Posted in Inspiration

When life puts you [on hold]…

Most people agree that life is satisfying when it flows in sync with everything considered to be important such as; family, relationships, career, health, spirituality and finances. When all these important areas of a person’s life are syncing together it produces momentum. It provides a sense of satisfaction as you experience life moving forward in the direction of your dreams, purpose and values in life.

Every person on planet earth has been granted a set of gifts to use. These gifts are unique and suited perfectly to each individual. Often we can go years not recognising what our purpose in life looks like let alone how it will unfold over time.  We may even get stuck on finding one thing we are good at.  At times we may see a tiny peak into our future yet we can never truly grasp the complete picture.

It usually takes courage to step out into an area we believe is our calling or natural gift. It’s also valuable to remember that gifts need to time to grow. They don’t grow unless we start using them. We may sit waiting and hoping that the gift inside of us will miraculously start sprouting by itself. Everything living needs to be nurtured and looked after. Plants would never grow to their full potential if left unattended. Weeds on the other hand don’t need any attention; weeds have their own ability to grab our attention once they have taken over a garden bed.

Do we want to be a plant or a weed? Plants have more purpose and length of life compared to weeds. Weeds might spread like crazy however they can choke the life out of healthy plants.

Once you finally take the first step into your purpose courage arrives begging you to take more steps. Every step heads you into your purpose allowing for you to grow and learn what it is that makes you who you are.

Along the journey of walking out your purpose there are times in which ‘life puts you on hold’….

Despite our best efforts in living out our purpose occasionally life happens and we are put on hold. It’s as though someone has come along and shot us with an ice gun so we stand frozen while everyone else is moving around you or past you. In this frozen state you are aware of intense restriction. Your mind and heart are filled with purpose and a desire to move on with life however life has happened and has put you on hold.

Life just happens….

Life just happens moments can be anything from financial failure, marriage failure, job loss, sickness, grief, emotional struggles and family problems.

These life just happens moments vary in effect, they can be fairly manageable at times meaning that we don’t experience too much disruption in our daily lives. Then on other occasions they are more severe causing all sorts of disturbance. The trouble with the more severe type of ‘life just happens moments’ we are usually taken by surprise. They are quite unexpected and can hit hard. When you get hit hard getting back up can take some time. For each of us the time it takes varies.

No one likes to be put on hold……… I don’t like being put on hold.

Given the past four months of my journey I have felt frozen and unable to achieve much in terms of my purpose. When I consider that I am almost half way through my psychology studies frustration sets in as I have had to make the choice to put it on hold. It would be too much for me given the current circumstance to continue studying. This does not mean it will be on hold permanently only temporarily.

When life puts you on hold you have several choices as to how you will manage yourself at that time. You need to activate patience. You need to remind yourself that no matter what has happened life will get back into sync. This is not the end of you. In fact it can be a new beginning.

When life puts you on hold you may be itching to get back into what you were previously doing however depending on what has put you on hold determines when you are ready to continue on. While I may feel as though I have gone backwards there are areas in my life that are moving forwards. I am no longer attached to an unhealthy marriage causing me to question every minute of the day. I can live in peace. I am able to walk into my little two bedroom unit feeling safe and comfortable. I may not have everything that I need however I have my family and friends who lift me up when I am down. I have the time to work on my own hurts and heartache ensuring a better future.

Ultimately our careers or dreams so to speak are not as valuable as what happens on the inside of us. Our quality of life, our families and friends rank right up there in importance.

So really what I am saying is that when life puts you on hold it is not necessarily a bad thing!!! It may feel frustrating for a time. It is only temporary. It won’t last forever. When you are released back into the world you will be a stronger and focused person once again.  You will know what it is to experience hardship and you will be of much value in your community. You never know who needs to hear your story!

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real….

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Authentic You

To be authentic means to be an original rather than a copy of someone else. In a world bombarded with subtle and unattainable messages of what it takes to be accepted it can become all too easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be someone else. As a young person many decades ago I was striving hard to be noticed which meant that it was of utmost necessity to be seen wearing the latest trends in clothing, especially the correct style of Jeans! I can remember as though it was yesterday the intense desperation I felt to get my hands on a particular pair of branded jeans. Back then the branded jeans were very pricey $$$ as they are today, and the fact that the jeans were from a particular store made them very popular. I remember the moment and how I felt when I got home and put those jeans on, it was so cool and I was very excited to join all the other teenagers who were wearing these trendy jeans.

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The excitement was short lived once I decided that I didn’t look as good in those jeans as others did, my bum was too flat! All of a sudden I was so focused on the issue of body shape that I began to dislike these expensive jeans. Every time I put them on I was thinking about how ugly I looked in them. Somehow I had convinced myself that if I didn’t have the right shaped body then I was a reject and would not be as cool as all the other girls who were perfectly proportioned. The desire to have the right clothing and the body to go with it felt like a never ending marathon.

If it wasn’t clothing or body shape that spoiled my week then it was my hair! The teenage girl magazines to this day feature photos of young girls with amazing hair do’s. I would look through these types of magazines and imagine how I could get my hair to look as good. Occasionally I would pick a photo and take it to a hairdresser asking them for the same hairstyle that the model in the picture had. Each time I left the hairdressers feeling disappointed as it was apparent that the look that I saw in the magazine was completely different to the look that I saw in my bedroom mirror. If it wasn’t the 80’s spiral perm that failed me it was the flicky thing we did with our hair back in the day.

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One side of my hair flicked back perfectly while the other side was always temperamental and did everything BUT flick back. The obsession to fitting in and being accepted ruled my life and I would say that my struggle with ‘low self-esteem’ was of no help either.

When I think back to those younger days and my desperation of acceptance one can only imagine how much harder that would be in the current climate we live in. For this reason I am writing this particular blog in the hopes that I can remind individuals younger and older that we only need to be ourselves. To be someone we are not means that we can lose sight of who we are supposed to be. Changing to be like someone else is not limited to clothing or looks, this need to be like someone else can move into the area of our behaviour.

Individuals can end up so desperate for acceptance that they may even go so far as disowning their own values and begin behaving unlike themselves, believing they will be more accepted or popular. This only highlights the great need that humans have of being accepted.

Personally I believe that if acceptance requires you to throw out your true values then something is wrong, whether it is with a group of people or the acceptance of that one person.  Ultimately it is really difficult to continue living a certain way when you know deep down it isn’t really you.  Everyone needs to feel that they belong. If belonging to a group means you have to change who you are and all that you value it is worth looking at finding another group.

Guard your values and your own unique sense of self, whether that be your own personal style of dress or interesting personality. Anyone worth having in your life will accept you as YOU! Imagine a world in which young people or older felt comfortable and content in being authentic.

If we get distracted and focused on becoming someone else we tend to forget what we are good at and our own unique purpose in life. I can remember times in which I would be too consumed with the idea of who I wasn’t that it stopped me from trying anything. It was as though someone had come along and pushed the pause button on my life and everything just stood still with nowhere to go.

When I was at my worst with low self-esteem I used to think that it was only me suffering as it appeared everyone else was doing just fine! You would be surprised how many struggle with not feeling good enough or matching up to the other person we seem to fixate too. Of all the blogs that I have written so far since December 2015 the most views have been on the topic of ‘low self-esteem’. That tells me that there are many people around the globe who are feeling frustrated with themselves.

When you decide to live as the person you truly are in other words be ‘authentic’, it may mean that some people will not want to hang around anymore. I decided some time ago that I was not going to keep forcing relationships with people if it meant that I had to change who I was or the values I held. That can be difficult for someone who has felt rejection throughout their lifetime afterall who wants to feel left out. These are the choices we face to live authentic. Not everyone is going to applaud you when you live by your convictions and decide to do things differently to the rest of the crowd.

My own conviction is that as long as my heavenly father (God) is pleased with me then that is great. After all he made me in the first place and knows better than anyone what I was designed for and where I fit in the best.

All that we need to do is put our best efforts into what we are good at and the rest will work itself out along the way. Every person’s life is different including their purpose; while yours may look different it doesn’t mean there is no value in that. While there is an endless sea of people all around the globe I can guarantee that there is something unique about you. Start thinking about what that could be and then put that uniqueness to good use and you will find yourself getting more satisfied at being who you were made to be rather than wasting your precious energy on being someone you are not.

What is unique about you?

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Its OK when plans don’t work to plan

There have been so many occasions in which I have suddenly begun thinking about how incredible this world is given how unique and individual people are. It is mind blowing to fathom the differences between millions of humans. How crazy is it that there are so many combinations to people’s appearance. That hair, eyes, personality can be put together in so many different ways. My youngest child who is now 9 yrs old used to use an app on his Nintendo called ‘Mii Maker’, which allowed  him to design characters from a selection of different looking eyes, mouth, hair and noses etc. He was able to arrange these items in whichever way   his creativity took him. Obviously this app is very limited when you compare to the vastness of human life and the diversities that exist.

Another mind blowing thought to consider are the differences that humans share in their life stories. Every human being that has ever been or ever will be or those of us that are here now have a very different background. No two families are completely alike! Beyond the obvious differences of gender and appearance there are these millions of individual journeys with each belonging to a person. These journeys begin the minute a child is born.

Humans are born with natural god given abilities and passions that tend to outline a picture (particularly to parents) as to what their child might be when they grow up. As children develop their natural abilities develop and inspire the child to head into a certain direction in life. At some point the growing child begins to plan out how they will fulfill their desired goals and dreams. In young adulthood there is so much excitement and buzz about the future that it is as if you can almost touch those dreams.

BUT…..

As life goes on we find that those dreams once so close are met with disappointment since the well thought out plans may not have gone to plan. These types of disappointments can lead to a sense of disillusionment for an excited young adult who may have grown up believing they were headed in a certain direction in life yet circumstances started taking them elsewhere almost without their permission.

When the best of plans don’t go in the direction you believed them to take you, does that mean there is no plan? Yes there is still a plan….

We can never guarantee that life is going to run smoothly and everything will fall into place exactly the way we had dreamed that it would. That A would lead to B and then C to D etc. Life is not perfect and never runs perfectly from one day to the next. Stuff happens beyond our control which can interfere with what we were planning to do.

The good news is that your passions and purpose are not limited to the stuff that happens beyond your control. While we may get utterly frustrated and begin believing that we won’t fulfill our purpose in life considering plans didn’t go to plan, the truth is we are often unable to see or understand why we go through stuff!!!!

While I am still on the journey to fulfilling my purpose in life if there is anything that I could say from my own experience it would be this; all of my roadblocks, disappointments, challenges, hurts and pain have worked in me a better plan then I could have put together myself. Our own plans generally don’t involve pain or disappointment, our plans are comfortable plans in which we imagine ourselves being happy and flourishing along in life doing what we love doing (I’m picturing an island scene here, you know the one in which you are relaxing on a comfy beach chair with drink in hand and the sound of the ocean putting you to sleep).  I think that most people don’t put their hand up and say they want to experience disappointment and setbacks,we want the easy road.

Had I not gone through some hard stuff I really don’t think that I could understand where another person is coming from when they are hurting? Naturally most people feel compassion for others yet unless you have gone through some hard stuff you may not truly relate to another person’s pain or experience.  Perhaps everything I have gone through in life so far has equipped me with more tools under my belt so to speak which can help me to connect with people beyond just the psychology text books that I am learning at the moment. You see my natural abilities have always been someone who loves to listen; I’m super sensitive to other people’s emotions and that of my own, when I see the wrong thing happening something inside of me rises up beyond my shell of introversion and says ‘enough is enough’, I’ve always been interested in why people do what they do. I had no plan of studying psychology! I hated school and did not do so well I was very average. Now that I am on this path of study I can see how the plan is still working together for the future. My experiences plus what I am learning in this course will give me greater abilities to help others.

Your dreams and passions may not be to help people like mine are! However the principles are the same, in life we go through hard stuff which tends to work in us a much better version of who we wanted to become in the first place. It is a journey which takes time to unfold. Sometimes we get impatient and want to hurry things along but take it from me a ‘mid-lifer’; enjoy the journey you are on and try not to hurry to your destination too fast.

Although life so far may not have gone to plan there is still a plan; however it is usually quite different to what we originally thought it would be. It is usually better than we thought it would be. Don’t rush! Don’t think that you will never fulfill your purpose simply because those best plans have not worked out. Those plans that haven’t worked out are more likely apart of the plan! It is just that we don’t normally like it when things don’t work out.

We all have a purpose, a unique contribution to life which will look different for each of us. The plan does not stop unfolding even though your plans haven’t worked out. I personally have a faith in God which allows me to trust that even he knows what’s best for me to fulfill my purpose.

Be Encouraged Today!

Our lives may not always LOOK  fbe9c2dfe740a8313854d7b0318b8d0b (2)  like they are headed in the right direction but don’t let that stop you from doing what you love doing. As eventually you will see how it all comes together in ways you could never have orchestrated yourself.

The most beautiful and valuable artwork that only the rich can afford takes precious time and patience to piece together.

Your life and purpose is that artwork.

Posted in Uncategorized

Is there ever a ‘right time?’

We all need purpose in life!  Having a dream to do something significant with where your passion is gets you to the place of fulfilling your purpose. Having dreams and passions is not enough. It would be great if your dreams came knocking at the door one day and said “hey we are here to fulfil your purpose”.  How easy would that be? Obviously too easy! Life never happens like that. There are always steps we need to take to get there. The steps however small they are lead you to your purpose. Purpose is never all wrapped up and ready to go it takes time to piece together.

When I was younger I had a few dreams and it has taken a journey of a couple of decades to get to where I am today. Where I am today is still far from my dreams however I am closer to them now then a couple of decades ago.

Having had five children and being passionate about mum hood   was a priority that I valued and still value. Once upon a time I had four children less than four years of age. I was in my mid-twenties and at that age it was do-able. My husband worked and I stayed at home doing what mums do; taking care of little ones. YES it was very hectic and exhausting on certain days however I loved every bit of it. It is such a rewarding experience to be pregnant and then give birth to a gorgeous baby with a personality of their own. Each of my five children is unique and diverse in their abilities.

In the middle of the baby season in my life I still had dreams for myself. While I sort of stuck my toe out the door a little bit from time to time it was always the children that took first place in my life. It was something I couldn’t change if I wanted too! They were my priority and I loved it.

After the birth of my fifth child at the age of 37 I was still going through the ‘midlife crisis’ season. We moved to a new state that was incredibly hot and humid in summer and quite isolating from family. This probably did not lessen the pain in that season but perhaps made it worse, I will never know.

As I was coming out of the ‘midlife crisis’ I was aware that there was a dream in my heart still to be accomplished except I had no idea what it looked like as an older person. It was easier to dream when I was younger. When you are young the future looks bright and exciting! I had put my dreams on hold in my younger days to be a mum.♥

So here I was about to turn 43 and wondering what the next phase of my life looked like. I still had a young one to take care of and four teenager/adults living in the house as well. Plenty of housework and duties to perform kept me very busy. Within the busyness there was a nudging taking place on the inside of me. The nudge was begging for attention.

As an introvert and detailed person I usually like to have everything in place before I take something on. I am also someone who likes to feel, I’m very sensitive to emotion. So before taking a step it needs to feel right. A woman’s feelings change from day to day so to rely on those for timing could result in procrastination (which I was also very good at)!

When the nudging started to happen I was in my early forties and coming out of my ‘midlife crisis’, this perhaps put me into an advantage. In the forties one begins to realise that time is running out so there is no time to waste. Evidently this is what happened to me. All of my excuses for any delay in taking steps were no longer valid as I was faced with the realisation that I had less time to feel right. In other words I was not getting any younger.

While my dream was ultimately to help people  it had changed a little in direction. When I was younger the idea of studying psychology was as far away as the last planet is in the solar system from earth. Very average high school grades and a complete lack of interest in school was a true motivator against doing any further study!

One day as I was ‘googling’ options on the internet the words “psychology” came up. The idea of a psychology course was starting to spark interest. As I read more information about the course I decided that NOW was the right time to start. I recognised that if I were to put off taking the step another year then that would be another year I could not get back and that one day I would be able to say  I have finished the course.

Every step counts when you make a decision to head towards your dream. As you journey along you may find that the direction changes a little or you may recognise other areas of interest that perhaps would not have been highlighted to you unless you had taken that first step.

The psychology course has opened up an interest for me in ‘writing’. I recognise that I am not the best writer and have much to learn however I am passionate about connecting with people on a heart level and injecting them with inspiration! My writing is not intellectual head knowledge it is all based on heart. While my psychology course uses words that I have never heard of, my writing is simple and easy to understand on PURPOSE.  The inspiration comes from journeys that I have personally travelled through and have a desire to let others know that they are never alone and that in fact others have also been where they are.

What steps could you take towards your dreams?