I’ve seen quite a few changes the last 3 years and observed some patterns that give hope.
After a pretty heavy breakup in 2014 and drastic changes in my life, things seemed more like a depressed pile of rubbish and nothing like what I experienced before.
But the development I went through receives quite an interesting structure in hind sight. And I thought sharing my experience might be interesting to some.
1. The breakup.
Not too much to say, breakups suck. Especially the ones that leave you in a sort of vacuum having to reinvent yourself. This one for me was different, not only the pain and struggle but also the way I suffered from it and accordingly decided to deal with it differently. Instead of running away into the next fling or getting stupidly drunk or high I decided to live through it, confront myself with myself in this whole mess and look for some help to digest this.
I found a coach who was a mix of cognitive therapist and buddhist practitioner using techniques like mindfulness to calm the mind, make space to work on patterns and analyze behaviors, thoughts and feelings to gain control.
2. The not giving a fuck period.
In this period I learned a shit ton of interesting stuff about the mind, taking unbearable, overwhelming feelings apart into thoughts that led to these feelings. And thereby making sources of anxiety much more accessible and easier to handle. I started doing yoga and not giving a damn about anything else. As long as I would not loose my job and my dog would survive, no fucks where given. And it felt great. A bit more egoistic, focussing on just what I felt was right. Learn about yoga, not worry about anything, bills could wait, I slept late, ate shit, partied, disappeared for weeks and felt amazing.
3. Realizing that something is missing.
Not giving a fuck feels easy, but after a while you realize that you do miss some of the comfort of a well handled life. Housemates, endless piles of paper work, no goals or things to look forward to…it becomes a bit dull in the long run…as much as I did enjoy all the benefits. So quite naturally after almost a year of no fucks given, I decided to make some changes.
Being a person who generally has big issues taking decisions, I developed “if-this-then-that” scenarios. They were magic and helped me to move forward in giant steps. “If I will find a new professional challenge and one or two side projects that fulfill me in my free time, I will stay in Amsterdam and buy a house.” Sorted. I decided to change jobs, organized my first event series in Amsterdam and had no mind-fuck in deciding to stay in Amsterdam and buy my own place in the same year.
4. Making decisions that make you act not react.
If this than that is not the best example but I felt how mindful decisions and actions have results that get you to a whole other level than “lets just see what happens”. Going with the flow is great fun and can bring you to amazing places, but if it isn’t mixed with some mindful actions and choices, it quickly becomes a river rafting experience bouncing you against tons of stones and places you would have preferred not floating towards….believe me haha.
And I found that there is nothing more rewarding than taking a decision, acting upon it and watching how things unfold the way you imagined. Fucking magic. So I took a couple of decisions that made some continuos rather than drastic changes to my life. Less drugs, more yoga, less party weekends, more home cooked dinners…beginning to listen to my body. Eat when your hungry, stop when your full, leave a party when you feel like it and start one when you think its right. I also started to listen to feelings and “coincidence”. You think of a friend, give them a call, you feel drawn to a person, tell them. A couple of friends independently from each other tell you about a magical place….go there. You’ll be surprised by how well things line up with a bit of attention.
5. Harvesting the fruit and living like you give a fuck.
Having developed a certain awareness towards mindful decisions and listening to signs of body and surroundings, the last phase for me was mainly watching things unfold and adjusting. Now this sounds like the kings discipline; Having had roughly a year adjusting and bringing change on its way, now shit is getting real and I get to enjoy the work. And it is highly recommended to use help from outside of your mind. For my latest, final step; quitting my job I had amazing help of a life coach who helped me to sort my thoughts, structure what I want and where I want to go. So the day I had a talk with my boss I was prepared by a two month process of structuring the next steps. And of course new challenges come up and you need to readjust to get by, but bit by bit its all a self-defined and honest life.
I will post some more thoughts on this topic soon and maybe get some of my teachers and coaches to add their ones and twos here. And of course, when the time has come, this will be a topic during my retreats and weekend stay-cations. And if you feel like having a chat over a tea or, yes, lets have a beer as well…don’t be shy and get in touch to share thoughts questions or ideas.