Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Penny Dropping


© Maggie Sawkins 2013 All rights reserved
Well, the summer having arrived and a birthday in the offing, seems as good a time as any to note the following: 'I’m beginning to enjoy my life!'

Really. It’s been pretty much a ‘life is a challenge’ agenda till now. I’ve seen my purpose as trying to figure out: what the hell I'm up to, here for, should be doing… you know, an meaning of existence therefore… type tape running in my head, all the time.

Then in a workshop on under-achieving, the speaker got a bit shouty - in a good way - and said this thing that hit me in the gut: ‘This is NOT figuring-it-out anonymous; you’ve got to RESIGN from figuring-it-out anonymous!’. For all of us on similar quests (you know who you are) we can let that agenda go!

This guy's words truly reached me, as despite all best efforts, I’ve mostly been interested in how I can fix, change, be better, show up as expected, (by whom I’m not clear) and the ultimate personal development zenith, fulfill my ‘potential’. I’ve worked hard at the skills I possess (even the ones I don’t really LOVE) so that after all the effort, I may then relax and enjoy my life. And now – the penny is dropping – as in so many wise teachings - that I need to enjoy time, people, experiences in my life NOW! I recall the title of John Gray's book, Get What You Want & Want What You Have. Well 'wanting' or being appreciative, truly valuing what I have, is a great place to start. 

Another way of saying the familiar, ‘count your blessings’, notice what’s in front of you… for goodness sake, with all your 'high-class' problems, be grateful. The penny is dropping, I do have many blessings. And being seduced by much discomfort in some situations that I engaged in, into trying to change myself, to adapt, is NOT the answer! Bless me, I’ve tried SO HARD to fit in, to adapt, to be the teacher, the trainer, the speaker, the artist, the illustrator, whilst all the while – not really having a conversation with myself.  These days it’s gradually different. I’m no longer willing or able to put up with misery and in the literal sense, soul-destroying situations. It doesn't matter if they suit other people - it's important to get honest. If not now, when?

I get that it is about me enjoying my god-given life. Dropping out of the things that don’t make me happy. Stop trying to change myself. Follow my own coaching and show up as I am – get that I am not a ‘failure’ (when did it become a noun?), or a useless-no-skills-drop-out. 

Yes I have been on lots of diversions (I don't have a linear career path), and ALL have helped to bring me to where I am today. I choose to focus on the areas that leave me intact, happy, creatively engaged, well: rewarded by pursuing skills that come naturally. I spent enormous amounts of energy trying to whittle my square pegs into other peoples round holes and convince them and me that it was a good idea, all the while getting more and more unhappy. This is all a very simplistic way of telling the history – which is nuanced with lovely moments, extreme life events (with their own fallout) and many satisfying experiences along the way. And today has it's challenges...but that 'want what you have & enjoy it' is a clear signpost. The penny is slowly dropping.