Toni Childs’ Journey with Graves Disease

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Toni Childs conquered the world with her captivating style of charismatic vocals and set the music industry alight with the single she is most famous for, Don’t Walk Away.

That is until she turned her back on the scene she so brilliantly lit up with her exclusive style of music.

Toni’s rapid rise to fame with her first album Union peaking 200,000 in Australia, led to her being nominated for three Grammy Awards including Best New Artist of 1988. Her indomitable voice kept her steadfastly affixed to the charts throughout the years, and went on to claim more accolades.

Being a woman who saw no limits, Toni combined her love of music and touring with running charities, organising and meeting all obligations. That is, until Toni hit a brick wall with a stress disorder that has taken eight years to get over.
“I reached the Everest of stress,” says Toni, who has spent almost a decade in the beautiful, rejuvenating Island of Kauai in Hawaii battling and getting to grips with a thyroid disorder, Graves Disease.

“I would wake up in the morning with my feet and hands cramping and although it would wear off during the day, my right eye was bulging and the most curious thing was my skin was like velvet. That is a classic Graves Disease by-product,” explains Toni.
When a doctor advised Toni to stop her career in order to heal, Toni’s first reaction was to refuse, until the realisation the disease was dismantling her life.

“It wasn’t until I was given medication that I felt normal and it showed me how ‘out of it’ and how manic I was. Until then I had no idea,” admits Toni.

Despite kicking against the diagnosis and believing she had not accomplished all she wanted to, Toni conceded to move from the frenetic pace of life LA offered to the tranquil island in Hawaii in an attempt to beat the illness.

 

Kauai with its quiet and beauty gave Toni an opportunity to reflect, and opened the first waves of understanding that part of the problem she faced was environmental.
“I had no intention of staying on medication for the rest of my life as I had been told, and I am not good at taking pills and didn’t want to be a slave to something,” says Toni, who also knew her thyroid problem would not go away, but would merely be held at bay.

 

“That’s when I knew I would be unlikely to work again if I didn’t figure it out,” says Toni, who took it upon herself to change not just her career but her way of living.
She took a more simplistic approach to life by buying a 4.5 acre property aptly named Prosperity Farm.
“I have more than 100 hens, 50 ducks and a horse called Sunny. I grow my own organic food and have a beautiful market garden which is primarily vegetables and fruit trees,” says Toni, who has a vision to create a co-operative organic dairy on the island.

“There were 8 dairies originally on the island but they were not sustainable and the last one is about to close,” says Toni, who has intentions of selling a calf to a neighbouring farm so they can, in time, have their own milk.  “[quotes}On a smaller scale, we could re-create our own dairy{/quotes},” enthuses Toni, who sells the excess milk from her dairy cow to a friend at a local store who makes it into butter and yoghurt.

Part of the recognition that her life needed readjusting was upheld when Toni sought out the advice of a therapist on Kauai who informed Toni that all diseases stem from a lack of self-love.

“For me it felt like a lack of self-love. Being in the entertainment industry we are highly critical of ourselves. It’s always a case of being magnificent in every way appearance, being fit enough and young enough. I knew I had not been kind to myself and I needed to pay myself some attention.”
That prognosis set Toni on the path to self-discovery and paved the way for her not only to make huge changes in her life but also to seek out ingredients and create her own beauty products for the ‘woman within’.
Part of the self-loving and healing was to get in touch with her body again and to thank and compliment it on carrying her through life.
“I was told to talk to my body in the shower. It sounds silly but when I did it, it didn’t seem silly. I would say I love you toes – thank you feet for carrying me through life and I would continue with every part of my body. When I first did this I started crying. That sweet energy of loving oneself was missing and I was really thirsty for it.”
Talking to her body and gradually learning to love herself was the impetus for Toni to wean herself off the medication
At that time I also used a salt rub concoction I created and a special water meditation. Used all together, it worked and the end result is I have not had to take any meds since 2001.”
Although that part of her grooming routine was effective and proactive, Toni would have to put up with a nasty reaction from using shampoo. A hair analysis test proved Toni was allergic to sulphates.

Armed with this new knowledge, Toni looked to source and provide her own ingredients for a shampoo that suited her.
“I became an alchemist,” laughs Toni, who didn’t stop there. Knowing women are hard on themselves, and frequently give their power away, Toni wanted to heal the ‘beauty wounds’ of women worldwide.

“We forget to listen to our inner knowing. We need to motivate not only ourselves but each other for our own private healing.”

This enterprising woman who had felt her power slip away with the onset of Graves Disease, sought, in part, to wrestle it back by producing an organic, all natural body care product range named Feminine Mysteries. The ingredients for all the products in the range which includes the I Love My… products are, where possible, wild-crafted or grown by certified organic methods. Introduced to Australia in August, the I Love My… range is namedafter various body parts and there are plans for more products to be on the shelves, including sunscreen and face products, each one of them affordable to all women.

But, it’s not only the spiritual and health side of Toni that is now set free. Her enlightenment has led to the compilation of a new album that is set, once again, to take the music business by storm.

 

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