Mindfulness is a tool for transformation. I believe we are all here on earth for a reason yet it is up to us to act and make our lives happen. For the first four decades of my life, I drifted through life unconsciously. Was I in a coma? No but I was emotionally asleep. We are all different from one another and it is our duty to dig into who we are.
Does that mean that everyone out there is living in line with their purpose for being here? No way. By design, we go through the first part of our life trying very hard not to be different. We act certain ways to please others and to get others to like us. This is normal as it’s how we survived as a species. If we stood out we’d get eaten by a tiger or a lion. It is in our human nature to try to fit in. Fit in with our family unit. Fit in with our peer groups. Fit in with our community.
As we grow, we try on many different “masks” to see who we are. If we grow up in a supportive family, we settle on a way to show up in the world that is not so different from our inner self by our mid to late twenties. However, that’s a big IF. Many of us didn’t feel supported or safe at home and so, we adopted a persona that is not “us” and doesn’t feel right. We make decisions based on what we think others will think of us or what we think will make others happy. At the end of the day, this feels really crappy. We then look for ways to feel less crappy. Will a glass of wine help? Shopping? Some ice cream? Another episode on Netflix? Soon enough, we have a buffer around us to protect us from our feelings. Our inner discontent for not showing up in this world; not being our true self.
The vast majority of people go through life like this. Living unconsciously. Bouncing from one life event to the next. Life can be quite simple if you do what you’re comfortable with and don’t dig any deeper. Society is set up so that, if we want to, we can avoid all discomfort. You’re nervous about your future? Here’s an anti-anxiety med. You’re disappointed in your marriage? Here’s a bottle of wine. You’re afraid of what will happen if you leave your job? Eat something. Living in line with your purpose seems scary and requires you to step out of the box. Often it means you will no longer fit in with the groups that you’ve aligned yourself with for the first part of your life. Living with a purpose takes effort. Takes drive. But above all else, it takes consciousness.
Living consciously is scary. It is not easy but once experienced you will not go back. The great news?
- It’s never too late to start being more of who you are. Being more you. Many start when they get a scary diagnosis. Most will start on their death bed (ever see those studies: Top 10 regrets of the dying? Always on that list: “Not being Themselves” and “Not pursuing dreams because of what others expected of them”. Why not start now? Baby steps
- You will feel amazing! We create so much inner turmoil by not being ourselves. We think people want us to be a certain way so we act that way but what about what we want? If we act the way others want, we are not only putting their needs before ours but we are ignoring the reason we were put on this earth. What do you like to do? Who do you like being around? When you are being more you, you will remove the inner drama and show up for us all.
- Time slows down! How often have you thought: “When I have the bigger house I”ll be happy” or “When I lose 10 pounds I”ll be happy”. Bullshit. We can not look outside of ourselves for happiness. You will be happy when you are not pushing your real self down with food, alcohol or TV shows. It is up to you to take responsibility of your life. The extra 10 pounds is because you were eating to avoid your feelings. You want the bigger house to fit the junk you bought while trying to avoid your feelings. Or, in a bigger house you and your husband won’t argue as much. Uh no. You have everything you need to be happy now. When you are acting like YOU, you aren’t living for the future. You aren’t wishing time away for some nebulous event or possession. You are happy right here and right now.
I became a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Coach because I lived the first 35 years of my life trying to be something I wasn’t. I was trying so hard to please others that my body broke down. I am passionate about helping others dig into their unique awesomeness before their bodies break down or before that scary diagnosis. When I started to live consciously; to be brave and look at what I really wanted, what I was good at, that I came alive. Yes, I went through some times that were worse than anything I could have imagined. But guess what? I never could have imagined I’d be so happy, so peaceful, so at peace as I am now. Life is a journey of discovery. Who am I now? What makes me feel alive? What lights me up? Take charge of your life.