I've seen quite a few posts recently on social media, asking questions similar to "what would you go back and tell your 20-something self". I guess the start of the new year is a time for reflection and resolution of self-belief. That's a really good thing, and let's extend that to the whole of the year, every year. Reflection, curiosity, resolution is how we grow. I saw a quote from Matthew McConaughey today that said (I may paraphrase here) "I would rather be evolving rather than revolving". So moving forwards and growing, rather than spinning on the same spot. Yes!
Anyway, back on to my younger self and what I would tell her. To be honest, for quite some time now I've been of the belief that I wouldn't change my journey at all. If I had back then the wisdom that I have now, I wouldn't have done the things that I did, and therefore I wouldn't be where I am today. And I'm really really happy to be where I am today. We can never know where different choices would have led us and whilst it might seem that it would have made the load less heavy and less painful, to know certain things back then, I do feel that we learn so much more by trial and error. If life had always been easy, would I have learned the lessons I have, and would I be the person that I am today?
Just recently though, I've started to do some work on my physical self, having concentrated on my mental and soulful (I prefer the term soulful to spiritual as to me soulful feels internal and spiritual feels external) wellbeing for the last few years. I'm now entering into my third age, that of menopause and beyond, where a lot of changes happen in a woman's body. For the last 6 and a half years I've been having a bit of a rough ride physically as my body was starting to get creaky and painful, some of it age, some of it to do with the depleting levels of oestrogen being created. I also had a bit of a revelation around my priorities and decided to concentrate less on what my body looked like and more on how it worked.
So I decided to do something about it and I enrolled on a programme that centred around making sure that my body was in the best place that it could be, to support me throughout the rest of my life. It has been enlightening and life changing. The basis of the programme is all around realigning our bodies to how they are meant to be, and not how they have become to be after years of a sedentary lifestyle, and to incorporate movement into our everyday lives. I've started to use muscles I didn't know I had, and moving my body in a way that I never even considered. I've not ever really looked after my body. The majority of my life I've either taken what it can do for granted, or despised it for the way that it looked. I've probably also abused it a fair bit, having been a smoker on and off for many years, and also having had a love-hate relationship with exercise.
So I'm starting to feel stronger and have more energy, and I sleep better. It does require a lot of effort but then most things that are worthwhile do not come easy.
And so I find myself, whilst grateful that I'm doing this programme now, kind of wishing that I'd taken better care of my physical self from a younger age. So I wonder if I would have started earlier if I'd known. And if that had been the case, would I made different choices or taken a different path. If I'd been looking after my body better earlier, I probably wouldn't have smoked, which means that I would have missed out on some very interesting conversations had outside during cigarette breaks. I may not have partied as hard as I did, and not had some of the adventures that I have had. I may have been slimmer, which would have been easier in many ways, and yet maybe not led me to carry out the internal work that was required to love myself.
So I'm probably going to stick with the fact that I wouldn't change my journey at all. That's not to say that I've done life perfectly, on the contrary, I've made many mistakes and hurt some people along the way, the latter of which I would have loved to have avoided. I have learned so much though and I am so grateful for all of those lessons. I hope that I always continue to learn. I will continue to strive to do better by knowing better. Which makes me feel that this age I'm at now is the best age I've ever been at. My goal is to be able to say that on each and every single day of the rest of my life.
Thank you for listening.
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