Sunday, 13 August 2017

More Selfies Please

Forgive me father for I have sinned.

It's been 1 year and 8 months since my last blog.

For anyone who's read any of my previous posts you'll know I like to communicate what's going on inside my head and heart. I'm less of a selfie girl and more of a self-development chick. I like the inner world and all the gems that reside in that space.

Since I first set fingers to keyboard (in the blogging sense) it seems to me that the world has become completely self-obsessed. You could say that's true of anyone who chooses self analysis but for me there's a marked difference. Mirror work (as in, what I see in others is really in me) is not the same as focusing solely on your appearance. They're both a form of "selfie" – and I get that both can seem narcissistic. And in some cases they are.

But I'm not here to harp on about selfies and how much I loathe the way the world has become image obsessed. The reason I raised that point was to note that although I do my best to live in today's tech age, I'm actually a luddite.

If I didn't have to use my mobile I wouldn't. If the only way to connect with friends who live across the globe wasn't Facebook, I'd delete my account for good. Except, as I've found, deleting your FB account is actually impossible. Trust me, I tried. Once they have you, they have you (and everything you've ever posted) for good. Deleting your account deletes nothing.

But enough of that.

So, there's been a lot happening in my world since Jan 2016 (last blog) and I'm at a point where I'm compelled to write again. As per my luddite confession, writing is somewhat similar for me. I go through phases when I can't put my pen (or keyboard) down, and other times when I would rather not. Although, to be honest, it's really only the cyber version that ever stops. I have a library of journals. I do actually put pen to paper every single day.

But writing this blog is different. It's a gateway to a deeper understanding for me. So is my journalling, but there's something about publicising my thoughts that holds me to an even greater accountability. Don't know why but by pressing "publish" it's like my thoughts get a chance to move through the collective conscious, and by touching other people's minds my own experience becomes more solid.

So what has driven me to pick up the plastic again?


This wonderful, crazy, sometimes painful thing we call Life.

Life has a way of doing its own thing and what I noticed recently is that the more we resist that natural unravelling, the more pain we feel.

Take my work as an example.

Two years ago I was running a race to be the best and most amazing Life Coach I could be. I was studying coaching. I was receiving coaching. I was writing, talking and dreaming about coaching. In a very specific way I was focused on building my own practice that involved personal clients and a revelry of workshops. Many of them focused on how to experience the greatest love, garner the most money and do it all in the easiest fashion possible.

And in among all that Life was there. Waiting patiently for me to stop thinking I was running the show so it could show me what it had planned.

It took a giant slap in the face and a crumbling of the ego before I was really able to hear that.

I went from earning $350 an hour to nothing. I got to a point where I couldn't pay my rent. I had to call the banks to put a hold on my debts. I had to cancel pretty much everything because Life was on the other line and I needed to take the call.

Fortunately, although my bank account was completely dry, I had an emotional and spiritual bank that was thriving. So I withdrew from that instead.

I sat in my reality and I listened to Life.

Slow down, it said.

Stop focusing on the money you think you should have, it said.

Listen and trust.

So I did.

And by doing that I began to hear a new way. Within a few weeks I got a call from an old colleague asking if I was available to do an 8-week stint back in publishing while she recruited to replace a copy editor who had just resigned. The "coaching" me would have said no. The coaching me would have said she had to focus on her plans and stick to them. But something in me felt that this option was slightly lighter. It had a slight sense of ease to it. And it had an end point – 8 weeks – which gave me enough grace to say yes without feeling like I was turning my back on my grand plans.

Yes, I still thought they were grand plans even though I had no clients at that point.

So I said yes.

And when I turned up, the team were so utterly lovely and the work so incredibly easy and enjoyable that I took the job on a full-time basis.

Meanwhile, my ego gulped.

But from what I'd learned in my coaching studies and even though it seemed to be turning away from the grand plans, a greater part of it felt right.

That was when I began to distinguish that my ego, and not my higher self, had been running the show. But listening to one over the other isn't easy. Because the ego is loud. And very convincing.

The ego is the voice that tells you you're not trying hard enough, that you should be further along than you are. That taking the easy road is weak and gutless. That stopping before you've pushed yourself to failure (crossfit, anyone) is the mark of a quitter, and quitters don't succeed.

But I have a different theory based on my experience.

In my view, stopping or continuing has nothing to do with anything. Trying hard enough, or even just hard, has nothing to do with anything. Taking the low road or the high road is no business of anyone's.

Except Life's.

Life is what determines our path, and we can resist it or we can accept it.

Whichever choice you make doesn't really matter but it can be the difference between happiness and suffering.

Suffering is merely the result of us listening to our loud and pushy egos. Nothing wrong with that. But when we're able to discern the difference between the ego and Life then that's where the real magic lies.

Because as soon as I quit listening to my ego – the voice that passed judgement on my choices (and believe me, if there's ever judgement – that's the ego) – then everything began to get a lot easier. And not only did it get easier, it became sweeter, too.

Sweeter in the sense that once I let go of my version of how things should play out – that I would have a coaching practice full of clients, producing a 6 figure income – that very same thing materialised, only it showed up in a far more suitable and uncomplicated way.

It may have taken 18 months and it may not look the way I'd planned it but in no uncertain terms, Life has certainly delivered.

My career is thriving. I am thriving. All that studying and self-reflection is paying off.

And all I had to do for that to happen was let go of my version of things. But that's far, far easier to say than it is to do. Because very few of us are willing to really sit and look at ourselves and face our shit. In fact, if the world is our gauge, then as a global community we seem far more interested in what's on the outside than what's lurking on the inside.

But even with all the cosmetic intervention in the world, and no matter how beautiful you may be deemed to be, the only thing you can ever really rely on is Life. And that will change right under our noses and it will consistently pull the egoic rugs from under our feet.

So while the world continues to embrace this ever-evolving cyberlution, I will, I'm proud to say, be firmly fixating on the other kind of selfie. The one that tells me where I'm at and shows me the difference between my ego and Life.

And if you like that idea too, feel free to follow me on Instagram.