Citronella Candles and relaxing in the summer stress free vibes

The hazy summer in the UK has been treating us with a blissful spell of flourishing sunshine. The delicate flower petals are in full effect and the sweet scent of citronella candles are attracting wildlife into my garden, from butterflies to bees I am so appreciative for everything in my life right now and enjoying being stress free.

Perhaps it is a new phase of my life that has allowed me to slow down and connect with the earth, I think there is something so magical about that connection. I have developed so much more patience this year, than I have ever had and have found therapeutic solace in landscaping my outdoor space.

Sometimes I think about the delicate fragility of earth, like how there’s a whole ecosystem in the ground. It makes me realise I am merely a small piece of an infinite universe and I take a deep breath in and feel grateful to be alive.

But I remember when my life wasn’t like that, I’d smoulder away in kitchens in the blistering heat. I had no time to even notice it was sunny outside. Often I’d get annoyed by the negativity from staff for complaining about missing the summer, because it would throw me off my game. I think I was addicted to stress –and I was more concerned with earing money than enjoying nature. Who had time for that?

I realise now that during all of that time, I was operating in my shadow side, I was ruled by my pride and ego. I wanted to be the top of my game, and I wasn’t going to let someone stand in my way.

I was a caffeinated whirlwind, pushing myself under as much stress as I could get my hands on, because when I’d completed a day, it made me feel good. It made me feel like I’d achieved something- and it was an excuse to have a blow-out whenever I god-damn felt like it, in fact, I deserved it.

I was selfish and reckless with my body and mind. Often only operating on an hour’s sleep. Was I pleasant to work with? Almost certainly not. I was a chaotic yo-yo swooping from anger to euphoria, and thriving off stress, drama and conflict.

I only mention this because forcing myself to stop living that way was tough. I was addicted to that constantly being busy thing- and I was extremely good at it. I think one of the hardest parts of changing my entire life was people’s reactions around me.

I’ve said it before, but I really think that the hardest part about change is other people!

Anyway, “why did you stop working and start a blog?” “Why did you start working for less money?” “Did you have a break down?” … were just some of the questions that came my way.

The truth is I have no idea why I stopped. I hadn’t lost my passion for what I was doing, I loved it! There was just something in me that shouted “stop!”

It wasn’t easy either, it was incredibly frustrating- and when those questions started to come my way from the people around me, it was extremely aggravating, because in all honesty, I just didn’t have an answer. I didn’t know.

Nothing ever destroyed me. I was the best, I made sure of it and now I felt like I was failing. I’d given up on everything that had taken me years to build, my career, my lifestyle and my reputation.

I even started to question myself, “Am I having a breakdown?” “Why am I doing this?” “I should just give up and go back to work…” But every time I tried to stop something would pull me back in or I’d continue.

I wrote a post a few months ago called the dark night of the soul, where I explained an awakening, or a sudden transformation in life. Whether this is what happened I don’t know, but in all honesty my life completely changed overnight.

I just woke up one day and thought there has to be more to life than this and that’s when I started Starting Today, with the intention of challenging people’s lifestyles to make them realise wellness is so much more important than material wealth.

Truly you don’t need much to be happy in this life.

What I love about reading through my past content, particularly the earlier stuff, is that I can see my giant ego still shining through, but recently I’ve started to challenge this within myself.

I’ve been focusing a lot on shadow work this year, I covered shadow work in my post the shadow side, introspection and healing. What I’ve realised is that the shadow side isn’t bad, it’s part of our full well-rounded character. The difference now is that I understand it.

I understand that for a big portion of my life I was ruled by my shadow side, and this made me a difficult person to be around. It made me behave in ways that now I utterly despise. Sure, I was good at my job but at what cost?

Now I chose to share my transformation in the hope that even if I can get through to one person that at least I have done something worthwhile on this planet. What I used to hold as achievements now seem completely irrelevant in the scheme of things.

Deep down I knew I wasn’t happy, not truly happy. Now I realise that my happiness lay in freedom. What meant more to me than any material wealth was my time. My happiness lay in my ability to live life the way I chose to. Abundance is fruitful.

Thanks for reading, if I have one thought to impart with you today, it’s to ask yourself, are you addicted to stress and if so, why?

Soph.

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