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Be Here Now

I’m hurtling north on an empty train via London’s Underground, willing my fingers to match the speed of my thoughts as I’m transported across the city.

Even after 16 years of living here, there are moments when I still feel a little thrill to call London home. It’s been the most difficult and infuriating place to live – and I feel as though I’ve lived several lives during my time here – but it’s also been fabulous fun and the place where I grew up, learned to lean into my life and came to know the true depths of my heart and soul.

London…the city I left my beloved country and family and friends for, I moved here to follow a dream. Things didn’t turn out quite how I imagined they would and what I’ve learned is; things rarely do.

I certainly didn’t expect to still be here 16 years later.

Last December I discovered something I thought was going to happen this past spring – something I’d been holding onto for over a year – wasn’t going to happen.

I waited for the waves of disappointment to wash over me when I received the news; but they never came. Instead, I felt this deep knowing that I was exactly where I was meant to be. I wanted to be on the move, but The Universe (or whatever you choose to believe in) was telling me it wasn’t time, it was more important that I remained still.

I didn’t understand why at the time yet it all makes sense now because I can see if I’d gotten what I thought I wanted, I wouldn’t have learned an important lesson I still needed to learn.

For the past four years, I’ve let June freak me out. I left my corporate career at the end of June 2013 and the anniversary always put me in a panic. Each year I start thinking I ‘should’ have achieved so much more and I’m not moving fast enough. I start looking at how far ahead I think everyone else is and comparing how far behind I think I am and I actually begin to believe I’ve missed my chance to be and do so many of the things I still want to be and do.

In the moments when those thoughts come to me, they feel painful and real. I’ve allowed those thoughts to bring me to a virtual standstill. Not just for a month, but for the better part of the remaining year.

I decided this year would be different. I decided to sink into those difficult feelings and each time I started telling myself a story about someone else being ahead or how behind I am, I also asked myself, “Why do I really feel this way?”

Because I’m always looking ahead to ‘there’ rather than being ‘here’, that’s why. I’m so busy wanting to be further ahead or somewhere else that I miss out on right now. And whilst my life is by no means perfect – as if a perfect life even exists – it is full of abundance and I’ve achieved so much even if those achievements look vastly different from how I thought they would.

Besides, there is no falling behind; what’s meant for me won’t get away and the same applies to you, too. Time is not running out and there’s more of everything on the way; more ideas, inspiration, chances and opportunities – there’s more than enough for everyone.

I also came to see the oh-so-many-mistakes I’ve made since 2013 weren’t failures that slowed me down; they too were important lessons I needed to learn. All the pieces of my life that haven’t gone to plan or the parts of who I am that aren’t exactly who I thought they’d be – they aren’t things to leave behind – they make me, me. I’m exactly who and where I’m meant to be at this moment in time.

I spent the evening of Summer Solstice with only my journal for company. I flung the windows open and turned some music on and I sat with myself and let my feelings wash over me; I felt a longing for all the things I still want to be and do but I also felt a sense of peace that only comes when you pay attention to where you are right now, rather than always looking ahead. I needed to learn this; learn how to be still and how to sit with myself and all of my feelings.

Yes, I still get restless. But I’m no longer restless because of a desire to escape my circumstances or myself. I no longer want to leave pieces of myself behind.

I make plans. The Universe laughs and changes them. And I laugh too, because its plans are always far better than anything I had in mind.

Previously: Creating A Body Of Work…

Next: The Space In Between…

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2 Comments

  • So wonderful to discover that all you need is in yourself (although as the rest of the world streams past, seeking unachievable goals, it is difficult at times). As a fellow traveler, I so much appreciate your thoughts and words.

  • Oh, it’s so wonderful! Although I couldn’t agree more, it IS difficult to hold onto this belief at times. Ellie, thank you for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment! Esther x

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