Life is so full for most of us – definitely no arguments there.
My question is why do some of us find this stressful while for others they just get on with it? They are achieving what they want to and feeling fulfilled with their life.
For so long I have lived the chaotic life of stress internally whilst on the outside appearing to have it all. My life was full, but I had suppressed my inner feelings. I held onto ‘the secret’ which did not allow me to feel fulfilled.
Great business, great family, many friends and lots of travel. Inside my body and mind though there was constant turmoil and it was time to face reality, to step up and make a stand.
It is so important to recognise the signals your body is giving you. For me it wasn’t just my body, it was my poor reactive behaviour to situations. I needed to recognise my problems and do something about them. I am grateful every day I did.
How I invested in myself
1. I consulted with a psychologist
I was so fearful of this and to be truthful I was fearful of people knowing I was seeing a psychologist. So much so that I sought an out of town psychologist, an hour’s drive away so no one would see me when I went to my appointments.
It was difficult at first because you need to bare your soul and tell your story so they can understand. Once I realised I trusted my psychologists my life slowly started to make progress. Over many years as nothing changes over night but if I hadn’t taken that first step I may still be living in chaotic stress.
1. Changed my eating habits
For a time, I only ate carrots. Yes, you read that right. In fact, I ate so many my skin took on an orangey carrot colour. Seriously. Plus, I had the audacity to think how ridiculous was the way an older colleague of mine ate. She was so boring, no hot chips, burgers, refusing chocolate when offered. The only time she might eat these type of foods was if it was a special occasion. My head could not understand her food choices because at that time I was eating only that food, along with smoking and drinking. Plus, I would drink at least 2 litres of diet coke a day whilst running a small business, staying up to ridiculous times at night painting or book work; never any exercise.
My eating habits are very similar to my older colleague now. This wonderful lady who is easy twenty years older than me and I can see with her choices she has aged timelessly.
Now when I eat, I love the taste of my food and savour each mouthful. No longer do I gulp down junk food which had become a habit just like my drinking was. I now choose to live in the moment not reacting and trying to deaden my past. When I do lapse, I am proud of myself that I can now pull back and make better choices.
2. Discovered my love of exercise
Exercise was purely for vanity to start with. I would smoke a cigarette after a workout, lighting up as soon as I got into my car. I remember watching walkers and runners while eating burgers and wishing I was one of them. Maybe I was unconsciously aware of that type of life I was craving for. Seeds were being planted seeds (and like all the gurus say) dream then consciously live that dream, never lose the dream or idea that you want to be.
I started off going to the gym, normal stuff, but of course I can’t just do normal. I started running, then participating in half marathons. I’m sure if I hadn’t needed to have a knee operation, I would be running full marathons.
Now I love my exercise; I walk, row, stretch, do pilates and finish with a five-minute meditation. Mixing up my exercise now I really do enjoy it. I know vanity comes into it but the number one reason to exercise for me is that it keeps my head space healthy. The times when I don’t exercise, I become agitated easily so best for everyone around me that I do. Seriously thought the release of those endorphins is my daily drug dose of happiness.
3. Uncovered the meaning of gratefulness
Being gratefulness for all we have. I still have days I don’t consciously do this, and I strive to keep bringing myself back to the awareness of saying thank you. Thank you for my mind, body, spirit, oxygen to breath, trees, my people around me, the magpie that makes me smile with his song, my home where I can be me. I am grateful I as write this which sees me with a smile from ear to ear. I love watching people learn, grow and succeed. That brings my soul pure happiness.
When I’m not consciously grateful in thanking my world, I get lost and start to focus on all the things I need to do. I start to feel overwhelmed with my life; this is why for me it’s all of the little things that really are the important part in the creation of my better life.
4. Realised I can speak up
When I first realised I had a choice, a choice to speak up was when I was about fourteen and my mother had told me that she had said to my father she was surprised I still spoke to him for the way he treated me. This had nothing to do the ‘dirty secret’ as it was still a secret. My father would play emotional games with me and treat me with disdain. With this one comment from my mother I realised I had choice.
I started speaking up to his games and emotional lies. We would argue and I would call him out for anything he was doing but of course to those looking on these arguments made no sense including to me often. I learnt that everything has consequences but speaking out is important.
Over time I’ve learnt to stop and think then to speak creating for myself an uncluttered further albeit with baby steps.
I have proven you can grow and that we all have choices. It is a journey that never ends. A journey that can keep getting better and better. You can too.
I would love you to share your thoughts and how you have or are investing in your own self.
Stay Strong and Grow Together