A new year beckons and all around the globe people are preparing their new year resolutions, goal settings, and plans. What are noticeable with all these activities are the focus on success and the emphasis on living a productive and fruitful new year. A mindset that is deeply ingrained in us- “if we are not hustling we are not living fully”. This glorification of busyness is deeply rooted in our culture and our psyche.
In the years following my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment shifting this paradigm of always moving and doing has been one of the most challenging mindset to reframe. I was constantly bombarded with the inner critic blasting me with lines like “you are too lazy, how can you be successful if you aren’t productive?”, “you won’t go anywhere if you don’t work hard!”, and one of the most destructive ones was “there is no time for rest, you got to keep on hustling!”.
I am grateful to Tara Mohr in introducing ways to give compassion to the inter critic and on how to tap into my inner mentor through her Playing Big program. Asking myself “what would my Inner Mentor do?” helped me to be in alignment with myself, my actions, and most importantly with my intentions.
The years that followed after the breast cancer ordeal made me shift my focus on how to live a self-full life. It became a process of tuning into myself — my feelings, my needs, my values, my intentions, my vision, my boundaries, and the legacy that I want people to experience when it comes to my presence in their lives. That last one was (and still is) a crucial criteria for me on living a self-full life.
Self-fullness became the expression of my presence in the activities that I do — what I said yes to, where I dipper my toes in, where I focused my time energy, and attention. It also included who I connected to with. The people that I spent time, energy and attention with, the relationships that I intentionally nurtured, given space and tuned in with.
A big part of my life became a conscious choice of asking — “who am I connecting with for today/this week/this month for the next 90 days?”
This act has greatly impacted how I structured my days and how I filled in my time to include strengthening and nurturing relationships. It helped me to be more intentional on people I reach out to, the relationships I want to revive and even helped me collaborate with people who I thoroughly enjoy being with.
As the year ends, I know that reflecting on the year that was is not only about the success in projects or activities. It is also about the circle of connections that we fill our lives with. My provocation is for us to include these “How Might I” design questions in our year-end reflections and planning:
“How might I give time, energy and attention to the people that matters?”
“How might I design opportunities for connection?”
“How might I fully express my presence to the people that I connect with?”
I am deeply curious to know what the exploration of the how might I questions bring you. From my experience it brought me closer not only to my relationship circle but exploring it has also brought me closer to myself — my self-fullness.