Hello Good People and Fellow Laborers —
Given that it's Labor Day, I couldn't resist saying...something.
To be honest, life has thrown me some curve balls lately that have put me smack-dab in the middle of a big pity party. Since life is not all unicorns, rainbows and daisies, I want to talk about what I'm learning in walking through this.
I thought that when I decided to stop drinking that life would miraculously deliver me everything I want. Immediately.
I thought that once I discovered what I want to be — a career coach — everything would fall into place, I'd be motivated and happy all the time and life would be a series of peaks with no valleys. Basically, a neverending field of daisies.
Instead, life is delivering lots of "lessons." I am learning how to tolerate feeling uncomfortable — Yay! — and not use it as an excuse to drink. I really, really thought that once I got sober and was over the cravings, life would be easy.
The fact that it isn't easy has kind of pissed me off.
I am writing this with the hope that being honest about how challenging it can be to persevere will be more helpful than pretending like life is magic.
So what am I doing with the hard stuff?
1. Breathing. I always want the answer to be more profound than this, but often, it really is this simple. When I focus on my breath, I get out of my head. And my head is where things are crazy. I can't think my way out of the thinking that's driving me crazy. Make sense?
2. Being Present. Well, I'm trying to be present more often. I've been listening to the audiobook of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, and I keep coming back to the concept he discusses: In this moment, I have no problems. For example, in this moment, I'm sitting on my sofa, writing (which I love) and my dog is snoring at my feet (which I also love). I have no problems. I only have problems when I think about the past or about the future. If I stay in the present, I give myself a reprieve. I create a different neural pathway and the possibility for my brain to come up with a different solution.
3. Meditating. I know, it's all the rage. Even Harvard Business Review touts the benefits of meditating. For sure, meditation has gone mainstream. Which makes me want to reject it! But I found this fantastic app, Headspace, and have been using it regularly.
4. Trying not to be judge-y. Easier said than done. But judgment just leads to more judgment. Let me be more specific. When I criticize someone, aren't they more likely to be defensive and then look for something to criticize in me? It starts a vicious cycle. I'm starting to see that when I judge others, I'm really judging some aspect of myself that I don't like and secretly hope will never reveal itself. I wish I could say I live on a higher plane of consciousness where I judge no one and accept life as it is, but that would be a big fat lie. The first step is just being aware.
5. Take action anyway. 'Nuff said. And then see what kind of results you get. That's the part I sometimes forget to pay attention to. I do things willy-nilly and don't take the time to see whether my actions yield the results I was hoping for. So, maybe it's action + analysis, followed by more action.
I hope you found this helpful. If you (or someone you know) are struggling to go after your dreams — or even to identify what your dreams ARE, I'd love to help. Email me to set up a free coaching session.