A Slice of Life

A Slice of Life Directory

I started the Thrive course Monday night with Suze as her training buddy, l also purchased the Thrive Programme exercise booklet yesterday afternoon so that l had my own copy and didn’t have to use Suze’s, this also means that l can cross reference when l wish and double back as l need to. But it also means that when we are studying together we are not having to wait for another’s reading time to slow another down.

Just a quick summary, but the concept of Thrive is likened to that of an empowering tool that questions the whole belief system. You are fundamentally taking control back of your life and not giving into the limiting belief system that many of us have and still do on a regular basis throughout our lives. The programme looks at helping boost and lift a person’s self-esteem, decrease their negative thoughts and encourage and motivate them to implement and introduce more coping mechanisms.

It is aimed at helping a person transform their life, of course, they are ideally going to want to change – it’s a good programme, BUT it’s not a magic wand .. and as we all know they don’t exist! But it does teach YOU how to become your own magic wand if you do want to at least try and believe in your own brand of magic!

Now, one of the first tasks l undertook with the course was to answer a quiz containing 150 questions which were aimed at the very core of my belief system – as in … what did l actually believe in? How confident am l, how strong is my self esteem and so on. Was l suffering with any mental health issues and so on. The course is designed to allow people to start to live their lives again and to really … Thrive!

I encouraged Suze a few months ago to take the course and so enthused was l by the concept that l paid for half of the programme that Suze is on – we decided that a 1 – 1 coaching course would be a valuable investment. Sure, a more costly approach – but l did and still do believe it was the right thing to do for Suze at that point in time in her life.

The biggest problem was that Suze who was thoroughly enjoying the course material, but not always being honest about how little sleep she was able to get at night to recover and so working a full time job, recovering from cancer, having to live with debilitating side effects from the chemo and radiotherapy. Suze would then tackle in an evening the course materials and work n that for a couple of hours, go to bed and in essence be awake for 22 hours a day – this series of events led to a mental collapse late August.

Now she lives here, we are able to tackle the course again from the start.

Had l been aware of and personally taken this course last year anywhere between January – June, l would have had a very different score to the score that l have today. It wouldn’t have been as low as Suze’s was back in July, but it would have been lower than my current score and had l taken the course back in 2017, maybe on the day after l had pondered on walking off a cliff to my death 200 feet below in May of that year, l most assuredly would have had a very different score to today also.

When Suze took the quotient quiz back in July of this year, her score was 58/150 – if she took it today l think her score, whilst still low would be marginally higher. My score today was 128/150 which classes me as a thoroughly Thriving individual’, l have very high self esteem which is fabulous even if l say so myself. But then, l have literally turned my life around over the last x number of months since August 2020. In the last year or 14 months, my mental yoga or yippee ki yay has been torn apart by me and reformatted to a better and more positive me – l opted to start living my life in the ‘here and now’ looking forward to my tomorrows and NOT allowing my past and my yesterday’s to hold me back!

Nope, it just ain’t happening anymore – life is just way too short.

I was already changing long before the Thrive Programme was on the scene – l had to a certain degree had enough – but Suze’s cancer l will be honest really woke me up a lot too. It just verified that life doesn’t come with any kind of guarantee – we can either tell ourselves to be unhappy – or not. it is that simple, it’s all about attitude to life, people and more importantly – you, yourself.

I am not going to sit here and say ‘Hey l am 100% confident about everything and come across as arrogant and pompous’ as some people do. No, that’s never been my style anyway – l still have a few hesitations in life but l have recognised them. What are they you ask? Well l will discuss them in due course, but not now.

Whilst, my autism has taught me that l have limitations and boundaries and that is not a question of belief it is fact – and yet then, some would say , but you are fuelling that belief and it’s not the autism holding you back – it’s actually you and they would probably be right too!

I do hold myself back at times, be this through reality or pragmatism or limiting self belief and l can buy into that … it’s like dancing – l used to love dancing – in nightclubs and l was a really great dancer, people always remarked upon it and on a few occasions l was a podium dance in nightclubs [oh they were the days] – and l wanted to learn to dance properly a few years ago, but l held myself back, l always blamed the limitations and boundaries of my autism – as that was easy .. l allowed myself to live in the belief system of .. oh it’s people shy, it’s my stomach …. it’s this, that and probably the other too! But the reality was it was me .. l was concerned what people would think of me, l would fail – l would say – so l stopped myself.

Now, l still love dancing, but l rwas convincing myself that l didn’t actually want to dance, but l missed dancing, and then l would say to myself – but l have really bad knees that would probably crumble under the impact, well, no probably about it, they both ‘kneed’ [couldn’t resist it] operations, and l am unlikely to get those in a hurry so l don’t exert unnecessary pressure on them, so l walk which is safer. See, doing it again …

BUT … if l truly wanted to, let’s be honest bad knees or bad stomach or not, l could learn how to how to Salsa dance .. and you know what? That was something on my bucket list and l took it off last year, but it’s come back on again!! The reality is l can probably learn to dance …. but l can’t run, that IMPACT would cripple me … l still have some logic left!

You can’t deny physical complications that you may have, you still have to be sensible – but it still comes down to what you are willing to believe in – it’s a belief that we can’t do x, y and z or that we choose to believe in e, f and g!

I was already changing my thinking styles way back in January, you will recall, it started with my blogging and this blog … l went through a series of changes, l wasn’t happy, l lost my direction …. then there were months and months on and off the blog for me where l was oohing and ahhing about parts of my identity, my creative juices, my writing style, my reading thoughts … and in May of this year l just woke up one morning and finally admitted to having had enough – l was going to start changing my life around and l have … l am no longer using fear of the a’s, b’s and the c’s as my fail safe plan .. the oh l can’t do that … nope. There is no reason l can’t do anything l set my mind to.

I was thrilled and excited [a very rare occrurence for me] at the same time to see in black and white just how well l really was doing. Sure, sure in my gut l knew l was doing really well, people had remarked upon it also BUT, as many know that means Jack squat until we can see and feel it for ourselves, so yes l felt it, l knew the changes were all positive, BUT to see it in black and white plain as the nose upon my face – it felt good. Onwards and upwards and to infinity and beyond is my new credo!

There will be a lot of new ‘stuff’ happening coming into my life and that includes new people too. I am determined to help Suze recover so that if she wants to emigrate to down under she can or whatever she wants to do, l want to help her realise that goal. If l am to be her stepping stone, then so be it. Suze helped me when l was down, we are mates, it is what mates do for each other too.

One of the things it sets out at the offset of the course is it asks the reader …. how do you feel when someone challenges your beliefs? it’s a very interesting question … my answer was bring it on. Why? Well some of you may remember when l was writing the mini-series “Who let the Geist in?’ This series caused me to travel back to my memory vaults and it opened up a lot of bad thought patterns for me and l began suffering with nightmares again, the ones l used to get as a young man …. it served as my main epiphany in May – it was the start to the end – or l should rephrase, it was the start to the end of the old me … l decided to wake up properly! A couple of months ago, l re-examined all of my beliefs and challenged them and it was a very interesting experience for sure …

But l will ask of the reader now …. How do you feel when someone challenges your beliefs?

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20 thoughts on “A Slice of Life

    1. Hey Sadje, the pompous remark was concerning those who are arrogant and pompous with regards their over confidentiality [as in cocky] and not about their faith 🙂

      1. I got that. But I have been accused of being too strict or taking a hard line where my own faith is concerned. Perhaps over confident too.

  1. Most of my beliefs are relatively mushy so I can easily shrug off challenges. I’m also cool with people believing different things, though sometimes I will mock a bit, depending (not publicly usually). I do of course have SOME beliefs that are set in stone, and those I sometimes defend but mostly I find it’s better to walk away. What’s the point, for example, in arguing with anti-choicers? They aren’t going to budge and neither am I. Best not to engage…

  2. That depends on the belief. Some are open to change in the face of new things I hadn’t thought of or been aware of. Others, I’m not budging, and I’m with Paula on not seeing any point in arguing with anti-choicers.

  3. I think I have a kinda framework that anchors me, but within that framework I am always learning new things, understanding more….and I do think that considering what you believe, asking if it makes sense, explaining it to others, “testing” those beliefs ought to be a positive. It helps to identify where you may have come to a wrong conclusion, and ask why or how – was it someone or a community of people who influenced you? Did you actually sit down and think deeply and work out if a belief makes sense, if it holds water.

    I am slightly dubious about anyone who is not prepared to let their beliefs be tested. I am very impressed by those who are fluent in explaining their beliefs with logic, clear reason, and can see both sides. Some people have really thought deeply about why they believe what they do and it shows. Others are just dogmatic and get defensive and angry if anyone seems to challenge them. I respect people who can discuss beliefs and stay calm and stay clear headed. I think it is a huge asset that they have.

    1. Hey Jenna, that is a wonderfully balanced answer 🙂

      I too agree with this very much, we all should challenge what we believe in, we should all be able to freely ask ourselves how were these beliefs assigned to us? by us, by others, by parenting, by conditioning, by laziness .. or by what?

      I find confidence in ones belief to be very sassy irrelevant to how l personally feel about a belief.

  4. I grew up in a family of devil’s advocates and still live in one (too many lawyers!). I am not put off at all if someone challenges my beliefs. I tweak mine all the time!

  5. I see with my son that there are times that beliefs have to be protected or the foundations start to crack. For me my beliefs often shift from what I learn from others. As I get older I’m getting better at picking the right people to listen to.

  6. I have and defend beliefs but feel there are two sides to every story. I feel it’s important to have an open mind and understand there are gray areas in the rules of life. One can’t assume fellow man has our same beliefs nor should we judge them not worthy if they don’t.

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