I had been off of work on a sick leave for a year when I realized that I would no longer be able to handle the rigors of my position as an adult educator. I felt a lot of remorse about having to resign from a coveted position. I always felt that I would work for as long as physically possible even if I worked until I was 100, (okay, maybe not until 100), but here I am at 55. At 55, I not only was leaving my current job but I felt doubtful that I would be able work again. So, I took early retirement. I thought to myself: ok, I’m retired, with health problems -now what?
Fortunately I had spent the year of my medical leave wisely. I began journaling, reading daily reflections and practicing meditation and guided imagery. I took advantage of the area resources for healing by attending free classes for people with chronic illness, participating in support groups, yoga, and warm water exercise classes. I had the opportunity to sample complimentary healing techniques such as energy healing and dream work. Additionally I had some sessions with a life coach.
The time spent during that year was well spent. I realized:
- That looking back is not helpful, talking about what I “used to” be able do is counterproductive.
- My time would be better spent focusing on learning how to live as I am now.
- The importance of living in the present moment/practice mindfulness.
- How essential it is to listen to my body so as not to overdo and
- Most importantly the value creating a balanced life.
These life lessons have made a big difference in my life. For someone with a chronic illness, balance is essential. In the beginning I wanted to try everything, which I did, but doing everything increased my fatigue. Once I made the decision to alternate activities to allow for rest time, my days became much more productive- even if the day was spent resting up for the next day’s activities.
I have learned so much these past two years as well as throughout my career. Sharing what I have learned is so important to me, but the health challenges I experience put limitations on what I can actually handle physically. It took a lot of soul searching and research but eventually I came up with three ways that I can use the skills I have always had (see my bio) and combine them the life lessons I have learned.
The first venue I used to illustrate what I have learned on my wellness journey was the internet – I started a blog about some of the life lessons I have learned. You can access the blog through the links section on this site.
Secondly, after participating in various support groups I decided to undergo training in support group facilitation. This training is still in progress. Once this training is completed my goal is to offer small group coaching sessions. Stay tuned for details.
And lastly, if you haven’t already figured it out, I decided to become a Life Coach. The sessions in which I worked with Life Coaches were very beneficial for two reasons: they helped me get to the core of what goals I needed to set for myself and two, they held me accountable so that I would eventually reach my goals. These coaching sessions made me realize that coaching was exactly the venue in which I could, in fact, use the knowledge and skills I already have and combine them with the new information and skills I have recently acquired. It was the perfect match!
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lena Horne
for Lori’s Professional bio visit: http://lorikatz.efoliomn.com/