This week was a very important one for me professionally. I was working beyond my clocking out time and trying to be able to do my best for a big review I was involved in on Friday. While I think all went well, you can never be sure about these things. But, disappointingly, it meant that I was limited in the work that I could do on my yoga this week. However, I did get a chance to attend the last class of this cycle. And, I have signed up for another 7 week cycle of the beginner’s class. I am enjoying it and if I can continue to build up my abilities, hopefully that will help keep me motivated and I can begin to consider other classes. There is one called Yin yoga which is a bit more about meditation that I am considering doing for the next few weeks while I am working on meditation, but we will see.
After my week where I did feel a bit of pressure, I spent part of this morning reading those articles I love, like how to deal with your stress and 6 things to do when your life falls apart, you know the ones. And as I read them, I realised 3 out of the 4 articles those writing talk about their break down. Each break down had a different theme, life collapse from bad break up and losing job and two were just generic breakdowns, but it left me thinking, wow, as a society what in the hell have we done that so many people are experiencing breakdowns? While I haven’t had a full-break down, I have certainly probably teetered on the edge with depression and have definitely felt very low at many points in my life, including trying to keep it all together after my dad died. However, I have definitely been looking for my ‘thing’. I mean, that’s what this whole blog is about. I have felt like my world, one that I was carefully constructing fell apart and left me adrift trying to figure out what to do, my thing, or whatever you want to call it. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to make the hard times easier? I can’t think of anyone who would say that they didn’t want that. And yes, especially after a tough week, of course I want to react calmly to stressful and frustrating situations. But while I was reading all of these I realised, that most of what they described, I am already there on it. I am casting my net wide and not judging myself but examining my life and how I can be creative. I am certainly asking for help when I need it and remembering the bad times are not all there is. There most certainly are better times, I just have to look for them. I am also focusing on not dwelling on the bad stuff, but learning from it. I do hate letting people be there for me, because I like to think I am solid, but even that is falling by the wayside a bit.
So, do I think these articles taught me anything, no. And a year ago, I might not have thought that, but look at me and my growing. If I pull altogether what I have learned though from my experience, it would be these things.
- If you can’t fix it, let it go. If you can’t let it go, leave the situation. If you are still thinking about the situation, even after you have left it, well, think about it, and then minimise it, or put it in a box. No matter what you do, stop letting it harm you.
- If things feel a little hard, go for a walk or if you are me and at home, some yoga. Getting physical gets those endorphins going. If you are really feeling the stress, just breath. You have been stressed before and you survived so there is every indication that you can survive this too. Just have a little faith in yourself. George Michael will approve.
- Sometimes, I just need to talk at someone and I don’t need a response and that is okay. I just need to let them know what is expected from them in that scenario, like that I don’t really need an answer or a solution to a problem, I just need to offload. Most of my friends seem cool with that.
- There doesn’t have to be a ‘thing’ I am fabulous at that if I do it, I will be happier and have the most amazing life. In fact, most people are not like that and if that tells me anything it is that expecting to change one thing to make your life perfect is just crazy talk. Also, sometimes, you don’t need the big changes, just a few tweaks and maybe a little self-confidence.
- SELF-CONFIDENCE! Sure, you aren’t perfect at everything or maybe even anything, but there is some stuff that you are damn good at, so own that. And it is okay to know you are good at something. It isn’t bragging. That one took ages to get into my head.
- Fuck perfect. Good or adequate is often enough. And if you do outstanding, reward it.
- Small things matter. It may not seem big to you, but it might be for someone else. Also, there will come a time at some point in your life where even something small will bring a smile to your face or feel like a victory, unless you are a Cyberman because then you have not emotions what-so-ever.
- No is a powerful word that should be used more. I mean sure there may be some hurt feelings and if it is to a friend or someone you are close to, if you explain the no, it helps them understand and process. It may also give them permission to say no to something they really weren’t feeling to which may open up a whole new level of honesty in your relationship. If it is to a coworker, manager, or a bully, say no and you don’t have to give a reason. But, it keeps you from doing something you don’t want to. But also, don’t just say no because you are scared. A no should be used judiciously and if you are saying no because you are scared, check if it is an opportunity you should be saying yes to instead.
- Be the authentic you. No one likes you, it may feel that way but there will be someone out there who thinks what you are doing is awesome and there will be a few who will like or even love you for being you. There will also probably be a few people who are truly jealous. Don’t care what those others think so much, they will have forgotten the words you said, ten seconds after you said them, if they even heard them at all. They are wrapped up in their own crap and probably didn’t even really know you were there.
- Explore everything. Who says you can’t?
I won’t sit here and say I am doing all these things well, or that I am doing them at all. I will say, I am trying. I am a work in progress and above are a few tools helping me on this journey. No, these haven’t all come from mindfulness or yoga or these articles. These are a bit of my learning from the process I am beginning.