"LIFE IN A WORD"
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Welcome to My Life Coaching Blog!
Many of us have taken a liking to the new game, "WORDLE". For those who haven't tried it yet, it's a game that challenges you to figure out the five letter 'word of the day' in 6 tries or less. Simple? Sometimes, but not always. Bottom line, "Wordle" is fun, challenging and sometimes downright frustrating. One could say, it's a lot like life. You have to keep trying until you get it right. Take a few losses, learn a few lessons and get back up and try again.
Inspired by this latest word jumble craze and because, as a Life Coach, words are a big part of my tool kit, I decided to create a blog to celebrate words and the impact they can have on who we are and how we deal with life. I'm calling it "Life In a Word".
Each week I will:
- Feature a word
- Provide a dictionary definition
- And share a story, depicting how the power of that word made a difference in a person’s life
It might be a story from my life or a story shared by others. So welcome to this week's "Life In A Word" Post:
The word is: PURPOSE
Definition: Per Merriam Webster Dictionary: The reason for which something exists or is done.
My Story of Purpose:
Life has a tendency of throwing us a few curve balls, when we least expect them. The curve balls that were thrown at my 90 year old mom happened two years ago when she had a stroke at her home in Florida and consequently came to Massachusetts, to live in an Assisted Living Facility, close to my home so I could help care for her. She went from nearly complete independence to considerable dependence, in just a few short hours. Beyond her physical decline (she now depends on a walker to walk), her emotional decline was palpable. Trying to motivate her to enjoy her life, when so much of it had been taken away, was difficult. Add the isolation of Covid-19, in March of 2020, and you can see an even more challenging picture emerge. For some history, let me go back a bit to her pre stroke life: At 88 she was living in a three bedroom house, with a dog, a car, a social life, good health and lots and lots of freedom to live as she pleased. To paint a broader picture of just how fit and healthy she was, my mom, at 88, was still playing tennis 2-3 times a week. The good news is that despite the stroke she still has a great memory, a voracious appetite for reading and keeping up with the news and an incredible gift for the creative arts. Although she engages in the many activities offered daily at the Assisted Living Facility and has made lots of friends, she often feels the trappings of her aging body and her post stroke health. She says things like "this isn't living". Wanting to lift her spirits, I gave some thought to what would make someone in her position rise up, see the good and enjoy life more. The word that came to mind was PURPOSE. My mom needed a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, something to look forward to, something that might connect her back to her pre stroke life. I tested a few things, but the one that ignited her and really gave her purpose, a reason to exist, was her art. It didn't work at first, when I merely suggested that she draw with her sketch book. That was met with a shrug and a firm "no, I don't feel like it." So, a few days later, I tried a different approach. I asked her if she would be interested in teaching me how to sketch. A genuine smile came to her face (not like the forced ones when I ask her to smile) but a genuine smile from her heart. And so, the lesson began. I have been taking lessons ever since and the smiles just get brighter. Instead of feeling like she was "burdening others with her needs", here she was awakening a piece of her old life and feeling good about herself again. If there is such a thing as a positive curve ball, this was it.
So, how we choose to live life or fill our days might very well come from finding our purpose. I know for me, one of my purposes is to continue to uncover ways to make my mom feel needed, to help ignite parts of her that are still there, just waiting to come back out and to help her feel that she has "a reason to exist". I'll keep you posted on her progress and mine. I'm not an artist, not yet anyway. Rumor has it I have a very good teacher.
If you have a story about how you or someone you know found a purpose that helped brighten their life, I hope you'll share it too.
We all want our lives to be better and maybe sometimes all it takes is the right word to focus on. If you need help finding your purpose, or how to make your life better, it might be time to talk to a Life Coach. I hope you'll reach out to me. Thank you for reading my blog and for checking back in next week when the word will be CHANGE.
Welcome to “LIFE IN A WORD”
To all of you who read my blog on “Purpose”, last week, thank you for coming back. For any new readers, welcome. I hope you will be inspired by what you read.
This weeks word is: CHANGE
Definition: Merriam Webster Dictionary: A reversal in position or attitude.
My Story on Change:
It’s impossible to ignore the changes the Pandemic had on so many of us and how it shook our world in ways we could never have imagined. However, instead of focusing on the negative impact the Pandemic had, I want to reflect on something positive.
I want to share a story that begins with a simple walk. It was a day I think about often because it exemplified the theory that behind every dark cloud there truly is a silver lining waiting to be found. Let’s see if you agree.
When weather permits, and that day was an unseasonably warm and sunny one, I put on my sneakers and walk from my house to the lake in my town. It takes me about half an hour each way. When I get there, I usually rest on a spot somewhere near the middle of the lake between the entrance and the snack shack. I choose this spot because there is a wall of rocks suitable for resting upon and for taking in a panoramic view of the beautiful lake before you.
When I sat down on the rocks that day, instead of looking at the view in front of me, I looked at the people around me. In fact, I believe I did a double take because what I saw was unusual for two o’clock on a Friday afternoon in April. What I saw warmed me to the core. I saw mother’s and father’s with their kids. I saw couples of all ages and I saw dogs with their owners. One father was flying a kite with his son, some parents were on the ground playing in the sand with sand toys they had brought from home. There were couples sitting on beach towels, usually reserved for summer outings. Dogs were running around playfully chasing frisbee’s, tennis balls and children. People were smiling, laughing, embracing. Dogs were barking.
Now, if this was any afternoon in the summer or some random weekend day, I might not have taken notice. But this was two o’clock on a Friday afternoon in April of 2020. History might recall this as the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Pandemic that stopped us in our tracks. The Pandemic that prevented many from going to work or school. It stopped most of us from going to any number of places we would normally be rushing back and forth to on a Friday afternoon in April. But today was different. Today people left their worries behind and decided to have a lake day. It was a day to embrace the sun, the sand and the people they most wanted to be with. This was a day of change, of changed priorities, of changed schedules and of changed “attitudes”. There was something going on that was helping to alleviate the stress the Pandemic
brought on. There was something that gave all who were there that day permission to exercise a sense of freedom and to deliver on something they needed so very badly, a sense of normalcy in their lives. I suppose we could attribute it to the weather, but I think it ran much deeper than that, I think those people, at that lake, on that sunny April afternoon, found their silver lining.
Sometimes, the changes we can’t control end up opening doors that may have been closed for far too long or doors that may never have opened at all. It’s true, we can’t always exercise the freedom to take a lake day. In fact, some might say it would take a miracle to pull a person away from their daily responsibilities. Change comes with its share of risk and fear and yet, when we do take a step towards change, we might discover it wasn’t so scary after all and the risk was well worth it. We might discover it was just what we needed to enjoy the day, the month, the year or the rest of our lives.
If you’ve been contemplating a change for a while and feel stuck, it might be time to talk to a Life Coach. I hope you’ll reach out to me. Thank you for reading my blog and for checking back next week when the word will be OBSTACLE.