#35 I’m Glad You’re Here
Isn’t it funny where life takes us? If you’re like me, every day you create an agenda, a “to do” list, for what you’d like to accomplish. Some days you actually make it through that list and other days you wonder why am I even bothering to make one.
I set a goal for myself back in the fall of 2017 which was to have all previously written posts for the Shift for Wellness blog transformed into podcasts by the end of my Christmas break. Ha! What a joke! I really should have known better and recognized all the demands that loom at the beginning of a school year that would slow this process down so dramatically it would almost come to a halt. The goal to complete publication, of course, wasn’t met. I giggled to myself for being so optimistic, which some say is a fault of mine and as I continued to set new deadlines for the end project, I realized they may have been right.
If I intended to keep my own health and wellness a priority, I realized I had to give myself more time to complete projects. Needless to say, the summer of 2017 came and went as did the summer of 2018, and most of 2019!
So here I am, back in this space, I created with intention and purpose; excited to continue to write about facing challenges and tragedy with courage and resilience. Truly bursting with eagerness to share with you how to manage wellness through it all. The aim is to encourage you to shift from limiting beliefs to ones that are filled with courage, confidence, and calm.
For those of you who are joining us for the first time, this hybrid blog/podcast was created to be universally designed to help all those suffering at home with an illness SHIFT to a better place with tips and tricks to keep their spirits up and to help give them a brighter outlook. More particularly, the site was contrived for people who were not able to leave their homes and more specifically, unable to leave their beds and were unable to read. How can I bring peace, calm, and radical acceptance into their space while they were physically limited.
You may be wondering: Why such a specific intention? And the answer is simple. Many years ago, a cancer diagnosis left me to venture through my own journey to wellness. I was bedridden for months as a result of the many medical treatments I was receiving, I lost the ability to read.
I wasn’t aware of the risk of losing this faculty, but to be fair, it could have been written in any one of the documents I signed off on to accept treatment. I just signed and read nothing. I wanted the treatment. I needed the treatment. I trusted my doctors. If signing meant treatments would begin and I could embark on this one part of my journey toward wellness, I signed. My husband Steve wanted to read everything to me. I thanked him and told him not to bother.
“I’m getting the treatment”, I would say. “I’ll deal with the side effects when and if they come. I don’t need to know what they are. Where’s the pen?” He’d place the pen between my fingers and thumb, minding the needle in my vein and the bandage and tape that were holding everything in place and patiently wait for me to attempt my signature as I just dragged the pen across the paper from my hospital bed.
Here’s the part for how Shift for Wellness came to be. Many people wanted to know how I made my way through the journey with such a positive outlook. I was asked this question so often, that the idea of sharing my story began to forcefully push me to make something happen. I couldn’t escape it. I had to listen to this force within me and I had to act.
I wanted to create a “How To” about how to manage your attitude on a day to day basis while being faced with a major life challenge. This is what I was being led to share. It became clear that would be helpful to many and doing so on a bigger scale made sense to me. It occurred to me that others may have similar questions and concerns and could use help navigating their way through their illness and could benefit by having a bag of tricks, a toolbox, a checklist, or a list of steps or measures to take when things got tough.
Shift for Wellness was born out of 5 key steps I regularly took along my journey. There was no deliberate thought process to these steps; they were simply a part of how I lived my life. I approached everything in life the same way without realizing I was doing it. I came into this world already programmed to do so combined with how I was nurtured as a child. As a result, I assumed everyone worked the same way. Of course, I knew there were some exceptions, but for the most part, yeah, I really thought everyone operated with the same mindset.
A friend once told me I looked at situations in life through a different lens than most people and I wasn’t quite sure what she meant but that, but this journey helped me to make sense of it.
After the major realization that everyone doesn’t operate with the same mindset when things aren’t going so well, I noticed trends that were a constant in my practice of life: Smiling, being Honest with myself, having purpose and Intention, having a very strong Faith, and being Thankful for all that I had and all that I experienced. The bad and the good. Thankfulness has always been a huge component of my life. I always knew things could be much worse. In fact, I knew others had it much worse than I did, and for that, I’d cry.
Hosting workshops was what I thought would be the best way to reach an audience. I advertised FREE workshops targeting people managing cancer and was faced with the most surprising realization. The majority of the people who signed up for the workshops weren’t managing cancer at all. They weren’t even suffering from an illness.
The majority of workshop participants simply just wanted to SHIFT to a better place which is what the workshops promised to help facilitate. I quickly realized the range of my audience jumped from a very select group of people managing cancer, being stuck in bed, not being able to read, to anyone and everyone who just wanted things in their world to simply be better than they were. My mind was blown by this understanding and as a result, it was important for me to appeal to a larger audience.
I remember sitting on the couch with a dear friend of mine and tossing around the idea of what to name the blog. For me it was like naming a child, this was going to be a long term relationship and the name was really important. I wanted the title to be widely appealing to anyone who read it would identify with it and feel they could be a part of the community and benefit from the content the site offered. We went back and forth with names and ideas. I knew I wanted the word “shift” in there because it worked as a great acronym for the five steps I lived by, and I also wanted it to be clear that if you came to this site you were going to learn some skills about being well. Shift for Wellness flew right out my friend’s mouth and from there, this purposeful and intentional space to live with ease was born.
As time progressed, my writing, podcasting, and consulting made its own shift toward working one-on-one with adults, and more recently with children. Suffering knows no boundaries. The suffering I’ve witnessed in children throughout my twenty-two years of teaching is sadly growing exponentially and it really needs to be addressed.
Children are floundering in the classroom and at home as they work to manage the same stressors faced by their parents and family members: world news, divorce, separation, illness, finances, over-scheduling, and academic success. Life has become overwhelming for a child that many are being robbed of their childhood and it is a mistake to assume they are not affected by what their parents are experiencing.
Children live through the subconscious of their parents and I’ll speak more to that in another episode, but my goodness, it’s time to get honest about what our kids are dealing with as they continue to be plugged in, overscheduled, lose the ability to communicate effectively, and have the opportunity to fail taken away from them. I’m witnessing children who are not able to cope with the most minor difficulties.
Wellness is such a huge umbrella that works to protect us from the storms of those difficulties, illness, tragedy, limiting beliefs, trauma, stress, fear, worry, anxiety, self-sabotage, social conditioning, ancestral programming, and everything else that can bring suffering.
I speak only of what I know; of what I’ve experienced and what I continue to experience. Most importantly, I speak of what I live and have lived on a daily basis with the intention of helping others to create a new mindset or mind-SHIFT. A simple shift to smile more, get honest with yourself, be purposeful and intentional with all things, have faith in the human experience and a force that is greater than you, and finally my most favorite of all, a shift to give thanks for every little thing. Be grateful and give back for the greater good of all.
During this fall and winter season, I’ll be sharing how to cultivate courage, the power of truth, ownership, healthy habits, and letting go. I’ll take a deep dive into the idea of purifying, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. These tenets are the ethical guidelines of yoga and the foundation of living skillfully. These disciplines are what resonated with me the most during my 200-hour yoga teacher training two years ago and I’m excited to have these conversations with you.
My “To Do” lists are now offered over to my higher Self, my inner wisdom, my Divine intuition that I have gotten to know really well and have learned to trust over the years. My list each day consists of a small request to be guided to say and do only that which needs to be said and done and I trust in that process. I’m teaching the ten and eleven-year-old students in my classroom to do the same.
If there are things on my list that didn’t get done, I know that completing those tasks weren’t necessary. If the lesson I planned went in an entirely different direction and most of what I planned didn’t get covered, I smile at the beauty of the teachable moment and scratch the rest. I trust each class got what they needed from the lesson and the rest will fall into place at the right time.
It’s my hope that as you move gracefully throughout this fall and winter season, you are able to release a bit more taking lessons from nature and the beautiful trees that are surrounding us now as they begin to shed their leaves. The leaves on the trees will be back in the spring. Trust that as you shed what is no longer needed, you will receive what is meant for you during this season of your life if you are open to it.
Welcome to the new season of Shift for Wellness. I am glad you’re here.