The few talks I’ve done recently led me to revisit the thoughts I had when I was struggling a lot with my health, and the changes to my diet. When I had to give up gluten, I sulked and complained and I felt sorry for myself. I struggled to ask people to cater for my unique and difficult dietary requirements. I was even more miserable when I had to eliminate sugar and most dairy from my diet too. I felt it was so unfair. How come other people don’t have to change their diets so much?
Now, I feel completely different about the subject. I have recovered my leaky gut to the point where I can reintroduce almost all of the foods but the funny thing is that I don’t really want to. I don’t mind the occasional dessert or a cappuccino now and then but I don’t NEED it like I used to. Food has become pretty irrelevant for me. At one point in my life it became a crutch and something I leaned on for comfort. Now, I eat to survive. I relish the occasional gluten-free apple pie but I can really live without it. I can’t believe how much things can change in less than a year.
I’m trying to focus less on my health, and more on my career now. I am pursuing opportunities to speak, polishing my skills and trying to learn from each speech I give. I’m also working on my book again now that my editor has returned the latest version. It’s a lot of work and I have many new insights to add. I also have to change a few sections due to this change of perspective I have now. Hopefully, it will come across less whiny and more interesting.
The way I feel about ‘work’ now is probably not the way most people feel about it. When people ask me if I’m on holiday I want to answer that I’m always on holiday because this doesn’t feel like work used to feel for me. It feels like fun, recreation and enjoyment. Of course there are times when I have to work very hard on a speech and on my book. But it feels different from my previous jobs. Those felt like an uphill battle, swimming against the current. Obstacles, frustrations, struggle. This feels like I don’t want to stop doing it. I sometimes run over and collect my girls later than I had planned because I’m so enjoying what I’m doing.
I want to share this message to let people know that it’s really possible to love your work. It’s possible to find flow in what brings in money. It’s possible to live a life that is not a constant battle. I’m not just a naive Pollyanna. I’m also not just preaching – I’m doing it myself. I’m following the opportunities that emerge and that feel part of my calling. Of course I have doubts but I keep returning to this path as the right path for me right now.
In my speeches and my writing, I speak about changing my life. Not everyone who hears my message is ready or willing to make changes to their lives, even though they’re unhappy. I know that many people might feel that it’s impossible or it’s not for them. They might even get irritated or angry at me hammering on about how I’ve designed my life. When emotions are so strong, it’s usually telling us something. My message is that it is possible to change your life for the better. It is difficult but it’s also worth it. Who’s life are we living if it’s not the one we want?
If changing my diet felt so impossible a few months back and now feels part of life, then surely it’s possible for other people to feel that too. Changes to relationships, jobs and habits can also be done, and appear simple a year later although near impossible at the time. I changed a lot all at once because my health collapse demanded it. But it’s not necessary for everyone to do that. It’s possible to tackle one aspect of our lives and to change that. Once it becomes the new normal, we can tackle the next aspect and so on, until we feel we have the life we desire.
At times I feel like this burnout and recovery have taken such a chunk out of my life. But in the greater scheme of things, over a lifetime of hopefully over eighty years, an investment of two or three years of change can yield decades of happiness. That’s well worth the short-term struggle to change, and something that is viable for everyone. I’m not special or different from anyone. I’m just a person who got sick and was forced to change. If I can do it, so you can you.
If the alternative is living an unhappy life, it’s hard to understand why people struggle with change. Isn’t a happy life what everyone wants? What would happen if you slowly started working towards your perfect life every day?