Tag Archives: goals

Why Bother Doing Difficult Things?

One of the questions I got when I returned from walking the Camino de Santiago was – “Why did you think it was a good idea to walk 800 km across a country?” Basically, what’s the point?

French Pyrenees - No guarantees what's ahead.
French Pyrenees – No guarantees what’s ahead.

I had a lot of reasons for walking the Camino, but I realized that for someone who asks this question, none of those reasons would justify a 500-mile walk.

I wanted to be able to reach people with an answer, regardless of where they are at in their understanding, when they ask me “Why?” There is some curiosity there to even bother asking at all.

I took some time to really think about how I could explain the “reward” of taking this journey.

In fact, why bother doing difficult things at all, really?

To be totally honest, the rewards of the Camino are not predictable, but the effort and pain and fatigue are guaranteed. And frankly, those rewards may not be in proportion to what you invest.

Roncevalles, ES
Roncevalles, ES

Some people can look at the pictures of the landscape and the historical buildings and think, “Wow! That looks cool!”. “I want to do that”. They say things like, “How was your vacation?” There is so much beauty, but they also don’t see or feel the wpid-20140625_161727.jpgphyscial, mental, and spiritual pain and exhaustion it takes to get to that rewarding vista.

You don’t get something amazing by doing no work. It is the willingness to do hard work itself that transforms you into a better person.

As I thought about answering the question, “Why bother?” it occured to me that you can substitute “marriage” or “parenting” or “my career” etc. for the word Camino in the above sentence and it reads just as honestly.

“The Camino” is a living breathing metaphor for the path we take in our lives towards anything we consider worthwhile.

The reward ? An absolute certainty that as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will get there. And that I won’t be the only one on the road. And there is great comfort in that.

Keep walking. Don't give up. You will arrive.
Keep walking. Don’t give up. You will arrive.

If you want to be a successful person in life and achieve your dreams and goals, then you have to persevere.

Never give up

Always move forward

Rise up to challenges and overcome them

One step at a time

…until you arrive.

 

— With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

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Assault of the Mind

Today was another day of waking up to a roll call of my failures and shortcomings.  All before I even opened my eyes.

Sometimes, I stay paralyzed in this state for a good 15 min. while I get the shit beaten out of me.

At some point, another dude shows up and says, “C’mon now, it’s not that bad. ¬†I love you & we’re gonna be ok.” ¬†I have to hear this repeated over and over in order to release the physical paralysis and get up.

Tired Before I Get the Day Started

Do I have to get out of bed?
Do I have to get out of bed?

Needless to say, this is an extremely exhausting way to begin my day. Often it will take me until afternoon to start feeling ok. ¬†It makes it hard for me to focus on the things I set out to accomplish. ¬†Often, I’m too exhausted to do much else after just managing these assaults all day long. ¬†This, of course, folds back on itself creating “proof” that the asshole in my head just might be right after all.

Of Two Minds

Wait a minute!! Who's in charge here?
Wait a minute!! Who’s in charge here?

Research shows that the conscious mind averages about 40 bits of information/secondapproximately 1-3 events at a time. The subconscious mind however takes on an average of 4 BILLION bits of information/secondso literally THOUSANDS of events at a time!!!

If these two were in a fight to get the message across the fastest, who would you put your money on to win?? If you said the subconscious,¬†congratulations…you’re a little richer.

If you are one of the many people out there, like myself, who have jumped on the “law of attraction / affirmation” bandwagon in order to feel better about your life, you may have also noticed that it’s not quite cutting the mustard. ¬†Why not? ¬†Well, I’m glad you asked ūüôā

First, we read all these books or watch the videos and we “think” Aha! ¬†I’ve got the secret. ¬†Soon, after much practice…we say something like…wait a minute, it’s not working.

That’s where the gurus typically tell us that we are not trying hard enough and we are affirming our negativity.

Try harder!!
Try harder!!

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more I hate than someone telling me I’m failing because I’m not “trying hard enough”, especially when I”m giving¬†everything I’ve got.

I believe¬†that’s both unfair and unhelpful. ¬†It gives you absolutely no insight whatsoever. ¬†To make some headway (pun intended hehehe), first you have to understand a little bit about the purpose of the conscious and the subconscious parts of the mind.

Conscious vs. Subconscious

Conscious Р uses logic & reason, anything you CHOOSE to do, past & present, filter for your belief system (the judge/bouncer)

Subconscioususes emotions, involuntary actions, always in the present, core of your belief system and memories

Let’s use an example. ¬†Based on my experience of being bitten by a big dog I trusted, my subconscious has stored a memory of the event and a belief that ALL big dogs are dangerous and I should stay away. ¬†When I see a big dog my conscious mind is alerted by the subconscious that there is danger and it logically chooses to avoid contact to keep me safe from perceived danger based on my belief system.

Now, let’s imagine you try to create a conscious affirmation that “ALL big dogs are safe” because you’re tired of being scared. ¬†Hmmm…it isn’t working. ¬†Well that’s because your conscious mind says these words and then dutifully checks in with the subconscious belief system and¬†learns that¬†the subconscious says…hell no. ¬†So basically, you can say all you want, but if the subconscious says bullshit, all bets are off. ¬†You are still afraid of big dogs.

The Powerless Feeling of Positive Thinking

In my own life, without realizing it, I’ve habitually and chronically adopted some beliefs deep down that prevent me from achieving what I say I want out of life. ¬†This is really demoralizing and depressing.

You start to get pissed at yourself because, you’ve tried to convince yourself to believe differently¬†through affirmations and you’ve failed. ¬†You start to think well maybe I really am useless, messed up, broken, etc. So now you’re basically afraid AND¬†feel like a failure. ¬†Cool. ¬†So much better. Thanks.

If this sounds familiar, first of all take a deep breath. ¬†You’re not the only one who has tried the power of positive thinking and felt at your wits end.

It is¬†enormously helpful to understand that, you simply cannot consciously do what you subconsciously don’t believe without creating a moral dilemma.

That is the whole basis of the conflict, misery, and discontent you feel inside.

When these “two minds” are aligned we can be successful, when they are not we are in conflict with ourselves and others. PERIOD.

If you wonder why you say you want to do one thing, but seem to quit before you start, or half-way through, or lose it after you get it, this is why. It is almost impossible for us to achieve a goal if we hold subconscious beliefs that are in conflict with that goal. Your subconscious mind will find a way to sabotage you at some point in the process.

Any time the conscious is distracted or offline the subconscious takes over the reigns of control. ¬†So, that’s why I wake up to the jackhammering sound of my subconscious every morning for a while until my super slow conscious comes back online to get me up and going like a good project manager.

Your Head is Like an 8-Track Player with One Tape to Play

Most of us have heard about the “tapes” that play in our heads. ¬†This is another way to approach talking about the subconscious mind. ¬†Sometimes, it is really hard to tweeze out the messages that are constantly replaying in our minds because they play so quickly. ¬†If your’e lucky you have great positive messages playing, but for many of us, that’s not the case. ¬†Today, I wrote mine¬†down immediately after my conscious mind got me up.

I’m going to share them with you because, I have a feeling you might think you’re the only one this is happening to and you’re cracking up. ¬†You’re not alone. ¬†I can’t promise that you’re not cracking up ;p

You little worm...
You little worm…

Here are the ramblings of my subconscious (my tapes) that I hear every morning and whenever I feel insecure and my conscious can’t keep it under control.

Why don’t you just kill yourself? ¬†You always take on more than you can handle. ¬†You know you are going to fail, so why do you even try? Sooner or later you’re going to be homeless and living on the street. ¬†Nobody loves you. ¬†Nobody cares about you. ¬†You are insignificant. ¬†Fucking loser. ¬†You can barely keep it together. ¬†Why do you even bother getting up day after day? You are not good enough. ¬†You are not smart enough. ¬†You’re a fraud. You suck with people. ¬†Nobody would ever want to be your friend. ¬†Everyone see that you are a problem. ¬†If they don’t see it yet, give it time.

Whew!! I read these aloud and began sobbing uncontrollably half-way through.  Day after day of waking up to this barrage of abuse.  Knowing it is lying just beneath the surface of my consciousness threatening to undo me with the right trigger, makes it damn hard to get much out of life.

What do your tapes play?  See if you can write it down and then read it back to yourself.  How did you feel?

Prolonged Exposure Therapy?

I recalled reading about a “prolonged exposure therapy” developed by U. Penn psychologist Edna Foa to help veterans with PTSD. ¬†It has been enormously successful, but it works contrary to the way most of us deal with trauma (by avoiding talking about it or discouraging survivors to dwell). ¬†Basically, this therapy encourages you to talk about it /tell your story over and over until it minimizes or eliminates the PTSD entirely. ¬†If we don’t talk about things, they don’t magically disappear. ¬†They fester.

Prolonged exposure therapy is now also being successfully used to help survivors of rape and sexual assault to deal with their PTSD.  It has been shown to be more effective than conventional therapy.  After exposure therapy, 83% of these girls no longer had the diagnosis of PTSD vs. 54% who received conventional supportive counselling. Even their depression and daily functioning improved significantly with exposure therapy.

It got me thinking about how the tapes we play in our heads operate in our lives in a very similar way as PTSD in that they both can take over your life and belief system to negative affect.  Ultimately, in both situations a trauma has occurred that has affected your belief system AND is making life unmanageable.

Could a version of this “prolonged exposure therapy” help us to manage our crippling fears and beliefs¬†that negatively impact our lives so that we may move past the trauma and towards creating the life we really want to live?

Experimenting with Conscious Exposure to Subconscious Tapes

Step 1: I decided to begin by recording myself saying all the messages I hear on my tapes in the same mean way I hear them everyday.

Step 2: Then, I played the recording over and over and over while I visualized someone outside of me saying these things to me/about me.

Step 3: Each time I listened, I rated my emotional reaction on a scale of 1 (least affected) – 10 (most distressed).

Step 4: When I need a break, I either go to a safe place in my mind or I get up and go to another room to create a sort of “environmental reset”.

My¬†theory is that I “know” somewhere deep inside that the things on these tapes are bullshit….somewhere beneath the trauma and the entrenched belief system.

I hope that by courageously facing the fear of hearing those words and feeling the feelings that go with them head on, I can get to the point that I recognize it as false, reject it as untrue, and desensitize myself to the emotional terrorism I feel day after day so I can have my whole life back again with a much better belief system.

Then maybe we can talk affirmations ūüėČ

 

– With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

 

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge: Big Results Only 1/2 Way There!

Hey All!

Thought it was a good time to post some more results from my 30 day green smoothie challenge since I am now at the half-way point.

I am ecstatic with what has taken place in just a couple of weeks. ¬†I’m now on Day 16 of 30 and I’ve lost an inch around my waist and an inch around my hips!

I thought I’d share some pics to show you my results thus far ūüôā ¬†You’ll notice those not so lovable “love handles” are starting to disappear!

Day 1 - 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 1 – 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 15 - 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!
Day 15 – 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!

It amazes me how much of a difference it makes in such a short time to replace just one meal (breakfast for me) with a green smoothie.

In addition, because I don’t crave the things I used to, I’ve been eating healthier overall so I’m making different food choices in general.

If you’re curious about what I’ve been using in my smoothies and some of the other foods I now include in my diet as a part of this lifestyle change, well here ya go:

Morning Smoothie:
Choice of green (Kale, swiss chard, spinach) AND
Fruits: 1 each of these three fruits: bananas, mangoes, oranges

Note: Sometimes I also add 1/2 scoop of casein protein powder and 1/2 scoop of whey protein powder to get protein right away in the morning and to keep the hunger at bay.

Other foods recently added to my diet:
avocados
apples
low-fat cottage cheese
100% whole wheat bread
natural peanut butter
honey
watercress
carrots
dates
tuna (canned in water)
turkey bacon
mushrooms
80 calorie 2x protein greek yogurt
lean chicken or turkey
low fat soy milk
eggs (hard-boiled usually cause it’s faster ūüôā

….and when I’m lazy Michaelina’s 300-400 calorie frozen dinners, which I’ve found are better to have on hand because they keep you from calling for delivery or heading to the drive through for lunch! ¬†Saves money and calories ūüôā

I also drink at least 1/2 gallon of water per day to keep flushing out my system and keep it hydrated.

Though I hate to admit I haven’t been to the gym much in the past two weeks, these results are without exercise! ¬†Imagine what could be lost if that were added. ¬†I’m going to shoot to add exercise in during the next 2 weeks and see what happens.

Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!
Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!

So, overall 2 weeks into the 30 day green smoothie challenge, I’ve lost inches, gotten better hair skin and nails, have more energy, stopped craving crappy food / ordering delivery, and started to add a whole lot of other healthy foods to my diet. ¬†I find that I eat less than I used to, I’m way more satisfied, and I’m actually craving healthy food.

If you’ve never done this challenge before and you’re looking to make some lifestyle changes, I hope that this convinces you to give it a try.

If you have any questions about making smoothies a part of your day or  if you just want to give me some kudos for changing my lifestyle :), please feel free to leave comments below.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Stop Competing with Other People

I’m going to share something that I have a feeling many people can relate to even though they may keep this feeling hidden. ¬†I don’t like competition. ¬†Not only that. ¬†I don’t get the point.

It often results in this “one-up, one-down” ranking that cements the idea that one person is better than another. ¬†What’s more, there are often scenes where you can see the “winner” belittling the “loser”. ¬†I think this is just a terrible thing to participate in. ¬†What exactly do you win from this kind of mindset?

Keep in mind that I’ve played all kinds of competitive sports in school including, basketball, volleyball ¬†and I was a sprinter on the track team. ¬†I’ve worked in a gym, lost 40 lbs., and I’m a certified personal trainer.

So, I’m not even speaking from a place where I haven’t been involved in very competitive arenas. ¬†

But here’s the thing —- at the end of the day you can only do your personal best. ¬†You can only train to your personal best. ¬†You can only run as far as you can run even with the best training.

Comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t do anything to improve your best. ¬†It just sets you up to feel like you’re deficient and that doesn’t really motivate towards long-term results. ¬†You’ve got to accept and acknowledge where you’re at in any given moment with kindness towards yourself. ¬†Otherwise, when will enough be enough? ¬†When will you EVER be good enough? ¬†What happens when you lose? ¬†Do you give up and call yourself a loser if you don’t win every competition? ¬†If you’re not your own best friend, plenty of other people will have power to convince you that you are continually lacking; ie. never good enough.

When I train or help others train, I focus on the goals and how to get there. ¬†Assuming you are committed to achieving those goals, then it is really just a matter of doing what needs to be done to get there. ¬†That’s it. ¬†No crapping on yourself or others.

Since we can’t really deny that we seem to be set up to organize information into little file folders, instead of fighting it try shifting it into something like this. Compare where you were in the past to where you are now. ¬†This comparison will at least actually help you. ¬†That way you see how you’ve improved and where you need work. ¬†Then you can just do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Everything else is just some kind of pointless insanity.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

You Are Ok As Is

Before you read this, make sure that you are in a place where you will be undisturbed for at least 15 minutes.  Pull your car over and sit inside if there is no place at work or home.  Just find a place where you can be alone.

Imagine for a moment that it is the beginning of a new day.  You lay in bed and feel the way the sun warms your face and the way your body has relaxed into your bed. Even though your eyes remain closed they can sense that daylight has come as the brightness seeps through your eyelids. A brand new day is upon us.

Before your first thoughts of the day begin racing through your head, breathe. Really inhale and exhale.  Do this 5 times. Now, feel the weight of your body on the surface beneath you.  With your eyes still closed, smile. Keep the smile on your face and keep breathing slowly.

Sense how beautiful you are when you smile. ¬†Imagine the beauty of your face. ¬†Notice how your whole body feels when you smile. Perhaps a tear comes to your eye since you haven’t thought much about that in a while.

Imagine if at this moment before you even open your eyes and begin your day, you are just right as you are. ¬†Imagine that you are filled with amazing strengths and capabilities. ¬†Imagine that your weakness are less important than your strengths. ¬†Imagine your greatest strengths lie just beneath your weaknesses. ¬†Imagine that you don’t need to be fixed. Imagine that you are not broken. ¬†You are ok as is.

Imagine that you already have all the tools you need to have a great day. Imagine that you can handle whatever comes your way.  Imagine that every person you meet and every situation you find yourself in is temporary.  Imagine that your happiness is as fleeting as your sadness.  It is a moment. It is not permanent.

Imagine smiling when your heart is breaking simply because you know that moments are just that — moments. ¬†And at any moment we choose we can look at something another way. ¬†We can start a chain reaction in our minds, bodies and lives with just a smile.

Go on hold that goofy smile a little longer than it feels natural to do.  You might start laughing. Feel your mind shift. Each breath you take reminds you that your heart is beating, your body is working, your mind is firing away. You are a beautiful, capable, whole and vital being.  You are not broken.  You are still ok as is.

Now, quickly name 5 things you are grateful for while you continue to smile and breathe. ¬†Don’t over-think it. Just name them.

You’ve come into this earth as uniquely as each and every one of us has. You have a purpose on this earth as you are. ¬†There will never be a more perfect version of you than you. ¬†You see the world differently than I do. You share yourself with others differently. You cry about things that I may not and you laugh at things that other people don’t think are funny. ¬†You make love as your body, mind, and spirit guide you to do. ¬†All uniquely you. ¬†You cherish people who love you and you can be hurt by those who harm you too. ¬†But you are still ok as is.

Allow yourself to feel what you do, but remember and never forget that these feelings don’t define you. ¬†They are reactions and reactions can change as we change what we choose to see in our view. ¬†I am me and you are you and each and every day we can only do the best we can do. ¬†There is no more, no less and there is stress when we forget that others have the right to do what they want to do too. But so do you. We look at what we see as limits and we think that is all we can do. ¬†You are not what you think and most of the time we have a limited view.

We respond as we’ve learned to, but there is something we can do. ¬†Let yourself accept yourself as you are. ¬†Don’t try to squash it or fake it or put it in a cake and bake it just to make it more palatable for those around you. You are still ok as is. ¬†Ok as You.

If what you do does not give you the results you want, then change it. ¬†If you don’t know how right now, find a way. You have everything you need to do what you need to do. ¬†And you have what you need to make changes too. As you go on your journey continue to acknowledge that you are still ok as is. ¬†Just simply be willing to change how you do what you do because you want a different result than is coming to you. ¬†That is all. ¬†No judgement, shaming, blaming or guilt. ¬†It doesn’t matter how long the journey is as long as you are on a path towards your goal.

Finally, remember that there will be uncertainty. ¬†We actually control far less than we think. ¬†Happiness in life is directly proportional to how much you can let go of and how comfortable you can become with uncertainty. Trust yourself. You don’t have to know how or when you will get there all at once. ¬†Take one step, then another. Trust. Just trust that you are still ok as is and have everything you need to get to where you want to go.

This is your journey and it all begins with the willingness to take the first step.  Then another and another until you have created the momentum to step without wondering if you can.  Each step, feel the firm ground beneath your feet.  You are safe.  You are enough.  You are ok as is.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Just be Willing

frustration Yesterday I was down for the count with a stomach virus and that gave me a lot of time on my hands I’m not used to having. ¬†As I thought on the changes I’d like to make in my life, I scoured the internet for resources to teach me HOW to get there. ¬†I settled on “You Can Heal Your Life” , by Louise Hay and immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle. ¬†I’m so glad I did.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels like their life isn’t working and hasn’t a clue where to start. ¬†I devoured the book in one day and ¬†put it into practice when I woke up this morning.

One of the chapters of her books asks you to write down all the negative things you were told as a child by adults and ¬†compare them to the negative things you say about yourself. ¬†Then look at what’s happening in your life and see if the negative outcomes match the negative thoughts you have about yourself. ¬†By golly, they did! ¬†I was hooked!

The theory here boils down to this Рyou get what you think you should.  So, if you think positively you should see it show up in your life the same way you do when you think negatively.

Just to give you an idea of the negative thoughts that go through my mind, I’ll make a list of my top 10. ¬†Perhaps, you share some of these as well.

You Get What You Think

  1. Nobody is there for me
  2. Nobody respects me or sees my value
  3. Nobody listens to me
  4. Everybody picks on me
  5. I’m never happy in my jobs
  6. I’m bad with people
  7. I don’t know what I want
  8. I’m a failure at life
  9. I never have enough money
  10. I never meet the right guys

Ok, so guess what I have in my life right now with these thoughts? ¬†I have difficulty with people at work, I don’t get respect, I am surrounded by constant conflict, don’t have enough income and I don’t in fact meet guys that feel right for me. ¬†Surprise, surprise!!

expect good things

Change Your Mind

So, today I decided to start to retrain the brain. ¬†I selected a few general affirmations and a few specific ones that spoke to me and repeated them throughout the day. ¬†Here’s what I chose:

General Affirmations

  1. “I approve of myself”
  2. “I am willing to change”
  3. “I am willing to release all my resistance”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for…(ie. approval)
  5. “I now realize that I have created this condition. ¬†I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition.”
  6. “I trust that the universe is providing for me everything that I need and I am safe and well taken care of.”

Specific Affirmations

  1. “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. ¬†I am worthy of the very best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”
  2. “I am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work with and for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money”
  3. “I am willing to release my need to be noticed”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for praise”
  5. “I choose to let go of my anger, so that I make better clearer decisions.”

Entering a Brand New Day…

As soon as my alarm clock went off I committed myself to saying 5 things I’m grateful for before I could sit up on my bed. ¬†Then, I read the affirmations above before I was allowed to stand. ¬†Finally, I walked to the mirror and read ¬†http://aplacefortheheart.co.uk/louise-hay/louise-hay-affirmations/¬†while looking into my own eyes.

Throughout the day, I reminded myself of those affirmations.  I even brought my index card of affirmations with me in case I forgot.  When a negative thought came in, I said STOP! and replaced it with a gratitude and another affirmation.

One of the great pieces of advice that was offered is that you don’t have to know “HOW” it will happen you just have to be “WILLING”. ¬†Basically, the change in mindset will send a signal to the universe that the expectations have changed. ¬†Be patient and consistent.

It’s Working!

Already today, I noticed MAJOR differences. ¬†First and foremost, I literally had ZERO conflict in my work day at either job. That’s 14 hrs conflict free. I haven’t had a day like that in months. ¬†Even when I got a rude email, I took a deep breath replied kindly, let it go and went on about my day.

I received more smiles, more cooperation, warmer relations and even had an easier time in traffic leaving me with enough time to get some shopping done, order dinner, and get 15 min. in a massage chair all before my next job started.

The point is…it all went smoother. ¬†I was calmer. ¬†I felt like I was in the moment and I enjoyed my day! ¬†This was enough to convince me to carry on using this new method.

I’m looking forward to discovering what I can create by simply changing my own thoughts.

How have you brought about change in your life by a simple shift in focus?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

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So Why Don’t You Do That Right Now??

Do you ever have a fantasy about what you’d do if you couldn’t take the life you were living anymore? ¬†I do. ¬†My “go-to fantasy” is that I would sell my house and everything in it, walk away debt free and travel endlessly overseas. ¬†Sometimes just having a plan B is enough to keep me going. ¬†That’s all well and good in your head, but what happens when you vocalize it and someone takes it a step further and says, “So why don’t you do that right now?”

Hmmmm….silence while mind is blown!¬†

So I’ve been pondering on this question since it was tossed at me last week.

Here’s what I came up with….

I am staying where I am instead of leaving because I need something from here.  Otherwise, nothing really would stop me.  

Digging deeper, I thought about my life and how I feel like I’ve been running away for a long time in one way or another. ¬†I noticed that there are patterns that keep repeating in my life. ¬†As the expression goes, “No matter where I go, there I am.”¬†

I think it is time to stick around and deal with what’s going on inside. ¬†If I don’t, I’ll just leave this life only to recreate it over again somewhere else. ¬†Do you ever notice how when you move or change jobs hoping it will be better, you basically keep running in to the same types of people? ¬†I think this is because you haven’t changed your beliefs about how life is supposed to be. ¬†So you’re destined to attract the same things into it.

What’s your take?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

If you’ve ever had to do something you’d rather not do just to achieve a goal, this post is for you.

What follows is a recount of some of the things I had to do to get my house back post-divorce. The point of my whole long drawn out explanation and partial life history ūüôā is to ask you to¬†remember two things in this life when you’re losing hope. ¬†¬†

When my business starting bringing in less and less contracts, I knew I had to come to terms with it and move on to something else. It was tough to walk away, but the market was changing and after a good run for 8 years, I saw the writing on the wall. ¬†My husband and I had talked about whether we could make it work on one income while I found an alternative. Everything was set. ¬†Or so I thought….shortly after he asked for a divorce.

He walked away like it was nothing and left behind a long trail of responsibilities for me. ¬†First and foremost was my house. ¬†A house we’d bought only 6 months prior. ¬†It was a huge sum for me to have to find every month and selling it would have offered me no reprieve since it was when the housing bubble burst. ¬†I couldn’t rent something either because I didn’t have a paycheck anymore and it would have cost me almost the same as my mortgage. ¬†Catch 22. ¬†

To add to the stress, our divorce agreement stated that I had one year to refinance it into my name or my ex- could sell it outright. ¬† Originally, he offered 6 months. ¬†I negotiated for more time. ¬†Apparently a year felt generous to him in a failing job and housing market. ¬†Not that he was paying for a darn thing. Apparently, he just didn’t want to be bound to me in any way. ¬†Who was this man?

No time to answer that one, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and get the heck out of dodge.  

I didn’t have a lot of time to wax longingly about my “dream job”. ¬†I needed money and fast! ¬†I sent out application after application and zero, zilch, nada. ¬†Here I was with a B.S. in Biology and an MBA struggling to find work in anything I was qualified for. ¬†I thought the whole world turned upside down, not just my personal life.

I finally turned to craigslist to see if there was an opportunity. ¬†I interviewed and accepted a job doing face-to-face fundraising for charity. ¬†If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically stopping people as they walk by and trying to persuade them to make monthly donations to assist less fortunate nations of people. ¬†It turned out I was good at this. ¬†Poverty was something I could really talk about. I’d seen and worked with it so much in my travels. I knew how people’s lives were impacted. ¬†Frankly, I was also pretty hungry to pay my bills too so that was a big motivator.

I tried to refinance with this job and about a month out from finalizing, the company I worked for did a “corporate restructuring” and decided to drop their program. ¬†I explained my situation and expressed my frustration to the loan officer on the phone. ¬†I said, “What do I have to do? ¬†Get a job at the bank that holds my mortgage to finally get this settled?” ¬†

The customer service representative took what I said seriously and asked me about my background. ¬†I explained it to him. ¬†He said, would you be interested in becoming a personal banker because you’d be qualified for it? ¬†I said, honestly if it helps me get my house back, I’ll do it. ¬†He told me to put an application online at the bank website and assured me he’d talk to someone in HR on my behalf. We became friends on FB. ¬†I didn’t expect much to come out of it.

Back to the drawing board.

More applications sent out, only the sound of crickets in return. ¬†Hello again, craigslist. ¬†This time, I scored a job that was freelance. They called it a “unique hair opportunity”. ¬†I thought ok. My mom owned a hair salon. ¬†She taught me a lot. ¬†How bad could this mystery job be??? ¬†

Well long story short, I became a trained “Lice Remediation Specialist”. ¬†The company supplied me with everything I needed and I’d get called or texted to go out to a job at someone’s house. ¬†It wasn’t too bad actually. ¬†It helped pay the bills so I was willing to do what I had to do. ¬†I knew that I couldn’t refinance my house with that kind of job though. ¬†So, I cranked up the engine again to find the next step.¬†

I resolved to get that bank job. In no way did working at a bank appeal to me. ¬†But I was running out of time and money. ¬†I reached out to the loan officer and asked him if he’d heard anything about my application. ¬†He got into contact with HR and I went in for an interview. ¬†I got the job. ¬†

I worked a very difficult 6 day/ week schedule. ¬†I didn’t like the work one bit. ¬†I just kept telling myself it’s for your house. Eye on the prize. ¬†I was running out of time. ¬†My ex- was dialing up the pressure with his not so helpful reminders about the 1 year time limit that was coming to a close. ¬†

I put in my refi application. ¬†Then, the communication seemed to drop dead and no one would return my calls. ¬†When I finally reached someone, it was after I received a letter stating that they couldn’t refinance my house because I’d been in the job for less than 1 year. Everything else was fine. Credit score excellent, no major unsecured debt. ¬†None of this was a problem. ¬†I couldn’t believe my ears.¬†

I was furious that my employer didn’t mind having me sell mortgages and investments to other clients, but wouldn’t even back me with one that THEY held!!! ¬†

I had heard that this bank was planning to acquire another bank that I was affiliated with. ¬†I figured while I’m on the inside I’ll do some research. I learned that their criteria were less conservative. ¬†So, I thought, let me see if I can get a loan through them before the acquisition. ¬†Within one month, I got the loan and I was at closing. ¬†The house was FINALLY in my ¬†name and for a payment I could afford!

I quit the bank the month after that. I wanted nothing to do with them. ¬†It was hurtful to me to be put in the position to be used to sell mortgages to others while realizing my employer wouldn’t support refinancing my own home. ¬†

I had had so much stress with jobs and this house refi that I wanted something easier and consistent for a while. ¬†I needed to chill and get my bearings. ¬†So, I heard about this gym that was going to open from a friend in the fitness community I was involved in. ¬†I applied for that and got that job. ¬†I’ve worked there for over a year now. ¬†I knew it couldn’t last forever, but I needed a breather before I moved on. ¬†It’s been good to me and served its purpose.

And now I have yet another new job that has some better benefits than the last one….and on and on it goes….where I stop? ¬†I’ll know it when I feel it.

Remember two things as you go through this life and face challenges:

  1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

  2. It’s only temporary.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it. ¬†Even when you’re ready to tear your hair out. ¬†When you feel like a failure. ¬†Even when no one else has got your back and you feel as lonely as a child in the wilderness.¬†

Say to yourself over and over again,¬†Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do,__________(insert name).¬†It’s only temporary, _____________(insert name). ¬†

I still have not arrived at a place that I feel completely comfortable in my own life.  And I have to remind myself of this mantra from time to time.  But when I look back I see that despite the fear and confusion and uncertainty, I did carry on.  It took a lot of perseverance and even more patience, but I did reach one of my goals after all. 

Consider making this your daily mantra for all the challenges you face. ¬†And remember, there’s another step ahead of the one you’ve taken. ¬†There will be solid ground beneath your feet. ¬†Just do what you have to do to get through, then take the next step.

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Make no mistake, YOU are a success no matter how big or how small the result. ¬†Let’s help each other out by leaving comments and sharing so we all feel a little less alone in this world.

What kinds of challenges have you had to face where you found yourself doing what YOU had to do to get through?  Share your success stories with us. 

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ