開始設計精彩的人生下半場—Caterina Findsen


I didn’t set out to consciously design the second half of my life but it is fair to say that in my adult life, I have adopted the philosophy of the meaning of life is a life of meaning.

To begin with, some background history. When I was at school, I wasn’t particularly academic but I didn’t realize until I was much older how much I was actually capable of. Typical of many women of my generation in New Zealand, only a small minority of women attended university and with my lack of confidence, instead I took on an office job. I married young and once we had children, I became a stay-at-home mother to our two children. Day care centres were non-existent at the time so that is just how it was. As a mother, I changed from a shy young woman to become more confident within myself. My husband and I had many life changing experiences during those early years which meant I had to become adaptable. The main experience was one of our family going to live in another country for a few years with two small children while my husband completed his doctorate. I went about setting up a home for us all and getting the children settled. I learned how to type so I could type out his dissertation/thesis. I gained further inner confidence and resilience during those years. Being out of your comfort zone can do that.

After the children were older, I returned to full time work in an office and later on I worked as a team leader for a large insurance company. During this time I had an opportunity to assist the trainer of new recruits. I watched the different teaching styles of each trainer and at that time, I decided that this was something I would enjoy doing. About the same time, as an adult learner, I completed a university paper in adult literacy then went on to train as an adult literacy tutor. I loved going to the library and reading many books about adult literacy and learning in order to write my assignments and even more surprised when I earned As. As a team leader I enjoyed using my people skills to build and develop individual team members’ confidence, so that they not only achieved their sales targets but developed their inner belief. Every staff training course offered, I attended and built on my skills.

Our local university offered a Certificate in Continuing Education programme and I was very interested but otherwise committed. Life was busy and it wasn’t until I was in my late 40s with the children grown up that I started to think about the meaning of my own life. What legacy did I want to leave? Was it that I was a good mother who baked nice cookies? Is that what the only thing I want to be remembered for? I was about to begin the above Certificate programme when we yet again moved to another country (Scotland) so I set about finding where to do a similar course. Along with working full time, several evenings a week for many months I completed a Certificate in Training Practice at a local community college in Glasgow. This led to an advanced position at my workplace leading another team.r

The concept of “retirement” was never something I have ever actively considered. My father as a role model retired from paid work at 70 and immediately began concentrating on his hobby of woodturning…many times voicing “I don’t know how I ever had time to go to work”. He followed his “work” hobby even through cancer treatments and to the day he died at 92. Any comments about being old were never something our family dwelt on; we just got on with life.

My job as a Team leader in Glasgow was particularly stressful and I became unwell suffering from total burnt out. I knew it was time for a change. I took a less stressful job so I had energy to concentrate on study and looking at ways I could become my own boss.

I contemplated whether I would like to train as a counsellor or life coach. I thought that either of these professions was something I could continue regardless of age providing I still had good cognitive abilities. I decided life coaching would be a really positive field as it helps people move forward. I completed a two-year distance learning programme to train as a life coach and noticed that a lot of the approach was based around NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, developed by Richard Bandler. I started reading books on NLP and became very interested in the concepts. Simply put, NLP is a way of changing someone’s thoughts and behaviours to help achieve their desired outcomes.j

About that time I was introduced to Reiki and felt it was time to focus on the spiritual and self-healing side of myself. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. I learned Reiki levels one and two. I found that Reiki was something I really resonated with. After four years overseas we returned to New Zealand and within one year back I began in earnest looking at setting up my own transformational therapy business. I realized that Life Coaching would not provide enough work or income. I then took an extensive NLP practitioner course, trained as a clinical hypnotherapist, then an advanced clinical hypnotherapist and also as a Calm Birthing trainer to assist pregnant mothers in their experience of childbirth. At the same time I trained as a Reiki Master and then became a Reiki Master teacher. I was 55 years old and my life was dramatically different from what it had been five years before. I continually update my training and professional development. I read a lot of self-development and transformational therapy books and have accrued an extensive library covering all the modalities I work in. I have trained with many teachers in every modality. I’ve had to learn many IT skills to keep up to date with technology and its true to say, there has been a lot of trial and error.

Fast forward to now as I approach 70 years old. I continue to enjoy working with clients covering what seems like a vast skills area but it breaks down realistically to helping people achieve their full potential. I work from home with my own office, Reiki room and training room. I run Reiki training classes throughout the year as well as offer Reiki healing sessions and I support all my students to improve their skills. I see clients for hypnotherapy sessions to help them achieve their goals and work with pregnant mothers to prepare for childbirth. Now I work part time or as much as I feel I would like to do, after all it’s important to allow time for fun too. I love every aspect of my work and I’m living my life by design. Every day I’m learning. Many people look at what I do and want to do the same without the hard work which has been necessary to get to where am today.

My takeaway points. Realize your potential. You are never too old to start. Identify skills you have that you can share, whether paid or unpaid? You may be amazed at how much knowledge you have which can help others. Ask yourself, how can I make a difference.x
Enjoy your life.
Caterina Findsen
Transformational therapist www.koruselfdevelopment.com