By DLCC Coach Sharon Barbour
Is anyone else out there tired of pushing and trying to be an ever-better or “best” self? It’s true, in some aspects of your life there may be room for improvement. AND I think it’s time for a shift in mindset.
Instead of organizing around a drive forward for more and better, why not look at what is already here and how we can care for it? What if we: stop pushing. Stop the false urgency. Stop the distractions.
What would it be like to stop believing the inner voice that says You must do more! You must say yes! You must BE more for everyone else!? Maybe there would be enough room to pay attention to what matters most.
Pay attention to what’s precious.
That sentence has stuck with me for over ten years now. It rose up out of a visualization exercise I did as part of my first coach training 14 years ago. It guides me in small moments and in larger decisions in my life. I plan to lean into it further in 2020 as these uncertain times seem to be asking each of us to be as grounded, purposeful, and authentic as possible in our living, leading, and loving.
I find in my coaching that often my clients are struggling to attend to their loved ones and their own heart’s desires but have inner critics and external requests that feel like demands that keep them in constant motion, and not necessarily pointed in the direction of what truly matters most.
Can you relate? What do you value most in life? Does it get enough solid, loving attention?
Sometimes themes emerge over a week or a month of coaching my clients. This month the theme is a struggle of polarity between nourishment and productivity. It seems that all bets have been placed on productivity as the absolute most important and worthy. Workplaces ask for more, volunteer placements ask for more, our inner critics ask for more.
But who casts a vote for nourishment? Who is there egging us on to take time out, to follow our hearts, to know what’s most precious and attend to it? You’re very lucky if you can name one person, even if it’s yourself, as that voice for the heart, for what is truly nourishing. And the funny thing is, often if we nourish ourselves and fill that empty-feeling bucket with true nourishment, our productivity increases!
This new year, I encourage you to give pause and consider what is truly precious to you and to think about how to put some of your kindest, wisest attention there. And on the flip side, consider where you are pushing or driving or saying yes too often and act by slowing down and saying a loving but firm no. You can always decline the request without declining the requester. I’d love to hear how it goes.
I coach executives who are trying to do good in the world but feel stuck or slowed down by old habits. I also coach “creatives” – authors, visionaries, and others who have a project to bring to life and are stuck or beaten down by an inner critic. I am also beginning to coach on climate change – helping people move from stuck to facing to right action. If any of this interests you, I’d love to talk.
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