Time and Opportunity to Rebuild
COVID 19 happened at a time in my life when I was old enough to retire and not ready; I was collecting unemployment as my workplace had been sold. My goal, while on EI, was to start a small business and I needed assistance and support; I only knew how to be an employee! COVID restrictions cancelled many services and since I ran out of EI, my plans were shattered. I sadly started my retirement benefits. Let’s face it, I’m a young senior filled with desire to bring changes: unexpectedly, I discovered “Grandma Jo” and with dual identity, I’m still working on building my small business.
In April 2020, I was invited to reconnect with Emotional Fitness (EF) Institute. Over 21 years ago, in 1999, I met Warren Redman, a life saver with his EF tools; with him and his support, I grew up immensely. I called him my “Big Bro”, just because of one skit. With his presence and his work; he became one of my heroes, like a big brother. In 2003 in Calgary, he finally wrote his book: “The 9 Steps of Emotional Fitness”, and I got one of his first copies, later on, he renamed his business: Emotional Fitness Institute. In 2009, Warren moved away from Calgary.
In early 2020, before COVID and while volunteering as a cook at St. Mary’s University retreats, I thought about a small business goal. I wanted to help people dealing with stress. EF’s Group Dialogue tool came to mind: it was the perfect tool that helped me the most. I was challenged by my thoughts on how to facilitate a tool for peer support: helping students and others when times are tough. My 20-year-old memory without practice was not a solid foundation for success. However, personal experiences proved to me that not being listened to while struggling with stresses such as my mental health challenges at the time added to my frustrations. I knew that being heard was critical for me when I needed it. Friends and/or trusted peers worked best for me, better than talking to professionals.
My experience with the process of Group Dialogue, and its impacts on the presenter and all participants in the group, proved to be a lifeline approach to overcoming mental distress. Using EF tools, nobody tells anyone what to do; the answer resides in the mind of the presenter and the process facilitates the outcome discovered within. The greatest element of Group Dialogue is the first step of the EF tools, Listening Power which is the foundation of all The 9 Steps of Emotional Fitness.
Not a coincidence, I reconnected to Emotional Fitness Institute in New-Brunswick. Before I could start my small business, I chose to refresh and get proper accreditation. I graduated in December 2020, a perfect way to honour my “Big Bro” and Emotional FitnessÒ tools.
Gifts I gave myself during COVID 19 and its isolation: 1. reconnecting with Warren, 2. refreshing my memory, 3. acquiring my coaching license from Emotional Fitness Institute, 4. making new friends and 5. It continues.
My plans are to continue the healing of our planet concentrating on our most valuable resources: people. Using my new gifts, I will support my brothers and sisters of the world in the use of The Emotional FitnessÒ tools.
Emotional FitnessÒ is an opportunity available to everyone and anyone who wants to rebuild themselves, their families and their communities after the devastation of COVID.
Join me in the Emotional Fitness Institute vision of A World That Is Emotionally Fit.
Grandma-Jo (Jocelyne Wandler)
Licensed Emotional FitnessÒ Coach