We are such an angry bunch. Stressed. Our fuses are dangerously short in these days when wearing a mask – or not – can incite a fight, when parents attack teachers for teaching, when road rage turns deadly, when even good news is met with shrugged shoulders.
We have become addicted to the outrage, or so it seems, more comfortable with our surliness than our smiles.
Deborah Padilla feels our pain – and our stress, anger and discomfort with who we are, where we are, what we do.
Been there, done that, she says.
Padilla has spent her adulthood in the rough and tumble legal world, starting out of high school as a courier for a law firm to the paralegal she is now for a personal injury practice.
In those years, she has seen the worst that can be done to a human, the worst a human can do to another human, and how all of that can lead to the worst behaviors among those in the legal profession.
“I have witnessed really good people at the top of their game struggle with the stress, with addictions, with not feeling a balance in their lives,” Padilla said. “These are highly qualified people, but it’s a tough field. It’s hard. What I started to ask myself was, why are we going through this career to end up struggling?”
It’s not just the legal profession. The struggle is real for anybody in any field, or in no field at all.
“We all have a story,” she said. “We all have stress. What is different is how we deal with it.”
Padilla admits that for a long time she wasn’t dealing with her stress very well.
“I went through health issues no one could explain, and I made poor choices,” she said. “I had this anger, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. I didn’t recognize my life anymore.”
Padilla embarked upon a journey in 2016 to discover what was going on with her, both physically and emotionally. She took classes on health and wellness and sought the help of a local shaman, learning that the paths to healing both body, soul and spirit are intertwined.
The COVID-19 pandemic, an extreme time of stress and anger and anxiety for most of us, became a time of learning and growing for Padilla, who continued her studies in health and wellness, integrated energy therapy and meditation.
It also was a time when Padilla realized the need for her to share what she had learned to help others find healing and peace in such an acrimonious time.
She started work as a lifestyle and wellness coach. In October 2020, she leased a small office and began creating what she hoped would be a safe, calming space where she could expand her practice, filling that space with holistic crystals, Himalayan salts, singing bowls, drums and an infrared sauna that’s used for alternative therapy and contemplation.
A year later, she is open for business with her Elements of Insight Wellness Center, calling herself on her Facebook page an “intuitive healer practicing in the areas of meditation, integrated energy therapy, limpias, sound bath and health, mindset and life coaching.”
In short, Padilla is here to help you find your bliss.
“I want people to know that we all have stories and we all can overcome obstacles with the right support system,” she said. “This is in no way an easy task with an end result. This is a lifelong journey and daily practice.”
If this sounds like too much woo-woo cosmic hippie New Age-y hocus-pocus hogwash, Padilla gets it.
“This may not be for everyone and that is OK,” she said. “My business was created for those who have been searching for answers, as I did for so many years, and they can’t seem to find any. Maybe they experience certain feelings and emotions and don’t understand why. It could be they want change but don’t know where to start or are crippled with fear. I am here for those people. This is not about a trendy hour of comfort.”
If Padilla’s Elements of Insight isn’t for you, then please find some way out from your stress slag pits, and soon. Go for a walk. Go to church. Get a massage. Go dancing. Whatever it takes to chill.
It used to be that when I saw or read about grown adults throwing temper tantrums over history lessons, wearing masks, getting vaccinated, getting the right number of fries with their burger, I kept an open mind, curious about their story, where their anger and their information came from.
But my patience is threadbare these days, and I find myself making their anger and intolerance my own. We are all interconnected like that, our actions rippling across each to each, often to our peril.
So I breathe. I write. I hug my dogs. Those are my elements of insight.
“It is not about eliminating the stressors of life but restructuring how you react and respond,” Padilla said. “Everybody has that peace and healing within, but they may not know how to get there. I help them get there.”
I hope we all get there, any way we can.
UpFront is a front-page news and opinion column.