I was watching a yoga practice and the teacher said the following – “Meet yourself at where you are!”
Immediately I asked myself “What does that mean and am I doing that?”
Taking this literally, the answer seems rather obvious. Of course I know where I am but you must sense that the real question addresses something a bit deeper. Practically I know where I am – my location, activity and general sense of well-being. However you probably get that this is not my point.
Meet yourself at where you are!
‘Meet yourself at where you are’. What does that actually mean? To be honest, all kind of things come to mind, but I found the below online.
Meaning to take note of where you’re at (what’s going on in your life, how you’re feeling, etc) and then give yourself permission to focus on what is important right now based on this.
I understand that it refers to an awareness of “where you are and if that is where you want to be”. In other words, are you doing what you love and are you living the life that meets your dreams, beliefs and values?
Reflecting on myself, I think I am ‘somehow’ where I want to be. I enjoy living where I am and I am grateful that I can earn an income online. What I do, may not be my ‘ideal’ job although it addresses many aspects of what I am trained for and enjoy doing.
The main restriction has to do with time. My work week is 9-5 for four days which sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Yet I am aware that deep down I would like it to be different…..
For starters I chose to work only 4 days per week because I have plenty of other things that I want to do. Before I accepted the job offer, I knew that working 5 days per week would zap me from most of my energy. Even with a four days per week, I don’t seem to have enough energy to do other things. Being over 60 may have something to do with it!
What is the answer?
The reality is that I am no different from many people. I am certain that many people with set work times feel the same. Many motivational gurus tend to make us believe that all we need to do is ‘make time and commit’. Somehow that does not seem to work for me and possibly not for you either.
To recap, I am able to take note of what I value and I am so lucky to be living in a country that I chose. I have the option to work from home and have been able ‘to set up office’ in five different countries so far. It means that I can travel, do house sits or move around while still doing my job and earning an income.
Some of my favourite things to do are hands-on. I love gardening, up-cycling furniture, mosaics and in general being creative. When I do such things, I tend to forget about time and am totally ‘in the moment’. This is the ‘place’ where I would like to be most of my time but so far I have not figured out how to make that my reality.
Not an easy one! Feel free to let me know if this rings a bell and intrigues you. I am curious about your thoughts!
Let’s have a look at role reversal. As some of you may know, we have made a recent move to the countryside. To be precise we have taken on the role of caretakers for an estate near the Pyrenees. It came our way and it shows how life can take an unexpected and sudden turn.
We usually do a few housesits throughout the year and 2021 was no different. In June we got a request to replace a caretaker’s couple so they could visit their family in the UK. The house was for sale and during that fortnight there was a house viewing. We helped to make it look presentable and met the couple that ended up buying the house.
To make a long story short, they asked us to become the new caretakers after they became the new owners. We accepted and hence the lifestyle changes since early December.
You can read about our recent lifestyle change here
The impact of our role reversal
The biggest change would be for my husband as he really was the one taking on the job. I have a job of over 30 hours per week and was not on the lookout for additional hours. I am aware I may have to chip in during the weekends especially when there are holiday guests. The house is already booked out during July and August. Considering it is not a cheap rental, we can expect demanding customers.
Our daily routine is as follows. We get up and I go to the ‘home office’. My husband puts on his work gear and ventures outside to tackle the property’s maintenance chores. The remarkable thing currently is the role reversal in this new life. I have not worked in an office ever in my life and all my jobs were hands on and quite physical. My husband on the other hand is an office man and never was that keen on manual labour.
The way it used to be
I was the one who took on landscaping, gardening, painting to name a few. Although I have always said NO to lawn mowing. Funnily now, we do what the other usually did and we seem to have taken to it without much effort. I must admit that although I do like my job, I find the ‘office hours’ element a bit of a struggle.
At the moment I am happy to do it, but I knew that I had to say NO to full time. In fact, I managed to negotiate a four-day gig, from Monday to Thursday. As a result I have been working like this since August 2021.
The role reversal has made me think about the things we like to do ‘innately’. I am sure that my calling was hands-on, active, outside and lots of people contact. My husband would be more of an office man happily sitting behind a computer and do his thing.
I have trying to install this sense of ‘doing what you are naturally good at and feel happy doing’ in my kids. Only time will tell if they manage to achieve this.
Writer David Chapman on how to improve your thinking:
“Learn from fields very different from your own. They each have ways of thinking that can be useful at surprising times. Just learning to think like an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a philosopher will beneficially stretch your mind.”
Have you ever had that feeling of doubt creeping in when you are in the middle of preparing a change? This is how I felt when my husband asked me if I realised it was just going to be the two of us for a while.
To get you up to date, we are in the process of moving to a big estate to become the new caretakers of a property. It was sold earlier this year when we were there doing a house sit. The property we will call our new home is in the Ariège with only a few small villages close by and a few bigger towns approximately 30 km away.
3-5 years of settling in
My husband’s question made me think! I have always loved starting over again, meeting new people and exploring all the new things around me. From experience and I have a fair bit, I know that it takes me 3-5 years to feel settled somewhere. It takes that long to make friends and feel comfortable. One of the things that always strikes me most is to figure out where you can find random things like a needle, pins or nails.
This new destination in Daumazin, Ariège offers nature, gardens and plenty of land but going to a café for a quick drink will be a thing of the past. To be fair, we don’t even know if the few cafes that we found in surrounding villages will be open. French villages can be fairly sleepy during the winter months.
Naturally I am a very social person. I like to be in touch with people, meet and talk to people. Social media is from that perspective a god sent. My experience is that it has helped me to connect with many likeminded people all over the world.
Social Media helped me to reconnect with old childhood friends, even a teenage boy friend and I made many new virtual friends. With some I click so well that I am sure we would be friends in person.
Moments of doubt
I suppose it is fairly normal to have these moments of doubt when change comes closer. It may help to put things in perspective. My usual approach to change is to be openminded, have no expectations and walk into it with energy and guts.
I can remember that this is how I started a new life in Sydney in 1991 and it paid off. I found a job within a week and made ‘friends’ there quite fast. Australians are in general easy going welcoming people and embrace strangers without hesitation. Many of them were once in the same situation after all – being a land of immigrants.
The biggest thrill for me will be the outdoors. Stepping outside and being surrounded by nature is like a medicine for me. To put it in perspective – where I used to live the only thing I see is the house in opposite and the street is not much more than a car width.
There will be opportunities to garden, possibly start a vegetable pad. I like to eat organic and make foods such as pestos, chutneys and jams. How wonderful would it be to go shopping in your own garden?
So, after this little ‘awareness’ moment and writing it down is as always helpful, I put on my gutsy hat and steam forward to this new life with energy and zest!
When doubt creeps in!
If you are going through a change and see these moments of doubt creeping in. If you feel you need a little retune, why not reach out, tap into my experience and let’s evaluate it together.
Many people dream about being successful. They create dreams and make plans, yet most don’t do anything to make these dreams reality.
WHY IS THAT?
I am sure people realise they must TAKE ACTION to make these dreams come true. Yet, usually they only talk about what they are planning to do. The so-called ‘gonna do’s’ in other words “I am going to do this”.
I can be blamed of this on many occasions, and I bet many of you are just as guilty. It intrigues me nevertheless and I like to dig into it a little deeper to get some clarity.
In general people tend to claim that successful people had a lucky streak, have the right genes or had a push in the right direction. Such things indicate external factors but ignore the hard work some one has put in to get where they are. I like to cast some doubt on the above and here are a few of my thoughts!
What makes a person successful?
Firstly, it has to be obvious that successful people did not achieve success overnight. Such achievement usually takes a long time and a lot of hard work. Outsiders only tend to see the end result and not the enormous effort and persistence it required. It may have taken years of starting and trying over and over over again that have led to this success. Apparently Michael Jordan practiced thousands of shots each week. None of these efforts would have been visible to others. You see only the tip of an iceberg but not what went on underneath.
Many hopeful people love buying motivational books or watch podcast that promise an overnight result and immediate riches. Such resources certainly motivate and create a momentum while you absorb them and even sometime afterwards. However usually people dabble and try a few things, possibly without many results. Unfortunately results may not appear instantly and the energy of the momentum soon fades out.
Maybe many purchase another book that promises the earth or download an additional so-called overnight success blueprint. Usually, the same thing happens and the conclusion is often that it does not work. Do you recognise this pattern?This is likely one of the reasons, that the motivational industry is so huge. It brings a shimmer of hope. It causes people to believe they have a chance and the result is that such products sell like hot buns.
Secondly, hurdle number two is mostly the lack of a clear vision. The lack of a huge WHY you want to achieve something. Longing to earn more money does not make you act. We all want that and the reality is that most people earn very ordinary salaries despite wanting to earn more.
How about a quick reality check!
The fact is that everybody has a chance! Most people forget that it takes execution to be successful. One of the biggest stumbling blocks has to be fear. Feeling the fear of not being able to do it or of being exposed as a fake and an imposter. I believe that the energy of external motivation gives you that moment of trust that you can do it. When that excitement disappears, you revert to your old self. The bottom line is that you may not have the resourcefulness to continue the momentum of progress. The bottom line is that you have to become the type of person that can be successful.
Tony Robbins claims that eighty percent of being successful is psychology and mindset. While twenty percent is attributed to strategy or the mechanics of doing the things you need to do. In other words if you don’t believe you can achieve something, you are very likely right. You won’t achieve what you have in mind or get some results in a minimal way.
What do you need to do to be successful?
People who have a clearly defined MISSION and a HUGE why will step outside their comfort zone. Those who can imagine the results that they want, will take the action needed to achieve results. So it comes down to a few principles that successful people have in abundance in their tool box.
Find your mission and get an enormous and big enough why!
Create a momentum by seeing the results you want in advance, over and over again
Be absolutely clear about what you want to achieve and get precision
Take the necessary often uncomfortable action and model what works
And that is all there is to it. It takes enormous action and determent execution how uncomfortable it may be. Let me know your thoughts and reach out if you haven’t got a clue what I am talking about!
Every now and then, we can’t help having negative thoughts about a certain situation in our lives or about or ourselves. We are very likely aware that such thoughts are not helpful, but it seems there is nothing we can do to change them. Our thoughts seem stronger than ourselves and keep popping up even when we don’t want them.
It may help to put pen to paper and start writing down our negative frame of mind. Assess it and ask ourselves what the evidence is for such thoughts and if it is based on facts. Could it be that we are misinterpreting the situation? Can we imagine how other people would view this situation? Even more to the point, how would we view this issue if it happened to someone else?
Would we be as negative when it concerns a friend or are we naturally biased towards our own situation? Do we instinctively believe that we are the cause of the problem, that the issue is unchangeable and may ruin our whole life? We may have a pessimistic view and see only the factors we can’t change and control.
The good news is that we do have the power to deal with negative thoughts! We have the ability to change the way we perceive and experience these pesky thought patterns. If we cannot think them away, we can at least take charge and reduce their impact on our wellbeing. Let me share a few tips on how to do that.
How to counteract negative thoughts!
Accept and take ownership of your worries and acknowledge that you are in a negative cycle or mood. Accept them for what they are and let them be.
Consider yourself as your own best friend and ask yourself the following. ‘What would she do in this situation?’ I can guarantee you that you will be less hard on a friend with similar issues than on yourself.
Challenge your negative thoughts and stop seeing them as a threat. Rewrite your story from the viewpoint of a neutral observer and with the encouragement you would give a friend.
Don’t linger on the negative situation how bad it may be, but instead focus on the steps you can take to change and improve the situation. Seek information how to make things better or understand the situation you are in.
Do not blame the cause but focus on what is going to help you as a person. Believe there is a way and implement little things to make it better bit by bit every day.
Practice this consistently, become more resilient and let yourself be transformed!
Easy Done Change
This may sound easier than it is and you may need more guidance on how to apply these tips. Sometimes it helps to discuss it with an objective outsider to get more clarity.
If you feel you need more advice, I suggest you reach out and I would be happy to explore this in more detail with you.