It's a phrase we hear often, one that we say through gritted teeth, meant as sarcasm, in jest, to answer the old tired question "How's it going?"....
Most of the time, whether we are the deliverer or the recipient of the phrase, we can relate. We get the person saying it doesn't feel as though life is idealistic, nor are they living the life of their dreams. Usually, when I say it, I want to shut down any "real" discussion of how it is really going, and quickly change the subject.
I've been struggling lately. I've been the person who has been answering (or at least have want to answer) people with the quick and witty phrase of "just another day in paradise" when asked how I am. It bothers me to feel this way, to have this reaction, because daily I work with people to realize their dreams, pursue their passions, and break down the barriers that hold them back from, well... living a life of paradise. My poor attitude and disposition is not an overnight phenomenon... nor do I need to explain its origins or how it came to manifest itself in me... but it's here none the less, like an old comfortable, faded, ratty chamois shirt and sweat pants that I bum around in around the house ... but would never want people to see me in out in public.
Coach, Coach thyself!
I'm a life coach... I guide people every day to find answers deep within themselves that unlock their fears, unblock their hurdles and free them from being stuck in their heads. Well, just like the landscapers lawn, the mechanics car, and the accountants checkbook... sometimes working on yourself is not as easy as working on others.
Last week I had what I would label as an amazing session with a client who decided that she was going to take 5 minutes, three times a day, to focus on what she trully wanted. Before work she would visualize herself having a great day...after work she would visualize herself having a great afternoon with her children, and before going to to bed at night she would reflect on her day, and write down what went well, and what she would like to do for a better tomorrow. Genius. Pure genius. It's not a new stategy - Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Steven Covey, Esther Hicks... all the self-help gurus HIGHLY recommend spending some time with yourself ... to "workshop" to "create" to "visualize" ... what ever you want to call it, many highly successful experts recommend this as the one thing that we should be doing for ourselves.
Taking my own medicine....
Since that session I realized I have not been spending much time on myself. Many of my friends have been going through challenges, and because I love them, I have been focused on their issues, not my own. It's ok friends, if you are reading this... please still continue to lean on me.. just know I need to put the oxygen mask on myself first - the plane is going down.
So here is the start (or rather, the continuance after a long hiatus) of my self-exploration. I am not writing this as a "professional blog" because I don't want to worry about "key words" or marketing, branding, SEO or any of that other self-editing crap I have to worry about with a professional blog. This is a personal blog. At times, it may be raw. It may be candid. If you are close to me, you might recognize yourself in some of my ramblings (I will change names to protect the innocent).... but it's real, it's me... it's for me, and it may not be for you.
Each day, or at least... each day I create space for myself, I intend to pause, reflect, talk about what matters, and hopefully walk away with a deeper understanding of myself. Today I spent some time (listening to an audio book while cleaning my office) .. listening to first Esther Hicks and then Eckhart Tolle. I guess the combination of the two lessons is rather amusing, because Eckart Tolle speaks of being in the NOW, and Esther Hicks speaks of attracting what your desires are by aligning your vibration. I am probably not the best to translate, articulate, or interpret the teachings of the two ... but I can say the understanding I came to this afternoon while scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors....
I've been spending alot of time being dissatisfied. I know that is going to sound vague to some people who read this... but to others, the people closest to me, they will know exactly what I mean. My only hope is they do not own my dissatisfaction. No, it is all my own. It is not through the fault of anyone - not my boyfriend, not my friends, family, parents, clients, employers... no one can own my dissatisfaction but me.
I normally avoid talking about my feelings of dissatisfaction because I don't want to let anyone down, or make them feel uneasy. I don't want my boyfriend to feel inadequate, my clients to feel uneasy, my employers to feel nervous, my parents to feel judged, my friends to feel burdened. So I hold it all in. I never talk about it... and as a result, I feel all the things I hope to shield from others. It's not healthy - and it bums me out.
So you may be asking "Cilly - what are you dissatisfied about?".... because, you see, I asked myself that very same question. And after writing a very long list, and looking at it over and over for possible solutions, I decided none of it is important anymore... because today I am choosing satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from focusing on the present moment, and being grateful for what I have here and now. It does not mean acceptance or being complacent. I still have lofty goals, dreams and ambitions that I am striving for... but being dissatisfied will not get me to the finish line.
I am satisfied (or substitute the word grateful) for so many things - right NOW. It was a beautiful day, the sun was brilliant. My dog Lexi is laying on the couch next to me chasing rabbits in her dreams. I am writing again. I feel creative. I am loved by friends, family and my boyfriend. And if you ask me how it's going... I can trully say.. it's just another day in paradise.