Monday, 31 March 2014

Things I've learnt along the journey

Positive thinking .. does it always work?
Image by Martin Whitmore
There are so many theories and instructions and books on how best to live life. Which are all well and good, and I've read a number books which have had a positive influence on our life .. but ultimately, I think we need to find what works for us. And we are all different. So I just wanted to give you a bit of insight from my own life journey and what has got me to where I am today - and what works for me.

I guess what kind of started my interest in personal development was the sense that I needed 'fixing'. I remember when I was a Christian, I would read the Bible a lot, maybe partly in the hope that it would help me be a slightly better person. When I came out of Christianity, I had a bit of a sense of renewed optimism in that life was giving me a second chance after going through hell in the process of leaving Christianity.

But there was still something that felt 'incomplete'. In my case, it manifested itself in the desire for a relationship which had continually proved elusive. So I would read some books on how to get a girlfriend. They didn't quite work for me. I also read books of the 'name it and claim it' variety - 'You can have lots of money by following your dreams' - 'You can change your life' - 'You can have whatever you want by changing your thoughts'. I got myself into a bit of a mess when I wandered aimlessly into something I thought I wanted at the time. I also didn't realise that it is near on impossible to change your life 'just like that' without working on your core issues, beliefs and hurts.



THE LAW OF ATTRACTION

I think there's a certain amount of truth in the Law of Attraction theory. But I have a bit of an issue with the often materialistic way in which it is explained. It's all very well telling someone who is not in a great place - 'Change your thinking - create your own reality etc' but from my experience, you can't go from point A to point Z. And I think some of the Law of Attraction books, particularly The Secret, have found their way to people they shouldn't have.

I do believe that we can help create a good life for ourselves. But positive thinking, to me, isn't just about getting the money, the nice house by the sea, the car, the partner, etc. Infact, positive thinking isn't just about 'positive thinking'. One issue I have with the self-help movement is that, to me at least, it seems like so called 'negative thinking' is looked down upon. Whereas I feel that the struggles that we have can really help us see life in a new perspective, if we let them. I don't think it's a great idea to wallow in self-pity over your problems.

WORK AT YOUR OWN PACE AND ALLOW LIFE TO FLOW

Nature does not rush things. This is Robin Hood's Bay
It's good to have an intention to live the best life you can. But what I've found in my own life is that I cannot force things to change. I've had times where I wished things would happen quicker. But, if, like me and many others, you've had a lot of deep seated issues, sometimes you're just not ready to properly face them. If we were 'enlightened' with our minds in perfect working order, we could probably receive the house, the car - if we wanted them. But we came into this life to be a human being - which, as we all know, can be quite challenging.

I have times where I have 'aha' moments, where I feel I have 'broken through' a limiting thought pattern. They can come at the most unexpected of times. Often though, life seems to stay static without me making much progress. But even in these static times, I believe we are still growing.

If you try and change your thinking so that you can 'manifest' something you desire, the subconscious mind will trump this with an 'I really don't believe this' message. Our subconscious minds direct most of our life - and I've found I've had to go quite deep into some of my subconscious beliefs which have held me back.

The challenge for me is to stay contented with my life as it is NOW. It's easy to try and make something change from a position of being unhappy where we're at now. We may still feel hurt, we may still have horrible stuff to face and deal with when we are ready - but even in these times, accepting life as it is NOW, is fundamentally important, I feel. We may feel that we are not where we should be. And maybe we could have done things differently. It's in these times where you just have to trust the bigger picture. Our insecurities and failures could be just the thing that help other people realise they're not alone.

I think one of the most important things for me now is to allow life to be as it is, and to take inspired action from there when necessary. There's a difference between taking action because it is good for us, and taking action from a place of frustration. I believe, once we are more in tune with life itself, magical opportunities can and will come our way.

FEELING THE FEELINGS

Another biggie for me - along with allowing life to flow and working at your own pace - is truly feeling your own emotional pain. So many horrible things that humans do are a result of unexpressed emotional pain, although I do think there is a case for saying some people are just plain nasty. In my country, the UK, we are extremely good at drowning our sorrows with alcohol, drugs and food. And don't even get me started on the pill epidemic. Why are anti depressants so popular these days? It's as if we feel there is something wrong with our emotions and that we should do something to combat them. Or we just cannot bear to face the demons inside us.

It has taken me a long time to face some of my stuff, to be sure. I don't enjoy feeling emotionally blue. But I am beginning to realise that it is vitally important to allow our emotions to be fully expressed. What do I mean by this? Well, I remember in times gone by, when I would fight against how I was feeling, thinking 'I shouldn't be feeling like this', 'This has to change', 'I can't stand this' - in other words, not accepting how I was feeling, wishing things were different, wishing I wasn't such a 'loser' etc. Feeling your feelings .. doesn't necessarily mean that you enjoy going through them - but more of a case of truly expressing how you feel, without judging it, without trying to change it - just being honest with yourself, not fighting against the situation - just allowing it to be as it is.

This can be bloody difficult at times, no doubt about it. But I totally believe that, if we are to overcome limiting beliefs that prevent us from living the life we desire, we need to be in touch with our feelings and express them as much as we can. Life sometimes brings up circumstances that trigger emotional pain. We need to pay attention when this happens. Change happens when we get real.

This is where I'm at, at the moment. I may change my beliefs or have new beliefs in the future. There is nothing wrong with doing some research to determine what works for you. I have done plenty myself. It's good to learn things. What works for you?




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