I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
December 1st it’s almost year end and yet for me it is already the beginning. And the end. And the beginning again. It’s been a year of endings and new beginnings because that’s how the cycle goes. We are all constantly in a cycle of ending one thing and starting another. And not only that, we try to create certainty and assert control around the how and the when. We try to make it all neat and tidy.
One of the most profound lessons that I have taken from this year is that life just isn’t like that. Change isn’t like that. It isn’t all neat and tidy and wrapped beautifully in milestones that sit neatly in a calendar or where outcomes and relationships work in perfect synergy. And how we choose to experience the messy process of any transformational change is entirely down to us. What I do know is that if you trust the process and embrace the mess, if you look for the lessons and choose growth then the rewards on the other side are totally worth it.
Today I am celebrating ALL of it.
The endings, the beginnings….and the messy bit in the middle because without it I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Excited and eager about what the future holds I can reflect on the last 12 months and feel secure that everything was happening for me. For my growth and development and to act as a catalyst to allow me to move into the next chapter.
As the year draws to a close I feel a deep sense of gratitude for all that I have experienced and feel an immense sense of pride for all that I have created. Most of all I feel proud that I can honestly say that I truly walk my talk. I have accessed my courage, I have taken the risks, I have had the difficult conversations, made the tough decisions and despite the chaos I have remained on my own path and come back to my true North. I have taken a long hard look at myself – and believe me some of was not pretty or what I wanted to see. But I am where I am and I can say with certainty that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Was it all plain sailing? Absolutely not!
Did I enjoy all of it? No way!
There is a children’s book called ‘We’re going on a Bear hunt’ where they chime a rhyme throughout the adventure – “you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it”. This is also true of transformation and it became my personal mantra. It’s human nature to want to take the short cuts, to take the path of least resistance. But there are some things that you just can’t short circuit if you want the results.
But before you can reap the benefits and move to the process of transformation, you need to enter a period of discovery.
Who in the world am I? Ah well that’s the great puzzle
– Lewis Caroll Alice In Wonderland
This is a question that many of us struggle to answer and it can create all types of internal chaos when we find ourselves not really being able to articulate it. Sure we can roll out a whole long list of roles or titles (mother, daughter, teacher, CEO…) but to answer the question about who we REALLY are is one that can stop is in our tracks. Unanswered, it can leave us feeling frustrated, unfulfilled and a tad underwhelmed about life.
And to be perfectly honest it’s a question that most people don’t really take the time to truly reflect on. Too busy. Not enough time. Too deep. Too revealing. And they just keep tolerating. Tolerating a whole spectrum of issues and challenges from unhealthy relationships, work without purpose, living hand to mouth, poor health and a general sense of feeling, well, just a bit meh!
And when you get clarity on who you are what you need, your values and your passions, you can start eliminating all that you are tolerating one by one and step into a place of true freedom.
To answer the question Who in the word am I? requires self-awareness and the intention to really get to know oneself.
Sounds obvious and simple but based on my experience most of us are running around on autopilot the majority of the time. We are getting on with the ‘doing’ that needs to be done in a busy fast paced society and not feeling into the essence of who we truly are.
So if you want to make 2018 your year of transformation you need to get into a phase of self-discovery first. You can download my ‘Discovery Planner 2018’ here to get you started.
And what did I learn from the process?
- To trust – to step into the void of uncertainty and know it will be OK. Yes it can be scary and the thought is often so much worse than the reality. Once you’re in it you just know what to do. Most things that you worry about won’t happen. And when the curve balls come in you’ll know what to do with that too.
- To stay in your truth – you can only control your own thoughts, behaviours and actions. Other people will respond to changes that you make in the way that they know. Let their journey be their business and focus on your own.
- New things need space – as soon as you let go of the old, it creates space for the new to come in. It is out of the fertile void that we welcome new possibilities.
- The importance of enjoying it all – we need to celebrate more. Mark your milestones, celebrate your success and be grateful for all of it – even in the mess. It’s in the mess that the richest lessons often lie.
- Neat and tidy is so last season – dare to colour outside the lines. Let go of the preference for perfection, it really doesn’t exist.
So I am now off to celebrate all that I have experienced, and all that is to come and will leave you with a note from Lao Tzu:
At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.