HOW TO LOVE THE LIFE YOU ARE IN WHILE CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT-
Many of us awaken daily feeling stuck, unfulfilled or sometimes just disillusioned with the life we are currently living. It might seem like such a far cry from the life we had envisioned so many years ago. Some may struggle against these feelings of discontent because they may realize that from the outside looking in their lives may be perceived to be the pinnacle of success. However, they wake up every morning with a sense of longing, longing for the dreams they may feel they have relinquished over time; longing for that sense of freedom that can only come when you are truly living your authentic life. Still others may find themselves so overwhelmed with responsibility that the idea of doing anything that may even resemble self-care may just seem like wishing upon a very distant star.
How to get from where you are to where you would like to be:
1. Acknowledge where you are now.
For a navigational system to give you directions, it must first know where you are right now and where you would like to go. Pretending to be in any other place than where you are at this moment will only get you lost. It may also blind you to the things and people in your life that can help to guide you to your next step.
2. Next take a look around you.
Are your relationships supportive and nurturing? Do you get the sense that you matter and that what you contribute is classified as important? Does your job fulfill your desire to feel purposeful or do you experience a sense of daily dread at thought of going to work? Does the thought of getting out of bed daily seem like more effort than you can muster? Do you have children? Where are your finances? What is the state of your health? Does the thought of contemplating and taking stock of your life leave you feeling absolutely drained? If it does then you are most likely not where you need to be.
3. Start from where you are!
For example, – I am exhausted and my life is overwhelming. Then ask yourself why? Is there a physical reason that I am exhausted? If it has been a long time since you have seen your doctor that might be a good place to start. Not only can you get a physical exam with detailed laboratory analysis but this also provides an opportunity to address any psychological or safety concerns you might have. You need support and guidance that may require sharing information that makes you uncomfortable. If your healthcare professional doesn’t know he or she won’t be able to help.
4. Take stock of your mind.
How optimistic are you that life can be the way you want? Do you feel as if you can create the life you want? How much do you believe in yourself? Do you depend on others to provide you with the self esteem you lack? Are you an optimist or pessimist? Is the glass half empty or half full? Do you face challenges head on or let fear take the reins? Take an honest inventory. Do you feel that you can accomplish anything or do you approach life thinking that everyone is better than you are? Be honest here. Without an engaged mind you will constantly (knowingly or unknowingly) sabotage your own efforts. If you find yourself struggling with any of these questions, one place to start may be with a good counselor or therapist. Do not assume that all counselors would work well for you. Be willing to change if it is not working. However, if you have gotten to your 10th counselor and its still “not working for you”; you might want to look at the possibility that you may have an avoidance pattern or perhaps some commitment issues. On the other hand, if you find yourself holding back because you don’t want the counselor to think poorly of you, then look to see if the patterns in your life mirror an overwhelming need to make everyone happy despite the repercussions to you. For example, do you over commit to things because of the fear of being disliked?
5. What do you believe?
To paraphrase Einstein- Is the world a friendly place or one filled with monsters? Where do you turn to for support when you feel alone or disconnected? Whether you believe in God, Allah, Jehovah or none of the above, studies consistently suggest that people who believe in a connection larger than themselves have more hope and tend to fare better that those who do not. This is not intended to spark a religious debate. Simply stated, it feels better to be a part of something than to feel alone. We all need to be able to access hope especially in times of need. Find your hope, your Source, your guidance, your Knowing. We seek out Gurus, we read and delve into self help books. We are constantly searching for someone to show us how to connect to that feeling of peace, faith and knowing. My opinion is that each person’s connection happens in a unique way. Maybe that is what prayer and meditation provide- a quiet place for us to find our connection that feeds and fuels our hopes and dreams. Secure this place for it is a place you will turn to time and time again when uncertainty and fear show up as they inevitable will.
Bringing these areas of your life into alignment will start to create a shift that starts to provide moments of clarity. These moments may be brief and fleeting initially and that is good because it give us time to gradually adjust our vision. For some of us the realization may be, hey, I have created the life I have always wanted. I have just not been present enough to enjoy and recognize it. To those people I say, well-done. Stay present. For others, the brief glimpses of clarity may start shedding light on some areas of our life we would rather not see. We may even try to retreat back to the old familiar patterns. If you find yourself doing that, I challenge you to stay present. Look for those things in your current life that are exactly what you want. They may seem small or insignificant at first. Focus on them, tease them out. Magnify them. Keep in mind you created these moments of gratitude as well, so you know you are capable of creating what you want. So hop to it! Gain confidence. Start putting together the life you desire!
My point- take a step, take some action as it is one of the main ways to neutralize fear and remove its power over you. Realize that change is uncomfortable and will most likely feel uncomfortable. It will put you on your way to #BeFabulouslyFlawed!