The Four Focuses
As I write this, it is the end of May, and I have been in a state of flux since mid-February. The term, state of flux, is define as a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action –– and this is exactly where I’ve been.
Life changes, and sometimes, those changes can come at you fast, and it can be difficult to adjust. Even as a coach, I struggle with unforeseen life-changing events, and it takes me a bit of time to recover from the initial shock before digging into my tool bag, and searching for tools to help me cope, heal, and adjust. This is a process that can’t be rushed. It is a process that incorporates a series of practices that need to be practiced, daily. Here are 4 daily focuses that have helped me over these past 3 months of recovery:
Develop and Maintain Meaningful and Positive Relationships
Over the past 90 days, I have been focused on my relationships, and applying a Marie Kondo style of organization to my list of friends and associates. In short, I got rid of anyone who does not spark joy. Looking at my contact list, I deleted everyone I haven’t spoken to in a long time, anyone who represents the way my life used to be, and anyone I shouldn’t talk to in the future. I took a look at my most recent text messages and sent texts to everyone whose time in my life needed to expire, even if I had just spoken or exchanged text messages with them earlier that day. I wrote:
I don’t know where life is taking me next, but what I do know is that I have to travel lighter into this next phase. Maybe we’ll speak again one day, but for now, I need to go my own way. I wish you all the best life has to offer.
Then, I blocked their numbers and deleted them from my list of contacts. Removing stagnant and stressful relationships allows me to focus solely on the meaningful and positive relationships in my life, as well as make room for new ones. With this extra room, I switched my intense focus on developing a more meaningful relationship with myself (first and foremost), my husband, and my son.
Obtain and Maintain a Daily Practice
When life threw me for a loop, not only was I unprepared, but I’d also been out of practice. For one reason or another, I’d stopped several daily practices used to ground and guide me, and I knew that in order to cope, heal, and adjust to life’s changes, I would need to incorporate my usual daily practices, and a few new ones. With any practice, new or familiar, consistency is key. So, remember to practice the practice! Here’s a list of some of mine:
Wake up and thank God for another day
Put on a warm robe an socks and walk around the house
Open curtains and windows to let in light and change the air
Burn incense to induce calm
Make and drink Morning Milk for nutrients and energy
Spritz and moisturize face, brush teeth
Get dressed and go to spin class (3-4 days a week)
Shower, dress, and tidy up the house
Make and eat breakfast with lots of protein for muscle recovery
Get shit done according to what’s in my calendar and planner
Engage nightly winding down ritual 2 hours before bed
Enjoy a bi-monthly 80-minute massage for relaxation, reset, and releasing of toxins
Release muscle tension with bi-monthly professional stretching
Set and Crush Goals, and Visualize the Future
Thank goodness for my planner and to-do lists! I don’t know where I’d be without the ability to organize my daily responsibilities and goals –– especially while coping with life’s changes. Now, I have to admit that during this time, I did alot less than usual. Knowing I have been in a fragile emotional state, and that I’d need efficient time to recover, I was mindful to not overload myself. There were blocks of days when my planner pages were empty, and days when I scribbled in just one or two tasks –– and that was enough. I delegated some tasks and put others off until I felt better, and still, everything got done.
Now, as I have continued to cope, heal, and adjust, I am able to get back to work and accomplish more than a month or two ago. And with a clearer mind, I am able to visualize our lives in the near future, according to the goals I have set, and the work I’m willing to do to accomplish each of them.
Strength and Resilience Training
Being emotionally strong and resilient comes with plenty of practice. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is a big first step, as well as acceptance and letting go of the anger, fear, anxiety, and regret so many of us hold onto for years after a situation has been resolved. During these last few months, I’ve realized just how much trauma I’ve been storing in the recesses of my mind, and began working on the letting go of each incident and the people involved. This practice has strengthened me and made me feel even more resilient than before –– not only have I survived these traumas, but I am also releasing them of any fault and effect. I am freeing myself, daily.