Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Lisa Jenkins
“When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find ways to do it.” ~Dr. David Schwartz
Fifteen months ago I was in a rut. A rather large rut actually. The recession was well and truly in full swing and I was up to my eyeballs in credit card and loan debt.
I could barely afford to live, let alone pay my mortgage, and there was the threat of losing my home hanging over my head every day.
I had spent most of my twenties and thirties working to pay the bills and the rent as most of us do, and frankly, considering the economic climate, I was just grateful to have a job. However, every day I would wake up in a fog and go through the motions of living.
Most of the time I felt stressed and exhausted with nothing to focus on or look forward to, and I felt as if I couldn’t do a thing about it—which made me feel worse.
I’m used to challenges in my life, as I have cerebral palsy. My mum passed away when I was nine, my father left the UK when I was eighteen, and I have been living independently ever since.
This is not a “pity” plea. When faced with difficulties, as long as there is some kind of solution, or a door I can try, that keeps me motivated to keep looking for a solution.
Fifteen months ago, I was faced with brick wall after brick wall. I wasn’t happy about it, but I couldn’t see a way out. I’m emotionally tough but my situation was making me question my whole being. I didn’t realize that I was functioning in a depressed state.
I certainly never thought I’d be a single 37-year-old woman on the hamster-wheel of life doing the same job day in and day out, with nothing really to look forward to.
I kept asking myself “Really? Is this it? Is this my purpose?” Something just didn’t feel right about the way I was living my life.
I went to see a friend who specializes in reiki and yoga. She took one look at me and said, “You are at the end of your tether aren’t you?” at which point I burst into floods of tears. It felt so good to let it all out.
After a few moments she said “You can change your life, and you will,” and handed me a small book.
She told me the book would confirm everything I already knew deep down. The book was called The Secret. Even if I didn’t believe everything it in, it helped me switch my negative thinking and gave me a much more positive outlook.
Just being told I could change my life made a huge difference in my mood.
In my second reiki session with my friend, she asked me what my passions were. I said music and literature. She then told me to start writing—not tomorrow, not next week, but now!
I realized that I had not written anything in years and had not listened to music—properly—for months. There was nothing in my life I could think of that made me feel excited or joyful, and that just wasn’t me.
In fact, I hadn’t been “me” for years! It was a daunting prospect, and I started comparing myself to my favorite authors and music journalist, so I procrastinated—something I’m rather good at. But once I started to get a few responses from online magazines that were looking for contributors, the ball started slowly, but surely rolling.
I now often ask people who are unhappy with their current situation what their passion is. Most say “I don’t know.” They do, really; they just don’t know how to articulate it.
I ask what they think of first thing in the morning; when they feel happiest; what makes them tick; what they love; and what sends shivers up their spine. Most importantly, I ask when they last felt excited by something.
There is often an underlying passion which can be turned into a job, a hobby, or a lifetime pursuit. I really believe that.
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