Feeling a need to focus on other projects I care about, I took a break from much of social media and blogging since last spring to listen to myself. And I was able to use that time to make some real headway in other arenas and goals I wanted to take some time to move forward. There’s been good growth with the cardmaking business, the writing projects and other workshops I’ve pioneered ‘doing’ in the world since I took that break. It was helpful to see where my time was going and what mattered most to me in these past months. Human connection was a big one that mattered to me, and many of you will resonate with.
Oftentimes we’re pushing a lot of projects across the field at the same time and that’s just how it goes. We can’t always set some of them down. But, it is important to try to tune in and listen to what your body and heart are telling you about what is most enjoyable for you.
Goals need to be on your own realistic timetable. Not one that is full of what you thought you should be doing or wished you’d accomplished already. When it comes to accomplishing anything, small steps are very important and giving oneself credit for these small steps towards a larger goal is imperative, but listening to your gut along the way is not to be underestimated. Learning to trust your intuition and listening to what your soul is telling you is a form of self-kindness and self-compassion.
A retired friend told me she was busy a lot of days with her webinars and seminars for life knowledge. I thought that sounded very interesting. She goes to live, in-person classes too. But she finds herself with a lot of time to connect with others she cares about in person and online as well. Her priorities at this stage of her life are different and she has time to focus in on what her soul calls her to want to do. She’s working on her memoirs and is highly motivated to do so, attending classes for this and devoting weekly time to the project.
What’s motivating for you when working towards long-term goals? Is it sharing your vision with someone else or having an accountability partner while you’re working on it? Do you like to brainstorm it out on posterboard first, journaling on the parts you need to? Do you like to have music playing in the background while you’re working? A candle that smells nice burning. Taking a quick walk during a break? Doing some gentle stretches in the doorway?
What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Maybe you prefer to share and be heard by someone else before you can hear the advice or feedback they have to give.
A loved one used to talk about a course they took a long time ago about “listening with an extra ear,” in which she meant, trying to think about where the other person might be coming from when you’re in general conversation with others. You needn’t be a trained counselor, coach, clergy member to listen well to yourself or to others. You need to only be mindful, humble and say less than what you hear. It’s the source of the phrase, “turning down the noise.” Tune into the “still, small voice within,” so you can connect to your greater life goals and mission. Tune into others in your connections and conversations and you’ll see more positive interactions with others.
Being kind, saying thank you, genuinely asking others how they’re doing, and listening well…these are some simple ways to help uplift others, enrich relationships and help ourselves get life-affirming connections as well. Feel free to email [email protected] and let us know what you’re focusing in on and what or whom you’re listening to these days. Wishing you a grateful Thanksgiving.