Lessons From Isabel

October 2003

As some of you know, Hurricane Isabel substantially damaged our home on September 18th. Life since then has been rather chaotic and stressful, as we had to clear the house (which we had moved into nine days before the storm) of what personal items we could salvage, and move into temporary quarters while the flood insurance process determines what will be done to repair our home. Coaching Concepts is up and running, and I am working out of a temporary office. You may reach me at anytime on my cell, 410-627-2551, or leave a voice mail for me on my office line, 410-255-9490, which I check frequently. My mailing address is still P.O. Box 1389, Pasadena, Maryland 21123-1389.

Losing one’s home is a traumatic event, and I am dealing with the loss on many different levels: physical, emotional, logistical, spiritual, and financial. Most of the heavy lifting (literally) is done for now, with three moves in three weeks behind us. We are living in three rooms (for which we are deeply grateful) and almost all of our possessions fit into a 10 by 20 storage unit. My office is trimmed down to the essentials, and there is something very freeing about not having to manage hundreds of files (perhaps I’ll finally go “paperless”).

There are many lessons in this time for me. First of all, I have learned that I can let go of “stuff” (even stuff quite valuable or sentimental to me) and be okay. I have learned that what matters most are my relationships with those I love. I have learned that the support and kindness of friends, family, clients, and even strangers is like a balm to my soul. I have learned that I am stronger, more resilient than I thought, but am at peace with the many things are not in my power to change or impact. I have deeper respect for the power of Nature, and I know (as one of my dear clients reminded me so gently) that there is a divine order in this world, even in the midst of what seems like chaos. I have learned the importance of computer backups (all is well in the technology department). I have learned to take one day at a time, and to not make decisions when I am exhausted. I am learning patience, with others, the natural and normal grief process, and myself. I have learned that having a sense of humor is essential in difficult times, and that there are also times when only tears can wash away the stress.

Thank you for letting me share some of my experience with you. I hope and trust that one positive outcome of this particular part of my journey will result in me becoming a stronger, more courageous, and wiser person and coach.

Sharon Keys Seal

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