This is a review of my 2018 and the effect 'living differently' has had on my life. I hope you are sitting comfortably for this one - it's rather a long post. Until I started writing I really didn't know just how much I had got out of this challenge. For me the Live Differently challenge has definitely delivered.
In a nutshell, this year has been far from easy and I'm still left with concerns about the unknown, the future, but all told I am beginning to live my dream version of living. I am fitter, sleeping better, I recover more quickly than ever and my relationships with people have improved no end; more and more, I suit me, living suits me and I suit life.
As to the challenge itself I’d say it was more to do with experiential aspects of life and living, the focus being on getting to be more me and liking myself, life and living. What’s in store for 2019? Well, the emphasis for Live Differently 2019 for me is all about getting active.
Here’s a more detailed review of 2018:
I became better equipped at dealing with life’s issues, separating out the short-term focused approach with the long term. As someone with a relatively active and creative brain, it has been difficult for me to focus, be real and separate out the immediately tangible from those things that were beyond me. I am now much better placed to be me, know what I do and don’t like, be open in such a way as to not take things personally, to better sort my wheat from my chaff and be satisfied being me. Pressure has been lifted, tensions relieved. I’m living, breathing, smiling and sleeping more fully and easily. Oh yes, and I like myself for who and what I am, more and more each day.
Here are some of the things I’m doing and have done:
Ditching my unconscious need to learn, replacing it with organic continued development. 2018 has seen me learning from experts in their respective fields. From dancing to PR, social media platforms to portraiture. Might I add, without it costing a fortune, in fact, in some cases, for free.
Ditching my unconscious need to be in control and manage situations, replacing it with a much more meaningful approach to others. I have begun to realise being a force of nature… a whirling vortex of energy that, whilst totally uncontrollable has a normality that is me, present and fully participating in life.
I became more real. I have always been a bit of a teacher, which, as everything, is a bit of a double-edged sword. I am beginning to live being a teacher/educator more and more. This has come about from me removing myself from the hard selling of life’s possibilities, tapping into my own and being more real with life’s and that of others. The upshot being a more organic approach to self-development, my own, life’s and others.
Reintroduced myself to the world of business compliance, insurance, Intellectual Property Rights, Data Protection etc.. I thought I’d have no issue going into business, having worked in business as long as I have. How wrong was I ! Especially as I wanted my business to encompass everything I held dear. Baby steps, expert advice and a whole lot of loving support and encouragement has helped no end.
Developed and delivered workshops, both tailored and generic.
Met lots of people: online, in person, for business, social and life.
Realised my unconscious victimhood and in so doing released permission for me to live my life to the full.
Became more active. Since 2016 I’ve been on a bit of a quest to become more active. Having been an accountant for 30 years, and despite my relatively adventurous approach to life, living had taken its toll and I had become unconsciously patterned. What do I mean by that? Well, the best way to illustrate it is by way of an example. When I started hiking, I was a complete klutz. In fact my first proper hike was horrible. However, there was something about it that was telling me to keep it up, and I am so glad I did. Unbeknownst to myself I had conditioned myself to be sedentary. At the same time, a whole other part of me knew I had to do something about it. Taking up this challenge has enabled me to unlearn, loosen, untangle and introduce other complementary, personally strengthening activities. Now, just living is increasingly enabling me to be more and more active in every moment I live in a real, progressive and inclusive way.
Here are some of those complementary activities that together brought me ever more to life: hiking, swimming, knitting, dancing, Zumba, yoga, squash, active portraiture. All of which I undertook with as free abandon as possible, delivered some form of therapeutic advantage as well as revitalising, reinvigorating, restoring whilst providing serious, much appreciated opportunity for mindlessness.
Rekindled my loves.
Disappeared an unconscious fear of sailing whilst revitalising my love of and respect for water. This I think is essential for both a water sign and an island dweller ! Through this I also learnt of my dad's love of sailing.
Revisited my love of singing.
Reignited my love of art and a natural disposition for art, culture and industry. Again, through this I found out about yet another family connection to portraiture. I'd known my brother had a natural talent, because I can remember him drawing me when I was very young. It also turns out that my Auntie Jessie had a gift for portraits.
Became adept at living on contemporary social media platforms. In fact all of these feature as nifty little tools for self-exploration.
Slowly revealing an as yet unexplored aspects of myself: self-promotion, performance and being interviewed.
Becoming more adept at living my life my way with many, many different types of people. Moment by moment, circumstance by circumstance, grounded in a real sense of me-ness, humanness, of being alive living my life.
Beginning to reignite my sense of adventure, my excitement around the unknown and that makes me smile… in time this will help disperse the internal concerns...
Realised the vast array of activities in my life, all of which were of equal importance, some of which were out of necessity and many for myself. From this I realised what I would do if I were to want for nothing and what my one big thing for next year was going to be, both of which are beginning to emerge for real.
All in all, I am a much better version of myself than I ever thought possible. The biggest win being a much fitter and better me with other people.
Thank you for reading this through... x