To be nobody but yourself
in a world which is doing
its best, night and day,
to make you everybody else,
means to fight the
hardest battle which
any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.

Lockdown has given me the opportunity to read several books that I’ve had saved up on my bookshelf for a fair wee while. They have all been really interesting but one in particular; Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver, has given me a lot of food for thought.

The book is essentially an autobiographical account of Courtney’s efforts to simplify her life after being diagnosed with MS. Her doctors told her that stress is the number one trigger for exacerbating the condition, so she decided to try to reduce ‘everyday stress’ as much as possible.

She achieved it through eschewing the ‘pursuit of more’ that we are told is the path to happiness. Instead she focused on what she values rather than what she was taught or told to value. Over time it led her to completely change almost every aspect of her life and most importantly to be herself rather than who she thought she should be. The result is that she hardly notices her MS now and lives a much more fulfilled and happy life. Last year I did A LOT of work - with the help of a wonderful therapist - on my values, because as a serial people pleaser I had done such an effective job at burying me that I honestly didn’t know what I valued which was making life very complicated, stressful and difficult. I didn’t have a clue who I was because I was so busy being who I thought I should be and pursing the next big goal.

Reading Courtney’s book has essentially been a continuation of the work I did last year and coupled with the time to think that lockdown has given me it has led me to question a lot of my decisions and actions. I have learned a lot about myself from reading this book and through following many of the steps Courtney used to simplify her life. I already feel more like myself than I can ever remember feeling. I know I don’t want to go ‘back to pre-corona normal’ Rose and I’m in the process of making some huge decisions based off what really matters to me and what I value... and it just feels right. So my musing for this week is are you able to be you and what do you value? If either of these questions are difficult to answer (they were near impossible for me a year ago!) I highly recommend reading Soulful Simplicity.

with love,