How is life for you right now? Are you living your best life? Do you wake every morning excited for the day ahead and go to sleep each night with a happy heart? These are the questions I was asked and I couldn’t answer positively to all of them. I had two choice – carry on and be unhappy or take control and do something about it. Fancy hazarding a guess at which I chose?
It’s all about me
Now there’s a sentence you never hear me say. Yet, this past weekend, that’s exactly what I was unconsciously saying. I spent two days with a group of amazing women, each of us having placed our trust in another, to help us claim back this life of ours. This sounds very ‘woo-woo’, granted, but stick with me. There is magic in this blog and I want to share it with you.
Let’s go back to the start
Our past is our past. This is something I am great at saying, and I often ask you about yours, yet I never really talk about my own. That ended this weekend with my having to confront it head on. Yet this wasn’t as scary as it sounds. One of the early tasks we did in this weekend was to create our personal timeline. Now, the introvert in me cringed inwardly and outward when this was announced, yet the stationary lover saw the opportunity for paper, pens and fun – I chose stationary lover. First point – the start obviously.
Now, I am not going to talk about my life here, but I am going to share why I will in blogs to come and why I believe we all should. When you sit and think about what has happened to reach today, you’ll have a personal film-reel kick into action. Now really think. Does that marvellous mind of yours suddenly double or treble the length of that film? Mine certainly did.
Although I quickly realised my ability to draw was still lacking, the words I used quickly started to create my story so far. I still consider myself relatively young, so I was surprised at the number of ups and downs that appeared. Think of the lifeline you see on TV when a character ends up in hospital connected to a heart rate machine. That was my lifeline so far.
Time to take the wheel
This lifeline to date shocked me in some ways and hugely inspired me in others. For every down, and there have been a few, there were some amazing highs. Normally coming right after a rock-bottom down. The thing that struck me most? These ‘highs’ nearly always came when I took the wheel of my own journey – both when forced to and through choice. Hmmmmm.
Helpfully, at this stage, we had to place a symbol on our timelines as to when we took control or wanted to. Whilst there were two distinct periods in my life to date that I had taken control, I stuck my symbol smack bang on ‘now’. In that second, I made the conscious choice that I was taking back this life and making it mine.
Now, don’t panic, that’s not as drastic as it sounds. In that moment though, clarity began to seep through a wall I had very carefully constructed over the last (coughs) number of years. Next up, we had to share our timeline (now lovingly referred to by me as my lifeline) with one other person. Oh crap. That was my introvert receding as far back and into the wall as possible. Then I remembered the other person was equally as vulnerable as I was here, we’d only met a few hours ago and only just finished our first coffee!
You’re not alone
The sharing began. I was shocked to see similarities in some of the events in our timeline. Inspired by what could be in the future. And moved in ways I hadn’t expected in my partners response to my line (all in a good way in case you’re wondering).
Next up? We had to add onto our lifeline the things we would like to be, do and have, including where we had or would like to achieve them. Eek, another moment of panic from me as my list was VERY personal. Again though, there was nothing to worry about. This was MY lifeline and this part was for my eyes only.
Fear parked up I got my pen and starting writing. Suddenly, there in front of me, was a life I wanted. I life I would be proud of. The life I could create. This was powerful stuff and yet the big leap didn’t come until the next day.
My manifesto and goals
This sounds really odd right? Why would anyone need their own, private manifesto? Goals are one thing, but a manifesto! Oh friend, get yourself one now. Right now. You deserve it. Manifesto in place it was time to write the goals that were going to help me achieve this. Ah. smart me had chosen ‘I Am’ as my manifesto (I blame Ali for too many viewings of Guardians of the Galaxy).
As it happens, this was the perfect manifesto for me and my three goals started flowing. These were private during the weekend although more so we could each focus on our own life.
The power of writing it down
Whether you believe in manifestation or not, there is something to be said for writing down your wants, needs, dreams and goals. Much else happened during the course of this last weekend, but I was amazed by how powerful it felt to write things out that I had buried so deep inside of me. I quite literally felt bolts of energy running through me and that I could make these things a reality.
The finish line
Every lifeline has an end, and we were asked to write where we think ours would be. I can’t decide if I am going to live to be 90 or 190 so I wrote both. The point wasn’t to see if we can guess the future, but to help us gauge what we want to achieve in the time we perceive that we have left. This was a sobering but powerful task and I planned my goals out with enough time to achieve and ENJOY them. More so if I get to 190!
You’re probably wondering what the point of this blog is? I haven’t once mentioned Photography (although it features in my lifeline a lot). The point is this: Your life, your moments, your goals matter to me. Whether you are a business owner or parent or if you want to be either or both, I care about you. Your life and your hopes and dreams matter. In a world where so much of what we perceive we can have is based on a feed of nine little squares of view or validation through likes and number of ‘friends’, I want you to now that this is not what is important.
Living your best life
YOU are the most important thing in your life. YOUR happiness should be the primary deciding factor in every choice you make. Unless you are a parent to a child under the age of which they can look after themselves, lets say 18 for arguments sake, nothing comes before you. Not your job, your spouse or the environment, its all about YOU. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
This post has talked about me but actually its all about you. Yes I want to help you capture your family moments. And yes I want to help you showcase the amazing business you have or are working hard to create. But above all of this, I want to help you help yourself to live the best life you possibly can. The life you deserve. The life that you are so ready for even if you don’t realise it yet. I am opening up in the hope that you will too.
It’s my life and I’m ready to live it
So there you have it. Two days in the company of some amazing women and the goddess that is Susie Maguire, and I am ready to start changing this world for the better. Whether your journey to control starts with my capturing your photographs or you sending me a message or commenting below, it’s my life and starting now I am taking back control.
Here is to being the best version of me, reaching or everyone of my goals, and being the photographer and friend that you know will always be there for you.
Enjoy the journey, this life is an amazing adventure. If you still need a little inspiration, attend Susie’s workshop yourself, or at the very least listen to the wise words of C.S. Lewis:
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”