Finish this sentence.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the value of asking yourself powerful questions and writing down the answers, and how some of these questions and answers literally changed my writing as well as my thinking. This month in the October writing challenge, I am going to reflect on one powerful question per week. Today my question comes from a podcast (link below) interview with someone I met recently - Emily Tamayo Maher – a coach and author who runs one of the wonderful online communities I belong to – The Writer’s block. Emily was being interviewed on the “Guts and Grace” Podcast, and she spoke about the power of telling and writing your story – something I have been discovering this year. I am linking to her website below.
The podcast interviewer - Brigid - started by asking her to finish this sentence – I’m so glad I had the guts to….. and I decided that will be my question for today.
I’m so glad I had the guts to….. become a certified health coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition! Most people don’t know much about this part of my journey, since I don’t talk about it much, and I certainly am not a practicing coach. So here is an opportunity to learn a bit more about me. Some years ago, after a series of stresses in both my work and personal life, I began to feel exhausted. It is almost impossible to describe how tired I was, but I could feel it in every bone of my body. I was a heavy gym user at the time, balancing work, gym, my home life, and several voluntary organizations, and a serious habit of insomnia. I rapidly began to run out of steam. I felt depressed and worried and tired. When I saw my GP, she ordered a series of tests and one came back showing dangerously low levels of thyroid hormone, and the treatment was started almost immediately. I felt better within a few weeks, but I never quite understood what caused this problem, nor did I like the idea of taking medication for the rest of my life, and I started to research alternatives. I began to find a series of online educators and bloggers and coaches, and one name kept coming up time and time again – the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
I cannot tell you why I chose to enroll in the course, rather than working with one of these coaches or educators, but the idea planted itself firmly in my head. I love learning, but more importantly – I have worked in the medical field for many years, and one thing I always felt was missing from healthcare was health. Both in my own everyday practice as well as in my life, healthcare was for when you were sick. It made you better, but I didn’t find it make me feel healthy and vibrant, and I felt as if that was missing. Health coaching seemed to focus as much on promoting health as it did preventing illness, and I figured that if I could get value from a coach, how much more value could I get from going through the course myself! I decided to make the investment, and it was one of the best decisions I made.
Spoiler alert – I still take my thyroid medication, and the search for health is a daily journey, which is heavily influenced by my habits and decisions – a discussion for another time. Doing the course did not give me the secret to health and vibrancy but I was not disappointed by what it gave me. I got a different perspective on health, I learned so much about the connection between our mind, spirit and body and our community and I started on a journey that has been truly life changing. Since I took that course, there have been wonderful synchronicities, coincidences and relationships that I could not have anticipated. I have stood peering into the wide world of entrepreneurship, dipping my toe in when I feel like it, I have started this blog, written a book, met some phenomenal people and so much more. That course was the beginning of a new direction for me, and it was the place where I truly began to think about life and health in a less traditional fashion. It was the place I began to believe in myself and believe that I could make a difference and still be myself. I was also introduced to coaching – something I have come to appreciate over the past few years, and I truly believe that “Everyone needs a coach” to quote one of my favourite authors and doctors - Atul Gawande. Coaches are a great resource and support in every area of life (including writing!).
So there you have it! One of my favourite decisions over the past few years. You never know when a decision could change your life completely. It even made me grateful for the health crisis and the events leading up to it, because without those things I might be on an entirely different path. Do not underestimate the power of seemingly negative events to change your life for the better.
What decision did you make that you are pleased to have made? What did you say yes to that changed your life? What are you glad you had the guts to do? Comment below – I would love to know!!!
And in the meantime, I send you big love from a small Island!
PPS - a photo taken from the beautiful Eastpoint here in Barbados a few weeks ago