Well, my daughter’s filming wrapped up last week, so now our lovely family is reunited and we’re adjusting to yet another new normal.
I don’t know if you’ve ever spent any time on a set, but here’s something I’ve learned. There is A LOT of time spent waiting. Often in the dark. And in silence. That means there’s been A LOT of time to think.
Since I love using my time effectively, I got to thinking about why this year has been exceptional. If you tuned in last week, you’ll remember (maybe) that despite its challenges, 2020 has been one of the best years of my life.
I wanted to pinpoint 3 precise reasons that have contributed to my remarkable year and share them with you. Why?
Because maybe 2020 hasn’t been awesome for you and you’d like to finish on a higher note.
Or, maybe it’s been an exceptional year for you, too, and you’d like to make it even better.
I didn’t set out to focus on the following 3 things, but as I look back, they’ve been the overarching reasons for the awesomeness.
So, if you’re looking for some improvements, here are the BIG IDEAS you may want to consider (plus you’ll see 3 embedded book recommendations!):
Big Idea # 1: Presence
Ultimately, we’re all seeking more presence, even if we’re not aware of it. The solution to any challenge is increased presence. In his fantastic book, Happy Money, Ken Honda states that even money issues are resolved when we become more present.
Unfortunately, there’s an epidemic of distraction. Just think about what happens when you pull out your phone. Maybe you wanted to check the weather, but then there was a text that reminded you about the hair appointment you were going to make, which led you to the internet to look up the number, and then you noticed a page you had open about a recipe you were going to make. You click on the image, and somehow end up on Pinterest, scrolling through the funny memes and then a Facebook notification comes through. Down the rabbit hole you go!
One of my practices that’s made a difference this year is to continually remind myself to “Be where you are”. If I’m on a walk with my husband, I give him my full attention. If I’m at my kids’ martial arts class, I decided to stop trying to get some work done on my phone. Instead I pay attention to my kids. If there’s something that can’t wait while I’m at their martial arts studio, I take my computer downstairs and give it my full focus so I can finish it more efficiently. Then I go back upstairs and pay attention to my kids.
Easy? Um, no. That’s why I call it a practice...it takes lots of practice. I don’t get nearly as much stuff done as I used to, but man, do I feel a lot better. Plus, the stuff I do get done is of much higher quality.
Most importantly, my loved ones know through my actions that they’re loved. I’ve been working at putting down the phone when they come talk to me, engaging fully in conversations and paying attention. With eye contact and everything!
Just now, as if on cue, my son, Oakley, walked in the door from school. It was tempting to keep typing out my ideas here and talk to him at the same time, but instead, I shut my laptop and became fully present to hearing about his day. Now he’s doing some homework, so I can be fully here with you again. Thank you Universe for that opportunity to practice!
Presence has made a tremendous improvement in my quality of life. I invite you to consider where and how you can be more present too. Need a place to start? You can borrow the mantra “Be where you are.” It’s a good one.
Big Idea #2: Trust
Have you ever noticed that trust is a pretty big deal? It’s worthwhile spending some time cultivating a deeper sense of trust.
Here are some areas where you can flex your trust muscles:
>Trust in perfect timing
>Trust in intuition
>Trust that when you do the hardest thing that stretches your comfort zone the most, the rewards on the other side far exceed the hard part
>Trust in tithing (giving 10% of all incoming money to people or organizations that bring you joy and/or inspire you)
>Trust that everything’s going to be alright
>Trust in vulnerability and authenticity
>Trust in persistence
>Trust in your body
>Trust that your efforts are worthwhile
>Trust in letting go
>Trust that you're doing you're best
>Trust that other people are doing their best too
>Trust in allowing
>Trust in love
How about you pick one of those areas and devote yourself to growing your trust in it? When you cultivate trust, it’s like building a really solid base that everything else can rest upon so you don’t have to try so hard at everything you. Definitely time well spent.
Big Idea #3: Embodiment
I’ve always been very interested in the human body.
I recently read a novel called Circe by Madeline Miller. It’s a novel about the first recorded witch, who appears in the Odyssey. She’s also a goddess, which means that she doesn’t need to eat, sleep, or really care for her body in any way.
Then she has a baby who is half human. Circe’s shocked at how much energy it takes to simply care for the human body. She comments that it’s a good thing she doesn’t need to sleep, otherwise caring for her baby would have been impossible. (Sound familiar, moms out there?)
That idea has really stuck with me… how much care we need to pour into our human bodies, the home for our soul.
I came across 2 “game changer” ideas around the body in another book I read this year, the Energy Codes, by Dr Sue Morter.
1. You don’t have a soul; you are a soul with a body in it.
I absolutely love that idea. We are big, giant, powerful souls with a little human body at the bottom. That new perspective has helped me understand my own magnificence so much more deeply than the paradigm of having a soul. Perhaps that shift will help you claim your magnificence as well.
2. The goal isn’t enlightenment. You’re already made of light. The goal is embodiment.
Seriously. That new idea rocked my world. I could write an essay on that one idea. I won’t do that here though… this is already pretty long. Suffice it to say that your higher self is continually trying to pour into your physical body and your root chakra is its destination, not the crown chakra. There’s even a chakra below you in the earth that is your soul’s ultimate destination.
Isn’t that Big News???
Ultimately, the more you can connect with sensation in your body and the more you can bring your Self-with-a-capital-S into your body, the smoother and easier life gets.
I’ve certainly experienced that truth this year. It’s all about Embodiment, Baby!
So… Presence, Trust and Embodiment. Add them all together and you have a recipe for a life where the hardest parts are already done. When you have the tools and strategies in place to navigate even life’s most uncomfortable moments, nothing can phase you.
Obviously you’re still human, so there will continue to be ups and downs, but no situation will be able to overtake you; to drag you down into unbearable lows.
Put these 3 big ideas at the forefront of your experience and you’ll truly notice the magic in having this human experience. And that’s my secret recipe for loving life, even in 2020, even in a pandemic, even when you have no idea what’s going to happen next.
With stacks of love and oodles of courage,
PS- Registration for How to Streamline your Self-Care with Practices that Really Work ends soon. If you want more specific guidance in how to develop Presence, Trust, and Embodiment, you’re invited to join us for our live 6 week online course that starts Wednesday, Nov 4th. Click here for details.