For those of you who have been reading my blog I want to say thank you. I have been receiving such lovely feedback from everyone, and hearing your wonderful stories. I am honoured that my posts have provided some help and inspiration along your journey. Given that, I wanted to quickly share a little of my own story with you so that you can understand me a little bit more and be able to connect with me, not just as someone writing, but someone who is sharing in the human journey right along side all of you.
I sat on the floor cross legged looking at the bare room and the piles of boxes surrounding me. “I must me out of my flipping mind!” That thought had crossed my mind about 100 times that day as I taped up box after box of my belongings, at least what I had left after selling the majority of them the month before. “How does one define insanity”? I thought as I looked around at the empty room that had once been my sanctuary, my home. And now all it held was memories. It was then that the overwhelming fear gripped me. I suddenly felt the mad urge to unpack what I had left and somehow put it back in place, to restore some feeling of security and familiarity, to have something to hold onto in the sea of change I had just dived into. But to do that would be to regress to something that no longer existed. I had given everything up: my job, my apartment, my lifestyle, even the people around me. There was no other way to go but forward.
And that is how I began my journey.
Prior to this, my life had seemed pretty normal. I had a “secure’ government job that paid well, I had my own apartment, I had a great group of friends and life in general was pretty good. I had gotten myself back on my feet again after a divorce a few years back and during that time I had learned how to reconnect with myself and develop both emotionally and spiritually. For the first time in my life I felt truly independent and connected with who I was. So what happened? Why change what seemed like a good situation?
Inevitably when we do a lot of personal growth work on ourselves we change. (That would be the whole point of it.) We grow and blossom. Our view and perspective of the world expands and changes, we begin to look at things very differently. So after 4 years I woke up one morning and something had happened. After all the inside work I had done, I came to the realization that my outer world no longer matched my inner world. There was an imbalance. My dreams, my values, and my philosophies did not have a place to blossom in the outer world I had previously created for myself. I was feeling incredibly unfulfilled: it was time for a change.
I can’t even begin to describe the sensation of profound fear that took hold of me at this point. The changes I was contemplating required a complete letting go of my old life and starting over from scratch. Yet again. Over and over I kept hearing my “lizard brain” telling me it was too risky, I would end up ruined and the list goes on. Yet despite that something interesting happened. I came to the realization that the option of staying in status quo was not an option at all. Just the thought of it weighed me down so much that I knew the only way to move was through letting go and moving forward. This option, instead of making me feel shackled, gave me a sense of freedom and joy. I could feel my soul sing.
That was all it took. Within three months I had quit my job, sold most of my belongings, bought a ticket to the other side of the globe (Mendoza, Argentina) and I haven’t looked back since. The happiness and joy and sense of purpose that I have found since then made any pain that I went through worth it. My life is now balanced and a full expression of who I am as a person.
I learned a lot from my experience in taking that leap over the precipice and about how to push aside the fear. These 4 to me were the most important:
1) It is our own limiting beliefs and “stories” that we create which hold us back the most in this life: One of the most fascinating things I discovered is that we end up creating “stories” for ourselves that convince us as to why we should not do the things we really want to do. We hide behind all of the reasons we make for ourselves and create a self made dungeon. Phrases such as “but I can’t do that” and “I have no choice” become fundamental aspects of our daily life. Yet most of the time these phrases or stories that we create are not based on experience. And it is experience that gives us examples of what is possible. What would happen if those phrases and words did not exist? What if we stripped away those thoughts and replaced them with others based on actual experience? After many nights of self analysis I came to realize that the only real thing stopping me from following my dreams was me. And once we learn to push aside those stories that we create all of a sudden we feel happier and what at one time seemed impossible becomes easy.
2) Fear is the number one killer on this planet: I was recently reading a blog post about a couple that described this. This couple decided to sell everything and bike across the US, and every place they came to fear welcomed them. Whether in the form of their own fear or warnings from everyone about bears, druglords or crazy drivers. And most of the time we listen. Not only do we create our own self limiting stories, we listen to those of others. It is fear that kills our dreams, our aspirations and our passion. And the more we keep giving into our fears, little by little small parts of us begin to die away until we no longer recognize ourselves and are a shell of who we used to be. Yet once we stop listening to the fear we create a new reality for ourselves in which we are able to shine to our full potential.
3) We are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for: The human spirit is one of the strongest forces on this planet. It is capable of the impossible, of miracles. There are stories upon stories of people who go out there and make the impossible possible. Look at your own dreams. What small steps can you take each day to push aside the fears you feel and achieve them? How does that make you feel? Each one of us is here to contribute to the world in our own special way. Imagine the world full of people following their hearts and taking the word “fear” or “I can’t” out of their vocabulary? Imagine all of the wonderful things that would be accomplished!
4) Moving past fear and risking change is always worth it: No matter what we need to go through to move past our fears, the results always surpass what we imagined. Everything in life and nature is fluid, it changes. It is how the process of evolution takes place. So if we remain in a stagnant situation that no longer benefits us, we are not participating in the natural process of growth. We stunt ourselves. But when we do embrace that change and allow ourselves to move through it we come out on the other side a new person. We have grown, we have learned, we see the world differently. Life becomes exciting, we nurture our passion through change, we are creating and living simultaneously. And is that not what we are here for? The end result of change is always developing ourselves into a better person. We learn and blossom. We evolve ourselves into higher states of being with each change process. We are living according to who we are becoming, living our potential. We attract happiness, fulfillment and purpose. All of these things are always worth leaving the status quo.
Life is a beautiful and intricate web of change and movement. Once we discover our place in this web and our role as creators in our own lives we begin to slowly break free of self made limitations and learn our true power. And like the Grandmother Spider, thread by thread, we create our destinies.