Moving Skyward from Sadness

Ladies and gentlemen, this is very personal post. I feel like I need to get this out there and get some things off my chest. This is a bit of my story.

Last night I had one of the best conversations I’ve had in a very long time. It was a discussion that was supposed to be business oriented, but from the get go it took a very different path. It took a very much needed turn into a more personal direction. The topics ranged from political views and current events, to personal relationships and communication in times of hardship and struggle.

I had the chance to express my points of view on a number of topics that have been part of my own life experiences, some good things and some bad things; just real life. And through this discussion, my eyes were opened to so much.

I commend my dear friend for being such an active listener, and for being aware and observant of things that I really didn’t see for myself. This person helped me to see the bigger picture of my own life, and to better understand the ever-present shroud of emotion and confusion that has clouded my life for so long. This person helped me to realize that part of what I have been searching for in life was already in front of me the entire time, but I just failed to see it.

Sometimes in life when things get tough, emotions tend to overtake your better sense of self control. In other words, you start making decisions based on emotions and feelings instead of making decisions based on relevancy and application. Emotions can cloud your judgement without you realizing it, and that’s exactly what happened to me.

For what feels like the longest time ever, I have been sitting pretty much behind the scenes planning and building and researching and learning all about how and where I want to take Skyward Mind in the future. It’s not easy building a business. It’s tough work and it can get very emotional at times.

When Skyward Mind first started, it almost failed completely right out of the gate because of a failed relationship with my now former business partner. Emotions ran high and the next thing I knew I was reading an email from my business partner that basically said “I quit.”

Since that time I have single-handedly maintained focus on the continued forward progress of Skyward Mind and what I intend for it to become, but like I said, it’s tough. Building a business is anything but easy.

One of the primary reasons it’s been so tough is because I was not quite sure of the direction I wanted to go in terms of building the Skyward Mind brand. I’ve had countless sleepless nights where I’ve gone back and forth in my own mind about the specifics of what I want to happen. I had a general idea of a general direction to go into, but general is simply not good enough. Specifics and details are a must in business planning. A clear and concise decision must be made, and the struggle I faced was with that very decision of direction.

But after my conversation last night, I feel as if I now have a much better understanding of my desires for Skyward Mind. I feel like I understand why it’s been so hard for me, and it’s not really even business related. Remember those emotions that can cloud your judgement that I just talked about a few paragraphs back? That ever-present shroud of emotion and confusion? Yep. That’s it.

As some of you may know, when Skyward Mind was first being conceived, I was also coming out of a broken and failed relationship with my ex-girlfriend. I had harbored a whole lot of negativity and animosity in my heart, and in my mind, and it was all directed toward my ex.

When things are good, they’re great. But when things are bad, they’re horrible.

I didn’t expect a break up, but who ever “expects” that? Who wakes up and says “I can’t wait to scream and shout and argue and break up?”

Yeah, nobody.

So the breakup happened, and my animosity and emotions simmered in my heart and mind. I dwelled on how right I was about everything, and how wrong my ex was. I dwelled on how good of a decision maker I felt I was at the time, and how bad of a decision maker she was. At least, that’s how I felt at the time.

I had never experienced such anger and frustration in life as I had during this breakup, because the issues that led to it were just simply unacceptable in my mind. And from my point of view, there was absolutely no way in hell that I was wrong. No way! Not me! Hell no! I am not the person that screwed up!

Do you see the pattern there? It was all about me, me, me. I was right. I was correct. I was innocent. I was wrongfully treated. I was better at the decisions that were made. I was blah, blah, blah.

That’s what emotion does to you. That’s what anger does to you. That’s what feelings can bring up in you. When you feel like “you know that you know that you know” (not a typo) there’s no getting around it. I was so caught up in how right I was about everything, that I didn’t take the time out to just “Woosah!” and react properly. I mean, I did try that before the breakup occurred, but I should have kept trying.

I should have taken a different approach to issues much sooner in the relationship, way before things got as bad as they did. But with my personality and the way I think, I kept flashing back to prior issues and always felt the need to point fingers and say “Look at what you did! Look at this! Look what you have done! This is exactly why it happened!”

There is no feeling in the world like the feeling of knowing you’re right and being able to prove it. It’s a high beyond compare to any drug the world could ever possibly know.

But being right is not the answer in relationships. Being right is not the solution to problems in relationships. And that was something I failed to see at that time because my judgement was clouded by emotion.

In the good times of our relationship, my ex used to jokingly tell me that I was a militant personality, that I was like a Drill Instructor that was bound and determined to whip his recruits into the proper shape no matter what.

In the bad times of our relationship, my ex used to scream at me that I was a militant personality, that I was like a Drill Instructor that was bound and determined to whip his recruits into the proper shape no matter what.

No James! There’s no pattern there whatsoever! (Big sigh with palm to forehead gesture.)

And therein lies the answer ladies and gentlemen!

My approach to life has always been very black and white. There is right, and there is wrong, and there is no in between. There is no grey area. And I personally believe that that is the case for most of life’s issues, especially in business. But it’s not the case for personal relationships.

When you love someone and you enter into a personal relationship with that person, then you are agreeing to love that person in their entirety, and to accept them just as they are, and to put up with all the good and all the bad that makes them who they are. And all that good and bad is emotion, and emotion is indeed a grey area. Emotion is not black and white. Emotion is not clear cut. Emotion is anything but simple.

And that is what lead to the failure of our relationship, my inability to properly function in the grey area.

So the relationship ended, and I carried my black and white thought process with me. And then Skyward Mind was conceived.

And you already know that that business relationship failed as well.

So here I have been on my own, behind the scenes, working and trudging away, refusing to give up on Skyward Mind, but not understanding why I felt the way I have for so long. Confused. Clouded…Lost?

Well it’s been long enough for me in the trenches of despair. I’ve been unplugged from much of the world on purpose since the breakup, and have been somewhat Ninja-like when it comes to Skyward Mind.

The conversation with my dear friend was like unlocking doors and opening windows that have been barricaded shut for so long. It brought so much understanding to things that I have been struggling against internally, and I feel like I have some much needed clarity now that I haven’t had in a while.

Being more open. Being more outgoing. Being more understanding. Functioning better in that grey area. Telling more of my story to the world. Those are the things I need to do. Those are things that really matter to me as a person, and to my business of Skyward Mind.

After all, the name Skyward Mind refers to aiming for the sky, reaching for the stars, and accomplishing your goals and objectives regardless of the obstacles that you encounter. The very nature of the name refers to going against all odds.

For lack of a better phrase, the reality is that I have not been my Authentic Self. I haven’t been the person I am supposed to be. I’ve been so confused by the shroud of emotions and feelings for so long since the breakup, that it’s affected every aspect of my life and my business. And instead of aiming my sights skyward, I’ve been looking down.

I guess you could say I’ve been suffering from depression over how I felt after the breakup, and from all the negative thoughts and feelings that I’ve experienced in the time since as I’ve embarked on this journey of self-discovery. I’ve learned a lot about myself since then.

I didn’t realize the extent to which I had unplugged myself from the world around me. I disconnected on almost every level from everyone and everything around me. I’m not anti-social or shy or timid at all, but I’ve not been the person that I know I’m destined to be.

It’s now time for me to turn to a new page in my life, and to elevate my life and my business to the next level. It’s time for me to regain control of my life and my mindset and my future. It’s time to pick myself up from the ground and brush off this dirt and dust and grime that’s stuck to me in these trenches of sorrow, despair, and depression.

Having clarity and understanding feels amazing, and having a great friend that’s able to give great advice and not be judgmental feels amazing as well.

Thank you so very much my wonderful and amazing and awesome friend! Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for being you. You are so epic!

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