One of the key things that has shifted over the past few years is my perspective on life.
And the gift I want to share today has probably made the biggest difference in my life:
The Gift of Awareness
Or as I tend to see it on a day to day basis “simply noticing”
If you want to totally transform your life awareness is key.
In our quest to change, improve and fix our lives we are constantly looking for solutions to our problems. And often we try to change things before we really understand what is going on at a deeper level.
So we’re only ever transforming things on the surface which is why it often feels that we’re never going to “get there” and we feel frustrated at constantly going round in circles.
What shifts this is awareness.
Instead of trying to change, improve and fix our lives we need to dig deeper and explore what’s driving us (if’s often a sabotaging pattern playing out).
If you’ve been reading my blog posts for the past few weeks you’ll know I’m on a 30 Day Blogging Challenge.
It had been going really well and I was super proud to be on Day 26 and not having missed a day.
I actually wrote this on Day 26 but didn’t get a chance to edit and post it as my brother and his family came to stay for a few days. I had a crazy amount to do before he arrived (due to bad planning and leaving things to the last minute) and when I went to bed I was too tired to do anything but sleep!
You see my intention had been to get up at 6am so I could have my blog post, written, edited, published and shared before 8am.
Instead what did I do the night before?
I stayed up until 2:15am to finish a book I’d started the previous night!
Instead of nourishing myself, I did something that would make me tired and grumpy and seriously impair my chances of accomplishing a lot on a super busy day (and mean I missed completing my blogging challenge within the 30 days!)
A few years ago I would have beaten myself up, shouted at myself for doing something so unbelievably stupid.
But this time I didn’t do that, instead I got curious and tried to understand what would drive me to do something so nuts.
It’s such a very familiar pattern for me – to the point where I often take a complete detox from reading because once I start a good book I can’t put it down.
I tell people I have an “addictive personality” as the same thing used to happen with alcohol. I’d drink too much, feel rubbish the next day, then beat myself up.
This shifted about 18 months ago, when we had friends staying for a couple of nights and on the night they arrived I drank a lot – too much.
I awoke the next morning hungover and feeling rubbish.
Normally at that point the voices would begin “Melina, why do you do that, why didn’t you stop, you’re useless, you’re rubbish, you have no will power” Blah, blah, blah!
But that morning something different happened – instead of beating myself up, a voice appeared in my head saying:
“Melina, let’s assume that was supposed to happen – you were supposed to drink too much and wake up in the early hours with a monster hangover.
If that’s the case and you’re meant to be experiencing this today, what is the meaning behind it – what is it teaching you?”
I cannot remember what words of wisdom came into my head that morning but what I do remember is feeling inspired to listen to a Peter Gabriel song that I had loved in my childhood. On listening to the music and reading the words, I was overcome with grief.
I had no idea where it came from but over the course of a few hours it felt like my body and soul were being cleansed and a huge healing was taking place.
Since that day that pattern with alcohol has never repeated – I am now able to moderate what I drink and stop before I get horribly drunk.
Yet prior to this, drinking too much was a regular occurrence and one I’d constantly tell myself “I’m not doing that again”. It had been happening for years.
For years I had unsuccessfully tried to apply strategies and will power and the one day I did nothing but simply notice and get curious – everything shifted!
And so the other morning I couldn’t help but notice that the pattern was the same – an addiction which was causing me to keep turning the page even though I knew I should really go to sleep.
And so I applied the same process saying to myself:
“Ok let’s assume that was supposed to happen – I was supposed to stay up all night reading, meaning I got up late, was really tired and short of time to do everything I needed to do. If that’s the case, what is the meaning behind it – what is it teaching me?”
And what I was aware of was how quiet my mind was – that the berating and the judging voices never started – that instead I was full of curiosity. Indeed it was wonderful to notice how the judgement and self-flagellation was gone!
I also wondered if it might be my desire to “know now”. That instead of savouring the story, enjoying it, taking my time and really appreciating it, I was rushing through it eager to find out what happened and how it ended.
And therefore maybe there is a part of my life where I still want to “get there” and “get there now!” That I’m not totally at one with what is! That I’m not totally savouring and enjoying every aspect of my own life story. I will therefore explore this over the coming weeks – and pay attention to what happens when I start another book – will I need to read for hours until it’s finished? Or will I be able to put it down and savour each and every word.
So are there things you want to change, improve and fix in your life? Maybe instead of rushing for a solution what can you learn about the situation? What is it teaching you?
Do share below.