This past week has been a big one for me. In fact the past few weeks have been big and I have started to feel like the last twelve months have been leading to this point.
My last post was all about honesty and confronting and acknowledging my struggle to write, which is really about confronting and acknowledging who I am. There has been a thought ingrained in my mind that to be successful I must have a ‘9 to 5′ office job with a set career path, as it turns out this isn’t true.
Success and happiness aren’t measured by how well you fit into a specific mould, they are measured by benchmarks you determine. This means when all is said and done the only person that can judge your success… is you.
For the last few years I have been trying desperately to fit into the mould and as it turns out, it looks ridiculous on me! Thanks to ‘The Guru’ a.k.a Helen Thomas of The Little Sage, I was able to gain some much needed perspective, insight and guidance through intuitive life coaching. From here I have begun my journey to finding my truth and living it.
So here I am all poised and puffed up like an emperor penguin ready to spring forth, grab the truth and ride it all the way to inner peace. At some point this inner peace and happiness has to involve eating copious amounts of cupcakes and playing with kittens, but we have to start somewhere. So where is the start? Speaking with The Guru was the best possible beginning but it’s up to me to make this happen, not her.
I know what the beginning looks like; a rather pitiful version of myself being generally miserable, moaning and whining about just about everything, brimming with negativity, self-doubt and self-imposed career exile. I also know what the ending looks like; a positive, smiling girl who is light with inner satisfaction, letting what’s in her heart spill out onto paper (and possibly being surrounded by kittens). The bit I’m a bit foggy on is ‘the middle’.
Walking to work this week while my usual pre-work inner monologue was running through my mind, the answer suddenly struck me and it was something The Guru had said’ ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever’. Basically, I spend a lot of my time and energy making other people happy and not enough time making myself happy. In doing this, I’ve depleted all of my energy reserves and it’s making it very hard for me to find energy left for the things that really make me happy.
Rather than give out my energy to other people and make them temporarily happy I should focus my energy on what truly makes me happy and show the people around me how to do it for themselves, rather than just doing it for them (see, the fish bit makes sense now!).
So that’s exactly what I have been doing this week. All the photos you see in this post are parts of my life that I love and have brought me joy over the past few weeks, it’s a bit of insight into my life. Sometimes I wonder about you as the reader; where do you live? What does your neighborhood look like from your front door? Do you have pets? If you answered yes to that last one, I’m jealous – please send me photos of your pets immediately. By sharing my photos with you I feel like I’m owning up to the things in my life that bring me joy and recharge me, making them mine.
My next step was making work fun again, I find my job really draining as it’s not my dream job and being a very playful person I really need the fun aspect to keep me engaged. Lucky for me my boss is a great man, very easy to talk to and open to hearing anything his staff throw at him, and with his support I’ve got a few games going within our work team to keep me engaged.
While this was a great first step, I still found myself making plans to do things that I didn’t really want to do but felt I needed to do in order to keep other people happy. So early on in the week I took a pen and wrote the words ‘for you’ on my left wrist. It may sound corny but I’m a visual learner and every time I went to do something I would look down at those words and ask myself why I was doing it and if the answer wasn’t ‘for you’ then I didn’t go ahead with it.
It was also very exciting and a much needed boost when I received a care package from my best friend in London, Katie. As a surprise she sent me clothes, scarves, a coffee mug, shoes, my favourite chocolate and novelty moustaches. Knowing that these things had been with Katie and the time and love she had put into sending them really touched me and reminded me that I have people in my life that love me for me, it made me feel so cared for and special. I want to send her a care package too but apparently Koala’s can’t be sent via the Royal Mail.
This week I made time for good friends, people that recharge and energise me and I avoided the ones that drain me. I made a point of taking 30 minutes out of the office to sit in the park and draw, think and listen to music, time that was just for me, where I could do whatever I wanted. But most importantly, I made time to write. All week I’ve had a million ideas and thoughts in my brain and I’ve been feeling full and energised. As each day has come and gone I’ve felt the light in me get brighter and brighter again, with all of these descriptive words you can see what I meant about being a visual learner.
It hasn’t been an easy week by any means and there are times where I’ve found myself entertaining a negative thought, starting to feel jealous or insecure, letting doubt and worry creep into my mind and letting myself get down again. Each time this has happened I’ve had to actively say to myself ‘it’s okay, those thoughts are normal don’t beat yourself up. Now let them go, move on and don’t let them back in’.
For the first time in a long time I am starting to feel like my old self again and I can feel this excitement building in me, ready for all the great things that are going to happen this year. A big part of this has been the incredible comments some of you left on my last post. You may think that leaving those comments doesn’t mean much, but it means a lot to me. Your comments inspire me and it feels so good to know other people are out there thinking and feeling the same thing, so thank you, it was a huge confidence boost for me.
This week I am continuing with everything I started last week but it is going to be more challenging, I have a very full week of work and I’m worried I’ll slip back into old habits and negativity! I’m sure there is a lot to be learned from this week and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.
If you liked the photos in this post or want to share some of your own via the almighty ‘social media network’ you can follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook using the buttons to the right of this post, closer to the top of the page.