It’s never too late to reinvent or better one’s self.
I’m a golden girl who has been out of corporate life since the mid 90s. It was not a very difficult decision. I almost lost my 4th child while working on a very critical joint venture. The incident made me rethink my previously busy and stressful life and made me exchange it for a homemaker’s hat.
In 2006, I discovered the joys of blogging and began my yoga practice. In 2009, the opportunity to become a citizen advocate opened up to me when I became part of Blog Watch, a citizen watchdog made up of bloggers who pursued social, economic, civic and political issues in order to be catalysts for change. As social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, among others, mushroomed, I found myself engaging netizens more and more on these platforms. With my kids all grown up and half of them out of school and working already, I had more time to pursue activities that were not just personal passions (I should have done these ages ago!) but advocacies that I hope would shape the future for my kids,their kids and everyone else’s kids.
It was a good feeling to see myself transform from 1) this career-driven, corporate woman whose wardrobe consisted of mostly office suits to 2) homemaker who spent a good decade just raising kids and being active in school and once more to 3) an active citizen in the arena of social change through blogging and social media.
What I did not realize was that I was to go through another transformation. One that is still a work-in-progress up to now.
The opportunity first presented itself when Noemi and I joined a group called the #SoMoms (short for Social Media Moms).
Soon after I became part of SoMoms, I attended a life coaching talk by Coach Pia Nazareno-Acevedo of OneCORE with the mommies.
You’d think that at my age, I would have all the experience and know-how I need for the rest of my life. But no. Coach Pia opened my eyes to even more possibilities and opportunities to make the rest of that life more meaningful, not just for me but for my family too. Another chance to be a “Better Me”.
Coach Pia made us list on 4 sheets of paper the 4 most important things in our lives. If I remember right, I listed –
2. Finding ME
3. Fulfilling my purpose or mission in life
What all of us did not know was that Coach Pia would ask us to choose which of the 4 we would give up if we had to. I did not want to give up anything at first. Neither did the other SoMoms. Our list of 4 was what was most precious to us! But no, we had to choose 1. After we all gave 1 up, Coach Pia again asked us to give up another. Whaaaaat? Well, I was already feeling the inner pain. I had first given up the thought of living my life meaningfully, now I was contemplating giving up the need to find my true self. I was left with health and family. Very important, right? But once again, Coach Pia asked us which of the two left with us we would give up. PAIN!!! Health was very important to me considering my personal circumstance as a yogini, health advocate and caregiver to my husband. I did not want to give it up. But between that and family, I eventually chose to give health up. I was left with Family. The final pain was when even that 1 last item in our hands (mine was family) was to be given up. I was left with NOTHING.
The exercise was meant to strip us of everything we held dear so we could really start seeing our CORE VALUES. What really mattered.
I saw my role as a Mom as being so important for my children because I would be a Mom to them forever, even when they become independent and all grown up. I realized it was important to now take a second look at my evolving role as a wife to a husband who needed caregiving, attention and companionship in this phase of our lives. I learned that I live in a world where many things are artificial, irrelevant and maybe even trivial and unessential. It was important for me to discern between artificial stuff (including titles, positions and influence) and what were real values for me. To see what mattered BEFORE I lost it.
Coach Pia told us that the 4 values we listed were instrumental in affecting our decisions which, in turn, affect our behavior. Healthy relationships exist when we live our personal values daily. The opposite works. When personal values are not lived out (because those around us do not share those values or appreciate them), it can lead to unhealthy relationships where one can become defensive or even a difficult person. I realized it was so important to be true to one’s self and to be appreciated and valued for having those values.
When what I personally believe in and value lives out in my daily life, only then can I really have quality relationships. It is when I feel fulfilled and appreciated that I am able to positively deal with people around me. I asked Coach Pia about difficult people. Her response: when I meet difficult people, rather than get upset with them, I need to understand that they are missing out on an awareness of their personal values (APVs) and therefore, are unable to live them out. And when their lives are not aligned and lived according to their personal values, they react with inner frustration.
Point #2 in the slide above really caught my eye. Yes, negativity is contagious. I know how that feels. You start your day all bright and happy, then it takes an encounter with a nega person and the rest of your day is ruined. It is contagious.
I call nega persons “energy vampires”. They exude negativity and literally make you feel physically drained just being around them. Oh, I actually can think of some people I know like that. Coach Pia said that, where possible, we must stay away from negative people. But how do you avoid energy vampires if they are part of your family or colleagues at work. Bumping into them every now and then is inevitable. In those instances, control of one’s physical space is something we can try. But when it becomes inevitable to be in their presence, Coach Pia says we need to go back to our APVs, remember what matters to us most in life, and somehow it can change how we deal with any negativity that may happen. And that is Point #3 in Coach Pia’s slide: “In the face of negativity, be the one to change.”
THAT, to me, is the bigger challenge. How to confront negativity, stare it in the face, and yet be the one to change. Right now, my thought process is: But WHY, Coach Pia, should I be the one to change? Shouldn’t the nega person be the one?
I have no real answers just yet. And maybe this is why I am still a work-in-progress. Hopefully, in future sessions with Coach Pia I will better understand the process I need to go through to address Point #3. Meanwhile, I need to work on myself more and more every day.
I feel challenged that even with grown-up kids and more than 2 decades of marriage, there are still many things to learn and improve on as far as healthy relationships come. This phase of life is totally different. I now face an almost empty nest. There are health challenges to contend with. And surely, it is already a countdown with less years ahead of me than behind me. It is a time to really assess what is so important for me to do (AND BE) for the rest of my life. My SoMom-mies kept talking about “inflated balloons” and I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Apparently, this one slide is used in every session by Coach Pia to remind us to check how we balance all these “inflated balloons”. Whew! I hope yoga somehow helps me inflate those which are still deflated! 🙂
My thanks go to Coach Pia for tackling this life coaching workshop (my first one in a series planned for the SoMoms). I am so looking forward to the next one coming soon.
One Last Round of Thanks!!!
Our SoMoms sessions with Coach Pia would not have been possible without our main sponsor, Unilab. Thank you, Unilab, for giving us mommies these golden opportunities to be even better Moms and wives.
One Last, Last Round of Thanks….
The SoMoms lunch was a sumptious one thanks to Charlie’s Pritchon, brought by no other than Charlie himself. This is one whole fried lechon chopped and wrapped with sliced cucumber and spring onions in assorted pita wedges, then dipped in a sauce of your choice (hoisin, white garlic, honey mustard, chili tagalog, sate, honey lemon or the traditional lechon sauce). Thanks!
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