I’m writing this post to participate inBarbara Franken’s challenge to talk about where I find myself now on my journey of self-realisation and freedom.
Sometimes I wonder if there was a defining moment when I consciously made a decision to change how I viewed my existence and where I fit in the world. I think it was around my 50th birthday when I started thinking about being more honest with myself. Almost six years have gone by since then and I’ve been constantly challenged to face truths, be kinder to myself, let go of negativity, move on from the past and learn to forgive. This has not been an easy progression and while I celebrate how far I’ve come I know I still have far to go.
There were times when I struggled to pick myself up after slipping back into old habits and sometimes it seemed too difficult. But every backward step was worth the uncertainty when I realised I’d taken another step forward towards being true to myself.
My journey feels like a game of snakes and ladders. As I create positive change I merrily skip along the board until wham I land on a snake and slip back a few rows into old habits. I’m happy that the snakes seem shorter now and less daunting. I now honestly feel comfortable in my own skin.
I’ve learned many things about myself during the past six years but the most valuable lesson I have learned is to be less fearful.
I strive to live my live following these five simple rules.
I’m sorry it has been a while since I’ve been in touch. I’ve no excuse for my absence and vow to stay connected from now on.
At the beginning of 2016 I stated my intentions and thus far feel happy that I have honoured my promises.
I’ve grown as a person by standing up to certain people and not allowing them to make me feel inferior. I’m sticking my head out from my protective tortoise shell and I’m not as afraid of being crushed anymore.
Another area of my life that needed my attention was reconnecting with people I’d lost touch with over the years. I’ve reached out to some old friends and family and it’s wonderful to feel a sense of belonging to a community again after years of imposed isolation.
We have been working on creating a family business with our son Chris who wants to open a trendy men’s barbershop. Fingers crossed we find out today if we secured the lease of a shop. If so we will be working hard over the next six weeks fitting it out and getting ready to open. We see this as an opportunity for Chris to follow his dream and for our whole family to work together and share their collective skills to make this dream a reality.
Other exciting news is that our daughter Laura has produced a CD of her original folky songs and will launch it in the coming months. I’d love to share her music with you when the CD is available.
Although I haven’t been on my blog site for a while I think of you all often and hope you are all happy and well. I’ve promised myself to spend time each morning to catch up with your news and reconnect with my treasured blogger friends.
Thank you to my blogger friends for sharing your lives, thoughts, adventures and experiences during 2015. I value your company and friendship more than you will ever know.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia
55 springs and 55 summers gone now
Memories of past years held in faded photographs remind me how lucky I am.
And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We’re captive on the carousel of time We can’t return we can only look Behind from where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game.
~ Joni Mitchell
Last year I stepped off the painted pony for a sojourn in Europe. Despite some initial apprehension I soon relaxed in the new environment and basked in exhilaration as the journey progressed. My fondest memories of this trip occurred when the beauty of mother nature exhilarated my senses allowing me to feel her power seep into my soul with the intensity of a defibrillator. It was then that I truly understood these words by Lao Tsu
Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind rest at peace. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the Source.
Returning to the Source is stillness, which is the way of Nature.
The way of Nature is unchanging. ~Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching
As I prepare to return to Europe people ask what I hope to see or buy but all I am thinking about is what I hope to feel.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a personal blog post but now feels like the right time to share. I’m not the same person I was two years ago and continue to evolve every day. It is only now when I read my earlier blog posts that I fully comprehend the extent of the insecurity I lived with.
I thought changing my thoughts and attitudes would be easy as long as I was determined to change. I was wrong. Transformation is a slow process making it difficult to know change is taking place. For every step forward there are many backward and sidewards steps that sometimes become unexpected benefits and sometimes they are just setbacks. Some days I felt confused and wished I’d never rocked the boat. I thought I was losing my identity which it turns out was exactly what I was trying to do. For me the glass was always half empty and I’d convinced myself that was all it could ever be.
When I decided to change I wanted to generate a new mindset so I started reading daily blogs and Facebook inspirational pages about happiness, gratitude, positivity and peace. At first they seemed fanciful but I kept on reading them like using flashcards to teach children to read, hoping they would infiltrate my way of thinking. Every day I’d try to incorporate the tone of the messages into my life. At first it felt unnatural but I persisted until the words started making more sense and gradually made way for positive change within.
Any type of life change is difficult. Life is not a fairy tale with everything resolving at the end leaving everyone to live happily ever after. Life is interesting and complicated with a random mix of joys, obstacles and challenges. I’ve learned that it’s not what happens but how we react and deal with life that makes us who we are. Now I see opportunities where I once saw challenges. Instead of feeling hurt or intimidated by people who are rude and disrespectful I now pity them. I’ve learned to be honest with myself and live happily in my own skin. I trust my heart will guide me.
Anyone determined to make changes to their life should accept it is not easy but understand we are all capable of far more than we imagine.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. ~ Henry Ford
The mind is everything. What you think you become ~ Buddha
Thanksgiving, the American celebration where people acknowledge the good in their lives and share a meal with their family is a worthwhile concept but sometimes I question its sincerity.
Just like Christmastime celebrations in the western world it seems Thanksgiving has been consumed by commercialism, greed and a desire to be better than others which is obscuring the original message of being grateful.
I think Thanksgiving/Gratitude should be part of our daily lives. Forget about the appointed holidays be grateful and kind to others everyday.
Some days pass by unnoticed and others are extraordinary. Last Saturday was extra special making me thankful and happy.
At various stages throughout the day all three of our adult children spent unplanned time with us sharing stories of what’s happening in their lives. At the end of the day my husband and I talked about how happy it made us feel to have a close relationship with each of our children. This is the true definition of happiness for us.
Laura our youngest daughter celebrates her 24th birthday tomorrow. She is an amazing young woman who inspires, loves, creates and spreads joy. I saw this quote by Walt Disney and immediately thought of Laura. I’ve always thought of her as my magical Peter Pan.
Happy birthday Lawna.