Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Rusty Chain, A Slain Goose and Me!

"If you leave your bike outside in the rain it will rust and it will break!", my Dad would always warn me.  I loved that shiny pink and white banana boat seat bike. It was sentimental. I had graduated out of training wheels riding that  hand me down bike up and down my dead end street as a kid. One sun shiny day after several spring and summer showers where the bike rested on the tree in my backyard, my now rusty paint peeling bike's chain popped right in the middle of a race.
Well, in a nutshell folks I did not take care of my beloved bike with the floral seat and that was the result.

Caring for oneself after trauma of any kind should be our top priority. However, oftentimes, after a traumatic event, we often forget about  "SELF CARE"  and rather prioritize everything and everyone else.   In the last few weeks, I have met with amazing people who like many of  us have experienced trying health diagnosis and despite their condition struggle with prioritizing themselves.

I recently met a former colleague of mine, a young lady with an amazing personality.  She has experienced several TIA strokes,  debilitating respiratory issues and is presently undergoing chemotherapy for tumors.   When I met her she greeted me with her unforgettable jovial laugh.  She went on to tell me about her arduous job search because she wanted to stay viable in her field  despite her medical issues. She also shared her family's strain on her finite resources and the lack of support and acceptance she has received from them.

I then met up with a longtime friend, who after giving birth two years ago has experienced debilitating migraines, inexplicable numbness and several other medical issues. Fighting through her symptoms and chronic pain, she just started a new job and on that day was not sure if she could even drive herself  home.

I asked both of these and the other wonderful , tenacious overcomers the same things;

When was the last time you took a breath and really prioritized yourself?
What are you eating?  Are you getting adequate rest?  When was your last doctor's visit?  The list continued.

Often, when you have been through a traumatic event you want to go full speed ahead. This  I believe is human nature.
 I have heard many people say," I am afraid to stop and just fall apart"..." I have no choice duty calls family,children,  financial obligations, bills, professional goals..", "Am I going to stand still or fight?"
I know that personally, although I struggle with some of the residual  effects of my stroke, slowing down and prioritizing myself is not something that I can say that I have yet to embrace.

Reading Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , I was struck by his 7th Habit the theory of Product vs. Product Capability. Basically,  it stated that if we do not take care of the thing that produces, it will no longer be productive.  He gave the example of a goose that laid golden eggs that was slain by its owner with  the thought that if he killed it he would receive more eggs than the one per day that the goose laid.

 The 7th habit is used in a leadership framework but The 7th habit can also makes us consider that if we do not take the time to Invest in caring for ourselves, how can we truly fulfill our divine purpose for our lives?
In order to be truly effective one must make it a priority to both be productive and improve one's capability daily.

 I think it is a good idea to create a schedule/goal chart that makes Self Care a top priority.
Here is an example of some of the categories I have created for myself:
Spiritual Wellness
Stress Management
Emotional Wellness

It takes 21 days to form a habit so I am going to work diligently to make my Self Care goals a priority and I hope you will too.

Special Thanks to those who hold me accountable......until the next time...Continue to Strive Daily!

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