This blog update one of the more challenging for me to do; I’ve suffered with writer’s block for nearly two weeks trying to find the words to put on paper all that I’ve gained from working with Miramont’s Wellness Coach Kim Crady.

Like generations of women in my family before me, I am a competitive woman. If you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll not only be successful in the endeavor, but I’ll do it better than anticipated. Over time this has been both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I became very adept at being the proverbial ‘hamster on the wheel’.

As a student of Horticulture and then Landscape Architecture at Washington State University, I learned that you worked as hard and as long as was needed to finish a project, that deadlines were carved in stone and failure was not an option.

Before I had children I grew used to working long and focused hours putting into practice the lesson’s I’d learned in school. It wasn’t unusual for myself or other members of the office to work 60 or more hours a week. After children came along I was more attentive to the hours spent at the office, but that only meant that the job changed, not the amount of time I spent working. I was and am very good at being a hamster… running, always running.

As the children have grown, I’ve become more efficient at hamstering. Work, volunteering, kids activities, ToDo lists, and schedules were (and still are) followed with fluidity. If someone somewhere needed my talents or if I had an interest in an activity where I could help, it became part of my ToDo list and schedule. Over the last 15 years I’ve juggled more activities than time allows – stress was and will always be a constant, and without regular updates to my planner, I and everyone in the family are lost.

People are regularly impressed with how colorful my daily planner is and how busy I am on a regular basis. I’m frequently asked if I can help them learn how to manage their time and be so organized. Their comments are testimony of how I’ve mastered the hamster’s wheel.

But there is a problem with that.

I’m not a hamster.

I’ve grown so used to doing the next thing and meeting deadlines that I’d lost sight of those around me. Those who love me, who miss me, and who are growing and moving in their own directions. It was with Kim’s guidance that I became aware of that.

She helped me apply the brakes to my wheel. Together we’ve questioned and discovered why I am so driven, why I don’t take enough time for myself, and why I don’t say ‘no’ to requests or ridiculous schedules. She’s helped me rediscover quiet moments in my day and celebrate lost passions. Writing is one of them as is the importance of setting aside time for solitude or to create.

Kim is not a psychologist; she is a wellness coach and she will tell you that the first time you meet her. As a team we have meaningful and often difficult conversations. She’s not afraid to ask thoughtful questions or point out overlooked but often profound observations.

When asked a difficult question, or one that you aren’t able to answer, the natural reaction is to avoid the question by responding with a smattering of justifications for choices made or responses to situations. Kim has a unique ability to identify when this is happening, and she will gently ask alternative yet meaningful questions to help you discover the answer that you are struggling to find.

She does not council you, she does not judge. Nor does she do the hard work for you. What she does is help you realize why you might be struggling to attain your goals; be it because your goals are not truly your own, or, like me, you are asking too much of yourself.

Having worked with Kim for the last several months, both Karl and I recognize and highly value the intangible nature of wellness coaching. The tools that I’ve learned in my sessions with her give me the power to continue making the positive changes that benefit not only myself, but also my entire family.

The words ‘Thank You’ don’t encapsulate how grateful I am for having met and been able to work with Kim. But it’s a good place to start.

Thank you Kim.

Posted in P2

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