Thank you for your comments about thinking like a Jedi – I’m so pleased that the post struck a chord with many of you!
Today I have another idea to share with you, this time inspired by The Body Shop’s Anita Roddick. I always admired her get-up-and-go attitude, as well as her no-nonsense approach to life. For me, she lived and breathed the belief that nothing is impossible, and she was passionate about getting that message across to people. For a time, she would have quotes and messages adorning the sides of her delivery lorries – one of which has stayed with me ever since I first saw it:
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!”
Isn’t it wonderful? Slightly tongue in cheek, you can’t help but conjure up an image – and a knowing smile.
It’s Up to Us
So often we can fall in to that “too small” trap ourselves. We can often think we’re tiny or ineffective, that problems are too big, or other people are too powerful. And yet, so far as I’m concerned, it is always up to us to decide who we are and how we choose to be – even though sometimes it’s all too easy to forget. As I’ve said before, we always have the choice to remember our own power and find ways to use it. It’s the same as thinking about the huge amount of power in the tiniest chili pepper. Just the smallest bit can be enough to spice up an entire dish.
I remember when I was a child, my mother used to play Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes” about an ant who was determined to move a rubber tree plant. Even now I can hear the tune in my head and it brings a smile to my face. Holding on to the same “high apple pie in the sky hopes” is something that has kept me going through many an emotional storm I can assure you! The same song has also spurred me on when I’ve been faced with blockages and a relentless stream of negativity. I don’t even care to remember the number of times I’ve heard phrases such as “That’s not possible” “You’ll never be able to do that” “It can’t be done” – often from the mouths of so-called professionals, particularly over the past couple of years. Oh yes, that little old ant has appeared in my mind on many occasions!
People, I’ve found, can be far too keen to share all the reasons why things are impossible, shaking their head and tutting at any suggestion that perhaps there is another way. But there is always a solution, and there is always a way – even if it seems that everything is stacked up against you. All it takes is a bit of stubborn self-belief and small, determined moves in the direction of your dreams. The rest, as they say, then falls in to place.
There’s Always Another Way
My divorce was complicated – or at least, that was what the solicitors would have me believe. I was told that I would have to follow specific guidelines and obey certain laws, even though the person I was dealing with had no intention of doing the same. I was warned that it would cost me tens of thousands of pounds to take my case through the legal system – a system that my ex knows how to play because he doesn’t give a hoot about what is right or just. But the solicitors just didn’t seem to get it. They simply didn’t believe what I was saying…
“You must put your faith in the law, Miss Pledger, this is the only way” they’d tell me, while advising me that they would need to prepare yet more paperwork that would again be ignored, costing yet more money I didn’t have and wasting a whole heap of time. Yes, of course I believe in the necessity of a legal system. And yes, in most cases, it works well. But in my particular case, I found myself bashing my head against a brick wall – and I wasn’t going to stand for it. The more they told me there was nothing else I could do, the more determined I became to find another way. And I did.
Over the months of numerous futile conversations and useless legal actions, although my frustration levels were pushed to the limit, I actually learned a huge amount about what can and can’t be done. I began to understand where the complications lay, and slowly slowly I began to craft my own solutions. As time went on I became confident that I knew what needed to be done – and eventually, at the beginning of this year, I found a solicitor who was willing to do exactly as I asked. She understood my specific requests and agreed to prepare the necessary paperwork. What a relief! At last somebody was listening. At last someone was prepared to believe that I did know what I was talking about and could work with me to facilitate my plan. And it worked.
Yesterday I received the fantastic news that the courts have rubber-stamped all my divorce papers, which means I am now finally and totally free from my ex. It’s official. It’s legal. It’s over. And boy does that feel good – wooo hoooo!!
It hasn’t been easy – I’m not here to kid anyone that the road to freedom is straightforward. But I am here to tell you that if I can do it, then so can others. Anything is possible, so long as you put your mind to it. Just the smallest of actions can make a difference – because with each decision, each tiny step, each minor movement we can keep ourselves heading in the direction of our dreams.
Just last week I was away on a wonderful yoga retreat, and our inspirational teacher reminded us that it’s often the smallest of movements that count. Just lifting and dropping our shoulders a few centimeters, or deepening our breath just a tiny bit more has untold benefits on the body. It’s the same with our attitude. Deliberately shifting even one negative or restrictive thought can have a huge effect on our achievements.
As Henry Ford is quoted as saying “Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t – you’re absolutely right”. Well, I am now more determined than ever to keep my dreams alive and I am holding fast to the expectation that all of them will be achieved. And, once again, I find myself giving thanks to my ex. I am thankful that he tried so hard to break me, even though I wouldn’t wish the pain on my worst enemy. But in the end, the ensuing emotional battles for survival have turned me in to the person I am today. So yes, I am grateful. Because now I know that anything is possible, and my life has just begun.
To finish, I’d like to share another positive reminder that I keep on my wall. Like so many good things, this famous poem by Marianne Williamson has kept me going through some of my darker days – I thought you might like it.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”