By: Guest Author
Published: November 10, 2021
Written by Lori Ann King- Guest Contributor
Change is hard. Hard on us and hard on the people around us. One of the things that makes change so hard is that it is often unexpected.
In 2020, Covid-19 caused the world to face something new or unfamiliar every day. We were in uncharted territory that no one warned us about or prepared us for.
It was like that for me personally in 2015. One day I went into surgery to have an ovary removed, and the next day I woke up in sudden surgical menopause. I was 43 years old and my world shattered. Every aspect of my life was in turmoil.
As someone who tries to always look for the positive and the lessons to be learned from life, menopause was indeed a “pause.” It was a wakeup call. It was a time to re-examine my lifestyle and self-care practices. It was a time to ask myself, “Are you living life more abundantly, on purpose, with passion and in service to others?”
At the time, the answer was no. I had no idea what my passions were, let alone my purpose. It had been a long time since I had given myself permission to dream.
Throughout that experience, I learned to live in my curiosity and turn inward. I started listening to my heart, and tuning out my overactive thoughts. Instead of looking externally for answers, I began to ask myself, “What is it that I want? Am I happy? Where are areas in my life I’m discontent? What’s not working? What is?”
I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. But there were plenty of areas in my life where I said, “Not this. This is not what I want for my life.”
During that difficult season, I turned my pain into purpose. At 46 years young I wrote my first book, Come Back Strong, and launched my career as an author. I wrote about my journey and all the tools I discovered that helped me find my balance. I wrote about overcoming setbacks and turning them into comebacks. The experience made me stronger, both emotionally and mentally.
Equally hard as unexpected change is the change that you initiate. You begin to exercise. You quit your job. You get married or divorced. You find a hobby like gardening, photography, or a ceramics class. Change could come from the commitment to remove toxic foods or people from your life.
When you initiate change, you may not have a clear vision of where you’re going. You just know you can’t stay where you are. When you are at that crossroads in your life, listen to that deep place inside you. You may not know what you want just yet, but you know what you don’t want.
Honor the discontent. Acknowledge it. Embrace it.
Long before surgical menopause showed up, I dreamed of feeling calm and balanced. I dreamed of feeling healthy in my mind, body, and spirit. Long before I left an abusive relationship, l dreamed of a great love. Long before I left my job and life as an employee, I dreamed of time freedom and creating my own schedule in a career where my skills, gifts, and experience could be beneficial. I dreamed of a life where I was excited to get up each morning, confident that I was living out my purpose, and inspiring others to live a life of true health, love, laughter and freedom.
Life can be stressful and challenging at times. Maybe you’re tired. You’re not sleeping. You’re exhausted from being overworked and underpaid.
If you are uncomfortable, in pain, angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed, if you are longing, wishing, hoping, dreaming of a better way and a life with more ease, you are not alone. You are not messed up. You are simply human. The best part of being human is that at any moment you have the ability to change. You have the ability to become the hero in your own life.
You may not know what you want. You just have to move in the direction of change. The remarkable thing about life is that changing one thing can be the catalyst for changing everything. It can be what sets you on a new path, in a new direction, toward those dreams and goals, toward a life of more passion and purpose.
For me, that change was getting healthy. It was saying yes when a friend reached out with a nutritional solution that allowed me to release weight, become badass on a bike, and transform my body so that it looked as strong as I felt.
That one change to my nutrition over twelve years ago was the impetus for me. Not only did I get healthy in my body, but I got healthy in my mind, my emotions, my relationships, my career, and my life. It was also a lucrative plan B from a financial standpoint, especially during the Covid-19 global pandemic. That year was tough on my family. My husband was a personal trainer and when gyms closed, that income stream went to zero. Later that year I was let go from a marketing job. Thankfully, that plan B was in place where we could pivot, change our focus, and put a plan in place to rebuild our finances.
Regardless of whether you fear or embrace change, you can use it as a time to reflect, rebalance, and reprioritize.
About Lori Ann King
LORI ANN KING is the Amazon best-selling author of Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause, and a two-time contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her latest book, Wheels to Wellbeing, is a self-care guide and tool to help readers go from unbalanced, chaotic, and overwhelmed to a more balanced, calm, and happy existence. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her with her husband, Jim on their bikes, paddleboards, kayaks, or in the gym.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.