Trading Fight for Flow:
Dropping Rage and Despair to Create a Life of Passion and Purpose
In my heart I have always felt that there are no coincidences in life and that every high and low happens because it’s meant to happen. I could not even contemplate being where I am today if every single event had not transpired. Life happens to everyone and I am no different.
I have always equated boxing as a metaphor for my life!
It’s the first round and you come out so positive and feeling so invincible. But very quickly you realize your opponent isn’t a pushover. He gives jabs and body shots that are starting to wear you down but only a little and you really don’t notice it because you still feel in control.
Round 2 you come out and out of nowhere he hits you with alcoholism. You’re flat on your ass and it literally takes all your strength to get up and survive the round.
But you do and you’re feeling the strength come back because you fought through that round and survived. A few more rounds go by where you’re holding your own and you’re starting to feel more and more confident.
Then again, out of nowhere he hits you square in the gut with the death of your brother. You stumble back absorbing this as it is slowly draining you of your strength. Again, you fight your way through it and survive. Another round and again you feel you have a shot but he counters with the death of your father followed by a nervous breakdown but still you battle back, you’re so, so tired but you fight on.
Now you’re in a daze but you’re still upright.
You hear the bell and struggle to come out and fight but you do…again. Your mind is swimming your feet are wobbly and…
…out of nowhere comes the knockout punch: he hits me with losing my job.
I was done! Being counted out.
A short 12 years ago my grandmother lay in her hospital bed, looked up at me and said that she was tired and ready to die. I was absolutely horrified that someone could say that about death. I couldn’t fathom the idea that I could ever be so tired that I would welcome death.
But at the age of 52 I was scheduled for some minor surgery and I couldn’t wait for that deep peaceful sleep that the anesthesiologist puts you in just prior to the surgery. There are always risks when you are put under and
I was at the point where if I didn’t wake up, I really wouldn’t have been that upset.
I actually didn’t care if I lived or died! It took my grandmother until 86 to feel that way and me only until 52.
That was just 4 short months ago.
A very dear friend recognized my despair and quiet desperation and knew that I was ready for some help.
Enter Vanessa Long.
One of the things that Vanessa said during our first conversation stopped me in my tracks because I completely understood and related to what she was saying.
She talked about how at one point in her life she felt that if she unleashed her anger, her fury, she would flatten the world. That was me in a nutshell.
I felt that I could literally destroy people if I ever went off on them, told them what I really thought of them.
My anger scared me because at times it would come out of nowhere. I will never forget the time I was golfing with 3 of my friends and the round was going very slowly because of the group ahead of us. The Marshall came up to talk to us and out of nowhere I erupted on him. I was aware of what I was doing but I could not prevent it. The intensity even surprised me and my friends who had never ever seen that side of me were shocked and they still remind me of it every chance they get.
This anger has been with me for as long as I could remember.
Yes, I am now sober but that didn’t remove the anger. In fact while I was sober I ballooned to a nice unhealthy weight of 250 pounds. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Then, when my father passed I had what I would call a nervous breakdown and was off work for 7 months. Over that period I lost all that weight which I only attribute to the breakdown and despair I was feeling. But I ever so slowly started crawling out of the deep hole I was in and started to feel stronger and more positive about things… but the anger was still there, just waiting.
I was literally a mouse stuck on a wheel.
Until I got off that wheel I would be stuck in a perpetual cycle of anger, unworthiness and quiet desperation.
Vanessa offered me a way to get off that wheel. I was scared to death – worried about the money it would cost but I knew deep down that I had to make the first step and commit and trust Vanessa with my heart and soul. A leap of faith, yes, but I felt like I had waited my entire life for this opportunity.
Vanessa taught me to view the world with different eyes. That could only happen if I understood the specific reasons, the events in my life that had a negative impact and held me back.
The funny thing is I always felt like I was operating at far less than 100% in every aspect of my life but never understood why.
I always felt unworthy and simply did not love the human being I was.
With powerful techniques and tools, Vanessa helped me understand, confront and let go of my anger, my feelings of unworthiness, of everything that was preventing me from being the me I always dreamed of being.
Was it easy? No.
I was horrified to realize that events or specific incidents in my life I could attribute to my parents, my environment. These events played a very crucial role in holding me back. I initially felt so disloyal to my parents and would not accept it. But Vanessa helped me see that this was not about blame, it was simply about understanding.
The surreal thing is I now have more love and deep respect for my parents because I know they did the best they could under the circumstances they were in. For the first time I viewed my parents as human, as a couple that faced the same pressures, hurts, tragedies and life that we all do!
It was truly an “aha” moment.
I have learned to put pattern interrupts into place whenever I feel like I’m getting angry. I have learned to be aware of it and I now have the skills and understanding to recognize and not let it consume me.
The awareness I now have is astounding to me.
When my left shoulder suddenly starts bothering me I recognize that my body is trying to tell me something and I have learned to listen and take action.
My relationship with my wife, son and everyone around me has improved.
I no longer need acceptance but am comfortable with who and what I am. In fact I am embracing it!
Vanessa showed me that I always have a choice and because of that I no longer feel trapped and boxed in.
Today I am filled with hope and joy. I can’t wait for the next day to begin because I know that my passion is no longer misplaced in the Corporate world that I grew to loathe.
Today, I have enrolled in a program that will teach me how to start my own business. And the brilliance is that I have a business idea that I know in my heart will be successful and enable me to live on my terms, no one else’s.
It will enable me to immerse myself with people and a world that I choose to be part of. It will give me the opportunity to live my passion, something I wasn’t even capable of imagining 4 months ago.
I feel free, liberated and completely comfortable with who I am.
I am filled with nervous but exhilarating excitement about my future, my family’s future and my place in this world.
I am proud of who I am and that I had the courage not to simply give up!
And remember that boxing metaphor I used at the beginning of this?
I cannot use that metaphor anymore to describe my life simply because it is no longer a fight.
It is an adventure filled with hope, happiness and a feeling of child-like excitement.
For the first time in my life I have a plan, a purpose!
Life is a wonderful and uplifting experience. I am at peace and content.
— Michael B., Newmarket