To be comfortable with being alone is really a gift to yourself. I enjoyed this article and I hope you do too!
It’s Thursday night at 9 pm. I was “supposed” to have something posted for you all to read this morning. I was also “supposed” to have something posted for you on Tuesday morning. Neither of those things happened.
Why? Well, I could tell you that my family and I have been sick. That IS true. I could also tell you that I have been crazy busy. That……not so true. I mean, I have been busy; but not so busy that I couldn’t have had things prepared for you to read.
The last couple of weeks have been really productive for me. I participated in a seminar on how to create the life I want; I completed Jack Canfield’s 10-day online success series; I had blog articles set to post ahead of time; I interviewed an amazing young woman and wrote an article about her; I am getting ducks in a row that I didn’t even know I had! And then I got sick. My allergies flared up after doing some work in a home that I was helping to clean and organize. Nothing too serious but annoying enough to make me feel drained.
Suddenly it was like I didn’t have the energy or desire to do anything. I know, from reflecting upon my past, that this tends to be a pattern of mine. It’s almost as if I am afraid that the next step I take is really going to be life changing-so I do nothing. Makes perfect sense huh?
I have done this a lot. I’m going to be honest-I just changed that last sentence because originally I wrote ‘I do this a lot.’ I am working on changing my perspective on things and using self-supporting words rather than self-defeating ones. I need to recognize the fact that I have done this, a lot, but I am not going to let it define me by saying I DO this a lot. Sorry for going slightly off-topic there.
I put things off all the time and it’s not just what you would expect: the bills, of course (who pays them as soon as you get them?!), doing the dishes, folding laundry, but things I also ENJOY doing! Watching the latest season of Glee on Netflix-I want to see it so badly but am putting it off because I know I won’t want to stop watching until it’s over (what is wrong with me??), creating my dream board, reading a book, and writing for my blog are all things I am currently procrastinating about. I want to do these things, so why am I NOT doing them???
I believe a large portion of this comes from a lack of structure in my life as well as my being prone to distraction…..hold on, I have to check my 7 Facebook notifications……..
Okay, I’m back. Structure, or lack thereof, that’s where I left off. In my adult life, I have always worked, been a mother, or worked AND been a mother. I was always extremely busy and constantly on the go. Two years ago, I had to get done my job for personal reasons. I loved my job working in the local veterinary clinic. I was good at my job. I felt productive and like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, you know-whatever that is. Not having a job outside of the home was an instant financial kick in the pants but I really think it was what needed to happen.
My divorce was less than 6 months old and my children needed me. I had the ability to spend a lot more time with them and that would prove to be the best thing for us all. The following two years would hold a lot of heartache, unbeknownst to us at the time. My father was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). My family relations were strained due to the divorce and the choice I made to stand up for myself, find consciousness, and discover love again. Family relations went from strained to non-existent as more and more of my family peeled away from me and chose to stand with my ex-husband; a choice that, to this day, I can’t wrap my mind around. Court dates over custody and visitation battles lasted for over a year. My father’s health rapidly declined and the family drama that surrounded everything finally culminated in his death and my being disowned by most of my family.
It was all SO much that I don’t know how I would have kept a job if HAD one.
As I write this, it has been about 6 months since I committed to focusing on my future, my little family’s future, and stopped letting the negativity eat me alive. More on that in a future post!
Here I am now, forging a writing career and working from home for the first time. The kids are in school all day, so like I said, it’s not that I don’t have time to write-I’m lacking a routine. Sure, I’ve tried writing down different schedules but I think my expectations were too high for starting out. There’s no way I am going to get out of bed at 5 am to work out. People do. That’s great! Not me. I know this about myself so why did I even think that would be a good start to my routine? All it did was set me up for failure and if I didn’t get the day started just the way I wanted, well what a great excuse to let everything else slide! Then at the end of the day, nothing I wanted to get done is actually done and I have even more added to my To-Do List!
So when does “I’ll get to it tomorrow” become “I did it today”? For me, it’s when I can’t stand seeing the piles of work on my desk, the dishes all over the counter, the laundry falling out of the basket onto the floor, enough dog hair in the corners to make a NEW dog, and I become Super Frustrated Mom. For the record, she’s NOT cool. She’s not the mom I would like to be and certainly not how I want my children to remember their childhood.
Super Frustrated Mom goes through the house on a rampage; cleaning and throwing away things like crazy. Once that is done, then I can sit at my desk, create a schedule, and feel like I can accomplish something. Just a couple of problems, the house NEVER stays clean and that schedule-what a waste of my time. What I am really struggling to find is some semblance of balance between the things I want to do and the things I have to do, and enjoying them equally as much. Equilibrium, if you will. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for?
I tell myself I work well under pressure, that’s why I put things off. It’s true, I do have a history of good outcomes under pressure, but at what cost? As I said earlier, letting things pile up causes me great frustration, anxiety, and loss of patience. So I going to tell myself something new!
I’ve been participating in a 21-day meditation for “Manifesting True Success” and what I have learned is that success starts within. It starts with what we tell ourselves and what we believe to be true about ourselves. If I believe that I can’t put together a routine and follow it consistently, guess what? I won’t. But if I love myself enough to be gentle and make small changes that add up over time, I will be more likely to truly succeed. I created this handy ‘Law of Intention’ graphic because I am a visual person and I like to have things pinned up around me for motivation. This ‘Law’ is something I have also learned in the meditation course.
My intention is to create a more fulfilling and successful life and the choices I make based on that intention will bring my goals to fruition. I just have to believe it and take action.
- I am going to change the way I talk about myself, and what I am capable of, to myself and others.
- I am going to set goals and review them often.
- I will make sure that all my choices line up with my desired outcome.
- I am going to create a schedule that is reasonable, flexible, and works for me.
- I am going to just do it. Whatever “it” is that I am avoiding doing.
- I am going to stop buying into my fear of success.
- I am going to take control of my life and my choices.
Here is the simple schedule I came up with for myself. Daily Schedule It is truly nothing special, but I like it. I can clearly see how the day is broken down and just when I will have time for the things I want to do after I have marked down the things I have to do. I will sit down on Sunday nights and fill in the days according to what I have marked on my calendar. I really feel like this is going to help bring a sense of stability to my life.
The other thing I am going to do is start treating my writing like a job, because it IS. It is far too easy to stay in my jammies all day and be relatively unproductive. I want to be taken seriously, so I have to take ME seriously. I am going to set office hours for myself and stick to it. I am even going to dress professionally. Most importantly, I am going to stick with it because these choices will help me build the life I want.
There it is. I have made a public declaration; called myself out on the internet. Not many people are willing to do that. There’s no going back and I could not be more excited to see what the future holds!
Have you ever read a book more than once? I have just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for the second time and I plan to read it AGAIN! Only next time I will underline the passages that really speak to my soul. Have you noticed that reading something at different times in your life can affect you in different ways? The first time I read Eat, Pray, Love I connected with the Liz who was contemplating divorce because I was going through a similar situation but I was jealous of her ability to travel the world and “discover” herself. I had two small children and no money to travel anywhere, let alone the world. At the time it felt like getting out of my situation and running away was the only way to find myself.
Flash forward several years and I am compelled to pick it up again. This time I am divorced, my kids are older, and I still have no money to travel but I am open to the deeper message of the book. I am not just reading it at face value. I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery for quite some time but at this point in my life, I feel an urgent need to find my true path in life. I am 35 years old and coming to terms with the fact that I get to decide what I am doing with my life. I went from being a child in my parent’s home to becoming a wife and then a mother without ever stopping to think about the bigger picture of my life. I floated along with the flow and did what I thought I was supposed to do next. I am learning to be conscious for probably the very first time in my life and while it is a scary place to be, it is also a very exciting place to be!
The spiritual journey Liz embarks on in the ‘Pray’ portion of the book, which I found most boring during my first read through, is actually what speaks to my soul the most this time around. I think it is because I am looking for something more profound this time, something to believe in, something groundbreaking. I feel we are the creators of our own reality but that God and the Universe resides within each of us. That is not to say I don’t believe in Fate. I do. I believe everything happens for a reason but it is up to us what we do with it. We could squander the World’s riches if we are not careful. If we are not grateful for what we have and strive to be better people each and every day then what is our purpose here on Earth? I am certainly NO expert on psychology, spirituality, or the subconscious but I am, however, someone who has always felt there is more to this life than just what we see on the outside. I’m not always sure exactly what that really entails and some days I have better clarity than others but I know there is something bigger than me at work in my life and I must honor that.
Though I have been on this road for a while, I am just beginning to put real effort into my journey of self-discovery. I’m making sure to put my seat belt on because based on what I have learned and been through so far, it WILL be a bumpy ride. Chances are I won’t like everything I see along the way and there will be detours, but in the end it will all be worth it. I will have lived a fuller, happier, more authentic life. What could be better than that?
So how can I fulfill the need to “find myself” if I can’t travel to far off and exotic locales? I’ve realized I can explore the depths of me and see what I am really made of each and every day. I can seek education at every possible chance and take better care of myself, both physically and mentally. I can do more of what makes me happy and build a solid foundation for the rest of my life. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me and who knows, perhaps one day I will be able to search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia!
I encourage you to pick up a book that has inspired you in the past, reread it, and see how it applies to your life today. I can’t wait to see how Eat, Pray, Love reaches me when I read it again!