If you’ve struggled to maintain a sense of balance over the last few months …rest assured you are not alone, which is probably reassuring in a funny way. Sometimes you need some tools that will support you and remind you of your ability to find a sense of flow, even when you feel as if it’s impossible. This April is an ideal time to step back and ‘refill your cup’ as they say and reconnect with your inner strength… here are 12 words to remind you…
Resilience – I love this word. I love the way that it sounds and the way that it rolls off the tongue …. go on say it out loud… resilience… see what I mean? It just seems to flow, it has balance and seems to have an earthy grounded feel to it….and that’s why I love this word, particularly now when we are teetering between the world of optimism, unlimited potential and progress and the world of pessimism that is making its best efforts rather like a foul smell to engulf us with fear, paranoia and anxiety about the unknown future. Resilience means that when Difficult things happen to us, you know disappointments, delays, blockages, which are inevitable we remember that it is part of being alive, but it is our ability to bounce back, to re focus and re affirm our vision that enables us to recover from challenges. And, of course, as many of us can attest, these setbacks can often ultimately pave the way for or be the catalyst for future success.
Intuition – however you refer to it, gut instinct or a hunch, the point is that we often talk about intuition and how important it is to listen to that inner voice. Many of us lament the times that we didn’t follow our intuition and regret it wholeheartedly often for ages. Albert Einstein said “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant” isn’t it weird how despite learning through the experience that we benefit greatly by trusting that gift and ignoring logic, we still get caught out? I guess that as with all things that are intangible, although we know that it works and it’s been proven time and time again, we still have a need to keep testing it. Well we are human, so forgive yourself and make more effort to simply throw trust that your sacred gift of intuition has your back.
Ownership – or ‘Ownyourshit’ if we are really keeping it real. I always say that if you practise this fine art, you set yourself free from so much stress. It has a lot to do with self acceptance and the ability to own your truth, whatever that truth is, remembering that we all have many truths, both positive and less than. One great benefit of this kind of ownership is that if you own it then no one else has power over you. Simples.
Gratitude – Start your day with gratitude and end it the same way, give thanks everyday for everything and to everyone (even those who have pissed you off or disappointed you… they’re bound to have taught you something). Gratitude somehow always helps us to be humble, to realise that it’s not all about us all of the time and that other people deserve our consideration too. Now we all have those days or even weeks that totally suck; when everything that could go wrong does and when it feels like the universe is conspiring against us; of course we complain and moan about it all and it’s at those times that we often forget to express gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for even when you can’t see it.
Connect – Use this the time to really CONNECT. With yourself, with your family and friends, with the people that you work with. Make the effort to reach outside of your ‘normal’ to connect with different experiences and different people… what you learn and experience could change your way of seeing the world.
Listen – really LISTEN to yourself. Take more mindful moments to allow your inner voice to be heard above all of the external noise. Allow yourself to be guided by what you hear because many of the answers that you seek are right there. Listen to your body because it always tells you what it needs, whether it’s rest, exercise, hydration or nourishment… you just need to listen. LISTEN to other voices. Sometimes we spend so much time wanting to be heard that we fail to actively listen to what another person is saying: often instead of actually listening, we are busy planning our response or anticipating our next tweet or Instagram post. Active listening means just that… listening actively; listening with our ears but also with our eyes …it means really noticing the other person and connecting with them; it means putting your phone down, putting your iPad down and just being present.
Action – Congratulations! You’ve invested some quality time making your vision boards, you’ve written your goals down and you are ready. Ready to conquer the world, ready to make a difference, ready to grow. Here’s the thing, all of that visioning is awesome BUT it’s nothing more than a pretty picture if you don’t take action every single day. It’s not enough to keep looking at it. It’s not enough to talk about it. So from now on every morning when you get up spend some time and ask yourself “what am I going to do today to move me closer to my goals/vision ?” I love doing this because it make me accountable to myself. At the end of the day do the same thing, ask yourself “what did I do today that moved me closer to my goals?”. I guarantee that this will help you to make your vision real. Many of us have pivoted and found new ways to achieve our goals during the current climate… every day do something to move you closer to that goal.
Fearless – we all feel fear at any time on any day it can just appear; I know that I do, but in order to make any kind of real progress in our lives we have to feel the fear, acknowledge the fear, own that fear and then Just do it! Yes, just do it and say damn the fear. Because if you want to be successful in any endeavour you will have to step out of your comfort zone and push the boundaries… seriously…. you have no choice because here’s the thing: If you stay within the your existing boundaries, you know the ones that you are sure of and comfortable in you’ll keep getting the same old outcomes. Stop the repetition, push the boundaries, learn new things, expand your social circle, experience new people and ways of thinking and do some of the things that you dream of dong but somehow never do because of fear. Just do it! As Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do”.
Mindful – now more than ever this word needs to underpin everything that you do…. Being mindful helps us to make conscious choices; with the way that we live ….faster and faster….trying to fit more and more into each day, with barely enough time to exhale, there are always going to be choices to be made and all too often our choices can end up being ones that alienate us from ourselves and those that we care about. If you practice making conscious choices, you stand a good chance of creating a more’ wholelistically’ balanced life (I’m not sure if that’s even a word ….but you get the gist of it) that reduces the tendency towards an unbalanced life of extremes and pulls you back to your centre, whatever your centre is. Being mindful can help to reduce feelings of being fragmented, scattered and out of control. Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and take a mindful moment whenever you can.
Be kind to you and do it for you – it’s so very easy to focus on all of the things that you could, would and should do better or be better at, and let’s not even talk about the things that we are continually judged on (still) like our shape, size, colour, religion, age, hair, etc….with all of this judgement you can find yourself striving to be better, but often it’s for the wrong reasons; whatever you are trying to ‘do more’ of or ‘be more’ of , make sure that it’s for you and your purpose. Be kind to yourself: accept that perfection is not the endgame here … accept that you are fallible… accept that your journey is yours, special and unique and cannot be compared to anyone else’s …. accept when you need a break…accept when you need to re evaluate and perhaps change course….accept that you need support…accept help when it is offered…accept your achievements…accept that you are amazing.
Power – reclaim your power! Accept it, appreciate it, and harness it. As the famous Alice Walker quote says “the most common way that people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”. We are all powerful …you are powerful…period. In an uncertain world your personal power can propel you forward, it can be the catalyst that helps you to achieve your goals and manifest your vision. It’s your power that enables you to go the extra mile and to stare your fears in the face and “just do it”.
Legacy – you are probably wondering what the word legacy is doing here…well, there are times when the power of your legacy comes into its own: times when you need to affirm who you are, when you have to look in the mirror and say your name out loud…when you reflect on the awesome people that came before you; you know, your parents, your grandparents and ancestors …those who strove to create a path for you to not only follow but to improve on: think of the female trailblazers including your mother, grandmother each of whom in their special way made it possible for you to do more and be more….they felt the fear and did it anyway and are still doing it today. Thank you Mama xx