This is an excerpt from Navigating 5 Life Changes: An Odyssey of Resiliency and
Hope, available at:

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the
beginning.” — Ivy Baker Priest

I can see it now – a tiny spec on the horizon. I point my compass to my true north and
with the wind in my sails, I chart my course and head home. As the land mass gets
bigger, I have a new understanding of what “home” means to me. So with solid footing,
I step ashore and into my new life.

In looking back over my last five years, I am amazed by the courage it took to embrace
uncertainty and start out on this journey. Each person’s journey is unique to them
because each of us experiences life in our own way and each decision we make along
the way builds on the next, just as each step gets us closer to our destination. In my
case, coming home to the person I am and re-assessing what is really important to me.

I have come full circle in five years, and have created a new life for myself. I started out
with imagining a different life for myself and I have manifested my destiny by believing
in my ability to navigate change. I wasn’t certain about each step or how it would all
come together, but I followed my heart and my internal guide. I found ways to uproot
myself, take chances and follow my bliss to where I am living today. This was not only
a physical move but a move on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

I am “home” in a new home I created by putting one foot in front of the other, having a
vision of the kind of life I wanted and trusting in myself. I saw the possibility of living
closer to my son and daughter-in-law and my three grandchildren. I could have stayed
exactly where I was but knew I wanted to make a major change. My husband’s death
was the impetus for this change and his belief in me was so strong that it transcended
the physical world.

I still can hear him whispering to me and encouraging me. He was
my confidant, my best friend and used to tell me how I changed people’s lives,
especially his. Looking at a picture of the two of us with his arm around me and him
kissing my cheek takes me back to that moment and that feeling of being truly loved for
the person I am. That feeling will stay with me forever. He was always my biggest
supporter, but I have learned through my odyssey to believe in myself and let my
inherent wisdom guide me.

I feel a big shift – a five-year trek has ended and a new journey begins. I am whole and
complete and happy again, and I’ve learned to look at my life through a different lens
and to focus on the present. I do not know how the future will unfold, but I do know
what is important to me. I feel empowered on all levels to move in the direction of life.

I have accepted that death is part of the cycle of life which we all experience. It is what
we learn from the people we love which becomes part of our life. One way to honor
those we love is to live our life to the fullest, be present every day. We are here on this
earth for a very short time, and our greatest gift is how we treat one another. I know
from the bottom of my heart that I am a better person for having loved my husband. His
memory lives on and has become part of the fabric of my life.

I know now I am home. I may travel a bit here and there but I feel contentment when I
walk in my door. I have built and created a new life for myself in a new city, have made
new friends, and have become part of a new community. It takes time to settle into a
new area especially after living in one place for most of your life where everything was

I realize I can continue to make choices and new discoveries about myself. I
had never thought I could create my own business and be an entrepreneur or be able to
buy another home for myself, or write a book, or conduct workshops. The reality is that
we are all capable of re-making ourselves. Life is ever in motion with or without us. So
our choices are to remain in one place and watch things change or to jump in, embrace
the changes and see where they take us.

I had a vivid dream at the end of the year. Throughout the dream I was waiting for my
husband. I was at a restaurant, and then at a cottage on the lake with a group of friends
before leaving to go out. I kept saying “I am waiting for him. I don’t know where he is,
has anyone seen him? I’m waiting for him.” Usually, I am not someone who
remembers my dreams, very rarely can I remember details, but this dream helped me
realize I have been waiting for him and that he is not coming back. The impact of this
dream was profound. I knew deep in my core that my waiting was over; this part of my
journey was over, and it was time for me to let go and return “home.” My five year
odyssey was over.

It was time to look at how far I had come and to start my life again, time to realize how
beautiful life is. I know life has pain and suffering, but it also has love and joy and
happiness to offer. Every new day is full of possibilities.

Each day I am creating where to go from here. This book would not have been written if
I hadn’t gone through all I have. I hope it will help others to listen to their inner voice
guiding them, despite the obstacles they are facing. I hope to inspire people to believe
in themselves no matter their age or circumstances. I want people to look forward to
new chapters in their own stories.
Where we go from here with that drive and determination is up to each one of us to find
out for ourselves. One thing I know for sure, life will always be changing. We, too, want
to be flexible and buoyant enough to find a place within ourselves to embrace those
changes and create our own futures. Our unique experiences will bring us happiness
and contentment.

Coming Full Circle (9-8-16) MLM

Looking at the place I started
walking along familiar paths.
My steps are solid, my eyes are open.
Changes, memories, swirling, blending.
Who is this person?
Where did she come from?
What has she seen
that gives her perspective and new awareness?
She is a part of all of us
who have experienced loss
and risen beyond
gaining hope and giving new meaning to life.
The circle of love, loss and renewal is complete.
One journey has ended and a new beginning awaits.

Mary Lou Meddaugh

Mary Lou Meddaugh is a Certified Life Coach and founder of Creative Coaching Methods. Her vision is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams and embrace change. She founded Creative Coaching Methods based on her own personal experience with major life changes in a short period of time and the lack of one central resource to help her navigate those changes. By combining her personal and professional experience, Mary Lou coaches clients to visualize important changes and to manifest them For more than 13 years, Mary Lou worked as a Senior Marketing Manager in the US for an international company headquartered in Europe. She mentored and coached her staff and colleagues around the globe on how to manage organizational change, set goals and achieve success. With her knowledge and life experience, she is committed to helping her clients achieve their vision and objectives for personal and professional development. She is a member of the Western Mass Coaching Alliance (WMCA) ( She has taught workshops on marketing strategies and embracing change. She has also been a Cancer Coach with the Cancer Wellness organization in Western New York. She is the author of What’s Next: New Beginnings, a 6-step process for change. She currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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