‘Anything can happen. Anything can happen all the time.’

AnythingI saw a great movie this morning that reminded me of the things that make life worth living. It was called, ‘This is where I leave you’ and was about a family (with the usual share of dysfunctions) who came together to mourn the loss of their father.

Dysfunctionality aside, it was about the choices we make in life and whether they lead to happiness or not; the trade-offs we make because we have this idea of what we think life should be like…but never quite is.

So often we plan ahead with this picture in our minds of how life should turn out, but it rarely ever ends that way. Sometimes we get disappointed about that. We think it should look like the picture and feel short-changed and frustrated if it doesn’t.

But what if that picture you have in your head is completely wrong? What if your life is meant to be so much more complicated, complex and truly wonderful than you could ever imagine?

It is the unexpected in my life that has led me to the most wonderful places – an unexpectedly and forced decision to leave a job opens the door to a new world of opportunity; a chance meeting that leads to a strong friendship; a book or an unplanned conversation that shows me a completely different way to live or think.

The unexpected is what creation is made of. And the illusion we give ourselves that our lives will proceed according to some plan we’ve made up is just that, an illusion built on expectations that are often not in our best interests anyway.

So be open to the unexpected. After all, as one character said in the movie today, ‘Anything can happen. Anything can happen all the time.’ So plan for the ‘anything’. Welcome it with open arms. Sometimes it may jolt your world, make you uncomfortable and yes, it may be painful. But the unexpected has magic in it too and we all need more of that.

Is it time to forgive yourself?

RegretI don’t think anyone on this planet can truly say they have lived a perfect and blameless life. We have all, every single one of us, done or said things we have regretted and even tried to pretend they never happened.

Unfortunately, those things we try to forget, lurk there in the back of our minds and rear their ugly heads when we least expect it. And then we torment ourselves with guilt or disappointment that we didn’t behave better at the time.

Worse still is when we confess our ‘sin’ to someone we care about and hope they won’t judge or think less of us in return.

But it’s at that moment that things can get interesting. Because if that person truly loves you as a friend, a lover or family member, they won’t judge you at all and they won’t think less of you either. Instead they will accept you as you are; a human being with weaknesses, frailties and emotions.

And in that moment you will realise that you should forgive yourself for the wrongs you believe you’ve done. Because those things can’t be undone, no matter how much you’d like them to be, and tormenting yourself is wasteful of your energy. Instead, forgive yourself and resolve to learn from your mistakes, not flagellate yourself for them.

After all, as I often tell my students, you will learn more from getting it wrong than you will ever learn from getting it right. And life is too short to carry all that guilt with you.

Are you living your reality, or someone else’s?

REalityMy good friends Susanna* told me recently that these days she creates her own reality. And before you begin to wonder if she is delusional, let me assure you she is not.

Instead, she has realised that it’s up to her to create her world and her own version of truth within it. Because it is so easy to go through life and accept the ‘truths’ that other people tell you. The ‘truths’ that life is hard and you shouldn’t aim too high. Or maybe it’s a truth you’ve made up for yourself – a combination of the knocks life has dealt you over time – the truths that you’re not good enough, or you’ll never get that job, that freedom, that boy (or girl).

And so it goes.

But what Susanna has discovered is another truth altogether. It’s the truth that we can choose what we believe in and live our lives accordingly. Yes, there will always be events and people who impact on our lives. But their version of the ‘truth’ is something you can accept or discard. Just the same as when that so-called truthful voice in your head tells you what isn’t possible, you can accept or discard that too.

The trick is to starve that version of truth and replace it with a far healthier one.

For example, when someone says your dream is too big and you should be more realistic, you can either accept that truth or say, ‘No. That’s not my truth. My truth is that I believe that I can shoot for the stars and I’m going to make it happen.’ And then you don’t give that other truth any more thought. You don’t dwell on it, or give it the time of day. You starve it until it’s no longer part of your reality.

And in an energetic sense, this very act helps your truth become reality. Because it is where you direct your energy that life begins, and the laws of attraction come into play. You may also find that the obstacles, those insurmountable mountains that once blocked your every move, dissipate and the way forward becomes clear.

So decide on your truth and create your world around it. Create the reality your heart wants to live in. And remember that truth is always in the eye of the beholder…so make sure your truth is worth holding on to.

You have the power to change your life

Begin it now.Have you ever looked at someone and thought, ‘Wow! How did they get that life? Why can’t my life be that great?’

Well, I have a message for you. You can get the life you want. You just have to start.

Part of me feels like I’m about to launch into a sales pitch but I’m not, really. I’m just writing this to let you know (yes, you!!) that you can create the life you want. You just need to choose it, right now, this minute. It’s in your hands.

You don’t need someone else’s permission or approval. I know you might think you do. Maybe you’ve been doing what everyone else wants for so long that you’ve forgotten you have a choice. Maybe you think looking out for your best interests is selfish.

Guess what, it is selfish. But that’s required. You can’t live your life for other people and be happy. It just won’t work. Instead you’ll see glimpses of true happiness in the lives other people are living.

So start your life now. Just take one small step, for you. Begin creating the life you want, slowly but surely.

You really do have the power.

Is it your year to take flight?

Since 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.