Photo and story by Beth Jennings Photography
“Do you know the thing that changed my life? It’s meditation.

I had a knowing that I needed to stop drinking and start meditating: ‘stop drinking, start meditating, stop drinking, start meditating.’

I was drinking at least a bottle of wine every day, I had to drink to cope. The kids were tiny, and I was like, fuck, this is bad, the drinking was getting earlier in the day. I was in an unhappy relationship, I wasn’t mothering properly, I couldn’t get work, I was lacking in confidence. I felt like financially we were in a hole we couldn’t get out of.

None of it was how I wanted to be living.

I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t know what a successful life looked like. I didn’t own a house, drive a nice car or have a good job. What was a successful life like, truly?

I knew things needed to change and it was over a long time – about six months. It was escalating. I could hear it in my head: ‘I don’t know how I can do that, how to stop drinking’. I had to create a space to stop the bullshit and start the meditation. It was like intuition. I had to learn to listen to that and trust that.

I started meditating every day and committed to that. It got me out of my head which was where my problems were. It connected me to my heart. Then I could look at things from a compassionate place and have less busyness in my head. I started to feel calmer, more centered.

I wanted to know my potential, what I could achieve in this lifetime and who I could become. How I could impact and change the world. I realised the only way I was going to do that was by changing myself.

I just wanted to be happy and be a great role model for my kids, be fit, be in a loving life and environment.

Why does story this even matter? It’s done. It’s all old stuff now. It’s boring to read and talk about. It’s not relevant any more except to use as the driver to continue to do what I do now.

Everyone’s got a boring story. Does that make sense? It’s just a boring story that I no longer wanted to allow to define me or be me. I just wanted to create a life I loved that I was in love with living every day and the first thing I had to do was let go of the old story.

Part of the catalyst for the whole thing was I went for a skydive. I was hungover that morning. I had terrible anxiety, I was shitting myself, I thought I was going to die. I was going to write my kids a letter saying sorry for being irresponsible for doing a skydive. It was a tandem jump and the group was so enthusiastic and full of joy. And they bloody loved their lives. I remember feeling, I just want to love my life.

We did the skydive, it was exhilarating and I thought, I didn’t die. And that gave me the courage to do many hard things after that.

I knew deep in me that the drinking wasn’t the problem, it was the consequence of ‘the thing’. The thing is not the thing. I knew that I needed to look deep within myself, given the circumstances that I’d found myself in.

One of the things that got me through some of my housing challenges and serious financial hurdles was that I used to be grateful I wasn’t in Syria. It was really centering. There is no problem here except the bullshit that I’m creating in my head.

The deeper I shifted my perspective, the happier my life became.

Now, amazing, magical things happen every day in my life. Like the walk today - connecting beautiful people who potentially could connect me to more beautiful people. I have no attachment to outcomes. And that leaves space for new avenues to open up. It’s not an instant thing. We’ll be walking and someone will say, I have an idea for a podcast – and I’ll hear it, I won’t need the details and the what’s, who’s and why’s – I’ll just check in with how it feels. If it feels good, we do it.
I’m trying to explain this – it’s like a miracle. But I’m not looking for the big miracle all the time – the oh-my-gosh that was the most amazing thing ever. It’s actually in acknowledging the tiny miracles, because they add up to the big ones.

That’s why I see myself as successful now because every conversation could lead to a million different places. So I have an attitude that everything is mystical and amazing. The more I feel like that, the more amazing things can, and do, actually happen.

There’s always another way of looking at things. I started being appreciative of what I did have. I poured my attention into that, and I started seeing more good things, and more good things started flowing into my life. My health improved, my connections improved, my business improved - because I became a nicer person to be around.

The meditation allowed me to shift my gaze from the thoughts in my head to how I wanted to feel about my life, how I wanted to be in my life – that feeling…that feeling of happiness.”

Fiona Redding helps people understand who they are and teaches them how to live their lives with passion, joy and meaning, whatever it is they choose to do: www.thehappinesshunter.com

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{This story was originally published here}