Is it your year to take flight?

Image - joesgossip.blogspot.comSince late last year I have thought of 2014 as ‘flight year’. I can’t tell you why exactly, but I’ve just felt this is the year so many of us will ‘take-off’ in our lives.

If 2013 was a year to purge ourselves of the old, 2014 is the year to let go of the last vestiges of our old luggage and take to the skies. It is our year to fly.

In the last few days it’s become even more clear to me that the Flight Year is indeed happening for many people I know. Their lives are taking unexpected turns and whereas previously they might have known exactly where they were going, this time the future is in many ways the great unknown.

They have not been passive participants in creating these changes in their lives. Instead they have decided to take a chance and trust themselves. This in itself has brought magical changes and opportunities for them.

One dear friend has recently, finally, begun to value herself and her business rather that relying so much on the approval of others. She’s seen opportunities and instead of saying, ‘I can’t do that’ she decided to say ‘Yes, I’m going to give it a shot.’ The financial and career opportunities are now pouring in and taking her in new and exciting directions she never dreamed were possible.

Another friend is leaving the city to return home, save money and then head overseas for as yet unplanned adventures. She’s always wanted to work overseas but was never quite sure how to make it happen. Then a change in her workplace made her realise she could do it. Now was the time. She decided to move back home and suddenly lucrative work opportunities in her home town were knocking on her door. She asked for what she wanted and has definitely received the financial assistance she needs. Next year she will be on a plane to Europe and her adventure will really begin.

The key to my friends beginning their Flight Year was a clear decision to take a chance and be open to change and opportunity. Once they did this, the Universe did the rest. An equally conscious decision to believe in themselves and let go of behaviour that wasn’t serving them anymore, also helped.

I have other friends who are about to begin their Flight Year. They are teetering on the edge of their old life, peering into the distance and trying to see what’s up ahead. And that is what’s holding them back. They must each make a conscious decision to leave behind the old before they can fully step into the new. They must decide to finish that project, relationship, job or business and walk away without having a clear or exact vision of what lays ahead. They must choose to take a chance on themselves and step into the unknown.

Once this happens the Universe will step in to assist (as it always does) and their next real adventure will begin. They may find themselves arriving at unexpected destinations they would never have planned. But it is through that journey they will still, most definitely, end up precisely where they are supposed to be.

So if you find yourself hesitating, remember that to realise your potential you must first trust in yourself. And secondly, you must trust that the Universe is looking after you and will help you to see the way ahead. You must also be prepared to let go of those parts of your life that are no longer right for you. Only after all this, can you begin your Flight Year.

 

 

 

 

“Everything is fixable.”

988684-scales-of-justice-thinkstockA few years ago I had the great honour of working with a kind and generous mentor. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court and I was fortunate enough to seek and receive his guidance on some projects I was working on.

I was an anxious over-achiever who, like most perfectionists, wanted to do everything fabulously well and do it all NOW. Of course, all I did was become a nervous wreck. I felt like I was always running behind and never did anything as well as I should. I’d been given a lot of responsibility in the role and was also worried about making bad decisions and letting people down.

One day this kind Judge went a little off-topic in one of our project meetings. I guess my anxiety was  obvious and he’d decided to take me under his wing.

“Everything is fixable,” he said. “If you make the wrong decision there will usually be a way to retrieve the situation.

“And you can’t do everything. Think of it like a large canvas – you can’t paint it all at once.

“So start in one corner and work your way towards the middle.”

His words had a powerful effect and I left his office feeling supported and more confident in my ability to deliver what was required.

That kind man’s words helped me to understand that I can only ever do my best. It’s impossible for me to do otherwise.

And if I make the wrong decision, “It’s always fixable.”

Even now, it seems like pretty good advice to me.

It’s never too late to learn something new

learnThere’s a designated tutor room I can sit in at Uni. It includes 24 hot desks where tutors can sit and work in a quiet atmosphere interrupted only by the tapping of keyboards and the occasional sounds of a student consultation.

I never like to sit there. It’s too quiet and for some reason I feel isolated, even though I am surrounded by other tutors.

Instead you will find me sitting in common areas, on floors and in foyers where the students mill around laughing as they travel to or from class, or sit mulling intently over some image on their laptop that I cannot see. There is energy in them I think and part of me connects to that energy and expands because of it.

I am not a student and not one of them. But being around them makes me feel revitalised and my spirits are lifted. Just being around the right energy can make my day a whole lot better.

And when I’m in a class where students respond and participate in discussions and share their ideas, I am lifted even further. Their thirst to know and grow is inspiring and joyful. So often we forget that feeling, that desire to learn, and it is wonderful to be reminded every time I step on campus.

They are not paragons of virtue, of course. None of us are. They are frequently flawed procrastinators (not unlike me), juggling jobs, uni and friends with hopeless time management and sometimes less than optimal results. But they remind me of something precious…that our capacity to expand never really leaves us. Many of us try to vanquish that desire within us. ‘I am too busy to do that’ or I’m too old to learn’ or ‘When would I ever use that’, we will say to ourselves and others when the desire to do something new beckons us into unknown territory. We fear the possibility that we might fail or look stupid.

But being around these students of all ages reminds me somehow that it is never too late to learn, to grow, or to learn something new.

And it is never too late for you either.

Fate: Do you really have a choice?

Image - examier.comSomeone asked recently if I believed in fate or if I thought we had a choice in how our lives turn out.

It may seem contradictory, but I believe in fate AND our ability to make choices and exercise our free will.

I think we all have a path to follow, a purpose and lessons to learn while we are here. These things are decided before we are born. But how our lives and lessons manifest, and how long we take to learn our lessons, is up to us.

Let’s take exhibit A: Me.

For quite a few years after my marriage ended, I attracted and was attracted to unavailable men. They might already have partners, be emotionally constipated (i.e. unable to make any type of emotional commitment), physically unavailable (live intra- or interstate), like to play hard to get or be unable to work out what they really wanted.

I was a magnet for these men. I didn’t know why but they kept turning up in my life and I would be sucked into their world of unavailability. And of course, I would get emotionally involved, make excuses for their poor behaviour and believe they could change, get hurt and then spend months recovering from it all.

I repeated this pattern over and over again.

In hindsight, I believe I had a lesson to learn about valuing myself and realising I deserved an emotionally available man. I felt guilty about leaving my marriage and hurting people I cared about for a long time and part of me just didn’t think I deserved another shot at the ‘relationship title’. So those unavailable men just kept rocking up until I learned the lesson.

I’m pleased to say I don’t open my doors wide to unavailable men anymore. I’m much better at spotting them from a distance, giving them a wide berth or just saying, ‘No thanks’ and moving on. I guess you could say I’ve learned my lesson and now make different choices. I know I deserve the best now.

So when it comes to fate and choices I think we do have certain things to learn in this lifetime but it’s up to us how long we take to learn those lessons. We can take as long and make it as painful for ourselves as we like. That’s our choice.

Sometimes in these situations we just don’t realise we are repeating the same pattern over and over again.

That’s my take on fate versus choices anyway.

May you make good choices for yourselves today.

The path to self-acceptance

The road to self acceptanceFollowing on from my last blog, a friend asked how did I get to the point where I was strong enough to trust myself, know that I could make good decisions and then do what I knew was best for me…regardless of how unpopular it might make me.

I can’t say it happened overnight. It was more of an evolutionary process and the breakdown of my marriage was certainly part of it. I had a moment when the Universe sent me a very clear message that there was something wrong with the life I had created. Forces out of my control made me realise, ‘Hang on. Something is not right here.’

After my wake-up call I had to face parts of myself that I’d been pushing down for a long time. I’d been squashing them down because I’d been so worried about doing the right thing, being seen as the good person and never really believing that I knew what was best for me.

It should be noted that I resisted what I call the ‘face up to yourself’ process. After all, why would you want to face something that’s going to turn your whole life upside down?

But nevertheless, eventually, I had to look myself in the eye in the bathroom mirror and face who I really was. I no longer wanted the things I used to want. There was more to me than I thought. Who knew?

Then I had to accept the parts of me I knew might be unpopular with others. I had to accept that other people might not agree that I knew what was best for me. I had to let go of my fear of stuffing up, not being responsible and so on.

I also had to accept myself wholly and completely, including my flaws and weaknesses (I’m still working on this one).

Then after a long struggle (I was very, very hard on myself) I gave myself permission to make the decisions I knew were best for me. In this example, that meant leaving my marriage.

A few years have passed now and every year I get better at the whole trusting myself and my own decisions thing. I’m more in touch with my intuition than ever before and I’m not afraid to say, ‘No, this isn’t for me,’ and walk away from situations that others would put up with to ‘keep the peace’. I’m really not interested in keeping the peace at my own expense anymore. I just don’t see the point.

So I guess the short answer to my friend’s question is, firstly I was honest with myself about who I was and what I really wanted. Secondly, I accepted myself. Thirdly, I trusted myself to make good decisions and realised that I had to do what was best for me. And finally, I made decisions and took the actions I needed to take and dealt with the unpopularity that ensued.

In a nutshell, I realised that the right decisions for me might also make me unpopular.

But I was okay with that.

 

 

 

Are your decisions upsetting other people?

Image - soundfit.net

Image – soundfit.net

Nearly a decade ago I made a decision that upset a lot of people. I ended my marriage.

My husband Daniel was, and is, a good man. He was reliable, goodlooking, caring, funny and the kind of man everyone loved.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, I stopped loving him. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t recover those feelings. They were gone and so eventually I accepted my marriage was over.

My decision to leave wasn’t popular in a lot of quarters.

Some of my friends were incredulous and even scornful. How could I consider leaving? Daniel was, in their eyes, the perfect man. I must be out of my mind.

Some of my family members were angry, upset and believed for years afterwards that I would live to regret my decision.

But I haven’t.

Leaving the home Daniel and I shared was incredibly difficult. But I knew then, as I know now, that it was what I needed to do for me. I couldn’t stay there anymore and be true to myself. I had a right to be happy and my heart was telling me very clearly that it was time to go.

Dealing with the disappointment, anger and judgement of others in that kind of situation can be hard. You need to have faith in yourself and be truly connected to what is best for you.

Sometimes other people won’t be supportive because your behaviour doesn’t align with what they want, expect or believe is right.

But you can’t let that stand in your way.

Living your life to only make others happy will only make you miserable. You have a right to be happy too.

Sometimes it will feel like being true to yourself just makes you unpopular. And you know what, it might. But the alternative is hardly an option. After all, do you want to live the life you want? Don’t you have a right to do that?

Living your life to make others happy at your own expense is actually kind of nuts. They get everything they want and you get…nothing?

I never set out to hurt anyone. And it caused me a lot of pain to see the people I cared about (including my husband) in pain. But I knew I had to go because that was best for me. Staying would keep others happy but leave me miserable.

And that’s not what life is about.

We must always be true to ourselves. So be brave my friends and live the life that is best for you. Trust your own judgement and don’t live in fear of the censure of others.

Your heart wants you to fly…so don’t lock yourself in a cage that’s been created by and for others.

It’s really not worth it.

Are you stuck in life’s washing machine?

Image - creativepool.com

Image – creativepool.com

I had a vision of a friend while I was meditating tonight. She was inside a front-loader washing machine being spun around in the murky grey water, somehow keeping her head up but getting sopping wet in the process. Eventually the cycle stopped and she climbed out. Then she stood for a moment, before walking to the next machine (there was a long line of them), getting in and starting the next cycle. It was a never-ending process.

The key to breaking the cycle was in the brief moment when she stood between one machine and the next. That was the moment when she could change things. But she didn’t stop long enough to hear the message the universe was sending her. She just kept going.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the hurly burly of our daily lives that we don’t allow ourselves the time to stop and ask, “Is this really what I want?” and “Should I be doing something differently?”

Our minds need a moment to become quiet and move to stillness to allow those answers to come. Yet we don’t stop long enough for that to happen. And so the cycle continues and we keep climbing into the washing machine.

It is always useful to give ourselves the time to stop, recalibrate and ask, “Am I on the right path for me?”

Then we have to wait for the answer.

Sometimes we’ll ask the question but all we’ll hear is a deafening silence. If this happens, the trick is to pause a little longer and allow time for the answer to turn up.

Sometimes it won’t appear so we’ll just shrug and jump back into the cycle again because we know how to do that and quite frankly, who has time for all that navel gazing anyway?

Do you know what I mean?

But these days I try to take a different approach.

Firstly, I give myself the time to be still. I allow my soul to help me know my path and allow the inspiration to come from within (trust me, the answers are always inside you).

[You might find that stillness while running, meditating or gardening. Do whatever works for you.]

Secondly, if the answer doesn’t come, that’s okay. I do my best to let it go but be open to the answer showing up. I ask the universe to show me the way. If I’m open to it, there will be signs. It could be as simple as someone making a random comment and a light bulb will go off in my head; a doorway will open and a vague possibility will suddenly seem attainable.

I believe we all have a choice about how we live our lives. And sure, you can stay in the washing machine cycle if you like.

But t prefer to avoid getting concussion in the spin cycle.