I would have laughed if someone told me circumstances in my life this year would present challenges beyond my wildest dreams . Boring old predictable Jenna. Ever-reliable Jenna. Unruffled Jenna. My life felt settled, but I guess Jon Shedd’s words became popular for good reason. Ships in the harbor are safe but that’s not what ships are built for. The only problem was I didn’t know I was boarding the ship.
Fast forward twelve months and I feel like I’ve gone through the wringer multiple times. I’ve faced my soul. I’ve looked it in the eye and didn’t like everything I saw.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
~ C.G. Jung
Teetering around the edges of my comfort zone isn’t new for me but this year I catapulted so far away I landed in uncharted waters without a life vest. Extraordinary family stresses as well as emotional and physical breakdowns relentlessly roared in my face. I sought counselling and tried medication to help tame the ugly beast but in the end discovered it’s up to me to find a way to progress. I’ve made mistakes and said things I regret. I’ve seen things I didn’t want to see and swallowed unpleasant truths. For the first time I’ve opened my eyes and looked the beast square in the eyes. For the first time in my life I’ve faced the truth warts and all. It doesn’t sit well but it feels authentic. For the first time I’m telling the whole truth.
I’m pretty tired I think I’ll go home now ~ Forrest Gump
2015 is flashing by at breakneck speed and lately I have barely had time to draw breath, which explains why I haven’t posted on my blog for a while.
After returning home from our European adventure last year I was determined to do more with my existence. At 54 I knew I was too young to let the third act of my life go by uneventfully sitting quietly at home, so I set out to find something new.
When given an opportunity to return to the workforce I grabbed the chance to use my skills and feel like a contributing member of society. Getting used to the pace and methods of a new workplace was challenging at first but I quickly adjusted on the fly.
So here I am. I’ve gone from not having enough to occupy my days to almost being consumed by the pace of what needs to be done. It has been extremely rewarding to learn new things from others and feel appreciated for my input.
In the workplace I’ve encountered managers who throw childlike tantrums, bad-mannered people, people who use others to get something they need, as well as people who crumble under pressure when things go wrong. But for every person with negative traits I’ve met many kindhearted, welcoming and enthusiastic people who make it a pleasure to consider myself their colleague.
I am proud I chose to jump out of my comfort zone to return to work without fear or expectation of failure. When I reflect on where I was a couple of years ago I know I would never have taken such a chance back then.
My current position is a short-term contract due to finish at the end of March. I’m hoping it may lead to further work but if it doesn’t I will happily trek a different path with an open mind to whatever comes my way.
As last year drew to a close I became more pensive than usual, spending time silently reflecting on my landmark year of change, remembering how it unfolded.
Taking plenty of time to re-read all my blog posts (including the comments other bloggers had made) I re-traced my journey, seeing and understanding where I had tripped up and when changes within started emerging.
Several days later on the eve of the New Year I was drawn to a sacred place and sat down to absorb the beauty of nature while breathing in the ocean breeze.
Time stood still and I have no idea how long I sat. Everything around me ceased to exist while an overwhelming feeling of tranquility enveloped my soul.
There are no words to adequately describe what I was feeling. All I can say is that the experience was peaceful and surreal.
When I stood up I silently thanked the guidance of Lao Tzu who has shown me the Way.
Be careful what you water your dreams with.
Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream.
Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.
I now feel ready and energised to welcome 2014 and eagerly anticipate a new year of spiritual growth and personal development.