How to survive a friend break-up

friends break upLast weekend, my friend Susan* discovered she had lost some of her friends. Somehow, over the past 12 months, as she became absorbed more and more in her purpose and life in general, her friends began to pull away. Then over the weekend, Susan experienced a ‘friend break-up’.

‘It would be great if you could write a blog about how to deal with that!’ she said. So here it is.

Susan has done a lot over the past year or so. She’s had a baby, established a not-for-profit and organised fundraising events that delivered valuable and much-needed outcomes for those in need. Put simply, she’s been following her heart and purpose to make the world a better place.

Unfortunately, some friends have decided not to support Susan’s journey. For whatever reason, they never ask what she’s up to, they don’t support her fundraising events and they don’t care about the path she has chosen. They don’t get it and now deliberately isolate her at social events. The situation felt like schoolyard bullying and, as she felt hurt by their behaviour, Susan decided to ask them what was going on.

Their reaction wasn’t positive and included statements like ‘All you ever talk about is you’, ‘You’re never free when we want to see you’ and ‘You didn’t come to my party.’

Some of her friends’ complaints stretched back to August last year. But when Susan asked, ‘Why didn’t you say something back then?’ they had no response.

Now, while Susan has been engrossed in various activities and could probably do with more ‘balance ‘in her life generally, she definitely hasn’t been making it all about her. She’s been juggling a baby, work and trying to make the world a better place in the only way she knows how. Susan has been busy but also made an effort to stay in touch with her friends. However, her commitments meant she wasn’t as available as she used to be. Meanwhile, her friends aren’t interested in what she’s doing and want her to be the way she was before.

But Susan isn’t that person anymore and she can’t go back.

‘What do I do?’ she asked with tears in her eyes. ‘I’m doing my best but they’re not interested. They don’t want to know.’

Breaking up with friends is hard but we can’t stay in one place just to make other people comfortable. In life there will be moments when you realise you must leave some people behind. Life is like that. Some people will always be in our lives, others will stay only for a certain period of time before going their own way. Then there are others who will leave and return when the time is right. That’s just how our soul contracts with each other work. We support and learn from each other, then move on when the contract is done (read Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss if you’d like to know more about this).

Our relationships, platonic, familial and romantic, do require work and commitment. However, sometimes you are simply moving in a different direction and must let go. And that’s okay.

My advice to Susan was to seek out those friends who support her journey; the ones who ‘get’ what she’s trying to do.

‘Seek out the ones who help your feel lightness in your soul and encourage you to live the life your dream of,’ I said. ‘What would that feel like?’ Susan’s smile was all the answer I needed and I felt her spirit lift at the thought.

Some people are only in our lives for a season. Others will remain connected over long periods to teach us lessons or support only certain parts of our lives. And then others will return when we believe the connection is broken, because that too is what’s needed. The challenge is to protect our hearts and know it’s okay to let go when the contract is done.

*Names changed and story published with Susan’s approval.

If you’d like to me to respond to one of your questions, please comment on my blog or email me at lucretia@lucretiaswords.com

 

 

 

 

 

How to write a resume that rocks

resume rocksIt’s January and for most graduates that means it’s time to get serious and get that first job out there in the ‘real world’. As a university tutor I see a lot of students struggle with the transition. Competition can be fierce and often graduates find it hard to stand out from the crowd.

My top five tips for graduates are as follows.

  1. Identify which segment of your profession/industry interests you and focus your attention on applying for jobs in that area. For example, if you’re a public relations graduate and you’re interested in the not-for-profit sector, don’t apply for roles in fashion (unless it’s a fashion-related organisation that has a great corporate social responsibility program).
  2. Think laterally. It’s not always possible to work for your ‘ideal organisation’ as soon as you leave university. Consider organisations that undertake similar types of projects and look for jobs there.
  3. Be prepared to start at the bottom rung and work your way up. The best thing you can do is get your foot in the door and then, as one of my former mentors said, ‘be a sponge.’ If there’s an administration role available in an area you’d love to work in (and you have the skills to do the job), apply for it. My first PR job was a personal assistant in a PR section. Within four years I’d been promoted twice because I was already there and always put my hand up to learn and do more.
  4. Leverage the the skills you’ve gained through your part-time jobs. For example, if you’re been providing customer service then that shows you can build and maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders/clients. Put that in your resume.
  5. Be professional – don’t lie, don’t undersell yourself and make sure your presentation is appropriate.
    1. If you lie on your resume you will eventually be caught out and your credibility will be lost with your employer.
    2. Get help to identify your strengths and include these in your resume. Most of my clients (from graduates through to executives) undersell themselves and don’t highlight their expertise effectively.
    3. Ask someone to read through your resume for errors and things that don’t make sense. Use spell check (it’s there for a reason!).

Happy job hunting!

Can I help you to get your career off to a great start? If you need professional resume services then check out my Resume Revamp service or, if you need help to get clear on where you’d like to go in your career, maybe my Personal Branding program is for you. 

Are you going round in circles?

linearAs a humble human being, I still get frustrated when things don’t go my way. I’m at Point A and I want to get to Point B. Should be straightforward, right? But in life I find it rarely is.

The older I get and the more self-awareness I develop, the more I realise just how circular our life path is. There is nothing linear about it.

Consider Exhibit A, the entrepreneur. By their very nature this creature is a creative thinker. They are not working in a straight line. They are looking here, over there, under there and seeing patterns and connections where others only see structures and what has been before. Their creations are not born of a linear path.

Consider your own life in the same way; it is not a straight line from birth to death. There are twists and turns, and ups and downs. Connections are formed and broken, then sometimes formed again in seemingly random patterns. Our experiences form layer upon layer in our psyche, stacking up, collapsing and reforming; circles upon circles.

Is it any wonder my lovely rational brain (with its many fine qualities) feels frustrated? My brain is trained to want the linear. Straight lines and clear outcomes. A + B = C not X – 2 +B + TxT – Y= Q/N x 2Z. My mind craves the linear like an alcoholic craves liquor at dawn.

But life isn’t like that. It gets less like that every day.

Life is circular and interconnected with layers and side streets, blind alleys and roundabouts. Linear is a non-existent channel to nowhere.

Far better (as I frequently urge my brain) to accept this journey as the wonderfully circular and unexpected travail it surely is. What was so great about the ‘expected’ anyway?

Better to accept I have no clue what will happen tomorrow let alone next year. I must accept the Universe has its own timetable and a roadmap written in a language I have never heard of and cannot pronounce. I simply need to fit into the Universe’s master plan (without knowing what it is) and attempt as much non-resistance as I can to achieve a semblance of sustainable peace.

The circular patterns of life must be embraced and I must abandon my plans for the linear. Linear life is a construct destined for extinction. Linear life doesn’t really exist.

 

Are you interested in expanding your self-awareness and exploring the non-linear path? If so, check out my intuitive mentoring services at Lucretia’s Words

Fighting the ghosts of relationships past

exesLate one night in November 2014, around 2am, I was pacing back and forth in the lounge-room of my ex, tears pouring down my cheeks, as he slept peacefully in the next room. I was trying to make sense of his behaviour that weekend and how he seemed to be turning into someone I didn’t know. I didn’t know he was already checking out of our relationship and was building up to a deathblow he’d sensitively deliver the next morning (literally around two minutes before he dropped me off at work).

As I paced the room, assessing my own behaviour, I wondered if I was doing something to create the situation. Could it be my fault in some way? As a woman of 40-something years, I’d been in relationships before and could, with a bit of objectivity, see that maybe I was bringing some of my emotional baggage forward. I don’t think that’s a particularly unusual state of affairs. After all, we are all shaped by our experiences and it’s sometimes hard to leave those behind when we begin a new relationship.

Eventually, as I often do, I turned to my writing to process the situation and wrote this blog on my phone where it has remain hidden until now. So here are a few of my thoughts on the ghosts of relationships past. I did read this to my ex as we drove to work the next day but I guess he didn’t really get it. However, perhaps my words will provide you with some interesting insights (or amusement).

I sometimes think our exes are like nosy new neighbours who don’t know when to leave. You move into a new relationship/house and everything seems great. There’s more room than your old place and you’ll feel much more free and happy. ‘Yeah,’ you think, ‘this is going to be good’.

Then the neighbours show up. ‘Yoohoo!’ they’ll cry as they stick their heads around the front door you foolishly left ajar. ‘Can we come in?’

Before you can say, ‘No! No! Come back later’ (or preferably never) they’ve strolled in and started going through all your stuff including the new boxes you’ve just started unpacking.

‘Oh, remember when we…,’ one of them will say.

‘Oh you know you always made that such an issue with me,’ another will reminisce.

And so on they will go until you feel like you’re going to scream.

You don’t want them there in the new house with you, those old relationships you thought you’d left behind. You don’t want them affecting your new relationship. But, unfortunately those ‘neighbours’ are always going to live next to your house, wherever you move. You can never escape them completely and they can cause trouble in your new house if you let them.

The trick is to hear the lessons they remind you about but always know when to push them unceremoniously out the door and turn the locks behind them. A good set of sensor lights will also catch them in the act when they next try to sneak onto your property.

Did you know I’ve just launched my new website, Lucretia’s Words? If you’re interested in personal branding, intuitive mentoring or writing services, please head on over and check it out.

 

Victory

Doubts

There is a time before victory
When all your doubts crowd in
They jostle for space
They won’t leave a trace
For any light to get in

You will spiral
You will swirl
You’ll feel the pull of the drain
Down you’ll go into the dark
But you know what
You’ll come up again

Cause life is lightness
And there is hope
As long as you believe
You will get up
And dust yourself off
Anything’s possible
If you believe

Any creation will come at a cost
It must triumph over fear
You will have to put yourself out
Yes you will my dear

You will have to risk it all
You must risk the chance of failure
It may be a spectacular fall
But God, you must do the labour
Because you know
If you succeed
No price will be too much
For all your pride and false pretenses
Of never caring too much

Your creation whatever it be
A creation of true love
A thing of beauty
Not happenstance
A labour of real love

The joy that comes from that creation
Will make it all worthwhile
All the pain and doubts before then
Will disappear with just a smile

So when you feel the doubts crowd in
They try to snuff out your hope
Just keep going because my love
Where there’s light, there’s hope

You must risk it all you know
You must lay it on the line
If you don’t then you can just
Keep stepping on the mines.

Today’s Sponsor Is Fear

Fear2

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo.

The sponsor of today’s blog is Fear. I’ve known Fear for a long time now and I daresay he’d be pissed off to know that I’m using his name to bring my version of light and hope into the world. Nevertheless, that’s what I’m doing tonight.

I’ve chosen Fear because he’s a strong motivator. He is the motivator who creates…nothing. He’s the one who stops us in our tracks and prevents us going for what we truly want.

Often the only thing between you and that thing you want is Fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of what other people will think. Fear of looking foolish.

I know Fear and all his versions intimately. Fear has circled my psyche for decades. He’s created cracks in my dreams and sucked my confidence many times. He’s insidiously perpetrated destructive crimes when I’ve least expected it and invited his close friends Procrastination and Self-doubt into my house when my back was turned.

He hides behind the furniture and jumps out, scaring the heck out of me. He also loves to lurk in those dark recesses of my mind that become a little too overactive late at night. Fear is a stalker who reappears just when I think he’s gone for good.

Sigh. I guess none of this is very uplifting, is it.

But here’s the thing. I’ve learned a lot about Fear over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no more of an expert than anyone else. But there are two things I’ve learned after all this time.

Firstly, Fear isn’t worth a damn and you should never let him come between you and that thing you want. Go for it. Just try. Even the attempt will create something. It may be an outcome you didn’t even know you wanted. It could be everything you want and more. You won’t know unless you give it a go (should that be a bumper sticker??). Your attempt may even propel you past what you thought was possible and into something truly amazing that you never expected.

The second thing I know about Fear is this: most of the time he’s just there to f!uck with your head. Yes, I know it is also a protective mechanism, etcetera, etcetera. But seriously, most of the time it just wants to f!uck with you. Fear wants you to doubt yourself. Fear wants to stop you taking that step into the unknown. Fear wants you to stay right where you are because it’s safe (even if you are miserable in that place where you stand right now). That’s Fear’s job.

It takes Courage to look Fear in the eye and kick its backside out of the way. Courage must come from deep, deep inside you. Courage can’t be learned from someone else. Courage comes solely from you, and you alone. Courage resides in every single one of us.

Courage is an instigator and brings her two close friends, Change and Creation along for the ride. Courage can vanquish Fear any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

So my wish…no, my intention for the end of 2015, is to harness Courage. My desire is to take her hand and allow her to pull me through Fear (who is merely a hologram) so I can reach what I truly desire. I want to live fearlessly. I’m asking the Universe to help me with Courage for all parts of my life. I want her to seek out Fear wherever he hides and send him packing.

Courage will be my sponsor in 2016. She’s the one I’m going to look to. She’s the one who will help me create the life I want.

Am I nervous about this intention? Heck, yeah. But Fear has had the upper hand for far too long.

It’s time for Courage.

How much have you transformed?

Transformation2One of my colleagues was feeling bored recently so he decided to Google the people around him. Once he finally worked out how to spell my name correctly (Lucretia is a little tricky), he typed it in and then turned to me with a look of surprise and perhaps, incomprehension, on his face.

Some of the images on his screen were, in many ways, very different to the face he saw a couple of desks away. His surprise made me laugh aloud and then, for a moment, I wanted to erase them all because I didn’t feel like they were very flattering.

Of course, I couldn’t do that without a lot of effort (nothing ever disappears on the Internet) and I realise now that I don’t want to. When I look at those images or the ones on Facebook or elsewhere, I can see the marks of where I’ve come from drawn all over my face and body.

The photos document when I was miserable inside (and carrying far too much weight as a result) and they show when I’m in recovery from a break-up. They also portray the moment when I was in a foreign land, independently forging ahead as life’s adventures called me on. Others show me when I am, quite simply, happy with my life.

None of those pictures show me as I am now. How could they? In any given moment we can transform from the person we were two minutes ago into the person we choose to become.

It is this capacity to transform rapidly that I can see when I look back over my photos from the past decade or so. I have transformed my life from what it was and moved it into the direction of what I wish it to be. I am no longer the same person.

But that woman in my past, the one who was just trying to do her best at any given moment, deserves my compassion. She doesn’t deserve to be erased because she was awkward, made mistakes or wore bad outfits. Instead she should be celebrated and embraced with all of her lumps, bumps and her sometimes less than ideal choices, because she is me. She is where I’ve come from and where I’ve learned who I am.

Every image that captured her progress shows transformation underway. A transformation into someone I love…me. Those images show that change is possible, that I have learned from my choices (positive and not so positive) and that my potential for growth is unlimited.

What a gift then to see my more rounded face with bad hair and a strained smile on the screen. Because that woman is me and she is a wonderful human being. Just like everyone else walking around on this beautiful planet.