If you are one of the people who have found yourself with extra time on your hands during the last two months and you've decided you want to spend it constructively, deciding how to or what to do next might have become a challenge. We feel the same. So we thought, what if we could use this time to get excited about a new direction, a new way of thinking or a better life? To come out on the other side with a plan for progress of how to become more fulfilled and happier?
We would like to introduce Springboard for Better designed in partnership with Emotion Matters - a series of thought exercises designed to help us identify what we really want, how to achieve it and how to keep it.
STEP 1 - REFLECTION
We are living through an altered reality right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic restricts our life, our movement and the way we spend our time. We will all experience these changes differently, with some coping better than others.
Behind the rhythm of the ‘new normal’ we have found, is the backdrop of space and time. It feels different, and it is different, because we are not filling it with the things that we took for granted; a drink with friends, a Boom class or a frantic commute to the office. If you dare to lean into this space, you may be surprised with what you find. Self-reflection is one of the great opportunities that social distancing can give us.
When we reflect on our lives, it’s like we take a step to the side and watch ourselves on a movie screen. We can rewind and look back at what’s happened, or fast forward to see what comes next. Self-reflection in the present gives us technicolour vision of what we have, what we miss, what we don’t want and what we desire. It allows us to become aware, and change the course of our ship, as we travel onwards through life. COVID-19 has been like a spiritual handbrake on life, a jolt from all we know, making us stop, slow down and tune in.
We want to invite you to take this opportunity, and use the space and time you have to springboard to a happier you, through building a better life with greater fulfilment. Here is our 5-step guide on easing into self-reflection: Slow down, take some slow deep breaths, and welcome the space to self-reflect.
Lean in, trust you will be ok, and start to notice what you hear, see and feel
Allow yourself to shift to place of mindful observation, without judgement or criticism.
Notice things around and within you, that you are grateful for.
Feel your body relax as your breath slows, and your chest naturally rises and falls. Once you have practised this a few times, and you feel more confident in turning inwards, you may notice your mind is like a lake, quiet and peaceful. Walking in nature while you do this, cleaning your home mindfully, or relaxing after some yoga positions are all practical ways we can find this space outside and within.
In this space, when we drop in a question for self-reflection, our inner guide is always there to answer. Sometimes straight away, or maybe a few days later as it pushes through our busy minds to be heard. Listen carefully, and trust what you hear. We all have this amazing in-built powerhouse of love and wisdom, if only we slow down enough to hear it.
We have crafted some questions to help you reflect on your life:
What makes me happy in my life? (Happiness as a semi-permanent state. EG: a fulfilling career, feeling understood, etc.)
What things do I truly value?
How do I stop myself from achieving what I want?
Where have I been, and where am I going?
What is missing from my life?
How open and authentic am I in relationships with others?
Why do I stop myself from doing certain things?
What things if you stop doing them, would make me happier?
What brings me joy (as an emotion connected to an experience or moment)?
How do I want to manage my time?
What would make my life more fulfilling?
Take some time, be kind to yourself, and see what you discover about yourself and your life. Make some notes in a personal journal and know you are preparing to springboard for a better life. More next week.
In partnership with James Lamper, Clinical Director of Emotion Matters. www.emotionmatters.co.uk