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I’ve been retired (after 30 years of government work) for 15 months now. I’m so fortunate to have begun my career early. I can’t believe the time has passed so quickly. 

I am thrilled to have joined the ranks of my esteemed retired colleagues who entered into this life changing, identity re-defining new state of “being” before me.  They said, I would love it and they were right.

Retirement has been both a soul quenching joy and a huge challenge this year.  I had big plans for expanding my coaching and training business after I retired, and couldn’t wait to begin “my new job”.

During the process I learned an amazing lesson about balance.  Without the external controls of an 8-5 job, my new work schedule was often 6:30 am to 11 pm.  I barely took time for food and bathroom breaks not to mention walking, golfing, visiting friends or other activities I longed to do in my retirement.  Thank goodness I taught fitness classes and had to get away from the computer and phone.

I finally had time to work on my business, and was driven to make it a success.  However, the deadly “owning your own business tentacles” wrapped tightly around me smothering me in the many activities required to run a business.

It’s no wonder that after several months my life became unbalanced. I focused exclusively on one goal. I began to feel trapped, unhappy and discouraged.  This was not the retirement bliss I had written about in my 5 year future-life letter while in coaching school almost 5 years ago.

I had a huge revelation! What the heck was I doing?  Here I was TRULY FREE AT LAST, and working myself to the bone – not enjoying it like I hoped for in my letter.  

I finally realized that NO goal is worth sacrificing my own wellness to achieve. When we work like this, and many of us do… our bodies give us warnings to stop such as headaches, fatigue, depression, weight gain/loss, lack of sleep, anxiety or major illness before they eventually break down…

I thought about the lessons I emphatically teach in my workshops…

First take extraordinary care of yourself, eat well, exercise and engage in nurturing activities like getting a massage, loosing your self in a hobby, journaling, meditating or reading a good book.

Second, create an internal and external support system that will help enable you to achieve your goals without sacrificing your wellness in the process.

Third, take quality time to reflect, acknowledge and peacefully contemplate where you are and where you want to be.  After all, we can’t help others if we don’t first put the oxygen mask on ourselves…

Ask yourself:  What am I doing? Where is my life unbalanced?   What am I giving up to achieve what I am pursuing? What are my TRUE priorities?

Stay tuned for Part II

Your comments & feedback are always welcome and encouraged. For an appointment call 206-459-2898 or e-mail me at: patricia@integritylifecoach.com Home page http://www.integritylifecoach.com Copyright© 2008 Patricia Eslava Vessey…All Rights Reserved

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