This past week I’ve been reflecting on the small things in my life that often have the most meaning and more often than not provide the greatest insights into who I am and what makes me tick.

Taking my time over a fresh pot of coffee on the weekend was a pure delight.  Clearly, I don’t get out much!  Lol!  🙂

I was fortunate enough to discover a rarely sold coffee bean at Starbucks from Papua New Guinea (deep, dark and delicious by the way and well worth a try!).  It took me back to my hike across Papua in November 2011 with my best mate Craig.

After the hike and as we were waiting for our flight back to Australia at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby I procured some local coffee beans at the duty free.  Upon tasting them upon my return to Canada realized how absolutely delicious they were and so over the next coming months savoured each and every pot ever so slowly!

I’d sort of given up on finding beans from that part of the world again given that its both remote and faraway with few exports to the outside world, so I was ecstatic when I discovered them and brewed my first pot this past weekend. Simply exquisite!

Well, that got me thinking about my life and all the little things that I’ve been doing for myself that bring me personal joy and happiness.

Its been an excellent reminder that happiness is an inside job!

The only person that can make you happy is you and so I’ve been purposefully slowing down and trying to enjoy the moments and experiences that each day brings.  Its not always simple, as we can easily get caught up in our day to day lives and sometimes the frustrations that go with our existence and so getting back to my simpler approach to life and not worrying about what tomorrow will bring has been a good personal reminder of my core values.

I published a story in 2015 entitled “Just me” which is still one of my favourite stories.  I thought i would share a few lines of that story with you this week…yeah its been that kind of week all around.  🙂

What does it take to build your life again after a major change?   I suppose it depends on the nature and scope of the change, but for me and my personal journey it’s been the realization that I want to live life on my terms. Selfish some people may say…

I guess the older I’ve gotten the less I care about what other people think about me, some might think that this cavalier approach is a free pass for bad behavior – actually far from it!  Acceptance of who I am, just as I am is an important and non-negotiable aspect to all of my relationships – it’s taken me a lifetime to understand this concept, but it’s one I hold close.

Am I always the best person I can be?  I try – but don’t we all have our moments?   Each of us have foibles and things about us that don’t quite fit the norm, but isn’t that what makes us different – our uniqueness? I want to be accepted for who I am, and not what I could be if I’d only change…

Difficult path?  I wouldn’t have thought so, but strangely there have been a couple of instances recently that have got me thinking that perhaps this isn’t the way the world operates.

Our personal values and beliefs can’t be compromised to keep someone else happy…no if’s, and’s or but’s.  We all know this deep down but sometimes we can lose sight of this and fall into old habits…

How can you give in on something so personally fundamental and feel good about it?  If you do, then you’re not being true to who you are and it’s all downhill from there my friends. Yes, I have personal experience in this one…okay, more that a couple of few times in my life.  What can I say except that I’m finally learning – and about time eh?

The tricky part with sticking to your core values is determining the “line” where you feel comfortable and willing to going to, and what will push you over the edge.  For most of us the edge is a little flexible, but by and large you know what your hot buttons are and what you’re willing to accept and what you’re not.

Once you’re over the edge it’s hard to get back to some level of equilibrium, because then you begin to doubt whether the other person actually knows you at all…  What makes this even more difficult is that if this comes on the heels of other little things that don’t quite sit well with you, and before you know it, it’s become “the final straw that broke the camel’s back.”

I realize that letting my values slide and accommodating others needs before my own is a recipe for disaster and something I’m just not willing to accept any longer in my life.  This slippery slope also often erodes other things like self-confidence, feelings of self worth, whether we believe we’re loveable, and whether we are deserving of our hopes and dreams without conditions being placed on them.

Finding my voice has taken a lifetime of pain, suffering and work so I know from what I speak.  Most people don’t know the path that each of us have taken to get where we are today, they only see the image in front of them and make assumptions as to who we are and how we got where we are.

Do not be fooled by the outward appearance – accept me for who I am, just as I am with no expectations or pretense…  As I’ve reflected I keep coming back to the same question “am I enough, just as I am?

Discovering who I am and what makes me tick…deep down has been a huge part of my journey so far. Its not a nice to have…its an absolute essential!

So go find the things that bring you moments of joy and happiness and immerse yourself…in whatever manner you wish, but no matter what – stay true to yourself and your values…and believe that you are enough…just as you are 🙂

I am!