I've always been comfortable with going through life experiences knowing that what I was learning about myself and the journey would in some way help others. I'm a sharer, there's no point in things staying the same, there wouldn't be much to share. That would be boring and I don't do bored very well.
Never, in all of my X number of years on this planet have I had such a long period of learning, back to back classes, with no break for lunch. Not even a loo break. The past 12 months has taught me.... gosh, where do I start?.... PATIENCE!!! That's a good start. I'm a 'make things happen' sort of girl but no amount of ticking off 'to do' lists has been able to get me to where I wanted. Resilience - I didn't think I could flex any more!! Accepting solitude - I quite like my own company.... however, too much of anything can get uncomfortable. Grit - you could sand an oak tree with the amount of grit I have developed this year. To 'Let it go!' - now I've put that song from 'Frozen' in your head and you'll be singing it all night long... sorry!!
What I have clearly come to realise is that sometimes no amount of doing, manifesting, meditating, wishing, praying, crying, ignoring, eating, will get you what you want when there are several people involved in the realisation of the dream. I/we can't control the uncontrollable. We can only work with ourselves and it pays to only give attention to those things in our life that lift us up and bring us joy. We need to work with what we have already, not the lack of what we don't.
I remember at school thinking that 99.9% of what we learned there we probably wouldn't use again (that was with my 16 year old hat on). As a grown-up I know that there was more to school than what was written in our exercise books. Good old hind sight! I look forward to looking backwards on this journey. Then I will share my story, when I have reached the happily ever after bit.
Several years ago I went through a mid-life crisis / spiritual awakening / 'had enough' stage of my life and knew things had to change. Although I had a very busy, rewarding and successful career, I was beginning to feel drained to the point that all I felt like all my 'me' had disappeared. I was wearing lots of different hats to suit my different roles but seemed to have put me 'me' hat down somewhere and forgotten where it was. I decided to take a few months off to find it and try an remember what it was like to just be 'Me'. It was then that I kept getting a message in my head, 'don't add, subract'. It was strong enough for me to spend a lot of time reflecting on what was already in my life, what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to let go of. So often when we decide we want change we start to look for things, people, opportunities, to bring into our life to try and make us feel better. What my message was telling me was that more is not necessarily better. To bring more in could make me feel more overwhelmed, distracted and mind-cluttered. So, it was time to do some letting go. I let go of my needing to please everyone around me, my expectation that I needed to fill every moment with some productive activity, my worry about what others would think of me,and my belief that my purpose in life was something I had to search for outside of myself. I meditated (as best I could), I let people around me do those things I would usually put my hand up for, I stopped my negative self-talk mid-sentence and turned it into something positive and in those 20 minute breaks between things during the day I would sit down with a cuppa and magazine rather than push my self to squeeze in another job. After a few weeks of letting go and being kinder to 'Me' I began to remember who 'I' was. I clearly remember the day I find my 'Me' hat and put it back on. It felt wonderfully familiar and comfortable. I woke up that morning and said to my husband 'I like me now!' It was liberating!! I now know and understand the importance of being my authentic self. It is who each of us are meant to be. There is no-one else in the Universe like who we are. We just need to be the best 'Me' we can be. So, just be yourself.... everybody else is already taken. Enjoy you!!!
Are you living a comfortable life? What is comfortable for you? How is that different from other people's level of comfort? We all want to reach certain goals, even if we don't have them well thought out or written down. But what are we willing to do to reach them? How willing are you to step outside of your comfort zone to achieve what you want?
When we spend your time with the same people, doing the same things, keeping the same routine, watching the same TV programs, driving the same way to work and back..... you know what I mean, we limit our opportunities for new experiences, new thoughts and new ways of doing things. We get into a rut (which is a lot like a coffin without a lid) which doesn't lend it self to a very exciting life.
We learn most about ourselves when we stretch ourselves, try something different, and get uncomfortable. In the space of discomfort we begin to look inward, reflect, and learn things about ourselves that are often pleasantly surprising. Here we find that we are actually stronger, wiser, funnier, more capable and confident that we realised. This provides a springboard to stretch yourself and your goals even further.
Last year I had an opportunity to walk on hot coals. I had the same fears that most people would have.... 'I won't be able to do it, I'm too scared, my feet will get burnt for sure'. But, in an environment where I was surrounded by other people who were prepared to give it a go, supportive staff and with the right preparation (mostly mental) I did it !!!! In fact I felt so great and almost invincible I did it 5 times!!! Now, I am not suggesting that you start up the BBQ and give it a go. Start with something simple. Speak up in a group where you normally wouldn't, change supermarkets, say 'I love you' first, sing in public, do one of those things that you say to others 'I couldn't possibly'.
Each time to get outside of your comfort zone you show yourself how amazing you really are.
You are capable!! You have the potential!! You have my support!!
What will you do to stretch yourself?
We hear people talk about wanting more balance in their life but what does that actually mean? We all have many roles in our life and the responsibility that goes with those roles. How we juggle or balance those roles and responsibilities is determined by several factors. The environment in which we live, how our parents balanced their life, our current priorities, our attitude, what we perceive others expect of us, our emotions at the time and what we enjoy doing, as well as many others.
When we put all our efforts and energy into only a few areas of our life, or ‘all of our eggs into one basket’ we often feel guilty about the areas we are neglecting. This can weigh heavily on us and result in stress and tension in our relationships.
A key factor to bringing our life back into balance is to firstly become aware of which areas of your life you are neglecting.
This may take some personal reflecting or you may wish to ask someone close to you for their honest feedback. When you have identified the area, ask yourself ‘what would this area of my life look like if it were in balance and what action do I need to take to make that happen?’ You may wish to write yourself a goal for this area, steps to achieve this, and give yourself a
timeframe to accomplish it by. It may help to share this with someone else so they can help you be accountable for
Be proactive and plan your week to include time spent in each area of your life. Time with your family, your friends and yourself is just as important as time at work. We get out of each area of our life what we put in. How are you going to invest your time?