My word of the Year, what I have learned, and what I am curious about
CONNECTION. This word stood out in my mind as I was contemplating what 2016 had in store for me. I was thinking about opening my own yoga space that could serve as dope(a)me headquarters, I wanted to expand my coaching business, and I love collaborating and creating experiences with inspiring and intriguing people. I knew that regardless of what I ended up deciding to do, I needed to foster and nurture connections in order to see the growth and depth that I was looking for.
"Connection" has proven to be a beautiful source of insight and motivation for me over the past few months. Despite stepping away from opening my own space - for now - I carried the intention of Connection with me everywhere and have found beautiful opportunities and a new found sense of curiosity.
Connection to Others:
Something that has surprised me about this intention is that it has helped me realize the importance of connecting others. I am not just looking at ways to connect myself with those around me, but also, how can I connect people I deeply care about to others who will elevate and create something together. The satisfaction I get when connecting others, is just as rewarding, if not more, than when I am focusing on my own relationships. We get a nice juicy boost of Oxytocin when we care for and serve others, as well as when others care for and serve us. It's a give and take, a balance, and something that is becoming more real and noticeable in my own life.
In the article, "Managing with the Brain in Mind", author David Rock says,
"The human brain is a social organ. It's physiological and neurological reactions are directly and profoundly shaped by social interaction."
Perhaps you have heard the common saying that you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. It makes sense. We are deeply influenced by our surroundings, our conversations, our activities, and whatever else our social interactions brings into our life.
Social interaction is vital to feeling balanced and connected. Be intentional with this information by knowing who those people are in your life that light you up, elevate you, and encourage you to be your best self. I am taking charge with this knowledge by starting up the conversations I want to have, by making plans and being intentional with what activities we engage in and what food we eat, and by creating online courses and workshops with intentional themes that I know will elevate the vibration of the group. I am not interested in small talk. I have found ways to feel connected to others, generate connections between other people, and elevate the collective consciousness through intentional conversation.
In the book The Anatomy of a Calling, Lissa Rankin relays her learning's about connection by saying,
"The only gateway to true connection lies in your vulnerability, and without true connection along the hero's path, the mission is destined to fail."
We need others in our lives to fully reach our potential. Being independent means standing on your two feet while allowing the intentional people you have chosen to surround yourself with to hold you up and lean on in opportune moments. We need our tribe. We need our community. We need to support each other and build each other up. One person may start the conversation, but it takes the group to generate a revolution. When we stand strong and lead by example, we spread courage like wildfire and breathe strength into others who needed that nudge to find their own strength and their own voice.
You never know who you will inspire just by showing up as yourself; authentic, courageous, and led by love.
Connection to Self:
You can't be your best self for others if you don't have a loving and deep connection with yourself. We have all heard the phrases along the lines of,
"You must fill your bucket before you can help fill the bucket of someone else"
"The most important relationship is the one with yourself"
"Without self love you won't find true love with someone else"
The list goes on. And as cliche, and perhaps a little too black and white, as these phrases allude, they carry truth. How can you show up vulnerable and authentic for someone else if you are dealing with demons, lack of self-love, or denial within yourself? You are basically showing up in a relationship carrying baggage that is blocking your heart and distracting your mind.
I have spent a lot of time in this area because I too struggled with self-love for years. I didn't know how to love myself. I knew how to judge, belittle, criticize, and victimize myself, so that is what I repeatedly did.
Once I learned how to change my own habits and the importance of self-love, passion, positive self-talk, vulnerability, goals, compassion, and growth mindset, I was able to let-go of the unnecessary negativity in my life and embrace a new mindset. I still have to remind myself to let go of certain things and to refocus my mind on what I can control, but I do so with curiosity and excitement as I see myself getting stronger and more content with where I am and what is now.
This focus on Connection has sparked a deeper journey of reconnecting with my Intuition. For years I did not trust my inner voice because of the hurtful things I did to myself and to others. Reclaiming this voice has been a process to say the least. I am starting by focusing on what I am curious about. The little whispers that say, "hmmm, dig into that a bit more" or "stay with this feeling a little longer" or "ask more questions, you don't quite have a grasp on this yet" or "there's more to learn and explore through here." This is the voice I am curious to learn more about.
My intuition reminds me when to slow down and engage in some radical self-care in order to avoid exhaustion or burn out. My intuition guides me towards what I need to learn more about and what experiences will help me gain knowledge that a book can't offer. My intuition rings of Surrender when I have been focused too much on Effort, and it points towards Effort when I have had enough Surrender.
And when I don't feel connected to my intuition, like thick clouds covering the sunlight, I know that I need to sleep, meditate, eat cleaner, or clear my head with fun and sweat. My intuition is always there, and as long as I am not beating myself up or focusing on negativity, I can quickly access it's wealth of wisdom when I de-clutter my surroundings and my mind.
Lately, my intuition has been guiding me towards finding balance. I continue to stay up later than I know serves me well, and I have been eating more treats than what feels good. When I feel balanced, by intuition guides me towards collaborations and creativity. I see so many people offering workshops, retreats, online training to join their tribe or learn their steps and tools to greatness, and I am feeling a little disconnected from the bigger picture.
I have reminded myself a few times lately to reconnect with my original vision and purpose behind what I am doing.
My Vision - To spread happiness, health, and a life of love and passion, like wild fire.
My Mission - To lead by example with passion, a growth mindset, and inspiration.
I want to make health, support, and inspiration an accessible and inclusive experience for an ever-expanding community to experience. I know my online platform will be the key to this, and I am still figuring out what that means and what that looks like. I don't want to charge thousands of dollars to be a part of my special "secret ingredient" way of building success in your life. I want everyone and anyone to have access and to feel the love and support I want to offer.
I am committed to being vulnerable and to allow my process of growth to be an open experience that invites others to come along for the ride. I am passionately curious about my own potential and how leading with love and connection can change the world around me. If you are curious about your own potential or you have skills that you feel could create a beautiful collaboration, then reach out. Let's talk ;)