“I hadn’t asked to be different, but I had answered to it. I had committed to never ignoring my spirit again.” ~ Tama J. Kieves
My birthday features at a time of year that is perfect for reflection, in preparation for the coming year. As each year rolls by, notching up another number on my age and a new wrinkle on my forehead, my birthday has become a time of even deeper self-reflection - and this year has been no exception.
While sitting by the fire with a hot cup of tea at my Italian retreat, I’ve realised that one of my biggest mistakes of recent years was to continuously try to be like others. And I don’t mean any single-white-female situations, I’m just referring to your run of the mill I-admire-what-you-do-and-the-success-you’ve-had kind of thing. In addition to this though, I’ve also encountered the more toxic I-don’t-fit-in-here-but-have-to-change-myself-to-adapt-despite-it-being-against-my-morals thing as well. Combine these two together and it can be an unhealthy overload of “compare despair”.
There’s been the music biz people with the pushy big personality, or the entrepreneurs whose intelligence and natural abilities I wish I had – but at the end of the day, I’ve come to realise that I can only be ME. Yes, just little old (well, not that old) ME. And self-acceptance is a long journey but in the last couple of months, I’ve started to truly understand that if I embrace what comes naturally to me, what my gifts really are, I will be happier in life and probably more successful.
All this had been bubbling up under the surface for too long, affecting my health, and my confidence – so in August 2014, I said ENOUGH. I quit my job, sold everything, bought a ticket overseas and re-connected with every person I knew in the northern hemisphere. Since doing this, I’ve been on an adventure of self-discovery that’s taken me to Europe, the UK and North America. I’ve started to rediscover who I truly am, what makes me tick and what I need to do moving forward.
Interestingly, my body has also reacted to this change of events – a series of colds, chest infections and extreme tiredness has highlighted the immense weight of unhappiness I was holding onto for the past few years and how much my decision to shake things up was ultimately - the right thing to do.
A gift I received this Christmas was Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work by Tama Kieves. As Tama highlights in her book, she never asked to be different, but she had answered to its call within her and followed her dreams, to be her Inspired Self. I too feel the same and that I too am on such a journey. And in 2015, I have decided that I am committed to never ignoring my spirit again.
Now, I’m over the chest infection and I’m finally feeling on top of my sleep debt. Two weeks hidden away in an Italian retreat with nourishing food, early nights and limited Internet access will do that to you. So on my birthday today, I’ve written a list. A list of focuses - focuses that mean something to me and will drive me forward in a positive way in 2015 and beyond:
- Self-confident in my decisions – less doubt, more belief.
- Self-acceptance of any hiccups and “mistakes” – less criticism, more understanding.
- Ask others for help when I need it – less fear, more learning.
- Say ‘no’ more often, say ‘yes’ to the life I want to lead – less pleasing, more me-focus.
- Make it happen – less chance, more action.
Good health, clear mind; trust my instincts, nurture my true gifts. This is what I want in 2015. I want to share so much love, positivity, knowledge and curiousity with the world and now is the time to do it with no fear, no regrets.
That all said, I don’t deny that I won’t meet some challenges along the way. Yes, I will stumble at times, drop the ball unintentionally, or take two steps forward, one step back. But this is all part of the journey and learning more about myself.
I’m excited to continue walking out on the edge and embrace uncertainty as I map my new path in the world. I might not always get it right but as long as I stay true to myself, be authentic and continue to learn along the way, everything will work out. I’m sure of it.
What do you want to focus on in 2015 for a better you, a more true you?
Stay tuned: I will update my blog with updates from my travels in coming weeks.