Once upon a time.
A little girl was marveled by the world around her. She believed that anything she wanted to do was possible and simple to accomplish. There were no obstacles big enough to stand in her way. Her curiosity bubbled over with excitement and didn’t give up on learning new things.
OOOOH, how she loved to play, laugh and have fun with her friends. There was no wrong way of doing things. She just went along with what they were doing in the moment, discovering new, fun ways.
As she grew older, she started hearing a totally different story. The adulthood story of the importance of thinking about the future. Her world went from living in a natural state of wonder to trying to live for the future by following the rules of all she had to do and own to have a happy and successful life.
This became MY LIFE!
Until one day…
I found myself waking up in the morning, dreading to start my day. The scariest thing is that I had STOPPED SMILING and HAVING FUN.
I wanted the blissful innocence of living a life far more wondrous than the one I was living. I wanted the foolishness of discovering the unknown and the childlike ignorance of limiting beliefs. Most of all, I wanted the spark back in my life.
So, five years ago, I woke up to the beginning of a brand new life.
It goes like this.
As I look back on my journey, it was a bumpier ride than the one I had anticipated.
I felt the painful discomfort in overcoming challenges of learning a foreign language, adapting to different cultures and launching my on line coaching business.
Although there were times when I asked myself, “What did you do?” I would not have given any of that up for just one day of the pain I endured in my life five years ago. That pain had paralyzed me.
I’ll be honest, I have not gotten everything I wanted when I first embarked on this journey but, I have wanted everything I got so much more. This pain has made me feel alive again.
If you’re feeling the pain that you should be doing something more with your life or by now you should already be…
I want to share what I’ve come to realize over the last five years.
In no way am I telling you to do what I did (that would be totally absurd!).
But, it may help in expanding your awareness and deeper understanding of your own situation.
Understanding the pain before treating it
One thing is for sure. If you’re feeling a pain and a little voice inside is telling you to MOVE IT, don’t ignore it. Understand it first.
I learned that everything I did before my big move, even if at the time seemed unbearable, has tremendously served me in some way on my journey. All the experiences and knowledge I acquired came in handy along my five year journey. It was like I was exactly where I needed to be to get to where I wanted to go. The thing that caused my misery and kept me stuck for years was NOT the place I was at in my life, it was in not understanding my pain.
So, I was not healing it properly. I was giving it all kinds of remedies, excuses and justifications, hoping it would go away. Yeah right! It’s like having a headache and taking pepto bismal, hoping it’ll go away.
When you’re hungry, you’re stomach growls telling you it wants food. You understand and recognize the pain of hunger, eat and satisfy the pain.
In the same way, I had to first listen to my pain in order to understand and recognize it: Fear of the unknown (Fear of losing everything that was familiar to me).
What was I losing exactly?
All the false beliefs that shaped my decisions and actions into a life that had been dictated to me and had become my comfort zone. That, my value and success were based on my job title and the things I owned. Without them, I would lose my value, success and happiness. I tried treating my pain with doses of, “It’s too late to start over,” a few tablespoons of, “You’d be taking a major risk and lose everything,” and some quick fix remedies of “I’d be disappointing my family and friends.”
The pain grew stronger. The pain itself became familiar to me and kept me stuck longer. At least I knew this pain, might as well stick with a pain I know than experience a pain I knew nothing about. Meanwhile, I kept maintaining my house and belongings and going to a job that kept spreading my misery.
One day, as I sat in my cubicle, looking at the numerous emails on my computer, I felt an excruciating pain that left me thinking, “This cannot be the rest of my life!” And, I listened…
For the first time I realized that my value and happiness did not rely on others’ approval of what I should or should not be doing. Or, what I should or should not own. My pain was a hunger to reconnect with my true value and passion I left behind when I started following and living by others’ rules. In that moment, I felt a sense of Being instead of worrying about the future. From Being, I was no longer afraid of losing anything. Truth is that I never owned those things.They owned me and consumed all my energy. I was suddenly filled with the bountiful truth of who I was beyond my job title and belongings. A burden was lifted and I gained an effortless clarity on taking my first step.
Comparison keeps you stuck
As I kept moving forward, the road became steeper and harder to climb. I took quite a few stumbles and falls along the way. I saw other people moving past me, getting there faster. And, the pain slowly began settling in again with every, “What did you do,” playing in my mind. Again, the pain was not coming from the place of starting my business, it was self inflicted through comparing myself to others who already had the life I wanted. It was this pain keeping me stuck and feeling I was getting nowhere.
One day, I listened to my pain and understood that I judged the steep learning curves which were part of MY path by trying to leap to a picture perfect future of someone else’s life. I understood that MY happiness was where I was, NOT in someone else’s life. Once again, I felt a sense of Being exactly where I needed to be, pay attention to my own path and keep moving forward at my own pace. And, I did.
The journey is more important than the destination
Today, I can’t say I have reached my destination. To be honest, I don’t know that I have a fixed destination. The journey has given me life experiences and so many lessons which have expanded my awareness and understanding of the world around me and of myself. I don’t know that I ever want to arrive. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve started my on line coaching business, I published an eBook, given numerous conferences and so on. The thing that has made me love and still loving it all today, was being immersed in every step, every action, every mistake and every new discovery. When the journey itself is the focus point, it becomes your source of motivation. You’re fulfilled with the learning process and the excitement of everything that comes with it. You’re not putting off being fulfilled waiting for that one big result to come along. If you only focus on the end result, once you get there, you may end up back in a place where the thing you were passionate about becomes your very own prison. The journey keeps the passion alive for the whole of life, not just a fragment of it. It’s this passion that sets you free from the boundaries of limiting false beliefs, discover the immensity of your abilities and make a difference.
Everything I’ve achieved has been amazing but, they’re all part of my life’s journey. Not a means to an end in which my happiness is based on. In other words, my life’s journey is not a pursuit of happiness in what I do. Happiness is already in the here and now in who I am. It’s in living in a natural state of wonder and learning and growing from the whole of life from day to day.
So, here’s to many more years to come. Hope you will continue to be here with me. Your presence, support and encouragement have been invaluable to me on my journey.
How about you? What has your life journey taught you so far?