Vicki Cook is a highly intuitive coach, energy medicine practitioner and raw food teacher. She sparkles from the inside out. Nature is her greatest teacher inspiring her by its ever-changing seasons of growth, harvest, stillness and re-birth, and has provided an innate understanding and insights into her own journey. Today, she combines her passion for the seasons and love of raw food into programs designed to help women flourish.
Vicki is also a published author. Her book, ‘Bliss – Raw Desserts and Seasonal Nourishment’ exemplifies her purpose to facilitate, guide and inspire women to reconnect with their inner wisdom, their own cyclic nature through the messages of food, the metaphor of the seasons and uncovering their inner stories to help them lead a more intentional life. Her coaching expertise, creative workshops and seminars inspire many to transcend their challenges and align with their truth.
Have you ever thought of your life as mirroring nature? When, even though it’s summer, you feel frozen inside and unable to move forward, like you’re experiencing a personal winter? I have, and I have come through it, not only surviving, but thriving and in awe of the process. I’d like to share my story in the hope that you, too, can come to know anything is possible.
I was born and raised in Alice Springs, the very heart of Australia. Growing up, I never really thought of the seasons. They came and went as the weather warmed or cooled. I was either at school, in a ballet class (which was most of the time outside of school!) or doing homework.
My dream of becoming a ballet dancer ended with my move to Sydney to study at a recognised ballet school. A stress fracture in my foot, homesickness, and the growing awareness I no longer had the hunger to be a ballet dancer, saw me return to my hometown. I had left a naive girl with direction and returned an injured adrift young adult.
As well as the injury, I now harboured a warped relationship with food and myself. I had been told, a number of times, by my new dancing teacher that I needed to lose weight. I was 53kgs at the time!
I felt guilt and shame for not being able to lose the weight and disappointment with my lack of will power. These feelings continued for years to varying degrees.
It was not till a move to the Blue Mountains in my 30’s, health became my new love.
‘How could I bring more health and vitality to my body?’ became my new mantra. Reading, experimenting, listening to my body and observing the changes led me to a deeper understanding and appreciation of myself.
An introduction to raw food provided a light bulb moment. It was more than just eating uncooked food. For me, it was about increasing my energy and vitality through the life force of the food. Eating a mostly raw diet, I experienced a sense of aliveness I had not felt since I was a young girl. I was hooked!
I came to appreciate health and vitality are SO important however the creativity of a woman’s body is finite and mine was close to chiming. My partner and I talked, discussed and read how to best prepare the body for conception.
If Mother Earth’s soil is rich, it will produce strong healthy growth from the seeds planted deep within her. I, too, wanted strong healthy growth from deep within me. I spent six months tending to my body.
During this preparation time, I also discovered the importance of emotional and mental health of the mother and the developing baby. Meditation and yoga were added to the tending.
I conceived with ease. My pregnancy was magical. Five and a half weeks before term, my daughter decided she was ready to greet the world. One and a half hours after that decision, she did. She took to the breast and five days after her birth we went home, completely surprising the nursing staff. My daughter thrived.
In the turning of the seasons and the years that followed, many things changed. My relationship ended, our two children now had two homes, I met my soulmate, married and life was blossoming again.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes we experience the first signs of spring with warmer weather and then suddenly there is a cold snap? Temperatures drop, and it feels like we’re plunged back into the depths of winter. That’s what my life felt like the day I went to collect my children from school and they weren’t there. It felt like I had been catapulted back into winter!
Anxiety, grief, fear, worry, questions and more questions bombarded my senses. This was the second attempt of gaining full custody.
Winter became my emotional landscape. Our ancestors relied solely on what they had grown and gathered for the winter. It could be a time of great darkness, fear and uncertainty. Would they make it through to spring? Would I make it through this devastation?
In this time of scrambling uncertainty, I picked up my pen and began writing again. The book that I had been writing had been shelved as life was put on hold. It was time to start again, and not let the winds push me this way and that. It was through this writing that I was introduced to The Wheel of Life – a fascinating way of looking at the nourishment each season offers us emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I discovered there was also a light aspect of winter. It is a time of great transformation within. Even though everything may look dead or frozen, deep within Mother Earth there is a magical transformation occurring.
This light aspect of winter is also possible for us. Our life can look dead or frozen with nothing changing on the outside, however deep within ourselves we are going through a spiritual transformation. It becomes a time of mystery, where anything is possible.
At the onset of this challenge, I made a commitment to myself, an intention, that this would not break me and that I would come out of this a much stronger woman. I would embrace integrity and grace as I journeyed forward.
Along the way, I gained further insights into my inner landscape by observing the food that I reached for. At times it was chocolate and at other times, it was salt and crunch. I learnt that when I reached for sweets there was an aspect of my life lacking joy. When it was salt, I witnessed I was trying to control life and not going with the flow. There is so much that we can learn about ourselves from observing what we crave and desire.
Now almost three years on, I still have not seen my children however the woman I am today is SO different to the woman I was. I have discovered my purpose. I have transformed many wounded stories (thoughts, beliefs and blocked energy) into tools. I embrace life, including the uncertainty (most of the time), instead of trying to control life out of fear.
I now wake with a feeling of immense gratitude flowing from my heart, joy spreading throughout my body and a sense of anticipation and excitement, as if I was a little girl in the wee small hours of Christmas morning (well, most mornings this is how I wake).
This journey has taught me a lot. That no situation lasts forever. It evolves, grows, aspects wither and die and then life begins again, just like the seasons. Every challenging situation brings with it a gift/s. They may not be obvious at the time, but they are there. Diamonds are only produced under pressure. I now open to having the gift/s revealed in each challenging situation. Living from this perspective means that I react less and respond more to my challenges.
By observing these seasons within yourself and the food that you reach for, I invite you to playfully engage in your own unfolding. It is a journey of reclaiming all aspects of yourself. The strength is in your story.
In vibrant health