“The grass is always greener where you water it.” ~Unknown
For a while there, I was a little peeved with the world. I’ve just recently snapped out of it, and I just want to sing and dance and share this message with everyone: Stop waiting!
Last year, after living through some profound experiences—travelling extensively, soul searching, attending incredible life-changing events, shedding massive masks, overcoming huge obstacles, and deciding to change the course of my life completely—I came back to my life, to my home, and sat back and thought to myself, “This is what life is about!”
I was on a snowball effect high of massive changes. It was the most intense feeling that seemed to go on endlessly, and the changes just seemed to keep on unfolding in my life naturally, organically.
I dropped out of a program at school I wasn’t really committed to, with the intention of going to culinary college after a year off. I faced the world for the first time, trading in my signature sunglasses for an eye patch, after hiding a facial difference I sustained from a car accident almost a decade ago. I returned to my yoga practice, focused on my health and vitality, and dropped 30 pounds.
Last year was amazing, and it just seemed to keep getting better.
I landed an amazing job at the company I was dying to work for during my year off before returning to school. I met amazing people and seemed to attract great new friends into my life. I traveled more for personal development courses and seminars and soaked up the amazing atmosphere that is unique to Tony Robbins events.
Around Christmas time, I began to sense a shift in myself and tried to brush it off. It wasn’t much; it’s just that it was no longer effortless to be happy, and I began to feel a little forced at times. Some challenges at work arose, and I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me.
After months and months of work that flowed easily, I began to realize that the wheels of my life weren’t moving all too smoothly anymore.
At that point, I started to retreat. I had huge goals, big dreams on the horizon for the year, and it scared the crap out of me when things weren’t progressing.
I began to take on a passenger mentality in my life, making excuses for my inactions and myself. When things got worse in any area, it was a huge blow to my self-esteem, and I let it break me down.
Mid-winter I entered what I consider to be a “winter season” of life. I got fired from the job that I loved, despite what I thought were my best attempts.
I stopped going to the gym, because my fitness goals were tied to my identity at work. I stopped practicing yoga, for fear of running into ex-co-workers, and even began to dislike practicing at all.
I felt so ashamed to be in a place in my life where I had failed, after being so happy and wanting so many amazing things to come to my life.
I let that sense of failure eat away at my spirit, and I became defeated in the worst possible way.
I didn’t want to listen to anyone or anything. I became annoyed with my friends who were going places in life. I was annoyed with myself especially for believing in hogwash and thinking that changing your life actually lasts.
The truth is, I was waiting. I was waiting for something to come and shake me, wake me up out of that funky state. I was waiting for life to knock on my door step and say, “Here! I’ve delivered your answers! Ta Da! Easy way out!”
I was waiting for things to stop being so difficult, for things to ease up on my plate, for things to miraculously get better, because it felt like a lot was happening to me.
I put the weight back on. I avoided friends. I didn’t do anything really. I worked part-time, but whenever I wasn’t working, I was sure to drown any real thoughts in mindless television.
I stopped writing. I avoided creating my daily gratitude lists, because they would inevitably become hateful rants. The memories of the year before and all of those amazing accomplishments seemed like someone else’s.
After much reflection and finally taking ownership, I am happy to say I am standing on higher ground today. It wasn’t easy to snap out of it. In fact, I made sure it was hard.
When my boyfriend, the closest person in my life, finally called me out on my behavior and provided a harsh but necessary reflection to where I had led my life, I broke down. I avoided the accusations with an angry response initially, but I began to journal frantically when I realized the pain I was living with was self-inflicted.
It was then that I realized that taking ownership of my life also meant I had the power to change it. The more I wrote, the more I discovered about what I want. I had to face the things I didn’t want to face in order to create a roadmap for myself.
That is the thing about life: It gets hard. Things go awry. You get fired. You fall out of pace with your life. You end up eating a pound of chocolate. So what?
Then I remembered this question someone once posed to me:
“What if life didn’t happen to you, it happened for you?”
What if I examined all of the crap that had happened “to” me before and saw where it had led me? What if I realized there was a purpose for every circumstance of difficulty, struggle, pain, and trauma? How would my perspective change if I realized my quality of life is directly related to my reactions?
Would I stop and appreciate these moments of darkness, if I realized they are necessary to guide me to the light in my life?
With a change in focus, you can change your life. If you’re looking to change your life too, realize you have the power to do it.
Instead of waiting for life to happen, make it happen. Instead for waiting for a change, create a change.
Create a vision for yourself and your life and use the opportunities that come when life throws you a curve ball to review your goals and dreams.
You may discover a speed bump was a wake up call to focus on something important you may have otherwise overlooked.
Where do you see yourself in six months, in the most important areas of your life? How is your life incredible? What is something that you enjoy then that isn’t in your life today? What excitement, adventures, and amazing experiences do you have? Who do you know? Where have you been? How do you feel? What do you do on a regular basis? How are you awesome?
Now draw it in to three months: What has happened and needs to happen three months from now to get to your vision? Be specific! Are you trying something new? Have you changed your daily habits? What do you fill your time with? What is it like to be this awesome you, three months from now?
Hone in, one month from today. What is different? What steps have you taken to this new-you six months away? What are you up to? What have you accomplished? What are you working toward? What have you consistently been doing for the past 30 days?
What happens to you a week from now? In seven days, how have you changed your habits and your life to steer its course to something new and incredible? What are you planning? What is being implemented? How do you feel?
Now plan tomorrow. Repeat daily.
Plan your time, because time flies, but the good news is you’re the pilot of your life. Stop waiting for life to happen to you and take ownership for leading your life. You have led your life to amazing places already, and there is no stopping where you can go from here.
Photo by Bohman