A ‘Perfect’ Life

by Rachel Hall, Australia

Eight years ago I had what I thought was the ‘perfect life’ – it ticked all the boxes and fulfilled all my childhood dreams and ambitions. I had a University education, great job, flash car, big house, swimming pool, beautiful partner, two dogs, loads of friends, a jam packed social life, a fit body and incredible holidays. Not bad for a working class kid from inner city UK. I had become the success I always said I would become…. But under the facade of this successful life was the feeling that something was missing, and the more I had the more I wanted; so I bought CDs, books, food, the newest TV, flash sports gear, gym memberships, games consoles, computers and so on like they were going out of fashion.

Back then if you had asked me “was I successful?” I would have without hesitation said “yes of course, look at what I’ve got”. However, looking back my relationships were shallow and quite dysfunctional – especially the relationship with myself.

I disconnected from my body, pushing it beyond its limits, relying on caffeine and carbohydrates to get through my day… and falling into bed exhausted after a couple of bottles of beer to help me ‘relax’ and ‘unwind’. But this was no different to the life everyone around me was living, and compared to many of my friends and family I was doing really well – yet my body was telling me otherwise as I was in constant pain and felt anxious or out of my depth most of the time.

One day I stopped and took stock of the life I was living. Slowly I realised that although I seemingly had it all, it actually didn’t feel right as inside I felt unsatisfied and exhausted with trying to keep up the pace of life and the picture of success I was living. “Work hard, play hard, party hard and be hard” was my motto. Was this really the life I wanted?…. where I was cynical, distant, competitive, driven, in pain, anxious, short-tempered and self- centred. A life where I had come to measure my self-worth on the job that I did and the things that I had – and not on the person I was.

What happened to the dreamy-eyed little girl who was full of life, vitality and innocence? Is this what she pictured for herself when she was growing up?

If I could go back and ask her, “when you grow up would you like a big house, fast car, good job? Would you like a partner that loves you for you, respects you and treats you as an equal? Would you like to feel alive and fulfilled?” She would most likely say “yes”.

But if I asked her, “when you grow up would you like a body that hurts all the time? Would you like to be so exhausted that you need food and stimulants to get through the day? Would you like friendships based on common interests, such as competitive sport and drinking alcohol, but that lack true connection on a personal level? Would you like to be successful but still feel there should be more than this?” She is most likely to say “no”.

So why do we accept less for ourselves as adults than the child growing up would wish for? Has our idea of success become so warped that we are prepared to give up on who we are to have it? Perhaps what we were told is a successful life actually isn’t it after all.

I began to question what success meant for me, and how I could go about applying that to my life.

Success for me meant:

Relationships based on connection, love and equality where there was openness, honesty and the ability to express freely.

To be able to be vital, joyful and full of life.

Doing a job I loved and was passionate about.

Being able to work in a way that did not exhaust me.

Exercising with respect for what my body can handle.

Eating foods that are supportive of my body and leave it feeling nourished.

Not needing caffeine or alcohol to function.

Knowing that everyone is just like me as on the inside we are all essentially the same; and treating people that way.

Taking pleasure in simplicity.

Feeling satisfied and purposeful.

From here I began making changes in my life, in the way I treated myself and others, along with the way I worked. I changed my diet, cut back on my coffees, started going to bed earlier, drank less and not as often, took time for myself, stopped exercising to extremes. I focussed on the people I worked with rather than only the task at hand. I became more caring and considerate of others and stopped getting so emotionally involved with things that didn’t concern me.

These changes came about from my willingness to be honest and honour my feeling that even though I had on paper what appeared to be a great life, it was a sham if deep down I wasn’t truly happy, lacked vitality, and had achieved it by sacrificing the quality I had when I was a little girl. I didn’t do it all alone as I was inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. I started bringing gentleness into my life and used the gentle breath meditation as a tool to reconnect to myself and feel where my body was at. Gradually, the feeling that I started to build in my body changed my idea of what does and doesn’t constitute success for me. It would have been easy to say ‘no thanks, my life is great’ and ignore that my body and my emotional state were telling me it simply wasn’t so. However, I had reached a point where I could no longer ignore that nagging feeling that there was more to life and more to who I am than the job that I do and the things that I have.

These changes didn’t happen overnight but were and still are a work in progress.

Ironically, because of the choices I have made I would now be considered more successful than ever with my own business, flasher car, bigger house, more income and great relationships. But for me the measure of my success is that eight years on I have a body that is free from pain 95% of the time, I no longer feel anxious or pressured, my relationships with myself, my partner, family and friends are more loving and honest. I feel more able to express myself and say how I feel and am willing to work on myself and any unresolved emotional issues that I have. I sleep well and feel full of energy and do not need caffeine, alcohol and excess food to get through my day. I love my job and have a sense of satisfaction and purpose. I have passion for life and feel just like I did when I was a little girl. Now to me the definition of success and a life worth living is a life based on love, a life where I know who I am.

223 thoughts on “A ‘Perfect’ Life

  1. If we don’t spend any time with ourselves then it’s pretty difficult to really know who we are, without all the millions of things we distract ourselves with. Creating time and space to just be with ourselves, outside of work, friends and family is so important if we’re to truly know who we are. Just five minutes a day of meditation can start to create this spaciousness in our own bodies that then extends from there into our lives.

  2. The feeling of something missing and wanting more in life is a common one. No one says to us, ‘of course you feel empty, you left your true self behind long ago’. That is except for Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. So we look to all that is on offer as a substitute for the real us. This emptiness and need to fill our selves, even if it’s for a moment is what drives the buying of more and more stuff.

  3. From reading this blog and my own experience it seems that we are unable to acknowledge that we are not ok or fulfilled when we are ‘success’ and have all the boxes ticked. Thinking you are successful seems to put blinkers on to the signs that should be obvious that all is not as successful as it seems.

  4. Thank you Rachel for a much needed discussion point about the true definition of a successful life. For me you summed up the real definition of success in life in your last line when you said it is about how much we know ourselves and how much we are living true to who we are. This is the real success story and the real legacy we leave behind on the earth, that ultimately we come back to in future lives lived.

  5. Imagine going shopping for a Ferrari in a fruit and veg shop. No matter how many brocolli you buy it’s not ever going to work. That’s how absurd our seeking of wealth and ‘success’ in life is when deep underneath what we truly want is love and the truth. As long as we continue shopping at the wrong department this way we will continue to be lost inside. Thank you Rachel for sharing that there is a way free from this continual seeking.

  6. You’re redefining success here Rachel. In recent times, many successful ‘pop stars’ have died from drug related causes whether intentional or unintentional overdoses. Now these are people with mega millions who have everything, and yet seemingly, they have nothing. Why would someone with everything need to take drug in the first place, let alone take them to such a dangerous level to overdose?

  7. Great blog which proves that it is futile to chase the dream of wealth only to find it is not the answer. What you have shared here Rachel is worth millions, as many people see money or fame as the answer to all of their woes, but here you are having achieved all the material success to still find that your body was suffering and lacked vitality. This just goes to show how powerful our choices are.

  8. Success has and continues to change in my life – success used to be waking up from partying without a hang over, then it was to earn good money so I could party and enjoy life. Now, success is feeling my body and being present with myself and not forsaking my connection within for anything the outside world can offer.

  9. Thank you Rachel for your blog. This is great reading for all I would say, you express how different your life is now you have let go the trappings of so called “success” and live true success by connecting to yourself more.

  10. Awesome Rachel… honesty is such a powerful kick start to true and sustainable change. Without that, it is like trying to turn a boat without a rudder. We need an honest starting point as well as an inspired sense of where we need to be… the two together = true success.

  11. I picked up on these words ‘But under the facade of this successful life was the feeling that something was missing, and the more I had the more I wanted;’ When we think we are successful we are always seeking more to fill the empty feeling we hold inside, beautiful how you changed the way you were with yourself and the choices you made and continue to make, and how through those changes you have a quality that is consistent.

  12. This is a great sharing Rachel, its not often that someone exposes there life in this way and does a true check in of what is important to them- busting open the illusion of what is ‘successful’ and making it loving- thank you for your sharing.

  13. Thanks Rachel, I really enjoyed reading this again. You have inspired me to re-define success for myself and how that feels on a day to day basis.

  14. Yes it can seem like having a ‘perfect’ and successful life is being able to tick everything off we always wanted to achieve in life, but without knowing our true selves and being honest about the way our body feels we cannot really call our life successful.

  15. It is interesting Isn’t it, the redefining of the word success. And it really does have to be redefined because the results of so-called success are all around us now and it’s not a pretty sight.

  16. If we measure our success by what we have got and own we totally underestimate the actual worth of the qualities we innately are and bring.

  17. Spot on Rachel, there is no truth to the so-called ‘perfect life’, and what we consider to be success needs a massive overhaul. Our first wrong turn in an attempt to create something we think will be perfect is in the notion that we are lacking something at the outset. Knowing who we are and expressing that in full in life is our greatest asset, and ultimately what determines how fulfilling life will be.

    1. An asset worth appreciating, cherishing, nurturing and sharing so it can flourish and expand. Unlike material assets we tend to covert, keep protected and invariably they can depreciate, wither, and even waste away.

      1. Yes exactly Sandra, material assets we tend to collect and protect as they identify us or give us a sense of value. We also do this with our skills and talents too, mistaking them as assets. Really we have one true asset… who we are in our essence, our divinity that is. Just look at a baby and we can be reminded that we are everything from the very start. We consider nothing more precious than a newborn baby, and yet we are the barest from material or skill-based assets at that moment in life. Says everything really.

      2. Yes it does speak volumes – we appreciation of the beautiful essence of a new born. And then what happens – we start to indicate that they need to conform to a different way of being as they grow.

  18. In a world where life can appear to be a meaningless struggle at times and the search for happiness via comfort prevails, it is truly extraordinary that through the choices you have made you now feel a passion for life and the sense of satisfaction and purpose for the work you do. Clearly the power of reconnecting to your body and honouring what you feel is the foundation of true success.

  19. Reading your blog Rachel I am becoming aware that there are still ideals around, what is success, in me and causing me pain as I try to live up to a picture that is not true, great to acknowledge here and to let go as I see the illusion and how it is keeping me from living like the sweet girl I was when I was little.

  20. This is the new success of the future Rachel, and you are leading the way with absolute joy, total inspiration.

  21. I love the exposé on success! Our minds love to trick us through our eyes about how stuff is. But scratch the surface and it’s a messy and sad reality under all the shiny toys. I no longer see success as having ticked boxes, I see it is a knowing of who you are and not letting anything get in the way of that.

  22. When we focus on success, the material side of it, money, house etc we make a pact where we sell out on ourselves. A pact with the devil some might call it. But when we focus our lives on love, truth and service the success, the material side of it will take care of it self.

  23. Material success may be what we consider to be as great achievement but all can disappear in the blink of an eye. True success is with us forever. Love, truth, joy and a healthy body will bring us true success!

  24. I agree with you a 100%, whilst to have a great life-style is a fantastic thing to have and not to dismiss, it gives me back nothing when I am in pain, stressed all the time, anxious, do not feel loved, do not feel that bubbly joy that I knew as a child, those are all values that make a life full and enjoyable much more than all the money in the world could buy.

  25. A cup with a hole in it can never be full. No matter how much we try, if we don’t fill the hole, we’ll never be whole.

  26. I wonder if kids where asked questions like: “when you get older, do you want to loose your mind, your eye sight, your teeth, your limbs, your play-fullness and your joy”, and offered them a simple, gentle understanding of how our choices can lead to such outcomes, if they would willing choose activities, food and drinks that supported them to stay healthy, vital and joy-full?

  27. It is our human imperfections that provide our greatest life lessons so if anyone ever thinks that their life is perfect then they have an awful lot to learn.

  28. There is certainly a different perspective to life seen here that is worth considering. This from someone who had it all on the ground and yet had a sense all wasn’t right even though it appeared they had everything. This tale is similar to a lot of people who have achieved great heights and yet felt unfulfilled in many ways. There is a direct difference from bringing something to yourself first, from being able to live something in yourself first and then allow this lived part to move into the world. For me this is the part that is missing constantly, this article confirms the same thing that no matter what you have in the end it’s how you are that makes a difference.

  29. Getting emotionally involved with people or situations that don’t involve us even getting emotionally involved with things that do concern us is draining and can be exhausting. I have noticed in the past that I have become quite unwell because I chose to focus on what was going on around me rather on the connection to my body. To observe and not absorb is powerful medicine to live by.

  30. Highlighting the meaning of true success Rachel through your experience, when we connect to our true selves and deepen our relationship with our body.

  31. An important conversation to explore true measures of success and expose false ones. Being true to and honouring myself, having loving relationships with others, living a simple but joyful life are my measures of success: not what I do and have acquired, but how I feel inside.

  32. Yes, I recognize this transition Rachel. Great sharing! I too had what everybody would call a successful life, but it also lacked love and the real connection to the people around me. Unlike you I was stopped in this seemingly successful life, as I hang on to it for too long, while knowing there was a different way. The whole success just fell apart, and I had to start from scratch.

  33. Reading this I could feel sadness arising as I could feel how I had betrayed the little girl that I was too. Rather uncomfortable to feel I have to say, as I have already been choosing to be honest and look at the facts and details of my life and consciously making adjustment to the way I am with myself. I guess this means I am ready for even greater joy I didn’t even recognise was available before.

  34. Great exposing of the emptiness of the ‘perfect’ life that so many strive for and then have the devastation of recognising that they have left themselves to reach it. Success for me now is about the quality of my relationships with others but most of all with myself and how it is constantly evolving as I strip away all the layers of protection that I have built up to hide from others and myself.

  35. It is interesting how enticing is the image of a perfect life and how it invites you to move in “I did it, That’s it”. And, yet, ‘perfect lives’ tend to be sand castles; just beautiful images that have gotten us.

  36. Success for me is now far less based on what I do, and more about the quality that I do things in. With that, how I feel and how I am with myself and my body has to come first, because it’s the foundation that sets the quality for everything else that I do thereafter.

  37. The definition of success really needs to be discussed and explored in our world. What the norm of society defines as success falls far short of that which is shared here. Can we regroup and stand against the tide and claim that success comes from living as our essence within offers us, not from what we have or can obtain.

  38. As I become more loving with self by being honest every relationship in my life is becoming more honest and therefore loving. Some of the relationships may not appear to be loving from the outside but that is simply because of the misinterpreted use of what we think the word love means.

  39. We rarely consider a life that is addicted to caffeine and needs alcohol to unwind as being dysfunctional, in fact, it is what can make us very functional! But once you feel what life can feel like without those two crutches – beyond the withdrawal phase – there is a vitality that is worth holding on to and so much more than functional! It is the difference between living life in black and white and in colour.

  40. Beautiful Rachel. It’s when we let go of striving for the perfect life that we unlock our ability to see what our life could actually be.

  41. Success is so often based on what we’ve got and what we’ve achieved. If we change the markers of success to be more about how we live and love, it is a different story.

  42. Thank you for reminding us all of what true success really is, it is about how we are when everything else is stripped away, when we are with our bodies and if there is a dis-ease then no amount of money will take that away.

  43. The perception of what success is completely changes when we are inspired to become more honest with ourselves in how we are truly feeling and being willing to open up our awareness to look at the way we are living and our lifestyle choices and the effect these are truly having on our body. When we make life about expressing love and living from a true vitality knowing who we are we have true success without needing to be perfect, as we already feel enough as we are.

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