No Full Stops

Musings on life, learning and soul searching…

The who, the how and the why 12 April 2012

Every so often I wake up amongst my full and sometimes frantic life wondering what on earth I am doing and how I came to be doing all this stuff. This is not to say that I am discontented in any way, but it does indicate that I have lost a level of connection and intention with myself, my path and perhaps even my purpose. It is both my belief and my experience that an awareness and acknowledgement of these three aspects of my life are key to my ongoing happiness. For me they form the who, the how and the why.

There was a time not so long ago that I didn’t even know who I was. I was just a person doing what was expected of me and what the people around me were doing. I was basically doing what I thought I needed to do in order to fit in and be happy. None of it actually made for a truly happy life and much of it took me further away from myself than I care to remember. It wasn’t until I really tuned in to what made me, and me alone, feel good about myself and about my life that I started to get to know myself. Through this continuing exploration I have made a firm connection with who I am. And I continue to evolve.

Finding my path was a natural progression of knowing myself. Once I knew who I was, it became pretty easy to see if what I was actually doing was in alignment with that. And many things were not. I made difficult decisions to move on from from certain activities and people. I began to seek out things to do, whether they be social, work or otherwise, that reflected the person that I was and the life I wanted to experience. All of this meant letting go of the known world of expectation and stepping into the unknown world of possibility. I didn’t and don’t always get it right, but I always learn something about me and my path in the process. And I continue to evolve.

Understanding my purpose is probably the most elusive for me. It’s reminiscent of the big and indefinable, “Why are we here?” But I feel it is absolutely critical to have some kind of an understanding of our own personal, “Why am I here and what do I have to offer?”  I’m starting to think that this aspect actually underlies the who and the how of us all, whether we are aware of it or not. I mean, something is motivating my vision of who I want to be and what I want to be doing with my life, and it is something bigger than  personal desire and reward. It is fundamental to my happiness in just being. And with this awareness… I continue to evolve.

So I wake up to the reality and realise that even when I am living my best life, it is in constant evolution. The who, the how and the why will never stay still enough for me to grab a hold of it once and for all. You just can’t hit pause on life in order to take a comfort break. Yet this is exactly what I have attempted to do when I feel lost in the frenzy of my own doing-ness. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve lost myself, my path or my purpose… It often just means that I have stopped paying attention. I get carried away with all the doing that makes up my life and forget to check in on how I am being in relation to the who, the how and the why.

So I know that I must maintain a constant connection with the who, the how and the why. I know that I must apply intention to how I am being within these three aspects of my life. And I know that I will never have a definitive answer to any of it. And I continue to evolve.

 

Advertisements
 

No Regrets 3 February 2012

You know why I loathe decisions? Because to make one sets you off on one path never knowing what the other may have held. I seem to have this deep seated fear that I will miss out on something, so to make a life choice of some description is agonising, because I want to have it all. I don’t want to have regrets.

This has manifested in my life as opportunity taking. One comes along and I cannot resist taking it up, lest I miss something amazing. Sounds great doesn’t it? No regrets and all that. But what happens is my life becomes crowded and complicated, always busy and barely present. I end up with a wonderfully interesting and stimulating experience high on quantity and low on quality. My fear of missing out is realised. But I’m not missing out on one opportunity, I’m missing out on everything in my frantic state of doing-ness.

So I decide to simplify. First I get clear on what my values are and how I want to experience my life. Then I look at all aspects and inclusions of my life: career, relationships, social life, material needs, learning opportunities and me-time. These are all held accountable to one simple question. Does this serve me? It is a simple qualifier that determines whether this activity, person or experience is bringing me closer to my vision for myself or not. Then I take a deep breath and do what I know I have to do.

Life becomes simpler and I become more present within it. My experiences become more meaningful and I feel somehow lighter. But decisions and choices come along everyday and I still find it challenging. Particularly when one opportunity will serve my vision for myself, but I don’t feel the timing or the circumstances are quite right. I pass it up feeling sick to my stomach, tortured with the question of, ‘Am I copping out or making a conscious choice?’ Is this just finding a way of rationalising the low road because the high road is too hard?

But in making my choice, I know I have actually taken a high road, one of the many available. My rational mind can convince me of anything so it is not a trustworthy source of information in this situation. I know I have made the right choice because I feel lighter, I feel inspired and I feel free. I know that while the other paths and choices will not be mine at this time, the one that I experience is right for me now because it feels good. So simple. No regrets.

What makes up your experience of your life? Is it serving you? What regrets do you wish to avoid? Check out this awesome blog post by Bronnie Ware on the top five deathbed regrets:

Regrets of the Dying

I choose to have none of these as my own.

 

Choosing Sobriety 9 January 2012

Genre: Creative Non-fiction

In the past I used alcohol to escape my feelings, numb my mind and boost social confidence. The decision to release it as a coping mechanism was terrifying. Here is my story of making that decision.

Click here to read the story: Unsocially Sober

Now many months later, I actively choose to experience and feel life in the fullest way possible, meaning alcohol no longer plays a part.

 

Feasting on All That I Am 7 January 2012

Have you ever really embraced all that you are? And I mean all of it, no censoring, no compromise and without a thought to anything or anyone outside of you. I know this is something I had never done, or even really thought was possible, let alone something  I wanted or needed to do. Yet I have tasted this particular type of freedom very recently and I am now feasting from its abundant supply. The sad thing is that I never even knew how starved and emaciated  I was before.

All of my life I have played up or down different aspects of myself in order to just fit and be loved. And I have played with this formula many times without knowing it, changing and growing in different directions, with different people and circumstances gravitating around me. Don’t get me wrong… I have never faked anything… But I just worked with the ingredients of me instead of the entire recipe.

What I have come to understand now though, is that whatever I am… I get. So when I play small for others or even try to play up certain parts to be bigger than they are, all I get is a set of reflective people and events that are eventually and inevitably unsatisfying. This then enslaves me to what some people refer to as the human drama, where I feel things are happening to me, instead of created by me.

So why not be all that I am? I think it’s because this is the most frightening thing any of us face in the human experience, until of course you do it. Something finally broke inside of me and I could no longer contain any part of me, or even dilute it for popular consumption. I just didn’t care anymore. I was underfed and spent. But as all of me began to express, and just be… my spirit became nourished and began to re-energise.

As I regain my essential self, I feel full to bursting, with morsels of myself spilling out into the world. People seem to sense this and join me with appreciation at the table of myself. I don’t hang around waiting for invitations anymore, I’m the main event of my own life. Seems crazy that it was ever any other way.

In the words of Maryanne Williamson and used by Nelson Mandela in his inauguration speech:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it’s in everyone. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

My Divine Resolution 30 December 2011

Genre: Poetry

 

My Divine Resolution

I am love
I make choices and decisions from love, not fear
I honour myself
I honour all others
I love and accept all that I am
I give others the freedom to be all that they are
I do not impose myself, my needs or my expectations on others
Nor do I allow others to impose theirs upon me
I do not assume ownership of any other being
And I do not allow any other to possess any part of me
I commune peacefully and joyfully with all around me
I give love freely and without condition
I receive love openly and with gratitude
I listen, I learn and I grow
I know that at all times all is well
I live my truth
I know that I am a spiritual being having a human experience
I am a soul
I am one with God.

Please feel free to download this decorated and printable version for your own use:

Click here to open: My Divine Resolution

 

Stop Bringing Me Down 16 December 2011

I was reading a blog this morning titled “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself”. It is a wonderful little list of insights that I have, for the most part, applied in my own life. Mostly. Have a read later via the link below and see how many you have got sorted and how many you should probably take a closer look at.

One that really stands out to me as a recurring lesson from my past is number 19:

“Stop letting others bring you down… Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.”

This particular habit of adapting and altering my expression of self has taken many forms over the years, all of them self destructive and ultimately ineffective.

Many times this has involved a complete compromise of being my best self. It has included a variety of dangerous behaviours, law breaking, unhealthy lifestyle habits, gossiping and basically just going with the flow of the group I was trying to fit into. And sure, I fit into those groups perfectly, at the expense of no longer fitting into myself. The reason this is so damaging to the self is that I stop liking myself and in particular because this has occurred largely at a subconscious level. Before I know it, I have become a stranger to myself, lost and wondering who I am and why I just never seem to be happy. I question the meaning of life, because I have lost my natural connection with it.

Ironically, during these times I often believe that the only happiness I feel occurs at the time that I am engaging in the very things that are taking me away from myself. I suppose this is because these are the times that I receive love and approval from the people I have surrounded myself with. They feel great that someone is accepting and reflecting who they are choosing to be, affirming that their expression of self is valid and right. Yet this all happens at the expense of my own expression of self and who I am choosing to be by default. This is exactly when I need to ask, ‘Do I love and approve of myself right now?’ This is how I can see that I am not honouring  my self and hopefully raise the strength to make a different choice.

Making a different choice, one that is true and authentic to my best self, often is an unpopular one. The people around me, assuming to know me better than I do, will often react unfavourably to a different me. They don’t seem to understand that the me they ‘know’ is a me that thought love and acceptance came from the outside. A lot of the time this is because they are also receiving their love and acceptance from the outside, in part through my friendship and compliance. If I can remember this, it allows me to move along my own path with strength and compassion towards any unfavourable reactions. And sometimes it means letting go of people or situations that just don’t fit with who I want to be.

I really don’t think that the changing tides of people and situations in my life is in any way a bad thing. In fact, I truly believe is a good and positive result of the changing nature of myself. It is one of life’s few guarantees… That as I change, the world around me changes, in both big and small ways. And when I think back to who I was being twenty years ago, ten years ago and even last year, I am grateful for all that has changed. It seems that as time goes by I get closer to my best self. And if I find I moving away from that, I just stop and observe, then make a different choice.

It is so easy to get caught up in the trillions of expressions of self in the world. But the only one worth losing and finding yourself in… is your own. Honour thyself.

 

Read 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself here.

 

 

The Measure of Success 29 November 2011

Filed under: Conscious Choices,Writing Life — Rachael @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was interviewed today by a career coach and good friend exploring the notion of doing what you love. In particular, the transitional period of change required to align your daily work to your idea of the life you want to lead. Apparently I may have ideas to share that might be useful for others wanting to make changes in their own life. I was careful to point out that whilst I had certainly had changed my career path, it had not yet resulted in any great successes. Or had it?

Maybe my idea of success is what needs to change, before negotiating any personal change. Perhaps that is the first step. What does success look like. For me, it is certainly not a stable and predictable job, or one of high status or power. It is not the acquisition of unlimited money. And it is not the commitment to excel within a single career path. All these things are outcomes based, and often by the time the outcome is achieved, the desire for it has shifted.

As I move along any career path my idea of what I love to do will change, with both my growing experience and opportunities that arise, so to lock into any one outcome is self limiting at best. This static outcome will prevent me from assessing pathways and new directions against what is is I really want to be doing with my life. Instead, what I prefer to focus on is a vision for what I want to be doing, in the knowledge that the vision will grow and shift as I do.

A further challenge is then deciding on which opportunities to take up, and which to pass up. If I am focused on a particular outcome, I will always choose to do what I think will best serve that outcome. Whereas if I am focused on a vision of the life I want to lead, I will make my choices based on what it is that I really want to do. For me, this has given me the courage to try new paths that serve my vision, and also the strength to turn down opportunities that will detract form my purpose.

So coming back to success. How can it be measured if not by defined outcomes? Is it too outrageous to suggest that doing what you love alone is success enough? Perhaps for some. Yet spending every day doing something that is meaningful to me provides me with  a sense of personal power and purpose. It doesn’t need to be measured against traditional ideas of success because it has very little to to with anything external to me. It resides within me. Living my life in the manner I choose.

The funny thing is that I have no doubt that my unconventional idea of success will eventuate in more traditional forms of success, in time. That is how career paths tend to go. As I give it my energy and focus, I will make small achievements, and maybe even some larger ones. My path will lead to further personal development and open up new opportunities. All I have to do is align myself on a path that is directed towards my vision of the work I want to do.

I put this to you… Why on earth can’t you do what you would like to do? You are doing something already, whether you like it or not. Why not just point yourself towards a vision that serves you as opposed to a societally imposed idea of success. At the core of it all, your success is only ever your own.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: