Carole L. Sanek is a certified life coach specializing in personal coaching, with her specialty being working in grief. Carole is also an author, and her first book “Fractured” is with a publishing house in Chicago, scheduled to launch by the end of the year. Carole is especially excited that even though she was diagnosed 27 years ago with breast cancer, she wiped that slate clean and thrived on in her life. Reaching Carole is easy as she believes in transparency and authenticity and welcomes people to reach out to her.
You’ve always considered yourself as a helper, and you are now known as a Grief Expert. Can you let readers know more about the work you do?
I have been a helper all my life. I went to nursing school. I worked in medicine for years, mostly in Oncology, until I moved into selling wound care products, including hospital beds.
Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even after my breast cancer diagnosis, I still stayed in medicine. I ran cancer support groups, walked in many 5K walks, and completed the 3 Day Breast Cancer walk (60 miles), raising money for research.
Eventually, though, my passion for writing grabbed me by the hand and took me into the world of social media marketing, where I wrote for clients for years. I was a ghostwriting blogger, I did all social media platforms for people, and I won awards for my own blogging from delimmune.com in cancer, and healthline.com also for breast cancer (1 of 23 best blogs in 2014.) I also was voted into 7th place as Best in the Biz for Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2014.
I kept writing, and now I write about grief daily on social media, and I have a book being released in January 2021 titled “Fractured-Living with Grief.”
You’ve had a very tragic experience when your husband died in your arms…how were you able to move forward from that tragedy?
We had just finished dinner on our patio, and my husband went outside to finish fertilizing our rose bushes. He told me he would come back in and have another glass of wine with me when he was done. He walked back in, set his watering can down, turned to speak to me, and I couldn’t understand him. He tried to speak again, and that is when I realized he was having a stroke. I ran to him, caught him before he fell, and from that point on, he never regained consciousness. He was gone.
You use a method in your work called Accelerated Resolution Therapy or, as you call it,” EMDR on steroids." Can you explain more about how this works?
Accelerated Resolution Therapy goes beyond EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) by combining EMDR using evidence-based psychotherapy and voluntary memory and image replacement to reprogram traumatic memories for depression, isolation, and crying, insomnia, anger, anxiety, and troubling memories. It has been used successfully for years for military-related PTSD.
What would you say is the main thing your clients are thankful for when working with you?
I completed my life coaching certification when I realized one day that people who grieve were people I understand. I would listen. Many people just want to talk. They would often say things like, “I have to get back to work now,” and then they kept talking for another 10 minutes because they have no one to talk to about their grief. It was then that I knew that listening to those who had no one else was my niche. It was where I belonged.
To summarize a little, what are your 3-5 best tips on thriving in life and moving forward from difficult experiences?
1. At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, my number one tip in any devastating experience, in any major change in your life, is always to have something good to look forward to. It is like that saying about there is always something to be grateful for; having something special to look forward to is the starting point to finding more things.
2. Never use the phrase “moving on” because none of us truly move on. We move forward, and thank you for recognizing this. I never say those two words; I always encourage people to move forward by moving through it. If this means getting professional help, then that is what you do.
3. Write your heart out, no one ever has to see what you write, but writing is so healing. I started writing every day on social media soon after my husband died. I have not missed one day. My writing is what took me back to school. My writing helps other people because they have shared that with me.
4. Practice grounding yourself. It is vital to be grounded in this world. Be in nature, touch that tree, sit on the ground, hold that flower in your hand. Being grounded is healing; research has proven this.
5. My last tip is to let go of anyone who causes you emotional pain. Let go of anyone who starts a sentence with “you should” or “you need.” Put them in a bubble and let them drift out of your life because they are not helping you. They are hindering your progress.
Finally, what do you have in front of you, and what’s your next big goal or project?
Ahh, saving the best question for last, I am grateful. After my book is released in January 2021, I will be working on marketing my coaching business more. I recently left Florida and moved to South Carolina in my own pattern of moving forward in my life. That and marketing my book, doing virtual book signings, eventually hitting the road to promote it are my top two priorities. My publisher reminded me the other day that I need to start another book within 6 months, and I have already completed an outline for this book, and right in the middle of doing that, a third book idea came to me.