The last time I wrote a blog for KIN it was about a revelation I had after a PATH planning session and the development of my Mokopuna Ora vision. That was more than a year ago and I wanted to share that I have completely reinvented myself. There were three major catalysts that gave me the motivation to change, so I will share those catalysts first and then let you know what I did about it.
When I enrolled for the Doctorate Health Science (DHSc), I was renting a small unit in One Tree Hill and moved around a bit for work as a lot of the jobs were short term contracts. I had a health scare and needed surgery in 2011. The end of one contract meant that I could take some time off work as my employer at the time paid me for research leave. It was a golden opportunity in disguise as I needed a longer recovery time because of my poor health status at the time. I stayed home to finish some contracts and concentrate on my studies. I had a new job by the time that three months was up and I started commuting to Henderson every day for work. The organisation I worked for decided to close four branches including our one so we were looking down the barrel of redundancy. That was a first for me being made redundant. Another golden opportunity presented itself and after only one year I was paid out the equivalent of four months salary. It wasn’t going to put a dent in my student loan but it helped with day to day costs of living so I could devote myself to studying instead of going to work. I also managed to get some scholarships that helped me a lot as well as the AirBnB guests that I hosted.
I was chugging along with the thesis and then my flat was put on the market. This was the second catalyst as I had to find a new place to live with only two months to submit. When I got the news I suffered an anxiety attack. At the time I thought it was an angina attack so I packed a little bag and made my way to hospital in a taxi. I rang my friend Abigail McClutchie and she met me there. After a night in hospital under observation, a chat with a social worker and the kaumatua who said karakia, I was told that I had an anxiety attack and was not going to die so I would be okay to go home. My daughter and two moko came to pick me up from hospital. So this was also a blessing in disguise as after my first surgery the anaesthetist told me that if I did not get my blood sugars under control I would be a heart attack candidate so I was already aware of this when I went to the hospital.
I told my landlord what happened and he took my flat off the market to give me time to finish my thesis. I was so grateful to him for that support. It was then that he told me his son was a PhD living in California and worked for NASA. So little did I know that he understood a bit about what I was going through having supported his own son. A few months beforehand, I had found a masseuse who was working for a local community group in the back room of the opportunity shop near my place. Ally Birtwhistle is a Reiki healer and used natural aromatherapy oils and she made oil blends for her clients to work on emotional aspects of themselves.
I submitted the thesis in November, packed up my flat and moved in with my relatives who worked for Māori Television. I was applying for jobs but I was a bit despondent and depressed. I was supposed to be preparing for my exam but I was so sick of looking at my thesis that I could not read it again. It was while I was avoiding my responsibilities that I met someone who was to become the third catalyst for change. A year later when I found out he was back with an old girlfriend and was seeing me on the side, I broke it off. I was heartbroken but I was also relieved as the attraction between us was powerful and it was unhealthy in so many ways.
The separation was the third catalyst/ blessing in disguise as I was able to concentrate on resubmitting my thesis. A few months earlier I had moved to another friends house and while I was away for the week my beloved Burmese cat Bunny was injured by stray dogs and I had to have her put to sleep. A day or so later I spoke to my 4 year old grandson Micah on the phone who asked me if I was okay and then he asked me if I was also going to die. It was a question that kind of jolted me to my core. I told my mokopuna that I was not ready to die yet and I wanted to be around to see him grow up and get married and have babies of his own. He was satisfied with my answer but that left me with a few more questions for myself. I have had diabetes for over fifteen years and was on insulin injections that I hated. I was also taking a lot of oral medications and I just felt sick and tired all the time.
I had started working for Māori Television and this gave me the means to make the changes I needed physically and mentally. I had started house sitting for another friend at the time and Abigail introduced me to Isagenix nutritional supplements. I lost 7kg in a few weeks and started a workout regime with a personal trainer Miriam Hummingbird Tio who is a world Muay Thai Kickboxing champion. I lost another few kilos working out twice a week. I also found a nutritionist Eugenia to help me develop my eating plan and I had some sessions with a life coach / counsellor Rihi Tenana to plan the next steps of my life. I set some new goals and continued to work on my thesis that I resubmitted in December last year. I found a place of my own that I love, got a new car and reversed the ravaging effects of diabetes. I am now injection free, and take a lot less medication. I reached my weight goal and am maintaining it with diet and exercise and feel great. I have also been through a spiritual transformation that has changed my outlook drastically. Because this is only meant to be a short piece, that transformation will be the subject of my next blog.