Sunday 20 January 2019

(your) Rules - Sharing the Janergy Effect

Well, I am back on my blog after what has been a busy 12 months. Why busy? Well, I have been doing a word of the day project - something short each day that I shared on my instagram and something that I hope to document in a place where people can access it. My wall at home was awash with post its and was like a blooming garden of colour, words and inspiration.

I also lost my job. Yep, was made redundant. That's another story.  

I've also been thinking a lot more deeply about how I share my skills, talents, stories and inspiration with others, and here's what happened.  I was put in a touch with a life coach who has been helping me to determine how best to use these things - it's still a work in progress, but unless we give something a go, we will always be wondering "what if". And with that, THE JANERGY EFFECT was born. So I am back here doing what I love to do - writing about stuff - while I explore the possibility of public speaking, life coaching and helping people to find their true sense of self.

What else. Oh yeah. I met a lovely man in October.  He arrived unexpectedly and hasn't run away. He has actually run towards me. That was shocking at first, but I am loving it. Two weeks after meeting we decided to go to Fiji - can you believe that?  Yep.  Talk about adventurous and the journey continues in a very happy, calm, simple, uncomplicated manner.  Well there is one complication. He doesn't live here, but we are burying that under the carpet till we have to deal with it - out of mind out of sight I say.
Anything else? No nothing of note.  Hang on yes. I moved house, then had cataract surgery, also decided I loved sharing funny and some not so funny instastories - all in the spirit of authenticity and sharing my very real life, and that has opened up a whole new way of engaging with people. And that's it. 2018 done. 

No hang on, a bit more.  With the loss of my job, means the very real possibility of leaving Melbourne (maybe temporarily - maybe permanently - and maybe this week as I look for work). The cards are up in the air, looking for a place to land.

Okay now I'm done, so let's get down to business.    

Following my word of the day project, here's what I am doing. I am going to explore some more words. Words that resonate with me, and words that have become staples in helping me to define the person I am today.  The me who is resilient, happy, confident, stylish and wants to help others find and be those things. My words may not be what other people choose, but if you take something away to help you think, grow and find another layer of happiness, then that's a job well done.  I'll be talking dating, health, dancing, confidence and so many other things, so stay tuned.

And here are my words. I am going to pick one out randomly and write about it, vlog about it, maybe do a dance about it, or all three. However I do it, I need to express creatively. It's in my blood and pulsing through my veins all the time.
And now, I present word number 1. (your) Rules
Rules are an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done, and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do.

I get it, I know we need rules. They keep us safe, they uphold law and order, they provide a level of fairness but sometimes they are made to and should be broken.

A couple of years ago, when I entered singledom and began navigating the world of dating, I had no idea of the etiquette (or lack thereof) that came with the cut throat world of looking for love.

I remember going on what was my second post marriage date with a man I met online. We swapped a few messages afterwards and I wondered whether I should reach out to him a while later to say hi as there wasn’t really any clear open or closure after the date. Well I am awake up to that now. Hello Ghosting. I was new to Melbourne, didn’t have any friends, so for me, it was about connecting with another human. The rules of dating were – wait until the man contacts you. Seriously? How long – a day, a week, a year? You might be waiting forever, so I thought that maybe I should just reach out and say hi. There was the risk of rejection and the risk he mightn’t return my message and initially those things bothered me. I didn’t want to look like a dick. I’d never been great at dating, and was pretty clueless to the modern world of online dating. I met my ex husband online back in 2004 and boy, were things different then… So I ummed and ahhed this messaging thing, sound boarded it with a friend and they said “just play by your own rules”. (apparently, I always play by my own rules) and I guess that is what makes me, ME! I am comfortable making my rules up as I go, or changing them up when I want or need to in order to keep agile. In that instance though, I felt I should follow the rules, even when I felt like they were going to keep me constrained to a way of being that others had defined.

Life has so many rules and many of them we impose on ourself even if we don’t make them. Rules, rules rules……Fuck the rules, there are so many and they are holding us back from living authentic, empowered and fun lives. Where do I start about rules?

What about those rules around fashion? Pink and red should never be worn together. Well I was breaking this rule at the turn of the century and have continued to break the fashion rules since. See Example A.
Example A
I embrace black and blue, silver and gold, pattern clash like queen, wear too much together (think layers of jewellery, plus a hat with flowers, plus clashing colour – all at once) or too little – think mini skirt or short shorts with a bra under a sheer top. 
I’ve been wearing sequins in daytime since the late 90’s. Why should something so shiny and vibrant be left to dim under the evening lights? Why shouldn’t they glisten in the sun as we go about our day? My how times have changed. I even hand beaded a pair of ¾ pants back in about 1993, because I wanted something that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I wasn’t going to wait for fashion to decide when I could wear these things. I was going to break the rules and just do it.

See Fabulous examples B, B and B - skirt from 1999, sent to me by my sister when she lived in India. I still have it, and still wear it 20 years on. Note hot pink colour (I've never lost my love for pink) and yep, there are sparkles at the bottom. Other examples include colour and pattern clashing and short shorts (I'm in my 50's and I am owning the heck out of them).
Fabulous examples B, B and B
Now before you think - well you can get away with it, you have great legs, or great style, or are confident or anything else that might pop into your head, here's the thing, I am me and I am perfect as I am - with the veins on my legs, my flabby arms, a nose I grew to love, a tummy that's stretched and sags from having a child 33 years ago and a sense of style that one day blossomed. I didn't wake up like this, but I decided not to care about the things that we are expected to be ashamed of. I just want to live my life in happiness and I am not going to hide any of those things away because others deem them unacceptable or unpleasant to look at. 

I actively worked on my sense of self to walk tall and not give a fuck about what anyone else thinks. I said "F U" rules and "F U" anyone else who is going to try and make me feel bad because I don't follow along like a sheep. I am not a Sheeple - part of the passive herd behavior of people easily controlled by a governing power which likens them to sheep, a herd animal that is easily led about. 

Now I am going to let you in on a big secret. Are you ready? Okay then……here’s my rules……. (insert blank space). Hang on a “blank space”, yep, I have benchmarks, standards and values, but I try not to be confined to rules, unless they are mandatory or there's more than a 97% chance of me being arrested if I break them or if my safety is going to be compromised.

If you were to stop and ask yourself about what things you are doing because you feel you have to play by the rules, would there be many?

⏰Are you doing a 9 – 5 job, because that’s what your parents did or because that’s what’s expected by society? Or are you chasing your dream?

๐Ÿ‘Do you do things that everyone else might do because you think they might be living better lives and their vision might make your life better?

๐ŸนI stopped drinking nearly 2 years ago. I consider this a pretty big rule to break, because advertising and society says we can’t have fun unless we are guzzling down booze. They never advertise the hangover that comes with it, or the violence that comes with it, so we just go along accepting a way of life that we might not really enjoy.

๐ŸจAre you afraid to eat ice-cream for breakfast? Well treat yourself.  It’s not an everyday thing, but why shouldn’t we do it? Because we don’t eat ice cream for breakfast, that’s why…..It’s against the rules. But what if you wake up and get a big bowl of ice-cream and go and sit back in bed and enjoy every mouthful and then lick the bowl and go wow, I loved that and it made me feel great!

๐Ÿ‘ซDo you want to fuck on the first date? Well if you do, then go for it (safely). You are in charge of your sexuality. I threw the "my rules" card around here - my body, my rules. If blokes didn't like my non compliance of their pressure, then I said "see ya and go fuck yourself".

So what happened with the guy who I wanted to message? Well I did message him and just said hi, how are you? His response was "I'm seeing someone" to which I responded "I am only asking how you are, not asking you for a date" and he said "fair point" and apologised for reading something between the lines that wasn't written.

I am glad I messaged him, because it put me out of my then comfort zone and enabled me to head into my dating life owning my part of the interactions while starting to build confidence in an area that I was really lacking experience in. I began to form my own rules around this part of my life.

So why do we sometimes live with other people’s life limiting beliefs and rules? 
When I think about it, it may be because we have inherited them or because they have crept into our lives to keep us feeling safe. We become afraid to explore, express and ultimately to experience true happiness and have fun along the journey of life. We put ourselves into a box that has all the should's and should not's in there and they define us. OPEN THAT BOX AND SET YOURSELF FREE....make you OWN rules.

That was the case for me at times. I was living safely, I didn't feel true happiness, I didn't know myself and I don't think I was living with true authenticity. I wasn't fake, I just wasn't anything. I was holding onto all those things I had been told not to do...and then I began to break the rules and break the routine and break into my life and dang it feels great.
It only took for me to choose change.
What's something you can do to shake it up a bit and take that first step towards making your own rules and stepping into your own life? Maybe....
  • start by doing one small thing that you wish you had the courage to do. It might feel strange at first, but the freedom and follow on effects will begin to make your world bigger and with that comes strength and empowerment.
  • go to a cafe and order that ice-cream for breakfast. Don't just order one scoop. That is playing safe.  People might look at you strangely, but I bet they are probably wishing they were eating ice-cream for breakfast. 
  • question whether anyone else's rules are the ones you want to live by - you can do or wear or be or act or think a certain way if YOU want to. It's your choice.
now go, go, break some rules. You don't know where this new found freedom may take you!
How am I breaking the rules today...well I am wearing short shorts and popping out a bit of cleavage.  Big deal you say - well women over 50 shouldn't be wearing mini skirts, so I am being very risque.
If you want to run some rules by me, then reach out.  I'd love to help you consider if they are real, or if they really have to go.

See you soon for my next word and a much shorter post.  

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