Coaching is not something I longed to do. In all honesty, the term “coaching” had never crossed my mind. Coaching was for sports, I’d always believed. No more! People now days are being “coached” on living life! Even so, coaching was of no interest to me for most of my life, nor would I ever of asked anyone for help, and certainly would not have paid an individual to receive their help. But life has a way of throwing us curve balls we never saw coming. A coach SHOULD be able to train a person to deal with curve balls!
A number of years ago my daughter asked me on a drive home after receiving her second ever massage in a series to work her soar muscles (Blog post, Words I will NEVER live down!), “Mom, can I ask you a question?”
“Of course,” I answered.
“With all you’ve learned in the area of Natural Health, if you had to go back into history and choose a life work to do, what would you do?” she shyly asked.
I thought about Kelly’s question. Before too much time lingered, I realized she was asking me for reason of her own realization of KNOWING what SHE wanted to do! This was her long awaited epiphany for what work to do in life, not my place to actually answer her but acknowledge that she had something to tell me… and to cheer her on! However, 7 years passed and I occasionally considered her question, never actually believing I’d ever have need, nor desire, to go back to school to train for who knows what.
I’ve been truly fortunate to have worked in an industry I loved as a young 22 year old in Graphic Arts, for 10 years. After being united in marriage, eventually building a home, the stress of work’s constant demands, and my husband, Darren, being self employed, after our second child being born we deliberated for the next 4 years if I should or shouldn’t keep working my job away from home.
Life can drain our energy, quickly for some, slowly but eventually for others, and in the end we all experience finality of life; death. We were living life full speed with work and growing our little family. During this time, before becoming a full time stay at home mom, my clock alarm set at 2 AM would jar me awake for my daily morning aerobic workout, light weight lifting, and cool-down stretching (all done in the home exercise room, many early mornings with our elder child who’d wake and not put himself back to sleep in his room, but instead lye on a nearby couch watching me before he’d fall back asleep). Exercising daily like this was, for me, a task to keep my body looking “good”, AND truth be told, at that young age to allowing me to eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted.
After 1-1.5 hours of exercise, I’d shower, then grab a bowl of cereal or a bite to eat on the fly (usually a pop-tart or muffin) while quickly bagging my lunch. Waking the kids, bundling them up and into my economic Ford Escort, off we’d zoom to daycare each workday. Whew, that alone makes me tired just writing it! Since my job was 50 minutes into the Twin City and I started at 5 a.m., we would be on the road before 4 a.m. Daycare was always in unlicensed private family homes, stay at home moms watching baby Kelly and big brother Troy while we worked. These daycare moms usually lasted no longer then 6 months. They each loved our kids. But given my unusual work hours they’d have our kids from 4 AM to 6 PM Mondays to Wednesdays, which drained them and was WHY they usually only lasted 4-6 months with us. On my alternating Sundays of work at the printing shop which ran 24/7, 7 day a week, 1 of 2 sets of grandparents would take the 2 kiddos for the day if Darren was in full swing with his work.
Our children were spoiled by their daycare families’ love. They looked up to the older children there, and were content while we 2 adults spent long hours at work. They ate 3 meals a day with these families. These were their second homes.
Once our youngest was 2 years old, we hired a nanny to come into the home to relieve me of more hours away from home, and to allow the kids to get normal rest in their own beds, and me too. Good decision! Our first Nanny had teenagers of her own. She loved on our two kiddos like her own, and more so sometimes I thought. She was the cat’s meow. She kept the house clean, vacuuming and washing floors while the kids napped, although we never once asked her to do these things. She often pulled weeds in the flower beds and gardened with the kids. She made all their meals, including my husband’s and my supper awaiting us hot when we arrived home! This went on for the next year and a half. Life was gooooood!
The last 3 months before quitting my well paying job in a career I truly did enjoy, we had a summer girl take over the care of Troy and Kelly while our Nanny of choice was home with her teenagers. The nanny’s kids needed her home with them. By mid summer, we knew it was time for me to be home with our kids too. I timely put my notice in at work so when Troy started 1st grade and Kelly entered preschool, I was there to get the two on the school bus and be there when they returned home. I cried for the first time when the bus took them off to school together that fall. Sadly, so did Kelly… and for her every day up until 5th grade or so. Yes. Really. We were enmeshed.
My being at home alone those first years of the kids school years, I desperately missed them but knew they’d soon be back home. Some things I seemed to miss even more were regular adult conversations I’d had at work with my women friends, “to go meals” on the fly, or a candy bar stop on any given workday (because HEY, I just worked my buns off), and most importantly… I missed having my very own paycheck.
I felt uncertain how to function being home all day without immediate role of mom and wife. Now don’t misunderstand, I had plenty to do at home with a large home and yard on the lake to attend to. Filling my time was not an issue. I didn’t have time to lay on the coach eating boxed chocolates like I’d told people who asked me What I did all day at home?
Not being in the world of “work force” had it’s share of challenges in my mind. To allow myself to spend any money on myself other then for basic needs was an issue. Without my own paycheck, my personal “value” was being questioned by myself… and in my head I thought was being questioned by others as well. I was not confident in WHO I was as being valuable (besides to my family of us 4) with out a “real” job. (I laugh to myself at that last part, “real” job, now.) I hesitated spending any money outside of basic need items and groceries, and even that was done very frugally with coupons always in tow!
If you’ve been reading the “Your Life Let The Healing Begin” blog from the beginning, you may remember me sharing about my life of living in depression. If not, let me just mention: I lived in a state of anxiety of mind, stressed and depressed from a young age well into my late 30’s equaling a quarter of a century plus of living in a partially dysfunctional state of mind never ONCE asking for “Help please”. When life got REALLY complicated/stressed, I would crash in my mind and become anxious, haughty, angry, impatient, and then feel bad for my explosions onto my family, later becoming exhausted and often becoming sickly. By age 38 I hit a wall of sorts. The floor came out from under me. It was time to deal with the questions of “Why do I do the things I know I shouldn’t do, and why don’t I do the things I should?” My behavior(s) and habits were not nourishing my life.
I wasn’t a “bad” parent. I was a stressed parent who loved her kids, but was imperfect at raising them: I damaged their emotional health with my anger in times of my stress, thus causing them stress, and also in my unspoken expectations for them to live up to. Being a childhood survivor myself, which I believe not anyone escapes from unscathed of some kind of childhood bullying, neglect, or any number of various abuses in and/or out of their homes, I suppressed my emotions while living in a stressed state, stuffing my voice back into myself… ultimately never honoring my voice. As I imploded my emotions for too many years, before the need to get them all out was demanded of me to save myself, what I and what others often do as stressed-out people is EAT and/or EXPLODE; lashing out in unhealthy ways such as anger instead of doing the hard work of digging deep within to understand ourselves in the whys of what we do.
Imagine not crying for years, because you’ve neglected to let “anything get to you”. Yes, that was me before my transformation into a better version of me. At age 38, my time had come to “seek help”. I went on a spiritual journey, asking God about my “issues” I’d come to hate about myself. Amazingly, he did hear me. He answered in ways I’d never known were possible. I was hearing his guidance through various avenues, walking down a path of healing my life of physical, emotional, mental health issues that bled onto hundreds of pages of writing what I was hearing, learning, and understanding for the first time about myself, my life, life in general, and so much more. At the time, I had not realized I was on a “spiritual journey” to save myself. Maturing daily as I wrote for hours, most often from after midnight until my family rose from their night’ of rest, the kids waking to find mommy in the office writing again, to say it bluntly was 13 months of my own hell and back here on earth… with many beautiful garden views from a new lens perspective as well. I came to understand more than a few things during and since then. Living life keeps teaching us lessons on a daily basis!
It was right after this season of a much needed deep cleansing that a seed (planted in word by my husband in my earlier 30’s) sprouted and grew; to be a voice, a helping hand, for Wacky Women just like me, to encourage them to live a life with more gratitude and self acceptance, confidence in knowing WHO we are, growing more healthy physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, to expressing ourselves creatively, and over-all be balanced, whole women who live life purposefully, and speaking the truth no matter what.
Many years have passed, close to 18 years actually, since starting on my healing journey, finding my voice and using it, sharing my life learning experiences with wild and wacky women (and some men too) and desiring to hear others’ “story”. Each life is a story. Our stories MATTER. I love to hear stories and tell stories.
I also love to eat! Food is an area that I’ve been enmeshed in for a lifetime. I’m an Eater. And if you are alive and breathing, so are you. Food has a magical ability to numb us from anything upsetting, used as a way for me for most of my adult life to stuff my feelings and emotions instead of speaking what needed to be said. Since food is also used in various ways, such as in celebration, or “food as medicine”, over the last 18 years I’ve been experimenting with how food really impacts me, researching and testing on myself (and my family), and understanding many of the unhealthy ways I’ve mistreated myself in using food as a pacifier rather then its purpose as nourishment and energy, and in celebration of life. My relationship with food continues to be a work in progress.
Having become a recent “senior” as they say in our culture, going back to school is often unheard of at my age. Well, “I am woman here me roar… I’ve got 2 feet back on the floor!” Currently I am in training for certification in Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition, which is a whole different way of working with food and nourishment in how we “feed ourselves”. I hope to work in the near future with clients on how to really get to the root of what is going on when it comes to eating habits, weight, overeating, emotional eating, binge eating, body image challenges, poor digestion, fatigue, low immunity, mood concerns, and so much more… all things I have experienced in my life as an eater.
When I came across this training opportunity, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I can do this, I thought. My biggest fear was school itself. Tests. Failing. But then I put my big girl shoes on, putting my 2 feet firmly on the floor, and now am over half ways through the training! It has been a joy! And at times, especially testing days, stressful I’ll admit.
The Founder of “The School for the Psychology of Eating”, Marc David, wasn’t kidding when he said, “This is a ‘breakthrough’ training”.
I am convinced this work is desperately needed in the world we live in today. As eaters, never has there been a time of such confusion about what to eat and people all stressed out in general with life and living. With so many options to fit our busy, stressed out lives, it would seem that we could find something that works for us sustainably to have peace in daily living, to function optimally. However, most often this is not the case. Instead, fears set in and we become frozen to make any decision to move in any new direction. We understand this feeling, truly. We’ve been there. Change is NOT easy. It’s always uncomfortable, often hard, and can cause mind and body stress which increases our chance of becoming ill and dis-eased.
If you’re thinking about investing in having a health coach, eating coach, or life coach in the near future or know someone who is looking for this kind of assistance in their lives, please consider us at Helping Hands Therapeutic Massage and Body Work to help you or someone you know, or possibly a small group of you, get to where you want to go!
As a team, my daughter Kelly (also in training at the “Institute for Integrative Nutrition” for Health Coaching) and I, we’d love the opportunity to share, care, support, teach, encourage and cheer you on your life journey as an eater!
Please, share this blog with anyone who comes to mind that may have an interest in this information for their future. Keep tuning in on our online platforms for further information on the journey.
Listen to the song “One”, by artist Chris Sligh by clicking on the link below.