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Like life in general, people will have everything from awful hardship to a relaxing break. And, as usual, how you participate in this is affected greatly by your attitudes, awareness and visioning.
When I was in my late teens, I developed a questioning attitude. I didn’t necessarily like or agree with how many things were done – from industrialised farming in America to the reliance on pharmaceuticals in Western Medicine. I began to strive for better ways of thinking and living. I was driven by a deep, passionate belief that life is not a dress rehearsal and that my one life is precious.
During this isolation, there are restrictions on what you can and can’t do. But within that, some have enjoyed a slowing down. You might find the unusual opportunity to regroup, re-think and re-vision your life. What could be better in your life? Here is a chance to be thoughtful and to self-examine. What could you do differently professionally and personally? What have you neglected - about yourself or others? What have you always wanted to do that you’ve forgotten about?
What areas of your physical, occupational, psychological, economic, social and/or spiritual wellbeing could be better?
Sometimes we don’t stop rushing long enough to address these issues. Now is your chance. What have you been putting off thinking about, doing or changing that you could examine and consider now? If you could do anything, change anything, what would it be?
My father said to me, ‘You can do what anyone else can do.’ And that’s without the best education or the highest IQ! The only limiting factor is your thoughts. Remember that a thought is not a fact. (You can change your mind and re-programme your thinking.)
It may be that you can’t make any or all changes you would like to now, but you can create the vision for your life going forward afterwards. Not necessarily all at one, but step by step with commitment and determination. You might want to write down what you would like to achieve, because setting goals is powerful. In your work, what might you do? Shift your focus, work a little less, study something new, change jobs or company? In your personal life, what might you do? Make that recipe, ride your bike, time with your kids, play the piano, read some books, plant that veg patch, write a book?
Sometimes we can’t imagine work or life to be different from what it is. But you are experiencing change now, so as you live through this, you could notice and capture any surprising realisations about how you would like to work and live differently afterwards. Then you can create change in your life going forward. You can make it better.
Professionally, I have shifted the hours that I work, where I put my focus, am catching up on things and am exploring ideas for the future. Personally, I have time to cook and bake more, play board games and jigsaw puzzle with the kids, read my patiently waiting pile of books. I’d like to carry some of this forward.
How could you come through and out the other side of this stronger, clearer and more aligned to the vision of your life, professionally and personally? (When you create a vision for your life, don’t worry about the ‘how’. The vision is what. Commit to the vision first and you’ll figure out how later.)
You don’t necessarily know what you’re made of until you face a challenge. Testing times are a great opportunity to learn. When I’ve gone through the toughest challenges in my life, the smartest things I did are as follows:
1. Take care of myself.
2. Trust my gut.
Wellbeing is my focus. Taking care of self means improving wellbeing across the Six Spheres referenced above. I learned through difficult times to eat well, sleep and rest, exercise, meditate, surround myself with positive people, and have fun. And this is what I’m doing now. For me, this time is a gift. I am home with my husband and kids. I have the joy of having my eldest home for a few months before she goes to university. We are all making the most of this time together.
I am working from home, but saving time commuting and driving the kids around. I’ve created a new mixture of daily and weekly routines, plus goals and projects that I haven’t even had time to think about. But it’s also about slowing down, taking time, breaking the mould. It’s a balance between the two. I trust my gut about what’s right for me at this time. When I say gut, I don’t mean head. I mean instead of getting tangled up in thoughts and opinions, I’m paying attention to my intuition or inner voice. It never steers me wrong.
Are you taking care of yourself? What does your gut say? What could you make better?
At Beluga Bean, our motto is ‘Make It Better’ because there is usually an easier, smarter and more enjoyable way.
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