How This Life Coach Creates Her Own Robust Lifestyle
How my experiences with grief and loss lead me to be a life coach
After experiencing repeated losses there came a time in my life when grief overwhelmed and crippled me. I wasn’t to know it then but that decade of darkness prepared me to coach others. While my grieving is no more or less painful than yours; through suffering, questioning, learning and growing I found the key to unlocking its vice-like grip.
There were critical things that I’d so very much aspired to but were out of reach and not at all within my control. I learned to let them go. The dreams of having those things were released as well. Then slowly and steadily, I pieced together the parts of my identity that remained, despite those years of disappointments and unfulfilled dreams.
It is true. I had lost touch with some aspects of my identity. Those things, roles and functions that I had expected as my birthright were not mine. They may never be. I did, however, arrive at a place of understanding that I would only ever live my life to its fullest once I embraced my authentic self. That’s how I learned the art of being able to at least imagine how it might feel for another human being to struggle, reach out and grow.
No matter what challenges lie in your path, or how bleak the day looks now, I hope to encourage you to look within, get real and make some small changes towards moving yourself from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.
I began authentic lifestyle planning with a discovery journal
When societal, peer group and personal norms and expectations didn’t match my actual lifestyle I began to question what was really important to me. Did it matter, for example, that at 33 years of age, I was less financially stable than I was as a teenager?
Furthermore, did it matter that I had not been blessed with children despite enduring years of unsuccessful endeavours and disappointments in pursuing that dream?
Did it matter that I’d lost my home and the partner who built it with me?
Did it matter that although highly qualified and experienced, there was little paid work available in my field? I won’t go on but I hope you get my drift!
Those were just some of the things that mattered to me for many years. I sensed it was time for me to let some go. While acknowledging that many of these things matter to others, it was time for me to create a lifestyle based upon principals and ideals that mattered to me and allowed me to grow.
A paradigm shift or two was in order. I’d tormented myself for far too long. I gave thanks for the resources at hand and acknowledged the very real constraints that bound me. One of the first things I did was question my faith and as a result I now embrace a wider understanding of spirituality. That is a topic for another day though!
Let’s move on now to get more an idea of what it means to engage in authentic lifestyle planning.
The Illustrated Discovery Journal
Sarah Ban Breathnach
When I look at the year this discovery journal was first published, I realise just how many years have passed since I stumbled upon it! Yikes! That was somewhere between 10 and 15 yrs ago for those who are wondering. 😉
I found my original copy today and was amazed to see how the images I stored in its pockets and the words I stated on its pages were almost a prophecy of what was to come. I’ve taken snapshots of some of the contents and they’re sprinkled through this article for your to see.
Remember when you were a kid and you used to love cutting up magazines and making collages from your favourite images? This journal gives you the chance to get back in touch with that inner child and make your very own, grown up vision board.
Images that give me comfort
The day I collected this post card I was in Sydney, having cashed in the last of my frequent flyer points so that I could enjoy a free mystery flight. The only problem was that when I got there and went to withdraw funds from my savings account I found that a redundancy payment, due the day before, had not yet landed!
This was the first time in my life that I discovered there were no funds in my account and there weren’t much more on the horizon.
I had $20 in my pocket and was yet to find my way back home from the airport at the end of the day. It was a confronting time and I spent most of it wondering around the tourist hotspots of Sydney but not eating very much at all.
Towards the end of the day I gravitated towards the Queen Victoria Building and immediately felt comforted by the architecture and ambiance. When I returned home I stored the post card in my Discovery Journal and was determined to create a robust lifestyle for myself no matter what.
By the way, the thesaurus tells me that other meanings for robust include strong, healthy and prosperous. That’s what I wanted!
Next Post: Find out Who is The Best Life Coach in Chicago.