Adjusting my sails…

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I read an amazing quote today: “Why spend time crying about the wind, when you can adjust your sails” (Dan O’Connell).

It’s amazing how you can have a period in your life, say of around 30 hours or so, where things look pretty grim. It can be as if things could not be worse, the situation impossible to navigate from, your issues seemingly insurmountable. That was me, yesterday.

I’ve been unwell and hospitalised and its been the kind of illness that has really taken my legs from beneath me, so to speak. One of those things where you become fundamentally aware that no amount of denial or willpower or determination makes any difference – it is what it is, and acceptance of the situation is the only exit from what feels like purgatory. A good day is just that – not necessarily an indication of conditions going forward and a bad day (like yesterday) has you realising you’re not quite out of the woods yet and that without question, there’s a larger force at play here.

What’s also interesting is while you’re down in that emotional void, realising that you’re really just a leaf in the wind and that there really is a bigger power at play here, a myriad of synchronicities (like that quote) that tend to surface all at the same time. Consider my situation where I have always identified with the tag of ‘strong, independent and capable’ and ‘resourceful, astute, wise’… I don’t think there’s ever really been a situation I have been in whereby with a little application and planning I haven’t been able to navigate through. Until now that is. When an illness takes hold, your ‘powers’ can really feel as if they are totally shut off. When you’re required to hand over the reigns in terms of financial responsibility to your nearest and dearest, when you realise that what ‘was’ is no longer a part of what ‘is now’ and that all the ideas you had have pretty much been put on hold. Then a bill comes in, and a telephone call reminding you about another bill you had and, unable to contribute or fix the situation as you normally would, you succumb to what is going on around you and feel the fear… and the realisation that this is not going to go away tomorrow.

I’ve been asked to consider what it was that brought this on. Yes, the obvious question has been answered by my doctor, however, what is the metaphysical message being conveyed here? What is the universe trying to tell me?

I believe it is my lesson in the illusion of control. The Universe’s chaos theory in full flight. Oh I might be in charge of my little neck of the woods and prepare contingencies for whatever I can (thank god for private health cover), but at the end of the day the control I thought I had is nothing more than a false sense of security. That life is going to do what it is going to do and its up to you to navigate through whatever comes up to the best of your ability, in the theme of ‘its not so much what you do, but how you do it’…. and lets face it: Chaos is just the Universe’s expression of creativity…

For me, personally, I believe this is the most fundamental message I’ve had in what has been a rapid awakening process… about trust, and letting go. Oh I can talk about trust and letting go, but now, says the Universe, it is time for you to walk your talk … lets see how you really are with the trust and letting go thing, shall we? The Universe has a sick sense of humour, I tell you!

I believe there is also a theme of optimal health and nutrition. I have an insatiable almost obsessive focus on what goes in and out of my body much like the parents of a newborn baby. Indeed, it is just like being newborn. How does my body react to this, and to that? Sleeping and eating, is it coping with this particular food, I’m not eating that! Since returning from hospital I’ve learned a lot purely by applying a lot about what I’ve read and researched and in the process my body shape has changed. I cannot drink alcohol whatsoever. I cannot eat fat except for the smallest amounts; and my body craves only the best foods: freshest of fresh fruits and vegetables and legumes; eggs; rice and pasta. I crave nuts, seeds, smoothies and juices; small amounts of either white or red meat and lots of water in conjunction with the addition of beautiful herbs like basil, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, and a very small amount of chilli. What has been most astounding is the very things I am craving are the absolute best things I can have for my liver and what will help it run again in optimal function. It’s curious, because again that was a massive lesson in trust. Eating something toxic is what caused my body to completely shut down in the first place, and I had to retrain it to accept food again – that was a real mind game!

I’ve also been asked to really work out my priorities and what is important to me. Being at home, being present for my children, providing nourishment for myself and then indirectly my family and nurturing myself and my family is what I am capable of at the moment. I’m also blessed with the gifts of being able to write and share on my blog now (this was difficult a few weeks ago). I have benefitted deeply from the effect of calm, uplifting and positive music which has acted as a healing tonic on my body and in conjunction with the food is magnificent. And before long, I will return, stronger and fitter than ever before with the wisdom of even more life experience behind me.

What a journey! And the wind can blow, and I will continue to adjust my sails…

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Insist on a Passionate Life!

Ever woken up and wondered if there is more to life? Me too.

Ever felt a deep yearning within that had you convinced there was something more? And yet… every day feels like Ground Hog day. Been there, too! In what feels like a prison, or marriage to mediocrity, clinging to ‘routine’ that you are shackled to and that deep down, you know is slowly killing you, you feel you are worth so much more. That there is so much more to life. You feel that close to it… and yet, its elusive. You look around you, and you feel like you’re on your own. You ask yourself ‘Am I really Happy? Everyone else seems happy…’

…  or are they?

According to a recent Gallup poll only 18% of Aussies love their job, and 20% absolutely hate what they are doing. While I can’t help but wonder about the other 62%, I feel deep empathy and compassion for those caught in this kind of frustration. Imagine the melting pot of emotion that must be being felt by disgruntled employee and equally (if not moreso based on the stats above) disgruntled manager alike, as they work through the dynamic presented to them day after day, week after week, managing the fallout from this travesty. Further, a recent study conducted by Ernst & Young found that 3.5 million Australians are unproductive, costing the economy $41 billion in wages alone. No wonder there are so many restructures right now! Business is losing money hand over fist, and most of us know it, but are too apathetic (or fearful) to do anything about getting happy again – or we may not be able to make this week’s mortgage.

It is well known that Australians are one of the hardest working people on the planet, working longer and harder than every before… so what are we doing? Working ourselves into the ground in jobs we don’t really enjoy, paying for houses we can’t really afford (assuming we’re in the mortgage belt, many of us are forced to rent due to significant life changes) and generally doing things we don’t really want to do, with people we really don’t like, hanging on for grim death in jobs where for the mostpart, we’re not particularly productive if we are to read the above statistic correctly. Then if you take a step further back, what is this doing to your self esteem, and how then, is this impacting your family, your partner? Your children? What is this doing to society overall? Surely this can’t be sustainable. I think that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a Business Analyst to work out something has to change. Most, admittedly not all of us, have become lost in the madness. Somewhere in the midst of it all we’ve lost who we are, our sense of self, our identity and our passion. We know, deep down, that things have to change. And that change need not be earth shattering, or even life changing. But small, manageable changes that can make the world of difference to your outlook, your sanity and your peace of mind.

I speak to so many people who complain about being unhappy. That all they want is to be happy again, and that somehow the joy of every day living has left them. Their love life is shot, their boss is on their case, chained to their jobs thanks to their high gearing, they no longer know how to connect with their partner anymore, the kids ignore them, even the pets have lost interest in relating with them. And so, we ‘work’ harder and harder and harder, we stay longer at the office and for some of us, we find joy in our work; for those of us that don’t we find distractions – sometimes through addictions – like the internet, spending money we don’t have shopping, on alcohol, gambling, and so forth. Some of us turn to affairs outside our primary relationship, all the while just complicating our lives more and more to the point that the overactive butterfly of happiness continues to elude us… and yet, we continue to look to fill that void within externally… causing ourselves more and more pain, feeling more and more disconnected from what really matters.

So how do you turn it around? How do you bring things back into an equilibrium again? My mission in life is to help bring people in line with their true purpose. For nearly 30 years, I have helped people from all walks of life and all levels of an organisation achieve personal success by guiding, facilitating and empowering people to find their true purpose and align their journey with their passion in life and I would be delighted to help you.

Week by week in an adhoc fashion, I will be adding to my blog to share insight, thoughts and epiphanies as they become available, so that everyone may find the happiness and the balance that they seek in their lives. We all have the right to love what we do. By loving what you do, you need never ‘work’ another day in your life, and you too can have a Passionate Life!

Until next time

PJ

Executive Director – Life Coaching & Development, Training and Career Guidance