The next steps – Part 6
The last couple of weeks I have been spending my time considering a very important question…
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”Mary Oliver
This remind me that, first and foremost, my life is entirely mine to choose what I do with it. I am the only person responsible for my time and what I do with it.what I make of it. No matter how much I’d like to, I can’t control the attitude, beliefs or actions of anyone else. Even if I worked all the hours given to me in a single day I could not do all that I see that needs to be done.
People that I love would still feel pain and suffer. There will be children that I haven’t worked with. People will still look at me with expectations of what they think I should do. There will be times I will disappoint people. There will be times I will disappoint myself.
While almost everything that happens in my life is beyond my power to influence, I can choose to consciously choose my response to whatever happens, I determine my reality and the plan for my one wild and precious life.
In light of this I have looked at my list. This is a list of what I do now and what I could do as I professionally move forward.
Rest has been so important to me. I’ve gave myself the gift of rest by spending the last 6 months focusing in on my own needs with regards to my mental health, my private practice as a child therapist and my focus as someone who is self employed.
The main thrust has been discovering who I am and owning that completely. I have, for years, been driven by what others think about me and have shaped what I do by what I believe I should be doing.
In essence I’ve allowed other people’s opinions, and my own feelings of what I should be doing, to shape me and what I do. Some of this has been positive and some not so much. But it has been very reactionary and not planned. And ultimately it isn’t about me owning my own journey and proactively shaping what i do.
Park of what I have been doing as an act of self care has been discovering Mindful Photography which started out of the connection that I made between my love of photography and improving mental health. I found a language that helped me express this in a way that I had not had previously.
I was sharing the images and thoughts in a Facebook group & I was asked to stop posting in that group and was encouraged to set up my own group. To build it up and to turn it into a “thing” of my own.
I agreed at that way forward. The photography was a good thing then and still is now. Yet this is a classic example of me doing something and then being led by others.
So I took something that I was using for my own mental well being and created a space that I ultimately felt responsible for.
To make a actively engaged group work there are things that I feel like I need to be doing, things that I should be doing and things that I would love to do. I always want to throw myself into something fully and I have not been doing the group and page the justice i would like to give it.
When considering the quote above I looked at all I was doing and considered if it fit in with my true passions. At the end of my life what do I want to look back on and see where my time has been spent. What has brought Joy? What has impacted the world? Have I existed in the space I was created to be in?
Of course I could do multiple things but I have learnt, as I have said so much recently, that I need to balance that with my self care. So If I was going to do one thing and do it well; what will it be.
Over the last 6 months my love of working therapeutically with children, supporting parents to understand and speak with their children & to support others who work with children, has been emerging like a dormant bulb in spring. Waiting for the conditions to be right again.
To enable this I am making decisions about how I give my time to work but also rest. What I take on and what I put down.
So what this has ultimately meant is that I have closed down the Mindful Shutterbug page and the connected group.
My focus has to be on that which gives me life. The photography and the Mindful Shutterbug nature of it does but running this group does not. I have to listen to that internal voice of self care and live and breath it fully, not simply pay lip service to it.
Alongside letting go I have also had to learn what I need to keep. Not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I am continuing the photography and sharing it through my facebook page:
Alternatively I will also be continuing on my own instagram feed so if you are in that space please feel free to join me on there too.
So my encouragement to you is to consider the quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life” – Hold it up against your life and allow yourself to wonder what you would like to do and what is stopping you doing it. Often it is our own negative thinking that gets in the way. So what could you do about that?
Get in touch if you want to chat. I’d love to give you a bit of time to ask some questions and help you process this question.