What’s Next? on your journey to truly thriving
by Jill Sockman
A couple of times each year, I offer a three-day intensive called What’s Next? It’s an opportunity to take a look at who you are when you’re truly thriving, what’s holding you back from being that person more of the time, and what’s the next step you need to take to be more in alignment with your passion and purpose in life. As we finish out 2015, when better to pause and consider What’s Next? for 2016?
I love this work, and am due for a refresher, so before the clock strikes midnight on 12/31, I’ll be taking a little extra time to get quiet and reflect on a few questions. Perhaps you’d like to join me:
1) List three times this year when you were thriving. Consider thriving as you at your very best, happiest and most authentic, whether in professional or private life. It might be a moment in time or an event or experience. List what comes to mind first, without editing. Who were you with? What were you doing?
2) What were your three biggest disappointments of 2015? Sitting in the seat of the witness- outside drama and blame and ego as much as possible- What role did YOU play in the turn of events, and what did you or could you learn about yourself from these experiences?
2) What did you accomplish this year that you’re proud of? Again, in any sphere of life, and in terms of what is most important, valuable and meaningful to you personally, rather than what we might consider an accomplishment culturally. How does it make you feel, and again, who were you with and what were you doing?
4) Take a moment to get very still and then ask the question to yourself: “what is missing in my life?” You’ll know you’ve gotten an answer from the most helpful place if it comes quickly and is just a single word or phrase. If it’s an extended dissertation, it’s probably the ramblings of the ego. Try again.
5) Review what you’ve written so far. Based on your thriving moments, what you learned (or could still gleam) from things not going your way, what you have accomplished and what’s missing right now from your life, what is your own answer, in the dimming light of 2015, to the question What’s Next? for you in 2016? What do you need more of or less of? What must change for you to be more content, fulfilled, and happy? And finally, what distinct, actionable steps can you take in that direction?
So, there’s your road map– or at least a great start. Far as we know, we just get this one chance, so let’s not waste any more time standing still, spinning our wheels, or looking behind us. It is time to turn the page and move forward.
Wishing you peace, prosperity, good health, good company, deep devotion, laughter, joy and countless blessings for the New Year.
Thanksgiving Continuum Practice
by Jill Sockman
I love Thanksgiving. For me, it’s the season of family, friends and food; decorated with gratitude, relaxation and ease.
And then there’s December. Which is decidedly NOT Thanksgiving.
For some reason, once we turn the calendar page, there’s an energetic downshift, coupled with jamming the accelerator to the floor. Why? Why do we do it? Why do we go from all the sweet being, enjoying, relaxing, all under the sunny sky of abundance and gratitude to a month of stormy all-out frenzy? I don’t want it. It’s not helpful. I’m going to try something else this year.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I invite you to join me in my Thanksgiving Continuum practice. For the next few weeks, consider adding any or all of these ideas to your daily routine.
- Gratitude journal. This is something I have worked with from time to time over the years. It’s so helpful, and whenever I start it up again, I always wonder why I ever stopped. Whether in your calendar, on your phone, in a special notebook, or in a daily conversation/email/text exchange with a friend, list at least three things for which you are truly thankful.The more we recognize the goodness around us, the more goodness there is to recognize. Every day. That’s the key.
- Eat. The busier we are, the more we can feel there isn’t time to give ourselves the most basic nourishment of all. Eat three meals a day. Every day. And a bowl of popcorn, cereal, or ice cream is NOT a meal. You know who you are.
- Stop doing. As in stop everything. At least once per day. Even if you already have a daily yoga practice, commit to an addition five or ten minutes at the midday or middle of the afternoon to sit and breathe, or take a mini-savasana. Don’t check out, tune in. Reconnect to the spaciousness that’s always there. You’ll be amazed at what five minutes of stillness can do for you.
- Right association. We don’t always have a choice about work, social and family obligations (or do we?). If you truly *must* spend time in places or with people who do not nourish you, support you, inspire you, and generally make you feel like the very best version of yourself, make sure you carve out time to do just that. Link up with your oldest, best friend who you never get to see, plan a hike out in nature, go to church, kirtan, yoga- whatever opens your heart and feeds your soul. Remember who you are.
- Self care. This is different for everyone. Some things are on the chart under required daily maintenance, other things we slide to the “luxury” column. If you are giving more of yourself, or suffer from the holiday blues, make sure the daily requirements are being met AND shift some items from the “luxury” column into “necessities.” It’s not anybody’s job but yours to make sure you are getting what you need.
I’m grateful to have work that I find purposeful and fulfilling. I’m grateful for every day I have this sweet and funny hound dog by my side. I’m grateful for my partner, my family, my friends, my community…for the endless ways they support me, teach me, challenge me, and remind me what life and love are all about.
And now? Well now it’s time for breakfast. 🙂