When we’re in the habit of constantly comparing ourselves to others and making snap judgments about how we measure up in comparison to ‘her’, we can never be in our true power and feel truly at peace.
And we must realise something. This behaviour can sometimes be very subtle. We may not even think we’re doing it. But know this, the more vehemently we deny that we’re competitive, the more underground and insidious it is. Our need to compete even a teensy bit must be owned and integrated in order for us to make peace with it and get it under control. It’s not always bad, it’s just that cultivating an attitude of oneness is a more productive way to function.
We’re at our most creative, loving and joyful when we live from the belief that we’re all equal. How does this play out in your life? Here I am revealing my personal struggle with competition…
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What if the obstacles we notice in life are borne out of a belief that life is a struggle and the truth is, we have far more support than we realised?
It’s been a long year for many of us. There’s been a feeling of slow progress for many of my clients and for me as well.
If you’re familiar with numerology, you’ll know that 2016 is a year nine for the planet.
This means we’re at the end of a nine year cycle and next year a new cycle begins.
It’s a personal year nine for me as well because if you add my birth date and month to the year 2016, you get nine. Neato!
So, being the end of a cycle, this year has been all about completion, release and endings. And since ‘nine energy’ is all about integrity, ambition, idealism and disillusionment (among other things), we’ve been seeing these sorts of themes come up on the world stage just a little….ahem, need I say ‘election’?
I’ve been slogging away selling what I do on Facebook and wondering when that constant stream of suitable and willing clients will finally appear….
I’ve been delivering my women’s sacred dance class in a variety of formats and venues throughout the year and I still can’t crack eight or nine participants per class…..
I guess the story I’ve been telling myself is very focused on the obstacles, the blocks and the challenges of reaching my audience and making this work I do into a proper income. What to do?
Well I reckon it’s time I changed my perspective and got real about everything that’s working in my favour.
We’ve been living in this amazing part of the planet for almost five years – dream fulfilled
I’ve been leading my women’s meditation circle for three and a half years
I’ve made some of the most gorgeous friends of my life – they are my tribe
I love my work and I have so much gratitude for the freedom I have in this lifestyle we’ve created
I’m constantly challenging myself to follow my creative inspiration, to enjoy life more and be more fearless
Many people support me and praise my work every week
My relationship with my husband and kids is on a firm footing – we love each other a lot
I’m in good health and I have tons of energy
So really, I don’t have an awful lot to complain about do I?
Those funny moments where the venue falls through, there’s no power supply for the music, the people don’t enroll in high numbers, I run late because of a family crisis or the elderly lady insists on barging into the hall before my class has finished are really just minor hassles, rather than substantial barriers to my success.
All in good time my child, all in good time.
We’ re all being supported by life much more than we realise.
Are you ready to take off in a bigger way in 2017?
I’m feeling jubilant, relieved and successful right now and it’s all because I cleaned our bathrooms this afternoon. It’s been one of those strange weeks where I’ve been placing a lot of extra pressure on myself and finding the time to do those pesky household tasks has been tricky.
You see it all started last weekend when I headed up to the big smoke to attend a two day course on writing great quality media releases to get some free publicity in the mainstream media for my coaching business.
I’m a keen student because I love learning and I love demonstrating my new found knowledge and gaining recognition from my teachers. Square huh?
Trouble is, in this grown up world, far, far away from the childhood classroom, it’s not so simple to take what we’ve learned, get ten out of ten on the pencil and paper test and declare ourselves a success.
Plus, as a result of the unique blend of nature and nurture in which I was raised, I received (or interpreted all by my lonesome), some pretty clear messages that led me to believe that anything worth doing must involve quite a lot of:
and, the biggie, Sacrifice
The good stuff I picked up though included persistence, focus, attention to detail, pride in a job well done and pleasure in seeing the final results.
This love and mastery of learning has carried me faithfully through two university degrees, a post-grad. diploma and countless short courses in subjects as diverse as flower essences, painting, creative writing and teaching.
What I noticed this week after completing my media release course was that while I felt pumped with confidence, enthusiasm and motivation to succeed, I also placed a lot of pressure on myself to get the results I desired, and fast, instantly if possible.
So now that it’s five days later and I’m yet to see my article published or even speak to a journalist, I’m actually feeling fine and a lot more relaxed about the pace of my progress because I’ve actually done okay amid a week full of the regular work, family and personal demands.
And I’ve clung with clear determination and focus to the self-care rituals I do daily to keep myself, happy, healthy and in balance. I’ve walked, meditated, danced, had tea catch-ups with three girlfriends and gone to my weekly yoga class (hence, the bathrooms went to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list).
Years ago, this wouldn’t have been the case. I would have been head down, tail up, working and pushing my way to success regardless of the cost to my relationships, sanity or well-being. I most likely would have been terrible company for my family and may have ended up coming down with a cold.
And, here’s the reality check I’ve discovered that supports my new approach:
The old me wasted a lot of time responding to my busy mind and heading off down dead end routes instead of understanding that all happens for a reason and a season. While we must make an effort and take action, the timing of our success is not really determined by our steadfast focus or our stress-laden need for it to be completed…NOW if possible.
Nope, not at all. There’s more to it and we can harness the power of universal support and our own divine inspiration all the better when we’re in an attitude of co-creation rather than solo grunt.
I could tell you a whole heap more but that’s enough for now… If you would like some personal guidance and support with any of this stuff, please read more here and contact me for a chat.
It’s the end of 2014 and I’m feeling aligned with this strong surge of energy to get organised, get moving and set plans in place to make the most of early 2015.
In November I ran two sneak preview women’s healing dance classes at a great venue a short bike ride from my home. I had a lovely response, people came along and they all seemed to connect with what I was offering.
So why is it that I’m wasting so much energy in pondering what time and day and even what venue to offer this class at on a weekly basis in the new year? The obvious answer would be, the same time and the same place as the preview classes because they worked really well. Yes Tricia, people came along and enjoyed it so why change?
It’s not our first instinct to keep it simple though is it?
My perfecting nature combined with my fear of success/self-sabotaging nature brings up all sorts of barriers and questions to prevent me from settling with the reality that the first and most obvious option is actually the best option for right now.
I go off into grandiose fantasies about what this dance class could be in the future if only I had the perfect schedule, venue or class program. What’s real though is that I’m still at the beginning of this new venture and I need to allow myself a settling in time before it gets bigger and (possibly) better.
So thankfully, I’ve taken time to gather my thoughts before I launch into creating timetables and big plans for 2015.
Just slowing it all down and listening within can be of great help to us all when we are feeling confused or conflicted over a set of decisions.
Life/God/Universe/Spirit is always there with unfailing patience and love showing us the way via the unfolding of events, relationships, tiny little moments and our own physical senses, how we may move forward into greater fulfillment, joy and peace.
It’s really not as complicated as our all-too clever minds try to make it.
If you’ve worked yourself into a lather over the next step forward in your life and have no idea what choice would be best, go into a meditative state and ask yourself these four simple questions:
What am I really worried about?
What’s the outcome that I’m seeking and is it realistic?
Where is the evidence that what’s worked before will not work again?
If I knew the best option right now, what would it be?
This little technique will serve to return your emotions to a balanced state, allow for the intuitive self and the mind to work in cooperation, not competition and give you greater confidence in your own personal power to direct your path.
It’s not about avoiding trial and error or mistakes, it’s just about moving through it ALL more efficiently and gracefully because although there’s no finish line or summit to conquer, it’s more fun if we’re aligned with what’s real and true.
Not so many years back I was one of those regular sort of people who thought life was all about working hard, earning rewards by struggling and striving and that it was my mind that would carry me over that far-distant finish line of success.
So much has changed.
Here’s a quick summary spanning twelve years:
Loss of self
The discoveries of art, meditation, kinesiology, yoga, my heart and my intuitive gifts…..
I now live my life from my inner guidance. My mind plays a pretty important role too but it comes a very comfortable second place to my heart.
You see, the mind actually doesn’t want to be in control, it’s quite happy to play second fiddle.
It’s just that we’re raised in these western cultures of ours to identify with what we know; our academic and work achievements and book learning rather than what we feel.
You know, in your gut, your instincts, your heart.
So what I understand nowis that although when my mind was playing at being in the driver’s seat, I made some decisions that weren’t so great, it wasn’t all bad, because there were still moments when gut feeling took over and I listened to that quiet inner voice. It’s just that I mostly didn’t know that’s what I’d done and I gave my mind the power of thinking it was all knowing and all clever.
Definitely not so.
Since learning to follow my inner guidance and live more from my heart than my mind, my whole life has changed. I won’t go into it all here, you can read more here. I’ll just say I feel happy being me and I’m surrounded by more people than ever before who ‘get’ me, love me and who I love back. Yay!
So here’s how you make a start with this inner guidance caper:
Three Tips for Tuning Into Your Inner Guidance
Make space for your inner voice to speak to you – Your inner guidance comes mostly via life happening quite organically around you everyday. And when you make time each day to sit in meditation, you increase your chances of being available to receive the messages from within your heart, both in that moment of stillness and in the wonderful synchronicities and coincidences life presents.
Ask for help –Play with the idea that you can ask for guidance on just about anything. From everyday things like what to eat for breakfast, what colour shirt to buy and whether to make a phone call to someone in particular, to the big ticket items like your life purpose, career direction and relationship quandaries. So in those still moments, ask within and then listen and feel into your heart to start receiving the guidance you seek.
Pay attention to what you see, hear and sense in every moment –Much of what we experience in daily life is there for us to absorb as guidance, feedback and learning. I’m not saying every situation you find yourself in is all about you and nobody else, I’m just suggesting to not discount that overheard conversation that draws your attention or that chance meeting with a friend from years back as happenings of no significance. When we allow our heart to guide us into the feelings and deeper messages in each moment, we attract our desires much faster and gentler.
“If you’re nothing without a gold medal, you’ll be nothing with it”.
I love these words from Australian Olympic gold medal swimmer, Liesel Jones, spoken last week on Insight on SBS television. The panel discussion program delved into our beliefs and behaviours around success and mediocrity in modern Australia.
Liesel reflected that pouring heart and soul into the achievement of an external reward such as an Olympic gold medal certainly brings its benefits but it also has a downside. She shared her sense of uncertainty about who she really was when her swimming career ended at the ripe old age of 27. Her whole identity had been wrapped up in being a champion swimmer since she was a child. What could possibly replace the rigid discipline, intense demands and thrilling victories of her life as an elite athlete once she retired?
Liesel’s words resonate with me as, in my own – less ‘elite athlete-like’, more ‘regular human being-like’ – way, my self-regard is more closely linked to my sense of achievement and daily productivity than I would like. You know, money earned, housework done, larder stocked, children picked up and dropped at school on time, business development on track, yoga and meditation practice adhered to, family and friends birthdays remembered, that sort of stuff.
When I’m on top of all the demands of daily life, I feel good about myself. When my inner voice or my body (usually through ill health) tells me to slow down and rest to allow emotions to process and energy to build again, I typically resist and push on through.
I feel uncomfortable having a day, let alone a week, that in my assessment has been unproductive. And yet, what Liesel says is so beautifully true. When we can love ourselves simply for who we are, that means without conditions, none of this matters one little bit.
Do we demand that a small child be productive in their day? Do we love a three year-old more when they produce a finger painting or a play-doh blob than when they’ve just woken up from a nap? Not really.
It feels to me that buying into the idea that success at elite levels of anything be it business, sport or the arts, will guarantee happiness, is a path to certain disappointment. What some of the families on this TV program are promoting to their children is; your career/sporting success is your whole identity and your value in the world.
I guess balance is the key, some people are destined to be truly great at something, stand out in the crowd and excel. But what happens to all those “almost made-its” who number far greater than the champions? Where are they left? Some have great resilience and bounce back, often finding happiness by re-framing their idea of success, others never recover.
I feel teaching our children from babyhood that they are inherently valuable and loved is a good starting point. Letting them be themselves and helping them to understand that it’s fun to master skills at school and in their sports and hobbies and it’s also good to just be still and do nothing. One isn’t better than the other and we are no less worthwhile as a person if what we love doing doesn’t fit into mainstream society’s narrow idea of ‘success’.
Plus where does fun and creativity or even originality fit into this picture?
This past couple of weeks have been sort of strange for me. I’ve taken steps to get more serious about creating my on-line business and expanding my offerings on a local level.
It happened like this: I listened live, beamed from California (me, 9.30 Friday morning – them, 5.30 Thursday evening), to my Success Signature coaching call with Jennifer McLean and then at my clever husband’s firm prompting I got my brain organised and wrote a business plan.
Well, the business plan got done the following morning at 6.30 as I sat on my meditation bolster in the peaceful early-morning living room. I felt great!
And then…. Eek!… Help!… What do I do NEXT?
I’ve actually felt frozen in one place, unable to move, shuffle or even blink myself forward one inch.
So while I’ve been seeing clients, writing a half-day meditation course and beginning my women’s meditation circle for the year, I’ve also felt as though nothing at all is happening and I am making no progress at all towards my goals, you know, the BIG PICTURE.
What’s this all about?
I guess what I’m feeling right now is that I’d created some false expectations about what this new phase would feel like.
I’ve been procrastinating about taking my work seriously – by that I mean, making more than a part-time income from it and acknowledging for the first time how much of a difference I make in other people’s lives – and now that I’ve taken this huge leap of faith by setting down some plans in ink, it sort of feels a bit scary and difficult.
I imagined at this stage of the game I’d be feeling super-confident, focused and switched-on. I thought I would be ever-so productive and masterful in everything I created.
I don’t feel any of that.
So I’m just going back to what I know I’m good at. Waking up each day and doing the basics; being a mother and wife, looking after my soul and body by getting outdoors, opening that meditation course document and typing some words, intuiting a topic and creating a guided visualisation for my women’s meditation circle AND being fully present and open-hearted when I have a client sitting in front of me.
That actually sounds like a lot. Why then doesn’t it feel like enough?
This moment reminds me of something I said to a dear client recently:
“Don’t you know you are enough? Don’t you know your mere presence in the lives of your friends is enough?”
How often do the words issuing from my mouth in care of another actually have enormous significance for me?
Pretty much every time. I’m feeling humbled by life and drawn into myself….and it’s okay. I’m simply experiencing a new season, a new version of me and a new understanding of what success means.
Quite a few years ago I realised there is a small collection of activities I love doing that help me to feel balanced, calm and healthy. I’ve known for ages that doing a little of most of these things, most days, makes my life flow with ease, joy and productivity.
They are yoga, walking, singing, dancing, meditation and writing.
Notice how none of these things need cost a cent?
Why is it then that so far, I have only managed to achieve very patchy success with incorporating these rituals into my routine? Yep, it’s only been in the past couple of weeks that I have made a fresh commitment to making these activities a part of my daily life and I have actually been doing it.
The irony of hearing myself making suggestions to this effect to the people I see every week in my counselling practice has not been lost on me. After all, one of my life mantras is, we teach what we most need to learn.
My feeling is that self-sabotage might be playing a role here.
I recognised a couple of years ago that I have been carrying a mild fear of success through my adult life. With a history of being sensitive to disapproval, rejection and exclusion, I’ve been playing it small for the past twenty years or so. I have a feeling that fear of success may be just as prominent in many people’s lives as the fear of failure. Put them both together and you have the perfect recipe for stunted development and self-sabotaging behaviours.
How does this relate to us committing to daily habits and activities that nurture and support our well-being? Well, just think about it, if we are feeling emotionally balanced, physically strong, calm, energised and joyful then we have no excuse for not fully expressing ourselves in the world.
No excuse at all!
But hey, this is just a normal part of our development. Recognising how we self-sabotage is a really great start.
What is needed is a big injection of self-love and gentle nurturing. Simple practices like this gem from Louise Hay can work miracles:When you first get out of bed in the morning, go to a mirror and look yourself in the face and say, I love you -(your name) – three or four times. If this feels silly or false do not fear. Do it anyway and remember that the old advice, “fake it till you make it” works wonderfully for things like this.
Come to think of it, I also love, drawing, painting, baking and swimming. So many choices, so little time.