My world has been feeling pretty small lately, and I’m sure you can relate. With Covid-19 again on the rise, our freedom seems to be limited to a one-mile radius of home, school, and on a really wild and fun day, grocery shopping behind a mask. (I am also learning that I need a wardrobe overhaul in order to eat outside in 40-degree weather, add that to the growing to-do list). However, a recent wake-up call from the universe reminded me to pause and notice the expanse of what’s really happening around me, which caused an eye-opening perspective shift.
Because our audiences have naturally become smaller, our stage has become much BIGGER. Your spouse is seeing everything you do, the good, the bad and the ugly (apparently, I have some real ugly). Your kids are watching you like a hawk, absorbing all of your energy and noticing your habits – and internalizing all of them. And if you’re on zoom with colleagues, then like it or not, you are occupying precious real estate in their day. Emotions are energy, and they are always contagious. Ever notice that if you’re around someone positive, you perk right up, while a ‘negative-Nancy’ will kill your day? It’s a real phenomenon.
What brand of vibe are you giving to your friends, family and colleagues lately?
If you’re getting any signals that it’s time to ‘clean it up’, here are three simple things that have been helping me to show up with more INTENTION, and create the energy and impact that I truly want to have.
Give Yourself a Break, You’re Doing Your BEST
You deserve more empathy and compassion than you are (likely) giving to yourself – by a lot. I love to talk about this, and yet some days it feels like lip-service. I can be all smiles at breakfast, and by the start of on-line classwork I’m talking through clenched teeth. By the third time my youngest starts playing or making faces in the middle of the zoom call, I’ve completely lost my cool, and it’s only 9:25am!
The test of whether or not you are giving yourself enough empathy and compassion is how much empathy and compassion you are giving to those around you. We are living in times of unprecedented uncertainty, and empathy can help to guide us through. Anger and frustration live on the surface. The deeper, more soulful response is a one of compassion, not frustration, to ourselves and others. We are all in a tough spot, and doing our best. It’s okay that things are not going to be perfect.
If we are aware of it, the real question is, can we begin to accept it? How can we choose to be kind to ourselves, unconditionally – regardless of how we judge that we are performing in the moment? No conditions, and no strings attached. Loving even the imperfect parts of you. Tell yourself that your best today may not have been you best yesterday – that it ebbs and flows, and that’s okay. Now that’s true love! And don’t you deserve that? Your relationships will thank you, and your family will experience role modelling worthy of the big stage. Start small, and keep going.
Structure-in Some YOU-TIME
Admittedly, I am great at intending to take care of myself first, but then I slide to the bottom of my priority list. There is a never-ending list of things to do at home, and if you keep trying to get through everything, you will always be working, and always be failing to prioritize you, by design. Time for a refresh!
Here are 3 new things I’m experimenting with to make sure I’m getting what I need in a day. First, I am trying to follow David Rock’s logic and do one uninterrupted thing for myself, first thing in the morning, while my creative energy is high. It’s how I am writing right now. It allows me to get to MY most important agenda item when I am at MY best. As I am learning, your morning routine truly steers your day, so choose to start it mindfully. Second, I pick a time everyday where I surprise call someone I want to connect with, which for me is a total energy boost and keeps me feeling grounded (some of my corporate clients do this at work in the form of 15-minute coffee-chats). Third, I share my goal of working out or walking once a day, so that my family can help me to stay on track. It really changes everything, because caring about wellness takes an entire village!
Choose Moment to Moment Fun
As I’m learning, fun happens in small moments. And if you’re not careful, fun naturally falls to the bottom of the to-do list. That’s probably because fun is more of an attitude than a to-do. As I look back over my day, the thing that stands out is ALWAYS the moment that my family and I were connecting over a laugh, or a moment where we were smiling. It’s the quality of the moment – and most often, it’s the little things. Five minutes on the phone with a friend, a really quick book with your kids, a dance or a song in the kitchen while making dinner, watching the wildlife in your yard eat your pumpkin. YES, it’s all right there for you; AND, all you have to do is choose it. No one is going to write you the permission slip for you to have more fun, this one’s on you! The good news is, it’s quality over quantity and its right there for the taking: smile right now, in this moment, and start to reshape your day for the better…what’s the fun moment right in front of you, waiting to be claimed? 😊