blogging, break up with your phone, self-discovery, truth, Wellbeing

Breaking up with my phone

I wrote a few weeks ago about disconnecting a bit from social media and my phone – since I’ve been on maternity leave I’ve been finding myself going from app to app more often than usual and mindlessly passing time scrolling through pages and pages of content without really being aware that I’m doing it.

I initially bought the book ‘how to break up with your phone‘ for my mum as I think she’s as prevalent as I am online, posting things, commenting and getting drawn into the dopamine high of online life (sorry mum!). But when I had a sneaky pre-read of it, I could see that it would be really useful for me so I decided to keep the book and offer it to her (if she wanted to look at it) after breaking up the relationship I have with my own phone.

There’s a 30 day programme you can follow which involves a lot of reflection about my online habits and I thought I would do them here since, reading this, chances are you spend a lot of time online too, dear friend. And if you want to, you can also follow the headers I will use to assess your own relationship with your phone.

Our lives are what we pay attention to…so what do I want to pay more attention to as I disconnect from my phone?

I want to be fully present moment-to-moment – with my family, with friends, when I’m walking out and about. I want to spend more time actively choosing what I do – playing the ukulele, watching my favourite TV shows, seeing people, reading books, getting out into nature – instead of passively passing so much time online.

What do I love about my phone?

I love that my phone connects me to people all over the world. Some of my closest friends don’t live near me (in fact, they live about as far away as they could be!) and I love that my phone allows me to connect with them and stay in touch. I also love how I can record audio messages to these friends so I can still keep in touch even if we’re not able to talk. I love that I have a camera close by most times to capture lovely moments I’m having. I love that I have helpful apps (google translate, a calculator, internet browser, wordpress – the site which hosts my website) at my fingers all of the time. Oh, I also love podcasts on my phone, I listen to loads of them as I’m walking out and about and when I’m feeding Jenson at night or can’t sleep.

What don’t I love about my phone?

I don’t like how often I’m drawn away from the present because of my phone. I find myself reaching for it compulsively to check whether anything has happened online. I’ve disabled all notifications apart from for text messages, so my attention isn’t pulled away when I get a new whatsapp messages or e-mail but quite often I’ll find myself logging onto my phone just to check whether I’ve received a message. I don’t like how instant everything is – I feel like there’s a pressure to respond to things as soon as I’m contacted and, as someone who can feel anxious, it puts another pressure on my mental to-do list. I also don’t love how much time I spend on my phone. It feels like such a waste of life – all the hours I spend just mindlessly looking online. I also don’t like how pushy some apps are set up to be – I’ve disabled facebook messenger notifications and every time I go on there, I’m asked to enable notifications. It’s annoying and quite intrusive.

What changes do I notice in myself – positive or negative – when I spend a lot of time on my phone?

Positive: When I receive a personal audio message from someone, filling me in on a friend’s life, it makes me feel connected. When I see happy news from a friend on Facebook, I light up. When I witness something wonderful or interesting or funny, I’ll really like being connected online. I also love all the inspiration I get from vegan recipe pages I see on Facebook or Instagram.

Negative – I can feel a bit twitchy when I’ve been on my phone for a while – especially if I’ve been switching from app to app to app. I feel a response, negative or positive, depending on how much real connection with people I’ve had online. My head also feels very full with all the interactions I’ll have had. I’ll also feel bad if I’ve spent loads of time on my phone as it makes me feel like I’m wasting so much time doing something which adds so little to my life. It’s also a bit like sweets for me – the more I have sweets (at dinner, at lunch, a mid-afternoon snack), the more I want to eat them. So the more I spend time online, the more I crave going online. I don’t like this behaviour in myself as it starts to spill over to when I’m with friends, when I’m walking along the street, at work…

Imagine myself a month from now. What do I want my new relationship with my phone to look like? What would I like to have done or accomplished with my extra time? What would I like someone to say if I asked them how I’ve changed?

A month from now, I’d like to be spending less time passively looking online. I’d love to regularly have time when I don’t take my phone out with me, or have it in another room of the house. With the time I’d get back, I’d like to choose something I’d like to do…I think I’d like to read a book that is relevant to my work or go over my coaching notes. More than anything, I think I’d like to be more present with whatever I’m doing. So with friends, I’d have my phone stored away in my bag – not on the table. At meals, I’d not have my phone out. When watching TV, I wouldn’t also be scrolling online. When feeding my son, I’d be either engaging with him or doing something I actively wanted to do. And people would notice that – my increased presence.


So that’s my day 2 activity for breaking up with my phone (day 1, FYI, was installing an app to track my phone usage – I’ve got an iPhone and downloaded ‘moment’. This app which showed me that on a day of low phone usage I spent 7% of my waking time on my phone, which really scared me).

I’m actually on day 3 – which is all about noticing how I feel about my phone:

  • Why I reach for my phone – nearly always to fill space – when I’m in a queue, waiting for someone, when Jenson is quietly feeding – or when I’m doing something I’m only semi-engaged it like watching TV
  • Changes before and after I reach my phone – excitement, curiosity, a bit of a rush which doesn’t really last or leaves me feeling a bit lower if there’s no interesting new message. Also a feeling of anxiety if I’m pulled away from my phone but haven’t finished responding to people online.

I hope this has been of interest or has maybe prompted you to think about your phone habits. I’d love to hear your thoughts about your relationship with your phone.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, pregnancy, truth

The waiting game

After nine months of waiting, I’ve now passed the due date for my baby’s birth and am tussling with the to-and-fro waiting game. Swinging from patience and a philosophical ‘he’ll arrive when he arrives’ to a childlike frustration and inability to comprehend why he’s not here right now!

There’s nothing for me to do…with the move to maternity leave I’m left without the purpose that I’m used to having in my life. All I can do is just be. And it’s uncomfortable for me to occupy this space. I mean, sure, I’ve revelled in the past week where I had 2 hour baths every day, read five books, wrote loads of blog posts, met up with friends for coffee and spent time with family.

But I don’t know how much longer I can continue at this slow pace and yet I don’t have a choice.

I’m in the waiting game.

I’m partly anxious for his arrival to be before the New Year because we need him to be one year old in January 2019 so that he can attend the nursery we’ve found and love but which only takes children from the age of one onwards…and we won’t have enough leave to cover the time we’ll need to have off from work if he decides to arrive at the latest possible day in mid-January.

And I know how ridiculous this is…worrying about something that will take place in 12 months time and that we will face together if needed. It shows me that:

  • I could benefit from having some coaching to consider how I can live more in the moment, projecting less into the future
  • I’m still not comfortable with the idea of asking for help. I know that I have people in my life who love me and would be more than keen to support me and my family, potentially stepping into the gap. Yet the idea of asking for and accepting their help is of such magnitude and feels so uncomfortable

But it’s not just the future projections that are making the waiting game so uncomfortable. It’s the space, the vacuum, that this waiting game is creating in my life. I’m not really in the adult world…not able to drink and be merry, book in coaching clients or really do much with my life as I wait for my waters to break, for my contractions to start, for my life to change forever.

But neither am I in the parent world where my every thoughts will be consumed with nappies, feeding and overwhelming love. The pattern of life which will come with the arrival of my baby.

I know that I need to accept, I need to surrender, I need to just be in this space. But it’s so bloody difficult and I find myself again in the childlike space of foot-stamping frustration.

It’s not like there’s anything I can do, this post isn’t really meant to help me sort through my thoughts but instead to just vent and express how difficult this moment is. I know that when my little boy arrives, I’ll think ‘why didn’t I enjoy this time of space more?‘ but this is how I feel at the moment – frustrated – and there’s no point in denying it.

The waiting game will eventually end…it’s just a question of when.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, motherhood, self-discovery, truth

Letting go

It’s been a funny old day. I’ve felt a bit strange, out of sorts and a bit crotchety. It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that I realised why I was feeling this way…because I was living my last day in Brighton as a non-parent. It feels like there should be another word for ‘non-parent’ as it seems so very opposite to the state of being a parent. Like being single or in a couple. The inverse of each other and yet there’s not a defined word for it as far as I’m aware.

But back to this funny day and how weird I find it to contemplate that I’m going to be a parent when I come back to this city I call home…and I don’t think I’ve quite come to terms with what this means. To me it means relinquishing carefree weekends and evenings, less time and money to spend doing whatever I like, few evenings with friends without having to think about getting up early the next day.

And the biggest one – letting go of being part of a pair to make way for a family unit.

I feel so selfish stating these things because I know others dream of being in my fortunate position of being pregnant and others long to just find their place in a pair – I’ve got so much going for me. It seems wrong to be so ungrateful for the beautiful thing which is going on for me.

But it’s my truth, it’s where I am and I know from past experience that there’s no point in denying what’s going on.

When I think about what’s happening and why I feel the way I do, I understand that I’m mentally and emotionally having to let go so much stuff (my freedom, career, ability to spend lots of time with friends, no-one to think of but myself) without truly understanding what I’ll be picking up. I’ve seen and heard from so many people what a joy having children is but I can’t quite see it yet. I can understand theoretically but it doesn’t quite seem real. And so I feel like I’m sacrificing so much for something I’m a bit unsure about.

Not unsure as in I’m not happy to be having him. Not regretting the active decision to grow this child of mine. But unsure about what it’ll be like, whether I’ll miss my non-parent life, how my marriage will change as a result of this new life.

And maybe that’s ok. Normal even.

And part of this letting go isn’t understanding it all or working it out; coming to peace completely with it in my head and my heart. I’ve a feeling that I might feel this way until (and even after) the baby is here. And what I need to do is just acknowledge what feels a bit off and cut myself some slack, share what’s going on with both my husband and with you, dear friend so that I’m not going through this alone.

The funny thing is that when I acknowledge how I’m feeling – regardless of whether I’m able to solve what’s going on or not – I find myself able to let go just a little bit and enjoy my last moments as a non-parent.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, christmas, compassion, courage, self-discovery, truth

Poor as I am

I’ve been up tonight with one of the only side effect I’ve suffered with in pregnancy – mild insomnia – and after lying here in bed for an hour thinking about things (life, relationships, the past, the future) I thought I would get some of my ponderings onto this blog and hopefully get back to sleep.

With December fast approaching, and with it the due date of my son’s birth, I’ve had the words of some Christmas carols in my head lately. The one that is going around my mind in the early hours of this morning is ‘In the bleak midwinter’. Or more precisely, the final verse of this song:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

And here’s what these words have triggered in me at 3am:

Calling

Sometimes we have a role to play in life. Like the wise men or shepherds in the nativity. But other times we don’t. Like with the post I wrote yesterday about just being, we might be called to just be there for someone – to witness their pain or to offer up our friendship. And that role can be enough. In fact, this role can be the most valuable one that we can provide.

Reality

This carol isn’t the usual one, speaking of glory and triumph at God coming to earth. In fact, it’s a very strange song which, apart from being quite jumbled up in its message, speaks of incredible difficulty next to immense glory.

And I think that sums up life quite well.

We may all be faced with incredible difficulty and suffering in life – for me, I see this as part of the human condition. But in that difficulty, there can be immense beauty. Although we might find ourselves face-down in the mud, we can also find a wonder in the strength of standing back on our feet.cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, feminism, self-discovery, truth

#Metoo

I am an avid listener of the guilty feminist, a comedy podcast which manages to both make me laugh out loud and consider what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.

The most recent podcast was about Harvey Weinstein and it gave me a lot to think about.

Almost a week after listening to it, I’ve still been thinking about this episode. It’s made me reconsider what I accept as normal behaviour towards women and the conditions I am subject to due to the fact that I am female.

Up until listening to the podcast episode about Weinstein, I had been aware of #metoo – you’d have to be a social media recluse to not see the scores of women admitting that they have been a victim of sexual harassment or assault. But I had felt quite uneasy about it and had turned a blind eye to their accounts of suffering.

I’ve been thinking about why this is and want to share some of these thoughts with you, dear friend:

  • It’s uncomfortable to witness the wide-scale reality that so many of us have been victims of assault or harassment. I’d rather close my eyes to it than face this truth.
  • My taught belief is that women should be compliant and not speak out – women stepping forward to share their stories of suffering is uncomfortable to witness. I know it’s right for them to speak up, but it makes me uneasy nevertheless.
  • There’s something about the testimony of women that I take less seriously than that of men. I don’t like this belief…but I’m noticing it’s there. I’m more likely to believe a man than a woman and so it makes me question the testimony of all these women who have said #metoo. Being aware of this belief has started to make me question how I view the experiences I’ve had of sexual harassment in the past. Experiences I’ve belittled or have passed off as unimportant. The man who exposed himself in front of me when I was a shop assistant. The boyfriend who didn’t listen to me when I said ‘no’. Perhaps I’ve felt uncomfortable with #metoo because it’s made me aware of my own experiences that I’ve hidden away and refused to acknowledge.
  • There’s also something about how I view the gravity of what a sexual harassment charge can do to an individual externally (being fired, having a criminal record) and the gravity of what a sexual harassment victim experiences internally (shock, PTSD, feelings of being to blame, helplessness). I take the external damage as being more serious, which is ironic given my knowledge of what internal trauma can do to an individual. When I suffered from an eating disorder in my 20s, I became so thin that I could have died. I could have died. That’s how serious internal trauma can be. So why do I consider the external impact of a sexual harassment charge as being more important?! I’m left speechless and at a loss as to why this is.

I hope my thoughts are making sense to you, dear friend, and that you don’t judge me for the hidden assumptions and views I’ve shared with you.

The thoughts I’ve shared with you have made me aware that how we view sexual harassment and how women are treated in society is an incredibly complex issue. One that I won’t be able to solve with one blog post. But it feels good – it feels right – to uncover why I think what I think and to start to challenge some of these assumptions that I hold.

However uncomfortable it is to talk about sexual harassment and the power dynamic between men and women, these are the topics that we need to grapple with. These are the subjects that need to be brought to our collective consciousness.

Engaging in the debate and openly listening to the views and experiences of other people is the best way for us to move forward and build a more equal world. A world where no-one is victim of sexual harassment or assault.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, Fear, self-discovery, truth

Freedom

If I was going to tell you a few things about me, it invariably would come up that I’m a planner. Part of my story would be: I lock plans in place well in advance, my diary is arranged weeks, if not months, ahead.

The planning doesn’t stop there. I’ve had conversations with my sister about how, when she gets married, I will be in charge of planning her wedding day (she was probably joking, I was mentally going through all the things that would need to be done) and my husband and I refer to me as the ‘social secretary’ – I’m in charge of our plans as a couple.

But for the past few days, I’ve felt a strange aversion to putting any plans in place at all. The only way I can describe it is how I’ve gone off soup since being pregnant. The thought of eating anything soup-like makes my stomach turn. And the idea of putting any plans in place gives me that same feeling of disgust.

So why am I sharing this with you, dear friend? Partially in hope that friends will read this and not feel offended when I don’t want to make any plans. Heck, that you will not even ask me to put plans in place with you over the next few months.

But the reason I’m writing this is also because I know that I need to do things differently, I need a different response to live a life of less plans and greater freedom. I need to learn how to say ‘no thanks‘ or ‘let’s just play things by ear‘. I need to work out how I might change my plan-filled diary to one that has space for me to be spontaneous.

I take inspiration from my husband who, yesterday morning, saw there was an Oktoberfest event at our favourite spot in Brighton, Cafe Plenty, texted a load of friends to see if they were free and ended up with a table full of friends to hang out with. So I know it can be done…but when I think about doing things differently myself I feel a number of different things…

Hurting other people

Saying no feels really uncomfortable if I think about how the other person might feel. To me, it seems to indicate the following:

  • You’re not a priority to me
  • I have better things to do than see you
  • I don’t care about you

And if someone said these things to me, I know I’d feel really hurt.

But I know that this is not what I’m saying when I want to hold back from filling up my diary. What I’m really saying is:

  • I respect myself and my need to have more space and freedom in my life
  • I feel so much pressure in my life right now – I need to take a step back and give myself some breathing room
  • I’d love to see you, let’s just be a bit fluid about when that is

Transaction

I’ve noticed that it’s harder for me to say no when someone says ‘I’ve got something for you, can we get together?‘ It’s like there’s an added pressure to fit them in because of not wanting to snub their offering and be rude.

But I want to remember that the other person isn’t trying to buy me and, if they are trying to buy me, I don’t want to be bought. In truth, I’m sure that the other person is being generous and kind and I’m sure that their offering is not dependent on me dropping everything to see them in the near future.

So I need to listen to my own voice saying ‘you shouldn’t make plans‘ over that which says ‘you shouldn’t be rude‘. I’ve got to remember that respecting my boundaries, giving myself space, having time just for me isn’t rude.

And even if it is rude, it’s what I need. And that’s more important than what other people think.

Adobe Spark (10)

Authenticity

The principle of being authentic, honest, truthful is so important to me. It’s why this website of mine is so dear to my heart as it allows me a weekly, if not daily, practice of being authentic and expressing myself to the world.

When I was speaking to my coach, Helen, about my need to make less plans in a coaching session this week, I explored how I might be able to not just push plans with friends back (i.e. ‘can we meet next month instead?’) but be able to not even put plans in place in the first place to give myself a bit more breathing room.

At the end of our session, I realised that the answer probably lies in being my authentic self – sharing with other people that I’m feeling overwhelmed with life at the moment and that I need more space, quiet and time to reflect in order to stay afloat.

So I think this will be part of my journey to having more space in my life – being open and honest with friends about what I need and why I need it.


There is so much more I could write to explore why I find it so hard to respect my new need for freedom, but my gut says that the important thing is to get practicing. To say ‘let’s just see how things work out’ even though I feel discomfort in saying it, to be ok saying ‘it’s so kind that you’ve got some stuff for me, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see you though’ and to share how I’m feeling when people invite me to take part in their lovely, generous plans.

I know this different way of living – having greater space and freedom – is part of my desire to have a life of greater courage, truth and love. It won’t always be easy, but I know that it will be worth it.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, rest, truth

This is normal

I’m back from my holidays – straight back into the rush and hustle of my life – and am reminded of a conversation I had with my midwife at an appointment a few weeks ago.

I shared with her how I might need to slow down for my own sanity as things have been so busy recently. And she surprised me with her response. Instead of agreeing and telling me to slow down, she said:

I used to think that I was just going through a busy time and waited for everything to slow down…until I realised that the ‘busy’ was normal. It was part of my life.

And I felt something click as I saw her experience mirrored in my life.

You see, I keep on having the expectation that something will change – that this ‘busyness’ will one day stop by itself – when really it’s just how things are.

And so where does this leave me?

Because I’m certainly not happy to just accept that this is my life and to continue on this ever speeding-up merry-go-round existence but nothing will change unless I do something differently.

And here are my thoughts about what I might do.

How I react

After the first day of my coaching course, I can see that part of me reacts to this level of busyness from a child ego state:

“It’s not fair! Why is my life so busy! Why won’t people just leave me alone and stop expecting so much from me!”

I know this isn’t right – I’m the one who accepts the engagements, makes the plans and puts the level of expectation on myself…and so I’m the one who can take the choice to react differently – consciously, appropriately – to the situation.

Choices

I know deep down that I need to make different choices – having this level of busyness in my life isn’t how I want to live. I’ve written about this so much before on this blog that you’re probably sick of hearing me and unless I make different choices, I will always experience life in the same way.

The choices aren’t necessarily huge ones that need to made. I’m talking about small incremental changes.

This may show up as not squishing things into every moment of my life – I’ve done this by asking my mum if we can speak on Monday instead of speaking tonight I am tired and unfocused. Or it may be taking some decisions about whether I’ll accept invitations and make plans (or not) based on what truly matters to me in life.

Motivation

I also feel it’s important to recognise what is behind the behaviour that leads me to feel so busy and overwhelmed:

  • Wanting to please others by doing what I think they want
  • Lack of foresight – accepting different invites without considering all the other things going on in my life
  • FOMO – a fear that something awesome is going to happen without me being there
  • Not communicating my needs or expressing my expectations

I’m not saying these things to be down on myself but because I know I need awareness to bring about change.

Where does this leave me? 

I know I’ve been like a cracked record, dear friend, writing so frequently about being overwhelmed and how I need things to change…and I feel something changing.

A resolve in myself to now move to action. A refusal to push things down and keep on going despite feeling overwhelmed. A determination to not put any of the expectations I carry onto my son.

A whisper coming from inside me that I can be free – that there is another way to live.

And with that, there is hope. There is a promise of what could be. A life with more space, more joy, more presence. A life with greater courage, truth and love.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, Brené Brown, life coaching, self-discovery, self-judgement, trust, truth

The finished article

I’ve been wondering for a few months how my blog – this wonderful outlet for my thoughts, experiences and feelings – can co-exist with my desire to practice as a life coach.

I’ve keenly felt the tension of being honest with my struggles, openly owning my flaws and expressing that I’m not the finished article but also inspiring trust in other people that I can help them to achieve their goals.

I don’t know if there is space for me to be honest when I’m a hot mess whilst building myself up as a coaching professional with the tools, skills and experience to help others.

Sometimes the two things seem mutually exclusive, like I can either be authentic and work through my shit here (but put my coaching aspirations aside) or ‘sell’ a different version of myself that may attract clients but not be true to myself.

But it’s in reading Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong over the last few days that I’ve taken heart that I can maybe have it both ways. Both owning what I’m going through and owning who I am as a coach. You see, Brené in her book is openly honest about her struggles, and this doesn’t make me think any less of her as an academic, a person of importance on my journey or show her in a different light.

“‘I’m not enough’ is one of my go-to narratives when I’m hurt. When I’m in doubt, the “never enough” explanation is the first thing I grab. The blame story is another favourite of mine. If something goes wrong, feels bad or leaves me feeling too exposed or vulnerable, I want to know whose fault it is.” Brené Brown

If anything, reading her stories and seeing her reflect and grow and change acts like a beacon to me, it shows me that I’m not alone and it inspires the feeling I get when I’m around one of my best friends; a feeling of ‘me too!’ where I feel fully accepted, fully seen and fully loved for exactly who I am.

So yes, there may be people who read my blog and think “geez, Amy needs to get her shit together, I would never think of her coaching me” but there may be other people who think “thank goodness, finally someone who isn’t afraid of being authentic, vulnerable and real. That’s exactly who I need to coach me“. And those are the people I really want to work with – people who want to get vulnerable, who long to live a more authentic life, who are willing to step into their truth.

So I suppose what I’ve realised in writing these words to you today is that I need to keep on being real and trust in the process that the right people will be attracted to work with me.

And I’m going to take heart that I can both be my authentic self with you here, dear friend and be a boss with my coaching  because like Brené, I can’t help thinking that I’m meant to be like a beacon to others, it shows even just one person that they’re not alone and to make sure you know that you can be fully accepted, fully seen and fully loved for exactly who you are.

Want to see what having some coaching with me could do for your life? Why not take a look at my coaching information, dear friend, and get in touch with me.cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, courage, self-discovery, self-esteem, self-judgement, truth

Resonance

Sorry, dear friend, in advance of all the posts I’m most probably going to write whilst I’m away on holiday.

I usually bring a notepad away with me to dream and ponder and plan and hope but when I was in the shops pre-holiday, I asked myself ‘do I really need a new notepad?’ and I found myself saying ‘no’ in line with my new found ‘do I really need it‘ philosophy.

I’ve got some paper so I can do some lone contemplation but I’m probably going to write down and share a lot of my thoughts here, which I hope is ok with you…and at this very moment I want to share how I’m really feeling a resonance of some words I’m reading in a book by Brené Brown called Rising Strong. It’s a book with the premise that if we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This book gives an exploration of how we might rise again when we find ourselves face down in the dirt, having tripped, stumbled and fallen whilst trying to live a life of true authenticity.

The three sentences I want to share with you from her book called out so deeply to me. They push and challenge me to keep on going with my journey of finding more courage, truth and love in my life because they are where I long to be:

“Wholehearted living is engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

If I could bottle up my aspiration for my life, and that for the people I love (you included, dear one), it would be that we live wholehearted lives. That we know deep inside us that we are enough, worthy of love and belonging.

The tricky thing for me to grasp my head around is how we can just be worthy as an inherent trait. Like Déscarte’s ‘I think, therefore I am’, should I feel ‘I am, therefore I am worthy’?

I want to believe this, yet it challenges the very way I have lived my life for so many years…feeling only as worthy as what I do for people…and how I quite honestly don’t think that others are worthy of my love and friendship just as a fact of being. I mean, there are some people I don’t like (because we have nothing in common, I don’t share their values and principles) and there are some people who don’t like me (because I have nothing in common with them and don’t share their values and principles).

I suppose writing these words down makes me realise that there are other questions that rise up in me – whose love and belonging is it that makes me enough?

And suddenly I sense an ‘aha!’ moment.

Could it be that I’m basing this enoughness, this love, this acceptance of belonging on external people when really the true measure is that I’m meant to base it on is myself?

Could it be that I’m enough for myself and that’s all that matters? Worthy of my own love? Worthy of my own acceptance and belonging?

Could this be enough for me?

I want to wait and let these thoughts ruminate and percolate…and I’ll let you know what comes of this mindset shift.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, Brené Brown, courage, self-discovery, self-judgement, truth

Weakness or courage

I shared with you recently how vulnerable and bruised I felt at my coach training weekend where I broke down in tears in front of my peers.

I’ve been mulling this experience over for a few days now and reflecting on what one kind person in my class reached out and shared with me:

When we share the deep, hard things going on for us with other people, we feel we’re being weak. Especially if we show emotion, like I did when I couldn’t hold it together in front of my class.

We assume that other people will find us weak and wanting and will judge us for not having the strength to cope, to be ok, to manage by ourselves.

However, when we see someone sharing something hard, grappling with difficulty, admitting their flaws and doing their best in the place that they are, we see them as being courageous.

Having the courage to show up, to not pretend that ‘they’re ok‘, the courage to name what they’re struggling with.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 10.46.32.png

And when I heard these words, I felt fully seen, fully supported, fully accepted by that individual and by my class. I was able to let go of the shame – the feelings that I was somehow flawed for feeling as I did, for struggling as I was.

It was a beautiful feeling.

One that I want more of in life.

So let us fully connect and be real with each other. Share our highs and our lows, our struggles and our triumphs. And know that by being fully ourselves and owning our truth, we are not being weak, we are showing true courage.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg