Nature offers us wonderful examples of growth, renewal, and transformation when we allow each of its seasons to guide our life.
Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Ian Schneider
What is your perspective on winter? What activities make up most of your days during the winter months? How much time do you spend outdoors?
Except for periodic brisk walks and sprinting from one building to another with my car acting as a shuttle service, I live a predominantly indoor life when it’s cold. Although I admire the grit and fortitude of people who choose a frigid lifestyle, I prefer to hibernate or fly south.
Instead of feeling bad and self-critical during these months, I’ve learned to embrace more inner efforts as a necessary and valuable aspect of living on a planet that circles the sun on a 23 degree angle.
How can and do you embrace each of nature’s seasons and the opportunity they offer? What inner and outer work lies ahead for you in this new year?
“When something small loudly demands all of our attention, its noise often drowns out the whisper of what’s enormously important.”
—Craig Groeschel, American Clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Sai de Silva
We live in a very noisy world. If you are like many folks these days, the decibel levels and shiny object distractions have reached new heights and the pace is accelerating exponentially.
Although there are extraordinary opportunities through the abundance of these worldly demands for our attention, we all require gaps in our days to recharge and renew.
Create two lists for your personal and professional life. Label the first list Important Whispers and the second Loud Demands.
What strategies can and will you employ to increase the time for items on the first, and reduce or perhaps eliminate items from the second?
“Are you doing what matters, or just reacting to the noise?”
—Brendon Burchard, American motivational author
Image from Unsplash by chairulfajar
It is a rainy Sunday as I write this. I am at home in my designated writing and reading chair, where I am rarely interrupted. Reading and writing are two activities that matter a lot in my life, so I proactively carve out time – especially on weekends – for both.
Rest, recharging, and renewal efforts on these days have also had me limit my cell phone use, primarily to family and friends. I’ve also cut back on virtually all forms of noisy media, to about 20% of what it was a year ago.
Consider taking five or ten minutes to create two lists. Label the first “What Matters Most in My Life?” and the second “What Represents the Noise in My Life?”
Once you have a solid list for each category, please apply the More/Less, Start/Stop Strategy to enhance your happiness and life satisfaction.
“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw out anyone.”
—Audrey Hepburn, 20th century British actress
Image from Unsplash by Olia Gozha
The human body has the miraculous ability to renew almost all of its various cell types.
Did you know that we have 30 trillion red blood cells, and approximately 100 million are being formed each minute? If you do the math, it gives each red blood cell the life expectancy of about four months.
Here are the renewal rates of some other cell types:
|White Blood Cells
||6 months-1 year
In what ways beyond mother nature can you support the restoration and renewal of yourself and those around you to live a longer more fulfilling and happier life?
“Exhaustion is not a status symbol.”
—Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston
Image from andtodaysidiomis
Do you ever hear yourself or others making statements such as:
- I work 24/7
- I work 60, 70, 80 hours per week
- I only need 4-5 hours of sleep
- I can’t remember when I took all of my vacation time
- I usually eat at my desk, and sometimes in my car
- I bill more hours than anyone else in my firm
- I’m burning the candle at both ends
Somehow, many of us took the idea of hard work, and got carried away. Some of us have gotten to the point that our self worth and value equates to “giving it my all,” taking it to the point of endangering our very lives.
The evidence that we need to conserve and recharge our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies before it is too late is overwhelming.
Select at least one personal or professional activity that you will do less of or stop entirely, so you can step back from the ledge of exhaustion. See if you can reclaim at least one hour each day, and then consider reducing or eliminating a second activity.
I highly recommend reading The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr if you want to take this concept further.
“Take rest. A field that has rested gives bountiful crops.”
—Ovid, ancient Roman Poet
Image from Unsplash by Tom Ezzatkhah
Mono-cropping occurs when a farmer grows the same crop in the same place for many years in a row. It disproportionately depletes the soil of certain nutrients essential for optimal growth.
A strategy used to optimize productivity of the same field is crop rotation. This is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different crops in the same area in sequenced seasons, allowing the soil vital recovery time.
Where and how can and will you insert more frequent or longer periods of rest and sleep into your 24/7, workaholic, overwhelmed days, to lead a more bountiful life?
“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy. They come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.”
Image from huffingtonpost.com
Most of us are familiar with the phrase “Silence is Golden.” Perhaps it is the value expressed in today’s quote that makes it so. It is virtually impossible to explore new ideas and inquire into new levels of thinking when our minds are going a million miles per hour.
Try blocking out five to ten minutes today for quiet reflection and personal inquiry. Consider choosing a topic or question worth pondering closely, and see what you discover.
Also consider making this a daily habit and explore the added value of capturing any insight you will likely have in a journal or notebook.