CHOOSE TO BLOSSOM THIS SPRING
Spring Cleaning. It's easy to notice the clutter building up in our physical outer environment, but what about our inner world? When do you look at it, take stock and do a little reshuffling, culling and reorganising? In this little write up, Human Behaviour Specialist and Transformational Coach & Trainer Paula Bernardić gives us some tips on Spring Cleaning from the inside out for a most inspired and empowered life.
Imagine a compass. Where you're wanting to arrive is North. You can turn in many directions and move, you’ll be ‘doing the work’ (imagine that insanely beautiful and perhaps even treacherous terrain you’ll be journeying), always making distance from where you started, but until you move in the direction of North, you won’t be getting closer to where you want to be; North. Values are our True North. There are so many things in life screaming for our attention and with competing priorities and the modern lifestyle becoming busier and more urgent it is easy to be busy all the time, constantly doing and moving, yet living a life of quiet desperation, making no progress towards what makes your heart truly sing. “So what do I do when I find myself in such a predicament?” I hear you ask.
Do you sometimes find it difficult to gain momentum and motivation? Feeling uninspired? When we procrastinate, hesitate, frustrate or sabotage, we tend to beat ourselves up, get down on ourselves and think “What’s wrong with me?” After all you do want to be growing and progressing in life, so what's keeping you stuck? These negative feelings around “What’s wrong with me?” are a guide, a reminder from your soul that you’re off-course, moving in the wrong direction and it is time to get back on track. You feel lousy because you've been expending energy, doing, investing your time and efforts and moving in a direction that isn't aligned with your highest values, your True North. When self-depreciating remember; there is nothing wrong with you, just your current direction.
We don't inherently want sugar, clutter, junk food, too much food, sitcoms and movies, porn, shopping, drugs, alcohol, mindless entertainment, over training…the list goes on. These addictions and compulsive behaviours are a mechanism by which to escape when we’re not living in line with our highest Values. Addiction and compulsive behaviours therefore, are a compensation for unfulfilled highest values.
The best thing to do when you notice yourself reaching for your drug of choice is to remember your True North and do a quick check - Have I been suppressing or stimulating my highest Values? “What are my highest values” you wonder. Well, consider this:
What is it that is most important to you? What gives your life meaning? What, if you no longer experienced it in your life, would cause you less fulfilment? Brainstorm, write a list, draw a mind map of the things that really make your heart sing and give your life meaning. I mean really give your life meaning, not just the simple niceties or conveniences. Consider: If it ceased to exist would your life become less meaningful?
Once you have a list you will notice that the Values may cluster in themes. For example, you might discover you value Mindful Eating, Yoga, and Meditation. In this example these self-care rituals could be grouped together under the Value of Self-Love, or Wellbeing.
When you have a list of 5 or 10 of your highest Values you have your compass, your True North. Now it’s important to support, nurture and cultivate your Values. This is an inside job and will have an outstanding ripple effect on your whole life. Be mindful of the company you keep, the activities you engage in and how you spend your time and energy. In so doing you will be able to structure your life around your highest values and consciously build a highly meaningful, inspired and empowered life.
Consider: What are you reading? Watching on TV? What conversations are you having with people? Who are you hanging out with? Where are you spending time and energy? What are you thinking about? How do these activities leave you feeling? How well are these activities suppressing or stimulating the expression and experience of your highest Values? If they are stimulating, keep going. If not, you may consider which changes could lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
When we require motivation to do something, we are experiencing a Values clash. We don't need reminding or encouragement to live our highest Values because they motivate, stimulate and awaken our soul song. When you find yourself procrastinating, hesitating, frustrating or sabotaging, consider your Values. Is this activity aligned with my Values? Is fear holding me back? Or is there another Value holding me back that I haven't yet identified as a contributor to what gives my life meaning? Observe whats happening for you, meet it with an open, non-judgemental curiosity. What else is here for me to uncover? When we consciously live congruently with our highest Values, we live our most inspired and empowered life. After all, isn’t a clear, intentional and fulfilling inner-scape the ideal clean slate to kick start your Spring?
Paula has 10 years experience in Psychology and Mental Health and is now Coaching & Training in Private Practice. If you’d like to find out more about what Paula does and how she can support you to make meaningful changes in your life, you can contact her at PB Success Coaching: firstname.lastname@example.org / Facebook @pbsuccesscoaching / Instagram @pbsuccess