What Smart Women Learn in the Recovery Room

A few weeks ago, I had surgery to remove one of my healthy kidneys in order to donate that kidney to my husband Greg, whose kidney was failing, so that he would enjoy a more vital, healthy life. On December 1, we both were admitted to UCLA Medical Center. Everything went well regarding the surgery, however, when I woke up in the recovery room later that day and became aware of my surroundings, I felt restrained and an overall feeling of loss of control. As the hours went by (and the pain meds began to wear off!) I realized there were 4 "obstacles" that I needed to overcome in my journey to again feel in control of my life. The 4 "obstacles" were: forced oxygen, a catheter, an IV in my arm, and being strong enough to stand up and walk without assistance. This got me thinking about how Smart Women need to overcome the "obstacles" in their lives in order for them to be in control of their destiny. As women, we can sometimes carry a heavy load of responsibility. We are nurturers by nature. We tend to say "Yes" more than "No." Over time, some of the roles and responsibilities you take on no longer serve you well and can become "obstacles". There have been times in my life that I've felt as if I was being held captive to some of the roles and responsibilities in my life. What are possible "obstacles" right now in your life?

*A job or career that no longer challenges or excites you

*A toxic relationship that drains your energy levels and provides no nourishment

*A health concern that's keeping you from living your life fully

We begin to see these "obstacles" as a normal part of our lives. We develop a belief that we can't shed these "obstacles" and we carry them around with us day after day. As I lay in that hospital bed, hour after hour, I became focused on one thing: freeing myself from the "obstacles" that were holding me captive. Over the next few days, I slowly shed each of the "obstacles" and began to feel confident that I would take control and be discharged from the hospital.

In order for you to live a life that is full of passion and on purpose, it's essential that you take charge of your life and make decisions from a place of honesty and authenticity. Give yourself permission to identify what's holding you back, what "obstacles" are holding you captive in your own life, and take steps to rid yourself of these.

Here are a few tips that I used in the hospital to rid myself of my own "obstacles." I believe they can support you in your journey to living a life of freedom, passion, and purpose:

1. Identify your "obstacle" - what's holding you back? Where's the energy drain in your life right now? It's important to identify exactly what you want to eliminate.

2. Visualize life without the "obstacle" - what might be possible? How will your life be better or different without this "obstacle" preventing you from having the life you want and desire?

3. Create a plan to make it happen. I made a plan to rid myself of those annoying pieces of equipment in this order: oxygen, catheter, sitting up, standing, walking, the IV. I decided this was the best (and easiest) way for me to reach my full freedom from the hospital. Create a plan that feels right for you - challenging but achievable.

4. Set an intention and share it with a nutritious friend. Tell someone. I told everyone who came to visit what my intention was, and I asked everyone to help me. Was it uncomfortable? You bet. Would I have rather stayed in bed at times? Yes. Would that decision have led me to my goal? No.

When the desire is there, the how-to will come.

On my last morning in the hospital, I was taking a walk and I saw a man being supported by his wife attempting to take his first steps after surgery. I had passed this man's room before and I would always flash him a smile. He typically looked at me with an expression of "I want to walk, but I'm in too much pain." I understood completely. I walked over to him and gave him the thumbs up and congratulated him on taking those first steps to shed his "obstacles." He looked at me and said, "It's so hard." My reply? "Yes, it is. But it's the only way out." I invite you to think about shedding the "obstacles" in your own life. It truly is the only way to live!

Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.


Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach and Motivational Speaker. A highly skilled group leader and business consultant, Joy has helped scores of women design the lives they choose to live. Helping women realize and achieve better ways of living is her passion, her purpose, and her business. As a wife and mother of two, Joy understands there is more to life than one's career. Like many women who are drawn to entrepreneurship, she inhabits ...

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