I was wondering...
....Has this year felt difficult and strained for you? Have you found yourself questionning where you are and where you are going or even contemplating the meaning of life? Well, I have certainly been challenged this year through injury, relationship break-up, challenging business endevours and have gone through a process of challenging everything I believe in to see what would survive a blazing, challenging fire...
I remember as a 7 year old girl looking at the world with wide eyes, realising that our family does not have a lot of money like others do and I looked at this with fascination. It sparked the enquiry for me to look at what I do have that "can't be burned to the ground by fire" - my exact thoughts. As a young girl I didn't have the vocabulary to voice the answer that came up in my mind and could only describe it as my 'personality'. I only had my personality that I could use and relying on that would withstand the test of a fire. From that day on I vowed to work on my personality and become the best person I can be. It resulted in me being in leadership positions at school, qualifying as an attorney, packing up and travel the world and start my own business 8 years ago.
I am reminded of that little girl today and know now that since then my perception of what would withstand a fire has increased. The things I'm discovering through periods of feeling strained or going through heartache and loss, that keeps me centered are:
1. My keen sense of curiosity
I'm probably the most curious person in the world. I always want to know more, learn more and question everything that life is putting in my path. It helps me to not immediately label any experience as something bad but to look at it with intrigue and wonder what this means or what the lesson in it is for me.
2. Being mindful
I've noticed that we tend to distract ourselves when the going gets tough as to not feel what is happening. It is easy to either jump into the next relationship to relief the heartache of being alone or rely on a slab of chocolate to give us a temporary high. Don't get me wrong, chocolate is the answer to most problems but if it is used as a substitute to feel the discomfort or pain, it's not good. So, being mindful of what is happening in the body, what your thoughts are, where it comes from, how you feel etc is a great way to acknowledge what is and work through it.
3. Remembering to breathe
I have to always remind myself of this one. Breathing is the only thing we can do in the present moment. We cannot breathe in the future or in the past, so focussing on our breath brings us into the present moment where we soon realize that everything is ok and right now I am safe and present.
4. My strengths
Knowing my strengths helps me tremendousely in deliberately choosing activities that would give me energy when doing it. In troubled times we could withdraw and spiral down the worry
pit but if we know what makes us come alive, what we love to do, what we do effortlessly and what makes us contribute our talents, we feel a sense of purpose again.
I might not be able to remind you to breathe or help you developing your sense of wonder and curiostity again, but what I can do is help you discover, celebrate and acknowledge your STRENGTHS!