Steps to Success: Let Go Of The Luggage
A decade ago, I lived a year in this ‘city of lights’, but then I got kicked out of Clown School and haven’t been back. Yes, you read that right. Why I was in clown school is another whole story with it’s own life lessons – mainly ‘read the fine print before signing up for anything’. But whether I’d intended to be there or not, getting the boot (or if you like, the Ronald MacDonald-esque, oversized shoe) was devastating at the time.
It was my first time ever failing anything. I took the rejection to mean the end of my potential acting career, crushing a dream I’d held onto since childhood. My confidence and courage were undermined and I carried the weight of that disappointment with me for a long time.
Now it’s easy to look back with perspective and see the comedy value, and appreciate how not becoming the next Marcel Marceau led me to where I am now – a position I wouldn’t trade for all the glass boxes on the street corner.
If only we had the ability, in those dark moments, to see the future, to grasp where new paths might take us, be reassured that with the right attitude we can make the best of any situation.
Sadly, we can let negative events define us. At times, we all face various degrees of pain, (hurt, disappointment, loneliness, fear). Things happen, beyond our control, and life alters – sometimes immeasurably. And we can drag those stories around with us like heavy suitcases. Get stuck, torturing ourselves with ‘if only…’ Become victims of our circumstances.
Or we can make the conscious effort to focus on what we have got, what we can do and who we can be in light of (or despite) what befalls us. See the likes of Stephen Hawking, Oprah Winfrey, any Para-Olympian… for inspiration.
It’s easier said than done. I found myself throwing a pity-party or two over the holidays, lamenting something ending, a change of plans, familiar stories recurring. ‘Woe is me’ crept into my handbag and began to weigh heavy. But the truth is:
Events only have the meaning we give them.
Change the meaning and our perspective shifts.
Instead of focusing on what’s missing, we can ask: what is something that’s awesome about this?
What old meanings/stories are blocking our joy? Stopping us living, loving, giving or reaching our true potential (albeit perhaps differently than we originally imagined, but successfully all the same)?
What weights do you carry?
Can we put that baggage down (let security destroy it!) and skip into 2015 with free hands and heart to embrace all it brings?
Lighten the load. Happy New Year!
P.S. There are still spaces for the ‘Renew Retreat 2015’, to help get your year set for happiness, health and success!
**This article was also published in the The Royal Gazette