Capturing feelings of gratitude can be extraordinarily hard. It is often fleeting and ephemeral, not something tangible that I can pin down and examine.
But in the last few days I’ve been focusing on the flow of energy in my life, and my reactions to recent events – disappointing and painful – and how my attitude to these events is influenced by my core beliefs.
Those beliefs are not always helpful or positive, so at a very deep emotional, mental and physical level I’m doing some work on changing that.
One of these long-held beliefs is a variation on the theme of not being worthy – ultimately worthy of loving. This premise is one that so many of us carry throughout lives like a lead coat of misery or shame. A rainbow of morbid grays that weighs us down and contributes nothing to our emotional or mental health.
I’ve decided to cast mine off and reclaim my inner space as an optimistic, confident woman who is indeed deserving of respect, someone’s time, being heard, being supported, being treasured, being satisfied, being adored – and being loved.
In some ways my ‘cougar’ identity – read ‘mature, sexually empowered woman’ – is one face I hold up to the world. There are others too.
I’m sure this new period of determined growth will influence my dating life and my desires in the coming months.
I’m henceforth inviting in people who will help me grow, specifically towards re-building my core (unconscious) beliefs to be life-affirming, self-affirming and loving.
Part of what I will be working on during the next two weeks is creating a vision board. I have never done one of these before, although in a way my whole, beloved home, particularly my bedroom and study, is about holding beauty, strong positive energy and ideas through language (quotes), images (cards and pictures, artwork) and of course, cherishing the physical (through touch and intimacy).
This is my first living space (house) that I alone own – I’m responsible for the roof over my head (to also shelter and protect my children) by my own labour and dedication. Before now everything I owned belonged jointly to the ex-husband. It is immensely liberating to go it alone – although I share the space with my children, I know that one day it will be all mine. It is my safe space and my sanctuary.
This is a deeply empowering fact that I don’t take for granted. I am grateful for my ability to provide for myself and my family in work that enriches me, and helps me grow and learn every day. It is also work that allows me to enter ‘the zone’ aka the flow; a place where we are lost in our endeavours. I am grateful for this state as there is no more rewarding career than one that allows you to connect with this energy through whatever means is your calling.
I am also grateful for the reciprocal love, warmth, listening, and sharing of my friends and immediate family.
That may seem obvious but in feeling gratitude I can’t go past the most observable source, which includes the people who I spend the most time with day in, day out, week in, week out and in some cases, year on year.
There are many other aspects of my life I’m grateful for, including my good health. I’m also working on being genuinely grateful for my physical body (without succumbing to the notion of myself as a flawed and less-than-perfect specimen of womanhood).
I’m hopeful that shifting some of these unhelpful core beliefs and subconscious attitudes will also shift something in the type of relationships that I attract into my life.
And of course, you – dear reader.
I am grateful for you. I am grateful that what started out as dipping a toe in the waters of experimentation (never having read a blog before, much less followed dozens!), close on 9 months later I have a solid following and much more importantly, a genuine feeling of community channeled via blogging and specifically, WordPress.
In 2017 (September to December), Unleashing the Cougar achieved 4,547 views from 1,251 visitors, attracting 433 likes and 409 comments.
In 2018 (to end May), Unleashing the Cougar achieved 8,055 views from 2,492 visitors, attracting 596 likes and 562 comments.
Highest all-time views were in March and April 2018 with 1.9K each month.
The top 4 countries to view UTC during these 9 months were United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, with surprising numbers in France, Germany, the Netherlands and India.
In 2018 (to end May) I have written 41,229 words or 22 posts, and in 2017 (from September), I wrote 46,423 words, or 36 posts. I have long posts on average, because I tackle meaty subjects, and they sit around the 1800 word mark. And UTC has gone from zero to 264 followers in these 9 months – for every one of these people I am honoured and thrilled.
Thank you again to everyone who has read or commented on this (still) work-in-progress blog. Thank you to the women and men I have ‘met’ and collaborated with, some of whom have become my first blogger friends – and one I have even met IRL!
As always, I am grateful for feedback, suggestions and opinions, especially constructive criticism because that’s how we learn and grow.