Life is beautiful, so many amazing and positive things happen in our lives every single day. The problem is that there is also lot of negative, and negative emotions weigh a lot more than positive ones. They become so heavy that they consume us. The weight pressing down feels so overbearing and intrusive that we struggle to focus on the good.
I am sure quite a few of you reading this have faced the loss of someone or something that mattered greatly to you. Whether it is the loss of a job, a pet, of innocence, of a person or a piece of jewellery that held great sentimental value. Loss impacts us deeply… for me, it was the loss of my mother-in-law that brought my world to a grinding halt. I saw everything differently, and more than ever – I was aware of my mortality.
I realised just how short life is, and just like that – every single moment became more valuable to me. I realised that I was deeply unhappy. I was unhappy at my job, I was unhappy with the people I surrounded myself with, I was unhappy with the state of my marriage and perhaps the worst of all – I was unhappy with the kind of mother I was.
At first, I blamed my unhappiness on the fact that I was in a toxic work environment.
I would dread going to work in the morning. I was on anti-anxiety medication to manage the panic attacks that I got almost daily. I would be so mentally and physically drained when I finally got home, that I did not have enough energy to spend time with my kids. I was always in a rush, always late for something. Instead of spending quality time cuddling with my husband on the couch – I would sit and offload on him. I would tell him all the negative things that happened to me that day and would then launch into an entire moaning session about how tired I was… and most of the time I was just plain cranky and frustrated. I would pick fights with him, and my darling, calm husband would never engage – which made me even angrier.
I was stuck in this whirlwind of negativity where all I did was moan about my life and complain. And then my mother-in-law passed away.
Suddenly, I couldn’t pick fights with my husband anymore… he just lost his mom.
I couldn’t complain… because nothing compares to losing a parent.
I couldn’t cry about being tired – because at least I got to wake up to another beautiful day.
I had to be present for my kids, and I needed to be my husband’s rock for once.
I turned my frustrations to my friends instead and one day, a very good friend turned around and said… “Maz, you are so negative – lighten up… you just complain!” and it knocked me. I was so upset, but more upset about the fact that she was completely right.
Shortly afterwards, I was sitting in bed watching InstaStories and this amazing woman who I have known and admired for a long time (Harrassed Mom) started talking about the power of positivity and positive manifestation. To be honest, it sounded a bit hippy and naïve to me – but then another mom I absolutely adore talked about the same thing in hers (The Milk Memoirs)…. and I had to do something. I read up on it a bit, asked a few questions and I decided to give it a go. I actively tried to redirect my mind into a positive space and I realised just how many people were trapped in a negative bubble, just like I was without even realising it.
Just ask yourself the following…
How many times have you already complained about being tired?
How many times did you complain about the traffic today?
How many times have you already complained about work, or your boss?
How many times have you complained about your spouse or partner, or your kids?
Did you look at social media this morning and felt a pang of envy towards someone else’s life?
How many of you woke up not feeling 100%, just feeling a bit low?
Negative feelings attract negative moments.
Spend one day censoring yourself, turn a negative thought into a positive one – trust me, it feels amazing. And it is not easy, and you realise just how many negative thoughts you have in a day, how it is almost automatic. Life is so precious, so beautiful… but how can we enjoy it when we are fundamentally unhappy. I realised very quickly that negative thoughts and emotions were holding me back from health, happiness and accomplishing my goals and dreams. It is something I still struggle with, especially in the social media sphere.
I realised that the source of my unhappiness was not “out there”. It wasn’t my job. It wasn’t my kids, it wasn’t my husband or the morning traffic. It was in my mind, in my own thoughts and feelings. And it is not just the thoughts and feelings themselves, but the fact that I obsessively live inside them.
We need to let go.
We need to let go of toxic people, negativity and things that make us deeply unhappy. And it can be done. Letting go is a choice. Letting go enables us to “step outside” of our emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and images and see them for what they are.
You have the power to resign from a job you hate and either find a new one – or start your own business… people do it every day.
You have the power to end relationships that are toxic – whether it is family, friends or a romance – IT IS YOUR LIFE. The people in our lives must be a positive influence. We must respect ourselves enough to walk away from whoever does not help us learn, grow or make us happy.
You have the power to not stress about things that are not within your control. Take money for example – if you cannot pay your bills this month, will stressing about it make the problem disappear? Or can you simply let go and trust that what would be, will be. Doing what you can to rectify the situation and taking as much control as possible is a lot more productive than freaking out.
“The recognition of the coming and going of things is a first step in training and practice.“—Dogan
Isn’t that beautiful? Everything comes. Everything goes.
“When it comes, let it come. When it goes, do not cling. This is so elegantly simple. So much pain and suffering arise from clinging to the desire for things to be different from how they are.”
There is so much to be achieved in the short span of our lives, there are so many opportunities we can grab hold of according to our individual capabilities, and this is not possible if we remain paralyzed by all those things we are supposed to let go. Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need, to flourish and grow.
Personal growth and change can be uncomfortable sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong. The hardest part about growing is letting go and moving away from our comfort zones and moving on with something untried and new. True and valuable wisdom lies in accepting what is, letting go of what was and having faith in what could be.
Our future hopes and happiness should never be defined by our fear-which exists only in our minds. It is a joy to follow our hearts, and a tragedy to let the lies of fear stop us. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect moment’ for positive changes in our lives, we must let go and dare to seize the most opportune moments and make change happen.
So… how did I implement this in my life?
The first step was the scariest. I resigned from my permanent job as a senior fashion designer and decided to take a leap of faith by starting my company. By this time, I had been running Caffeine and Fairydust for quite a few years and I truly believed that with a bit of effort and determination – I would be able to make a sustainable income from it. I knew that I would make it work, and I did.
From that one change, so many amazing opportunities opened up to me. Caffeine and Fairydust went from strength to strength, and with it came the opportunity to start my Image Consultancy. I still loved fashion, and I wanted to put my years of experience to good use – most importantly, I wanted women to feel good about themselves, I wanted to help them feel like the queens they are – so I did.
Through doing both successfully, a third opportunity came my way and I opened a digital marketing agency with a lifelong friend. We are loving it, and t is going really well – but it meant that I no longer had the capacity to do image consultancy and had to put The Image Consultant on the back-burner. I found my true passion. Every day I get to help businesses navigate the world of social media and I help them grow their online presence in the most authentic way possible. I closed the door on the career I thought I was supposed to have, that made me miserable and so many more opened and my life changed forever. I have never worked this hard in my life, but I truly enjoy every moment of it – the good and the bad.
I met new people, women who are powerful, kind and smart. Women who, instead of wallowing in negativity, uplift and empower themselves by uplifting and empowering others.
Simplify your lives, share your love, caring and compassion generously. Communicate honestly and truthfully, stop focusing on how unlucky you are, and remind yourself about how blessed you are. There is always that one other person or many other people who have it so much worse.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!