They Say Hindsight is 2020. Of Course, It Is!
What Effect Has Clarity Had on You This Year?
December is here. Incredible! It gives a whole new meaning to the saying, “Hindsight is 2020”. And all year, we have been investigating ways to gain greater Clarity. Who exactly are “we”? The DRIVEN team, along with folks from my beloved C-IQ® community, and anyone reading our blogs have all been on a journey of Clarity through these surreal months.
As I “look back to look forward”, with the help of DRIVEN’s blog articles, newsletters and my personal journaling, I see a pattern, a common thread to achieving Clarity and maintaining perspective: Emotions have been the driver all along!
Without even realizing it, I played right into Van Gogh’s suggestion: “Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the captains of our lives, and we obey them without realizing it”. It’s powerful to ride the waves of emotion once you recognize them. The trick is to employ emotional resilience to make the stormy waters less burdensome to your health and wellbeing. Such perspective allows us to choose how to respond (not react) to a situation— entirely essential for our energetic wellbeing throughout 2020.
Emotional Energy Takes Muscle.
If you’ve been keeping up with DRIVEN’s Year of Clarity, you’ve read an awful lot about “emotions”. Way back in January, my dear friend and colleague Dominique Ara and I spoke about how journaling may lead to an attic of emotional history, allowing the invisible to become visible. This insight, coupled with the truth of Van Gogh’s quote, has inspired me to intentionally maintain my emotional energy throughout this challenging year. My hope is that some of the techniques I’ve shared have supported you during this journey into the unknown. Some of the discussion highlights, in hindsight, have been:
Self-Compassion is Second to None!
- The importance of self-compassion is to maintain emotional perspective. Dominique explains it beautifully: Here’s an excerpt from February’s blog: “For journaling to then proceed toward the attic, one must be well-prepared. Where dusting the dining room table only requires a little furniture polish, climbing up to that rickety loft and investigating the souvenirs (and the baggage) of our lives takes emotional and spiritual fortification— far more potent cleaners. The strongest emotional scrubber in the cabinet is….you guessed it: Self-Compassion.”
One of the great tools we provided was a resources page playfully titled “Self Compassion for Smarties”.
Emotions Are Us.
Without even realizing it, we’d investigated emotions from different angles throughout the year! This included:
- How to function in emotionally exhausted crisis times.
- How reality actually changes due to our emotional state, and how to do a “reality self-check”.
- How to build your emotional resilience muscle.
- How to support that emotional resilience.
This final, scrutinizing look at clarity reveals to me that we can intentionally interject “hindsight” closer to the incident worthy of reflection and retrospection. This happens by building another muscle– your mindfulness muscle. This requires inviting your brain back to the present again and again, as analogized by Buddhist practitioner Jack Kornfield with changing the behavior of a puppy through repetition.
So as you look back at this year, and transition to the dark days of winter, be intentional. I invite you to prepare yourself emotionally by catching your brain before it runs into those emotions, and inviting it back to the present with curiosity, hopefulness and compassion.
Minding Your Mindfulness
Join my colleagues and clients as we continue to practice mindfulness, thereby enhancing your emotional wellbeing during the day. Here are 3 ways:
- Before you begin deep focus work, check in with yourself using this 3-breath meditation. It will literally take less than one minute. Your reward is razor-sharp focus.
- Create your own Moments of Mindfulness (MOMs). These are intentional pauses to connect with one of your senses. A couple of favorites are focusing on your first bite of food, and pausing during a stroll to connect with the sounds around you. These acts magically bring you to the present!
- Understand when your switch flips. Where in your body does it physically manifest when you have an “oh, crap” moment? Some examples include: when you realize you forgot about a phone call, or when you’ve double-booked your clients, or when you’ve realized that the proposal you’d submitted was grossly mispriced. Often, people will report a tightening in the chest, flushing of the face, sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and even holding of the breath. Use the 3-breath meditation and MOMs to check in with this physical canary. If you recognize you’re holding your breath, you get to zoom out, ask yourself a few questions and regain perspective. Try out my very own R.A.I.N. of Anxiety Meditation to realign.
As you take a pause this holiday season and ponder what 2021 will bring, what will you consider doing to bring your mind to the present more quickly? Remember that DRIVEN is always here to coach you along.
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