In March of 2010 I decided I'd had enough. I was slipping in to that all too familiar feeling of being fed up and feeling like I was nothing, bored and going no where. I had no idea how I would go about changing for the better but I knew deep down there had to be a way to feel happy in myself and stop feeling the way I did. So what did I do? As simple as it sounds, I bought a book, 'Breaking the chain of low self-esteem' by Marilyn J Sorensen. It got me on my way.
I loved the book and things started to really make sense. I no longer felt like I was 'messed up' or suffered with 'depression', there were reasons that I felt the way I did and it didn't need to stay that way. As advised in the book, it said when working on your self-esteem it's a good idea to commit to say one year of either external therapy or working through it yourself with self-help books etc. I chose to go it alone (at that particular time) and so I began working through the book. I accepted that feeling totally happy in myself wasn't going to happen overnight but I was willing to do whatever it took, however long it took.
I began completing everything the book told me to do, the exercises (not physical!), logging down the days events and my thoughts, positive and negative etc, you get the jist. I became my own therapist and it felt amazing, I finally felt in charge and in control of my feelings, I felt on a path towards something better and no longer felt helpless. I was making real effort to change myself, to this day I have all the books, journals and notes that remind me who I was compared with who I am today. I don't know about you and what drew your attention to this post, what your feelings are about yourself or what it is specifically you don't feel happy with, but for me it was this:
- I wanted to feel confident enough to do the things I enjoyed, singing, dancing etc
- I wanted to tap into the potential I knew I had in me to become more than what I was
- I wanted to express myself instead of running away from everything
- I simply wanted to feel happy instead of sad.
Six months in to my 'self discovery' should we call it, after reading many a books and feeling much better in myself, I went to the cinema one night to see an amazing film called 'Eat, Pray, Love' starring Julia Roberts. I won't go in to the whole story but Julia Roberts in the film is basically on a similiar journey of self discovery, only she travels the world to find herself (would have been a much more fun way to do it!!). Anyway, there is a line in the film that goes....
"ruin is the road to transformation"
...and it hit me and has stuck with me to this day. All of a sudden in that moment I saw my life totally differently, my views, opinions, my feelings and my past in a whole new light. Why when people feel sad, 'depressed', low, at rock bottom or heart broken, do we attach so strongly to that feeling? accepting it and letting it stick around? That one line in the film literally changed me and gave me even more fuel to keep going. Ruin means it can't be any worse. If any of you reading this feel you wish you were happier with a lot of things in your life (which to be honest is most of the population - you're not alone) you should be celebrating - because there really is only one path for you to go from here and that's transformation, transform yourself, transform the situation, make a new model.
Proof below that low self-esteem is NOT and does NOT have to be forever :)
On Tuesday 28th September 2010 I began writing a journal/book about my life and how I wanted to go from being someone who was afraid to stand out, to being someone that people looked up to as a role model and inspiration. On my first entry into that book I wrote this:
'My biggest battle has always been with myself. Ever since i remember from school I was always slightly paranoid (okay, majorly paranoid) and overly self-conscious, as many people are. I was confident around people but had a low opinion of myself and my abilities, I always limited myself and didn't realise my own potential. I always dreamed from primary school of being a singer and a dancer. I would form girl groups in the playground and spend break times performing to whoever would watch, where that confidence went I'll never know!'
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I believe a lot of people feel the way I did. I believe a lot of us have lost touch with that happy, care-free, playful child that we once were. Somewhere a long the way we lose our identity and who we are, we become more concerned with what people think of us instead of doing what will make us happy, it's crazy! We trade our happiness for acceptance. But who are we kidding when we do this? If you live life this way, where do you think it will get you? What will you miss out on experiencing because you were afraid to stand out? How will you feel about yourself ten years from now if you don't pursue any of the things you wanted to? How does that make you feel?
What I have come to learn HONESTLY, is that life does suck (yes I actually said that, life sucks at times!), it's hard, really hard. Things don't always go to plan, work out the way we want and life won't always reward you fairly for all the good you do. But that doesn't, and shouldn't, stop you striving for those AMAZING moments, experiences and relationshsips in life that you'll regret never having if you keep returning to the battleground with yourself. Sometimes the best thing you can do is lay down your sword and shield, stop fighting yourself and fight life instead! Let the child in you play a real game, the exciting game of life, play with the ups and downs that come with it.
I will leave you with a quote from the film Rocky that after four years of me pushing myself to grow, I can honestly say I couldn't agree more with this. I will also tell you, if you continue to push through the shit times, it eventually does feel bloody brilliant to one day look in the mirror and like the reflection :)
"The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."
Hear Rocky's inspiring speech....
...and as you see below, I eventually did 'feel the fear...and do it anyway'.
As I sit looking in the mirror at my hairdressers having the usual half a head of highlights (no change in about about ten years!), I start thinking about how I’m going to inspire on my next blog post. As usual me and my hairdresser get into our deep and meaningful convo about how our lives are going, what’s happened since my last visit and how we’re both feeling – you’ve got to love these conversations, it’s like a mini therapy session for the both of us.
Being my usual inquisitive self always wanting to understand people and their worries and reasons for doing what they do, a question comes to mind and as usual without any thought I blurt it out to my hairdresser, Mark we’ll call him. “Mark, what is it you fear the most, like in general in life, what are you afraid of?”
You might be thinking wow pretty big question, and one that many of you would probably think about for a while, but thank god my hairdresser thinks exactly like I do. With no thought whatsoever his answer is there on the tip of his tongue as he replies with, “Well I have all these things I’d like to do, maybe travel the world doing hairdressing on cruise ships, maybe own my own salon or even work with celebrities, and what scares me the most is that I’ll never do any of those things, I’ll stay working in this same salon forever living a nice comfortable life”.
He fires the question right back at me, “What about you?”. I take a little longer to reply as I’m not used to being the one being questioned and I eventually reply with this. "I fear that everything I want, all the ambitions and aspirations that I work towards achieving every day, that I’ll one day achieve them but the reality won’t be what I hoped for, that the lifestyle won’t be as good as I thought it would be and all my efforts will have been a waste of time”.
Sound depressing hey?! So where’s the inspiration. Well after leaving the salon this morning I realised what we were both really saying when we gave our answers. I am afraid of success and disappointment and Mark is afraid of failure, not believing in himself enough to dive head first in to new opportunities.
Which one are you I wonder? Are you constantly working hard to achieve but never actually making that crucial step that just might provide you with the success of getting that promotion or that relationship you want so badly? Are you always holding back when it matters most? Or are you the one staying comfortable, staying safe so you’ll never have to risk being criticised or feeling rejected, or does it simply scare the hell out of you to think that the grass may actually be greener on the other side compared with where you are now, that you daren’t even look?
Here’s what I have come to know. My whole life I have been looking for answers, wanting to know if genuine happiness and love exists and actively working towards designing my life the way I want it. Do you know what it all comes down to?! Yes of course it’s about being clear about what you want out of life (and just as importantly what you don’t want!) but ultimately you have to become a master of embracing uncertainty, the unknown and letting go of the need to control.
Before I wrap this up, I’ll come back quickly to mine and Marks fears. I may be afraid that the dream I hold so clear in my mind of my future may not work out EXACTLY as I imagine it but do you know what, I will work dam hard to get it as close to that dream as I possibly can. I trust myself enough to know that if I ever feel disappointed I will change my tactics, my approach, my mindset or my actions until I have the life I desire – that is a promise I have made to myself.
With regards to Mark and I'm sure many of you reading this who share the same fear of never achieving your goals or dreams, or experiencing life how it’s meant to be lived, fully, I repeat this as someone once said to me.
'If you do nothing, I guarantee you nothing will happen, nothing will change. If you do something, SOMETHING will ALWAYS happen’
So I ask you, what uncertainty do you need to embrace so you just might get a feel of that greener grass at your feet? What action do you need to take to make SOMETHING different happen? Make that call, apply for that job, end that relationship, initiate that date, open up to your partner, communicate what you want to make a current relationship even stronger, or simply admit to yourself that you want more and you’re no longer willing to settle.
I urge you to go embrace uncertainty; it might just change your life!
Are you one of those people that sits browsing Facebook and other network news feeds looking at everyone’s exciting status updates thinking your life just isn’t like theirs? Are you someone who always notices all the good in everyone else’s lives but only the bad and what needs 'improving' in yours? Well I’ll tell you now that I used to be one of those people.
Firstly to delve a little deeper in to these ‘amazing’ status updates, are they really amazing and genuine or is it our negative thoughts telling us otherwise. Is it possible that you feel everyone out there is living such an exciting life when really the things you’re seeing aren’t that extraordinary or real, at all? For example I bet many of you have seen pictures of people eating out at lovely restaurants with happy smiley groups of friends, or boyfriend and girlfriends, and feel sad because they seem to be out and about whilst you’re sat in on Facebook alone. But let’s get real here, if you REALLY wanted to, could you or could you not call someone up you know and say hey "Let’s go out for food?" (it doesn’t have to be somewhere fancy!) turn up, arrive at the table, update status on Facebook, have food, slap a smile on, take photo – hey presto you’re living a 'crazy happy social life too' and now the envy of others !
The point I’m making here is that as with most matters involving people, things are very rarely what they seem. Just like with airbrushing and celebrities, we all know by now that a few celebrities have come out revealing there make-upless faces and pictures of their bodies without airbrushing to prove that perfection as we perceive it, does not and will not ever exist. The same goes for Facebook, not many people are going to post pictures of them throwing plates against the wall in the midst of a fight with their partner at home!! Nor are they going to post up pictures of them cheating on their boyfriend or girlfriend with a caption that reads ‘Oops’. The bottom line is that we post only what we want the world to see and always for a reason, good and bad, so we must stop comparing our lives to others and waiting for change to come to us.
So how does this relate with what to do when life isn’t giving you what you want, when you’re feeling stuck whilst everyone else 'appears' to be moving on happily in life. If this is genuinely how you feel right now, if you were one of my students I’d be saying ok I hear you, do you feel you’ve tried everything to get the outcome you want though? Often I give a list of other possibilities or options and they reply with ‘hmmm I never thought of that’ or ‘I didn’t even know I could do that’ etc. etc.
Usually I would post a quote here to sum up my point right about now, but todays is a definition instead by Albert Einstein (who I’m sure we can all agree was a pretty wise guy!)
'Insanity = doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'
Instead of looking and comparing your life to some of the false presentations on facebook, look at your life and what caught your attention to read this blog post in the first place. Is there an area of your life where you feel things never seem to get better or that you return to the same problem time and time again? in your relationships? in your job? in how you feel day to day? Or is it the way you feel about your body? Whichever area it is that you feel life is never on your side, maybe it’s because you’re acting as good old Albert would say, insane; Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Maybe it’s time to stop whatever it is you’ve been doing that doesn’t work and shake things up. If you need to, join a new gym altogether, try a different approach with a partner to get their attention (something they wouldn’t expect – not in a lunatic sort of way, ha!). Speak to your manager or someone in work about how you feel about your job, or even look for outside help or advice. The internet is a world sized library these days with tips, advice and forums to help with just about any issue you might have.
Whether you get a coach, a counsellor, a book to learn new ways to deal with something, or simply look into other options out there that you already know are possible and within your reach, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Do something different and life just might give you a different result, the one that you want and have been waiting for.
Be sane and for a change think outside the box, it’s the only way anyone great ever achieved anything amazing!
If you've clicked on to this I know you’re in some way intrigued as to whether there’s some hidden secret to knowing where you’re ‘meant’ to be in life or what career you’re ‘meant’ to be pursuing. Well I’ll probably disappoint you sooner than you think by telling you now that there’s no secret, however I do hope what I have to say helps you get to a place where you sit back, reflect a little and think okay I see; I need to start here.
I’m sure a good few of you reading this if asked if you know what you want in life would be abit like, I haven't a clue! Do you often worry if you’re making the right moves, the right decisions or commitments, in work and relationships? Or is it the opposite for you, do you avoid making any real changes or decisions so you can move pleasantly through life never feeling you’ve ever really ‘failed’ because you never had a plan as such anyway?! Either way hopefully this will inspire you to wake up tomorrow morning and see though fresh eyes with a view to take a hold of your life so it doesn’t happen by default.
For me about a month ago I wanted to put my whole life in a box (me included!), turn it upside down, shake it up and only open it again when myself and life were unrecognizable, but in a much better way! My life was great and I enjoyed my job but I had this feeling there was so much more I needed to experience. In short, I wasn’t convinced I’d turned every stone. I wanted to start again; I wanted to leave everything familiar and safe behind in the hope that I would rid myself of some shitty traits and habits I had that kept me from experiencing life freely. I obsessively needed to control everything so I was never caught off guard or disappointed, I kept all relationships (when I did dare enter one) at arm’s length or semi-committed so I never really felt rejected if it didn’t work, I could always say ‘it wasn’t right anyway’. I would isolate myself at times subconsciously thinking I needed to excel at every little thing I did before being worthy of any real connection or relationship. Any sound familiar to you?
Everyone has habits and things they do to cope and keep life ticking along nicely. It’s important to realise though that some of these habits and coping mechanisms aren’t actually serving you in a good way, I feel they’re actually the reason many of us feel we don’t know what we want in life. It’s like we construct our own armour so we’re ready for opponents that often don't even show up (opponents being rejection, failure, pain etc.), but the fights only in our heads. The downside to this armour, yes you may prevent yourself experiencing disappointment or hurt but in wearing that armour un-necessarily you’re dragging around a heavy weight for a long time being drained of energy which could be used to design a fun life instead.
So here’s what I’ve done. I did put myself and my life in that box, I put my business on hold and within the space of two weeks last month I left everything familiar and safe and uprooted to a new place. I got myself a lovely little job in a gorgeous hotel by the sea, somewhere peaceful and to be honest a place that feels away from the rest of the world. It’s a tiny village that to me oozes simplicity with its lifestyle, just what I wanted whilst I shook up my box to get creative and write more to you fine people! From here I hope to travel further afield to experience more of life, constantly taking mental notes of the things I want before settling down.
Here’s what I’ve realised. We often in life end up so far off the beaten track from following too many signposts which over the years are hammered in by parents, teachers, work colleagues and peers, signposts that send us detouring for years wondering why it’s taking us so long to reach our destinations - happy, content, loved. I say it’s time more of us start writing our own signposts, follow your own directions and map. I believe deep down there is something profound and exhilarating we can all be doing with our lives if we want to, whether you let yourself is a choice. So get labelling your posts and secure them in one by one. Book those flights to go travelling, get online and google new career prospects, make a move on someone you like or simply try speaking the truth to friends about how you feel. Praise and compliment those around you more, just do something different that shakes your life up a bit and expands your identity of who you think you are.
I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine who I consider extremely confident and happy with their life. I asked what made them feel that way and they replied with this....
“Well I know what I’m doing, I have a plan and I’m surrounded by amazing people, what more is there to it”
How amazing would it feel to wake up with that mind-set every day? :) So where do you go from here? Hold an idea in your head now of the kind of person you’d like to be, more adventurous, more sensible, responsible, loving, playful, risky or more spontaneous and make more decisions as that person. Become a person that creates, not waits!
Final thought. You don’t have to be as dramatic as I have been leaving EVERYTHING familiar, however if you find yourself confused about what you want, ask yourself, do you feel the answer is about to reveal itself anytime soon being the person you are? If the answer is no then it’s time to start shaking things up my friend. Change something familiar and safe in your life and keep going until you too can say..… I know what I’m doing, I have a plan and I’m surrounded by amazing people, what more is there to it.
So this is what my low point looked like last year, I wonder if you’ve ever felt the same?
You awake every day to your first thought being just get through today. The next day the same only this time thinking, if you just get through today you’re off then for two days, you have time to relax and get your head around things (and think some more!). You see your friends ringing but don’t pick up because you can’t put into words how you feel; you’re well and truly numb - the worst way to be.
You’re getting into bed at night emotionally and mentally exhausted after working through every one of your painfully repetitive thoughts such as everything is awful, I’m not coping, no one notices, what if I can’t pull myself out of this, why do I feel so messed up, I wonder if anyone else struggles as much as I do, am I weak not being able to snap myself out of this? You get in to bed knackered wanting nothing more than to drift off into a peaceful sleep where you’re finally free of thoughts for eight hours but no your body kicks off, it’s not happy! What now? You’re relaxing Katie, why?!... There are things you have to figure out, things you have to plan. If you sleep you’re wasting time not getting any happier (your mind tries to trick you!). Your heart starts at a million beats a minute on the brink of probably a panic attack. It takes every bit of what little energy you have left to mentally calm yourself down, enough so you can at least lie resting for an hour or two before your body and mind finally give in and let you sleep.
You wake in the morning refreshed after a good 8 hours sleep thinking oh good a new day, HA, I think not! You wake anxious and nervous after a mere three hours sleep at worst, five at best as you recall the horrible dreams you had in the night. Suddenly you’re back to reality wide awake staring at the ceiling talking yourself round with the daily affirmation of you can do this, it will get better and again, ‘just get through today’. Finally, you realise you’re starving and that the highlight of each day has genuinely become when you eat because you know you can manage and control that perfectly!
WOW, surprised a few of you to read that I’m sure, de-press-ing!! What the hell happened to get me in that state you might be wondering? And why on earth would I share this with the world? I’ll tell you. What got me there is obsessively overthinking, chronically worrying, constantly trying to please everyone and investing too much of myself in work so I’d feel needed. I was in denial about the fact I was struggling emotionally and I felt isolated being self-employed. The biggest contributing factor was that I simply chose to ignore the many signs that I wasn’t happy; I just kept pushing myself to be better because I so desperately wanted to achieve. Perfectionism is totally a killer! So why do I share this? Because I believe there's a lot of people out there who will find comfort in hearing that someone else has gone through a bad time too.
Man let’s get the inspiration going and lift the mood in here right! Let’s get one thing straight, I am not the confused girl I was a year ago and I’ve recently realised even more so just how simple life can be. Around the time I was feeling low last year I had a conversation with a male friend of mine whom I always respected so much for his views. He amazed me with his calming and simplistic ways of seeing the world but yet never disregarded the way I liked to see it (through fairy eyes, ha!). The conversation went like this….“You just don’t worry like I do, do you never worry if you’re doing the right thing, if you’re using all your potential or living your passion?”. I used to believe that everything happened for a reason and that we all had a purpose, something we were put here to do that would make us totally happy once we knew what it was. I was always searching for ‘that thing’ to complete the puzzle.
My friend’s very logical and straight forward reply was "We’re here for no other reason but to survive. To live, exist, to thrive and survive is our purpose, it's as simple as that".
"Isn't it sad to think that way though, no one having a unique purpose. Like what’s the point in anything, in dreams, aspirations and working so hard if you're in a way just biding time until you die?"
Obviously I came away; being the dreamer I am, distraught by his answer after always thinking there was some spectacular purpose that would one day reveal itself to me. But looking back on that conversation you may be surprised to hear I now agree one hundred percent. To believe there's no plan, fate or reason behind what happens in our lives may not fill us with much certainty or peace of mind, however it is well and truly liberating to know that who you are, how your life goes and what you experience is totally in your hands. Your purpose is what you say it is, you define who you are and the label you give yourself; so you should surely by choice want that definition to be something pretty awesome.
Here’s my opinion. Whether you believe we all have a purpose or you believe we’re here to survive and thrive, both beliefs leave no excuse for living in misery, just getting by or plodding on. You deserve to live the best life possible just like you would wish for your best friends, family or partners. I have learnt to approach life with this always in mind. Life isn’t necessarily about being fearless but it does demand and require us to fear-LESS, in work, relationships and in general day to day, relax more and give ourselves a break (or a kit-kat!). If you feel like you’re losing the plot and perspective, remember this quote.
'Life is always a balance between holding on and letting go'
It’s about not being afraid of the things you know you need to let go of, trust in that whatever is meant to be a part of you and your life, will be naturally. And just as importantly to know which things to keep hold of because you’re ready to appreciate how they enhance your life in an amazing way.
To finish up I'll share a little theory with you. I believe that for a child that their primary purpose is to DREAM life like a fairytale, for adults to CREATE an exciting future through experience, and for parents to LOVE with every bit of their hearts holding nothing back. If we all lived by this and strived constantly to experience the many ‘pinch yourself moments’ waiting for us, the world would be a much happier place. :)
So I ask you, what is it you need to let go of? And what things should you be working hard to keep hold of? Whatever the answers, be here to thrive, not cry! .....Cheesy line to close, love it!.
Do you ever have those days when you’re thinking ‘my god I’m so happy right now, life actually feels amazing’? Then have those days when there isn’t much going on and you actually feel pretty lonely, even though you have many a friends and family within reach and maybe even a great relationship? Or maybe you’re one of those self-assured individuals that feel you’ve mastered, and are able to sustain, a positive optimistic mind-set for the majority of the time but still sometimes never feel ‘complete’?
Well for those of you reading this that follow and read my blogs, you’ll know that I left my job last November to simply (and in all honesty) ditch all responsibility so I could live for a while without stress or worry. I still felt so young to be obsessing about my career and how my life would pan out; I wanted to just experience more ‘fun’ instead of the seriousness that came with settling down and having a plan. But here’s where I always fell down never allowing myself to be truly happy. See if you can see yourself in any of what you’re about to read. Last week I came across this quote…
"You can't finish your masterpiece if you never start it"
…you know the kind of quotes you see that get you thinking and feel they’re speaking just to you, ha! Like for god’s sake stop reminding me (or implying) there’s something I’m avoiding doing or acting on. Anyway, when I saw this quote something hit me. I realised that my view of happiness and how I went about finding it in the past was all wrong. The ‘masterpiece’ for me was always my work, my career, my mission, it was everything. If I didn’t achieve MASSIVE success then I was never satisfied or happy because I’d never felt I’d done enough. For you reading this, what do you think you see as your masterpiece? Is your focus solely on always finding that perfect partner for a relationship, is it on making money or is it on your body image and being in the gym all the time?
The other day I had one of those days when everything felt amazing, I genuinely felt happy and ‘whole’ like everything was happening exactly how I wanted and I was enjoying the uncertainty of things. Now you would think I’d have been content sitting and enjoying that feeling but as usual with my tendency to over-think I started to worry, but what if this feeling goes away and I can’t keep hold of it?!
In that very same moment I stopped my usual pattern of thinking and decided it was a stupid negative way of looking at things, I asked myself a better question. ‘If I feel this happy right now, what is it that’s contributing to me feeling this way?’ I literally asked myself to list the events that had led up to me feeling that good. And do you know what, for the first time ever I realised that all the things that had made me happy were such little things with different people, different situations, environments, and with different feelings and emotions being felt – it was variety, balance! It was nothing to do with one master plan to do with my career or future, it was purely living in the now and appreciating single moments.
If you’re interested in what those moments were, it was things like meeting with a friend for a £2.99 coffee and cake deal (bargain!) :-D …..whilst looking out to sea chatting all about her life and how she’d come to be in the same place as I was travelling. I’d got up to sing at an Open Mic night a couple of nights before even though I was as nervous as always. I submitted my first paid article to a company excited to hear their feedback and had a great night out with new people I’d met the past week, drinking much red wine and laughing A LOT!
So what is the overall point of this blog? My inspiration to you this time around is that your masterpiece is not one single end goal, ambition or result, your masterpiece is your whole life right now and what it looks like on that huge canvas. It’s the big picture, the people, the friendships, relationships, your job, your interests, hobbies and the passions that you choose to pursue.
I will simply finish on mentioning something I learnt from a Ted talk on happiness this week (I’ll post the vid below for those that aren’t familiar with TED). The talk basically sums up and showed after research carried out that the less choice we all have, the happier and more likely we are to appreciate the choices and things we do have. Basically the more options and possibilities available to us, the more confused it leaves us about what the ‘right’ thing to do is in certain situations.
Which brings me to this final thought. I have found that to be happy in life you have to take note of those times when you feel happy and ask what it is that’s making it so. What are the ingredients, the recipe, the method for what's making you tick? When you know or find those things, you’ll know exactly what to keep asking life for more of, what to keep attracting so you can create the kind of life that provides a sustained happiness, not just bursts every few days.
The great news is: You’re the master of your masterpiece, your life. So paint away, paint big, paint in colour and paint continuously until you’ve left no experience to imagination. Live your masterpiece now :)
TED Talk Vid below. 'Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy?'
Why is it we often feel stuck, sad and unfulfilled and sometimes desperately seek a better life but feel whatever we do doesn’t seem to make things any better or at least not for very long? Are you in a relationship where you feel it drains you as opposed to enhancing every great quality you have and making every aspect of your life richer? Are you in a job where you’re starting to realise you actually dread going in everyday because even the thought of being there conjures up images of your annoying boss or the 'To Do List' that never seems to go down? Maybe you actually feel on paper your life is pretty damn good and yet you find yourself confused about why you’re still not fulfilled. Well here's some food for thought that might hopefully shift things for you.
I have come to realise that many of us spend so much time clinging or holding on to things purely out of habit and routine, not realising we don’t even want those particular things/jobs/people in our lives. We actually expend so much energy holding on to things more for the reason that we can’t bear to lose or let go of anything and feel like we failed, failed at ‘keeping things together’ or keeping control. But surely living this way defeats the whole point of why we work so hard ultimately to create an enjoyable and stress-free life, the life we all crave so much, one where things flow nicely without force. So here is my point...
The confusion and frustration I believe comes when we attach to the theory that to be happy means we have to have stability and security, basically a life without change. But what if maybe most things in life are meant to come to pass, change, develop and constantly evolve? What if we saw every experience, event, job or person as one that will come and go, with the exception of those special few that, through no real effort on our parts, stick to us, to our hearts and to our lives for good?
But how do you know when you’ve touched on ‘those’ things, the keepers? When those things enter, they’ll slide in from your blind spot; sit quietly and comfortably asking for nothing as they settle in like they were always meant to be there. I have come to believe this the best way to approach and view life if, as I’m sure many of you are, looking to replace a life of pressure, desperation and planning, with ease, trust and a belief that intuition will do its job in guiding you where you need to go, what you need to do and who you need around you to enable you to thrive.
Let’s face it, if we feel we have to cling on so desperately to something, is it really meant for us in the first place. When we put so much emphasis on keeping a hold of something through fear of not feeling we did enough to keep it, we don’t realise just how much of ourselves we close off to the rest of the world, killing any chance of real happiness. We don’t notice the amazing new people waiting to enter our lives, the glimmers of opportunity waiting to be seen or the risks eagerly awaiting a chance to be taken on them.
So let’s see how bad you really want change? I’d like to set you a little challenge if you’re willing to accept, an experiment if you will and report back to me on what you notice. I want you to seriously imagine for this next week or at least a few days that your body is a walking canvas and on that canvas, painted beautifully are all the things, people, experiences that you desire, need and want in your life right now. I want you to believe and trust as you go about your day to day life that every person walking past can see clearly (without you needing to say a word) what you’re wanting in your life right now. How light and carefree does that make you feel knowing you don’t have to make any decisions, discuss or communicate what you’re wanting to anyone, it’s already ‘written’ and decided.
'All you have to do is be aware you’re displaying this canvas to the world and that you're 100% okay with whatever it’s portraying. And be willing to then accept the surprises that are about to show up for you'
The key to this experiment being a success is that you have to trust and believe that people will LOVE your ‘canvas’ (regardless of what’s painted on it), and all the gorgeous colours that you’ve used ;) Those that love it the most will make themselves known to you and be drawn to you without understanding why. That my friend when it happens will be connection right there, connection that you have actively created, connection with the things, opportunities and people that are about to bring you everything you could ever dream of!
So, get cracking. Mentally paint your canvas now, let the canvas talk, take your foot off the accelerator and switch to first gear for a few days as you pay attention to what’s going on around you rather than what’s in your head. Glide along and see what happens.
Report back to me :) and as always remember, don't be fearless, just bravely fear-less!
NOTE BEFORE READING: Usually I would plan, draft, structure and attempt to make my posts ‘perfect’ before publishing them live, tonight however is different. A lot of thoughts and observations have been bottling up in me for a few weeks now whilst trying to figure out what the next blog post should be about. Now I feel an urge to sum up everything and get it out before I forget the points I want to make. So bear with me because this is most likely going to flow out like a diary entry rather than a well-constructed piece of writing!
I don’t know how life is for you right now but for me I’ve found the past few weeks emotionally harder than usual, feeling less enthused and more confused - but not anymore. As always if having a tough few weeks for whatever reason I like to feel intrigued rather than sad because I know there’s some lesson I'm supposed be learning. Eventually it clicks and results in me having a revelation or ‘aha’ moment when everything suddenly becomes clear. Maybe that’s just me being a writer viewing life in a crazy kind of way :) So here it is....
Katie Bunting's strong desire to make a difference and bring out the best in everyone that crosses her path has never left her.