As we are approaching the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving, I am reflecting on where I was last year at this time and how it will be going forward. I honestly feel like I am taking 2 steps forward and then 5 steps back as I am trying to navigate the world “living” with Covid. Coming out of the pandemic, so to speak, as we still watch what’s ahead with the colder months in the Northeast and the holiday traveling, I can reflect on things I learned about myself and how I won’t live my life the same again.
I already had some inkling that I could not control things, life itself had taught me that. It is kind of humbling to know you have very little control over external events, but how you respond to it is up to you. One thing I know for sure is I will take nothing for granted. I want to give my time and attention to whatever I am doing in the moment. Appreciating the small things in life – the wind against my face, the sound of my breath, the walks down the road as the leaves change colors – seeing the simplicity in beauty and knowing that the extraordinary can show up anywhere. I stand in gratitude for my health, my family, my home, my drinking water, food on my table, to name a few. What’s on your gratitude list? It doesn’t have to be spectacular, just notice the small things in life that you often take for granted.
I believe in life we are always living in a state of uncertainty. Nobody knows what is around the corner. I want to be as mindful as I can of the precious moments I do have, and I am in. The other day I was walking down my paths talking on the phone. As I rounded a corner I realized, wow, I was so busy distracting myself I didn’t even see the last street I walked down! I got off the phone and decided to bring myself to awareness, to mindfulness and pay attention to where I was in that moment, really. I looked around and took in the colors even more with their shades of green and yellow. I listened to my footsteps crunching on the piled leaves. In Positive Intelligence we learn to do PQ Reps (positive quotient repetitions) where we meet our senses and move into sage. In our sage we can then activate the side of the brain that can get curious and creative to see the possibilities we may have. We can become more innovative and establish laser focus, so we know exactly how we want to take action or contemplate the gift and opportunity that something has offered up to us. I want to live more in my Sage being and move with ease and flow.
Be here now is the expression as we all know it. Present, breath by breath, moment by moment. Live in the world as it is with less judgement and much more compassion and empathy. Empathy for yourself, empathy for others and/or empathy for the circumstance. Being kinder, more appreciative and moving through whatever comes our way. As I’ve said many times over like Jon Kabat Zinn, we can’t control the waves of life so let’s learn to become an awesome surfer! All we have is this moment right here right now.
Using visualization is a way to find out what your soul is dreaming. What’s the right dream for you? Not the one you’ve been told you “should” do but the one you are imagining that might lead you into the next phase of your life. Sometimes we must dream a little, plant some seeds, before the action comes. Using your journal as a daily practice may be something you want to try. Consider asking your elder wiser self some questions you may have. A love letter to yourself, giving yourself the words you might need to hear more of – I love you; I’ve got your back, I am always here for you no matter what you do, I am with you always. You do not have to prove anything to me, you do not have to be successful, you are safe, you are loved. When you ask your wiser, elder self, “What should I do?” it usually is a simple answer.
When I zoom out and look at the bigger picture, I truly believe there are patterns at work in the world. I see them as puzzle pieces in one’s life that fit together perfectly just for you. We may never have seen them coming and then they show up as just what we needed at the time. Giving up thoughts of control, appreciating the moment, living in Gratitude and saying thanks more often than not. Knowing that there is a gift and opportunity in everything that happens. Being gentle with myself, kind to myself and others, that is how I want to move forward out of the pandemic, during the holidays and into the coming year.