Time Out for Love & Healing

Bouquet photo by J Bagwell Photography

Hello beautiful people! I’m back. I put Sunflower Life Coaching on hold for a bit and I’d like to share with everyone what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half. Cliff notes version: Got covid twice, turned 50 and got married!

In early February 2020, my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I both caught covid. There were no tests to prove it back then but our symptoms were enough to later determine that we had indeed been through it. A month after we recovered, the government took away our right to work in both the entertainment and beauty industries. Both of us are self-employed and we were gutted. Shocked. Scared. Angry. It was similar to how I felt after 9/11. We were so grateful to simply have each other! We put thieves oil on our hands and masks over our faces every time we left the house and I had crying meltdowns in grocery store parking lots.
Yet, at the time, I truly believed something good was going to come out of this. Surely this would be all over quickly. I had so much faith. We applied for grants. We applied for “gig-worker” unemployment. I did some “kitchen table nails.” I immediately extended my coaching services at a drastic discount to anyone who just needed to talk. *crickets* I was dumbfounded by the lack of interest. So I held the space, and held the space, and held the space….until I realized there was nothing left to hold so I gave up and temporarily walked away.

In April, an old friend who I held in high regard lost his life to covid. It’s been over a year now and I’m still struggling to come to terms with the loss. On the flip side, it was great to have the world slow the heck down, the air got cleaner, we all saved a ton of money by not driving or going out to restaurants/social events. Boyfriend and I went for daily walks, stretched, ate a lot of salads and TV dinners, lost some weight and wasted a lot of time reading emails and internet surfing. Waiting on the unknown.
By mid-May, I was back to work at the nail salon trying to convince clients it was safe to come back. What do I know, I needed to eat and we all wanted “normal” back. Working in the service industry during the pandemic has been stressful. Emotional exhaustion! On one hand, listening to everyone’s spectrum of opinions has been a test to my patience while on the other, I’m honored to give people an outlet and a safe space to vent. The never-ending frustration of canceling and re-booking appointments makes me cry. It’s even worse now than before. I’ve gained a few clients and lost a few as well. For my sanity, I tolerate a little less and I work a lot less. By the grace of God, somehow the bills still get paid and I have deeper gratitude for the loyal, generous, patient, compassionate people that are in my life.

The lesson here is: SELF CARE MUST COME FIRST, then everything else will fall into place.

Between June-September 2020, we were constantly out in restaurants, bars, casinos and shops. I was so spooked by the fear-mongering media and the death of my old friend that I kept wondering how we could be out in all these places around so many strangers and not get sick. That’s when it occurred to us that it’s because we had already been sick; the truth is we had acquired immunity the natural way, the way nature intended. I had been brainwashed and worried all that time unnecessarily. FEAR = false evidence appearing real. It was even more infuriating that my boyfriend was still mostly out of work. No alone time for me anymore and it drained my spirit.
Two days before my 50th birthday, boyfriend proposed to me and we began to plan our wedding! Consumed by the planning details, covid was barely a blip on my radar for the next 9 months. It was magical how every piece fell into place with little effort, even the things that went wrong weren’t so bad. We went about the next year of our lives focusing on love and joyful hope for the future. We had a very blessed and beautiful wedding with so many precious friends and family members in attendance (mask-free and nobody got sick!) Here we are, 50 year old newlyweds, forging ahead, determined to live a life of victory in a strange, extremely polarized, impatient, unstable world.

May 2021, Valley of Fire

In July 2021, after 2 months of being married and 15 months of apparent natural immunity and vigilant vitamin supplementation…we ended up getting sick again. (Likely acquired by me from a co-worker.) Covid, round two. It was different this time, worse for me, probably because my immune system was taxed by stress and not having a decent night’s sleep in nearly 2 years. I cancelled a ton of nail clients and my husband, now back to work finally, missed his first gig in over a decade. It sucked, and for a few days I was really scared, but we both bounced back in 2+ weeks which is pretty quick under the circumstances. I figure our immunity is good for another year now, yay! But seriously though, we can’t keep going through this. Vaccine or not, the thought of still having to deal with this over and over for the rest of our lives overcomes me with depression. I just read a news article that said scientists were predicting that after the delta version is over this pandemic will now become a manageable endemic like the common cold/flu. I choose to believe that.

All this to say….the last year and a half has been an emotional roller-coaster and I’m sorry if I let anyone down. From fearing a disease we’ve now survived twice, to the anger that our right to work can be taken from us so easily, to grief over deaths of loved ones, to the excitement and joy of getting engaged and married…we are exhausted but hopeful.
I didn’t want to put Sunflower Life Coaching on hold for as long as I did. I felt like if I couldn’t give my all, then I shouldn’t give anything. I want to be my best for my clients and followers. My tagline has always been “Make sure your pitcher is full before offering someone a glass.” Well…I’m filling up my pitcher and putting my coaching hat back on again and, in closing, I have one important thing to say to everyone. Please soften your hearts and think on this:

Every single human being on Earth is a victim of Covid-19. We are all struggling mentally, emotionally and physically. The evidence of this is the polarization of our viewpoints and the intolerance for anyone who thinks differently. The evidence of this is our short fuses, quick to be impatient with loved ones and strangers. The evidence of this is in daily news reports of suicides, people losing their minds in public and brazen crime. We’re all in fight-or-flight survival mode and the stress will destroy us faster than covid will. We must develop healthy coping strategies. Regardless of masks, vaccines and political affiliations, we must stop looking at each other as the enemy. Covid is the real enemy and every one of us is its victim to some degree. Agree right now to stop hating, blaming and fighting your neighbors. Choose compassion so you can begin to heal and come out the other side of this a victorious survivor. We’re all fighting an internal battle. Be patient. Be kind. Especially when you don’t want to be.
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I don’t have the answers but I know the One who does! I am here to offer support and encouragement for whatever you may be going through.

SINGLE COACHING SESSIONS AND PACKAGES AVAILABLE

1 session for $40 or 6 sessions for $225

Contact me directly for more info and appointment booking: coachingwithcari@gmail.com

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