I am actively working on myself…and have been for some time because what I know to be true is that there is no end point to the work that I am doing. No final destination or goal that can be achieved where I get to sit back and say that I have accomplished what I set out to do in my personal work. The truth is that the more work we do, the more I realise there is to be done. Okay, maybe calling it work makes it’s sound like a required tedium. I love the process of getting to focus and experiment on myself – even when it’s difficult.
This afternoon I was having a quiet, pensive conversation with a friend of mine who is a true inspiration to me and has been an essential part of my spiritual, emotional and mental growth over the years. The conversation was about important things that are going on in our lives, not just a chat about the weather, and we inevitably started talking about where we with ourselves and our more challenging situations. The word acceptance kept coming up from my side of the conversation. Acceptance about where I am in my life with regards to a couple of personal financial challenges that I have been facing. Because the thing is that I am being extremely proactive in building my business and creating new opportunities in the work that I do. It’s not like I am sitting on my couch and waiting for business to fall into my lap.
My Wheel of Life looks amazing at the moment. Well except for that like wedge labeled “financial”, but that’s where the acceptance is being practiced (or is it tested) at the moment. Acceptance in the fact that the situation is not permanent, and it’s definitely not personal (one of the habits/skills I am focusing on learning and deepening). And also practicing the spiritual principles of faith and believing that the hard work will pay off. That like my recovery, my body transformation and my relationship, consistency is the key to success. Well one of them anyway. That if I follow my path with courage and passion, the rewards will follow!?
I’m not talking of financial success, but wealth that is measured in other innumerable ways. Riches that comprise of gratitude, love, acceptance, wisdom and understanding are actually abundant in my professional and personal life. But there are times that I find the world a very complex, confusing place and then I start to forget that wealth and success are not merely about money and financial stability, but also about the universal truths of integrity, honesty, compassion and kindness. That success is about honouring my values of education, knowledge, service, connection and adventure, in a way that touches the lives of the people that I work with. That being given the privilege of holding a space for those who are ready to find their true voice and live with courageous vulnerability, is nothing short of a daily gift.
And yet I get caught up in the challenges of daily life and forget to be grateful for the remarkable space I get to work in. Where I get to work and walk with people who are reinventing themselves, their relationships and their purpose in life. Those seeking out their true sense of self so that they can move forward with congruent integrity. I get to learn about lives that are so different from mine and no amount of reading could ever bring me the knowledge and insight I get from being part of my clients’ processes. These are the blessings that I need to remind myself of when I am feeling overwhelmed by the business of life.
I never profess to be some sort of expert in the field of human behaviour, able to apply all the learning and tools to my own life in an effortless way. My personal process is a collection of triumphs and challenges, situations that go swimmingly and others that teeter on the brink of disastrous. At times I can be as present and centered as an enlightened being, only to be knocked out of my moment by something completely trivial. And then spend ages trying to refocus and breathe in a way that resembles normal. The reason I am saying this is because what I do believe is that there are no experts when it comes to how to live life. There are just those who are much much better at it than use mere mortals…the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and other such spiritual masters being on the high end of the “I get this life thing” continuum.
I have had hysterical calls in the middle of the night from people who present very differently in their professional lives as business people, lawyers, executives and leaders, and their lives or those of their loved ones are in in a state of messy. What this has shown me is that we are all just people trying to make sense of the inexplicable situations that life throws at us at times. And we may be equipped with all sorts of skills, tools, practices and habits, but that doesn’t mean we hit the mark with our behaviour every time things go awry. It’s one thing to observe and assist in other peoples’ lives and a completely different situation when it is happening to us. So I have to remember that humility is an essential spiritual ingredient in my personal and professional life.
Because in my own life I don’t get to be the coach, I just get to be the woman. That I also get triggered and scared, and there are things that upset my equilibrium. Just because I know how which tools and methods to use when feeling upset, angry and reactive doesn’t mean I always get it “right”. There are times that I lose my temper, react rather than respond, and even say something mean and thoughtless. And just like everyone else I have to take myself back into the situation after losing my shit and apologise for being insensitive or irrational. In fact often knowing what I should have done makes screwing it up even harder. But that’s the inner critic coming out to have a loud word in my ear!
I guess what I am trying to say is that I really am just trying to navigate through this world as best I can. That there are days when I just don’t get it… Days when I find people and communication complex and confounding. Days when I want to slip under my bed and pretend that I am hiding from a fire-spewing dragon. Days when even my best efforts end up not working out like I had hoped or planned, all communication missing the mark and pretty much it all just being a huge SNAFU! And it is on these days in particular where I need to stay in my authentic self and just let the chips fall where they may, even if that is in a big messy pile all around me. Only then can I start to catch my breath and my bearings and decide on the way forward. Where maybe I have to shallow my pride and take responsibility around the part I have played in the dysfunction.
I’m not saying that this is an everyday event, but what I am trying say is that it happens. No one has a perfect score card when it comes to good days! And on particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%. And that’s pretty good.