Life: Choices, Values & Finding Your Tribe

Enough was enough, the Christmas half a stone had to go. It wasn’t so much a weight around my neck, it was a marshmallow like protrusion around my middle.

After a decadent Easter the tip of the “expanding waist iceberg” had been reached, I was full to the brim and so embarked on a 7-day juice cleanse.  By day 6 which happened to be a Sunday, I hid away and tried to banish all ideas of roast chicken and cauliflower cheese. I turned to a pile of ironing and Strictly Ballroom. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, hunger and ironing blues eradicated by a camp, Aussie rom-com.

Whist mincing away at the ironing board, I had a moment of clarity,  I was choosing not to eat. If I wanted to go and meet my friends in the pub for a roast, I could do, but I was choosing not to. Life is all about the choices we make.

It was a conversation that I had last week with my client The Film Maker.  Her dream, like mine, is to be able to work from anywhere in the world from her laptop. She appreciates the many benefits that come from being self-employed, not necessarily the financial ones, but those that come when you start to live from your values and not the values of other people.

She, like me, gave up a corporate life. She was based in NYC and she didn’t like the teams she was forced to work with, their values didn’t match her own. It was at times bitchy and aggressive and, although she loved the work, the environment of the industry wasn’t making her happy. So she jacked it in, moved to the UK and started her own business. She put her happiness over money. She made a brave move on the basis of her values. She made a choice and it paid off.

If I had stayed in the Corporate world, and not jumped shipped in my 30’s to train to be a hairdresser, I would probably be earning 3 times what I earn now. BUT, I’d quite probably be commuting, stressed, and coping within a team of personalities, some of those I’m sure would be testing. But thankfully money isn’t my driver. I just need enough.

The payback for that is freedom and flexibility, a job I love and a job that allows me the time to pursue other interests and meet incredible people on a daily basis. I may not have a big house, a big car and a wardrobe full of designer clothes, but I do have a mortgage on a home I love, pay my taxes and have quality free time every day. I have very little stress and spend my day in the company of fantastic women helping them to feel good about themselves.

The Film Maker and I gave ourselves a pat on the back, we are living the dream and we had both lost sight of that. Sometimes you just need to meet other members of your “tribe” to wake you up and make you realise that you are doing OK, and when you find yourself with the people that share your values you get it!

The only stress I have in my life currently is that I didn’t lose the expected 3kgs on my week of self-enforced starvation. I’m 46 in a few weeks time and I have a choice, accept that I’m a fabulous 46 year old and stop comparing myself to the picture of Elle McPherson in a bikini that I have on my fridge. It was meant to be a motivator, it is actually not motivating me at all. So I choose to remove her from my fridge and replace her with a smiley photo of myself in a bikini, eating a massive gelato and thoroughly enjoying every lick.

This article was published by The Huffington Post

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