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Time For a Critical Mindset Shift

How I'm Creating a New Vision of Life During the Pandemic

sunrise on Vancouver Island, Julie Boyer

For many of us, it’s been at least two weeks since we started social (now called physical) distancing. We have been cooped up in our homes and we’re starting to figure out what our new normal is. As Brené Brown shared in her most recent podcast episode, the adrenaline has worn off and now it’s time for what to do next.

The first and most important thing on my list is to protect my mindset. I’ve been a student of the self-help movement for over a decade. For years, I’ve avoided the news and fed myself a steady diet of positive, inspiring and motivational work. Like many of you, I’ve been caught up in the COVID-19 news pandemic too. This past week, I’ve had to reach into my magical trunk of tools to help me create a new vision of life during the pandemic.

Here’s what I’ve been leaning into in order to shift my mindset:

Authentic Connections

Last week, I felt myself out of alignment with one of my dearest friends and business partners. We had been communicating all week, yet things still felt off between us. I realized there was a gap in our Connection. We were texting and talking, but our feelings of discomfort weren’t being addressed. And it was going to take a Zoom call and a whole lot of uncomfortable truth before we could get back to connecting.

That conversation was difficult and necessary. And what came out it was a shift in how I felt about the pandemic. It turned out to be one of the most important conversations I had all week. 

Where are you feeling discomfort or a lack of connection in your relationships right now? It’s not easy to have uncomfortable conversations, especially over a Zoom meeting. What if working through this discomfort could be the shift you’ve been waiting for?

Following Great Leadership

Brené Brown has launched a new podcast called Unlocking Us. I have always looked to Brené in times of crisis. She helps us to acknowledge our feelings, to validate them and then let us know what comes next. The above mentioned podcast episode is: Brené on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball. I also loved the audiobook for Dare to Lead. I’d recommend any of her books, audiobooks and her Netflix special right now.

Mel Robbins is the author of the 5-Second Rule. I’ve been a huge fan of Mel since I saw her on stage with sparkly sneakers at an event years ago. She inspired me to design my own sparkly sneakers for when I’m on stage. Mel has been doing a daily Facebook Live called Stay Connected with Mel Robbins. She is sharing what’s really going on at home with her family, allowing us to stay connected and sharing strategies that have worked for them. 

Remembering to Laugh

Jimmy Fallon is the host of The Tonight Show and a SNL alumni. The show is has been put on hold for now which means that Jimmy is doing a series on YouTube called The Tonight Show: At Home Edition. It’s hilarious because like many of us who are working from home, his two young kids constantly interrupting him. There’s also great music and super interviews – all using Zoom. The episode where he tries to ‘pitch a tent‘ is hilarious and inspired us to buy our own tent for the yard. Perfect for isolation!

Bon Appétit Test Kitchen is also one of my favorite things to watch on YouTube. The series called Gourmet Makes with Claire Saffitz is filled with laughter, frustration and a gourmet version of a childhood classic like Oreo Cookies. There are so many fun ‘series’ on the channel and I love the ‘cast’ who work in the test kitchen. They recently uploaded a video called Test Kitchen is Cooking at Home, where our favorite YouTube stars are cooking from their homes.

Having Fun with my family is also top of the list these days. We are in the same house all the time and it’s easy to go our separate ways in front of our separate screens. We are meeting for meals, playing more games and wrestling with the dog for entertainment. Little things are funnier than ever! Thankfully I’m married to a born entertainer and he makes us all laugh.

Focusing on What’s Working

It’s easy to focus on all that is going wrong right now. In order to shift my mindset, I am choosing to focus on what IS working, as opposed to what is not. My gratitude practices really help me with that. I love that I have been seeing so many more people sharing their gratitude on social media. I truly believe that we can get through anything, if we choose to find a little bit of gratitude every single day. 

This came up in my Facebook memories from a year ago (2019) and I feel like it provides perspective on what we are going through right now:

About last night. As I left the house my mom asked me, didn’t you already go to the beach this morning? I replied, yes I did, and now the sun is setting so I’m going back. For me, these are the bookends of a perfect day. Getting up for sunrise at the beach and watching it set in the evening. I never thought I’d live in a place where I could see both only a few minutes from home.

Have you ever really thought about what the bookends of your perfect day look like? We may not always choose our current circumstances, however the one thing we can control is how we start and end our days. You may not be drawn to the sunrise or set as I am, so find what it is that sets your day off to a great start. It could be meditation, prayer, reading or another sacred practice. Or it could be as simple as remembering to wake up with gratitude and give thanks for the gift of another day.

I’ll leave you with a few questions to think about…

What’s working right now?

What I am grateful for?

How many times am I laughing per day?

Who is influencing me?

Where can I create authentic connections?

Remember that I love you, you’re worthy of love and we are doing this together. We will come out on the other side in due time, and it’s our mindset that determines how we weather the storm.

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