prioritizing your life, notes from a waiting room


This past year my life has been in a constant state of transformation. Sometimes easy, other times painful. I have been struggling to live and thrive in two very different worlds: Corporate America, and Healing. For months I’ve been asking the universe for clarity. Where should I focus my energy? How do I start a business? What is the most effective way to network?

Then I received an unexpected answer: All you have is your health, and timing is everything.

The universe can reset your life in an instant. In my case, it was a phone call. I was stunned to receive a message from my doctor on Monday morning, asking me to return for additional scans. My only priority from that moment on was getting an appointment at the imaging center. I dropped everything and headed uptown.

Sitting in the waiting room, in my ill-fitting beige gown, I wasn’t worried about work, my social responsibilities, or to-do lists. My primary focus was my health. It was ironic to be staring out through an enormous window at a beautiful view of the Hudson River on a warm, sunny, clear day, surrounded by women who looked as scared and uncomfortable as I felt.

Why can’t we find answers when things are moving along fine? Why should it take something as monumental as a health crisis to force you to reevaluate your life.

It suddenly struck me that these test results would determine whether I would return to my usual routine, or if my life would be forever changed.

After two hours of stressful examinations, I received a clean bill of health. There were moments, dark moments, when I truly believed the outcome was going to be very different. As I started getting choked up, the nurse said, “I bet you’ll have a glass of champagne when you get home.” I was very grateful, and I knew how lucky I was. Judging by the long faces of some of the other women there, life was going to be drastically different for them. It was heartbreaking.

Walking out of the building, I vowed not to waste this experience. Afterward, I came up with a few daily practices to keep me on track. I hope you find them useful as well:

  1. Nurture yourself: Tune in, not out. Pay more attention to how you feel, how much sleep you’re getting. In what areas can you make improvements? How can you implement those improvements? Monitor burnout, eliminate long hours at the office, delegate more, and participate in activities that make you happy.
  1. Reimagine your thoughts: Pay attention to negative thoughts and comments, then steer them away. By shifting your outlook, everything can change. Pick up the book A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen. For me, it was a game changer.
  1. Get moving: Staying active is essential for mind, body, and spirit. Commit to walking 30-minutes a day; slice and dice it anyway that works for you. Take time to decompress while listening to good music—it can be energizing and it’s good for your soul.
  1. Laugh: Surround yourself with people that bring out your best. Life is supposed to be enjoyed, not taken too, too seriously. Try a hula-hoop contest with friends. You may look ridiculous, but you’ll have a great time.

Here’s to a healthy and happy life!

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