I was having a conversation with a colleague shortly before I ended my tenure in teaching. As we were speaking, she looked at me with the utmost sincerity and asked,“
“You’re not tethered by the chain of healthcare?”
I’ll never forget the look on her face as I replied, “No.”
I was at the point in my illness I could barely, physically make it through the work day – so I had to choose.
On one hand, I had a career, healthcare, tenure, and a retirement fund…. all the things that created stability for the purpose of managing my illness.
On the other hand, I had a deep desire to heal.
I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life managing illness on a long-term basis. I wanted something better for myself.
I wanted to heal.
Moving forward, without healthcare or a stable income, choice became my biggest ally.
Sometimes I wonder how many choices a person makes in a given day. I think it would be impossible to count, especially since so many of our choices are rooted in subconscious patterns of behavior.
I had to do better than that. I had to learn how to be mindful with my choices. I couldn’t rely on old patterns and outdated thinking anymore. If I wanted to form a new life out of the ashes of my old one, I had to make my choices count.
I rested. A lot.
I did yoga.
I found part-time employment.
I worked on my diet.
I spent more time with my husband.
And I began to heal. Not just manage my illness, but actually heal.
Who knows where I’d be if I’d stayed in that old life…. my guess is still sick and still in pain.
But the power of my choices led me down a different road. One where wellness and health started to become my new reality.
I made the following question my motto:
What’s the healthiest choice I can make for myself in this moment?
I answered that question carefully and often, making sure whatever choices I made were realistic and sustainable.
I worked on one or two things at a time, and kept at it until the old me slipped away and the new me emerged.
If you want something in your life to change, you have to tap into the power of your choices. Do so consciously and with purpose. Find a question or motto that works for you – you’re welcome to use mine if it inspires you – and come back to it often. Change happens one choice at a time, so make your choices count.