74: Feeling good enough for ‘Me’

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You’re struggling, burnt out, anxious and overwhelmed about daily life. You dive into projects and check tasks off your list, trying to climb your way up to the next level of success. Yet you somehow still never feel like enough, no matter how many achievements you acquire. It seems you’re always working on something else, yet you never feel satisfied. You yearn for the sweet taste of approval, all the while disconnecting from yourself and the world around you. You wonder, when will you feel complete? When will you stop living only to prove yourself?

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73: A different type of self-reflection…

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Many of us ask ourselves the age-old question, “Who am I?” This question presumes that our identity could be, or should be, reduced to a fixed description. People who ask this type of question are usually struggling around a sense of self and thus are looking for some sort of concrete answer. However, the more you seek to solidify who you think you are, the more fragile you can feel and become.We’d be far better served to ask, “How would I like to experience my life?” This questions envisions participating in the flow of your life—your process of becoming.

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72: Reaching the shoreline…

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We spend so much of our time trying to get somewhere. We are always aiming to get to our next milestone, reach a new goal, take a new pathway. Do we actually realise or celebrate when we get there? Hardly, it’s mostly about shrugging off that success and moving onto the next. Part of the reason that we do this, comes from our biological nature. To survive we have to be goal-directed, leaning into the future and anticipating what is coming.

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71: A spring in my step…

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If you live in the UK, you will know that this weekend we had an unseasonably beautiful couple of days. The temperature got up to 19 degrees Celsius, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, no wind or chills to speak of. I spent yesterday taking my time over the wonderful things I could see, smell and hear around me. The photo of the flowers at the top of this page, families running around on the Common, the fact that I didn’t need to wear a jacket or a hoodie all day! Blissful.

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70: Reflecting, re-framing, re-energizing…

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If you have read one (or all) of my blog posts, you’ll have got the idea that I am a firm believer in positive thinking. If we aren’t in a positive place, it’s going to ripple into the work we do, the habits we form , our relationships, and even our personal health. In order to maintain a positive mindset, we need to remind ourselves of things that are worth being positive about! Now, everyone gets those weird ‘blues’ from time to time, often on Sunday evenings. They creep up on us and all of a sudden we’re down in the dumps and dreading the next day. What do we do when they come along? Well, it’s a great time to do some reflecting and hype ourselves up to tackle whatever obstacles we foresee coming our way.

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69: A “healthy” bout of homesickness..?

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Today I felt something I haven’t felt for a long while; I was homesick. Interestingly, it was whilst listening to ‘The Outdoors Station’, a radio show about living healthy outdoors lifestyles, and visiting new places. However, many of us return back to the same places again and again throughout our lives. We have something pulling us back, whether it be the landscape, the people or the activities.

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68: Productivity and the Present

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I’ve thought a lot about the implications of productivity recently. I notice myself finding more ways to spend time producing, and less time is focused on being in the moment. With the rise of the remote worker, everything being available on our mobiles, and no such thing as a ‘sick day’ anymore, are starting to see ourselves as machines. What’s more, we appear to enjoy it. It appears to me, that hyper-productivity is the latest part of our conditioning. Now, I know what you’re thinking. If we are happy being productive, then why change?Happiness is the goal after all.

That’s not what I’m trying to avoid, far from it. it’s entirely logical to maximize our time and accomplish more during any given day. It helps us in our working lives, our admin, keeping up to date with our relationships. But, looking at the bigger picture, as a society, have we taken it a bit too far? We have to ask ourselves, what is the end result of this productivity? Do I need to keep producing more, so I can support myself in society, in order to go on and keep producing more? Are we happy because we consciously chose this? Or does our happiness stem from our conditioning to accept the situation, and lack of awareness of alternatives?

Society is becoming more productive, and as members of society, we are expected to do the same. But, shouldn’t our productivity provide us with more time to explore aspects of life which inspire us, and progress with those, rather than avoiding them?

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67: Embracing Uncertainty

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We live in uncertain times.  How many times a day do you hear the dreaded ‘B’ word? Any structural changes rearing their heads in the office? People jumping ship in your relationships? The current situation of our soon to become dis-United Kingdom provides a lot of worry.  Most people are feeling uneasy about the growing uncertainty and unpredictability in the world, which is continuously fed by social media and 24 hour news.  For those generally prone to being anxious, this can be hella tricky.

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66: The Devil is in the Detail

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Although first impressions are notoriously prone to error, we just can’t stop ourselves from making them — and it only takes a tenth of a second to form a judgment about another person’s character, even from a still photograph. In this short time, we form an opinion based on their appearance, body language, demeanor, mannerisms, and even how they dress. These first impressions are nearly impossible to un-do. Now, we all know how important it is to make a good first impression. At the same time, we know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. So how do we make sense of these two contradictory pieces of advice?

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65: Spontaneity over Stressing

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a little extremely high-strung. I get anxious easily. I feel uncomfortable in situations where I don’t know exactly what’s going on. I’m a big fan of plans. I love planning. I like to know the day’s schedule. If I’m going to a meeting, I like to know how to get there and who will be there. I can’t parallel park to save my life and I got myself convinced that, when I moved into my new flat, I wouldn’t be able to park and then I’d be late to work because of it, or cause a traffic jam as I tried to fit into a spot in the busy street. It got a little out of hand.

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