My OWN Way.
The end of a year can bring a lot of ideas on how to be/look/do/lose/etc — Let’s talk about tangible practices to help you create your own way forward.
A new year is upon us Friends, and with new beginnings comes A LOT of information about how to do things, how to achieve/do/be/lose/get/etc —- whatever it is you’re after – there’s a way to do it. While some of the intentions are good behind these messages, I want to remind each of us (myself included) that we can find our OWN way. We can find and create our own way when it comes to our intentions, goals, vision, now, and as we look ahead to 2021. This is so critical right now as I know many of us are thinking “Ok, what next” and we are being bombarded with messages and visuals telling us what our “what next” should be.
It’s not doing something better than the next person, or doing what they’re doing …it’s about finding what makes sense for us. Sing it with me because you all know I love to make up songs and we’re going to change some lyrics up, “Anything you can do, I can do my own way.” Period.
It’s not about starting from scratch, but it is about starting with YOU.
WHY WE’RE TEMPTED TO NOT OWN OUR PATH:
Before we get to how to find, carve, and own your path, it’s worth pausing to consider how we got here in the first place. This list is not exhaustive, but by raising our awareness we are begin doing some of the work to carve our own path.
- Pressure from friends, family, others – while some may be well-intended, pressure from those that know us (and sometimes don’t – have you ever gotten pressure from a stranger!? It’s not a great feeling!) to do what they or others did (or maybe wished they did) because they think it will work for you can take us on a path that was never ours to begin with. I’ve caught myself already doing this with my girls and my desire for them to play some kind of instrument (umm, I mean the cello). There’s that saying from Carl Jung, “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents.” I’m just going to let that sit and live right there for you to ruminate on.
“The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents.” – Carl Jung.
- CULTURE – The lyrics of the original song go “Anything you can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” Then it goes on to say “Anything you can be, I can be greater, I can be anything greater than you.” Now I’m all for confidence, especially with women (we tend to downplay our talents) but these kinds of words breed comparison, which can lead to a lifetime of discontent. We live in a culture that LOVES to compare and promotes one-upping, which leads me to my next point…
- SOCIAL MEDIA – have you watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma? I was aware of it before, but the documentary just drives it home – we are getting filtered realities, that aren’t totally accurate. If you don’t have boundaries around how YOU use the platform, the platform will most definitely USE YOU and soon enough you’ll be thinking you need to do/be/get/have/change all the ways that the people you’re viewing are doing.
- QUICK FIXES– we also live in a culture where quick fixes are coveted because we want what we want when we want it – right? And doing what others are doing vs finding your OWN way is faster (or is it?). You see she’s doing a cleanse — and you get to thinking, “I should do cleanse”. You see she’s training for a marathon and you think “I should train for a marathon.” Do you want these things? Do you need these things?
- DISCONNECT – this one may be at the heart of all the others but when we have a disconnect between our body and mind, then we have a blockage in our intuitive senses, that inner knowing. It can show up in many ways like lack of self-esteem, lack of inner knowing and groundedness, a constant belief that we lack, are less than, and not enough. I told you, this one’s a doozy.
A little SELF-SEARCH
This is when I ask you to reflect on what the material means for you. Ask these questions below, and answer honestly – no one has to know. I’m getting to how to own but first, reflect because by getting curious about how the content relates to yourself – you’re strengthening that OWNING muscle.
- Have you felt pressure from someone to do something they did? Have you been pressuring anyone to do something? How does that feel?
- In what ways are you comparing yourself to others at work, on social, within groups? How does that feel?
- Do you feel your social media usage (if you have any) is using you? or are you using it?
- How often do you have free time? Time that is not scheduled, even a little bit, where you can be in that moment and think – what next? When something comes up for you healthwise (cold, pain in the body, negative feelings, etc) what’s your knee-jerk reaction? What expectations do you have of your provider? Is it “I should be here once, max twice, and then I better feel better” or something else?
- In what ways do you use your intuition? How often would you say?
Ok, now that you have those answers in your mind and on your heart let’s proceed with how we can be more mindful to carve our own path as we move forward – especially in the coming months when we will hear A LOT of do this/be this/come get this…
HOW TO OWN MOVING FORWARD:
Let me first say that the HOW, is up to you (ha! you see what I did there). You didn’t really think I was going to write a post about finding your OWN way then tell you how to — nope, but these practices below will help further strengthen your OWNING muscle so that you can’t help but do things your own way when the time comes. Here are six practices that can help you make your way forward, your own way forward (and not someone else’s):
#1 Set Boundaries
- We know those people love you, and you love them but there’s got to be boundaries. Boundaries are there so when they’re crossed you can move the person NOT the boundary. Remember that, and if you need help on how to set some boundaries see my Boundaries and Brené post where I give 5 ways tips on making decisions in uncertain times and making (and protecting) your boundaries. I compare boundaries to a trellis. When you see a perfectly placed trellis you often don’t see the structure but an abundance of blooms in beautiful shape. Without the trellis, the plant would have limited growth, limited beauty.
- NOW YOU ASK & DO: Where are boundaries needed in my life? How can I be more mindful about setting boundaries and intentions for 2021?
Our personal boundaries can be our trellises – even for (especially for) our dreams.
#2 Create Your Circle of Energy (don’t leave it up to chance) –
- Today’s culture can be difficult at times especially if we’re not mindful of keeping positive, EMPOWERING energy within an arm’s reach at all times. Are you surrounding yourself with whatever passes by you or are you being mindful of what you consume, when, and who you surround yourself with? Create your own mini culture of people that empower you, help you learn and grow, and a place where you can ask questions. Now I know this one has been especially hard in 2020 when we have been forced to be more isolated from one another.
- What I lean heavily on to create my circle of energy: audio messages to friends instead of texting (I find them more personal), thought-provoking and inspiring podcasts (LeVar Burton Reads, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Unlocking Us, TED Radio Hour, How I Built This with Guy Raz, to name a few — I also recommend looking for local podcasts in your area to feel more connected and in-the-know, one I love here in Cincy is What the F*t?! with Krissy Grote) – I love listening to these and then talking about them and what I learned. I invested in myself by hiring two coaches this past year, my gym membership, and my workout app subscriptions (for the at-home workouts). I limit my news and media intake, and I’m mindful of the kind of media I watch. My morning and nighttime rituals, that’s my alone time. Morning, I don’t always work out then, but I will read, journal, and sometimes meditate. At night after kids are in bed, I’ll talk with Pete a bit then go up, wash my face, maybe do a mask, maybe the Normatec (love that thing!) and read – the books I choose are a big part of my energy circle and are selected carefully.
- NOW YOU ASK & DO: What kind of people, places, and content inspire me? In what areas of my life can I create more good energy around myself?
#3 Set Intention with Social
- If you choose to use social media, set an intention, and make sure the people you follow and will see are in line with that intention (back to the circle of energy). Set an intention on how YOU will use your social, don’t let it use you.
- For me, my intention (personally) has been to seek inspiration and education, and joy. This looks like me following a lot of people I look up to and trust their content, and it looks like seeing my neighbor’s and family’s feeds packed with cute kids. My intention for my business social is to build community, empower others, and have a creative outlet through small nuggets of information, and story.
- NOW YOU ASK & DO: What is my intention with social and content I take in? Can I take steps to make sure my intention is in line with who I follow and the content I take in?
#4 Call Yourself Out (when you’re being a high-strung tourist)
- When we seek quick fixes, we are seeking a tourist-like experience with our own minds and bodies. I mean, let’s get real real. We didn’t get where we are overnight, so why do we always expect quick turnarounds? And we all know when things are rushed, they just don’t last so why would we want that for ourselves?! I say it often, and I will keep saying it, stillness is my greatest teacher. Be still. Approach things that come up with openness, and be willing to take time. It is your life after all. Why rush it? What this looks like? Normalizing free time in your schedule, being open when your chiropractor/PT/trainer/coach/OB/boss/the person in front of you says “it will take time to get this right for you”.
- This one is hardest for me with physical things, for instance, my left heel. I want so badly for it to just go back to the way it was before I had my babies, where I could run miles and miles without even thinking about my heel. But after years of babies, running with a stroller, carrying, changing my gait, my stance, my body changing —all the things my heel is different. And it’s taking me a lot of time and patience to get to know it, and what it needs now. It’s not fun, it’s not easy for me, and I have to remind myself often GET TO KNOW my body instead of just expecting things of it. My body needs my time, attention, not me bringing a tourist “I’m just visiting here” mentality.
- NOW YOU ASK & DO: Where am I seeking quick-fixes? Why am I seeking a faster experience here? What steps can I take to better understand and give attention to these areas?
When we seek quick fixes, we are seeking a tourist-like experience with our own minds and bodies.
#5 Write More (even though you’re not a writer)
- That disconnect between your body and mind, it’s real and it can lead to a lot of hard times. Slow down and write, or write more — journaling is such a simple way to get thoughts out of our head and onto paper and I swear something magical happens in that process where you begin to see the path forward that was meant for YOU. There doesn’t have to be a fancy process or prompted questions (but you can do those if they help) just look at the paper and jot down what comes to mind. Sometimes my entries are words, a poem, a stream of thoughts, a doodle, whatever …just let it come out. And if you’re really uncomfortable with the writing you can try typing or other ways of strengthening that muscle (or do all of them). Explore with a guide like a therapist on how you feel about your intuition, blockages you might have (which often point to past experiences) and give time and space to considering those things there with a guide vs on paper.
- NOW YOU ASK & DO: How could I best give myself time to be and get thoughts out? How does having a guide to help me strengthen my mind-body connection sound?
#6 Take in. Ask. Then Mold.
- For all of the points above (pressure from others, culture, social, disconnect, and even the quick fixes) when you have the urge in these moments to be on someone else’s path try to be curious, notice what it is about that particular path that DOES make sense for you (if anything) and exercise your ability to get creative (I have lots to say about that) and mold a path that was made for you using elements from the other.
- NOW YOU ASK & DO: As I take in all the possibilities of 2021 and my time ahead, as I look at what others are doing – the things that inspire me, interest me, and the ones I’m not sure about – where do I feel pulled towards? What parts of these things interest me the most? Are there ways I could modify it to really make it even more tailored to me and my needs?
No one says you have to start from scratch, just be sure you start with you!
So those are the practices and steps you could take to strengthen that OWNING MUSCLE. If you want someone alongside you who will bring out your strengths, help you achieve YOUR vision and goals, and empower you through the journey (and beyond) let’s chat! I love being there for my clients, their own fierce personal nurturer – I help clients achieve a wellness that was made with them in mind through holistic nutrition and health, mindset, and lifestyle practices! You can message me through the Contact page OR schedule a free discovery call where we can talk about your needs, fit, and what moving forward could look like for you!
If you feel comfortable sharing any thoughts or questions that sparked for you I would love to hear – so write them below in the comments. We can learn so much from one another all while we do some learning of our own.
Thanks for being here and holding space for you and me.
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