Its all to easy in life to look at the circumstances we find ourselves in and blame them for the way life is. I have for example had ‘not enough time’ for most of my adult life. I told myself that if I just had more time this feeling of having too much to do, and not enough time to do it, would go away. If I had more time I would see more of my friends, read more books, go on more holidays.
When I started working with a coach I was overwhelmed, stressed out, having major digestive issues that would take me out of action for 24 hours at a time. There simply wasn’t enough time to waste it on looking after me (and some other stuff about not putting myself first obviously)
I remember her very clearly asking me what it would take for me to change something, “would it be being in hospital” she asked. I laughed because I imagined myself in hospital bed with my laptop, but really this was no laughing matter. Two weeks later, in complete agony from yet another painful IBS attack I messaged her and we started working together.
Fast forward 2 years, with the support of my coach and through participation in Landmark Seminars, I’ve built the life of my dreams. I’m sitting in my motorhome, somewhere in the Lake District, I’ve been on my motorhome adventure for just over a month and I’ve been moving location every few days, taking in some amazing views and landscapes. The problem is, unimaginably, I am feeling stressed out. I’m anxious that I haven’t got enough time to see everything, I only have 3 days in Coniston and thats not enough time to walk round the lake, catch a steam boat ride, climb The Old Man of Coniston, get my laundry done, plan my next part of the trip, if only I had more time.
See the thing is I changed everything in my life, sold my business, moved out of my flat and took myself on the road with no commitments, no agenda and no plans. So how can I possibly have no time? I’ve literally changed everything in my life how can this be? There was one thing I had forgotten to change and that was me, I remembered something a friend had said to me that I had never quite taken in fully, I can’t even remember who said it now, but he said to me ‘the thing is wherever you go in life, you’ll be there’ and he was so right.
My thoughts around time hadn’t really changed at all, I was still acting from scarcity, I may have 18 months of travel but the UK is so big, what if I don’t see it all, how can I visit Coniston as a lover of hiking and not climb The Old Man of Coniston. What I realised is that these are made up constraints, I said that I only have 18 months, I said that I ‘should’ do the hike. I called my sister, my frequent sounding board, and once she stopped laughing at me we talked about how I was feeling, what I realised is that I had made up these constraints, I said that I only have 18 months, I said that I ‘should’ do the hike.
I didn’t do the hike, you know that hill will still be there next time I travel through the Lake District. I also slowed down, I figured out if I stay somewhere for a week, I have time to do the laundry, plan my days, read a book, do nothing. As I result I haven’t actually made it as far around the UK as I thought I would in 4 months and theres lots I haven’t seen, in fact in Pembrey Country Park, I only went out once in 3 days because I was exhausted, but its all perfect. I get to choose where I spend my time and I don’t have to stop travelling because of some arbitrary date I made up.
Look the thoughts I have about time probably aren’t going anywhere soon, if at all, any of you who have done any work on meditation or mindfulness know that we cant stop the thoughts. Most of the time now I notice it and I have a little chuckle to myself when it pops into my head when I’m in the middle of nowhere in a field.
My point really is no-one can do the internal work for you, the thoughts you have are not always linked to your circumstances, although they almost definitely feel like they are. If you are stuck with a recurring thought, find a coach that will support you to move past it so you can get on with living a life you love.