Using a Catalyst for Creating the Life You Want

Note: Going forward on our “Creating the Life You Want,” adventure I will be talking from my own personal experiences. I am not trying to be preachy, teachy, or to influence you. My goal is to inspire you to find your own unique voice and path while hopefully entertaining you with my mis-haps and successes along my own journey.

So, Lets get started!

When I started this journey I was exhausted and I was tired of existing in that state. I will admit that I wasn’t willing to look within and figure out that my frenzied, “keep moving at all costs” motto was actually hurting me. By keep moving I mean that both literally and figuratively, I was the Queen of burning the candle at both ends. If things got tough this girl got moving…I would change jobs, change living spaces, Change myself (physically), Change relationships, change, change, change, move, move, move!

The result of all this manic moving was a nice little stay in a Mental Health facility where I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with friendly tag-a-longs like OCD, anxiety, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and a psychotic episode. Fun Times! I have said it before and I am going to say it again, that diagnosis saved my life. It made me aware. Aware of ME! the real me not just the crazy, messed up me. It also put everything I thought I knew into a tail-spin. My reality was no longer…well…real. That was an infinitely huge mess that needed to be worked out.

That all happened in 2005 and we are just 2 months into 2020. I wish that I could say things are perfect now but we all know that there is no such thing as perfect. I can say that I have come a very long way. I learned about my disorder, so I could control it rather than it controlling me and I am happy to say that my hospital stay has been a one off. There have been a few hiccups along the way but no major melt-downs.

The hard part was and still is taking a long, thorough look at myself…all of the nitty-gritty parts that I may not want to look at, let alone deal with. Harder still is changing what needs changed after you have scrutinized every aspect. For those of you that haven’t started that process (or have but are struggling) I highly suggest taking the Myers-Briggs and Enneagram tests. They will pinpoint your personality type and explain how you function in the world.

My Myers-Briggs type is INTJ and my Enneagram type is a 1, which means that when I am not at my best I can come across as a hyper-critical, arrogant, emotionally stunted asshole. On the inside, however, is a highly sensitive, intensely private but passionate soul suffering from imposter syndrome; painfully aware of the fact that they are a living, breathing paradox, which is ironically the one thing they can’t find a solution for.

Here is what I found useful about personality typing:

It taught me about cognitive functions, which not only explained how I see the world but how the world sees me. This was an eye-opener for me, but it allowed me to grow and excel in ways that are more authentic. I basically was given a reset back to my factory settings before Life took me out of the box and started to play with me.

Life is a great teacher; we have to learn to be great students. If life gives you a catalyst (painful growth experience), use it to reset back to your factory settings and then start building what you want your life to be like. The choice is always yours; you can choose to be active or reactive. What is the difference? My “keep it moving” motto was a reactive choice. I was letting life play with me instead of stepping back, taking a deep breath and observing what was happening and why.

I wasn’t learning the lessons Life was trying to present to me. I reacted from a place of fear and thought that keeping busy and perpetually changing would somehow change my circumstances. Life, it turns out wasn’t the cat to my mouse, It just wanted to show me that we could work together to create something beautiful.