modest rental home in the middle of a rainforest in north-east Australia where we live life on our own terms.
Of course I am by no means perfect – life is a constantly evolving journey. However, I have discovered such peace and joy for life that all I want to do is shout it from a mountaintop, and over the internet, which is more the style in this day and age.
Environmental changes are one thing but the internal changes are what really count. Some of the key changes I have experienced are:
- I MADE PEACE WITH MY MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DIAGNOSIS AND OVERCAME THE DISEASE
- I cleaned up my diet and lifestyle
- I continue to make courageous steps forward into the unknown and unpredictable with confidence that life will always support me.
And now I am here to guide you to do the same!
I trust you will enjoy reading our articles, sampling many of Candice’s wonderful healthy recipes and will find information that feels right for you and helps you live a healthier and more inspired life.
I had always considered myself to be fit and healthy, even back in 2004 after yet another visit to the doctor when I was informed I was unwell and overweight. My doctor had a point; I had rapidly gained 25 kilos and was experiencing every symptom under the sun, but her hurtful and direct words still didn’t persuade me to make the serious changes I was in need of. So I ignored her advice to take a serious look at myself and continued making excuses for my health issues and weight gain.
That was when I was a spritely 18 years old and knew absolutely everything there was to know about life. I was born and raised in Perth and had just moved out of home and across the country after meeting the man of my dreams (Curtis). We had created our first home together right in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD.
Back then, dinner at 10pm, a snack at midnight, then a trip to the dodgy pizza shop at 3am was the norm. Microwave dinners, white bread Vegemite sandwiches, pizzas and copious amounts of alcohol were all I knew and craved. The only time I’d ever consumed fruit including berries, lemons and limes were in the packets of Skittles I gobbled down on a daily basis. Considering this was my diet, I spent most days in that beautiful city nursing feelings of guilt so I would drag myself to the gym for 10 minutes… once every 6 months, and the other days I would drown my sorrows with a bottle of chardonnay.
Eventually we moved back to Perth for the sunshine, lifestyle and to be close to my family. The visits to the doctor became more frequent despite the sea change, and the minute someone sneezed on the train, I would pick up whatever I thought they had. Even after watching medical shows, I would suddenly come down with whatever disease they spoke of – regardless of its rarity or if it even existed! Google became my best friend for a diagnosis as visits the doctor would leave me walking away without answers and without hope but always with a new prescription. I had undergone every test recommended, taken every pill offered to me and encountered many unnecessary procedures, all in the hope of finding a name for something I didn’t even know if I had. It was as though I was destined to be sick, or so I told myself every day for many years.
Thankfully, there was always a part of me that knew my life, body and mind could be better, so I saw a counsellor and a colonic hydrotherapist and I finally lost some of the physical and mental weight I’d been carrying around. But there was still something I hadn’t lost – and that was my ability to conjure up any kind of illness and ailment. I was still experiencing a multitude of symptoms that could not be diagnosed by the medical profession – lethargy, mood swings, rashes, hair loss, acne, poor memory, IBS, stomach aches, poor immune system, body aches and pains, low self esteem, poor concentration and the list really does go on. I accepted these as ‘normal’ and carried on.
Then mid 2010, Curtis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The name of our previous website ‘Blessed by MS’ speaks for itself. It really was a blessing and exactly what we had been asking the universe for – a hefty kick up the butt and a reason to change! I may not have received a definitive name for my illnesses, but my soul mate sure did.
If someone in a white coat tells you that you have an incurable disease and suffering or death is your only option, you can either choose to accept it as a negative, become a victim and change nothing, or accept it as a blessing, be grateful for the opportunity and choose to change EVERYTHING. We chose the latter and we will never look back. I can now safely say all of my symptoms have disappeared and I believe this is due 100% to our change of diet and lifestyle. That huge kick up the butt as set us on an incredible journey. I am currently in the process of studying holistic health coaching through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, plus I continue to research on a daily basis to share with you, everything we learn. Skittles have been replaced with green smoothies, Vegemite sandwiches with raw salad and zucchini bread burgers and negative thoughts with a whole of love and gratitude.
In the words of Lao Tzu, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I am grateful for being a step in your journey.