Write your own story. Episode 4 - 28 Feb 2022 #HappyAF Show

Just thought I’d start with a bit of singing ‘cause that’s one of my favourite songs.


Good morning beautiful people. Welcome to another episode of HappyAF. My name is Sam Bowker. I am your host and I am super pumped that you are here today and I just thought that that song was super relevant with everything that I’m going to talk about today.


I hope you enjoy today’s episode. I have had the most interesting morning and I really hope you can hear me properly, because I know we’ve had a few tech issues with sound. You know what I will say about that guys is that is all about progress and not perfection, because if I waited till I got everything perfect, this show would not exist.


What makes that so funny is that the microphone I’m using was a microphone-a very good microphone that I bought many years ago, with the intention of really stepping up my game and creating a show. I did do a few things. If you check out my YouTube channel, you will definitely see some of my earlier stuff and even if I do say so myself, there’s definitely been an improvement. It’s still not perfect guys, but it’s never going to be.


You will see that my intention back then is the same as it is now and that is that I want to serve, I want to show up, I want to help. I hope that I help at least one person out there. Obviously I have lofty goals of helping a billion people but, you know what? It’s okay. If I just help one person today, that’s cool.

The reason I started with that song is, I always – back when I was young – wanted to be a singer. The reason that this is important is because, as an adult, I get that I’m no Mariah Carey but the reality is I am capable of now saying, “Yeah I can hold a tune.” My little girl the other day – who also has a lovely voice – goes, “Well I know where I got my voice from.” I kind of sat there, and my chest puffed up a little bit and I was like, “Who?” She goes, “Oh mum, clearly you.” That song was a song I first heard when I watched a show called Nashville. Okay I like country music. Let’s put it all out on the line. I really like country music. I do. That just shows you. My parents brought me up on country, so I like country. That song, there was this beautiful singer in the show - I can’t remember her name and it’s not relevant, but she had this most-oh my gosh-she sang and it sent shivers down my spine. The words of that song were very much so relevant because it was like, “Don’t tell me I can’t sing this song. Don’t tell me that I don’t belong. Because this is where I belong. Don’t try to change the melody…” I can’t remember all the words. I’ll find the song and I’ll post the words up for you. When I’m singing it, I can do it. The fact that I’m brave enough today to jump up and sing and go, “I may be out of tune. It’s not perfect. It’s okay,” and be okay with it. That’s the growth that I now know, or that’s the place I now know in terms of growth.


I just want to share with you a quote that I heard over the weekend when I was watching a Podcast. Let me just set the scene for you. I had a very busy weekend, like most of you I’m sure did. I don’t know if you’re here on the Central Coast, but it’s been bucketing down with rain which is the best excuse to stay inside and not have to be out doing stuff. I’ve been working on my business and hanging out with my kid and doing all the parent stuff that I love. I’ve sorted out boxes that I’ve been wanting to sort out forever.

My dirty little secret is that I carry bags and boxes. I’m the bag lady. Bags with paperwork and stuff that I’ve never been able to get on top of. Recently, full disclosure-I acknowledged for some time that I’ve known that-I’ve known about ADHD and ADD and a long time ago I was told that I had ADD and it fits-I fit all the criteria. I had a crack at some medication and decided I didn’t want to do it when I was about 32, because I had this epiphany: Maybe it’s because I’m broken and if I was medicated, maybe I’d be successful and I’d have everything I want. For a little while I thought maybe that was the reason everything had gone pear shaped.


Anyway, fast forward to this point now, the reality is I finally decided, “You know what? I just want to see if it makes a difference because there is parts of my life-I never quite understood ADHD and I just want to quickly share this with you because I don’t know how many other people can relate to this-I had always thought that ADHD meant that I was incapable of focusing. The simple fact is I’m really good at focusing at anything that I’m interested in. If you guys can relate with that, I’d love you to go in and share, comments, “Yep. Me. I get it. Totes.” Because the reality is-I think-most people have the capacity to focus on something if they’re interested in it.


If you go back to school and you think about what was interesting and what teachers you liked or didn’t like and where you thrived versus survived-it was probably the areas that you had some interest in. I was really good at agriculture because I really liked Mr Lees. He was the coolest teacher ever and so then of course I wanted to be a vet, but I hated everything else that went with it.


So why am I telling you this story? Well, on the weekend I finally sorted out some bags of paperwork and boxes of things that I have literally been shuffling around-I want to say for several years. For the last 12 months they’ve gone from my walk-in wardrobe, outside my walk-in wardrobe, back into my walk-in wardrobe every time the cleaner comes. This weekend, I sorted that. It made me feel so- it was like, “Lah lah lah!! Finally, I’ve got this shit sorted.” I definitely felt happy.


Whilst I was doing that-because just doing that by itself was never going to cut it-I listened to a two hour webinar on a real estate conference. I started listening to a webinar. I started listening to Brene Brown’s latest book Atlas of the Heart. Then I started listening to-because I like to listen to things for a while-sometimes they’ll grab me, sometimes they won’t. This is all the while sorting out. I know that I wanted to get on top of it, and it’s been approximately-I don’t know, I want to say three or four weeks now-that I’ve been on this medication. It has had a profound impact on areas of my life that I didn’t realise were so impacted.


My old version of ADHD was that you lacked focus. So I kept going, “No, I’m really good at focusing on some things.” Then I heard a guy called Doc Amen-I will try and find his original thing-it was on Instagram and we will share it up in here if I can do that. He basically said why people get so confused with ADHD is that it’s not that they can’t focus, it’s just that they find it impossible to focus on the mundane, day-to-day stuff that actually you need to be able to do to survive, like paperwork and administration. Alright, boo hoo, cry me a river. I’m sure I’m not the only one that struggles with this stuff, but there’s a difference between struggling with it and being completely incapable. It’s like walking around and you’re literally juggling 10 plates and cups-you know those people that have got sticks where they’ve got bowls and they’re doing this and there’s cups-you’re juggling 65 things. You just don’t have the capacity. So, that’s why they mask it so well.

So anyway, the reason I’m sharing this with you is because one of the things that happened within my cleaning and cleansing and sorting, is that I started listening to a podcast with Aubrey Marcus and Benjamin and Azrya Bequer[1][LK1] [LK2] . I’ll also chuck a few links in and share with you who these guys are, because I’d never heard of them till a few months ago and I really love them now.

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The thing that I got was that, within the first five minutes of this podcast-they’re talking about their book and then they were talking about this quote that they put in their book-and I want to make sure I get it right:

We are alive only to the degree to which we are willing to be annihilated.


I’m going to say it again.


We are alive only to the degree to which we are willing to be annihilated.


Now, it was a Glennon Doyle quote from her latest book Untamed. I’ve heard a bit about her. Don’t really know a great deal about her, and as I mentioned I don’t really know much about these other guys. The thing that I got from that. It just sent shivers down my spine, to the degree that I immediately paused the podcast, jumped onto Audible, bought the book. I knew I had to have it.


Then I got caught up in other things. I had a massively productive weekend, but that little part there was the bit that I needed.


So the reason I’m sharing this with you, is that in the past my shame was the fact that I’d struggled with addiction. Then the shame was that I realised that anxiety had been kind of what I’d been numbing with my addiction. Trauma had been what I’d been numbing with my addiction. Then this morning, I literally got smacked to the ground listening to this book. Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. It is a great book-especially all you women out there, you want to read this book. I’ve literally only just started it, so I don’t know whether it was relevant for men as well but I would say it is. It’s just that this woman is-her experience is quite amazing.

There was something that happened. I’ll set the scene for you and you can see where this kind of will go. I was sat this morning watching my little girl ice skate. I’m listening to the book and I’m watching her ice skate and I’ve just taken the dog for a walk. I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. Everything’s going well this morning. I’m sitting there and I’m listening to this book, waiting for this quote: We are only alive to the degree that we are willing to be annihilated. If you listen to those words: Willing to be annihilated. For me-when I heard that-that means being vulnerable, being prepared to get knocked back, shut down, rejected, criticised. All of those things that I have spent my entire life hiding from and am doing my very best to embrace now.


So I’m listening to this story and Glennon starts talking about how her light was so bright, until she was ten and then it went out for 30 years. She medicated, married a man, did what she thought she was supposed to do, was a good Christian girl. Fit in the box neatly, exactly as she was supposed to do. Played the game, pleased the people, did the right things. Did all of those things. Then-well I’m not going to ruin the book-but let me just say this.


In that moment she realised that she had been living the life everybody else had expected her to live.

I don’t know if any of you have ever had that moment or that epiphany where you’ve realised and you’ve sat down and gone, Am I living my best life or am I living the life I am expected to live based on society’s preconceived ideas. Based on what my mum wants for me. Based on what my dad wants for me. Based on what my husband, my wife, my children. Based on what somebody else wants. Or am I living my life for me? I truly believe that anybody who does some serious soul searching in their life will realise that a big chunk of your life you’re living for someone else.


She goes on to say-this is why for me when I first heard it I kind of-it rocks me, I had tears in my eyes and I sat there and I was thinking, Oh my God. Because I’m sitting looking at my ten year old and she goes on to say, I realised that at ten, I stopped being myself. I stopped essentially being my authentic self and then I started trying to contort myself and fit in those boxes.


My daughter is just at that point right now and I definitely know that at ten I started dimming myself down. Gosh, you’re always talking so much Sam, you’re so loud. God, you’re so out there, you’re so precarious, you’re so this, you’re so that. My personality was just not contained, it was un-tained. It was in its natural habitat out loud, proud, screaming, shouting. Vivacious. Colourful. Bright. And at ten, I started learning it was wrong. I started being told to calm down, to quieten down, to not be so loud, to shut my mouth. At some point I realised that it was just easier to do that. So I did. By the time I was 13, as I’ve shared with many of you before, I started self-medicating.


You cannot be somebody else and have your soul be okay. It just doesn’t work that way.


So, the reason. Why is all this relevant? Why is this relevant to you guys? You’re here watching a show called HappyAF. I have a business called Happy U Headquarters. I spend my life on a mission to help people learn how to do happy. What’s important about learning how to do happy is learning that happiness is just one of our emotions. Yes, there’s happy, angry, sad, mad, shame, gratitude, peace, love, connection. There’s all of these other emotions. Happy is the goal that we most seem to seek and if we’re not happy, we tend to be angry or we’re sad. But the reality is, at what point did we decide or at what point did we learn that we had to put on a happy face to be okay.


Based on what she was saying and based on my own experience, and based on what I’m currently experiencing with my little girl, it seems like ten is a pretty pivotal time.


So I really-I’m interested-for all of you guys that are out there listening to the show or watching the show, that have ever struggled with some anxiety or some depression, perhaps some addiction-or maybe you eve still are. I want you to ask yourself, do you think that you are living your authentic life? Do you think you are putting yourself out there to the degree with which you’re willing to be completely annihilated?

I have to tell you, starting the show by singing a song, when that was something I wanted to do so bad when I was young, but I was so afraid of being judged and not being good enough, being compared-that I basically never let myself do it. I still love to sing and it probably wasn’t my calling, because if it was I would’ve found a way. Now I get to sing anyway and you either like it or you don’t. If you turn the channel off, then that’s okay, but I am willing to be annihilated. I am showing up every day giving myself the opportunity to be annihilated, which is why that quote landed so deeply for me.


Not just here. I’ve been single for eight years and as a 47 year old woman, that’s like-I remember when I was 37 and I was single and I didn’t have a child, and that in society-once again I didn’t fit again. I was supposed to be married and have a kid, but I didn’t have that. Everybody around me had that, but I didn’t have that, so again I didn’t fit. Then three years later, I was 40 years old and I did have a child, but now I’m a single mum. Not what I wanted to be, again. I felt like it was not the story that I wanted to create for me.


So when we talk about being happy, yes happiness does come from within. It does not come from without, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that my daughter does make me smile, and she makes me happy for sure. But my state of mind is on me.


That was really long winded explanation, but I guess the reason I wanted to share all of that with you, is that I am constantly feeding my brain good information that is supporting me on the journey.


My journey and my mission and my passion and my purpose is about helping people to understand that it’s okay to feel anxious and sad and angry and mad. It’s more fun to do happy, but not fake happy. Right? The only way you can do real happy and joy and really experience it-other than obviously where you can put yourself in a peak state and there’s lots of resources and tools to let you do that.


I truly believe that true happiness comes from living your life authentically in alignment with your values and being very clear about what is important to you.


If you struggle with negative thoughts, anxiety, depression, addiction. If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t serve you. If you’re in a job that doesn’t serve you. I promise you that you will be doing something to offset that, because we as humans we don’t like feeling shit. We just don’t. We don’t like it. So we will find a way to tolerate it. If you’re-I can’t tell you the amount of people I know that come in here that they’re in relationships they know are not serving them, and they tell themselves they’re in that relationship for those kids. I’m not saying that they don’t believe that, but the reality is they are never ever truly going to shine bright and be happy whilst in that situation. That anxiety that they were experiencing? They may learn to manage it.


They may learn to numb it. They may learn a million different coping mechanisms, but they will never live a fully expressed life.


Every week when I show up here and everything that I am doing, is about trying to walk my talk. Not even trying. It’s about me walking my walk and talking my talk, which is why I shared with you the fact that I’ve just spent eight months going through double-two lots of psychiatrists because of my addiction history-they have to make sure that you’re not doing it to try and get back onto drugs. The reality is I take what is the equivalent of the legal version of what I used to be addicted to. It calms me down and allows my brain to focus.


I’ve done more organising and restructuring within my life and my business in the last four weeks than I’ve done since I ever was in business. So, I don’t know that life-long I want to be on a medication, but if for now it helps me achieve my end game-which is helping a billion people-then I will do what it takes. And I will share it with you guys, because I’m not going to shame myself over the fact that this might help. Just like I don’t want to shame someone who has high blood pressure for taking a high blood pressure tablet. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to try and help them get off those tablets, but I’m not going to shame them.

My intention with this show is to be as honest and authentic as I can, to show up here for you every week and share with you exactly what’s gone on and why I think it’s relevant. Also to ask you, what are you feeding your brain? Because this here is your super computer. If you feed it good stuff, it gives you good output.


Something else that happened-let’s just quickly go back and let’s just talk about what we did last week. We talked a lot about resetting your emotions and resetting how you’re feeling about things and not doing comparisons. For me-the not doing comparison thing-the easiest way I’ve found is I just kind of protect myself from that because my brain still wants me to compare. I do my best not to and I now just did-I’m having a meeting with my team this afternoon and I am officially taking myself off the comparison train and I’m focusing on what I want to do.


They are going to cover the parts that will stop me from having to go into that space, because there is always going to be someone who is further ahead on this journey than you. So our job is just to compare ourselves to who we were yesterday and not who they are, because that’s never going to work. This whole thing of not letting anybody else tell you what you want to achieve, the theme has carried through today, because I realised-as I said-at 32-many of you guys that know me-at 32 was when I had what Brene Brown calls her spiritual awakening / breakdown. For me that was losing everything and realising that I’d been living this life for someone else. As I continue on this journey I continue finding information that makes me realise now I’m on my right path. Which is why-that song-


don’t tell me I can’t sing this song, tell me that I’ve got it wrong, ‘cause this is where I belong. Don’t try to change my melody, make me dance a different beat, ‘cause this is where I belong.


My brain hears those words and they land because the critic will say, “Who are you to think that you can do this? Who are you to think you can do this? But I hear those words and I go, “That’s right. This is my song. This is my show. I can say what I want. I can be myself. People can turn on, or turn off. People can like or hate me and I don’t need to be attached to someone else’s acceptance because I have finally gotten to a point where I accept me-just like I did when I was little until I learnt that I wasn’t for mass consumption.”

I’m grateful to be sharing this journey with you guys, because for those of you that have children-our children are walking, talking, living, breathing and watching everything we do. I have to catch myself to not contain my daughter. I don’t want to contain her. I want her to stay untamed and I have to every single day stop myself-sometimes I win this battle, sometimes I don’t. Truthfully, more often I don’t. I say it and then I say to her, “You know what? It’s not my journey babe. You get to learn this and you get to experience this. I’m sorry that I keep trying to protect you and wrap you up and stop you.” Because that doesn’t serve her. That’s all about me. That’s not about her. So for me, this was very appropriate.


You’ll notice I will talk a lot about the filtration system which we call the reticular activating system. It’s the filter between the conscious and the subconscious. The thing about that filter is that it’s always working. It basically shoots off stuff down to the subconscious that it thinks is unimportant, and it keeps stuff here on hyper-alert that we have told it is relevant.


So, one of the things that you can do-I’m just going to show you a cute little thing that I found on the weekend. It’s my dream weaver journal. I’ve been writing in journals-I’ve got more books and notepads, journals than you can poke a stick at. It’s been my thing since the beginning of time. I love writing. I’m always writing. I’m always doodling. I’m always writing my notes down. Something I learnt a long time ago is that when you write it down, it is literally setting an intention with the Universe, or God, or Source, or whatever you believe. It is setting an intention out to the world that this is what you want. So, it’s so important to write stuff down, even if you think it’s completely unachievable, even if your conscious mind goes, “One billion people? Seriously? You really think that you can impact one billion people? Who the fuck are you, Sam? Seriously?”


You write this stuff down. Write your goals down. I would really love you guys to start thinking about. If you want to just write a list of all the things that you want to do before you die. It’s not about money or time. If you had all the money in the world and time was no object and academia and education was no object, and you could do what you want, be what you want, and you could literally achieve all these things? I just want you to start bullet pointing this list down. Because I had a little look through my journal on the weekend and there is no doubt, a lot of the stuff in there I have achieved and there is a lot in there that I still want to achieve.


I continue to add to my journal. I continue to write it. What I know for certain is the second that you write this stuff down. If you want to be happy write, “I am happy. I am in a loving and committed relationship. I am running a successful business. I am grateful I got to open that orphanage. I am loving my singing voice in that band. I am playing guitar amazingly. I have created this. I have done this. I have been to Machu Picchu. I have snowboarded Mt Everest.” Whatever the list is.


Don’t get caught up in how you’re going to do it. It’s irrelevant. Don’t worry about the how. Just what do you want? If you had no limitation and you could go back to being ten years old, or a little bit younger, before somebody dimmed out your light and told you that you were not good enough, told you that you were not part of the golden, cool kids’ crew. Told you that you needed to tone down, pipe down, fit into this box, become this, do this to receive love-if you had to become a good girl, or a good boy. If you had to please other people. Before that started sinking in, what did you want? And, what have you added to since then that you’ve only dared dream about inside your head but never, ever speak out loud.


I’m telling you this. If you start first by writing that list down and then find at least one person-just one person is all you need-because you do need to protect your dreams. Other peoples’ limitations will place doubt and uncertainty on you if you are not really steadfast in where you’re going.


I speak a lot now about where I want to go, what I want to do, how I intend to show up. I’ve done a lot of work though. I’ve done a lot of work and when that self-doubt kicks in-and it does-I have ways that I’m able to shut it down super quick. Brene Brown taught me that I will always have an inner critic. I get to give them a front row seat at the cinema and I basically get to say, “Hey, listen. Unless you’ve been in the arena with me, unless you’ve got blood-sweat and tears-unless you’ve got some wounds, I simply am not interested in your opinion. If however, you’ve done your time and you’ve got the wounds and you’ve healed and you’ve come through, then you know what? Bring it on. Give me feedback. Give me feedback.” Because those people that are giving you the feedback that have overcome, that have won, that have slayed the demon-those people will give you feedback that is incredibly useful. So you definitely need to be open to feedback.


The reason I’m sharing this with you is this little dream weaver journal was something that my aunty gave me and I love it, I write in it. There’s stuff in there and when I read it the other day one of my dreams-I know now can never come true because it involved my little dog Lilo and she’s no longer with us and my heart broke as I read that-however, what if you wrote a hundred things down and you achieved 80 of them in your lifetime? Or what if you wrote a hundred things down and you achieved 50 of them? Could you be okay with that?


Here’s what I know for certain. If you don’t write it down, the likelihood of it happening is way less than if you do. If you write it down and stick it on a wall, say it out loud, and be really clear on the four things that-maybe keep four top of mind. So for me my goals this year were all focused on I wanted to have a YouTube show by the 31st of January, okay I was a week late. Sue me! But I still started, because I put a deadline on it. So when you write these things down, you do need to put timeframes on them, because otherwise they’re just dreams and they’re not really goals.


The trick is this. First you write down what you want. Then you write by when. If you really want to go the extra mile, how are you going to feel, how are you going to experience that when you’ve achieved that thing, whatever it is.


So, the four things that I wanted to do this year-I’ve got many more but these were my top four: One, I wanted to do a triathlon, because I’ve been doing lots of training, and I decided I wanted to have a specific goal. Now I’m not a great swimmer and I’ve got a bike-I’m not sure if it could be used in a triathlon-and I can kind of run. A pretty lofty goal, I’ve still got 10 months to do it but by the end of this year, I am going to do a triathlon. I can see it in my mind. It’s happening.

The other was my YouTube show. The third thing was that I’m going to take my daughter overseas snowboarding. The only thing that’s going to stop that happening is if it’s physically impossible, but I accept that. There was one more thing-what was the other thing. See, this is what happens. You have to read your goals again and again. It’s okay, I can’t remember, but what if I still got two out of those, that’s still 50 percent. I could be okay with that. If I didn’t write it down, it wasn’t going to happen. What that tells me right now is that whatever that fourth thing that I wrote, was probably not as important as I thought it was at the time, because otherwise I would remember.


Anyway guys, listen. That has been pretty much our show for today. So, I want you-if you have not got a journal, I want you to go and get yourself a journal and I want you to start writing your list of things that you want. I want you to be still and just sit with your own thoughts. If you haven’t got just one person that you can share your dreams with that is not going to shit all over you-your goal is to find that one person. If you can’t-if you don’t have one person that you trust-that will just hear your dreams and not put doubt and uncertainty in your mind-then direct message me and I will be your vault.


I will be your person that will cheerlead you from the side. Okay? Because you do need to protect those dreams. Do not be limited by other people’s limitations. And as good old Glennon Doyle says, “We are only alive to the degree with which we are willing to be annihilated.”


This has been another episode. This is the fourth week. Sam Bowker here for HappyAF and I am showing up and I am willing to be annihilated and I will be there every week with you guys, sharing as authentically as I can.


I love you guys. I hope you’re well and what did you get from today.


Go in and tell me. Share. What do you want to hear more about?


What are you finding useful? And more importantly, if you are getting something from this, and you’re thinking it’s helping you and you know someone that you love-that you think would benefit from this-make sure you get them to join the group. This is where I’m going to be giving all this content every week live and raw and I’ll be sharing it with you guys.

I love you guys. Have a beautiful week.


This is me signing out.

Bye.

Mwah!



My Song

Song by Nashville Cast


Don't tell me I can't sing this song Tell me that I got it wrong 'Cause this is where I belong Don't try to change my melody Make me dance a different beat 'Cause this is where I belong

Heaven knows that I can't see Listen to the sound of my own heartbeat I'm tempted by the brightest star They call my name, but they're still too far

Don't tell me I can't sing this song Tell me that I've got it wrong 'Cause this is where I belong Don't try to change my melody Make me dance a different beat 'Cause this is where I belong

When all the lights turn to dark inside of me They grow a spark It made a fire The flames got higher Can't stop it now This is my time

Don't tell me I can't sing this song Tell me that I've got it wrong 'Cause this is where I belong Don't try to change my melody Make me dance a different beat 'Cause this is where I belong

Every time I close my eyes, I see that fire

Don't tell me I can't sing this song Tell me that I've got it wrong 'Cause this is where I belong Don't try to change my melody Make me dance a different beat 'Cause this is where I belong

Don't tell me I can't sing this song Tell me that I've got it wrong 'Cause this is where I belong Don't try to change my melody Make me dance a different beat 'Cause this is where I belong

This is where I belong Oh, this is my song

Songwriters: Sarah Siskind / Femke My Song lyrics © Red Request Music Available on:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/4PRWC7apsWzCg5LCVvso3J?si=fae3abbdedf74b71

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajtFDu2BTDc (From The Music Of Nashville Season 3 Volume 2)

[1] (Co-Founding Stewards of BEQOMING)

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