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On this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I delve into the topic of getting out of your own way so that you can heed the lessons that repeat experiences are trying to show you and finally move on. Here’s the gist of what I talk about in the episode:

  • If you keep coming up against the same issues, it’s time to recognise a valuable lesson that you’re missing. This is better than carrying on as if you know better despite the fact that you’re increasingly feeling the effects of it not working.
  • The alarm gets louder, but the lessons become more painful. Life tries to give us subtle, less painful lessons and even tries to provide us with obvious ones. If we still keep doing variations of the same thing but expecting different results, things will come crashing down.
  • If you’re feeling stuck, if variations of the same lesson keep coming up again and again, it’s about acceptance. Where are you not accepting the truth about someone or a situation? Also, where are you accepting less than what you truly need, desire and expect?

When we’re not listening to ourselves, Professor Life will ring the alarm and shake things up.

  • I know so many people whose lives have come what feels like crashing down. Job, home, a friendship, family, a relationship — everything. It’s understandable to feel angry, afraid and sad during these times. What we have to be careful of though, is lamenting the loss of something, a way of life, that we were not only pretty unhappy with, but it doesn’t reflect our truest, happiest adult self. We’re mourning for something that reflects us being stuck and playing it small.
  • I got talking to someone recently who got made redundant from the job she’d detested for quite some time. At the same time, a friendship broke down, she reached a crossroads with her controlling and overbearing mother and had to decide to call time for good with the toxic boyfriend. This is undoubtedly a lot for one person to deal with. What she hadn’t realised is that she hated the freedom and opportunity that these experiences were offering her. She was turning her back on some much-needed lessons and so unable to embrace some of the gifts.

Sometimes we behave as if we begrudge figuring out what we need and want.

  • Life keeps serving us up the same lessons until we heed them. When we have a reoccurring theme of something going on across a number of experiences, we need to pay attention. We can’t move on until we do. ‘Professor Life’ as I sometimes call it, puts experiences and lessons in front of you that cause you to answer the thought-provoking questions that these bring up due to the uncomfortable and yes, often negative emotions and destructive thoughts that surface as a result. These feelings and thoughts need to come out, but they’re also trying to help you.
  • Professor Life isn’t trying to make a fool out of you. Nor is it saying that you don’t know anything at all. It wants you to heed the lessons so that you can move on from this ‘module’… to an upcoming one in the future.
  • Professor Life also wants you to engage in critical thinking and to not accept the status quo despite it being your uncomfortable comfort zone. It wants you to get really good at listening to you instead of taking a position like, ‘Well, my family did it this way so I should too [even though they’re miserable and/or that’s not working for me’. Or, ‘Well, someone said X to/about me when I was 5 so I have to stay this way [even though they were inappropriate/wrong etc’. Or even, ‘Well, I told myself Y when I was 5 and so I have to keep using that reasoning otherwise I’m going to look wrong and foolish’.

Professor Life has your back.

  • We need to recognise that we can’t know what we don’t and didn’t know plus, there are very specific reasons in our past that influence the way that we think and feel today. We did the best that we can, but we are also allowed to grow. We’re allowed to wake up some more and start to become cognisant of where we need to adapt and make big shifts in our perspective, particularly around stories, judgements and yes, even the excuses we make.
  • Instead of kissing our teeth and being like, ‘Oh come on! Why do I have to learn anything?’ we can take a different approach. When we are ready to move past the anger, irritation, frustration and other emotions that so many of us experience when we feel as if life is wearing down our last nerve, we get into a zone where we’re like, ‘OK, life. I see what you’re doing, but I’m paying attention. I’ll be graduating from your lesson very soon, and I’ll be open to the next one’. Because reality check: we will always be learning in some shape or form. Of course, the more we listen to ourselves, the less painful our lessons need to be. We we’ll be chilling out and enjoying life.
  • Remember that the lesson is something positive. It’s never not about you being ‘not good enough’ or something else negative that leaves you feeling rubbish about your options and stuck doing the same thing and expecting a different result or resigned to accepting crumbs.

Here’s the 3 questions to help you understand where you’re stuck:

  1. What are the reoccurring concerns, frustrations etc? So, look for the repeater themes and situations.
  2. Where do you have outstanding decisions as well as fear around moving forward?
  3. What are the thought-provoking questions that are being posed by life?

As mentioned in the episode, there’s a worksheet that you can download–Figuring Out The Lesson(s) That Professor Life’s Trying To Teach You and it includes my Unsent Letter Guide.

Next stop

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Listener questions can be emailed to podcast AT baggagereclaim DOT com. Got a topic you’d love me to cover? Let me know!

Edited 17th July – The post has been updated with the link for the download! Apologies!

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