“By changing our thinking, we change our lives”. This is the sentence I found this morning peeking at me from behind a refrigerator magnet, I remember finding it last year on a tea bag, and thinking: “hmm this sounds interesting, let me put it on the fridge as a reminder that change can happen” and yes, indeed, it can. I can. You can.
Ever since last Summer or more like Fall, I started feeling antsy in my skin and all the sentences written pretty much everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, books and so on exhorting me to wake up and realize that it was time for me to expect more from myself started to make sense, and the letters of these sentences started crawling inside my ears and from there inside my head and at some point they were so many, jam crammed in there, that I could not fall asleep at night.
I kept thinking about when fourteen years ago, sitting on that bus in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, going from campus to my house, I made the decision to quit my studies, and quit graduate school. By then my daughter Sophia was already one year old and my burning desire to be spending most of my days next to her, watching how her next little tooth was going to push its way out of her pretty rose gums, to watch from behind where her endless wonderings in the park would lead her, pouring over baby cook books to find the best, most delicious and nutritious recipes to go in her tummy was all I cared about. The idea of having to spend days, weeks, months away from her while she was unfolding to this beautiful life under the eyes of someone else that it wasn’t her Mama in some day care, while I was building my brilliant career else where, just did not feel right, the thought did not fill my heart with joy, nor it sounded like fun.
On the other hand, what did sound like joyful fun was to hold her little hand through the awakening to her new life, and learn so much from her. To simplify my life to strive to what it is really essential, and the first thing that came to my mind back then was love. Love for my young family, my beautiful daughter, my friends, and starting from that day on I decided to put all my love and passion into building a delicious life. I wanted to be there for who needed me, I wished for a slow life in which there was always time for a cup of tea with a friend, time for a hand written letter for someone far in distance but close to my heart, time for knitting a soft blanket for my new baby on the way or for my best friend, time for baking cakes, making bread at home, wandering through farmer’s market, gardening together while singing, this was what back then was making my heart joyful. So I did it.
“I want to be there for others”, I thought, and since what we think we become, so it happened. I must say that it was great fun, I had wonderful long talks with extraordinary friends I had the luck to meet along my path, I learned so much and shared so much. Life kept on going, years went by, major things changed and “being there” turned into something more than I could chew. But nothing is by chance, things got to be “too much” simply because it was time for change, to flip the page, and start a new chapter. Everything has a beginning and an ending. Life comes in cycles. This thought reminds me of Edison’s words: “Discontent is the first necessity of progress”. When we are discontent, unhappy, dissatisfied with an area of your life, that means that progress and evolution are about to happen within you. You are about to learn and to grow, therefore to make a change. You just need to let it happen. Let the new you be born. Push the new you out, no matter how challening this might feel.
If we look at life through this lens, it all makes sense, do not blame discontent or even depression or frustration, all of them exist to help us understand life. They work as guard rails, when we go off our road too much we touch the guard rails and it hurts, right? In the same way works our brain: if you stay on the track that is right for you, in which you give and receive in equal parts, your needs are fulfilled, and you feel appeased, you will not bump into the guard rail and you will most likely not experience things like frustration, and depression. When we get into these vortices we tend to blame ourselves: we are not good enough, we cannot understand situations, etc. In fact, the contrary is true: we are too good, and we understand things more that others, we simply do not fit in a mold given to us by someone else any more. We must trust our gut and move on towards where it feels comfortable to us, without paying attention to what others say to us, because most likely people will try to advice you based on their personal experience, which might be totally wrong in your life setting. Do not listen to fear, pick up all your courage and go toward your destiny boldly. We must be the guardians of our well-being, and keep safe our own inner balance.
There is an amazing level of potential within all of us, unrealized, undiscovered, hidden. Deep down , in the depths of our soul we all know this, we all could use more love, more creativity, and more joy in our lives to reach up high and find the us we are meant to be, our highest self. The good news is he/she is very patient and never stops hoping and waiting for us to become one.