When most people think of aging gracefully they think of products and cosmetic treatments that reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Aging gracefully isn't just about a person’s physical appearance—it has everything to do with one's overall well-being. The following case study is the perfect example.
Carolyn is a 59-yeqr-old former English teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education. She jokingly considers herself a poster child for older women who are aging gracefully. Self-care, healthy eating, and exercise are on the top of her priority list. Like many women in her age group, she believes 60 is 40 and 50 is the new 30. But, lately, she’s felt quite the opposite.
She is struggling to find work after being laid off due to budget cuts. At first, she was very optimistic about finding a new job, especially after 35 years-worth of experience. For the past two years though she hasn't been able to find any work in teaching. She believes it’s partly due to age discrimination.
After many failed attempts to find a comparable job with decent pay, Carolyn decided to set aside her pride and apply for a job at a restaurant as greeter. Although the restaurant she applied to was age-friendly, she was still denied employment. The moment the hiring manager glanced at her resume, he knew she was overqualified for the position.
Carolyn’s situation has taken a great toll on her finances and livelihood. To make matters worse, she started back to smoking cigarettes after quitting 20 years ago. Carolyn lost her optimism and has been weighed down with self-doubt. She realized she was stuck – both in the way she was living and the way she was thinking. She contacted Mind Focused Coaching (MFC) to explore how to halt her downward spiral and change her life’s course.
The first step for Carolyn in the MFC process was to ascertain her life destination - how she wanted her life to be. This involved visualizing her ideal life, not only professionally but in all areas of living. In Carolyn’s situation, her destination included returning to work in a field that would be as engaging as Education as well as improving her social contacts and opportunities.
Once Carolyn had a destination, she could direct her attention to enhancing her awareness of her current way of living. In particular, she learned to identify her unique thinking patterns, the way her thoughts determined her feelings and actions, as well as being attuned to the mind/body link and how it affects her overall health and outlook.
Lastly, Carolyn was trained to perceive choice where she never recognized it before. The final step to reaching one’s destination is choice. Since all choices are binary, a situation that can lead to despair can also have a transformative option. For Carolyn, looking beyond employment alone as the path to enriching the rest of her life could only be achieved when she considered life alternatives that had been blocked by her narrow perception and thoughts. Only then was she able to follow through on possibilities for renewed satisfaction and enthusiasm.
MFC Interventions include:
- Understand that identifying one’s destination precedes the journey.
- Recognize that how we think is more important than what we think.
- Learn how we create our own reality and how to focus on the ‘now’ to change our future.
- Think things through, Identify Pivotal Choice Point and optimal choices in the moment.
- Recognize how we establish our own life limits.
Results: Carolyn is more enthusiastic about life and engaged in reaching her destination. She has even discovered new employment opportunities with age-friendly organizations. Her anxiety is under control and she has quit smoking. Attending to how she thinks and looking after her well-being have become top priorities. Carolyn feels she is aging gracefully once again.
Are you ready to make a positive change? Contact Mind Focus Coaching for a free consultation.