Olivia wasn’t sure why her girlfriends continued to move forward while she remained stuck and frustrated. It wasn’t that she didn’t have the creative talent that they do but still for some reason life just didn’t seem to go her way.
At 47 she felt as if time was running out, that she should have seen more, done more, experienced more than she had already.
In high school she had been voted the most likely to succeed. Yet here she was, several years later, 4 kids busier and a few extra pounds heavier but still not enjoying the success that high school seemed to promise.
She can still remember the 15 year old girl with big dreams she once was.
A loud voice behind Olivia interrupted her thoughts. She was sat in a half empty bar at two in the afternoon waiting for the next hour to pass until she had to go pick up her youngest.
Her hands had been caressing a half filled glass of orange juice for the last 45 minutes and as money was tight she had no intentions of buying another.
“Maybe you just need to take some time to stop and think about what’s next?” the voice said into her phone “You know… maybe it’s time to stop, re-focus and re-start. Give yourself some time to breathe and focus on what you really want to do. Otherwise the next 10 years will pass you by and you will still be where you are now, only even more frustrated”
Olivia felt a sudden feeling of certainty hit her didn’t look up to take a look at the woman who was on her phone. Something deep within her, something in her bones told her what she needed to do now more than ever was to stop, re-focus and start again. The question in Olivia’s mind was could she really stop right now and move forward without having to go back, so she could make a change in her life?
“I guess it’s time to find out!” she said out loud as she jumped out of her seat and headed back towards her car.
What’s Wrong Now?
Even though it was 11pm before Olivia found time to stop and think she was determined not to let another day go by living life but not really feeling alive. She picked up the small notepad she had bought that afternoon and sat down to think.
She knew that the best way to unlock what the problem was, was to ask herself a bunch of different questions until she found the answer she was looking for. The first question she wanted answers to was ‘What’s wrong now?’
This was an important question that needed an answer before she could decide upon what she wanted to do next.
“So, what is wrong now?” she asked herself out loud, glass of wine in hand and Nat King Cole playing softly in the background. “I have a great house, four wonderful children, I eat and I own more than most. So what is wrong now?”
Olivia stopped and took a deep breath. Then she took another and then she took a third. She remembered reading that deep breathing was a great way to clear the mind when one needed answers to a question.
Olivia opened the notepad, wrote the heading “What’s wrong now?” and started writing. She had decided she was going to just allow herself time to write whatever came into her head until something that made sense came out. No editing, no thinking about it, just a complete free flowing of words.
If I have to write about what’s wrong now… she began…. I guess I have to think about all the things I really want to do but am not doing, or all the things I really want to experience and am not.
I really am open to discovering what they are…..
She continued to write about her day, about her child hood, about her desires and dreams that she had as a younger woman and what had happened to them.
She wrote until she couldn’t think of anything else to say and then she read over it. From everything on those pages Olivia discovered the following things about her life
- She is not traveling as much as she wants to
- She doesn’t always have enough money to make ends meet most months
- Two credit card companies kept calling her asking for money and she was avoiding them
- She is restricted in life by how often she can go out socially
- She really wants to sing and isn’t right now
- Life just seems to always be a struggle, no sooner has one area been sorted out and something else crops up that has to be sorted
Happy with her two hour discover Olivia closed her notepad and went to bed. As she fell asleep she thought to herself “if there is anything else I need to know about where I am now I am still opening to it being revealed”
The next morning Olivia arranged for her eldest daughter to pick her younger brother up from school. She wanted to spend the whole day thinking about what was wrong with her life as it is now. This wasn’t a process she wanted to rush through.
While in the shower she thought about her list and realized that most of what was wrong right now seemed to stem from her money worries. Not only owing money but being chased for it too and only just having enough to live on.
“That’s the thing I need to sort out first” she said to herself and she decided right then and there to think about ways to get herself out of that situation.
What Olivia comes up with and how she tackles her situation will be revealed soon…
Give Yourself Time To Breathe
After reading that it is pretty clear that Olivia isn’t happy right now, her life she feels isn’t where she hoped it would be and she was open to discovering why. Over hearing a conversation sparked something in her, her inner voice made her realize that this is exactly what she needed to do. The first very important thing she did was ask herself a question. Questions are a great way to help you figure out what’s wrong, what you need to do next or even what move you should make. Writing it all out in free flowing form gives you the space to censor nothing and allow all your thoughts to come out on paper. This is a great thing to do in your journal so that everything is documented and you can refer back to it.
When you first sit down and think about all the things that you want to change about your life it might be a pretty long list. The key to success is taking the time to sit and choose just one or two things that you will tackle immediately.
Keep writing and writing, page after page for as many hours as you can. One hour must be your minimum. When you truly allow yourself to let go and just write at first you will write mundane chatter but the longer you stick with it the more insights you will gain into your life.
There is no limited time or minimum about of time you should sit and do this. You can write for 10 minutes or 2 hours. It is up to you and the time you have available. You also don’t have to do this all in one day. You can write again the next day, and the day after that if you want to. I find it helps most if I give myself up to 2 hours and ask questions in one sitting.
You have to find your own stride but the more you use this technique of asking questions and free flowing writing to help you figure out what’s wrong the faster you become at getting answers from it.