30 - Dec 2021
When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t so sure about what to write in today’s blog. My life recently has been a rollercoaster, in the truest sense. I can honestly say, that this year, I have experienced some of the highest and lowest moments of my life, (only surpassed by the birth of my children and the death of loved ones).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like rollercoasters. That’s putting it mildly. I am terrified of rollercoasters.
You may love them. I can appreciate that for some people, that slow ride to the top, the anticipation of going over the edge and the adrenalin rush as it drops, is a pleasant experience. Nope. Not for me.
Many years ago when my children were young, I decided to face my fears and accompany them on the Dragon ride at Legoland. It wasn’t fun. I made a spectacle of myself as I screamed and hollered so loud it made heads turn. I can laugh about it now. That’s the first and last time I will voluntarily go on a rollercoaster.
Perhaps that’s why I find the extreme ups and downs of life so difficult. If you are always anticipating going over the edge, always ‘on edge’ - on guard, fearing what will come next, then life is exhausting. It’s all too easy to remain stuck in this way of living. You can’t enjoy the ride - especially the highs - when you are on top of the mountain surrounded by magnificent views and you have your eyes tightly shut from fear.
If only I could go through life in an old rowing boat, where I could lie down, gaze at the clouds in a summer blue sky and slowly drift down stream …
Roller coaster or rowing boat?
How do you live your life? The truth is more likely to be in the middle of the two. Perhaps riding a bicycle along a bumpy road?
My life started to change after a decided I needed to make a change. You know when you reach that crucial point in your life when you realise you can’t remember the last time you felt at peace. Perhaps that is the definition of mid-life crisis?
My journey began 3 years ago. I knew I needed to change. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I knew everything I was doing up to that point wasn’t working.
Your biggest enemy is you?
My inner voice is still telling me I am a stubborn person. Self-blame can creep in any moment. Critical questioning can appear. ‘Why didn’t you do something sooner?’ my inner critic cackles. It is wicked and cruel.
Only now, after 3 years of working to ‘find’ my true self can I face that inner critic and shout it down. Those labels you give yourself were probably given to you by a significant person in your life. A parent, a teacher, a partner? Ask yourself is it true? It may be in a particular time and context but it is not true all of the time. It is not who you are.
And yet when you are desperately grasping for a lifeline at a difficult time in your life and, for whatever reason, it doesn’t appear, you find yourself reaching for the familiar. You become bound by those ‘truths’. This must have happened because I am …stubborn, I thought I could…. I did say/do …
Learn to cultivate self-love
It isn’t easy. Learn is the operative word. There are techniques to help. I need to get back to today’s blog. I’m covering too much in one post.
Where was I? Secret ingredients, right? When life presents you with a tasteless recipe, you need a secret ingredient. You will most likely need several.
To make people free is the aim of art
I can’t remember who said that, but I cut it out of a magazine and included it in this year’s New Year collage.
My secret ingredient, first and foremost, is creativity. I only recently realised the radical nature, the power of pursuing creativity to transform negative emotions, (much,much more on that later.)
I have always been a creative person. But I believe it is in all of us. We need to stop listening to the inner voice that says, I can’t and just do.
I can and I will!
If you are reading this and struggling a little with what I am attempting to convey then you must make choice. I’d love you to stick with me. I’ll try to be as clear as I can. You may decide my story is not for you, That’s Ok. I wasn’t ready for most of my life. You can’t force it.
If you continue to follow my blog, I’m sincerely hoping my journey can be a source of encouragement and inspiration for anyone who has reached a point in their lives where they need to make a change.
Don’t get me wrong. Things are far from perfect for me. This is not about reaching a goal, finding everlasting happiness etc. This is about using secret ingredients to make life more palatable. It’s about celebrating the highs and coping with the lows. It’s about finding peace and getting to a point of saying that you love yourself. Even typing that doesnt come easily. I’m not there yet.
I haven’t explained clearly what I mean by creativity. I shall. Small steps for now. Think of it like a jar of spice. I’m encouraging you to put it on your shopping list. Next step is to go to the shop and buy it, take it home and put it in the cupboard. In a future blog we’ll take it off the shelf and use it in recipe.