I am Abundantly Grateful, Purposefully Focused and Grounded-ly Ambitious; but this has been no simple journey.
I have been on a journey — as I have been sharing here of late — but I don’t want to make it sound easy.
This particular destination on my life map is the end of a journey years in the making.
Here is how this particular journey went for me…
I had felt ‘sort-of-lost’ for a long time. I couldn’t really identify the internal yearning, the tug, the searching – I just let it flow through me, I let it move me, guide me, and at times I even fought and ignored it in my constant uncertainty and inability to put my finger on the feeling or give it a name.
I slowly identified the desire to feel the meaning in the everyday, rather than to allow the ‘rat-race glaze-over of life’ to impact me any longer, in any shape or form.
At first I identified the physical dimension. I minimized my possessions. I wanted all that I retained to have a purpose, a use or a key value.
I found this exercise soon overflowed from physical items to the mental impacts on my life. I went through this minimizing process several times.
There was a time when I wondered whether that feeling of uncertainty was just about my not knowing where home was? As I mentally unpacked into my new hometown, I began to wonder where I should call home, and whether that question was all that my feelings were about. I pondered: was home back across those three thousand kilometres to where I grew up, or was it here, now, where I sleep at night? What was it that defined the term ‘home’ for me, was it a period of time, a year, the change of state on my driver’s license, or was it where my immediate family lived?
But none of those thoughts made sense of those feelings I was having, and all I could do was put that particular piece of the puzzle aside.
As I drew near to the completion of my first novel, I became aware of the emotional journey it had taken me on. And then there were the occasional conversations I had with people who spoke to me about my blog, and how they had related to a certain article; I felt that there was an overlap in these two experiences that I was to use. I was beginning to sense that sharing my stories and how people related to them was the start of my answer, or at least a direction.
As I continued to minimalize during this time, and particularly in the social media space, I began to notice that as space was created in my life, there were themes to those things that came in to fill the space. I became aware of artists who were putting their passion into practice, weaving their creativity into their day-to-day lives as I do with my writing. I was being shown how to stretch this part of my life still further through these guiding examples.
I learnt: when a space is created, life will fill it – the trick is to remove the meaningless, the unnecessary, that for which the time is past, and anything that doesn’t make your heart sing. Life will then flow in to fill you more and more with that which does – purposefully clear the spaces in your life and the rest will take care of itself.
Over the years, the more this soul-feeding material appeared in my life, the bigger the traction I got. Fuelled with inspiration, I took that inspiration and sprinted with it. I was on a downhill sprint, but rather than feeling I was tumbling over with the pull of it, I began to soar.
As I see it, the biggest investment of time in a personal journey is at the beginning, before you even know where you are going to end up.
As I reached the stage in my journey where the individual brush strokes began to resemble a whole picture, I began to feel light, guided and purposeful.
I wrote prompts in my notebook that captured my developing ideas. I was determined to fill and use this as the map to find my specific destination; this would become the final leg of my journey. I made my notes, took my book, and stepped away from the everyday. A timely journey gave me the opportunity to pull it all together into a clear direction for my life.
What notes did I make (for my particular journey)?
I began with big lists. I decided to brainstorm all those feelings, all that I am, all that I desired to be and do; then I would find the themes, the opportunities. I would constantly boil them down: reduce and review, all the time asking my pointed questions. Once I had my themes, the rest took care of itself.
I began listing all that I am: writer, optimist, listener, wild, caring, leader, traveller, etc.
Then, my missions in life: to live fully, to be the best me, to help others be their best, etc.
I brainstormed my experiences so I could use them to share with others, what would help me to help others? I put down what I could teach: creating a blog, meditation, soul searching, etc.
I listed whatever creditability I had to turn this into something tangible. I listed life experience, diplomas, meditation courses, and my experience of the corporate world.
I kept looking for the themes, the key words, and slowly began to stitch together my path.
Then I analysed it for the gaps: if I want to do X then I will need skill Y. What did I already have that I could begin with? Where could I start focusing my time to address these gaps? What were the priorities among the gaps that I needed to address first if I was to take the most effective step forward in every movement and situation?
For example, in arriving at my mantra, some key themes arose:
- I will work at having the mindset of living with abundance – I believe this, so it shall be (I do have enough time, I do have the ability to acquire the skills, I can succeed at this).
- I am extremely grateful for all I have and all I am able to achieve.
- I am grounded in my ambitions – time and effort is required, I need to learn the skills to succeed and understand what that skill and knowledge base looks like.
- I am ambitious – I am inspired and I will work the long hard hours required to get there.
- I am focused – I will plan and prioritise for success; I will maximize my time and my resources into self-funding.
- I have purpose – I know what my callings are, I will constantly do what I need to fully understand who I am, to be the best version of me.
I boiled all this down to: Abundance, Gratefulness, Purpose, Focus, Grounding and Ambition.
I wanted to create connection and sat with these until they formed my mantra:
“I am Abundantly Grateful, Purposefully Focused and Grounded-ly Ambitious.”
I began learning how to form all this life purpose into a living: how to get my message out, what my format was, my marketing strategy, my funding plan, etc.
And so, I began to reach my destination of knowing what and why, leading directly into the next journey of making it a reality: the learning required, the setting up, the format for sharing – to bring the what and why to fruition.
I believe that life is full of many journeys, many cycles of life will occur in this one, we are born and die many times. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is not to allow ourselves to go through the natural cycles and to be ok with each part of a cycle.
Be born into a new journey, let yourself grieve the death of an old one, allow yourself what you need as you work through each stage of your many cycles.
Understand and apply the time required for growing, learning, grieving. Understand your inspirations and allow them to drive you forward. Feel the wind as it rushes by, put your hand on the earth and the other on your heart and let the energy pulse through your fingers. Feel all that you need to feel at this point in your life.
So, in summary, I feel it is important to recognise what this journey of mine involved:
- periods of uncertainty, time when I just was, when I cried, I stared, I wandered. I let myself just be … uncertain.
- times of refocus, when I would remove things that no longer served me, physically and mentally.
- times of space and adjustment, when I allowed what was going to leave, and what was coming to come into focus, both in their own time. Often this was slowly, and then with a clarity and rush of inspiration.
- times when these cycles of uncertainty, focus, space and just being, moved in and out and came back around again, as needed for what I was working through.
- learning – as new paths came into focus. I read, I researched, I began learning the skills I needed to set myself up for success (never let the learning stop in your life: I firmly believe in a personal life-learning research and development fund, which mostly involves an investment of your time).
- time – this all happened over a period of time, and I want to stress that often the pressure we put on ourselves to grow and change is unrealistic. We need to just make small brush strokes as we can; yes challenge ourselves, but allow the natural cycle to create the bigger picture.
- a day-to-day life – often in my admiration of other artists, toiling away at their passion, I didn’t see the ‘day job’, how the bills were paid or the fact that they too had days when they stared at the ceiling, felt lost and uncertain. I have learnt that it is all part of the process and that there is benefit in all of these: the routine of the day job, the ability it provides by bringing in an income while you chase your dreams; that in some periods you will make only one small step in the direction of your calling, and that is ok too. We need to work, help others, and live our day-to-day lives within the same life as we create our dreams.
And so I found home; not in a place or a person, but in me, in honouring my calling, and working towards it step by step. I found home in knowing who I am.
And so I would say, I lost home when I lost myself, not truly lost but not able to define that which I can now affirm: that I, TaLisa, am abundantly grateful, purposefully focused, and grounded-ly ambitious in working towards becoming a Life Disruptor, one who shares to inspire and coaches to weave dreams into daily life.