The Journey and my realisation that nothing will change until I change me....

I wanted to share with you my journey, my story. It will be raw, personal but I hope that it will assist you and help you so that you don't have to waste as much time as I did.

I am now 49 years old; I have served my country for 26 years in the Air Force serving all over the world. I have been married and divorced twice and I have a beautiful 20-year-old daughter who is currently in University in London.

My journey to my "centered self" started approximately 5 years ago, I had left the Air Force and emigrated to Australia.

Life was good, but something was missing and I just couldn't put my finger on it. I didn't feel whole or complete. A lot of things had happened in my life and I had done a lot of things that I was not proud of, there was regret and a lot of unresourceful comparison going on within me.

This discord started to become a rumble and gradually increased until it became a bone shaking earth quake.

I started to recognise by Cumulative PTSD was returning, I was becoming hyper vigilant, fearful, angry and inwardly focused.

I had experienced this 15 years before and it had led me down a very dark path where I had "danced" with trains a couple of times, almost dancing too long, if you understand what I am trying to say in a roundabout way (it is still raw inside for me) and I really did not want to go there again!

I remember talking to a friend about how I was feeling and how on the surface people thought everything was cool and groovy, but internally I was not coping. I remember describing how I felt a fraud and a fake. I felt I was having to wear a mask in front of others....even more, I was sometimes wearing multiple masks. This was exhausting and taking a lot of effort.

He mentioned to me about the 3 Universal Fears, and explained what they were. As soon as he explained the principle behind the Universal Fears I was able to reflect and see how they had been impacting me. Even more than this, how I had been choosing to allow them to impact me.

This was a lightbulb moment for me....I had been choosing this, I had been choosing to create this fear and that perspective...

What else had I been choosing? and if it was my choice, I could change that choice....couldn't I?

I had been studying and interested in Human Behaviour for many years before this moment, but I had never really thought about how it applied to me...

I mean after all, I am Ok, it is all the other lunatics in the asylum of life....It can't possibly be me....can it?

Oh yeah, it hit me like a steam train.....boom!

This moment was day 1 of my journey....

I started to become curious about everything and one of the first things I started to dig into was why I was feeling the way I was, what was I choosing to believe and feel that was creating this current reality for me.

As I leant into this even more, I explored that thought of "what was I choosing to believe".

As I dug deep into my thinking, I had a realisation that since leaving the RAF where I had clear Values & Beliefs, I currently was very unclear on my Values & Beliefs.

Again, with more curiosity than a crazy scientist, I wondered why I had not brought my Values & Beliefs with me from the RAF and it dawned on me that I was fearful of being seen as a fake or a fraud, of not being enough to have come up with my own Values & Beliefs, rather than using the RAF's.

I had been thinking I would have been seen as weak or too stupid to make my own Values & Beliefs.

So, I set about getting clear on what I did Value in Life and what Beliefs I had to support those Values. I did lots of studying and grew my understanding around Values & Beliefs and realised that when we are clear on our core Values & Beliefs, decisions are easily made, that there is clarity in our thinking and life becomes easier.

After doing this part of "Inner Work" life started to improve. I thought, wow, who would have thought that a little curiosity and not settling for mediocrity would create such a difference.

Then I got thinking, if that made such a difference, what else can I do?

I started to wonder if there was anything I could do about the guilt, regret, remorse and disgust of some of my behaviours from the past. Particularly around my two failed marriages.

I recognised that I had hurt a lot of people when these relationships had broken down and that was something that niggled away, subconsciously, within me for many many years.

I did what most people do and blamed all the other parties involved in the relationships and aspects of the relationships. I used their behaviours to justify my actions and behaviours. In reality I was taking zero responsibility and this is why my subconscious was eating away at me......in a nutshell it was Shame and it was Toxic Shame.

Eugh, this felt really uncomfortable and awkward as I raised my awareness to this, did I really want to open this can of worms? Was I strong enough, was I enough to really do this?

Then I thought back to the Values and Beliefs I had committed myself to, and I knew deep down that if I didn't live within those Values and Beliefs I would be back where I was....and I didn't want to go there again....

So, I started to dig deeper into the shame, I started to learn about shame, the difference between toxic shame and healthy shame. How I could choose between the two, how to recognise when I was in toxic shame and how to flip that to healthy shame.

This was another big moment, because even more I was able to start to take responsibility for my actions in the past. To recognise my poor behaviour and to identify where it had been repeatedly used in my life and how that behaviour had impacted my life, the lives of those around me and ultimately had created the environment (bubble) that had become my life.

Now I had this insight, perspective and understanding I was able to recognise the choice points that I had made. Even more, I could recognise where similar choice points had happened recently and how I was still making the same choices and still impacting myself and those around me. This had to stop, I had to start making better choices.

So I did, I started trying new ways of thinking, seeking further understanding and insights. By being able to do this I was created new choice points, new perspectives, new ways of seeing things. This meant I was able to make new choices and see if that positively impacted me, or not.

Now I was really being able to create a platform for resourceful comparison, I was able to compare where I currently was with where I had been. This was a big break through.

All the time I am learning these patterns of behaviour. Through my studying and research, I was discovering fact based models and structures that I was able to understand and use to calibrate not only my behaviour, but the people around me.

I then discovered the power of the mind, meditation, mindfulness and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I was able to really start to take control of my mind, my thinking and what was happening in my life.

I even turned jam dougnuts into tripe! I would easily smash a full bag of doughnuts through comfort eating and that was becoming a habit. When I learnt about association and disassociation and other NLP techniques I was able to turn a doughnut into tripe.....I hate tripe, it disgusts me and just the thought of putting it anywhere near my mouth has me reaching and feeling sick. I have not had a jam doughnut since I did this Inner Work, and that is over 3 years ago now.

This powerful tool has enabled me to do time line therapy on myself and address the guilt, shame and hurt that I have been carrying around with me for over 20 years.

I now use this tool to help others unburden themselves from their past memories. One person who had suffered an horrific, abusive childhood and had been carrying with them the guilty and disgust internally from that childhood, has now been able to let go of it totally. The memory does not bother them anymore and they are now able to move forward with their life with confidence and grace. It is a beautiful thing to be part of.

Another massive realisation for me, something that has really helped me with my inner work is the understanding of my "inner child". I went to a training where we discovered that we all have an inner child. This inner child is a mini version of us as we currently are, but with the values and beliefs of a 5-year-old.

When we recognise our inner child, we are recognising our subconsciousness. Our subconscious is what drives us, keeps us alive, inspires us......it can also shut us down, create fear and dred, it can hold us back.

If we look after our 5 year old, nurture it, encourage it, validate it, love it, be present to it, hear and see it....our 5 year old will flourish and grow....just as you would any 5 year old.

I have done the inner work to connect me with my inner child, I am now fully connected and constantly checking in on how he is going. I was meditating the other day and he popped into my thoughts and I was so pleased to see him smiling, giving me a big hug and excitedly telling me how he was feeling. To be fully connected with my inner child has given me a sense of belonging and confidence that I have never experienced before.

Here we are now, 5 years on and I am well and truly engaged in my journey of personal development, growth and connection with my inner self.

I recognise that this truly is a journey and I will be on this journey for the rest of my life, slowly and constantly growing and becoming the very best version of myself.