The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 89: Interview with Adelle Stewart
We cover a lot in this episode with special guest Adelle Stewart. She’s got background with speaking, horses and health & wellness. In this episode, we talk about embracing a healthier lifestyle, levelling up, overcoming adversity and living your best life!
Michelle: Would you be able to give our listeners some background on how you got started with horses and how you’re involved with them now?
Adelle: I came out of the womb loving horses and have always been involved with them. Owning our own horses was not in the cards for my family, but anytime I had the chance, I was on the back of a horse. I eventually got to take some summer camps and lessons, then gave some lessons. Horses became more and more a part of my life. I bought an acreage and have had horses for the last 12 years. I compete and enjoy rural living.
Michelle: I know a little bit about your story through your bio. You look like a real jack of all trades. Would you share a couple of big life experiences that have shaped who you are today?
Adelle: I started my equine business about 5 years ago when I became an equine first aid instructor. I always wondered who am I to do this? It took decades to slowly grow the business I have now with a boarding facility and products. My confidence grows in my horse business when I get feedback from the people we work with.
Michelle: Tell me your story about other parts of your life, like your professional life.
Adelle: My least favourite question is “what do you do for a living?” because I do not have an easy answer. I work part-time as an Executive Director for Do More Ag Foundation which promotes mental health in the agriculture sector. I run Prime Equine. My newest venture is launching my book!
Michelle: Have you always wanted to write a book or what inspired you to become an author?
Adelle: There’s been a book in me for a long time. I’ve dabbled in blogging. I write essay-length social media posts. I have technical and creative writing experience in my history. Journaling and writing is a therapy for me.
The idea for my book started after a toxic marriage, but I hadn’t put it all together. I just kept blogging. Last year in April, when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, that shook me to the core. After treatment, when I was on my path to healing, blogging about it was very therapeutic for me.
I won a book writing scholarship and a local publisher and author showed me how to put it together. I wrote the volume of my life in 75 days. It was otherworldly. I feel like I downloaded it. It was so healing for me to write my whole life.
Michelle: Tell me about being diagnosed with cancer. Is that what inspired your book?
Adelle: When I was diagnosed, I was thinking why me? I am active, I live on the farm, I’ve dealt with my wounds. I believe that disease is caused by dis-ease, so I knew intrinsically there was a stone left unturned. I knew that if I wanted to heal myself, I’d have to take responsibility for my diagnosis and my dis-ease.
I decided to take a holistic treatment approach. Being diagnosed and starting treatment at the beginning of a global pandemic was really hard. I am very independent and had to be my own advocate. Going through all of this, I knew I would write a book about it.
Michelle: What were your symptoms or what led you to being diagnosed?
Adelle: I had tests regularly and never had an unusual result. I started having excess womanly fluids and eventually I started hemorrhaging. I had to push hard for a diagnosis. It was very scary. I had to advocate and know how to work through the medical system. The type of tumour I had is regularly missed on screenings. Our bodies give us signs and I’m more passionate than ever about listening to those and acting on them early.
Michelle: You stopped chemotherapy treatment and took a holistic approach. Tell us more about that.
Adelle: I worked with an energy healer. We did generational trauma healing. I did drumming meditations. I did a lot of acupuncture to cure the side effects of chemo. I work closely with a naturopath. I read the book “How to Starve Cancer” and changed my diet. I complimented that with high dose Vitamin C (instead of chemotherapy) to act as a radio-sensitizer for my radiation. I will never be done with cancer. I’ll be in remission for the rest of my life. I will continue with all of the naturopathic work and energy work even though my conventional doctors have cleared me.
Michelle: How has having overcome cancer changed your perspective with regards to your interactions with horses?
Adelle: It was a very emotional time when I was diagnosed; I was literally waiting to find out if I was going to die. I initially pushed my horses away because I love them so much and through that time of uncertainty, I did what I had done for the last 4 decades and pushed them away. If I didn’t let love in, then I couldn’t let pain in either.
I would go to check on them and just drop to my knees and weep because I was scared to lose them and lose that relationship. I kept going out and they kept interacting with me. I was dropped to my knees, crying in the middle of the pasture one day and the mare who had no affection for me for the entire time I’ve owned her came and stood over me. It was a really beautiful time.
As I continue to unravel my experiences and understand how I run away from true love and run away from being open, I decided it was time to push through that. I still have trouble doing that with humans, but I decided to do that with my horses. I began riding. I would get on my saddle horse, Ticket, and ask her to take me away. I’d lay my reins down on her neck and she just took me. She carried me through one of the darkest times of my life.
Being that vulnerable has only really deepened my connection with my animals. I try to really be present with my horses. I take my time at the barn to mono-task not multi-task. I’m not on my phone. My barn is my church; it’s my holy place. We can’t hear our horses when we are so busy.
Michelle: Do you show up differently now? Do the horses receive you differently?
Adelle: It’s been a really weird journey. I’ve always been really in-tune with my horses but this took me to the next level, especially because I have no fear of death anymore.
I used to be the girl who was afraid to go somewhere because I was worried what people would think if I backed up my trailer crooked. Getting into mounted shooting was one of the hardest sports to get into. I’m Type A, so not being awesome at something is hard for me. After going through cancer, I’m like whatever, I don’t care, I’ll do these types of things. I’m in tune with my horses and make sure they want to do these things too.
You can heal so much trauma without even knowing it.
I tend to collect horses. I was able to let go of a mare as a broodmare so she can contribute to the world in that way. I had kept her for 7 years. We all have things to offer to the world. I’ve loosened the reins on things.
Michelle: How can we help people let go of nervousness, anxiety and frustration (without having to get cancer)?
Adelle: My wish for people is that they know that they have the power to live their very best life without almost dying first. I understand how hard that is. We are all guilty of seeing others suffer and thinking it will never happen to us. I didn’t fuel my body correctly, I didn’t deal with my trauma correctly. I created a platform for disease to live and grow in my body.
I am passionate about cleaning up our lives. I did it really dramatically with food changes, counselling and meditation. We have the option to do this while we are still healthy with small changes. Dedication comes from habit. I started with a few minutes of stretching and journaling 6 days per week and once that was habit, I added some personal development reading. We can do the same thing with changing our diet. Start with adding something until it’s easy.
Michelle: If you were to recommend one or two foods to add that have nutritional benefits, what would they be?
Adelle: An apple and a veggie a day.
Michelle: What are one or two things to eliminate from your diet?
Adelle: #1 is to reduce or eliminate refined sugar. #2 would be to reduce refined oils. #3 processed foods.
Michelle: Through changing your diet, have you noticed more clarity of mind? Is it easier to be present?
Adelle: 197% . My ability to create, write a book, publish a book, market a book and run an expanding equine business and give 100% to my part-time job, I attribute that to my health. It’s incredible how much in tune I can be when we treat our bodies and mind with the fuel they need.
Michelle: How can we encourage people to make positive changes without scaring them and having them live in fear?
Adelle: We don’t know how good we can feel. Our society has accepted low-grade chronic illness as normal. Having a mindset of curiosity and asking “Could I feel better than I do?” and take bite-sized pieces. Add one thing until it’s easy and then another thing until it’s easy. Give that a try for a year.
What we accept continues.
I look at life as continuing to level-up. I thought I had made it and overcome the struggles in my life, like a toxic marriage and my divorce. I thought I was living at the top of the mountain and got swiftly sent back to the bottom. Now I realize it’s not about ever making it. It’s about continuing to climb higher and harder mountains. I’d love for that to be normal.
Michelle: What are your thoughts on rest?
Adelle: It’s super important. I’m very in-tune with my body now and I also work with cycles of the moon. We need to do the work and we need to allow. Manifestation is about releasing control of the outcome and trusting in energy higher than us (God or spirit).
Michelle: What are two of the biggest lessons you’ve learned and how are you showing up to make sure you don’t have to learn those lessons again?
Adelle: The biggest thing I’ve learned is how trauma affects us at a cellular level. Childhood trauma and generational trauma are real and we need to unpack it. I believe it can cause disease and it caused mine
Honour ourselves. Little things add up to be big things.
Michelle: Have you gained more clarity on your life’s purpose through this experience? Could you share that with us?
Adelle: Absolutely. As much as my book put me on the path to healing, to share that with others is what I’m passionate about. Going through what I have, I want to help other people avoid critical illness. I believe through telling stories, we can help people.
Connect with Adelle
Check out Adelle’s website. Adelle’s book releases April 16, 2021
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Learn with Me
If you’re looking to make changes to your mindset, be sure to sign up for my free Next-Level Mindset Mini Course.
You can also join Stride, my next-level barrel racing group. This group receives video training and coaching from me and Stride members have access to special guests. We work on becoming mindful barrel racers so we can show up, be present and perform with great partnership.