Thursday, 3 March 2016
What Really Matters
Thursday 3rd March 2016
If I was still counting the days since my experiment began it would be 393 - and the fact is when I started I thought it would be six months and that would be that - job done -but its forever.
Much of what I wanted has happened, lots of things I never imagined possible have happened and a lot of what I wanted no longer seems important anymore.
The hardest of it all was probably the 3 months before I started and ironically the 3 months after it finished because in both of those times there has been a battle between my thoughts and my feelings.
Before I began trapped in a world dominated by my thoughts I was the furthest I possibly could be from my true self until the moment that I seriously contemplated ending my life when it summoned all of it's strength to be heard and to persuade me to carry on and find another way of living.
And I did, all of those simple rules or as I now call them joy triggers they each uncovered more and more of my true self and the joy that lives within us all. And it snowballed that joy grew and I began to realize what mattered. less time focusing on the negative things about myself and my life meant more time to focus on the beauty around me and the love for the people around me.
It was really all quite smooth sailing a lifelong eating disorder disappeared(something I never thought was possible). I found myself forgiving people I had felt wronged by and life felt so good.
Plus all these things I wanted to achieve were happening. I had been to America and was due back to California for a book launch, writing a book, blogging for the Huffington Post, meeting Jack Canfield, even one day got an email from the Own Network(Oprah's network) asking to use a tweet, I was being asked to talk and I was even getting asked to go on the radio.
Nothing wrong with all that but....something strange began to happen. All of these things began to seem less important and the more I got in touch with the moment the less important they all seemed.
Like I said nothing wrong with goals, nothing wrong with wanting a nice car, having a New York Times bestselling book and speaking with Oprah Winfrey - nothing at all but the ego quickly attaches itself to them, whispers that they are really important and that I am better if they happen.
My truth told me - who cares - nothing external can change who I am.
I began to question if I was ungrateful at times or if I was unfeeling, things that seemed to be making other people angry or excited didn't do the same for me. Yet I was feeling love and gratitude on a stronger level than ever before. Now I know that I was getting closer and closer to my true self which meant less room for my thinking mind and my ego and it felt really good. Really peaceful.
But that peace wasn't to last and a new battle was to begin between my thoughts and feelings.
Ego loving thoughts and joy coming from allowing myself to feel a lifetime of unfelt emotions. I could write for hours about it all and I will (planned for my book the The Joy Hunt )but for today I'll skip it all and come to the end result.
Each time I would have a few hours of feeling like I was going crazy, generally accompanied by a tense anxiety and a burning feeling in my throat they would be followed by an intense calm and as if I was seeing everything in high definition. Aha moment after aha moment...where my anxiety about money came from, my fear of being seen as a failure, my absolute struggle with asking for help the last one being it seems the most deep rooted of all.
And each time it happened all the "stuff" all the "goals" seemed less important, I realized my "who cares" feeling was not a lack of gratitude but a lack of attachment and more and more I began to feel my way rather than think it.
It was cancelling the trip to L.A on nothing but a strange and uneasy feeling that it wasn't right for me that confirmed to me that we are part of something so much bigger than we can even comprehend and within us is a truth that is always trying to lead us to joy, that sometimes it has to lead us through pain and struggles to get to it but that joy is always close. It is always with us. Our minds though and our ego don't want us to know that joy is with us all the time they want us to think it is in our looks, money, fame, adoration, perfection in our career success because if we think that then we will always be busy and always giving them our attention.
Cancelling that trip meant that I experienced the honour and privilege to be with my Uncle as he took his last breath and this experience only heightened how I felt about life and all that really matters.
So yesterday when I suddenly began to feel weepy, stressed and frustrated I was annoyed. I didn't want to feel that way. I had flown back from England feeling so in touch with joy and so calm. Why did I feel this way? My thoughts were filled with all I had to do and with those thoughts came such a feeling of pressure and I cried and cried accompanied with that same burning feeling in my throat which I now comes from trying to stifle a feeling.
I've never been good at asking for help and thought if I did it was weakness (never in others) It's always been easier for me to put on a brave face and to be strong. I've always hidden behind a wall of getting stuff done. Which is why I think so much of my healing happened so quickly this year because I allowed myself to be vulnerable and shared through the blog who I really was and how I really felt. The eating disorder immediately lost most of it's power when it was no longer a guilty secret.
And so yesterday after a good few hours of crying and going round in circles in my head I took a deep breath and asked myself "what am I really feeling here?" and gave myself permission to let it up.
That I was tired and I felt like I needed a break. Not really surprising considering the intense year I have put in and that my Uncle had only just died which also meant that I felt sadness for my Aunt who I love so much.
Such a simple thing to need a break yet to me a huge deal. My mind would have me believe this is a sign of weakness, that I can't cope, that I have failed because I thought that I would have a publishing deal by now, that my bank balance would be a lot higher than it is, that I would be speaking all around the world so if I need to stop for a bit my mind my ego would have to take a back seat.
What a failure to stop when as a self employed entrepreneur everyone knows you have to work hard, not stopping until you achieve everything you set out to.
They were my thoughts.
My feelings on the other hand gave a sigh of relief when I voiced them by saying "I think I need to slow down". All the craziness in my mind stopped and that peaceful stillness that always comes with a realization of the truth wrapped around me.
I don't know right now what take a break means but I do know that it isn't something I need to justify and that allowing myself a pause, letting go of trying to control outcomes is a kindness to myself.
What I do know is that we don't think what is important we feel it.
We don't think love we feel it.
We don't think gratitude we feel it.
We don't think kindness we feel it.
We don't think beauty we feel it.
And I have goals...to write The Joy Hunt, yes I'd still like to speak to Oprah and a few others including Eckhart Tolle, I'd like for my bank balance to be higher and to travel around this beautiful world...but these things will happen if they are meant to and right now I'm taking a step back and feeling all the good in my life and knowing that I've already caught the joy because it's in the ability to be present and feel peace. Right here, right now no matter what is going on around.
It is in the love we feel for those we know and those we don't. It is in the power of forgiveness. It is in the ability to say thank you for the rain that falls rather than wishing for the sun. In an act of kindness that no one will know you did and it is in the natural beauty that surrounds us and no matter where in the world we are.
No matter where you are now, no matter how hard it may feel, how unfair it may feel know that true joy is always with you and it wants for you to find it.
Life passes for us all and if we get to caught up in all the craziness of trying to get somewhere else we miss all the good stuff right where we are.