Get out of Teaching

Episode 7 Elizabeth interviews Karen Chaston (Grief and Loss coach)

March 18, 2020 Elizabeth Diacos Season 1 Episode 7
Get out of Teaching
Episode 7 Elizabeth interviews Karen Chaston (Grief and Loss coach)
Show Notes Transcript

Elizabeth Diacos interviews Karen Chaston: Beyond Loss Mentor. Author. International Speaker. CPA and Former CFO Publicly Listed Company.

Karen’s suffering and disappointments became the catalyst for personal, professional and spiritual growth, leading her to co-found “Live Love By Design” (LLBD) with her son Dan, who passed away in 2011.

Now Karen inspires and assists people, who are suffering from any kind of loss to create a better everyday life. Karen does this through 3-day retreats and on and off line programs.

For more information visit:

Elizabeth Diacos:   0:01
Welcome to the get out of teaching podcast presented by Larksong Enterprises. I'm your host, Elizabeth Diacos.  On the show,  we'll look at the who, what, why,  where,  when and how of moving out of your Education career and into a life you love...We'll meet ex-teachers, delve into what we love about teaching and how to translate that into something new. We will talk to people who can support and inspire us as we make the transition and work on identifying the legacy we want to leave in the world. So come along for the ride as we Get out of Teaching... Episode 7...  Hi, everyone,  welcome to the show!  On today's show. I've got Karen Chaston here with me and, Karen, thank you for coming on the show. Tell us about what you do.

Karen Chaston:   0:51
Thank you, Elizabeth. I am so glad to be here. I am a beyond loss mentor,  speaker and author. So, did you realise that there are over 40 different loss events that can affect our lives?  

Elizabeth Diacos:   1:05

Karen Chaston:   1:05
Yes, over 40. And most people don't even know how to cope with one, let alone multiple. And that's what I help people to do. I help them to move beyond any kind of loss, so that they can create a better everyday life so they don't go into the grieving and suffering and being stuck there.

Elizabeth Diacos:   1:28
Right? So that's partly why I wanted to bring you on the show today because when I talked to teachers from the Get out of Teaching Facebook Group, one of the things they often say to me is, like, as they're leaving their career, as they're leaving Education, that they feel like it's the break up of a bad marriage.

Karen Chaston:   0:00

Elizabeth Diacos:   1:47
And so there's a lot of grief around the leaving, and also then after they've left, so maybe you can help us understand bit more about that.

Karen Chaston:   1:56
I totally understand, and that's exactly what I help people to understand because in every relationship and let's just say it, let's realise that we do have a relationship with ourselves and our job, our expertise. There is three components to every  relationship...There's a  physical component, there's an emotional component, and there's a spiritual component. So whilst your teachers are physically leaving their job, okay, they are still emotionally attached and spiritually attached, so emotionally encompasses all of our feelings, and they can be the good, the bad, the glad and the sad. Whereas, spiritually. It's that connection that's intangible part that we... not really sure about, that we know that we're connected. So the fact that they're feeling loss and suffering is because they haven't completed the emotional attachment and there is a process that we can always go through. But for them to first of all, realise that, like they're still emotionally attached, you know, there would have been hopes, dreams and aspirations that they had that they wanted to do in that career. And they've either come to the realisation that it's not going to happen the way that they wanted,  which is why they're moving,  or the fact that maybe they were unrealistic in the first place. Does that make sense?

Elizabeth Diacos:   3:19
Yeah, makes absolute sense, and I know that's how I felt, like, I got into the career and I was 42 I began teaching. So it was quite late? My kids were already at school, all of my children, and so I was like, "Right, this is my turn now I get to have this career, I get to buy shoes for my kids at the start of every school year". So there were a financial benefit that, you know, I waited a long time to have, and then it got to about seven years in, and I was like, "Oh, my gosh, what's happening here?" And, you know, I'd wake up in the morning and I wouldn't want to put my feet on the ground because I knew that that was the inevitable first step of going to work and and I couldn't... I was almost bewildered by how I'd had this shift in feeling about work, and I couldn't quite understand even what was happening. And so there was a lot of grief around. "I thought this was going to be the one, like I thought this would be my happy place". And then suddenly it it wasn't like that anymore.  

Karen Chaston:   4:19
And I totally understand, because our Education system, in my opinion, needs a big kick up the bum.... It hasn't moved with the times, and ah, lot of stuff that we're teaching our children isn't really setting them up to be responsible and authentic adults. You know, to go out into the workplace, understanding their finances, understanding their... themselves, their health, their body. You know, the things that I talk about. I wish I had known at a younger age I certainly would have lived my life differently. Also, about relationships, understanding relationships... They're not easy! And to understand that, you know, everyone is unique, they're different. So I can understand why you would feel frustrated, because I'm sure you could see a lot of students that were being left behind because of the way that the Education system and the overcrowding in the classes is from my perspective.

Elizabeth Diacos:   5:22
Absolutely. And,  also,  I could also see that the principal was the meat in the sandwich. She was having these edicts given from above, and she had to, y'know enforce them on us.... and we were scurrying around in the school holidays or whatever, trying to get that curriculum written or do this extra thing that needed to be done by this cut off date. And, so there was no... the creativity and the autonomy.  

Karen Chaston:   5:48

Elizabeth Diacos:   5:49
...had gone right out, and they were the things. And when I talk to other teachers, these are the things that come up all the time. That creativity, the lack of creativity, the lack of autonomy and the lack of authenticity are the three big themes that come through again and again in the conversations that I'm having with teachers.

Karen Chaston:   6:08
That's sad, isn't it? When you think that all of these amazing teachers are living... whereas that could be quite a simple shift for the Education Department to actually, y'know,  listen to their teachers and incorporate those changes because that they're quite easy changes...

Elizabeth Diacos:   6:25
Well, yeah, but,  and the thing is like I've spoken to the Education department here in Victoria. I know that there are teachers all around the world who are experiencing this thing, and this is kind of deathly silence from above. So I think they... we're so embroiled now in the way we do things that it's, you know, it's a really hard to extricate ourselves. We're a bit like the... I don't know if you ever been to Los Angeles, that La Brea tarpits, so the sabre tooth tigers would chase a rabbit or something, out into to the middle of the tar because it was covered in leaves and the rabbit could stand on the leaves and not sink in. But the tiger would jump in after them and just go to the bottom of the the pit and be preserved forever. That's how they...they were preserved.  But,  

Elizabeth Diacos:   7:15
My God, that's disgusting.  

Elizabeth Diacos:   7:18
I know it's weird...But it's an amazing place because it's like it's a big archaeological D. But I don't know how we got there on this conversation, but the fascinating thing is, on the surface, it just looks like it's the ground, you know, and it looks safe and it looks solid. But as soon as you put any weight on it and test it, it just is, you know, it's a death trap. And so, I guess I've never thought about this analogy until just this very moment. So excuse us listeners while we go down this pathway. But I think in a way, that's where we are in education now . We've got this surface thing.... It looks like it's all taking over, but actually it's,  it's toxic underneath and it's, you know,  it's killing us.

Karen Chaston:   8:01
Yeah, well, our government loves royal commissions. Maybe they should need to do on on the education system.

Elizabeth Diacos:   8:07
They just did a survey actually, last late last year on the status of teaching as a profession. I think we're all waiting for the results to come out. But I don't think we needed to do a survey on that. I think we could have worked that out for ourselves...So how do you help people. Karen with with this ,this loss of the career and the thing that they thought was going to be "the one" and then also, as they moved out in that fear. And, you know, the sort of,  that feeling of, not knowing what's next.

Karen Chaston:   8:42
Well, I actually have a process which I called the gift of loss. The... I know that it sounds a little unusual to say there's a gift in the loss...there always is. When you choose to look at it, look for it and you choose to find it. And it is a five step process on. The first step is to stop. The second step is to Well, my God has gone out of my mind. Isn't that incredible... So the second step is to accept. The third step is to identify. The fourth step is to close so close the previous relationship, which is what I touched on earlier on. And then the fourth step is to pivot, and the pivot is the,  is the fun part... pivot is where you get to go... "Right!This is where I am, and this is where I want to be!"  And what are the action steps the skills required for me to close that gap between where I am now and where I would want to be,  and it's in... It's a process, you know. And it takes a while for you to come to that realisation of, actually, where you want to be, and we also we don't dream big enough, y'know  we really do limit ourselves, and it's in that... it's, in the obviously the mentoring that we up the ante continually. Though, more importantly, it's about understanding that we all have beliefs, we all have... Most of them are limiting beliefs. You know that they stop us from being the person who were meant to be. And we also we all play small. We all, you know, don't realise exactly how great we are. So as,  you know, and I'm sure with your clients, you see it all the time you are continually, y'know bringing them up and, you know, helping them to realise that they can do anything that they choose to do. Sure! You've got to take the action steps, and it's always in the continual action steps that you actually will get to where you want to be. But it's realising that, even though we're all unique we're all very similar as  well, you know, our beliefs! That's the first place for us to to all of us to look down and actually analyse, you know, are they even your beliefs or are they your parents beliefs? Are they your teachers beliefs? You know something as simple, as y'know,  you can't draw or you can't sing. You know who told you you couldn't sing? Like when you were born.., you could sing, you could do anything. But it's the growing process that limits us,  so it's about questioning every belief and what I love about that process is you can find just as many examples of where the belief is true as you will that it's not true. Why not go with the fact that it's NOT true and create a new belief? The one that's completely different.

Elizabeth Diacos:   11:39
So can I just take you back to just run through those 5 stages again? 

Karen Chaston:   11:45
So the first one is to stop. So this is where you get to actually take a big, you know, conscious, loving breath. Where you actually go: "okay? What, what I want to do...Where do I want to be? You know, like, what has happened? What is important here

Elizabeth Diacos:   12:01
Are we doing this while they're getting out? Like, are we're doing this while they're sort of...  

Karen Chaston:   12:07
I would say at once the press..., once the... once they become aware that they're not fulfilling their life, they're not fulfilled. Their sitting there going: "Surely there must be an easier way to succeed."

Elizabeth Diacos:   12:22
Okay, so they're still... they're still in their career... If we liken this to the relationship... They're still in the marriage. But they saying, Oh, my gosh. You know, I thought this was Prince Charming, but it turned out to be the frog, so...

Karen Chaston:   12:39
And they're also feeling trapped! They're feeling.. I've got this income. I require this income. You know, I'm part of the family, or or, you know, I'm single. So, you know... And that's what keeps a lot of people trapped, is the fact that they go. "Okay, I've got this income in. I can't go and  earn this amount. If I just went out on my own"  Well, maybe I could, but it's going to take me a year, 18 months to get to that level. It's about them stopping and just really looking at where they are,  and doing, you know, doing the hard yards, saying "Well, you know, what would I like? What can I do?" And, you know, just really stopping and...we're human beings. So it's in the "being" that we really, truly reconnect to who we are, Okay? And I'm a great believer that we are all here for a purpose, and if we're not living our purpose, we're not going to be fulfilled in where we are. Sure, we will use those skills in our purpose, and that's why we were directed down that path, though,  It's really important for us to make sure that... I'm not connected. I'm feeling really crap about this. It's frustrating me. It's really not making me be the person who I want to be, and we've all been there. We've all been in jobs where we just go... I've got to get out. But I can't get out... the money so good.

Elizabeth Diacos:   14:13
Yeah, I call it  the  golden handcuffs. You know, they're sort of  

Karen Chaston:   14:16 is 

Elizabeth Diacos:   14:20
...trapped there, but they're comfortable or the gilded cage. You know it's the same idea, isn't it?

Karen Chaston:   14:21
it totally is and you may be comfortable, but eventually that comfort zone just becomes so uncomfortable. You're like "I'm out!". So it's more in the stopping that you can actually do the really great planning. And the second stage is accepting. Okay? And it takes, as you said, they still haven't really accepted it even when they've left, because they're still like being dragged back there. Or, oh maybe, you know, I can go back or or when they're they've left, it's not as easy as they thought it would be. So I'll go back or I'll just go back a couple of days a week. So they're still got that sort of connection, and they haven't broken it properly, so they sort of got a foot in both camps.

Elizabeth Diacos:   15:06
Yeah, well, that's what I did. I did relief, teaching and the final day, which I didn't know would BE my final day. It was... I had a beautiful class in the morning and I was like, "This is easy, like this is lovely". And then, after lunch, I went to a Grade 2 class,  and it was literally like one of the seven circles of hell. Like it was this insane environment where kids were running around the room screaming and knocking stuff off the shelves. And and I just couldn't believe the contrast, first of all, between one class and the other in the same school. But also I just thought, Oh, what... Why am I here?  

Karen Chaston:   15:44
Yeah. Now see, isn't that a gift? That's a gift, now most people would never've seen that as a gift.  If you had had a great class the second,  for the second half of the day, you'd still be there. So it was your guides, and you know,  your life going... No, wait a minute. You're not getting really comfortable here. You're not meant to be here! You're meant to be helping other people to leave here. Or, you're meant to be helping people,  not only to leave,  you're meant to be helping the education system to turn around and go. "Why are all our great teachers leaving? There has to be a reason... are we going to look at this?"Or are we going to continually bring our children to a state where they're not equipped to go out into the world at 18... you know, and that's why it's.. So It's a gift, this stage is to accept. And, you know, a lot of people are finding it hard to accept not only their situation, but to find a way to get out of it and realising that, you know, "I need this", but, is one really good thing about accepting is that you actually get to go... "Do you know  what? I probably don't require all the money that I'm actually earning at the moment.. I'm probably wasting a fair bit of it, you know, on this or that. I'm wasting it because I'm not fulfilled within myself. So therefore, I may be buying things and, you know, going out to dinners and maybe drinking more,  or eating more so you can find out, like, come into that stage of  "Right. I'm accepting that...this is not for me". You actually get to do a really great sort of analysis of your life. You realise how much you are actually not only living and loving your life, you are actually wasting a lot of it from y'know, a financial perspective...from an energy perspective, from so many perspectives...

Elizabeth Diacos:   17:39
Yeah, absolutely, I think...I know we would order take away more often because I just couldn't be bothered cooking. You know,  I would come home via the supermarket and go "Oh, doughnuts" You know... Anything kind of, I don't know. Sort of like comfort, you know, to comfort...

Karen Chaston:   0:00
Yeah,  totally and I can. And my comfort, when I was in my corporate job, it was via the bottle shop... Ooh, bottle of wine!. Yeah, that'll get me through the night.

Elizabeth Diacos:   18:16

Karen Chaston:   18:16
...and of course it doesn't. It's just coping mechanisms which aren't coping mechanisms, they're non coping mechanisms. But we think that they're just what we require. But once you accept that you're leaving, that's when you get into the third stage, which is the Identifying. And that's where it's so great because you're not only identifying what the situation is, you're identifying where you want to be. You know... what your hopes and dreams and aspirations are, which is so lovely. I just love the identifying stages and, you know, it's also identifying how you are emotionally touched to where you are. You know, there will be people there. Their'll be, you know, certain subjects that you just love teaching, and I'm going to miss teaching that subject or certain kids. I'm sure there's also certain kids that you won't miss  when you leave

Elizabeth Diacos:   18:56
(Laughter) Definitely true

Karen Chaston:   18:57
Yeah, so it's...the  identifying stages is really setting you up for the fifth of the fourth stage, which is to complete. So that's when you say OK, this is how I will emotionally ah...This is how I'll physically leave This's how I'll emotionally leave and re-,  re -get your emotions in order and put 'em back to where they should be. So move them, from, you know, having these sort of mixed good /bad feelings to a place of gratitude because there is always gratitude. You can find in any scenario. And that's what I love about that, because you really do get to a stage where you actually get to and apologise, forgive and acknowledge. And there's always something in all of that that you will find. And then the fifth stage, as I said, is the pivot stage. And that's the stage where you really do.. the really hard planning on, y'know setting that date on when you are going to leave and working towards that...y'know gaining the skills,  gaining all the knowledge... Gaining everything that you require to go into what you ...will  be your next y'know, career,  or your next expertise, and it's really important to know that when you leave, it may not be the expertise that you will be doing long term... When I first left my corporate CFO role, I thought I was going to become a life coach for women,

Elizabeth Diacos:   0:00

Karen Chaston:   20:37
you know, to help them rise the corporate ladder as women, not turning into men as I did, and understanding themselves, you know, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. There's so much to ourselves that we really do not understand, as ideally, as what would be perfect for us to make the... the educated choices in our lives when we understand that. And, you know, I went down that path for a couple of years, not really going, or gaining the clients and everything that I really wanted to. But... and then I realised that "I don't want to work with those women. I used to be that woman and they know everything... they don't want to change. They think what they're doing is perfect!" So why, like I would never wanted to work with me when I was in that role, and that's when I that's when I went,  and was guided very quickly into. "Why aren't you helping people with grief, you know, with moving on from loss in your life. I've had a lot of major losses in my life, and initially I'd probably didn't stop. I certainly didn't stop when my one of my sons passed away 8 1/2 years ago. But it's everything I teach so that it's an easier road for everyone else, than the road. I travelled, and that's what I love about it, is knowing that even though your initial choice may not be the the one where you end up, it's still guiding you to learn the skills and to gain everything so that when you do find... what your heart just sings, every time you think about it, and you jump out of bed, you know you don't sort of... just jump out of bed every day. I'm up at 5 AM most days

Elizabeth Diacos:   22:28

Karen Chaston:   22:29
I just love it. I love what I do and so it's easy for me to jump out of bed. And that's what we all want in our lives.

Elizabeth Diacos:   22:37
Yes, that's right. Can I just take you back? You mentioned about apologising, saying, "Sorry", can you expand on that a little bit because I just wondered. I mean, as you were saying, I was thinking, I know when I left... finally, when I finally put in my resignation letter, one of the things I did was, I listed my achievements, which was really as much for me as it was for them.  

Karen Chaston:   23:01

Elizabeth Diacos:   23:01
I don't think... I think only my boss read it. I don't think she shared it with anyone,  but for me, I needed to do that as a way of moving forward to, acknowledge what I done, but tell you more about that.... 

Karen Chaston:   23:14
OK, so the apology...So obviously, this is designed for all sorts of grief and lost. But let's, let's use it as the example for a teacher. So it's about apologising to yourself or to the other teachers, to the students, for not actually being the, the teacher that they required,  because you weren't fulfilled in who you were. So you didn't show up every day as great as what you could have been, because you weren't feeling that good. So you showed up for how you were feeling that day. But you know within yourself that if you have been loving this job, you would have shown up more. So it's about apologising for that and also apologising to yourself for, you know, saying you gave it your best shot, you know, and it just wasn't right. And I know it wasn't... So, I apologise that, you know, I couldn't have been more for it, but I'm now grateful, and I'm acknowledging the fact that I am thankful for everything that I've got and now I'll move on. But I will bring myself to the next role 100%. Not at that...whatever level it was...50 - 75%. That makes sense? 

Elizabeth Diacos:   24:31
Yeah, that's great. And I think that's really important. Like when you talk about, you know, springing out of bed in the morning. I think that's what we all want, isn't it? That we want to feel like "I've got a great life and I love living it and I'm not. I'm not surviving... I'm thriving!"  How do I get to the point from y'know, being at that sort of baseline to actually being... flourishing, having a flourishing life.

Karen Chaston:   24:53
Yeah, and it's about thriving in all areas of your life, not just your career. You know, like when I was in my corporate CFO life, I was thriving in my career, but my health was gone. You know, I wasn't looking after myself. My family relationships were sort of there, but not as great as what they could have been. And it's about understanding that, as I said, I was earning great money, but I was wasting a lot of it because I wasn't fulfilled. And we're trying to get that fulfilment from things.... we're never going to get that from things... we think we will. And sure,  we are... You know, we're happy. But for how long? You know, you buy that new dress. Sure. You're happy for a day or so And then? Yeah, you know, And it's about realising that, you know, what are your coping mechanisms and you know, if I did... if I had a job that I love and stuff, would I need to do this?  

Elizabeth Diacos:   25:49

Karen Chaston:   25:49
And so will more than likely come back "No".

Elizabeth Diacos:   25:52
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think I think that buying stuff is a big thing, Isn't it? Or or, you know, hitting the bottle shop on the way home from work or...

Karen Chaston:   26:01
yeah, yeah...So much so, that,  you know, I don't even drink now. I decided 2019 would be my alcohol free year, and I loved it so much,  I don't think I'll ever drink again, which is which is, you know, I was drinking a bottle of wine a night, so it's a huge difference.  

Elizabeth Diacos:   26:19
The people who are listening will be shocked, I think, because I know that, I know that that is, that is a big issue for a lot of teachers that that alcohol addiction or that the way of numbing the pain of their situation.

Karen Chaston:   26:34
And that's exactly what you're doing, you're numbing the pain. Well, I'm going to give them a gift, Do yourself a favour, and read the book "The Easy Way for Women to Give Up Drinking" by Alan Carr. And it's an amazing book because it highlights

Elizabeth Diacos:   26:50
"The Easy Way for Women to Give Up Drinking"

Karen Chaston:   26:51
yep... by Alan Carr, and it highlights that you actually receiving no benefits from the alcohol. We all think we are, and it's a great book... as you're reading it, it says. As long as you're reading in this book, you can keep drinking, so I read very, very slowly ...   

Elizabeth Diacos:   0:00
(Laughs) oh, that's hilarious!!

Karen Chaston:   27:12
and then eventually I went "No!" and I know I was guided from my son on the other side. That's it, Mum. Today's the day that you you you do your year. You keep putting it off. You keep putting it off. So my last drink was the 30th of December 2018  

Elizabeth Diacos:   27:29

Karen Chaston:   27:29
And I have to say....every single relationship in my life has improved, especially the one with myself

Elizabeth Diacos:   27:39
right? Wow... yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for being so vulnerable with us. It's really... I'm very grateful for that. I thank you,  

Elizabeth Diacos:   27:50
Yes, you know, And that's what I figured that life's about. It's about us learning how to come back to ourselves, learning how to live and love our lives. And then for us, to impart, our wisdom, you know, that one of the greatest advantages of getting older is the wisdom that you have to share with others. And so many people die with that wisdom within them. And I know that we're all here to leave the place a little bit better than how we found it. And we do that by sharing our knowledge.  

Elizabeth Diacos:   28:19
Yeah. Okay. So if someone wanted to, get in touch with you, Karen. What? Who are the people that you normally work with? And what would it look like to work with you.

Karen Chaston:   28:32
Thank you. So I work with anyone who is trying to move beyond any kind of loss. And as I said, there's over 40 different kinds of loss.... the main losses that I seem to... The most common ones are obviously a death of a loved one. A divorce... partnership. breakdown... a job loss all of those things.... You know, it could be your health or your wealth.... Even pets. You know, your pet's relationship is the only unconditional love relationship that you have. And it's not easy to lose a pet, you know, you think "Oh, My God, there's no one else here that's gonna jump up and welcome me the way that way my dog did... Let's face it was never going to do that no matter hoe much you  love each other! So how I work with them is, in different ways. I work with them either 1 to 1. I worked with them in a group or and I've just started my first "Beyond loss" retreat which will be held in  May... the 8th to the 10th of May. And yes, I know Mother's Day is the 10th of May, and I purposely chose that day because what a great gift to give to yourself whether you're a mother or whether...even if you're a guy,  just coming along and learning... I take you through that process that we talked about,  the five steps. And then, you know, the pivot stages what we do all Sunday afternoon... because it's Friday, Saturday, Sunday, which is amazing... to actually leave the retreat after three days, not only completing your loss relationship but also having a plan in for all nine areas of your life moving forward is... it's just amazing weekend and

Elizabeth Diacos:   30:21
fabulous and where, where is that held?

Karen Chaston:   30:23
It's actually going to be held at Mantra on Salt Beach, which is in the Kingscliff Northern New South Wales and you can you can all check it out... I've got my Karen Chastin. And so it's And this is my plan is to have this year, three or four of these retreats and then next year I can see myself going to monthly because I only require 20 people, and I purposely want them small so that, you know...and I purposely have not included accommodation and food in the price, but I've picked a location where you could easily, you know, get that because I want to concentrate on you. I don't want to be worried about, oh..Sally Jo hasn't got her gluten free meal or this or that..

Elizabeth Diacos:   31:15
 got it. 

Karen Chaston:   31:16
But I just want to concentrate on you. And, you know, you can look after your own food and accommodation requirements. And then it's easy.  

Karen Chaston:   31:25

Karen Chaston:   31:26
just easy, because it's about you , and. that's what I love to do. So you know... And of course, if you're not in Australia or, you know, it's a bit hard for you to come travelling, I also do these enable 1 to 1 or group scenarios, and you gotta love the world we live in Elizabeth, you know: Zoom how did we ever do stuff without Zoom? It's so easy..,

Elizabeth Diacos:   31:47
I don't know.   It's amazing. It's changed my game, that's for sure. I do group coaching as well, for teachers who want together of teaching, and I just use Zoom conferencing and it's secure and I really love it. So it thinks Zoom, we're giving you a little plug there.  

Karen Chaston:   32:01
Oh yeah, to be able to look at someone. It makes such a difference!

Elizabeth Diacos:   32:04
Yeah, I think so too, I really do love that aspect. I will put the link for your retreat and some more information about your website and everything like that in the show notes for this...

Karen Chaston:   0:00
Oh, thank you!  

Elizabeth Diacos:   32:17
And at the end of the podcast, in the intro, it's got the... how to find that information so that will definitely be up there before this goes to air. So we're recording in February, but this probably won't go up until March, but that's plenty of time for people to book into the retreat. If it's not already full by them,

Karen Chaston:   32:35
well, we'll be filling into the next one.

Elizabeth Diacos:   32:37
That's amazing. What a wonderful gift... And so so Karen, as a sort of parting advice, or suggestion or wisdom from you. If someone's really feeling stuck, what's your sort of number one hot tip to give someone who's really feeling stuck and, like they just can't see what's next for them? What would you say to that?  

Karen Chaston:   33:02
The greatest thing... realisation I had, and I must admit I didn't get it till I was 55. I'm 62 now, and it sort of shocked  me that it took me that long to figure it out. And what it was,  was... "You are the only person that you are going to spend your entire life with. So why you not living and loving your life? Why are you giving up on your good dreams and putting yourself last? When you pass...Are you going to have any regrets?

Elizabeth Diacos:   33:35
Yeah, wow, that's really powerful.  

Karen Chaston:   33:37
Thank you. And it's so powerful because we do give up on ourselves. We do put ourselves last and you know, and we're going to be in our rocking chair at 90, hopefully.. And I'm making sure that I'm living my life the.. I guess, the third act of my life in a way that I am not going to have any regrets, As I said. Every single one of my relationships has improved,  so that's... you know and, and that in itself is so important. I have my little grandson born last year, little Raphael, and it's so good to be able to look at his life and see how differently I can impart my knowledge on to him than I did with his father and his uncles.

Elizabeth Diacos:   34:28
Well, that's that's really wonderful. So, this is really about, I guess, to quote Seth of my favourite quotes that one of my colleagues sent to me, and was probably one of the catalysts for me actually deciding to actually go.... It's along the lines of "Instead of worrying about what you're doing on the weekend why don't you create a life you don't need to escape from", you know, I feel like that's what you're saying,  now... let's... let's create a life that we're so pleased to be in that we want to, you know,  live it to the full every day.  

Karen Chaston:   35:02
Yeah, and you know, a quote that came to me quite recently, too, was along those lines. And it's like... most people spend more time planning their annual holiday than they do their life!

Elizabeth Diacos:   35:14
Yes, that is really true, isn't it?  

Karen Chaston:   35:17
And why?    

Elizabeth Diacos:   0:00
I've never thought about that!That's crazy

Karen Chaston:   35:20
It is crazy when you think about it? And then I totally agree. Educating yourself and being open to different perspectives is the greatest gift you can give yourself, because our whole world is unlimited possibilities. Karen it is crazy when you think about it? And then I totally agree. Educating yourself and being open to different perspectives is the greatest gift you can give yourself, because our whole world is unlimited possibilities. 

Elizabeth Diacos:   35:35
Karen Chaston. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. It's been wonderful to have you with me.

Karen Chaston:   35:41
Thank you, Elizabeth. I'm so glad that we finally got to catch up with the trouble we've been sort of to-ing and fro-ing for ages. So it's great...

Elizabeth Diacos:   35:50
You've been listening to the Get out of Teaching podcast presented by Larksong Enterprises with your host, Elizabeth Diacos. Do you know someone else who could benefit from hearing more storys of hope and transition from teachers all around the world? Please take a moment to share this and other episodes via your podcast app. Each share helps me reach listeners just like you who can benefit from this content. The Get out of teaching podcast is proud to be part of the Experts on Air Podcast network. For show notes and other resources, please visit