My father once told me a story about when I was eight years old and my first day of school, after moving to a new town. He said that he remembers me saying goodbye and walking confidently, without hesitation, towards my new school entrance where I knew nobody. He said I didn't even look back at him. If I had, I would have seen him cry. The memories are vague from that day, but I can remember the day's excitement, my jean dress and all my new classmates asking me about my colourful bracelets. I have no recollection of feeling fearful or anxious.
Now fast forward to a few years ago. I was happily married with two beautiful children and had just returned to work after my second maternity leave. I had a bounce in my steps, but within a few months of working at my perfect full-time job as a Kinesiologist, I began to realize that I was not genuinely happy.
My clients and I barely scratched the surface while I was practicing Kinesiology, and during that time, I learned that focusing on the behaviour (i.e., exercise) brought on change that was only short-term. It really wasn't a genuine lifestyle change.
I loved being a Kinesiologist and still do, but I did reach a point where I struggled to feel happy and find purpose in what I was doing. Something was missing. I felt stuck, less than, untrusting and believed that nothing was possible.
In my attempt to resolve my unhappiness, I began to believe that if I ate better, exercised more, meditated more, improved my sleep, spent time outside, was more social, managed my time better, and was more present with my husband and children, that I would surely be happier. All I needed to do was take care of myself and cope better! Right?
Authenticity - Growth - Connection - Community
One day, my husband stopped me dead in my tracks when he asked, "what if your self-care is not the problem?"
It had never occurred to me that by coping the best I could, I was making things worse and that maybe my assessment of the situation and resolutions were all wrong. I didn’t need to change myself; I needed to change my situation. This came as a relief, but then what? Where to next?
This was the point in my life that I came across the practice of Integrative Health Coaching. It made me reconnect with my childhood self, at the time when I needed to see beyond my current position and the fear and anxiety of the unknown. It gave me the strength to once again walk confidently and embrace the new, the unknown. You see, we all have the answers and resources within ourselves, and through coaching, I found the space and support to clarify my values and realize the choices I could not before.
Coaching provided me with tools and strategies to make decisions that were aligned with my values. By intentionally putting my well-being at the centre of all my choices, and with the knowledge I gained during my certification, I embraced the training, and I found the answer and created a lifestyle and a version of myself that I thoroughly enjoy. Coping to make the situation work isn’t choosing to be well. Being well is choosing situations that make you thrive.
Remember, you always have a choice, and you have the power to choose well-being in every decision you make.