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Its ok to let go

Holding on can sometimes hold us back.

Recently I let go of a beautiful relationship that had served me well but was not going to serve me going forward. There is a lot of talk about not having expectations in relationships in self-love, self-development circles.  I’ve got to say I’m not a big fan of this approach.
It is ok to have expectations and I think these expectations are essential to have a strong relationship and a happy life. Boundaries and expectations are important to help us understand who we are, what we want and why we want it.  Without this knowledge we run the risk of sleep walking through life and accepting less than we deserve or desire.
My expectations in a romantic relationships are fairly simple :
  • feeling loved – the person I am with needs to be able to express, communicate and act out love in a way that makes me feel loved, cared for and important to them.
  • being their no 1 priority – I need to feel like a no 1 priority in their life. This means phones away at the dinner table, time spent being present, sharing activities that we both enjoy, spending down time together, etc.  Basically this is about time and being able to just be together.  This is of course difficult when we are busy working, studying, progressing our careers, travelling, planning, etc but being present and in the moment is the foundation of a strong relationship.
  • energy and passion – energy and passion need to be at similar levels, whether this is the energy we each put into life, love or a special project. How we approach life matters and needs to compliment each other.
  • shared sense of purpose – there needs to be a ‘glue’ that ties it altogether that surpasses dinners and drinks.  It needs to be an expression of our love. I truly want a partner who I can inspire and who inspires me and a shared vision of what our loves mean to us. To me this creates some magic and mystery around the relationship, something sacred between two people.
  • self-love and development – the person I want to share my life with needs to love them self. Not in any kind of arrogant or egotistic way but in a true and kind way.  I am not good with insecurity, low confidence and pity parties. I believe in strength and resilience. I want this in a partner.  It takes a lot of self-work to love yourself, love your life and really appreciate everyone in it.  I want someone who wants this is as part of their life.
Ok, maybe those things aren’t so simple.  Being able to ‘just be’ and be kind to yourself and your partner takes work (sometimes A LOT  of work) from yoga, to coaching sessions, to climbing a mountain, to a lot of introspection.
Being a strong enough person to say ‘I love you’ to yourself takes enormous amounts of courage, self-empathy, vulnerability and honesty.  I know my journey to self-love has been long, gruelling and largely mystifying.
But this is what I want in my next partner.  So I put it out there to Facebook, the universe, my blog to say this is WHAT I WANT! And, I’m not going to settle for less.

Now, do you agree ?

Are expectations are good thing in a relationship ?

And, if you have them what is your no 1 expectation of a romantic relationship ?

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How self-development got me out of divorce limbo and into my next life

I’ve been reading “White Hot Truth” by Danielle La Porte recently. Its been interesting reading views from someone who is on the other side of the journey and critiquing self-development. I think this is a good thing. I also think the only way to learn is to try it and take what works, discontinue what doesn’t.
I attempted to read Danielle’s other book “The Desire Map” three years ago when I was a few months out of a divorce that had irrevocably changed how I saw myself and what I wanted from life. I was confronted with a realisation that I had been living a life of should. I didn’t want to do that anymore.

I had to work out a new path for myself.

What do you want ?

This seems like such an empowering question. For me it is a question that used to spark fear and anxiety. What I had wanted had gone so wrong for so long that the only learning from this was that I had to change what I wanted. That what I wanted was shaped by society, not by me. When I started reading ‘Desire Map’ I just couldn’t clearly answer Danielle’s questions. And, when I could, I didn’t trust the answers.

The Journey

The journey began by participating in an online challenge. Part of this challenge involved a kind of book club which led me to read two books that really created the spark for change :
Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What I learnt ?

– you can change the story you’re telling yourself about your life
creativity is possible

So I begun. First, with a goal to change my story and then second, to be more creative. This journey started with daily meditation and daily gratitude.

This then grew into a full-scale morning routine of yoga or meditation, journaling (gratitude, goals, intent, celebration), nourishing breakfast, bullet proof coffee.
At night I worked through a schedule of things to do (not involving television) and always ended with a meditation from Headspace.

One of the benefits of this routine has been to create awareness that my usual whole-day routine and habits were stress-creating. Each thing was small – putting pressure on myself to answer all my emails before I had my morning coffee, not taking lunch breaks, listening to aggressive music on my train trips, reading way too many distressing news articles every day. Each small thing done each day trained me into a constant state of stress. By removing each one of these the temperature came down on my life but essentially nothing had changed – my job, where I lived etc hadn’t changed but yet my whole life-vide had shifted. My life became better by simply letting myself be more relaxed and training myself to be calm.

By changing my habits and changing what I listened to I have gradually unfurled myself from a ball of stress into someone who is much more open-minded relaxed and confident.

These new habits also gave me the emotional space to know when to ask for help at work, in my relationships and in life,and to start being confident again to know and ask for what I wanted. I started being creative again, studying, changing my furniture over from pre-divorce to some things that truly reflect me and taking more breaks.

Because I have the emotional and mental space, I am able to focus on what I want and have the energy to go for it!

Whole wellness is a journey and I’m so glad I’ve started it and can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Soon, I will try reading ‘Desire Map’ again, I think this time I’m ready.

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