As regular readers of my blog would be aware, I have a passion for mind-body medicine and self-development – having taken myself from being a pretty messed up and traumatised teenager, to the happy, well-balanced (mostly!), person that I am today.
A lot of what I have achieved in my life is due to the work that I have been willing to do on myself over the years, the willingness to delve into all the fears and insecurities; the limiting beliefs and destructive thought patterns; the shadow side of myself and the wounds I held. The courage it took to go within to this depth, and the honesty with which I took on this self-exploration, is something that I am very proud of, as this work not only changed my life but has also touched many people around me. I get very saddened when I witness someone suffering over and over because they are too scared to look within and heal what needs to be healed and let go of – it’s not easy, but the results are so worth it.
Which is why nowadays I am very good at tuning into my feelings – my inner guidance system – and dealing with negatives before they take a hold. The way I work with this is to ask myself a lot of questions, so that I can get to the bottom of what I’m feeling and then understand what it is stemming from. Sometimes I’ll use the Byron Katie work to do that, other times I’ll just tune in and very gently go within and see what I can find out.
Our feelings are our radar, and any feeling of discomfort, fear, pain, anger or any other negative emotion can guide us to where our thinking is not serving us, and we may be looking at something from a perspective that could be worked on to give us a different thought or outcome. Of course we don’t negate the feeling and ignore it so that we feel better – this is about genuine self-enquiry so that we may be able to learn something.
At times, just when I think I’ve really got my act together and am coming from this great place of love, peace and gratitude, a situation will turn up in my life showing me that I don’t actually have it all together after all And this is what I call an AFOG moment – I apologise for the language – but that is exactly what goes through my head… “Here we go again! Another f***ing opportunity for growth!” Yes, I am making light of what can often be a serious situation, however being able to laugh at our own limitations is a great way to start the journey of self-exploration.
And just recently I had my very own AFOG moment. Over the past few months I have been getting involved with the most incredible man, and we’ve now entered into a relationship that is amazing, life-changing and transformative. However my AFOG moment came when I realised that because he has two beautiful children, he also has two ex-wives in his life – make that our lives now – and this is a situation that I’ve not had to deal with before. All sorts of fears, insecurities and jealousies started to rise and I was feeling distinctly uncomfortable with the unfamiliar territory. Pathetic, I know, however I used this as an AFOG, and got to work.
I took the time to look underneath those surface fears to find out what was driving the discomfort, and once I’d gone within to find out what was really going on, it wasn’t that hard to see the situation from a new and more positive perspective. That inner enquiry gave me the answers I needed to understand where my insecurities were stemming from and understand what I needed to do to let go of them, as they were not serving me, my love relationship, or the relationships I am building with my partners’ children and family.
It is this work that makes the difference to the quality of the life we live. If we allow those negatives to take hold, they can overpower us and lead us down a destructive path. As the “Two Wolves” saying goes:
“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grand son thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Which wolf do you feed?