We live in a world where change is inherent in our existence. Yet most of us are uncomfortable with change.
In our world we have four seasons which naturally flow into one another. Night follows day. After the rainy season we get the warmth to germinate the seeds and ripen the fruits. For women, a natural cycle every 28 days as part of the ever changing cycle of birth, life and death.
So why do we crave stability so much? It’s interesting isn’t it?
We know our children will grow up and leave home to live their own lives. We know we will die one day. We know if we plant a seed it will more than likely grow into a plant that will bear fruit or flower, then rest or die before it flowers again.
Are we all out of alignment?
I’m currently undergoing some chiropractic treatment as my body felt out of alignment. No recent pain, but an underlying “there’s something not right” that caused me to make the appointment. I don’t know who was more surprised the chiropractor or me with the adjustments he did and the effect it had on me.
Just like a ship sailing 1 degree off course that will get further and further away from intended destination, I felt that everything I was doing to help myself feel in balance, wasn’t making any difference to that feeling of “something’s not right”. I’ve spent so many years thinking there’s something missing, or I’m not doing things “right”, when all the time it seems that my skeletal structure was scrunched up and my body brain balance has been off course.
Putting good on top of bad
When you’ve eaten things which aren’t great for you, do you feel smug when you’ve had something that’s really healthy? Like a week of takeaways and suddenly you decide to have a salad. Does the smugness last? I’ve never had that feeling last very long. So I continue to eat “well” but maybe not “great”, and continue to “do what I can” to look after my body, but that’s not changing the underlying fact that I’m undoing all my good stuff with the few bad things I choose to eat.
Yes I know it’s my choice. But what if I chose to eat in a way that was good for the structure of my body and helped it function well all the time? Would I feel smug or would I simply feel energy and health and be able to do all the things I want to do?
I’m not there yet, so I can’t tell you my answer! Maybe you know already?
In business, if you paper over the cracks what will happen eventually? If you’re in a relationship that isn’t comfortable any more, what’s that telling you?
Each of us tries so hard to keep things the same, even when it’s not that comfortable, as we’re afraid of moving into the unknown. We’re usually afraid of stepping out of our comfort zone.
We try and add things into our lives because we think that will work to create change, yet we’re often just putting a sticking plaster on something that needs to change in a much bigger way.
Knowing your inner compass
When you’ve discovered that you do have an inner compass that you can listen to when you make choices and decisions, you will automatically feel more in alignment. You’ll often feel ready for change, or just have that inner knowing that things have to change, even if you don’t know what that is right now.
You may have friends who keep talking about taking up a hobby they’ve wanted to do all their life, but still haven’t got around to getting their starter kit. That’s someone out of alignment. You may be in a job that doesn’t inspire you, but it pays the bills so you keep doing it. It probably feels that you’re out of alignment.
“You’ve gone all woo-woo on me” I can hear you shouting at the screen. I know! Tracey-Jane, the planned, organised go getter. Ha! My language may not feel comfortable, but you’re still reading, so something is resonating here for you. And that’s just the point I’m trying to make:
You KNOW there’s something not quite right, and you KNOW that you need to change something, but you don’t know what so it’s easier to stay doing what you’re doing.
Since I started my self discovery process a few years ago, which only started as I felt exactly like this – knew that something needed to change, but didn’t know what – I’ve tried and done many things. The thing that’s made the most difference to me though was finding my “Why”. The reason I do what I do. The thing that makes me fill up with joy just by thinking about it usually.
I’d done quite a lot of searching before I worked through Simon Sinek’s Start with Why book. This was enourmously helpful to me. It was like a lightbulb moment! I learnt that what is at the heart of everything I do is listening – listening to others to help them listen to themselves.
At the time I’d been restructuring my businesses and working out what I wanted to “do” with them. I’ve always been a do-er. A getting things done girl. An organiser, a fixer. Someone who’ll pick a project up and run with it. But this felt different. I learnt that I didn’t have to have a business in listening to feel more in sync with myself, I simply needed to listen more! 😉
By understanding that I am who I am in all roles in life, I felt such relief. In some ways it’s embarrassing to share that it was a realisation I’d never had until the age of 40! 😉 Just like you don’t need to be a professional musician if you love playing the violin, you can do things because you love them. Because they’re a part of you.
Just like I love baking and gardening and creating meals and nurturing others as well as myself, when I recognised that listening was at the heart of everything I do it shifted my perspective. I’d started to uncover my inner compass.
It was only when Deborah took me through the course we created together which we call, “Discover your Joy of Being“, that the final piece of the jigsaw fell into place. I learnt to listen to my intuition – think of this as In-tuition – your inner guidance system. Each step showed me a different aspect of myself. Often things I’d kept hidden for years, which looking back now makes sense that I’ve been “off balance”. When you hide things away what happens to them? They often get stuck, or cause a blockage somewhere.
Get used to change
Just like we eat and excrete every day, which we don’t think twice about, we need to get more used to change. If something doesn’t feel right, you need to change something so you do.
If your body is seizing up you’ll stretch. That’s change. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’ll drink. That’s change.
Becoming more open and used to change will help you become more in flow in your own life as the stuckness gets flushed out. It’s unlikely to be easy, but when you think about it, our bodies are designed to change as we age. The earth and seasons change and flow. Maybe if we get more in sync with our inner tuition, we won’t push against change as much as we’ve been used to in the past.
If you’d like to learn more about listening to your intuition, register for our foundation course which starts soon:
After the storm of discomfort stepping outside my comfort zone yesterday, I feel more at peace today. At peace with myself. This peace has only come after the turbulent nature of being uncomfortable and taking steps into the unknown.
Have you had that experience too? “The calm after the storm” is a saying we may know, but do we think about it in terms of our own lives?
I’m sure someone wiser than I will have observed that we can only find inner peace if we’ve been through discomfort and change, but I’m not sure I can recognise that in my own life.
I remember on some of my travels when I was younger that in the places I visited, or the experiences I had I knew I was at peace with myself. I hadn’t noticed at that time any discomfort or massive change. At those times inner peace was just that. There was no journey to that place. It was just somewhere I found easily and effortlessly and took myself there whenever I made space for myself to do it.
Those places were often beautiful places in nature. Wonderful views. Places where I felt so much love around me from the energy of the place, even when there was dire poverty or destruction. I’ll never forget the feeling of sitting looking at the Taj Mahal and feeling the love the Emperor put into that beautiful place. Love which is still shared in that place today hundreds of years on.
Journey to find yourself
In some cultures young people must take a journey into the wilds to find themselves. There’s an initiation into adulthood which is seen as a passage to find yourself. Western cultures don’t tend to have anything similar. Is that why many people feel so out of place, or try to “find themselves” using different methods through their life? I don’t know, but maybe you have some thoughts you’d like to share in the comments?
In my experience, it was only after I’d had my children that I realised I’d “lost” myself in becoming a Mum. That may sound weird, but it’s how I felt. As someone who fiercely champions others before myself, my growing family was clearly my priority at that time. Yet I felt lost.
I had the love of my family and friends. I had two amazing children who brought me joy. I had a brilliant business helping others. I loved them all. Yet there was still something not quite right.
I’ll maybe describe the journey another day. For now it’s enough to share that I’d lost that inner peace I used to go to easily in my younger years. Maybe it was because I didn’t spend enough time by myself, I’ll never know. To me that’s not important now as what I have learnt over the next 15 years leading to today when I’ve found that peace again.
Grief and loss
I was fortunate to have had grandparents in my life until I was in my teens. As both my Grandad’s were in protected jobs during World War II I all four of my parents parents were alive and a big part of my growing up. I didn’t really experience grief and loss until I was starting a family of my own. That juxtaposition of grief and growing a new baby was comforting to me. It felt natural that the world was turning and I was just one part of nature’s cycle saying goodbye and saying hello.
When Mum died in 2009 of ovarian cancer, it was a culmination of ten years on her part of living her life to the fullest against all the odds of survival at that time. She may have grieved her loss of freedom to do anything she wanted, but outwardly she did what she loved and showed us that living life is all we have. She brought so much joy to others with her passions, enthusiasm, love and caring that when she left us she left a big whole in our lives.
Yes I’ve been on a massive journey since her death for all sorts of reasons. I’ve tried many things to assimilate what she taught me with the frustration and anger that she was taken away so young.
Yet it was only these past few weeks reading the book, “The Phone Box at the Edge of the World“, along with other experiences I’ve had that I’ve realised that I don’t need to assimilate anything. All that time spent looking, searching, grieving for what I’ve lost, I’m not living my own life. The book is a work of fiction, but is based on a real place created to help people grieve. The author, Laura Imai Messina, shares in her notes that,
I personally experienced profound hesitation about going there….The truth is that I was afraid of taking something, of stealing time and space from someone who needed it more than I did.
While writing this book, I understood how important it is to write about hope. The task of literature is to suggest new ways of being in the world, to connect the here to the there. For me, the Wind Phone is mainly this: a metaphor that suggests how precious it is to hold on tight to joy as well as pain. That even when we are confronted by the subtractions, the things that life takes from us, we have to open ourselves up to the many additions it can offer too.
It’s a beautiful book of incredible loss and grief and wonderful love and joy and belonging. Of sharing and caring among strangers and in families. It’s touched me in ways that I haven’t felt in a long time.
Today as I write this I know that I’m reconnected to my inner peace. It’s always been there. I’d just covered it up with other things. Stories I was making up about how I “should” feel or be. Things I’ve done for others to make me feel better, when actually I had everything I needed to be me. I’m the leader of my own life, and loss is part of the natural cycle of life.
Yes I still miss Mum, but I don’t have to let that define me. I’m still the loving caring incredible person she believed and encouraged me to be. I can feel that. I always have. Sitting here I’ve no idea what I was searching for apart from that sense of belonging to someone who I knew loved me unconditionally. Yet I’ve never lost that. By her dying I’ve not lost anything about that love or support. I’ve lost the ability to hug her and speak to her in person each day. I’ve lost the one person I could talk to about anything and feel I wasn’t being judged. She may not have known anything about what I was talking about, but she listened. She helped me get my thoughts in order and supported me to work out my next step.
Listen to yourself
If you’ve read any previous posts you’ll know that listening is a big passion of mine. Listening to yourself is always the starting point for me with friends, clients and family. Helping others to listen to what their heart is telling them isn’t easy. And now I’ve come full circle to understand why.
Journey Home by Marlene Neumann Fine Art Photography
It’s synchronistic that I’d already decided what I was writing about today, when an incredible woman I love to learn from shared her Wednesday Wisdom today – the title was Healing yourself and living your bliss. As always with synchronicity, it felt like Marlene was just talking to me. Reminding me that I know myself. That I have everything I need inside of me. But I have to reach in and listen. It’s so easy to cover things up because it’s too uncomfortable or we’re embarrassed.
It may sound easy too, but in my experience it’s not! 😉 But if you know you need to change something in your life do it. Only you can change it. You can look elsewhere for support, love, health, wisdom, but only you can find your inner peace by doing what’s right for you in your life.
If you’d like some help, maybe learning courage to take the next steps as you’re going to need it to be brave to change what you need to change, register for this course which starts soon:
What are you expecting to find now you’ve opened this article up? A comfort blanket believing that I couldn’t surely be saying that feeling uncomfortable is good for you. Do you believe that it’s just a headline and the content will be very different and we’ll all live happily ever after in the end?
I believe we will live happily every after in the end, but that we will have lots of uncomfortable moments in our life to get there.
You know those feelings of butterflies in your tummy or there’s a churning and you have that knowing that something has to change. That’s feeling uncomfortable.
The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.
Those feelings of discomfort are often the same as that feeling uncomfortable when you’ve done something wrong, or told a white lie and you now regret it. What I’m noticing from that is that the feeling is telling me it’s uncomfortable for a reason. I’m on the edge of my comfort zone. Will I step out of it into a new arena or fall back inside?
Stepping outside your comfort zone
We’ve all done it at some points in our life. From going to a new school or starting a new job. Even committing to a partner for a long term relationship is one of those big comfort zone steps. Yet we do it don’t we.
For the school and the job they may simply be the obvious next step to take in our life, or it’s what’s expected of us. It can still be very uncomfortable though even if everyone else around us is going through the same thing.
For committing to a long term relationship, I experienced a knowing that I wanted to make that commitment. I had no doubt that marrying this man and committing to living our lives together as a unit was the right thing for me to do. Over the last 22 years of marriage I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’d sometimes wondered if we were meant to be together long term! However, that knowing that we’re partners in life holding hands together through the roller coasters life has put in our paths is still the right thing for me.
Welcome to the tipping point
Have you ever had that feeling that you’ve reached a point of no return? That it’s too uncomfortable to stay where you are, but it’s scary to step forward to a new place? That’s what I call the tipping point.
I’ve had many of them in my life, so I’m sure you have too. Some may feel bigger than others. When I’ve worked with clients it’s easier to see from the outside how they are holding on by their fingernails to something that no longer is useful to them, just because it’s comfortable and they know it inside out.
I felt that when I let my first business go. I remember the feeling of making the decision that I could no longer go on as I was and the thing that had to go was that business. Not because it was failing, but because I’d outgrown it (or it had outgrown me maybe?), and I realised that I much preferred to help other people than parcel up packages everyday in a faceless way. As soon as I’d come to that realisation I felt free.
The decisions which came after that moment weren’t easy, but each step of the next few months was based on the fundamental knowledge that I was doing the right thing for me. I’d built a successful business and now it was time to let it go and be loved and nurtured by someone else for whom it was the right thing to do at that time.
The relief I felt! It felt like I shed a skin that day and become a different person. I remember feeling “I’ve found myself again” in that moment.
Yet even now, I know that I’ll still cling to things in my life which no longer serve me. Somehow I’ve either not reached the tipping point, or the discomfort of staying where I am isn’t too uncomfortable, so I’ll sit and watch the view of a new horizon that looks scary.
How do I know it’s scary? I don’t! I’m simply making that up in my imagination because I’ve no idea what lies ahead. You know the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”. Our sub-conscious mind is saying, “Ahh, but is it?” 😉 Ha!
Who do you listen to?
Have you ever had a boss or teacher that encouraged you to do something you didn’t think you could possibly do? They saw potential in you you didn’t see for yourself? What did you do? Did you listen to them and put your faith in their experience and knowledge that they only wanted the best for you. Or did you listen to yourself and recognise that they were telling you something you already knew. They simply supported you to do the right thing for you at that time?
It’s interesting isn’t it? We all have friends and teachers and mentors in our lives. You may well be a friend, teacher and mentor to many others. You too may have suggested to others that they should try this or do that. Have they listened to you?
When you know yourself and listen to yourself you’ll ALWAYS find the right answer for you. It’s not always easy, but you know deep down what your next step is. Whether it’s a relationship that has run it’s course, or a job that is no longer fulfilling, you’ll have that inner knowing, or feeling that something needs to change.
It’s strange I think that we can have that inner knowing, we can listen and simply know that something has to change (and sometimes we don’t know what), but it’s still not enough to step outside the comfort zone we’re currently in. What do we think is going to happen to us? Well that’s easy! Our unconscious mind is trying to keep us safe in our “survive” mode. Yet there’s that part of our mind that’s telling us that we we’ll thrive if we move over there and do that.
What do we listen to? Survive or thrive?
I may be challenging thoughts and perceptions for you today. I make no apology about that. We can all choose what we do with our life, and each minute of our day. However uncomfortable you get wherever you are, when you have that knowing that something’s not right you WILL reach a tipping point and have to make a choice. Will you choose to stay “safe” and survive where you are? Or will you choose to step out of your comfort zone and know you’ve got the opportunity to thrive if you simply follow your heart.
Every step we take in our life is on a path. There may be mud we get stuck in. There may be big boulders fallen down to block us. There may be sharp pebbles we have to walk over. We can choose to take each step from a knowing that you’re on the right path even if the steps are uncomfortable. Or we can choose not to go on any journey at all.
The choice is ultimately yours. You don’t have to go on your journey alone though – we’re human and we need to be connected with others. We also need supporters, guides and cheerleaders along the way. Without them it’s a very lonely path and we often don’t make it very far.
Are you feeling uncomfortable now?
I’ve discovered on my life journey that I can only be myself and listen to myself to know my next step. We often don’t trust or believe ourselves so we’ll defer to others and ask their views, opinions, advice. Yet it’s you who are living your life. You get to choose.
You get to choose feeling uncomfortable too! Yes! It’s OK to feel uncomfortable. I’ll talk about tension another day. For today though, let’s just think about listening to yourself and that inner knowing of what’s right for you.
Has your tipping point reached that stage that you know you have to move forward to a new horizon even if it feels scary, because staying where you are is too uncomfortable?
Don’t be alone with your thoughts on this. Please share, or get in touch.
Register your interest for a new course which will help you explore these ideas further and help you have the courage to take steps outside your comfort zone:
When you make decisions do you think about the short term and long term effects of them? Does it matter?
The money game I’m playing this month is making me think about things in my life in a different way. Each day we’re given an imaginary amount of money which is double that we received yesterday. It has to be spent on imaginary items in whichever way you choose. You can give it away if you like, or spend it on yourself, on others. The only thing you can’t do is save it or buy stocks and shares.
Today, I have £2560 to spend. I can choose to buy a few things, (some days my family who are also playing have bought a few items), or a single item. On my walk this morning I was tossing around the idea of paying for car repairs and upkeep for the next year, or buying web developer time and a piece of software for the Awakening Horizons website that I believe will give us a good foundation to grow everything my partner and I have discussed these past few months. In other words future proof the website so we’re not constantly updating and making amendments.
So, my choice the way my brain twisted and turned this morning was on a resource I use now versus a foundation for growth.
Interesting isn’t it? What would you do?
Short term or long term. What’s better?
We live right now and make choices now that effect our future. Yet we need to eat now. We need to have a place to live and feel safe. We may choose to wear clothes and shoes. We may choose to have some form of transportation to get around.
We may also choose education. This benefits now and the future. I’m sure you know the saying,
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Do we have to sacrifice something now to invest in our future? Not always, but with my choice today that’s what I was thinking. Do I get the car fixed today, or do I spend it on the foundation of growth for the business?
When I visited Malawi last year I learnt that many people DO have to make those choices on a daily basis – do I buy food for my family, or do I support my child to go to school? Primary education became free to everyone a few years ago, but secondary education has to be paid for by the family. It’s equivalent to about £10 a term at the current exchange rate. A relatively small amount in my world, but a fortune for many in the village I stayed in. There’s also those children who need to live away from home as there’s no secondary school they can travel to on a daily basis. There are often more costs involved, but the basic cost is about £90 a term for these boarders.
I knew then that supporting the education of children and families in this area would be beneficial to their own and their country’s future development, so I’m clear that investing in education now is an important thing to do. But was that because the amount of money felt so small at the time? Would I still think that if it cost £1,000 or £10,000 a term for each child?
This isn’t about money though is it? We all make choices everyday which effect other people and our planet.
We can choose to buy products from companies which are known for using child labour in places where people live in extreme poverty, or we can choose to buy from companies supporting Fair Trade. We can choose to buy products which are known to cause harm to our environment, or we can choose to buy products which are known to be kind to our planet.
We may spend more now, but it will be kind to others and the world, so that’s better isn’t it?
What do you do? Do you think about these choices you’re making each day?
Buying v investing
It’s interesting that some of the language other people playing the game have been using has been “investing” in and not the “I’ve bought…” it was suggested we use each day. So clearly many people are thinking that to spend £x will be an investment in the future not just buying something for today.
Surely everything we choose to spend our money on is investing in our future and that of our family and our planet? The food we choose to buy to eat is investing in a healthy body, (or not). The money we spend on our housing is a choice about our safety and security, (I’ll leave to one side the choice of having a home and the issue of homelessness that will need deeper exploration). When we choose to buy clothing we may be wanting to stay warm.
Surely all that food, shelter and clothing is investing in our future too?
What’s your intention?
What I’ve realised as I’ve mulled this over this morning is that my quandry today is not about short term and long term per se. My choice is about investing in myself or investing in my business to support others. Ahh! Now we’re getting to it. If I choose to spend my money on the car, my intention is to keep the car going so that I can travel about the country safely. It’s an investment in a piece of machinery to get me from A to B. To me I’m not excited by this. It feels as if it’s something I have to do rather than what I want to do.
Yet when I think of spending my money on setting the foundations of the business website I’m excited. I can only think about how this website will support so many people to have the courage to make the changes they know they need to make in their lives and live their life full of purpose and meaning. Now that feels very different! My intention in this scenario is to help thousands of people transform their lives. Wow!
It now feels like there’s no choice. When I focus on the intention for spending this money it has to be on transforming lives! Just like I believe education is an investment in the future and I’d give up spending on something now to give that long term gift, I can now see that investing in the structure of the website and it’s functionality will not only support the transformation of others as they create their unique life map, but will help me support them in a more effective way.
This realisation that my intention is at the heart of the choices I make whatever area of my life that is, I think I’m going to see things differently from now on.
If you’d like help to brave the changes you know you need to make in your life, register for our upcoming course:
I used to struggle to make choices. Some things were easy to decide on, others were much harder and I could spend days or weeks asking others their opinion and going round and round in circles in my mind feeling like I was going crazy.
I still sometimes struggle, but that’s only when I’m being triggered by others or circumstances, or hearing things from people I love and am close to that seem logical and “the right thing to do”. But is it “right” for me?
Playing follow the leader
Did you used to play “follow the leader” when you were little? I can’t remember exactly how you played it, but my memory of trying to do a funny walk, or twisting my body to the same shape as the “leader” are very clear.
We all have people we admire and emulate in our life. There may have been teachers, community or spiritual leaders we trusted and respected who we followed. We may have followed the rules set by parents to keep us safe from harm. We may have followed along with a game at school because we wanted to be with the “in crowd”.
We’ve all followed others at some point in our life. Are we still doing it? If I’m honest there are probably things that unconsciously I may still “follow the rules” on, even if I’m unaware of them. In fact there’s some rules now that I follow that help keep me safe, like driving on the left side of the road like all the other cars to so we don’t crash into each other.
There’s been times when I’ve followed guidelines from someone I respect only to find later that their “blueprint” or “ultimate checklist” or “system” didn’t work for me. I followed some of these things religiously, but discovered I got further away from the result I actually wanted.
Strange isn’t it? What can help one person become so successful makes another go round in circles going mad with frustration.
Listen to yourself
When I really stopped to listen to myself I understood that some of these systems and methods weren’t right for me or my business. I think I’d always known deep down that was the case but I hadn’t put faith in my own knowledge or understanding or that I was good enough to grow myself and my business.
There’s only you who truly knows what’s right for you. Your parents, partner, children, best friends, business partner may all think they know you really well. They do. But it’s your life and only you can make the decisions for your life and how you want to live it.
Learning to listen to yourself can be a hard skill to practice to start with. But like any skill as you practice you improve and find it easier. Consistency, like most things in life, is the key to successfully learning to listen to yourself. You may find different ways that work for you to really listen well:
- walking in nature
- being by the sea
- writing or journalling
- talking to someone
I’ve used all of these over the past few years and now have my own routine that works for me. It involves walking, meditating and writing as the key parts to my listening practice. However, it’s only when I talk thing through with others and the words come out of my mouth to hear them that I often unlock the hidden key that’s been hiding away from my understanding.
Listening to yourself helps you make decisions more easily as you allow yourself to hear the answer you know to be true for you. In my experience what I’ve discovered is that somethings I thought were right for me are totally opposite to what I hear when I stop and listen to my inner wisdom.
Eating well is a good sign you’re listening
I love food. I also love the whole community conversation of a meal with family and friends. Eating and chatting together for me is a true simple pleasure.
Eating what’s good for you can be tricky though as our bodies are all made slightly differently. You may need more iron in your diet than me. I may need more Vitamin C than you to keep my body working as well as it can.
I’ve been a follower in my diet too as I’m sure you have at one time. My son’s are currently quite focused on a carnivore diet, whereas friends promote veganism. Only each person can decide what’s right for them. All I know is that your body will tell you if you’re eating well if you listen to it.
When I eat too much bread I get sluggish. I know that, but I’ll still have too much some days when it’s fresh and smelling gorgeous! 😉 You may need help finding things to help your body perform at it’s best. Recently I sought specialist help as I knew something was out of balance and I’ve discovered I’ve got lead poisoning! Apparently it’s not uncommon, so I’m starting to take a supplement to get rid of those toxins in my body and find more balance. It’s unlikely you’ll have exactly the same, so don’t follow me! 😉 Follow yourself.
If a food or drink helps you feel more alive or energetic use it. If a food or drink makes you sleepy stop having it. Sounds simple doesn’t it, but how many people do you know that don’t follow these simple rules of listening to their body?
Knowing yourself stops the struggle to make choices
Once you’ve a clearer knowledge of yourself it becomes much easier to make choices which are right for you. Whether it’s food, relationships, work decisions, career, business choices or what piece of music to play. You may find that you start listening to music you used to love as a teenager again that others maybe don’t like. That’s up to them isn’t it? You can choose to listen the music of your choice 🙂 You can choose what to eat and drink to make you feel good and look good.
You may be on a personal development or spiritual journey, in which case, I encourage you to stop and listen to yourself. Knowing yourself better makes it easier to make choices. They may not be easy choices though, but they’re likely to be the best for you.
No-one else can tell you what’s best for you about anything in your life. Only you know that. We can support you to make those choices, and live by them. That’s where your support team comes in. For today, let’s just start listening to ourselves better.
If you’d like help listening to yourself better and learning how to make choices for yourself, this new course will help you. Register here for being in our test group starting soon:
Do you struggle to make choices? How do you listen to yourself and make choices? Let me know by leaving a comment.
This year has felt like one big unexpected thing to deal with after another. A huge rollercoaster we didn’t even know was there at the start of the year just came along and grabbed us onto it against our will and we’ve been forced to ride the ups and downs since.
Yet each of us has dealt with it in our own way and we’re here today to tell our stories and look forward to our future.
We may have not felt ready for living the way we have these past months but we’ve done it.
What if we always lived like this? Prepared to expect the unexpected and living life and loving what we have and do each day?
Living life now
Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
I’ve heard some people who’ve loved this year – spending time with their children and doing different things together. Others have found it tough being isolated from friends and family. Many have had to do things in a new way, which they’ve either enjoyed, or not. Each of us has had a different experience.
In our household we’ve had virtually four adults, (youngest is 16 so almost classed in that way), in the same space with two of us working full time and the other two having nothing to do for six months. That was weird! My husband has found that he enjoys working from home, and while he sees a need for the central office he believes that his team will never again work full time together in that office space. They’ve found a different way to work which sounds like it’s more efficient which they wouldn’t have noticed without the shift we’ve had this year.
Personally, I’ve loved having the opportunity this year to help the people I’ve worked with to see new possibilities in their life, and watched as they take the steps to a new horizon they didn’t know existed. I’ve learnt so much about myself, what’s possible and seen new horizons open up for me to. I wasn’t necessarily looking for new horizons, but as I’ve explored different avenues I’ve seen new things I’d love and I’m doing them.
Yet so many people are still living in fear. Fear of change. Fear of not knowing. Fear of death.
If this year has taught us anything, surely it’s that we’ll never know exactly what’s over the horizon? We are all going to die at some stage, so let’s live for today and love the gifts we do have in our life.
As I play a money game this month with the no more boxes movement, it reminds me that each day we have a gift. A gift of the 24 hours ahead of us. Each of us has a choice what we do in that 24 hours – who we connect with, what skills and talents we’ll use in that time, what we’ll eat, what exercise we’ll do. We may choose to impact others in that time, or spend it in isolation. We each have that choice.
Just like my imaginary money I can choose what to do with my time, talents, my personal gifts I’ve been given. There’s nothing to be afraid of in using your gifts for your own enjoyment, or to help others. It’s up to you.
If each of us is ready prepared to expect the unexpected in our daily lives, will we achieve more together? Rather than wasting energy on feeling sorry for ourselves, what if we look forward to the day ahead and choose to live it to the full?
As humans we’ve each been given skills and talents to use. If you’re unsure what’s over the horizon for you, why not spend some time today listening to yourself and hearing what you’d love to do? You know the answer better than anyone, but if you’re out of practice listening in that way this 21 days of Hope experience will help you get started – 5 minutes a day is all it takes to make a start.
Are you ready to expect the unexpected today? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I think we all love a good story. Whether we hear it, watch it or read it, a good story is so compelling we just have to keep going as we can’t wait to hear/see/read the end of it.
When it comes to our own life we are living our own story. But how much do we make up about that story? How much is fact and how much is fiction?
- Do you interpret your friend’s silence as they don’t want to spend time with you, without knowing the real reason for their absence in your life?
- Do you imagine no one will love you if you have to buy a different size of clothes as your body has changed shape recently?
- Do you believe you can’t do anything about your natural state of not getting up in the morning, so stay in bed even longer?
We all interpret things in different ways. Have you ever been an observer with a friend as something happens in their life and you see things in a very different way from the story they’re telling you? Ever had a friend tell you they see things differently from the story you’re telling them?
What’s true for you?
I used to struggle with this word “true” in my life. “What’s true for you?” was something people asked or said and it felt so remote to my brain I couldn’t interpret it for myself.
We all have different learning styles and take information into our brains in different ways. The most comprehensive model I’ve come across and the one I use now when working with clients is the Mercury Model – the book Fish Can’t Climb Trees is a detailed account but brilliant to help each of us understand our learning and communication styles).
When you have the feeling of KNOWING what’s right for you, to me, that’s what I understand as my truth. When you feel off balance, or something is “not quite right”, then it’s probably not true for you.
So when we’re interpreting things around us we automatically make things up about other people, the situation, the circumstances that surround us. We may tell ourselves, “because the economy has crashed, I can’t be held responsible for my business failing”. Or, “my children don’t like me because they spend all their time on their phone with their friends”.
Yes, I’ve made those things up in my life. But they aren’t true! I just intepreted those situations in a way that made me feel better or worse at the time to fit with the story I was creating for myself and believing to be true. I used my imagination, unconsciously to create a story that just wasn’t true.
Can you see a circumstance in your life that you may have interpreted something which may not have been true?
Limiting beliefs have a lot of power
When we’re telling ourselves a story about a situation there is a lot of power coming from the limiting beliefs which are stored in our unconscious mind. We often make up the story to fit the belief that has the strongest pull. For example:
- I’m not good enough anyway, so my business was always going to fail
- I don’t trust myself to do the right thing, so I won’t bother
- Procrastinate and stay stuck in a rut because you think it’s safe to stay there rather than take a step forward
You may not know what your limiting beliefs are, but you may notice you’ve had recurring situations in your life that make you feel you’re going round and round in circles. When I look back at some of the stories I told myself and the people around me I’m embarrassed! I made up all sorts of things to make me feel better rather than take a step out of that story I was in. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I was “happy” to be the victim of the story rather than the hero. Mmm, not great. It felt wrong too. It didn’t feel true, but I perpetuated the story by telling myself things and interpreting situations in ways that supported the story I was imagining.
Listen to yourself and hear the true story
I used to keep myself so busy doing things I didn’t have time to stop and listen. It’s so much easier to not know something so you don’t have to do anything about it isn’t it? 😉 Ha! You see, that’s another story I told myself.
When you know something you can’t un-know it can you? So surely it’s easier to stay in victim mode and others feel sorry for me rather than me taking control of my own life, my own real story and change the ending from what’s currently going to happen?
Whatever you interpret “easy” to mean in your life, I can tell you that in my life story easy was horrid! I was ill, I was tired, I was unhappy, I felt disconnected with everything and everyone around me.
I can’t remember what the tipping point was for me to make changes. All I know is that I did. It got to a point where I’d had enough of being ill, of feeling sorry for myself. That’s when I found listening really helps.
Do you have someone in your life who listens without giving advice or judging you? Not many of us do as we’re human and love to fix things for other people. When I was asked by a friend to train as a Listening Trainer my life changed. I really learnt and understood the power of listening – to others and most importantly to myself. When I allowed myself time to listen I heard that I was unhappy. I heard that there was a different way. I heard and understood I could do things differently. I also heard that I was in control of my own life. No-one or nothing was guiding my story apart from me. I could change my life story ending if I chose to. It was up to me.
The first step when you get to a crossroads in life is to stop isn’t it? Stopping and listening to what’s going on in your head, your life, noticing what your heart is trying to tell you is the first step to hearing what you know deep down to be true for you.
There’s NO quick fix and the next phase of your life journey may not be easy. There may be more roller coasters to ride. However, when you have that inner knowing that you’re being true to yourself and being the real you, there’s so much comfort in that knowledge. Yes the road may have some challenges along the way, even some road blocks. But when you listen to yourself carefully, you’ll know you have all the answers you need to navigate them.
Even getting started to listen to yourself isn’t easy. This 21 day experience of hope is a good starting point if you’d like some simple steps to start experiencing the true story of your life.
Do you use your imagination in your daily life, or do you think that imaginary games are just for children?
When I look back at my childhood I was always using my imagination. I had tea parties with my toys. I played cowboys & indians with my brother and friends in the road I lived. I imagined being a dancer and singer and practiced routines with friends for our performances for our parents for hours and hours and hours.
I’ve no idea when I stopped those activities, but I did. Did you?
I think some people use their imagination more than others as it’s a natural thing for them to do. But what about the rest of us? Why do we fall out of the habit of using our imagination?
My sixteen year old son is having difficulty imagining what to do with his imaginary money each day in the money game we’re playing. It’s interesting because he used to create the most magical imaginary stories when he was younger.
Artists and architects use imagination all the time
Composers, artists, architects, entrepreneurs and some scientists use their imagination all the time. They dream of the things they’re going to create and then set about creating them. Sometimes an artist will only have a sense of what they want to create and yet when they put brush to canvas that sense becomes something real. A scientist will have the result s/he wants to achieve and will work tirelessly to create that result – just think of the lightbulb. 3000 tests before the Edison got the result he’d imagined.
On a course I’ve done this year we played a game called, “and then….”. You may have played it as a child or with your children, or at school. The game is all about creating a story between 2 people each taking it in turns to add more detail as the story/idea moves forward. Everyone who played it had so much fun. My partner and I created this amazing imaginary story. I’m still hoping my partner is going to write it down and use it to create his first children’s book. I’d buy it for sure! Such adventures we had in a very short space of time.
Adventure and fun – all from our imagination?
Yes, we did have adventure and fun in our imagination. Honestly. I’m not making that up. But maybe that’s the point – we’re often told as children NOT to make things up, so we stop. We’re told that “making things up” is a bad thing – we may have told a tale about another child in the playground; something we saw in our community that didn’t feel right.
Personally I don’t remember the cause or even when I stopped imagining or making stories up, but looking back I certainly see now that I moved from making up my own stories to watching others in films and in books. I’ve always been an avid reader and I’m sensing that that’s where I took my imagination – to the books I was reading. I had adventures with those characters. I’ve travelled the world from books. In fact I told my eldest son quite recently that on my lockdown holiday I’d been to the South of France, Cornwall, the Lake District and America all in the space of 7 days! 😉
So why don’t we use our imagination more? If you’ve got any ideas I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Imagination is for grown ups too
We all have an imagination and we can all use it not only to create stories or beautiful art, or a wonderful dinner, or a new business. We can use it to create new ways of doing things. New ways of being ourselves. We don’t have to be stuck – we can use our imagination to see new opportunities or different ways to solve a problem.
When we stop using a part of us we stop being ourselves. Each of us has Imagination, Intellect, Will power, Conscious mind and an unconscious mind, from Five Institute five energies. When we [re] learn to use each of these we become free to be ourselves.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
When we start to imagine different outcomes, scenarios, more ideas are sparked. More options for solutions come into our awareness.
What if you allowed your imagination to create it’s own story for today? What would your day look like? How will you feel at the end of the day? You may feel this is bizarre, but there’s no cost to imagining what you’d love today. No-one can tell you what your imaginary day should be look. It’s yours. Just yours in your imagination.
I wonder what you’ll create today in your imagination. I hope you have a wonderful adventure. I’m off to spend an imaginary £160 🙂
If you’re unsure about how to take the first steps to re-discovering your imagination, the 21 days of Hope series is a good starting point. 5 minutes a day is a great way to start imagining again 🙂
Do you find yourself thinking in black and white? As in this is right and that is wrong? This is good for me and that’s bad?
It’s interesting how in our political and national situations that polarized views have become more prevalent these past few years – Brexit, UK general election, US presidential election. We seem to have become communities of For or Against.
But is that really what you think?
In my own world, “it’s more complicated than that” 😉 I may have strong views about something, but not be too bothered about something else. My family may have strong views about something I’m not particularly interested in. Does that make me a bad person?
Interesting isn’t it! 😉
What I’ve noticed this year when I’ve had more time to listen to myself and learn more about myself, (the more you listen, the more you learn) is that, for me, there’s a whole scale from black to white on everything. Which is why limiting beliefs can hold so much power over us if we don’t take notice them.
We all have limiting beliefs which are stuck in our unconscious mind. These form when we’re very young, usually between 0-4, with more layers being added up to the age of 7. Richard Barrett calls these two stages “Surviving” 0-2 and “Conforming” 3-7 in psychological development. We’ve heard about the impact of neglect and malnutrition on babies, which effects children as they grow. However we’ve all been impacted in some way by our life’s experiences and what we make up about that.
We’re all told things as children that we may or may not believe unconditionally. “You’re great at art”, “you’re stupid”, “you’re a super talented athlete”, “maths and you just don’t go together”. Those things stick! And they’re usually NOT TRUE! But those thoughts are planted in our unconscious mind and that’s what feeds our conscious mind if we don’t take charge.
So when our parents or grandparents told us things as children, it’s likely we hold similar beliefs – unconsciously. As we get older we may challenge those perceptions our parents had. We may not, but we each have a choice in every situation. Each of us is a unique person and what someone else believes to be true may be for them. But is it for you?
Many people I know spend years trying to get rid of their limiting beliefs. I’m not sure I was aware of mine until these past few years. Really aware of how they held me back and what I made up in my head about situations.
“It’s clearly not meant to be if that’s happened to me”
“I couldn’t do anything about that – it was out of my control”
“I’m not good enough anyway, so that’s why that’s happened”
When something happens out of your control do you excuse it? Or make up a story as to why it’s happened? That’s just your limiting beliefs making things up or helping you make sense of things. Does it help? Probably not. In my experience, it’s reinforced the idea that the situation was out of my control, so it’s OK. What I failed to learn was that I had the ability to create things to change my own circumstances.
Black and white thinking puts things in boxes
What I’ve learnt from Nick and Runa at the No More Boxes movement is that we very easily put things in boxes and think that makes it OK. We label things. “Essex girls are…”, “Northerners are…”, “Rich people are…”, “Poor people are…” We do! All of us do it. By putting things in boxes it feels like we’re making things simpler in our lives, and who doesn’t want a simpler life?
But when we put others in boxes it’s likely we’re in our own box/es too. Our limiting beliefs are creating havoc in a way that they hold the power over us. Whatever we make up about things we do, see, want are coming from the base of those limiting beliefs holding the power over us.
If we let them.
There’s another way though. Listening is the starting point, in my opinion. Others may suggest a different starting point for you. For me, if you’re not listening to yourself you’re not in control. I’d spent years blaming others, the economy, the “situation”, about things in my life. I felt stuck, trapped and couldn’t see any way out of the mess that was my life at the time. I was unwell a lot of the time as well very unhappy. When I started listening my life started to change.
Listening better shows what’s true for you
When you start listening to yourself you get to know yourself more. In a recent conversation at the Conscious Cafe I stated,
The more I’ve listened and understood my wholeness and what makes me who I am the more fulfilled I feel.
It was an insight I’d not noticed before, but it had a huge impact on those I was chatting to about happiness and fulfilment.
When you listen to yourself you get to know what’s right for you in your life. It stops mattering what others think or do because you know who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. For me I use the language of life purpose, but you may have different words you use to describe what’s important to you in your life.
- When you listen to your body does it tell you to “drink cranberry juice every morning before anything else”? Or do you notice that there’s something not quite right today and you think cranberry juice will help ease that?
- When you listen to what you notice in your work, what do you hear? “You must get that xyz system as it’s fantastic and currently on offer”. Or do you notice that you need to get a good system in place to help you communicate better with your customers?
It’s not black and white is it? What you hear isn’t always clear. What you notice may be a marginal discomfort in your left toe. It could be for any number of reasons, so it’s not clear. It’s not black and white what’s caused the discomfort. There may be many ways to ease it too (usually ignoring it is the best one I’ve found as when we focus on it we’re putting energy into thinking our toe hurts).
When you listen more you start to hear more things. Just like when you go for a walk with no phone, no earphones and just walk. What do you hear? The world often opens up as we listen more carefully. Our world isn’t black and white. There are many colours and shades and hues. So I encourage you to start listening more and see what you hear.
This 21 days of Hope series helps you start listening more, if you’d like some help with this.
What would you spend a gift of £20 on? This was my dilemma yesterday on day 2 of the Money Game. This game is imaginary, but still, you have to imagine what you’d spend that £20 on TODAY. You can’t save it, or put it towards something else. You have to imagine to spend it.
I had no idea it would be so hard to choose on day 2 of this 30 day game! Would I spend it on me. Treat myself as this money was a gift. Would I treat the house or someone else?
On day 1 I was really clear that my imaginary £10 (the money doubles every day), was a gift for me to treat myself. So why was day 2 so hard? And yes, I’m wondering how challenging the next 28 days are going to be if I’m finding it difficult to choose on day 2! Or does it get easier the more money you have? I wonder.
When I shared my thoughts with the others playing the game with the No More Boxes Movement, founder Nick Haines reminded me that I’m a natural nurturer. My instinct is to support others before I support myself, so he wasn’t surprised that I was having this dilemma.
I eventually decided to buy a lovely big candle which sort of touches both things I wanted to achieve – treat myself, but also have something for the house and others to share. I will probably get the most enjoyment from this beautiful lightly scented candle, but my family will also benefit.
What I’m wondering is, do I perceive smaller amounts of money to have more impact on my daily life and those of the people I live with? When I’m making business decisions with much larger amounts of money I’ve always found that easy.
Ahh, as I write I’m thinking – “I was clear about the end result for my business”. Am I always clear about what I’m spending £10 or £20 on? Those sums of money are usually assigned to food and petrol. Or an entry fee for one son’s sporting event. But every £10 or £20 spent adds up to quite a bit doesn’t it? So, extrapolating that a bit – I’m clear about feeding my family. I know I need to put petrol in the car so we can visit mother in law or meet a friend for a walk.
So as I struggled yesterday, I was struggling because I wasn’t clear about the end result I wanted to create/impact with the money I had to spend.
So, I go back to my earlier question – what would YOU spend £20 on if I gave that to you today as a gift to do what you wanted with?
You can still join the Money Game if you’d like to explore what happens when you’re gifted imaginary money every day: https://www.nomoreboxesmovement.com/themoneybox
The Money Box Game is designed to release you from negative associations and beliefs around wealth and money. How much we should or shouldn’t have.
Day 1 – http://www.tracey-jane.com/how-big-is-your-money-box/