New Year RESET: 3 IDEAS FOR MORE EASE
We can’t fully imagine the changes that 2020 has and will continue to bring in shifting our lives and work for years to come (I’m reminded of the law of “unintended consequences” to capture the impact). For me, 2020 was full of many highs and lows. There were so many challenges to navigate – changes to in-person social interactions and WFH, business disruptions, political turmoil and complete dislocations, new market demands and virtual technologies, added health and safety precautions, limits to travel, health issues and loss of loved ones…. and the list goes on.
I’ve been aware of how my focus has shifted from luxury to necessity – valuing the needs and essentials more than the wants and frills. There were also some bright spots – new possibilities uncovered as many of us had more time for introspection and reflection, moving away from certain aspects of our hustle and grind throw-away culture towards an appreciation of what truly matters. Much of my energy focused on family and relationships, as well as valuing self-care and wellbeing as a priority, not just a nice to have. As my values have evolved, certain themes emerged.
Here are 3 areas that have been important to me. How might these ideas help you to rethink aspects of your life and work?
How are you nurturing your relationships? Who are the key people you want to keep close and how are you maintaining contact with them (email, calls or regular zoom chats)? Do you let your key peeps know that you appreciate them? I’ve noticed being a masked woman out in the world creates a physical sense of separation which has been hard for me as a hugger and hand-shaker. How can we be kind to others and stay safe? Some ideas for you to try:
- Smile with your eyes. Let others see that you have positive intentions and regard for them. Can we assume the best of other people, rather than default to doubt, criticism and blame? Easy to say, but more challenging to do when tensions run high and tempers are short. Can we presume innocence and give others the benefit of the doubt?
- Forgive and forget. The pressure of recent months has created lots of stress. Notice that it may be difficult to tolerate change as your threshold for discomfort may be lower than usual after so much disruption. How might you be more understanding and forgiving of yourself and those around you, both in your close relationships and in your broader social interactions? Cut yourself some slack.
- PAUSE and breathe deeply! Take some downtime to “stop and smell the roses” or allow yourself to rest. Regular work breaks or power nap anyone? These can be useful (if not essential) ways to recharge. Taking a time out before speaking (or reacting) can also create space to rethink your responses, allowing you to choose what you wish to share. In this age of extreme political polarity and differences, find what works for you to honor yourself.
GROWTH = CHANGE
To me, growth means change. As we are now required to be in relationship with change, we are inevitably on a path of constant growth and learning.
- Adopt “beginner’s mind.” Can you allow yourself to not know what you are doing? Give yourself permission to learn and make mistakes. Over time we develop more comfort with new habits or technologies. Coming from a place of curiosity is helpful.
- Be willing. Our mindset matters! Can you stay open to possibility? Remind yourself that change is possible! The more we practice, the more comfortable we will become (whether that’s learning new skills or adapting to things we may not want to deal with). We always have a choice in how we react to our circumstances.
- Create new rituals. What personal practices can you establish to help you maintain your sanity and positive perspective? I take significant time in the morning to journal and reflect on my experiences – this is both a necessity for me and a form of creative self-expression. Walks in nature also rejuvenate me. For you, it may be taking a jog around the park or baking. Find ways that you can take care of yourself daily and create space for what you need.
OUTER = INNER
OUTER = INNER
Notice your environment and how it reflects what is happening within you. Often our physical surroundings are a direct expression of our internal experiences. Sometimes overwhelm and stress can show up in how we take care of our space.
- Declutter. Where is stuff piling up? Do you feel focused or distracted? How are you taking care of where you live and work? Can you take 15 minutes a day to reorganize or throw away things that you are not using. I cleared off several of the piles of papers on my desk and put them into cabinets which created an immediate sense of lightness. I’ve been on a bit of a mission to rethink many aspects of what I need access to and how I enjoy and use the objects around me.
- Clear out what no longer serves you. What are you ready to let go of? Can you release the things that are holding you back? Are there dreams or expectations you have for yourself, in addition to old clothing or food that you are not using? Perhaps you don’t need to carry these things into 2021… how might that feel to unburden yourself?
- Follow your energy. I am incorporating more energetics into my work including feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement. How can our inner, outer and interpersonal work support us to create deeper growth and change? If you are interested in exploring how your physical environment might impact you and are thinking of making changes, it might be interesting to look at how your space can support your life and growth in the future. Stay tuned for more information about this in the new year – I will be offering new services and special client incentives that may be of interest.
Please let me know if any of these ideas resonate with you. May this new year bring you more health, happiness and fulfillment for you! I look forward to connecting with you soon!
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