Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Tag Archives: Gratitude

Snow travel

As much of Europe seems faced with disruption due to adverse weather condition, I am beginning to realise just how lucky I am to have escaped all of this.

I left the UK for Denmark Friday afternoon and following a few delays, I arrived here safe and sound Friday evening.

Saturday morning I received a phone-call from a friend in Oxford who rang to tell me that he’d woken up to a good 30cm of snow Saturday morning resulting in chaos, at least from a travelling perspective.

Had I decided to travel Saturday instead of Friday I am pretty sure I would have joined the thousands of people who have been stranded at Heathrow, (and various other airports around Europe) unsure of whether or not I would make it back for Christmas. I also know how frustrating and hopeless they may feel at the moment as I would not have dealt with this uncertainty too well as evidenced by my journey back last year.

I am extremely grateful for having made it here and for the ability to write this in cosy surroundings and to the sound of a crackling fire. At the same time, however, I am not forgetting how easily I could have been stuck at Heathrow airport at this precise moment.

The above picture is taken just outside the cottage in which I am staying and I lit it again this morning in the hope that everyone stranded will make it home in time for Christmas.

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Making room for 2010

We are already 2 days into 2010 and I wanted to take some time to reflect on 2009 before placing it in the box of the past.

2009 was a strange year for me, more so than any other year before it. It appears, through conversations with friends, that I am not alone in this viewpoint.

It was a year of change both internally and externally.

A year of highs and lows, which on reflection, counted more lows than highs but that said I also know that at some stage in future I will come to realize and understand the reasons for the lows and the lessons they contained.

The beginning of the year brought about a lot of stress in the work arena in the shape of threats of redundancy. At the time this filled me with fear of losing my job as well as anger and resentment towards my employer at the time. I escaped redundancy but resigned 6 months later after I finally admitted to myself that no job is worth the negative impact it had on my health and personal life. I now understand how easily I let myself become trapped in this job and hope that I am now able to spot the signs sooner should they occur again.

Leaving that job also meant saying goodbye to people I had become close to, however, more interestingly was some rather irrational feelings of guilt. I felt guilty for having resigned as if I was responsible for the people left behind, which begs the question; why do I impose responsibilities on myself over which I have no control? This is a question I have yet to find an answer to.

However, work was only a small part of the roller coaster of 2009. The biggest part was coming to grips with being me, and the constant chatter in my mind, for which the only outlet seemed to be this place.  Having had this outlet though, has in many ways been my saviour as well as therapy for me because by writing I managed to get some of the chatter out of my head and through the writing, answers started to appear. It helped me to focus inwards as opposed to look for answers and magic pill solutions externally. It made me open my eyes to the more sinister side to the self help industry, which initially made me want to start a crusade against every self help guru until I realized this was an automatic reaction of anger and bitterness, mostly directed at myself for having been so naïve for so long. Better late than never as the saying goes!!

I read a post from January last year in which I wrote that my New Years resolution would be to enjoy the journey rather than focus on the end result. Did I achieve that? No! But from where I am now that is not really as important as the acceptance of the fact that the journey is never mapped out. The journey (at least for me) constantly changes and for me it is the awareness of the fact that it can change in a heartbeat that may just help make it easier for me to enjoy it.

2009 also became the year I felt this blog took on a life of its own after I realized that the end result I had hoped for when I started it wasn’t going to happen. This will explain

After that I was able to write what was on my mind with no hidden agenda, the act of which taught me honesty with myself and that I was allowed to have a voice and an opinion.

I also allowed myself to open up to people in my physical world and some got access to this blog. It was frightening and yet liberating especially when I discovered that the judgment I feared was non-existent.

But the highlight of the year for me was all of you. The friends I made through the blogging world. Friends I would never have met in the physical world. Friends who I feel very lucky to have “nearly” met. Your kindness and wisdom helped me on this journey. Your posts and comments have been an endless source of inspiration to me and I feel privileged, honoured and extremely grateful.

THANK YOU.

The journey continues….

Being Unique

Being Unique

I have the right to be who I am and  the right to love who i am without anyone else’s influence or judgment. There is only one of me, which makes me unique and there is only one of you which makes you unique, with qualities that are unique to you.

I always try my best not to pass judgment on anyone I meet regardless of their “so called” social status.

The other day at work I decided to go for a walk to clear my head and some guy stops me in the street to say hello. At this point I am trying to work out where I know him from, because the way he greeted me he seemed to know me. It soon became apparent that I had never met the guy before in my life, but I thought to myself, maybe there’s a reason for this “coincidental” meeting. He started by saying that whenever he talked to people they would get bored and walk away, which kind of threw me a little.

Ok! in all honesty, my initial reaction was to find an excuse to get away as quickly as possible! For some reason I didn’t though and I said to him that I wasn’t bored which is true, but I was feeling somewhat uncomfortable about the whole thing. There wasn’t much to the conversation other than for a few minutes I gave him my full attention and listened to him until he told me it was time for him to go (maybe I was boring him!) but afterwards I thought, how easily I could have walked away dismissing him as just being some crazy guy with no value to add to my life and I am so glad I didn’t.

Who actually decided that some people are better than others purely based on their profession, social status or the amount of money in their bank account?

I am not coming from a point of envy here. In my job I come in contact with extremely wealthy and successful people and most of them are truly wonderful people. I also come in contact with people who have absolutely nothing and most of them are really wonderful people too. (There are exceptions in both cases!)

My point is the fact that, every time I feel that I am not good enough or I could have done better, it is always when I either compare myself to someone who has done “better” than me or more importantly, when I (in my mind) haven’t lived up to what I think someone else has expected of me. This could be my boss, a friend, a family member etc.

On the other hand when I accept that I did the best that I could with the knowledge, skills and the frame of mind I was in at that particular moment, I always feel good.

I often reflect back on what I could have done better, but that just means that I have learned a lesson.

I am getting increasingly more tired of society’s constant need for us to fit into to certain categories, which (in  my opinion) is largely fuelled by the media and advertising industry. I only have to turn on my TV to learn what is wrong me and exactly what product to buy to rectify the problem I never knew existed until “they” told me about it.

Is it possible that all they are doing is leaving us wanting more, without actually knowing what it is that we really want.  Could this be part of the reason why some of us feel so disconnected from life and ourselves?

I have realized that what often makes me unhappy or sad is when I compare myself to people who seemingly do better than me, but when I break it down, the comparison to these successful people comes from someone else’s perspective  and expectations of me. When I am in tune with myself I am proud of where I am and what I have accomplished.

This blog has turned into the place where I can truly express myself and be me and I feel at home here.

One of my favourite past times now is reading other blogs and I am at times lost for words for the gratitude I feel when reading words that have inspired me and have spoken to me as if it was written for me. I have learned more from these words than most of the alledged self help gurus that I willingly gave my money to. I am not saying that all the self help material out there is a waste of time and money. There are some truly wonderful teachers out there but there are as many “marketers” out there who fails to deliver what they promise.

Please take some time to read Unbridled Permission by iwishicouldtellyou. A perfect example of how someone else’s words have inspired me.

J

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