Around 15 years ago, an old friend asked me why I was so obsessed with self development books. She just didn’t get it. Perhaps it stemmed from my upbringing in the church, where we would study the bestselling self help book to date, the bible. Perhaps it’s my inquisitive personally and deep rooted desire for growth. If I’m not growing, I’m not fulfilled. We are here to grow. As I shared in a recent article
, the word heaven is derived from Greek roots and means ‘expanding’. I want to expand and transform. To me, that’s an exciting adventure and why I believe we are here. We are here to grow, which is why pain, rejection and mistakes exist. If we go back to the garden of Eden, before the devil aka our ego kicked in, we were naked and free and fully in the moment. That’s my idea of fun. Of course, it’s easy to become stuck or distracted and I get that. But I don’t want to be a Martha, rushing around and getting lost in human doing mode. I want to be like Mary who was present and free from a racing mind. I don’t want a mind that can’t stop and take it all in. I want to connect with myself and, as a direct result of this, others at a deeper level. I would love to spend more time naked, in a non seedy way (although of course we are sexual beings so both are nice). But society tells me this is wrong. I need to cover up or I’ll be arrested. Metaphorically, society tells me it is wrong to expose how I feel too. I’m grateful that I won’t be arrested in this country for exposing my soul. So, on that note, let’s jump in.
I came across a quote that said:
‘Grow so much that your friends and family no longer recognise you’
I remember breaking down in floods of tears about this time last year because I felt lonely. I had grown so much that year that I felt some of the ‘closest’ people to me had no idea who I was. A year later and it’s been a bit easier, regular mindfulness and meditation is a conscious part of my life each and every day. Which means my reaction to any family politics isn’t as quick. Whilst I have felt challenged, I find it easier to show compassion to others. Sometimes I need to bring out a little bit of bad ass, as we need to practise self compassion too. Just because I may be a ‘laid back person’, doesn’t mean that I need to bow down and accept highly strung behaviour. Neither do you. Society tells us that ‘opposites attract’. That is all good and well to an extent providing that there is compromise and a mutual respect.
For a person whose core value is freedom, marriage can be a complicated one. My hubs and I sometimes daydream about getting our own caves to live in and having our own space. Housework and socialising could be done on our own terms. Nobody would blow out my candles. I could play whatever music and self development audio I wanted. I would put my clothes away in a timeline that suits me. Nobody would complain about all the books and notepads I have lying around. I could leave the Christmas tree up until the 6th of January every year ;).
Growth isn’t a competition. It’s personal for each of us. It can be hard to practise gratitude and shower those around you in love when your values are clashing. Nature heals stuff. They say quieten the mind and the soul will speak. It’s true. So get quiet each and every day in a world that puts distracting ourselves with the ‘to do’ lists on a pedestal.
Last Christmas I booked a mindfulness course and it was a game changer and the best way to kick off 2019. You can read all the books you want, but ultimately it’s the practise that brings about true transformation. You can read more about what the course taught me here or listen to this epic podcast
I recorded with Gary, the founder. Now a year on from this, I’ve had plenty of time to get still and I’ve booked another course. It’s going to be intense and that’s a story for another time but I’m all in and extremely excited. I am excited to grow and feel like I have only just touched the surface in terms of the potential I have (and we all have for that matter). We are here to be growing, transforming beings with no limit. Common sense may tell you that these word are over the top and unrealistic. To me, life has no depth or purpose when it is defined and motivated by common sense. We live on a beautiful planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea. I believe we are born to do incredible things. I want to be frank with you though. Growth can be challenging. When we grow at a pace that friends and family start to feel the challenge of change, it can hurt. It can feel lonely. So keep sharing. Don’t listen to the messages from society. You don’t always need to keep calm and carry on. Sometimes you need to practise a little self compassion and surround yourself with people with shared values who get it.
Jojo Fraser is an award winning author, coach, podcaster and motivational speaker. Jojo believes that we are all born to lead. She has been a mental health researcher for the past 6 years and helps to empower, motivate and uplift the leaders she works with. She is a regular speaker on BBC Radio, a keen foodie, lover of running, wild swimming and she loves to sing.
Follow her popular podcast here, which is dubbed by her global listeners as ‘free therapy’.
Tune into her daily stories on Instagram @jojofrasermojo and Facebook @jojofrasermojo.
You can purchase her first book here. More info coming soon about book number 2.