May 25th will mark 7 years since I left my award winning career as a VA social worker to "heal my life" and "follow my passion as a poet and writer."
I didn't really know what I was saying at the time. I put out an intention.
From my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility":
I didn’t know what needed healing or how that healing would happen. I only knew that I needed time and space away from the stress of getting up at 5:30 every morning, commuting into Boston, taking care of veterans and their families as well as the people on my team, and my own family members. I hold myself responsible for my inability to set limits. I feel tremendous compassion for myself that I was like a hamster in a wheel and had no idea how to get off of it within the VA system. I know many of my colleagues resented me for how much work I did do. I was held up as the standard for social workers when it came to ‘my numbers’ and documentation. There is the middle way of being able to find balance and self care while providing outstanding care to veterans and their families but I was damned if I knew how to get there at that time.
I smile as I ponder how many reinventions I have experienced these past 7 years that were a part of my journey but no longer a part of my life now:
New World Greeting Cards - original poetry for every occasion - It's More Than a Card, It's a Gift From the Heart
Rotarian and the End Polio Now Campaign
Yoga Teacher Training, becoming a certified yoga teacher and even volunteering as a yoga teacher
Brookline Small Business Owners Association
Taking on a few geriatric clients for case management
Poetry readings at assisted living facilities and nursing homes
Helping to launch and market a few small businesses
But what is Truth and true for me always remains and I cherish
Running the 2009 Boston Marathon
Being a part of the running community as a runner, spectator and support crew
My gift of poetry and still creating original poems for friends' birthdays
Writing my next poetry book "Journey Well"
Blogging and social media
Writing my memoir and working on the sequel Coming Home: The Journey of Acceptance
Continuing to find my strength at Spaulding Rehab through their Aquatics Therapy Program and tending to my healing mind, body and Spirit.
I have been fierce about changing course when I realized something was not the right healing modality for me or an activity did not nourish my Spirit. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I recently pruned and weeded in my garden and in my life experiencing a wonderful blossoming of connections of like hearted people coming into my life.
And this is what I cherish most of all about having had the courage to take a leap of faith, leave my full time job at the VA and exploring, experimenting and finding my way on this long and winding road: the people I've met on this journey who chose a path of transformation and inspire others sending a message of what is possible when we set our hearts and minds on a goal and take action!
Here a few of my favs. Please take some time to check them out:
Randy Pierce 2020 Vision Quest
Rachel Weeks and The Imperfect Journey
For the first time in 7 years, I feel a sense of contentment. My soul no longer feels restless. I feel blessed by where I am in my life no longer striving or seeking. I feel transformed from a woman burdened by the ravages that paralytic polio and trauma took on me mind, body and spirit to a woman who feels whole and healing, strengthened by the challenges, feeling joy that I am here now.