This is a tough post to write. A part of me doesn’t want to write it at all. My husband definitely wasn’t comfortable with my writing at first. But it’s a big part of my experience these past 5 months, and I learned a lot from it.
Five months eight days ago (but who’s counting!), Jim had a stroke. A full out, can’t talk, can’t move the right side of his body kind of stroke. This is my healthy husband, my beloved of 14 years, and I’m looking at him unable to get up, stuck on the bathroom floor with his face plastered to the vanity. I’m hearing him call me out of bed in the middle of the night with the most gut-wrenching, horror-movie kind of noise I’ve ever heard. But I knew it was him, and I knew he needed help, fast.
And in that moment of realizing that we are facing life or death, that we’re not sure what to do, I’m not sure what is happening or WTF is going on, all I know is I love him, and we’re going to get through this. Somehow the warrior Goddess in me was called up, just like the warrior God in him was called up, and he was able to summon the strength to awaken me, 3 rooms away, from my deep slumber, even when I had the sound machine on, and even when his brain was not thinking or functioning all that clearly. He had to try several times before finding the strength of body to yell loudly enough with his oddly formed call, but he knew, from the distant recesses of his shutting-down brain, that it mattered to wake me up and to get help.
Fast forward a day and a half later and I’m bringing him back from the hospital. He has spent two days and one night in an overly-burdened, short-staffed hospital, and made the best of it. He looks like a teenager getting to play hookie when they wheel him out the front door in a wheelchair to the car. He is so happy to see me, happy he can stand and very carefully, oh-so-gingerly, step into the car and give me a wide-grinned smile. He’s alive, he can walk, sort of, and he’s coming home.
He tells me later he knew all of the tests they would be giving him to determine when he could go home, finger to nose, eye watching finger, and extending the arm again. He practiced for his tests, so that when they came to see him, he would pass. The doctors promised him a full recovery, and we were both grateful. They said it could have been much worse.
In the first days and weeks home, he sleeps most of the time, getting up only to go to the bathroom and back. A few friends come to visit to keep his spirits high, chatting with him on the couch, then helping with washing the dishes or doing other tasks, so it doesn’t all fall to me. They don’t overstay their welcome, but are careful to leave before he gets overtired from the conversation and the company.
I don’t leave the house for five days other than to go to our garden. When I finally go out, I realize how traumatized I am, and how unreal life feels. Gradually Jim and I are able to talk to each other about our fears, and about what the experience was like for us. One by one, little by little, we process the moments of the stroke, the decisions we made along the way, what we felt, what we knew, what we didn’t know.
And he begins to get better. Within a month he is able to walk around the block, then another month after that he is back on the Sedona trails, with caution. He learns how to hop and skip again. I started doing yoga as therapy with him pretty early on, private sessions progressing gradually, twice daily, for my beloved. I’ve always believed that yoga is the best medicine, and we could both see how yoga was helping him to regain muscle function, muscle memory, and balance.
Five months later, is he better? Yes, mostly. If you saw him you would never know that anything had happened. “You look great,” our friends say when they see him, and it’s true. He’s able to go on multi-hour hikes with his buddies up into the far reaches of the National Forest and the Sedona red rocks. But we’re both aware of other more subtle shifts since the stroke, areas hidden from view. When he gets overwhelmed he still takes longer to come back to emotional baseline. He needs more rest than before. And his balance still isn’t where it was, so his buddies keep an extra eye out for him on those hikes.
So what have I learned from this experience?
Life comes into pretty clear focus when you have a wake up call like that. What truly matters ~ and what doesn’t ~ come front and center.
I’m grateful for each day, each moment Jim and I have together. I’m grateful for the friends who showed up in those first critical days and weeks, supporting Jim, or helping me stay on track with putting in our first garden when Jim wasn’t up to it.
And here’s what I’ve learned about business:
- I love my work. I realize how much I care about my clients and how meaningful it is for me to help other women through the Divine Feminine Business Coaching I offer. During those challenging weeks when I wasn’t sure how my husband’s recovery was going to pan out, leading my coaching groups or private sessions was a relief and a lifeline for me. My work provided a sense of normalcy, of being of value to someone other than my husband or myself, and of contributing to life and wellbeing on this planet.
- Time flexibility is invaluable. Being a coach enables me to set my own schedule and to cut back when a crisis hits or my family needs me. I am blessed to work as little or as much as I choose. The time flexibility I have at this point in my life is something I have gained through years of dedication to my craft and years of building the leveraged structures, support materials, and team that have made it possible. I want to acknowledge myself for that, celebrate it, and hold it up as a beacon, a possibility for others. You can have that too.
- Like time flexibility, financial peace is also a precious gift I don’t take for granted. I no longer live on the edge as I did for much of my life. This peace enables me to flow with other challenges with more grace, as I have one less thing to worry about. Again, dedication to my craft, as well as studying the principles of prosperity and applying them diligently in my own work and my husband’s have enabled us to grow our businesses together, supporting each other as needed, building financial freedom together, and taking breaks when needed, like the break we both took after his stroke.
What About You?
If life were to throw you a curveball, would you be ready? Do you love your work so much it provides fulfillment and meaning when other challenges swirl around you? And could your business support you financially through a personal crisis? Do you have reliable income coming in that you can count on when you cut back your hours for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks or months?
Many small business owners or solo practitioners don’t have the business model or the structures built out yet for that to be possible. It’s important to plan for these types of contingencies. How are you going to take steps to move towards this for YOUR future?
Send me your questions:
I’m preparing a series to answer your most Frequently Asked Questions about growing and nurturing a Divine Feminine business. Just click here to email me your most burning questions (or post in the comments below if you’re comfortable with that).
Thanks, and talk soon.
Dear Laura and Jim, I’m just now reading about this experience and am struck by the photo. Was it taken post stoke? If so, you are correct. You would never know Jim went through that. The look on your face is wordless. There is an inner knowing deeply personal to you. The photo is beautiful and you both are precious. Health and well being perplexes me. People I think or believe ought to have horrid health conditions based on habits, appearances thrive while those living active, mindful health conscious ways end up in acute care. Bottom line…we just never know what is around the corner from moment to moment, do we. My heart goes out to you both in these continued phases of discovery and deepening your love for one another and your cherished friends who held you during this time and continuing to do so. Much love, Jennifer
Thank you Jennifer. That photo was taken in early December, 3 months post-stroke. And I agree, we never know what is around the corner, moment to moment. Best to just love what is, as it is!
Oh Laura, I am so happy to hear Jim is thriving again. Thank you for sharing your experiences and best of health to both of you. Your work continues to support and inspire my own. Big love, Julie
Thank you Julie! Glad you are doing well.
Laura, blessings to you and your husband and thank you for sharing such a rich and tender story.
Thank you Lynda for your kind words. <3
Beautiful resilience! And I am sure much of his work and yours have played and integral part in his recovery!! I am here as a resource if you want to brainstorm anything ☀️!
I’m asking myself many of the same questions about setting up my own business recently. Indeed having a flexibility and financial autonomy would be very meaningful in those situation as you said.
Thank you Edana! Yes, flexibility and financial autonomy are so meaningful. And resilience! <3
Thanks so much for sharing this very difficult expereince. I am sooooo grateful that Jim is doing well and that you’ve been blessed with recapturinng the magic of now. Sending much love and blessings to you both.
Yes, the magic of now for sure! Love you Val. <3
Laura, Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. Your story of pain, fear, vulnerability and hope. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jim…you are both strong & mighty warriors! Continue to heal and inspire! xoxo
Thank you for seeing the warrior God-Goddess in us Denise! <3
Laura, thank you for this powerful sharing. Reading this brought up memories of my dad’s first stroke at age 64 and gratitude for the grace that unfolded.
My heart goes out to both of you for what you’ve been through and the road ahead. Celebrating with you the blessing of flexible, fulfilling work that sustains us through challenges.
Hi Melissa, Yes, there has been grace in this stroke. Learning that life has limits and we need to live every moment to its fullest, resetting our priorities, softening our hearts.
I’d love to hear more about the grace that unfolded through your father’s stroke.
I am sorry this happened to you both. Isn’t it always a learning? Yes! If we embrace it as such it can be the greatest learning. And you have one another, that is invaluable. 2021 was the most difficult year for me, filled with learning and potential for growth. I want to express my appreciation for your support and for providing the opportunity for my expression to reach the world.
Carry on in bliss!
Hi Martha, Good to hear from you and sorry 2021 was so tough for you! And yes, challenge brings opportunity. It was a pleasure getting to support you in bringing your story to the world.
Beautiful… I’ve been sending healing prayers and thoughts since that fateful night at the workshop….Sending you both love and support and remembering that day at Buddha Beach and how life can unexpectedly turn on a dime… I love and support you both and care deeply… Big hugs and love GARY
Thank you Gary. We’ve been thinking of you too, and gradually working through everything that happened that night, as you say. Big love.
You are a guiding light. Blessings to you and Jim🙏
Blessings back to you Sharon. <3
Blessings to you both. Sending loving thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for sharing. Love, Ann
Thanks Ann! Hope you are well.
Thank you Laura for sharing this story, and thank your husband too. Sending healing light!
We’re receiving the light Krystal, thanks!
Thank you sharing your story… Really good and learnable..
Thank you Qasim!
Thank you for sharing your and your husband’s story of crisis and healing. My heart goes out to you. My husband had a stroke a few years ago and recovered and I feel so blessed to have him. ❤️
Thanks for sharing your story of recovery several years out. I’m expecting the same for us. <3
All I want to say is Goddess bless you both, Laura. Continue to heal on all levels. Blessings. Sofi
Thank you Sofi! Good to hear from you. <3
Thank you for this valuable information. And this brave story 🙏🏻
I too am dealing with the possibility of a stroke (I have been told).
Without a partner or family, it seems daunting.
I turn now to my spiritual beliefs and practices. My yoga is a bit on the shaky side now.
My wish for your Jim, is that he be healed into the moment; and that you and he, may live with ease.
And may you both dwell in the open heart.
💖 Pamela H.
Blessings to you Pamela. Keep breathing into your yoga, even when it feels shaky! May it bring you growing steadiness.
Laura, I loved hearing about your experience with this. Your story may help a lot of people.
Thanks Wendy. <3