Frustration is Your Friend

Frustration is something I am intimately familiar with and I have never liked the feeling. Only recently though I’ve become aware that frustration is my friend, it’s my soul’s way of reminding me to trust myself and follow my heart.

On my computer I had six partly written books, this of itself is so unlike me, whenever I start something I generally work at it until I finish, but during the last ten years instead of following my own inner guidance sometimes, I made other people’s opinions more important than my own.

Several years back I was writing a book on happiness when I attended a Hay House Writer’s Workshop. At that workshop Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House said something like, “If you want to write on happiness, you won’t find a publisher unless you have around 50,000 social media followers”. A year later I attended a Hay House Writer’s Cruise, where I heard similar messages on what won’t work, so I kept changing the message of my book and it didn’t flow because I wasn’t writing what I wanted to write.

I forgot for a while that the very successful books I have written came about because I did what felt right. I broke all the rules when it came to publishing, yet my books were published and were very successful.

Two things happened recently that have made me reassess my choices. I held my Dharma Retreat, which was a great experience, and I listened to people tell me how my books had helped them. The second thing was I reached a level of frustration that was so great that I lost my joy.

I had been working with a life coach in America to help me gain my masters certification in coaching from the International Coach Federation. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, it was a means to an end goal. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to gain this qualification and anyone who knows me well knows I don’t like to comply just because someone tells me to. So right from the start following this path went against my essential nature. The other thing that challenged me about this qualification is that I had to change the way I coached to comply with their core competencies, it didn’t matter if my way worked with a client or not. I am a person who believes there is never just one way.

That’s when I realised that frustration was my friend. Feeling so frustrated made me aware that I needed to get back to trusting myself.

Since then I have stopped pursuing any further qualifications in coaching, they may be right for some people but not for me. I deleted all of the half finished books from my computer. I started writing the book I want to write and I have created a new routine to support that choice. Every morning first thing I do is read a verse from Wayne Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life, which is based on on the ancient wisdom of Tao te Ching by Lao-tzu, then I meditate. Once I start work I write for a couple of hours before I do anything else. I don’t have an outline. I am simply writing one chapter at a time by following my inner guidance.

Sometimes you can’t just throw in the job, or change your life as easily as I have, but you can always adopt habits that make you happy where you are right now while working towards the life you really want. Sometimes you may make a short term sacrifice for a long term gain, such as getting up earlier to work on your dream, when it’s what you love to do, it is worth it.

Such simple choices yet the difference in how I felt at the beginning of the week to now is profound. I feel free again. I feel joyful. I feel me.

 

 

FACE YOUR FEARS

How do you know when life tells you it’s time to face your fears?

Several years ago I started coaching a man who was tired of working in the corporate world. At our first session Carl (not his real name) told me about a business that he had always wanted to own, but he dismissed that idea by saying, “There is no money in it”. Not long after we started working together, Carl was offered a well-paying position in the corporate world which he accepted.

Carl continued to work with me on and off over the years and made progress in his personal life and he improved his management skills, but he still wasn’t really happy in his job and didn’t know what he wanted to do. It took another change of job, which precipitated a midlife crisis before Carl finally listened to his heart.

Carl has now invested his life savings in the dream he told me about at our first session. He doubts that he will make as much money from this venture as he did as a corporate executive, but he’s chosen lifestyle and personal satisfaction over money. I personally think he has such great ideas, skills and such passion that he may surprise himself, but time will tell. When I caught up with a very excited Carl he said, “What always held me back before was fear. I simply wasn’t ready to face it.”

I hear a lot of reasons as to why people can’t have what they want ranging from: confusion, lack of money, lack of support, no skills, insufficient time, not intelligent enough, and not good enough. These are only the outer manifestation of fear. Problems, confusion or dissatisfaction, are mirrors which show you the fears you have yet to face.

Some people think that they are facing their fears, and have gone after their dream, but it didn’t work out and they settled. The reality is often that it was easier to give up than to face their real fear.

When I started my life coaching business I knew I had found my passion so I made a commitment to myself to do this work regardless of whether I made a living from it or not. I was prepared to get a day job that paid the bills and coach in my own time if I needed to, and there were times when I did just that. There have been times when my business has flowed and times when it’s been tough, but one of the things that I love about myself is that I never, ever give up. If it feels right, and I love what I am doing, I look at what I have to learn from the situation and then I address the fear.

Face Your Fears

The gifts that comes from facing your fears are freedom and joy. Freedom to live life on your terms, to be yourself, and joy that makes waking up each day worthwhile. There are too many people who just get by, don’t be one of them. The only thing that stands between you and the life you were born to live is fear. When you face the fear, accept responsibility and take steps to turn your dream into reality the people, money and resources come into your life to support you to turn that dream into reality.

It’s been a few years now since Carl started his business and business is booming. He said he is happier now that he has ever been.

Live Your Life Like a Prayer

At one time, when I was living with chronic pain from arthritis, life was very challenging. I’d had one joint replaced, needed three others replaced, and still the arthritis continued to move through all of my body. I had gone the medical route, the alternative energy healing route, and the diet route, all without much success. I knew I could be defeated by pain and allow it to determine how I live my life, or, I could be cheerful and do the best I can. I chose to be cheerful.

I know that whenever I accept 100% responsibility for my life miracles happen.  I know some people feel that they just need to ask for what they want, then hand it over to God, and there are times when you have no other choice but to do this.  However, most of the time you need to do your bit as well.

For many people problems are the focal point of all of their conversations.  If you want your life to change, you need to give up your story.  Some people think they are positive, yet they share their story at every opportunity.  They will tell you why their marriage broke down. How they lost or hate their job. About their struggles with money.  They put labels upon themselves such as describing themselves as divorced, or a single parent.

There is a fable about a monk who hands a man a cup and starts to pour tea into it.  When the cup is full the monk keeps pouring until the tea spills onto the floor and soaks the man’s feet.  When the man asks the monk what he is doing the monk replies, ‘This cup is just like your mind.  It is filled with so many thoughts that there is no room for anything else.  You need to empty your mind first before you can put more into it.’

Live Your Life Like a Prayer

Telling your story is a habit. When you want to change a habit you need to have another habit to replace it with.  So you need to be willing to shift your thoughts and words onto what you want to create, that could be a loving relationship, your ideal work, or freedom from money worries.  You need to place reminders around you of what is most important, a journal or vision board can serve this purpose. Or, you could listen to inspirational audios while you drive or read motivational books.

Words have power.  Your thoughts and words influence how you feel. They can uplift or hurt another. They can inspire. Create positive change. Or, they can damage. The throwaway remark that you make without consciously thinking about it can make life harder for you.

David Hawkins says, ‘Live your life like a prayer’. You do that by accepting 100% responsibility for where you place your attention. Be grateful for the blessings you have. Ask for help. Give as much as you can. Become someone you admire.

Since I have started living my life like a prayer my arthritis has improved. It hasn’t gone completely yet but I no longer live with chronic pain and I am much more active, and for that I am grateful.

There is no formula that will protect you from adversity, but the above formula ensures you can lead a full, meaningful life regardless of what happens to you.