How to Not Suck at Life... 8 Mindset Patterns that Give you More Options in Life Every Day
This new year was brought in with a last-minute road trip. My gorgeous friend Susana gave me a shout and invited me to spend the New year with her. So, in a swift moment I borrowed a car and drove all the way up to Noosa, in QLD, and was blessed to have celebrated the new year with her, and some incredible online homegirls. These are some of the raddest women I have ever met - and for most of them, this party was the first time we had actually met in person! It still makes me giggle when I remember that we’ve never seen one another in actual 3D, yet we’ve connected deep for such a long time. What I adore most about them, is that they each embody most of what I cover below, in their own way. Each of them are big, beautiful balls of love, ready to have real conversations and gigantic hugs the moment you walk in the door… amen to that.
Driving home back down south, I was reflecting on last year again and realised just how lucky I was in some situations. I could have been hurt, lost, maybe even died. But each time not only did I come out OK, I came out better for it. How the hell did that happen?
One of the distinctions I live my life by is Filter for Lessons. So while drivin’ down the highway for hours on end from northern Australia, green juices in tow and Cafe Del Mar fluttering over my eardrums, I filtered. I wanted to define for you what, at the core, are the differences that make the difference between people who can flow through every crazy high and low, and people who get affected by the slightest hiccup. And here’s what I found.
8 Themes and Lessons from 8 months of Travel, that will make life sweet no matter what… Here we Go!
- Be present. Next time you’re feeling stressy, ask yourself why. Then notice if it’s something that is actually happening, in this moment, right now. Most of the time, it’s not. You’re on a bus, or sitting at your desk at work reading emails. Most of the time when we are gettin' stressy over something, it’s because we’re attaching feelings - of something that happened either in the past, or could go wrong in the future - to right now. Being present is a lifelong practise and giving it half a paragraph doesn’t quite suffice in my books, but nonetheless it’s number 1 on the list, because its’ the most important. When I was stuck at the airport in Cuba, not knowing if I would make it out of the country, and with not enough money to go back to my Casa (ATM’s don’t work in the country, and the Internet is Illegal - another post for another day), I was having some seriously stressy thoughts of what may happen to the little blonde white girl sleeping on the floor in a Havana airport. Not to mention I’d have a list of clients waiting for me to call them later in the day! It wasn’t helping my situation in thinking clearly. I got present and focused my intentions instead on what I wanted, and what I could do. I wasn't actually dead or hurt yet, I was just sitting at a cafe waiting to hear the news of if they could fit me on a flight… When I got back to the present moment, a lot of the stress disappeared, and I could think clearly and get myself in the right state of mind to deal with what was happening.
- No forcing - Everything is in its perfect order. One of my coaches Vienda Maria is a huge advocate for this one, and she reminded me of it so many times through my travels. Sometimes we really want things to happen, and actually, they’re not meant to happen… or, maybe they are, but not just yet. Forcing it won’t help. Having the underlying belief that everything is always in perfect order, exactly as it should be, happening for a reason, allows us to go for things at the best of our ability, and have massive trust that if it doesn’t work out it’s not meant to. Sometimes it’s because we are meant to be doing something else, other times, it’s because we may be being kept out of harms way. Embodying this one makes you the least stressed out person on the planet, because no matter where you are, it feels perfect. That’s a delicious feeling.
- Home is within yourself and nowhere else. Picking up and leaving Australia so quickly, (10 days notice to myself) and then accidentally staying for 8 months instead of 2 weeks, meant that for a little while, I felt like I was flying all over the place, and couldn’t ground myself. **A surprise to many, I am quite the introvert, and a homebody. Just as much as I love being around people, I gain my energy from being alone at home.** Well, without a home for the foreseeable future, centering my world, my wellbeing and my feeling of groundedness on the dependance of a space is a mindset that doesn’t match the lifestyle I wanted to live. It was time for an upgrade. To travel the world with a belief that I can only really be grounded when I am in my own space with my own things or people is a complete fail in that scenario. That haven and place of grounding was completely taken away. In further filtering for lessons, it made me think about if thats the type of mindset (or programming) that really suits anyone at all! It doesn’t. Personally I was forced to change the way I think about it, or I was going to fly off the planet. But for you, there is an opportunity now to observe if your thought patterns are actually as robust as they could be. In other words, which mindset gives you more options in life? What I realised was, to walk around in life feeling like you can only feel good when all the external locusts of control are in order - Your house, your friends, your belongings, your own toilet = Less options for living a rad adventure. In short, you’re sucking at life. Not sucking, means allowing yourself to have plenty of options, and expanding yourself to feel complete and comfortable in more situations, Ideally, any situation. In other words, finding home within yourself. So without all the external stuff, turning inward, I found home through things that were dependant on nothing outside of my own skin. A strong meditation practise, Plenty of sleep, loads of water, Journalling, and movement that wasn’t dependant on having a gym or a class to go to.
- If you speak with love on your tongue, you can say anything. I wasn’t aware of how much I lied until I got to Costa Rica to teach at the Trailblazers Retreat and met Mike. OK. Lying is a strong word, but really, I was. Lying to myself, mostly. Mike ran a games workshop which we all got to take part in: Authentic Relating. Within minutes I found myself telling complete strangers (who I was about to teach for!) all the things I feared, was most ashamed of, excited about, and more. To speak completely openly about your deepest, darkest sh*t was my worst nightmare. And yet, it was so easy when I learnt how to do it properly. I realised how often in the past, just to make things easier, I often had one conversation going on with the person in front of me, and another in my head. Especially in my relationships. The biggest skill in speaking authentically - meaning, saying what you really are thinking and feeling right in the moment - is to be totally vulnerable, and speak as if you have a filter of love on your lips. That doesn’t mean you taint the truth, it means you say what you need to say, knowing that the person in front of you is a human being who is doing the best they can, and you speak to them with compassion, honesty, and above all, truth. I started digging deep with every question someone asked me, and bravely answered with the truth, even if it felt like it was going to hurt, or it was uncomfortable for me to admit. As a result of practising this in every moment, my life’s baggage was dropped on a beach in Costa Rica. Every relationship in my life has catapulted to depths I never thought I could have imagined, and I was free and forgiven from everything holding me back and moving forward…
Ultimately, the only person who can ever make you feel forgiven and free is yourself. (Tweet it!)
Holding on to the things that make you feel trapped and “bad” is putting yourself into emotional prison. Speaking the truth with love on your lips makes you a real-time authentic human being. Not to mention, it shows you pretty darn fast "who yo’ peeps at" on this ride we call life. Games-free, raw conversation? Yes please.
- The entire world is giving you feedback every single moment. One of the first mindset tools I took on from an early age as a martial artist was that there is no such thing as failure, there is only feedback. Every time I failed in the ring, or in the dojo, my instructors reminded me to look for the feedback (or the lesson) and adjust my training or my technique. It worked a charm, I won 9 world titles and was undefeated. Today, I use the same technique on a macro scale. See, I like to play this game... I like to imagine that everything in the world is directing me and giving me signs, or guiding and directing me to the outcome that’s best for me. I like to call it “the universe”. Some of my religious friends have the same belief about God - you can call it whatever you choose. All I know is, it makes my life pretty darn easy. If something is not working, I take it as a feedback loop, and adjust course. It’s all about paying attention - That’s the bit that’s hidden from view, yet it’s the most important - Ask for a sign or guidance, and it can be put in front of you in the strangest of ways. A website you accidentally land on, an email that floats into your inbox, a page open in a book, a phone call, conversation with a random, or, as what recently happened to me, someone showing up to your undisclosed doorstep with tears in their eyes and a thank you note for doing something I was too scared to consider doing on a larger scale. I choose to believe that everything is happening for a reason, and its my responsibility to pay attention and make sense of the puzzle. Sometimes the same scenario will occur with 3 separate people at different times, and it’s a scenario that I don’t enjoy. Rather than taking it as a coincidence, and feel like a victim, I know I need to change something, because I am the common denominator. It’s more than empowering to take responsibility for your life, and feel supported from everywhere.
- Pay attention to what energises you. One sunny afternoon in Santiago I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed and fed-up, despite being inspired by my work and surrounded by friends. I was on Skype to a dear friend, and he gave me this simple, yet classic tip: Pay attention to what energises you. Do more of that, and less of what doesn’t. I then compiled a list of all the things that were draining me, and all the things that were energising me right in that moment. Paying attention to your energy levels as you go about your day gives you so much insight to weather or not you are participating in life at a level that ignites you, and you’re surrounding yourself with the right people and situations. However, surprisingly, sometimes even the most exciting of activities, and the people we love the most, can drain us, just for a little while. But being aware of a problem makes it half solved. Being able to manage your energy moment to moment while you’re going through a big transition or period of growth especially, allows you to show up at 100% when the time is right for you to show up, and how to look after yourself if you need a bit of TLC.
- If it’s not a hell yes, its a no. In every moment we are slammed with advertising, events, and opportunities. Too often we say yes out of obligation, pressure, or even worse: fear that this is as good as it might get! ...Fail... Then, you end up in half-ass situations. You half-ass your effort. Or, you receive a half-assed effort. But the biggest punish of all about doing anything that’s not a hell yes, is that we waste time and precious attention on things that aren’t meant for us. They are meant for someone else. We live in a world of endless opportunity and an abundance of whatever it is that you desire. Trust yourself over anyone or anything, that if you’re entire body isn’t screaming out HELL YES, it’s a no. Straight up. Not a “Maybe", or a “We’ll see"… Just no. And, just know, there’s something better around the corner. Ahh, life just got a little simpler.
- SHOW UP to your goals and dreams. They don’t happen on their own, funnily enough. And Making a vision board, hanging around the right people, going to all the workshops and visualising ‘till your eyeballs fall out still doesn’t cut the mustard. You want it? Show up. Every damn day. As Dave Booda puts it, "99% commitment is hard as hell, 100% is a breeze". Want a new body? Do all the mindset stuff, I’m the worlds biggest advocate for it. But then, please… show up. Show up to your kitchen where you prepare yourself to nourish. Show up to the gym where you slog it out for a few moments. And show up to yourself with so much love when you need to stay on course. Not just once, every moment. That’s how it happens. And believe me, it’s far easier when you dive right in and engage in the task at hand.
Now, It’s up to you. Seriously. Give them a go. One at a time. Do it well.
I’d love to hear from you! What do you think of these? Which one resonated with you the most? Which one are you most committed to working on? Leave me a comment and let’s start a discussion. =)
Until Next time, Keep it Simple, Make it happen, and Do life well, Darling.