The best view comes after the hardest climb

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It is the last day of 2014 and today I find myself in a reflective mood. For me the end of a year doesn’t mean that everything automatically changes and that life as it is now magically transforms.winter sunset 3

And the arrival of a new year is about so much more than the “new year new me stuff” that you find in the magazines –10 tips to achieve wealth, how to get the job you want this year, how to get rid of your muffin top after the holidays….

It’s a time of psychological and spiritual introspection – and this year the process is even more important to me than ever before.

It has been one of the most difficult years I’ve ever experienced. Many changes, loss, heartache, uncertainty, regret and difficult stuff to get my head around. But what I’ve realised is that sometimes in the winds of change we find our direction.

And this is exactly what’s happened to me. This is why I also believe that this year has also been the most life-changing and beautiful one, by far. It has been a time of new beginnings, discovery, renewal, reinvention and finding out what makes me happy and become more of who I really am.

So I would like to end 2014 with immense gratitude for my life.

Someone once wrote that the box of darkness you receive at some point in your life is in fact also a gift. A year ago I wouldn’t have believed it, but today I am thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength. And the dysfunction I inherited from my childhood won’t live on.

Earlier this year I wrote a post on happiness – and I think I’m making good progress on my journey to discovering and loving being truly happy. I believe (for me, anyway) that happiness is the most important thing in life. It is about experiencing a settled soul.

This is what I wrote in August:

john lennon

This is really what I’ve always wanted. To be happy. Nothing more than that – just happy. It seems so simple, but I’ve spent years of my life trying to get to this point.

I don’t really think of it as a destination, but more of a process and it has been a desperate search at times. And by happy I don’t mean rainbows and unicorns and that everything in life is always fantastic. It is a deep feeling that no matter what goes wrong, in my soul I am feeling alive, safe and at peace.

For me, being happy is the biggest success I will ever achieve in my life. If I’m happy I can be a better person, love more and feel more deeply. It means I can live a more meaningful life.

In 2015 I will continue to celebrate being alive – it is really a precious gift. And I’ll do even more of what makes my soul happy.

I would like to thank all my readers for visiting my blog this year. My hope for you is that something I’ve said somewhere in these posts helped you in some way, inspired you and given you hope. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2015.

Love, light and peace to all of you.

Going to your quiet place

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I discovered this awesome website completely by chance while searching for something else. It is called The Quiet Place Project – what a beautiful find! Please take a look if you can – it will only take 30 seconds to complete this amazing little relaxation exercise. And tell other people about it too! 🙂

I did the exercise during the day at work and I actually found it very difficult. It was a particularly busy day, but this got me thinking about why it was so difficult. Have you noticed how many things in your daily life require your attention? How often do you stop what you are doing and just take a break and relax?

I think with modern life being so rushed and completely frenetic switching off has become counter-intuitive. I work in an industry where down time is not valued. You have to fight for it. I’ve come to realise that this is a major cause of depression for me – if I don’t stay close to myself, my emotions and listen to my body I become completely overwhelmed. I lose sight of what I value in life.

A constant state of busy is just not healthy. But the quieter you become, the more you can hear. And this is really important. To hear your inner voice. Listen to what your heart is telling you. The more I do this, the better I get at it. I’m happier for it. It feels really good to protect what I value.

 

The best gift to yourself – live authentically

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Another beautiful post I picked up on the lessonslearnedinlife blog. I’m learning that I should never apologise for who I am – no one should. It is such a disservice to myself. Don’t compromise on your values. The world and many people in it would love for you to do this and dance to their tune. Don’t. Live authentically. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Girl sitting on a rock by the sea and watching the beautiful sunset

 

Let yourself blossom

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There’s nothing more beautiful than an Agapanthus flower. They are indigenous to South Africa and completely spectacular when in bloom. I’ve watched this one in our garden unfold over a few weeks.

I think stepping out in life and following your heart is just like a flower opening. There is a lot of risk involved in making a decision to do what makes you happy – often this requires major life changes – but the rewards are wonderful. If you don’t, you run the risk of missing out on the most beautiful times of your life and you’ll never give yourself an opportunity to share your gifts with the world.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom.”

You deserve love, compassion and kindness

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“The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make you unlovable or undesirable or undeserving of care.

It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human. Everyone struggles.

Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart. During these times, we aren’t always easy to be around — and that’s okay. No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time. Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult. And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad.

But those things aren’t all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.”

— Daniell Koepke

I think it is important to remember this on those difficult days. No matter what, you still have value as a human being and your contribution to the world is important. Don’t let anyone devalue you.

You bring something to the world that no one else can. ❤