Looking? Maybe It's Inside?
"Reinvention is a constant for each of us. So what's next? Clients tell me they don't know. I tell them to look inside. Make that connection. Get to know YOU!" ~Randi Levin Coaching
Searching for something? We all are on some level. Actively or passively, everyone is seeking the next great adventure, the meaning of life, a goal attained, security, love, or fulfillment. For most of us, the most meaningful search is the one that brings us right back to ourselves. Perhaps, what we are most looking for is actually located right inside us. If we are listening, we can hear it. If we can envision it, we can attain it.
The internal dialogue that we have with ourselves can, from time to time, get really loud. So can our powered up busy lives. The good news is that it is time to smile, relax, and use this summer as a departure point. We each have 93 days, 15 hours and 47 official minutes of summer. Positioning a pivot starts with a few small steps. It begins with pressing the pause button. What better time than summer to begin?
What better way to begin "looking"at change and redirection than by listening to Ziggy Marley's "Looking"... ???
Begin with a pause! Long or short...a day or weeks...it all starts here.
Stop. Literally. Amend your regular daily programming with some personal time, an altered environment, and a non-traditional summer schedule. Pausing helps us to reflect upon our truest selves because it creates the space and the time to focus inward. This is your time to reevaluate what works. What do you love to do? What have you wanted to do and have not? Remember daydreaming? Bring it back!
What was your favorite thing to do as a child? Favorite thing to pretend?
Are there elements of any of those memories that are workable within your adult life NOW? Seriously! Really think about that. Some of our best inspiration often comes from the most unlikely of places. A glimpse back can often empower a move forward. Take time to play!
Pausing is one of the most effective tools to kickstart what's next! I myself am using it this summer in a significant way. For me, summer is the ideal time to slow down, to reconnect to my inner circle of people as well as my inner self. I believe that whatever is next is rooted in my ability to slow my life down so that I can listen to it! Actually, that is one of the key reasons that coaching is so impactful. It slows down your life, so you can look back in at it from a different perspective.We can only enjoy that vantage point when we stop our everyday noise just long enough to hear our own personal echoes. It's an inside job.
While you are pausing...create a vision and try all three of the action steps below to align the gap between what exists currently and what you most want.
Spend Time Alone
Sometimes alone may seem impossible. Especially as parents of small children, time alone can come at a premium. Over time, the price we pay to not do this much steeper. Many people have difficulty spending time alone. They are more comfortable amongst the chatter of their family, the company of others. Time alone is introspective. It is in these alone moments that we can actually hear what our heart and our mind are telling us. Time alone promotes creativity, relaxation, plans and solutions that come not because we looked for them, but because we allowed ourselves the space to acknowledge that they actually exist in the first place. Time alone can be a walk, a run, a nap, reading or shopping. It may involve people watching, journaling, taking pictures or taking a class on line. Time alone builds our self-esteem, our ability to feel secure in our own decisions, and our desire to refresh and renew our journeys. Our actions begin as thoughts; thoughts that often emerge most readily when we are focused inward.
Learn From a Book (not the way you think!)
There are a variety of ways to learn. What I am referring to is not only the knowledge we get from reading a book, but from our ability to emulate the format of one. Most books do not ramble on endlessly from page 1 to page 300 with no breaks. Books are formatted using chapters. First a story, then a break, then a story, and then a break which allows the reader to pause and reflect on the characters, the plot, the elements of the total tale. Chapters allow the reader and the author to take logical pauses to refresh, think, or switch gears completely. If we "make like a book" and acknowledge the many chapters of our lives, then logically we need to stop and regroup at the end of each chapter and prior to starting the next. Recognizing the chapters in our lives allows for creative license, interpretation, and thought. Just like a book, our own chapter thirty may not read the same as someone else's. It is not supposed to. Nor are we required to compare our own chapter 1 to someone's chapter 10. We are all on different journeys...writing different stories and then rewriting them. Start a journal or blog and think about what each chapter of your life has taught you. Breaking your life down into logical pieces allows you to connect the dots between those pieces. Can you visualize each one? What chapter are you in now? What's next?
While you are visualizing your chapters...make sure to infuse play and creativity right into each one. For inspiration, take a look at the following website: www.journalofplay.org.
Commit to one thing every day that you would normally not say yes to. Take that bucket list out, the scary one that you never have the time, energy, or bandwidth for, and allow yourself to say yes. One day and one yes at a time. Do it now. Then savor your thoughts about the experience. What are the wow and aha moments that resulted from pausing and shifting perspective towards this one thing daily and perhaps back towards you?
This may sound like it would make you busier and less focused. Quite the opposite is true. The yes that you are welcoming into your life is all about letting go of traditional fears and beliefs and instead, fearing forward. Fearing forward allows you to acknowledge that there is a gap between what you are doing and what you want to do. Then you step ahead knowing that you will be uncomfortable...but also understanding that you are essentially daring yourself. Why is that important? I will let Shonda Rhimes who wrote Year of Yes, explain in her TED Talk:
The challenge of saying yes, of experiencing something new, redefines your own personal pivot. Often we hesitate and then pass on opportunities because we have a limiting belief about their outcome that paralyzes us. Allowing for a daily new "yes" keeps exploration alive and the potential to shift and refresh constantly available to you. In the process it allows you to say no to the things in your life that are not working. We need to let go in order to let in. Creating new habits as we do.