Sunday, 2 June 2013

Shift Happens

On Saturday morning at 5.30am I queued up with around 160 other people to embark on a new journey.

A Shift In Perspective.

The reason over hundred people were gathered at such a crazy time on a Saturday was to celebrate the reopening of the Lululemon store in Bondi Junction. At the start of the walk we were each invited to write something we wanted to release onto a strip of paper and burn it in a lantern before setting off on a short hike from Bondi to Bronte.

Wanna know what I wrote? "I release my need to be single."

When we reached our destination, we were handed another piece of paper and invited to write a goal or dream. I wrote the following: I am ready to step into the fear and stop avoiding the things I've been avoiding.

Finding Love would be a good start.

I recently posted two blogs Gone Fishing and Butterflies, Intimacy and A White Picket Fence about a guy I met online. I was excited to have met someone who had pep, and our communication certainly put a smile on my face. Until the contact from his end stopped – which made me stop – and question what was going on.

Well, it turns out, Mr RSVP hadn't received my email after all. Basically, due to a technology/human hiccup Mr RSVP hadn't activated his private email onto his smartphone until after I had already sent him a message. So that message never reached his inbox. Not on his phone anyway, which is what he was checking.

Once our techno faux pas was fixed, the communication was back on like it had been before. He sent lovely long emails full of wisdom and clarity. This guy's a catch I thought to myself. But then a funny thing happened. Well, not so funny, more warped really. Basically, I got creeped out by the whole thing and pulled the plug. I told Mr R that it was No Can Do.

The reason why I bailed on what could have been an amazing relationship is due to a couple of things:

1) As soon as it became clear that he actually hadn't seen my email and our connection was real, I got scared. What if This Is It? What if he is The One?

I didn't realise having an actual relationship was such a frightening concept to me. I honestly freaked out at the idea that someone had stolen my heart, and that I had met someone who could potentially lead to being someone I really care for.

2) The thought that if I met this guy in person and we don't click also reared its head. We had emailed each other a couple of "Selfies" just to show that the pics on the website matched the current real life picture. Now, let's remember these were Selfies, which anyone over the age of 30 knows are not going to show your best side. And second, I'm not exactly Gisele Bundchen, especially first thing in the morning when I look more like a smashed crab.

As soon as I opened the pics, I changed my mind about the whole deal. My unconscious mind suddenly had a reason to run. (I'll admit, the pics did change my view slightly, but I don't think that's really all that was going on for me.)

How does that relate to making a shift? I'm getting there…

When we make a shift in one area of our lives it can change everything. For me that shift has been the way I communicate with people. Jacqueline Harrison, who I am co-authoring How To Create A Business From Nothing with, has taught me a lot about business. One thing that has stood out from the moment she said it was about getting used to having awkward conversations.

That single note of advice has absolutely changed my world. And I'll tell you how.

For one, I no longer let things that make me cross get to the point where I resent the other person for not realising they are "doing me wrong" until my lid blows off and I get angry. What I'm finding these days is that even when there's tension and snippiness between myself and another person, I'm able to address the situation in a calm and comfortable manner. Most of the time, anyway.

And when it comes to telling someone that I'm just not that into them (even if I might be but am actually too scared to invest what it takes), I can at least express my fears in a civil and honest fashion. And that's really new for me.

For years, (despite having a reputation for being blunt and telling it like it is), I used to bottle some things up until resentment was overflowing and I'd lash out. It was usually over small things, but I didn't have the tools or resources to express myself very well. So I'd be blunt and angry and charge at the offender using my tongue as a sword.

At least now I feel comfortable that I can let people know if they have upset me, and that equally I can be clear about not wanting to take a relationship any further if that's how I feel. Intimate relationships are where I have struggled the most with the idea of free expression, because there seems to be so much at stake.

But it seems with one seemingly small shift in perspective, even the toughest conversations are possible. And not only are they possible, but they can be spoken with love and grace, even when you know they will hurt.

And that for me is a huge breakthrough.

I just hope that if the next guy I meet really is The One that I will have shifted enough of my sh*t to be able to actually embrace and accept him with open arms, rather than be pleased that I am now able to say "No Thanks."

All I can say is watch this space…