Julie Boyer is the 7th inspiring interview in our Grief and Rebirth Podcast’s Rebirth series. She is an intuitive business and health coach, an Amazon best-selling author, and the host of the Wake Up with Gratitude Podcast. Julie’s remarkable grief and rebirth journey began after she survived a week-long coma due to a bacterial infection after her second miscarriage. This profound experience taught Julie that every day is a gift and energized a new life mission within her, which is to inspire all of us to “Wake Up with Gratitude” every single day.
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Rebirth Series: Julie Boyer – Wake Up With Gratitude Every Single Day!
I’m delighted to welcome Julie Boyer, who will be speaking to us from Vancouver Island. Julie, who is married and has a daughter, is the seventh inspiring interviewee in our Grief and Rebirth series. She’s an intuitive business and health coach, an Amazon bestselling author, and the host of the Wake Up with Gratitude Podcast.
Julie’s remarkable grief and rebirth journey began after she survived a week-long coma due to a bacterial infection after her second miscarriage. We’ll be talking about how this experience taught Julie that every day is a gift and energized a new life mission within her, which is to inspire all of us to wake up with gratitude every single day.
Before we begin, I must say that I totally relate to waking up with gratitude every single day. What a blessing. Julie, my heartfelt welcome to the show. It’s such a pleasure to have you here. Thank you for offering to be a part of our Rebirth Series. It’s wonderful. A lot of people will be inspired by your story. How about telling us what your life was like before you got so ill?
First of all, thank you, Irene, for inviting me to be on your show. I appreciate and honor the space and the time to share my story. I’m going to take you with me to do my introduction wherever I go because that was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of my story and my background with your audience. Before this happened, I have a daughter. She’s now 11 in 2023. I struggled with endometriosis which affects about 1 in 10 women. Getting pregnant in the first place and having a child, it’s amazing that I have one healthy child. We got pregnant the first time. Everything went well. We assumed that we would be okay to have a second child. The second time I got pregnant, that ended in a miscarriage at fifteen weeks.
That’s so heartbreaking.
When you pass twelve weeks, you feel like it’s going to be fine, but that ended very traumatically. I went to the hospital. I had surgery and then came home. I dealt with the grief from that experience by writing my first book, 30 Days of Gratitude. We had settled in that we were going to have one child and then, we had an oops. I got my dates wrong and I knew the next day. I was like, “I’m pregnant for sure.” With endometriosis, sometimes you have pain with ovulation. I was like, “It’s happening right now.”
“Here we go. Maybe it’s a kid.”
I was just more hesitant and wasn’t sure. A couple of days before twelve weeks, I started to have some similar things happen that I’d had the time before, so I knew what was happening. I went to the hospital. I went to the doctor who worked just across the street from the hospital. He saw me and he said, “Unfortunately, you’re having a miscarriage. It’s not complete yet or anything. We can just send you home with some drugs, and you can have a miscarriage at home.” I said, “No, thank you.” The first time, I’d had a traumatic miscarriage at home, which involved EMS. He’s breaking down the door.
It’s so traumatic. I could just imagine how terrible that is.
It’s a terrible thing. I said, “I want the same procedure I had done the first time because I’m not going through that again. Let’s just have the procedure, take care of things, and then I can go home and I know I’ll recover fine.” What ended up happening is that I had the procedure and then ended up getting very unwell. I went back to the hospital the next day. They sent me home again. The third time I went back to the hospital, I was so unwell. My heart was racing, but my blood pressure and oxygen were low. They ended up admitting me. Within a couple of days, I was put into a medically induced coma. They did some cultures and realized I had this invasive Group A Strep, which is a very serious life-threatening infection.
What happened with that? You were in the hospital. You’re in a coma. How long were you in the coma?
They put me in a medically induced coma for a week. What happens when you’re in a medically induced coma is you’re not asleep all the time. They bring you out of it and put you back in to try and move you. It’s very interesting. I don’t remember any of this. Of course, my husband remembers.
All of this time, your body is trying to get rid of this infection.
That was why they had to put me in a coma. They needed to give me the medicine. I had to be in this state because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s an interesting time right now when we first started talking about COVID, respiratory therapy, all these things, and people being put in the ICU and a coma, I lived that long before. It was triggering for me at the beginning of the pandemic, to hear people say, “I had respiratory therapy.” That was essential for me to live. For the course of antibiotics, they had to do the double course. After a few days, I turned around and then after a week, they woke me up. I understand what it means to wake up with gratitude and I do.
You woke up because you were happy. You’re glad to be alive. Was that the way you healed your trauma? Is it simply through gratitude or were there other things that you did?
That’s quite a journey to go from that.
Tell us about that and then, how you wrote your first book and the whole thing. You’ve been through a lot. The book was one of your ways of healing too, right?
Yes. I’ll touch back on the book because it was after the first miscarriage. Miscarriage is, unfortunately, common and we don’t talk about it a lot. I like to talk and tell my stories now because I’m far enough away from them that the pain isn’t the same at all. I can speak about them and not lose myself in the emotion of the story. When that first one happened, I got a download to start writing this book.
How did you get that? People will want to know about that, Julie. Did you wake up with the message or did it come into your head?
The night that I came home from the hospital, that first time because I was just in the hospital for the afternoon, at that point that had been the worst day of my life, but I still pulled out my gratitude journal. I wrote in my gratitude journal. I said to myself, “If I can write in my gratitude journal on the worst day of my life, I need to start sharing this gratitude practice.”
I’d already been using gratitude in my business with some coaching I was doing and some work with my team. What happened was I had the idea for the book’s name. I dropped my daughter to take the bus in the morning. I go for a walk in the woods, just a short walk through the neighborhood and the chapter would download. I get home and start writing.
I want to know what you had to be grateful for on the worst day of your life. What did you write into your gratitude journal that day?
I wrote that I was grateful my daughter was at daycare. She only went to daycare part-time. She was quite young. She was just about two and a half. She only went a couple of days a week. I was grateful that she wasn’t home because I was home. I just couldn’t imagine if she had been there, the trauma for her. I was also grateful that the police were able to break down my front door because I was home alone and I was in the tub. They needed to break down the front door. I was grateful for the care I’d received at the hospital. It all happened so fast. I went in between two surgeries. I got to the operating room. I still had my ring on. They’re like, “Why do you still have jewelry on? You didn’t even sign the consent form.” It happened so fast.
Was your husband there at that time or was he racing to the hospital?
He had met me at the hospital. At that time, we didn’t know that I was going for surgery. He’s like, “I’m just going to pop home. I’m going to clean up the bathroom.” It was only a few minutes away. We were very lucky.
That’s stuff you’d be grateful for, too.
It’s interesting. We don’t talk about men, trauma, and miscarriage because I guarantee you there is unresolved trauma for my husband who had to deal with that. Nobody talks to him and asks him how he’s doing, ever. He wasn’t there. He comes back to the hospital and his wife is in surgery.
You send out daily gratitude reminders via email to hundreds of people worldwide, don’t you? Is that what you’re doing?
I did that for two years. After the book came out, I did send a daily gratitude reminder for two years. This was in 2013. In 2013, social media wasn’t the same. We didn’t have the same connections as we do with people live now. It’s interesting that you bring that up because I don’t know if you read this on my website or something. The second time I was hospitalized, which was almost two years later, my husband was inputting the daily gratitude reminders into the email service.
I would do 2 or 3 weeks’ worth ahead of time on a Word document. My husband would then go and log in and enter them for the daily emails. They would go out every day. The craziest thing happened. He tells me the only time he cried when I was in the hospital was when he went home one night from the ICU and did my gratitude reminders for me. The gratitude reminders kept going out and so my list didn’t even know. A lot of them are good friends.
You were almost dying.
They didn’t know because it kept going and it only stopped after I got out of the hospital.
All of this went on. How did you rebirth yourself? What did you do? How did you transition from all of this? You’ve got your gratitude practice, but you also invested in yourself and your business, ending some of your toxic relationships, and living with more gratitude. Tell us how your life evolved from all of this. A lot of people struggle with ending their toxic relationships. Did you start to end these relationships because you realized, “I’m grateful to be alive. I don’t want these people in my life anymore?” What was all that about too?
That came a little bit later in my journey, for sure. After I got out of the hospital, I had a lot more people in my life that were loving and caring. That was important to me to have those people in my life. I did have an incident with a friend shortly after that happened, which was unfortunate, but it wasn’t related to my own healing and trauma.
Two years after being in the hospital and being in a medically-induced coma and all that and waking up, I’d always had this mission of, “I dream of a world where everyone wakes up with gratitude.” I’d had a list of affirmations and daily habits that I wanted to have in my life. I had it on the wall of my bathroom. The last thing on the list says, “I want to wake up with gratitude every day.” One day, I’m on the toilet looking at my list and all of a sudden, I was just like, “That’s my brand.” I’d been in business already for over a decade.
What had you done? You’re talking about the business with gratitude?
Yes, wake up with gratitude. I was Julie Boyer in business, but I wanted to bring my story of going through this major trauma and still being able to do a gratitude practice into my business. There was that moment. I just sat there, looked at the list, and went, “That is what I do. Wake up with gratitude.” You first make sure that that URL is available and it was. That’s where the beginning of sharing the gratitude journey further went. As I started to want to explore and grow my gratitude business. I have another business in nutrition and health and wellbeing.
Tell us about that, too.
That was critical to my physical healing like the fact that I recovered with no permanent side effects. You would never know. I started the Wake Up with Gratitude business, and then I invested in some coaching for financial mindset and all of these things to try and understand how I could get my message of gratitude to a wider audience. That’s what my deepest desire was, is to keep that message getting to more and more people. About a year after I started the brand, which was just a blog at the time, I was feeling down on myself. I was going through a difficult time. It was cool. I’m sharing these little signs because I think your audience appreciates that kind.
First of all, they will all love this whole idea waking up with gratitude, no matter what’s going on. You’re so inspiring to everyone. Talking about getting your message out, this is a wonderful vehicle for getting your message out. I’m thrilled for both of us. Go ahead.
People paint rocks. I was at the beach one day and I saw that a rock was painted and it said self-love. I decided to do this thing called 30 Days of Self-Love where I interviewed people in my life and I did a video and saved the audio. It was a video series. I was asking them, “What do they do for self-love?” That was also a big part of my own healing journey because as I interviewed other people and asked them what they were doing, then I started to adapt some of their habits into my own life.
That project was a video project initially. I took the audio from that project, and then that became the beginning of my podcast. When I think about my healing journey, the podcast has been a big part of it, listening to other people’s stories, learning different ways to practice gratitude. Honestly, Irene, I have been doing this podcast for a few years now. It’s one of the things that I do. I find that especially in the past year, I spend a lot of my day thinking about gratitude, talking about gratitude, and practicing gratitude.
Considering what so many people are going through, feeling sequestered with COVID and all of that, and to be able to still see a silver lining and have gratitude for certain things, I’m the same way. It changes the way you approach life and all that. I want to hear about these toxic relationships. Who did you decide without and who did you decide was still in and what was all that about?
That was a tough one. I had a falling out with a friend who had been there for me when I was sick in the hospital. I don’t know what I would have done without this friend. About seven months later, this friend needed a place to stay for an indefinite amount of time. I said yes to this person staying in our home. At that time, I did not understand that I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m also very introverted and I need a lot of space, time, and quiet. Having another person, who was going through their own very difficult, dark time in my house. I hesitate to use the word empath.
That brought the vibration all the way down.
It made it very difficult. There was irreparable damage to the friendship. I had to ask the friend to leave, without them having a place to go. That was one of the hardest friendship goodbyes I’ve ever had. Now I look back and if I hadn’t said, “Now, it’s time to go,” and heard it at that point, it could have gotten so much worse.
You took care of yourself.
Also, my family because my daughter, we now know, is also highly sensitive and very empathic. She feels people’s energy. That was a very hard breakup of a friendship.
How is this person now? Is she okay? Do you know?
This was many years ago. This person is thriving, doing fantastic.
You did her a favor by getting her to see things in a different way.
I have no idea. I know I hurt that person and I acknowledged that. Many years later, I apologized and also reached out with reflection saying, “I didn’t understand what you were going through. Now in reflection, I can see how hard things were for you.” I also did my best to try and say, “I can see it from your perspective better now with time and distance.”
Has this also been with other relationships that you had? The reason I’m asking you is because it also has happened to me. As you change, your relationships change. This is just Irene’s take. Certain people who you resonate with at one point, you change or they change and you’re no longer a vibrational match with them anymore. It’s not personal. It just changed.
That happened with a good friend during the pandemic, only partly because we live on very different sides of the spectrum. I felt like this person was pushing their agenda on me. I was content with my decision to follow the science. That’s how I feel and I’m not changing that. That wasn’t the only thing. This friend felt that they were no longer able to be themselves around me. I was like, “That’s okay. We’re breaking up.” It was hard because our lives were intertwined.
I walked away from a community. I wouldn’t say that the community itself was a toxic community. It just wasn’t healthy for me to be in that community. The community itself continues and for the people that are in that community, it’s working for them. I had been a part of that community for over a year, and it wasn’t serving me anymore.
I felt an obligation to be there as opposed to a desire. The thinking of the leadership in that community and my thinking were just not aligned. It did end up being a gift. It gave me space in my day to explore other relationships. A lot of things happened at the same time that allowed me to have a lot of creative outlets and come into my own. All of this has happened in the past few months, the last latter half of 2021.
I always find that when things like that happen, it’s not done to be mean or anything. When you take care of yourself like that, it opens up space for new things to come in for you. Tell everybody about your business and how they can connect with you. Tell them what you do because you’re lovely. I’m seeing behind you these beautiful photographs that you’ve done yourself and all. You live on Vancouver Island, which is so stunning. How about telling us all about it? Part of your rebirth is you invested in yourself and your business.
I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur and I do a lot of different things.
Tell us all about it.
Irene, what I love is that we live in a time and a place where you can do different things and have different aspects of your personality and that’s okay. I don’t have to be just one thing for everybody and I’m happy with that. I have spent many years in a business where I help my clients with their nutrition and supplementation.
I call myself an intuitive business and health coach because a lot of the work that I do is intuitive, especially when it comes to nutrition and supplementation. When I connect with a client after having a short conversation, I usually will get an intuitive download. I will see what they need in my head. I will see a picture of it. I’ll say, “This is what I’m getting.” It has to do with having worked with thousands of clients but I allow my intuition.
Have you always been intuitive like that, from when you were a kid?
I’ve always seen the world in pictures in my head. I didn’t know that that’s not how everyone saw the word.
It’s clairvoyance. It’s great.
I have this trick that I use, for example, when meeting someone new. I will visualize their name in my head, like how they spell it. Remember the time when we met people in person? I’ll ask, “How do you spell your name?” I visualize a picture of their name in my mind and that’s how I remember it. It didn’t dawn on me for years that not everybody sees pictures in their head. Was I like this as a kid? I’m not sure, but I know for a very long time, I do get pictures and downloads into my mind and I see them ahead of time.
When you get downloads, do you hear words or get messages?
It’s more pictures, for sure.
Tell us about your businesses and tell us how they can connect with you.
In the nutrition business, I connect with clients, do one-on-one consultations, and sometimes run group workshops and programs that are all about your entire well-being and wellness. That’s one part of what I do. The next part of what I do is as a podcast host for the Wake Up with Gratitude Podcast, which is available wherever you want to listen to your podcasts. I’ve been podcasting for over two years. We hit a pretty exciting milestone. We hit over 100,000 downloads a few weeks ago and I’m proud of that.
Good for you.
I’m proud that the podcast is growing. Thank you. I just love it. It’s a weekly podcast. I’m also a landscape photographer, as you see by the photos behind me. I have my book, 30 Days of Gratitude, and my photography, and I made them into a set of cards. They’re thank you cards or gratitude cards. They’re meant to go with the book, but a lot of people like to buy the cards on their own. They’re pictures of things, sunsets, sunrises, and different pictures that I’ve taken here while living on Vancouver Island.
My main website is WakeUpWithGratitude.com. I love social media. I enjoy being on social media. The easiest way to find me on socials is my name, JulieCMBoyer on all the socials. Honestly, these days Irene, I’m hanging out on TikTok a lot. I’m having a good time on TikTok.
I’m thinking of going on to TikTok. It sounds like a lot of fun.
You’d be great on it.
Thank you. Give a message to everyone about the value and the importance of healing and rebirth, Julie, having done it yourself.
The biggest thing is to say yes to doing the work. I have had a tremendous amount of healing, especially in 2021. I said yes to doing the work, even when it was hard. When you have a solid gratitude practice while you’re doing the work, while you’re healing, your gratitude practice allows you to stay grounded and to look for things to be grateful for.
I’m not grateful for spending a week in a medically induced coma, but I’m grateful that I woke up from that. I couldn’t even hold my phone because I’d lost so much muscle tone. I’m grateful that I have that memory, hold my phone, and be like, “There was a time when I couldn’t put my phone in my hand and I couldn’t type any messages.” As we say yes to doing the work, our gratitude practice allows us to get through it and stay grounded. We want to do the work, but we don’t want to live there.
You have people that I call Debbie Downers. Instead of being grateful, they’re constantly complaining about how everything’s supposed to be perfect and all of that. Yours is so much of a better way to face life. Would you say this is your tip for finding joy in life, to find gratitude for everything that happens in your life?
Joy is my word of the year for 2022. I’ve written it down and I said, “This is a quote that I’ve got that reminds me of why joy is so important to me.” It says, “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things are.” That’s Marianne Williamson. That, to me, is where joy and gratitude intersect. It’s recognizing that right in front of you, you already have so much to be thankful for that you’re just forgetting about because it’s there all the time.
I’m sure you’ve had storms where you’ve lost electricity and the next day, you’re like, “I can turn the lights on. I can dust over,” and it lasts for a moment. What if every day, you have joy when you turn on a light or open a faucet and water came out? The two intersect so well together. That’s what my feeling around joy is. It’s that intersection between joy and gratitude.
It’s so interesting because I resonate so with you, Julie. As everyone knows, I had this terrible car accident. I lost my husband and all these things happened to me. I lived and I have this show. Now, I’m meeting Julie and I’m having just a lovely time getting to know you. I have grandchildren and I’m enjoying them and all of that. I feel that gratitude, too. I could sit on the pity pot all the time too, but I don’t.
Grief is a very important emotion for us to feel and to have. Gratitude isn’t meant to take away grief. Sometimes, we can be in grief and also find gratitude. Grief and gratitude can live in the same house. You can be in a period of loss and pain. Going into years of the Coronavirus pandemic, there isn’t a soul on this earth that doesn’t have something that they are grieving the loss of. If it is not of a human life that they know, they have lost many things. We can grieve those losses and then at the same time, we can find things that we are grateful for. I am tremendously grateful for my health. I work in health, nutrition, well-being, and wellness. Being able to say, “I am grateful to be healthy right now,” is not to be taken for granted.
With your healthy body, which was so unhealthy at one point, you’re here inspiring other people and giving them a different way to approach their lives, which is just wonderful. I’m grateful that you offered to share your story of healing rebirth with us because it’s special. You’re special Julie. I want to thank you so much from my heart for this interview. It’s truly a pleasure to get to know you.
Here’s a reminder, everyone. Make sure to follow us and like us on social at @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and especially on YouTube. Like, subscribe, and hit notify to make sure you’ll get inspiring new interviews like this one with Julie coming your way. If you’d like to be part of this Rebirth Series, please send me an email at Hello@IreneWeinberg.com. As I like to say, to be continued, many blessings, and bye for now.
- Wake Up with Gratitude Podcast
- Julie Boyer’s book: 30 Days of Gratitude
- Julie Boyer’s Website
- Connect with Julie Boyer on Instagram and TikTok
- Irene Weinberg on Instagram
- Irene Weinberg on Facebook
- Irene Weinberg on Twitter
- Irene Weinberg – Grief, Rebirth + Healing Podcast on YouTube