Pursuing a life that's yours
This week is my not blog blog.
There are no special mindfulness or emotional awareness insights.
Because writing like that this week feels forced and isn’t aligned with me.
And right now, I’m practising listening to myself and only doing things that I feel connected to doing.
I’m choosing to say no to obligations or social pressures that I only do for others or to not rock the boat.
I’m just doing what feels right for me. Which is brave and hard.
It means I can feel like I’m letting people down or being selfish. It means I could be judged like this as well.
As I said to a coaching client in our last session,
when you choose say no, you have to be ok with people being wrong about you.
You have to be ok with someone thinking you’re unhelpful or a bitch.
You know you’re not and that needs to be enough.
So why am I doing this?
Because I’m pursuing a life that is mine.
And to know what life I want, I need to be able to listen to myself.
Which takes practice and connection to your body. It takes being open to your intuition or gut feelings and going with them.
I’m totally going to be wrong a lot.
I’m probably going to use it as an excuse not to go for a run a few times.
But the more I practice just doing what feels right for me, the more I figure out what is right for me.
The more I make my life mine.
What makes a life not yours?
When you create it based on other people’s influence, ideas or social obligations.
As humans we naturally do this. We conform to social influences because that’s how we connect and fit in and feel valued and secure.
And I’m definitely not saying you should go punch your ex in the face because you feel called to do it.
But I do think we should look at our lives and see what we’re doing just because of what we think other people expect or believe.
If I ask you to finish this sentence
“Everybody wants me to …”
what is your automatic answer? What do you feel that people want from you and who specifically are these people?
Does the answer to that light you up or does it drag you down with a sense of obligation?
When I first answered that, I said
“Everybody wants me to spend time with them”.
At the time I was in their first stages of building Flourish and studying coaching and was feeling massive pressure.
I had the old routine of my life which included hanging out with friends a lot or even just watching TV with my flatmates.
Which I really did not have time for anymore.
I had spent two years building a really big circle of friends in London and overseas.
And I felt like they all needed my time and attention.
But when I really started naming who I thought specifically demanded my time, the list was very short.
Nothing I couldn’t fit into the new life I was creating.
It just meant that I had to be very careful and protective of my time. I prioritised my close friends and boyfriend and started saying no to everyone else that I felt resistance towards.
I removed myself from Facebook groups about festivals and events.
I started saying no to random catch-up drinks or house parties.
I stopped watching TV.
Whenever a choice came up, I stopped and asked myself, do I really want to do this or do I just feel like I have to for others?
What is my gut saying about this?
Does just thinking about it drain me or get me excited?
It was slow going and took me months to wean myself off my old life. It was a process.
But I tried to always ask, is my choice aligning with who I want to be?
One of the most common ways we are misaligned is through our career. We work in jobs we don’t really love because our parents pushed us into it, we thought the corporate life was more financially secure, we didn’t believe in our creative talents or we did really want to do that at one stage and now we can’t just quit. What would everyone think of us?
Or perhaps we have a couple of friends who are super negative and energy vampires. We feel drained after we hang out with them and a resistance to the things they say.
DUMP THEM! Why do you have to be friends with them? Why are you wasting your time being with people who don’t light you up?
Here are some things that I’m doing right now to better align with myself.
I’ve stopped drinking
I felt this resistance to buying and drinking alcohol for a while but ignored it because it’s so hard to be sober when you’re surrounded by people who love drinking. And it’s always awkward defending your reasons for not drinking.
I felt bad for other people who wanted me to drink.
How bloody ridiculous! So I just drank.
And now I’m saying no and it feels so good.
I’m quitting the gym
My whole identity for a while was being a gym bunny with a fit, strong body.
I would sometimes do 8 sessions a week.
Now that I’ve started doing coaching, I have different priorities and my whole self-esteem isn’t centred around my body.
I haven’t been to the gym for a month and a half and I honestly give zero fucks about going now.
So I’m quitting and following my new desire to run 10km as fast as I can.
I’m going to go part-time then quit my job as soon as I can
I like my job and I’m good at it.
I love the people and I can see amazing career opportunities in events and marketing.
But I want to be a life coach with my own business.
The only reasons why I’d stay in my current job are to not let my boss and colleagues down, because I could fail big time at my business and because people are advising me to go slower.
But I know if I want to build the business I know I can, I need to take a risk and put my time and energy into it.
It’s scary but it feels right.
I’m saying no more
No, I don’t want to go to that event.
No, I’m not keen on watching that movie with you.
No, I don’t want to play in that touch rugby tournament.
Saying no is hard.
I absolutely hate letting people down as well. I feel terrible because I feel like I’m rejecting them.
But time is precious and if I said yes to everything, I’d have no time for coaching and be spending my money on shit that doesn’t light me up.
I’m trying to only say yes if it’s a hell yes.
Oh and I’m also building a life coaching business after spending thousands on a tourism degree which I’m still paying off.
Scary AF and I still struggle to talk about what I’m doing with other people from fear of judgement.
So take a quick stock of your life.
What do you do every day?
How much of it do you actually love doing and how much is just the safest path that you feel is approved by the people in your life or society?
Look over your calendar for the month.
What are you doing that you really cannot wait for? What are you doing because you think you should?
See if there is there any misalignment in your life.
Where do you feel scared to do something because of what other people might think?
I challenge you to be brave and really listen to what you want.
You know what’s best for your own life, you just need to give yourself the space to hear your own answers.
Say no to that boring ass party.
Go read your book at lunch instead of sitting with your workmates while they bitch about work.
Set aside a couple of hours this weekend to do something you love. That you really feel like doing.
I’ll be going to a food market 😉
Take action and with each choice you will learn a little more.
And whenever you have a choice, take a second to really feel the energy in your body. Is it high or low? Are you feeling pulled towards it or resistant?
You are the only one who knows what you want and you do know what you want.
And remember, we are all adults. We are not responsible for how other people feel, that is their choice. And we do not need to justify our choices.
You can say no and follow it with a full stop.
Maybe no thank you so you’re not actually the rude bitch you’re scared people will think you are.
Here’s that mindfulness insight I said you weren’t going to get.
Being with yourself in quiet, with the outside world and it’s obligations falling away is the best way I’ve found to connect to my intuition.
You have all the answers for the life you want most. You just need to listen.