Embrace the ‘messy in the middle’ on the path to purpose

‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading’ – Lao Tzu

I’ve pivoted.

This project and blog were meant to be about mindfulness.

I quit my job to spend a year exploring mindfulness, overcoming the struggles, finding bliss, blogging about it, and hopefully developing ‘some stuff’ to help other people get more mindful and blissful too.  Or so I thought.

I didn’t have a firm plan, just a conviction I needed more mindfulness, a gut feel that other people did too, and blind courage that I’d work it all out.

I called it My Kinder Life because I saw living mindfully as a kinder way of being: less busyness, less worry, less stress, more appreciation, more connection, more joy.

Six weeks in, I’ve changed my mind…

I still believe mindfulness can deliver those things, for those who choose it. And I still choose it. Mindfulness helps me see and appreciate more kindness every day.

But, above all, kindness is what really matters. Whether you are the giver or the receiver, kindness gives joy. Kindness makes life rich. Kindness rocks. That’s what I think anyway! Mindfulness may be a pathway to a kinder life, but it’s not the only one, and not for everyone.

So I’m backing up the truck, changing direction.

What’s changed?

My Kinder Life Is no longer an adventure in mindfulness. It’s an adventure in cultivating kindness, and the gorgeous joy that kindness brings.

So here we are, with a significant turnaround after just six weeks … is it a sign of failure? No way! We all get to change our minds. As many times as we want to. The choices we made six weeks ago, six months ago or six years ago may well have been right for us then. As we change, and our circumstances or the way we see the world change, it’s our birthright to also change our minds and choose a new direction.

We fail if we know the path we’re on is no longer right for us and  keep going anyway – maybe too attached to our comfort zone, or too fearful of the unknown. I know the feeling – I’ve been there. And I know the kindest choice is to go where my heart is leading, not limited by my past or my fears. Anything else is robbing ourselves of our potential. And robbing others too.

What now for me?

Mindfulness isn’t gone from the scene. Living more mindfully and creating space for intention setting and reflection enabled me to see what’s really important. Mindfulness got me here and it will help keep me on my right path.

But my bigger vision is no longer about mindfulness. It is about cultivating more kindness for myself and others, more ways of giving and receiving, more joy.

My Kinder Life will still be a blog, a personal journey, an adventure, and a social enterprise.

I’m so excited by the new direction, that my head is swimming with ideas for what a social enterprise could look like – all the ways I could cultivate more giving and receiving and more joy in that.

My ‘ideas box’ is filling up, and I love what’s already in there. Soon I will bring back out one of the ideas, or a combination of them, and say: ‘this is it, let’s get going’.

My natural tendency is ‘let’s get going NOW!’ but I’m trying not to rush it. Good things take time, and I know I’m onto a good thing.

That’s the story so far, and where My Kinder Life is at today. Six weeks in, it’s been the adventure I hoped it would be. It’s been a voyage of discovery. And I’m in the right place for me today.

What about you?

If you take away one thing, please know that I know pivoting can be scary, and we’ll always find reasons not to change, but it feels so good on the other side. It opens up new possibilities. It opens up excitement. It opens up the life we’re meant to live.

I’m reassured by the words of Robin Sharma: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous in the end”. I want that gorgeousness and I can feel it coming at me.

So let’s embrace the pivot, embrace the mess, and embrace the gorgeous rewards.

Now, that’s kindness.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” – Nelson Mandela

 

Afterword

  • If you’re interested in collaborating with me for a kinder world, please let me know. I’d love to collaborate with others on my ideas and yours.
  • For more inspiration on kindness, you might also enjoy this blog by Jess Stuart. Like me, Jess quit a corporate job to create a life aligned with her values. In this blog, she talks about what kindness means to her, and why it’s good for our brains and our wellbeing.
  • Want more inspiration for making your own life-pivot? Try watching this video from Prince Ea: Everybody dies but not everybody lives.
  • If you want to keep following the adventure of My Kinder Life, make sure you’ve signed up in the newsletter sign-up box on this page, or the RSS feed.
  • If you enjoy my blog and know others who would enjoy it too, please share. Sharing is cool! (You can just click on the social media icons below)
  • I love it when you comment. Whether you agree with me, disagree or have another take on life, its all welcome here. What did this post spark for you? (and if all it sparked was a yawn, I need to know that too!)

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7 Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s a pivot – it’s simply part of your journey! It’s entirely right that you would gain clarity and direction when you freed up some space in your head to think and dream.

  2. Mindfulness has lead you to kindness so that’s no pivot just progress. I love the direction to kindness as it is an easy word, and concept, for me to grasp.

  3. What did this spark for me? The one word I’ve been trying to live into for the last couple of years, compassion. Compassion to me is being non-judgemental of others and their choices, among many other things, and not being so hard on myself. Allowing me to make choices that don’t always align to what I ‘should’ do. And above all being kind to myself. I love the kindness you are applying to self and others Christine.