Out with the old

Hello WordPress friends! 😊

Since my last post, I’ve been a hive of activity and positivity.

I completed two online, ‘free’ 5 day courses. These courses were run by life coaches: the first by two amazing women, Cheryl and Donna and the other by the enigmatic Tony Robbins.

Donna and Cheryl’s course definitely gave me the ‘aha’ moments they promised. They covered imposter syndrome, limiting beliefs and how to counteract them. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in the feelings and thoughts that have plagued me, discovering what may have triggered these thoughts from childhood, finding that confidence in myself that I thought was long gone…nothing short of transformational.

For over a week after this, my mind was a flurry of passionate planning. The muggy fog that was my head began to clear, and ideas and passions poured out of me, no longer suppressed by my self doubt.

At this point, Tony Robbins course began. Bigger, brasher, with thousands of participants,  Tony gave well over what was promised with sessions lasting 2.5 hours plus each night. As fate would have it, Tony’s course built on what I had already learned and shored up my confidence and determination, and gave me some key techniques to move forward on my dreams and my relationships.

I have filled a journal with notes and ideas, exploring who I want to be and the life I want to live. I’ve said before, this blog was supposed to document this. I’ve long felt that this blog was a failure because it didn’t document any positive changes. It became a vehicle to explore my thoughts and feelings, an online journal I guess. I feel differently now. This blog does chart positive changes. We are all on a journey, we take many paths and routes. My route has meandered. It’s sank to dark depths and slowly crawled upwards again. But it has done what it has supposed to do. Giving me Time. Time to work through the black hole, the quagmire, the sinking pit which was my inner self: full of self doubt and frustration. A purpose unfulfilled, a potential life not followed.

I don’t know where I am on my journey. It has been a long time already, and I’m ok with that now. A break down, a divorce; counselling and journaling; self help books and online courses…all have played a part in moving me steadily up that path.  

I have a vision for my future now. I have realised what I’m good at, what my passions are and what I believe is my purpose. I now need to work for it; climb up the next incline and shrug off the ever-gnawing self doubt.

It’s going to take hard work. But hard work is easier when it is leading towards your passion.

I have an analogy to end with, to exemplify my journey so far…

When I abruptly ended my career as an Assistant Headteacher, I had to step foot in to that building after-hours to collect my things: 18 years worth of paper resources and books. A huge collection. There was no time to sort and organise. They were put in huge cardboard boxes and taken home. For weeks and weeks, probably months, the boxes sat piled up in my living room and even in the boot of my car.

When I started tutoring in November, I started searching through those boxes for resources I needed. In December, as I tidied before Christmas, I sorted through those boxes and stored resources in newly bought filing cabinets. Piles of unwanted paper filled a huge cardboard box. I’ve used this paper to start my fire each morning.

It was hard at first. Seeing notes and ideas and planning from years ago, seeing the eagerness and positivity and dedication which was thrown back in my face when the academy took over, burning into nothing.

Now, in February, I feel nothing as I burn the last few pages. I see a life well-led, a life where I gave my all and helped many. That life is over and instead I feel some pride as I twist the pages into mock- sticks for my fire. Out with the old.

I have a similar feeling as I start to build resources in my new onedrive account. Circumstances have meant that the majority of my electronic resources are lost. I could pursue them, but I won’t. Starting again, building something new and fresh is invigorating: I’ve enough of my old paper resources to inspire me.

Out with the old and in with the new. It’s never too late and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Just keep moving forward, pausing along the way when needed, sprinting when you can, but always heading towards the new, leaving the old behind.

If this post gives even one of you some hope, I will be happy. Reach out if you need to. I’m here.

Where d’you go?

I’ve talked many times about coincidences. I don’t believe in them. Let me clarify.

Think of the million and billions of pieces of information our amazing body processes each day. Just think about that. So much information, a crazy amount that our brain just dismisses as not important.

Mindfulness teaches us to stop and take note of those things we would normally dismiss. Have you ever done that? I dare you not to crack a smile when you realise you’ve just seen a leaf in the perfect shape of a heart amongst hundreds of other normal ones. Or by gazing in the sky for a moment, you see a clutch of low flying Canada geese – so low you can see some of their colours and markings.

However, the point I am trying to make, is that from time to time information- signs – come together mysteriously,  and the clichéd light bulb comes on. I don’t believe they are coincidences because with so much information saturating us each day, surely there would be such coincidences every day??

Of course, we can choose to dismiss and ignore these signs. We can acknowledge them and do nothing. What has stuck with me recently,  is that every second we make choices which change the very course of our life. Despite this, we choose to ignore or push aside or subdue certain choices, at times.

I started this blog five years ago. I had just separated from my husband and I knew that this was the end of my marriage. I felt a certain amount of hope, amongst the sadness, that my life was going to change. I was going to get the life I wanted. I had paid my dues, you see, I had put my heart and soul into a marriage that was never going to work. I walked away knowing I- at least – had given it everything I had.

I sit here, somewhat ashamed that this blog has failed. It hasn’t documented a new life because my life hasn’t changed a great deal. Sure, there are momentary changes. But so many of them were bends in the road, nothing to do with me and my will.

I will give myself a break and say that I am trying. I have made decisions- of course I have- which have affected my life. Finally getting the divorce. Choosing to date again. Allowing myself to fall in love with a man in another continent. Visiting him. Walking away from a successful and high paid career. So how can I say I failed?

Because I feel like I haven’t found my purpose. I’ve feel like I’ve lived someone else’s life. I can’t tell you how long I have felt that without even knowing it.

Now, as I said in my last post, I’m reaching the point of making some big decisions.  Ten months of dilly-dallying and I need to finally make some decisions. I must.

Truth is,  I’m desperately trying to find myself. I’m lost. I’ve felt lost for some years. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know my purpose. I don’t trust myself and my judgement any more.

I’m working on that. I’ve taken New Year by the horns and I am working on myself. I’ve signed up to some workshops and I’ve bought some books. I’ve allowed myself to think…ironic, as I think too much…but what I mean is actually think  about things that I have avoided thinking about.

I’ve tried to be someone I am not for twenty years. Yes, twenty years. My beliefs about who I am and who I should be, have fueled this. I’ve worn a mask. I’ve worked so, so hard to keep that mask in place and be the person I thought I should be. I’ve never believed I could be who and what I secretly want. I have no confidence. I have no self belief. Because a large part of my life has been a lie.

Despite best efforts, it is impossible to have and do everything we want in life. Millionaires commit suicide. Hollywood stars numb themselves with drug and alcohol. Simplicity is underestimated. Accepting that we can not do and have it all is crucial. Appreciating what we have and focusing on the essential things is key. (Hussey)

Whilst this has been milling about my head all week, tonight I had my first night to myself in some time. Scrolling, I found a new release:

The title was poignant. I’m lost. I need to find myself. It was worth a try.

I loved and hated this film. I almost turned it off half way through. Until I realised that  was because it made me uncomfortable. It made me face things I wasn’t ready to.

I’ve been running away from self-truths, from my beliefs – however erroneous they may be –  for many, many years. I’m not myself because I’m not allowing myself to do what I want. What makes me, me.

We are our beliefs. Who we think we are, we become. And as many of my beliefs about myself are negative, my life has been dominated by that.

I wrote recently about Mel Robbins and her work. She is fabulous. I follow her on Facebook and it seems like every day she posts something that just resonates..or at the very least, gets you thinking. A recent post was this:

I’m struggling to make decisions because I’m finding it hard to distinguish between my passionate my purpose. I didn’t know there was a difference.

I’m struggling to make decisions because of my belief system. It’s all wrong. And I’ve carried that round with me since childhood. The foundations are all wrong. Therefore the building and the workmanship are too.

There’s a lot of work to do. But I choose to find myself.

Crave

I should be used to the insomnia by now, but I’m not.

I dread going to bed because I know I will lie there and think of him. And my situation.  Equally, I dread going to sleep because of how often I dream about school. No closure there then.

I’m not sure why I posted my last post. I mean, yes, those thoughts and feelings were valid at the time of writing. It’s funny how you see things differently after a sleep. Or seven, in this case.

Wildcard, unfortunately, wasn’t seeing anything differently. Ever since that last outburst- which was 100% my fault – he’s been off. Yes, I know, we’ve been here before. And yes, I’m probably being a little oversensitive/paranoid/self absorbed but he half admitted it last night. He also keeps saying “so, you’re starting again…” which is a bit of a give away. I haven’t started anything …in the past week.

Of course, at this time of year, everyone starts evaluating and analysing their life. I’ve recognised just how hard this year has been for me and I’m determined that next year I will be more positive and proactive. Mel Robbins is leading the way in my thinking and I highly recommend you looking her up if you want some excellent coaching and life advice. I’ve been dipping in and out over the past 18 months but I’m committed to seeing things through to the end this time.

Some of her advice hits a little hard at times, mainly because you realise she is right. A lot of my ‘issues/anxieties’ with Wildcard are actually anxieties about myself. It’s not his place to make me feel good about myself, neither consciously or subconsciously. More and more I’m realising that I have to start loving myself and who I am. I feel like I’m in the eye of the storm at the moment. Things are ok, but I have some real tough decisions to make. I need to trust myself and my judgement. 

Whatever this was with Wildcard has blown over now. He often tells me that he just needs time and he will soon forget – he laments his terrible memory. I, on the other hand seem to store things in my head to make inaccurate equations with later.

My London friend’s words are still rattling around. I thought my conversation with Wildcard mid-December had banished them, but apparently not. They’ve been resurrected now more times than a tacky Hollywood villain.

My head just can’t seem to process my current situation. I do suffer from anxiety and due to previous relationships, I have anxious attachment. But there are fundamental things that my head can’t figure out. Like…

We’re in a long distance relationship – do these things just take longer? How is covid impacting on what would have happened? Are we following his culture or mine in this? Or, is he just commitment phobic and I’m being stupidly dragged along? Or, am I putting on too much pressure because of my own low self esteem – I need his formal commitment to make myself feel valued? My London friend thinks he is just waiting for someone better to come along. It’s easy to believe that when you dislike yourself.

My biggest problem is I cannot trust my own judgement any more.  It is affecting every area of my life. I thought I was a good teacher. I thought I was doing well. I thought I had finally ‘cracked’ the weight loss. I thought I had got myself in to good habits. I thought I had found the love of my life and dreamed of him being with me and being a family.

I love him exactly the way he is – I love everything about him. And yet sometimes I crave more, but I know this is more about my insecurity and self esteem than anything else. What I crave is confirmation that I am not imagining anything- he loves me, completely.  We will be together one day. In these moments, it doesn’t matter how many times he has called me or told me he loves me. My mind craves more.

Problem is, I’m never satiated because it’s coming from the wrong person. It needs to come from me. What I mean by that is he tells me he loves me, every day. He shows me he loves and misses me, every day. I know that. But I’ve recognised that when I’m feeling insecure and anxious, I crave the ridiculous over the top stuff. But that isn’t him: I just want it because of how I feel.

It is not the first time I’ve thought something along those lines. I remember writing a post about how my past relationships had caused me to be anxious – it wasn’t my fault! – but I’m a toy train on a circular track. I stop at the same stations, only to move on and come around again. I’m hoping this real focus on coaching, such as that by Mel Robbins, will help me change the tracks and send soothe my cravings.

Grass

Pexels

I’m watching far too many videos on Facebook. I like the mind numbing quality of them – they help me forget. Forget that I’m in no man’s land with no sense of direction, stood on a muddy patch of nothing with no sense of belonging but I’m surrounded by grass. Which way do I go?

I watched one particular video yesterday that struck home. It was a clip from ‘Miranda’, a show I’ve never watched because I have no sense of humour and don’t like comedy sketches or comedy dramas. It is hugely popular over here in the UK. The protagonist is an average woman – one of us, an every day girl – who wants so much more from her life. But she’s clumsy and unlucky which is where the hilarity comes from. In the clip, Miranda describes the woman she wants to be – the type that spring out of bed and look beautiful. The ones who eat perfectly, dress amazingly and have the kind of life us normal folk dream of – literally.

What stops us from having that life?

Genetics? Luck? Intelligence? Habits? Education?

Or is it just ourselves? We feel average so we live an average life. What a waste. I mean really, what a waste. We have one life, just one. And sorry of us waste it, weighed down by our self imposed inadequacies.

Yes, the grass is always greener. There are always ways to improve your life and explore positive change. Learn.

Maybe that bare soil I’m currently standing on isn’t so bad. It’s rich earth, waiting to be seeded, ready to support and sustain new life.

My problem is, I’m still not sure what seeds to sow. I need to do a Miranda – I need to dream the life I truly want. Not the one I think I should have. Not the one I relegate myself to when I’m filled with self hatred. The one I want. Then I need to invest in the soil, plant the seeds and nurture them, every day until what grows is strong and beautiful and healthy.

I’ve bought Mel Robbins new book and going to start reading it tonight. She is inspirational and honest and I’m hoping this will help me choose, plant and nurture my new life.

Making motivation

I’m a thinker, not a doer. That just about sums me up. Overthinker is probably more accurate.

I had a little read of a new blog today, https://damonashworthpsychology.com. One of his posts was about personality traits so this was a great way of procrastinating and not applying for jobs. 120 statements later and I am…

An assertive, pleasure seeking, emotional and sensitive person who likes novelty and variety as I am imaginative and creative.

I also have low self discipline and cooperation.

I am no Psychologist and I have completely done this an injustice. I would say it is fairly accurate though. I’ve average on most things apart from my emotions and creativity.

I will look into this further at some point. The reason for doing it, other than procrastinating, was to try get an insight. Into myself.

I still feel lost. I don’t know where I am going or heading. I’m working my way through Mel Robbins’ book and I am finding it hard to specify what my dreams actually are. I don’t know what jobs to go for. I don’t know where to start.

Being the over-emotional thinker that I am, I get overwhelmed easily. Overwhelm means overthink which results in…nothing. I sit and think, and wonder and then do little. Then feel bad about it. Mel says doing is so much better than thinking. I agree but I think a lot so I’m not sure how to stop that.

I have a weekly plan for cleaning my house. This is to encourage me not to be overwhelmed and just do something each day. Today’s job is bedrooms.

After a morning of sleeping, scrolling, vaccination-having and over thinking, I made myself get up. And I used Mel’s 5,4,3,2,1 to help. I like music. So I figured I would spend one song on my eldest room, two of my middle, three on my youngest, four on the spare and five ish on my room. And it worked!

Sure, I went over a little. But that was my choice. And so today I have achieved something.

You see, it is not that I lack motivation as such. I just lack the self discipline to get started. Once I get started, I often take it too far – tipping the whole toy box out to sort it in some OCD inspiring way. All or nothing.

Why don’t I know what I want? Why can I not let myself go there and think about it? I like thinking. I think a lot. Why can’t I just open the doors to my hidden desires?

I’m going to have to make myself do it. I suspect that I’m frightened to look at what I really want because of the disappointment if I don’t get it. I don’t like failing which is probably why I am procrastinating all the time, not knowing what to do. For someone who likes now experiences and variety, it is no wonder that I am unhappy at the moment. Sitting on the couch thinking will do that to you.