I fondly remember watching “This Is Your Life” on the telly, Eamon Andrews (that’s showing my age!) holding the big red book and the guest of honour being thrilled with the surprise of who will be walking through the door. For me, our lives are like that big red book full of different chapters.
Tim (my husband) and I were talking about this and recognised that we have turned the page of an exciting chapter. We are eagerly wondering what our next chapter will bring. We have returned to the UK after over 950 days travelling around the world and what an adventure it was—meeting wonderful people, seeing incredible sights and learning loads. (Perhaps another book to write one day).
We returned to the UK for our wonderful son and his gorgeous wife’s wedding – we certainly didn’t want to miss this special day. Like most people, our travels stopped, and we are settling down for a while in Bristol – the next chapter.
Coincidentally, I read a blog yesterday where the writer commented that many people live the same life year on, over and over again. Is this true? Don’t we all have many next chapters in our lives? Going to school for the first time, into working life, perhaps marriage, divorce, parenthood, empty nesting, change of career, redundancy, retirement, death, the list goes on…and yes, also selling up and going around the world.
We can perceive that these changes in our lives, some unplanned, some in our control, can cause a whole multitude of emotions. Perhaps there are feelings of being out of our comfort zone, anxious about the unknown, fearing how we will cope or even what would other people think as well as excitement. Do you relate to this?
I have been pondering about our next chapter. I admit that I nearly closed the doors of Glows Coaching as I haven’t done much coaching while travelling. Thankfully, as soon as our feet touched the English landscape, the phone started ringing, and my passion has been reignited. It feeds my soul – it’s my calling.
By impacting people’s lives so that they discover their extra-ordinariness, I need to again be visible to make this difference. But I hadn’t written a Lightbulb Moment for ages. I kept putting off writing. I felt embarrassed. What will people think? My mind was blank. I was feeling vulnerable; I was shying away from coaching based on opinions that hadn’t even been formed and creating a rather negative story in my head about the future of Glows Coaching. Doh!
The visualisations of our future can play tricks on us. When we watch a horror film and feel scared of the monsters on the screen, we know it is all made up. We know that it’s talented makeup artists making oh-so-real prosthetics and actors magically bring these to life. We know that the pixels on the screen won’t suddenly form into frightening fiends and jump out into our rooms.
Yet when it comes to our own lives, we forget or misunderstand that we cannot see into the future. We don’t know how the next chapter will pan out. There is only ever now – the present.
I heard Author and Trainer, Jamie Smart eloquently explain this by asking his audience to wave their hands in the air. He then asked them to pat someone on the back in a week, now. Of course, that is impossible. Our hands are only ever here in the present –the DeLorean time machine is not real. We understand that our hands can only pat someone in current time. This is the same with our feelings. These only ever happen now, based on our present thinking. The future hasn’t happened. It is a figment of our imagination.
Our uncomfortable feelings often seem as if they are based on something in the future; we are responding to something that is entirely made up. Emotions can’t be transmitted from the future back into the present. It seems so real, but this doesn’t mean it is true.
“…every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.” ― Juansen Dizon, Confessions of a Wallflower
On our travels, we saw many stunning sunrises and sunsets, yet the sun has never risen or set – we know that it’s an illusion – a beautiful one at that. This stunning sunset was at Gaomei Wetlands, Taiwan, where we were earlier this year.
Similarly, it is an illusion that our feelings are based on the future, on the next chapter in our lives. We scare ourselves thinking that someone may judge us, or the future will be a disaster. It is not possible to know a) what others think about us (and what is it to do with us anyway?) b) how we will feel next week, let alone in a few minutes!
When we see that we have no idea what the next chapter holds for us, we might as well enjoy each and every moment now, because the present is all there is.
Hi, I am Lindsey Reed. I love connecting with people and helping them to remember who they really are, their true selves. Coaching is online, the wonders of technology. If you would like to connect with me, pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My book Got It: The Answer to a Confident, Productive & Stress-Free Life is available from Amazon and is now in over 25 countries. It describes how we create our experience of our own reality called life. Through this understanding, we can have a more confident and freeing life.