It all started with a dream
Looking back over the last three years has been empowering and exciting. When I started working on a three year vision in the fall of 2008, I was really struggling to come up with a vision of what my newly single life could look and feel like. I really wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted - all I knew was that I was really unhappy and uncomfortable. My divorce a few months earlier took place during a health crisis where I was in excruciating pain to the point of not being able to stand or walk for more than a few minutes, forget about driving, working, cooking, cleaning my apartment. I was in a really rough place, and I knew enough about myself to call up Brenda Stanton and ask her to guide me in getting out of the emotional hole I felt stuck in and start creating a new life. She helped me to pull my true essence out of all the hidden places inside myself and create a vision.
Some of the things I accomplished, I hadn’t really believed were possible.
At the time, I was experiencing extremely high levels of pain all day every day, and I didn’t believe I’d ever get to a place where pain was background noise instead of the screaming, horror movie feature attraction. I saw many doctors, took many medications, and went through 3 separate courses of physical therapy, including a functional rehabilitation program to help me get back to being able to take care of my daily needs like bathing, cooking, and cleaning. I was hoping for my daily pain level to drop to a dull roar, and I didn’t even imagine it could go away almost completely. Yet, here I am living quite well and back to work full-time in my own business with much of the pain turned down and the rest managed with self-care.
I also never believed I’d find love again. I was hurting quite badly from my marriage and subsequent divorce, and I didn’t think I’d have the courage to open up my hurting heart to someone, let alone fall in love again. And yet, three years later I am living with a wonderful man who shares my values and lifestyle, and who inspires me to stay connected to my spiritual side. Our home is exactly how I envisioned I wanted a home to be that would inspire, soothe and nurture me. There are the big sunny windows, the quiet meditation space, cat to cuddle, outdoor space, big dining room and plenty of art-in-progress all around.
At the time I wrote the vision, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with my business. It’s original intention was to be a part-time business that I could continue to do as a stay-at-home mom in my marriage. I hadn’t originally intended it to be a career or something that would fully support me. Shifting into the belief that it could not only be something I do full-time, but it could also be the “job” that supports my life was frightening and felt impossible. Especially with all that pain interfering with my ability to focus. Yet, here I am three years later doing work that inspires me every day and supporting my life teaching Reiki and heart-centered entrepreneurship.
I also envisioned a wellness center where I worked with other practitioners who shared my vision of educating people about mind-body-spirit wellness, and The Healing Center in Beverly is fully established now. We are growing and expanding and providing a diverse assortment of healing services. In fact, taking on the space and inviting other practitioners to join me was one of the biggest, and most rewarding, risks I’ve taken over the past three years. I started out showing up at this office alone a couple of hours a week, depending on my pain levels, and now there is healing and nurturing going on 7 days a week whether I’m there or not. Growing The Healing Center has been a huge learning curve for me, but worth every minute. I am really proud of the community that has grown around and within The Healing Center.
Another area of my life that Brenda wanted me to focus on in 2008 was fun and recreation. Anyone with a chronic illness, pain or fatigue condition knows that the first thing to go is your social life. You can hardly manage you responsibilities, forget about having fun. You get really friendly with your computer and television because they don’t require you to dress up, engage in conversation or interact during normal hours. Your laptop, and friends you connect with online, become your lifeline because you could be up at an time dealing with symptoms and not sleeping.
When I started working with Brenda, my life sucked.
It really did. It was consumed with emotional and physical pain and having fun was not on my horizon. I could barely smile, and I didn’t even want to answer the phone. I didn’t feel well enough to go out, even to get groceries. I wasn’t eating, forget about having fun. This area of my life was definitely lacking, especially as a large chunk of my social circle went away with the divorce. My long-time friends have always been great, but at the time none of them lived nearby and I didn’t know anyone locally except family.
Brenda pushed and prodded me, as she does, so I started with a vision of connecting with like-minded people in the area near my work. I started going to a support group and signed up for Meetup. I invited people to my office and maximized on my energy by connecting with like minded colleagues during my work hours. Now, a few years later, I have a thriving social life. I have a large circle of colleagues, and some fantastic and wonderful close friends that warm my heart. I can go out as many nights of the week as I choose to be doing something interesting and different. I can smile, laugh and do the things I really love again like yoga, going for a walk in the woods or at the beach, cooking (oh gosh do I love cooking and what a blessing it is to be back in the kitchen!), and even entertaining guests at my home. I have fun all the time with my sweetie too. Pain rarely holds me back from anything these days.
Three years ago this fall, as the divorce really became real, my spiritual faith and practices were disintegrating. I felt desolate and disconnected from the Divine, and I didn’t think it was possible to ever reconnect again. I had my own Elizabeth Gilbert moment of sobbing on the bathroom floor hitting rock bottom of despair before I found my way back to my spirituality. I started meditating again and cried until there were no tears left. One the other side of the pain, I found the Divine waiting for me. Now the basic structure of my life includes daily meditation and spiritual practices which help guide my life, business and relationships. I have never felt so close and held by the Divine before in my life. My connection is stronger than I ever imagined it could be. I make all of my decisions about life, business and everything in between from a heart-space that is connected directly to the Divine.
In three short years (with many long, dark nights), I have transformed my life from an experience of pain to one of peace and joy.
When I wrote that vision down in late 2008, I didn’t believe I’d ever feel anything but pain again. I decided I couldn’t wait for the pain to end in order to get back to living. I decided I would find a way to live with it and still do things that were rewarding. In doing so, I was able to release the suffering that came with the pain. I was able to rebuild a new life, and it’s pretty darn awesome!
It isn’t enough for me to just enjoy my new life. I know there are many of you out there with similar disappointments, despair and suffering. It was a vision that started my journey to heal my body and my life, and I want you to find your own vision so you can climb out of the hole you’re in and claim the life your heart really wants. Like me, you need to heal and find a way to make your life and career work for you, just the way you are. The first step is dreaming it, and the next is getting out of your own way.
I have been offering a six week teleclass, Clearing your Path for Success, for the last two years to help people struggling like I did to envision, clear out roadblocks and learn how to keep taking steps towards their dream. The next teleclass starts on October 16, 2011. Would you like to join us? If the timing is not right for you to join us, there is also a learn-at-home version of the class.