Many of us question from time to time if we are in the right career or job especially when things don't go as we want them to. What I'm proposing here is that you can happily have a career or job which isn't what I will say is your calling. A calling I define as something you agreed to do in this lifetime such as being a healer or carer for example. This, however, may not be the career or job that pays your bills but something you do in your spare time. Some of us do make a career out of being a healer or carer but this isn't necessarily everyone who is drawn to this. In this case what we need to find is meaning in our paid work, a belief that we make a difference. You spend a long time at work even if part-time and to have no meaningful focus within it is frustrating and can effect our health and well being. Asking yourself what you really want to do to earn money to keep you solvent and happy is important. Your calling whatever it is will naturally come to you as it was meant to be. If you are happy in your work this increases your energy and draws more good things to you. You manifest successfully from a place of calm and joy not frustration and resentment. Take time to question what job you would like to do to earn a living. Think of your career as a portfolio with several strands to it. One can be your calling whether or not you earn money from it. You don't have to do one thing for work and limit yourself.
Being who you are with family and friends is important. If we don't do that but put on an act, it's not only tiring, it's also dishonest. We are building relationships on a false self. However, we are often afraid at times to show who we are, warts and all, to even those we care for. Yet during my lifetime the people I've found the most compelling and attractive are those who were just being themselves. I've also felt very comfortable with them. Living an authentic life does mean we need to embrace and accept who we are and acknowledge it will change. If we are able to do this then we can move forward with more confidence in life as we are not pretending to anyone. This doesn't mean we are tactless towards others but say yes and no when we mean it. for example It also means if we really don't like something then we say so in a gentle but honest way. If people react to that remember all situations are neutral and it's the way we see them that gives them a positive or negative spin! This goes for other people as well. None of us can control other people in reality and nor should we try to as it's merely manipulation! I've had some scary conversations in my life with bosses and friends! When I look back the "monster" of a person was just as vulnerable as I was and most of it can be put down to my projection of who I thought they were and how I imagined they would react to my request! My grandfather used to say if you don't ask you don't get! It's something to bear in mind!
I always find it interesting how we all at some time or another blame our situations on other people, places or even things. It's as though we have no control at all on what we decide and how we live our lives or see them. It's also convenient to blame others whether it is countries, communities or our families, for things that happen to us rather than through us. It means we can stay in the "poor me" place and not take any responsibility at all. We don't have to own our own power.
I believe we only see outside ourselves what's within. That means we project our version of reality on to other people and groups. We can also project our reality on to other countries. Our reality was shaped by our upbringing, schooling, life experiences and some would say cell memory from our past lives. That means everyone is different. That's how it's meant to be. I do believe however there are collective experiences that happen to teach humanity. These may be about compassion or love and service to others. They may be agreed upon before birth and are usually huge lessons. We still have control on the way we see them. We can act rather than react, observe rather than try to change it. We can stand back and listen and not judge. We can then do what is possible if we want to or to walk away if that feels right. Often if we just listen to others rather than judge we will find that the things we saw are not accurate for them and what is needed is respect for difference.
Home is where the heart is so it is said. What do we mean by home however? Is it the trappings of physical life, our goods the things we accumulate along the way from our travels through life? We all need stability in life and somewhere to just be that is safe for us to let go and completely be ourselves. We all need some form of anchor to come back to as human beings even if we are restless and like to travel. I've always liked to travel and I remember a conversation in a cafe in Cyprus on home. What was said is travel is great and it's fun to explore but you take back what you learn and experience to your life at home. This nourishes and revitalizes us and those around. Simplistic maybe but it holds true for me. If we don't experience different things in life even if it's just ringing the changes in our home environment ,we get stale and this impacts on our lives and those of others. We start to expect all our needs to be met by the small group of people around us instead of gaining a wider perspective on life. Home is also within us, our soul self connected as it is to a greater power and purpose. We are never disconnected from this home source even if we sometimes feel fragmented. This in itself is comforting. Having somewhere to come back to within that is eternal and also a home in our physical reality keeps us grounded and focused. We can then face life challenges with more perspective and calm. If we are well grounded in our internal and external homes we can also make more balanced decisions. This helps us move with flow of life rather than fight it. It gives us more peace.
You adopt many roles in life but what version of yourself are you currently living out? What roles do you identify with the most and which provide you with continuity? All roles, such as the ones we have at work, home and in our families are not forever, they change as we change. We may move to college or university leaving our original home, become parents ourselves and change jobs. These all give us new roles and with it a sense of identity. Our communities also give us an identity and within that a role. You may be the person others come to in a crisis or a keen gardener who helps other people with theirs. At work you may be the organized one or the person who is likely to be there when the going gets tough. You may be the problem solver. In our families we can adopt an original role then as we grow up if family members can change with us we have a new role. Many children get frustrated with parents when they try and keep them stuck rather than see them as the adults they have become. What you need to ask with all your roles at work, home and in the community is - is the role you play beneficial to you now? If not how do you want it to change? You may need to draw new boundaries with family and friends if you want to make changes. If you are always expected to babysit for friends and no longer want to do so as frequently then a new boundary has to be drawn for example. If you are always the one to stay late at work but want more time with your family, you may need to draw a new boundary with your boss! If you are identified with being the family carer but now wish to take a job which will be a new role for you, you will find others also need to change. Sometimes they are not too keen on that idea! However, being true to who you are now is important to your well-being and also to theirs.
We all have an inner child which lives within us. The child loves to play, be spontaneous and have fun. As adults we are often so busy with our lives that we forget or dismiss this important part of ourselves. The child likes to feel safe and be nurtured. You can do this by finding out what activities you find enjoyable, fun or nurturing. Perhaps it's crafts or gardening? A hot bath and time to enjoy it may be the answer for you Certain people are good to be with as you feel uplifted when you see them. Certain places too can be uplifting and nurturing, feeding you and your inner child. Time on your own when you can connect to your core self, the person, is important. otherwise we look track of who we are. I enjoy going to the beach as I find it soothing. Building sand castles is also fun. Using the swings at a local park or the sea-saw is fun for your inner child as well. A simple walk in the park can be enough to feed your child within. When your child feels scared, reassurance is needed from your adult self. Creating a wise person to come in within your mind to nurture and protect your inner child can help. You can then gain a perspective on your current situation and give a more reasoned response.
It's said that perception is projection. In other words, what you see as your reality is what you experience and project out in to the world. That's determined by your upbringing, schooling, society in general and your life experiences, what is also called the socialization process by some. Yet, this is only a fragment of who we are. Whilst we need to walk our walk on the earth I feel it's important not to loose sight of the bigger picture of who we really are. The essence of our being which gave birth to the creative idea of living here now through a physical body to learn and grow. We all need to walk in balance between the physical and spiritual side of our nature, what is called the middle path. This isn't easy in a world that demands full co-operation on all things material! Indeed, finding time to just be for many people seems like a luxury. It actually isn't as time alone is essential for good health and well-being. Again it's back to perception. If you perceive you don't have any time as that's perhaps the way you have always seen it, that's what you will experience. By changing our mind-set and starting to believe in another reality in our lives we can make changes for the better.
We work with intention every day even if we are unaware of it. The universe sees what we mean rather than what we say. This can be a good thing given we sometimes say what we don't really mean! Even if we don't make a decision there is the intention of not making one perhaps with a hidden agenda beneath it masking what we really want to happen but are afraid to ask. This often results in things happening we don't actually want as we didn't take responsibility for being in the driving seat of our lives. At least it can show you what you don't want and point you in the direction of what you do want! It is however frustrating for other people who have to guess what you mean and want! Even if you did ask and they said no to your request at least you can then look for another avenue to get your needs met. It saves a lot of time. Clear communication can also help relationships work on an honest level building trust.
Gratitude. It's something few of us really think about until we are saved from the brink of something major. Yet gratitude lifts our mood building confidence and trust in life's abundance. We can be grateful for small things every day which enhance our enjoyment of life such as a beautiful sunset or sunrise, a child's smile, the kindness of a stranger, a good book, the smell of cut grass on a summer's day. Gratitude doesn't have to involve a major event. It encourages mindfulness; being in the moment which can make our lives smoother by focusing on acceptance of situations as they are. We can then work towards change rather than getting stressed about them. This in turn leads to growth, expanding our horizons. When we pay attention with gratitude to the good things that happen to us every day the not so good things are put in to perspective.Doing this can lower stress and give us breathing space to make informed decisions rather than impulsive ones we may regret later. Keeping a note book and writing down what you are grateful for starts the process. It can become part of a daily log or journal of your life journey.
When we compare ourselves to others we fall in to the comparison trap giving our power away in the process. This lowers our self-esteem and has a knock on effect to our happiness and well-being. As we are all unique although connected we cannot judge ourselves against others. We are not after all comparing like with like in for example appearance, lifestyle, beliefs and values. By falling in to the comparison trap we set impossible standards and expectations of ourselves that may leave us feeling dissatisfied as it will never be enough. Having clear goals is fine as long as they are your own, are attainable and realistic. If not why are you setting them? If your answer is to be like someone else why not be the best self you can be instead?
Ankhra Laan-Ra. Glasgow based Well-being and Fitness Coach.