Far to many folks stay in unhealthy relationships, in a sea of denial, jobs that create discontent or lives that are generally filled with chaos, drama and overwhelm.
Why? Why choose unhappiness? Why choose the role that has already failed you? Why stay comfortably miserable, rather than making a different choice?
These were questions that baffled me for the longest time, while trying to figure out if I really wanted to end my marriage. I was in an endless tunnel of denial, and scrambling to try something different and new to try and fix what I knew in my heart was broken.
I did it again while facing burnout in my job. My job was specializing in end of life care and Alzheimer's. I knew that I was exhausted, becoming depressed, and feeling hopelessly stuck at another crossroad. But yet it took me 2 years to finally make the choice, that enough was enough.
Though I wish it hadn't taken me 20 years to end a poor and difficult marriage or two extra years to change jobs. It was what it was. We all hit that moment where we know....It's officially MY time. It honestly for most women becomes a do or die moment. We can internally feel ourselves whither away at the thought of staying in a certain situation any longer.
Since the gloomy days of divorce and job changing. I have spent many, many moments reflecting on how choosing to stay impacted my well being and how long it took me to re-charge, find and nurture myself.
When you subject yourself to and endure years of unhappiness, you don't bounce back quickly. It's a process. A very long, sometimes lonely process of healing. Of learning to forgive those around you, and yourself for allowing the pain to continue. You feel like your drifting aimlessly in the sea of overwhelm. That feeling will stay with you, and you will continue to drift until your ready to take steps to put yourself at the top of your priority list.
Because of those long periods of drifting, I did a lot of truth seeking. Seeking my own truths. Denials of years and years of living with unhealthy relationships. My family, husband, old friends, drinking buddies and random folks who appeared in my life, because that was the kind of life I thought about at the time. I continuously brought turmoil, chaos, clutter and confusion to my life constantly because I didn't want to make the hard choice...To simply stop living my life in an agonizing manner. It really would have been that friggen simple! Just stop the partying, end the marriage, change the job, create new friendships...Isn't it sad how we stick with misery over a little work!
The more I became aware of my internal thought process, the part I was playing (hugely) in my own demise, the more I realized I was bringing my headaches on. Once I began focusing on the heart bleeding questions of why my life always seemed to be filled with pain, confusion, and chaos, the quicker resolve and clarity moved into my heart, soul and mind.
The clarity was a whole lot of f'n truth. Painful truths. I watched my dad cheat on my mom for 20+ years, and she was the good wife(wasn't she) and stuck by her man hoping for change. I listened to my grandma speak of a god that was unforgiving if we didn't worship in his house. Religion scared me. I was told at a young age not to wear make-up or lots of jewelry for being compared with Jezebel. A sinner in the bible. So now I would end up in eternity of hell for wearing my neon pink lipgloss...Hey didn't God understand this was the 80's after all. Times had changed. None the less, I listened, watched, learned a bunch of not always so great things before I was even 18 and went off into the sunset with my highschool sweetheart to live happily ever after....Only to realize those folks I learned from, weren't HAPPY!
I think back upon the last 20 years and it just amazed me that no-one ever said to me, you are what you think, feel and put out there to the world. Through service, unselfishness, connecting with others in need, creating a life built on simplicity not materialism, and focusing on the now you can dramatically impact your own life. Why didn't I see this?
Because again it goes back to you bringing into your own life what you are thinking about. If your thinking about partying, you will have a great bunch of drinking buddies. They probably won't be much help with creating peace of mind, but you can certainly have a tremendous amount of laughs.
If you have one foot already out the door to your marriage and your constantly in a turmoil of thought, whether to stay or move on. How can you truly be generating 100% in your marriage?
If your job is sucking the life out of you? Your attitude begins to slip, you talk with other co-workers who are on the same page as you and before you know it...You have 5 other miserable people to commensurate with. It's how it works. The more you concentrate your thoughts, feelings and energy to anything, you will suck more of that toxic poison right into your soul. Before you know it, your soul is black, barely breathing, and slipping away right before your eyes. And it all started with a simple bitch session with another co-worker. Wow!
So, let's fast forward 5+ years since my marriage ended, I changed jobs (still not a perfect fit-which is why I started my coaching practice-btw), I moved out of material, middle class suburbia and traded in the chaos for literally living on 8 acres in the western mountains. I changed. Changed my thoughts, my surroundings, my friends, my dreams, and on a daily basis ask myself how am I affecting my own world?
Are my thoughts consumed with gratitude for the beauty that I am surrounded with?
Is my heart filled with love, kindness and forgiveness for everyone I encounter, as well as myself?
Am I taking care of my own needs, and creating my own energy for when times are tough? (Because yes, all though I chose to escape the rat race for the most part, life still hands you challenges) The key is to be able to sustain them. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If I am not feeding those 4 key components in my life daily, I potentially could be in trouble of once again, drifting aimlessly in a sea of confusion, overwhelm and chaos.
Am I being nice to me? That means forgiving myself when I get off track. Cutting myself slack when I don't do the things I know I should do. It's about staying true to who I am. No masks allowed. I walked around in that life for far too long and have absolutely no desire to go back.
Do I give myself time for solitude? You can't get clear on anything in your life, without time devoted to YOU! Try as you might, it just won't work. Life requires time for creativity, long baths, hot cups of Chia, walks alone by the river contemplating your next best thing, journaling your crazy hearts desires and witnessing them into your life.
A healthy, happy, content soul needs NOTHINGNESS. A time for just breathing. A space filled with quiet. Have you ever heard the ultimate quiet in your head? Where literally the Chinese radio isn't even playing static? I seriously challenge you to make that time to sit, be still, listen to your breath, allow thoughts to flow into, acknowledge them and let them go. Just be. It is probably the most profound and impactful way that I know of, to get crystal clear.
Staying in anything that doesn't feed your spirit is a sure way to die internally. Sadly again, to many incredible folks sit in this stagnant way of life for far too long not knowing how to change it.
If I could give 3 simple ways to start the process of taking steps to change, it would be the following.
1)Make time for quiet. I mean really quiet. Let go of your thoughts on how unhappy you are. Allow yourself to just breathe in emptiness and calm. Because it is in that calm that you will find your next step. If anything I found that calm as my oasis in a flood of despair during my divorce and it was that calm that brought me back to being still over and over again. I fell in love with that tranquility that I couldn't find anywhere else. Use it, explore it, discover it, and inhale that beautiful space that lies right inside your own mind. It's free, and filled with shining love.
2)Carve out time to NURTURE YOU. I don't care if it's 15 minutes in the morning. When my gals were younger, I would get up a half hour early and split my time between meditation and journaling. To this day, I still do that. Half to quiet the chaos in my head, to start my day off feeling like I am in a place of peace. It's building your foundation for how you will allow things to effect your day. Then the last half was time to put my thoughts, goals, dreams, plans, wishes, fears, excuses, to paper. Sometimes I would make a pair of earrings before I went to work. Because beads made me smile. They were quick to make and it was something I did for ME. If you don't give yourself the time, no one else will. People in general will consume every waking moment of your day if YOU allow them too. Put your foot down, stand up for yourself and say NO if that means a few precious moments to feed your creativity, soul and spirit. Your life will thank you!
3)REMEMBER YOU are a direct reflection of the 5 people you give the most time too. Build strong, happy, healthy foundations. They will support you when you are wavering. Cheer you on when you are lacking motivation. Pull you up when you have fallen down but most importantly...They will believe in you more than you believe in YOU! How can you fail if your surround yourself with people who think you are friggen awesome?! Go out searching and looking for amazing people and be brave enough to introduce yourself. Create powerful connections, because those connections will sustain you while you are bravely connecting the dots of your new found life.
Whether you are in the midst of a divorce or have been treading water since your divorce. If you are an empty nester and feeling the loneliness that often surrounds us moms when the kids fly from the nest. If you are feeling great grief because sadly life has taken your life partner. Maybe you just lost your job of 20 years and that's all you have ever done. Whatever life changing, transition, lemon throwing, blood sucking spot you are in right now in life, it doesn't have to mean unhappiness and staying stuck. It just means, right now in this moment things are a bit turbulent but you now have a few incredible, free, tools to help you move out from under that cloud.
Nope life won't always be perfect. Sometimes it may be sad,hard, or downright crappy... But what I can tell you, YOU have a choice on whether to say in that same familiar pain or to begin the slow, some times agonizing process of pushing through to the light at the end of that black hole. It really is about CHOICE.
What choices do you need to make? What choices have you been avoiding? Is there a situation or person in your life, that is creating great pain for you, and you have been avoiding it? Do you feel stuck and unable to move forward? What is stopping you from having calm, peace and tranquility in your life? Has your attitude been a little less than desirable lately? Is it because you are staying somewhere that you know you should be creating steps to moving forward? What is your biggest challenge/obstacle right now in your life?
Ultimately the choice is always ours whether we stay or leave situations.
Having a super, loving and nurturing partner to root you on can often help perpetuate you into motion. It's especially helpful when you know that they have been there and triumphed over some of the same obstacles.
So if you think your finally in a "I've friggen gotta change this mode." Do these three little things for YOU and for ME. (because truth be known, I know how seriously hard it is to change alone, and it kills me inside to see so many women not daring to move and continuing to allow so much BS in their lives. Time for a radical, fully supported change of scenergy! (You know scenery and energy) What a great MIX!
1) Reach out and lets have a free heart to heart session and see if we can't together create, move forward and explore options to living a life based upon kindness, togetherness and self-sustaining-love! It's a free 1/2 hour session devoted to nurturing self and creative exploration that will help you to begin connecting the dots to re-building a more sustaining, happier, healthier YOU.
2) Create yourself a BS clause/contract. You know, your own personal I will not take any BS from __________ or at ___________. If the situation arises I will have a clear plan in place to not allow for more BS in my life. My plan is _______________. Sign it ~ Date it ~ and keep it close to your heart at all times, to whip and show the offender your not dealing. You have a choice, and you just made it!
3) Start today by giving yourself the gift of alone time. Really, 15 minutes to write, paint, sit, walk, sing, dance, whatever you choose that will uplift your inner spirit and begin strengthening you while you begin this incredible life altering journey!
((hugs)) Free for the giving and make everything brighter