Finding Sweet Possibility in the New Normal

On the morning of when the “Stay at Home” order was issued in your town or state – where were you?

On March 19 here in Los Angeles I was at work with my husband (we run a small company together) and my daughter was a couple miles away at preschool. I also had school that day. I was completing a coaching certification course and was working on launching my dream job — a personal life coaching practice that I named Life Crafts Coaching. It was a lot, but we were managing, all bases were covered. And then suddenly — they were not.

Sound familiar?

Like you, my world shifted to a new normal after that day. Basic survival for my family was top priority. But I also had to work from home, homeschool my 4 ½ year old (that ½ is SO important to her, I had to note it), make sure laundry, dishes, toilet cleaning and more got accomplished. And sanitize EVERYTHING.

As we settled into the upcoming weeks, I began to wonder if moving forward with my practice in the midst of all of that was going on was possible. I could barely get a firm foothold on how a day was going down in our house. How was I going to start a business?

One night before putting our daughter to bed we played a game of Candyland. Not really a notable event. My daughter wants to live in the Frosted Palace because it’s built out of ice cream cones, and we always laugh and make up stories as we make our way on the colorful path to her dream house.


But the next morning when I was doing my scan of social media, I saw a post on Facebook from a friend...about Candyland. I clicked on it as it made me smile (and not much else that morning was doing that). What I learned was the game was invented in 1949 by a San Diego schoolteacher named Eleanor Abbott. Our country was dealing with another huge pandemic at that time — polio — and Eleanor had contracted the disease herself. While recuperating in a hospital ward surrounded by predominantly children (polio disproportionately impacts children) she was struck by inspiration. She decided to use her skill set as an educator, and her empathy as a patient, to create a game to allow kids to escape from their reality for just a moment. The game gave its players a sense of freedom and mobility and was the perfect solution for the thousands of children and families stuck in hospitals and quarantined at home.

The rest as you know is history. This amazing woman created something to help others that has become a staple for so many families and endured for 65 years. That’s pretty incredible.

The story moved me. It brought me out of myself and gave me hope. I became fueled by the power and ingenuity of women and reminded how our inspiration for doing is so often for the betterment of others. It thought of all the work women are doing right now during our current pandemic saving and changing lives for the better and I knew I wanted to be part of that.

So, I gave myself permission to reinvent me in the new normal. And here’s how:

Step One — Define the Goal, Define your Why
My goal was to open my coaching practice. My why? To support other women and empower them to realize their dreams and goals. I believe in woman helping other women and I believed that I had something to give in this space that was valuable.

Step Two — NOW is the only place to start
Our collective now is a pretty tough place. But it’s where we ARE. It’s the base from which we can move forward without being tied to what held us back in the past. It’s also believing you have everything you need right now within yourself to start TODAY. I channeled my inner Eleanor and began!

Step Three — What’s the plan?
In creating a plan, you begin the practice of listening to your inner voice and that is the start of the journey that will take you where you want to go. Planning and producing have always been in my personal tool kit and how I had crafted my life, my “life crafts”. So, I began to outline what I needed to get to my goal in this new normal. I was already set–up to work with clients virtually over computer or phone (whew!) — what else did I need to do? And how did I create the time for classes and building my business with my family’s needs? What were my next steps?

Step Four — Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The night of March 19 as our daughter slept, my husband went to our office to gather our computers, monitors, printers, materials and thousands of cables. I cleared space in our home to set–up our new “workspaces” with 6’ folding tables we were lucky to have purchased for a past family event. When he got back, we talked. I shared my goals, my concerns and fears, and he shared his. We woke up the next day and began to implement a plan that we co–created together.

Step Five — Find Support Wherever You Can — Who are your champions?
We didn’t have all the answers, but my husband and I made a commitment to support each other. Each evening we’d outline the next day ahead – sometimes scheduling to the hour who was doing what in order to create time and clear obstacles from my path to completion. This comforted and sustained me. I also cultivated my external network of strong, smart, women to motivate me, provide feedback and provide additional accountability. Without support you can’t realize success.

As we come up to our Day 60 of shelter–in–place here in Los Angeles, I am proud to announce that I made it, I realized my goal and have launched Life Crafts Coaching. It’s scary, and exhilarating, but most importantly, I now get to help some incredible women co–create THEIR next plan in life. Pretty sweet. Thank you, Eleanor.

Posted by Ellen on May 13, 2020

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