The seven seeds of wellness
Through the challenges of divorce, family and going back to school, SAIT Journalism student Janaia Hutzal finds solace in focusing everyday on the seven aspects of wellness that she’s authored two books about so far.
Spiritual, emotional, occupational, intellectual, social, physical and environmental. Hutzal has written books about how fulfilling the aspects to feel whole, at ease and at peace won’t just help people in the present, but when done right, can spill over into the future.
Hutzal started her career as an author by writing two children’s books, Your Side and Mondays with Migal. From there, she says her “process has just evolved.”
“You almost can’t get done with it,” she said.
“I had a special needs child and started writing about taking care of her.”
At the time, Hutzal was also separated from her then-husband, and wrote her first self-help book in 2007, Single in the Suburbs: Surviving the First Year as a Single Mom, where she wrote about the challenges recently-divorced, single parents go through.
“It’s good for other moms and parent to feel not alone,” she said.
“I finished that book, and my special needs daughter died.”
Hutzal said she went away on a yoga retreat trying to heal. Upon coming home, she chose a word to rely on and write about. With the word “love” she began writing The Seven Seeds, Planting Seeds for Fulfillment One Day at a Time.
On her yoga retreat, she learned about the six aspects of happiness: spiritual, emotional, occupational, intellectual, social and physical.
However, Hutzal said she thought there was an important seventh
Over the seven years she spent writing The Seven Seeds, Hutzal said she would see repeats in what made her days good and through all that was going on in her life, and started focusing on them.
“It gave more clarity on where my life was going,” she said.
Hutzal went back to working as a dental assistant part-time, and worked as a reflexologist at her home as a side job.
“That’s where I learned everyone has a story,” Hutzal said.
She said a lot of her entries in The Seven Seeds were based on the people who crossed her path while working as a reflexologist.
“We would cry together, grieve together, I couldn’t believe I was writing another book.”
In 2008 her daughter died.
“I thought ‘How was I going to survive?
“I would have to get up at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. to do my writing. I knew there was a reason I was getting up,” she said.
When her daughter first died, Hutzal said she grieved every day, saying that she’d grieve every time she’d wake up to do her writing.
She said her most valuable experience was at the end of grieving, when she was finished writing.
“I can’t just write the words, I have to live them,” Hutzal said.
A patient of hers who was diagnosed with cancer recommended she write a workbook to do with the the seven seeds.
The patient would life-coach Hutzal when they were together. After the patient died, Hutzal got started on The Seven Seeds Journaling Workbook.
“She planted that seed,” Hutzal said.
“I’m learning now that every time I say ‘no, I don’t want to’ I know I have to.”
Hutzal made the decision to go back to school by coming to SAIT to study journalism.
She said it was a difficult decision to make, but she said she can say with confidence that she’s a writer now.
“I never would’ve believed it in a million years in how my life is.
“I’m not a dental assistant anymore, or a reflexologist, I can say I’m a journalist and an author.”
“To me, that’s huge,” Hutzal said.
She said she’s learned something new every single day, in SAIT’s Journalism program and that she had no idea how much she didn’t know about writing until coming to SAIT.
“I didn’t know how much I’d learn from people until getting here. In the end, I love them all, it’s been valuable for me to go to school with that [younger] generation and walking with them, it’s a whole different situation.
“As far as being a student, it was hard from going to making an income, to not, I think that was the hardest year of my life, and I’ve had some hard years,” Hutzal said.
“It’s been a lot of change in my life in the last year, like a teenager,” she said.
As for what the future holds, she said she’ll keep going back to reflecting on the seven seeds and going from what she knows, planting seeds one day at a time.
Hutzal said if you want to take care of the world, you have to first take care of your own garden and go from there.
“And then hopefully more good seeds will be planted.
“Our entire lives are little ecosystems, for the bigger ones, you have to help your mini ecosystem.”