Health Choice Holistic Massage School
Your Career + Your Life = Perfect Fit?
The ground is moving beneath your feet. Whether you’re an employee or business owner, your position is shifting in these uncertain times. Almost no industry is armored against this recession. You can make this a time for endless angst and bemoaning. Or, as wellness counselor Renate Novak suggests, you can take these days as an opportunity to step back, review and reposition yourself. “The goal is unconditional self-acceptance. How close to that are you?” she asks.
Novak’s Health Choice Institute in Hillsboro has spent the last 24 years helping clients reorganize and reunite their mind, body and spirit. She suggests that professionals attack this career repositioning as they would any other managerial problem: break down the problems. First, define the necessary life elements, then, see which ones require strengthening, finally, determine the optimum way of blending them for smooth operation.
* Signs of Distress. “Too many people are playing a ‘Where’s Waldo’ with their lives,” says Novak. “Between the daily job requirements, duties at home, the social and family obligations, the real person gets lost in an endless chore list.” All this incessant action, while praised by society, actually masks the gratification void it produces. Setting the tally of achievements aside for the moment, check a few of Novak’s dissatisfaction indicators.
- How much do you depend on food for comfort? If you are eating 6,000 calories a day, odds are the body is not ravenously demanding it, unless you regularly swing a sledgehammer as your career choice. Your mind’s anxiety is unnaturally stimulating the appetite and packing on the heart-threatening blubber.
- Do you hide behind your desk? If those hours spent doing your job are the only satisfying ones in your day, what’s wrong with the other times? Actually, hiding can be done with one’s sport, family, or any activity, to the detriment of a full life experience. Ideally, one should get involved in a wide range of joyful ventures. Certainly meditating or negotiating may personally bring you the greatest thrill, but if life’s other elements bring only fear, you might wrestle with why.
- The sleep of the just? If you hit the pillow deliberately blotting out the day’s anxieties, just to get a good night’s sleep, your life lacks balance, notes Novak. None of us lives without regrets and some wondering about the future. But if the body brought to fatigue by enjoyable exercise, and a spirit filled with self-acceptance both blend with a mind that can recall the day’s accomplishments, these woes should quickly melt.
* Define the Elements. “Our lives have pieces, each needing fulfillment,” says Novak, “but the key is to integrate, not box them.” These most basic requirements include physical health - financial sustenance - and enjoyed relationships. Add to this basic list a less tangible, but just as necessary, urge to create or express oneself. Note that these are not activities, like job and family times. Rather, they are hungers which are partially fed by one’s activities.
For most of us, the career provides nearly all our financial and sustenance needs, while partially helping with the creative and relationship aspects. The importance here is to recognize the career’s limitations. The workplace can only fill one hunger totally and others partially. “Living for my work” as some say, is as good a recipe for death as eating only one food group. In the end you’ll end up unfilled and glutting yourself on work.
* Where Spirit Sags. No one’s career flows placidly. Some parts of all jobs are distasteful. Determining if your job is contributing toward a balanced, healthy life becomes a matter of degree. Running through the distress test listed above may help. Also, a meditative focus on your work week (not the whole career, but the way you spend your typical hours) may give insight into those flawed areas. Further, consider to what extent these problem segments define your whole perception of the day? Do you see any repair of these situations?
* Running Smoothly. “You are an integrated unit,” Novak reminds her clients. “Body - mind - soul each need to be separately healthy, and brought into connection with the other parts.” Probably physical health, in this day and culture, is the the most neglected, with the simplest fix, she notes. We’ve all experienced those days when we bristle with energy and nothing seems able to stop us.
While physical health provides a platform, achieving that goal of total self-acceptance demands fulfilling that creative urge for self expression. “We’re like acorns,” says Novak. Each of us has layers of talents which are worth addressing.” For the fortunate among us, the career will provide a channel for our primary creative talent. Yet no one is only a great negotiator, a numbers-wizard accountant, or manager of people. “You’ve got to round out your soul with all your abilities,” says Novak.
For those whose primary creative yearning is not met anywhere in their job, it may become time to reconsider. “It takes a lot of gumption, but for your own life’s fulfillment, you must begin casting around for a more healthy career,” says Novak. If, however, your primary creative urge is best met by a career as a puppeteer, sacrificing your six-figure accounting job may conflict a bit with your financial and sustenance needs. To maintain a balance, Novak recommends a more gradual change. Try the puppeteering course at the local community college. One’s easiest guide through the repositioning process comes from total satisfaction. If it feels right to your whole being, then you’re probably making the right choice. Biz4
Renate Novak has spent her entire career since 1969 helping individuals who have just worn themselves out. A native of Frankfort, Germany, Novak, among other academic pursuits, completed a two-and-a-half-year Holistic Health Institute program in her native land. Taking these skills to a major spa, she help set clients on a new life track with nutritional, physical, and message therapy. “I then came to the United States only to find a holistic desert,” says Novak. “It was the land of TV dinners and Lysol spray.” Working at the Gropt Adam and Eve Spa, Novak developed a large clientele which led her, four years ago to open her own business. Today, in Hillsboro, she runs the Health Choices Holistic Message School with more than 20 instructors and a long roster of holistic programs ranging from Message Law & Licensing to Liquid Language.