Mary Shelley's famous 1818 "Frankenstein" novel about a bio-engineered experiment that went monstrously wrong, and George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (in 1949), which foresaw draconian government control of information and behaviors, have both proven to be...
After Covid – What is Your Vision in An Uncertain World?
How’s it going? No really. How are you? How is your life?
Are you just taking it day by day? or… Are you working toward a vision?
During a conversation today with a new-to-me person, he observed that I was unclear on my vision. When he told me this, my first reaction was, “Of course I am clear.” Mildly defensively. But, upon further reflection, I realized my vision had become more like a Picasso than a Realism painting this year.
He was right. I was not clear.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am quite driven. I have had visions, goals, and dreams, which I have worked toward for most of my life. Yes, I am that person.
But, like most people right now in 2021, my goals, dreams, and visions have been thwarted. For me, it was growing my speaking business and traveling all over the world doing what I love to do with communities I love to be in. 2020 was supposed to be my year. My time to hit the stage and get out from behind my computer. Cue laughter from the gods.
For others, it might have been having a good year at school, having their business stay open, attending their child’s wedding, and for others, well, they just wanted to be able to breathe. So. Much. Disappointment. Pain.
It’s been a year! And yes, as the Covid slogan goes, “We were all in this together.”
Maybe you have felt like me too.
1. I felt dumb for wanting my goals/dreams to come true whilst some people were fighting for their lives.
2. I gave up on my vision because I couldn’t see how it could happen.
I didn’t give up without a few adult temper tantrums and fiery false starts, mind you. Alas, eventually my drive eroded, and I shrunk my goals and dreams to the size of my two-bedroom cottage on the lake where I spent the past 18 months.
In the beginning, you may have also gone into a mindset of, “Let’s wait this thing out.”
Netflix and random pastimes that involve pajama pants lose their appeal.
So, how do we proceed in uncertain times?
- Do we change our goals?
– Adapt to the environment and still stay in alignment. If so,
- How can we adapt to the current reality without feeling constantly thwarted by lockdowns and rules out of our direct control and just want to sleep until it’s over?
- Who do we need to become to switch our collective 18 months of Surviving into Thriving?
Most importantly for the purpose of this article:
Can we have a plan and vision in this current reality? YES.
We just need to roll up our sleeves of resilience and access a bit more ‘childlike-fall-on-your-bum-and-get-back-up’ gusto.
What if we could detach from the outcome, and focus on the becoming?
Which means extreme presence with a vision we surrender to – aka not needing to know how or why it will come to be.
For instance, I am focusing on what I can control. Instead of letting the thoughts in my head interrupt me, I direct my thoughts instead:
- “For the next hour, I will write this article.”
- “I will enjoy my lunch without distraction, not thinking of the past or the moments ahead.”
- “I will do what is in front of me, and stop if I’m tired and get back to it so as not to get behind and then be overwhelmed with tasks.”
- “Wow, this Covid thing is hard. Everything is harder today; what do I need to do today? Get it done and then get back to my life with my loved ones and what I can control.”
These aren’t affirmations. These are self-direction statements. You are directing your mind on how to experience your day rather than letting the chaos of the unknowns leak into every little thing.
When we feel helpless and thrown around, self-direction feels calming. In this case, we are leading our own day, our own mind, and declaring dominion of the world between our ears that we can have power over. The grumpy part of us that hijacks us is called “the inner child,” which really just means the part of us that feels deeply has needs, and wants to enjoy life and the moment. When life becomes all hard stuff and no relief, you will experience adult temper tantrums. For now, just manage your mind and don’t let the thoughts think you; you think them. Don’t bulldoze over your inner child, but do self-direct as a parent would to a child that needs guidance.
That is the PLAN.
The plan is to manage your mind, and be present to each segment of your day, so you aren’t leaking energy on thoughts that are not generative, scary to your inner child, or within your control- reel those suckers in and don’t let them suck you down.
How do we have a vision in the unknown?
I am still working on it, but this is where the child-like qualities are your friend.
One of my favorite things to say when I am stuck or I’ve done everything I can is, “I don’t know how….yet.”
What I know for sure is that small things add up.
Consistency is your friend. Not all or nothing, but gentle consistency. You miss a day or 3 or 7; you can choose the next day to do small things.
“Eye on the horizon, but be mindful of your steps.”
Focus on a big picture vision, then take one step at a time.
For example, I want to have good health, become my vocal potential, be an amazing coach/therapist to my clients, enjoy moments of each day being with what and who is in front of me, make room for when I have The Grumps, and am feeling feelings that are anything other than HAPPY, and the rest is just stuff. The stuff of eating, hygiene, responsibilities- that’s just stuff.
Don’t worry about the stuff; the stuff will get done.
How you feel. Who you are being. How you share yourself with others and the world- that is the stuff of life you will remember.
These small things make you feel like you will add up over the months that pass, no matter what is going on in the world.
No matter what, I did my vocal exercises pretty much daily. I took breaks but didn’t quit.
No matter what, I get 3-4 workouts or activities in a week for my health.
No matter what, I make the people in my life know I am here and reach out to them regularly.
No matter what, I pet my cat, who is 21 years old (which is 100+ human years old), and I am 100% present at least 2x a day with her. She reminds me that today matters, she is alive, and I am alive.
Yes. I changed my vision without letting go of my dreams. I’m just letting go of control and the “how.”
Now, I am crystal clear.
I am letting go of what I thought life needed to be. I am focusing on what is directly in front of me without resignation, and I am allowing more of what is here and now to take up my attention. I still dream, I still do today what will improve my tomorrow. I give myself a break when I have adult temper tantrums.
And my biggest focus right now is to surrender to a force bigger than me to co-write my vision with me. I take time 1-2 times a day to receive, notice and listen. Then go back to what’s in front of me again.
What I can control is to be as content and fulfilled as possible with what I have, and what is here now and do the things that make me feel like me as much as possible.
What is your vision in an uncertain world?
For more tools, go to www.jennasmithcoaching.com.
“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith,” – Steve Jobs.
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