Is this your typical day – you wake up and your first thought is “so much to do, so little time to do it in”.Then you mentally go over your to do list for the day ahead: kids ready for school; clients; business development (whats that!); dinner; self care (fat chance); ton of email; elderly parents and the list goes on. At this point you may not even have placed your feet on the bedroom floor yet! Then you spend the day chasing your tail, feeling overwhelmed, overworked and over committed. Finally you flop into bed totally exhausted and feeling that you have not achieved anything of importance or significance but got to get up tomorrow and do it all again anyway! Perhaps then you dream of donning a superwoman cape and that way all will be good in the world as you run around after everyone, being all things to all people and ending the day realising you haven’t taken a breath or had a moment to think about yourself. I’ve got news! Life is not a movie and although you may wish and wait for that kind of super power, the truth is there is something you can do. You can activate your true superpowers, not the superman kind but the superwoman kind. And you have everyone of them within your power… all you have to do is know what they are and start using them.
Lets get stuck right in……
#1 THE POWER OF CHOICE
Okay you might not like me saying this but this is a superpower, consciously making active, intentional choices in your life based on your dreams, desires and what is important to you. We always have choice, even doing nothing is a choice in itself. Life will happen, the question is what would you like to make happen? It doesn’t get handed to you on a plate and sometimes it is so difficult: we choose what we want now in the moment over what we want most in life. Why? Because its tough, it requires discipline, courage and bravery to figure out what you really want and make decisons that align when you are up against the external “should storm”. Yes events do happen to you and you may have had no choice in that matter. Eventually you do though, on how you will respond and what you do next.
That said, I’m mostly referring to those everyday choices we make. If you are buzzing about in your busyness, on autopilot with the inner talk all being about have to…have to do this … have to do that. You might not even notice the choice points you have in your day. So firstly, change the language from have to..to choose to want to or choose not to. You’ll be amazed the difference such a seemingly small thing can have. Next, your are not your thoughts or your feelings. You think your thoughts and you feel your feelings but they are not who you are. You again may not know this running around and reacting to every thought and feeling like a directive. The key is to choose to slow down and pause. I feel rushed I better keep going. What do you do with 10mins of waiting time…scroll on your phone, send a quick email when, in fact, what you most need might be to do nothing or check in with your body and feelings? You do have a choice at that point. How about 2 minutes of mindful breathing, make a nice cup of time, have a mindful moment to check in with yourself ask how am I feeling right now and what do I need? Do not under estimate the power of different choices at points throughout your day to STOP – stop, take a breath, observe and be present. This is not a waste of time, you will actually gain time in your day! Experiment with this every time you go to do something, stop for a moment and think what other choice do I have in this moment and then choose wisely!
# 2 THE POWER OF BREATH
This is your life force, are you using it to help manage this crazy world? If you are anything like me, my guess is not enough. I’m taking a ‘mindfulness for modern life’ with the wonderful @natalierossiter. Check her out….www.natalierossiterwellbeing.co.uk. The other week our home challenge was to put into practice what we are learning. We were invited to do mindful moment checkins as I mentioned above. This was so revealing for me. I did it throughout my day and became aware that a lot of the time my answer was to simply take a breath. This surprised me and concerned me a bit, to be honest. So currently I am checking in with myself and intentionally stopping and sitting back to just breathe. The breath holds so much power in releasing anxiety, trauma, and stored negative emotions from the body. It drenches the body in oxygen, dislodges anxiety and trauma from the body and neutralises negative charge creating great healing benefits. When you become stressed or anxious your breathing patterns reflect this, becoming shallow and tense. When you open up the breathing, you put your body in a free and empowered state. Think about it , the one thing that is keeping you alive and you mostly do it without thinking at all!! So become more aware of your breath and use this superpower to regulate your nervous system, reduce your anxiety and stress by realising you have absolutely everything you need in that moment.
# 3 THE POWER OF SELF COMPASSION
And I mean self compassion. I’ve met many who are able to offer wonderful compassion to those around them but when it comes to themselves, it’s a different matter. So one of the other things about doing a mindful course, you become mindful. Not a surprise ! Recently what I’m noticing and observing is my self talk. It is almost automatic for me to be hard on myself and yet I extend fierce compassion to those around me. When I get something wrong or dont do it fast enough or as well as someone else….., my immediate default it to be so judgemental and critical of myself. “Sharon,you’re a coach,you teach this stuff” I hear you say. You are right I do know this. I’ve got 2 things to say to that. Yes and it is also critical to be intentional about my self practice as it can slip. I spoke with my partner from a circle training programme I’m doing. She agreed. As a yoga teacher she had also noted how in teaching it, she does not do it enough for herself and it can slip. Coaches are human too and have the same struggles of being human as everyone else. Equally when I do it, I notice the massive difference so I can share my real experience with you. The other thing which is true for us all is if we know it but don’t do, then we might as well not know it. Life does get in the way sometimes and when it does just bring yourself gently back on track.
If you want to know more about the power of self compassion, visit Dr Kristen Neffs work www.self-compassion.org .Dr Neff’s work tells us self-compassionate people recognise that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional balance is experienced.
So here are some suggestions for you to open up to the possibility of being able to be more self compassionate.
Become more aware of your critical self talk and challenge yourself to come up with a way or saying to reflect being a good friend, be your own best friend ◦Use a light word, a soft touch, comforting hand on your body ◦ ◦Allow yourself to be where you are at and for it to be ok. I’m having a hard time with this right now. Let what you think and feel to have its moment. Don’t give it a microphone or hide it in the corner. Allow it to come and then it will go ◦When you make a mistake ask what can I give myself right now to be supportive, how can I learn from this ◦Forgive yourself fast & show others forgiveness, they are human too
So in conclusion you don’t need Kryptonite or a cape, all you need to do is engage your 3 key human superpowers. Start being intentional with your choices, breathe and show self compassion. See where this takes you.
Rate your use of these superpowers currently? Where are you strong and what benefits do you notice? How can you get even better?
Which do you need to activate or reactivate? Start small and think of 1thing you could implement now to get going. I’d love to hear how you get on #activatemysuperpowers
I’m an inner beauty coach I work with women who are feeling disconnected, stuck or have lost their sparkle to fall back in love with themselves and life to become a happier, healthier more empowered version of themselves, inside and out.I help you connect and build your inner courage,strength and compassion to live life your way, create a new path forward and let the real you shine through. Like what you are reading? Would like to read more or perhaps you’d like to explore coaching with me to help you feel the most powerful and fully aligned you’ve ever been?If so pop over to my website, https://www.inshineout.com or click on this link to book in now https://calendly.com/sharonjamesinshineout/initial-consult
Alternatively, I lead monthly Grit & Grace womens circle where there is a safe space to explore, empower and connect with other women in a judgement free, loving supportive space. Interested simply email [email protected] for more info.