I met Carol Lee through our Connections, Kuel Category Expert, Kay Newton. I was immediately fascinated by Carol’s holistic healing practice and methods. After a few conversations, she decided that she too wanted to be part of the movement to re-define midlife for women by offering her expertise, quarterly, to the Kuel Life Community.
Today, Carol shares her story with our Community. I am honored to present Week 38 in my ‘Share Your Story; the Women the WSJ Missed’ series – Carol Lee.
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?
CAROL: My passion and energy for my work, I have always worked but have woven it around my children and their needs. I have been a single parent, since my husband died in 2007, and made my boys the priority. I relish the time I have now to dedicate to more training, more creating, and more clients. It fills me up so much. I feel that in so many ways I’m just getting started! None of this is left field; more an acceleration. I’ve gone into warp speed.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
CAROL: I like a slow start, which generally means making my list for the day sitting up in bed with a green tea, and a kitty cuddle with my rescue cat Stevie. I check social media and emails and then I do an hour of meditation. I don’t always find meditating easy but I have noticed so many benefits that I keep doing it, being perfectly imperfect. I then have client appointments or check in with students. Some days are more creative; writing copy, designing a new course, updating my website. I love the balance of inner quiet days and busy interactive days and need both to nourish me. I also try to have some outside time everyday. As little of 10 minutes can rejuvenate me. Relaxation is making simple meals and then in the evening a box set of something light hearted. I aim to turn off the light by 11 but sometimes I love burning the midnight oil reading and watching inspiring content, usually around spirituality and healing .
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
“I struggle with switching off from work”
CAROL: I struggle with switching off from work, or perhaps in reality it’s other people who struggle with my dedication. I love my work and it is part of me, I rarely stop completely as there is always something to be done, website updated, social media to attend to, emails to answer, invoices to send. My general rule is that I don’t have clients at the weekend and I prefer not to have a client before 10.30am or after 5pm
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
CAROL: My passion for natural approaches to health and healing motivates me. I absolutely love sharing what I know; whether this is about food as medicine, balancing your weight naturally, or using energy healing techniques that help us dissolve blocks that get in the way of our greatness. I live and love what I teach and share, so it comes from within and is self perpetuating .
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
CAROL: Embrace it all, choose to notice the benefits rather than the challenges. Many people have died too young and so missed out on this wonderful time and opportunity to reflect, consolidate, and then share the wisdom accrued by living a longer life.
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
“Vulnerability to me means showing my soft underbelly, the tender bits, the challenges, the feelings of being ‘less than’.”
CAROL: Vulnerability to me means showing my soft underbelly, the tender bits, the challenges, the feelings of being ‘less than’. I often feel vulnerable sharing my story around food; how ashamed I felt, how I used food to squash down emotions, how I over ate and became very overweight; yet I still do share as I know it is helpful for others. I still sometimes feel vulnerable about my body, I have a soft, curvy body, I’m not super slim but generally I have made peace with how it feels and looks. I appreciate its wholesomeness and how hard it works for me everyday.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
1. My husband’s death in 2007 from an asbestos related cancer, our boys were 10 and 8. Watching his decline was heartbreaking, his death devastating. Out of it I found my strength to carry on and be a single parent, to manage by myself. It affirmed my faith in Spirit, that the essential energy or essence of someone carries on after physical death. I have had so many experiences of this and these have been such a blessing.
2. Not an event, but the 18 years I spent working as a social worker with children and families. I learned so much which shaped my work life going forward. I realised how much I loved working with people, people of all different walks of life, and witnessing their stories, often at extremely messy, painful junctures. I learned how to hold space, really listen, be assertive, be organised, work as part of a team and hold my own boundary.
3. In 1990, while still a social worker, I took a huge leap to train as an Acupuncturist. The training introduced me to Traditional Chinese Medicine and more specifically the philosophy of the Five Elements. I fell in love straight away, the philosophy connected me to nature, to the seasons, to the energy in our bodies, it made complete and utter sense to me. I had found a spiritual model that has supported me in every aspect of my life; relationships, work, my own struggles, and successes. I love that I use this knowledge everyday in my work, and that I can share what I know with others and inspire them.
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
CAROL: There is no one person. Some people have shown me very clearly how I didn’t want to be, others shone a light on how things could be, inspiring me onwards. I have always been a seeker, wanting to find a ‘truth’ about life and living that made sense to me. Even now everything I do brings more meaning and knowledge to my ‘pot’ of inner wisdom. A book I read in my 20s called ‘Living Magically’ by Gill Edwards set me off on my quest at a time when complementary health and mind-body approaches were considered very left field. After reading it, I felt that I’d finally found my tribe, that there were other people out there like me.
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
CAROL: A funny one; friend of mine, who is much older than me and very wise told me in my 20s to cut the size labels out of your clothes; she said they mean nothing. You are the size you are and not what the labels say. I have done this on and off for the last 30 years.
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
CAROL: Oprah, she owns her fullness, her whole self with no apology… she’s so full of herself, she inspires me to own my fullness as well… and of course this is a work in progress.
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
CAROL: Yes I’m grown up in many ways, I have always had a deep vein of ‘sensible-ness’ that runs through me. I always say that this is because I’m the eldest child of four, and my father tells me I was always a wise child, thoughtful and cautious. I generally take responsibility for myself and my emotional ‘stuff’. But of course, I have tantrums occasionally, especially when life (or my partner) is too slow for my impatient nature. But I feel joy and playfulness easily, I jump up and down with excitement when something joyous happens, I love Christmas and Christmas films, and I have yet to feel grown up enough to use an umbrella.
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
CAROL: If my husband’s death taught me anything it was the value of self care, I ran myself ragged during those years as a lone parent with very little support and I nearly imploded. Now I love time alone to recharge: a duvet day with Netflix; I meditate everyday; enjoy time walking in nature; watching birds on the feeder; and observing the seasons change in the lanes where I live.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
CAROL: 1. I’m not sure I have a bucket list, I’m a home bird who is generally contented but… I would love to live by the sea and to be able to walk on the beach everyday. In my daily mediation, I imagine myself skipping along a familiar beautiful beach and climbing up a cliff path to my home. It will happen, I feel it.
2. I want to go on a Dr. Joe Dispenza week long event, I’m so inspired by his findings on health and healing, his blending of science and spirituality. I want to learn from him.
3. I want my work to reach far and wide, I love supporting people to make changes and improve their life.