Lessons in solitude

In the company of one as in you, yourself and um you, there are many valuable lessons to learn.

A significant one being Who am I?

It’s much easier to gain an understanding of yourself when you’re not having to consider others. I think that the aspects of you in solitude should be the aspects of you that show up when you’re in the company of others.

Things like being able to say what you want, contribute opinions, take the lead and just be you.

For example, when you’re doing things alone you have to make decisions, you can’t rely on others to choose for you.

But for some despite how they are when they’re alone, in the company of others they end up being ‘them but less’, perhaps a little passive or even submissive.

You do it because you want to play the peacemaker or not rock the boat, you don’t think you deserve to be heard or perhaps you’re just scared.

Hiding/playing small is difficult to overcome once it’s ingrained in you as a habitual response.

But change is possible, it just takes practice.

Self-depreciating

But make it humorous.

How many times have you gone into a situation and rejected yourself or put yourself down before others had the chance?

And of course you don’t just say it out right, you make a joke because everyone likes to laugh. If it’s at your expense, maybe they’ll keep you around.

It’s interesting to identify the why behind your actions or the actions of others. It gives you a greater understanding and the opportunity to practice compassion.

So, maybe you could stop making those self deprecating jokes and try a vulnerable conversation with a friend (or someone else you’re comfortable talking to) instead.

The Monthly Manifesto

For the last few months of 2019 I’ve been creating a manifesto for each month that I read every morning.

It’s sort of like a list of affirmations around a specific theme like opening up more, speaking my truth or letting go. I don’t remember what sparked this idea but it’s something that I’d recommend.

In some ways it’s also like a love letter to myself full of encouragement and self-belief.

The purpose is to give yourself control over how you begin your day and re-affirm the intentions you have for not only the day but your life overall.

When I write my manifesto I ensure that I’m open and in-flow, I think about what I want to focus on for the coming month, what I need to work on or be reminded of and then I just write.

Each manifesto so far has started with the same 2 sentences that sort of set the scene and open up my mind to fully receive the words that follow.

It isn’t any form of magic but I’ve found that when I start my mornings declaring that ‘I am letting go of what no longer serves me and embracing joy’ it becomes embedded into my subconscious. All of a sudden I’m having moments where I’m questioning why I allow certain things in my life and if they are serving me.

I’m an advocate for having practices that help and this is just one of many things that works for me.

The basis of this particular practice is to begin each day by reminding yourself that change is possible.

Testing the theory

Sometimes things don’t quite pan out in real life.

I recently put something I believed to be true into practice and to my surprise, my theory turned out to be wrong.

It’s something I had tested before and carried in my mind as an idea that was true.

But all of a sudden I was faced with the harsh reality of being wrong or perhaps it was the reality of an anomaly.

However, the main takeaway was that theories should be tested. It’s no use going round with a thought, idea or even belief system that you consider to be true if it only exists in your mind.

Embracing a care-less mentality

Mid-week musings on not embracing anxiety.

If you find yourself caught in the analysis paralysis of indecision it might be worth making a conscious effort to care-less.

Instead of allowing the thoughts to go on and on until breaking point, give yourself a deadline.

3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days before you have to take action. Do it for at least a week and keep a dairy of the decisions you made and the outcome.

The ideal outcome would be that you find that whether you care or care-less things will still be alright which is a pretty good reason to stop being so afraid of making decisions.

You’ll have physical evidence that what you decide isn’t always the most important thing it’s how you feel and your attitude towards what you’ve decided.

And if you find you’ve picked something that didn’t result in the desired outcome , then it’ll be the perfect time to practice your bouncebackability.

At the end of trying out a different approach to decision making the beauty of it is, is that if it was just totally dreadful you can always go back to your old approach.

If that’s the the case at least you tried which is often more important than the actual result.

What I think of my old blog posts

The words I shared in January weren’t perfect. In fact they’re on the opposite end of the scale and I winced last week reading through them.

My writing style was not where I thought it was. It’s wasn’t witty, clear, concise and well written like I had hoped.

It was scattered with errors and I’d forgotten to take words out so some things didn’t quite make sense.

However, I was doing something new and getting the hang of writing something I felt comfortable sharing everyday.

But the beauty of doing this daily blogging thing is, each day I have the chance to write something better.

And then bit by bit (or even drip by drip – a reference to something Seth Godin has said many times) I’ll improve.  Maybe practice won’t ever make perfect (what would the perfect blog post look like anyway?) but it will (almost) always make me better.

Life changing habits: Practice gratitude

I’m grateful for so many things in my life.

One thing in particular is my right hand because I use it to write and writing is something that I attribute to so much of who I am as a person, like that’s how deep it goes.

I usually do a morning gratitude when I’m still in bed, when I’m brushing my teeth or when I’m walking to the bus stop.

I even do it when I’m in a bad mood. It never fails to lift my spirit because it reminds me that I have so much goodness that I can focus on and so much that I easily forget or look past because it’s always around.

I never thought something as simple as being grateful could actually have that much of an impact.

When it comes to things that are life changing we often fall into thinking it has to be big and dramatic “just like they do on the tv” but more often than not that’s not the case.

I’m grateful for my hope, curiosity, resilience, laughter, my job, my friends, my right hand, the park by my house, my grandparents…

The list goes on because my life is overflowing with things to be grateful for.

When I truly learned how to take that in, it changed my life.