NEW SHOES

barefoot-new-start-mindset

I have been fiercely trying to work out my version of this thing called “life” and never have I felt a greater need to find the mental and physical space to do so. 

As much as I’ve been doing some work around this in London, it’s a pretty noisy city and it’s pretty damn difficult to keep my own head quiet for 5 seconds to get a grip on the matter.

I decided that I really needed to step this up a gear, so… yesterday morning, the pup and I packed up the car and made our merry way to Norfolk.

We’re having 3 days here doing not much at all… just trying to zen the f**k out!

I’m working on this huge acceptance that I am not the same person I used to be and it was a tough pill to swallow. 

I still haven’t quite got it down but as I’m slowly releasing the belief that I have to continue doing what I’ve been doing for evermore simply because I’ve started it (and I damn well like to finish stuff I started!) life is getting a little easier and things are looking a hell of a lot brighter.

You see, the way I have been living in business and life has been like squeezing into shoes each and every day that are a size too small but which I’ve refused to take off for fear of being barefoot with unpainted toenails – I mean, what would people say?!

And no matter how pretty or sparkly these shoes are, and how many compliments I get about them, this does not make them any more comfortable and the blisters are now impossible to ignore.

I have realised that I am not failing, giving up or throwing my toys out the pram but I have simply done what all living things do, I have grown up.

I have outgrown my shoes and they no longer fit.

And that is fine because at the moment I’m enjoying wandering around barefoot, embracing my natural unpainted toenails, not minding what others think, and reconnecting with the ground I walk on.

I’ll be putting new shoes on eventually, don’t you worry about that, it’s just there are so many pairs out there to chose from.  I want to make sure that I don’t just pick the sparkly uncomfortable stilettos or settle for the boring but cosy slippers.  For this next chapter I am looking for a particularly special pair of shoes to encompass comfort, style and durability to not fall apart over the many miles I plan to walk in them.

SELF LOVE

self love help

So a few posts back I stated that I didn’t believe in falling in love.  At the end of that same post, I vowed to delve into this belief of mine to see if it really was true.  And since then, over the last few weeks, I’ve been knuckling down to some work…. on loving myself. 

Well, if I don’t love myself (as some of my earlier blog posts demonstrated – I was not my biggest fan) then what love do I have to give to others?

If I am constantly at war with myself, how the hell did I think I was going to live peacefully with another?

Now it’s a work in progress but we are making some headway… I think I’m starting to fall a little in love with myself. 

What makes me think this?  Well according to my research, I’ve got all the symptoms.

Everything seems brighter and lighter and it’s like the quality of my life has been upgraded to high definition.  Every day is just full of fun, even the mundane things – it’s like I’m constantly at play.  Comments over heard or songs that come on the radio are like divinely timed messages and nothing appears as if by accident.

When I “threw out all those boxes” as mentioned in my previous post, I also dropped my own fixed expectations and in doing so I have allowed a little love to flourish within myself – just as it would with another person if I didn’t require them to meet a ridiculous checklist of criteria.

I feel as though slowly but surely I am waking up to the error of my ways and it’s supporting the idea that mine is the only reality – In that it really doesn’t matter what is going on around me or what I think people think I should or shouldn’t be doing because my thoughts are my thoughts and are the only ones that are capable of keeping me in the light or the dark, not other people’s.

In your thirties, dating steps up a notch, particularly for the ladies with their biological clocks ticking and family members not letting you forget it either. 

It is also at this time I think we believe that we know ourselves more and are so much clearer about what we need and the truth of who we are – we’ve had thirty odd years of experience after all.

But do we really know ourselves? 

Has our 30 plus years of life learning experiences really taught us what we do and don’t want?

Or could this actually be the turning point where the magic happens?

Where we say to ourselves “Holy crap, I’m not entirely sure I want any of this stuff I’ve been hell-bent on getting for the last god knows how many years!”

I feel right now that I’ve been chasing after things for so long that I’ve completely forgotten why I am chasing after them.

When questioning myself on them right now I actually can’t come up with a logical reason to be dedicating my life journey to some of them and compromising my happiness in the process of attaining them.

Just like my dates, I was going through life much the same way.  I started each day with an extremely detailed plan and a checklist of “what I need to be happy” laid out and all that really did was disappoint me. 

So it turns out my own boxes were actually boxing me in. 

I have realised that my days couldn’t just unfold and be enjoyed and experienced as I began each one with far too many expectations.

I reckon I had a bloody good idea of what I wanted when I was about 10 years old but for the 20 years that followed I was conditioned to want other things, things that actually other people wanted for me, or things that society told me I should be wanting. 

Essentially I got lost chasing after stuff I certainly don’t need and don’t really want either.

I’m starting to realise that things such as careers, money, partners, having a family of my own don’t actually matter. 

There is only one thing that does and that is how I FEEL. 

Because even if I’m rolling around in my own cash in my beautiful 5 bedroom home in the suburbs with my perfect husband and our 3 children, if I’m miserable then the whole lot is totally pointless.

So in light of the above, dating has become a hell of a lot simpler.   

I am only looking out for one thing now and that is the way someone makes me feel as opposed to their attributes.

It’s funny how love – in my case an unfamiliar dose of self-love – can come in and illuminate what is actually real for us and what really matters.

This little bit of self-love has shifted me from where I was before and in fact where I have been for quite a while.

I’m not sure where I am being shifted to and I have no idea what the outcome will be. 

To be perfectly honest, I’m feeling a little naked with my cast iron belief system having just had a mighty shake-up but I’m learning to own it… wobbly bits and all!

And I am starting to believe that all else aside, self-love could, in fact, triumph all.

ROUTINE RULING

checklist-blog-overwhelm

We all need some sort of routine in our lives.  It’s what keeps us on track and keeps our lives in order so we know where we are at.  It can be a comfort blanket and a safety net when things go awry because living without structure will cause chaos in the long run.

Routine is important for every living creature: from the very basic feeding and sleeping times of babies to the more complex routines of parents, entrepreneurs or even athletes. 

Depending on our boundaries and goals, our routines will vary.

But what happens when your routine starts ruling you?

What happens when your own routine that you put in place no longer serves you and in fact feels like it’s working against you?   

Instead of keeping you in order and allowing you to get more shit done certain habits you’ve added to your routing actually end up hindering you.

There are so many personal development books, youtube videos and audios out there offering us a crazy amount of ideas to streamline our days or turn our mornings into miracles ones! 

I’ve personally got self-development books falling off my shelves and have tried MANY of their suggestions to try and restore order to my life and to live and work in the most productive and enjoyable way possible.  But it became apparent a few years ago that taking on board all of these suggestions and trying to work them into a schedule was actually becoming less of a help and resulting in a hell of a lot more stress!

I’m an addictive person, it doesn’t take me long to get a hook on something and then I totally overdo it!

For example:

The gym and its fitness classes have been my crutch for the last 8 years.  I remember starting out as a makeup artist and it was bloody tough! 

I used to sit on a bar stool in the kitchen, endlessly searching on my laptop for opportunities.  I’d be emailing and calling agents (to no avail,) writing out profiles on various film agency sites, scouring the entire internet for jobs, refreshing and reloading job boards every minute, searching for photographers to collaborate with and build my portfolio… the list was endless! 

It was hard enough to get work and then when I did it was usually unpaid or expenses only.   

As much as I was driven and determined, weeks and weeks of this along with a lot of the actual work I eventually did get being of no help to advance my career, I was running out of steam and my enthusiasm was dwindling.

I figured I had to get up for something in the morning to face the same monotonous internet search and cold outreach day after day and this is when I added a morning spin class to my routine.

Getting up and achieving something, even if it wasn’t work, felt good! 

So I added to my spin classes and built up a portfolio of classes – body pump, body attack, body combat and fat burn classes.  Sometimes I would stay in the gym for hours and do 3 back to back classes just so I felt like I’d accomplished something and was moving forward. 

This is where my healthy addition to my routine become a rather unhealthy addiction.

Eventually, I did start getting decent work in but if it got in the way of my gym classes and I couldn’t go to them I’d feel like shit.  My gym routine actually soon and the opposite effect on my wellbeing and began impacting on my thoughts towards other areas of my life.

I’d lost the balance… if I ever had it in the first place!

For the record, balance has never been my strong point, it hasn’t really been in my vocabulary! 

8 years down the line and I still struggle with the same damn gym battle only I’ve added a whole host of other things to the checklist that I “need” to do thus putting me in a further state of unrest, overwhelm and pure anxiety at trying to fit it all in!

Again it comes down to CUTTING IT RIGHT BACK! 

It’s super hard in today’s world with access to so much information at our fingertips that it’s so easy to fill our heads with a checklist miles long of things we “ought” to be doing.

We easily pick up ideas from others on social media, via blog posts or out and about in the real world and then try and incorporate them into our own already jam-packed schedule.

We should be in the gym, we should be playing sport, we should be taking cookery classes.

We should be setting aside time to work on our personal development, we should be taking care of our families, doing fun things with our friends, finding the person we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives with.

We should be taking courses, we should be expanding our minds, we should be excelling in our careers, we should be achieving in our work, we should be finding time to cook healthy meals from scratch, we should be earning good money, we should always be going the extra mile for clients.

We should be rising early to make the best start to the day and we should be putting the hours into our business long into the night to succeed.

We should be running bubbles baths, we should be having “me” time, we should be reading novels each night for downtime, we should be getting early nights, we should find time for meditating.

We should do charitable work, we should constantly be bettering ourselves and we should always be available to help others.

We should walk our dogs, we should take our kids to and from school, we should take them to the park, we should spend quality time with them.

We should set an example.

We should “have it together.”

We should be able to push everything on our minds to one side at the drop of a hat and we should be able to pick back up again exactly where we left off at a moment’s notice.

Replace the “we” with an “I” and that’s the gist of my thought process.

In a single day after ambling about online or out and about, I notice what others are doing and feel that I “should” be doing the same to be living a “wholesome and happy life” just like they LOOK like they are living.

You’d think with a to-do list that long it gives you a higher chance to achieve more but tallying up an ambitious list of things to do does nothing but completely paralyse you to actually do nothing from the sheer overwhelm of it all.

I’m not a robot or superhuman.  Neither are you.

What I fail to remind myself is that we’re all on our very own journey and have built our own unique lives based around our thoughts, ideals and goals for our future.

We sometimes let the things we see distract us from our own path.

I think there are very few times I stop to look at the bigger picture and make the right decision as to whether adding “this and that” to my routine is really right for ME and MY end goals and if it will compliment MY journey.

This is an area which I REALLY need to work on.  Like most of the posts so far it supports my current journey of going back to basics.  To find the root, to work out where the hell I actually set out to go in the first place!

So.

My mission for this week is to remember who I am and where I am going and think thrice about taking on that extra task.  Is it really going to compliment MY life?  Is it in-line with my belief system?  Is it really going to help me to get to where I am going? 

If it’s a “No” to any of those… then I ain’t giving it the time of day!