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Kim Langley – Job Stress & Burnout

Hi, I'm Kim Langley, and I started to use Guided Imagery in the late 1990's. At the time I was working for a big not-for-profit, and I supervised 80 people, both paid and volunteer.

I was young and eager for the mission, and there was lots of work in me, but in a few short years, I had taken on lots of job responsibility, had two wonderful kids, and bought an older home which I loved, but which needed loving restorations!

To make a long story short, my ignorance of stress management skills, tendency toward perfectionism, and the demands of work and motherhood led me to total 2 cars in 6 months. Both accidents were the result of zoning out behind the wheel. If you've ever put your key in the ignition, started off on your journey, and then been surprised to find yourself in the driveway of your destination with little memory of the actual trip, you are doing what I was doing then.

In any event, the penny finally dropped that all might not be "situation normal" when, after the second accident, a friend took me out to lunch and said something like "Do you think this is a pattern?, and if you were your own friend, what advice would you be giving you right now?"

Except for the damage to the cars, the injuries were slight, and I walked away knowing the gift of a BIG wake up call. I had 2 kids and a spouse to live for, and it was not looking so good just then!

So I got a mentor, bought an excellent workbook (It won a medical book award) called the Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, published by New Harbinger press. One excellent chapter introduced me to the idea of guided imagery, so I used my public library to do some research, and the rest is history….

I found a Health Journeys tape called General Wellness and fell in love with it. I could not believe the way my heart opened up, my spirit grew in optimism, and my body started learning to relax...

I bought my own copy, and then later bought some stress related titles, including Relieve Stress, which taught me mindful walking, and started to re-shape my whole approach to wellness, relax some of the driving perfectionism, give myself permission to have more fun and embrace my mistakes.

By this time I was committed to telling others how guided imagery may have literally saved my life, and when I started my own speaking and training business, LifeBalance Enterprises, I started to distribute the catalogs with a short FAQ sheet emphasizing how well researched the work is and the immense benefits to be had.

I keynote or facilitate workshops for a wide variety of audiences--from health care to engineers. These groups are not interested in "touchy feely" interventions, but when I can give a 60 second overview of the double blind clinical trials and reel off the impressive outcomes of that research, people look up with interest!

When time permits, I play a few minutes of the affirmations track and let participants experience the benefits for themselves. This is especially effective in workshops on stress, change management, building emotional intelligence, optimism skills and resilience.

In recent years I've noticed that sleep is a big issue for workshop participants, so I often mention the Healthful Sleep title, and, being an energizer bunny myself, I can attest to the effectiveness of that particular offering with real enthusiasm.

I could go on and on, but perhaps I will end with an expression of deep gratitude that Belleruth's work came into my life at a crucial time, has supported my personal growth and work for many years now, and even has provided me with the happiness of sharing this powerful tool with my own kids, my clients, and even my 80 year old mother-in-law, who took the surgery title with her to the hospital so she could listen to it right up to the time of surgery--a successful one!

Frederick Buechner said "We must find the place where our deep joy meets the world's deep hunger." The world is hungry for the succor of the Health Journeys work, and it's been a deep joy to me to spread the word to the waiting.

Kim Langley, M.Ed., President
Life Balance Enterprises

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