It is very easy to look at the things that we aren’t happy with in life, and look for someone or something to blame.  Blame the education system, blame your parents, blame your ex husband, blame the people you grew up with, the global economy, the weather, the government.

I am very guilty of this – I have blamed my addictions, the failings in my life, and years of unhappiness on almost everyone that has come into my life in some way or another.

Ultimately however, there comes a time when we have to accept that whatever happened in the past, it is down to us to take a grip of the reins and move forward the way we want.  As long as we have freedom of choice, and most of us do, about what we do in the present moment, we can do this.

When we hold others responsible for the things we don’t want in our life, or for fixing things for us, we are making ourselves victims of circumstance, and we absolve ourselves of responsibility for making things better.  Taking ownership of your own life is scary, but at the same time, it is deliciously liberating.

I experienced this first hand when I was a student yoga teacher.  In a course session, something was said to the class, and I thought

‘Yes, that is it, it is all down to me, if I want my life to be better, I have to do it, no one else is going to do it for me!’

This was the moment I knew I was going to be able to free myself of my addiction to alcohol and cigarettes.  By finally taking ownership of the addiction I had spent years denying, I took power over it, and placed the ability to improve things firmly in my hand.  It was quite terrifying, to realise that it was actually all down to me, but at the same time, it sparked something really powerful in me.

I am not saying that you can change everything in your life right now because you decide to.  You are unlikely to go from victim to victor overnight.  It was a while before I stopped drinking completely after this insight.  But the seed was planted, and when it grew, it brought with it great change.

I am reading ‘The Big Leap’, by Gay Hendricks at the moment.  If you haven’t read this amazing book, I highly recommend it.   I have had several big lightbulb moments while reading it, but few more so than when he talks about the importance of taking responsibility and ownership.  In a chapter about ‘Einstein Time’, something I am still trying to get my head around, but will write about when I do, he suggested a question to ask yourself which stopped me in my tracks.

What aspect of my life do I need to take full ownership of?

What a powerful question!

What is your first, gut thought upon reading that question?  Pay attention to your first answer, it is probably your biggest priority.

I highly recommend you spend some time with this question.  Write it down, let it settle in your mind, set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes, take your pen and, with free thought and no editing or criticism, write, and see what comes out.  You might find yourself astonished at some of the insights you get!

This is the sort of question that can actually be life changing.  I would love to know if asking yourself does bring any ‘big leaps’ in your understanding of yourself, if it brings about any changes in your life, so let me know in the comments.

If you would like a complimentary 30 minute session to talk about your findings and see how you can use what you learn, I would love to share your discoveries with you and help you move forward.  Make an appointment for us to talk, and let’s start to figure out your ‘Big Leap’ together!

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Esther Nagle
Teacher, writer, speaker at Balance and Breathe
Esther is a former alcoholic, smoker and all round stressed out mess. She found the path to health, happiness, freedom and joy through Yoga. She is a passionate advocate for the power of Yoga, and time in Nature, in bringing balance to life, and giving you control over your health, happiness and wellbeing.

Esther is a powerful public speaker, writer and author. Her first book, Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga, has gained many 5 star reviews and has helped many people along their recovery journey.

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