What started out as a routine visit to my Doctor to check out my knee ended up being an unexpected wellbeing revelation.
About two months ago, I was walking swiftly to catch the ferry. I glanced up to look to the harbour when unwittingly the front of my shoe stumbled on the uneven path where a tree root had pushed up the concrete. I did a face plant onto the unyielding cold grey pavement, with my wrists, elbows and knees taking the full impact. The pain screeched inside my lungs and for a long moment, I could not move, fearing something was broken. A lady driving by slammed on her brakes and rushed over picking up my handbag from the gutter and lending a hand to help me up. The parking warden whom I had passed a few minutes ago was suddenly on the scene and reached over to offer help too. This unknown kind lady grabbed a hankie from her pocket and offered it to stem the blood that by now splurted from my hands.
I was on my way to an important meeting. It was not one I wanted to miss or cancel. I needed to pull through so with the help of the ferry staff and the supplies in the First Aid room, they attended to cleaning and bandaging the wounds which fortunately, were mostly hidden from sight. Other than my hands, no-one from the outside would know and I felt I could manage the pain by focussing my mind.
I got through the day and accomplished my mission. Though, as the day progressed, walking had become more difficult as my knee protested and swelled like a red hot balloon. Time had slowed to a trickle, on a moment to moment basis – the pain meant I could only focus on one thing at a time.
As it turned out, I was mostly in shock and by the time I got home some nine hours later, the wounds were worse than I gave realized. In the coming days, I soldiered on believing all would be well even though I could feel the deep bruising across my whole body.
And mostly that was true, with the exception of my knee. As the weeks passed, soon as I kneeled on it, a shock wave went through my body and I knew I had definitely done some damage. It was impacting my daily yoga practise! Two months later, it was still not right.
That’s the reason I decided to get it checked out with the Doctor. I arrived first thing and 30 minutes ahead of our appointment, hopeful that he may be able to see me sooner than later. Just as my time neared, unbelievably the fire alarm went off and a full evacuation took place. This was not a test!
Ushered outside, the sirens echoed in the distance as two red fire trucks burst on the scene with their flashing lights. At this point, I, like the others contemplated abandoning our appointments.
Eventually, it was determined that it was a false alarm and we re-entered the building. I noticed that I was now anxious about the cost of this delay as once again, I had meetings to get to. Yet, I knew I needed to get an answer for my knee, so I waited somewhat impatiently.
The Doctor examined my knee to conclude that the cartilage was damaged. Routinely he said, “I’ll just check your blood pressure.” Silence descended on the room. He checked it twice. Then looked back through my records to declare: “You’ve got high blood pressure – in fact it is dangerously high. I’ve checked it twice.”
High blood pressure is known as the silent assassin. It’s the one that sneaks up on you with no symptoms and leads you onto the path where heart attack and strokes lurk. A not uncommon result of our modern-day lifestyle and stress. While genetics may play a role in my case, the good news is that lifestyle changes are also very effective.
The fire alarm now was a metaphor for the alarm bells that were ringing. A wake-up call to make changes, to identify the emotional stresses, the mental beliefs and to make well-being my priority. Time to make peace with the past, ditch working non-stop and have more social, fun downtime. To do more of the things I love, that feed my joy. To speak my truth. To ask for help. To travel. To write. To ponder my legacy. To focus just on what truly matters. To let my heart, lead the way, not override with my mind. To change what I eat. To say goodbye to my old companions of fear, worry and doubt and welcome my new besties, faith and trust. To spend more time in nature, my extreme nurturer. No more being Super Busy Rushing Woman! My life mattered.
And your life matters too.
In sharing my story, you may see yourself in my story.
Remember “Your life matters.” Make wellbeing your priority.
So what is wellbeing?
I love this definition: “DOING WELL, FEELING GOOD”
In 2014, Gallup led a world poll on wellbeing. Although most people think of wellbeing as purely physical, according to Gallup, it incorporates five core elements:
- Social – supportive relationships and having love in your life
- Purpose – similar to the Japanese concept of ‘ikigai’ – having a life worth living
- Community – liking where you live, feeling safe and contributing
- Financial – managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
- Physical – having good health and energy to get things done
In Gallup’s Poll in 2014, they concluded that 80% of wellbeing comes from people (social relationships), work (purpose), community (feeling like you belong) and economic (having enough money) and the remaining 20% is physical.
Food for thought? Make wellbeing your priority.
Jo Hutchinson MBA
Engaging Leaders @ Work ǀ Building One Team
Great Spirit NZ Ltd
e. firstname.lastname@example.org m. +64 27 414 4291 w. www.greatspirit.co.nz
Jo Hutchinson is a freelance Leadership Coach, Mentor and Facilitator who’s on purpose ‘to ignite the spark so that you may fulfil your greater purpose.’ She is passionate about helping women step up to be confident and courageous leaders. As a Master Reiki Practitioner, she uses the principles and practises of Reiki to support your wellbeing and shift your energy.
Lead confidently, live courageously and communicate from the heart.
3 Ways to Work with Me (in person):
#1 – Evolve your Leadership Capabilities with coaching and mentoring insights and support to step up your performance and impact.
#2 – Evolve your team’s ability to work together and smash your goals with team development days and offsites.
#3 – Rejuvenate and re-energise with Reiki. In Auckland CBD on Wednesday’s and Waiheke Island by appointment.
Work with Me Online
Master the habits and strategies of overcoming overwhelm, eliminate distractions and focus on what matters. This online course will enable you to get clear on what matters and create your roadmap to success in a fun and visual way. https://get-focussed-on-what-matters.thinkific.com/collections
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