- See the problem as an impetus for change;
- Consider what it means to live your best life, then assess whether you are, right now, living the life you always wanted;
- Forsake playing-it-safe, because you suddenly understand that being conventional, so you can have financial security, is not what you want–you want to share deeply of your deepest self with the people around you, to experience the highs and lows of life’s joys and sorrows together;
- Decide you will give people opportunities–to experience the world’s beauty, to gain a feeling of accomplishment, to bond with their family and friends, to be happier;
- Be glad your difficulty has caused you to become an instrument to increase wellness and fun in people’s lives.
Here’s a major shake-up: Your too-young mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. You’re told she has 3 weeks to live. What do you do?
If you’re Paula Santos, you spend every possible moment just being with your mother. Her courage, her stamina, and her will to live, inspire you. You start thinking about what’s really important (love, relationships, being an inspiration to others) and you begin to believe she’s going to beat this death sentence (but who knows for how long? who knows how long any of us has to live?)
You question what you’re doing. You start thinking about a more authentic way to live.
You want a life in which everyone is happy to see you and no one is upset by the decisions you make.
So you resign from your job as a high school principle, and you start…
…a kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle board business in Pawtuxet cove.
So you can provide an experience for people to connect with nature, to find and appreciate their own strength, to bond with their family and friends.
From all over the world, people come to ‘yak all over the cove. And pretty soon you notice that here in the community you’ve sparked a little revival. Not just tourists, but people from right in Pawtuxet Village, too, are getting out there on the water, take time to enjoy the beauty of this place they live in, right now.
There will be moments in your life when something like an earthquake shakes you to your core, topples everything you’ve worked so hard to build, into rubble. It will make you dig until your hands bleed, while you pray you will find a survivor under the debris.
It’s been a year since Paula’s mother’s diagnosis. She’s still alive; the cancer is in remission. And I am not the only one who is grateful to Paula , for turning her family’s shake-up into something positive for herself and this community.
Cheers to you, Paula–you’re amazing!
Now, what will you make of your shake-ups?