I used to have plans. So many plans. Big plans, small plans. Along with these plans, I had expectations, both big and small. I was excited about life, as long as it went a certain way…aligned with my plans, that is. That said, I was pretty happy when something wonderfully unexpected happened, though that didn’t happen all that often as plans would limit the spontaneity. Then something did happen. Well, lots of things happened, actually. My life went to shit, basically. I was unwell, really unwell. My fiancé and love of my life left me. I had to leave my job. I had to move out of my beautiful oceanfront home. I was homeless. I was in a dark place emotionally, physically and spiritually.
The only way is up
As clichéd as it sounds, following this rock-bottom my life truly began. I started living and experiencing life - the ups and downs, the highs and the lows. However, from this low point, it was mostly highs, with just a few bumps along the road. These bumps were merely course-corrections in the journey of life. What changed? A few things actually. I stopped living life as I thought I “should,” from a preconceived idea of what my ideal life would be like, an idea formed by society, my parents, my peers and my younger self. I stopped living life from a place of reaction and fear, and shifted to living with love and intention. I became clear on what my values are, and reflected on how best I could live them out. Every. Single. Day. I put health and life before work and the needs of others. Over the course of a few years I’ve transitioned from being unwell, stressed, anxious and unsure, to being one happy camper, living my life with purpose.
From unhappiness to fist-pumping joy
Scraping myself off the floor (literally) was neither easy nor fun. For the first few years, I was like a child learning to walk. There were many falls along the way, and I bumped into a few things - again, literally. With the help of a success coach, an accountability coach, friends, family, a couple of professionals, retreats, Buddhist teachings, thousands of hours of meditation, neuroplasticity study, alternative therapies such as kinesiology and hypnotherapy, and ultimately, tapping into my intuition and innate knowing, I was able to build a life that I truly love.
Ok, so you’re probably thinking, “Whoa, way too much and waaay too long; several years plus a giant team of supporters?!” I hear you. I’d love to assist you to circumvent this elongated process, so let me distil this down to what truly worked for me:
- A miracle morning – it’s a movement and a practice involving meditation, affirmations, creative visualisation, intention setting and exercise, ensuring I start every day with intention, purpose and feeling good!
- Self-care rituals – nourishing the mind, body and spirit is essential. I firmly believe that our external progress is a mirror of our internal growth. For me, self-care means exercise, clean-living, Buddhist study and lots of green juices.
- Living from a place of love, not fear – I never want to be running from something; rather, running to something, something that I wish for with intention. This means living life on purpose, responding not reacting, and constantly striving to be my best self.
- Trusting and letting go – I can’t control people, places and things, though in my previous life I exhausted myself in trying to do just that. I need to simply do the next best thing and trust that the universe will deliver, and so far, so good! Acceptance and trust, practised on a daily basis, are so incredibly liberating, and going with the flow of life and dropping expectations truly does limit internal suffering.
- Living by my values – my values are love, family, giving back, authenticity and fun. Each and every day I seek to live them out, and when I do, I’m lit up on the inside and loving life.
- Riding the wave – I try to feel my feelings….the full-spectrum. Emotions, which are nothing more than energy in motion, need to flow, otherwise they become stuck and can result in self-sabotaging behaviour.
- My beliefs create my reality – I’m very conscious of my inner dialogue, and instead of beating myself up, as I did for years, I try to practice self-compassion and speak to myself more like a cheerleader and less like a headmaster. “Should” becomes “could.”
- Have fun – my life rocks; I live in an awesome villa in Bali. I’m surrounded by amazing people both near and far. I laugh a lot. I make time for long ocean walks, fun dates and dancing. Most of all though, my life rocks because I’m present. I’m mostly (#workinprogress) present in the moment, and that’s where life is. Life is right now.
Despite all my best efforts, though, I have no idea what’s going to happen. But, how exciting is that?! I love it - the mystery of life. Who will I meet today? What events will transpire? Who knows? It’s exciting to think of the possibilities though. Life is a both a precious gift and a magical, mystical adventure. Enjoy!
** Since I wrote this post life has landed me in hospital and then into an incredible healing community. The mysteries are many, varied and unexpected but I have faith and continue to be excited about the next chapter in my life.