For years, Elvira felt tired, nervous and depressed. “I had a lot of stomach problems and couldn’t sleep,” she recalled, as she looked back on how she felt at age 26 when she decided to move to Milwaukee from her home in Mexico City. She wanted to change her life for the better in a new place.
She saw some doctors, but the ones she consulted at a local health clinic were not much help. What did catch her eye was a pamphlet she saw describing the healing services she could find at a place called CORE/El Centro. The pamphlet talked about ways of improving your emotional health and mental outlook. So Elvira decided to try out some of the center’s programs.
It came as a surprise to find how at home and comfortable Elvira felt when she started coming to CORE/El Centro. Often her two young children came with her and they were the first to urge her to keep coming back. In the beginning she tried getting acupuncture and reiki. When she developed several infections, the staff assured her that her body was just expelling toxins. Soon she was coming every weekday to learn how to move her body with ease through yoga and Nia. She was also learning to eat healthier foods and reduce the salt and sugar she ate.
“I saw these were the answers I was looking for,” Elvira said, as she slowly began to make positive changes in her life and gain self-esteem. No longer was she depressed and tired all the time.
“I feel like my whole inner self has changed,” she said. She began to realize that having dark thoughts didn’t make her a bad person. She’d grown up thinking God was punishing her. Now she knows that emotions are just feelings that pass and can be changed. “That was so empowering to learn,” she said.
Soon, the friends who had known her over the years began to notice that she had lost 12 pounds and her health and whole outlook on life had changed. They asked her how she made all these changes. So she began to recommend the services at CORE/El Centro. Some friends were afraid to experiment, but others only needed a little push and some encouragement and they were soon making changes too.
“Before, I used to think it was a terrible world. But now, I can see a lot of good alternatives and reasons to feel good about myself,” she said. The road ahead won’t always be easy since depression tends to come back. But now, Elvira knows how to work on her state of mind and create more positive thoughts.
“People say I inspire them and they want to talk to me because I have a positive mind. The truth is that I work a lot on keeping my thoughts positive. If I face an uneasy situation in my life, I create an ambiance, light candles and calm down so I can have better thoughts about myself and a good outlook. Anyone can learn this.”