What I learnt this week… be present and not afraid to be truly yourself

This week’s weekly roundup could be divided into two sections – before I left to go home (Czech Republic) for the weekend and the actual weekend itself. Why? 

Because going back home to visit my family is always a really difficult time for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but a long time ago I learnt that I’m too different from them to get along without arguing or pretending I’m someone I’m not. Before I get to it, let me share some learnings from my week before the trip back to the Czech Republic.

Be present

The past week started on the same note as the last one – focused on building my body-mind connection. David Brown of Potentiality Coaching ran his popular Moving Meditation class at CambridgeSpace and I’m glad I went. We tried, talked and learnt a lot about embodiment, being centred, confident and self-aware.

After a few months of practising mindfulness, doing regular yoga and generally knowing more about meditation, I feel more relaxed, less stressed and more capable of handling difficult situations. David’s Moving Meditation reminded me how important it is to be present in the moment and aware of the space around your body (and mind).

Be present when you travel

I love the feeling of going away on holiday. The moment I leave my apartment I can feel my brain getting free and wild. I can feel the headspace and clarity coming back. I don’t mind bus journeys, train rides, flights or car rides for hours to get to my destination as it’s a perfect and much welcomed time for reading, thinking and reflection.

Travelling is my much needed and well deserved time to declutter my mind. Even if it’s just for a day or a weekend. Leaving my weekly routine behind and going somewhere new always gives me a new perspective and more energy to hustle harder when I get back.

People often wonder how it is possible that I can travel a lot while running a new business, my answer is simple – I have to! I make taking time off a priority, so no matter how busy or crazy my schedule gets, I always know when my next break will be and I have something to be looking forward to!

Be truly yourself

I learnt a long time ago that I am different than most of my relatives, my schoolmates or even my high school friends. In fact, I learnt that I’m different than the majority of Czech people (I know it’s a big generalisation, but honestly I’ve met only a handful of people back home that would “get me”). There are many things I find really hard to tolerate about my fellow citizens, but the biggest obstacle is complaining.

Being with my family is really tiring as it involves a lot of complaining, and drinking, and more complaining while drunk. One of the reasons I’ve decided not to move back home is the amount of negativity that’s everywhere.

Life isn’t easy anywhere, but it’s even more difficult when you blame everyone else for your misfortune. When you think your poor life is the fault of the local council, your neighbours, your government, the European Union, immigrants, terrorists, etc. And when your only solution is to drink more and complain more.

Be open and be flexible

I’m realising how many people aren’t living in the present, but living in the past or the future. They are easily put out of balance and get stressed when things don’t go as planned. There’s no flexibility and every change is a threat!

I used to be like this – afraid of change, not ready to be spontaneous and nervous that things ‘will go wrong’. Well, things go wrong more often than you think! But most of the time, it’s not the end of the world. Usually, a small shift will put things back into balance. Learning this was the biggest step towards happiness in my file!

My family gets sucked too often into negative thinking, gossips and constant complaining, that instead of doing something about their situation and taking their faith into their own hands. They’re becoming victims of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nothing ever changes, life never gets better, they can continue complaining.

I can’t live like that! Working on my self-awareness gave me a new perspective on dealing with life’s challenges. I’ve learnt not allowing anyone else to take control of my own destiny.

Book Corner

On my way to the Czech Republic, I started listening to You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and I couldn’t choose a better title for my trip. It’s light-hearted reading about a serious topic.

Two quotes really resonated with me:

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.

The second quote gave me the peace I needed when I was getting ready to go back to the UK and my family was giving me a hard time about me leaving again.

Love yourself

I’d love to spend more time with my family, come visit more often or stay longer. but for my own sanity, I can’t. I’ve learnt that I’m too different from my family and that they don’t see me for who I am. To be with them means be the person they want me to be. It means pretending I’m someone else and not being myself.

I can’t do that to myself and I can’t do that to them either. I know that really soon I’d start resenting them. This quote gave me the reassurance, that wanting to be truly myself isn’t a sin!

Do you have similar feelings with some people? What do you do when you feel that you can’t be who you are around certain people? Especially if they’re close to you?! I’d love to know how you deal with situations like this.