Remember those old school cassette and CD players? The ones that had a play (>), forward (>>), rewind (<<), and pause (II) buttons? Yeah those ones… There are so many lessons to learn from things around us if we pay attention! Those gadgets provide us with timely lessons if only we pay attention! However in order to be attentive, we need to develop a mindful practice as part of our daily life. In fact I will be running a mindfulness course starting March 15th to April 15th. Back to these ghetto blasters.
There was a time in my life when all I did was start and stop, start and stop, kinda like the double dutch game where one takes their time before they jump in while the rope goes round and round. I struggled to take action because I lacked the self – confidence to take the necessary steps to change my life.
As a young girl growing up, I was culturally programmed to be a certain way. I was expected to learn particular behaviors in preparation for marriage when I grew up. For example I wasn’t expected to climb trees, wear trousers or shorts, and I was to learn how to cook the traditional dishes as well as clean and maintain a home. Well so much for life skills because I actually need cooking and cleaning now, married or not.
Growing up with those expectations and everyone in the community enforcing them was tough. However the most devastating time was when I was in school. Most of my school yeas were spent in boarding school and they I witnessed and experienced the most painful experiences. We were punished for everything! If we missed class, fought, were found loitering during quiet time, etc. You might call me a whiner, but our punishment ranged from several lashes on the bum or hands, heavy labour, and ridiculous ones such as lifting building blocks or rocks above the head in the sweltering heat! Like really?
The hardest for me was being punished for scoring below what the teacher determined to be the pass mark. Many a time, this was 100% , so anyone who scored below that mark, was given lashes. The number of lashes increased with the number of incorrect responses. We were not given an opportunity to make mistakes, let alone learning from mistakes. I wish my teachers focussed on what needed to be corrected.
What does this all mean? Well, I grew up scared of erring> Even though we were taught in English Language class that, “To err is human”, we were not permitted to be human! I became very critical of myself, and would rather not start something if there was a possibility of making a mistake. Now don’t confuse this with perfectionism, no no no. And neither is it procrastination, as I later learned. It was a genuine fear of messing up! I was conditioned to do things in order to please others. I started seeing my work as being paraded to be judged, I was afraid because all I saw were people looking for mistakes when they looked at my work. Whenever I did something, I felt like a fake because of all the mistakes I made! I honestly knew that people saw right through me and judged me. This was suffocating and stifling!
I also started judging myself, never felt good enough, sold myself short and yet people kept telling me that I was playing small! I didn’t even know what playing big was! I thought I was the biggest procrastinator out there, others told me that I was a perfectionist which I didn’t believe, since I wasn’t working towards perfection, I was simply afraid of being judged! I felt safe if my work wasn’t out there.
At some point I got sick and tired of not making progress in my life and decided to get some healing done to uproot limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. I did so many full moon rituals to heal procrastination but I did not make much progress! It was frustrating. Then I decided that enough was enough, I took time off to focus inward, and with some help, I faced my fear like David facing Goliath, traced it back to its inception and found the root cause. This was some false societal programming that had made me believe that I had to show up a certain way. Failure to do that, I did not measure up!
Some of my worst school experiences where this programming showed up, were the national exams. All students regardless of learning style or abilities were expected to take the same exam, marked using a uniform standard. What baloney! These were used to determine who made it to what school or program at post-secondary level. The best students got into the most prestigious schools and/or post secondary courses. I kinda started off in these prestigious schools but my performance made me feel that I didn’t deserve to be there. Oh I failed miserably! As per the standard. All because I learned differently and was judged based on a so called standard. Anyhow that is water under the bridge as right now, I have cracked the code! And that is what I am here to share!
Are you finding yourself playing double dutch or sitting on the PAUSE button, waiting for the “perfect” or “right” moment to push PLAY? I got news for you. There is no other right or perfect moment besides NOW. NOW is the only moment you are guaranteed. It’s that moment when you feel the nudge, when an idea drops into your mind and begs you for attention. That moment before self-doubt kicks in and you give yourself every reason why it wont work. Some people are waiting for things to get better, when they will get money, or the time, or when the kids grow up and leave the house, or next month or year. I have played that game before and I assure, there is no next time, when the money comes, no next week, month or year. All you’ve got is NOW! Push that button NOW and see what happens…you can never know what happens until you push PLAY. You can never know what song is playing or how to dance to it if until you push PLAY.
If you don’t like your life right now, push PLAY, or even FORWARD to accelerate things for you. It’s so simple. Yet most of the simple things are so difficult to do because they are unbelievably simple. If your terrified, be honest with yourself and examine the root of that fear. Even if you believe yourself to be a perfectionist ask yourself, where did this all start? Do some inner child healing work. Don’t just buy into labels. If people say “oh you’re a type A” don’t just buy into that. I assure you, people will be so proud that you are brave enough to stand up and do what you are called to do. If any one judges you against a standard, it’s because they have their own issues that need to be healed.
When you finally push PLAY on your life, you will find your personal unique rhythm divinely designed for you. You will finally see the direction your life is going into, and what your life purpose is, your personal beat and pace. You will then see manifest all that you desire all because you chose to get off the pause button and push PLAY. Man sometimes the pause button feels so comfortable, so safe but it means there is no sound, no beat and not forward movement in your life. You also cannot keep pushing the rewind button. When you sit on that pause button, you refusing your song to play for you. You are literally standing in your own way and cannot see past your shadow.
Paying attention to all the things that have happened to you in the past and replaying that in your mind, is also not moving you forward towards your life purpose. You need to step into your power, find your life path, do the things you need to be doing so that you can accelerate into greatness.
When I later on became a teacher in the same system that had stifled me, I unconsciously encouraged my students to each find their light. Since I struggled to connect with a lot of what was being taught in school, I wanted each of my students to find their way to connect with the concepts I presented in class. Today I realize that that has always been my calling, and it comes from my own experiences. That’s why I am committed to helping people to uncover, activate and expand their personal power through my various programs.
I love to see people step into their power and find themselves. Even if one is working a 9-5, finding that reason, that purpose why you are there, is going to give you a lot of satisfaction. Yes, I know, there are rules around the job, but when you know what your life purpose is, your job is going to take on a totally different and new meaning. You will witness things unfold for you in ways you probably have not yet seen. Even if you’re being paid well because it’s not just about being paid, but the impact we make on the lives of people.
So think about pushing the PLAY button on your life. Listen to the song of your life. You can listen to the lyrics of your life. The beat of your song. When a song plays, it goes forward. It does not pause until you pause it. It keeps going. When that CD is skipping, when that song is skipping, whatever you’re listening to, if for some reason the song is skipping, if you didn’t hear a word, you may rewind. But then you move forward. You don’t stay in the rewind position and say, rewind. Then you sit there. No, you rewind for a reason. You rewind to listen to a word that you missed out, or to enjoy a beautiful section in the song.
When you rewind in your life, make sure you are rewinding to get to an experience that you know you can draw on to move you forward. Allow yourself to move forward. Allow your song to unfold for you. And when that song ends, you can still play a new song. You totally can because you know what? In life we have goals, we have landmarks, and once those landmarks are reached, it doesn’t mean we stop. We keep focussing on those goals moving going forward
Remember, you also have the power in you to change the beat in your life. You have the power in you to accelerate when it’s too slow. If you don’t want to slow dance, increase the pace. Go for it. But pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to the beat and go for it. It’s your life. You are here to make an impact on the world. So think about how you play your song and how it’s impacting the lives of the people around you.