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As we lead into this holiday season, the one word that comes up over and again is joy. We hear it and yet somehow often in this season, we don’t live it. And I think for many of us we don’t live it all the year round. But it’s important that we do cultivate joy during this season and certainly the entire year round. And if we can cultivate an inner joy during one of the busiest times of the year it should become a habit that we hold onto all year.
It may be cliché that I’m choosing to talk about gratitude at this time of year, but I think it’s important. While well meaning ideas on gratitude through November and Thanksgiving Day are great, I think we tend to go back to our old mindsets and anxieties very soon after. Often with the busyness of the holidays our old ways of complaint and narrow perspective are compacted. So I want to make sure, that when you begin this month thinking about gratitude, you carry it over into the holidays and make it a true life changing habit.
Once we get comfortable with our weaknesses and our strengths and all of the in between, it leaves room for acceptance. Acceptance of who we have been, who we are, and most importantly who we want to become. Acceptance is about wholeness. And acceptance all of yourself leads to trusting yourself. This allows yourself to open up to other relationships with acceptance and trust.
Change is hard. We don’t like change. But I think we’ll all agree we need change. It’s when change is forced upon us that it’s especially hard. But in that moment if we face it with strength, we often find the good.
Strength allows us to grow, to move forward, to come out of hiding, to move and do with purpose, to make changes and waves in this world. Without strength, we stay where we are and accept what is because it’s comfortable – even if it’s a comfortably hard life. But this is hiding.
Exploration is often linked with play because we aren’t necessarily looking for outcomes but instead involved in process. Exploring the new opens new opportunities, it allows us to do things without having to finish, or even accomplish anything – which relieves us of stress which has to be my favorite reason to explore. Exploration allows our imaginations to work, promotes questions and flexibility in our minds, and allows for mistakes without repercussions.
Exploration means pushing out of our comfort zones but without the stress of a needed outcome. Instead we are looking at process with a sense of wonder. Often we are trying something new so there is no real risk.
Self love is often being comfortable with who we are, knowing we are worthy as we are and not needing to keep up with someone else, or needing more than what we know is for us.
This month we look at cultivating self love, why and how and what it looks like when we do.
Our breath is our very existence. It is what we come down to so it’s no wonder to me why experts suggest breathing exercises for when we are stressed, upset, or need just a moment to gather ourselves. It’s no wonder meditation often focuses on the slow work of breathing. Even in athletics breathing is important. Without a doubt, the way we take in breath and more importantly, the way we release our breath is vital to our well being.
In much the same way, what we take in and more importantly what we let go of is also vital to our well being. Paying attention to what we allow into our minds will often shine a light on how those things affect our mindset, our mood, and ultimately our well being.
We are getting deep this month – and probably a little dirty because there’s some hard shoveling to do when we question. I thought about naming this episode and work of art mindfulness, but I wanted something a little more grittier. Whereas mindfulness sounds so soothing and peaceful. Mindfulness is what I’m talking about but it’s harder work than what it sounds like. It’s truly getting in there and questioning. Questioning yourself and questioning others. It’s about being curious and seeing where that curiosity takes you. And based on my own experience, if you truly question and allow those questions to take you anywhere, then you will often have a few surprising revelations and answers.
Daydreaming is a super important part of the creative process especially when it comes to building your life. You create your life and tuning in to the creative side of you, to listen and create in your imagination what you might want is where visions are formed, where new businesses, ideas, innovations are formed. You can’t get these things if you aren’t daydreaming. You can’t get these things if you aren’t allowing yourself to flow with your own thoughts. If you are afraid to sit in your own thoughts, consider why and release what is holding you back.
We need to know where we are going and then keep our eyes there while working in the moment of where we are. Otherwise we’ll just go where ever our eyes are looking. And if they don’t have something to look at we’ll either end up going in many directions with the many distractions or end up stuck in one spot. This is vision.
Welcome to Discovering Breadcrumbs and the Cultivate Project – the inspiration for this podcast.
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