No Full Stops

Musings on life, learning and soul searching…

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.

 

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.

 

 

Finding Fear 21 November 2011

Filed under: Creating Love,Writing Life — Rachael @ 9:45 am
Tags: , , , ,

I was recently asked what my greatest fear is. Simple question that should have elicited a simple response, however I found that I went completely blank. This was somewhat disconcerting to me as I do not perceive myself as a fearless person, and would be more inclined to describe myself a little on the cautious side.  So what is it that I fear? I was so stumped at this question that I was forced to go back to my much younger years to get any kind of answer. And from my memory archives came a rich back catalog of fear.

Much of my past self fear has been seen and conquered and therefore no longer relevant in the fear category. It seems that fears faced, or even thrust upon us as a realisation of our projected worst case scenarios, are an effective antidote. And acknowledging all the past fear that I am no longer defined by allowed me to realign my perception of self and appreciate more fully who I had become. But I did find a few remnant fears that I was still able to identify with, even though they had been warped by time.

I realised that I had spent most of my life under the control of a fear that people wouldn’t like me, or even love me. This resulted in much of my life so far spent providing an entertaining performance of myself. I perceived what it was that made people laugh, made them feel good, made them want to be around me and even made them want to be like me. That was how I shaped who I was. Until I was left watching the performance along with everyone else, with no connection to who I really was. Ironically, it also meant that the people who loved me had no real connection to who I really was either.

Of course, for all the performance, it was largely informed by the values of the person I would always be, so that was all I had to go by when I decided to put fear aside and live as the person I was, and wanted to be. My life then began to grow out of my values. They informed my choices, my activities and the people I wanted to be around. This shift began a long and ongoing period of recreation and redefining how I would be in the world.

I did lose friends (and lovers), and I did find that not everyone would or could love me. But I no longer cared enough to give it any fear. The people who now see me, see the real me, all of it. That attracts people that resonate with my values and repels people who do not. It’s a pretty perfect equation to be honest. So I no longer fear that people won’t love me, I just trust that some will love me on my terms and the rest will either look to themselves or some other fearful person to make them feel good.

So my old fear that people won’t love me was set aside by my own love. The cure of the fear was not in proving it a baseless fear, that of course people will love me. Doing that only perpetuated it for many years. It was in overcoming the fear that I as a person was not lovable. And in overcoming that, the fear just doesn’t matter anymore.

 

The Value of Love Lost 10 November 2011

Filed under: Creating Love,Writing Life — Rachael @ 5:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I broke up with the guy I’ve been seeing today. It wasn’t a particularly long relationship, perhaps four months. But I evolved in ways that I haven’t previously been able to, or required to, in the past. This came about largely due to where I have been in my own head space and also partly because of who he is.

The biggest difference for me in this relationship was that I was able to love unconditionally. And by unconditionally I mean that my love required nothing, it just was. It wasn’t dependent on circumstances, his way of being or my expectations of how another person should be. I just loved him for what he was, and I still do.

I was also able to love largely without any attachment to him, our relationship or the circumstances. In hindsight, I may well have known that our moments together would be relatively fleeting, thereby subconsciously luxuriating in every precious moment as it was experienced. The power of channelling all my energy in the present with another, rather than rehashing the past or projecting into the future was experientially intoxicating.

But in time, in our own ways, the present moment began to be experienced in a way that was stifling the connection. The very same magic ingredient that let us each be exactly who we were and maintain our independent free spirits, also showed us our differences. I’m still not sure those differences were deal breakers in particular, but it was clear that it was no longer enough to just freely be, and trust that love would flourish without contrived intervention.

What we didn’t have naturally was an intimate understanding of the other. I certainly held great love, passion, respect and appreciation for him, but very little understanding of his inner workings. This I had consciously acknowledged along the way and just peacefully let it go. And I take a fairly confident guess in saying he really didn’t understand the spectrum of me in great depth.

Where it became clear that it was the end of the road romantically for us was in the value placed on mutual understanding. I personally am a communicator, with a desire to understand and be understood by my partner. He, on the other hand, admitted that whether he is understood or not is neither here nor there. And so we found a misaligned value. One that would be crucial in a healthy and happy relationship for our two very different expressions of self.

So, we sat on the grass discussing our feelings and our needs, ironically the first time we had done so, with quiet tears slowing slipping slowly down each of our faces, unchecked and uncomforted. I felt completely at peace with the decision, with a clear mind. Yet none of that eased the weight of my sad and heavy heart.

Once a lover and now a friend, I said goodbye to the delicious thought of taking that unpredictable journey of love with this one unique man. I have gained much in the time we spent together, not least of all an additional core value to add to my treasured cache – understanding.


 

 
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