I was watching a yoga practice and the teacher mentioned the following – “meet yourself at where you are”. Immediately I asked myself “what does that mean and where would I meet myself?”
Taking this literally, the answer seems obvious. Of course I know where I am but you very likely sense that the real question addresses something more profound. Practically we know where we are – our location, our activity and our general sense of well-being. However you may have gathered 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.
It seems to be referring to an awareness of where you are and if that is where you want to be. Are you doing what you love and are you living the life that meets your values? Or could it be that you are still searching and feeling rather lost?
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 per week which sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Yet I am aware that I want more……
For starters I chose to work only 4 days per week because I have plenty of other things that I would like to do. Realistically I knew that working 5 days per week would zap me from most of my energy. Even with a four day work week, I don’t seem to have enough energy to add other activities. Being over 60 may have something to do with it!
What is the answer?
I am certain that many people that have a job with set times experience similar problems. 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 such as gardening, up-cycling furniture and in general being creative. When I engage in such activities, I tend to forget about time and am very much busy ‘in the moment’. This is the ‘place’ where I would like to be most of my time but I just have not entirely figured out how to make that my reality.
Not an easy one! But let me know if this rings a bell and intrigues you. I really would appreciate 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.”
It happens to all of us whether we like it or not. Every now and then, we can’t help having negative thoughts about a certain situation in our lives or about or ourselves. We are totally aware it is not helpful, but it seems there is nothing we can do to change it. 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 any 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.
If you struggle to get a grip on this and you like more guidance, get in touch and we can explore further. Easy Done Change can help you to deal with change.