I have spent a good part of my adulthood endeavouring to understand how to integrate the different parts of myself: artist, mother, wife, adventurer. I found it difficult to balance having a creative practice, earning money and raising a family at the same time. I started my journey on a creative trajectory and held many jobs along the way to support myself. In the process, I questioned what it meant to call myself an artist. I wondered whether I could still call myself an artist if I could not earn income from my artwork. Taking a long hiatus to raise my children, I also wrestled with my identity as a mother, despite the joy and the belief that it was the most important job that I would ever have. I questioned why I felt that my self worth was tied into having a career.
In my journey so far, most of the time my life moved along brilliantly. But change is inevitable and disequilibrium inevitably showed up in the form of a major crisis during the recession and it led me straight into trauma. I was living in fear, unable to eat or sleep or make the decisions needed to move me from fear into rational thought, active evaluation and decision making. Had I been able to manage the fear and uncertainty, I could have asked for the help and guidance that I needed and taken the steps necessary to move me through it with a lot more grace. Instead, I had to uproot our family, leave our home, community and friends and move across the country to be closer to my extended family. Eventually I made it through; but at a greater cost, literally and figuratively.
The one good thing about having to overcome adversity is that the difficult experiences we encounter are opportunities for growth and change. For me, knowing that challenges are an inevitable part of life led me on a quest to gather the tools necessary to guide me through the rough spots. I started enjoying the process of learning how to overcome adversity, navigate change and reap the benefits of peaceful transitions when challenges arose.
My journey towards self-awareness, the empowerment that I received from the tools in my toolbox and my life-long interest in listening to the stories of others has led me directly to my current passion: helping others to help themselves. This is what coaching is. So, here I am, having come full circle. I am grateful to be a living example of how one’s challenges are opportunities for change, growth and happiness.