Category Archives: authenticity

And Start Again at Your Beginnings – Behind the Mask Series

Behind the Mask

Gaaah!  I am SO frustrated. So many things I want to do and I am stuck in bed with barely an ounce of energy to do any of them.  My blog is usually a chirpy enlivening thing, but today I am feeling heavy.  I don’t know where I’m going to go with this today.

It has been years since I regularly wrote.  I last published on August 19th 2012, after a break of some time, and then I broke off entirely. Regular readers will know that I mostly published on a Wednesday, come hell or high water. My work was about the inspiration I found in life around me, sent out on the wing, in the hope that readers would thus be more inclined to find inspiration in their own lives, having accompanied me on my own meanderings round Tesco, childrearing, working on my goals etc

But then I separated from my husband of 8 years and two years later we got divorced.  I had to stop writing, because everything I wrote was related to observations of the little world around me, and the things that moved me.  I just didn’t want to hang my dying marital knickers out in public.  Whilst it would have made good sensationalist tabloid style reading, I’m just not THAT kind of reality star …  what happened during those times shall remain forever locked in the black box that accompanied that particular craft to it’s death – at least as far as this blog goes.

Now you know why I vanished.  Over the years I have many a time been tempted by world events to jump start the blog again, get back on my soap box and let the world know what I think about some burning topic or another, but of course these grand thoughts would come to me in the shower, and as soon as I was out, life took over, and who has time to write?  As a single mother I now had full financial responsibility for my household and that meant working harder and longer hours.  Increasingly over the last few years I have barely had time to turn around, never mind sit, contemplate and share.

So, whence this return to the keyboard?   Well guess what? In the midst of all the Jewish festivals which this year straddled September and October, events which I thoroughly enjoy and really got stuck into, I got the flu. Not some two-bit sniffly sniffly flu, but the real thing, complete with full body shaking, roaring temperatures, aching everything and complete and utter exhaustion. After two weeks it had abated somewhat but I still wasn’t better, so off I toddled for a check-up, and then another and then another … long story short I apparently have Post Viral Fatigue.  This is when you come out of a virus (cold, flu, it can be anything) and for some reason it leaves you utterly and totally wiped out, in such a manner that you can barely get out of bed.  Sometimes it lasts a few weeks, or it can take months.  If it takes longer than that, and if my understanding is correct, they get all fancy and call it Chronic Fatigue. With all this sitting about in bed, there’s finally time for writing! So now you know why I returned.

So I’m currently knocked out, spend most of my time in bed apart from getting my children up dressed and to the school coach in the morning and then feeding them when they come home, and getting them to sleep.  As to what the prognosis is, who knows?

On contemplation (if there’s one massive benefit about all this, it’s finally having time to think) I think I have been operating under exhaustion, maybe even mild CF for years.  And my body has finally said STOP.  I was going to crash out sooner or later, it was just a question of how.  I’ve been running around for years, and serving everybody’s goals but my own (worthwhile goals, true, but not my own), just exchanging hours for money (which if you’ve read anything on finances you’ll know is a recipe for never financially succeeding).  Also lately I’ve been getting further and further from my own long-term goals.  I’ve been in a position of having to work harder and harder to bring about one goal after another, all the while getting torn up inside because everything I achieved just took me further from what I actually want to do.

What do I want to do now?  Write to change lives, and take telephone and skype life coaching clients.  There’s more to it than that of course, but those two things would definitely align with my big dream, and they’re both things that the life I’ve been leading would never have allowed me to do.

So I suppose (and there always is a silver lining – the fact that I can usually see it is part of what makes me a life coach I guess) having crashed out like this has done me a big favour.  It’s taken me off the treadmill, out of the rat run.  It’s giving me a chance to reinvent myself.  Will I ever climb a mountain again? Go camping again? Gosh even play football with my son again? I don’t know.  I’d like to think so.  I’d like to think I will be back to rights quickly, that perhaps this was just a warning shot across the bows to force me to take care of myself.  I do believe I will get better faster once I know that everything I now do is aligned with my long term goals.  We will have to see on this one – I am just going to have to get comfortable and cosy with not knowing.

Why call the series ‘behind the mask’?  Well you know, I’m sick and tired of squashing myself, squashing my feelings, being something that I’m not. Even working to be perfect so that I can be a chirpy and happy life coach inside and out.  I think my life in recent years has made me grittier, more realistic, more honest.  I am still annoyingly happy and optimistic a lot of the time, but sometimes I’m not.  Today is one of those days.  I’m working for more integrity in my own life, and that means having the courage to be real and express what I really feel, what I really think.  Yes with dignity, yes with courage, yes with respect for others – always.  It’s ok to be honest.  You might have grown up with this hardwired into your life, but I didn’t, so it’s not easy for me.  I grew up to suppress everything.  I’m undoing it now – I’m slowly taking off the mask.

I’m still very much a life coach, and I can help you change your life.  I’m just changing my approach.  I’m going to be more real.  I challenge you to do the same.

It’s nice to be back home readers, let’s see how this gig goes.

Rivka

You’re Never Fully Dressed …

You know what I just woke up singing (in my head obviously … and I’m about to betray my age here, not to mention my hitherto taste in movies …)

So Senator, so Janitor so long for a while

Remember you’re never fully dressed without a smile…

http://youtu.be/w4r758-uBbU

Brings back memories?

So as I progressed in a cave womanly fashion down the stairs to write this (having tea, have evolved back to the present!) I was thinking to myself: “Hmm, what’s better, to always put a good face on it and say you’re happy, whether you are or not, or to be honest and say so if you’re not feeling that great?

There are two camps aren’t there? The ‘Cosmetic Smilers’ would say that you smile no matter what, keep a tight hold on your emotions, never tell anyone how you’re actually feeling because it’s not professional, or not socially acceptable and you would bore people …

And then of course there are the ‘honesty bunnies’ that will go on and on telling you about one dreadful situation after another that they are enduring, every single time you see them without fail, so that if you haven’t got 40 minutes to spare you have to make sure not to say ‘hi, how are you’ in greeting, or boy do you get an ear-full!

Decisions, decisions … plasticized chalky smile, or social bore…

Of course there is a 3rd way … BE HAPPY!

Life has its ups and downs, sure, but for most of us, there’s plenty to smile about.  Some times it’s good to remind ourselves of all the things we have to appreciate:

Do you and the people you love have a roof over your head and food to eat?

How many people do you have in your life who love or care about you in some way?

How many people do you love and care about?

Do you get to have fun, relax, see beautiful things and places on occasion?

Do you get to contribute your gift to the world in some way, big or small?

See, there’s plenty to smile about already.  And when you add to that the idea that we all rest in this beautiful soup of energy that is the Universe, that was designed to give us all our needs, and everything we need to succeed, then you begin to understand more and more that we attract challenges to ourselves so that we can grow and master those challenges. That we have on tap everything we need to do well and achieve our desires, we just have to be open to the opportunities and ‘special offers’ that come our way …

The problem is never ‘out there’, always ‘in here’.  It doesn’t matter what comes your way, good or bad, happy or sad, easy or challenging.  It’s what you do with it that counts.  Attitude is everything.  And you know what? That often starts with a smile …

So this week gather your wits, count your blessings and know that if your plans are wholesome and in line with the development of the Universe, you will succeed. It’s as simple as that.  That’s something to smile about!

Feel good 🙂

Rivka

The Next Steve Jobs

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.  As you must know by now the co-founder of Apple died last Wednesday 5th October, age 56. I’ve just sat here and watched him delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005 (you can find it on YouTube – www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA). The speech is very moving, simple and honest – if you haven’t seen it I’d say it’s worth 15 minutes of your time. 

Don’t you ever find yourself wondering “What’s the difference that makes the difference with people like that?”  There he is up on stage, just another human being talking frankly about his life, and sharing some things he’s learnt for the benefit of the graduating students present. Now he’s dead, the sentence already passed on every living being.  Yet he was different, and in that he lives on.  He was different enough to be instrumental in creating the Apple Mac computer, that has revolutionised computing and thereby the world.  He mentions in his speech that he started Pixar (who pioneered feature length computer animated films). And most lately of course his company is responsible for the ipod/phone/mac.  So a true innovator, and a sad loss for the world. 

I think the thing that most struck me about the man, watching that speech, was that he spoke from the heart.  It’s always refreshing to see someone who is in the public eye just be themselves with no airs and graces. And perhaps that is where the difference lies.  I’m beginning to think that perhaps that’s what sets true geniuses, innovators and trendsetters apart.  Perhaps it isn’t the brilliance of their ideas.  After all we all have mind-blowing ideas from time to time – how often have you seen some new invention come up and said “Hey I thought of that last year!”  Perhaps, just perhaps, it has more to do with the fact that they’re not afraid to be themselves, and to stand up for what they believe in.  Everybody has ideas, THEY follow up on their ideas, and have the guts to offer them to the world.  Look at the big people in our history – Einstein, Van Gogh, Picasso, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte , Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi , Princess Diana, Thomas Edison, Mohamed Ali, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon even J.K. Rowling, to name but a disparate few. Every one of them a striking and unique individual.  Every one of them bold enough to offer their personal gift to the world, without apology.

Steve Jobs himself touches on this idea during said speech:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

So if you truly want to make your mark on the world and share your gift with humanity, isn’t it time you started to live in accordance with your truest beliefs?  Isn’t it time to really be yourself?  I say this as much to myself as anyone.  I think it’s something most of us really struggle with, because being authentic is a risky business. We risk being ostracised or ridiculed.  We risk losing friends. We risk feeling stupid or the odd one out and we risk failure.  Scary isn’t it?  In times gone by if you were chucked out of your community that meant exposure to the elements and predators and almost certainly an early death, so it’s probably programmed into each and every human being to conform, purely for the sake of safety.  It’s actually known that the best ideas usually get laughed out of town before they’re accepted as fact.   I guess you have to weigh up the benefit of being safe and boring or living it large, and taking some risks.

Which leads me to one of my favourite quotes:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, shouting GERONIMO!”   Hunter S. Thompson from Hell’s Angels

Wanna be a trend setter?  Wanna be the next Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling?  The truth is, you can never be them.  You can only be the one and only authentic you.  Starting TODAY.

My wish for you (and for myself!) this week is that we take some time out from the tumult around us, and tune in to the quiet yet persistent inner voice within each of us.  That we listen well and act on those flashes of inspiration that come to us.  The voice gets louder, and the ideas get better the more you listen.  Your inspiration deepens, and the power of your creative though becomes more far reaching, the more you invite it into your life and the more you share it.  Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy.  You’re just tapping in to your own truth, and the deepest wisdom sitting there in the Universe waiting for you, just you, to claim it and proclaim it aloud.  Draw down that gift that’s yours to give, and share it with existence – that’s your birthright, and your obligation.

Wishing you a deeply inspired, authentic week –

Rivka