No one can dispute the ethereal beauty of Ellen Adarna. Transparent and genuine, she was never afraid to show her real self. That confidence was crushed, however, when several changes happened in her life. Her father died, her relationships were unhealthy (her own words) and she just gave birth.
“I do not know who I was anymore,” she said in a vlog. She lost her confidence. She was very confused. There were times when she vomited uncontrollably, shaking like a leaf, leaving her feeling that she was near death. She was always sleepy and tired.
She recounted that she sought the help of a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist. She was diagnosed to have anxiety, depression and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). She couldn’t take any medicines, though, while she was breastfeeding her son Elias. Eventually she did take medication. While it helped in lessening her episodes, she still felt sad and empty and did not recover her self-confidence.
“I’m tired, I’m sad, I’m grieving,” she said, summing up her former self. “Basically the pills only mask the problem; it was only a layer that filtered it (the root cause of her depression),” she explained.
Through a friend who had a successful program, she went on a two-week camp retreat in 2019. Since Ellen is an open book, there are several YouTube videos about her mental health journey, particularly her life-changing experience of the Kokoro method in Kami No Ken Bali.
For two weeks, Ellen said her day in Bali started at 5 a.m. with a 30-minute meditation then journaling (writing affirmations) then physical exercises, followed by a discussion on the purpose of the exercises. After lunch and rest she had a set of afternoon exercises again and another discussion before the day ended with dinner.
She diligently followed these routines but admitted it was difficult, particularly on the first day of exercise. Ellen felt better only from the fourth day onwards, when she started to understand the cause of her depression. The activities she underwent worked on all aspects of her being: mind (subconscious and intellectual), body and soul.
Ellen felt reborn after two weeks. There was a paradigm shift. Her lifestyle became completely different. Her mindset changed. She developed new rituals. She became more aware. She admitted that she had zero control over her anger before. Now she is no longer as temperamental and has better relationships. Fear, anger and frustration still rear their ugly heads occasionally but she can now manage them better.
Her Instagram page @maria.elena.adarna with 4.6 million followers documents this beautiful transformation in the photos and videos she posts. Her bio reflects her purpose of “balancing life.” She shares her diet, exercises, beauty secrets and talents. What grabs one’s attention, though, is the happiness she radiates in the presence of husband Derek Ramsay and son Elias.
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Both Ellen and Derek have been through multiple relationships and, as Derek said at the wedding ceremony, while his parents were surprised at the fast turn of events, they know that 44-year-old Derek, who used to shun the “M” word, must have really found the right person.
How wonderful also for Ellen to have found Derek after finding herself. It is also quite beautiful to see how Derek loves Elias like he is his own. The couple recently celebrated their first-year anniversary in Peru. Ellen booked it for just the two of them as a surprise gift, knowing it was a dream destination for Derek.
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Their honeymoon was in Northern Tanzania by the Serengeti National Park, where they were with their bundle of joy, Elias. Ellen’s Instagram is full of happy moments for the small family of three, whether at home or away on a vacation.
Ellen is extremely flexible and gracefully agile. She shows off her jump-rope skills, as well as how well she can stretch and balance on a Bosu. She executes her yoga poses and flows perfectly.
In many of their travel photos, the couple shows off their flexibility and strength in their poses, with breathtaking views as a background.
You should have a very strong core to improve your balance and stability. A strong core also improves posture and lower back pain. You need a strong core (abdominal muscles around the gut, the back muscles, the glutes, muscles in the pelvis and diaphragm) to help drive power to the extremities, which is necessary in boxing, for instance (one of Derek’s exercise choices, if we go by their Instagram posts).
Ellen managed to strengthen and improve not only her physical core but also her mental and emotional ones. She has found herself again, and in the process loved herself. And she generously shared that with Derek and Elias, who both have reciprocated, if not exceeded, that warmth. Indeed, love begets love.