I am amazed at how well I have come to feel over the past couple of weeks. Sure I still have my bad times and I know that I always will, but I feel more like I can cope with them and I feel far more positive in the in-between times.
Even that sounds wrong, measuring life by the low times and the times in-between them. I feel that its more the other way around now.
My mood has improved as my confidence has grown. My confidence has grown as I have come to know and accept who I am. I have come to accept and embrace who I am as I have acknowledged my self-damaging habits, like perfectionism.
I am good enough and I deserve better than I have been giving myself. I should not allow my own unrealistic expectations of myself weigh on me, nor should I allow the expectations of others to impact me unless I choose to allow them to do so. I have also acknowledged that so much of the expectations that other people had of me were of my own imagination.
The middle-aged, hippy / monk
If I want to adopt a new life philosophy I do not have to embrace it completely. There is no need to abandon all worldly possessions and shave my head if I want to live more like a monk. If I want to eat vegetarian, I do not have to be a full-on, all-out vego. I have toyed with the idea of Buddhism but felt I ought to completely embrace it or not at all. I don’t like organised religion but I like the teachings of Buddha. So I can take on just the parts that suit me .
If I want to grow my hair long, wear jandals and listen to meditation music, I should do so for no other reason that it makes me feel good. I know that I can cut my hair at anytime and wear shoes if needs be.
I should embrace my life as a middle-aged, hippy / monk / husband and father. I need to live that life, my life, wholeheartedly.
If I want to feel my emotions more I shall, and if I want people to know that I am angry or upset then I shall do that as well. All the time knowing that the peaceful follower of the teachings of Buddha that is inside of me, will not allow me to intentionally hurt anyone. If I do someone harm, well I am just human after all.
I know that I have all of the support and understanding around me that will allow me to live the life I want to, wholeheartedly. If anyone doesn’t like it, well if your name is not on my ‘list’, your opinion doesn’t matter to me.
I have so much more to learn and I need more practice at living wholeheartedly, but I am looking forward to it.
I have been trying to set new life goals and struggled with it, but now realise it was because I had no idea of who I wanted to be.
Whatever life or path you choose, choose to do it wholeheartedly.
This is no formula for a better way of life
All I can do is share with you how I have found some peace and clarity. If the same things work for and help you, I am glad.
- Accept that, if your life has been affected by trauma and you are struggling to find yourself again, you have been given a gift that not many people are given. You have been given a great insight into how the mind works and as such, a greater appreciation of your ability to make positive changes in your life. You get to re-invent yourself.
- Understand that so many of the negative things in you old life were of your own making. You made up stories in your own head that damaged your own sense of self worth. You set unrealistic expectations of your self and therefore other people around you.
- I believe that the only way that you can truly come to understand what is going on in your head is to create a silence around yourself. Remove any expectations that you have of yourself or others have of you. I did this by taking myself away to an isolated bach on a beach. Others achieve this through meditation, and this is something that greatly interests me right now, but I know that I just have to do it enough to suit my own purposes.
- Remove all unnecessary noise from your life. My time away really drove home to me how much disruptive noise we have in our lives. My tolerance for it is way down. In nature sounds are long lasting and rhythmical, waves on a beach, cicadas on a summers night, rain. We have introduced shorter, non-rhythmical sounds like traffic, television, so much music, chatter,traffic, the car radio, the bloody dishwasher. If I can’t block all of these sounds out I have meditation music that I play, but you have to be careful that this doesn’t become a disruptive sound. I have meditation music but I don’t meditate, but I use it because it soothes me. I don’t walk with headphones on, I allow myself to enjoy that natural sounds around me. If I want to block out traffic sounds, I will change my route or the time that I walk. Headphones simply add to the noise.
- Let the first thought that you think about a person always be: ‘they are doing their best’. It makes it hard for you to feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, threatened or let down and let’s face it, these emotions are yours and are only hurting you.
- Make a list. On a one inch square piece of paper (just one side of it) write the names of the people who matter in your life. Keep this in your wallet or purse at all times. Keep it close. When someone annoys or angers you, check your list. If their name is not on that list, well they don’t matter.
- This same list will help you limit the number of people that can give you advice on any given matter. These people, because of who they are, are people that you know you can trust and that share your values closer than anyone else you know. Having fewer people being involved in your life and your decisions helps you to cut out noise and clutter.
- Accept death. It happens to us and to the people we love. So when they have gone, live for today before death happens to you. The people that are still around you are more important than anyone that has died. Treat them with love.
- Rise Greatly
- Throw your whole heart into whatever you want to do, the way you want to do it.
Please share your thoughts on anything that you have read above.