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Day 1: An old path rediscovered

  • Direction
  • Empathy
  • Entry
  • Life Changing Event
  • Self Discovery
  • Support

I had an interesting rediscovery yesterday. I had lost my path. Right royally. Someone gave me a sharp kick up the backside and today I'm more on track than I felt for a while. A year ago I decided my life wasn't going where I wanted it to go, and I had to make some radical changes in order to discover who I was again. Where I wanted my life to go. I had lost myself and my identity. I have been described as being a ghost of my former self. Some people who have known me for years don't recognise the person I am today or was 6 months ago. Some people don't see any difference at all. I, for all intents and purposes, had two lives. I had to kill one of my selves. This is much easier said than done.

Now, a year on, I've learned so much about myself, but the main thing I've learned is that I am still no where near where I want to be. The good news is that I'm facing in the right direction, have a rough idea of the terrain ahead, my compass is mostly accurate and my support crew, most especially Jo, fucking rocks.

So what did I learn from the past few days? I've learned that I fall too easily back in to old habits, preprogrammed responses gush from me with gay abandon. Sometimes I'm all too aware of these lapses, and I pull myself back in. Sometimes though, and yesterday was one of these, I get pulled in so far I don't realise I've turned around and walked a mile in the wrong direction. You see, I'm an empath and have some deep need to satisfy people before myself. I'm still working on why that is.

So, what makes me think the path I think is the right one, is, in fact, the right one? Am I not just empathising with someone else when I follow the path I believe is mine? To be totally honest with you, right now, I have no idea. It's quite possible, and I can't argue otherwise. What I do know, though, is that putting myself in my shoes and putting aside all relationships with friends, family and lover, if I were to walk the two paths I have walked in the last day, I would feel a lot more satisfied walking the one I walk today. What I'm trying to say is, right now I find it hard to differentiate between what I want, and what my mind thinks others want me to want. My heart knows that those that truly care for me want me to do what is right for me, and my heart believes, emphatically, that my rediscovered path is that way.

This has all given me a very timely reminder that I can tend towards procrastination and my mind will happily find a distraction to get me back to my old ways. I have worked on a solution today that will help me battle this.

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information. If we apply that more generally to that which we work on in our lives, then I would argue that we can only have 7 ± 2 projects on the go at any time. Regardless of the validity of this argument, I have decided to take on no more than 5 things at any time. I don't wish to spend time discovering if I can cope with 6, 7, 8, or even 9 projects. In fact, going for the lowest value will give me breathing space if another urgent project comes up without me dropping balls.

So, my revelation and action from today to my life is to have no more than 5 planned projects. Any other projects get in line and wait for a slot to become available. So until one is completed, I will now focus my effort, time and energy on:

  • Property investing,
  • Censored (OK, there are some parts of my life I will be keeping to myself for now)
  • New business
  • Learning to use my camera
  • Sorting out the garden

I think it's important to make this a diverse list in order to keep life interesting. I'll also endeavour to ensure a hobby is included, so I don't have to find time between the tasks I find important to have fun. In this case, I'll be ripping down an aviary in the garden and planting fruit trees, perhaps even building a Balinese Hut in its place. I'd love to hear from you how you manage your time, efforts, energy and direction. What coping mechanisms and strategies to you employ to avoid distraction?


The magical 7+ or - 2. Oh my! When you have truly worked out how to limit your projects to 5 please let me in on the secret. During my employed years, I had to put many projects on the back burner - and this was, in hindsight, a mistake. But I still don't know really know what else I could have done, given time constraints. What has become apparent is that I didn't give enough priority to creative pursuits, with the result that I became ill. So for the final 5 years of employment I put this right, and got myself back again. Now that I am in the midst of a (so far) year-long 'taking stock' period, I have immersed myself in creative projects and feel all the better for it. I refer you to Jenny Mosley's 5 Wells which should be visited and dipped into daily/regularly in order to reach a balance in life and keep you on your chosen path: the spiritual well, the creative, the emotional, the physical and the cognitive. Leave any one of these wells out and you're in trouble! This is the basis of Circle Time which I taught in schools and to staff for years - without properly following it myself. Check it out! And make sure the children in your life benefit from them too. x

Do you have a list of things you want to do? Pick 5. Make sure they represent a diverse range of activities. Done. Don't over think the process, else you'll get into a state of paralysis.

What type of pursuits did you concentrate on and which projects did you put on the back burner? Do you see an imbalance there? If not, was there any sign while you were prioritising that you weren't enjoying the projects you'd chosen.

What would have happened if you'd ignored the projects that didn't interest you?

I find it interesting that Jenny came up with 5 wells. I'd say mine cover 3 of them, lacking in the emotional and spiritual wells. I think this new blog will address both of those, as do frequent deep and meaningful conversations with Jo, walks on the beach. Should I specify these? I'll certainly monitor how my life touches on each well and if I'm ignoring one area more than another.

So what's your next step now? Are you finding balance in your life since leaving full time work? Do you fill each of your wells?

I learned my lesson a few years ago! I was filling myself from 3 wells - spiritual, emotional and cognitive, but sadly lacking in creative and physical. So I made a point of including them (glass work, watercolours, joined a gym) and quite quickly saw the improvement in my life. Then I had achilles and knee problems/surgery and the physical went by the board. But they are all being addressed now, better even than when I was working. Life is good,I have a list of things I want to do, and I try to prioritise. The problem is, I find everything so interesting so tend to spread myself thin. I do not have projects which do not interest me. I have balance!

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