I am sure you have heard the metaphor before of life being likened to travelling down a highway. There are many different roads that lead off the highway and the trick is to take the right turn at the right time to stay on the path that is true to personal growth.
I like to think I am travelling along my highway in a cream J-type Jag, oh so stylish… But sometimes I don’t behave like the graceful lady that is meant to be at the wheel and then I know I have either taken the wrong turn or have somewhere gone off track.
This happens to everyone every once in a while. Sometimes it’s a result of something big, a life changing event or sometimes its just an accumulation of small things that just creep up on you.
Generally for me it is when I take on too much. Most days I am a worker, a taxi driver, a teacher, a cleaner, a cook, a confident, a friend, a gardener, bob the builder, I have a new business, write a blog, try to regularly exercise, handle the finances etc, etc… and while I used to think that being busy, busy, busy was a good way to be and somehow it made me feel important, from experience I now know that being too busy drains away the enjoyment and passion for life.
At times like these times, life rather than living takes up all of my headspace, I have no time for meditation, no energy for exercise, am too tired for spontaneity and can’t be bothered to have fun and so all the good stuff goes out the window. At times like these I notice I am surrounded by an increase of negative energy, I have bad dreams, wake in the middle of the night, I am grumpy, my relationships suffer and I realise I am not present in any moment of any day.
So on goes the hand brake…
It can take a mammoth effort to stop the J-type, turn around, clear the mind and start up again. To succeed you need inspiration.
And I get mine from working with signs, children and distraction…
It is absolutely amazing that if you look, the right words or SIGNS pop up as if by magic, to put a situation that is not feeling good into to a space that you can deal with. Signs may come in the form of a relevant chapter in the book that you have just randomly picked up or are currently reading, a comment from a friend or something as bizarre as the number plate of the car driving in front of you. I have so many examples, so I will share a couple with you…
I remember a period when I was actively trying to shift some old crap, trying to get my head around what was going wrong and why I felt so angry towards certain people who are actually very close to me. It was a little muddy upstairs and I had wound myself up pretty tightly. One day in particular was a roughie at work and on the way home I felt so miserable, I wanted to cry. But first I had to pick up my children from school so really didn’t think it appropriate that I turn up with bloodshot, puffy, panda eyes, so I expertly suppressed the tears. I hadn’t got far when I started to follow another car and I could not help but notice the number plate: 1CRY. I couldn’t help myself, down the tears came (I can’t imagine what the sight would have been like because it was not such a graceful cry). But by the time I got to school I had regained composure, cleared up the panda circles, my eyes magically looked normal and I felt a million dollars, because as always, a good cry is the best therapy.
The second example happened just the other day. I have started so many new things this year which has inevitably led to the odd time when I have compared myself to others. Yep I know it is vital for your self esteem to leave comparing the market to the meerkats, but easier said than done. I needed inspiration and it came at exactly the right time, from a conversation I had with a wonderful lady I recently met, I got a new motto:
“Never compare your start to someone else’s middle”
Then there are times when you just can’t seem to get everything done in a day, whatever you do just doesn’t feel like its good enough. You need time to work on things and that time is just not available to you. This is where CHILDREN become a wonderful source of inspiration. The focus of children, well mine at least, is to have as much fun as you possibly can in a day. They have an absolute ability to live in the moment, it doesn’t matter to them if the house is clean, the dishes are done, they are wearing a green and red sock, or are occasionally late for everything, they are just so happy to be driving in the J-type the rest just happens. The love notes, pictures or cards they make instead of getting ready for school, really do inspire me to stop and enjoy the moment, get done what is absolutely life threateningly necessary and just let the rest happen – and it always does, just happen.
And finally being off track and negotiating your way back on takes time, concentration and effort so to limit the associated fear that often comes with this process, I recommend the art of DISTRACTION. Man-child Phil Dunphy from the TV show, Modern Family, portrays this art so well.
In one recent episode, to prove his manhood Phil jumps on his father in law’s motorbike. He is obviously scared to death but while he is riding down the street he starts to think about how Fonzie once put together a motorbike while blind and how great the show Happy Days was… and yes he forgets that he is scared. I just love this, try it – if you are scared, distract yourself with something shiny and watch how your fear dissipates.
Life provides us with much inspiration to get us back on track. Notice next time what is that key inspiration that once you have stopped, makes you turn around and with a smile pushes you gently back onto the highway.