Part of the excitement of starting a New Year is that we don’t really know what it will bring. Life has twists and turns. It is how we cope with those twists and turns, the choices we make every second, every minute of every day that create the life we live. Over the last few years I have made some important choices. I am a firm believer that we all “have choices”. Whether those choices are right or wrong at the time is something personal and each person can only make certain choices for themselves for whatever reason.
Some of the most important choices we make are to do with our health. The reason I am sharing what follows is so that I can encourage you to take notice of your own body and keep re-searching until you discover what answers are available and right for you. Three years ago in 2015 for the first time I experienced some health issues which came at a time when I was starting to discover new interests, start a new business and was enjoying being a grandmother to my first three grandchildren. I started to get very acute and debilitating pain in the lumbar region of my back. It turned out to be a Synovial Cyst which had lodged in my spine at L4-L5.
Usually these cysts do not cause a problem however as this one had lodged in the spine and the only option according to the surgeon I saw was to remove the cyst and fuse the spine. The pain I was getting more and more frequently was acute and debilitating. A friend of ours recommended a surgeon who doctors themselves go to for treatment which was minimally invasive. As there would be less cutting of the bone and muscle, stability of the spine would not be affected and spinal fusion would not be necessary. In February 2015 after much research I went to USA to have this surgery by the recommended surgeon.
Recovery from surgery was great. I followed instructions and although it was major surgery the incision was small and I was able to carry on with life as before. I was told no high impact exercise such as running. I thought this was the end of my spinal problems as we had been able to fix it with the best way possible. I didn’t have the acute pain anymore but the constant sciatica was still there. It was constant, severe and there was no let up despite doing all the right exercises and healthy eating. I went back my GP who recommended another MRI. This MRI showed that I actually had Tarlov Cysts in the sacrum area.
The Synovial Cyst had been masking the underlying pain of the Tarlov Cyst. The neurosurgeon that I went to see in Brisbane said this was definitely the cause of my pain. She said this had been there all the time but the first MRI report hadn’t mentioned it. She said no surgeon in Australia would operate as it was too risky and that I would need to be on strong painkillers for the rest of my life. She said that if I was someone who liked to keep busy and think a lot that on the strong painkillers I may “even have trouble making a cup of tea”. This was not an option for me so I researched and found Dr Feigenbaum who only ever does Tarlov Cyst Surgery. By amazing coincidence two other ladies from Australia were suffering from a similar condition (It only affects 3% of the population and mainly women).
They were researching at the same time as me and ended up going to Cyprus for this life changing surgery. To cut a long story short – exactly twelve months after my first surgery I found myself at the Brisbane Airport heading to a different country for the scariest time of my life. There is an interview which the AIMIS Institute in Cyprus asked me to do a week after surgery and this explains more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8x907LOvuY
To raise awareness and provide information for others who may be suffering we provided this story for the Rare Disease Day website shortly after our return to Australia. The surgery on 3rd February 2016 was a success in that growth of the cysts (which are actually the nerves in the spinal canal at the sacrum has been halted. Many people suffer from diseases or conditions which are not commonly known about. I had a wonderful GP who was not familiar with Tarlov Cyst Disease but was open to learning about it and great at liaising with Dr Feigenbaum’s clinic to get the right pre and post op MRI and diagnostic referrals. This is our article on the Rare Disease Website https://www.rarediseaseday.org/stories/5452
During my stay in Cyprus I decided to investigate my desire to help others through coaching as I felt it would be a perfect fit for my styling business. To me, personal styling is not just about image it is about showing who you are on the outside. It is about really knowing yourself. The Life Coaching Diploma which I completed in August 2016 was something I am proud of doing while recovering from surgery. The Life Coaching is so much more than I thought it would be. It is perfect for what I want to achieve in my business which is to help people look, feel and be their best. I changed my business from Beauty Glow which is what I started after completing my Beauty Therapy Diploma to B Styled for Life to incorporate the styling and life coaching.
The coaching has also helped me to understand myself and helped me overcome some huge hurdles. Many events have happened during these three years and at other times in my life. Like many people probably it is almost as though I have lived several lifetimes in one. I have learned so many valuable lessons and would like to share them here:
Advocate for your own health. Investigate, research and decide what is best for you personally. You only have one life and it is your responsibility. Trust yourself implicitly to make the right decisions for YOU. Research well and then make an informed decision. No matter how qualified people may be everything needs to make sense to you. Everyone has a choice and from those choices make your own decision.
Know that there are all sorts of people who may take advantage of a situation. There are people who will try to come along and scoop up everything you have worked for in your life and try to take the easy way. Be smart, be wary and decide for yourself – Take notice of your gut instinct. No matter what profession another person is in this doesn’t always make them a trustworthy human being. Being in business and and having experienced both a corporate psychopath and also a health professional sociopath the lesson learned after complete betrayal of trust by these people has been “discernment”
Communication is key. The right sort of communication makes all the difference in personal relationships, business relationships and life in general.
Each year seems to get faster and faster as we get older. It is a matter of filling that time up with what is important to you. We are born alone and we die alone so make yourself a priority. This is not selfish. This is smart living. That way we have the health and energy to help others – mentally, emotionally and physically
Work out what it is that you love doing and do it. There are times when we are in the process of discovering what we love and that is great as it is all part of the journey. If you don’t love it any more use the experience and “tweak” your life somehow to ensure it flows for YOU.
Take time to have fun. Laughter really is the best medicine.
I have discovered that the cause of a lot of anxiety is thinking about what you “should” be doing because of what others may think of you. “Stop should-ing all over yourself” and just be you.
We teach best what we most need to learn. Even with coaching and styling I am learning more and more from the experiences. No one person is perfect and as Tony Robbins says “constant and never ending improvement” is the key. I like to say that “We are all imperfectly perfect”.
Be kind to everyone as most people are fighting some kind of battle. We all have responsibilities and the greatest is responsibility for ourselves and how we are able to respond to others and to situations. It is when we turn external influences back onto ourselves and blame ourselves that we are taking on stuff that doesn’t belong to us.
Appreciate what you have and value who you have in your world. If others are no longer in your life there is a good reason.
Arguments or disagreements between other people are between others and do not involve you. Be a support. Use discretion. Have your own opinions.
No judgement. It is by judging other people that we are actually judging ourselves and putting each person (and ourselves) in a box. Everyone is different and that is what makes the world such an interesting place. Be understanding of others. Have empathy and still have your boundaries. Family is so important to me and I feel blessed to have health and family as well as some wonderful friends. Life is precious and even at the depths of despair we can be reminded of how special family and true friends are.
As a Personal Stylist and Life Coach I absolutely love what I am doing right now. The thrill that I get from seeing my clients light up is immeasurable. I have created a business from interests that I have always had. The Passion and Purpose Coaching (© Pip McKay) that I have also trained in as well as the Life Coaching gives me an understanding of how everyone needs to really do what they are passionate about and helps them discover their purpose.
As the years roll by with each being different to the last it shows that we are living as we are meant to be really experiencing life.
About the Author
Moana Robinson has a mission … to empower other women to glow from the inside out. As a style coach, she uses her skills to take ladies on a journey to discover their perfect colour palette and wardrobe.
Combining her experience as a beauty therapist, Image consultant and as a life coach, Moana has the ability to help women sparkle as she works with them to find that magic combination of colour, body shape, lifestyle and personality. Her magic goes beyond the exterior image to unleashing the untapped confidence we keep hidden for fear of standing out. Moana believes style is about being the best you can be. Her life journey has seen her overcome a battered confidence to stand tall, proud of her achievements and the impact she makes on people’s lives.
She is no stranger to challenges having lived through a time when the most exciting job a woman could hope for was as a secretary, has scrimped and saved, been bullied over her body shape and got a little lost during her teens, Moana was determined to create path that fulfilled her … and while it may have taken longer to realise her dream, Moana has always known she would be working in the beauty field. She understands the obstacles that get in the way of living to life’s potential, brings to her consultations an empathy and kindness that envelopes her clients; they know they are in safe hands. She knows those throwaway lines and off the cuff remarks about a person’s weight or body shape can hurt the ego and psyche … and her styling coaching skills help to set a new path … and new vision … and a new purpose. Moana graduated dux from the Australian Institute of Applied Science with a Diploma in Beauty Therapy, has run a beauty salon, been a colour consultant, built her networking business to VP level and for 13 years worked alongside her husband of 37 years helping him build a business from scratch. Now … she has the sense of freedom and achievement that comes from
creating a business that help others. Moana has held workshops and volunteered in schools and organisations to assist students and disadvantaged men and women better themselves.
For Moana, true success comes from following your own path, connecting with people and tools that empower you to think, feel and be all you can be. B Styled for Life is anchored in the vision and realness that is Moana.
You can contact Moana Robinson at
B Styled for Life
Ph. 1300 366 675