One of my goals for 2020 is to read more books. I'm currently reading 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, by Amy Morin. I've been thinking a lot about Chapter 2, "They Don't Give Away Their Power".
Over the past decade I've become increasingly aware of the ways in which I gave away my power. Believing I was in a bad mood because someone said something that hurt my feelings. Or thinking I was overwhelmed due to an overloaded schedule.
What I've learned over time is that the reason I feel sad, hurt or overwhelmed is because of my own thoughts. How I interpret the circumstances in my life determines how I feel and in turn, how I show up.
I set an intention to practice reclaiming my personal power whenever I noticed that I was feeling powerless or like I had no control over my life (this is an ongoing practice).
Giving away your power disrupts your sense of joy and peace across all areas of your life including career, health finances and relationships.
Here are 3 ways you may be giving away your power without even knowing it, and simple tips to take it back.
Now that you’re aware of how you may be giving your power away, you can consciously choose to stop. Aim for progress, not perfection. And know that you're not alone on this journey.
Which of the above do you relate to the most? Let me know in the comments below.
It's hard to believe that another year is about to come to an end. Where does the time go?
In past years, I've practiced a variety of end of year rituals that include creating a vision board, choosing a word of the year, and setting traditional resolutions, just to name a few.
While each practice provided some value, none of them seemed to provide the consistency of habits I needed to stay on track with my goals throughout the year.
If you are leading a busy life, you know how easy it is to have your best-laid plans derailed by unexpected life events and increasing personal and professional responsibilities.
This year, I decided to take a new approach and created a simple 3-step process to set myself up for sustained success.
Remember to set up a simple system (not overly complicated or time-consuming) to review your progress at least weekly. This will help you to see your progress, identify where you may be off-track and adjust your plan accordingly. Find support and accountability to ensure your success. Tell a friend or family member, find a trusted advisor, coach or mentor to help you make forward progress and overcome unexpected obstacles.
My outcome from this process is to be consistent, follow through, and keep it simple as it relates to my health and fitness goals. These 7 words will serve as a daily mantra to keep me on track this year.
If you use the end of ritual outlined above, let me know how it goes for you by sharing in the comments below.
Recently, I came across an old audio training from my coach on "busy-ness".
Most of the women I know live in a perpetual state of busyness, taking care of tasks and managing home, work and everything in between.
Somehow we have come to equate busy-ness with productivity. We are constantly "doing" and leave very little time for "being".
And when we do allow ourselves a bit of time to rest and relax it's not without a heaping dose of guilt as we think about all of the things we should be doing.
As I listened to the training, she mentioned the term "workcation".
She went on to define this term as the insidious tendency to avoid unplugging from work by checking email and responding to messages while out of the office on vacation.
I remembered how this used to be a common habit for me to open up the laptop or smart phone and check email in the evenings after dinner while finishing patient charts...and on the weekends...and at my son's soccer game. How else could you possibly keep up with everything that needs to get done?
And although it might be nice to take a break from email, the thought of the avalanche that would occur on returning to work made it seem like an impossibility.
At the time, it made me wonder how common this phenomenon really was. That summer, I posted a question on Facebook to see how many people check email on vacation, especially those of us who work in medicine. The vast majority of professionals reported that they check and respond to email on vacation.
This had been my habit too up until 2013. That was the year I attended my first silent meditation retreat. It required completely disconnecting from our outer focus on the external world to allow time and space to tune in to our inner world - the world of thoughts and emotions.
There was no cell phone, tablets, or TVs. No reading or writing either.
I was terrified.
For the first 24 hours I worried about how many emails were being deposited into my inbox. I noticed how much I wanted things to be different than the way they were - it's too cold, too wet, too much sitting, bland food - there was nothing to distract me from being with...well, me. I hadn't allowed myself much time to simply be with myself.
But a funny thing happened around the third day. I realized that I am sometimes busy and plugged in...even when I don't need to be...to avoid that inner world of swirling thoughts and uncomfortable feelings on a deep soul level.
The reality that my relationship was in trouble. The denial that my son's poor grades were not from a lack of effort, but rather from untreated anxiety and depression. And the acknowledgment of the sinking feeling I had that I was slowly killing myself by putting everyone's needs ahead of my own...a convenient excuse to not take care of myself.
It was a very tough, emotional weekend. And it was exactly the first step I needed to take to wake up to my life. The life that was right here now. Not the way it used to be. And not the way I wish it was. The awareness I gained during that extended weekend was invaluable. Being in a community of diverse women, in a safe environment, with a skilled facilitator allowed me to get crystal clear on what I didn't want, by really appreciating what wasn't working for me.
It takes courage to be in touch with the degree to which your inner world (your heart's desires, what matters most) is aligned with your external world (if family is most important, how much quality time do you make to spend with them?).
It can be painful to realize that work has taken over your life.
And yet there is freedom in remembering that you have a choice about how to live your life.
Now, I make it an annual practice to unplug by attending a silent meditation retreat. But, you don't have to jump in the deep end of the pool all at once. Dip your toe in the water by exploring one or more of the following practices:
So with summer fast approaching, will you give yourself permission to unplug and disconnect on vacation? What about in daily life? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Please leave a comment below and let me know if you give unplugging a thumbs up or thumbs down and whether you explored one of the suggestions above or one of your own creation.
It's hard to believe that another year is coming to a close.
Before stepping fully into the new year, it's helpful to pause to take a look back over the current year and look ahead to the coming year.
So this year, I'm starting a new ritual: taking the last 2 days of this year and the first 2 days of next year to perform a "soft reset" - a kind of master reboot to restore life balance, recharge my energy, and realign with what matters most.
Starting this morning, I am prioritizing my own self-care - listening to my body for what it needs - nourishing my mind - body - and spirit. Here is the process I've created for my new end of year ritual:
So this is my plan and yet I'm allowing for lots of flexibility, knowing that things don't always go according to plan. Be gentle with yourself and honor where you are, wherever that happens to be in the moment. What I'm hoping to gain from this process is a greater recognition and acknowledgement of my personal growth, the discovery of key insights that will serve me in now and in the future, and using the wisdom gleaned from this process to inform my actions in the coming year.
How about you? Do you have a ritual that you use to close out or start a new year? I'd love to hear about. Please share in the comments below.
10% of battery remaining
How many times have you seen this message pop up on your smart phone or tablet?
This battery alert is all too familiar for most of us who are plugged in non-stop, frustrated when our devices threaten to disconnect us from the world.
But, do you recognize the warning from your body that notifies you that your batteries are getting low?
Recently, I found that I'd misplaced one of my chargers. The result: using one charger to attempt to maintain 2 devices. I didn't allow one device to fully charge before disconnecting it from its power source but still expected it to keep on working for long periods of time.
The realization dawned on me that we often do the same thing. We don't always pay attention to how much charge we have and it's not until the alert goes off (or worse yet the device dies altogether) that we realize we need to plug in.
So, it's got me thinking about how consistently I plug into my Source to keep my battery fully charged. As I develop a system to put into place to minimize the frequency of draining my battery completely, here is what I am considering to avoid hitting zero:
And finally, the recognition that my spiritual health is the key to maintaining my physical and emotional health reminds me that I need to consistently plug into my Source (who I call God) and nurture that relationship. This is now my Priority #1.
I'd love to hear what makes your list and what you identify as your top priority for keeping your batteries charged.
Leave a comment below.
Uplifting Women in Medicine
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