‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the road less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road not Taken by Robert Frost
In my last blog post Waking up to the Perfect Snowfall I wrote about how beautiful it would be if the world could work together to live in perfect harmony. Over the past few months I have been reminded that in order to work together to create the perfect snowfall, we must first accept ourselves and strive to be the best snowflake that we can conceivably be. Although always wanting to be a better version of myself, sometimes it can be far too easy to lose sight of who I am right now, accept my shortfalls, acknowledge my weaknesses and forgive my mistakes as I learn from them…knowing who I am right now is the only way to progress and learn but in forgetting these things it can become far too easy to start doubting myself, doubting the strengths that I DO possess, doubting my ability to achieve and a result I begin losing the battle to the daemons in my head. Every day I am faced with a choice, for months the choices have lead me down a path of exhaustion, misery, anxiety and ill temper but that can only go on as long as we are willing to forget that we can always change the path we are on, no matter how far down it we are.
Easter has just happened…whether you are ‘religious’ or not, Easter is a national holiday here in Ireland. Everyone comes home and it is, in many ways, a less expensive version of Christmas. If you work in the food industry expect to be working Easter Sunday because everyone who is not working that day will be out with the family for Easter Sunday lunch!
Although I do not consider myself a religious person, something about this Easter got me to sit down and write a blog post…something that I haven’t done in a while. When writing a blog post, I attempt to insert some sense of meaning, something possibly helpful or thoughtful that has been playing through my thoughts. They may not always make a whole pile of sense but, I suppose, there is some hope that the words will strike home with someone somewhere and that that person might find solace, knowledge, hope…something…in it. The past few months I haven’t written because honestly, it felt like I would be lying to any readers that I may have if I attempted to shed some hope or inspiration on the world because I have not been feeling inspired or hopeful about much recently. This is not meant to sound depressing, if anything it is the opposite! After all…I am now writing again!
This year I started with such hope and passion in things that I had hoped to create, to become, to achieve. I wanted to grow and develop, become a stronger, more resilient professional, while becoming stronger and more resilient in every other part of my being on a pathway to success. At every turn I have faced obstacles, the stress and upset in my professional life has leaked into my personal life, I’ve been distressed and agitated more often than not and my energy levels have all but been drained. So much of this year has been spent defending my professional value while simultaneously trying to figure out how to develop as a professional. When one wishes to improve but spends most of their time defending what they already are it begins to drain the will to develop and excel while leading to questions of doubt around who you even are.
This Easter we were asked to create an interactive Mad Hatters Tea Party for a local venue, I spent two days working on costumes before packing up the car and driving down to collect two of our cast members. Despite the challenges I have battled with myself (and with others) this year so far, I realised something while driving to our Mad Hatters Tea Party…it’s Easter Sunday, considered by many as the day of Resurrection. I realised that I have battled the demons in my head for years BUT, one way or another, I have always won the fight, why should now be any different? I realised that I do what I do because I love it and that is something I am not required to prove to anyone. I realised that if I want to become the best at what I do I will have to make sacrifices of comfort and start pushing myself harder than I have ever pushed before. I realised that the only person holding me back was myself, I had let my demons win for months, they were slowly eating away at my brain AND I HAD LET THEM! In that moment I made a decision, this Easter I would rise again, resurrect my love, my passion, my joy. This Easter I would be reborn and I would continue to fight for what I want, for a platform to serve others, for the love and kindness that the world deserves and for the life that allows me to do what I love.
When friends have come to me for advice over the years I have always told them that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to. I have always believed that through hard work, discipline, dedication, passion, faith and a belief in magic, we can achieve whatever we want, we can be a part of making the world a better place. Always, when a friend is beating themselves up I always tell them to talk to themselves as though they are a friend talking to a friend, because we are often kinder to the people we love than we are to ourselves. I realised that I was not following my own advice. This Easter I stopped and I thought ‘Sonia, what would you say to a friend?’. I would probably say ‘Fuck the haters, you are worth more, cut the crap, get out of bed and believe in yourself because you can ultimately achieve anything you set your mind to. Look at what you have achieved so far! Pick yourself up and keep going!’ And so I did, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and faced the week ahead with as much of the passion, kindness and determination as I could muster. It was going to be a tough week, I knew that, it was yet another battle of project planning and playing the hand that we had been dealt but I had a choice; I could face it pissed off, beaten and defeated or I could strap Duracell batteries to my back and bring the joy (thank you Brendon Burchard, I say ‘bring the joy’ a million times a day now!).
Was the week tough? Yes, absolutely. Did it exhaust me? One hundred percent, I missed the table quiz fundraiser on Friday night because I was asleep! Was I frustrated? Absolutely, but I got up early every morning, made breakfast and coffee, played my favourite songs, thanked the beautiful universe for the blessings of life, food, COFFEE and the stunning sunshine every morning and soaked up every bit of life that I could. This week, and the weeks ahead, will bring a tonne of new challenges, I know they will, I’m not tempting fate by saying that, I’m just very consciously aware of the ongoing professional battles that I am fighting but I HAVE to treat them all as training, preparation for something bigger that is coming, I have to bring the joy to every situation that I can and learn to control my frustration when I want to slap someone but take a deep breath instead.
My point is that no matter how much you might feel like you are drowning in the life that is surrounding you right now, no matter how lost you might find yourself, or how defeated you may feel, there is always a choice. Stop for a moment, take a deep breath and talk to yourself as though you are talking to a friend, if you wouldn’t know what to say to a friend then go talk to an actual friend! Sometimes all we need is some gentle words of encouragement and the decision to get up, dress up and show up NO MATTER WHAT. Show up for yourself every day. That is largely where I had got lost, I was trying to show up for everyone else, be the person everyone else needed me to be, put on all the hats that I thought I needed to wear and in the process I lost my way, lost my focus, started losing my battles with the demons in my head and forgot to bring the joy and gratitude to every day. I forgot to show up for me, for my values and my dreams.
This might just sound like another ‘self-help talk’ and maybe it is but if you have been waiting for an external sign that you need to get off your ass and stop making excuses for yourself, start showing up for yourself and start taking steps to become the best version of yourself…then this is it. Win the battle in your head, start following some inspirational figures on Instagram (Mel Robbins is one of my favourites!), make the decision to invest in yourself, set some achievable goals, start that night course, read that book, go for that walk, say yes to that social activity, get out of your bubble and start pushing your comfort zones. No one else will do it for you. It isn’t easy, some days will be tougher than others, some days you will feel on top of the world and others you will want to Netflix binge but challenge yourself and you will be shocked at how accomplished you feel when you start to break those niggly habits that hold you back.
How to get up:
1 – Alarm! I leave my alarm in the hallway so I have to walk the length of the house to turn it off! (Always set it early enough to have time for breakfast)
2 – Ritual! As soon as I turn off my alarm I go straight into the kitchen and boil the kettle for coffee
3 – EAT! So many people have said over the years that they ‘can’t eat breakfast’…it is the MOST IMPORTANT MEAL! Sometimes I have overnight oats prepped the night before, sometimes I have avocado on toast, sometimes it’s mashed bananas with coconut but I make it my business to have a good breakfast, sometimes it’s all I get in before dinner time.
4 – GET DRESSED!!! I spend a lot of time working from home so it can get super tempting to stay in pj’s all day! Even if it’s just sweatpants and a hoody, change out of your dressing gown and brush your hair…I feel like my life is together if I brush my hair! It’s all psychological but in pj’s we want to watch TV but in clothes we are more likely to be productive.
There are so many things that I try to bring into my days to keep me motivated, keep goals in focus and keep me moving forward but of all the daily rituals that get me started, no matter how insane my day is going to be, whether I am out all day with children’s camp, climbing scaffolding, sifting through a week’s worth of emails or just want to catch up on all the ironing and housework neglected as a result of a hectic work week, these 4 steps get me off to a good start.
Hopefully, if you have been in a battle with yourself recently these might help. Try things out, find what works for you and create your own rituals that help you get started each day. Your path is out there waiting for you, you owe it to yourself to show up and find it.
The power of your resurrection lies in you and you alone, strap on your Duracell and bring the joy!
Happy Easter ❤
(Also, go read High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, it is a game changer!)