Do what you love or love what you do

I totally get the fact that you can’t always do a job you love. I’ve spent my career doing pretty much that but if you cannot do what you love then you should at least make the effort to love what you do.  The majority of folk are in work for a major part of their day and if you don’t find something about that job to love it makes it the longest day ever, every day of every week of every month. 

What are you doing? You have choices, even when you tell yourself that you can’t get that salary somewhere else, that there are no jobs out there or that family circumstances means you can’t do anything else. 

If these are absolutely genuine and you can tell yourself that you have tried every option (I don’t mean you thought about it and it didn’t seem possible) then try and find something in that job that you love. It may be the hours are flexible or you can work so that you can spend time doing something you love. It may be that you like the people you work with or it may be that although you aren’t enamoured with what you do, you are actually really good at it. Celebrate the good bits and be thankful you have a job.

If you have only told yourself in your head that there are no options then you best pull your head out of the sand and at least try because if you don’t, you’ve no one else to thank for your circumstance than you. If you’ve looked in the paper or online once and not seen your dream job are you seriously thinking this was enough? 

Do you know what you love about your job? There was usually something that made you do it in the first place or has kept you in it for so long so what is it? Make a list, write it down and keep it in a place you can look at it on the bad days. If you really can’t find anything perhaps it’s time to put your big girl/boy pants on, pull them up as high as they will go and do something different. I know it’s not easy, I know sometimes it’s like doing the impossible but if you want it there is a way. 

You may need help, advice, support and training on a practical level but the first thing you need is to  grab hold of those pant tops, find the courage you have locked inside and decide change is what is needed. Believe it’s possible, believe it’s in your power, believe you can because you can and if you really want it, you will. Have courage my friend and find what you love or love what you do – if you are lucky you will do both in time.

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The Ta Da Moment

Have you ever experienced one of those ‘ta da’ moments when things just seem to fall into place, your vision is clear and you know what you are doing. Sometimes they are a long time coming and sometimes they just jump out of nowhere and whisk your legs from beneath you. 

It’s a bit like looking for something so hard that you can’t find it and yet the minute you stop there it is, right in front of you. 

Desperately searching, desperately wanting, desperately lost and afraid it will never be. The theme is clear, desperation. There are things, people, emotions, dreams, careers, places that we want so much that we become desperate and yet it’s only when we let go of the desperation that they are free to appear. 

Desperation is a huge negative emotion that we carry with us. It shrouds us like a neon cloak showing everyone around us how much we want more and aren’t satisfied with what we already have. It’s a sign that we are uncomfortable with life, with friends, with loved ones and with who we are. That is not attractive. 

When we relax and let go we attract positive energy (at the end of the day energy is all we are and we create negative and positive energy is all we say, do and think). This letting go and trusting the universe to provide what we need (that can be very different to what we want) seems to free us and we attract rather than repel. 

So, what are you searching for? What do you hold onto in that desperate mode? What are you stifling, repelling and not letting in. Are you ready to ‘ta da’?

Ever watched the ocean

Have you ever just sat and watched the ocean coming and going. Close your eyes for a second and pop yourself onto a beach, just sit, get yourself comfy, feel the warmth of the sun on your face. There’s no one else there, just you. Listen to the ocean. Is is crashing huge waves or is the noise a gentle lapping as the waves find their way to shore? Just listen for a minute before opening your eyes.

Okay. Now open your eyes and see this beautiful ocean in all its glory. Watch the momentum it creates coming in then going out. If you have large waves crashing, see the foam created, sense the power and the speed the water delivers those waves onto the beach. If you have a more gentle ocean ahead of you look at how the waves seem to ooze onto the sand, gently creeping up, taking a breath for a split second, then returning back from where they came.

Life allows us to to be like this sometimes. We can come crashing down bringing chaos, power, excitement, noise and bursting onto the scene with enthusiasm and exiting just as quickly, leaving a sense of disorder and loss in our wake. We can also just sneak in,  gently, calmly yet powerful, wait a brief moment then leave back into a vast sea of people, invisible and unidentifiable.  Both have their place. Both can be relied on to turn up. Both will leave to where they came from. Both will leave their mark.

Sometimes we gently polish stones, remoulding, reshaping, cleaning, taking away the harsh edges and sometimes we crash down so hard we shatter them into tiny grains. Sometimes we erode away the place we’ve been until it’s unrecognisable and sometimes it’s as though we’ve never been. Sometimes we snatch what is lying ahead of us and take it with a strength and power no one else can fight and sometimes we just flow over what’s ahead.

Whichever you resonate with we know we can rely on the ocean for its beauty and it’s power and we know it will always keep on flowing up and down that beach making itself known. 

So you think you’re hard done by?

“So how can you tell me you’re lonely and say for you that the sun don’t shine. Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London. I’ll show you something that’ll make you change your mind.”

I used to love this song as a young girl growing up and oddly it reminds me of my teacher at primary school who used to sing to us with his guitar. It does serve us well to remind us though that other people are living hard lives just like we are and there are many, many more who are far worse off. We are very quick sometimes to go down the woe is me route when actually our lives are pretty damn good.

Gratitude. Do you show it, can you feel it and when you express it, is it real? It’s a popular way of being these days, being grateful, but said with insincerity it may as well not be said. Are you truly grateful for what you have right here, right now? 

I had a moment last night when I asked myself what I had to moan about or disappoint me in my life, here and now. I couldn’t find one thing. Yes there are all the usual niggles of being self employed but actually when I look at the big picture I have a fabulous family who are working hard at what they love and are happy, I have people who love me and I love back, I have a beautiful home and a car to get me around the gorgeous countryside I live in and my health is good. What is not to be grateful for? 

We are quick to moan, we are quick to judge others when we haven’t lived in their shoes and we are quick to believe the worst in people. Slow down. Look. See. Feel. Look again at the world around you and then bring it back to your own and see how very lucky you are. You may not have much money, you may not be in the perfect relationship or you may dislike your job but I bet you can find something in all of that you wouldn’t be without. Be grateful for that.

What we can’t see 

Change is rarely enjoyed as such, particularly if its enforced big change and it takes time to get comfortable with it. 

When a business has change to go through they will usually implement a change process and part of that is to ensure that employees work through the change to make it a a positive experience. There may be anger, frustration and a feeling of wrong being done to them but as they work through it gets easier. 

The fear of the unknown is huge and has a profound influence on how we feel and how we behave to ourselves, others around us and even our friends and family.

Everyone works through change at different speeds too. Some are very accepting with a “what will be will be” approach, some just need to work through all the pros and cons and then be on board and others will never accept change and will always be “we always did it this way” people. None of those are wrong and we should never judge another for where they are on this process. 

I thank god that we live in a society where we get choice, where we are allowed to agree or disagree without violence or discipline being enforced and where we can have discussion and debate. What I deplore is people turning on another because their view is different or being tactless or telling the other they are wrong to have such a viewpoint. We have no right to judge another without standing in their shoes.

None of us know what the future brings but seeing everything as a negative is not healthy and it breeds anger, bad feeling and gives an outward impression of dischord. Taking a positive approach to every situation is sometimes really hard but at least you do find the good points and focus on those. Influence where you can and be positive about what you can’t. You cannot go through life assuming that every decision is wrong before you’ve even see it played out. You may be right but you may be surprised. 

Standing together and making the best of it isn’t that hard to do surely? Protect the ones you love from what you fear may be by making their world positive. It’s the best gift you can give them.

Awaken to change

Here in the UK we wake to change today and the impact may be huge or very little, at this stage I know nothing of that. All I know is that my garden is full of sunshine, the birds are singing, I have a weekend of celebrations for my dads 80th birthday and I’m very happy. 

“You should be more concerned, let your feelings on this change be known, be more concerned about what might be”. Possibly, in some people’s minds, but today for me is as far as I go. Naive? Uncaring? Stupid? Again possibly but yesterday I was given the chance to say my piece and I did with a cross in a box, today I cannot influence the outcome I can simply live my life and wait for those who can, to do what they need to do. Me shouting, applauding, crowing from the sidelines will influence nothing, it will just give me a sore throat.

Change is necessary, change can feel hard, change is rarely welcomed but change is guaranteed so dealing with it is where you must give focus. If you played your part in the change in the UK yesterday then well done and you will either celebrate or commiserate this morning but life in your immediate world still needs to happen. If you didn’t play your part, it was a choice you made so you must deal with the outcome others created.

So whether you were for, against or non committal, you played your part in change which impacted many. So how easy is it to create change when it’s impacting just you? You’ve taken part in change on a huge scale so change in your own day, week, year must be as easy. Yes? It’s not always as easy as a cross in a box but is it achievable and when you have control it is safe, the outcome is your doing and you will see the world in a new light. So can you make today about change but change in you, for you, because of you?

No matter what this particular change brings this beautiful world is still spinning this morning and we should be thankful.

Another day dawns

Every time you wake and greet another day it’s an opportunity to live differently than yesterday if that’s what you choose to do. No one has ever said you have to get up and be the person you were the day before or think the way you did then or worry about what the day is going to bring. It is ALL in your control and it is ALL your choice.

If you haven’t had a good nights sleep (and that is the case for me most nights) it’s your choice how you feel when first plant your feet on the floor to begin your day. In fact it starts before that. Those first few seconds of waking and assessing internally how you feel and what you are doing in the day to come are vital seconds to get your mindset positive for the day.

Don’t lean over to the bedside table and check your emails, read the news (which I can guarantee won’t be positive) or answer messages that may be sat waiting from yesterday. Get up and do something positive. Excercise, read a few pages of a personal development book, listen to an audio book, meditate, write a gratitude journal, go for a ten minute brisk walk – absolutely anything that will kick start your body into the positive. 

Whatever you do it has to be something you love and something you can do every day. I get up at five every day, read, mediate, blog, exercise, write my gratitude journal. It’s my one hour of me time every day (see The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod for the why and how) and yes that’s early for a lot of people and impossible for some, I get that, but the routine is critical for me to make the best out of my day. I’ve done it for a year and it’s probably the best strategy I created in my day.

Unless you have left this life in your sleep another day will always dawn, so why make it the same as yesterday. Even if yesterday was a good one today can be better. Life is too short to wake miserable, angry, fed up and for you to keep it like that for the day. We all have those days, it’s completely normal, it’s what you do with that emotion that counts. Do you want to drag it along like a weight tied to your leg, limping through the day, weighed down or do you want to say “okay I see you’re there, I acknowledge you but actually you have to stay in this box today until I can deal with you (you have to  go back and deal with it at some point, you can’t just leave it there). It’s choice.

So a challenge for tomorrow…. When you wake do something different, do something positive and vow to keep that positivity going all day. See how far you get. Remember you are in control of how you deal with the day, you may not be in control of others but you can control how you allow them to affect you. One day is all I ask.

Making eye contact

How easy is it to tell someone how you feel, what you want, or that you love them without looking at them? I think it’s relatively easy if you want to do it without emotion or being involved with the conversation or the person and yes people do say I love you, I want you, I need you in writing to avoid the emotional connection. It’s called habit.

If you have to have a difficult conversation with a friend, a colleague or an employee we all know or have experienced the ease in which it can be done via email, over the phone or via a letter. Facing them and watching them crumble, get aggressive or accept your words with a heavy heart is uncomfortable, heart breaking and can be emotionally traumatising, dependent on the subject matter.

If you are bored in a relationship, want to end things, need to tell them there is someone else or it’s time to separate how easy is it to do without an emotional connection if you don’t have to look them in the eye.

But imagine….. 

You have the person in front of you, another human, maybe lost, maybe emotionally distraught, maybe angry at the situation they are in and you look them in the eye. Say nothing, just look. Really see the person, look into their eyes, feel what they feel, feel what you feel and choose your words very, very carefully. Can you still say what you would have said in written word? Can you still say it but you choose different words? Can you say it in the same matter of fact manner you may have used before? 

If you have a friend, partner, wife, husband that you need to talk to; one of those really hard conversations, think about the words you need to find, but before you open your mouth look them in the eye. If you cannot say them, ask yourself why? Have you easier conversations to have first to be sure? Is there still a little spark that you have forgotten about over time, in anger, in complacency or are you genuinely ready?

There are many, many conversations I wish I’d had whilst or after looking the person in the eye. There are many conversations I regret not doing at the right time or for the right reasons in the right manner and many I can never repeat. They are gone and it’s too late but I can learn and I vow never to have a conversation of importance with someone without that eye contact.

The eyes are a gateway to the soul and you can have a very special moment with eyes and no words but the emotion lasts a lifetime or you can say a thousand words with just your eyes. You can say or read hello, help me, I love you, it’s over, I need you, I’m angry, I’m hurt, I’m happy, I’m lost and many many more emotions and no words need be said. Be present and see before you speak.

Be the one you are

How often are you someone else to fit the needs of those around you? How often to you say what you say to keep up with those in your friendship circle? How often do you do what you did yesterday because it’s easy rather than change to what is right?

We are all guilty of this in some capacity and if you are denying it, you are lying to yourself. I am quite opinionated but will happily go with the flow sometimes rather than explain my point if I see it’s not worth the time and effort. I will occasionally, although very infrequently nowadays, put a different hat on to please someone else. This is becoming very tiring and not in the least bit authentic so has to stop as I know and they know it’s not really me.

The one thing I don’t do, quite consciously, is do what I did yesterday. It’s been really, really difficult to break this cycle but we are talking weeks of hard work and conscious effort, not months or years, for it to be a unconscious habit to be free of the past.

I have revisited past behaviours, I have acknowledged what’s acceptable to me, what serves me and what I am comfortable with. I have eliminated the remainder. I can now stand before anyone and just be who I am in the knowledge that if they want to know me they will stay and find out more and if they don’t, they will move on. It’s okay for people to be transient in your life, in fact it’s quite healthy for this to happen. Don’t cling onto people simply because you don’t know what it’s like without them. That is not a reason to continue on the path you are on.

If you are consistently someone else or repeating what you have done before it is utterly exhausting. You have to remember all the time to be a different way to that which is natural. You have to make sure different people don’t see you in the same situation or it gets confusing for everyone there. You have to act, remember which part you are playing and constantly live a lie.

What’s wrong with the person you are? What is it about that person you dislike so much that you have another hat on every day? Who is inside just dying to show their face and be? Why are you stifling your own personality? To please another? To fit in and be accepted or because you genuinely don’t like the person you are? You know which of these is right and which is wrong, you don’t need me to tell you that and if you really don’t like who you are be brave and ask yourself why, listen to the answer, accept it and do something about it.

If you are uncomfortable being the person you are portraying yourself as every day or just occasionally or in certain company, you have the ability, the inclination and the power to stop. Stop and just be the person you are when no one else is looking. People will either accept you or not. If it’s the latter then they are no longer worthy of you. Fact.

Find your creative

In a couple of weeks I have made space in my schedule to take two days out to find my creative. I am so busy doing what I love that from a business perspective I need the time. I know my business plan needs work and I know there is an option for another leg to my business but whilst I am doing the do every day I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I have booked two days to go to a place I don’t know, to stay in the equivalent of a shed and all I am taking is some food, a notepad, some paints, my music and my imagination. Let the creative juices flow.

I’m a little bit scared as its the first time I’ve done anything like this but a whole lot of excited about what will come out. I am opening myself up to nature, meditation and know what’s inside me will come out and I will make some sense of the noise in my head. The jumble that are my thoughts will begin to take form, make sense, become something tangible.

How do you go about giving your thoughts space to become reality? How do you go about giving your thoughts space? How do you go about thinking? How do you go about dreaming of what’s possible? How do you switch off what you do and think about where you could go? 

I create space for people. I hold that space so they can step into it and lose themselves in their thoughts and their dreams. I guess I am the gatekeeper between reality and possibility. When a client lies down on my massage table they should be able to forget. Forget I am there at all, forget worries, forget reality, forget what they are making for tea or where the next pay cheque is coming from. All they should find there is possibility, dreams, what ifs. You never know what you find in the space someone creates, you may find courage, ambition, belief, freedom.

So when I go on my expedition into my own head and see what’s in there I am trusting myself, my creativity, my desires, my strengths, my thoughts of endless possibility. 

Step into the space created and find your thoughts.