We are in a time when change is here and we are not sure where we are going. It is a time between the past we knew and the future that is coming. We have no roadmap. Here are a few ideas on making the most of the time we are in.
1. If stress and pressure are through the roof for you, consistently bringing yourself back to center is essential.
2. If you have a lot of time and space now, spend it in reflection on what you want your future to be.
3. Whatever your circumstances, find your new balance (physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally) for the time we are in.
4. Find a process to release what was – it is gone.
5. Get yourself to embracing the unknown – this will serve you well.
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There’s a lot going on. Amidst it all, it helps to focus attention on the positive. So what’s good in your life and work? If you do not have a ready answer, do some digging – you’ll find something.
Recognizing what’s good can lift your spirits and build momentum to creating more good in your life. Go ahead, focus on the positive and see where it takes you.
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These days, all kinds of things can keep you busy – adapting to change, care giving for yourself or others, finding work, doing your work. All of these involve “doing”. You can also be busy on the “being” side – reassessing your life and work, dealing with the “time out” you are in, accepting the changes that are occurring, dealing with fear and uncertainty.
What is keeping you busy these days? What’s the balance you are striking between being and doing? Some of the heroes of this time have only the option of doing and we are so grateful to them. Others have an opportunity to create some busy time on the being side. You have an opening to create positive change. Your world will not be the same, as you return to activity. This shift has been too big. Spending some time reflecting on your life, work and wants serves you greatly right now.
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Despite wishes to go back to how things were before the pandemic, it is pretty clear now that the world is in a time of significant change. In the near future, you may go back to a new workplace, new ways of communicating and new forms of socializing. In the far future, it is anyone’s guess what the world will be.
You have a choice: trying to recapture what is gone or preparing for a future that fulfills you. In crises, along with challenges come opportunities. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started in creating the future you want to live:
• What is gone from your life that will not return?
• What is new in your life that feels right?
• What can you do with the time you have now to pursue dreams that there never was time for before?
• How have your values changed?
• What will make your future life a fulfilling one?
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Yes, this is a big question and one worth considering. Harmony gets you moving – all the pieces of your life and career work well together. To assess the level of harmony in your life, here are some questions to consider:
• How often are there conflicts in your life and career?
• How well do you discern what situations and people are best to be involved with and those you should avoid?
• Do you feel a flow in your life? A sense of ease?
• Is there anything you may be doing that causes disturbance in your life? Or other situations or people that do?
• What lacks harmony in your life and career now?
With harmony you can enjoy life and get more done. Make harmony a value that you support and honor.
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I have found that one of my challenges during this time is keeping my focus. My mind wanders and, at times, cannot hold its attention for very long. It’s not like I busy myself with distractions, rather at various times in the day, I find it challenging to keep my attention on something I want to do (a work project, cleaning the house, cooking, working in the yard). When this happens, I do my best to bring my attention back. I also give myself space. I know we are in a time of uncertainty and transition and that some of my energy is focusing on that. That’s okay. I am finding my new center and until I do, I go easy on myself, to a point.
How is your focus these days?
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The world has changed. We are in a new reality. To come to acceptance, start from the present. Look around at your world to what has changed and what is the same. Identify what you need to live in this world and thrive. If you are having trouble accepting the changes, identify the problem areas and focus on ways to make them easier to accept. For example, if you are working at home and do not like it, look for positives in it, as well as ways to minimize any negative effects.
Some things you may not be able to accept outright, such as the illness or death of a loved one or losing a job. In that case, acceptance comes in coping with what has happened, doing what you can to stay out of fear and allowing your feelings to express themselves. Acceptance will allow you to move on eventually. Resistance keeps you stuck.
Acceptance is freeing and is a process. Once you start moving towards acceptance, life will get better.
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Your point of view greatly influences the way you see the world around you. You have freedom to choose your point of view. Or, it can happen by default – the consequence of your experiences and reactions to those around you.
How do you tell the story of what the world, and you individually, are experiencing right now? Do your story and point of view come from a positive place, a fearful one, a hopeful one or a pessimistic one? Is there anything you would like to change?
You are the storyteller. Your point of view has high impact on your experience of life. Make sure it serves your interests and values.
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Have you thought about what you can be doing during this pandemic? Here are some questions to answer:
• Is your role an individual one or part of a greater whole?
• Are you focusing locally or on a broader spectrum?
• What needs are evident to you within your immediate surroundings?
• How much time is available for you to take on a new role?
• Where is your heart leading you?
• What first steps can you take?
You have something to give the world in this time of need.
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The ability to discern where you expend your energy is critical now. If you are using all that you have to live and work, you don’t have extra energy for other people’s dramas or demands. You want to do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones, get your work done and be where you can do the most good.
Are others’ issues or demands encroaching on you or stressing you right now? If your answer is yes, take some time to evaluate what is happening and what you want to do about it. There are ways you can set boundaries without being aggressive or nasty. If you do not have time or energy to answer a demand or to do something, state that clearly and kindly to the people involved.
Knowing what to say no to and what to say yes to will help you maintain balance and function effectively in these times.
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