Is it possible to enjoy a fulfilling life even when that life is themed by a chronic illness or disability? How can you regain a sense of purpose and pleasure after a diagnosis?
Any traveller is helpless without a road map and any artist or craftsman is helpless without the right tools. And so it is that Heart and Soul Coaching has adapted the internationally-acclaimed New Insights™ Coaching Workshop, offering you the road map and the tools to help you redesign your life after the realisation that that life will be severely affected by your health condition. What future awaits you?
Into a Future you once thought Impossible
Few events affect all areas of life as does the entry of a chronic illness and/or disability. Not only does the entire background in terms of your work, your finances, future vision, and your personal relationships and roles come crashing down; your very sense of self and your life purpose are challenged to the extreme.
As you find yourself like an unwanting traveler in a strange land, many deeply upsetting emotional and psychological processes take place whilst you try to find your way into this unknown world. One such process is marked by three profound stages.
The first experience: the stage of loss and being lost. Here, you might have become separated from everything your life once held – from your functioning, your independence, your personal roles, your work, as well as from everything that ‘could have been’. In truth, you became separated from the person you once were. This is the Crisis Phase, in terms of the Four-phase Fennel model, and here we also find Denial, Anger, and Bargaining in terms of psychological coping.
This is what I call ‘The In-between Space’. Liminality is derived from ‘Limen’, meaning threshold. Here, you are suspended between all that was but is no longer on the one hand, and that which can be, but is as yet without form and shape. This is the Stabilisation Phase in terms of the Four-phase Fennel Model, and here we also find Depression in terms of psychological coping.
Gains and Finding Yourself
Reintegration. By now, your condition and all its associated symptoms, limitations, changed needs and required behaviors have become your new, but incomplete reality. From here on it is your task to find renewed confidence, purpose and direction. This stage represents the Resolution and Integration Phases in terms of the Four-phase Fennel Model and, reluctantly but surely, Acceptance as part of your psychological coping.
The first two stages of this arduous process require delicate, slow and compassionate attention and care. You are likely to be in shock, frightened and very vulnerable. Those are not times of assertive action and future focus in the first place.
If you find yourself in this upsetting and vulnerable state, please consider the gentle and deepening coaching workshop ‘This Strange Land’.
Right at the beginning of your journey, when you were in shock and in denial and frightened, it is possible that, as part of the losses you suffered as a result of your illness or disability, you also felt the loss of a future you once thought would be yours. Now, later on in your process, we could make an evaluation and see that, in a manner of speaking, the event that has befallen you has introduced a defining moment: a moment in which you need to redefine who you are going to be, a moment that holds the opportunity to reshape your future.
It is my conviction, and indeed my experience, that ‘living a life of quality and meaning’ is possible in any situation and in any circumstances. This conviction, however, is challenged to its extreme in the case of chronic illness and / or disability. After all, when we can no longer express ourselves through the personal and professional roles we had, when we can no longer participate in life the way we once did and still want to, what remains of that ‘quality’ and ‘meaning’?
When we begin with that question, rather than with a pre-empted conclusion that quality and purpose are no longer possible, we open the door into the unknown.
Disability and chronic illness have forced a fundamental turnaround in our biography. There are deep and heartrending permanent losses. There is grief, confusion, despair and all those other things that throw us into a dark hole.
Many things come to an end and what has been lost cannot be recovered. As was explained earlier, the first phases are the phases of crisis, inner panic and despair.
Much later, once the new reality has become an indisputable fact, can we pick ourselves off the floor and begin tentatively to look around. Then, on the one hand, we observe that the world is still the same. But we ourselves are no longer part of it as before, as if we no longer belong.
Slowly, during reintegration, you become emotionally and psychologically ready to map out a new direction to your life. Questions relating to your life purpose which were at first overwhelming, now begin to take on a more definite shape: ‘What is still possible for me?’, ‘How can I still express my values?’ and ‘How can I still find enjoyment?’ In other words: ‘How can I reside in this strange world?’ ‘Who can I be?’
Much of the values, beliefs, expectations, and ambitions that provided your inner foundation and sense of purpose before your illness may have vanished. And so it has fallen to you to recreate and re-establish those concepts and with it, your foundation.
Limitation and Potential
One way of finding a new direction in life is by designing so-called Meaningful and Purposeful Goals. And this is exactly the point of departure in the New Insights™ Coaching Workshop.
Through 13 carefully designed comprehensive Sessions, each with its own theme and guiding tasks, you will take your new reality by the hand and you will find within yourself hitherto hidden strength, understanding, and self-care when you need it most.
In the case of chronic illness and/or disability, what we want and what we can are two different realities, separated by a vast space. And yet, it is in this very space where we can develop our strongest qualities. It is in this space where we can create something that did not exist before.
It is understandable that you feel that your limitations keep you from achieving your greatest potential. But could it be that in your very limitations your greatest potential is hidden?
More than the event itself, your response to your restraints and limitations will determine what can be recreated in terms of quality of life and life purpose.
Furthermore, this Coaching Workshop can be an ideal part of any clinical and caring support structure you already have. You might also find great benefit by working through the course together with your partner or your carer.
When you feel that a new option in your life is ready to be answered, through this New Insights™ Coaching you will gain renewed confidence, clarity and resolve.
Living a life of quality, function and relative enjoyment within the reality of a chronic condition does not request, but demands severe adjustments in just about all areas of your life: daily routine, pacing and planning of your activities, a change in your family- and personal relationships, designing and implementing new dietary requirements, daily health monitoring, adherence to medication regimen, designing and implementing a suitable exercise program, eliminating possible bad habits and finding renewal in your professional and social life, to name just some aspects.
The number of changes that are needed, as well as their profound impact, can be very overwhelming. Given your already limited energy, possible pain and your emotional upset, it is likely that most of your time and stamina, such as it is, are spent on making it through the day and tending to the most necessary chores and tasks. As a result, you may find it daunting, if not plain impossible to know even where to begin, how to find the relevant information, how to introduce certain changes and maintain them.
This is where you need expereinced assistance and caring help.
Heart and Soul Coaching and Counselling will accompany you in finding your way in what has now become your new life.
As was explained earlier, that assistance begins with us designing appropriate and supporting goals for you, directed by any changes you wish for. Throughout this coaching, we will work together on making those changes a reality.
The internationally-accredited and awarded New Insights™ Coaching Workshop has been specially adapted by Heart and Soul Coaching and Counseling, in order to accommodate the unique challenges and needs associated with living with a chronic illness. The convenient email format furthermore allows you easy access and enables you to work from the comfort of your home at a pace congruent with possible unpredictable symptoms, such as pain flareups, fatigue and/or depression.
To live with a disability or a chronic illness makes every day a day of getting through, extracting the beautiful moments, finding value in small victories and of creating a sense of purpose when it appears to be most missing.
Sometimes you manage quite fine. Sometimes you don’t.
Fact is that you need support in living your life. This New Insights™ Personal Coaching Workshop will contribute enormously to that support.
It is a comprehensive and lengthy course, to be sure, and therefore requires your commitment and dedication. In the end, though, the degree of your commitment and attention determines the degree of benefit you will experience.
Session-by-session, you will be guided and coached by your own New Insights™ certified coach.
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction
Ends up being the biggest step in your life.
Tiptoe if you must, but make that step.