Category Archives: Sharing your Story

Willingness

Many years ago, I bought a set of AngelⓇ Cards and I keep them on my desk. I select one each day for inspiration. Often the cards coincide with my current experience or bring to light things that I’ve purposely been avoiding.

Approach life with an open mind and a how-can-we-make-it-work attitude. Use your will skilfully to enhance the creative process rather than inhibit it.

 

On Saturday, I picked card Willingness, and I laughed to myself because I was thinking how I’ve mastered willingness 🙂 It was only after reflecting on the card for sometime, I realised that the frustrations that I had been experiencing the week before, were all down to my UNwillingness to co-operate and instead, I wanted to have my own way.

I have been inhibiting the creative process, I’ve taken the attitude: do it my way or I don’t want to play anymore. This is an ancient position for me and somehow, I end up there without knowing that I’d even picked that path. I wake up one day and realise that I’m acting like a willful brat.

See, willful & willingness, maybe close cousins, but not they’re not the same. I think my willfulness comes from the idea that if I don’t hold on really tight to what I want, someone is going to rip it away from me and then, I’ll have nothing. I won’t have enough or be enough. I hold on so tight to my position out of massive anxiety.

The antidote to willfulness is willingness. I don’t have to let go, I just need to become willing to accept something different. Willingness is a very soft, very gentle quality. It doesn’t require any action, it only asks for a preparedness to (in the future) begin opening up.

It’s like how a dandelion becomes willing to share its florets in order to spread life, but that is all it does. The wind does the rest.

Image Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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Advice

A few days ago, I read an article titled The Worst & Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten and it got me thinking about the advice I’ve received over the years. Susannah writes specifically about advice relating to work. I’m thinking about all kinds of advice I’ve received and this is the conclusion that I am coming to:

1) Most often, I am not looking for or asking for advice. Mostly what I want is to be seen, heard and acknowledged. I want someone to say: “Yes, I see that you  feel like that” or “Wow, that really is a difficult problem to solve” or “Oh, would you like a hug?”

2) The reason that I share my challenges and problems is because putting things out of my head into the air (or onto this blog) is how I work it out. I need to say things or write things to know how it feels. If I need to convince someone (read: myself) that I’ve come to the ‘best’ decision, I might need to go over the same ground a few times, until I am sure that I understand how I feel and what the possible reactions will be.

Not everyone does this. Some people work everything out in their heads and then put it out to the world. That doesn’t make me wrong, it makes me, me.

3) About 2 weeks ago I wrote about believing in myself to have the best answers for me, in a post titled Believe. I wrote about how often I take other peoples advice over my own, because of my generally feelings of unworthiness. The crux is that because we can’t possibly know the difference between 2 or 3 outcomes ahead of time, we can’t possibly know that one is better than another, the best that we can hope for is a decision that we can live with. My bottom line is that I have God given wisdom inside of me (Gut Feeling) and the better I get at acting on it, the stronger those feelings get.

4) Sometimes the problems in my life get me so down, and I really would love a knight in shining armor to come in and save me. No, actually this feeling is with me most of the time, and sometimes I surrender to its omnipotent pull. In these times, I look out into the world for other peoples strength, to have the answers for me. I want them to have advice for me and the irony is that in these times, I usually don’t like what they offer, because mostly it requires that I stop being a victim 😦

This is the wounded child in me, the part that needs to be healed, and that is work for a lifetime.

5) Baz Luhrmann gives some great advice on advice:

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth.

6) The best advice for me is my own. As I recovery in the 12 Step program, I become more aware of my preferences, I get to know myself. I take responsibility for my choices and decisions. I do the best that I can, and I learn to live with it, because I love myself.

I also learn to love others, which means keeping my advice to myself, unless I am asked for it. I learn to see, hear & acknowledge others and I give them space to work out their problems while I listen respectfully.

Image Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Believe

Yesterday I tweeted the following (via TwitLonger):

Believe in yourself. It’s insane not too. Most times it’s not possible to test an alternate outcome, so you can never really know if you were right or wrong. Or if someone else was right or wrong. So you might as well do what you think is best and be willing to accept the consequences, good or bad.

Because it was a tweet, I ran out of space to explain fully the moment of clarity that came over me. I was discussing a despicable client with my friend and he was urging me to keep things sweet, to get as much out of the deal as I could. I was urging me to not join in the devaluing of my work and to tell the client to move on. It was one of those situations where I would normally go with my friend’s advice, because it must be the better thing to do, even though it was contrary to how I was feeling & thinking.

I suddenly saw how often I defer decisions about my life to other people, and then feel bad and complain that things didn’t happen as I wanted them to. The reality is that the others may be right, maybe they’re wrong. Maybe things would work out better if I did what my gut says to be right or maybe not. Since we have no way (most of the time) to test two outcomes, we have no way of knowing if one action is better than another.

What I have is a responsibility to myself to do the thing that is right for me, right now. Even if I don’t believe in myself, maybe I can make an exception for my gut and just believe in that. My gut contains infinite wisdom and is with me all the time, sharing in my reality and the outcomes of my actions. The more I believe in myself (my gut), the more my life will be an experience I want to live in.

So I told my client that I wasn’t going to not going to discount my work any more, that I had no control over whether he did the right thing or not, and I’ve made peace with the fact that I am not going to get paid. I’m actually feeling Happy 🙂

Mind My Body

Ty Wilson - Female Abstract Nude

Last night I was reading a book about how our moods actually alter the state of our cells. How, more than any other factor, being happy or sad, increases our chances of health or disease. It occurs to me that if you have grown up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional environment, you have a better chance of feeling unhappy, and a harder job of not feeling that way.

I have become so used to living on the edge of my seat (with adrenaline pumping through my veins) or in fear of what is going to happen next or in pain from the latest abandonment, that my body doesn’t seem to care that my chaotic childhood isn’t my currently reality. Even though I have made wholesale changes in every area of my life and I am applying my steps to my daily life, I feel a little bit low on lust for life, and am generally quite miserable at the moment. I have just recovered from an ear-throat infection.

I get the sense that my body is not supporting my new found pockets of serenity and my great progress in the 12 Step Program. Even when I have good news on the work front, with great opportunities arising, I tend to revert to worrying (which I’m very good at).

Seth Godin put’s it in plain English:

Worrying is not a useful output. Worrying doesn’t change outcomes. Worrying ruins your day. Worrying distracts you from the work at hand. You may have fooled yourself into thinking that it’s useful or unavoidable, but it’s not. Now you’ve got one more thing to worry about.

via Seth’s Blog: When is it okay to start worrying?

I think that the hopeful answer to this, is to be vigilantly aware of my thoughts, to adjust the ones that don’t support my happy, abundant life and to step up looking after my body with good food, sufficient sleep and exercise. Maybe it is time to spend as much time, rehabilitating my body, as I have spent on my mind and moods.

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Beginnings

On Monday, I started working with a new company, that is going to take up most of my time. In the last two days, I have been getting to know the ins and outs of the business. I am so keen to show off my best side (read: people please) that I have completely abandoned all that is good for me.

I’ve realised through this process, that Beginnings are a scary thing for me.  Meeting people for the first time gets my heart beating fast and my palms go clammy. Starting a new job makes me feel so overwhelmed that I actually feel sick to my stomach.  Now I can add to the list, writing my first post makes me so itchy & scratchy, that I am unbearable to be around all day.

I know that this is a throwback reaction to my childhood, when I constantly lived in fear of being ‘found out’ or judge to be a fake/loser/worthless human. I prayed long and hard for my father to behave (read: drink) like a normal person so as not to unleash the shame on me, whenever a new friend came to play.

Now that I have grown up, I need to somehow manage that throwback feeling and learn to live regardless of how I feel.  Beginnings are wonderful things, full of hope, promise and adventure. A blog that I read regularly, zenhabits posted this:

‘Smile, breathe and go slowly.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I believe that this is marvellous advice on approaching any Beginning. How much would a new acquaintance appreciate a smile from me? How much better would spring or autumn be, taken in slowly, with time to enjoy the colours and fragrances?

As for breathing: I think that breathing would be advisable whether it’s beginning, ending or somewhere in between.

Stories I Tell Myself

I did it today, I told myself a story. I think that I do it everyday, but often I don’t notice.

I tell wealth limiting stories – they perfectly match my reality. I tell myself stories of rejection, abandonment & loathing. I tell myself stories of misery, poverty & calamity. I tell stories about living under a bridge, of being alone and having nothing. I tell stories that end, as they would, if I was worthless and had nothing to offer the world. Continue reading

Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011

I didn’t know the man personally, but I connected with him through my experiences with the products he inspired & conceived. His devices were designed with me in mind and I was the centre around which they revolved. I wonder if someone will pick up that baton. I hope so.

I am saddened by his passing, in a way that I don’t understand. The world is a slightly less bright place today.

Rest In Peace, Steve Jobs. May your vision continue in those you touched.

You can read his Stanford Commencement of 2005 speech here or watch it here.

Written on my MacBook Pro