Open up to the possibilities; seize this moment

A couple of decades ago, I bought an exceedingly busy, licensed convenience store three hundred miles away from our home, family and entire friendship network to make a fresh start. It seemed such a wonderful idea to move my young son and daughter to idyllic Devon in beautiful southern England to what, as I saw from the accounts, was an absolute goldmine. I’d pictured us on the beach every day after school whilst the shop, its nineteen members of staff and fourteen paper boys practically ran themselves.

How ridiculously naive I was!

The reality couldn’t have been more different. I had no idea how to run a shop, how much stock to keep or when to buy it. I had never employed people before and it must have been glaringly obvious because they, at best, had little respect for me and at worst, slashed my tyres, smashed my windows and helped themselves to thousands of pounds of mine in electronic theft. The lottery and Paypoint systems could have been made for very easy staff fraud!

I remember being so preoccupied with trying…and generally failing…to run a business I knew nothing about, on a stupidly small amount of sleep because I had to open the shop up at 5am to prepare the newspapers and didn’t close till 11pm that I, to my shame, hardly had any time for my poor children and didn’t step foot on a beach for the first few years. I was thoroughly failing and didn’t know which way to turn.

I couldn’t think straight let alone be aware of any opportunities that might be coming my way

I look back to this, the busiest time of my life and see that though I couldn’t, in any way, refer to what I was struggling with as a molehill, it wasn’t as large a mountain as I managed to make it into. I didn’t know in those days, of course, that there was another way to live…another way to experience life. I didn’t know that it was possible to greet whatever life throws at us, with grace…with love. I didn’t know that I was making every situation so much harder for myself…and my family.

Maybe you’re inadvertently making a hard job even harder too?

If you believe what your thoughts tell you about how tough life can be and how nasty people are, then I know absolutely for certain that you can be much, much happier. I know, I’ve been there and not only did I survive but I don’t regret any of it and I bare no one a grudge, whatever they did to me or however much they stole.

Learning to let go was absolutely huge for me…it completely turned my life around. I could easily still choose to remember how unfair it all was, how I lost not only well-being and money but, much more importantly, precious time with my children that I can never get back. I could think about how my employees shouldn’t have treated me the way they did… but I choose not to. You might like to read Do you want to be right or happy?, How happy are you? Love is always the answer…whatever the question and Everyone won’t love you; love them anyway for much more about this.

Open your eyes and smell the coffee

When we understand that we don’t need to believe everything our thoughts tell us and that we can greet every moment with an open mind and an open heart…everything becomes so much better. Even the worst situations are easier to cope with. When we ditch overthinking (see Overthinking. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!) our minds are clear to always know the right thing to do, we are able to confidently make and trust our decisions and are far more efficient at whatever tasks we undertake.

Once we are open, we see and hear about opportunities that seemed hitherto completely unavailable to us; we start seeing that life, far from being out to get us, is actually conspiring in our favour. We see that there is a kindness behind life, that we are always loved, we are always held and we are always safe. We are able to notice and focus on all the good around us and understand and send love to, the not-so-good.

Hurt people, hurt people…healed people heal people

Understanding that people are not ‘bad’ and simply acting the way they do because they are hurting, fearful, insecure, jealous, angry or any other emotion that doesn’t feel nice, does not mean that we should ‘let them get away with’ treating us poorly. It simply means that because we no longer get lost in our unhealthy emotions, we can calmly choose whether the right thing for us to do, in this moment, is to help, ignore, walk away or anything else that feels correct when we are connected to our still and peaceful inner selves.

Next time I'm going to be writing about regrets. Until then, have an amazing time and be sure to comment or contact me if you have any questions or input.

Love Catherine x

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