Some quick ponderings

There are so many things that are going on for me right now. I’d love to spend hours unpacking them and digesting them on here…but the truth is that I’m speed typing this while my son is still asleep and I don’t have time to write a fat, satisfying blog post which dives into all and everything that is going on for me.

But I’d love to get some of what I’m thinking and feeling onto this digital page to perhaps visit later on.

TV

Sometimes I get obsessed with a programme and want to do nothing else but spend my days and nights drinking it in until it’s over. The OA, Grey’s Anatomy, This is Us, Game of Thrones, Louis Theroux documentaries.

But more than ever at the moment I’m bored of TV. I find myself viewing myself watching something, sitting in front of a scenario which in some ways is a play-by-play of plots that have come before it.

This probably speaks of my hunger to do more than it does of the shows that are failing to keep my attention. I’ve been at home mostly every night for my son since his birth, but I feel something inside me call to do more, to have more active things for myself.

I’m looking into drumming groups, I feel like running once a week might be good for me…I’ve not quite yet sorted out what this means for me, but I know something needs to change.

Brexit

We started talking about Brexit at work the other day and I felt so strongly about my view and so negatively about the other people’s views that I needed to leave the room to not raise my voice in a way that’s inappropriate for the workplace.

What makes it so hard to listen to the other people?

Why can’t I open my mind to see where they’re coming from as I can with mostly every other sentiment?

And I’m mulling over a thought that someone shared with me – how so much is passing us by – damning reports about the state of care for the elderly and children in care, the environment, the reducing budget to local council budgets which is crippling their ability to respond to those in need. And there are so many other critical areas which I am ignorant of – which are passing us by while we argue about whether we should leave or we should remain.

I want to do more – protest, revolt, make a stand for all these things that are so important to me – and yet I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where I can make a difference. I’m unsure where my voice could be heard beyond my own echo chamber of social media and the groups of people who have the same opinion as me.

Stopping shopping

It’s been almost a year since I stopped buying anything for myself that wasn’t essential. A year of not buying shoes, clothes, stationary or unneeded beauty products. I’ve stumbled a few times –

  • I bought a dress (which is lovely but I didn’t need).
  • I bought a teething necklace when I had a 30% off voucher (which I felt compelled to get but was a total waste of money)
  • I bought a lip stain when I have loads of other lipsticks (but I like that this makes me feel pretty without making me look like I’ve got lipstick on)

Each time has taught me something about myself and my relationship with consumerism.

I’ve relaxed my rules slightly over the year – I’ve bought a few helpful apps for my phone  (some have been great, some have been pointless) and a few books for a kindle so I didn’t need to lug around physical books on my travels (worth it in my opinion).

So the question for me is where I go from here to keep up my life of consuming less.

“Don’t be a nuisance”

I’ve noticed a voice holding me back at work. A voice which tells me to not bother people, to not stir things up or be pushy or take up too much space.

But to be effective in what I do, I need to push forward my agenda, I need to step into my power and take up space.

I’m ready to unfurl, but also scared of what this means.

I can feel a tightness in my throat as I think about it:

  • Speaking my truth
  • Demanding from others instead of hiding behind likeability
  • Being more honest about what is going on for me
  • Trusting more in myself, my skills, what I have to offer, my opinions and ideas about the way forward.

I’ve noticed how I’ve wanted to eat more recently – and to be honest, I have eaten to push down my fear about this.

It feels overwhelming at times to step into myself.

To let go of the behaviour that brought me to my struggles of today, which means turning back to how I was as a little girl – at school, at home, at church – trying to be accepted and contorting myself to fit in.

This way of behaving doesn’t fit me anymore, yet I don’t quite know how to step forward into my power.


So there are the immediate thoughts that spring to mind in the surprisingly long time my son has been asleep.

Happy Sunday to you, friend. I’m sending you hopes that you, too, get a bit of time to reflect on what’s going on in your mind and in your life.

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Intentions

I’ve got a few minutes to myself as my lovely in-laws have taken Jenson out for a walk and I’ve just now managed to sit down and look at my 2018 diary (scratch that, it’s now two days later! #mumlife). The diary is not just to remember appointments, it’s a reflective tool created by Danielle LaPorte, who is renowned for her advice about living life based on your core desires; how you want to feel.

I actually wrote one of my first blog posts about my core desires way back (so it now seems!) in early 2016 when I wanted to feel gutsy, authentic, expressive and glowing. And now in early 2018 I find myself wanting to feel brave, authentic and grounded.

What has changed?

As I reflect on the coming year and how I want to feel, I find that my core feelings haven’t changed much. But in some ways, everything else has changed. I’m now 2 years older, am a mother to a little baby boy, have bought a house, travelled more around the world, am a qualified life coach and have started a 6 month period of maternity leave – the biggest break from work since I was at university 10 years ago.

But as I wrote in a recent post, having all these changes (especially becoming a mother) hasn’t stopped me from being who I was before. I still have desires, ambition, my own identity and things I want to achieve outside of parenthood.

I thought it would be helpful to spend a few minutes reflecting on the changes in my core desires as I think there is some unpacking for me to do to fully understand why these feelings are so important to me. I hope it brings something of interest to you, dear friend.

Gutsy vs Brave

These two words mean almost the same thing but signal such a shift in myself. The semantic difference of wanting to be brave as opposed to wanting to feel gutsy is small, but is also huge. Instead of feeling I can only take chances by being a bit cheeky and a bit maverick (how I view being ‘gutsy’), I want to feel a confidence in my bravery. To feel ready to stand strong in who I am and what I want, even if there are risks attached to this. It feels really good to want to feel this way and to be surer in myself. And here’s what being brave means to me:

  • Actively sharing who I am as a coach and what I offer to increase the number of people I work with and help. I want to bravely stand proud in my coaching instead of worrying that I’ll bother or annoy people by sharing about it.
  • To say what I need from other people instead of just hinting and hoping they get the message
  • Going after what I want at work, whether that’s an idea I think would benefit the organisation, saying ‘no’, asking for a 9 day fortnight (working full time hours over 9 days) or seeking out development opportunities.

Grounded

This is a new word on my ‘core desires’ list and I think it’s reflective of the changes that have been brought to my life through all the changes I’ve experienced of late. Becoming a mum, changing jobs, becoming a coach, getting coached and making significant shifts and changes in my own life.

I know that to adapt to this new life and to not be buffeted around by all the changes, I need to be grounded. To be sure of myself and what I want and to not be tossed around by the uncertainties that this new reality will bring to myself.

What does this mean?

  • Listening to my own voice and trusting my instinct more – living in the knowledge that I’m the expert in my own life and in the parenting of my child.
  • Taking time out to blog, meditate, listen to inspiring podcasts and connect with like-minded people to ground myself
  • Keep on connecting with my husband, Gregg, to ensure that our relationship stays firmly rooted together despite all the changes going on in our life.

Glowing

Glowing is a word that I’ve taken off my list because I recognise now that it stemmed from a ‘should’ – I should make healthy food choices, I should eat less cakes, I should do more exercise. And I don’t want to feel obliged to anything in my life.

Sure, it’s good to be healthy, to not eat a whole box of after eight mints in one sitting or sit on the sofa day after day, but I want to do these things because it’s what I really want to do and not because it’s an expectation born from media images of size 0 models or the distorted view that I’m only acceptable if I’m no bigger than a certain dress size.

And part of this is accepting who I am, even if it might mean that I have to be uncomfortably honest with people about my eating habits:

  • I like chai tea with sugar in it and one of my favourite Christmas things is the festive hot drinks…especially black forest hot chocolate!
  • In fact, I really like sugar (cakes, sweets, ice cream, biscuits, chocolate) and enjoy eating them on a daily basis
  • I keep a balance and stay healthy by not eating cakes at work, having an hour of walking to get to work and having found a lifestyle (being vegan) which suits my body and doesn’t feel like deprivation to me
  • I do sometimes share a whole box of after eights with my husband in one sitting and it’s gloriously decadent
  • I love chips!

Authentic

Authentic. The one word which has stayed on my list despite the passing of 2 years. It’s still the one word I aspire to live my life by. I think this will be the word for my life. I know what it means to not live my life authentically. To hide myself so that I can please others and to push down my feelings with food so that I can mould myself into something that I think is acceptable to this world. After almost 30 years of living inauthentically, I know that the price I have to pay to live like this and I know the cost is too high. I refuse to live like this.

And so I will keep being authentic. Stay sharing honestly with you on this blog. Continue to speak out with my thoughts to others. Accept myself for the weird, passionate, sensitive, earnest person I am.

It’s the only way for me to live a fulfilled, happy life.

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