These last few years of my life have been filled with a lot of growth! While that’s definitely a good thing because it means I’m moving in the direction of my goals, the growth was also painful! I had to make really tough, and sometimes scary decisions. I had stayed frozen in fear for many years because of what I THOUGHT would happen as a result of making certain decisions! I can be overly dramatic at times (well,maybe a lot, lol)! My first inclination is to always imagine the worst situation possible, Future Events Appearing Real (AKA: F-E-A-R). That definition was my reality for the majority of my life, and then FEAR took on other meanings during the course of my recent journey. “Forget Everything and Run”, or “Face Everything and Rise” were also definitions that were present at times. I eventually got tired of allowing fear to hold me back, and decided to move forward with my life regardless of how the situation unfolded in my mind. One thing about me is that I might take YEARS to make a decision, but once I finally decide, I waste NO TIME, lol.
My most exciting achievement was going back to school in order to become a Life Coach! I decided to attend SWIHA, Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts! I stepped out on faith and started the intense work of unpacking my own baggage! There was no way I could help others with theirs if I didn’t address mine first! I didn’t have a ton of baggage because I had already put in the work at every self-help group on the planet! I could probably be considered a support group addict! I did, however, have some recent losses that had not been addressed with a support group due to lack of time. I’d lost both my mother, and my marriage. The loss of my mother was far more devastating. I flew home to help with home hospice and was by her side for the fifteen days it took for her to pass on. I’d never seen anyone die before, and was in the room when she took her last breath! Although my marriage was like a slow death, it was more of a relief when it was finally over. I think a lot of marriages are mentally over long before they physically end.
I can be REALLY clueless at times, but it wasn’t long after starting SWIHA that I felt something wasn’t quite right. The work was intense, but I only handed out kleenex as we progressed through the journey of facing our demons. The only time I used any for myself was to wipe my hands off after trying to secretly eat without being seen! At first I thought it was just a fluke that I shed no tears regardless of how emotional the work. However, after one especially intense session on forgiveness in which EVERYONE was crying except yours truly, I started getting concerned. I didn’t have the slightest urge to cry. It was then that I started wondering if I were totally devoid of empathy. If so, could I REALLY be an effective Life Coach? I didn’t think so. I already knew intellectually that if I didn’t forgive others, I was only hurting myself and not the other person. Sometimes my head understands the logic, but my heart could care less!
I had already noticed that I cried less than the average person. Usually only three times per year, and only during cartoons (how weird is THAT!). Last year I actually had a bonus cry, twice in two days from the same movie, Inside Out. I was actually proud that the tears came so close together. I felt a little more human! It did seem a little weird that SADNESS stole my heart over Joy! Joy was much too joyful for me! I received two suggestions for dealing with this challenge, the first one being to try hypnotherapy. I immediately signed up for a free hypnotherapy clinic at SWIHA. Free is definitely my kind of price! Even though I am a natural skeptic, if it’s FREE I will still check it out. If I don’t have to pay, I’m not losing anything but time. While it was a pleasant experience, hypnotherapy didn’t solve the issue. Just like in the past, I wasn’t able to control the mind chatter!
The second suggestion of acupuncture, was from a well-respected professional! The direction given to me was to say I had issues emoting. I wasn’t convinced it was really an issue, and I didn’t like that the word emoting sounded more like a bird disease! Acupuncture wasn’t going to be free since it was outside of SWIHA, but I was determined to do whatever it took in order to be an effective Life Coach. I’d had acupuncture in the past, and thought it was only for pain! Included on the list of challenges acupuncture was found to be beneficial for was weight loss, intestinal issues, migraines, stress, allergies, addictions and a host of other complications! I figured if it didn’t help with my possible emoting issues, I had plenty of other issues on the list which made the odds high that SOMETHING in my body would improve! There were so many body parts to choose from, that I was certain I definitely receive my money’s worth. Personally, even thought I went, I wasn’t convinced that an emotional challenge could be cured with something as simple as needles. However, I understood that my inability to forgive would hold me back from reaching my goals, so I needed to do whatever it took to find the anwers.
During my initial appointment with Dr. Montoya, I gave him a list of my challenges but also added that the main reason I came was due to the inability to emote. I am definitely inquisitive, and sometimes downright nosy according to my kids! (I was excited to hear this is a beneficial trait of an effective Life Coach, lol). It is my nature to ask a TON of questions until I understand the answer. I finally understood how acupuncture works (in a nutshell). The needles increase blood flow to damaged areas, which allows the body to heal itself. Made sense after I finally understood it, and I was all in! It took only 4 sessions before there was a difference. The change was so subtle that I didn’t even notice it in the beginning. I was in church, and I actually cried in response to the message that day on Forgiveness! I didn’t even have any tissue left because I’d passed them all out in class a few months prior and rarely have the need to use them! I assumed that one crying episode was a fluke, even though it was complete with ugly face and runny nose! However, over the course of time, I started tearing up at situations that were UNHEARD of for me! Then it got worse and I started empathizing with people who made excuses, something I NEVER do! It’s always been hard for me to empathize with excuse makers previously , simply because I’d stop making them years prior when I realized they got me nowhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new version of myself accidentally helped a few people come up with new excuses they’d never even thought of themselves!
I finally realized over the course of a few months that I had become a changed woman! Other areas in my body also improved, but those were more noticeable because they were physical changes. Over the course of many years I’d spent a small fortune on chiropractors and massage therapists, without ever receiving the amount of relief acupuncture provided over the course of just a few short sessions. It was a shocking revelation, especially since I am a self-proclaimed skeptic! Two recent things happened which left no doubt in my mind that acupuncture is definitely working on my emotional state! I normally will not take time off work to fly home for family events. Yet, this year I found myself thinking it was important for me to attend the upcoming family picnic. That wasn’t the strangest part (even though it was NOT normal!). I felt it was important to go because my mother recently passed and since I looked so much like her, my presence would give the family a little piece of her, if only for a day. My mother was extremely family oriented, and I knew it was something she would have wanted. WHAT??!!! Where did THAT come from!??
This past weekend, however, I finally had an experience that cinched it for me! I had an overwhelming desire to BAKE muffins for my son. I actually thought it would be nice for him to have homemade muffins for breakfast next week, rather than the usual cold cereal! First of all, I don’t like to cook (let alone bake), and second of all, my son is 22 years old! Luckily I was able to fight that baking urge! I had to draw the line somewhere! I hate to even consider it, but I might just have to break up with my FABULOUS acupuncturist! After all, I worked too hard to earn my man card, as my sons call it! I DO have a reputation to protect!