If you were asked to describe the place you are at right now, what would that look and feel like?
While reading an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert the notion that we are always in motion made me stop and think. It’s so true. Whether we feel like we’re physically in motion or not, we are on a journey from birth to death, and we have no idea how long that journey will take. (A great reminder to cherish each day, but the way).
So bear with me as I sort this out in my brain today … we could consider our life as a journey that we’ve mapped out on a map. Once we’re on our way inevitable detours pop up and we must be rerouted. We have planned and unplanned destinations … places to stop along the way. Some (especially the unplanned) stops will peak our interests and take us off the original course for a while or for good. Then our journey becomes more of an adventure because we’ve been presented with something new and unexpected. Now, this adventure could be a disaster or simply amazing. Either way, we learn something new about our journey, the places we’ve been and ourselves. With each new twist and turn we become wiser, more resilient , and aware of what we can and cannot control. Each night we put our heads down to sleep and wake up the next morning, we get to start all over again. We set out for the day and it either goes as planned or not.
Just like a long journey, our lives consist of mostly routine days working towards our goals (destination) peppered with detours, potholes, and surprising views along the way. And at each step of the way we experience a myriad of emotions and feelings… love/hate, joy/anger, fear/excitement, sadness/happiness, heaviness/lightness, motivated/lethargic, hope/despair … yet how often are we really present to how life looks and feels? How often do we stop and think about the “place” we’re in and what we must do about it? I believe we tend to ignore it until our body tells us we “have” to pay attention.
I’m feeling lethargic these days, lacking motivation and feeling kind of sad. When this happens I can complicate things by attaching feelings of guilt and shame as I think of all the things I “should” be doing. Which creates stress… Which creates a headache for me… Which makes me want to do even less… Which makes me communicate in 3 words or less… Which becomes a downward spiral… Been there. Done that. Too many times.
So rather than beat myself up for not getting sh!t done, I ‘m choosing to be curious about how I am feeling and why that is? (sorry, I’m going to barf out what’s going on for me right now)
I’ve been planning my month, weeks, days like always (albeit letting the distractions of summer happily highjack me along the way) – routine stuff
I’ve also been anxiously awaiting a decision from the Court of Appeal on a trial I am connected to for the past 2 months
I’m ready to head out for a planned cottage getaway with my girlfriends. Girl time is always good for the soul.
The trial decision comes out and it’s in our favour – yay! I am elated!
Next step … we await the sentencing hearing – this is a childhood sexual assault case against my childhood violin teacher. I was too late to become an offical complainant in this trial so committed to support each woman who braved the stand speaking for all of us, and have remained very close to this case.
I am happy about the decision but there’s something hanging over me like a dark cloud. Why am I feeling down? I’m going to see my girlfriends and we can celebrate, right?
Supporting a dear friend who is struggling and really needed this getaway is very important to me. Yet I am distracted by the appeal decision, what that means and how that feels. Hard to celebrate with heavy stuff on our minds. Add guilt to the mix because I’m not totally present for my friend – big sigh.
Day 2 of our getaway my Mother-in-law has taken a fall and is in hospital. Should I leave paradise and get to the hospital right away? My husband lovingly says “no, what you are doing is important too” (could I be any luckier???) Yet guilt sets in.
Quick aside: I am an empath and was a people pleaser for years. When someone needs me I want to be there, and when I can’t be there fully because I’m distracted I feel bad about that. Can you relate? Some days can be quite the balancing act. I’m much better at this after years of personal development, setting boundaries and knowing what is mine to own and what is not. That said, I’m human and old habits sneak up on me every once in a while.
I arrive home from our cottage retreat in time for a client call, then await news from the hospital
We spend the next few days travelling back and forth to visit. My mother in law is progressing well and is in good care – whew. Relief.
I now have a head cold settling in complete with the sinus pressure headache to go with it … figures
It’s the beginning of the month and time to set my monthly and weekly goals. But I procrastinate.
Just heard the sentencing date has been scheduled – another milestone and something to look forward to … with excitement and fear. Hesitation. Wonder. Worry. Another deep breath. Why can’t I just be happy it’s moving forward?
As I write all this out (knowing there’s plenty I could add) I realize the place I’m in right now feels like a messy one (figuratively and literally! Ha!). It’s messy because there are many feelings and emotions to process. Compassion. Gratefulness. Emptiness. Worry. I want to be there for my friends and family who need me, but I also need someone to be there for me. I need to be there for me. Sometimes I forget that!
It’s easy for me to support those around me so that’s my go-to action (motion). I set my own emotions aside, just for a bit… I think. Then, predictably, when I leave my own “stuff” to sit and stew for a while, I fall into the trap of criticizing myself. Thoughts like this start whizzing about in my head; “My life is good. Really good. And we received good news. You’ve got this. What do you have to be sad or worry about? You’re just wasting time in with all this worrying. And about what? Everything is moving forward and coming together. And by the way … what else is not getting done while you fuss?” No wonder I’m exhausted and feel paralyzed in a state of overwhelm.
The truth: I have real emotions to process. It’s time to feel and experience them. I don’t need to over-analyze them or do anything but let them flow through me. No need to complicate things. No ned for added pressure. Just notice them. And be kind … as my feelings are real.
This is true for you too.
How often do you push down your emotions becauses you believe you have no right to feel unfulfilled, overlooked, under-appreciated, or like something is missing?
We need to live life in order to learn about life.
I believe the places we find ourselves in, along our life’s journey, always mean something. I believe if we look closely, we can find the meaning. And I believe life is meant to be lived and experienced. We may learn that the simple solution is often the best solution… not every problem is a complex puzzle to solve. Sometimes we need to just sit with it for a while before we “attack” it. And we might find that the problem really isn’t ours to solve.
We will learn when it’s time to speed up or slow down. We will learn that we need to experience fear, disappointment, sadness and failure in order to really appreciate excitement, pride, happiness and achievement. We will learn when to walk towards or away from something, or someone. We will learn when it’s time to speak up and honour our voices, our feelings and our opinions. We will learn that we belong in this world just the way we are.Today I will slow down. Feeling sluggish, I’ve already slowed down I know … so I will be okay with that today. And maybe tomorrow. I will enjoy the sunshine and light breeze and perhaps have a nap. I will take my journal and a notepad outside and when I feel moved to do so, I will write about what’s on my mind or my goals for the month. For today, my only goal is to be kind to myself.
What about you? Where are you?
If you stopped to describe the place you’re in right now what would that look and feel like?
Are you over the moon having taken the first step towards a change in your life, career or relationship? Yay! I want to hear about that!
Are you feeling stuck in a “place” that doesn’t feel good for you? I want to hear that too. How do you process what you’re feeling and going through? And with whom?
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Years ago, I hired my first Personal Coach (of several) … and it was a gamechanger for me.
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Are you ready to acknowledge your own dreams, desires and needs and choose more meaning over the mundane?
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