Reflection is a necessary part of personal growth and the winding down of summer is a great time for it…really, anytime is a great for reflection. I spent eight of the last 10 weeks there and two weeks in Trinidad. It feels good to be back in South Carolina, even though I miss my family in New Jersey.
There were amazingly fun times with my family and friends, traveling, eating and sharing laughs. You can checkout some of my pictures on Instagram. I did some driving for Lyft* which led me to meet some really cool people and see parts of New Jersey that I hadn’t before. I even got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse with my nephews and sister (which made it extra special). There were also terrific moments of heaviness, discomfort and lots of key learnings.
The term ‘key learnings’ I borrowed from Brene Brown. She uses this format in her books to summarize the lessons learned from her social research. If you seek personal growth, looking for the key learnings in our personal experiences can hold the key for us. So here goes mine from #summer2017. Please note that I am sharing the lessons I learned but while learning, they were not all happy experiences.
I am worthy of love and belonging.
There have been many times and places in my life were I felt like I didn’t belong there, even as a kid. Yet, today, if I end up somewhere, I grown to believe that is exactly where I need to be. We are so programmed to apply the labels ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to everything in life. However, everything is an experience that we can build upon and we can choose what we take away from each experience, so the notion of good and bad experiences are not deterministic. So whatever my situation or experience, there is where I need to be at that moment. So where ever I am, I am worthy of being there – good or bad (pun intended).
Being uncomfortable accepting gifts equals “I am not enough.”
People give gifts in joy (I’m always assuming the best) and why would I not want to accept someone’s positive energy toward me. Really, there’s enough malice on earth to spare. If someone wants to bless me with a gift or even a compliment (a gift of words), I will accept it, with gratitude, because of my first key learning: I am worthy of love and belonging.
Find joy in everything I have to do…
…because we don’t always want to do everything we have to, and it can be challenging (hard) to do those things with joy. Ironically, when we approach these tasks/actions with joy (even whatever little can be mustered), it creates the best outcome for us and usually one we enjoy. Plus, it helps keep our stress levels low during the task which is better for our health and our #EnjoyingBeing.
I don’t need to know everything..
…we can never know the future anyway.
I am a planner. I like to layout the route, the schedule, the menu, the…you name it. I want to know when, where and how. And when the projected schedule gets flipped on it’s head, so do my emotions. This summer was perfect for me to practice my #oneword2017, ‘release’, because with four kids, anything and everything becomes subjective, including schedules. Besides, if I say I trust God, why do I have to control everything anyway?
It’s okay for me to say no.
This is huge for me. It’s come up in sessions with my integrated doctor over the years and I came up again this summer. Our beliefs drive our emotions and our emotions cause health or maladies in our body. At this point in my life, I call myself a recovering people pleaser. It is important to me that others feel appreciated and loved, but I have to get better at reaching that goal without sacrificing myself. There is no gain in loosing me so others feel good; plus, if I’m not well, I don’t get to help others which in turn makes me feel better. Tony Robbins says, “Living is giving” but we must give to ourselves the care we need first so that we are better able to give to others. Sometimes, that means saying, “No.”
Now it’s your turn. If you haven’t, take at least a few minutes to reflect on your summer. I’m sure you’ll find at least one key learning and I’d love for you to share it in the comments so we can all be better together.
*Lyft was the better of my driving experiences. Their communication and driver care is superior to their competitor who will remain unnamed. Lyft has also expanded their coverage to 32 states including all of South Carolina. You can sign up for free, but must use sponsored link to be eligible for a bonus of $100-$850. Interested in driving for Lyft? Get $200 by applying here – https://www.lyft.com/drivers/ROANNE019185)
Give Lyft a try with a $5 ride credit – https://lyft.com/i/ROANNE019185