“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – W. Clement Stone
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Physician heal thyself?” Well, a defining moment in my life was when I realized one day that it had been a year since I had been taking antacids to control the heartburn and indigestion that were the result of the stress in my life. I could not believe that a year had passed and I was still unable to eat the foods that I loved because it would cause more of a flare-up of my stomach troubles in spite of the medication that was supposed to relieve my symptoms. I was healing myself with medicines when I should have been healing my mind. It was a wake-up call. I realized there were major changes that I needed to make but it wasn’t going to be easy, nor would it happen overnight. I was working five days a week in my pediatric practice as a solo practitioner, on call 24/7 for my patients and covering 2 hospitals, and I had monthly expenses that outweighed my income and a lease that would not run out for years. It was no wonder I needed antacids!
Slowly, I began to put into place the wheels of motion that would allow me to leave my pediatric practice and have a skilled and capable pediatrician take over caring for my patients. My life took a further complicating turn when it became necessary for my husband and I to take custody of our one-year-old granddaughter in 2006. I needed to find someone to take over my practice more quickly when it appeared custody would become permanent. All of the pieces came together in 2008 for a wonderful doctor to take over my practice which happened in 2009. By June 2009, I left my pediatric practice and came home. I needed to be more available for my granddaughter and since I had been introduced to network marketing, began to turn my attention to building that business. Network marketing was attractive to me because of the flexibility of working from home, setting my own hours and working as little or as much as I wanted. Having been working as a physician for so long in an office setting, it was so freeing for me to be able to be among people during the daytime and just experience what so many people take for granted:
- shopping in a grocery store on a weekday and not have to fight the weekend crowds
- lunch with friends during the week
- exercise when I wanted (within the timeframes of my granddaughter’s preschool hours)
- appointments could be made any day of the week now—not just on the half day that I didn’t schedule patients
This was such a freeing feeling to be able to experience these small things. As I began to work the network marketing business, I started attending some networking events to meet more people. I attended a meeting called, “Powerful You!,” which is a women’s networking group. The chapter I attended was a little far from my home and I loved the meeting so much that I decided to create a chapter in my hometown and provide a place for other women to come and share their business messages. Our chapter opened in April 2010 and after facilitating the meeting for tw0 months, I had a huge AH HA moment realizing how much I loved facilitating the discussion part of the meeting—asking questions and engaging all the participants to discuss how they felt about the topics and share their ideas and thoughts. I also realized that what I had loved about pediatrics was when I was helping the parents become better parents through coaching– even though I didn’t know that coaching was what I was doing! I knew I loved the part of network marketing that was teaching, training, and coaching others to start their own business, too. It became clear right then that all the paths of my life had led me straight to coaching and I took a leap of faith not knowing how this was going to fit together. I enrolled into a coach training program to really learn how to become the best coach I could become and see where the path led me.
Now a year later, I am finished with my coach training through the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching, and I have a new business that provides great flexibility for me and still allows availability for me to be with my granddaughter. My new business is Green Light Coaching and I now work with adult women who struggle to balance wellness in their lives. Coaching allows me to work intimately with these women to help them change their thinking, their behavior and emotions connected to a diseased lifestyle. It’s very scary and overwhelming to be told by a physician you need to make lifestyle changes to literally save your own life. Oftentimes, women are sent out the door with a piece of paper saying they need to lose weight, start an exercise program or stop smoking without any insight into the reasons that got them into that situation in the first place and no plan for how to get out. Through the coaching process and with the medical background that I have, I am now able to help women create the changes in their health through lifestyle changes and literally save their own lives. I know this works. Remember physician heal thyself? I am happy to report that I am now completely off antacids and medication and I truly feel that I have applied all that I’ve learned and healed my body through changes in my mind.
An inspiring song that always moves me: I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
Melissa Brown, MD, ELI-MP
Green Light Coaching
Linked in www.linkedin.com/in/drmelissabrown
Website and blog www.greenlightcoaching.com