For those of us who were open to it, 2020 taught us many things. One of the biggest lessons I learned and experienced with others was how to grieve together. With so many losses of stability, lives, careers, homes, friends, income, plans, and more, there were so many of us who had to grieve the loss of control.
With all the closures, being kept from our loved ones, and unable to go to our places of comfort, it was hard to feel secure. Through that though, we had the opportunity to look beyond what we lost to more importantly recognizing what stills we had learned. Those skills are what helped us get back on our feet and feeling more stable.
As time went on, there were ten key skills I practiced to help myself move forward in a confident, positive way. My hope is that by sharing these, you too can start experiencing the feelings of hope and stability once again.
1. Letting go of the outcome
2. Letting go of timelines
3. Acknowledging what I’m really feeling about both the little and big losses of the last year
4. Allowing myself time and space to feel what I need to feel (Walter Bond recommends three days max, even if that means giving yourself three days a couple of times a month to feel the stress and sadness of so much loss)
5. Make a 3-5 step plan for how you can and will move forward
6. Share your goals with a friend and ask them for encouragement along the way
7. Celebrate the small wins – each step forward is a move in the right direction
8. Take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, incorporating movement, drinking water, and practicing mindful nutrition
9. Reevaluate your plan and its steps weekly then adjust as needed
10. Be accepting of starting over again
This week, I encourage you to choose one of the 10 steps to focus on. Whether you apply it to something big or small, it’s better than applying it to nothing at all! You may be surprised by how much relief you’ll find.
What does living your exceptional life look like to you?
What have you done to acknowledge and move through your grief in these difficult times?
What can you do to support and encourage others as they journey through their grief?
What was your biggest loss during this time? What did you gain amidst it?
We’re Moving…Will The Next Chapter Be Exceptional?
For the last 30+ years I’ve talked about moving south. I love the feel of summer weather all year, the heat of the sunshine, the beauty of the ocean, and all the people who love to spend their days outside.
This past winter, we spent two months living on Fort Myers Beach. Each day we enjoyed two to three walks on the beach, bike rides, tennis, and time in the pool which are all things I love doing outside. Even on the only rainy, cold day we experienced, we still got a couple dog walks in.
In my mind, the thought of moving has always been simple as I felt like if I just do it, everything will work out. However, I learned during our time there that it might be more complicated than I thought. When you’re close to the beach, many things are very expensive, not everyone loves dogs, and not all beaches allow dogs. I also started to think about our need to find a new church, doctor, dentist, vet… and the list continues.
Then I started thinking about all our opportunities to experience new beginnings, making new friends, discovering new places to hangout, and getting to know new neighborhoods. For someone like me who loves change, it can be hard to stay out of trouble sometimes. Following the last year of loss in many areas, I’m ready to make a change and say yes to a new chapter in Florida!
Before we made our decision, we talked to each one of our kids to be sure they were alright with where we wanted to go next. We were blessed to have their excitement and full support surrounding us which I’m incredibly grateful for.
We’ve made offers on two homes so far though we lost out on both; but by the time this hits your inbox, we may have found the place to call our new home! It’s easy to let fear of the unknown stop us from making moves in any area of our lives. However, I believe there’s always something better waiting on the other side. While we go through the process, I’m going to work hard to focus on the good while acknowledging the challenges and facing them head on.
This week, I encourage you to challenge your fear of the unknown and say yes to whatever move you’ve been waiting to make whether it be big or small. You never know what could be waiting for you right on the other side!
What does living your exceptional life look like to you?
What move have you been waiting to make? Are you ready?
When was the last time you made an important move? What motivated you?
What was the best part about the last move you made? Why?
This blog is from a while ago and now a new chapter back in MN will start the end of this year as I launch my Small Business Vistage group in MN. I just felt that this blog was a good reminder, life is always changing we can focus on the Obstacles or the Opportunities. I am so excited for my next Exceptional chapter ; )
What’s In It For Me? How Can I Serve Others?
In a world where it’s human nature to think more about ourselves than anyone else, what tools do you use to redirect your thinking from, “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I serve others?”
As I listened to a study the other day, one of the researcher’s questions got me thinking. She said, “Everything has changed to being all about ourselves. How do you protect yourself from becoming self-absorbed?” As the day went on, I spent a lot of time thinking about that question as well as how different things are today.
We now live in a world that’s moved from a coffee pot to a k-cup that turns out exactly how we want it; again, all about me. We’re in a time where people aren’t taking photos to preserve memories anymore. Instead, they’re taking selfies alone and once they take the selfie, by themselves, they edit it to their exact liking before posting it to see how many other people will “Like” it.
The trouble about this mindset is it’s challenging to overcome now that it’s the new societal norm – so what’s the solution? In my mind, one of the first steps to redirecting your thinking is to work on shifting your perspective and focus. I accomplish this by using a gratitude journal which is simple yet allows me to reflect on what I have in life and what’s going well rather than what’s lacking. I’m then able to appreciate others in my life and focus on how I can pour into them what they’ve poured into me.
As I got more comfortable with my gratitude journal, I started experimenting with taking it one step further. Not only do I write what I’m grateful for, I also write what I gave to others with generosity in my heart. I’ve been sharing this next step with people in my life for some time now and they’ve benefited from it, too. It’s been helping them bring awareness to how they’re giving back and the positive impact they’re making in the lives of others each day.
Through this practice, I know which days I’m serving someone else whether it’s simple or significant. To me, a giving spirit is a happy spirit and I love nothing more than being happy! When we focus less on ourselves and more on making a difference in the lives of others, the happier I believe we are.
This week, I encourage you to mindfully redirect your thinking from, “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I serve others?” through at least one generous act of service for someone else each day whether it be big or small! What does living your exceptional life look like to you?
What generous acts of service will you perform for others this week?
How do you protect yourself from becoming self-absorbed?
How often do you mindfully practice gratitude and reflecting on your service to others? How do you do it? #ServiceAboveSelf #servantleadership #BeTheException #hopehealthhappiness