By: Marieta du Toit, Director, Sensory Coach, Workshop Facilitator at Sensory Intelligence Consulting
I knew I needed to shift gears in my career. I was an occupational therapist, specialising in paediatrics – a dream I had nurtured since my university days. There was nothing more fulfilling than helping little ones overcome their challenges. Their laughter and innocence were my daily dose of happiness. For two decades, this was my world.
But change is often the only constant.
When my family moved to a small coastal town in the Eastern Cape, a fantastic opportunity arose. I could transfer my practice to a prestigious school. It seemed like everything was falling into place. I was ready to embrace this new chapter with open arms.
However, life has a way of throwing curveballs. The new setting, while seemingly ideal, began to take a toll on me. The daily commute on a bustling school bus, the constant sensory overload in my therapy room adjacent to the school playground, and the unpredictable interactions with staff and students began to drain me. I couldn’t understand why. I loved my work, so why was I feeling so overwhelmed and anxious?
The answer came in 2017, during Dr Annemarie Lombard’s Comprehensive Practitioners Course. It was a revelation. Through the Sensory Matrix™, I discovered I was a sensory avoider with low sensory thresholds. The noise, the constant movement, the unexpected interactions – they were all too much for my sensory style.
This newfound awareness was my turning point. I realised that to continue thriving in my career, I needed to align my work environment with my sensory needs. The adjustments I made were not just minor tweaks; they were fundamental changes that reshaped my professional life.
I shifted my practice to my home, a sanctuary from sensory overload. Here, in my calm, uncluttered workspace, I found peace and focus. I transitioned from hands-on therapy to online sensory coaching for adults with a need for improved self-understanding and wellness, and workshops catering to employers to help their employees be healthier and more productive . No more excessive noise, unpredictable interactions, or uncomfortable physical demands.
More than benefitting my career, these changes rejuvenated my entire being. I became happier, and more likeable at home – a transformation noticed by my family and friends. My journey with Sensory Intelligence® taught me a vital lesson: self-awareness and self-acceptance are key to personal and professional fulfilment.
So, to those feeling a disconnect with their current path, remember that sometimes it’s not about a complete career overhaul. Often, it’s about making thoughtful adjustments that align with your inner needs. For me, embracing my sensory style led to a life of joy and satisfaction, both at work and at home.
To find out more about the next Sensory Intelligence® Comprehensive Practitioners Course, follow this link.