Focus on the positive!
If you’ve had a little browse on my site you’ll know by now that my colourful and free-spirited way of making a living is all about quitting the corporate career game (including spending most of my time in concrete boxes, on over- crowded trains and including chasing job titles and pay rises) on the one hand, and the awakening of the entrepreneur, writer and conscious creator in me on the other side.
Sounds like pure bliss, right?
My answer is an absolute big fat YES! However, this doesn’t mean that life no longer comes with challenges or up and downs.
Dealing with setbacks
To name but a few curveballs life has thrown at me, I’m probably working more hours and managing more priorities as a portfoliopreneur, yet financially we’re worse off at this moment in time. Or, in other devastating news I’ve had final confirmation of my inability to have children. And there was me thinking (more than that, I’ve been feeling and believing) that I’m a note-perfect late bloomer … having arrived at the free-spirited, stress-free, working-from-home and married way of living – and as I was hoping motherhood – in my early to mid fourties.
Though I haven’t quite overcome either of these adversities, they nearly seem trivial when I consider a couple more recent experiences. One, in which my mum had caught an extremely severe and deadly disease of the nervous system and another, in which my husband was hit and run over by a car while he was out riding his bike.
Life-threatening incidents like these obviously put things into perspective very quickly. This time round it also made me reflect on how things have generally changed for me when it comes to dealing with the hard times.
Thinking back the world used to be a pretty dark place when it came to hardship and thoughts such as ‘Life is unfair’, ‘Life is hard’, ‘It’s my own fault, I’m no good’, ‘It’s their fault, they are bad’ did nothing to lift me out of that darkness; a space in which I also used to (many many moons ago!) make equally unhealthy choices such as over-working, over-spending, over-eating, consuming alcohol and cigarettes, or also avoiding relationships and staying single for many (many!) years!
Put bluntly, the big shift basically came once I stopped bitching! That is, bitching about myself, about others and life in general!
The day I started counting my blessings and focusing on the positives – about myself, others and life in general – life took a turn.
I may have slightly less spending money at this moment in time, but I get to do what I love for a living and I’ve never been more fulfilled at work. I’ve also got the freedom to support whichever of our businesses needs the most attention, and to run them on our own terms! If needed, I also have much more flexibility to leave work to look after my parents. What’s more, being only at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I fully trust that this period of financial austerity is just that, a temporary interval of time.
I may not be able to have (my own) children, but I still have a wonderful husband, three amazing cats, a beautiful home and garden, family, friends, yoga and many more blessings. I bet that’s more than many other less fortunate people have got.
Both, my husband’s and mum’s incident have been horrifying, worrying and nerve-racking and especially my mum still has a long recovery ahead of her, but focusing on the positives (both are still with us and considering what happened recovering really well) one can’t help it but be grateful.
There are many other helpful thinking habits I’ve adopted along my path to more positivity – ‘Think big, start small’, ‘Never say never’, ‘Only look back to see how far you’ve come’ – however focusing on what works and on what is rather than the lack of something feels like showering in awe and in gratitude.
As my yoga teacher says: “You cannot be angry when you are grateful. You cannot be worried when you are grateful. And you cannot be unhappy if you are grateful.”
When I (consciously!) focus on the positive my whole being goes from stressful to blessful. And when I’m in that space my resilience is indestructible, my zest for life amplified and my belief that ‘everything is possible’ unshaken. Or, as Oprah Winfrey puts it: “Be grateful for what you have and you will end up having more.”
The soul really does become dyed with the colour of its thoughts!
If I had to name just one other life-changing thinking habit, it is this…
Everything happens for a reason!
Ok, on its own this thought may actually sound like a justification or an excuse for something that hasn’t worked out or is hard to accomplish, so not very impactful at all. Not to speak life-changing.
Once Icombined this thought though with a strong belief that the particular reason for something happening – or not happening – is always for me to learn something and to improve myself – a blessing in disguise so to speak – the thought became most powerful.
Realising that my most testing times were – or still are – always there to raise my level of consciousness to the next level; to make me stronger, wiser and to recognise my own power, has truly transformed my life. And what’s more, it also made it easier to focus on the positive and be grateful! Win win!
I may feel slightly anxious at times about my lower income at this particular moment in time, but my desire to earn a living through something more meaningful (than the nine to five rat race type job) has actually gone along with a decreasing need to spend money on material things. And an awakening to immaterial values such as love, contentment, friendship, health and similar more is definitely a blessing!
I may have lost my job in the recession more than once, but I always bettered my positions and income. What’s more, having had to change jobs more frequently, my experience across different sectors and company cultures is quite substantial. Most of all though, I was (eventually) able to recognise my own self-worth despite of these redundancies. Even more than that, I started to awaken the entrepreneur in me and today wouldn’t go back to the corporate rat race if my income tripled.
With adversities such as relationship break-ups and redundancies the blessing seems to oftentimes reveal itself quite easily. It’s much harder with illnesses, e.g. my mum’s recent disease or my own infertility, however, just knowing and trusting that the universe always has a plan, which supports me and is for my highest good, keeps me going, and strong, resilient and positive.
Discovering the gift of spirituality and letting it guide both, my business and my every-day life, has changed both for the better! Forever!
I’d love to hear from other heart-centred, soul-driven fellow human beings! How have you arrived at your spirituality and how is it shaping both, your life and business? Please share!
Peace, love and light! x
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” –Dalai Lama
B-for-Birgit, that’s me, Birgit Diggins, Founder and Lead Consultant at Power-Words, one of my colourful and free-spirited business ventures, where I help organisational and social changemakers make their words more powerful and work harder.